Re: "the species' immune system"

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 19:00:42 MDT wrote:

> Mike Lorrey writes:
> > In your typical platoon during WWII, in any given firefight, typically 3-5
> > soldiers actually would shoot back, the rest trying to dig themselves as deep
> > into the ground as possible. Most people have an innate reluctance to shoot a
> > human shaped object.
> ...
> > Special forces owe a large portion of their success to the fact that they are
> > 100% proven shooters
> ...
> > (and they are more mobile because they
> > don't have to worry about carrying out cowardly deadweight).
> In describing people who won't kill as "cowardly deadweight", you seem
> to be suggesting that reluctance to kill human beings is cowardly.
> Is this what you meant to say?
> Hal

I also question, upon the offering of a statistic, what a "warrior" is.

I think perhaps we can define slightly distinct terms for "soldier" versus and
vis-a-vis "warrior."

Lorrey brings up fighting habit statistics, where some fight, some lie low, and
others rout.

Perhaps the reason some will fight is that they follow orders. That would be my
separation between soldiers and warriors, where warriors fight for fighting and/or
their cause, and soldiers fight because they are ordered to fight. Personally, I
might not make a good soldier, but perhaps a good warrior or warfighter, except I
couldn't kill except in the case of imminent self-defense or the defense of
others. Thus, I have no cause for which to violently fight, except perhaps in
terms of words.

In terms of the immune system analogy, it was perhaps not apt, for as much as it
was apt.

I remember science fiction book where essentially there was first contact with a
cosmopolitan alien society, where the aliens were not very good at fighting, yet
were at war with a race of Borg-like bugs. The humans became their premier
soldiers, or warriors. There were enough humans that were willing to fight,
particularly as they did not have the moral objections of killing another human as
basically the enemy was sans any particular redeeming value.

So, in terms of the immune system analogy, that can be applied in various ways to
the species as a whole as well as to any subgroup, whether a state or nation.

I think we are doing better as a species in terms of avoiding war. It is generally
recognized that war is too expensive, and that it ruins things.

I have some retired soldiers and/or warriors in my family, from the World War II
and Korean war eras. I've never tried to drag stories about it out of them, and am
quite happy that they are alive. I'm not a war story buff or afficianado, but most
fictional books I have ever read involved some form of war or other conflict.

Many romanticize the warriors. Much of history is about them, having won the wars,
with the victors adagiantly filling in the blanks.

I fabricated the word adagiantly, it has to do with that old adage.

I hope this is not too self-centric, I don't speak for any but myself, heh, and
those that agree.

Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:

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