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Old 07-06-2010, 11:42 AM   #41
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,139
Re: Life Question - Harming Another Human Being

What the heck...

To me, WANT and NEED demonstrate a condition, not an action. NEED defines a necessity, WANT defines a desire. Both conditions require an action is order to accomplish the condition. Without the knowledge and capability to act on the condition, you cannot fulfill either a necessity or desire. I WANT to be a millionaire, and I NEED the money; however, I do not possess the ability to become a millionaire (i.e. there exists no action I can undertake to acquire one million dollars). That's why I buy a lottery ticket...

I randomly WANT to commit a violent act at least three times a day (usually while sitting in traffic, but I have occassionally wanted to destroy my office desk after whacking the back of my head...). I also NEED to eat food, drink water, and perform other functions throughout the day. Each day I have many choices to act on my wants and needs; I am defined by those choices. Aikido is about learning how to make better choices.

In my decisions to act I am constrained by my knowledge and capabilities specific to that action. I have the necessary skills and ability to accomplish the action I INTEND to undertake.

To address the original post, I believe that:
1. Budo provides a knowledge base to empower use to use force (intent) and make good choices (action). The longer we train aikido, the greater knowledge base we have on which to draw well-planned intentions, and act on those intentions.
2. A WANT is symbolic of a desire. Someone [who in seriousness] WANTS to harm another is expressing a disturbing desire.
3. A NEED is symbolic of a necessity. Someone [who in seriousness] NEEDS to harm another is expressing survival.

Aikido is about learning both to control your own decisions and present solutions (controled by you) to your partner. There will be occassions where the decisions you face in life will be difficult to make; aikido is also about learning to make those decisions with dignity and courage.

Now, for some personal observations that disturbed me in the original post:
1. Fighting sports like boxing and MMA are spectator sports. The purpose they service in society in entertainment. This purpose is not unlike Hollywood, athletic sports, recreational literature, or a myriad of other facets of culture. Who is to say they serve a purpose more our less beneficial than another occupation?
2. Try killing someone barefisted. Its hard. I've only done it 6 times (I'm lying). Seriously, wanting to kill and killing are completely different and outside of the realm of possibility for most civilians. Lots of things that I want happen in my mind that do not translate to reality. Put me in a car and I am very capable of killing another... Thou shalt not kill more functionally represents what most of humanity can observe.
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