Live as a coward or die as a hero?

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Post Number:#61  Postby Juice » August 15th, 2009, 9:25 am

I88-No if someone is inherently a coward as the word is defined then they are not brave.

Although I understand if what you are saying as far as "labeling" may be concerned but it still does not negate a characteristic that can be determined if observed.

My original post here concerned monuments and to whom monuments are built would you see a monument of Niel Armstrong and consider him partly coward and by what standard would he be considered as such?

Consider not only Armstrong's accomplishment in space and war but also his desire to live his life in quite academia. Would not a monument to such a man inspire others towards a life lived in brave excellence to serve humanity?
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Post Number:#62  Postby Invictus_88 » August 15th, 2009, 12:32 pm

People are brave at some times, and cowardly at others. People who commit the lowest cowardly deeds have also almost certainly been brave at other times. People who do the greatest deeds of heroism have also no doubt also done cowardly things.

You're failing to see through the illusion, the fiction of the 'absolute hero'. There is no such thing.

Take an example:
If you were trapped in a burning car and a bystander bravely freed you, you'd consider them a hero. The mother of his children, who he abandoned, whould nonetheless think him a coward.

It's perfectly natural that every individual is both a corward in some situations and a hero in others. All that differs is which bits we get the chance to see, which bits we pay most attention to.
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Post Number:#63  Postby Juice » August 17th, 2009, 11:03 pm

I88-We have a language barrier here.

I submit that there are brave people and cowards. There are brave acts and cowardly acts.

Monuments are created to celebrate either a brave act or a brave individual. Would you deny a monument Marie Curie? I could not find an ounce of cowardice in her life.
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Post Number:#64  Postby Invictus_88 » August 18th, 2009, 7:14 am

With respect, you didn't bloody know her. There are statues of Churchill, and there was cowardice there. He let the Luftwaffe bomb the Channel Islands becuase he was afraid to declare the islands undefended. And they were indeed undefended.

Any statue, of any human being, is a statue of someone who was at some times courageous and at others cowardly.

It really is that simple. Having done deeds worthy of remembrance does not magically remove all trace of cowadice from one's life.
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Post Number:#65  Postby Juice » August 19th, 2009, 1:58 pm

I88-So please tell me what cowardly act Marie Curie and Niel Armstrong committed since I still have no clue what criteria you impose to advance or dispute your concerns.
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Post Number:#66  Postby Invictus_88 » August 19th, 2009, 4:33 pm

I didn't know them (and nor did you), so I can't list them (nor can you claim their perfection), but given that there's no such thing in reality as a moral saint they must have at some point ducked out of a responsibility, told a lie to make things easier, or in one of the many little ways we humans do - done something cowardly.
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Post Number:#67  Postby boagie » August 19th, 2009, 5:20 pm

Only through subjective evaluations are there meanings at all. In order for there to be people who are categorized as heroic or cowards particularly full time as it being their nature, it says more about the person making the evaluation then it does about subject/s involved. I would say a very unrealistic view of human nature. Bravery itself is not possiable without the presence of fear, meaning if you fear something not, it is quite impossiable to react to it bravely.
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Post Number:#68  Postby Juice » August 19th, 2009, 11:27 pm

I88-The entire premise is non-sequitur fallacy.

If I say that I have never committed a cowardly act. The response will be that I have since "everyone" commits a cowardly acts. And furthermore if some can be described as brave that description is false since the person purposing that description did not know the person and could not possible know if that person ever committed a cowardly act.

But, the rational is that since no one can know another person then no one can know whether or not that person has ever committed a brave or cowardly act as applicable to any and all persons.

Therefore the only person who can describe anyone as brave or cowardly is a person who has direct knowledge of that persons action every second of his existence which the person themself falls into that category.

So, you don't know me and I do and I say that I have never committed a cowardly act which by your standard is enough since you don't know me and I do.
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Post Number:#69  Postby Homicidal Pacifist » August 20th, 2009, 1:56 am

Juice -

Are you saying that you have never behaved in a cowardly way? Not even as a child?

And I dare to say that actions done for the sake of survivalism are perhaps done out of a fear of death. Whether it be your survival or someone else's; do you support war because you fear annihilation?
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and that is an idea whose time has come."
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Post Number:#70  Postby boagie » August 20th, 2009, 6:26 am

Juice

To say another human being is nothng but that which would constitute a coward or nothing but what would constitute a hero is simply an extremely insufficient understanding of humanity and the human condition. I suggest that if you have never been overwhelmed by fear, it is truely a wonder you are here with us today. You seem to be stating you are nothing but virtue, now why do I have difficulty with such a claim?
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Post Number:#71  Postby JELLEN » August 20th, 2009, 11:27 am

I think I understand the statement "A coward dies a thousand deaths, the hero dies but once". because of the many people I have talked with who froze in the face of danger and stood by helplessly while someones fate may have been in their hands.I do not consider these frozen people cowards but they do. In counselling these people I found that they were in a constant atate of regret. I have talked with people who are considered heroes by most for their bravery and most of them do not consider it a brave act, just a necessary act and they hope that if they were in trouble someone would do the same. I have seen with my eyes some tremendous acts of bravery and I think all people would want to follow in their footsteps. I know I do.
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Post Number:#72  Postby Juice » August 20th, 2009, 12:17 pm

HP+boagie-My response was a critique of I88' assertion that no one can be described as brave or cowardly since one does not have access to the entirety of that persons experience and everyone commits brave and cowardly acts. My point is that both conditions are subjective evaluation by others who set a subjective criteria for each therefore to impose any concrete standard and to make a clause which cannot be realistically validated is fallacious.

I wish that I could set a standard for myself that others have bestowed on me. Trying to even imagine or live up to what I have witnessed and experienced myself of what a human being is capable of so far in my life is daunting to say the least and I have no clue what tomorrow will bring.

I can tell you that I have some pretty well written citations which grace my "I love me wall" I remember when they were read during ceremonies, and although I was filed with pride at being recognized, I don't remember what I felt or thought at the time of the action only that I did what was needed to be done, what I was trained to do and accepted responsibility for doing. I don't remember thinking of myself they way I am described in those citations. I like to think that I did what every human being would do to the best of their abilities given any circumstance.

To be honest I have been in some harrowing circumstances and don't remember being fearful for myself but more fearful of not doing something right or doing the wrong thing which might cause harm. Thinking about it now is it possible that I was selfish by not wanting to appear inadequate or incompetent? Is that cowardly?

I guess or suppose that I assisted in saving lives with God's help. I get Christmas cards every year from these people. The most remarkable thing is how they tell me as much about their lives for that year as possible in a few short paragraphs. I save those too and even thinking about it now tears me up and I don't know why that should be.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Post Number:#73  Postby boagie » August 20th, 2009, 12:31 pm

Juice,

It sounds like you have much to be proud of, you rose to the occasion. Man is a frail thing faced with the indifference of nature or that of a hostile environment. It is however the frailty the imperfection of the individual that is loveable, perfection is a Greek craving, unreal and unloveable. There may be down the road a circumstance where fear does overwhelm, and you can take solace in knowing a failure here does not constitute a full representation of what you are.
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Post Number:#74  Postby Invictus_88 » August 20th, 2009, 6:51 pm

You can describe someone as brave or cowardly. It's normal to describe people in relation to particular parts of them which are presented to us.

The problem is that you, Juice, try to define them as brave or cowardly.
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Post Number:#75  Postby Juice » August 20th, 2009, 7:27 pm

Who decides who is charitable and uncharitable? Who decides who is brave and cowardly? Is it cowardly to be uncharitableto others and brave to say no I have to care of my family?

Monuments are built to those who have achieved monumental feats whether in character or deed and by definition where applicable brave.

There are heroes and there are cowards by dint of the proffered definitions and accepted ideals. Marie Curie is a hero by dint of character as is Niel Armstrong. Monuments to the two serve to inspire by more than any considered aspect of cowardice ever could.

If an individual is considered a coward and strives and commits an act of bravery then he is forever brave since that act can never be taken away even if he reverts to a cowardly character forever after since heroics and bravery are that which is striven to attain.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
C. S. Lewis

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