Soldier in Iraq pulls a Philosophistric Admission

by phil on Wednesday Mar 10, 2004 1:27 AM
philosophist goals

A soldier in Iraq wrote a letter to Michael Moore that contained a compelling piece of philosophistric admission. By philosophistric admission, I mean a self-revelation that embraces our fallacies, rather than one that pretends we are wise and logical. In the following excerpt, Mike Prysner has the courage to reveal how his beliefs are externally-guided--a move that many of us are not capable of making.

I can't say I know what I believe. I am willing to accept that my opinions are a result of a given subconscious, not sufficient knowledge. Do I support care for the low income class because I truly understand the system, or because I've personified inadequacies and identified with those who experience struggle. Does a conservative oppose gay rights because he genuinely understands the issue or because he's scared to face deeper levels of humanity? What if you could be given a reason for everything you believe, but the reason is unrelated to the topic – the result of a life and a psyche? Will we believe those things the same way we used to? I call myself a liberal because I've been moved to tears by the words of Paul Wellstone, scenes in "The Awful Truth," the funeral of Matthew Sheppard, and the homeless people in the city I once lived in. It's not what I know, it's what I felt. It's dangerous to rely on emotions to guide your moral compass – but it’s the only way to be honest. I understand everything I believe may be wrong; that I believe for a reason, and that reason may not be reality. I'm not sure what I'm trying to say. Maybe just that I can't look at this war politically. I can only look at it as an experience that has taught me that life is dictated by seconds and inches; one that has caused me to face death and loss and fear. And at its core, stripped of the WMD's and no-contest contracts, it's been about one thing: serving my country. The most difficult thing has been learning how to be proud of that. This country, I'm serving, it America? Has it ever been? It's always bothered me that, despite the American philosophy, it became NECESSARY for a civil right movement, it became NECESSARY to form the ACLU. I've simultaneously battled Saddam loyalists and these questions. Kind of an odd setting for suddenly doubting my patriotism. But while my fight with those trying to kill my friends & I is far from ending, the fight within myself has ended. (Read the full letter)

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