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Japanese sailor lost off whaling ship in Antarctic

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Wait until they say he slipped on that slippery powder stuff those Sea Shepherd guys lob onto their decks.

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On deck in only coveralls? Must have come up for a smoke break? This is an unfortunate accident indeed!

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Hmmmm... what is that Buddhist cosmic force again?

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maybe a whale ate him...

Moderator: Readers, please do not post inappropriate remarks. This is a tragic incident, regardless of your views on whaling.

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Loss of precious Japanese life in search of research of WhaleWorld.

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Very tragic.

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What a waste of a life. This is what happens when you carry out "traditional" whaling half way around the world. The whaling ships should stick to Japanese coastal waters, where the chance of being rescued is much higher.

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Definitely karma, my friends.

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Tragic ? Yes,for the guys family...not the whales.

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That whaler should've been prepared for an overboard in freezing waters. But, for a bunch of sailors who can't even fend off a bunch of Australians throwing phamarcy ingredient acids at them on the high seas. This kind of air headed shortfall (mind the pun) is not far from the unexpected.

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A worker in the engine room, on deck in the Antarctic, wearing only overalls? ...something isn't right there. Maybe some spat between crew members, resulting in 'I'll see you outside' and a scuffle on deck. Over the New Year, so alcohol likely involved. If other crew members are involved, let's hope there's a proper inquiry and those responsible pay the price.

A waste of a young life, a death that should not have happened and would not have happened if he had stayed at home and got a proper job.

Condolences to his family, but I'm glad the whales get a bit of a reprieve.

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sad news. whales don't eat humans despite the poetic justice such an image may project. don't forget the guy spent a very miserable cold hour before drowning, seems like people have more empathy for a whale than for a human. Lets hope the Japanese don't portray this guy as a hero of some kind and instead see the nonsensical practice for what it is: nationalism in the disguise of commerce.

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An hour? Doubt that. Ten minutes and he'd have slipped into being comfortably numb.

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Couldn't those floating hippies have just picked him up? Don't tell me they weren't hanging around.

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This is an example of the risks thar are taken by all seafaring people in commercial maritime and fisheries enterprises. As for the truly inappropriate comments here, I can assure you that every fisherman from the Georges Banks to Alaska would sympathize with the poor sailor. Which goes to prove the point I have been pressing, that the maritime industries are inherently dangerous and full of natural risks. It is no place for anyone to be taking provocative acts of terrorism, piracy or even simple harassment. On the high seas, people's lives are always at stake. This is why the SS organization needs to be prosecuted on a global level. It has nothing to do with anyone's position on whaling.

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Cleo, Engine room wosrkers pop up on deck in their boiler suits (coveralls) for some fresh air and maybe a smoke all the time, nothing fishy about that. Why he fell overboard is a different question. slipped, pushed, jumped? We may never know.

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It is no place for anyone to be taking provocative acts of terrorism, piracy or even simple harassment.

Spare us the ridiculous exaggerations. If you want to know about terrorism ask the injured vets returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, or the families of the victims of 9/11.

Sea Shepherd are making a direct protest.

This incident is a tragedy but remember, the only people who have died in the Antarctic have been as a result of poor and dangerous seamanship... on this occasion and in the terrible fire that hit the Nisshin Maru recently (which incidently left that huge factory ship dead in the water and put at grave risk the precious and unique Antarctic environment).

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Poor guy, the sailor must have lost much tension as there was no activist boats there. That's accident.

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Kwatt, good point.

Kyoshin Maru No2: "Where is Sea Shepherd when we need them?"

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Lets hope the Japanese don't portray this guy as a hero of some kind and instead see the nonsensical practice for what it is: nationalism in the disguise of commerce.

I don't know how the foraging of particular food source that is would amount to nationalism, probably becase I don't have a whale fetish as shared by many non-Japanese who cherish whales as part of their culture (the issue of whether the cultural affection for whales is an expression of nationalism is interesting but not relevant here). I agree however, that the view that Japan can pursue any seas for whale regardless of political boundaries by some privilege of manifest destiny/divine right to sole use of the world's whales is clearly nationalistic. But nothing in mainstream Japanese politics would suggest any souls are subscribing to this view, so it's not something to immediately fear.

But it is clear that this ill-fated crewman, like most of his other can only blame themselves for the negligence of their own personal welfare and the fulfilment of their mission. They should be aware by the time they left home port through all the exposed publicity of Eco-terrorism and industrial safety learnings that; that they were going to operate in 'hostile waters' with adverse human and natural elements. When they got there, they epicly failed.

When the MV Steve Irwin caught up with them in the disputed Australian EEZ and threw glass bottles of acid at them, they turned tail and fled for New Zealand waters. It takes a long 3 WEEKS voyage just to get from Japan to the tip of the Tasman Sea, it would be reasonable to expect these grown male whalers to put a decent fight to hold their position against a pesterance that has shown in the past to be no more deadly than a group of highschool pranksters. I wonder if it's the Heisei PC-ness or the shikatagani mentality that drives these whalers to submission but their lack of determination at the critical point of their endeavour will cost them alot of operational time and money.

As to the natural element, see my earlier post. Oh, and I don't know whether Karmic retributive justice works, but one thing is certain: Karma does not prevent stupid people from clearly avoidable harm's way.
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something isn't right there. Maybe some spat between crew members, resulting in 'I'll see you outside' and a scuffle on deck. Over the New Year, so alcohol likely involved. If other crew members are involved, let's hope there's a proper inquiry and those responsible pay the price.

Someones been watching too many police dramas. Let's get detective Cleo on the case.

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Engine room wosrkers pop up on deck in their boiler suits (coveralls) for some fresh air and maybe a smoke all the time, nothing fishy about that.

In the Antarctic? Where it's cold? If he had any sense he'd at least put a jacket on over his overalls wouldn't he? (Then again, if he had any sense he wouldn't be going for a smoke....) I still think something happened that caused him to be unexpectedly up on deck in inappropriate clothing, and it's likely that that something, whatever it was, had some part in him falling overboard. If it was something fishy, though, I very much doubt the whale killers will admit it. This will go down as an unfortunate accident. Or they'll make it the fault of the rancid butter (three days after Sea Shepherd left the area - what happened to the time-honoured tradition of sailors swabbing the decks & keeping them pristine?)

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New Zealad is not helpful for this accident. Young sailor life was lost.

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The moderator is right on this one (god forbid), irrespective of your views on whaling, it is important to recognize the sadness of this accident. Indeed, it makes me think of the last line of the navy prayer "those in peril of the sea."

With regard to how this happened, perhaps the chap in question nipped outside for a cigarette and was caught by a wave or a slippery deck (without having a safety line or survival equipment on)- it can be a hassle to put on your clothing -especially for a 5 minute smoke. Monotony also breeds contempt of SOP. There is always the matter of suicide as well. He wouldn't be the first.

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New Zealad is not helpful for this accident. Young sailor life was lost. If Aussie stop culling the Kangaroos, Japan will stop whaling.

Japan was not helpful for this accident!!

This is a tragic incident but it shows that Japan is grabbing whales in the wrong place. If things go wrong in the Antarctic NOBODY can help. Remember the big fire on the Nisshin Maru? Somebody died and that huge ship was left floating in the water. It's easy to imagine that fire getting out of control... more loss of life (god forbid), the ship sinking and a huge oil spill as gift from the Japanese to the pristine Antarctic wilderness.

No thanks, Japan.

Take your dangerous fleet closer to home to grab whales for your "food culture". If there is an accident or oil spill in the seas around Japan then you can send ships to help out. Please don't endanger the unique and precious Antarctic.

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SS has attacked ships in all waters, even in Japanese waters. Read up your facts before you spew ignorance on a public forum. SS is a terrorist group. Whether I agree with whaling or not, SS is not the way to tackle anything. It's one sonofagun's way to get his 15 minutes and thanks to clueless blokes like yourself he gets them. Frigging lowlife dacoits.

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Maybe the dude was drunk and went out to take a leak.

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Lobbing a bottle of smelly stuff at a ship is not 'an inhumane action'. A smelly action, yes, even yobbish maybe; inhumane, no.

Until someone falls overboard as a result of course. I respect GreenPeace's stance on whaling, I can not accept Sea Shepherd.

Someone WILL get hurt or worse as a direct result of their actions.

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However, authorities decided that no boats or planes could reach the remote waters several thousand kilometers south of New Zealand

Just exactly whose backyard is this?

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Japan’s coast guard requested New Zealand’s help

wow a japanese whaler was missing in the J-whaler claimed backyard, but why need newzeland's help? next time when a destroyer hit and sink a fisherman vessel in any japanese water, they might try ask the newzeland for help again! or better off the chinese or russian!

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If you think this is "karma" you have a messed up set of morals. I'd rather see every whale in the ocean turn to dust than have one human being drown in the ocean.

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If Aussie stop culling the Kangaroos, Japan will stop whaling. You know that isn't true.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1834061.stm

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It is no place for anyone to be taking provocative acts of terrorism, >piracy or even simple harassment.

Spare us the ridiculous exaggerations.

The taking of any unnecessary unprovoked violent action for the sole purpose of furthering your own beliefs or imposing it upon others and putting human life and safety at risk is not a RIDICULOUS EXAGGERATION.

If you want to know about terrorism ask the injured vets returning from >Iraq or Afghanistan, or the families of the victims of 9/11.

Those are war zones and our troops are well aware of where they are and what they are fighting.

Sea Shepherd are making a direct protest.

SS are criminals and need to be prosecuted as an enemy of all seafarers and nations.

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OssanAmerica: "It has nothing to do with anyone's position on whaling."

That may be, but everyone knows if the guy weren't out whaling he'd still be alive.

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This sort of accidents can be happened everywhere. If a helpless Kiwi floating near the Japan coast, there will be different story. Japan helped Kiwis a lot for the economic development & advancing technology.

Whales are the kings of the Ocean & eat a lot of helpless smaller fish. There is something imbalanced in the cruel & injustice nature.

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goldsounds, that's extremely speciesist of you.

Not all humans are inherently good, so why place their value above that of a species that ISN'T causing harm to our planet which we share.

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Well, quite sad. I guess this episode will be included in the protegious research work that Japan produces based on killing hundreds of whales. Oh, sorry, there has not been any research done yet of note by Japan but perhaps later . . .

At least we know this guys poor family will be taken care of by the black van yak crew who get their LDP cronies to totally subsidize whaling in order to supply whale meat to people who no longer want it. Filled with mercury that whalemeat is.

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timeborder -- agree. Let's hope this guy died a less painful death than the one he was helping facilitate on up to 1,000 helpless whales. Would be "tragic" if he didn't. Right?

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This sort of accidents can be happened everywhere. If a helpless Kiwi floating near the Japan coast, there will be different story. Japan helped Kiwis a lot for the economic development & advancing technology.

Whales are the kings of the Ocean & eat a lot of helpless smaller fish. There is something imbalanced in the cruel & injustice nature.

As for New Zealand not helping the Japanese sailor, this is such arrogant cheek. New Zealand doesn't want Japanese whalers in the South Pacific, Japan knows this yet they do it anyway. New Zealand has helped th Japanese whalers many times in the past, but Japan keeps arrogantly ignoring our calls to stop, so maybe we should stop helping the whalers.

Many Kiwis feel this is nothing more than economic bullying. No, Japan wouldn't help a Kiwi fisherman off Japan because a Kiwi fisherman wouldn't be there in the first place. If we started catching, say, prized Tuna, in international waters off Hokkaido, Japan would go ape sh*t, slap sanctions on us, and completely ruin us. When Japan does it to us there's very little we can do, I'm glad Australia is finally standing up to the real bully. This is why it makes my blood boil when Japan cries "victim".

Finally I have nothing against whaling. Its a Japanese tradition so DO IT IN JAPAN!

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An oiler in the ships engine room on deck in overalls?

Hmmm,

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If you think this is "karma" you have a messed up set of morals. I'd rather see every whale in the ocean turn to dust than have one human being drown in the ocean.

My thoughts exactly.

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JayJayE

I do not understand what's made your blood boil. May be you were watching the Rugby. I have watched the movie Whale Riders so I understand that ancestors of the Kiwi came to NZ by riding the whales. Maori tradition respect the Whales.

"However, authorities decided that no boats or planes could reach the remote waters several thousand kilometers south of New Zealand."

This sentence make me sad. Of course Japan is victim of negative publicity. For scientific research, some species can not be found near Japan. So it is not always possible for do it in Japan Sir. Do not over sensitive Sir. I do not agree you said Japan is a big bully. It is a big donor. Anyway, you & I have a rights of freedom of speech. You can comment what you want. I can comment what I think.

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Athletes,

How big do you think the New Zealand navy is? Just curious. And do you have any idea how big New Zealand waters are? How many other ships do you think would be in the middle of nowhere besides the whalers and Sea Shepherd? It is NOT New Zealand's fault. The Southern Seas are dangerous and far from any help. Losing a mans life is tragic and I don't agree it was "karma" but the whaling fleet choose to go there. If anything blame the Japanese whaling commission.

Next point, New Zealand is bound by international law to perform search and rescue IN it's waters. Japanese whalers are also BANNED from New Zealand waters. So if we are wrong for not helping, then the Whalers are breaking the law for being in NZ waters in the first place. New Zealand has helped Japanese whalers out plenty, despite everything. Last year we chopper out an injured whaler to Christchurch, on our dime. Did Japan listen to us after that? No.

Next point, Japan is a big donor. So what? The US is too, does that mean the Iraq war is okay? Does Japan donate money to New Zealand? No. Invest, yes, donate, no.

"Whales are the kings of the Ocean & eat a lot of helpless smaller fish. There is something imbalanced in the cruel & injustice nature."

I've heard this from many older Japanese, a pre-programmed quote straight from the LDP, as absurd as Nihonjinron like "Japanese has longer stomaches than foreigners". Whales have been around far longer than people, and there has never been an imbalance until people showed up. The argument that people need to kill whales for nature is absurd in the extreme. Add to that the fact that most whale species DO NOT EAT fish. They eat krill.

Last point, I may be sensitive but I seem to recall Japanese people getting sensitive every time a Russian or Chinese ship enters it waters. On top of that Japan has territorial disputes with EVER ONE of it's neighbors. If that wasn't enough now Japan even has disputes with Australia and New Zealand with are nowhere near Japan.

Yes you and I have freedom of speech but with that comes consequences. If Japan won't listen to the countries whose toes it's trending on, Japanese people shouldn't be surprised if the citizens of the countries concerned get upset.

Now I've lived in Japan a long time, and I don't blame Japanese people as much as the stubborn LDP. I know majority of Japanese don't eat whale, don't like whale, and couldn't care less one way or the other about the issue.

This is all about old LDP oyaji's saving face. The more we say "don't" the more they do it just to prove a point. Is it any surprise or accident whaling is done so near countries that oppose it? I don't think so. Not only did this lead to the tragedy of lose of life this year and last year, but the ever increasingly aggressive tactics of Sea Shepherd (who I don't support by the way, Greenpeace was right to kick the loon out).

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Excellent post JayJaye.

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JJ-That "loon" you refer to, Capt Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd, is the only man, along with his volunteer crew, with enough courage to challenge the illegal and cruel whalers in the Southern Ocean. I agree with most of what you said, however.

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OssanAmerica: "It has nothing to do with anyone's position on whaling." That may be, but everyone knows if the guy weren't out whaling he'd >still be alive.

The sailor was an Oiler.He spent his entire time maintaining diesel engines below deck. He was doing about as much "whaling" as you and I did last week.

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A tragic accident. At least the Japanese have not hinted the activists had anything to do with it.

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It is a tragic accident. However, what they do isn't an accident.

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Its a dangerous job and things like this are bound to happen. Its very unfortunate but coalminers, steelworkers, construction workers, builders, soldiers etc. die everyday and there is no media coverage.

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The sailor was an Oiler.He spent his entire time maintaining diesel engines below deck. He was doing about as much "whaling" as you and I did last week

You mean the only whaler on the boat is the bloke who actually shoots the harpoon? I don't think so. If the engines are not properly maintained the death ships cannot leave harbour. He was a vital part of the whaling process.

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You mean the only whaler on the boat is the bloke who actually shoots >the harpoon? I don't think so. If the engines are not properly >maintained the death ships cannot leave harbour. He was a vital part of >the whaling process.

That's nonsense in the real world. I think you're stretching to lay blame. Qualified and certified Marine Engineers in the commercial maritime industry work for whatever ships will employ them. Their jobs are working below decks with main and auxilliary engines, evaporators etc on a 24/7 basis and they have absolutely nothing to do with the other operations of the vessel, be it transporting oil and iron ore, containers, automobiles, or harvesting fish, squid, crabs, or even whales. The choice of jobs are based on employment contract terms as is the case in many other industries. What you are suggesting is tantamount to blaming a GM or Boeing assembly worker for the deaths of innocent civilians in Iraq by extension.

This particular engineer may have been totally against whaling in principle for all we know but hell, he needed the paycheck.

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This particular engineer may have been totally against whaling in principle for all we know but hell, he needed the paycheck.

He may have been uncomfortable about it, but if he was totally against it he would not have been on that ship.

Well, hopefully now his family have got the insurance.

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I'm against eating dogs but that doesn't stop me from dealing with SKorean people, companies and enjoying Korean food. Does that mean I'm not "Totally" against eating dogs?

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cleo at 12:00 AM JST - 9th January He may have been uncomfortable about it, but if he was totally against >it he would not have been on that ship.

Earning a living, feeding one's family usually takes priority over debatable issues.

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If it was a debatable issue for him, he wasn't totally against it, was he?

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If it was a debatable issue for him, he wasn't totally against it, was >he?

Whaling is debatable issue in they eyes of the world and the IWC. If it were not, all whaling under any circumstances would be banned, period. Actions would be taken against nations which continue whaling and are not members of the IWC. The only people who are under the impression that whaling is "not" a debatable issue are hardliners which range from people who post on the internet as though the issue were absolute, to those like Watson and SS who take the law into their own hands and conduct acts of piracy and terrorism.

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Ossan, you're playing with words. Why not just admit that you misused the phrase totally against in principle but, instead of trying to place the views of the whole world on the shoulders of one dead man, who will now never be able to tell us what he was for or against, or to what degree he was for or against it?

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No Cleo, I am not "playing" with words at all. My original statement stands, we will never know what his personal beliefs were. You have not prove my statement to be incorrect in any way. However you have unilaterally "decided" upon the degree of his beliefs and conviction, if any at all. And as it is you who continues to harp on the absolute value of the word "totally", you are the one playing with words. Please give it a rest.

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it is you who continues to harp on the absolute value of the word "totally", you are the one playing with words.

Playing with words by stating that a word means what it means? You have a weird idea of what 'playing with words' means. Just admit that you exaggerated. 'Totally' means 'totally, absolutely, completely', not 'somewhat, but willing to be flexible in the face of financial pressure'.

No one who is totally opposed to whaling would accept a job on a whaling boat.

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The use of the term "Totally" in describing human behavior, unless one is decribing certain mental and behavioral disorders, does not mean ABSOLUTE TOTALITY to the exclusion of all other aspects of human life and activity. By your absurd definition, if he wasted time sleeping and eating, or placed any value on happiness, wealth, or the well being of his family then he wasn't TOTALLY against whaling . Give it a rest with your fixation. The man is dead and it's disgraceful for you to try and pass judgement on a person who obviously can't defend himself and an issue that can't be proven one way or the other.

"No one who is totally opposed to whaling would accept a job on a whaling boat."

Yes, that's your opinion. You must lead a pampered life never having to make hard decisions and sacrifices.

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By your absurd definition, if he wasted time sleeping and eating, or placed any value on happiness, wealth, or the well being of his family then he wasn't TOTALLY against whaling .

Rubbish. You're setting up strawmen and making a self-righteous fuss about shooting them down. Common sense tells us that a man who chooses to work on a whaling ship is not totally opposed to whaling just as an electrician who services an electric chair most probably isn't totally opposed to the death penalty, or someone who works in a vet's surgery most likely doesn't have an animal phobia. It isn't 'passing judgement', it's a simple observation.

You must lead a pampered life never having to make hard decisions

On the contrary, being totally opposed to something on principle (a term which you still seem not to understand) can necessitate its own hard decisions and sacrifices. I'm sure it's much easier to just go with the flow and not think about the morality of what you're doing.

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