Home | Community | Message Board


Marijuana Demystified
Please support our sponsors.

General Interest >> Political Discussion

Welcome to the Shroomery Message Board! You are experiencing a small sample of what the site has to offer. Please login or register to post messages and view our exclusive members-only content. You'll gain access to additional forums, file attachments, board customizations, encrypted private messages, and much more!

Amazon Shop: Scales

Jump to first unread post. Pages: 1
Offlinelonestar2004
Live to party,work to affordit.
 User Gallery

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 8,978
Loc: South Texas
Last seen: 6 years, 3 months
What Some Don't Get About Terrorism
    #4392948 - 07/11/05 05:13 PM (12 years, 12 days ago)

What Some Don't Get About Terrorism
Opinion Editorial by Tibor Machan - Jul 11, 2005

It is very dismaying, but not beyond grasp, why some folks do not understand the viciousness of terrorism. The bottom line is always the same: tribalism. It is also called collectivism ? socialist, fascist, communitarian, or any other type of irrational lumping of human beings into groups they have never chosen to join.

Any time a terrorist attack occurs, a great many people wring their hands trying to figure out just what is amiss with such barbaric conduct. Be it an IRA, Palestinian, or radical Muslim (suicide) attack, there is the usual acknowledgement that terrorism is horrible and the people doing it are over the top, but then the focus turns to whatever is supposed to have provoked it ? usually George W. Bush and his predecessors' foreign policy measures. And some of this, of course, isn't beside the point in making sense of certain of these events.

Yet this focus on provocations misses the most basic issue, which is that terrorists lack the most elementary traits of civilization: to treat individuals as individuals ? as sovereign, self-directed agents who aren't responsible for the misdeeds of their fellow human beings. If you insult me, hit me, steal from me, or do any other untoward deed toward me, it is utterly unjustified for me to go after your sister, your neighbor, someone who looks like you, someone sitting near you, or someone who lives in the same country as you do. If you have wronged someone, the only recourse that is justified morally (and should be legally and politically), is to put you on trial and convict you of your bad deeds, period. Such due process is the bedrock of a civilized society, and anyone who resorts to 'reprisals' that fail to meet this strict criterion may not be rationally excused.

There is, of course, in our age, the widespread temptation to explain everything people do as if they were bad storms coming off the Atlantic Ocean, or viruses attacking the nervous system. The source of this temptation is the old philosophical doctrine of materialism, the view that everything in nature happens because some prior event caused it to happen.

This is indeed the origin of much of social science and social engineering, but it misses a vital point about human life: People are agents; they do not simply react to what happens to them. So to really explain their conduct, it is not enough to gather up the data of what happens around them. It is imperative, for a decent understanding of how people act, to consider their own thinking and intentions and motives, things over which they have ultimate control.

Once you look at it this way, you have to realize that a terrorist is a vicious, irreponsible thug who refuses to control his own emotions and lashes out, often with much intelligence and savvy, at some target in the fashion of a toddler who is throwing a tantrum. And toddlers are not civilized beings, as any parent knows. Only toddlers can be excused because they are too young to have the capacity to act more rationally ? to be civilized. This explanation isn't, however, available to terrorists. They are adults, and they ought to think before they lash out in their violent, reckless ways.

It is true, of course, that some of what terrorists think about is awful, and their anger can even be justified. It is what they do about what they think about ? and their emotional reaction to it ? that is vile. And no matter how valid some of their complaints are, tearing into the lives of innocent people is morally inexcusable. The way, however, many of them think is to lump other people together, in some sort of irrational corporate fashion, as if all of those in London had consciously, voluntarily joined in with a club with a mission statement forged by, say, Tony Blair ? a mission statement that terrorists find objectionable. But this is wrong. Certainly a bunch of kids on a subway cannot by any stretch of the imagination be so regarded. Nor can most citizens of London. Nor those of Israel or New York City. And to fail to realize this is the mark of the barbaric.

Sadly, the people of the world have tended to think in this tribalist fashion for centuries, and even some of the most well educated, erudite blokes do not get it. The imperative for us all is to get it, and to make as sure as possible that everyone around us gets it.

It is individuals who are responsible for their conduct, and striking out at neighbors, friends, and family when one finds the actions of some to be intolerable is a rejection of a basic feature of human civilization.

http://www.theatlasphere.com/columns/050711-machan-terrorism.php


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
InvisibleYidakiMan
Stranger
Male User Gallery
Registered: 09/29/02
Posts: 2,023
Re: What Some Don't Get About Terrorism [Re: lonestar2004]
    #4393334 - 07/11/05 07:51 PM (12 years, 12 days ago)

Quote:

lonestar2004 said:
Once you look at it this way, you have to realize that a terrorist is a vicious, irreponsible thug who refuses to control his own emotions and lashes out, often with much intelligence and savvy, at some target in the fashion of a toddler who is throwing a tantrum. And toddlers are not civilized beings, as any parent knows. Only toddlers can be excused because they are too young to have the capacity to act more rationally ? to be civilized. This explanation isn't, however, available to terrorists. They are adults, and they ought to think before they lash out in their violent, reckless ways.




quoted for emphasis


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineVex
Stranger
Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 1,284
Last seen: 11 years, 9 months
Re: What Some Don't Get About Terrorism [Re: lonestar2004]
    #4393961 - 07/11/05 11:20 PM (12 years, 12 days ago)

Wait a minute...i thought trying to understand terrorists was the biggest waste of time on earth? Has your mind changed?


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineTwirling
Barred Spiral
Male

Registered: 02/03/03
Posts: 2,468
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
Re: What Some Don't Get About Terrorism [Re: Vex]
    #4394521 - 07/12/05 02:25 AM (12 years, 12 days ago)

I think he makes some good points, but ultimately, from an argument standpoint, he tends to make bold judgment statements without providing proof for his logic. Perhaps some of this is a matter of writing style, but he says some things which aren't true under some conditions, and yet uses them as absolutes.

For example:
"It is individuals who are responsible for their conduct, and striking out at neighbors, friends, and family when one finds the actions of some to be intolerable is a rejection of a basic feature of human civilization."

Before, wasn't he saying that tribalism is an archaic, basic feature of civilization? He goes back and forth between calling terrorists an archaic civilization feature and how uncivilized they are. A bit of a contradiction.

He also says "It is imperative, for a decent understanding of how people act, to consider their own thinking and intentions and motives, things over which they have ultimate control."

Why did the author ignore the basic intentions and motivations in terrorists, and yet claim that it is imperative to get even a decent understanding? He acknowledges they may be justified in their angry thoughts, but then ignores the possibilities that the ?civilized? country may be committing acts of violence against innocent people in their own terrorist-like ways. Also important, is why did all terrorism get lumped as being directed solely at targets which are completely neutral and 3rd party? Certainly there has been plenty of positive demonstration and protest which falls under terrorism in some people's eyes.

Now I'm sure he's talking about a certain breed of what can be called terrorists. He's referring to the terrorist organizations which act through instilling fear into a general public by attacking them, making them feel unsafe. Unfortunately, this same standard can apply to even "civilized" uhh... civilizations, and is not an exclusive feature of al-Qaeda.

Don't get me wrong, the actual ideas he is trying to convey have a degree of accuracy. The terrorists Western Civilization is finally dealing with act without care of the people they are attacking. They do not deal through modern standards of negotiation, and usually require alternative solutions, including going after the terrorists. It?s just the manner of writing which strikes me more as an emotional outburst as a result of anger, similar to his comparison between terrorists and toddlers.

Will give him credit though, he chose to write an op-ed about it rather than acting it out in a negative way.  :bandana:


--------------------
The very nature of experience is ineffable; it transcends cognitive thought and intellectualized analysis. To be without experience is to be without an emotional knowledge of what the experience translates into. The desire for the understanding of what life is made of is the motivation that drives us all. Without it, in fear of the experiences what life can hold is among the greatest contradictions; to live in fear of death while not being alive.



Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflinePed
Interested In Your Brain
 User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 08/31/99
Posts: 5,494
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 7 months, 1 day
Re: What Some Don't Get About Terrorism [Re: lonestar2004]
    #4395608 - 07/12/05 01:34 PM (12 years, 11 days ago)

What a disappointing spiel about nothing. What this little essay boils down to is this: "What most people don't understand about terrorists is that we are very different from them. And we are better." The shoddy philosophical reference is the icing on the cake.

What this piece overlooks is the mere fact that terrorism is about vengence, about anger. Nobody behaves rationally when they are angry. When they are angry, people commit extreme actions. Anger and vengence carried out on the global scale has repercussions of that proportion. Does this mean that terrorists should be absolved of their crimes? No. But does it mean, as Tibor Machan suggests, that we are permitted to look down on them as uncivilized barbarians? Or treat them the same way? No, absolutely not. That is childish and hypocritical.

What is more productive and mature is to focus on what we have in common with our terrorist enemies.

>> you have to realize that a terrorist is a vicious, irreponsible thug who refuses to control his own emotions and lashes out, often with much intelligence and savvy, at some target in the fashion of a toddler who is throwing a tantrum. And toddlers are not civilized beings, as any parent knows.

It's just not consistent, to feel that our actions against terrorists are justified because we have conceived them, however rightly, as behaving like toddlers. If we are so much more sophisticated than these violent toddlers, where is our own nobility, or own dignity? Is it in invading and occupying other nations? It is in the vengeful rhetoric coming from our leaders over the TV wire? Does it make sense for an adult to punish a school-yard bully by beating the child up? It would not make sense, unless that "adult" was as under-developed and uncivlized as the child he punishes.

Seeing terrorists and terrorist activity as "uncivilized", "barbaric", and "toddler-like", is not incorrect. It's standing over it arrogantly aloof which is wrong. It's failing to examine our own contribution to the problem which is wrong. Why? Because we, using the ostentatious machinery of our so-called "due-process", have carried out the exact same uncivilized, barbaric, and toddler-like retaliation against terrorists as they have against us.

Simply because George W. Bush has the luxury of speech writers who coat his promise for vengence with attractive words like "justice" or "protection" or "civil liberty" does not mean that he is behaving in an any more civilized or "grown-up" manner than Osama Bin Laden and the rest of them. Simply because we have such opulence that we can build enormous buildings in which we "debate" and "allocate resources" does not mean that we are, humanly speaking, a more advanced organization than any terrorist group. Simply because we don expensive suits and puff out our chests, saying "we are adults, we are responsible" does not mean that our actions are anything like this.

What would really set us apart from them would be for us to stop responding to vengence with vengence, responding to bombs with bombs, guns with guns, etc. So long as we react to their threats of vengence with further threats of vengence, and so long as we react to their attacks of vengence with our own attacks of vengence, we will be no better -- and in fact exactly the same -- as them. Simply because our actions are veiled behind a very elaborate political system does not mean that they are any less childish, or any more civilized.

Great men set in stone the principles of civlized society, and it's us in our weakness of character who have forsaken them.


>> There is, of course, in our age, the widespread temptation to explain everything people do as if they were bad storms coming off the Atlantic Ocean, or viruses attacking the nervous system. The source of this temptation is the old philosophical doctrine of materialism, the view that everything in nature happens because some prior event caused it to happen.

This is indeed the origin of much of social science and social engineering, but it misses a vital point about human life: People are agents; they do not simply react to what happens to them. So to really explain their conduct, it is not enough to gather up the data of what happens around them. It is imperative, for a decent understanding of how people act, to consider their own thinking and intentions and motives, things over which they have ultimate control.


This is just such poor editorialism. If you boil this one down, you get "other people think this way, and they are wrong because things are actually this way." This paragraph states that we cannot conceive of people and their actions as part of a collective phenomenon because people just aren't that way. There is no qualification of that remark, no explanation as to why that's so, and no real attempt to understand or explain the reasoning behind the philosophy noting the interdependence of experience, thought, and action in the first place.

For example, why is it that thought and intention are two facets of existence which have miraculously escaped the causal stream upon which everything else in the universe depends? Is it because "it seems that way"? That would be an entirely unsatisfactory answer to anyone serious about exploring the matter, yet it seems to be the very basis for Tibor Machan's argument.

It is absolutely correct to understand people's actions in the way we understand weather phenomenon and ocean currents. People's experiences prompt their feelings, thought, and consequently their actions because we lack completeness to our own self-determination. As much as we'd like to think otherwise, we have not fully actualized our faculties of self-determination. We know this because we lack the wisdom necessary to fulfil our most fundamental desire: happiness. In pursuit of happiness, it is still our habit to destroy it. It is because we are still largely governed by our experiences, our own uncontrolled thoughts, and the actions which flow unrestrained from them that we do not know how to fulfill even our most basic of wishes. Understanding that all human beings are afflicted by the pains of this same developmental stage, what right do we have to condemn and spite others for their actions?

Self-determination is not a black-and-white concept: it's not true that a person is either self-determined or not self-determined. To some extent, everyone is controlled by their emotions and their thoughts, which behave in accordance with experiences. The interfering factor in our own self-determination is our ignorance: we lack knowledge of the relationship between experience, thought, and action, and thusly we are not able to completely master it. What Tibor Machan weakly suggests is that everyone does or should possess the same level of self-determination, and because the actions which flow from our self-determination look and sound much prettier than those which flow from the terrorists', we are justified in conceiving of them as animal-like barbarians. It's easy to see the hypocrisy here.

Although it's true that people must ultimatley be held accountable for their own actions, it is wrong for us to ignore our own contribution to their anger, their desire for vengence, by standing atop a pedestal called "civilization", the principles of which we ourselves have failed to uphold.

One of the defining traits of cilivization is justice, and there can be no justice without mercy. When we look at our aggressors without mercy, we have abandoned justice, and we have abandoned civilization, and therefore have no right to conceive of ourselves as superior to them.


--------------------


:poison: Dark Triangles - New Psychedelic Techno Single - Listen on Soundcloud :poison:
Gyroscope full album available SoundCloud or MySpace


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineProsgeopax
Jaded, yethopeful?

Registered: 01/28/05
Posts: 1,258
Loc: Appearing at a mall near ...
Last seen: 11 years, 6 months
Re: What Some Don't Get About Terrorism [Re: lonestar2004]
    #4395698 - 07/12/05 02:02 PM (12 years, 11 days ago)

Here are some other articles from Tibor Machan which you may disagree with...

2003's Biggest Story
Tibor Machan on US aggression.

Do We Need War for the Young?
Are the neocons deliberately getting us into a war?


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Jump to top. Pages: 1

Amazon Shop: Scales

General Interest >> Political Discussion

Similar ThreadsPosterViewsRepliesLast post
* Example: Israel's War on Terror
( 1 2 3 4 ... 10 11 all )
trendalM 7,865 215 11/04/05 11:29 PM
by bukkake
* Iraqi Constitution ratification halts terrorism?
( 1 2 3 all )
Swami 3,568 44 10/17/05 09:10 PM
by Prosgeopax
* On Terrorism and the War Against it
( 1 2 3 4 all )
Ped 4,490 68 07/12/05 07:22 PM
by Los_Pepes
* Prominent barking moonbats who don't buy official 9/11 story ekomstop 799 4 10/29/04 05:32 PM
by silversoul7
* The WAR of Terror Psilocybeingzz 366 0 11/11/03 01:47 AM
by Psilocybeingzz
* Terrorism: The Word Itself is Dangerous Prodijal_Son 581 3 05/02/03 11:07 AM
by Prodijal_Son
* Bush Suggests War on Terror Can't be Won
( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 all )
KingOftheThing 6,596 125 09/04/04 12:22 PM
by Phred
* Desperate McCain Tries to Play Terror Card One More Time janx 434 0 08/03/08 08:13 PM
by janx

Extra information
You cannot start new topics / You cannot reply to topics
HTML is disabled / BBCode is enabled
Moderator: Enlil
649 topic views. 0 members, 1 guests and 5 web crawlers are browsing this forum.
[ Toggle Favorite | Print Topic | Stats ]
Search this thread:
Zamnesia.com
Please support our sponsors.

Copyright 1997-2017 Mind Media. Some rights reserved.

Generated in 0.04 seconds spending 0.006 seconds on 19 queries.