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What is peace?(37 posts)

What is peace?ClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 12:41 PM
Is peace the absence of war? Was there peace in Iraq before a few weeks ago? Is there peace in the Balkans now?

There has never been that on this planet. Not human nature. nmNo_sprint
Apr 7, 2003 12:43 PM
Obviously not in <i>certain</i> humans' natures. (nm)czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 12:56 PM
on that czardonic, we agree...moreClydeTri
Apr 7, 2003 1:05 PM
There has been and always will be evil people in this world. The question we disagree on is how to take care of these people? ignore them? kill them? Every one a unique situation. Some of us believe that some evil has to be killed, for the best of humankind. Some people believe the opposite. I actually had a prof in college who said that if people came into his house and proceded to start killing his family, and he had a gun in his hand, he would not try to stop them with it. He claimed he would lay it down and try to reason with the killers. Nice sentiments, but very ignorant of the concept of evil. People like that prof live in a dream world.
Killing people is passé.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 1:16 PM
There will always be people intent on doing bad things. Killing them (and those unfortunate enough to be caught in the cross fire) needn't be our perpetual solution.

As for your Prof.'s hypothetical situation, I think that the desire to kill in that situation is instinctual to a certain degree. But mankind is mankind because we can transcend our instincts. I would certainly try to protect my family by whatever means was at hand but, "academically speaking", I'd rather do so by non-lethal means. The point isn't whether or not this is realistic in a given situation. The point is that it is what we should aspire to as a matter of general policy and principle.

Today in Oakland, CA. police opened fire on protesters with non-lethal ammunition.
I wonder if that Professor should be allowed to teachpurplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 1:22 PM
Someone so out of his mind, seems to me, may not be the best influence. I certainly question his judgement.

Then again, perhaps he just hated his family.
LOL! nmNo_sprint
Apr 7, 2003 1:23 PM
Then again. . .czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 1:28 PM
. . .maybe he was trying to make a point by using a hypothetical situation to illustrate the application and consequences of a certain philosophy.

I find it telling that ceratin people are convinced that Professors are brainwashing students. These people must raise their children to be very gullible and weak willed.
But, czardonic, when I got out of NYU, I was a card carryingpurplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 1:35 PM
liberal. Though so were my parents, so that may not mean so much.

But I've heard and participated in such uncritical arguments that weren't opposed by anyone because we all thought along the same lines. I can remember certain times when I didn't agree with my professors, but didn't have the intellectual maturity to argue effectively with them.

Since there were no opposing views offered, we all thought we were "right." Turns out, there are often other views that may have validity.
So what, exactly, is your problem?czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 1:56 PM
Your parents were liberal, probably influenced you to be liberal, and your liberal education reinforced those views until you experienced life and discovered that liberalism wasn't for you. Would you have preffered that they send you to Bob Jones University and spared you from the sin of youthful liberalism?

I have always been a liberal. My parents are liberal, and I went to a notoriously liberal university. Yet, I frequently argued with my professors, grad student instructors etc. I also knew conservative students at the same university, some who were vocal and some who weren't.

As far as I am concerned it is not a Professors job to offer balanced points of view. It is their job to offer their point of view and encourage students to develop their own point of view.
The lack of true diversity in universities.purplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 2:03 PM
Since the "other side" had no representation, or was treated with such utter contempt, I got the liberal equivalent of a Bob Jones education. We can both agree that people who go to Bob Jones are likely to be very limited in their understanding of the world. But I see that exposure to just a liberal point of view is just as limiting and frightening considering the effects it has on society. Not that the liberal viewpoint in necessarily wrong. But what capability will people have to make that judgement if they're only exposed to one side?
So what's the solution.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 2:39 PM
Political litmus tests for professors? Departmental quotas for Conservatives?

All students are going to leave college with a limited understanding of the world. You seem to be an example of a student steeped in liberalism who nonetheless figured out that liberalism wasn't the be all and end all. You were able to make the judgement for yourself.

The fear/assumption among conservatives seems to be that people can't make that judgement, and thus must be protected from the charismatic and corrupting influsnces of liberalism. That suggests to me that they have little faith in peoples ability to think for themseleves, which is likely based on the people that they know.
De-stigmatize the word "conservative" in universitiespurplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 2:47 PM
And at least acknowledge that conservatives are discriminated against when being evaluated for positions by overwhelmingly liberal faculties.

I can assure you that if most every school in America was like Bob Jones, you would not be so cavalier about the harm it is doing to our country. Truth, not bias, should be the goal of schooling.
I'm not in a position to acknowledge that.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 3:09 PM
I don't know if conservatives are actually discriminated against, or if they are just whining because the comparatively small percentage of applicants that happen to be conservative are given a representative presence rather than the 50/50 split that they think is "fair". Being conservatives, shouldn't they acknowledge that if they can't find jobs it is because there is no demand for conservative professors?

Frankly, I think many of these conservatives are victims of the one sided war they are waging on the allegedly "liberal" academic establishment. The feel the need to "counter" the liberal oppresion that only exists in their own minds, and thus go out of their way to be disruptive and to politicize otherwise polite discourse.

Truth should indeed be the goal. The quesiton is how to get there, and I don't think that a politically correct "equal time" approach is the way. Conservatives don't appear to me to be an oppressed minority in society at large. Maybe they think that if it weren't for liberal professors, everyone would agree with them.
I ampurplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 3:25 PM
Firstly, just by the statistics, universities are as respresentative of the overall society as the vote that "elected" Saddam. How is it possible that just 0-3% of most faculty belong to the Republican party whereas 70-100% are registerd Democrats? That doesn't signal to you that there's a problem.

My father is a professor at one of the better law schools and only if the nominating commitee "likes" a candidate will they even have a chance. Now, if the nominating commitee is almost entirely comprised of liberals (my father described the Bush administration as being "evil") what chance is there that someone with opposing views is going to be offered the job? Not much.

There have also been numerous articles written that document the bias that exists within college nominating commitees. I can understand why liberals would not want to acknowledge the problem. After all, they have the dibs on churning out liberals by the thousands. But it's intellectually dishonest.

One wonders what liberals are so afraid of.
Telling assumption on your part.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 3:47 PM
You assume that every registered Democrat is a raving liberal absolutist that is hell-bent on twisting the minds of young people to conform to their views and using the academic system to churn out more of their kind.

I think that kind of paranoia says a lot about conservatives, what they think the role of universities should be, and why they don't get hired.

The fact remains that the liberal monopoly over the educational system manages to foster a roughly equal number of conservatives as liberals.
Whoa Nellie!purplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 4:01 PM
So, as a liberal, you agree that in a country with roughly 50% conservatives it's okay to have 0-3% conservatives on factulties?

What must you think of the over-representation of blacks then?
Another telling assupmtion.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 4:23 PM
Your ludicrous comparison of a historically enslaved and excluded race to a whiny and paranoid political wing demostrates the depths of your delusion of persecution.

Also, your statistics are typically misleading. What percentage of applicants are conservative in the first place? How do you know that while only 3% of professors are conservatives, 99% of conservative applicants are not hired? Conservatives have long been hostile to academia, presumably because it only creates a 50/50 conservative-liberal split, rather than reliably churning out 100% conservatives.

I certainly don't consider the current number of blacks to be an "over-representation". Do you?
Another telling assupmtion.purplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 4:40 PM
Depends. There are some awfully incompetent professors out there. To the extent that affirmative action put them there, yeah, I'd say they're over-represented. Actually, I'd say that lousy teachers as a group are over-represented.

But I was just making a jest at your hypocrisy. You are using the exact same arguments that whites made regarding the number of blacks in academia. Exact same! I find it incredible that you could seriously ascribe to the belief that conservatives choose to not be in academia. Perhaps the reason conservatives are hostile to it is that they're being excluded unfairly.

Now, were blacks just whiners too?
Yet another telling assumption.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 5:10 PM
You are making an assumption that I feel differently about the number of blacks in academia as I do about the number of conservatives. I said that I did not think that blacks were over-represented. You never answered my quesiton about whether they are, other than to change the subject to lousy teachers who were put there by affirmative action. (Or maybe you weren't changing the subject at all).

So where is my hypocracy?

Anyway, is this kind of dithering bigotry part of the "balance" that you want to see in academia?
Yet another telling assumption.purplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 7:01 PM
I guess you're just not getting it. I'm using blacks in academia because it is generally accepted that they are under-represented for a variety of reasons. Steps are being taken to rectify that, some positive, some negative. Now, if it's not okay for one segment of the population to be excluded from academia (blacks), why do you find it okay for other segments to be excluded (conservatives)? Do you not see the hypocrisy in that?
Don't confuse politics with race.czardonic
Apr 9, 2003 10:02 AM
Not all discrimination is the same. How many liberals are there in the upper ranks of the Bush Administration? Few to none. Is that discrimination? Yes. Is it the same as racism? No. Should the NAACP be able to "discriminate" against white supremacists? Yes. Should the NIH be able to "discriminate" against faith healers? Yes.

The real hypocracy here is that while conservatives attempt to dismantle affirmative action, they simultaneously try to co-opt the principle to further themselves.
Don't confuse discrimination with, uh, discrimination.purplepaul
Apr 9, 2003 10:33 AM
I thought what we had learned from the civil rights movement was that institutionalized discrimination should not be tolerated.

What you're saying is discrimination only matters if it's based on race.

I disagree with you.
I'm not sure you learned anything from the Civil Rights movement.czardonic
Apr 9, 2003 10:47 AM
The civil rights movement was about judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. It was indeed about race.

Anyway, since conservatives oppose civil rights, why should they benefit from them?
Clearly you didn't.purplepaul
Apr 9, 2003 11:09 AM
And it's a shame that you take such glee in expressing the very intolerance that, rightly, you object to in others.
Clear based on what? nmczardonic
Apr 9, 2003 11:40 AM
Exactly. nmpurplepaul
Apr 9, 2003 11:42 AM
Tell the rest of the storymoneyman
Apr 7, 2003 1:35 PM
The "peace protesters" were promoting peace in Iraq, but not at their own demonstration. Non-lethal (rubber bullets, wooden pellets) is lots better than lethal in situations like this. Seems to me the police were models of restraint.

What would you have done?

I am all for non-lethal tactics.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 1:58 PM
I think we should be developing and employing them more.
I agree.No_sprint
Apr 7, 2003 2:02 PM
Mob mentality has a wicked snowball effect, especially when some of these mobsters are just that, traveling mobsters. Some will jump on any bandwagon as long as there are a few minutes of potential mayhem to be had.

They initiated the situation by throwing stuff at the cops.
If good people strive for pacifismContinental
Apr 7, 2003 1:37 PM
then evil people will strive, unchecked, for power. As long as some people are evil, good people cannot be pacifists. Even Albert Einstein eventually figured this out.
I didn't say pacifism. I said "killing people." (nm)czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 1:59 PM
If good people won't kill evil peopleContinental
Apr 7, 2003 5:32 PM
then evil people will kill good people unabatedely and rule with terror. It's the way humanity has been, is, and always will be.
Speak for yourself. There are alternatives to killing. (nm)czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 5:36 PM
Just ask the French. nmpurplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 7:02 PM
Is life so dear or peace so sweetContinental
Apr 8, 2003 6:06 AM
as to be purchased at the price of tyranny?
Don't ask me. I didn't vote for Bush. (nm)czardonic
Apr 9, 2003 10:55 AM