Saturday, January 2, 2016

Different Types of Courage

Working on a chapter about overcoming fear. Overcoming fear is considered essential in order to act and survive on the battlefield.

Courage conquers fear - General Sir Peter de la Belliere.

Courage is an individual's exercise of mind over fear through self discipline - General Sir Peter de la Belliere.

Without fear there would be no requirement for courage - General Sir Peter de la Belliere.

Courage is will-power - Lord Moran, The Anatomy of Courage.

From this analysis courage requires fear. If an action is taken, then in order to determine if it was courageous one has to know if the actor was fearful. If the actor was not fearful, then the action is not courageous.

Or is it?

It is often said that the greatest fear of a solider is not the fear of death and injury but the fear of failure and letting down his comrades. The fear of cowardice and dishonour.

Are those 'true' fears? Has an appraisal of a human idea elicited a subjective feeling of fear that motivates a particular instinctive action tendency that an automatic physiological reaction prepares the body to enact? And if so, how do these fears that motivate actions fit within the flight and freeze paradigm of fear?

These are the issues I was dealing with when I came across and reflected on military concepts of physical and moral courage. Physical courage involves overcoming emotional fear, however, moral courage involves 'doing the right thing' with no mention of 'physical fear.'

I'm playing with the idea that physical courage involves overcoming emotional fear whereas moral courage involves overcoming some intellectual construct. The former is based in emotion whereas the latter is based in the intellect.

Thus, fear can be emotional or someone people might use the term 'fear' to refer to an intellectual based conflict which is not based in emotion.

Thus, when Cprl Ben Roberts-Smith charged the Taliban positions to free his comrades where were being pinned down, that might have been a situation of moral courage if he did not experience emotional fear at the time.

Maybe the intellectual based fears are part of the will-power construct. They motivate or support will-power and maybe have some overriding or distracting effect on physical/emotional fear.

Just some musing of the inconsistent use of the term fear by many.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments make my work all the more relevant as I use them to direct my research and theorising. Thank you.