Re: Ad hominem? I think not.

From: John Clark (
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 23:37:35 MST

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky <> Wrote:

>Regardless of whether they are *right* or *wrong*, the above propositions
> are not *idiotic*

Well some are some are not, let's take them one at a time.

> 1) The US intervention in Afghanistan is doing more harm than good.

Ok, not idiotic just wrong.

> 2) A superior strategy for the US would have been to turn the other
> cheek, thus gaining moral superiority and showing the world that we don't
> always bomb people we don't like.

That is Idiotic and it is more. If western civilization is perceived as being so effete
that even the murder of 6 thousand of its citizens will not provoke it into action then
it's suicidal for us as well. Non violence worked for Gandhi because he was dealing with
the British, it would not have been a successful strategy for the Jews to use against
the Nazis and it won't work against a creature like Bin Laden.

> 3) The number of dead Afghan civilians has vastly exceeded the number of
> dead American civilians, and this puts the US in the wrong.

First of all I don't believe that's going to turn out to be true, but I grant you that part is
not idiotic. However the idea that you count the number of American civilians killed and
then kill exactly 5952 Afghanistan civilians and stop is idiotic.

> 4) What happened to the US was directly caused by the US carrying out an
> inconsistent and immoral strategy in foreign relations over the past fifty years.

Totally Irrelevant but not totally untrue.

> 5) The US is currently in the grip of a fever of destructive hatred and
> this hatred is both morally wrong and strategically counterproductive,
> regardless of all other moral issues involved.

More of the not idiotic just wrong category.

> 6) Bin Laden may not have had just cause to blow up the World Trade Center, but [...]

That's exactly what makes my blood boil, the "may" and the "but".

> 7) It would be wrong to impose US culture on Afghanistan as retaliation
> for the World Trade Center Attack. I do *not* believe this

I'm glad to hear you say that because this is big time idiotic.

> 8) Technology, science, and the Internet are mere artifacts of Western
> culture which don't belong to the ancient Afghan traditions - rather than
> being the products of intelligence itself and therefore the universal
> heritage of every human on the planet, regardless of what the Taliban
> believes about the "Westernizes" of technology, as the result of temporary
> differentials in technological advancement that happen to be correlated
> with different cultures. (I believe the latter.)

Huh? What does that have to do with the price of eggs?

>Samantha attacked your ideas; she didn't attack you.

A distinction without a difference. I don't have ideas I am ideas, if Samantha Atkins has
idiotic ideas then Samantha Atkins is an idiot. This is life and death, politeness be damned.

        John K Clark

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