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  1. #41
    Sniffles
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    "It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it."
    --Robert E. Lee


    I think this is a valid point in this issue, cause there is actually a certain aesthetic appeal to war - we saw that in WWI when huge crowds cheered joyfully at the outbreak of war, seeing it as some kind of adventerous break from their mundane lives. Ernst Jünger talks about this on the first pages of his wartime memoirs Storm of Steel:
    Grown up in an era of security, we shared a yearning for danger, for the experience of the extraordinary. We were enraptured by war. We had set out in a rain of flowers, in a drunken atmosphere of blood and roses. Surely the war had to supply us with what we wanted; the great, the overwhelming, the hallowed experience. We thought of it as manly, as action, a merry duelling party on flowered, blood-bedewed meadows. 'No finer death in all the world than...' Anything to participate, not to have to stay at home!
    This probably sums up best what people often mean when they speak of the "beauty" of war. It's a yearning very deep within human nature, and in fairness there is a certain legitimacy to that yearning. The question become how does one channel that yearning to more constructive ends. That is why codes of honour - such as Chivalry and Bushido - play such a prominent role in this context, cause it seeks to do just that. And one prominent feature of such codes does include a certain desire to avoid violence unless absolutely necessary. Sun Tzu noted that the best victory is one that's achieved without fighting. The founder of Akido(a martial art practiced by many militaries), Morihei Ueshiba, was a dedicated pacifist for much of his life. He remarked:

    "The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love."

    So a proper understanding of war, even of its positive aspects, includes a certain revulsion against its horrible nature. This goes against both the childish glorification of war as purely postive but also the sentimenal rejection of war as purely negative.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manis View Post
    Copy/pasting dictionary definitions isn't really an argument. Beauty is a subjective concept, not the first google result for 'beauty definition'.

    To bring myself down to your level:

    id·i·ot
    /ˈɪdiət/ [id-ee-uht]
    –noun
    1.
    an utterly foolish or senseless person.
    2.
    Psychology . a person of the lowest order in a former classification of mental retardation, having a mental age of less than three years old and an intelligence quotient under 25.
    So where did I say that beauty isn't subjective or even imply it? Even the dictonary implies its subjective

    You clearly missed the point which was that if you truely understand "war" and truely understand "beauty" you would be an idiot to think thats its beautiful

    I could very easily rattle off about 50 reasons only a complete fucking moron would find war even remotely beautiful but I'm not going to do that cause frankly it should be obvious

    So I pose my question to you

    Why do you care if I'm saying that people who are calling war "beatiful" idiots?

    Are you one of them?

    Wow, good for you

    To world peace then.... or not?

  3. #43
    Member Manis's Avatar
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    If a person could "truely understand" beauty it wouldn't be a subjective thing, now would it? You're contradicting yourself.

    It's quite clear that we have different ideas of what beauty is. I don't really care if yours is closer to the dictionary definition, I'm not an "idiot" or a "moron" simply for having a different opinion to you. I do understand where you're coming from, war is full of nasty things that no emotionally mature person could ever find pleasant or 'beautiful' in the conventional, aesthetic sense of the word. An emotional knee-jerk sense of revulsion seems to be the most common response to the suggestion that war might be beautiful in any way, judging from this thread at least. That's good really, it's better that we all have that aversion to war and unnecessary suffering. I appreciate such strength of feeling but righteous indignation always brings up the blinkers in people and makes it really difficult to get a point across.

    When I say that war is beautiful I don't mean that it's nice in any way or that I get some kind of sick pleasure from any of the terrible things that happen to people in war. I also don't mean it in the sense that Peguy talks about above, i.e. that warfare is romantic and honourable. You might not agree with me on this but I think that anything of any great consequence can be considered beautiful, even if those consequences are bad ones. I realise that this definition isn't included in the dictionary you cited (or the dead tree one I keep on my shelf) but to show that I'm not alone in this I'd advise you to go visit an art gallery. You'll find countless depictions of nasty things, brutal battles, fights, executions, torture, people dying of disease or starvation, etc.. People find paintings of this sort beautiful, not solely because of the painter's artistry and certainly not because they like the idea of these things happening to people. That's just an example, but you're free to pick it apart if you want.

  4. #44
    Sniffles
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    Is this the sort of thing you're talking about Manis?
    Chinese artistic depictions of the Peoples' Liberation Army

  5. #45
    Sniffles
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    Here's probably a very good example of what Manis maybe getting at, both the music-lyrics and the paintings in the video.

    [youtube="4qXVjcbWIF8"]Napoleonic French anthem[/youtube]

    Victory singing
    Opens for us the gates
    Liberty guides our steps
    And from the North to the South
    The war trumpet
    Signals the hour of the fight
    Tremble, enemies of France
    Kings drunk on blood and pride
    The sovereign People comes forth
    Tyrants go down to your graves

    The Republic is calling us
    Let's know how to vanquish or let's know how to perish
    A Frenchman must live for her
    For her a Frenchman must die

    Do not fear that our motherly eyes should weep
    From us begone, cowardly grief!
    We must triumph when you bear arms
    It is kings who have to weep
    We gave you life
    Warriors, it is no longer yours
    All your days belong to the Motherland
    It is your mother above all

    The Republic is calling us
    Let's know how to vanquish or let's know how to perish
    A Frenchman must live for her
    For her a Frenchman must die

    May the fatherly iron arm, the hand of the braves
    Think of us on the Field of Mars
    Bless with the blood of the kings and of the slaves
    the arms blessed by your elder
    And bringing back home
    wounds and virtues
    come and close our lids
    when tyrants are no more

    The Republic is calling us
    Let's know how to vanquish or let's know how to perish
    A Frenchman must live for her
    For her a Frenchman must die

    The fates of Barra and Viala fill us with envy
    They died, but they prevailed
    The coward plagued with years never experienced life
    He who dies for the People has lived
    You are brave, we are too
    Guide us against Tyrants
    Republicans are men
    Slaves are children

    The Republic is calling us
    Let's know how to vanquish or let's know how to perish
    A Frenchman must live for her
    For her a Frenchman must die

    Leave, valiant husbands! Battles are your feasts
    Leave, models for warriors
    We shall pick flowers to crown your heads
    Our hands shall braid laurels
    And if the temple of memory (death)
    Should open for your victorious manes
    Our voices shall sing your glory
    Our wombs shall bear your avengers

    The Republic is calling us
    Let's know how to vanquish or let's know how to perish
    A Frenchman must live for her
    For her a Frenchman must die

    And we, sister of the heroes, we who of Hymenaios [marriage]
    ignore the loveable knots
    if, for uniting themselves some day with our destiny
    a citizen would express the wish
    let them come back in our walls
    embellished with glory and liberty
    and that their blood, in battles
    would have been spilled for equality

    The Republic is calling us
    Let's know how to vanquish or let's know how to perish
    A Frenchman must live for her
    For her a Frenchman must die

    On the iron, before God, we swear to our fathers
    to our wives, to our sisters
    to our representatives, to our sons, to our mothers
    that we shall annihilate oppressors
    Everywhere, into the deep night
    by sinking the infamous royalty
    the French shall give to the world
    peace and liberty

    The Republic is calling us
    Let's know how to vanquish or let's know how to perish
    A Frenchman must live for her
    For her a Frenchman must die

  6. #46
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    What I'm talking about is individuals' perceptions of beauty, I don't think you can really provide examples of that. Those are mostly propaganda images so were made to conjure up specific feelings (pride, comradeship etc.) in people and will naturally appeal to the target audience, but it's certainly possible for other people to find beauty in them for their own reasons. Do you find them beautiful?

  7. #47
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manis View Post
    What I'm talking about is individuals' perceptions of beauty, I don't think you can really provide examples of that.
    What are you talking about? How is that even essentially different than what I showed?

  8. #48
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    I just didn't think those images illustrated my earlier point, Peguy. Being propaganda, they were made with the express purpose of motivating people to support one side in a conflict - I was talking about a more general appreciation for the gravity and consequence of war. Beauty in depictions of war wasn't a major part of my argument and I didn't think examples were really necessary. Simple.

  9. #49

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    Before welfare got popular the big thing was warfare, everyone was into it.

  10. #50
    Sniffles
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    Manis, are you simply being a contrarian here?

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