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  • Can self-defense sometimes be necessary or should we always learn to turn the other cheek?
  Sunday, 18 July 2021
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Let’s start way back. In the moral and legal code of the Hebrews, The Talmud, Moses wrote about the right to self-defense around 1273 BC. He describes what we would now refer to as “The Castle Doctrine” in the Book of Exodus “When a burglar is caught breaking in, and is fatally beaten, there shall be no charge of manslaughter.”

The right to armed self-defense comes from Graeco-Roman Natural Rights theory, clearly enunciated by the Roman statesman Cicero (106–43 B.C.) and other stoic philosophers, influenced by Aristotle. “But if there be any occasion on which it is proper to slay a man,—and there are many such,—surely that occasion is not only a just one, but even a necessary one, when violence is offered, and can only be repelled by violence.” Cicero also quotes Moses in this speech as well.

The right of free men to bear arms in defense of their person and household (family) has strong roots in Roman Law principle of dominium where any attack on the members of the family was a personal attack on the pater familias – the male head of the household, who is endowed by law with dominion and protection over their family. in the 534AD Emperor Justinian Augustus refers to the right to self-defense as the principle of vim vi repellere licet “it is permitted to repel force by force”.

The concept is further discussed in the Catholic Catechism derived from inception based on the theological work of St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). It currently reads: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but also a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.” Furthermore, as “it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life.”

In summary, we have the moral right and duty to protect ourselves and our families from harm. Nobody else has that duty, it lays solely on our shoulders as free men (and women). We also have the moral responsibility to ensure harm doesn’t befall innocent persons. That we are not reckless or intentional in causing harm or death to someone who is not threatening the life of ourselves or families. Lethal force is morally justified, only in response to unjustified lethal force.


So my question is, what did Jesus mean in
Matthew 5:38-40
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

Is it our duty and obligation to protect those God has given the authority over or do we not have any authority over anyone but ourselves?
1 year ago
·
#25549
Accepted Answer
A man has his wife and sons, he lives at home, he also has daughters, already young adult ladies. Suddenly a group of bandits storm the house. They have resolved to rape his wife and his daughters, burn the house, and steal everything. Yet, there is a man there, the husband. He sensed when the bandits entered the house, he is aware of them, but instead of wielding the gun in order to defend his home, he blesses the bandits because he is on the “saintly path,” and says, “May God bless you brothers of my soul , do not commit the crime of raping my wife,” while they are raping her. “Do not commit the crime of raping my daughters,” while they are raping them. “Do not steal my money,” while they are robbing their last cents. “Do not burn down my house,” while they are lighting the fire in it. “Brothers, do not do that, because you will gain a lot of karma. Despite your crimes, I am willing to bless all of you.”

Well, let us suppose that he survived that tragedy, given that the bandits sympathized with him. Well, how would this man be before the authorities and before the divine? The authorities, I believe, would try him as an accomplice of the crime; this is already provided for in the penal code. That man deserves jail for cowardice, and because he has become an accomplice to the crime, that is obvious. He deserves prison, he has become an accomplice, and he is a coward.

So, what is the duty of that man in that situation, that man who is on the path, he is an initiate, he wants to be a Mahatma, and who knows what else? What is his duty? To die in the battlefield, defending his family by any means, to die fighting, but to die if he has to die, to die when doing his duty as a man. That is his duty.

And what would we say, for example, of the military? Here we have our Lieutenant Colonel Moisés Rodríguez Tapia. What we would say, for example, what would our brother who is military say if suddenly the country is threatened? Some aliens come to invade, loot, rape, burn, and rob us, and the army says, “We do not fight anymore. May God bless all these invaders. If they burn, woe to them, they will create karma. May God bless them! We do not fight.” Thus, they cross their arms and give blessings to the bandits that are attacking us. What would become of an army like that? Treason to the country, high treason, that is obvious. High treason punishable not only by the judges of the Earth, but also of divinity. What then would be the duty of the army at that moment?

Disciple: To attack, to defend.

Master: Yes, to defend! There is the need to use weapons. So, weapons in themselves are neither good nor bad. It all depends on the use made of them. If weapons are used for good, they are good, but if weapons are used for evil, they are evil. It all depends on the circumstances.


Audience: What interpretation can we give then to the teaching that states: “But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also?”

Samael Aun Weor: Indeed, I assure you that if someone comes along and strikes my cheek, I will offer the other to be stroked even harder, no problem. But if, here together, I am in charge of a group of children, or if I am here as a guardian of the temple — that is, if I am holding the position of that brother and suddenly there comes a group of bandits that want to make cracklings from you, then I will fight with them, since that is why the guardian is holding a sword. If they defeat me, well, I will die on the battlefield.

What is the duty of the guardian of the temple? You tell me. Well?

Disciple: To defend, even with one’s own life, the people who are been guarded.

Samael Aun Weor: Correct! Right now you are the guardian of the temple. If right now someone comes to attack us, if the the crowds come, if the bandits come to attack these brothers and sisters, you have to lose your life if needed, since you are the guardian of the temple.

So then, one thing is one thing, and another thing is another thing. One thing is that we bless our enemies, that we return good for evil, that when we are struck on one cheek, we offer the other to be struck even harder, and another thing is to defend those who are in our care. Understood? This requires a lot of self-reflection, a lot of psychological self-observation, and much meditation, so that at the end we will discover the cause. Once we discover the cause, we disintegrate it with the help of the Divine Mother Kundalini , with the help of the sacred fire, then the virtue of sympathy for that person who rub us wrong emerges within us. We must therefore become cognizant of everything, live a conscious life, a more mature life, less mechanical.

"Do not worry; cultivate the habit of being happy." - Samael Aun Weor

1 year ago
·
#25549
Accepted Answer
A man has his wife and sons, he lives at home, he also has daughters, already young adult ladies. Suddenly a group of bandits storm the house. They have resolved to rape his wife and his daughters, burn the house, and steal everything. Yet, there is a man there, the husband. He sensed when the bandits entered the house, he is aware of them, but instead of wielding the gun in order to defend his home, he blesses the bandits because he is on the “saintly path,” and says, “May God bless you brothers of my soul , do not commit the crime of raping my wife,” while they are raping her. “Do not commit the crime of raping my daughters,” while they are raping them. “Do not steal my money,” while they are robbing their last cents. “Do not burn down my house,” while they are lighting the fire in it. “Brothers, do not do that, because you will gain a lot of karma. Despite your crimes, I am willing to bless all of you.”

Well, let us suppose that he survived that tragedy, given that the bandits sympathized with him. Well, how would this man be before the authorities and before the divine? The authorities, I believe, would try him as an accomplice of the crime; this is already provided for in the penal code. That man deserves jail for cowardice, and because he has become an accomplice to the crime, that is obvious. He deserves prison, he has become an accomplice, and he is a coward.

So, what is the duty of that man in that situation, that man who is on the path, he is an initiate, he wants to be a Mahatma, and who knows what else? What is his duty? To die in the battlefield, defending his family by any means, to die fighting, but to die if he has to die, to die when doing his duty as a man. That is his duty.

And what would we say, for example, of the military? Here we have our Lieutenant Colonel Moisés Rodríguez Tapia. What we would say, for example, what would our brother who is military say if suddenly the country is threatened? Some aliens come to invade, loot, rape, burn, and rob us, and the army says, “We do not fight anymore. May God bless all these invaders. If they burn, woe to them, they will create karma. May God bless them! We do not fight.” Thus, they cross their arms and give blessings to the bandits that are attacking us. What would become of an army like that? Treason to the country, high treason, that is obvious. High treason punishable not only by the judges of the Earth, but also of divinity. What then would be the duty of the army at that moment?

Disciple: To attack, to defend.

Master: Yes, to defend! There is the need to use weapons. So, weapons in themselves are neither good nor bad. It all depends on the use made of them. If weapons are used for good, they are good, but if weapons are used for evil, they are evil. It all depends on the circumstances.


Audience: What interpretation can we give then to the teaching that states: “But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also?”

Samael Aun Weor: Indeed, I assure you that if someone comes along and strikes my cheek, I will offer the other to be stroked even harder, no problem. But if, here together, I am in charge of a group of children, or if I am here as a guardian of the temple — that is, if I am holding the position of that brother and suddenly there comes a group of bandits that want to make cracklings from you, then I will fight with them, since that is why the guardian is holding a sword. If they defeat me, well, I will die on the battlefield.

What is the duty of the guardian of the temple? You tell me. Well?

Disciple: To defend, even with one’s own life, the people who are been guarded.

Samael Aun Weor: Correct! Right now you are the guardian of the temple. If right now someone comes to attack us, if the the crowds come, if the bandits come to attack these brothers and sisters, you have to lose your life if needed, since you are the guardian of the temple.

So then, one thing is one thing, and another thing is another thing. One thing is that we bless our enemies, that we return good for evil, that when we are struck on one cheek, we offer the other to be struck even harder, and another thing is to defend those who are in our care. Understood? This requires a lot of self-reflection, a lot of psychological self-observation, and much meditation, so that at the end we will discover the cause. Once we discover the cause, we disintegrate it with the help of the Divine Mother Kundalini , with the help of the sacred fire, then the virtue of sympathy for that person who rub us wrong emerges within us. We must therefore become cognizant of everything, live a conscious life, a more mature life, less mechanical.

"Do not worry; cultivate the habit of being happy." - Samael Aun Weor

Nate selected the reply #25549 as the answer for this post — 1 year ago
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