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  #61  
Old 09-14-2010, 04:55 PM
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I'd love to talk about this, but I'm afraid of what this conversation has become. I hate the fact that there seems to be a natural urge to resort to arguing and namecalling between certain "camps" of people here in the non-WOT section of the forum.
Well, certain posters are locked in a sort of Ishamael-LTT dynamic. They're waging the same struggle over and over again, and the outcome is predetermined by the pattern of the board. That's why it's possible for those that have achieved Theoryland enlightenment to foresee what each poster will say before they actually do so.
  #62  
Old 09-14-2010, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Uno View Post
Well, certain posters are locked in a sort of Ishamael-LTT dynamic. They're waging the same struggle over and over again, and the outcome is predetermined by the pattern of the board. That's why it's possible for those that have achieved Theoryland enlightenment to foresee what each poster will say before they actually do so.
Yup, pretty much.

For example, I already knew exactly what Uno was gonna say before I even read his post.
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  #63  
Old 09-14-2010, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
Yup, pretty much.

For example, I already knew exactly what Uno was gonna say before I even read his post.
Me, on the other hand, I don't even know what I'm going to say ne..... oooo, shiney!
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  #64  
Old 09-14-2010, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Dragon Thief View Post
Me, on the other hand, I don't even know what I'm going to say ne..... oooo, shiney!

Weird...I thought DT was going to say "oooo, fuzzy! And wooly! And holey!"

Totally had to check and see who the poster was...
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  #65  
Old 09-14-2010, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly's Ass
Weird...I thought DT was going to say "oooo, fuzzy! And wooly! And holey!"
I'm fairly sure I rarely, if ever, say holey.
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  #66  
Old 09-14-2010, 06:49 PM
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I'm fairly sure I rarely, if ever, say holey.
But I'm sure you're thinkin it, O Poker of Wooly, Holey Things.
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  #67  
Old 09-15-2010, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ivhon View Post
A concrete example that likely happened in multiple cases. A firefighter runs into the wreckage, pulls out a victim - saves a life. He goes back in to save someone else and dies. How is that not sacrifice? He saved a life and died trying to save another...
I make a difference between taking a risk and sacrificing something.

Look at the Rand/Sammael battle for example. In that case, Sammael was taking a risk with his own life (he knew Rand could be deadly) but he was willing to do that because if it worked out, then the payout would be worth it. Moridin, on the other hand, sacrificed Sammael, because that gave him what he wanted.

Or, if you look at a more traditional way of offering sacrifice: if you throw a virgin into a volcano, then you don't want her to bounce off the lava and walk away. You expect that which you sacrifice to be lost to you.

The firemen were willing to risk their lives, and that shows (a lot of) courage. But they were not sacrificing their lives. Going into a situation where they knew they were going to die would have been stupidly unprofessional, and I do not have reason to think they were that badly trained.

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Originally Posted by Crispin's Crispian View Post
I get your point, but I disagree. Risking your life to save others (when you have the skill to do so) is not a sacrifice. But once you lose the gamble, haven't you sacrificed yourself?
No, you have died at that point.
A sacrifice is payment, and they were not hoping to placate Allah's Anger by performing human sacrifices.

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I don't know many firefighters personally, but I have a feeling that many of them are prepared to die when they go into a burning building. I imagine they would have to be prepared.
Every time I have a training in fire fighting (just very small scale; do what is possible until the professionals arrive), it is stressed that the first rule is "do not get yourself into danger, that is useless and will only make things worse".
Yes, they are well aware that what they do is dangerous. But then, driving a car is also dangerous, and anyone who is totally ignorant of that should not have a driver's license.

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One could argue that terrorist are cowards precisely because they target innocents to make a political point, rather than trying to make changes diplomatically or joining a more formal armed organization. The singular act of flying a plane into a building filled with innocents might not be cowardly, but if you're doing that instead of other more difficult or time-consuming options it could be.
If a Saudi national wanted to get rid of his corrupt and tyrannical royal house, then which formal armed organisation could he join in order to achieve that? Through which diplomatic channels could he achieve such aims? For both options, how could he get the US government to stop supporting the tyrants?

I am not saying that the choice they made was right. But I get rather tired of hearing that they should have remained slaves (oppressed subjects of our allies who are financing extremism at the same time, if you want another formulation rather than the simple "slaves") rather than trying to fight oppression.
I really wish that to any of them who did want to fight it I could honestly say that we were not on the side of the oppressors, but I know that we support the rulers in a lot of highly undemocratic countries.


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Calling a terrorist a coward isn't lying, even in your scenario--it's just incorrect. I'm hardly going to defend governments as consistently correct.
But it is lying if they know that it is incorrect. And if they are too stupid to know that it is incorrect, then they are not worthy of holding the post they do. So, either they are incompetent, in which case one shouldn't vote for them, or they are very blatant liars, in which case voting for them is rather cynical.

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Originally Posted by nameless View Post
I'd agree that "coward" doesn't seem like a very accurate description of someone who's proven willing to die for their cause, but I thing it perfectly describes the people who sent them out to die and stayed safe in their caves with their thumbs up their asses all the while.
Considering how many attempts to kill them are made, I would not say that those leaders are really all that safe.
And considering that they generally only become leaders after having shown actual ability (or luck) in the field themselves, I don't think it is reasonable to say that they can be considered cowards. In general, known cowards are not good at recruiting fanatical followers.

OBL is a fairly good example. One of the main reasons why he became far better known, and far more influential, than the various other Saudi and Yemeni suppliers of money and weapons to the insurgents fighting the Soviets in the 1980s was that he actually went out and fought alongside those he supplied with weapons and money.

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Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
I remember watching TV that day and after the first tower fell, there was a guy with a camera there in all the dust and debris. If I remember right, he was several blocks from the site. He is walking through the dust and he comes up in a group of firemen. One of them is sitting there with dust all over him, blood running in his eyes from a cut on his forehead. He was a heavyset guy with graying hair and one of those badass fireman mustaches. He slugs down a bottle of water and grabs another and dumps it all over his face and cleans all the blood off and then sits there staring off into space. The reporter or whatever asks him several questions about whats going on and he answers, then he gets up and tells the other firemen to get there stuff together, "we gotta get back in it". The reporter says, "you're going back in there? What if the other building falls?" The fireman looks at him a second and then smiles and says "There's people in there trapped in the building, there's people trapped under the debris, there's people hurt between here and there, so yeah, we're going back in. That's what we do."

That's courage.
I agree.

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In your definition, the guys who robbed the bank in LA and killed all those cops, in order to make a personal gain at the cost of others, were courageous. Same with the 9/11 terrorists. They did it for personal gain. Not courageous, not sacrifice.
Courage, yes, sacrifice, no, moral, no.

I am arguing here against the following fallacies:
"Someone who is brave is therefor, by definition, good."
"Someone who is not good can therefor not be brave."

Assuming that the terrorists do not have courage leads to seriously underestimating them, and it means that they can succeed at things that would have failed if a more realistic assessment had been made.
  #68  
Old 09-15-2010, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat View Post
Courage, yes, sacrifice, no, moral, no.

I am arguing here against the following fallacies:
"Someone who is brave is therefor, by definition, good."
"Someone who is not good can therefor not be brave."

Assuming that the terrorists do not have courage leads to seriously underestimating them, and it means that they can succeed at things that would have failed if a more realistic assessment had been made.
I think you're looking at it wrong. Motivation plays a huge factor.

The terrorists motivation was? To be a martyr for their god. Greed was needed for that, not courage. If I told you I'd give you 100 million dollars to cut off you thumb, then there'd be no courage in going to the doctor and having it removed. The motivation negated the courage required because you did it for the money. Now, if your god offers you an afterlife filled with virgins and martyrdom or whatever, for killing yourself and as many other people as you can take with you, then it amounts to the same thing.
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  #69  
Old 09-15-2010, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sei'taer View Post
I think you're looking at it wrong. Motivation plays a huge factor.

The terrorists motivation was? To be a martyr for their god. Greed was needed for that, not courage. If I told you I'd give you 100 million dollars to cut off you thumb, then there'd be no courage in going to the doctor and having it removed. The motivation negated the courage required because you did it for the money. Now, if your god offers you an afterlife filled with virgins and martyrdom or whatever, for killing yourself and as many other people as you can take with you, then it amounts to the same thing.
um, no.

Mainly because the word "sacrifice" has a spiritual rather than material "payoff". It is tightly linked to the word "sacred" -you make the sacrifice to a deity or a Higher Notion and money is (by most standards, even in the contemporary consumerist world) not exactly a deity. If you insist that money is deity then I have to conclude that you've broken the second of the Ten Commandments and/or do not want to discuss this according to religious paradigms (in the judaeo-christian sense), which is fine overall, but in this particular case the debate is moot seeing as the whole hooplah revolves around conflicting religions. in rhetoric, anyways.

Christian martyrs decided to follow their religious beliefs while knowing that this will most probably result in (rather unpleasant) death. You could say that rather than giving up their beliefs they sacrificed their lives. Edit: the firefighters believed in helping others as a Higher Notion and so I would call their deaths sacrifice as well, although I suspect Vatican probably wouldn't agree.

Now, if the terrorists believed that they were being Good Muslims - which, as has been pointed out, is debatable - then it follows that they sacrificed themselves in a way equatable to Christian martyrs.

Just because I or you might not agree with their belief system and reasoning of why it was morally justifiable (if indeed there was such justification before going in) does not mean that the sacrifice did not happen. From their point of view.
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Last edited by yks 6nnetu hing; 09-15-2010 at 07:57 AM. Reason: 1) typo explosion 2) clarification of wording
  #70  
Old 09-15-2010, 07:31 AM
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Me, on the other hand, I don't even know what I'm going to say ne..... oooo, shiney!



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  #71  
Old 09-15-2010, 07:34 AM
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Going into a situation where they knew they were going to die would have been stupidly unprofessional, and I do not have reason to think they were that badly trained.

Not exactly...it depends on why they were willing to do it.

Is is stupid/unprofessional for a soldier to jump onto a grenade to save the rest of his squad? I'd say no...its a heroic sacrifice that should be honored. Same with the firefighters who basically knew they were gonna die if they went into that building. Their desire/willingness to save others even at the cost of their own lives is to be commended and honored.
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  #72  
Old 09-15-2010, 08:07 AM
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The difference is that with the grenade, the one going to die does have a good reason for thinking that would indeed save others, while running into a collapsing building merely means that you too will die.

The fire fighters who went in before it started falling down did so in the expectation that it was possible to get people (including themselves) out. They were not sure they would come out alive, but if they had been certain it was not possible, then there would have been no point in going in, since in that case they couldn't save anyone by going in anyway.
  #73  
Old 09-15-2010, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by yks 6nnetu hing View Post
um, no.

Mainly because the word "sacrifice" has a spiritual rather than material "payoff". It is tightly linked to the word "sacred" -you make the sacrifice to a deity or a Higher Notion and money is (by most standards, even in the contemporary consumerist world) not exactly a deity. If you insist that money is deity then I have to conclude that you've broken the second of the Ten Commandments and/or do not want to discuss this according to religious paradigms (in the judaeo-christian sense), which is fine overall, but in this particular case the debate is moot seeing as the whole hooplah revolves around conflicting religions. in rhetoric, anyways.

Christian martyrs decided to follow their religious beliefs while knowing that this will most probably result in (rather unpleasant) death. You could say that rather than giving up their beliefs they sacrificed their lives. Edit: the firefighters believed in helping others as a Higher Notion and so I would call their deaths sacrifice as well, although I suspect Vatican probably wouldn't agree.

Now, if the terrorists believed that they were being Good Muslims - which, as has been pointed out, is debatable - then it follows that they sacrificed themselves in a way equatable to Christian martyrs.

Just because I or you might not agree with their belief system and reasoning of why it was morally justifiable (if indeed there was such justification before going in) does not mean that the sacrifice did not happen. From their point of view.
I was talking about courage, and was very careful to make sure I was only talking about courage. I agree with you, it's a sacrifice, but it is not, by any means I can see, courageous.
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  #74  
Old 09-15-2010, 08:19 AM
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I was talking about courage, and was very careful to make sure I was only talking about courage. I agree with you, it's a sacrifice, but it is not, by any means I can see, courageous.
how is knowingly going into a potentially very painful death not courageous? Most people do not like pain, mutilation or death. For me personally, facing a nurse with a needle is courageous. Not a sacrifice though, just a necessary courage.
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  #75  
Old 09-15-2010, 08:39 AM
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how is knowingly going into a potentially very painful death not courageous? Most people do not like pain, mutilation or death. For me personally, facing a nurse with a needle is courageous. Not a sacrifice though, just a necessary courage.
So a heroin junkie is courageous? And just because you are facing a painful death doesn't make an act courageous. You don't have to face death to be courageous. I might give you a kidney and save your life. That is heroic to some people, to others it's simply the right thing to do. It's not a courageous act, though I suppose you could call it sacrifice.

I'm afraid we're not going to come to an agreement on this. It's one of those roundy-round discussions.
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  #76  
Old 09-15-2010, 09:01 AM
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So a heroin junkie is courageous? And just because you are facing a painful death doesn't make an act courageous. You don't have to face death to be courageous. I might give you a kidney and save your life. That is heroic to some people, to others it's simply the right thing to do. It's not a courageous act, though I suppose you could call it sacrifice.

I'm afraid we're not going to come to an agreement on this. It's one of those roundy-round discussions.
I think you're right in that it very much depends on the circumstances. Overall though, if a person is afraid of something and does it anyways, then that's courageous, right? Me, I'm afraid of sharp objects and blood, especially if it's my own. A junkie might be afraid of the effects of not getting his/her fix.

That's where I was coming from when I said that for most people going into a sure painful death would be courageous.
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