JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/11/quote-of-day_12.html (17 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1258035845-615552  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 14:24:05 +0000

Hmmm... while reading it, before I got to your assessment, I was thinking, "Okay, does that include cops? Does that include the SaR swimmer who knocks out a panicking man to get him into the harness, the liferaft, the lifejacket? Does that include doctors? After all, what is surgery if not "a deliberately inflicted injury"?

I agree with your one-word edit, but then the problem becomes the proper definition of the word "criminal". To Markadelphia, the fact that the current administration has decided waterboarding is torture and therefore illegal means the people who did it were criminals then and should be treated as such now, despite the fact that they specifically asked for and received a legal opinion on the subject at the time.

jsid-1258041584-615559  rocinante at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 15:59:44 +0000

I'd like to "injure" Ramsey Clark.

I guess that makes me unhealthy and irrational.

jsid-1258044772-615562  Russell at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 16:52:52 +0000

More of the quote here:


jsid-1258045959-615566  Phelps at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 17:12:39 +0000

I read "others" as "other health, rational people."

jsid-1258046003-615567  Phelps at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 17:13:23 +0000

And the full paragraph is very A Clockwork Orange.

jsid-1258046999-615569  Kevin Baker at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 17:29:59 +0000

Russell: Thanks for finding that. Phelps: I agree completely, but more than that I think it backs my point - Clark is saying that "healthy rational people" cannot injure another.

For any reason.

Thus if you're willing to use violence in defense of self or others, you are by definition not healthy and/or rational.

jsid-1258052703-615578  EMP at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 19:05:03 +0000

Phelps sorta beat me to my suggestion: "Healthy, rational people will not injure one another."

jsid-1258057199-615582  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 20:19:59 +0000

From my perspective that sentiment is missing one word: "Healthy, rational people will not injure others criminally."

I think a better word to insert at the end would be "unnecessarily". In fact, I think it would be more accurate to restate Clark's claim this way: "Healthy, rational people will not harm others unnecessarily."

First of all, it's not necessary to injure someone in order to cause them harm. Think of how many people have been harmed simply by filling their heads with harmful ideas. ("It doesn't matter what you believe as long as you really believe it.") Or the people who have a poor (or overblown) self image because someone important to them abused them mentally. (For the record, I consider telling someone that they're better than they really are to be abusive because it prevents that person from actually growing.)

Second, not all unnecessary injury is criminal. Think of a surgeon. They have to cause injury in order to fix a medical problem. The very best surgeons find new ways to reduce the amount of injury that they cause. For example, the invention of laparoscopic surgery greatly reduced the amount injury that was necessary in order to help the patient.

Furthermore, a mediocre surgeon may cause some unnecessary injury which a highly skilled surgeon manages to avoid, while not creating "criminal" levels of injury. If this mediocre surgeon is healthy and rational, he will continue to work at reducing this unnecessary injury, while a similar surgeon who is not healthy and rational may not care that he's causing unnecessary harm.

Finally, laws do not necessarily align with moral rights and wrongs. For example, most of us here agree that disarming a person makes them unable to defend their lives, making them susceptible to the most grievous harm possible: death. Yet, there are places in this country where the laws do cause exactly that kind of harm.

jsid-1258057452-615583  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 12 Nov 2009 20:24:12 +0000

Oh, and one final thought…

In a perfect world, it would not be necessary to cause harm or injury. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world. Rather, we live in a world where it is unfortunately necessary to cause harm and injury, even killing. A healthy, rational and wise person is able to distinguish between necessary and unnecessary harm and act accordingly.

jsid-1258080452-615610  Randy at Fri, 13 Nov 2009 02:47:32 +0000

Yet another example of why associating the name Ramsey Clark with something destroys it's credibility.

jsid-1258116400-615622  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 13 Nov 2009 12:46:40 +0000

For many years I was a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval reenactment group. You'd have to look hard to find a group that "celebrates violence" more than the SCA. Bashing one another with big sticks is what we do for entertainment on weekends, and for that matter it's how we choose our 'royalty'.

And yet, one of the more common sayings I heard for over 20 years from these violence mongers:

Never hold where speaking is enough.
Never harm where holding is enough.
Never kill where harming is enough.

jsid-1258119222-615623  Ed "What the" Heckman at Fri, 13 Nov 2009 13:33:42 +0000

Randy, I think I would turn that around. It's another example where Ramsey Clark destroys his own credibility by what he says. All we have to do is look at it.

'Course, Marxy considers him to be credible, which says plenty about the actual credibility of both.

jsid-1258121274-615626  Ken at Fri, 13 Nov 2009 14:07:54 +0000

Never hold where speaking is enough.
Never harm where holding is enough.
Never kill where harming is enough.

The Oath of Peace (Stephen R. Donaldson). :)

jsid-1258130905-615648  Ed "What the" Heckman at Fri, 13 Nov 2009 16:48:25 +0000

Thanks for sharing the Oath of Peace. It's quite good. Here's the Bible's version:

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
(Romans 12:18 NAS95)

jsid-1258152162-615694  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 13 Nov 2009 22:42:42 +0000

Thanks Ken, I had no idea where it came from. I guess it shouldn't be surprised, the SCA began as a birthday party for.... Mercedes Lackey, maybe? Some SF writer, I forgot which one.

jsid-1258157110-615701  Ken at Sat, 14 Nov 2009 00:05:10 +0000

Hello, GOF. Who knows? Donaldson may have got it from the SCA. :) I'm not sure how long the Current Middle Ages have been in effect.

Way back in the day (like more than 25 years ago), I was getting hit on the head with rattan in the March of Gwyntarian, Mid-Realm. Never made it to a Pennsic War, though.

jsid-1258216121-615748  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 14 Nov 2009 16:28:41 +0000

Bordermarch, Ansteorra, myself. The SCA began as a birthday party and May Day(?) revel for a SF writer by several of her(?) friends. I'm fairly certain it was a suburb of San Francisco, and I'm pretty sure it was 1966.

They had so much fun they did it again the next year. And away it went...

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