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  1. #81
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
    Fighting at all is usually a sign of cowardice--fear of being seen as weak or somehow deficient. What takes real courage is stepping away, just when the opportunity to tear into someone becomes ripe.
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    What takes real courage is to stand up or stand against.

    Stepping away, to the extent it just avoids the problem (and by so doing makes it worse later) is cowardice.

    Certainly there are situations where extricating yourself is the better call.

    But I will always say it's more courageous to stand up than too walk away.

    EDIT - In a group fight, the most cowardly action is abandoning your friends.
    cow·ard/ˈkouərd/
    Noun:
    A person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.
    Adjective:
    Excessively afraid of danger or pain.

    ---

    "Cowardice is the perceived failure to demonstrate sufficient mental robustness and courage in the face of a challenge."
    Polaris, if I'm reading you right you'd say that when presented with a fight, perhaps it's, for instance, a) a lack of mental robustness - to stay calm or b) the ability to endure unpleasant things - in this case fear of being seen as weak, or c) a failure to the meet the challenge of 'peace', that makes a person who goes into a fight a coward.

    I suppose you could swing that definition. I guess it does "work" - the pieces do fit - although it's a bit of a stretch IMO. Really, I'd attribute the symptoms you're suggesting - fear of looking weak - for instance to something more like undue insecurity, or dishonorable insecurity. What you're talking about is trying to maintain appearance despite danger.

    Whereas someone who goes into a fight might very well be insecure in the sense of: they may lose something valuable - something of substance, whether tangible or intangible, that is worth risking themselves for, beyond image. In this sense, appearance takes a back seat to substance and value despite danger.

    I also think that disco's clarifications are worthwhile.

    I don't think these are necessarily contradictory, either.


    It's a critical part of the definition to note: cowardice is a perception, and perceptions vary, so there isn't one answer here, but I think it's worthwhile to distinguish motivations.

    (And, back to the OP, motivations which also play a role in what is considered "cowardly" in a fight, in my mind.)
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  2. #82
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    All's fair in love and war.

    If I'm going to fight then I'll do what I can to win.

    Even if by external standards I'm perceived as dirty.

    (yes, I have fought dirty before..it doesn't make me lose any sleep.)

  3. #83
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    I'm specifically saying that the choice to engage in a fight is a choice usually made out of a fear of being judged poorly (contrasted with embracing such judgment as the truth). I agree that there are cases when something of real substance is at stake in a fight (insofar as a clear distinction can be made between real substance and ego), but that sort of thing isn't what most people fight over. Even when it appears that people are fighting over things of substance, they're often really not; the fighting frequently even hurts their chances of getting their way, as they well know.

    @DiscoBiscuit
    I agree that stepping away to avoid dealing with a problem is cowardly, or at the very least, lazy. I don't think that people usually fight with a genuine desire to solve problems, though; I think that people often fight because they actually want to create even bigger problems than already exist. They see it as an opportunity to legitimize themselves at someone else's expense. There is a deep, often invisible type of cowardice involved in that, a cowardice that is not just incidental but constant in them.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

  4. #84
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Some would say fighting itself, is cowardly. It's not. Throughout history it has been required for prosperity.
    Gloves off=No Shame. No rules. No Cowardice.
    Doesn't cowardice imply a voluntary weakness? Or an attempt to coerce another to become weak?
    There should never be any intent on making it fair. It's a fight.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

  5. #85
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Well, you're saying a few things I agree with, but some things I didn't understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
    I'm specifically saying that the choice to engage in a fight is a choice usually made out of a fear of being judged poorly (contrasted with embracing such judgment as the truth).
    Bolded: ?
    Rephrase, please. I don't understand. Not, 'I don't understand' in the sense of 'I don't agree with your point', but in the sense of 'I don't understand what you are conveying'.

    I agree that there are cases when something of real substance is at stake in a fight (insofar as a clear distinction can be made between real substance and ego), but that sort of thing isn't what most people fight over.
    Yeah, I thought about that while I was writing it. What makes "substance"? Really, it comes down to what's important to you, and maybe to the people around you - or potentially to everyone around you - at least what you think is important. So basically, we have a perceived judgement of cowardice based on subjective judgments of defending "what is important". Who is to say that one's image is not worth fighting over, even? After all, image can be important. Of course, there is a difference between guarding against libel with civil action and violent action, in my mind at least.

    Personally, most of what I think of when I consider bringing violence into the picture is dealing with power imbalances with unreasonable people. By definition you can't use reasonable means to negotiate with the unreasonable. Hence, you try to skirt around them, perhaps, but if they are very powerful then in comes violence.

    Arab spring comes to mind, not to mention countless other examples in human history. Some of which were effective, other's failed.

    Even when it appears that people are fighting over things of substance, they're often really not; the fighting frequently even hurts their chances of getting their way, as they well know.
    Sometimes. Back to arab spring, libya for instance was/is in many ways unclear. Are these people more free? I'd say that a government that will prevent you from having the option to disagree with them with bullets is something that your life is ultimately better without - but in the short term you have a power vacuum, war crimes on both sides, many deaths due to untrained soldiers essentially getting themselves killed because of poor planning, and the opportunity for tribalistic and criminal factions to co-opt the chaos for their own ends. Are they hurting their own chances? Time will tell.

    I agree that stepping away to avoid dealing with a problem is cowardly, or at the very least, lazy. I don't think that people usually fight with a genuine desire to solve problems, though; I think that people often fight because they actually want to create even bigger problems than already exist.
    Well, I'll agree that many fights don't involve wanting to solve problems. But I'd question if they are really trying to CAUSE problems. I'd offer the explanation that they are focused on either getting something or preserving what they have. Causing a problem for the sake of it? Why, exactly? Not to suggest that human behavior must be rational in nature, but this just goes against what I know about human motivation.

    They see it as an opportunity to legitimize themselves at someone else's expense. There is a deep, often invisible type of cowardice involved in that, a cowardice that is not just incidental but constant in them.
    What is this invisible cowardice?
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  6. #86
    Senior Member Kurt.Is.God's Avatar
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    Buttonmashing.

  7. #87
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    If you're agreeing to a fight in advance, then you should probably lay down some rules. But if I was forced into a fight I would do anything to win/run away. Escaping would definitely be the best option, but that failing I'll do anything; bite, kick, rack, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
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  8. #88
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    @Bamboo
    The bolded statement means "instead of accepting the negative judgment(s) as true judgment(s)." That could be shortened to "instead of accepting the negative judgments," since one can equally well fear being the object of false judgment, although in that case, the applicability of the word "cowardice" becomes questionable. In practice, though, there are very few negative judgments about a person that don't hold some grain of truth in them.

    My concern wasn't really to make a distinction between fights that are worthwhile and fights that aren't. Nor do I mean to suggest that cowardice is an inherently undesirable motive for fighting. Whether it is or not is a matter of personal sentiment.

    In my opinion, relatively few fights involve physical violence. Most are verbal.

    Starting an unnecessary fight or making such a fight happen by participating in it is in itself intentionally creating a problem.

    The invisible cowardice I spoke of is fear and denial of one's own illegitimacy. Unnecessary fighting is, in my view, typically an expression of this form of cowardice (sometimes unnecessary fighting is purely a means of putting oneself to the test, which isn't cowardly, but this type of fighting seems to me to be relatively uncommon; one is, of course, always at least tacitly putting oneself to the test when one fights, but usually this is done in a spirit of denying one's questionableness, which is dishonest and therefore cowardly [it is the most cowardly act in a typical fight because there is no other threat in a typical fight, besides this threat to ego and persona, that is even there for a person to respond to with cowardice]). I call it invisible because the people subject to this form of cowardice (fear and denial of one's own illegitimacy) often engage in it in the same way that you engage in breathing: constantly and without explicit awareness of it.
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  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
    Starting an unnecessary fight or making such a fight happen by participating in it is in itself intentionally creating a problem.

    The invisible cowardice I spoke of is fear and denial of one's own illegitimacy. Unnecessary fighting is, in my view, typically an expression of this form of cowardice (sometimes unnecessary fighting is purely a means of putting oneself to the test, which isn't cowardly, but this type of fighting seems to me to be relatively uncommon; one is, of course, always at least tacitly putting oneself to the test when one fights, but usually this is done in a spirit of denying one's questionableness, which is dishonest and therefore cowardly [it is the most cowardly act in a typical fight because there is no other threat in a typical fight, besides this threat to ego and persona, that is even there for a person to respond to with cowardice]). I call it invisible because the people subject to this form of cowardice (fear and denial of one's own illegitimacy) often engage in it in the same way that you engage in breathing: constantly and without explicit awareness of it.
    I think there are some pretty serious misconceptions here.

    You seem to think both that most fights are unnecessary and that fights are either necessary or unnecessary.

    It's a case by case basis on whether or not the fight is justified, but I think that personal (verbal) attacks can only be taken so far before violence is warranted.

    Certainly I would warn my opponent that they should stop talking shit before it gets them in trouble, but past a certain point, you've gotta stand up for yourself.

    If someone talks shit on my family, I will (and have) fucked them up.

    I see nothing wrong with not going out like a bitch and just sitting there and taking it.

    You seem to be trying to say that being a bully is being a coward.

    I don't agree. I think its shitty and cheap, but I don't think its cowardly.

    I also think that tendency (to bully) stems far more from insecurity (and childhood abuse) than it does from cowardice.

  10. #90
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I think there are some pretty serious misconceptions here.

    You seem to think both that most fights are unnecessary and that fights are either necessary or unnecessary.

    It's a case by case basis on whether or not the fight is justified, but I think that personal (verbal) attacks can only be taken so far before violence is warranted.

    Certainly I would warn my opponent that they should stop talking shit before it gets them in trouble, but past a certain point, you've gotta stand up for yourself.

    If someone talks shit on my family, I will (and have) fucked them up.

    I see nothing wrong with not going out like a bitch and just sitting there and taking it.

    You seem to be trying to say that being a bully is being a coward.

    I don't agree. I think its shitty and cheap, but I don't think its cowardly.

    I also think that tendency (to bully) stems far more from insecurity (and childhood abuse) than it does from cowardice.
    I agree that whether a fight is necessary or not is a matter that people generally decide on a case-by-case basis, and I agree that it's perfectly reasonable and even appropriate for them to do so. To that I would add, though, that the fights which most people engage in are fights that they actually don't consider to be necessary. I say that as a simple observation, not as a condemnation; a fight doesn't have to be necessary, and I'm all for people standing up for themselves and those that they care about, as long as they do it in an honest, well-considered way.

    I think that your disagreement with me on whether being a bully is a coward or not is probably for the most part a semantic issue. To me, bullying out of insecurity is "cowardly," because it's a way of running away from one's personal issues instead of confronting them. To you it's "shitty and cheap," which I also think is an apt label for it.
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