[B5JMS] LOL at JMS' comments on ASM #36

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Thu Feb 21 04:42:02 EST 2002

From: mchary at steel.ucs.indiana.edu (Michael Alan Chary)
Date: 6 Jan 2002 03:54:04 GMT
Lines: 61

In article <20020105214338.09271.00003650 at mb-fd.aol.com>,
Jms at B5 <jmsatb5 at aol.com> wrote:
>>>(And on a different thread...when I said show me one human who could support
>>>the random killing of thousands of buffalo, or thousands of humans, just out
>>>hatred, I was referring to rational human beings.  Obviously people like Bin
>>>Laden or Hitler are separate issues.  They've left the title of humanity
>>>by their actions.  I could've said "show me one sane, rational human being"
>>>I'd assumed anyone reading this would consider that implici
>>Most Taliban are rational. Most of thoase people cheering in the streets
>>were ratrional. The men who dropped the bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki and
>>Dresden were rational. The Monguls were largely rational. 
>Okay, but again, what does that have to do with what I said above, which
>specifically refers to RANDOM killings out of HATRED?   I don't think that all

Hiroshima, Dresden ands Nagasaki were every bit as random as the WTC, and
were, yes, motivated by hatred as much as anything else. It is difficult
for most Americans living today to understand how much we, as a nation,
truly despised the Japanese in 1945. For reference seek out Paul Fussell's
"Thank God for the Atom Bomb," reprinted in his book of the same name. He
thanks God because he was set to invade the island (he was an infantry
officer) but he also explores some of the media at the time. People we
using the skulls of Japanese soldiers as paperweights.  Look at some of
the Captain America comics from the war. We *hated* 5the Japs. And if you
think we hated the Japanese, you should take alook at what British
newspapers were writing about the German. The Taliban absolutely loathe
Americans. The Monguls hated everyone who was not Mongul. So you must be
taking issue with "random."  Once again, I must point out that by
comparison to the WTC and Pentagon which you seem to have picked as a
yardstick, they were every bit as random. 

>your examples apply.  Nor, for that matter, was I speaking about any of the
>groups you cite: I was referencing only Bin Laden and Hitler.  Again, we must

You said "show me" X. That means that *I* get to pick X. If you say "show
me X from this set of two people" then you have the situation you want,
though what use that is to conversation, I do not know. And Bin Laden
could very well be rational. I haven't seen him do anything that hasn't
served *his* goals.

>>These are human actions.
>They are human, yes, but that does not mean they are rational.  Humans can be
>irrational.  You seem to be implying that by virtue of being human, we are all
>equally rational.  I don't think that's a supportable position.

No, I am taking issue with your implied position that on ly irrational
humans would take these actions. Even Bin laden is not necessarily
irrational. He's an asshole. But he isn't doing the sorts of things that
seem irrational, only violent and hateful. Do not forget that the
we killed a bunch of people when we blasted that pharmaceutical plant.
Mike Chary, Court Philosopher and Barbarian, DNRC
"I bought the Star Trek chess set and the Civil War chess set.  Now I have
the South fight the Klingons." -- Dave Spensley
"Ipsa scientia potestas est." - Roger Bacon

Lines: 30
From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 06 Jan 2002 06:23:43 GMT

> And Bin Laden
>could very well be rational. I haven't seen him do anything that hasn't
>served *his* goals.

To be rational is not the same thing as following goals.

Mike, the dictionary is our friend.  Words mean what they mean, not what we
wish them to mean.

I quote to you from Webster's Dictionary: 

"RATIONAL Agreeable to reason; not absurd, preposterous, extravagant, foolish,
fanciful, or the like; wise; judicious; as, rational conduct; a rational man."

Neither Bin Laden nor Hitler fit that definition.  Period.

I'm a writer, Mike...and I respect the fact that words mean what they mean.  We
can wish that rational meant the same thing as, say, "determined," or
"sentient," but it doesn't.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2001 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
and don't send me story ideas)

More information about the B5JMS mailing list