Article > Fighting fire with fire
Description :: Dealing with terrorism when you aren't sure it's wrong
Get ready to not be surprised.

I was chatting with Unordained the other day. We began to argue. The argument became philosophical (since it was a moral issue). The conversation died when we concluded that Unordained's moral system had blue glitter and mine didn't.

The issue was terrorism, and I'm pretty sure Unordained's article "Rockets" is going to discuss his opinion about Yassin's assassination (or the Yassassination). As an experiment, I'm going to write on the issue first, then read his article, and then maybe respond if I feel like it. Probably, it won't matter.

The conversation came down to this: is it wrong to do unto others as they have done unto you? Yassin was a very powerful leader of the most powerful terrorist group which specifically targets Israelis. It may be important to note that every body count I've heard has about twice as many dead Israelis as Palestinians despite Israel's firepower. Gee, it's almost like Israel is holding back.

The core issues here are Law and Morality. Was the Yassassination Evil? Immoral? Unordained's morality seems to be a variant of Relativism, which is why I am confused that he would be so angry that Israel would decide to act upon it's own morality (as opposed to asking for his advice) and fight fire with fire. I think that to be more angry about the assassination of a murderer (singular event, one person dead) than about the bombings in Israel (which are pretty much an everyday occurance and which typically kill multiple people) is more than a little odd. Not very open minded of him. It's almost like he believes in a moral source that is higher than government, one which allows him to judge nations, and even the UN. When I asked what made Unordained's morality superior to Israel's, he responded with humor. Funny, but not very enlightening. All of this is a pretty odd stance for a person who is at least half anarchist. I invite Unordained to tell us where his moral authority comes from. The UN will not be an adequate response since they are not infallible (meaning he is choosing some of their rules and not others making him the ultimate moral authority in his moral system). Has to be a mortal power higher than the UN. Keep looking Unordained. The more culture's you include, the less common ground you have until you have an empty moral set. The less culture's you include the more bizarre the moral code.

The other side of the matter is Law. Unordained mentioned that the UN condemned the Yassassination. I don't really care about what the UN does. They have lost a lot of credibility in my mind. I can only touch on that here. It is interesting that the UN still cannot define terrorism partially because many of the countries in the UN harbor terrorists and one in particular wants terrorism which is for a good cause to be okay. Lastly, the UN seems to be a pack of dogs which can agree to bark but can never reach a consensus about biting. We need the UN now more than ever, but only because we need decisive action, not loud words. The fact that they have done nothing (nothing except convene, meet, talk, and bark. Their so called "resolutions" are only bitterly ironic since they have little resolve) is the most convincing evidence to me that they are useless. So if the UN has no law that matters (since it has no common will to use their common might to back it), what law applies? Israel's law. If what Israel did was illegal, they ought to punish those involved and then make laws to make what they did legal. And then they ought to punish those terrorists to the full extent of the law, whether it be missiles, bullets or the electric chair. Or shackles if you like.

So if we cannot judge Israel's actions with US law, not with UN law and not with Israeli law, how can we judge them with the law? And if we cannot find a moral authority by which to judge Israel, how can we know what they did was wrong? If we don't know, then why be offended? So much anger for a person who's morality is nothing more than chemical reactions in the mind. Is Morality all in our heads? Is it worth killing and dying for? Or will we merely talk while the bodies pile up? How do we know the topic matters yet we cannot figure out how to fix it? I'm glad that the US acts in its defense. The rest of the world (those who aren't helping us) will merely talk and continue to hate us.

I'm not sure whether it is okay to punish from a distance a person who murders from a distance. I'm also not sure that either Yassin or Unordained would be happy if Israel tried him and hung him.

One more question: this may get an article later. Why are we so concerned with maintaining alliances which get us nothing and only serve to slow us? When is the last time the French, the Germans, the Russians or the Chinese were helpful to us? Maybe if we need words, we'll ask for their opinion. I'm sure they'll give it to us anyway.


4/8/04. Read "Moral Authority" by Unordained. He's got it on the mark, but he and I obviously differ on something I want to bring to light.

Unordained doesn't really ever like killing. That's kinda good. It is also kinda bad. When he complains that terrorists die, but he can't really point to any definitive reason as to why it is bad, he has a Morality, but it has no Authority. Sure, he is his own authority. That's only good if you are going to go buy a pickup truck. My point is that it doesn't necessarily have any bearing on the reader...much less on Israel. They don't give a crap about Unordained.

This is important, massively important on a large scale. Because according to Unordaineds morality, there was nothing Wrong with the Nazis killing the Jews. Sure, we didn't like it. But then again, some people don't like income redistribution and other people don't like tax cuts. Some people like canned spinach but that doesn't mean we have to kill them. You're never going to make everyone happy right? And a country's leader, he has to do what is right for his country right? This kind of morality is dangerous and trivial at the same time. Fortunately, if it is all we've really got...if indeed there is no higher power....then we have literally nothing to lose. Might as well be a sociopath.....because crazy is in the eye of the beholder.

On the other hand, my morality only counts if I'm right.....

Life is grand isn't it? We can't even kill people without getting all philosophical.... ::rolls eyes::

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Owned by Ensis Involucrus - Created on 03/31/2004 - Last edited on 04/08/2004
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