[extropy-chat] Rational force?

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 12 08:20:40 UTC 2006

--- Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> Samantha writes
> > On Dec 10, 2006, at 10:59 PM, Lee Corbin wrote:
> > 
> >> I agree with you that we must abhor torture, keep
> it
> >> illegal, and abstain from detaining our citizens
> without charges. But
> >> those caught on the battlefield under the flag of
> no country have, in
> >> my opinion, none of the legal rights of American
> civilians.
> > 
> > They have all the rights of human beings since
> that is what they are.   
> Rights in the abstract again, I suppose.  There
> aren't any such things.
> There are legal rights established by custom or law.
> The rest are
> merely things you happen to approve of.
> They have *no* legal rights, I repeat.  Those caught
> on the battlefield
> under the flag of no enemy should be captured and
> dealt with summarily.

Beware, Lee, you tread a slippery slope.

If you are dispensing with all abstractions as being
"unreal" then why not dispense with your money? Its
value is after all abstract and you can't eat a
banknote nor could you barter another day of life from
nature with it.

Then while you are at it then why not start
disbelieving in the laws of the state? After all every
shred of law from the U.S. Constitution down to the
rules of chess are but abstract constraints that have
no physical reality. Those lines on the street are
just paint, after all, and not walls.

Then if you truly must rid yourself of all abstraction
then you must dispense with math, reason, all your
favorite stories, and in the end your very memories
and identity. After all Lee Corbin is but an
abstraction and the physical reality is a hairless ape
huddled against the ineffable abyss. 
> > Our founding documents make explicit that rights
> are not a matter of  
> > citizenship in this or that country.  There are
> also international  
> > conventions on such matters that we are
> signatories to despite this  
> > administration's insistence it can ignore such at
> its sole discretion.
> Those conventions were---so far as I
> know---established as rules
> of appropriate conduct between civilized nations. 

Contrary to what you seem to suggest Lee, governments
have never served to "give" people rights. At best,
governments can protect the rights you already have.
At worst, they attempt to steal or work around your

I love the Constitution as much as any American, but I
know that mouldering document can't protect me. I was
a fool to think that it could ever shield me from a
water balloon let alone the stormtroopers of tyranny.

At best the Constitution serves to REMIND you and I
that we have those rights. It also serves to remind us
that the government was supposed to have limits.
Limits it has already overstepped.

We Americans must stop relying on the ghosts of
well-intentioned dead men, whose bones have long
turned to dust, to protect us. This is every bit as
foolish as any superstition. We must instead learn to
fight our own battles once again. The consequences if
we do not is that the never-ending "war on terror"
will slowly by degrees morph itself into the "reign of
terror". You have been warned.     

> The "nations"
> the West is fighting against---or I should say,
> trying to fight against---
> are not at all civilized. Their barbarism knows no
> bounds. 

Yet for all their unbounded barbarism, has their death
toll in the 1500 years since Muhammed equaled the
death toll of one night of our "civilized" bombings of
Dresden, Hiroshima, or Nagasaki? How is that you
protest so at them cutting the head off a man with a
knife. Yet you and millions of other Americans will
pay good money to walk into a theater and watch the
simulation of a man doing the same to dozens of people
with a chainsaw? Do not be so fast to dispense
judgement upon forces you do not comprehend. 
> Why don't you and some of the other idealists here
> go into the tough
> parts of town and see how far you get rendering
> niceties to the gangs
> you encounter there?

I have, Lee. I have gone into such neighborhoods many
times in the past and I am sure I will again in the
future. For her part, Samantha would probably fare
much better than you in those parts of town too. Your
fear is so glaringly evident, its like a spiritual
beacon for violence. You seem like a "bully-magnet".
If I can sense it over the Internet, you will look
irresistable to the desperate souls in any "tough"

Where you see "gangs", I see the poorly-armed but
nonetheless ARMED "last hope of America".

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Phillip K. Dick

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