Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

UF: Stories written by users, both fanfics and original.

Moderator: LadyTevar

Locked
User avatar
Agent Fisher
Rabid Monkey
Posts: 3592
Joined: 2003-04-29 11:56pm
Location: Sac-Town, CA, USA, Earth, Sol, Milky Way, Universe

Post by Agent Fisher » 2008-08-14 08:42pm

That doesn't mean you did great things. It just means you're dumb, and good at surviving. :lol:

EdBecerra
Padawan Learner
Posts: 238
Joined: 2008-07-08 02:07am
Contact:

Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-14 08:52pm

Agent Fisher wrote:That doesn't mean you did great things. It just means you're dumb, and good at surviving. :lol:
That's pretty much one and the same. It's hard to tell the difference between someone who's become great because they're smart, and someone who's just fallen into it because they're dumb and lucky.

Me, I'm not great, but I am dumb and lucky, though Aili and Natasha might have disagreed with me on that.

Point is, though, you do what you believe to be right and moral. If doing so gets you killed, so what? Time kills us all, sooner or later. You're going to die anyway, so die with some backbone and some style.

At least the Japanese understand that...

Most of those accidents I was in, I was in them because I believed I was in the right, and I refused to budge. In some of them, I was wrong, and I paid the price for being wrong. But I still made my stand, right or wrong.

So take your stand. Doesn't matter where or what your stand is, so long as you take it out of sincerity and your best judgement at the time.

If they kill you for doing so, then they kill you. But you took your stand, unlike the majority of the human race who seem content to drift with the winds of fate.

THAT'S what I mean.

Ed.
Edward A Becerra

Zim
Youngling
Posts: 72
Joined: 2007-04-04 09:55pm

Post by Zim » 2008-08-14 09:13pm

EdBecerra wrote:
Agent Fisher wrote:That doesn't mean you did great things. It just means you're dumb, and good at surviving. :lol:
That's pretty much one and the same. It's hard to tell the difference between someone who's become great because they're smart, and someone who's just fallen into it because they're dumb and lucky.

Me, I'm not great, but I am dumb and lucky, though Aili and Natasha might have disagreed with me on that.

Point is, though, you do what you believe to be right and moral. If doing so gets you killed, so what? Time kills us all, sooner or later. You're going to die anyway, so die with some backbone and some style.

At least the Japanese understand that...

Most of those accidents I was in, I was in them because I believed I was in the right, and I refused to budge. In some of them, I was wrong, and I paid the price for being wrong. But I still made my stand, right or wrong.

So take your stand. Doesn't matter where or what your stand is, so long as you take it out of sincerity and your best judgement at the time.

If they kill you for doing so, then they kill you. But you took your stand, unlike the majority of the human race who seem content to drift with the winds of fate.

THAT'S what I mean.

Ed.
There's a difference between standing up for what you believe in and doing lots of immensely stupid things because you're stubborn and cocky then refusing to learn from it.

User avatar
R011
Youngling
Posts: 112
Joined: 2008-03-02 05:32pm
Location: Toronto

Post by R011 » 2008-08-14 10:34pm

Your strength of character is to commended, sir. Perhaps one in a million adults and even fewer children, would be willing to volunteer for starvation, torture, and a very good chance of death, as well as the ruination of their families and their possible incarceration in a camp with you, just to get out of compulsory membership in a totalitarian government youth organization. Truly, you are quite extraordinary. I'm especially impressed that you are so sure of this that you can say this with such confidence even though there is no possibility that you will be called upon to demonstrate this willingness to endure martyrdom, as opposed to taking foolish risks for your own entertainment.

I'm not sure, though, that you are perhaps confusing the Papacy with either Sainthood or a Darwin Award. The requirements are somewhat different, and a youthful desire for martyrdom or foolish danger chasing has never been a requirement for Pope. Being a former and unrepentant Nazi might be, but you have presented no evidence this was the case, nor has anyone to my knowledge.

There are likely some good criticisms of the current Catholic Church one can make, even some of the current Pope. That Ratzinger admittedly is not a near saint is not one of them.
DAVE AAA

Edward Yee
Sith Devotee
Posts: 3395
Joined: 2005-07-31 06:48am

Post by Edward Yee » 2008-08-15 12:11am

Bayonet wrote:Of all the things I would not want to do, would be to fight a Stalingrad in Dis. Of course, Dagon doesn't know that. :D
Fighting a Stalingrad is bad anywhere, no? Doubly so if you've got the role of the Wehrmacht. :lol: I actually thought back to Enemy at the Gates when I saw that one soldier use the helmet trick, since it appears that at least one marksman fell for it and the psychological warfare effect on Dagon was unintentional. Here's hoping that discipline is maintained if the human forces outside Dis advance further, seeing how far Memnon went for the humans who didn't do as Dagon thinks they will...

As for the discussion of the real-life Pope, I'm reminded of the previous discussion of President Bush after the Roe v. Wade discussion with Karl Rove, as well as his reaction to Dr. Surlethe's idea...
"Yee's proposal is exactly the sort of thing I would expect some Washington legal eagle to do. In fact, it could even be argued it would be unrealistic to not have a scene in the next book of, say, a Congressman Yee submit the Yee Act for consideration. :D" - bcoogler on this

"My crystal ball is filled with smoke, and my hovercraft is full of eels." - Bayonet

Stark: "You can't even GET to heaven. You don't even know where it is, or even if it still exists."
SirNitram: "So storm Hell." - From the legendary thread

EdBecerra
Padawan Learner
Posts: 238
Joined: 2008-07-08 02:07am
Contact:

Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-15 12:39am

R011 wrote:Your strength of character is to commended, sir. Perhaps one in a million adults and even fewer children, would be willing to volunteer for starvation, torture, and a very good chance of death, as well as the ruination of their families and their possible incarceration in a camp with you, just to get out of compulsory membership in a totalitarian government youth organization. Truly, you are quite extraordinary. I'm especially impressed that you are so sure of this that you can say this with such confidence even though there is no possibility that you will be called upon to demonstrate this willingness to endure martyrdom, as opposed to taking foolish risks for your own entertainment.
Well, I don't particularly like Jehova's Witnesses, yet several thousand of them entered concentration camps and stayed there, when all they had to do to leave was sign one little bit of paper - a cheap loyalty oath to the Third Reich and to Hitler.

Here's a photo of it.

Image

Here's a translation of it, if Wikipedia is to be trusted...
Translation of Declaration Document

Concentration camp .......................................
Department II
DECLARATION

I, the ...................................................
born on ..................................................
in .......................................................
herewith make the following declaration:

1. I have come to know that the International Bible Students Association is proclaiming erroneous teachings and under the cloak of religion follows hostile purposes against the State.
2. I therefore left the organization entirely and made myself absolutely free from the teachings of this sect.
3. I herewith give assurance that I will never again take any part in the activity of the International Bible Students Association. Any persons approaching me with the teaching of the Bible Students, or who in any manner reveal their connections with them, I will denounce immediately. All literature from the Bible Students that should be sent to my address I will at once deliver to the nearest police station.
4. I will in the future esteem the laws of the State, especially in the event of war will I, with weapon in hand, defend the fatherland, and join in every way the community of the people.
5. I have been informed that I will at once be taken again into protective custody if I should act against the declaration given today.

.................................., Dated ................
...........................................................
Signature

That's it. That's all. Tell a little lie, sign an oath you never meant to keep, then walk out of prison a free man. Yet they didn't do it.

If the figures are accurate, over eleven thousand were placed in the camps, almost 1,500 died, and 270 were executed.

Yet they never backed down, they never backed up.

Like a wolverine, they stood their ground, even to the death.

Perhaps it's part and parcel of the Calvinist attitude of my mother's side of the family. Not just something of a grim Scots and a Calvinist, but also a Marine. (yes, it's true. My mother did wear combat boots. :) ) I was taught to look forward to pain and death. That it was something to be embraced, even enjoyed if you were capable of doing so.

I recall one incident some years ago, before Mom's death - Dad was carving the Thanksgiving turkey with greasy hands, and the carving fork slipped as he waved it about in a dramatic gesture. It sailed across the room, and both tines went through my forearm.

By this time in my life, my mother's teachings had taken such firm hold, I did nothing more than grunt at the sight of blood and fat oozing from the wound, then, with my right hand holding the fork still, I walked down the street to the local hospital. No phone call, no abulance ride, I just walked down the street, trying to avoid dripping blood on other people's property (that would have been considered rude, by Mom's lights) as I walked.

I didn't express the pain until after it was all stitched up, and my mother was proud of me. I lived for that sort of expression of pride.

That's how my grandfather (her father) taught me to not play with matches as a toddler. He caught me, one day, and sat down and said he'd like to play with matches with me. So I lit some, he lit some, and we had a good time. Then he said he'd like to show me a trick, and had me light another match. Before I could drop it, he seized my hand, holding it in such a way I couldn't let go of the match, and my thumb and forefinger were blistered when the match burned short enough. He made me do this several times, with both hands, and gave me the back of his hand if I cried. I had blisters on both hands, his handprint across both cheeks, and I never played with fire again.

Am I extraordinary? No. Just grim, stupid and stubborn. Willing to beat my head against a stone wall until the STONE cries out, "Enough, I surrender!" So you needn't be snarky about it. I don't regard myself as some paragon of courage, just that I try (and fail, more often than not), when others don't even try to begin with.
R011 wrote:I'm not sure, though, that you are perhaps confusing the Papacy with either Sainthood or a Darwin Award. The requirements are somewhat different, and a youthful desire for martyrdom or foolish danger chasing has never been a requirement for Pope. Being a former and unrepentant Nazi might be, but you have presented no evidence this was the case, nor has anyone to my knowledge.

There are likely some good criticisms of the current Catholic Church one can make, even some of the current Pope. That Ratzinger admittedly is not a near saint is not one of them.
I'm not confusing it, I'm simply holding them to a higher standard. Admittedly, it's MY standard, but as a former 'subject' of Jesuit training, I believe I have the right to do so. Indeed, while in basic training, my drill instructors were vaguely disappointed that I didn't regard them with the same mix of terror and respect that they'd disciplined into the other recruits, and they questioned me about it.

I simply stated that I'd had three years with Jesuit teachers. One of my DI's then sighed, and muttered something to the effect of "damn Jesuits keep getting there before we do...", while the others displayed an air of "well, if we had to lose, at least we lost to the varsity..."

Then, of course, they got twice as hard on me. Bastards. I have fond memories of them. :)

If I suffer, then anyone in authority has to suffer twice as much as I do, in order to have my respect. And the amount of suffering increases as their rank over me increases.

That gives a person incentive to stay the hell AWAY from positions of authority.

(Like some of the Founding Fathers, I believe that the more a person wants authority and power over his fellows, the less he deserves it. An ideal American President is one who fears and hates the job, and is forced into it against his will. "If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve." -- William Tecuhmseh Sherman... an ideal sort, with the ideal attitude. But then I'm something of an anarchist, despite my military service.)

I don't claim to be a superman, nor do I claim to be a saint. Just that if other people tell me I need to walk over coals barefoot, they'd better be right in front of me, walking over those same coals.

And if they aren't willing to do so, they have no right to tell me what to do. Ratzinger claims some nebulous authority over me in the here and now, well, he'd better show me he's a better and more stubborn person than I am. To date, he hasn't done so to my satisfaction.

Finally, no "Spartan" jokes, thank you very much. Just like the Harry Potter jokes (thanks to my facial scarring), I've heard them all. No need to repeat them. (That "300" movie's really getting on my nerves... *sigh*)

Ed.
Last edited by EdBecerra on 2008-08-15 12:58am, edited 1 time in total.
Edward A Becerra

User avatar
Darth Wong
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 70027
Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-15 12:47am

EdBecerra wrote:Well, I don't particularly like Jehova's Witnesses, yet several thousand of them entered concentration camps and stayed there, when all they had to do to leave was sign one little bit of paper - a cheap loyalty oath to the Third Reich and to Hitler.

Here's a photo of it.
<snip>

That's it. That's all. Tell a little lie, sign an oath you never meant to keep, then walk out of prison a free man. Yet they didn't do it.

If the figures are accurate, over eleven thousand were placed in the camps, almost 1,500 died, and 270 were executed.

Yet they never backed down, they never backed up.

Like a wolverine, they stood their ground, even to the death.
That is not admirable. It is not even ethical. It is stupid and selfish in the extreme. These people sentenced not only themselves, but their families to imprisonment and possibly death and torture, because they refused to commit an act which itself would cause zero objective harm: saying a few empty words.

To sacrifice human life on the altar of your subjective beliefs is morally unacceptable. It's morally unacceptable if it's a bunch of infidels you don't like, it's morally unacceptable if it's your family, it's morally unacceptable even if it's you.
Image
"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

EdBecerra
Padawan Learner
Posts: 238
Joined: 2008-07-08 02:07am
Contact:

Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-15 01:07am

Darth Wong wrote:That is not admirable. It is not even ethical. It is stupid and selfish in the extreme. These people sentenced not only themselves, but their families to imprisonment and possibly death and torture, because they refused to commit an act which itself would cause zero objective harm: saying a few empty words.

To sacrifice human life on the altar of your subjective beliefs is morally unacceptable. It's morally unacceptable if it's a bunch of infidels you don't like, it's morally unacceptable if it's your family, it's morally unacceptable even if it's you.
My word is my bond, sir. It's why I so seldom give it.

If you were to offer me a contract, a certain amount of cash to take a swan dive off a skyscraper, payable only upon my death, and I were foolish enough to accept that contract, I would carry through with it. My word of honor is more important than my life.

Not all people believe that. That's their right and their privilege. It's also the reason I don't trust them very much.

It's also why I rarely give my word, or make a promise.

I suspect that this subject is one upon which we must agree to disagree.

Thank you.

Ed.
Edward A Becerra

User avatar
Darth Wong
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 70027
Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-15 01:20am

Honour sounds like a wonderful thing to hold so dear, but it's hard to justify putting anything other than human life at the top of your ethical pyramid.
Image
"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

User avatar
CaptainChewbacca
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15746
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Contact:

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-08-15 02:02am

I think God would forgive me lying to an evil man in order to save the lives of my family. I know I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.
You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker
ImageImage

User avatar
Zed Snardbody
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2449
Joined: 2002-07-11 11:41pm
Contact:

Post by Zed Snardbody » 2008-08-15 02:14am

CaptainChewbacca wrote:I think God would forgive me lying to an evil man in order to save the lives of my family. I know I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
That was my first step to really questioning my faith and god in general. Why would the all mighty and powerful creator of the universe care if people did small things like this for the greater good. How could god sentence people to eternal punishment at all?

My parents were horrified when I asked them what would happen to Hitler when god made him realize just how wrong he was and how much suffering he cause. Would he still be condemned for eternity?

Then I met gay people and it just went down hill from there.
The Zen of Not Fucking Up.

EdBecerra
Padawan Learner
Posts: 238
Joined: 2008-07-08 02:07am
Contact:

Post by EdBecerra » 2008-08-15 03:31am

CaptainChewbacca wrote:I think God would forgive me lying to an evil man in order to save the lives of my family. I know I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
God might forgive me, but I couldn't forgive myself. Getting God to forgive you is easy. Forgiving yourself? Not so much. It's about trust. And, perhaps, about predictability.

Sounds kind of arrogant, I know. *shrugs* That sort of grim "I'll keep my word if it kills me, I'll keep it if it kills YOU" fixation runs on my mother's side of the family, and both she and her father made certain I understood that.

I might lie to someone, I have lied in the past, but if someone has my word of honor, they have my bond. I reiterate, that's why I so rarely give it.

But this is topic drift. On with commentary about the War in Hell!

I wonder how many of the 20th Centuries greatest can be recovered? There was an old book, long out of print - currently being re-issued by Wowio - where the stereotypical Blob from Space attacks, and the heroic scientist-engineers discover that a sample taken from the Blob, properly treated, can revive the long-dead. So they immediately run around reviving all the great scientists they can, enlisting them to aid in the Anti-Blob battle. Silly, but a pleasant night's reading when you're not wanting something deep, like War and Peace.

This reminded me of the fact that there's so MANY human resources in Hell - it'll be decades before they can all be processed! (And that's just the valuable minds of the 20th century... what of the Great Minds of the Classic periods?)

Who'd be the most valuable, who'd be the first (or among the first) that the governments of the world would go searching for? Who would we want first, and why would we want them? What difference could they make, to the war, and to Human/Earthly society after the war is over?

So MANY questions...

Ed.
Edward A Becerra

User avatar
NecronLord
Harbinger of Doom
Harbinger of Doom
Posts: 27242
Joined: 2002-07-07 06:30am
Location: The Lost City

Post by NecronLord » 2008-08-15 04:16am

EdBecerra wrote:Well, I don't particularly like Jehova's Witnesses, yet several thousand of them entered concentration camps and stayed there, when all they had to do to leave was sign one little bit of paper - a cheap loyalty oath to the Third Reich and to Hitler.

Here's a photo of it.
<snip>

That's it. That's all. Tell a little lie, sign an oath you never meant to keep, then walk out of prison a free man. Yet they didn't do it.

If the figures are accurate, over eleven thousand were placed in the camps, almost 1,500 died, and 270 were executed.

Yet they never backed down, they never backed up.

Like a wolverine, they stood their ground, even to the death.
It's worth remembering that the above document is also essentially a guarantee that you will serve in Hitler's army. Incarceration of 'bible students' in concentration camps only began in 1936 (at which point compulsory military service was back, and the nation was preparing for war) and only became seriously widespread in 1939, and given that those JWs who didn't serve in the army after such declarations were, unsurprisingly, put up against the wall and shot, I'd not be surprised if a great deal of unwillingness to simply sign and leave was because signing and leaving meant signing, being issued with a gun, and sent to be crushed under the tracks of a T-34 in futile defence of the Nazism that oppresses you.
Superior Moderator - BotB - HAB [Drill Instructor]-Writer- Stardestroyer.net's resident Star-God.
"We believe in the systematic understanding of the physical world through observation and experimentation, argument and debate and most of all freedom of will." ~ Stargate: The Ark of Truth

JBG
Padawan Learner
Posts: 356
Joined: 2008-02-18 05:06am
Location: Australia

Post by JBG » 2008-08-15 04:28am

"Death is as light as a feather but duty is heavier than a mountain".

User avatar
Siege
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4108
Joined: 2004-12-11 12:35pm

Post by Siege » 2008-08-15 05:30am

I find it rather astonishing that people would go so far as to claim that if they had been in Ratzinger's situation, they'd have refused to serve in the Hitler Jugend. Did you even contemplate the situation you'd find yourself in? You're just a kid; you've been living the majority of your life in the god-damn Third Reich; oppression and indoctrination have been a daily companion for years on end; all your friends are being conscripted in order to force back what you've been consistently told are the horridly evil commie hordes; and you'd say you'd still think the way you do now, and refuse?

That's hilarious, and I'm truly sorry, but I can't believe it for a second. It's easy to say you'll never compromise your morals now; it's not so easy to do that when you've been bombarded with propaganda for years on end and the choice is between manning an AA-gun (as Ratzinger did) or a bullet in the back of your skull. You might still not like it, but living to regret having to do it beats being dead in my opinion.
Image
SDN World 2: The North Frequesuan Trust
SDN World 3: The Sultanate of Egypt
SDN World 4: The United Solarian Sovereignty
SDN World 5: San Dorado
There'll be a bodycount, we're gonna watch it rise
The folks at CNN, they won't believe their eyes

User avatar
Darth Wong
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 70027
Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-15 08:27am

SiegeTank wrote:I find it rather astonishing that people would go so far as to claim that if they had been in Ratzinger's situation, they'd have refused to serve in the Hitler Jugend. Did you even contemplate the situation you'd find yourself in? You're just a kid; you've been living the majority of your life in the god-damn Third Reich; oppression and indoctrination have been a daily companion for years on end; all your friends are being conscripted in order to force back what you've been consistently told are the horridly evil commie hordes; and you'd say you'd still think the way you do now, and refuse?

That's hilarious, and I'm truly sorry, but I can't believe it for a second. It's easy to say you'll never compromise your morals now; it's not so easy to do that when you've been bombarded with propaganda for years on end and the choice is between manning an AA-gun (as Ratzinger did) or a bullet in the back of your skull. You might still not like it, but living to regret having to do it beats being dead in my opinion.
As I said, the mark of the fanatic is that he values his beliefs above human life itself, even his own. That's true whether this fanatic is a Jehovah's Witness, a Buddhist monk, or an Al-Quaeda terrorist. The exact nature of the belief only helps determine the kind of inhumanity the person is capable of, and whether it is directed outward or inward.

Remember, JWs would essentially murder their own children because of their idiotic belief that blood transfusions are evil.
Image
"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

User avatar
Darth Wong
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 70027
Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-15 08:32am

EdBecerra wrote:God might forgive me, but I couldn't forgive myself. Getting God to forgive you is easy. Forgiving yourself? Not so much. It's about trust. And, perhaps, about predictability.

Sounds kind of arrogant, I know. *shrugs* That sort of grim "I'll keep my word if it kills me, I'll keep it if it kills YOU" fixation runs on my mother's side of the family, and both she and her father made certain I understood that.
That kind of thinking is extremely unethical, which is the opposite of what I think you are hoping to achieve with it. I would suggest that you make some effort to study the concept of ethics, particularly as it has been explored numerous times by philosophers throughout history. You may find it enlightening; the ability to apply great fervour to your observance of your parents' ethics is not a particularly good substitute for the ability to rationally evaluate those ethics.
Image
"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

User avatar
Bayonet
Padawan Learner
Posts: 212
Joined: 2008-04-28 06:06pm
Location: Chicagoland

Post by Bayonet » 2008-08-15 09:06am

EdBecerra wrote: Let's see. Escaped from two burning houses. ...

So, yeah. I would have told the recruiter to go f*ck himself. And probably died because of that. But it would have been the right thing to do.

Some people do choose the moral choice. Not because it's the right choice, but because they're stubborn idiots. But they still made the right choice, even if by accident.

Ed.
OK, you've demonstrated you were an idiot. And in Hitler's Germany, you'd have been a dead idiot. <SHRUG> Don't prove nuthin' about morality or ethics.
- Dennis
--
Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer, and the King does not believe that coffee-drinking soldiers can be relied upon to endure hardships in case of another war.
-Frederick the Great, 1777

User avatar
Mayabird
Storytime!
Posts: 5970
Joined: 2003-11-26 04:31pm
Location: IA > GA
Contact:

Post by Mayabird » 2008-08-15 10:05am

Or, ya know, if you really wanted to be brave to the point of insanity, you could let yourself be recruited and then engage in sabotage, steal supplies needed for war, or pass information along to resistance groups or individuals hiding Jews or spies. It's likely to leave you just as dead, but you might actually accomplish something more than using up a single bullet to get your brains blown out.
DPDarkPrimus is my boyfriend!

SDNW4 Nation: The Refuge And, on Nova Terra, Al-Stan the Totally and Completely Honest and Legitimate Weapons Dealer and Used Starship Salesman slept on a bed made of money, with a blaster under his pillow and his sombrero pulled over his face. This is to say, he slept very well indeed.

User avatar
gtg947h
Youngling
Posts: 90
Joined: 2008-02-20 11:40am

Post by gtg947h » 2008-08-15 10:51am

I just don't get all the "well, if I'd been around back then, I would have done this" I hear from people, whether the subject is Nazis, slavery, Romans, etc.

The thing is, people make those statements with the assumption of having 20/20 hindsight, so to speak. They assume they'll keep their modern upbringing and perspectives... but completely ignore that, had they been born and raised at that time (and in those circumstances) they probably would have turned out very differently. For example (and as noted above), had you been born in Nazi Germany, and subjected to the propaganda/brainwashing your entire life, you probably would have shared at least some of those views--because without the experiences, moral education, and modern judgement to see that it was wrong, you wouldn't have any other perspective.

Or take slavery in the antebellum south... I've heard lots of "I wouldn't have kept slaves!" "I would have been an abolitionist!"... but again, had you been born into that situation to begin with, and been immersed since day one in a culture that said it was right, and grown up with that as your life... do you really think you'd grow up radically different? Most people don't, no matter the circumstances.

This is by no means an attempt to justify such barbaric and horrific practices... I just want people to think a little harder before they start playing Monday-morning quarterback.

User avatar
CaptainChewbacca
Browncoat Wookiee
Posts: 15746
Joined: 2003-05-06 02:36am
Location: Deep beneath Boatmurdered.
Contact:

Post by CaptainChewbacca » 2008-08-15 10:57am

Darth Wong wrote:
EdBecerra wrote:God might forgive me, but I couldn't forgive myself. Getting God to forgive you is easy. Forgiving yourself? Not so much. It's about trust. And, perhaps, about predictability.

Sounds kind of arrogant, I know. *shrugs* That sort of grim "I'll keep my word if it kills me, I'll keep it if it kills YOU" fixation runs on my mother's side of the family, and both she and her father made certain I understood that.
That kind of thinking is extremely unethical, which is the opposite of what I think you are hoping to achieve with it. I would suggest that you make some effort to study the concept of ethics, particularly as it has been explored numerous times by philosophers throughout history. You may find it enlightening; the ability to apply great fervour to your observance of your parents' ethics is not a particularly good substitute for the ability to rationally evaluate those ethics.
I agree. My honor may be worth my life, but my honor isn't worth yours, Ed's, or anyone else's. The bible is generally pretty big on humility and respect of others, which many of my fellow Christians seem to forget. I'll walk to hell and back to keep my word, heck trusting in my word is the only reason Mike ever unbanned me here. But its not worth the life of someone else.

To take an oath I don't mean to a power I don't respect to save lives? I'd do it in a second.
Stuart: The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.
You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.- Peregrin Toker
ImageImage

User avatar
Bayonet
Padawan Learner
Posts: 212
Joined: 2008-04-28 06:06pm
Location: Chicagoland

Post by Bayonet » 2008-08-15 01:14pm

gtg947h wrote:I just don't get all the "well, if I'd been around back then, I would have done this" I hear from people, whether the subject is Nazis, slavery, Romans, etc.
That was kinda my point. None of us know what we would have thought if we had been born under different circumstances. The basic change in perceptions voids all bets. Stuart's stories make good use of that very point, following through on misperceptions.

It's nice fantasy to believe that "I would have <Insert pet windmill here>!" But it's just mental wanking.
- Dennis
--
Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer, and the King does not believe that coffee-drinking soldiers can be relied upon to endure hardships in case of another war.
-Frederick the Great, 1777

User avatar
Darth Wong
Sith Lord
Sith Lord
Posts: 70027
Joined: 2002-07-03 12:25am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Post by Darth Wong » 2008-08-15 01:17pm

Stuart is also good for pointing out that when people find themselves actually facing death, they tend to back off whatever principles they previously had.

There are two kinds of people who claim they would stand resolutely in the face of death. The first kind is the liar, and is by far the most common. The second kind is telling the truth and is a really scary, albeit rare (possibly imaginary in most cases) individual. The fact that people generally break under waterboarding is proof of that.
Image
"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

JN1
Padawan Learner
Posts: 400
Joined: 2008-02-28 02:35pm
Location: At my computer.
Contact:

Post by JN1 » 2008-08-15 01:31pm

CaptainChewbacca wrote:The bible is generally pretty big on humility and respect of others, which many of my fellow Christians seem to forget.

To take an oath I don't mean to a power I don't respect to save lives? I'd do it in a second.
I was beginning to think I was the only one; I guess my sig was a little clue, though I don't think that merely contributing to Armageddon will be the only reason I might end up down below. :lol:

Nobody really knows how they really would react if they were put in the place that these people found themselves in. To say that one would definitely do something, or definitely would not is, IMVHO rather arrogant.
To sacrifice one's own life for one's beliefs is one thing, to also sacrifice someone else's life, especially if that person has less of a choice, is another thing entirely.
'Fire up the Quattro!'
'I'm arresting you for murdering my car, you dyke-digging tosspot! - Gene Hunt.

User avatar
Stuart
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2935
Joined: 2004-10-26 09:23am
Location: The military-industrial complex

Post by Stuart » 2008-08-15 01:31pm

Plateau of Minos, Hell

By the standards of Hell, the Plateau of Minos was well-organized. If was dominated by the great black gate at one end, a gate that had all the appearances of a transit portal but was set in the rocky face of the Hell-pit, in the mouth of a cave that defined its shape. Nobody knew what lay beyond that gate, the Demons who had been brave enough to try crossing it, or had been unfortunate enough to fall through it, had never returned. One thing that the demons working on the Plateau did know was that it was through that gate that the human dead arrived in Hell.

Once working on the Plateau had been an easy position, only a trickle of dead humans arrived to be processed, but that had changed. The demons working on the Plateau of Minos had been the first ones to be aware of the changes on Earth. For millennia the rate at which the human dead had arrived had been constant but a mere few centuries that had started to change. The trickle had become a stream, the stream a river and the river had turned into a flood. Now, three bodies arrived every second and any break in the routine would cause a disastrous backlog. The fact that there were worse disasters than a work backlog never dawned on the demons who worked on the Plateau but it should have done. If they looked over the chasm that separated the Plateau of Minos from Lucifer’s Finger, they would have seen the crumbed ruin of the great spur of rock and the palace that had once stood on it.

But, bowed down by the routine demanded by the constant stream of bodies emerging from the gate, they didn’t. Instead, the ancient tradition held sway. Two demons would pick up each unconscious human dead and carry it over to one of the line of hydras waiting on the edge of the Plateau. The command would form in the hydra’s heads, it would wrap its tail a number of times around the human and then flick it out across the chasm to the Hell-Pit. The number of times the tail was wrapped around the victim determined which circle it would land in. Down there, other demons would receive it, make the preparations needed and the victim would awaked to begin an eternity of torment. On his throne above the plateau, Minos himself sat, commanding the work of the line of 27 hydra that worked on the limits of his domain. Minos had by far the smallest holding of any Lord of Hell but his was also the most important. Without him, no dead human would reach its proper place in Hell.

This morning, Minos wasn’t feeling particularly well. He had a headache, one that had led him to assign the arriving humans to the most agonizing of Hell’s circles. In the last few minutes, his headache had been joined by a curious throbbing sensation, one that seemed to vibrate the air around him and make the dust on his throne bounce. It wasn’t the human aircraft overhead, they were a familiar sight by this time, streaking through the comforting dust of Hell’s atmosphere and then swooping down to pound some selected target in Dis. A palace perhaps? Or a barracks? There were times when Minos was grateful that his realm was so tiny.

What happened next defied his whole concept of reality. A formation of human aircraft, not the sleek ones overhead but ungainly-looking things with wings loaded with weapons and a strange set of whirling blades above them. Painted red and gray like so many other human aircraft but with a blue, six-pointed star on the body. One of them rotated towards him and its wings erupted in fire. Minos just had the chance to see 16 missiles streaking off their racks towards him before his headache was cured forever.

Beneath him, the laboring demons were stunned into immobility as the AH-64D helicopters rose over the rim to pour 30mm gunfire, rockets and Hellfire missiles into the mass of demons in front of them. It was slaughter, pure, unmitigated and relentless. The gunners in the helicopters unleashed salvo after salvo of unguided rockets into the mass in front of them, playing their gunnery controls as if they were musical instruments, switching from rockets to cannon and back again as they split the mob of screaming demons into small groups and then cut those groups down. The demons were unarmed, defenseless, their command cut off by the first salvo of Hellfires that had slammed into Minos and cut him down from his throne. Now, an Apache was hovering over his body, studding it with 30mm cannon fire to make sure he was truly and irrecoverably dead. His minions were workers on the plateau, they didn’t even have their tridents and all they could do was run. Only, there was nowhere to run to, the gunships were advancing slowly across the plateau, mercilessly cutting the demons down no matter whether they stood or ran. As they did, they taught a grim lesson to the shrinking numbers of survivors. This is what helicopter gunships do. This is what they are for.

The demons were driven backwards, always backwards, away from the Plateau rim, towards the great black stain in the wall that represented the death gate. Then, there was nowhere further they could retreat to, some took the dreadful chance and dived through the blackness to escape the relentless hammering of the gunships, the others gave up and stood by the cliff face until the helicopters killed them.

Behind the first line of eight AH-64s, a second group of eight hovered over the hydras that writhed and screamed on the plateau rim. More Hellfire missiles slashed out, thumping into their bodies, ripping them open and sending multi-colored sprays of demon blood arching through the air. In their death-spasms, some fell off the edge, screaming and falling down into the hell-pit where they had thrown so many unnumbered thousands of humans. Others threshed around for a few minutes before the combination of Hellfires and gunfire stilled them forever.

The Plateau was silent except for the thudding noise of the gunships as they circled overhead, looking for any sign of resistance (by which the pilots and gunners meant any sign of life). At the cliff face, the pile of human bodies arriving through the gate was rising steadily, well, the second wave of the assault would handle that. It was already arriving, nine UH-60 Blackhawks loaded with Israeli commandos, their command section and one very special, absolutely indispensable passenger. The Blackhawks touched down, the commandos spreading rapidly across the plateau, quickly ensuring that the dead demons strewing the rocky surface were indeed dead. There were some dead humans in there as well, those unfortunate enough to have arrived just as the assault was starting. They had died with their demon captors although the unconscious humans had never been aware of by how little they had missed salvation.

With the plateau secured, the commandos started picking up the human bodies that were still pouring through and moving them to safety. Another small group disappeared down the tunnel that marked the only access to the Plateau of Minos and started setting explosive charges on the tunnel wall. The men were experts, demolition men who had set more charges than most people would be able to count. A few seconds after they emerged from the tunnel, a dull blast and a cloud of choking gray smoke marked the success of their latest labors. A couple of them went back into the tunnel and re-emerged, their thumbs raised. It would be years before anybody used that access route again.

In his command helicopter, Colonel Jonathan ben Amiel picked up his radio microphone and clicked it to break squelch. “This is Strike Force Deliverance. Objective is secure, hostile access is denied. Minos is dead and the transfer of souls to the Hell-pit has been stopped. We are setting up the gate now.”

Amidst the helicopters a young Indian girl found a comfortable piece of ground near one corner of the plateau, close to the gaping black void of the existing gate. She closed her eyes and concentrated, seeking out the minds of her colleagues the ‘other side’. Then, almost like opening a door, contact was made and the portal began to form in front of her.

DIMO(N) Facility, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

“We’ve got contact! Get the equipment fired up!” Colonel Warhol stopped to stroke his brand-new rank insignia as he gave the orders. One thing about this war, promotion was fast. Pre-war Lieutenants, especially those with experience in Afghanistan and Iraq (which meant nearly all of them) were already Captains and Majors. Warhol guessed that unless he screwed up this mission really badly, he’d be a General within a month or so. After all, this was the most important mission DIMO(N) had ever staged. A mission aimed at nothing less than cutting the flow of deceased humans to Hell and redirecting them to a refugee facility in the Phelan Plain.

Warhol grinned quietly to himself. What had once been the Martial Plain of Dysprosium had been renamed after the security guard in a Chicago Mall who had sacrificed his life to save a group of schoolgirls from a Baldrick berserker. Philip Phelan had to be out there somewhere and Warhol wondered what his reaction would be when he found an entire region of Hell had been named in his honor. Then his mind snapped back to the task at hand. Sisse Petersen, a recently-arrived Danish sensitive, but one with remarkable linking powers was on the couch surrounded by the latest Mark 3 amplifiers. They caused a lot less discomfort than the earlier versions despite generating more power. Even better, once the portal was open, the Mark 3 could keep it that way without a human operator.

“We’re through, portal opening now.” Sure enough, the portal opened and spread until it was wide enough to take the equipment planned for it. Then, Petersen stepped off the couch and the portal was steady. A cheer went up.

“I will take the next one now.” Her voice was uncompromising, she’d started this job, now she would finish it. She took up position on the next couch and waited for the push from the other side. It came soon enough and the second portal was opened. Now, there were two ellipses, about twelve feet apart. Time for the engineers.

The equipment was already waiting. A skid-mounted set of rollers and a belt were pushed through the first portal. Unseen hands the other side grabbed it and stretched it out. Then the process was repeated with the other side. Once again, the unseen hands there quickly stretched it out. Then, the engineers in between the portals adjusted the tension in the conveyor belt and the job was done. With a flourish, the commander of the Army engineer detachment pressed a button and an electric motor spun to life. There was a rattle and crash, then the conveyor belt began to move.

“I’m glad that worked.” Warhol hardly dared breathe.

“No reason why it shouldn’t. The fuel pipeline through the Hellgate is working OK. And we’re getting aircraft and equipment through no problem. So this should be fine. Ah, here we go.”

The first deceased humans were on the conveyor belt that had no accelerated to full speed. The pile of bodies appeared at one portal, rolled across the gap between them and disappeared back through the other. Warhol sighed with relief. Human dead were no longer going to hell, now they were being transferred directly to the waiting refugee camp. One part of the promise had been kept, no human would ever go to suffer eternal torment in the Hell-Pit again.

Refugee Transit Facility, The Phelan Plain, Human-Occupied Hell

Janice Haggerty woke up very carefully. She was in a great room, far larger than any hospital ward she had ever seen. There was a dull reddish light that was permeating through from outside, was this a tent? And where was she? The last thing she remembered was a tree leaping at her out of the darkness. Then, she looked down and realized she was on a hospital-style bed, naked and uncovered. She yelped and tried to cover herself with her hands.

“Don’t worry, we’re all like that here.” A man on the next bed looked at her appreciatively and in a way that Haggerty found upsetting.

“He’s wrong.” Haggerty sighed with relief, a nurse had appeared, her face oddly obscured by a mask. Surely a little nurse-to-nurse professional courtesy could get her some clothes?

“Where are we?”

“We’re in Hell dear. You’re dead I’m afraid. If you’re strong enough to walk, we need you to you outside to reception and task assignment. Every dead human from Earth and Hell is coming through here and this place is only just large enough. Three of you every second arriving.”

“Three of us every second.” Haggerty tried to wrap her mind around the number. It was hard to imagine that was the number of people who died all the time.

“Yes, and its never going to end so please, hurry up and vacate this bed, we’re going to need it soon.”
“I’d like to rest for a while.” It was the man on the next bed.

“I’m sure you would, but this is a temporary facility only. Just while you regain consciousness. Now, move on please, we need this bed.”

Haggerty got up and, to her relief, found there was a hospital-style robe at the foot of the bed. She slipped it on and stepped through the opening, she had been right, the facility was a series of huge tents. Somewhere near was a powerful electric motor running. Ahead of her were lines of people forming and she joined what looked like the shortest one. The man who had been on the next bed pushed in front of her at the last moment. Hell seemed to have the same problems as Earth sometimes she reflected. Then, the woman sitting behind a computer screen. She looked at the man expressionlessly.

“Name and nationality?”

“George Tubshaw, Irish-American.”

“Cause of Death?”

“Choked on a pretzel.”

“Any military service?”

“No, I always thought I could serve more effectively by working in the private sector.” There was a snort from another line at that.

“Qualifications?”

“Degree in History of Folk Music.”

The woman behind the computer pursed her lips and entered “Useless” into the field for qualifications. “Very well Tubshaw, we’re assigning you to a construction gang. Somebody will teach you how to hit nails with a hammer or use a spade. Next.”

“But… I’m an administrator.”

“Why didn’t you say that before, what did you administer?”

“Well, a music appreciation course in community college.”

“Construction gang. Next.”

“Janice Haggerty, British, No military service.”

“What did you do Janice? And your cause of death?”

“I was a nurse. I was in a traffic accident. We’d been treating casualties from Sheffield, there were so many badly burned people to look after. I must have fallen asleep driving home because the last thing I remember is a tree.”

“A nurse. That’s good. Do you fancy working with people recovered from the Hell-Pit? A lot of them are badly traumatized, they need sympathetic handling. You’d be doing a really needed job.”

“Please, umm Miss, excuse me asking but….”

“The name is Fiona. Yes, I’m dead as well. I died in the Great Influenza of 1919. I wasn’t as lucky as you, I spent the last century being drowned in a cess-pit until some Quakers rescued me. So, you see, I know how much you’ll be needed. Thanks for helping Janice. Next.”

Haggerty walked away, hearing the voice behind her. “Nguyen Huu Phai, Vietnamese, two years military service in the Vietnamese People’s Liberation Army. Died of snake-bite.”

“Right, the military authorities will want to speak with you. Please go over there and wait for a truck.”

A truck, Haggerty thought, obviously the fuel shortage that permeated Earth wasn’t affecting hell, or at least not the Armies fighting in Hell. Overhead she heard the scream of jet aircraft and saw two white-painted military jets making their landing runs, their bleached-out roundels showing them to be British. The TSR-2s, the press had been full of their exploits before she had died. They’d made it sound like the “White Ghosts” were winning the war single-handed. She chuckled, poor old Dennis Healey had been excoriated in the press for canceling them so many years ago.

There was a blast on a horn and she stopped short, the blacktop of a road was in front of her and she’d nearly stepped out in front of a huge tank. She looked around and saw a black American woman officer in a Humvee parked by the side of the road.

“Hokay, you want to die twice in one day? Look where you’re going girl. Them Abrams will squash you flat.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve just…. Can you tell me where the treatment area for people who have been recovered from the hell pit is?”

“Sure can. We’ll be passing right by it. I’ll drop you off, get in.”

“Thank you.” Haggerty climbed awkwardly into a Humvee. “Last time I was in a vehicle I went to sleep and that got me here. I’m Janice Haggerty, nurse.”

“Keisha Stevenson, Colonel United States Army. My battalion just got here.”

“You’re new here too?”

“Nah. Last time I was here, this was all Baldrick country. Now its just like downtown Bayonne. There’s even a Macdonalds as if hell wasn’t bad enough on its own.” The Humvee swerved through the column of tanks and dropped off the blacktop on to a dirt road. “Hellpit recoverees are just ahead. Some of them are in pitiful state. Been in torment so long they can’t remember anything else. You gonna be doing a worthwhile thing there girl. Hokay, this is your stop. Keep the faith.”

Haggerty started. “What faith.”

Stevenson smiled broadly. “Why faith in science, engineering and applied firepower of course. What other faith could there be?”
Nations do not survive by setting examples for others
Nations survive by making examples of others

Locked