Joka wrote:What is a Buddhist to do say in the presence of a group of people that above all else desire power and will do anything to keep that power including all spectrums of human unspeakable acts or behaviors?
Buddhists probably say that such is karma, with everything that entails.
Does the Buddhist sit on their hands and feet sitting idle?
If you're a Buddhist, what's your answer to that?
Joka wrote:The type of world we are living in makes nonviolent resistance either impotent for change or an impossibility. Like I said before, nonviolence and nonaggression is a noble maximum highest ideal to aspire towards but I don't think it is an option for every environment, scenario, or situation.
Discussions about just war and self-defence not rarely wander off into unrealistic examples.
When you observe real-life scenarios, it's evident that not just anything happens to just anyone. For example, you can't get charged with drunk driving if you don't drink and drive. And your bank-robbing buddies don't come to blackmail you if you don't team up with some people to rob a bank to begin with. Some things just don't happen.
Often in these discussions the scenario of being a good German hiding Jews from Nazi persecution is brought up. While this is certainly an intensely charged scenario -- when does it happen? Do you have to hide persecuted people?
The fact is that in real life situations, it is often possible to strategize and act in a non-violent way, and this de-escalates the situation. Taking that route often requires what for ordinary people is self-effacement, and because ordinarily, people resent that, then situations often escalate.
It's usually in abstract moral thought-experiments that things look bleak and all black-and-white, while in the real life, there are often options available.
This leads me to believe that sometimes war or fighting is necessary and can be justified.
The question is, whether those fighting such wars believe themselves to be innocent and morally superior, and also spiritually superior; and whether everyone else is supposed to think this way of them.
Wars don't seem to usually start over night. Usually, there seems to be a period of political conflict and negotiation prior to going to war. And prior to the period of political conflict and negotiation, there are political, cultural, or individual clashes. IOW, it seems there were opportunities early on for preventing the escalation of the conflict.
Another reason I created this thread because in ancient past Buddhist warrior monks like the Sohei fought very passionately for what they believed in.
Everyone fights very passionately for what they believe in -- and look where that gets us.