[extropy-chat] Rational force?

Thomas Thomas at thomasoliver.net
Tue Dec 12 22:54:39 UTC 2006

Thomas wrote:

> Lee Corbin wrote:
>> Hi Thomas,
>> Well---no, I don't think that it is too likely
>> that we will or can do better. We already
>> have achieved history's highest behavior
>> to date as a superpower.  Why don't you
>> agitate instead that our enemies "do a little
>> (or a lot) better?"  instead of always
>> criticizing our side?
My criticism applies to both sides.

>> "Violence is sub-human".  There you go again.  You have
>> far too exalted idea of what "human" is.  Human is as human
>> does.  
> You're probably right.  Unreasoned violence is sub-human.  I'm calling 
> for something better than purely brutal reaction.  I understand that 
> retaliation may be considered just.  I doubt that it's wise in most 
> cases.  Yes, deal with brutes as brutes, but don't become one.  I 
> didn't have to bite my dog.  He understood when I said "no biting." 
> You can train people to be human when they're not being violent.  It's 
> up to the less beastly among us to encourage improvements.  I 
> certainly don't favor them killing us off while we try to educate 
> them!  I wouldn't even want an occupation in rehab, but it's a better 
> way than escalating evil for evil.
>> Humans are by far the least violent primate---the
>> ethologists will confirm this per thousand hours of observation
>> ---but naturally, by your standards (as compared to what?)
>> people are unacceptably violent, and nations that are only
>> a little violent are just as bad to you as those whose violence is
>> thoroughgoing---or so it would appear.
> Yeah, how about those house cats?  Good thing they don't have nukes!
> Some people are unacceptably violent.  Lee, it's amazing that you know 
> my standards when I don't.  I had trouble deciding whether to shoot 
> the pigeons that defecate on my car but I know I would not hesitate to 
> throttle anyone who posed a threat to the life of a loved one.  I'm 
> very suspicious of the idea that superior force is the only way to 
> deal with force.
>>> For example: Some said Iraq might turn out like Viet Nam.
>> Yes, it did.  Thanks in part to Rumsfeld not using
>> enough force, and thanks to the Left that has kept
>> pounding away just as they did during Vietnam.
> I agree that both sides were wrong.  One for pursuing immoral war and 
> the other for permitting it.
>>>> [ . . . ]
>>> Hardly pardonable when you persist with the venom.  -- Thomas
>> [ More "strongly put" off list statements]
> [ . . . ]   
> I think your fear of evil outweighed your respect for reason.  
> I appreciate the challenges that encouraged me to clarify.  I think 
> the puerile gives way to maturity in time.  -- Gently,  Thomas

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