Joshpantera

Turn the other cheek: another stupid idea

Recommended Posts

I was recently talking about stupid sayings and so called "wisdom" teachings from the NT (which were nearly all not original to christianity and borrowed from previous sayings already in circulation at the times). We're discussing the stupidity of the "Golden Rule," on another thread. 

 

Turn the other cheek is probably the stupider yet in the grand scheme. I think ole Teddy had it figured out much better with, "walk softly, but carry a big stick." Peace is more likely to come from fear based on superior weapons, fighting skills, fire power or what-have-you. Not from making a door mat of one's self for all to come along, trample and exploit (whether nationally or personally). 

 

Just another one of those things that popped up in conversation about how dim witted jesus would have been if he actually existed, actually said the things ascribed to him, etc., etc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with the "turn the other cheek" notion. I don't think tit-for-tat is a good idea — some things should just be ignored— but I would not let someone physically or figuratively beat me to a pulp without resisting. But I do think there is much merit in the Golden Rule. I might merge it with Roosevelt's advice so it would read: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but also carry a big stick. But I don't think the big stick should be waved about. By my attitude and demeanor I'd show everyone that I'm a nice guy and will treat others with respect and dignity, but if crossed I'll fight like a tiger. I wouldn't want peace to be based solely on superior firepower, but would like to think it is because someone else has little motivation to be mean in the first place.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, older said:

But I do think there is much merit in the Golden Rule. I might merge it with Roosevelt's advice so it would read: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but also carry a big stick. But I don't think the big stick should be waved about. By my attitude and demeanor I'd show everyone that I'm a nice guy and will treat others with respect and dignity, but if crossed I'll fight like a tiger.

 

At face value I understand why the golden rule seems to have appeal. Because generally speaking, people want to be treated kindly. So be kind to others, so that they will model your example and be kind to you. But if anyone likes strife, drama, controversy, enjoys pain, then they will put out what they want (even if subconsciously) coming back at them. It's a philosophical suggestion with loopholes to contend with.

 

I guess the main issue I have with it is that the golden rule isn't a blanket statement that can actually be used to broad brush the human race, as it's used to try and do. 

 

I guess I would change it to say, 'treat people descent for the sake of smooth social interaction, regardless of your own personal views.'  If you're a masochist, set that aside and for the sake of smooth social interaction. Don't treat people literally how you yourself would like to be treated (with pain, etc.) 

 

10 hours ago, older said:

I wouldn't want peace to be based solely on superior firepower, but would like to think it is because someone else has little motivation to be mean in the first place.

 

I would want that too, but I'm not talking about idealism as much as the reality of life on earth. My problem with these wisdom sayings adopted into the bible is that they are mostly out of touch with reality. As it turns out, the ability to flatten out evil is an effective method to face off with it. Turning the other cheek to terrorists and what not is pretty ill advised. 

 

I might re-frame it as, 'if someone strikes you on the cheek, strike them back immediately on both of theirs and as hard as you can hit. If they try and come back again, hit them even harder until they fold and stop trying to wrong you.' 

 

That sounds pretty dark, honestly. But it's just the reality of conflict. The shame, humiliation, fear, another factors are what actually keep evil doers at bay. I think of the highlander series. Duncan McCloud (of the clan McCloud) was the good guy. But he had to get his hands dirty fighting the bad guys because there's really no other way of doing it. Evil has to be over powered and forced down, or it will prevail. 

 

I don't know, this is all just for fun and exploring new or unorthodox ways of looking at things. 

 

😂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

That sounds pretty dark, honestly. But it's just the reality of conflict. The shame, humiliation, fear, another factors are what actually keep evil doers at bay. I think of the highlander series. Duncan McCloud (of the clan McCloud) was the good guy. But he had to get his hands dirty fighting the bad guys because there's really no other way of doing it. Evil has to be over powered and forced down, or it will prevail. 

 

I don't know, this is all just for fun and exploring new or unorthodox ways of looking at things. 

 

😂

 

Yeah, it’s much easier to have un-Christian views about things like this now that I myself am un-Christian.  Goodbye Cognitive Dissonance...

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we're mostly on the same page. But I go back to my tit-for-tat notion, that not every transgression is worth responding to. I think you have to weigh the options and the situation. Here's an example: A couple of years ago I got brake checked on the interstate. I was in my truck with a total weight of about 8500 lbs. so this was no joke. The other guy was deliberately trying to get me to rear-end him. I hit the brakes, slowed down more and he speeded up and took the next offramp. I could have followed him and made an issue of it, but I just let it go. (And I bought a dash cam as soon as I got home.)

 

Here's another one: There was someone who was dumping many bags of trash and piles of brush and large tree branches along the side of our rural road on a regular basis, about once a week, for about 9 months, at about 4 a.m. I finally did a stake-out and got a license and followed him. It turned out he was a neighbor from about a 1/2 mile away. Now believe me, I thought of all sorts of ways to deal with this, the least of which was to gather all the trash bags and very large tree branches and dump them at the end of his drive, along with a big note strongly suggesting that he quit doing this. But it's not worth getting into it with someone like that. I don't know this guy and I don't need to get into an escalating war with a neighbor. I just called the sheriff, who made a phone call, and the problem went away. (BTW, the guy blamed his wife....) Now if the dumping didn't stop I was ready to pursue it, but it would have been via the sheriff, not by me taking things into my own hands.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I largely agree with Older here.

 

Peace based on fear is a fragile thing. Like anything else based on fear and hate, its prone to breakage.

 

However simply turning the other cheek is asinine. Rather than turning the other cheek an attempt should be made, if possible, to resolve the issue using non violent means.

 

The stick, which I agree should be 'carried' should ideally only be used after other attempts at resolution fail.

 

There are of course exceptions - if an invader breaks into my home they get the stick up front and delivered with as much lethality as possible. In that case the rule is shoot first, ask questions later. The intruder wasn't popping in for a cuppa. (Problem here is the police then investigate whether 'reasonable force' was used. We yes sir, the guy broke into my home at night and I was afeared for my life!)

 

To wit:

31 SECTION 48 of the Crimes Act 1961 provides:

Everyone is justified in using, in the defence of himself or another, such force as, in the circumstances as he believes them to be, it is reasonable to use.

This defence recognises that people have a right to defend themselves against violence or threats of violence, so long as the force used is no more than is reasonable for that purpose. The law does not require people to wait until they have been attacked before taking action to protect themselves. But the law also acknowledges the attacker’s right to life and bodily integrity and requires the force used in self-defence to be no more than is necessary to prevent the violence or threatened violence.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, older said:

Here's an example: A couple of years ago I got brake checked on the interstate.

 

Oh boy!

 

13 minutes ago, older said:

I was in my truck with a total weight of about 8500 lbs. so this was no joke. The other guy was deliberately trying to get me to rear-end him. I hit the brakes, slowed down more and he speeded up and took the next offramp. I could have followed him and made an issue of it, but I just let it go. (And I bought a dash cam as soon as I got home.)

 

Good move, BTW. Dash cam and all! These days road rage isn't what it once was. Much more likely to get shot over it now than probably ever before. Another example of the weight of danger having the ability to outweigh the desire to engage conflict. 

 

19 minutes ago, older said:

Here's another one: There was someone who was dumping many bags of trash and piles of brush and large tree branches along the side of our rural road on a regular basis, about once a week, for about 9 months, at about 4 a.m. I finally did a stake-out and got a license and followed him. It turned out he was a neighbor from about a 1/2 mile away. Now believe me, I thought of all sorts of ways to deal with this, the least of which was to gather all the trash bags and very large tree branches and dump them at the end of his drive, along with a big note strongly suggesting that he quit doing this. But it's not worth getting into it with someone like that. I don't know this guy and I don't need to get into an escalating war with a neighbor. I just called the sheriff, who made a phone call, and the problem went away. (BTW, the guy blamed his wife....) Now if the dumping didn't stop I was ready to pursue it, but it would have been via the sheriff, not by me taking things into my own hands.

 

I agree with this too. You didn't exactly turn the other cheek. You went after the guy through acceptable channels. Didn't let him keep slapping everyone's cheeks over and over again with the illegal dumping. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

However simply turning the other cheek is asinine. Rather than turning the other cheek an attempt should be made, if possible, to resolve the issue using non violent means.

 

 The stick, which I agree should be 'carried' should ideally only be used after other attempts at resolution fail.

 

Not a bad edition. As far as the "big stick" goes, I take that to mean a visible object (or something well known) that people see and understand will be used on them if they were to cross a line and try and hurt you in any way. That's how I'm taking Roosevelt's brief point. It's to ward off any evil that may come your way. Not an act of forward aggressive action, but a defensive oriented mechanism. A reaction to someone else's action. And that's the part that I like about it. Peaceful from the outset, but not a push over. That's all I'm saying. It's strikes me as much more realistic than the jesus genre. in my opinion. 

 

46 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

There are of course exceptions - if an invader breaks into my home they get the stick up front and delivered with as much lethality as possible. In that case the rule is shoot first, ask questions later. The intruder wasn't popping in for a cuppa. (Problem here is the police then investigate whether 'reasonable force' was used. We yes sir, the guy broke into my home at night and I was afeared for my life!)

 

Agree with this as well. 

 

46 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

To wit:

31 SECTION 48 of the Crimes Act 1961 provides:

Everyone is justified in using, in the defence of himself or another, such force as, in the circumstances as he believes them to be, it is reasonable to use.

This defence recognises that people have a right to defend themselves against violence or threats of violence, so long as the force used is no more than is reasonable for that purpose. The law does not require people to wait until they have been attacked before taking action to protect themselves. But the law also acknowledges the attacker’s right to life and bodily integrity and requires the force used in self-defence to be no more than is necessary to prevent the violence or threatened violence.

 

Imagine a theocracy where the law of the land states that in keeping with the divinely inspired mandate of the gods inerrant word, all citizens are required to "turn the other cheek" if approached by an intruder, confronted by a rapist, or terrorist? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

     The whole turn the other cheek bit seems like it's a cultural thing that is lost to us so I don't know what to think of it exactly.  What I mean is it mentions turning the other cheek, giving up a shirt, going the extra mile and giving out money.  These are mentioned kind of like they're related.  If that's the case then it would seem that getting slapped on the cheek may not really be a some wider moral lesson, as it has been turned into, but something more literal.  A literal slap in the face. I suppose that all of these could be abstract examples of the same thing but the last one, the one related to money, doesn't really fit in that case.  I tend to think this meant something different when it was written as opposed to how it came to be interpreted.  If that's the case it may have been great advice at the time but not something we really need to even think about in our society.

 

          mwc

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, mwc said:

I tend to think this meant something different when it was written as opposed to how it came to be interpreted.  If that's the case it may have been great advice at the time but not something we really need to even think about in our society.

 

That's a good point. I wouldn't be surprised if it meant something different originally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...