Knowing the people, and clearing one's mind

From: Jacques Du Pasquier (
Date: Tue Oct 02 2001 - 06:30:24 MDT

Samantha Atkins a écrit (2.10.2001/02:12) :
> Seriously, we our freedom, wealth, time and even lives on the
> line does it really matter all that much whether we consider a
> kamikaze terrorist to be cowardly or not? I certainly don't see
> any point
> in wasting one more line of text on the subject. As alwasy, my
> humble opinion.

You spoke eloquently in another post of the diverse human cultures,
how precious they are and how much we will benefit from them (and I do
hope and want to live such a future).

But here (and in the other thread about justice, islam etc.) I felt
you show little interest in understanding the people who made 9/11,
and the cultural aspect of it. More than that : you explicitly reject
such interest ("I certainly don't see any point in wasting one more
line of text...").

Well, here is a first point : how can you predict them without
understanding them ?

We heard "cowardice" (I was surprised, too), and we heard "madness",
and we heard "evil".

In my view, all three are false.

What is true is that they caused a DAMAGE to us (so it is "not good
for us", that's for sure), and we don't want to let them cause such
damage again.

But it's a matter of OUR INTEREST, not of them being "evil". In their
world, in fact, they are like David with Goliath. They are unarmed,
dominated, victim of injustice, ruled by the evil miscreant US-Israeli
forces, but they are proud, brave, pious, and they act heroically.
(they already defeated the Soviets !)

You would call evil someone pervert who hurts for the sake of hurting,
for example, just because they enjoy to cause suffering. This is just
not the situation.

Why is this important ? For two reasons :

1) First, as I said, to predict them. But not only to predict them in
   the sense of designy security tricks in the airplanes. Also, to
   predict how such violent movements will be generated from existing
   socio-cultural conditions. That's why I was trying to tell you
   about islam in the other thread -- maybe living in a place where we
   have 10 % muslims discourages me taking the "black-bok",
   "mad-evil", "coward-or-brave-what-do-we-care" approach on the
   violent islamists -- but you answered by general "argument" to make
   any mention of islam irrelevant.

2) SEcond, because if one's principles are in such a mess that one
   must discard reality to be able to act without strong moral
   dissonance, then proper action will be very difficult at some
   point. One should get a clear picture of things, what is an ennemy,
   and interest, good, evil, damage, justice, these sort of things. So
   this is not really about ben Laden. It is about extropian clarity
   of mind, principles usable in making choices, not carried like

Ben Laden is not mad, not evil, not coward (I don't know him
personnally, but at least it doesn't appear to be). But he is an
ENNEMY (read his "Declaration of war against the Americans" in case
you have any doubt). Do you need to morally diminish your ennemy to
acknowledge him as such ? Of course not !

You may object that this way of thinking tends to polarize the
situation, by accepting that "good" guys can be our ennemies, and be a
fullfilling prophecy avoiding that we build a harmonious world
together, with all the good guys, by explaining them that they are
wrong to act as they do, and that by just adapting a little their
behaviour, we can consider them as really good guy and not "very
evil-mad" good guy. But that which you may overlook, is that they
don't give a damn of your "harmony" and your "sense of justice", which
is just degenerated christian-atheist nonsense. For them, justice is


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