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Old 05-06-2013, 05:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RGRthat View Post
1st: It has more to do with why they choose the risky situation. The Spartans believed that in the phalanx they should care for the person standing beside them more than they should fear the enemy.

2nd: There is also the glory aspect which differs by culture and by person. It is a "I would rather die for something than live for nothing"

3rd: Men are aggresive creatures. That is what drives us. It is a simple fact that men want to fight and kill. Being a warrior just means that you try your best to do the killing but accept that you might not be on that side of it.
I'm not entirely sure what points you're making, but I'll have a bash at responding.

Your second point. I'd argue that the philosophy summed up in your quotation has sent countless millions of people to largely pointless deaths. The power-brokers protect their interests, and they do this by selling an ideology to the rank and file - it's for your country, it's for freedom, it's for God, it's defence against foreign aggression. There's always some entirely plausible reason why you need to lay down your life for someone else's interests.

Now, there may be times when terrific sacrifice is genuinely called for, against an enemy truly bent on destruction of an entire people. Fighting the nazis is an example. But mostly, glory is a convenient notion through which to convince the cannon-fodder to remain just that.

As for the third point, I dispute your 'simple fact'. It would be better phrased as: 'some men in some cultures want to fight and kill.' Even in relatively martial cultures like the US, there's plenty of men that have zero interest in fighting and killing. Then you have whole cultures or sub-cultures who don't go in for it: the !Kung-San aren't very into aggression, nor the Amish.

The implication seems to be 'it's in our nature.' Even if that's true - and it's debatable if it is - that's no excuse.

My response to Saxon's interesting post was suggesting that being truly indifferent to life or death is not something in the least bit admirable. And ayone who doesn't hesitate before choosing death - I can't help feeling that putting some sort of abstract warrior code before life is an example of how people can be made to believe in anything, if it's dressed up in romantic imagery.
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