[extropy-chat] Tyranny in place

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 06:26:05 UTC 2006

On 10/2/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> That could be true, but I believe it depends on future events. Do you
> almost
> daily think about what your reactions would be if a terrorist nuke was to
> go
> off in a large American city?
> Do you think that your feelings and intuitions would change at all?

My feelings and intuitions, like yours, say anything that hints of enemy
action should be assigned the highest priority.

I know exactly why they say that. They evolved in conditions where
intraspecies violence was the main cause of death that we could do something

That circumstance no longer obtains, and our feelings and intuitions
therefore give completely the wrong answer when we evaluate today's
problems. Since we _know_ they give the wrong answer, and we know why, we
should use reason instead. Look at the cold numbers: how many people
worldwide have been killed by terrorists from 2001 to today? Some thousands,
maybe into five digits. How many lives have been lost from all causes in
that same time? Nearly _three hundred million_. Even a nuclear explosion in
a major city would be a drop in the ocean on that scale.

Note also that you only answered the lesser half of my argument. My primary
point was that however small or large the external threat, compromising our
most basic civil liberties - allowing our governments to turn inward against
ourselves, not outward against the enemy - is _not effective_ as a response.
It adds a second problem _without doing anything to solve the first_.

Whatever happens, the choices made will be strongly criticized---which, up
> to
> a point, is exactly what should happen.

But it is very dangerous to allow a situation to arise where criticism of
certain policies is no longer permitted.

P.S.  My apologies if you aren't an American;  please pretend that you are
> for
> the sake of the questions.

No apology needed; I'm not, but I am a member of Western civilization, and I
believe it matters greatly - quite possibly unto the entire future of our
visible universe - how well our civilization and the values it represents
endure this century.
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