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Author Topic: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances  (Read 21346 times)

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thevideoartist

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 01:08:41 PM »
Since we've shifted from the everyman scenario to extreme duress like oppression and discrimination, here's a quote from Auschwitz camp survivor and psychologist, Viktor Frankl:

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way." - Man's Search For Meaning

I think when observing the Dude, there's plenty of things that get under his skin, but he doesn't always "submit" in the sense of just rolling over and taking it.  Someone pees on his rug, but he doesn't get up and try to punch the guy, he looks for an opportunity for compensation from someone he knew could afford it and was indirectly responsible.  When The Big Lebowski goes on his rant about "bums", he doesn't join the argument, he walks out and swindles a rug out from under him instead of going to blows.  He knows rent is due on the 10th, but he doesn't fret, because a call from the Big Lebowski affords him the opportunity to make $20 grand.  The only time you ever seen him really fret is over the safety of Bunny and of his own life and johnson but he's not a nervous wreck... he's just painfully aware of the danger but nonetheless awaits that opportunity he needs to present itself.  His response to meeting Jackie Treehorn is far from submission too, he flippantly derides the guy's livelihood and place in society to his face, he plans to extort him, and then crash his beach party just to spite the guy... of course we all know the dude was way out of his league and playing a player isn't the wisest decision he ever made.

My point is, I think the way the dude abides applies in all situations.  He doesn't submit, he stays true to himself, but he doesn't retaliate or start squabbles or fights, he just keeps a limber mind and looks for an opportunity to rectify the situation when it presents itself.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, at the end of the story he's lost more than he's gained, including a dear friend, but he is hopeful that there will be a new opportunity and he'll get to balance it all out if he just doesn't let it get him down.  The dude will abide... and so everything will carry on and be ok eventually.

Maybe the idea is not to value the things that can be taken away... even our basic freedoms aren't really freedoms if they can be taken away, disregarded, or exploited are they?  In truth the only thing that can never be taken from us is our ability to choose our own attitude, and wait for the opportune moment to act.  In the interest of avoiding political opinion bias and having to get bogged down with discrepancies in facts, One of my favorite shows with a more eastern perspective, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, had another scenario that I think is relevant to the discussion.  A terrorist named "Scar" bears a lot of hatred against the military state that had destroyed his homeland and decimated his race for no real reason other than being ordered to by their dictator.  He then hunts down and murders elite members of the military in retaliation but this has made him a fugitive and has caused him to do some fairly morally reprehensible things of his own to avoid capture and among those things is forsaking the rules and religion of the very people he's supposedly fighting for.  His old teacher eventually beseeches him to end the bloodshed and stop seeking revenge and abide but makes an important distinction:

"Abiding and forgiving are two different things.  You must not forget the unjustness of society.  As a human being, you must hold the event in contempt.  Yet, you must abide it.  You must put an end to the chain of hatred!" (from the dubbed version)

Eventually this influence sinks in and leads him to better identify and undermine the puppetmasters behind the whole situation in the first place, but first he had to stop seeing the world through his anger.

Sure... it's fiction... but so is The Big Lebowski... and so is the idea that we will ever be able to right all the wrongs of the world... or that the world in the end will ever give a shit whether we behaved rightly or wrongly when we've all evolved into new creatures or annihilated ourselves before then.  Hell even 100 years later, history can turn heroes into monsters and vice versa.  We have the freedom only to choose our own way and our own attitude.  If we choose to sacrifice our lives, our time, and our emotional and physical energy, in service of or in aggressive defense of others... then that is ours to choose.  If we choose to abide oppression for a time, until we are able to exploit a way to subvert it... then that is ours to choose.  If we choose to abide oppression in perpetuity and find comfort in spite of it... that is ours to choose.  We can choose to take the wheel, or let Walter drive, or just let them kill the fucking car.  Abiding is literally the ONLY basic freedom that we are guaranteed as human beings, regardless of our circumstances, and no matter how bad it gets.  But that's just like, my opinion man.

Brother D

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2016, 02:27:16 PM »
And a valid opinion it is man, mark it 8.

I have been fortunate enough to live in a society where I can afford relative luxury and can only sympathise with the less fortunate.

When times are tough, using your situation to your advantage while standing on the right side of morality is an acceptable attitude to have. I believe it is an aid to survival and can only benefit yourself and others.

Given current global affairs, I have a massive amount of respect for those staring adversity in the face with a positive and pro active demeanour and think it's our responsibility as human beings to help those in need.

BikerDude

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2016, 04:27:30 PM »
Well I'll go on record as saying that the entire flick is depicting the extremes of the male identity.
Abiding as in the dude sense has its place. But when they are threatening castration? Well the dude doesn't need fucking sympathy he needs his Johnson. Of course by this point one does need to wonder what he needs that for.
Basically the ideal lies somewhere between Walter and the Dude who are intended to depict ridiculous extremes. A person shouldn't go around drawing a lines in the sand over every silly thing and pulling a firearm during league play.
But on the other hand it's equally absurd to sit by and be abused by rug pissers nihilists and known pornographers. Eventually they really will cut off your dick unless someone is willing to open up a can of Walter on them.
The ideal is somewhere between the 2 extremes.
I like the dude but I don't respect him.
I respect Walter but I dont like him.
Ideally a person would be chill enough to not need to constantly draw lines in the sand but not such a coward as to be repeatedly abused without putting up any resistance. And yes the dude is a stone coward. As I've said I believe they wrote character that way on purpose. The other extreme. There is no hint of an ideology in his lack of resistance. He has no problem threatening to cut off Larry Sellers dick. Yet when the nihilists demanded money he folded. Yes I agree with Walter. What's mine is mine. And I believe that it's everybody's responsibility to resist the likes of such nihilists. Sadly in my experience most people who claim a moral aversion as the excuse for a lack of backbone are likewise nothing but cowards. I'll grant that true pacifists exist and are pacifists for the right reasons. But in my experience, for every one of them their are 100 craven cowards. Experiences may vary.

It's wonderful that people in the concentration camps kept a shred of their humanity but it didn't diminish the need to defeat the Nazis. And to be honest I'd rather go down with a fight.
Gandhi is another matter all together. The strategy of passive resistance was effective in that circumstance as a matter of cost vs reward. Yes that is the cold calculous of colonialism. India had many people and little in the way of resources. High cost and low reward. If India sat atop a large oil field things would have gone very differently.

As to the main point of the topic, dreadful circumstances IMO should not be abided. I believe that because I believe in the idea that all human beings have the right to better. And all human beings have the RESPONSIBILITY to resist the forces that inflict these sort of circumstances on others. To me this is what it means to be a man. Being willing to do the right thing no matter the cost.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 04:52:06 PM by BikerDude »

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Dudeist Monk

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2016, 05:51:49 PM »
Well, if being a man boils down to being willing and able to inflict violence upon others (for any reason) then I'll be eternally happy to not be a "man". If being unwilling to inflict violence upon others, finding violence of any kind for any reason to be abhorrently sickening to the very depths of my being, means that I'm a coward, then I will embrace being a coward.

I will take a bullet for, almost, anyone. I'll take a beating so that others don't have to (and I have, several times). But I will not, I absolutely refuse, to inflict violence upon another human being.
If at first you don't succeed ... Um ... Yeah. Whatever and stuff.

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SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2016, 06:25:03 PM »
[We have to be] willing to do the right thing no matter the cost.

Ultimately, you determine whether or not something is the right thing to do by using a cost-benefit analysis. All other ethical systems are subject to verification by this method. So, I think that doing the right thing "no matter the cost" is not prudent or desirable. I believe that failing to consider ALL costs, including negative externalities, is a major cause of ethical errors.

Heroism is overrated. If people are of similar moral value, then harm to the self is just as relevant in one's consideration as harm to others. For those in impossible situations, the chance of rescue is a relevant consideration when deciding whether or not to actively resist. Those in the concentration camps knew that Germany was at war against powerful opponents, so I think that they had good reason to expect to be rescued. Therefore, it would have been reasonable to conclude at that time that awaiting rescue was the ethically preferable option.

Those who survived the Holocaust without performing any resistance actions became a valuable source of information and inspiration after the war. Additional resistance by those in the camps would have done nothing but increase the death toll. This would have been a great loss to history. When a great atrocity occurs, somebody has to survive to tell the tale. Otherwise, justice might not be served. So, I would be reluctant to question someone's decision about abiding impossible circumstances versus resisting.

BikerDude

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2016, 07:09:40 PM »
[We have to be] willing to do the right thing no matter the cost.


Heroism is overrated. If people are of similar moral value, then harm to the self is just as relevant in one's consideration as harm to others. For those in impossible situations, the chance of rescue is a relevant consideration when deciding whether or not to actively resist.

Holy shit.
So then the firefighters who ran toward the falling towers are over rated?
The men who rushed to the shot down helicopters in  Mogadishu to protect the injured helicopter pilots despite knowing that they would likely die doing so are over rated. The many men who have put themselves into harms way selflessly are over rated?
It is precisely because they put consideration of their own safety second that they are far from over rated!

You sir are a horses ass!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 11:18:12 PM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

Liam_123

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2016, 07:59:00 PM »
[We have to be] willing to do the right thing no matter the cost.


Heroism is overrated. If people are of similar moral value, then harm to the self is just as relevant in one's consideration as harm to others. For those in impossible situations, the chance of rescue is a relevant consideration when deciding whether or not to actively resist.

Holy shit.
So then the firefighters who ran toward the falling towers are over rated?
The men who rushed to the shot down helicopters in  Mogadishu to protect the injured helicopter pilots despite knowing that they would likely die doing so are over rated. The many men who have put themselves into harms way selflessly are over rated?
It is president because they put consideration of their own safety second that they are far from over rated!

You sir are a horses ass!
Could not agree more

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk


SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2016, 10:28:26 PM »
Quote
Holy shit.
So then the firefighters who ran toward the falling towers are over rated?
The men who rushed to the shot down helicopters in  Mogadishu to protect the injured helicopter pilots despite knowing that they would likely die doing so are over rated. The many men who have put themselves into harms way selflessly are over rated?
It is president because they put consideration of their own safety second that they are far from over rated!

You sir are a horses ass!
Could not agree more

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

"Overrated" does not mean "not valuable." Ass.

It is ethical for firefighters, police, etc. to do heroic acts because they have the training to do so as safely as possible. Untrained bystanders often just add to the body count or get in the way, so non-emergency personnel are routinely discouraged from doing heroism.

SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2016, 10:43:35 PM »
My intention was to provide an explanation why any particular Holocaust victim might have had good ethical reason to do nothing about their situation. I'm sorry if making an ethical argument in favor of many Holocaust survivors' actions was offensive. I did not have any reason to believe that supporting Holocaust survivors would cause offense at the time of posting.

SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2016, 10:55:09 PM »
As for emergency personnel, emergency personnel are discouraged from doing heroics. Most emergency work, even when it involves risk to life and limb, is better described as "following procedure" than "heroics." "Heroics" in this context would refer to unusually risky actions not covered in the procedures. Firefighters, etc. who take stupid risks tend to be a danger to themselves and to their teammates. Good firefighters avoid heroics, stay calm, and follow procedure, even when it means letting somebody die when the risk is too great. This is how you live on to save somebody else another day, and again and again for many more days after that.

BikerDude

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2016, 11:49:19 PM »

"Overrated" does not mean "not valuable." Ass.

It is ethical for firefighters, police, etc. to do heroic acts because they have the training to do so as safely as possible. Untrained bystanders often just add to the body count or get in the way, so non-emergency personnel are routinely discouraged from doing heroism.

So your message to the families of those who gave their lives trying to help others would be that while indeed over rated their sacrifice was somewhat valuable?

I stand by my statement.
You are a plutonium powered, supercharged ass.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 11:56:05 PM by BikerDude »

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SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2016, 11:59:20 PM »
I am tired of being told that I am a bad person whenever I apply my genuine love of formalities, technicalities, and minutiae to the topics that matter most to me. I thought Dudeism was partly about being true to yourself. Society needs people like me who are willing to stare unblinking into cold, cruel, heartless logic and report what unpleasant things I see there.

If this seems to contradict my late emotionality, consider, how else besides studying logic and reason would I equip myself to deal with this problem?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 12:36:48 AM by SagebrushSage »

SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2016, 12:35:51 AM »
Quote
So your message to the families of those who gave their lives trying to help others would be that while indeed over rated their sacrifice was somewhat valuable?

I would say nothing of the sort to a parent or family member of an actual hero. If you do something heroic and it works, great! I just don't want anybody on this forum to over-emphasize heroism vs. caution and get themselves killed or injured unnecessarily for some goal that didn't have a realistic chance of success. So please pardon me for being concerned about the health and well-being of my fellow forumites if that offends you. If I can potentially save a fellow Dudeist from harm by being a "plutonium-powered ass," then so be it.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 12:37:29 AM by SagebrushSage »

SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2016, 01:26:23 AM »
Actual heroes usually say that they do not want to be idolized. Here I am, not idolizing them, per request.

SagebrushSage

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Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2016, 02:31:17 AM »
I have done stupid, heroic actions on a couple of occasions myself. Specifically, I broke up a few bar fights over the years that I should not have involved myself in. I can recall four incidents off the top of my head. I have been told that I almost got myself shot once. These actions worked out fine, but I regret them. Maybe I can encourage people to have more sense than I did.

 

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