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Logic This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     January 31, 2006 was a momentous day I will not soon forget. A good friend called to ask if I would join him for coffee. It was on this day that I came to respect an ideal that I otherwise would have given no thought to because of my opinionated nature, and for this, I will always be in his debt.

He was ready to ship out to Iraq and wanted to say good-bye. Smiling and lighthearted as always, his carefree grin slipped for just a moment when I could not help but ask the cynical question that had been bothering me.

“Do you really think using a gun to silence these people is going to make the world a safer place?”

He looked at me with almost sympathetic eyes and nodded not in approval or disapproval, but in what seemed to be contemplation.

“You know,” he began, taking a sip of his soda, “I thought about that. I sure don’t want to have to kill anyone, and I don’t want anyone to kill me, but there are some really bad people over there doing bad things to really good people. I’m not saying it’s right to kill, but you can’t just do nothing. I’m just trying to help good people in the most effective way I know.”

There was silence as we both reflected on what the other had said, and despite our different beliefs, we learned that we were both trying to see the same world become a better place. He taught me that at the end of every day we are individuals, and as such we have our own reasons and justifications for doing what we do. It was unquestionable to me that occupying Iraq was wrong, and it was unquestionable to him that occupying Iraq was right. We both had our reasons. The wisdom lies in understanding that although our methods may differ, we both share the same goal to make the world a safer, more secure place. We’re both just trying to help in the only way we know how.

In the 1700s, a standout political philosopher named Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” True as this may be, when we stand against something that is immoral or wrong, we must also ensure that our actions don’t commit another wrong in the process. Murder in the name of righteousness is still murder, and the lesser of two evils is still evil. I have nothing but the utmost respect for men or women who put their lives at risk to help another person, but an act of violence should never be used to achieve a positive solution because in the end it can never really offer one.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 14 comments. Post your own!

MiaUnwriten said...
Apr. 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm:
Ego is my opinion, wars are never necessary but words can't shut down the action either. I know that war is not worth blood spilling whether people are good or bad,Talking won't do anything either. Why not, for just once, we just sit and silence ourselves to take our time and see what the world has become. What is the reason for war anyway? Is the reason worth the blood of people that are loved and are waited back home? No reason is worth killing. People need to just grow up and st... (more »)
 
CalebA. replied...
Jun. 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm :
You are describing a perfect world. There will always be someone wanting money and power, but there also will always be someone wanting money and power who is willing to take it by force. This is why war is necessary. If the good do not fight, the evil will; and if the evil fight unchallenged, they will win.
 
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rockyraccoon said...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 9:40 pm:
war is never plesant but sometimes its nescesary.
 
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Jon S. said...
Apr. 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm:
very good very well thought out and written 
 
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Phantom_Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 8:17 am:
Very interesting and thought provoking.
 
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GodsStudent said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 5:55 pm:
Woah. This is something you really take the time to think about. Great job writing it, I will contemplate it some more now :)
 
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whatIreallythink said...
Mar. 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm:
so many are lost, but tell me, who has won?
No one can win when lives are lost.
 
contemplaterThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 15, 2011 at 11:03 am :
Many more lives will be lost if we don't do anything. We live in a corrupt world. How can we make this corrupt world better by using uncorruptive ways? We honestly don't have options.
 
TeaCat replied...
Jun. 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm :

whatIreallythink:

Isn't that a line from "Sunday Bloody Sunday"? I LOVE THAT SONG! It has such a strong message! I think U2 is a very perceptive group.

 
whatIreallythink replied...
Jun. 27, 2011 at 11:51 am :

@teacat 

Yes it is. Yes. :D

 
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HeyYouILoveYourSoul said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm:
Totally agree.
 
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Anne P. said...
Jan. 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm:
I agree. All those innocent lives being stolen every day-- and the U.S. believes it is helping. At least that's what the citizens believe. How is it helping, when it goes there to destroy houses and families? Sure they're poor, sure they have a bad economy, sure not everybody is treated equally, and surely they have corrupt rulers! However, is the U.S. faring any better? I do not believe so. There must be another reason the U.S. army is still filling in Iraq and Afghanistan-- a cause t... (more »)
 
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Carolina This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 20, 2009 at 7:11 pm:
Wouldn't it be better to prevent these people from killing and torturing innocent people by going to war? Would you rather have them attack our nation again?
 
The_Earl_of_Zerces replied...
Feb. 17, 2012 at 10:49 am :
They attacked us because Osama bin Laden was mad at how the US was occupying Saudi Arabia, especially after we funded all those Israeli forces that would go on to terrorize Arab homes and families.
 
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