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Old 11-17-2008, 03:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
What the hell does this even mean?
I think the west is getting complacent about threats abroad and so they enter the Neville Chamberlain attitude about Ahmadinejad and Putin which displays weakness to them. Osama felt after Mogadishu that he could see that Americans would quit any battle they got into as long as the enemy could wait them out. It looks like Obama is going to continue the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan to get at the Taliban but if he changes his mind then Osama will be right.
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Old 11-17-2008, 03:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
Good and evil is oversimplified, but when Bush calls entire countries evil it is very accurate. Has some nice irony to it.
"Axis of Evil" as described by George W. Bush:
Iraq
Iran
North Korea
"Beyond the Axis of Evil" as described by John R. Bolton:
Cuba
Libya
Syria

Yeah you're right. It is too simplfied. I would probably add more countries like Myanmar, China, & Russia. I think their focus was more on terror and exchange of weapons than just a list of states without democracy. If Iraq turns out to be an ally then they can be put off the list.

The sense I get from liberals is that these lists are considered to be inflammatory and cause the problem in the first place. I don't really get that because I think these countries are already inflammatory towards the west and they already provoke democracies by funding terrorism and threatening neighbors. Should we call them the "axis of countries we need to hug?"
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
I think the west is getting complacent about threats abroad and so they enter the Neville Chamberlain attitude about Ahmadinejad and Putin which displays weakness to them. Osama felt after Mogadishu that he could see that Americans would quit any battle they got into as long as the enemy could wait them out.
But what did "and they haven't become nice overnight because Obama is there" mean? It just sounds like an ignorant statement, no one ever alluded to some overnight change, especially since Obama isn't even in office yet. Sometimes I'm just baffled by what you come up with...

You're entitled to the opinion that the West has become complacent, in fact I know there are many that agree with you, most come off as paranoid hawks.


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It looks like Obama is going to continue the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan to get at the Taliban but if he changes his mind then Osama will be right.
This is another thing I don't understand about you, you admit that Obama wants to continue the war in Afghanistan, but then why even say "but if he changes his mind then Osama will be right"?
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:19 PM   #19
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I think their focus was more on terror and exchange of weapons than just a list of states without democracy.
So wait... No democracy equals evil?

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If Iraq turns out to be an ally then they can be put off the list.
Really? How generous of you...
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
The sense I get from liberals is that these lists are considered to be inflammatory and cause the problem in the first place. I don't really get that because I think these countries are already inflammatory towards the west and they already provoke democracies by funding terrorism and threatening neighbors. Should we call them the "axis of countries we need to hug?"
The fact that you actually think this way is scary...
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #20
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But what did "and they haven't become nice overnight because Obama is there" mean? It just sounds like an ignorant statement, no one ever alluded to some overnight change, especially since Obama isn't even in office yet. Sometimes I'm just baffled by what you come up with...

You're entitled to the opinion that the West has become complacent, in fact I know there are many that agree with you, most come off as paranoid hawks.
Leaders have already talked about changing their stances with Obama like Putin/Medvedev. Of course Putin wants Obama to avoid the missile defence system in Poland. If Obama continues with it which he says then there really isn't much change coming as many Democrats expected. People on this forum and Democrats in general are hoping that these dictatorships will start liking the U.S. Obama moving to the right on foreign policy would make me relax. I don't want a thoughtless pull out in Afghanistan that would require troops to return later. Hopefully Obama will not bow to pressure from his own party.

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This is another thing I don't understand about you, you admit that Obama wants to continue the war in Afghanistan, but then why even say "but if he changes his mind then Osama will be right"?
There is opposition in the Democratic party that wants an ASAP withdrawal of both Iraq and Afghanistan. If Obama ignores them then I have no problem.
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:40 PM   #21
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So wait... No democracy equals evil?
To my mind yes. I don't see how totalitarianism would be good or "just another equally valid point of view."

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Really? How generous of you...
Thank you

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The fact that you actually think this way is scary...
How can a relativist call me "scary" unless you have another philosophy that differs from good vs. evil and relativism? Care to share your opinion? If good vs. evil is to be replaced then by what?
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
"Axis of Evil" as described by George W. Bush:
Iraq
Iran
North Korea
"Beyond the Axis of Evil" as described by John R. Bolton:
Cuba
Libya
Syria

Yeah you're right. It is too simplfied. I would probably add more countries like Myanmar, China, & Russia. I think their focus was more on terror and exchange of weapons than just a list of states without democracy. If Iraq turns out to be an ally then they can be put off the list.

The sense I get from liberals is that these lists are considered to be inflammatory and cause the problem in the first place. I don't really get that because I think these countries are already inflammatory towards the west and they already provoke democracies by funding terrorism and threatening neighbors. Should we call them the "axis of countries we need to hug?"
I know the countries of the "axis of evil". And I know that according to Rumsfeld, this list should be extended to contributors to the axis. Namely, Germany, France and Russia, the countries that didn't support the US in invading Iraq.

And no, liberals don't defend what those governments are doing, to other countries and their own countries. They don't say the administrations of these countries aren't wrong, or are not evil.
Liberals just tend to think that it doesn't help much if you label certain countries and then think they will welcome you as great liberator, especially if you act like your word is law.
And I rather pointed out the irony of both statements following each other so closely. I didn't intend to defend any of the leaders of those countries.

Your last sentence, by the way, doesn't help your point the least bit.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:41 PM   #23
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How can a relativist call me "scary" unless you have another philosophy that differs from good vs. evil and relativism? Care to share your opinion? If good vs. evil is to be replaced then by what?
The reason you are scary is that you fall for these ultra right paranoid generalizations about anyone who doesn't think like you.

I find the most dangerous people are those that believe in black and white, believe they know the absolutes and don't believe in nuance or gray.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:44 PM   #24
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I agree that good and evil if over simplified can be a problem, but the countries named evil by Bush were very accurate and they haven't become nice overnight because Obama is there. I really do think that Americans are now in the syndrome where they need a huge catastrophe greater than 9/11 to make them think otherwise. Also when you look at Putin you can see the machinations of evil when he pretends Russia is a democracy.
Except I would go so far as to argue that relativism vs. dualistic "good and evil" is an example of a false dichotomy. And, essentially, I'm stating it is possible to disagree entirely with Solzhenitsyn and the core theology of Manicheanism--that everything in life is reduced to good and evil--and not be a relativist.

It is my view that the traditional flaw of liberalism is not because it refuses to label things "evil"; it is because it, via postmodernism, does not judge right versus wrong, thus being morally impotent to defend itself. I think there is a substantial difference between the two, inasmuch as "good vs. evil" is a personality attack, while "right vs. wrong" is ideas-based. Ergo, it is possible for a generally "good/positive" entity to hold "wrong" ideas and still be good, whereas it is generally impossible for an "evil/negative" entity to be acknowledged as having some "good" ideas. Additionally, reducing everything to "good and evil" also opens discourse wide open to logically fallacious "appeals to authority," whereas we put added weight to what a "good" country says, even if it is patently false, and completely dismiss what an "evil" country says, even if it happens to be true. And, after all, what are we to do with "evil," except annihilate it? "Wrong," at least, is inherently open for disciplinary action, correction, and possible redemption.

In other words, the difference between "right vs. wrong" and "good vs. evil" is mainly the difference between a conventional war and the Crusades; the latter becomes more preposterous, more cumbersome, ideologically loaded, and nearly impossible to resolve pragmatically short of genocide. The former allows for responses to actual facts, events, and leaves room for changes as they are known.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:35 AM   #25
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Except I would go so far as to argue that relativism vs. dualistic "good and evil" is an example of a false dichotomy. And, essentially, I'm stating it is possible to disagree entirely with Solzhenitsyn and the core theology of Manicheanism--that everything in life is reduced to good and evil--and not be a relativist.

It is my view that the traditional flaw of liberalism is not because it refuses to label things "evil"; it is because it, via postmodernism, does not judge right versus wrong, thus being morally impotent to defend itself. I think there is a substantial difference between the two, inasmuch as "good vs. evil" is a personality attack, while "right vs. wrong" is ideas-based. Ergo, it is possible for a generally "good/positive" entity to hold "wrong" ideas and still be good, whereas it is generally impossible for an "evil/negative" entity to be acknowledged as having some "good" ideas. Additionally, reducing everything to "good and evil" also opens discourse wide open to logically fallacious "appeals to authority," whereas we put added weight to what a "good" country says, even if it is patently false, and completely dismiss what an "evil" country says, even if it happens to be true. And, after all, what are we to do with "evil," except annihilate it? "Wrong," at least, is inherently open for disciplinary action, correction, and possible redemption.

In other words, the difference between "right vs. wrong" and "good vs. evil" is mainly the difference between a conventional war and the Crusades; the latter becomes more preposterous, more cumbersome, ideologically loaded, and nearly impossible to resolve pragmatically short of genocide. The former allows for responses to actual facts, events, and leaves room for changes as they are known.
I think we are in some agreement but much of the argument is based on how the terms good and evil are used and whether there are better words with less baggage. You are describing how good and evil can be used badly. Evil is based on intention. Being wrong due to ignorance isn't necessarily evil. Good intentions vs. being right is based on facts and information we have learned. I think that beliefs of what is good and evil help the average person to tread in areas where they may not know the answer so they can use accumulated knowledge of the past to make their decisions and then if they have to adjust their theories when information comes up contradicting their theory then reflection of that theory is necessary. I'm okay with using the terms right, wrong, theory, and belief instead of good and evil as long as we can still use theories and beliefs to go into uncharted territory. Certainly dealing with weapons of mass destruction and terrorists hiding in countries that profess not to help them creates new areas for learning and being too afraid to make a mistake leads to impotence as you say. I'm fearful of the do nothing and eternal diplomacy that sends the wrong signal to tyrants.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:55 AM   #26
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The reason you are scary is that you fall for these ultra right paranoid generalizations about anyone who doesn't think like you.
Everybody generalizes on this site. I think the left on this site is just as irritated by people who don't think like them. It's to be expected in a U2 forum which has more left leaning individuals. I'm sure if I frequented a right wing dominated site I would not be called "ultra right". Laughably I would probably be called too left wing, or statist by the libertarians.

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I find the most dangerous people are those that believe in black and white, believe they know the absolutes and don't believe in nuance or gray.
As long as the gray area is actually a grey area. Grey areas to me can quickly lead to relativism and can be used to ignore facts which leads to moral equivalency which is very popular. If something is a grey area and is proven to be morally indifferent I won't force the situation to be good vs. evil. There will always be disagreements because people don't agree on what the facts mean or if it really is a fact or if the fact is being interpreted right. This is due to theories and beliefs which are necessary for all left wingers and right wingers to put together patterns of the data. Humans have to narrow their scope at some point or else they will be bogged down like the German soccer team in the Monty Python sketches.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:34 AM   #27
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If something is a grey area and is proven to be morally indifferent I won't force the situation to be good vs. evil.
How do you prove something to be "morally indifferent"?
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:53 AM   #28
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It's to be expected in a U2 forum which has more left leaning individuals.
Hey now, Strongbow devoted hours of text to tell us this site and U2 fans in general are not predominantly left leaning, you can't come now and tell us the opposite.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:34 AM   #29
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How do you prove something to be "morally indifferent"?
Morality has to do with self-interest with consciousness other people's self-interest. If something is indifferent to all parties then it doesn't matter. If it's not morally indifferent you can bet that people will have opinions on what is right or wrong about it.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:35 AM   #30
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Hey now, Strongbow devoted hours of text to tell us this site and U2 fans in general are not predominantly left leaning, you can't come now and tell us the opposite.
It's my impression from the "Are you a socialist?" thread. Most people were on the bottom left square.
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