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The Greek Poet Homer, Essay Example

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Words: 655

Essay

The Greek poet Homer (c. 800 B.C.) once claimed, “War is business of men.” While Thomas Hobbes theorized that there was no cure for violence and man by his very nature is aggressive. That said I believe looking at Marshals famous study that only 20% of guns in World War 2 were actually fired leads me to believe that it is not innate in us to be violent. Our History though written by the victor is one of glory and conquest. History is written with a very interesting dilution of the Us and the Them. It is not about the unity of mankind and his endeavor for greater evolution and transcendence but the minute differences that divide us (Newton, 19). However that said in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, we see war as a de rigueur extension of politics.  Just war theory is about the justification of how and why wars are fought. My view is that war is necessary under certain circumstances.

In Frederick Downs: The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War. The participants are neither heroes nor villains they are men in a difficult position. It is more than a Macbethan bloodbath but rather a complex look at normal people in war and the dehumanizing effect it has on them. This is best seen in how Downs’ descriptions are matter-of-fact. Which he explains, after digging up a fresh grave looking for weapons and finds nothing but corpses, they leave. As they are leaving the village they steal some onion to spice up their c rations. Downs briefly looks within himself for his humanity and finds a hardened heart. War hardens hearts and cripples able men.  (Newton, 49)

Loyalty to me is a particularistic virtue in that it is by its very nature exclusionary. I am honestly torn between my universalistic obligations to humanity and my associative relations. Loyalty encompasses ever virtue for it is an Executive virtue a virtue of will. For example kindness involves an element of loyalty to which you are being kind to. Trust has that element of loyalty that involves our personal relations to those we trust and also what we trust. Though it is in almost every virtue it does have some limitations within it.

Loyalty is seen as a virtue however there is a problem or a fatal flaw if you will the thorn in the rose. Loyalty requires a suspension of judgment (Newton, 56). It may be directed to unworthy subjects and objects. When you are asked to do what is right it is called integrity and when you are asked to do what is wrong it is called loyalty. This is what forces me to reexamine loyalty based on the situation.

My loyalties start with God, and then family, then friends all other things come after that. My religious convictions influence and inform all other relationships, for we are told to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

Passion or pathos is a movement of the soul; it is irrational and contrary to nature according to stoics. My view is that a stoic ideal is not to become passionless or passionate but rather to follow a middle path. If not then like all of the world’s religions warn us about blindly following our passions. Science confirms this if pathos is a movement of the soul then rational science calls it pathology. (Newton, 89)

Royce’s concept of loyalty shows the necessity for there to be an individual, an ideal or a concept one is loyal to. The army in order to function in an ideal manner must have this as central to it in describing the army Plato and Epictetus show them that this is very important to army life though they did not mention loyalty exclusively it is alluded to in the comradely that exist among the men.

Work Cited:

Lisa Newton. Ethics in America: Source Reader, Princeton Hall. Print. 2003

Lisa Newton. Ethics in America: Study Guide, Princeton Hall. Print. 2003

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