Hayfever… Oh joy.

By Michael Gakuran | | Journal | 18 Comments |

My hay fever has really kicked in these past two days. Yesterday I helped out a little bit with cleaning out the pond in the back garden, although my dad and sister did most of the work (*feels a little guilty*). I’ve done a little revision this weekend, but nothing substantial, so I’m going to have to treat these next weeks like school days and get up early and work properly to get anything done. I have finished the majority of P2 basic work, so I can tackle the monster that is P3 integration soon… *meep* oo;.

I hope to get onto Religious Studies and Design & Technology work by midweek, if things go smoothly. Oh, and I’ve got to prepare for Japanese Writing; can’t forget that o.O;…

Oh a lighter note, I got to see and hold our resident frog when cleaning out our pond ^_^. I think it’s the one that I took from a friend’s pond back before GCSEs and helped grow in our fish tank. When it was big enough, I put it in the pond. Poor thing is lonely though methinks… I need to find someone with frogspawn or some small frogs to put in. But the frogspawn we’ve tried to introduce in past years has never yet yielded any ‘froglets’ (I love that word ^-^ – even though I don’t think it’s an actual word at all :P).

Hmmm. My mind’s gone blank right now. I can’t recall what else I was going to write about, but I’ve just started an interesting conversation about the nature of courage, so it’s distracted me a little ^^;. I had really always considered that courage had to be some quality only moral agents possess. But in this discussion I was forced to think about it a little more. Would, say, a suicide bomber be courageous in their actions? Most would argue the action itself is wrong, but does it still merit courage? I’m inclined to bow here and say I was probably wrong to think courage had to be for a virtuous purpose, but I suppose in some sense, the suicide bomber, acting on their religious beliefs and for their country, may be seen as doing a virtuous action. Can it be courageous to knowingly kill a person in revenge, in front of a law official, even if you know you’ll be caught and sentenced to death yourself afterwards?

So I ask, what is courage? Please leave some comments ^_^.

18 comments on “Hayfever… Oh joy.
  1. odysafinal says:

    Hehe i forgot about your hey fever!
    That pond in your back garden..hmm it 3 fet off the ground right ?? Think i rememebr it.
    I should come visit this summer, what d’ya think mike?

  2. odysafinal says:

    Hehe i forgot about your hey fever!
    That pond in your back garden..hmm it 3 fet off the ground right ?? Think i rememebr it.
    I should come visit this summer, what d’ya think mike?

  3. anonymous says:

    bluueeeeh……….
    that was the sound of my brain melting, i need to revise more

  4. anonymous says:

    bluueeeeh……….
    that was the sound of my brain melting, i need to revise more

  5. invisible_kid_ says:

    “You could of course take the view that, if carried to the extreme, people could begin to manipulate others by doing charitable acts to get what they want”

    See: Famous people at charity events. Many of them only do stuff like that because it gives them good PR. Of course, there are famous people who do stuff because they really do care. Like Bono, hehehe.

  6. invisible_kid_ says:

    “You could of course take the view that, if carried to the extreme, people could begin to manipulate others by doing charitable acts to get what they want”

    See: Famous people at charity events. Many of them only do stuff like that because it gives them good PR. Of course, there are famous people who do stuff because they really do care. Like Bono, hehehe.

  7. tremor16 says:

    *Nods at your first point. This is what I was getting with the suicide bomber and which, now explained properly through psychology, emphasizes the question: Is courage something that can be found in any action that stands for a cause, even if looks (from our point of view) like it was stupid or illogical? Or as Jenni suggested, could is be something we also find within ourselves?

    With the murderer, I was getting at the point that even if an action is selfish or harmful to many people, it may still require courage to do it. This may suggest that courage doesn’t always have to be for a ‘good’ cause, which as you mentioned in your first paragraph, is dependent on the viewer anyway ^^;.

    I know what you mean about the selflessness. It’s saddening to think that we can’t really do anything without having something in it for us, but I’m inclined to believe it’s true as well. Regardless though, I prefer to think along the lines that, if you are trying to be altruistic it’s probably going to be beneficial to the cause anyway, regardless of if there’s something in it for you. In fact, I would even say it’s a good thing that there’s something in it that helps you, because it makes you want to do it more. Would somebody want to do charitable deeds if they just felt miserable? Note that that may feel obliged to, but it doesn’t mean they *want* to…

    You could of course take the view that, if carried to the extreme, people could begin to manipulate others by doing charitable acts to get what they want… Hmmm. It’s late, so enough for now ^_^;

  8. tremor16 says:

    *Nods at your first point. This is what I was getting with the suicide bomber and which, now explained properly through psychology, emphasizes the question: Is courage something that can be found in any action that stands for a cause, even if looks (from our point of view) like it was stupid or illogical? Or as Jenni suggested, could is be something we also find within ourselves?

    With the murderer, I was getting at the point that even if an action is selfish or harmful to many people, it may still require courage to do it. This may suggest that courage doesn’t always have to be for a ‘good’ cause, which as you mentioned in your first paragraph, is dependent on the viewer anyway ^^;.

    I know what you mean about the selflessness. It’s saddening to think that we can’t really do anything without having something in it for us, but I’m inclined to believe it’s true as well. Regardless though, I prefer to think along the lines that, if you are trying to be altruistic it’s probably going to be beneficial to the cause anyway, regardless of if there’s something in it for you. In fact, I would even say it’s a good thing that there’s something in it that helps you, because it makes you want to do it more. Would somebody want to do charitable deeds if they just felt miserable? Note that that may feel obliged to, but it doesn’t mean they *want* to…

    You could of course take the view that, if carried to the extreme, people could begin to manipulate others by doing charitable acts to get what they want… Hmmm. It’s late, so enough for now ^_^;

  9. tremor16 says:

    Good point. I suppose we could feel courageous without actually having it verified by somebody else. But can you feel courage after overcoming something? Wouldn’t courage better be in place to do the act of overcoming, rather than afterwards?

    And about the knowledge. You may have a point. Could we call someone who acts without thinking courageous? I think it’d be difficult to justify, other than saying they have inherent courage that they don’t need to think about. Such that an individual may act spontaneously because of their courageous ‘nature’.

  10. tremor16 says:

    Good point. I suppose we could feel courageous without actually having it verified by somebody else. But can you feel courage after overcoming something? Wouldn’t courage better be in place to do the act of overcoming, rather than afterwards?

    And about the knowledge. You may have a point. Could we call someone who acts without thinking courageous? I think it’d be difficult to justify, other than saying they have inherent courage that they don’t need to think about. Such that an individual may act spontaneously because of their courageous ‘nature’.

  11. invisible_kid_ says:

    Something I learned in psychology is Cognitive Labelling theory, where we simply label emotions based upon the situation in which we are placed. If you think about it, we label everything in similiar way. Courageousness, stupidity or complete disregard for one’s own life could all be regarded as exactly the same thing, but if it happens that the act is of benefit to a certain group, then that group is going to view in a more positive light. The impressionable young terrorist who blows himself up in front of some foreign embassy we might call stupid, a waste, but the soldier who detonates his own explosives by hand and sacrifices himself would be pronounced as a hero. They both did what they did based on the same belief that they were going to help their respective nations somehow.

    I think it’s mostly down to there being a beneficial outcome if something is labelled as courageous.

    “Can it be courageous to knowingly kill a person in revenge, in front of a law official, even if you know youll be caught and sentenced to death yourself afterwards?”

    If the person killed in revenge was a mass murderer, who could do harm to others in the future and the only way to stop this was to kill them then many could say that the act was courageous. But then there’s the fact that it was revenge…so the person probably wasn’t thinking about that anyway, so they weren’t doing it for others, it was a selfish act.

    Alot of people believe that courage=selflessness, which would make sense I guess. But then again, it is argued that humans are incapable of being completely selfless. Utter selflessness would imply that there is no reward whatsoever. In every act, there is always some kind of arousal being catered for. If someone were to take a bullet for another, there would probably be some emotional connection between the two that caused the hero to perform said deed. Even if the two didn’t know each other, there is still the idea that the hero is saving the other to answer some arousal within them.

    It’s a really strange, and almost upleasant thing to think about, that there is the possiblilty that people on any level, exist fro themselves. I’d prefer to think that this isn’t the case..but there is a strong argument to support it.

    Hmm, I digress from my intial inane waffling…

    I guess I don’t have an answer really. Its very open ended, and I have no idea how to close.

    Courage=others. That’ll do.

  12. invisible_kid_ says:

    Something I learned in psychology is Cognitive Labelling theory, where we simply label emotions based upon the situation in which we are placed. If you think about it, we label everything in similiar way. Courageousness, stupidity or complete disregard for one’s own life could all be regarded as exactly the same thing, but if it happens that the act is of benefit to a certain group, then that group is going to view in a more positive light. The impressionable young terrorist who blows himself up in front of some foreign embassy we might call stupid, a waste, but the soldier who detonates his own explosives by hand and sacrifices himself would be pronounced as a hero. They both did what they did based on the same belief that they were going to help their respective nations somehow.

    I think it’s mostly down to there being a beneficial outcome if something is labelled as courageous.

    “Can it be courageous to knowingly kill a person in revenge, in front of a law official, even if you know you’ll be caught and sentenced to death yourself afterwards?”

    If the person killed in revenge was a mass murderer, who could do harm to others in the future and the only way to stop this was to kill them then many could say that the act was courageous. But then there’s the fact that it was revenge…so the person probably wasn’t thinking about that anyway, so they weren’t doing it for others, it was a selfish act.

    Alot of people believe that courage=selflessness, which would make sense I guess. But then again, it is argued that humans are incapable of being completely selfless. Utter selflessness would imply that there is no reward whatsoever. In every act, there is always some kind of arousal being catered for. If someone were to take a bullet for another, there would probably be some emotional connection between the two that caused the hero to perform said deed. Even if the two didn’t know each other, there is still the idea that the hero is saving the other to answer some arousal within them.

    It’s a really strange, and almost upleasant thing to think about, that there is the possiblilty that people on any level, exist fro themselves. I’d prefer to think that this isn’t the case..but there is a strong argument to support it.

    Hmm, I digress from my intial inane waffling…

    I guess I don’t have an answer really. Its very open ended, and I have no idea how to close.

    Courage=others. That’ll do.

  13. docdaneeka says:

    Hmmm. Do you even need to define courage in terms of outside events? Could it just be a particular feeling on the inside? An abstract? Perhaps the feeling of having overcome something. Is courage a virtue? I think only with the knowledge to know when to deploy it. You talk about being prepared to believe in something in the face of cynics- perhaps courage is virtuous when you utilise it to stand up for logic in the face of mass illogicality…

  14. docdaneeka says:

    Hmmm. Do you even need to define courage in terms of outside events? Could it just be a particular feeling on the inside? An abstract? Perhaps the feeling of having overcome something. Is courage a virtue? I think only with the knowledge to know when to deploy it. You talk about being prepared to believe in something in the face of cynics- perhaps courage is virtuous when you utilise it to stand up for logic in the face of mass illogicality…

  15. tremor16 says:

    Some interesting points. You could also ask whether or not it was even courageous at all for America to retaliate, perhaps cowardly by abusing their sovereignty?

    But if courage is, in some sense, defying expectation, then what about the army, who are expected to go into war to fight? Are they any less courageous by doing what they were recruited for? Perhaps courage is nothing more than standing for a cause in the face of adversity? This is very nearly the same thing you said, I realise, and I think what you were probably hinting at.

    Actually, reading that back, it sounds quite simple ^^;. But then, if that were the definition, would we consider courage a virtue in itself? Even those who stand for a cause that we dont agree with or look blatantly biased and logically unsound would be courageous for doing so. And with your link to faith, I suppose you could say that it falls into this scenario. Despite all empirical evidence, one may still decide to have faith in an unproven cause (e.g. God) and would be courageous for taking the stand and defying what most people may consider good evidence to disprove the notion.

  16. tremor16 says:

    Some interesting points. You could also ask whether or not it was even courageous at all for America to retaliate, perhaps cowardly by abusing their sovereignty?

    But if courage is, in some sense, defying expectation, then what about the army, who are expected to go into war to fight? Are they any less courageous by doing what they were recruited for? Perhaps courage is nothing more than standing for a cause in the face of adversity? This is very nearly the same thing you said, I realise, and I think what you were probably hinting at.

    Actually, reading that back, it sounds quite simple ^^;. But then, if that were the definition, would we consider courage a virtue in itself? Even those who stand for a cause that we don’t agree with or look blatantly biased and logically unsound would be courageous for doing so. And with your link to faith, I suppose you could say that it falls into this scenario. Despite all empirical evidence, one may still decide to have faith in an unproven cause (e.g. God) and would be courageous for taking the stand and defying what most people may consider good evidence to disprove the notion.

  17. docdaneeka says:

    I think that you have to be incredibly faithful to want to be a suicide bomber, to want to sacrifice your life for a greater power. This would lead me to believe that courage is somehow interlinked with faith, of which I am not convinced… I don’t think that suicide bombing is a virtuous action, I’m tempted to say that pacifism on a larger scale would be more productive. For example, the ANC’s campaign against apartheid in South Africa in the 60s/70s was impeded by their policy of bombing supermarkets, whereas Gandhi acheived what he wanted through peaceful protest. Perhaps it takes courage to defy expectation- in a modern context, would it have been more courageous for America to turn the other cheek with regard to September 11th and not bomb Afghanistan and Iraq?

  18. docdaneeka says:

    I think that you have to be incredibly faithful to want to be a suicide bomber, to want to sacrifice your life for a greater power. This would lead me to believe that courage is somehow interlinked with faith, of which I am not convinced… I don’t think that suicide bombing is a virtuous action, I’m tempted to say that pacifism on a larger scale would be more productive. For example, the ANC’s campaign against apartheid in South Africa in the 60s/70s was impeded by their policy of bombing supermarkets, whereas Gandhi acheived what he wanted through peaceful protest. Perhaps it takes courage to defy expectation- in a modern context, would it have been more courageous for America to turn the other cheek with regard to September 11th and not bomb Afghanistan and Iraq?

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