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#476061 - 10/19/01 10:42 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Charles Reece Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Kal,

The "therefore" is from the implicit question of what physical constraints (laws/actions/what not) you're considering in reasoning about a god-made universe versus a non-god-made one. Since there are't any, you can't reasonably discuss the chance or probability of our universe coming about with or without a god. The design argument fails because it speculates on things that we have no ability to speculate on.
_________________________
The Gospel, wherein much Truth is written.

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#476062 - 10/19/01 01:52 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
gene phillips Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Columnist: Some interesting reflections about suicide being the coward's way out, and in some cases I think it probably is. But given the situation that your enemy is much more powerful than you are, and that your only fate after defeat is either torture, death, or imprisonment (or some combination thereof), then one can imagine the kamikaze-type taking some savage satisfaction in the fact that the enemies who survive his vengeance will have their own thirst for immediate revenge unslaked. And to some extent that is what happened to Americans immediately after 9-11 IMO: a fierce desire for vengeance, extremely frustrated by the fact that the conspirators were all deceased. Though, as you point out, Larry, there's always a prime mover behind the scenes who can be attacked-- and yes, I'd agree that it takes no particular guts to be "the evil mastermind in the shadows."

[This message has been edited by gene phillips (edited 10-19-2001).]

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#476063 - 10/22/01 11:09 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by gene phillips:
Columnist: Some interesting reflections about suicide being the coward's way out, and in some cases I think it probably is. But given the situation that your enemy is much more powerful than you are, and that your only fate after defeat is either torture, death, or imprisonment (or some combination thereof), then one can imagine the kamikaze-type taking some savage satisfaction in the fact that the enemies who survive his vengeance will have their own thirst for immediate revenge unslaked. And to some extent that is what happened to Americans immediately after 9-11 IMO: a fierce desire for vengeance, extremely frustrated by the fact that the conspirators were all deceased.


I'm not saying I don't understand the motivations of the suicide attackers--just suggesting that "coward" may in fact apply.

Another way of looking at at is to compare it to the many "murder-suicide" cases we hear about where someone kills a wife, lover, child, rival, etc., and then takes his own life as well, unable to live with either the consequences of his crime or (perhaps) unable to live with having committed it. Is such a person acting courageously or cowardly?

Also, as someone pointed out in a letter to the Chicago Tribune, the 9-11 kamikaze pilots did not do what they did in the face of the FEAR of death. Death was their objective. It was part of the plan. The passengers on the fourth plane who fought back against the attackers and probably saved a fourth target exhibited true courage.

And you are correct that part of the frustration is that the perpetrators are dead. But part of the implied threat is that others are ready to perform similar acts as well. If we thought that ALL the terrorists had died, we wouldn't be afraid of anything else happening. Our desire for "revenge" can be turned to the positive goal of thwarting future acts.

- Larry H

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#476064 - 10/23/01 02:34 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Quote:
Originally posted by columnist:
Another way of looking at at is to compare it to the many "murder-suicide" cases we hear about where someone kills a wife, lover, child, rival, etc., and then takes his own life as well, unable to live with either the consequences of his crime or (perhaps) unable to live with having committed it. Is such a person acting courageously or cowardly?


Columnist/Larry, I usually find your posts immensely sensible, but it seems basically what you're saying here is that any act of aggression that we "don't like" is cowardly, isn't it? Mastermind a WTC bombing from a distance, and you're cowardly. Fly yourself into it with a big plane knowing you'll perish in a blaze of fire, and you're cowardly.

Not to "take the terrorists side" here, it's just sort of annoying to see people trying to make themselves feel better by calling them "cowardly." I mean, they're trying to destroy the United States of America, the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth. They risked and then gave up everything they had to come over to our country, lay low for years, and carry out a suicide mission in the name of a higher power or greater good (as they perceive it.) And amazingly, despite all the airport security, despite the untouchable image our country has, their mission was even SUCCESSFUL. It wasn't a complete success, but it certainly was a kick in the nuts to our mall-walking, cell-phone toting, SUV driving populous.

Don't get me wrong; I'll be the first to agree that the attacks are supremely misguided and I'll be happy enough when they have Bin Laden's head on a pike. I just think this whole "how cowardly can you get" thing is utterly lame. Misguided they are; cowardly, they're not.

K

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#476065 - 10/23/01 11:28 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by madget:
Columnist/Larry, I usually find your posts immensely sensible, but it seems basically what you're saying here is that any act of aggression that we "don't like" is cowardly, isn't it? Mastermind a WTC bombing from a distance, and you're cowardly. Fly yourself into it with a big plane knowing you'll perish in a blaze of fire, and you're cowardly.

Not to "take the terrorists side" here, it's just sort of annoying to see people trying to make themselves feel better by calling them "cowardly." I mean, they're trying to destroy the United States of America, the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth. They risked and then gave up everything they had to come over to our country, lay low for years, and carry out a suicide mission in the name of a higher power or greater good (as they perceive it.) And amazingly, despite all the airport security, despite the untouchable image our country has, their mission was even SUCCESSFUL. It wasn't a complete success, but it certainly was a kick in the nuts to our mall-walking, cell-phone toting, SUV driving populous.

Don't get me wrong; I'll be the first to agree that the attacks are supremely misguided and I'll be happy enough when they have Bin Laden's head on a pike. I just think this whole "how cowardly can you get" thing is utterly lame. Misguided they are; cowardly, they're not.

K


The point I was making was not that they ARE cowardly, but that it is not so clear that they are NOT. Without knowing what was in their minds, it's hard to say.

My original post on this subject (well, here on page 10, anyway) was that the SPONSORS of these terrorist acts (the ones who don't die, and also don't even claim credit) were exhibiting cowardice.

Edit: actually, now that I re-read it, my original post here on page 10 was that the mailers of anthrax through the mail were cowardly, notwithstanding the events of 9/11.

And then, as an aside, I said that even the actual perpetrators WHO EVERYONE SEEMS TO AGREE WERE NOT COWARDS perhaps were after all. It was food for thought rather than a full blown conclusion.

- Larry H

(If the bolding doesn't work right this time, I give up!)


[This message has been edited by columnist (edited 10-23-2001).]



[This message has been edited by columnist (edited 10-24-2001).]

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#476066 - 10/23/01 01:24 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Quote:
Originally posted by columnist:

My original post on this subject (well, here on page 10, anyway) was that the SPONSORS of these terrorist acts (the ones who don't die, and also don't even claim credit) were exhibiting cowardice.


Eh, my bad then. It was late and maybe I wasn't reading carefully; or, more likely, read the posts forgetting the context of previous discussion. I've also heard the "they're such cowards, not like us brave American heroes!" line enough lately that I might've been projecting it onto your comments more than was merited. I don't have time to check back and reread at the moment. But, apologies if I misunderstood. I think it was the smirky "Do they officially qualify as cowardly now?" thing that struck me ... like I say ... I've heard a lot of this kind of talk. I took it at face value forgetting it was referencing previous discussion on the matter, etc.

As a side note, what does strike me about the whole Anthrax thing is how laughably ineffective it is as an act of terrorism, compared to 9/11. I mean, it's rarely fatal. It's just an annoyance that we can pop a few antibiotics for and be as good as new in no time. I haven't kept up with the latest developments too carefully but my impression was that there weren't many fatalities from it.

Quote:
Originally posted by columnist:

[b]
Edit: actually, now that I re-read it, my original post here on page 10 was that the mailers of anthrax through the mail were cowardly, notwithstanding the events of 9/11.
[\b]
(If the bolding doesn't work right this time, I give up!)


I think you need to capitalize the "b's" ....

K

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#476067 - 10/23/01 01:55 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by madget:
I think you need to capitalize the "b's" ....

K


Well, that didn't work either. Not sure why, since it does in anything else I've ever posted here.

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#476068 - 10/23/01 03:17 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
madget Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/01
Posts: 4870
Quote:
Originally posted by columnist:
Well, that didn't work either. Not sure why, since it does in anything else I've ever posted here.


Maybe there was a straggling command earlier in the post that left things dangling. Something you forgot to close off with a bracket or something like that.

K

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#476069 - 10/23/01 08:48 PM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
Howard Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/00
Posts: 882
Your "slash" on the closing "b" is going in the wrong direction. That should make things look better.
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Sr. Editor
The Trades : Entertainment industry analysis since 1997

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#476070 - 10/24/01 09:49 AM Re: Bill Mahrer, Marr, Mahr, ... whatever
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Howard:
Your "slash" on the closing "b" is going in the wrong direction. That should make things look better.


Ahhhh, there's the stuff!

- Larry H

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