Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Nov 21 2001 - 19:28:56 MST

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

> > Just perhaps, branding someone or some nation as utterly evil,
> > is not the sanest and best way to proceed.
> Evil exists. Therefore calling someone evil /when they are,
> in fact, evil/, is the only sane and rational thing to do. Calling
> them evil when they are not is indeed irrational. That's why
> rational thought is important.

Evil exists. There are evil ideas, policies and actions.
Branding a person themselves evil is something else again in my
thinking. The first puts one in an effort to oppose and if
possible nullify and replace ideas, policies and actions. The
second calls for the labelling of a person or nation as utterly
hopeless evil and requiring destruction. The second
dehumanizes. With the first it is sometimes even possible to
show the committer of evil actions the error of their ways and
play on their good aspects to have them help in stopping the
evil actions. The second denies their are any good aspects to
reach. See the difference?
> > When the "other" is "evil"
> > the temptation is to believe that one's own group must be the
> > "good" and that any who point out where that just isn't so are
> > themselves "evil". Both sides are dehumanized by this
> > process. Truth is the first casualty of war.
> Yep, that too is a bad thing. A's being evil does not in any
> way imply that B is good, even if B calls A evil, and B disagrees
> with everything A says. Anyone who believes this is irrational,
> and such bad arguments need to be pointed out.
> Epistemology matters.

Yes. As does understanding and even empathy/compassion.

- samantha

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:20 MDT