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RelentlessOblivion
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Fair enough. I am especially interesting in the parenthood thing so I almost certainly will be back.
I'd encourage you to read what I wrote there, but the short version is that my wife wanted to have a kid a lot more than I did, I felt it was the wrong time, etc etc, and was totally blindsided by how much I love and enjoy being a dad. One of the best things ever.
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  • 3 weeks later...
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Such entitlement! You automatically assume that just because something controversial was posted making a dubious blanket statement about ethics that I'll automatically go right ahead and respond? :evil: ... ...aaaand you're completely correct.:grin:
everybody knows what's wrong.
On a certain level this is true. Everyone has a conscience. However, understandings of ethics differ widely and it's not enough to follow one's conscience because it is very difficult to distinguish from one's ego. Further clarity is necessary.
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Such entitlement! You automatically assume that just because something controversial was posted making a dubious blanket statement about ethics that I'll automatically go right ahead and respond? :evil: ... ...aaaand you're completely correct.:grin: On a certain level this is true. Everyone has a conscience. However, understandings of ethics differ widely and it's not enough to follow one's conscience because it is very difficult to distinguish from one's ego. Further clarity is necessary.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to post something out of context but I really did now when I think about it. It feels like whatever I say from this point on will be thrown back into my face so I'll rather just delete the post.
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I'm sorry' date=' I didn't mean to post something out of context but I really did now when I think about it. It feels like whatever I say from this point on will be thrown back into my face so I'll rather just delete the post.
No, don't do that. It's ok. You should see the rest of the arguments we get into. Iceni is very picky about these things. ...he's not the only one...:)
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I'm sorry' date=' I didn't mean to post something out of context but I really did now when I think about it. It feels like whatever I say from this point on will be thrown back into my face so I'll rather just delete the post.[/quote'] It's not out of context at all. Of all of the people on the forum I'm the most likely to attack a statement like that, so don't take me as representative of the whole.
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The interview was in regards to the church burnings executed by Varg Vikernes in Norway. I think it was Varg. When he spoke about it he (Tom Araya) was saying that although one might have disagreements on what is holy and right, there's always things that are wrong to do. Now I'm not saying that burning down a church is wrong or right. I can one hundred percent understand why anyone would do something like that. I have had my share of disagreements with the christian church and I value my cultural heritage just as much as any other Scandinavian metalhead does. I wouldn't do it though because I think most churches are really beautiful and beauty precedes destruction. OnT: The way I interpret what Tom Araya said was not in regards to the church burnings at all now that I think about it. My point with quoting him was to state my opinion on what I feel about religion. Religion is something personal and that is that. What is wrong and what is right; That's what it all boils down to. The wrong thing to do is in my opinion to force your faith upon someone else. Or to steal the breath of another human being. That is also wrong. Everyone knows or should know that it is wrong to take the life of another human being. But... An action can't be divided into something as simple as "right" or "wrong" that is true. It simply depends on the exact situation and the influencing factors in combination with the purpose of the deed. For a system to work, like the system of society, rules have been created to keep the civilization from bursting at the seams. It would though, given the opportunity. They are dangerous and weaker; the ones who are willing to be controlled. As a leader I would define murder as wrong. But as a single individual, having no power over anyone but myself, I'm not so sure. If a person is forced to witness his family being raped then cut in pieces by a devout Christian - and it would be hard for the person to accept - he/she takes revenge on the culprit. I would not call it neither right nor wrong. I would call it natural.

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[...]Now I'm not saying that burning down a church is wrong or right. I can one hundred percent understand why anyone would do something like that. I have had my share of disagreements with the christian church and I value my cultural heritage just as much as any other Scandinavian metalhead does. I wouldn't do it though because I think most churches are really beautiful and beauty precedes destruction. [...]Everyone knows or should know that it is wrong to take the life of another human being. But... An action can't be divided into something as simple as "right" or "wrong" that is true. It simply depends on the exact situation and the influencing factors in combination with the purpose of the deed. For a system to work, like the system of society, rules have been created to keep the civilization from bursting at the seams. It would though, given the opportunity. They are dangerous and weaker; the ones who are willing to be controlled. As a leader I would define murder as wrong. But as a single individual, having no power over anyone but myself, I'm not so sure. If a person is forced to witness his family being raped then cut in pieces by a devout Christian - and it would be hard for the person to accept - he/she takes revenge on the culprit. I would not call it neither right nor wrong. I would call it natural.
I like your point about societal stability, ethics and defining morality, and the idea that each law has a moral basis. I agree, and it's an insight very few people seem to have. However, I would argue that actions still boil down to right and wrong even with those intervening factors. The factors do make the distinction harder, but not always impossible. Anti-clericalism and anti-religiosity often happen because of legitimate grievances. Church-burnings do not. From what I can tell, church-burnings come from the desires of a band of petulant weaklings masquerading as warriors and adhering to a logic that only their egotistical spite could generate as part of their refusal to accept adulthood and get on with their lives. I've no love lost for the Catholic church, they're not doing much to keep my family together and I don't like their dogma, but I'm not off to go burn down their chapels (even if they aren't beautiful) or kill their priests, because I'm not a twelve-year old throwing a fit. If natural desires are morally ambiguous...perhaps the violent lechery of the 'devout Christian' you describe was natural as well. Does that make this individual independent of censure? Is it not the case that murder is natural as well?
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If a person is forced to witness his family being raped then cut in pieces by a devout Christian - and it would be hard for the person to accept - he/she takes revenge on the culprit. I would not call it neither right nor wrong. I would call it natural.
If natural desires are morally ambiguous...perhaps the violent lechery of the 'devout Christian' you describe was natural as well. Does that make this individual independent of censure? Is it not the case that murder is natural as well?
Let's not throw around the word "natural" too wantonly. The desire to act morally is a natural desire. To put it another way, moral behavior is a subset of natural behavior. It's not a social construct imposed on us to counteract our animal instincts; it is one of our animal instincts. So is the desire to punish wrongdoing. It's easy to sympathize with someone in LS's hypothetical situation, regardless of who the aggressor is, and also easy to see where an internal moral conflict would arise - even in a less extreme situation. I don't see that conflict as being between a "good" desire and a "bad" one (though I certainly do think there's a choice between right and wrong behavior), and I think it would be specious to ascribe one set of motives, and not the other, to a "natural" self. Iceni - I do plan on responding more fully to your questions, as well as several other things said by you and others, in that other thread... when I have time to write an essay.:) Maybe this weekend. But for what it's worth, I meant it when I said it's a discussion, not an argument.
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Let's not throw around the word "natural" too wantonly. The desire to act morally is a natural desire. To put it another way' date=' moral behavior is a subset of natural behavior. It's not a social construct imposed on us to counteract our animal instincts; it [i']is one of our animal instincts. So is the desire to punish wrongdoing. It's easy to sympathize with someone in LS's hypothetical situation, regardless of who the aggressor is, and also easy to see where an internal moral conflict would arise - even in a less extreme situation. I don't see that conflict as being between a "good" desire and a "bad" one (though I certainly do think there's a choice between right and wrong behavior), and I think it would be specious to ascribe one set of motives, and not the other, to a "natural" self.
That depends on how you define morality. Of course, there's only so much arguing I could do on this point before it does nowhere because we simply don't agree on this point. The morality I believe in exists even in the absence of other human beings, it's not purely a harm-principle. Furthermore, a number of the tenets of that morality have little reason to arise naturally and thus are not natural. Assigning motives to the natural self can't possibly be specious if you believe that all morals arise from the natural self. There must be a criterion defining what is natural and what is not in order for that analysis to make any sense.
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  • 4 months later...

Yes, for the ethos and philosophy of metal, religion bashing is necessary. I see heavy metal as an 'anti' movement to begin with, a rebellious medium through which people express discontent with authority, power and the status quo. Religion is the epitome of these things and from that perspective it makes total sense to want to rebel against it and call it out for the hate-mongering, mind-controlling system that it has been throughout history. Of course, this doesn't equate to outright Satanism (a lot of black/pagan/folk metalheads will tell you that Satan and the devil are also Judeo-Christian concepts and therefore reject that as well). Bands like Black Sabbath are heavily Christian in themes and lyrics as well, despite leanings towards the occult and subversive use of things like the tri-tone and free-form style sections of their earlier records. If metal is not protesting or creating a subversive language or at the very least catering to escapism, it comes off as weak and limp-wristed.

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Yes' date=' for the ethos and philosophy of metal, religion bashing is necessary. I see heavy metal as an 'anti' movement to begin with, a rebellious medium through which people express discontent with authority, power and the status quo. Religion is the epitome of these things and from that perspective it makes total sense to want to rebel against it and call it out for the hate-mongering, mind-controlling system that it has been throughout history. Of course, this doesn't equate to outright Satanism (a lot of black/pagan/folk metalheads will tell you that Satan and the devil are also Judeo-Christian concepts and therefore reject that as well). Bands like Black Sabbath are heavily Christian in themes and lyrics as well, despite leanings towards the occult and subversive use of things like the tri-tone and free-form style sections of their earlier records. If metal is not protesting or creating a subversive language or at the very least catering to escapism, it comes off as weak and limp-wristed.[/quote'] INB4 Iceni comes to spank you for bad logic. :D Music in general is an expressive vehicle, and metal in particular can be supremely aggressive and emotive, but that doesn't mean it has to be a form of protest. A lot of metal involves anti-religious protest, which is fine with me, but that doesn't invalidate the strong feelings being expressed by religious people who play metal, or the subject matter explored by the many bands who don't take a stance on religion either way. And honestly, I wouldn't lump "catering to escapism" in with legitimate protest; if anything it could be said to counteract protest. The only rules I can think of are: 1) mean what you say, and 2) don't suck.
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INB4 Iceni comes to spank you for bad logic. :D Music in general is an expressive vehicle, and metal in particular can be supremely aggressive and emotive, but that doesn't mean it has to be a form of protest. A lot of metal involves anti-religious protest, which is fine with me, but that doesn't invalidate the strong feelings being expressed by religious people who play metal, or the subject matter explored by the many bands who don't take a stance on religion either way. And honestly, I wouldn't lump "catering to escapism" in with legitimate protest; if anything it could be said to counteract protest. The only rules I can think of are: 1) mean what you say, and 2) don't suck.
2nd. I don't like the idea of people placing restrictions upon what metal can and can't be, what influences it can or can't have, and what subject matter it can or can't discuss. Metal is a genre with deep roots, but has also shown itself to be one if diversity and exploration, with many bands incorporating influences from many other genres across the spectrum, and continually reimagining what metal can encompass and pushing the limits of what it can do. The most important thing seems to be that you project what you are trying to communicate with your music and lyrics powerfully. Sent from my HTC PH39100 using Tapatalk 2
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In answer to the question that led to this thread, any rational and informed argument to form an opinion on being "anti" anything is necessary yes. When we look at the examples of burning churches then we are firmly beyond the realms of rationality. We get into the area of fanaticism, incitement and arguably terrorism. I've just read an interview with Satyr (from BM band Satyricon for those unsure) who said that the whole controversy around the BM scene was down to a very small circle of people with a conviction to not just sing about their philosophy but a determination to act it out also. Others were just drawn into the circle by stronger characters who made no attempt to make them understand the extent of what they were involved in. The need to belong to something extreme, to feel a part of something that represents your anti political or anti religious beliefs isn't necessarily satiated by the music or lyrics of certain bands for some people and they resort to random acts of violence or vandalism. Whilst I agree with the "giant middle finger to the norm" mentality of metal as a music format and how attractive that is to people (especially the young) there is a limit. Alice Cooper for years has used shocking theatrics to deliver his performance and generate interest in his music but he has a limit still. The lyrics and imagery of Slayer have suggested penchant for the darker side of beliefs and derision for traditional values of religion, but they have never professed to be Satanists or moved beyond using their music as a platform for their opposition to or questioning of religion. There is an important distinction to be made between using dark art and lyrics because you think it is cool (which isn't my view) or a gimmick and using such formats because it's what the artist/person genuinely believes. "Anti" religion is valid as a standpoint, it's how it is delivered that determines it's overall relevance and acceptability. In the same way you should be allowed to express your christian, islamic, etc views through your music also. If you don't like it then don't listen to it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

By protest, I didn't necessarily mean outright political protest in the lyrics. I think that metal created a unique forum of rebellion just through its sound and style if not through its ideology, in a similar way that avant-garde artists of the 1800s created a way of challenging the status quo by messing with tradition and rules of composition, etc. Speaking of religious metal bands, I tend to see that they too are attempting a sort of protest, a challenge to the norm. For example, Christian black metal bands are challenging the idea that black metal must be Satanic, which is in its own way rebellious. Other Christian metal bands write lyrics about how the world is evil but they will hold strong to their beliefs (early Black Sabbath songs like Into the Void and Wall of Sleep were like that), which although I don't agree with it from a religious point of view, is still rebellious in intent. About escapism/protest, I do see it as a way of a musician saying that there can be a more interesting or better life that isn't uber-modern/structured. It's similar to the way the primitivist/impressionist painters were against the idea of modernity and hierarchical social order.

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Are you going to specify a specific religion or is this just the same asinine gestalt of a straw man that always shows up when people decry the evils of 'religion'?
I didn't mention a specific religion because it's up to the individual band, I guess. What I'm saying is that all mainstream systems and ideas are rebelled against in metal throughout the different genres, so it's natural and fitting that religion falls under fire in metal so often, like political systems do.
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I didn't mention a specific religion because it's up to the individual band' date=' I guess. What I'm saying is that all mainstream systems and ideas are rebelled against in metal throughout the different genres, so it's natural and fitting that religion falls under fire in metal so often, like political systems do.[/quote'] [Emphasis mine] Firstly, I know the difference between an observation and a normative statement, and I'm not about to accept this blatant attempt to conflate the two. The claim that religion bashing is not just 'natural and fitting' but 'necessary' is about as close to an 'ought' as one could get - it is not a simple observation of lyrical themes. Second, stating that 'religion' is the epitome of 'authority, power and the status quo' -rather than observing that this is a common sentiment - is a normative statement. Third, to refer to 'religion' as a 'hate-mongering, mind-controlling system' and to say that it has been this way 'throughout history' is yet another pair of normative statements, rather than observations.
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Intolerance and xenophobia are ubiquitous. They're not specific to religious cultures, but they're certainly not absent from them. They're also not absent from the metal community; musically speaking, albums that build on past successes are more widely preferred than complete departures, and lyrically it's nearly impossible to find anything truly transgressive - fossilized aggression that's just a regurgitation of tired themes is far more common. To say that metal is the "music of rebellion" is misleading. One album's rebellion too often becomes the next album's canon.

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