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Thread: What is your answer to this question?

  1. #1

    Default What is your answer to this question?

    While tucking in our ten-year-old daughter last night she was quieter than normal. After kissing goodnight she looked me straight in my face and asked, ?Does character require conflict?? In my silence she reached up and hugged my neck saying, ?I think so.?

    I feel I'm of reasonable intelligence with more than a fair amount of the life experience, but she asked me a seemingly simple question which I didn?t have a satisfactory answer. I am obviously not smarter than a fifth grader?at least this one.

    What do you all feel, does having character require conflict?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    I just read something by Thomas Nagel where he was discussing moral luck.

    In the article, he talks about how a coward can be lucky if he never faces adversity and would never be considered a coward because no one knows.

    A brave man, if never faced with conflict could go through his whole life and never be seen as a brave man because no one knows he is.

    I guess it seems possible that someone could have character without having faced conflict, but you never know how you will react in a situation until having faced it. It also seems like having encountered conflict can cultivate "character" as well.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    A brilliant contribution. Thank you _SL_, thank you very much.

    I am still eager to read the thoughts and comments from others as well.

  4. #4
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    I agree. I can't add to or improve upon SL's answer.
    Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.

  5. #5
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    Character is determined by one's actions or reactions. Consequently, how one acts in the absence of conflict can define one's character as much as how one reacts when confronted with conflict.

    The messages posted to this forum are a prime example of how character of any individual can be defined or to somee extent, stereotyped by the messages communicated. An individual may be viewed in one sense by the topics created and post responses that are personal actions, but then then the aspect of "character" can be further defined, refined and capsulized by certain other responses that are reactive to specific topics and comments.

    Clearly, the Politics and Religion board is a prime example of a stimulus that enables others to make assumptions about one's character. I use "assumptions" in this perspective because we all know that some individuals create alien character veiled by a screen name, while others may be allowing their true character to be revealed, enabled by disquise. I suppose the vast majority of "characters" on this forum and mirrors of their true self.

    My response would be, No, character is not entirely defined by conflict, it also character is also evidence of what we have learned.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    When we were kids I shared a bedroom with my two sisters. One night my little sister said " Mom, what does f*** mean?" My mother had the presence to say "Why?" and my sis replied "All the boys write it in the steam on the bus windows." Mom said "It's a bad word, don't ever use it." instead of launching into a sex talk that my sis didn't care about that night.

    That's a little silly for a serious question like yours, but I've found that you can't really give a good answer to a question like that with out asking "Why?" It seems like there's a big story behind her asking the question.

    But the question "Does character require conflict?" - Sometimes. Sometimes standing up for something will cause conflict and you should be prepared to deal with it. But sometimes sometimes character eases conflict too.
    Last edited by BonnieJ2; 11-29-2007 at 12:11 PM.
    "All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind." -- Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    I suppose you could say conflict builds character, as a manifestation of our adaption to stress.

    However, I would also say conflict is part of the human experience, and no one goes through life without encountering it in one form or another.

    So what is conflict? The question seems to conjure up images of catastrophic, life-changing events, but I don't think we need to have those sorts of events to encounter conflict or to have character.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    Quote Originally Posted by RYou View Post
    Character is determined by one's actions or reactions.
    i always think it is funny how one person's P -> Q (me: character determines conduct) can be another's Q -> P (RU: conduct determines character).

  9. #9
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is your answer to this question?

    Quote Originally Posted by _SL_ View Post
    i always think it is funny how one person's P -> Q (me: character determines conduct) can be another's Q -> P (RU: conduct determines character).
    Actually, the "equation" represents a sense of perspective.

    P -> Q (me: character determines conduct) - as viewed introspectively

    Q -> P (RU: conduct determines character) - as viewed by others.

    In reality P (Active Character) -> Q (conflict) -> P (Reactive Character)
    ...No ?

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