So. Let's talk about the war.

Postby ZOMBIE USER 68 on Mon Oct 08, 2001 3:06 am

I need a topic that might actually stir up some interest in people, so here it is. Talk.<P>:P<P>------------------
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Postby Tailsteak on Tue Oct 09, 2001 2:41 am

I must say I'm against the idea, if only for the pathetic reason that I am supremely pessimistic regarding human behaviour, and I feel that any action whatsoever in Afghanistan will result in unnecessary suffering.<P>I can picture a world, years in the future, where America is periodically injured through one extremist's actions (be it through hijacking airplanes, trains, missiles or computers), and it always reacts by bombing the usual suspect nations. Let's face it: Afghanistan != The Taliban and The Taliban != Osama bin Laden. A lot of innocent people are going to die here.<P>A lot.
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 68 on Tue Oct 09, 2001 9:02 am

Yeah, a lot of people probably will die. A poll on cnn.com says that 80% of people think that there's going to be another terror attack in the USA because of our retaliations. That's a scary prospect, especially for a person like me who lives smack in the middle of the 4th-largest city in the country. I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees, though. Not retaliating is much worse than retaliating in a situation like this.<P>------------------
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Postby Tailsteak on Wed Oct 10, 2001 3:22 am

But where does it end?<P>...<P>This hypothetical situation popped into my mind a while back-- suppose on an episode of Star Trek (TNG, or similar), the crew happened upon a Pre-First Contact planet. All of society on that planet was in one all-encompassing system with mandatory universal IDs, and the citizens all kept busy with electronic entertainment that was delivered into their homes on a regular basis.<P>Now suppose the crew discovers a rag-tag band of activists who live outside this system and believe the system is evil. Who do you think winds up in the bad guy position at the end of the episode?
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Postby Somebody Strange on Wed Oct 10, 2001 5:31 am

Honestly, Tailsteak, I don't know who the bad guy would be. Maybe it's just my experience as a scriptwriter, but a lot depends on characters' personalities. <P>In one sense, I could say that the all-encompassing system becomes the bad guys, because they mandate ID's, etc, and it's a popular theme for the underdog to conquer the overbearing empire. Star Wars, of course, is the prime example.<P>However, in another sense, the small ragtag band of activists could just as easily be shown as the bad guys. If the worst the system is doing is mandating ID's and keeping people entertained, that doesn't give you much fodder to be against them <i>except</i> as a knee-jerk reaction to structure. As long as the system isn't unfairly treating its population -- say, by killing them for being unwilling to participate in the entertainment, or by denying them education, or some other totalitarian power-mad scheme, then the system really isn't that bad; in contrast, if the rebels still think of it as evil and proceed to assassinate leaders and kill innocents, they're the bad guys.<P>Perspective matters a whole lot. Al-Qaeda seem to think they're Luke Skywalker's squadron. We're the evil Empire, in their eyes. As much as I hate what they've done, their commitment to what they believe is "good" is astonishingly strong.<P>The irony that I see in our retaliation (which I still support) is that we're in essence telling them "You should not kill for what you believe in, and we will kill to make that point."<P>I don't think we have a choice, though. There's a frighteningly fine line between patriotism and terrorism, or between religious commitment and sociopathy -- and I say this as one who comes from a very religiously committed background. When morality and ethics are black and white, it's easy to disregard anything outside your worldview. As a teenager, I was committed to fundamentalist Christianity, to the extent that I didn't want to even associate with anyone who "claimed" to be a Christian "but believed in evolution" or "but drank alcohol" or "but swore" or "but would watch that movie"... and it wasn't until a couple years later that I looked back and saw I was doing more damage with my unbending faith than I was "leading by example".<P>The Taliban, unfortunately, see things very clearly (so they think). They did what they felt they had to do. My reason for supporting the strikes is simply that I don't think their level of commitment to striking back at "evil" is going to go away, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to protect the innocent -- whether that's make them too scared to attack us again, or make them incapable of it (my preference).<P>I don't like coming down on ANY religion; I think it's a good thing when people have a belief so strong they would die for it. But killing for it, and killing innocents... this is no better than the Crusades. Our response, although it will certainly also kill innocents, I believe will help minimize the number of innocents killed.<P>Convoluted grammar, to be sure, but there it is.<P>--Strange/Dave<P>------------------
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 68 on Wed Oct 10, 2001 6:08 am

Dang, Somebody, that was a long response. :|<P>Mine's going to be quite a bit shorter, and kinda off topic. I remember a few months ago when I was talking with my friends. We got onto the subject of war, and I started talking about how war was a relic and that it'll never happen again because everyone's too concerned about their economy. Guess I was wrong.<P>Probably what I should have said is that there'll never be another WORLD war. Even if this situation escalates, I don't think too many people are going to get involved. No Muslims outside of the few hyper-radical, ignorant sects in the Middle East want to start a holy war, so I don't think too many countries are going to be backing Afghanistan and the Taliban (or what's left of the Taliban...) if they really want to brawl with the free world.<P>------------------
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Postby Somebody Strange on Thu Oct 11, 2001 5:16 am

Caph -- yeah, I tend to go on and on. Not my favorite quality in myself, but one that's at least consistent. Ask anyone on the Schlock boards. I'm the resident Reverend, and I do tend to sermonize.<P>--Strange/Dave<P>------------------
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Postby ZOMBIE USER 68 on Sat Oct 13, 2001 3:10 am

Fine with me. I'd rather have people going on long tirades than not talking at all <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/wink.gif"><P>------------------
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