Ethical Philosophy: EXCELLENT DISCUSSION on the Stand Your Ground Laws

From: Richard M.
Sent on: Sunday, August 25, 2013 11:21 PM

Here are some things I noticed from the discussion that I think are enlightening.  A better copy is posted in the MORE > FILES section of this webpage.

 

Of course feel free to disagree.

 

1. We think through stories we make up.

Some people make up stories about black men in unwelcoming neighborhoods, others about white men in corresponding places, some about homeowners confronting murderous home intruders, still others about women being followed.

But the story teller is always the blameless innocent, acting within his rights.

He is never the bad guy who threatens someone else.

The bad guy is always murderous and bad intentioned,

The bad guy is never threatened or defending his rights. .[1]

2. We choose particular stories out of subconscious motivations[2].

I assume that because where else would they come from?

I can make up any story I want and choose any anecdote from the media to support it. Few people depend on actual evidence. Most stories are prompted by emotions inspired by anecdotes of individual situations cherry picked out of a confusing world.

3. Real World Evidence Is Seldom The Basis of Our Positions

It is my understanding that most violence is not over profound philosophical, ethical or legal disagreements. People on that level seldom shoot each other.

Most violence is between two immature young guys conflicted over personal macho honor. By the next morning neither of them would be able to remember what it was about. Also much is based on drunkenness, drugs and psychological impair-ment. Also of course, astounding bad judgment is involved.

The question MAY BE…how to keep more of them alive until the next morning, so they might mature into useful citizens. Or maybe that is not the issue for you.

3. The Issues Are Often Misstated.

The issues seem often misstated in discussions. What SYG says is that you have no duty to first avoid violence. It’s a Bring It On mentality.

As a practical matter, we all do that everyday in many little ways. We do that because we are the product of 400 years of the “civilizing process.” Had it not been for that, violence would be as common place in philosophy discussions as in Western bars.

 

4. Cases / Stories (Zimmerman/Martin) Arouse Strong Feelings

Zimmerman/Martin had very little to do with the Stand Your Ground Laws, it was just the flag that drew attention. How I feel about that case depends upon who/what I feel threatened by.  All that of course is subconscious.

Thanks for the great discussion this morning, I love learning stuff.

Richard Mohley

 


[1] This is exactly what Pinker said in Better Angels of Our Nature, that 80 % of homicides are considered self defense by both parties. Each considers himself an innocent only defending his essential interests.

 

[2] Who ya gonna believe anyway…a neighborhood defender or a black thug? A high school kid eating skittles or an armed wetback? How about a cop wannabe driving around looking for trouble or a kid only wearing a hoody?

 

 

 

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