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Hank Reinhardt
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject: Lewis Chivalry         Reply with quote

I have to jump back into this. I find that the last three posting are preaching to the choir as far as I am concerned. But there are some comments that I fhave to make. I have always operated onthe Fiji/Lower Alabama system of mathematics. One, Two Three, many, heaps, bunches and whole raths! However I am passionately interested in Cosmology and sub-atomic physics from a purely Layman's point of view. I have always felt that there is not a single unifying Theory of Everything, and that knowledge is infinite, and that Man' will never know everything there is to know. I was recently delighted to hear that Stephen Hawking has adopted my viewpoint on this. Which I quickly pointed out to my father-in-law, Martin Weisskopf.( Who is the project scientist on the Chandra X ray telescope. Its rather interesting to have a father in law that is 8 years younger than you. My wife is 33 years younger than me.)
When I was in the 6th grade I encountered the book "How to Think Straight" by Robert Thouless. Since that time Logic has been a tool which I try to use as often as possible. I have enocuntered very few logical arguements in my many discussions with various people. As Jean says, they wish to be going right, but refuse to admit that they are turning left off of the cliff.
I do think there are warriors produced today. I am leery of the term "warrior" since that can easily describe the dumb brute who kills for a jacket that he could easily afford to buy. I also agree (as stated) with Lewis, that these people are not cowards, but can be most brave. So I will say that I do think there are knights being born today, but the weapons and the armour used are quite different.
We live in an age where it is difficult to predict what the fuiture holds. The technology advances at such a pace, and all of it changes our lives in ways that were not even comtemplated. In the past the moral pendulum swung back and forth. But the only periods I can recall where there was no High Culture were those small tribal and barbarian societies. And even then there were probably some who held to the Tribal Ideals. Best, Hank

Hank Reinhardt
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: The Necessity of Chivalry by C.S. Lewis         Reply with quote

Hank Reinhardt wrote:
The Lancelot is the warrior who is meek in hall, and ferocious on the field.


Someone else mentioned Plato in the context of the discussion, and as this idea expressed by Lewis in the above quotation clearly reflects Plato's thoughts, I thought I would include a relevant passage from the Republic:

Then it will be our duty to select, if we can, natures which are fitted for the task of guarding the city?

It will.
And the selection will be no easy matter, I said; but we must be brave and do our best.

We must.
Is not the noble youth very like a well-bred dog in respect of guarding and watching?

What do you mean?
I mean that both of them ought to be quick to see, and swift to overtake the enemy when they see him; and strong too if, when they have caught him, they have to fight with him.

All these qualities, he replied, will certainly be required by them.
Well, and your guardian must be brave if he is to fight well?
Certainly.
And is he likely to be brave who has no spirit, whether horse or dog or any other animal? Have you never observed how invincible and unconquerable is spirit and how the presence of it makes the soul of any creature to be absolutely fearless and indomitable?

I have.
Then now we have a clear notion of the bodily qualities which are required in the guardian.

True.
And also of the mental ones; his soul is to be full of spirit?
Yes.
But are not these spirited natures apt to be savage with one another, and with everybody else?

A difficulty by no means easy to overcome, he replied.
Whereas, I said, they ought to be dangerous to their enemies, and gentle to their friends; if not, they will destroy themselves without waiting for their enemies to destroy them.

True, he said.
What is to be done then? I said; how shall we find a gentle nature which has also a great spirit, for the one is the contradiction of the other?

True.
He will not be a good guardian who is wanting in either of these two qualities; and yet the combination of them appears to be impossible; and hence we must infer that to be a good guardian is impossible.

I am afraid that what you say is true, he replied.
Here feeling perplexed I began to think over what had preceded. My friend, I said, no wonder that we are in a perplexity; for we have lost sight of the image which we had before us.

What do you mean? he said.
I mean to say that there do exist natures gifted with those opposite qualities.

And where do you find them?
Many animals, I replied, furnish examples of them; our friend the dog is a very good one: you know that well-bred dogs are perfectly gentle to their familiars and acquaintances, and the reverse to strangers.

Yes, I know.
Then there is nothing impossible or out of the order of nature in our finding a guardian who has a similar combination of qualities?

Certainly not.
Would not he who is fitted to be a guardian, besides the spirited nature, need to have the qualities of a philosopher?

I do not apprehend your meaning.
The trait of which I am speaking, I replied, may be also seen in the dog, and is remarkable in the animal.

What trait?
Why, a dog, whenever he sees a stranger, is angry; when an acquaintance, he welcomes him, although the one has never done him any harm, nor the other any good. Did this never strike you as curious?

The matter never struck me before; but I quite recognise the truth of your remark.

And surely this instinct of the dog is very charming; --your dog is a true philosopher.

Why?
Why, because he distinguishes the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing. And must not an animal be a lover of learning who determines what he likes and dislikes by the test of knowledge and ignorance?

Most assuredly.
And is not the love of learning the love of wisdom, which is philosophy?

They are the same, he replied.
And may we not say confidently of man also, that he who is likely to be gentle to his friends and acquaintances, must by nature be a lover of wisdom and knowledge?

That we may safely affirm.
Then he who is to be a really good and noble guardian of the State will require to unite in himself philosophy and spirit and swiftness and strength?

Undoubtedly.

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.3.ii.html
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Jun, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The subject of "The Necessity of Chivalry" by C.S. Lewis came up on another forum, and in my effort to google for it, this thread came up on the front page of the search results. As it appears that this thread is over 2.5 years old, it's from before I started keeping up with the posts here. I'm sorry I missed this discussion!

So I figured I'd bring it up again, and ask if anyone has had any new thoughts or perspectives in the few years that have passed since this conversation ended so abruptly.

Reading through all of the replies, I must say I really enjoyed it, and agree with most of the insights that people have posted. A great many interesting and varied viewpoints that show that many of the forum members here, myself included, really are on the same page.

Thinking along the lines of the current cultural trends that are instilling a certain amount of passiveness, and non-aggression, I think it goes beyond just political correctness and pacifism. Over the last several decades, I think there's also been a trend towards altering the role of men in society from being protectors and problem solvers (their natural instincts), and attempting to feminize them to some degree. Safe outlets for aggression are downplayed. How many boys these days are taught to wrestle, or to shoot, for instance? Kids get in trouble for having water pistols at school. The inordinate societal obsession with safety and pacifism is bordering on lunacy at times, in my opinion.

Thoughts?

-Ed T. Toton III
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jun, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, perhaps not a "new" insight. I've been re-reading Geoffoi de Charny's "A Knight's Own Book of Chivalry" of late (written sometime before his death at the battle of Poitiers, so it's really rather old insights), I have also revisited C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia (not specifically about chivalry, but there are some overlaps). The thing that strikes me in both of these works is that chivalry is not a choice made at a single moment in regard to a specific circumstance. It is about having a chivalrous nature (or as de Charny puts it, being a "man of worth"). That is to say, chivalry is a life style and a series of continued choices to treat everyone honorably, courteously, etc. Not simply those we like or think have earned respect.

The other thing I am noticing, and this goes hand in hand with the previous comment, is that, on my first reading of de Charny, I focussed too much on his repeated statement, "he who does most is most worthy." I'm not disagreeing with that (though I'm not sold out on it, either); instead, I'm noticing more and more his admonition to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of those who try whole heartedly but do not necessarily do most. One of his comments to this effect points out that unworthy lords, by simply spending some money, can seem honorable, but a man of middle or lesser rank might try for all his life to achieve the same ends. Ultimately, it is the man who strives most who should be honored, for, given the same means, he would do as much or more. I guess I point this out to show that the line from Batman Begins: "It's not who I am underneath but what I do that shows who I really am," isn't entirely right; at least not from the point of view of chivalry. Like the old adage says, "It's the spirit that counts."

The other thing I notice, for both Lewis and de Charny, is that chivalry exists within the frame work of religion. Specifically Christianity (though Lewis and de Charny might have had many heated discussions, as one was a member of the Church of England and the other was Catholic). That is not to say that chivalry is a wholly religious institution, but it does seem to encourage those same ideals. I think I may have posted previously in this thread (I didn't go back and read it, so I may be wrong) that I was once yelled at for holding a door for a young lady. An action I viewed as some meager attempt at chivalry. I have often wondered if that particular rejection of chivalry, along with so many other generic ones, was not a reflection of the lack of religion in this world. I'm not trying to make this a thread about religion, but the realist in me has to ask the question: can chivalry be separated from religion? If not, should I even bother in todays society? I think the answers are "yes" and "of course" respectively, and I hope I'm right (at least on the second one).

I hope Aaron Schnatterly won't mind me stealing a quote from him, but "the world needs as many 'gentleman' in any context as it can get."

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jun, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed, you know that I agree with you, but I can't leave this topic alone either.

As far as letting boys be boys, the National Center for Health Statistics reported in 2004:

Quote:
The study also sheds light on the number of children with identified learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD). Almost 5 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 had been identified with a learning disability, and almost 4 million had been identified with ADHD. Boys were more than twice as likely as girls (10 percent vs. 4 percent) to have been identified with ADHD.


How many of those boys identified with ADHD truly have the disability and aren't just being boys? And 10% of all boys having ADHD? That seems rather incredible to me.

In reference to our societal obsession with safety, we spent the afternoon saying goodbye to our beloved 2-story slide at the neighborhood elementary school. It's going to be torn down as a safety hazard. (Just like you can't find swings and see-saws anymore.) The safety issue is off topic for this thread, but I do see it as a symptom of the devaluing of our natural inclinations to heroism and adventuring.

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Jun, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed Toton wrote:
Thinking along the lines of the current cultural trends that are instilling a certain amount of passiveness, and non-aggression, I think it goes beyond just political correctness and pacifism. Over the last several decades, I think there's also been a trend towards altering the role of men in society from being protectors and problem solvers (their natural instincts), and attempting to feminize them to some degree. Safe outlets for aggression are downplayed. How many boys these days are taught to wrestle, or to shoot, for instance? Kids get in trouble for having water pistols at school. The inordinate societal obsession with safety and pacifism is bordering on lunacy at times, in my opinion.

Thoughts?


Ed,

I didn't take particular note of this until after I had posted my above thoughts. I know that the book "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge has been mentioned previously in this thread, and I think it is particularly relevant here. As Eldreidge points out, the Church (and society can easily be included here), has taught us that the ideal is to be a nice guy; but being a "nice guy" is our death knell. He goes on to say, in reference to his own book, that we don't need another book on being a good Christian or a nice guy, what we need is permission to be the people that we were intended to be (I'd quote it, but I keep giving away my copy of the book, so I don't have it on hand). Eldridge is talking about exactly what you refer to, only he makes it slightly worse. Where you implicate political correctness, he singles out the Church trying to be politically correct. The point remains that we as men are taught to be pacifistic, standers-by instead of the aggressive problem solvers we want to be.

I would also agree with you on the issue with wrestling, shooting, etc., but I think the difference there is more damning. I see a distinction between academic instruction and education. The former is what schools should be doing, and the later is what parents should be doing (the infinite number of places where this system breaks down is a whole other subject, so don't get me going that direction). Parents should be the ones teaching children to use their various strengths (physical, mental, emotional, etc.) in a safe and responsible manner. If that is not happening (i.e. a parent doesn't teach their child how to wrestle without being a bully), then how can we ever expect that child to behave in a chivalrous manner? Society's solution to aggression seems to have been to remove the possibility for that aggression, but what chivalry teaches is responsibility and restraint in regards to the potential for aggression. Since the former doesn't seem to be working, I think we should revert to the former.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Christopher Lee




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jun, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An interesting thread no doubt but given the nature of the forum and its audience i would tend to think that there would be very few dissenting voices.

Chivalry as a concept is fine but has generally only ever been something to aspire towards but is generally never practiced as often as it has been preached. Even the chivalry of the"knights" was somewhat of a sham and chivalric principles were more often than not sacrificed for expediency or personal gain. Battles and sieges may be marked out in history by the occasional act of chivalry that was so noted at the time that people bothered to record it. However the harsh realities of war were never replaced by the respectful principles of chivalry. Whenever chivalry was displayed it was generally displayed by one social elite towards another social elite; knight to knight; duke to duke; king to king; rarely was respect shown to the common soldier during a rout; women were not respected when a city were given over to rape and pillage. The crusaders were keen to display chivalry amongst their number but displayed precious little to the muslim population of Jerusalem. So chivalry was fine, but once again, it was only displayed towards persons within a set grouping and excluded non-christians. Romantic chivalry was something that was revived during the victorian era but was once again a fashion statement, an affectation; victorian society was keen to display a chivalrous attitude to its social elites and peers but factory workers and slum dwellers were excluded from that consideration, or at most were treated with a paternalistic attitude. As for the excercise of chivalry in modern warfare, chivalry is hardly the word that springs to mind when contemplating the My Lai Massacre; Abu Ghraib; Haditha or Fallujah. Once again though the "other", the foriegner, the non-christian is not accorded the respect or protection through any code of chivalry. If chivalry is not accorded a place in the practice of modern warfare then it is relegate to the status of a palour game, an armchair philosphy. Essentially chivalry has been distinguished as much for its high ideals as its hypocrisy and exclusivity.

On another note C.S. Lewis was writing his essay from the perspective of a christian, and as such based his morality in the judeo-christian tradition. Having looked up "Wild at Heart" i also note that this book is also written from a christian perspective. Being an atheist i can not help but wonder if chivalry required the overlay of christian religion to be considered "chivalry"?

Anyway, i think that i have written more than enough and i have no doubt that i will attract vehement criticism, but that's ok. To sum up, i think that chivalry it is a nice, quaint set of ideals but so often the reality has fallen so far short of the fantasy.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jun, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just because high ideals are often not lived up to doesn't mean the the ideals are not something to aspire to.

Specific codes of " Chivalry " are just the way it gets codified by a specific culture I think there are " Universal " concepts of honour and are not exclusively " Christian " or even religion based.

To me it's how I define honour as in being trustworthy, a person who follows up on their commitments, who has your back in a fight etc ......

Lets not confuse the superficial trapping of " chivalry " with basic positive values including bravery, honesty, kindness that are hardwired into the human psyche. ( At least I think they are hardwired: A basic sense of justice and fairness ).

There is a lot more innate goodness and cooperation in human nature than there is negative otherwise we would all eat our kids. True evil is also a part of human nature and it only takes a small number of sociopaths, ambitious politicians to push a society into anarchy or dictatorship.

Goodness does not equate with lack of valour and courage but only that one fights when one must and for good reason.

The modern and even the not so modern World presents us with complicated political situations where the " good " can be hard to differentiate from the " bad " ( Evil ): So the morality of war can be debatable and rarely is the " good " the monopoly of one side.

Say, we go back a few thousand years and imagine a city state or even a village that is being attacked by invaders: The moral dilemma of do I take up spear and shield to defend my City and family is totally non-existent as far as I'm concerned.
In modern times things are rarely this black and white.

To not defend one's city or family is to show a lack of " Honour/Chivalry " not to mention courage.

The subject is so vast and could include all of human history and human nature that I would take way to much time to cover it all. ( So I won't Wink Laughing Out Loud ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Sam Shifley




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PostPosted: Sun 22 Jun, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Incredibly moving topic. I am an infrequent voice here on the forums but read nearly everyday.

Having found myArmoury a relatively short time ago, I am glad this one is seeing a revival. I finally got around to reading this about an hour ago and was sharing some of your comments with my wife. I was continually impressed with Mr. Reinhardt's comments and noticed that he was an industry professional (please forgive my ignorance). I clicked on his website tab and was floored to read that he had passed away last year. Floored is a great understatement. Yeah, I was in tears . . . and still close to them. This after reading a few comments he had posted here.

The reason I am sharing this with you all, strangers basically, is that it is no small thing to find like-minded people with these interests. Not only do we share the not-to-common bond of arms interest, but according to this post, a far more rare interest in striving to uphold ideals and mindsets that are considered antiquated more every passing day. I work in the entertainment industry with all of the ego and rampant self-centeredness you see on any number of celebrity gossip media outlets and then some. I offer that information only to say that I fully understand being looked at strangely and occasionally hostilely for valuing something other than image and the all mighty dollar.

Regardless, I thank you for thoughts and sentiments that have helped me to not feel as alone in the world as I did before reading this.

And, as always, thanks to the entire myArmoury team for giving all of us misfits a place to feel apart of a community.
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Mike Arledge




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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2008 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Ed for finding this for us, its before my time as well, and to have it feature Hank so prominently is amazing, its bookmarked now for me.
Mike J Arledge

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2008 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Jean said, ideals like chivalry are goals, things to aspire to. Do they always get realized or achieved? Nope, but striving toward them is worthy. Many knights, of course, didn't practice striving toward those goals. That shouldn't denigrate those who did nor the ideals themselves.

I think ideals like courtesy, generosity, loyalty, protecting those who can't protect themselves, and fighting for your beliefs are worthy, regardless of whether your beliefs are Christian or religious at all, are things we should all hope to accomplish.

I keep a crusader coin in my wallet. It's not because I want to recapture the Holy Land or kill a bunch of people. It's a daily reminder to not be afraid to stand for what I believe. It reminds me of the ideals behind the crusades, despite the fact that I know many crusaders were in it for money or territorial gains or simply to legalize their thuggery.

We shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that all knights practiced chivalry and that their world was a nicer place for it. We know differently. But it doesn't mean we can't strive for those ideals in order to be better humans.

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2008 9:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all,

It's interesting how some things in history are more prone to deconstructionism than others. There seems to be a direct connection between the willingness to do this and the remoteness in time or culture the ideal in question.

Many Americans are quick to point out where knights fell short of the chivalric ideal, but we're usually more reticent to make that same point about our country's founders. There's a lot of criticism that could be leveled at the ideal of equality posited by a group of slaveholders. Many of the same critics who would say "knights only treated their own chivalrously" are quite comfortable demurring when the issue of late 18th c. slavery comes up.

In both cases though, what's often missing is context. When we we accuse knights of not being chivalrous, are we saying that from our modern vantage point? Would they have been viewed as poor exemplars by their contemporaries, or is that simply our view? Did they not fulfill the code in its sense then, or are we simply offended because it doesn't jive with our sensibilities? In a similar vein, how many read the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and were horrified it was written by a man who owned slaves? Probably not that many...

We don't view the world the way we did, so we need to temper our judgment in light of that. And we should remember that many of *our* actions are going to be put under history's magnifying glass someday - hopefully, also by those who can look at those actions in context.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jun, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela Muir wrote:
Ed, you know that I agree with you, but I can't leave this topic alone either.

As far as letting boys be boys, the National Center for Health Statistics reported in 2004:

Quote:
The study also sheds light on the number of children with identified learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD). Almost 5 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 had been identified with a learning disability, and almost 4 million had been identified with ADHD. Boys were more than twice as likely as girls (10 percent vs. 4 percent) to have been identified with ADHD.


How many of those boys identified with ADHD truly have the disability and aren't just being boys? And 10% of all boys having ADHD? That seems rather incredible to me.

In reference to our societal obsession with safety, we spent the afternoon saying goodbye to our beloved 2-story slide at the neighborhood elementary school. It's going to be torn down as a safety hazard. (Just like you can't find swings and see-saws anymore.) The safety issue is off topic for this thread, but I do see it as a symptom of the devaluing of our natural inclinations to heroism and adventuring.


I would have to say,IMO that the pharmaceutical companys need a condition to sell their wares to so up comes ADHD.
There are some they may fit that true condition but like you said, most of them are just boys.
When I was young, I use to run through the woods with an old WW 1 bayonet and dreamed of being a warrior.
As for safety....my father never ever worried about it. He knew it was dangerous, we knew it was dangerous and he taught us to use common sense and trusted us to use it with that in mind. He trusted us to be careful. Isn't that all a young man needs? AND the love of his mother..


EDIT: And I found this about ADHD.
Quote:The hunter vs. farmer theory is a hypothesis proposed by Thom Hartmann about the origins of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He believes that these conditions may be a result of adaptive behavior of the species. His theory believes that those with ADHD retained some of the older hunter characteristics.

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jun, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Talk of medical conditions and the pharmaceutical industry is getting pretty off-topic (to say the least).
Happy

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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jun, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's been a while since this thread originated and I've only skimmed the previous posts, so pardon me if I'm repeating myself or someone else's words.

Our family are avid Scouters. All of us are active in the local Boy Scout troop. Like any organization, yes, it has its flaws as do some of its members, however, its ideals are something we should all strive for.

The Scout Motto is "Do a good turn daily."

The Scout Oath is "On my honor I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

The Scout Law is "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."

Sounds like a type of chivalric code to me. Happy

And boys get to run around, play outside, have adventures and get dirty. What's not to like?

Pamela Muir

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Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford


Last edited by Pamela Muir on Tue 24 Jun, 2008 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jun, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Talk of medical conditions and the pharmaceutical industry is getting pretty off-topic (to say the least).


Sorry about that, Chief.

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jun, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:

The other thing I am noticing, and this goes hand in hand with the previous comment, is that, on my first reading of de Charny, I focussed too much on his repeated statement, "he who does most is most worthy." I'm not disagreeing with that (though I'm not sold out on it, either); instead, I'm noticing more and more his admonition to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of those who try whole heartedly but do not necessarily do most. One of his comments to this effect points out that unworthy lords, by simply spending some money, can seem honorable, but a man of middle or lesser rank might try for all his life to achieve the same ends. Ultimately, it is the man who strives most who should be honored, for, given the same means, he would do as much or more. I guess I point this out to show that the line from Batman Begins: "It's not who I am underneath but what I do that shows who I really am," isn't entirely right; at least not from the point of view of chivalry. Like the old adage says, "It's the spirit that counts."


I agree with what you're saying, but don't forget that de Charny also made a comparison between commoners and the upper class, and decided that the nobility was still worthy of higher praise, because the commoner acts out of necessity with little choice, whereas the noble chooses to be a man of worth instead of just living in luxury. I haven't decided how much of this was just out of respect for his superiors, so to speak, and how much of it was truly heartfelt.

I found Charny's book very interesting. Much more so than Lull's, which reads like a 6th grade book report in comparison.

Wow, this thread really took off these last few days while I've been away. Happy

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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Tue 24 Jun, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
As Jean said, ideals like chivalry are goals, things to aspire to. Do they always get realized or achieved? Nope, but striving toward them is worthy. Many knights, of course, didn't practice striving toward those goals. That shouldn't denigrate those who did nor the ideals themselves.


Sorry for double posting, I'm still reading through everything. Happy

I've started reading "Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe" by Richard W. Kaeuper, and one of the insights he had that I thought was interesting is that a lot of the chivalrous ideals that were written about in period were written about precisely because they weren't being fully lived up to. One tends not to write about the obvious. Much of the time, writing was intended to draw attention to areas that needed work, or as a call for reform or improvement.

As human beings, we'll all make the attempt to varying degrees, and succeed to varying degrees as well. The journey is as important as the goal, if not more so.

But I have to agree with Christian, that the sensibilities at the time about what constituted a chivalrous knight were probably different than the untouchable ideal that modern folks tend to apply to it.

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Simon Van Der Spoel




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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jun, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find this topic fascinating, partially due to the fact that the way I formed my view on the world was due to C.S Lewis, and other authors.
There is a saying I came across, and I have no idea who said it or whether I'm quoting it right, but
"You are only as strong as that which makes you angry" is basically the gist of it.

The nuances of that statement, when looked at, has been a foundation on how I approach life, and an extrapolation that statement is what action do you take when angered, is a basis of how I conduct myself.

I have been called an old soul, due to that I conduct myself with respect and those around me I treat with respect, whether it be opening doors for ladies, helping people carry heavy things if they are struggling, lending my strength to someones aid.
Patience for others opinions, and actions, but limited tolerance of stupidity, for I wish to be judged by my actions and not my words.
I have worked in an industry that parades the misery of the world on show, as a TV news camera man, and yet I held to my core respect for others, I did not film the dying, only the wreckage around them, I did not ask the people being treated by the paramedics "how do you feel", I filmed houses burning to the ground, and families lives destroyed, but the community would rally and provide for the family because of my pictures. i have stood outside a court house filming the dregs of society, people who have done evil, commited heinous crimes, and they have the gall to call me vulture. A lawyer once asked a camera operator I knew, "Destroyed any lives lately?" yet that lawyer probably had done more damage to society than that camera op.

I hold to my code, my belief, tempered by the reality I see, the inhumane treatment, the calls on the police scanner, of the horrible goings on of the city, yet I hold them up in my mind as to what I do not want to become.
Chivalry, the word itself inspires, yet is ridiculed, whether due to its religious connotations, but being a good person is not bound to a particular religion, and I have long held religion to be a set of cultural norms to do good or evil and use religion as truth...and an excuse.
But being a good person...and the difficulty surrounding that simple sounding but tough ideal, is part of why I enjoy being alive. The struggle for this concept, against the path of least resistance, is part of being human, and exploring the depths of human thought, action and nature...well, chivalry is there, but it is not often known as such. I don't count myself strong enough to be a police officer, a fireman, or a paramedic, or soldier...to put oneself into the very line of fire to help others or protect others, and sacrifice time, energy and often blood, for an ignorant and oftne abusive public, who have no knowledge of what it is that these people deal with...I can only be an outsider looking in with my camera...and hope that my images of these knights of the modern world will give some understanding of what really means to stand up and be counted...and try to be a good person myself.

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Simon VDS

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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Who is really high often does not need to prove that he is strong. Who is truly strong is often mild. Awareness of its virtues, this is its real strength.

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Maurizio
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