It’s fisking time
STEM THE TIDE: Do not use the word ‘Evil’ to simplify the world to good vs. evil
We have all heard a lot about evil since Sept. 11, 2001. From “the evil one” to the “Axis of Evil” to the “fall of an evil regime in Iraq,” George W. Bush seems to have somewhat of a preoccupation with the word.
No he doesn’t. He knows its meaning, and he’s making sure the American people understand it. Just as the USSR was an evil empire
It might appear to be mere harmless rhetoric at first glance, but this language is actually quite problematic.
You’re wrong. Just as the left whined about the use of the term “evil empire” by President Reagan…well we saw who was right in the end in that one.
In the hours and days immediately following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 – when New York City and Washington were still ablaze and the shock had yet to lift from the public’s eyes – the use of the word “evil” was understandable. The inability to express something fully (in this case the cause of the horrors of the day), makes it necessary to reduce it to the simplest possible terms.
What other word was there to use other than evil? What we saw on Sept. 11th was pure unadulterated evil. Nothing else. We saw pure evil. There was no need to reduce it or think of any other words.
But at the present time – when cooler heads are able to prevail – the term is troublesome because it offers an easy escape route from a deeper understanding of the complexities of conflict, war and hatred.
Are you minoring in Peace, Conflict and Coexistance studies? Cause you sure as hell sound like it. There’s nothing complex about this. The Islamofacists want to destroy us in their quest to establish a Caliphate so Sha’ria can be the law of the land.
To say something is evil is to unconditionally imply that there is a corresponding good.
There is. That would be called Freedom (and its embodied by the USA)
Immediately the age-old “good versus evil” conflict is set up, and there is no longer any need for reason or critical thinking.
Oh yes, let’s reason with Islamofacists……how stupid are you?
And no one puts options forth beyond simply destroying the evil.
No, academics do (lord knows we’ve all heard their BS), as do many other leftist organizations. But we’ve learned from history that evil if left unchecked grows, so we have to defeat evil for the greater good.
So when Bush calls Al Qaeda, Osama, Saddam or North Korea evil, he is forcing us down to the simplest level possible.
But he’s telling the truth. What other word would you choose? Ever heard of KISS?
This binary distillation of all human action and emotion into two overriding categories may be pleasing to the masses, but it ignores a myriad of geopolitical and socioeconomic factors that lead to actions we see as “evil.”
It is pleasing to the masses, and it doesn’t ignore all sorts of other stuff. Stop making the whole “root cause” excuse.
This simplification is unacceptable because it will never lead to an end of conflict–which is what everybody’s goal should be.
When we subdue them and show ‘em that they can’t win–it will. Otherwise, the battle will continue. But we will emerge victorious. We shall prevail!
If we skewer Osama bin Laden on a patriot missile on Monday
That’s not likely to happen. Patriots are defensive missiles rather than offensive ones.
he will be replaced by a successor by the end of the week.
So another, weaker islamofacist comes up. But this is a major blow to Al-queda, and it deprives them of a shit load of funding and logistics. It’s a major score for us.
We can do all the killing we want, but until we strive to understand what leads to such hatred in the world, all we are doing is getting ourselves involved in a sick, ultra-violent game of international Whack-A-Mole.
Translation: “Cycle of Violence”. We’ve gotta destroy those and the states that give rise to such terror, and should we need to play this whack-a-mole game…we’ve got the Army and the Marines!
I am not proposing a radical relativism in which there is no such thing as a good or bad action.
You sound like you are…are you a PAX student>
I try my best, however, to draw the line at dubbing things “evil” because to do so is to reduce modern life to a video game or action movie.
There is evil in this world, open your eyes. Look outside the Brandeis bubble.
Osama bin Laden – through his insanely misguided and possibly psychotic worldview – thinks he is doing what is best for the world. Calling him evil and leaving it at that does a disservice to everyone who truly desires a lasting peace.
But we don’t stop at that. Not only do we call him evil, we go after his (and his followers) evil carcasses. That’ll give rise to lasting peace.
None of this means we should be any less vigilant in defending ourselves from those who wish to harm us. And this does not mean we should stop trying to capture Osama bin Laden.
More vigilance! Let’s go kick terrorist ass!
What it does mean, however, is that we should retreat from the naiveté of thinking that anything could ever possibly be as simple as “good versus evil.”
No we shouldn’t. In this case there are no shades of gray. It’s black and white.
If we define evil as “a force that defies all that is right and just”- and this seems like a definition most would accept as is or with some small modification – then evil quite simply does not exist in the real world.
Take off your liberal blinders–evil does exist in the world. It’s in front of our faces. Communism is evil, so is Islamofacism.
Where is this force? It is a fairy tale, best used to unite and rile the public or to remove ourselves from the responsibility of tracing the roots of conflict. Once you call someone evil, you immediately divest yourself from any obligation to understand what led to his or her current disposition. Why bother when he or she is simply evil?
Blah blah blah, you are a clueless Liberal pax student. I should’ve known.
It is a fine line to walk in arguing against using the term to describe those who would seem to have most earned it. It is important to realize that this is more than semantics, however, because until the day comes when we realize our enemies are more than simply “evil,” their numbers will not decrease no matter how many cruise missiles we toss their way.
We know they’re more that evil. Duh! But we also know their mentality. Unless we defeat them sizeably, they’ll still have hope and will continue in their evil ways. But till then, we’ve got to kick some terrorist ass!