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Can a person enter a war as an act of cowardice? 
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GentleReader9 wrote:
What comes out is a "strong misreading" of the Bhagavadgita in which Thoreau declares, "Arjoon is right!" and Krishna wrong. He checks Antigone and finds that as long as he is willing to go to jail, he is respecting the law as much as he has to to be a moral citizen. He does not have to pay war taxes or taxes to a state that returns slaves to the South or does anything with his money that Higher Law (which he knows in his, basically Protestant, conscience) says is wrong.


I'm glad to know about that passage in "A Week"; haven't
quite read the whole of that yet. Considering the breadth of the topic, I think you actually were concise in your treatment of it. Great job.
DWill



Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:01 pm
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Thanks for the generous and supportive feedback, DWill.

It's important for me to make sure other people are also interested in supplementary or intertextual stuff. I hope if anyone else has things to bring in around the readings as well as directly from them, they will, too. I know some people might not agree and I would like to be warned if I start to drift annoyingly far away from the topics.


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Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:51 pm
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DWill wrote:
O'Brien the fictional narrator feels that his decision not to go to Canada was cowardly. That is the way he felt about himself, he says, and we probably must accept that. But his feeling that way is different from what an evaluation of his action might determine, for whatever that is worth. I would never say that cowardice fits him in this instance. Cowardice is essentially selfish and at the expense of someone else. O'Brien the narrator was simply pulled by very basic and powerful influences, none of them shameful. He had conscience weighing on both sides, and chose the side whose pull was the more powerful.
DWill


I respectfully disagree with you. He was pulled by his conscience not to join the war efforts, it was his fear of becoming separated and being looked down on by his family and township that pulled from the other side, not his conscience.



Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:53 am
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I would answer the question saying that there is no doubt that a person can kill another in a cowardly manner or dishonorable situation. I suppose it depends on what it means to be defined as being a participant of a war. What is more cowardly than an unmanned craft designed to kill?

:book:



Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:12 am
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Grim: "What is more cowardly than an unmanned craft designed to kill?"

The collateral preservation of friendly life seems to make cowardice a virtue in this light. The problem is when considering the 'fight or flight' response, where flight is usually attributed to cowardice, there is no flight. We've simply found a better way to fight. So, flight and fight!



Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:13 pm
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Post War and cowardice
War itself is often an act of cowardice, don't you think? In fact, I think that's a central theme in O'Brien's book. All I know is that the torturing and killing of that animal is one of the most horrifying things I've ever read.



Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:54 am
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How about an illegitimate conflict where innocent people are routinely killed in the name of ill defined freedom and prosperity for another ethnic group where once there was relative peace? Just you know, using my imagination here.

:book:



Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:15 pm
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Now that I''ve read the beginning and his explanation, yes - I believe it.

It would take just as much moxy to cross over to Canada, take a new identity and break from his family and friends.



Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:10 am
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