scratch wrote:Ah, Dangerousman, I see the point you're making and I agree with you to an extent, but I think the outlook that many bring to a comment like Narco's might be that while some payback, perhaps including physical violence, is deserved in situations like this, they'd like to stop short of shooting the malefactors. But once one starts down the road of violence for retribution or imposing discipline it's hard to know where and how far things are likely to devolve.
To me violence, in itself, is neither good nor evil. It is a morally neutral fact of nature. One that is often subjected to our all-too-human viewpoints. Violence that meets our approval, we declare to be good, and violence we don't like is declared to be evil. A lion ripping the throat of a gazelle is good from the lion's perspective and bad from the gazelle's perspective. Humans wouldn't normally impose any moral judgment on what transpires between lions and gazelles. Although, oddly, it's a one-way street for what transpires between a man and a lion. Few people would regard a lion that tears a man apart as morally evil, but quite a few people might believe that a man shooting a lion for sport, or even keeping one in captivity, is an evil act.
In the discussion of doing a little "payback" against city park small-time hoodlums I think where we get into danger is thinking of it as something they "deserve." I know, psychologically, it is very difficult to overcome the desire for revenge and payback. It seems to have become very engrained in our species over time. But if we could become like gazelles in our outlook-- gazelles with shotguns that is-- we wouldn't use violence because the "attacking lion deserves a little payback" but simply because the violence might put an end to the attacks.
The idea of "stopping short of shooting the malefactors" doesn't not seem like a very well-thought-out concept to me. It isn't like shooting a person is necessarily the highest, or even a higher level of violence. In terms of outright violence there is no set scale. It's a very sliding scale as I see it. Shooting a person may be relatively non-violent compared to repeatedly stomping a person's face in with a boot. That's why I say the issue, if there is one, ought not to be with the tools of violence used, it's with the violence itself. Or more specifically, it is with the motive for the violence.
My friend "Fritz" wrote, "Distrust all in whom the urge to punish is powerful." I think we all feel a bit of embarrassment if we look deep inside ourselves and think about what he meant.