Is All Fair In Love And War?


Hey, Vsauce. Michael here. Love and war are exactly alike. It is lawful to use tricks and slights to obtain a
desired end. But is all fair in love and war? That’s a good question, let’s pencil it in for this episode. Of course, pencil is not permanent. It can
be erased. It’s not like whatever I write down is
being chiseled into granite. But pencil lead is made out of carbon atoms organised into a structure called
graphite – a nonmetallic mineral with some metallic
properties found naturally in rocks, which means things written in
pencil, though erasable, are still technically
written in stone. In video games if the bad guys really wanted to stop
you, why did they walk around in such predictable patterns? Wouldn’t their chances be better if they
just came right at you? There’s a great name for this logic: “mook chivalry”. It’s as if there’s a sort of unwritten Geneva Convention that applies
to fictional baddies that respects not reality, or what would
make sense, but instead the higher purpose of fun, and a good story. But in real life we aren’t that much different from the
mooks. We construct voluntary obstacles in the
way of even honourable goals, like truth, justice, or right over wrong. Not all is fair in love and war. And it’s the exceptions
that make us who we are. Torturing your enemies to get information from them, to demoralise them, or just for fun has been a “might is right” part of war since war began. But in the second half of the 19th
century, Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross organized
an official moral code of warfare – The Geneva Conventions, that
today across it’s now 4 conventions has been
agreed to be followed by 196 nations. And since then various other customs, codes and
principles have been established totaling up into what may now be called
the “Rules of war”. Their enforcement is handled
by regional, national and international powers. Of course, an unconcerned force would simply ignore
these rules because the quickest route to victory is
the one full of unfair advantages, but nonetheless we treasure them. Try to, at least. And
believe that all others should. The values they recognise are telling. Things unrelated to military
necessity, or valued in a sense, more greatly than
immediate victory are protected. For instance, The
Environmental Modification Convention prohibits controlling the weather and
using the weather as a weapon against your
opponents. Before the convention that happened. For example, during
Operation Popeye US airplanes seeded rain clouds over
Vietnam and successfully extended the monsoon
season by more than a month, increasing rainfall by 30 percent – a move
that made enemy road surfaces muddy, blocked by landslides, washed out, much less passable. The laws of war protect
certain symbols. Parties or infrastructures bearing
symbols that indicate there are only there to help, or are neutral,
culturally important buildings that should be protected for posterity are off limits. It’s a violation of the laws of war to attack such targets or to pretend to
be such targets if your intentions are otherwise. That is called perfidy. A kind of
deception that involves pretending to act fairly and honestly to
invite the confidence of an adversary, only to then take advantage of that
trust, betray it and kill, injure or capture. If you do one of those three things
while pretending to be dead or injured or surrendered or civilian or
a non-combatant, well, that’s a violation of the rules of war. Espionage is allowed. But if caught, you can be prosecuted and punished. Whereas if you
are a lawful combatants on the other hand you’re entitled to protection as an official
prisoner-of-war. Conditions like these reveal something
we desire to hold above quick vengeance: dignity and
respect. Both sides wish to be treated with that
and uphold the bargain. Athletes agreed
to play fair, to avoid prohibited things, even
technically safe and otherwise legal things that would
nonetheless give them an unfair advantage. They do this because
the spirit of the sport is more important to them then the quickest victory possible, sportsmanship. Likewise, a sort of “lovesmanship” exists in US court rooms. If the most sure-fire way of getting
the truth of someone’s guilt involves spoiling a bond of love. Spousal
privilege says chill. Love is sacred. Truth will come second, find another way. So, if you are planning on committing crimes
in the US, and you need an accomplice, marry them. Your spouse can not be forced to testify
against you. There are different privileges applying
to other relations of yours, allowing them to
refuse to give evidence against you. These rules exist to honour
something that we deem, or like to deem, greater than easy victory.
You cannot travel faster than light. Or escape from a black hole. Or commit
perfidy in a time of war. Or cheat on your
significant other. That’s usually considered unfair, but the final two aren’t physical
limitations of matter. They are voluntary obstacles reflecting what we value. Whether we respect those
values, or not, is another story. And how we interpret what actions are over
the line and what aren’t is a matter of judgment. We didn’t get to
create protons or planets – they were already
here. But we do get to create judgments. We even named ourselves after that
ability. We call ourselves Homo sapiens. ‘Homo’
meaning hummus – the soil, we are from the earth.
‘Sapien’ mean sapiens, the ability to make wise
judgments. Very few people would argue that all
truly is fair in love and war, but in love and war behaviours otherwise not acceptable can
be not only forgiven, but recommended. Reading messages not
meant for yourself, using disguises, even murder can be
downgraded to a crime of passion or lawful combat. But love and war put different things at
stake. And just because unfair things are
expected during love and war doesn’t mean that within their
respective domains we prosecute or prohibit unfairness in the same way. Violating the law of war is a crime but there is no official law of love. You can prosecute someone for perfidy, or
desertion, or weaponising the weather, but you can’t prosecute cupid for heartbreak. You can’t have someone arrested for not
loving you back and you shouldn’t call 911 if someone leaves you for someone else. You see, there is no Geneva Convention
for love. Furthermore, we often route for friends
or fictional characters who follow their
hearts, even if it means leaving someone we care less for – a minor character for instance – alone or
stranded at the altar. Does this mean that love is a better
excuse for bad behavior than war? Obviously not for criminal behaviour, but
otherwise? As far as authoritative powers and our
modern conception of love are concerned, war – its technologies and strategies are
human invention. Whereas love is a human condition. Love is like inertia or death – inevitable. A law of nature and blameless, if unkind. We legislate where a bomb can fall, where debris can fall and prosecute
those who violate those rulings. But we don’t prosecute gravity for
making things fall. We support voluntary
restrictions on fair play in sports more – public etiquette. But the players in love’s battlefield are blameless victims of their passion, even if those
passions are nonsensical. The heart has its
reasons, which reason knows nothing of. Deceiving
others, that is what the world calls a romance.
Maybe love has this power intrinsically or maybe we give it that power by
leaving so legally alone. But either way, broken bones are the domain of law. Broken hearts are the domain of ‘aww’, ‘shucks’, ‘sorry’. And as always, thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Is All Fair In Love And War?

  1. Not all is fair in love and war!
    History repeats, we've seen this all before!
    © Tom Searle

  2. We put people in prison for victimless "crimes" and praise those who can break someone else's heart to the point where they lose everything.

    I wish I would have succeeded in one of my suicide attempts.

  3. It's War. There should be no rules. If you're willing to shoot a man in the face for land or oil all rules go out the window. You can't have an overpowered country forcing rules of war on people who don't have the technology to fight back within the rules.

  4. This video literally only applies to straight people. Gay love is literally illegal, until only recently in the US and quite commonly elsewhere in the world.

  5. The shitty part is that most people who follow the Rules of War are civilized enough to work stuff out without going to war at all, and the people who aren't civilized enough to work stuff out without going to war (E.G. ISIS and other Islamic terrorists) are unlikely to give a damn about the Rules of War.
    However it's still a testament to how far out civilization has come that we're willing to even try.

  6. Ok legit question: Why exactly do they object to using the whether? It doesn't hurt the environment long term (certainly less than bombs) and is honestly pretty humane. True, it affects civilians, but so do bombs, and civilians (and the military) can take standard wet road procedures such as driving slower.

  7. It's a truth that in love and war, worlds collide and hearts get broken

  8. 6:08
    "You can't cheat on your significant other"
    My ex: hold my beer

  9. According to legend Michael made this video because he still didn’t have a girlfriend yet

  10. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. That’s all you need to know.

  11. Now I'm 17, I want your thoughts on me joining the Russian army…
    I'll reply if necessary

  12. I thought this was going to answer the question, "If you could find some psychological trick that guarantees someone will fall in love with you, even if they wouldn't otherwise, how ethical is it? If not, then why do we use tricks such as giving chocolates & roses to those we love or making cheesy pickup lines?"

  13. Michael, the only YouTuber who would make a video that is one second short of ten minutes.

  14. I think war is an human condition too, but the society shifted war from battlefields to market competition so we don't recognize it anymore but they are actually measures short of war

  15. in the Israeli- Syrian war, the Syrian betrayed one of the major agreement in "the laws of war" that forbids soldiers to shoot at non combatants paramedics, that are in the field in order to save the life of those not able to fight anymore, in fact, they didn't only shoot them, THEY TARGETED THEM.
    it was a massacre, they didn't have even a gun to protect them and shots were fired from all sides at the medical team till all of them died.
    over 20 paramedics that were there only to save life lost their life in a matter of seconds. it has been and still is one of the most horrific "dirty tricks" that were used in any confrontations till this day. since the Syrian plan was simple- the Israeli army has lots of tech and weapons but lack in manpower, if you kill the paramedics first, you cut the soldiers that could have survived immediately, thuse you win by having more soldiers.
    it became such a tribble scar on Israel history that since than, Israel alone changed the paramedics uniform from white non combatants to green as soldiers that looks combatants in order for them not to be targeted again and massacred and till this day, the uniform sticks, and Israel is one the only countries that dress its paramedics as soldiers.
    war is filled with dirty tricks, but sometimes, people still find a way to make it even worse.

  16. To be honest, if I led an army, I would ignore every rule of war.
    War is war; people are getting killed, people's lives are ending, and yet we made rules when we are literally trying to take away as many enemy lives as possible until we reach our goal? If two sides have agreed to go to war, and I controlled one, I would try to take advantage of my opponent and destroy them with every possible tactic I can use. In the Vsauce video about awkwardness, Michael talks about how there are four levels, the first being what is physically possible, the second being what is physically possible but against law. Those are the only two important to this. If it is physically possible, then I will do it because the only law being held against me would be none unless if I lost the war. I would feel no empathy for the enemy because they are killing my soldiers, and I am killing theirs. They should feel no empathy for me, but yet so many countries agreed to the Geneva conventions. I would never agree to the Geneva conventions if I were to be in control of a country because like I said before, war is war.

  17. Well if it's fair in war it should be fair in love. Because Love is War

  18. Vsauce in one second: is all fair in love and war?
    Vsauce 3 seconds later: this is a pencil
    10 seconds later: shouldn't bad guys come right at you in a video game?

  19. the U.S. not follow the Geneva conventions? why.

  20. Ah man ithought torturing yourenamys was one of the spoils of war darn it now thats not fair lol

  21. The video is 9:59

    He doesn’t stretch his videos, he makes them as long as needed

  22. I didn’t push my Grandma down the stairs, it was GRAVITY

  23. There's ways around the laws of war 🙁
    Such things has been done before and will continually be done :/

  24. Maybe we support acts of passion no matter how controversial because we empathize with the struggle for the perfect partner. Or I'm just over thinking it…

  25. All is fair in love and war for some if not most people/nations. With regards to war, they follow the Geneva convention right up until they think they will lose then any measure will be taken. With regards to love, a mother will kill to protect her child. Your life long best friend will stop talking to you because his wife doesn't like you. Domestic violence is the number one kind of violence, if you are going to be murdered the most likely person to murder you is someone you love or used to love.

  26. "Is all fair in love and war?"
    35 seconds later…
    'Pencil is made out of stone'
    -Micheal

  27. This video makes love sound like a force of nature instead of a conscious choice.

  28. Probably my favorite Vsauce video, and I've seen all of them several times.

  29. No one in a war ever….eveeeeer:
    No no no…i can't do that, its a violation of the geneva convention

  30. You're right Micheal, torture is fun. I enjoy dishing out a little torture every now and then. You would be suprised how far a dremel with the little sandpaper cylinder attached taken to a persons teeth will get you. And it's fun

  31. When a vid is just over 10 mins: That son of a …

    When the vid is 9:59 mins long: What a bloody legend!!

  32. If everything is fair in love and war,
    Then an toxic creeps and mutilating soldiers are also allowed

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