The Mosquito Dilemma


Christopher

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If he would not hurt the snake, and if the snake did not respond to his "waves of love" -- doesn't that mean Gandhi would allow the snake to kill the child?

Perhaps yes, but that's assuming the snake kills the child. I think Gandhi would argue (he certainly won't come back to contradict me) that negative and threatening behavior stimulates negative and threatening behavior. If Gandhi projects no negative or threatening behavior, his conclusion might be that the snake will not respond. Again, I have no idea of the outcome, but his actions seem risky. However, it may be that very risk-analysis I make that leads to so much suspicion and circular violence in the world.

I do know that compassionate behavior tends to elicit compassionate responses in others. If violence and suspicion are vehicles by which people disassociate from themselves, then showing such people compassion (as the way a therapist might) may trigger them to reconnect and thereby respond less aggressively. For example, there was a case about a year or two ago when a woman was kidnapped. She showed compassion with her kidnapper, questioned him whether he really deep down wanted to do this, etc. Eventually, she convinced the kidnapper to let her go and to go buy self-help books. The kidnapper did, and she went to the police station and had him apprehended.

Christopher

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Christopher; I plan to keep myself from being kidnapped. This means I will have a gun and some new ammo I just brought so I can start blasting away. Maybe I'll read from Atlas as the guy lies dying. "A is A" would be a good quote.

I also plan to kill mosquitos and not feel a qualm.

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