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(CS)There are different ways of understanding respect. Respect can be
subjective or objective. When it is subjective, it is a given, do unto
others as you would have others do to type of thing. When it is
objective, respect must be earned. The objective respects goes with a
hierarchy of authority and merit promotion. So when someone doesn't say
things the way that pleases you, are a justified in attacking that person
who does not have your respect. With objective (earned respect) it is not
necessary to be respectful to someone who hasn't earned it.
And I would submit, at least in the US, that both forms are utitlized. One
must be respectful of those who outrank you. Why? Partially because it is
earned, but also because without that, the entire purpose for which the
military is constructed could not be pursued. That is, if a lieutenant does
not respect his captain, the CO of his unit, he will not obey lawful orders,
will behave insubordinately, will, in effect, detract from the capabilities
of the unit. A military must function as a group, an organization, and
without good social "order" - defined and created more by respect than
discipline or rules - it cannot survive the battlefield. Now, we can debate
whether the purpose for which military formations exist. However, that is in
the realm of the hypothetical, as war, or conflict, remains. Assuming we
need to maintain a military, we must consider what it has to do and how that
can be assured.
However, if you observe the daily goings on, there is as much respect that
goes DOWN the chain of command as up. A Lieutenant must be respectful of an
NCO, because, though he might outrank him, the NCO has valuable experience
and knowledge. Further, officers generally behave with a great deal of
respect towards the enlisted. Why? Because the officer is meant to have a
level of dignity and honor, and to treat others poorly because of rank does
not comport well with those traits. You must also be aware of how military
personnel treat civilians generally - if you want to sirred or ma'amed to
death, step foot on a military base. Now, some might argue that this is
merely form, not indicative of true feelings. However, when you begin to
address people with respect, you tend to find that you treat them that way
So, as far as respect is concerned, I would submit that the military has
much to teach civilian society about respect. This means that more concern
must be given the group than the self, though it must be given willingly. To
this end we have the rules regarding the type of messages that can be sent
to the forum. I may WANT to send scads of cut-and-pastes, but for the good
of the group, I must behave with respect. As to the content, whether there
are attacks, we must treat the person well, whether we vehemently and
violently disagree with the opinion. It may be deemed as semantic wrangling,
but I try mightily to address my scathing remarks to the ideas, the
opinions, that people put forth. Hence, I would consider an attack to be
when I say, "You are a stupid old woman, and you can't possibly understand."
On the other hand, to say that "your words suggest or display ignorance," is
different. Subtly, perhaps, but different none the less. And in that we have
the difference between disagreement and attack, between respect and hatred.
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