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View Diary: U. S. Grant on "Moral Courage" (9 comments)

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  •  Groups; Individuals; Uncomfortable Thoughts (1+ / 0-)
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    One explanation is suggested by the results of research indicating that we are much less individualistic, and more (tribal) group-driven, than we consciously realize.

    A further (non-expert) thought that occurs to me, is that

    physical courage—the willingness to hazard life and limb in battle or some other dangerous situation
    may be psychologically easier because it involves repressing uncomfortable thoughts about the risked pain, injury and death, while, in contrast,
    to refuse to carry out, prevent, or punish some unethical action or failing to refuse, for example, to participate in an unjust, undeclared war initiated on false pretenses.
    requires continual thinking about how to balance contradictory, and so all the more, uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.
    •  Humans yearn to associate with other humans, (1+ / 0-)
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      but the risk of being injured is high. Perhaps that's because, for some, association is an obsession that's only realized when it survives every effort to drive others away. (I'm thinking of the "breaking" of military recruits to determine that they are fit to be members of the troops).
      Perhaps setting the solitary individual up as an ideal is as much an effort to deny the exclusive impulse (othering being necessary to destroying), as making lemonade out of lemons. That is, some people posit the individual outsider to justify his exclusion/destruction, while the excluded console themselves with the thought independent is what they are meant to be.
      Why do some humans feel compelled to exploit and even exterminate their own kind? Why did Cain kill Abel? Why did Cain blame the Creator for showing favor? Was it because Cain did not know himself? Is that why he was marked? So he could recognize himself? If so, it obviously didn't stick. There are still many humans who are not self-aware. They do not recognize themselves, so how can we expect them to recognize someone else. Never mind showing respect.

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