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Old June 25 2013, 07:50 PM   #39
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Re: ENT: A Choice of Futures by C. L. Bennett Review Thread (Spoilers!

Charles Phipps wrote: View Post
Seeing how humans are not prophets or gods and don't have the power to predict and change the script - no matter how 20/20 hindsight is - such hypotheticals are, in the end, only ways to avoid looking at the problem: many times, pacifism is suicide with no gain.
And, of course, non-violence has other down-sides, as well: for example, non-violence allows Assad to do whatever he wants in Syria, helped by the pacifism of western nations.
That argument just circles back on itself because if we only restrict our arguments to "the present" you can never say when violence is the best solution. Shooting Nazis is the best solution at Point X but if we're at Point X, why not go to point V or U? You don't prove much about violence other than saying it's right in that very specific instance.
Your argument is rather obtuse.
Are you trying to say the moments when violence is the only feasible solution are unpredictable?
I disagree.

When faced with opponents even half-reasonable and who actually care about not shooting you, pacifism is the better solution.
When faced with opponents who could care less about killing you, pacifism is suicidal.
This distinction becomes obvious quite soon in most situations.

I don't even disagree with you that much but violence is not necessarily a good answer. It's just an answer.
In many situations, it's the only non-suicidal answer.

One needs look no further to the particular War on Terror. NOT, as you might think, me saying the USA is finding it a poor solution to its problems. No, it's a poor solution for the individuals resisting over in Pakistan's hills.

The tech level divide can (and does) reach a certain point where violence, in a good/bad/neutral cause doesn't do anything even if your resolve is strong, because resolve/violence does not guarantee victory. Tech can overcome those. It's an unromantic notion but violence is no more inherently effective than any other method. When planning to wage war, you need to have a reasonable chance of victory.
Needing to choose violence at times is not even about victory.
It is about choosing the method that won't end with your opponents having a good laugh and then killing you and all participants to the non-violent demonstration, in the process also terminating your movement and its goals.

Of course, this is not the situation with USA and the "individuals resisting over in Pakistan's hills"; here, the problem is that terrorists are not the most rational of people and don't have any interest in choosing a non-violent method of achieving their goals.

Indeed, DS9 was very...let's say, mature, by star trek standards.
It most definitely departed from the 'pacifism is always the solution' mantra which Christopher seems to be exposing.
It was both the benefit and the flaw of the Borg, too. The Borg were cool because they were unreasonable and antithetical to the Federation. Simultaneously, those very facts meant they undermined the whole theme of the setting.
You mean, you didn't like the fact the dice, in this instance, were no longer weighed on the side of pacifist solutions in the children's tale.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I suggest you reread Destiny. The Borg weren't defeated by violence.
No, they were defeated by magic hand-waving; without a doubt, one of the most unrealistic moments in the whole of star trek; the dice were so heavily weighted in favour of our heroes it was rather amusing.
In real life, of course, you seldom (and I mean SELDOM) find an all-powerful ally that not only solves the problem for you, but does it in such a morally squeaky clean way.
"Let truth and falsehood grapple ... Truth is strong" - John Milton
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