Irrational logic
Sun, 5 Dec 1999 09:17:37 EST

someone wrote:

This seems true to me. I would be hard pressed to think of a situation

in which I would resort to violence unless my survival were threatened.

But on the other hand, if you told me I could kill you and take all your

property and have to pay no penalties for this (other than wrestling with

my guilty conscience) then I might begin to entertain such thoughts.

Interestingly enough if there is *no* possibility of penalties

(i.e. the golden rule gets exempted), then it would only be rational

for me to kill you if you happen to have more resources at your disposal

than I do. In fact it is rational to kill you up until the point

that the benefits that I derive from doing so become less than

the effort that it takes to do so. Interesting that a "rational"

argument can result in immoral actions if you eliminate the

self-interest of being treated morally.

If we look at the examples of gay or race bashing they almost always

involve a majority ganging up on a minority. Three white men tying

a black man to the back of a truck and dragging him to death???

Sounds like both a numbers and a technology advantage (or at least

technology that distances you from actually getting your hands dirty).

What was irrational here was whatever pursuaded them to think they

would get away with it.

None of this has anything to do with rational or irrational... you are talking about logical or illogical.

In order for it to be a rational situation there would have to be a reason for the men to tie the victim up and drag him to his death.

There is no sane reason for this, so carrying out the action because they felt they could not get caught was making a logical decision based on an irrational situation.