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15985trickery of conscience (was: Pete Diana phenomena)

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  • Jennifer
    May 4, 2005
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      Bradford, I love reading what you have to say when I have the time to
      sit and digest it. You always dig deep into places sometimes
      unpleasant, yet I sense the importance of where you're coming from
      and where you might be going. Well, I'd just like to contribute this
      (but first, will change the subject because it doesn't pertain
      to "Pete Diana phenomena," whatever that might be):

      I think I've mentioned here a book I'm currently reading, "The
      Sociopath Next Door," by Martha Stout. (It was highly recommended by
      my favorite cousin.) Stout claims that perhaps the most profound
      trickery of conscience occurs in military matters. Because war must
      be portrayed as sacred in order to ensure that people view the
      mission as holy and right, thus absolutely necessary, "the high
      calling that justifies the killing," authority figures promoting war
      do exactly this.

      Yet here is a sad diagnosis for the state of mind of many who
      war: "Because its essence is killing, war is the ultimate contest
      between conscience and authority. Our seventh sense demands that we
      not take life, and when authority overrules conscience and a soldier
      is induced to kill in combat, he is very likely to suffer post-
      traumatic stress disorder immediately and for the remainder of his

      Unless we have an awakened conscience, we cannot conceive of life's
      true value.

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