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EphemeralStar
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#1

Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:00 AM

I'm unsure if you guys are aware of The Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita, but within it there is this particular story that I'd like to share and get your opinions on whether you disagree or agree, because I'm currently in the process of writing a mini paper about it and would like to see different perspectives. 

So basically this is what happens;
 

There is a war between two families, the Pandavas and the Kauravas who are each others cousins. Kauravas try to cheat out their cousins on their share of the kingdom and will not accept peace. 
Krishna (the incarnation of god) takes the side of Pandavas and serves Arjuna, a warrior from the Pandavas family as his chariot driver. 
Arjuna questions, "Is it right to fight in a war where so many lives will be lost let alone the lives of my own family members?"
Krishna says, "You have to fight for what's right...peaceful means must be tried but if they fail one must fight for righteousness"  Arjuna is told not to grieve what is about to happen, however; he is also warned that if he does not fight for righteousness, he will be guilty of moral cowardice and will have to face the consequences of quitting at a time when it was his duty to wage a just war and protect the people. 

I'd like to hear if you guys agree with the advice Krishna tells Arjuna. :) Please and thank you. 
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SolidSnails
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#2

Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:18 AM

I agree you have to try peaceful negotations but be ready to fight for whats right. but at the same time fighting for whats right is different then fighting for what u believe in and it seems Arjuna doesnt want to fight. I like it

D- Ice
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#3

Posted 18 June 2014 - 06:13 AM

Great ethical dilemma - especially after waking up at 6:00 to find all my uni classes being cancelled. Hopefully I'm awake enough to make sense. :D

 

Anyway, I believe in moral relativism and utilitarianism.

Meta-ethical moral relativism states that there is no universal right or wrong. Utilitarianism states that the best course of action is that which will maximise benefit (AKA utlity).

As a sort of combination of the two, I believe that the vast majority of ethics, notions of righteousness and evil, and even systems of morality, have all grown out of what people believed represented utilitarianism for their societies - whether in the 1st century Middle-East, or 21st century Europe.

So I believe Krishna was wrong in his statement that (his notions of) "righteousness" should be unquestionably accepted. He was also wrong in going further and claiming that this "righteousness" should be fought for regardless of the cost.

As a non-Hindu, I'd even go as far as saying this story is ironic. The whole system of ethics (and even characters like Krishna) where made for the solepurpose of encouraging people to form a society that maximises utility (benefit) for the people. Yet here, Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to ignore these utilitarian foundations and fight for principles that might now be obsolete, or understood to be plain wrong.

Obviously, I don't believe that the principle of not cheating is wrong, but like all ethics and morals, it should just be questioned under a framework of ultilitarianism. I don't quite know what benefits or suffering would be cause by the cheating Kauravas ruling the kingdom, but if all the fighting involved in getting the rightful Pandavas onto throne causes more pain and suffering, then IMO the right thing to do would be to just let the Kauravas rule.

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KD himan
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#4

Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:07 AM Edited by KD himan, 18 June 2014 - 07:12 AM.

 then IMO the right thing to do would be to just let the Kauravas rule.

No. if that happened in history of india, today it'll be not a democratic country and rule of evil will be working now, and if they won that battle, no mughal or mongols could rule india and how our Beautiful Taj mahal can formed? well, i am Hindu and too lazy to count out the disadvantages for letting kauravs rule.


Osho
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#5

Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:47 AM

As an Indian, I've read it quite a few times, though there's one widely known reason behind the war that took place, the part regarding the Draupadi's humiliation, seems to be missing from the take on Krishna's role.
Its important, esp. for non-Hindu, to have a proper understanding of the entire narrative before one should even begin, y'know truly speak about anything to the topic.
Anyways, I'd only say in short, there's a term called 'niyati' ( in hindi ) meaning, "what was predestined (fixed by Niyati) cannot be changed or interfered in even by the God, the almighty"
Basically, the war could be avoided but it was bound to happen, and there are even more aspects to look into.
I find myself pretty difficult to explain without going deeper into a lot of the details, but I just wanted to share about the "niyati" factor that plays a crucial role and relates to a lot of the actions of Lord Krishna.
Excuse my not so helpful post, but I had to say it.

EphemeralStar
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#6

Posted 18 June 2014 - 09:01 AM

As an Indian, I've read it quite a few times, though there's one widely known reason behind the war that took place, the part regarding the Draupadi's humiliation, seems to be missing from the take on Krishna's role.
Its important, esp. for non-Hindu, to have a proper understanding of the entire narrative before one should even begin, y'know truly speak about anything to the topic.
Anyways, I'd only say in short, there's a term called 'niyati' ( in hindi ) meaning, "what was predestined (fixed by Niyati) cannot be changed or interfered in even by the God, the almighty"
Basically, the war could be avoided but it was bound to happen, and there are even more aspects to look into.
I find myself pretty difficult to explain without going deeper into a lot of the details, but I just wanted to share about the "niyati" factor that plays a crucial role and relates to a lot of the actions of Lord Krishna.
Excuse my not so helpful post, but I had to say it.

The Mahabharata is said to be the longest known epic poem, I really just gave a basic understanding of what Krishna said to Arjuna because their whole conversation spreads out over 18 or so pages. I'm more interested in what people think is morally appropriate in this particular situation. Does one cast aside the fact that their enemy is their family? Niyati is an interesting concept as well, but I'm simply trying to see what others would do if they were in Arjuna's situation and whether or not people agree with Krishna's advice to him.  :) 


Fuzzknuckles
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#7

Posted 18 June 2014 - 10:07 AM

I think I have a broken toe.

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D- Ice
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#8

Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:20 PM

 

 then IMO the right thing to do would be to just let the Kauravas rule.

No. if that happened in history of india, today it'll be not a democratic country and rule of evil will be working now, and if they won that battle, no mughal or mongols could rule india and how our Beautiful Taj mahal can formed? well, i am Hindu and too lazy to count out the disadvantages for letting kauravs rule.

 

That is irrelevant. My point is that if fighting causes more harm than good, then it is unacceptable. Arjuna could predict the "rule of evil", as you say, from the Kaurava's behavior, and consider it while making a utilitarian judgement. If letting them rule will result in more harm, then fighting them would definately be the right thing to do.

And just a historical note, you do realise that some of the biggest genocides were perpetrated by the Mughal Persianate and the Mongolian hordes under Timur the Lame during their conquests of India - millions killed is hardly off-set by the Taj Mahal.


EphemeralStar
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#9

Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:54 PM

Why hasn't anyone else given their opinions about this ethical dilemma? :(


orbitalraindrops
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#10

Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:11 AM

Why hasn't anyone else given their opinions about this ethical dilemma? :(

Youre a girl on the internet so youve alreafdy won like 10 internet points :)


lil weasel
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#11

Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:14 AM

Being peaceful does not entertain the God(s). Never has, never will. :^:

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Mr.Scratch
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#12

Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:21 AM Edited by Mr Scratch, 20 June 2014 - 12:21 AM.

What the hell is all this noise about morality? Nuke 'em and let God sort 'em out.


EphemeralStar
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#13

Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:26 AM

So, are you guys saying you'd be okay to kill your cousins? :p


na89340qv0n34b09q340
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#14

Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:34 AM

Personally I think Krishna's a dick for having a stake in the dispute in the first place. Let the humans work out their own problems.


krashr
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#15

Posted 20 June 2014 - 06:03 AM

Why hasn't anyone else given their opinions about this ethical dilemma? :(

 

because do your own homework haha  :lol:





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