Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rhetoric Against War: A Philosophical Argument

An extended argument based upon the concept of The End of War, a book by John Horgan. From what I can tell, he doesn't use a very rhetorical style, but I can take it on faith that there is some content that other books don't have---backbone, or fluency or something.

Metaphysics thrives on questions:
When there are many questions, metaphysics remains complex:
Metaphysics relies on complexity
When there is a simple answer to a metaphysical question, it concerns ethics
Any ethical answer necessarily eliminates the confusion of metaphysics
By eliminating the confusion it eliminates the complexity
So we can say,
Ethics is beyond metaphysics
All answers are therefore ethical
If an answer weren't ethical, it wouldn't be an answer
For example, we stipulate that usefulness is not enough for an answer:
It must relate to life, experience, and pragmatics
Further, a pragmatics that is not ethical-qua-pragmatic is not pragmatic
The minimal standard of ethics is that it provides solutions:
All answers are ethical
Then, let us say, that brutality of any kind is either a question or an answer
But it cannot be an answer, because answers are ethical
So brutality is either a metaphysical question or does not provide answers
Arguing that brutality is pragmatic is arguing that it provides answers
When the answers are not ethical, however,
In some sense they are not metaphysical:
Instead, they are problematic
Then it may be argued that war is inherently problematic, but provides answers
Or it does not provide answers
In either case there is a problem with pragmatics,
Either by creating problems or by not solving them
Evidently conflict is a pragmatics that is un-pragmatic
Otherwise, we can argue that creating problems is pragmatic,
But if these are amongst the problems that are not solved,
Then clearly the fault is in the definition of "problem"
Evidently soldiers think that their circumstances are unavoidable,
Perhaps for pragmatic reasons
But as we have seen, there is not a strong pragmatic ground for this reassurance
So what they believe pares down to belief in the unavoidable
Any evidence to the contrary might be condemning evidence of other values
Their position is open to the critique of 'how could it be so'?
Evidently to them it appears as a form of justice
But if that justice is inevitable, it is not even willful justice
It is a belief in pure emotional value
Evidently soldiers depend on an emotional argument
when the context is sheerly un-emotional
Or there is a material question, that the soldiers merely prefer everything
that is true about their circumstance
This returns to the question or belief in answers
Which as I have argued, must be ethical in order to move beyond metaphysics
So what soldiers argue is that war is metaphysical
Yet, deconstructing war, it is always seen as a material exercise
[We need not cite the evidence that war destroys the soul:
It results in a view that there is no soul, to defend a meaningless position]
When metaphysics is the answer to war,
Surely the soldiers would prefer intellectualism or some more spiritual form of inner questioning
If that is the case, it is no longer true that war poses a solution to a problem
Not even in the form of metaphysical questioning

---Nathan Coppedge

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