Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Debates

The following are my views, They are also completely correct in every way. If you have any conflicting ideas, in all probability, you are wrong.

I like to debate.
Not debate in the established form, where you stand up on a stage and are given some sleazy topic of discussion where your only choices are "for" and "against" and you are expected to put up a convincing argument without swearing or yelling.

I'm talking about everyday debates that happen in more exciting places and involve lots of arm-flapping, cursing and yelling. Such debates have wavering choices of stance.
You have "for", "against", and "well, maybe". More advanced choices include "well, I just don't want to agree with you", "I'll have what she's having" and "doggy style".

If you haven't realised by now I'm the one who's always up for the debates of the second kind mentioned above. The way to do this is simple. There is reason in everything, everything! And even if it's completely unrelated, the reason is always a debate-aid.
You can use this to your advantage as follows:

Situation: Two guys, a girl, and a pizza place. Both guys are looking for the lady's affections. Or maybe the first guy is not, he might be gay. It's not certain whether he's hitting on the girl or the guy.

All of that is in the background. You are engaged in a spirited debate about "Chow mein is better than Hakka Noodles", your opponent is "for" and you are "well, I just don't want to agree with you". 

Opponent: Chow mein is better than Hakka Noodles.

You: No.

Opponent: They taste better.

You: No. They don't.

Opponent: They do taste better.

You: No. Not to me.

Opponent: More people worldwide prefer chow mein over Hakka noodles.

You: No. Bullshit stat.

[Opponent furiously googles noodles stats while you munch on the chow mein that has mysteriously appeared at the pizza place]

Opponent: All the noodles you've seen portrayed in history, in pictures in paintings of royalty, of decadence, all show rulers eating chow mein. Because they're regal, royal and just better.

You: Fuck you! No.

That debate couldn't last for more than five minutes, and you would emerge, possibly bruised, but victorious nonetheless.

What else did I want to talk about?
Oh yeah, comments. Leave them. Not leave, as in disclude, but leave as in leave behind here. That was bad English.
Post your feedback in the comment form. There.

Pretty please.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Courage and It's forms

Courage goes hand in hand with fear. When there's no fear, there's no need for courage. Do you feel courageous when you walk across a two feet wide plank laid on your floor or when you walk across when it's laid hundred feet above the ground? It's the fear of falling and its consequences that brings forth the need for courage.


A lack of imagination may lead a person to do certain things that are considered courageous merely because (s)he is unable to contemplate the consequences. Such an appearance of courage is what I like to think of as bravado.
In the true sense, one talks of courage only when what is being done is necessary and when the concerned person fears the consequences but still forges ahead. To risk consequences for no serious reason is also merely bravado.


The most commonly acknowledged type of courage is the Physical courage. The word 'courage', in general setting, almost exclusively describes physical courage. It's the one that's required when you do something that has the potential to cause you physical inconvenience, pain, disability or death.


Back in their days, philosophers talked of three kinds of virtues or attributes - Satva (Goodness), Rajas (Passion) and Tamas (Destruction / Darkness).


Let's say you see a person being beaten up by a thug.
- A rajasik person would dash towards the thug and be embroiled in a fight. The possibility of getting hurt won't cross his mind.
- A tamasik person would prefer not to risk the consequences, and thus would go on his way.
- A satvik person would try to save the victim but will not indulge in a fight with the thug despite the fact that his non-violence may cause him to get hurt.


There's another kind of courage which I choose to call Social courage. It's the kind required to stick by what you believe in regardless of the fact that it may cause you to lose respect of the people the opinion of whom you care about or the others.
Supposing you see a group of your friends bullying a young boy - Would you join them or stop them?
The fear of society's disapproval is far stronger than physical fear.
What armies call esprit de corps is a way of ensuring that soldiers would rather face death than the contempt of their peers. In fact lots of noble deeds and atrocities alike have been done out of fear of social disapproval. Social courage is therefore rarer than Physical courage.


Is it all there is to courage then?
Physical and Social courage anchor behaviour.


It is what I call Moral courage that's required to anchor your feelings.
To be able to love when love has been repaid with disdain; to be able to trust when trust has been repaid with betrayal and to be able to be compassionate when compassion has been repaid with contempt requires a far higher and rarer order of courage.
I don't mean that you should love the person who treated you with disdain. What I meant was you need courage to still be able to meet other people in life without letting your past experiences with them embitter you.

Situations conveniently don't fall into categories. A physical confrontation will have social consequences. A social confrontation may probably have physical consequences.
People don't slot themselves conveniently into boxes either. A person with great physical courage may have very little social courage and someone with no physical courage may exhibit great social courage.

A great deal of premium is placed on courage. Rightfully so, since without courage none of the other things in life would really matter.