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141Re: A Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Problem

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  • Nadav Har'El
    Nov 19 3:09 AM
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      On Thu, Nov 18, 2004, Shlomi Fish wrote about "Re: A Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Problem":
      > That's not how I define a solution. I define the solution as to minimize the
      > number of people who are innocent who suffer from this.

      But I didn't see in your text a proof, or even explanation, why your
      "solution" solves the problem in this sense. How does the stopping of the
      "suffering" of a soldier who gets sent to protect a settlement compare to
      the new "suffering" of the settlers who get left unguarded? Or the suffering
      of both palestenians and settlers who start shooting at each other, or even
      at themselves (if internal struggles begin)?

      > Where exactly do I say that one needs to arm anyone?

      This is what I understood from your talking about the freedom to bare arms.
      Did you hear of the phrase "arms race"? When countries (or in this case,
      individuals) are allowed to arm themselves without limit, nobody can stay
      behind in that race. If 50% of your neighbors, including all the neighborhood
      bullies and bad elements, have guns, can you afford not to have one?
      You also suggest that settlers won't need the army because they'll have
      guns, or that Palestenians will also feel safe because they'll have guns.
      In short, you do assume everyone (or at least most people) will get armed.

      > > The Existancialist philosophers talked a lot about this,
      > > Sartre talked about the "Nausea" that too much freedom means, and perhaps
      > > Kirkegaard put it most elequently, when he explained how, when you define
      > > rules for yourself and follow them,
      > _You_ define rules for yourself. Not _others_ define rules for you. You should
      > not consume drugs. You should pay Income Tax. You should serve in the army.
      > You may not bear arms. Etc.

      No, your emphasis on "*you* define rules for yourself" is not shared by
      Kierkegaard. He is actually a more complex philosopher than I portrayed him
      in my previous message. Maybe I was unfair to him. Let me explain.

      Kierkegaard thought that when you define rules and follow them you're at
      a "higher level" than a person who just does whatever he wants at each minute.
      This is because you are free to set goals to yourself, and follow them
      through to the successful ending, rather than just doing short-term stuff
      that in the long term doesn't get you where you really want. This idea
      has been often mention by others, including the old "grasshopper and the
      ant" parable (the grasshopper enjoys himself, but then has no food for
      winter) and pinochio (the children are free to do what they want in the short
      term, but in the long term become donkeys).

      But Kieregaard thinks there are even higher levels of human existance.
      [note: I'm writing this from memory, so maybe I'm not 100% accurate, please
      forgive me if I'm not]
      The next level is not just making up your own rules, but rather accepting
      a set of rules accepted by your society. This idea agrees with many previous
      thinkers, such as Kant's Categorical Imperative, or our very own "Al Ta`ase
      lechavercha ma she-sanu alecha". You can think about it in practical terms
      this way: if you go against your society's values, you can be satisfied for
      the short term, but you will not be able to achieve any of your longer term
      goals or long term wellbeing. Not going to the army might be a choice you
      want to make, but if it goes against the values of your society this could
      cause your becoming an outcast, or (if everyone does what you did) the
      breakdown of your society; In either case you will not be able to achieve
      what you want to achieve in life.

      Kierkegaard, being a *religious* philosopher, continued with another, higher
      level of human existance: the *religious* person, who accepts a god and
      the devine set of rules that come with that god, and follows these rules.
      Obviously, this idea is much more controversial than his other ideas,
      and personally I dispute it.

      Maybe one day you should find the time to read more philosophy books than
      just Ayan Rand's. There are many more great ideas and thinkers out there.
      I think you'll be especially interested in Existentialism, which talk about
      individualism and individual freedoms. Existentialist philosophers often
      tried to explore the *consequences* of freedom, rather than just the need
      for freedom (which most modern thinkers take for granted).

      Nadav Har'El | Friday, Nov 19 2004, 6 Kislev 5765
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |I have an open mind - it's just closed
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |for repairs.
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