High School Teachers
Recently my dear sister told me a story about my former high school teacher, who shall remain nameless for the time being. Apparently there is this girl at school (I have no idea what her name is, but it may be best to keep that nameless too) who wants to be in the U.S. Navy. I do not know all the detailed requirements of military participation, but I believe the military allows females to participate in the air force and navy, but not the army or marines. Anyway, my former teacher told the girl that she should not be in the navy. Unfortunately, my sister is not the best story teller, so I am not exactly sure on all the aspects of this event. However, as I understand it the teacher was not arguing that she should not be in the navy because the military excludes females from certain branches of the military. In other words, my teacher was not confused. He knew that females were allowed in the navy, but he believed females should not be allowed in the navy. According to my sister, the teacher argued that it is irrational for people to participate in the military, and a person's desire to participate in the military is purely caused by one's upbringing. My sister then stated that the girl responded by asking what the teacher thought of a recent high school graduate who was joining the navy. Allegedly, the teacher said this was fine because the graduate was a male. Clearly, there a few problems here. They may be with the story telling, or the teacher. However, even if the story is altered there is still a problem with the teacher's logic.
Firstly, I will briefly address the issue over female participation in the military. I am not sure why this particular teacher would argue this, for he always labeled himself as a feminist. Therefore, I believe this is a problem with the story telling. I actually think he is opposed to all military participation. However, he may just misunderstand the concept of feminism like so many feminists do. Of course, I will address this confusion with feminism in a later post. Anyway, for the moment I will assume he is opposed to all female participation in the military. The common argument against this is that females are not physically inclined to be in the military due to their strength and normal bodily functions. There is some limited truth to this. Naturally females are not as strong as males. However, man is not an animal. I have stated this several times before. He is a life form, so he is an animal in that case; however, his reason sets him apart from animals. Neither a male nor female are trapped in their physical strength like some other animals. I am not a zoologists, but maybe female animals are physically weaker than male animals, and their instinct probably traps them in those categories. Man is largely free of instinct. Males and females have almost complete control over their physical strength. Both males and females can use their reason to physically exercise their bodies, making themselves stronger. However, males and females can also use their reason to choose not to exercise; thus, allowing their bodies to become weaker. Consequently, females can be as physically strong or stronger than males. Therefore, females' natural physical strength cannot exclude them from the military because they are not bound to their natural physical strength. As for females' unique bodily functions, I do not believe those can possibly inhibit their ability to participate. They still have their physical strength and their reason. Those bodily functions are not valid reasons to exclude them from participation in the military. Therefore, any person who meets the physical and mental requirements, and volunteers to participate should be allowed to participate int he military. The word "volunteers" is important, and I will discuss it more extensively in a future post discussing conscription.
Now, I will discuss the more important, and more likely true problems with my former teacher's statement. I am obviously referring to his environment argument, which I have probably discussed before. I agree that the environment, one's surroundings, has minute impact on a man's development. However, I will not give it much credit. The environment has no will and no mind. The environment cannot mold and sculpt men. Man is the one with the mind and will. Man molds and sculpts himself. It is the man that chooses to accept and reject aspects of his environment. Therefore, participation in the military is not forced upon a man by his surroundings (unless conscription is involved). Man chooses to accept or reject certain arguments for participation in the military from his environment. Furthermore, man may choose to use his reason and discover if there is a rational reason to participate in the military. Therefore, he may choose to reject his environment and search for truth instead, or he may discover that his environment argues the truth. Arguing that man is merely a product of his environment is almost as insulting as arguing that man cannot have morality without a god. This particular teacher has argued the latter; therefore, I am not surprised that he argued the former. The reason they are insulting is that they degrade man. They identify him as stupid, mindless, and devoid of all reason and knowledge. They identify man as a leaf in the wind being pushed by other forces with no preferences of his own. They argue that man has no reason. That man is more of an animal. Consequently, they ultimately argue that man has no natural rights. They are potential starting points for moral relativism.
However, the most skewed aspect of my teacher's argument is that it is only a warped form of seeking power. I do not have a large problem with arrogance because I recognize that some people are actually better than other people. I believe if someone can rationally conclude that he is truly better than someone else he can virtuously identify himself as superior. Unfortunately, arrogance usually descends into seeking power. One may sometimes only identify himself as superior so as to make himself feel superior by making others feel inferior. One may virtuously identify himself as superior, but once he starts speaking to others by saying, "You are inferior. I am so much superior than you" he has descended into vice, and ironically he becomes inferior. The individual cannot be satisfied with his own accomplishments and achievements. He must make others loathe themselves in order to feel happy. This is not independence, it is just dependence. Therefore, it violates the essence of one's nature, and is thus a vice.
My former teacher is seeking power in this circumstance because he is identifying the desire to participate in the military as purely environmental and thus irrational, while excluding religion. This teacher is rampantly religious. Obviously, one must be to claim that one cannot have morality without a god. Clearly, if anything is environmental it is religion, not military participation. There are undoubtedly rational and irrational reasons to participate in the military and the irrational ones are more environmental. For example, patriotism, nationalism, pride in the place one was born, sacrificing one's body to the survival of others, are all the fan favorite environmental arguments for military participation, and they are all irrational. They are either based on the destruction of one's life, or arbitrary allegiance to the place of one's birth. A rational argument for military participation is that it is a way to selfishly defend one's own natural rights, and natural rights in general. Because one selfishly values the truth of natural rights he may join the military to defend them. Obviously, the military is not always used for that purpose. On most occasions the American military is not used to defend Americans' natural rights. This is not to say no one else int he world aside from Americans has natural rights. Everyone has natural rights, hence natural. However, the American military is for the defense of Americans' natural rights, as the Chinese military is for the defense of Chinese peoples' natural rights. Unfortunately, America and China incorrectly use the military for other purposes, which initiation force instead of using force as defense to curb the initiation of force. A logical reason to oppose participation in the military would be this reason. One may recognize the mold for the military is virtuous; however, politicians do not use it for this purpose. Consequently, military participation is vicious. This is a valid argument; however, this is not the argument my teacher makes. He argues that the military is environmental; thus he argues the military is unnatural. I am all for man being separate from nature and the environment; however, my teacher was truly arguing that military participation is unnatural in that it is irrational. Of course, he is saying this while he is excluding religion. Meaning that he thinks religion is natural and rational. Consequently, he is trying to make this girl loathe herself for being an idiot, in order to make himself feel superior. Obviously, this only makes him inferior. However, what is more important is this belief that religion is natural and rational. I have just laid out a rational argument for military participation. The argument is completely free of the fan favorite arguments from the environment. Furthermore, the argument is concerned with man's natural rights; therefore, it is natural, it is how things should be. It is truth. Nothing is more natural than truth. There is no way religion can fill these requirements.
I have explained several times before why religion is utterly irrational, so I will not do it again. However, I do want to point out that religion is far more environmental than military participation. To display this, imagine men in the state of nature. In other words, a place without a state, culture, history, etc. Essentially, a place with no environmental factors, which, according to my former teacher, would be necessary for men to desire to participate in the military, but unnecessary for men to believe in a religion. If one man in this state of nature has collected apples and acorns, those apples and acorns are his. I have explained this in detail in previous posts. If another man approaches the first man beats him and steals his apples and acorns a military will develop. May be it will not be a massive number of people in uniform with sophisticated weapons, but the basic premise of the military will develop. The man who is attacked will first try to defend himself, and if defeated then seek out the thief to regain his apples and acorns. Furthermore, if there are men around the victim they may join him in his defense, and seeking of justice. The reason these men will behave this way is because they are seeking justice, or the selfish defense of natural rights. Even those that are not attacked may assist the victim because they value natural rights as the truth and want to defend them for their own benefit. They want to defend them to live as perfectly as possible. Essentially, these men are acting as a military, for they are acting with the same purpose of a military. However, these men are acting in this way without any environmental factors, which would lead them to want to participate in the military. They are acting this way because it is rational, and thus natural. That which is rational is always natural because it is concerned with the truth, and the truth exists outside of man's desires and actions. Therefore, truth cannot be artificial; thus, neither can what is rational or virtuous. The way in which these men act is virtuous; therefore, it is natural. Religion, however, cannot exist in this state of nature. What would lead these men to believe in an invisible, incomprehensible, supernatural being? Family, friends, authority figures? Those are environmental factors. Pressure from the surrounding is necessary to cause one to consider such a being. Obviously, the concept of religion first developed long ago when man first began to develop reason and did not understand nature. Therefore, religion was developed to explain away eclipses and such. Additionally, the environment has no will and does not mold men. Therefore, it is men who choose religion, not the environment. However, consider a state of nature where men have the mental capacity of modern men, yet they have not heard of religion, war, history, etc. They have the modern mental ability without the history. I understand this is an enormous stretch in this could never happen in reality because more complex beings develop from less complex beings; thus, history is necessary. However, just consider if it were to happen. Men would still act with the military purpose to defend natural rights, but they would not develop a religion. They would try to understand nature, and there would be no speak of religion, no environmental factor to instigate it. Furthermore, religion is inherently irrational; thus, false, not connected with the truth, and that which is false is artificial.
Therefore, one can see my former teacher's statement concerning the environmental necessity to participate in religion is utterly false. Furthermore, his use of the tactic to defend is own religious beliefs is faulty. Therefore, those that can see through his tactics cannot loathe themselves as my teacher attempted to accomplish. In turn, he fails, for he does not cause one to sure; subsequently, he cannot feel happy. Of course, my former teacher probably would not agree with this. He would argue that god inspires people in the state of nature; thus, causing religion to develop naturally and truthfully. He would also argue that god would tell people not to war, even if their apples and acorns were stolen. Thus, the military could only develop from environmental factors. He would also not admit that he was trying to cause others to suffer to make himself feel better. He would argue that he was trying to impart truth to another person because he did not want that person to suffer by joining the navy. Of course, his entire argument rests on the existence of god, and since no supernatural being exists his argument falls apart. The second part of the argument also is not true because he is not trying to convince someone to not join the navy. He argues that the desire to participate in the military is purely environmental, or irrational. Thus, those who do desire to participate in the military are fooled; thus, he implies they are ignorant. If he cared about the person he would not say, "Hey you are an idiot." He would try to explain the truth without attacking the individual's intelligence. Of course, I could be completely wrong. If these circumstances are correct, I believe I am close to the truth. Obviously, anyone who has sufficient evidence indicating that even under these circumstances I am wrong, I will believe them. However, I could be wrong because these circumstances may be incorrect. May be my teacher does not fit these characteristics. I did not participate in this discussion with my former teacher, and the retelling of the story was not absolutely solid. Therefore, people should try to uncover the truth of the circumstances more extensively than myself, or make their own judgments about this teacher from their own experiences or well researched circumstances. I myself am not completely convinced if my teacher behaved in this way; however, I understand that if these circumstances are true my teacher is vicious.
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