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The Fighter (2010)


J.A.A. Purves
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Well ... what comes of trying to speak a philosophical language (Thomism) that one does not speak well and which (or "because") he thinks untrue and obfuscating. #rabbithole

Find me a syntax of Catholic moral theology that does not rely on the distinction between material evil and moral evil. #hounds

I also think the distinction between "intended" and "foreseen" wide enough to drive a truck through or mere post-hoc categorization #morerabbithole

I see, so you wish to drive a truck through the distinction between euthanasia and letting-die, between direct abortion and e.g. lifesaving removal of ectopic pregnancy? #morehounds

I don't know that we can say "incapacitation of other person [is] the specific goal of the sport."

Then let me be as precise as I can: My specific objection here is to specifically any form of pugilism, or, within a pugilistic sport, any set of rules or scoring that directly measures and rewards incapacitation or otherwise damaging the other person so as to disrupt their consciousness or the integration of their mind and body, which I submit is at least proximate to direct fifth commandment violation. As I have repeatedly stated, I am not here, in this argument, objecting to forms of pugilism, or to any set of scoring within a given form of pugilism, that measures and rewards knocking down one's opponent, preventing him from acting effectively, landing more blows, etc. That is a different argument and will have to be based on risk analysis, which is not the argument that I am here making.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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In boxing, it's not enough to knock the other man down. You only get the brass ring if you mess up his nervous system enough so that he is not the master of himself for a set period of time. That is what is measured and rewarded in a KO: the extent to which you have caused him to malfunction, disrupted his senses and the harmony between mind and body. This seems to me a unique sort of moral problem connected with the intentionality of the sport that does not apply to many other sports under consideration. Other sports may raise a different sort of moral difficulty associated with specific levels of risk injury; the issue I've raised here is a bit different (though not exclusive of a similar sort of risk analysis).

I feel as if I'm saying the same thing over and over. I hope it's clear by now.

Ok, it's not the physical act of violence as much as it is the goal of physically incapacitating your opponent. I get your point, but I think most boxers just don't see how that, in and of itself, is wrong.

Is this discussion going to lead to permanent injury?

Your sense of humor makes me laugh.

Also making me laugh nonstop, was this same topic of discussion being included in the introduction to the early 1900s book, Fistiana by Frank Lewis Dowling -

The base votaries of mammon alluded to, taking advantage of the generally untutored minds and improvident habits of the boxers, plied them with temptations to fraud, which were, in too many cases, successful ... By degrees these evils increased: partly on which account, and partly from the mere caprice of fashion, and the rapid march of effeminacy, prompted by long peace and foreign residence, the greater part of the titled supporters of boxing withdrew their patronage from the ring, which became what it has lately been - degraded, indeed, in comparison with what it once was, but even yet far from what its insidious slanderers wish it to be thought ...

Before we consider the particular calumnious attacks to which we have already alluded, we shall briefly notice some of the general arguments which have been used against the practice even of fair boxing. We warn such admirers of other manly exercises as may be indifferent to this, that all are in fact aimed at by the assailants of the Ring, which they first attack chiefly because it is, in fact, somewhat more objectionable on the score of danger than any other. Successful against pugilism, they will next direct their crusade against single-stick, wrestling, cricket (for hard blows are given, bones occasionally broken, and even lives now and then lost at this amusement), and in fact everything which it might not become a lady as well as a man to practice ...

The principle objections urged against prize boxing fairly conducted have been that it is cruel, brutal, low, and demoralizing ... To say nothing of the unmanly dread of generally transient pains which they imply, the absurdity of calling that cruelty, which is simply permitting two men in full possession of their senses, with generally the sanction of their friends, to do what whim they are mutually anxious to do, is too evident to be dwelt upon ... No doubt “a dislike to look on what is horrible,” is (as Sir Walter Scott has observed) “often connected with those high-wrought minds which are the last to fear what is merely dangerous.” But should this feeling, however suitable to women, be suffered to grow upon men who are destined to struggle through the world? ...

Those who think the English are in danger of being rendered bloodthirsty by the sports of the Bin are very ignorant of their real character. Their national humanity is not of so sickly and consumptive a cast. There might be this danger amongst the people of the continent ... It might not, for example, be likely to improve the French, but they never will be a pugilistic nation; to become so they must cease to be French.

... the quality termed “fight” consists in some measure in curiosity. Jack, for instance, is anxious to know whether Tom or himself is the better man; and having acquired the desired knowledge, it is not surprising that his “thirst for information” should be carried a little further, and that the prowess of Will and Ned should inspire interest in his mind. The brave like to see, hear of, and admire the feats of the brave, and such compose (let slanderers say what they may) the great mass of fighting men and their patrons ...

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All this to explain that I understand if you believe 90% of boxers are going end up dead early because of brain injuries, then you would be horrified at the sport. But, most boxers and boxing fans don't believe that.

It is worth noting though, that not believing something does not make said information false. (Just as believing something does not make it true)

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I got my information from loony-toons sites like this one, this one, and this one. I also believe that the moon landing was a hoax, that Obama is a sleeper-cell terrorist, and that M. Dale Prins is a 72-year-old woman.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Well ... what comes of trying to speak a philosophical language (Thomism) that one does not speak well and which (or "because") he thinks untrue and obfuscating. #rabbithole

Find me a syntax of Catholic moral theology that does not rely on the distinction between material evil and moral evil. #hounds

I can't honestly say I've looked, and obviously nature doesn't behave as man wants it to, so some distinction like this is just plain common sense. But what I resist is the use of "evil," a moral term in ordinary language and thus always one rhetorically, to describe blind nature.

I also think the distinction between "intended" and "foreseen" wide enough to drive a truck through or mere post-hoc categorization #morerabbithole

I see, so you wish to drive a truck through the distinction between euthanasia and letting-die, between direct abortion and e.g. lifesaving removal of ectopic pregnancy? #morehounds

Actually I mean the reverse ... I think we intend the consequences we foresee or, to say the same thing, "foreseen but not intended" with respect to willed acts is an oxymoronic category, or, if true, a truck-sized loophole.

I don't know that we can say "incapacitation of other person [is] the specific goal of the sport."

Then let me be as precise as I can: My specific objection here is to specifically any form of pugilism, or, within a pugilistic sport, any set of rules or scoring that directly measures and rewards incapacitation or otherwise damaging the other person so as to disrupt their consciousness or the integration of their mind and body, which I submit is at least proximate to direct fifth commandment violation. As I have repeatedly stated, I am not here, in this argument, objecting to forms of pugilism, or to any set of scoring within a given form of pugilism, that measures and rewards knocking down one's opponent, preventing him from acting effectively, landing more blows, etc. That is a different argument and will have to be based on risk analysis, which is not the argument that I am here making.

(1) As I have explained, the KO/RSF rule is as much a safety measure as a reward. (And to push the paradox even farther, MMA fights with lighter gloves, kicks and wrestling allowed, and fighting continuing on the ground are actually safer still.) Given the nature of punching, one must object to all forms of pugilism on these grounds because, without stoppages, a scoring system that measures and rewards knocking opponent down, counts punches landed, etc., would have to continue (and get WAY more dangerous) if the man was incapacitated.

(2) Temporary incapacitation does not constitute a serious threat to a trained athlete's health and thus trying to do it does not violate the Fifth Commandment's application to the body's physical health, which is not absolute anyway (in the sense that it does not cover "any threat to health," hence my use of "serious") (and if it were, there is no reason it should not apply to every risk, and also to the very act of punching). Plus the weight of small-t tradition weighs against accepting an argument so obvious as "a KO per-se (or punching per se) violates the 5th."

Edited by vjmorton

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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I also think the distinction between "intended" and "foreseen" wide enough to drive a truck through or mere post-hoc categorization #morerabbithole

I see, so you wish to drive a truck through the distinction between euthanasia and letting-die, between direct abortion and e.g. lifesaving removal of ectopic pregnancy? #morehounds

Actually I mean the reverse ... I think we intend the consequences we foresee or, to say the same thing, "foreseen but not intended" with respect to willed acts is an oxymoronic category, or, if true, a truck-sized loophole.

You want to consider every instance of not-saving a life, or not-postponing death, to be the same as active killing?

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I also think the distinction between "intended" and "foreseen" wide enough to drive a truck through or mere post-hoc categorization #morerabbithole

I see, so you wish to drive a truck through the distinction between euthanasia and letting-die, between direct abortion and e.g. lifesaving removal of ectopic pregnancy? #morehounds

Actually I mean the reverse ... I think we intend the consequences we foresee or, to say the same thing, "foreseen but not intended" with respect to willed acts is an oxymoronic category, or, if true, a truck-sized loophole.

You want to consider every instance of not-saving a life, or not-postponing death, to be the same as active killing?

Every act of doing something, yes. Not-doing is not an act though.

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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Every act of doing something, yes. Not-doing is not an act though.

Turning off artificial respiration equals removing a feeding tube equals lethal injection?

once you're on it, yes, I think so (though I'm aware there's a decent argument to the contrary)

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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I got my information from loony-toons sites like this one, this one, and this one. I also believe that the moon landing was a hoax, that Obama is a sleeper-cell terrorist, and that M. Dale Prins is a 72-year-old woman.

But if you read those sites carefully, what they cite the AANS as saying is that 90 percent of fighters suffer "a brain injury." I'd be curious how the AANS defined it. Because frankly, if that term is defined loosely, I'm shocked it's that low. After all, a KO works by injuring the brain (even a clean head shot -- which 100 percent of fighters have taken, 99 percent of them in every fight -- scrambles the brain some). But if the term is defined strictly (and I think one generally should), then yeah, I and most boxing fans doubt the 90 percent figure because it's plainly contrary to the evidence of our eyes.

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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once you're on it, yes, I think so (though I'm aware there's a decent argument to the contrary)

There is indeed. It's the whole basis for the argument from double effect. Scotch that and you're essentially caught between proportionalism and some kind of weird moral rigorism I don't even have a name for. Either you lose the ability to say that there are intrinsically evil acts, or else you lose the ability to condone acts that have consequences that would be intrinsically evil if they were ends rather than effects.

For example: By this standard, setting off a bomb that you know will kill civilians has the same moral character regardless whether you [a.] are deliberately targeting civilians in order to end the war quicker and save lives in the long run or [b.] targeting a legitimate military target knowing that civilians will also be killed. Accepting such an undifferentiated act is proportionalism (and terrorism); rejecting it is weird unnamed rigorism (and probably entails pacifism as a practical consequence). Only double effect, grounded in the distinction between ends and effects, can permit the one and reject the other.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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M. Dale Prins is a 72-year-old woman.

That's pretty tough to dispute.

;)

And apparently deceased.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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M. Dale Prins is a 72-year-old woman.

That's pretty tough to dispute.

;)

And apparently deceased.

actually ... he and I "talked" on Twitter the other day, me outdoing him in love for Cantet's TIME OUT

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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M. Dale Prins is a 72-year-old woman.

That's pretty tough to dispute.

;)

And apparently deceased.

actually ... he and I "talked" on Twitter the other day, me outdoing him in love for Cantet's TIME OUT

Ah, I see. He's just allergic to A&F these days. Well, good to know he's alive.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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continuing down the #rabbitholes

once you're on it, yes, I think so (though I'm aware there's a decent argument to the contrary)

There is indeed. It's the whole basis for the argument from double effect. Scotch that and you're essentially caught between proportionalism and some kind of weird moral rigorism I don't even have a name for. Either you lose the ability to say that there are intrinsically evil acts, or else you lose the ability to condone acts that have consequences that would be intrinsically evil if they were ends rather than effects.

"Scotch that"???? BIGOT!!!!

Actually, the "decent argument" I was referring to was more narrowly related -- what is the nature of moving someone off life support -- not double effect.

Seriously ... I'm aware of this problem. And yet, I still think the proportionalist critique of double effect is true -- it is largely psychological and/or legerdemain. It may very well be that the category "intrinsically evil" isn't terribly helpful in the field of reason (though it or any related acts obviously can be declared such by the Church). I can't say it should be scrapped though, as it does serve many useful purposes -- "intrinsically evil" gives flesh to the intuition (and the Biblical order) that some things should never be done and DDE gives flesh to a different intuition (that there are unintended consequences). But I'm also not sure the consequences of scrapping it would be what some think though; after all, "intrinsically" doesn't mean "super-duper really BIG (evil)," rather it presupposes one specific structure of human acts, among the many possible.

Edited by vjmorton

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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Seriously ... I'm aware of this problem. And yet, I still think the proportionalist critique of double effect is true -- it is largely psychological and/or legerdemain.

That's your response? No comment on my bombing example? If you're okay with deliberately targeting civilians, well, obviously boxing is a no-brainer. So to speak.

It may very well be that the category "intrinsically evil" isn't terribly helpful in the field of reason (though it or any related acts obviously can be declared such by the Church).

The Church declares that intrinsically evil acts can be known as such through reason via the natural law. Is the Church wrong?

But I'm also not sure the consequences of scrapping it would be what some think though; after all, "intrinsically" doesn't mean "super-duper really BIG (evil)," rather it presupposes one specific structure of human acts, among the many possible.

Well, I'm not responsible for what "many think," and I don't think my arguments have hinged on super-duper bigness.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Seriously ... I'm aware of this problem. And yet, I still think the proportionalist critique of double effect is true -- it is largely psychological and/or legerdemain.

That's your response? No comment on my bombing example? If you're okay with deliberately targeting civilians, well, obviously boxing is a no-brainer. So to speak.

I did not say that, as my tentativeness regarding a conclusion should have hinted to you. Saying double-effect's distinction is invalid doesn't mean all the practical results that it achieves within a given understanding of human action are thereby nullified.

ftr ... no, deliberately seeking to kill civilians for the sake therein is not morally acceptable.

Edited by vjmorton

Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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M. Dale Prins is a 72-year-old woman.

That's pretty tough to dispute.

;)

And apparently deceased.

M. Dale Prins is dead.

Dead tired of you thinking he's not alive.

Dale, who's a 78-year-old woman, dang it

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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You ever heard of "What comes around goes around?"

Well, I'm here to tell you that what doesn't comes around, goes around, too. Or doesn't goes. Or goes. Around. Or something like that.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I just noticed someone blogging about my article on The Fighter. A commenter posted this:

I think your points are well taken and should be considered, but for the Christian I think boxing is more positive than negative. Paul was a fan of boxing (I Corinthians 9:26, 27)

:huh:

Yeah... this is the passage in question:

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

In other words: Paul was a fan of boxing!!

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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