Rational evil

You never can tell whether Scott Adams has tongue in cheek or not but his blog entry on Rational Evil has a few points worth considering.

it seemed to me that even terrorists have specific objectives, and if they achieve those objectives, they stop terrorizing. … The problem is … If we remove all the original reasons for Al-Qaeda’s existence, I believe they would find new ones. It is unlikely the members of terror cells would decide to quit and become insurance salesmen.

One of the problems is that there is a complete disconnect between reality and what terrorists believe.

Now I believe there is sufficient perpetual hatred against Israel that it would be irrational for them to offer any concessions. … While I think Israel’s policies are a dark grey form of evil, I support them because at this point they are being entirely rational. It would be hypocritical to deny any other nation the right to pursue their self-interest.

Of course, there is the usual jab at the current US President’s Christian beliefs and the comments to this post also show examples of the postmodern moral equivalencing. These may just be efforts to try to deal with reality. The key is that reality is being noticed; that there is an awareness that the world may not be as we see it or want it to be.

In this case the reality is that civilization is faced with ideologues whose objectives are unappeasable. Unless Israel and the U.S. are wiped off the map and the rest of the world submits to the ideologues’ vision of proper behavior, the conflict will not end. That is why there is so much political conflict as it is not clear what to do about this sort of enemy. What experience tells us is needed to minimize the enemy is not something that goes down well with the views and ideals of many so it creates dissonance and distortion.

Comments are closed.