Monday, November 21, 2005
Fair And Balanced?
"al-Qaeda isn't evil". No wonder the ratings for Hardball are in the toilet. I love when a Liberal talks about blind hatred. They know better than anyone. Just watch an anti-freedom rally.


Opinionnation said...

Sounds like some of the jackasses at MB.

Like I told Jongluer, Evil is not a perspective when truth is involved. Killing innocent children for a psychotic political goal is evil.

I think people who refuse to classify certain actions as evil are really just afraid of admitting such a thing exists.

Za said...

I will agree with your last statement if you change "evil" for "wrong". Evil has the problem of being able to be both a noun and an adjective, while wrong can only be an adjective. As such, evil implies some sort of objective existance, while wrong doesn't. Frankly, there is no objective version of what is "wrong" and "right", but there's a fairly wide consensus subjectively.

But Matthews IS making a decent point within the context of what he said. His point was that you all spend too much time going "Al-Qaeda is evil" and not enough time looking at what motivates them. That's the other problem with the "evil" label - it gives you an excuse to forgo thinking.

Indian Chris said...

Taking a gun, putting it the head of a 7 year old girl and pulling the trigger is wrong and evil. Taking a needle full of blood infected with AIDS and injecting it into someone is wrong and evil. There's a very clear line of what's wrong and evil.

Za said...

They don't think so. Hence my point.

I agree with you - those actions are wrong, but only because my definition of "wrong" is "causing harm to others". Theirs is different.

So I agree in part with what you say - there's a "very clear line"... but only in your head.

Opinionnation said...

Then the question would be:
Which point of view is more accurate? I think that Al Qaeda purposely killing innocent people is wrong even if their insanity tells them it's not.

So, in theory evil is a perception but in reality evil is easily defined if the person's perspective is sane or reasonable.

Za said...

You're using a subjective frame and calling it objective. Doesn't work.
You're applying several words ("accurate", "insanity", "sane", "reasonable" and "evil") to subjective frames of reference that are either non-applicable (in the case of "accurate") or a subjective description (in the case of "insanity", "sane", "reasonable" and "evil").

Here's a way of improving your argument. Firstly, define your terms.

For instance - insanity. In this case, I would assume that by "insanity" you mean "causing harm to civilians for the purposes of furthering a cause" (note: if I'd used "others" instead of "civilians", then the American government and army would come under that definition too, which is why defining your argument's terms is so important).

Secondly, you have to remember that when referring to subjective frames, "accuracy" only applies to the accounting of an event. So long as Al Qaeda's frame includes "we killed x number of children" in their account, they are accurate. Reasoning and rationalisation cannot be described as "accurate" or "innaccurate", simply because they do not pertain to events or objects in the external world (which is all an objective frame can reference).

So if you wanted to maintain your argument, firstly you'd have to define what a good frame (or perhaps sanity) is, and then demonstrate that they do not fall into that category. And even then, your argument only works given that your opponent accepts your definitions (which most of us probably will).

Sorry... just the basics of logical arguing. I spent 6 years learning and codifying argument technique... so yeah...

Just to return to the point of "evil", I'll point to an example from history which is sufficiently old that we can all view it with a measure of objectivity. During the Middle Ages, the Church defined Muslims as "evil", because they interfered with their ability to trade spices and other goods directly (and also because there happened to be an abundance of lordly heirs with no lands to inherit because their siblings had already inherited them), and so they went on their Crusades. In return, the Muslims called the Christians "evil" for invading their lands, killing many of their people and so on.
Which was right?

Za said...

I should also point out, that in an objective frame there is NOTHING except action and objects. No judgements, no opinions, no descriptions.

An Al Qaeda operative kills 3 children.

That is objective reality. What you make of that is subjective.

"Slaughter", "murder", etc - anything that evokes emotion, all subjective. Even "insanity" is not an objective term - anything describing the mind is subjective.
Anything that is outside a VERY strict (in fact, rigidly strict) adherence to pure events and happenings is not objective.

In fact, just to break that prior example down for you:

An [numerical indicator] Al Qaeda operative [noun - indicating organisational ties] kills [verb] 3 [numerical indicator] children [noun].

The only reason I didn't say that "Al Qaeda" was an adjective was because it was an uncontested descriptor, allowing the noun-and-adjective to be treated as a single noun.

Hope that helps. :)

Opinionnation said...

No...It doesn't. Creative analysis requires no format.

You see the need to point out unnecessary information when others see the obvious point of the question. You failed!

Za said...

Creative analysis is all well and good - but it has no ability to back itself up, and a creative analysis in return can just say the exact opposite, and be exactly as "valid" to whoever wrote it.

That sort of argument is not conducive to discussion or understanding.