[ExI] Really? and EP

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 08:29:41 UTC 2009

On Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 11:45 PM, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> BillK and Keith discuss the causes of war.


> Suppose that we really do want an *explanation*.
> Question: would it suffice (using a time machine) to ask them?
> I.e., what if we could overhear Alexander and his courtiers?
> (Remember---we do have a lot of historical documentation
> to go by, I just don't know it.)

Generally this would be useless.  It is in the interest of genes for
the puppets (us) not to know why we are doing something as stupid as
marching off to war.  The interest of a person and his genes diverge
in these situations.

> But the question is complicated. Consider, for example,
> the Crusades. I'm pretty certain that they *only* talked
> about retrieving the holy lands from the infidels, and
> probably talked about glory and plunder, too. But that
> may not suffice for an *explanation*.

There exist no exact transcription of Pope Urban II speech that
started the Cursades, but Robert the Monk's version shows remarkable

...] this land which you inhabit, shut in on all sides by the seas and
surrounded by the mountain peaks, is too narrow for your large
population; nor does it abound in wealth; and it furnishes scarcely
food enough for its cultivators. Hence it is that you murder one
another, that you wage war, and that frequently you perish by mutual
wounds. Let therefore hatred depart from among you, let your quarrels
end, let wars cease, and let all dissensions and controversies
slumber. Enter upon the road to the Holy Sepulchre; wrest that land
from the wicked race, and subject it to yourselves.



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