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Keep the video in mind as you read the following: The underlying perspectives and principles that helped make it possible for human beings to commit the horrible wrongdoing evil seen in the video were taught with state sponsored propaganda and force to a generation of German youth.
These Nazi teachings were not just meant to last a lifetime, but years worth of lifetimes. Above, we wrote that Socrates believed the most terribly harmed of all human beings was the tyrant who was able to commit great wrongdoing for many years without being held accountable to justice.
Socrates believed that doing wrong was a much worse fate than suffering wrong. This leads me to say something that, on the surface, seems to strain common sense to the point of offense.
That something is this: In the Nazi Shoah, the most terribly harmed people were the ones who committed the most wrongdoing. If it is true that doing wrong is more harmful than suffering wrong, then the Nazis were their own greatest victims.
They harmed themselves in ways worse than the harm that fell upon those victims who suffered without doing wrong. The scope and intensity of Nazi crimes gives us pause with regard to allowing this thought.
Think of it this way, would you rather be killed by Nazis in a concentration camp or be a Nazi running a concentration camp? Would you rather suffer greatly because of the lack of justice and virtue in the human character of other people or would you rather cause people to suffer greatly because of your own lack of justice and virtue?
Which is worse, to do wrong or to suffer wrong? Doing Wrong or Suffering Wrong: Which is the greater harm to the goodness, integrity, and value of your life? If you have decided that you believe that doing wrong is more harmful to your well being than suffering wrong, then we ask you to consider if this is a consistent principle that should govern all of our choices at all times.
It is at the point of considering the possibility of exceptions to the principle that doing wrong is more harmful than suffering wrong, and in the throes of suffering we all have a strong and persistent instinct to consider this possibility, that people enter into their own personal calculus of measuring the results of wrongdoing compared to the intensity of their own suffering.
It is in these calculations of personal intuition that humanity often succumbs to the fear of suffering and to the lack of understanding regarding the nature of our own well being.
In these calculations, we make choices, commit our energies to fulfill our choices, and in our willful choosing give birth to all the good and evil that flows from the heart of humanity.
In these calculations, it is easy to mistake what is right for what is easy. I think most readers, with regard to the example of Nazi wrongdoing, would agree that doing wrong is a worse fate than suffering wrong.
When the measure of the negative results of wrongdoing are extreme, the choice is clearer. Not many people would say, "Sure, I will be a mass murdering Nazi if it is convenient for me in the moment. However, it is not in the extremes that human evil is propagated, no matter how much the bizarrely vicious results of such extremes may lead us to believe otherwise.
It is not in the extremes that we find our greatest moral difficulty. It is in the smaller dimensions of wrongdoing that we most often lose our way. It is in regularly losing our way in the small things that we find ourselves unprepared to handle the extremes of life. It is much easier to believe that a small wrong, which spares us from great suffering is justifiable.
When subtlety challenges us, our personal intuition about our own well being will be prone to translate possible wrongs into sure rights. Those who are absolutely sure they are right stop questioning the possibility that they may be wrong. In ceasing to question, we cease to be capable of being moral.
For, in the cessation of thoughtful questioning, ethical thinking is murdered with the result that moral action stops being a thoughtful choice and is transformed into a matter of blind repetition. In such blindness the movement from the small wrongdoings of daily life to the extremes of human evil is a fast and compelling one.
One change in circumstance, one additional danger, and the daily exercise of committing the smaller wrongdoings, which are the fruit of our ignorance, will be amplified according to the nature of our habits.
Small wrongdoings that inconvenience are quickly transformed into actions with life devastating consequences. When preexisting bad habits are the ground upon which we first meet the extremes of life, disrespect can become murder in the blink of an eye. Inverting Godwin's Law Godwin's law says, "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazism or Hitler approaches 1".
This law describes a comparison used for the purpose of argument that is usually seen as a negative weakness in discussion. If a conversation with enough participants goes on long enough, and there is sufficient controversy, the law seems to hold.
Inevitably somebody eventually compares someone or something to Nazism or to Hitler. In a public discourse with differing perspectives, resorting to such comparisons is seen as a failure to uphold the necessary standards of an intelligent conversation. When an expression of Godwin's law is manifested in a conversation, the most persistent correlation to that manifestation is that the rational examination of ideas has collapsed.
With regard to the internal conversations we have with ourselves, we can invert Godwin's law for the good. Instead of using a Nazi comparison in an attempt to win an argument against someone who thinks or behaves differently, this inversion of Godwin's Law is used to examine ourselves.Personal statement essay edge.
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