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Nazi engineer and Disney space advisor Wernher Von Braun helped give
us rocket science. Today, the legacy of military aeronautics
has many manifestations from SDI to advanced ballistic missiles. Now there is a controversial push for a new missile defense system.
What will be the role of missile defense in the new geopolitical
climate and in the new scientific era?
(429 previous messages)
lunarchick - 09:13pm Oct 21, 2000 EDT (#430 of 448)
As does this guy, with his rationalised reasons
rshowalt - 05:49am Oct 22, 2000 EDT (#431 of 448)
In the interview Lunarchick cites, with Ismail Abu Shanab, Shanab sets out
"ethical" standards of random murder that he justifies, particularly, because of American bombing, and especially, American use of nuclear weapons. I've asked before:
If use of nuclear weapons can be permitted, what can be reprehended?
The logical answer, assuming the premise that
"use of nuclear weapons can be permitted" is that
"any other violence, no matter how indiscriminant, can be justified."
This is an argument that has become central to the justification of terrorism of all kinds. It is taught, forcefully and carefully, in schools throughout the Arab world, and persuades many people elsewhere.
For a more decent world, I believe that the right answer has to be
"the use of nuclear weapons is morally repellant, and beyond decency ...... and so are many lesser patterns of violence that kill fewer people in similarly semi-random ways, including terrorist bombing, and any badly aimed bombing, or bombing of civilians, from airplanes."
In World War I, many moral standards that had seemed to provide safety to the world were violated, and in World War II, random murder, by concentration camp or terror bombing, came to be operationally accepted by all sides. At the end of the war, fire bombing had become so destructive that people dropping the atomic bomb expressed wonder about "what the big deal was" - after Dresden, what could be wrong with Hiroshima?
I believe that the answer, for a stable, logically consistent peace in the world, has to be that there was a great deal wrong with Dresden, AND Hiroshima, and with all wholesale murder, and all threats of murder, by explosives and other means, ever since.
However bad it is for a soldier to kill a particular person, who at least at some level is clearly identified, random murder, by small bombs or much bigger ones, is worse in important ways.
We are right to find terrorists reprehensible, but our objections would be far, far more persuasive to the people who support terrorists, and to many of the terrorists themselves, if we stepped back from morally repellant conduct, which became standardized in WWII, that has caused an eating away of the standards of morality, decency, and mercy ever since.
Nuclear weapons threaten the survival of the world, and they are morally corrosive, as well.
We should get rid of them. If we took an approach based not on trust, which we lack, but on distrust, we could. If we, the Russians, and the other nuclear powers did get rid of them, maintaining all our other military forces, much other peacemaking might be possible, and "logical" arguments for some of the most terrible conduct on the globe would be removed.
lunarchick - 09:01am Oct 24, 2000 EDT (#432 of 448)
The interesting thing about the interview above is how personable and human even 'terrorists' can be whilst wishing to change their external environment.
kalter.rauch - 09:27am Oct 24, 2000 EDT (#433 of 448)
Earth vs <^> <^> <^>
Yeah...sure...except for the twisted "logic".
That's like saying "If capital punishment is permitted, then what can be reprehended?
lunarchick - 05:33pm Oct 24, 2000 EDT (#434 of 448)
Saw the guy on screen ... just a mortal being, just thinking for the people. Speaking of these, an interesting point re a presidential candidate:
Tony Blair has never met George W Bush.
The newest episode in the Anglo-American
relationship, which may begin in a fortnight's
time, will get off to a jarring start. Governor
Bush was due to tour Europe and Asia last
spring, to make himself known to foreign
leaders and enrich his image back home.
That's what presidential candidates do. But
the visits were called off, because Bush's
campaign handlers thought they wouldn't
help. They feared he would make a fool of
himself. Since then, the evidence has
accumulated that they were right ...
kalter.rauch - 06:56am Oct 25, 2000 EDT (#435 of 448)
Earth vs <^> <^> <^>
Yeah......that Tony Blair would come across like Jar Jar on that new Star Wars flick.
lunarchick - 03:10am Oct 26, 2000 EDT (#436 of 448)
Jar Jar ?
The point is America sucks in world innovation and makes dollars - lots!
The world in return have a right to expect the USA , who they have developed as a superpower, to use this generated financial capacity to assist in the peaceful growth of this globe.
kalter.rauch - 08:17am Oct 26, 2000 EDT (#437 of 448)
Earth vs <^> <^> <^>
That's baloney......America made itself what it is, and the rest have no one to blame but themselves and the pathetic "cultures" they choose to live in.
The USA is only a couple hundred years old. Some of the world's worst cesspools are thousands of years old. Some cultures bumble on forever, locked into the stone age. Whose fault is that, if not the members of those "cultures"?
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