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Posted by Lewis on January 26, 2004

In Reply to: Qs posted by sphinx on January 26, 2004

: 1.These things happen. (so it doesn't matter)
: Accidents will happen. (so it is an inevitable fact)
: These are 2 common sayings. But could we say:
: These things will happen;
: Accidents happen?

: 2.Morality is contraband in war.(Mohandas K. Gandhi)
: What does he mean?
: Thanks!

some people do say 'accidents happen' or 'things just happen'

there are many wise sayings about the way war alters 'normal' behaviour. one of the most famous is that 'the first casualty of war is truth'. that is because knowledge of the enemy whether of military or economic/trade details allows the enemy to judge and exploit weaknesses.

also war involves killing, which means that people must put aside their normal modes of behaviour and do that thing that is normally considered most wrong - killing another person.

'contraband' is the word used for things not allowed and which have to be hidden. in war, the person's usual morality has to be subordinated or hidden under the imperative of doing 'whatever it takes' to survive. it does not mean that morality has been abandoned, but that it must remain hidden, but valued whilst the survival imperative dominates.

  • Qs Smokey Stover 27/January/04
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