Random thought of the day

If someone is physically and mentally able to defend themselves, at least to some degree, but is unwilling to expend any time or effort in doing so doesn’t that mean they must not believe their life is worth defending?

Furthermore, suppose someone is willing to defend themselves. But if they are only willing to defend themselves with one hand tied behind their back, are they really serious about self defense? Do they really believe their life is worth defending if they insist on handicapping themselves when they defend themselves?

Why should someone be willing to risk themselves to protect someone else who doesn’t believe their own life is worth defending?

Why should someone defend another person who isn’t willing and able to use tools, and the best type of tools, to defend themselves?

Why should friends, neighbors, and the police provide physical security for people who are anti-gun?

19 thoughts on “Random thought of the day

  1. Choices have consequences. As a police officer, I’m sworn to protect and defend, and I will. For a non-sworn citizen, there is no obligation to get involved; indeed, the most moral choice might be to protect your loved ones and let others suffer the consequence of their choice. They may have a strict moral code against violence, to include self-defense. So be it.

    • In regards to the police my point is that perhaps legislatures and city councils should announce to the public and instruct police that parasites who are physically and mentally able to put up some minimum level of defense but chose not to will no longer be given the level of service given to those who can and do defend themselves. I have no problem with individuals or charity organizations who chose to defend the innocent for whatever reason they might think this is worthwhile. But I wonder if a fostering a public attitude that people who do not expend any effort into defensive preparation are little different than those how are homeless and hungry but refuse to work might result in a better society.

  2. The PD isn’t there to fight violent crime, they are there to attach toe-tags after the action has stopped. If that means more of the tags are on the “violence is never the answer” crowd just “Think of it as Evolution in Action”…

    Writing tickets is law enforcement for revenue generation, and if I recall correctly local anger about that was a factor behind the riots in Ferguson.

  3. “doesn’t that mean they must not believe their life is worth defending?” My first thought was that they may WANT to survive but have decided it is hopeless, i.e., their life has worth but the odds are overwhelming. Evolution-in-action weeding out the less-fit?
    “They may have a strict moral code against violence, to include self-defense.” Heard an associate voice this during a weekend retreat years ago; I opined that was an absurd position. My opinion appeared to be in the minority. I wonder if any of them are still alive.
    PawPaw: “protect your loved ones and let others suffer the consequence of their choice.” I take care of some disabled people and I have lost sleep over my moral/legal obligation to them if SHTF as they aren’t exactly “other” with much choice and are sorta “loved ones” but not family. Any guidance as to the obligation to protect the defenceless without sacrificing oneself?
    Dammit, I don’t WANT to live in interesting times…

  4. I’ve already made the decision that my life has infinite value to me, and by extension, to those very few people in immediate proximity who depend on my life and its continued success for their well being.

    Beyond that quite small and personally important circle, however, I’ve decided that life value declines with distance, and declines precipitously; the slope quickly becomes vertical, one’s position on which is entirely dependent upon value exchange.
    If you are prepared to man the barricades, so to speak, and assume the same risk as I you’ll be outside the small circle, but within reasonable proximity; spectate from a distance, however, and your value status places you well down slope.

    I’ve wondered occasionally whether those who are no more than spectators, e.g., maintain complete dependency on others for their well being, constitute a sufficient negative impact as to make the burden of maintenance unjustifiable; I’ve already reached the conclusion that those who only consciously absorb value have established themselves firmly in that category.

  5. This is the classic argument against the hypocrisy of pacifism, and it is a good one.
    PawPaw, the point here isn’t so much that police officers have a different job than other citizens. Rather, the point is that it is hypocritical to say “I oppose violence so I won’t do self-defense” while at the same time expecting others (police officers, armed guards) to be prepared to do violence on your behalf. That isn’t principle, that is dishonesty.
    A person who honestly advocates non-violence to the extent of opposing self-defense must draw the necessary conclusion that he also has to oppose police or any other armed third parties acting on his behalf or for his protection.
    Incidentally, Gandhi understood this; in a not so widely quoted comment, he argued that if non-violent resistance fails, self-defense with force is called for, and those who cannot do that are a “burden” and not fit to be the head of a family. (See http://www.mkgandhi.org/nonviolence/phil8.htm under “Self-defense by violence”)

      • That’s true. And that I think is Joe’s point. When was the last time you came across an “anti-violence” person who wanted to live without police, sheriff, or army, and was willing to promise never to ask for armed guards?
        I admit the theoretical possibility such persons might exist; I have never come across one or heard of one.

        • “never to ask for armed guards”
          Or guards at all as an unarmed guard can still do lethal violence.

        • I think of it as a sort of Platonic ideal, but in the sense that, should it come down to violence, it means that there has been a lapse of creativity and cleverness in forestalling such an outcome, which is not to be desired. For other (related) reasons I would prefer not to have to call the police, either.

          Having said all that, I see a great deal of value in preparing to defend oneself (all the while hoping to be able to avoid having to do so) and I am also realistic in the sense that there are a lot fewer unpleasant and expensive personal consequences involved when the authorities handle the problem.

          As a matter of conscience I am not completely comfortable with this state of affairs, but I also sleep much better at night on a mattress.

  6. I would suggest that we be cautious about jumping to conclusions about those who do not share our values.

    If a person has the ability to defend himself or herself, but chooses not to spend any time or preparation in doing so, I don’t think that necessarily means that they believe their lives are not worth defending. They may simply be in denial about the risks. I recently dealt with some elderly folks, whom I care about very much, in rapidly declining health… who had been planning for years to Get Their Affairs In Order, but had never done so. (No will, no end-of-life plans, no health-care proxies, no funeral arrangements, no nothing.) Were they unaware that they would die someday, that arrangements would need to be made, that they were better off making such arrangements than leaving it to others to do it for them? No. It was just an unpleasant task, which they put off indefinitely, until they could no longer do it for themselves.

    Some people may believe very strongly in the idea of self-defense, but may not take necessary steps in that direction… because they’re still frightened of the responsibility, or because they live in a place that makes it extremely difficult, or because a beloved spouse won’t hear of it — or maybe just because they’d much rather start the process tomorrow.

    I’d suggest that we not castigate such people as “not believing their lives are worth defending”. Rather, we should attempt to help them get past whatever is blocking them, if appropriate. (If they don’t want help, that’s another matter.)

    • I think that’s fair. If a person chooses not to engage in self defense because of an evaluation of risk, that’s legitimate.
      On the other hand, if someone outsources personal defense to a third party with the claim of being “opposed to violence”, that is a different matter entirely and that does deserve our contempt.

  7. There is also a very serious mindset.

    I’ve met a few people who I lightheartedly call “Never Paratus” as a play on “Semper Paratus”.

    While I have guns, knives, extra water, blankets, first aid kits, ect, when I’m out and about (and feel a bit guilty that stuff like my first aid kit is little more than a convenience than a real lifesaver, as I haven’t had the chance to learn how to use the more advanced tools) the “Never Paratus” have nothing, like maybe a house key, sometimes a spartan wallet (but certainly no cash), and while this seems crazy, really they have no real horror stories, or problems from not being prepared.

    Yes we can point to people who are dead or suffered serious consequences from their actions.

    It requires grading on a different (I’d argue more selfish) scale, but they aren’t exactly wrong.

    And on that scale it could be argued they might get murdered because they were unarmed, on the same basis we could be just as dead in a gunfight.

    It’s not how I live, but it doesn’t nessisarily mean they haven’t considered the value of their life (tho some certainly haven’t) but some have considered the value of a gun, and didn’t think it made the cut.

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  9. It sounds a lot like people who declare that if you don’t support health care reform then you shouldn’t be allowed healthcare. These non-reciprocal ideas to force people to agree usually make people look like a dick and isn’t helpful in the long run.

    Why should societal order be weakened based on a litmus test / attempt to try to get a symbolic agreement? (symbolic because anti gunners will just lie and still try to get their way; you of all people should know that)?

    • Other issues: Slower response times because they have to check the database. Excess violence because of the delay. Inequality before the law.

      Then there is the intrusiveness of collecting the database, how will it be collected and what else will be in the database? What other questions will they deem relevant? Do you really want a government list of those who are unwilling and a list of those unequipped as that has the effect of making a differential list with you on it. Then hope some lefty would never be a dick with the list. “Either you support Kelo and the gov’s judgement of whatever it needs to take or you shouldn’t be allowed to use roads; most created by eminent domain” “look, if you think interstate commerce doesn’t include intrastate commerce and things never sold but produced for an individual’s own use then you should have an extra tax on everything you buy or sell because of your beliefs”

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