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Author Topic: A Hypothetical Question
DrConway
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posted 24 November 2003 08:28 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Let us suppose for a moment that a race of space aliens occupy Earth.

They move humans, en masse, as they please to create spaces for themselves, or cordon off the best areas of Earth for their own benefit.

Some humans propose negotiating an agreement which would be a partnership of equals, sharing the resources of Earth for all, and in exchange, using alien technology to improve the standard of living of Earthpeople while maintaining that of the aliens.

Other humans decide they will use other methods, such as armed force, in order to cause the aliens to leave.

The aliens claim that they have prior right to Earth because their star charts show that two hundred thousand years ago, some of their ancestors remained there for a time - although the stay was comparatively brief and back then, the leadership of the alien race concluded that other planets were better habitats.

What would you do in this situation? Is the use of force morally right?


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 24 November 2003 08:39 PM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
For more details, see the X-Files!
From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
clearview
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posted 24 November 2003 08:46 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Obiously you are drawing a hypothetical based on the current problems between Isrealis and Palestinians. I see two problems with this:

1. Casting the Isrealis as space aliens may be offensive, but it also takes away from the fact that both Isrealis and Palestinians are in fact human beings (I'm not suggesting that you would suggest otherwise, just pointing out something obvious).

2. The claim to the prior right in your hypothetical appears to be based on what the aliens claim. Here on earth, of course, it is an historical fact that Jews lived in the area before and a number of them continued to live in the area until the present time.

I only want to point this out as addressing these things might help the thought experiment if any conclusions are to be related to the current situation.

[ 24 November 2003: Message edited by: clearview ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 24 November 2003 09:01 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Is the use of force morally right?

Of course it is. Would YOU want aliens living in YOUR neighborhood, building their homes on YOUR land? Would you want some alien marrying your daughter? Or taking away human jobs?

What colour are these aliens anyways?


From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Blind_Patriot
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posted 24 November 2003 11:45 PM      Profile for Blind_Patriot     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If the Aliens came in peace, then the answer is obvious. What if they herded all the humans to one little corner of the earth? They negotiate with humans, but with no real intention of letting hamans return to their homes. You get my drift with all that oppressive stuff. Humans were born to be free and maybe these Aliens don't understand that. I could see the humans trying to organize in ways that are immoral, to try and defeat the Aliens. I would rather see the 2 live together and learn from each other, respect each other. It all has to start with good intention from the Aliens, then there should be no problems. Come on, would you think it would be so cool to share earth with Aliens? Then we can all go for a space tour.

[ 24 November 2003: Message edited by: Blind_Patriot ]


From: North Of The Authoritarian Regime | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 25 November 2003 12:07 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
clearview: The only question I will pose at the moment is, "if you were in the situation exemplified by my thought experiment, would you or would you not feel that the use of force is justified, regardless of what the means are?"
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 25 November 2003 12:35 AM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post
Monoculture tends to be a lot less stable then a complex multiculture. That would indicate that morality is on the side of multiculture.
From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 25 November 2003 01:51 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And Lord Acton would have agreed with you:

quote:
"A state which is incompetent to satisfy different races condemns itself; a state which does not include them is destitute of the chief basis of self-government. The theory of nationality, therefore, is a retrograde step in history."

Lord Acton July, 1862


I've posted this elsewhere, but it was ignored.


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clearview
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posted 25 November 2003 08:52 AM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
DrConway: I would, but only if negotiations were failing somehow.

Edited to add: wait, you added 'regardless of what the means.' I don't think that I could justify anything (such as choosing a group to burrow underground, while all life on the planet is destroyed, for example), but the use of force, sure.

[ 25 November 2003: Message edited by: clearview ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 25 November 2003 10:37 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can this thread be somehow merged with the gun control thread? Over there there seems to be a belief that it's never, ever OK to kill someone over property. Here there seems to be a belief that it can be OK.

Obviously most people find killing in self defense acceptable (extreme pacifists notwithstanding), but what about killing for property, when your life is not in immediate danger?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Uri_Eidel
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posted 25 November 2003 11:02 AM      Profile for Uri_Eidel        Edit/Delete Post
To get back to the original question, I believe that yes, if one is being moved by force, then it is only natural to want to respond with force.

quote:
Obviously most people find killing in self defense acceptable (extreme pacifists notwithstanding), but what about killing for property, when your life is not in immediate danger?

Clearly the world is built on killing to defend one's property.

A man refusing to leave the land he was born on is a common theme in the world, and is usually regarded as noble, even if he dies fighting off those who would remove him. Incredibly popular motion pictures from John Wayne's movies to Braveheart to Independance Day extoll the virtue and hero like qualities that the general public ascribes to those who would fight and kill to protect their freedoms and land. The United States itself is a nation built on freeing itself from the homeland by violence and revolution.

What's so different about the Palestinian resistance of today?


From: Ontario | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 25 November 2003 11:06 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What's so different about the Palestinian resistance of today?

Nothing much I guess. Would it be any different from a homeowner protecting his/her home, family or property? Is that noble too? Does one have to smear oneself with blue paint a la Braveheart, or have a battle cry, for it to be?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 25 November 2003 11:19 AM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Magoo, if you live in a place as dangerous as Palistine, then by all means, arm yourself for protection against others who are armed . . . but if you live in a place that makes it more likely that your attempts at protection are actually more likely to kill someone innocent than actually be used in a real defensive situation, then that hardly makes sense!!

If you go to war, carry a weapon. If it is likely someone will drive a tank through your wall and attack your family, then arm yourself . . . if you are sitting in your nice Canadian living room wathcing television, arming yourself is an answer to a problem that doesn't realisticly exist, and is more likely to create a bigger problem than it will solve.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 25 November 2003 11:25 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Magoo, if you live in a place as dangerous as Palistine, then by all means, arm yourself for protection against others who are armed

But the question still remains: should I shoot them for taking my property? Whether they have more guns, or bigger guns, isn't the real point: should I shoot them for taking property?

If I should, then why shouldn't I shoot them for taking my property here in Canada? I don't care about statistics, because I'm an individual. They may apply to me, and they may not. But here I am, looking at some goof who thinks he has a right to my property — is it moral to shoot him, or not?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
worker_drone
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posted 25 November 2003 11:57 AM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post
The bigger question is, should you shoot them for taking your neighbor's property?

Look at all the empty spaces around us in a typical city. Is that your land? Do you have the right to get offended when the je...erm, the aliens start moving into that space?

Conjob thinks he's posting a clever allusion to Israel and Palestine but he's so far off the mark as to what the real history of that region is that it's not even funny.


From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 25 November 2003 12:12 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Look at all the empty spaces around us in a typical city. Is that your land? Do you have the right to get offended when the je...erm, the aliens start moving into that space?


Ah yes, I forgot that ersatz Israel was unpopulated before the Zionists began their return. Nobody was threatened, cajoled, nor killed to remove them from their homes. Those few who were kicking about were ready to leave...they couldn't eke out an existance, and were just waiting for some more responsible group to come along and make the desert bloom. All of these Palestinian families requesting a right of return are simply holding their maps upside down. Their homes were actually east of the Dead Sea.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 25 November 2003 01:49 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:

But the question still remains: should I shoot them for taking my property? Whether they have more guns, or bigger guns, isn't the real point: should I shoot them for taking property?

If I should, then why shouldn't I shoot them for taking my property here in Canada? I don't care about statistics, because I'm an individual. They may apply to me, and they may not. But here I am, looking at some goof who thinks he has a right to my property — is it moral to shoot him, or not?



No it is not moral.

The Palestinians should not be shooting Israelis for stealing their land, and you should not be shooting B&E suspects.

Now, if someone is killing your family, then that is a different story.

The question is not whether you have a right to defend yourself, the question is how far should you be allowed to make yourself a danger to others in order for you to feel "safe"!!??

It's a given that some day an astroid is going to slam down on our heads, but I suspect that if I were to set up a rocket with a 500 Megaton nuke warhead in my backyard, the authorities would probably come to the determination that I do not have a right to be that much of danger to society, based simply on the probability that my form of "protection" is more likely to harm others than it will ever protect me and my family.

If you were living in Palestine, then a case could be made that the current and present dangers there justify you in making yourself significantly more dangerous to others in order to protect your and your family from real threaths than a similar case could be made for someone living "Right in the centre of Toronto", one of the safest cities in the world.

You don't take a knife to a gun fight, and don't take a handgranade to a debating club.

Why should I (also living in "Right in the centre of Toronto") have to put up with dangerous neighbours who are so paranoid that they actually believe they need to arm themselves like a Palestinian freedom fighter living in the middle of a Palestinian refugee camp??


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
faith
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posted 25 November 2003 01:50 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Nature of things had a 2 part documentary discussing the nature of homicide in society,specifically British ,Canadian , and US society. The 3 countries chosen were chosen because they were so close in ethnicity and culture and yet the homicide rates were amazingly different.
Your chances of dying due to gun shot were 5 times greater in Canada than Great Britain, and 10 times greater in the US than Great Britain. Differences in the cultures of all countries included gun control and the obvious death penalty as " deterrent" but the similarities far out weighed the differences, so why the huge differences in violent deaths?
One of the suggestions explaining the divergence, was the attitude of the citizenry in question when it came to appropriate use of weapons to defend property.
In Canada it is not legal to defend property by shooting someone who would take it from you, in the US there were 9 or 10 legal means of killing someone that you thought posed a threat to your property.
The image of middle aged women lining up at the training centre for target practise with their huge hand guns was disturbing. Negotiation did not seem to be in the picture as a cultural way of dealing with problems as far as the US was concerned.
When we refuse to negotiate and stick to the negotiations, all "rights" are thrown away and violence is forced on the citizenry in an ever ascending spiral.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 25 November 2003 02:09 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Negotiation did not seem to be in the picture as a cultural way of dealing with problems as far as the US was concerned.

Hehe.

"Excuse me. EXCUSE ME, could you stop ransacking my drawers for just a second? I know you're high on PCP right now, and you'd probably shank me with that screwdriver for $5 to buy more, but I think we should be able to be civilized about this, don't you? Now first of all, I would like your solemn word as a totally whacked-on Angel Dust user who just smashed his way through my back door with a piece of rebar, that you'll take what you came for and won't harm myself or my wife and children. Agreed?

In exchange (shall we shake on it?) I allow you to take anything I own, and I agree to let you back in here anytime to terrorize us again and take more (since we're now an easy mark for you). As for you pointlessly vandalizing my house in your search for fence-able items to trade for drugs, we're going to have to go over that point-by-point. Coffee?"


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
faith
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posted 25 November 2003 04:43 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The exception to the rule of homicide in Canada would be a threat to your person ,ie; you were in imminent danger of being killed and had to defend yourself.
Your attitude towards violence as some sort of macho solution is right in line with the perspectives south of the border though. It amazes me when people speak of defending themselves against a burglar that they never imagine the scenario going against them, what would make you think you could win a fight against someone on drugs? Would it not be safer to find an exit route , run to the nearest phone, get your family to safety and phone the police?
The myth that one should be able to protect ones family though violence is just a modern version of the tribal feud . Myths of the violent response become ingrained in culture and confused with honour and justice. When governments act as if these conceptions of volence are shaping their foreign policy we no longer have a rule of law ,just the rule of military weaponry. The documentary I previously mentioned also dealt with the 20th century and the role of governments as the largest killing machines the earth had ever seen.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 25 November 2003 05:12 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post
Well said !, that is why a just society is the best weapon against violence, between nations too. But how to decide what is just?
From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 25 November 2003 05:21 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It amazes me when people speak of defending themselves against a burglar that they never imagine the scenario going against them, what would make you think you could win a fight against someone on drugs? Would it not be safer to find an exit route , run to the nearest phone, get your family to safety and phone the police?

If that were always an option, I'd take it first. But of course the individual criminal has a lot to say about that. Sometimes they don't just take the cufflinks and leave. Are you so certain all they want is the cufflinks that you'd deny everyone the right to defend themselves reasonably? Do you expect people to wait until the criminal decides to get his jollies with a little violence before they're allowed to protect themselves?

Part of the problem is that even crimes of property, eg: home invasions, aren't just about some property. There's a real chance of being beaten, raped or killed by a burglar, even if you're unarmed. Why should you decide that I'm not allowed to have a gun, when the criminal is?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
andrean
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posted 25 November 2003 05:32 PM      Profile for andrean     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Criminals are not "allowed" to have guns.

And, sorry, Magoo, but I fully doubt your (and indeed, most people's) ability to use a gun effectively enough to protect your family and/or property. I think having a gun on hand increases the chances of it being used against you.


From: etobicoke-lakeshore | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 25 November 2003 05:33 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If that were always an option, I'd take it first.

Come on, Magoo. Give us a little context. Where, roughly, do you live? How many times has this happened to you? How badly have things turned out?


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 25 November 2003 05:41 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Criminals are not "allowed" to have guns.

But it seems as though lots do anyway. Why would we think that we'll have a better world when they're the only ones?

quote:
I think having a gun on hand increases the chances of it being used against you.

This may be true, or it may not be, but shouldn't that be my choice? Personally I know that owning a car increases the chances of me dying in it, and so I don't own a car (really). That's not my choice to make for others though, even though their car may kill them, their family, or me.

quote:
Come on, Magoo. Give us a little context. Where, roughly, do you live? How many times has this happened to you? How badly have things turned out?


Sure, but first: how many irresponsible gun owners have shot you?

[ 25 November 2003: Message edited by: Mr. Magoo ]


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 25 November 2003 05:44 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Four.
From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 25 November 2003 05:49 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You've been shot four times by gun owners who thought they were protecting their homes?? Hehe. I only live in an apartment downtown. Where the hell do you live? Beside the Parkinson's Hospice for Retired Gunslingers?

If you're telling the truth here then I'll happily bow out of this thread and wish you well...


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 25 November 2003 05:52 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Geez. Maybe stop trying to take away their guns. Or just duck.
From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 25 November 2003 05:59 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Of course, I'm lying...my only shoot-out experience was crawling around my apartment in the dead of night in Jamaica while a gun battle between the police and armed gunman was raging outside (it's amazing how instinctual it is to drop to all fours when a bullet cracks against the wall outside two feet from your head). I wish I had gotten shot (preferably in the arm, natch), so my opinion would have more gravitas, but there you are...my point (and I do have one) is that isolated experiences of tragedy are not a good reason to justify blanket policy for everyone....

...over to you, Magoo.


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 25 November 2003 07:05 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have never been shot but came very close . . . mid 70's, myself and a friend were out hunting . . . he though it would be funny to point the rifle at my head and watch me squirm as he ran the sights up and down from my head to my heart and back again . . . he KNEW the safety was on, so this was all good fun for him . . . fortunatly he was not quite brave enough to actually put pressure on the trigger until the barrel was amied at the ground . . . at which point, you guessed it, he was mistaken about having the safety engaged.... BANG!! HOLY FUCK!!

And NO, this did not turn me off gun or hunting, I still hunted for years after that, until I figured out that it was not necessary for me to go around killing animals for food (and besides I wasn't a very good hunter anyway . . . poor eyesight!)


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 25 November 2003 07:20 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My brother once took a shot at me with a .22.

He was just trying to scare me a little, and aimed wide, so no harm done.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
BleedingHeart
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posted 25 November 2003 07:22 PM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think Kirk Vonnegut or maybe it was Kilgore Trout wrote a short story about an alien invasion where they treated US like we treated the Indians/Aboriginals/Ingenous peoples.
From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 25 November 2003 11:07 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If I may bring the thread back to the original topic.

People have condemned pro-Palestinian-Arab groups for endorsing the use of force regardless of the means necessary in order to fight the Israelis.

Furthermore, the context of such discussions seems to center on an implied inherent superiority of the Israeli claim to the land, regardless of the fact that they are perceived to be interlopers and land-grabbers by many Palestinian-Arabs.

The hypothetical is thus framed in a way to try and think about how different sides in a dispute see each other, and how outsiders would view that dispute.

It is clear, at least to me, that the prevailing wisdom in this thread is that the space aliens have very little legitimate claim to the planet Earth, and that their own historiography is meaningless in light of the two hundred thousand years that Cro-Magnon man has been on this planet.

Furthermore, it seems that while some replies endorse the "moderate" negotiation stance, others do endorse the use of force either as a last resort, or as a legitimate response to the clear lack of willingness on the part of the space aliens to step back and acknowledge that they have not got off on the right foot.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 14 June 2004 01:23 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hephaestion's hypothetical-question thread prompted me to bump this and to solicit some opinions from current babblers.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 14 June 2004 02:39 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Don't worry— by mid-afternoon tomorrow (if not sooner) this entire thread will be swamped in irrelevant drivel, childish insults and ad hominem attacks by Starbuck and Brant K, and the whole damn thing will be closed down by Michelle.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 14 June 2004 04:22 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What is a Starbuck and a Brant K. I have heard of an O, an Justice, a Macabee and once there was a Mishei, but these two are knew to me.

My sugestion Heph: Take a breather for a while, and pop in to watch Courage do Milo Mindbinder -- that's always fun.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Publically Displayed Name
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posted 14 June 2004 10:25 AM      Profile for Publically Displayed Name        Edit/Delete Post
Okay, I think your hypothetical is seriously incomplete as a complete picture.

But since you seem to mean to paint an allegory of the POV of some Palestinians, then in your allegory, my answer would be:

All methods would be allowable for targeting the military forces of the aliens, none for targeting the civilian aliens.

It would be moral to try to design counter-military operations to try to minimize civilian harm.

Obviously there's a whole bunch more one might say about the various variables in the real world, but that's my response to the posted hypothetical.

(From what he wrote about Briton resistance to the Romans, Winton Churchill would disagree with me.)


From: Canada | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Big Willy
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posted 14 June 2004 11:51 AM      Profile for Big Willy        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
Let us suppose for a moment that a race of space aliens occupy Earth.

They move humans, en masse, as they please to create spaces for themselves, or cordon off the best areas of Earth for their own benefit.

Some humans propose negotiating an agreement which would be a partnership of equals, sharing the resources of Earth for all, and in exchange, using alien technology to improve the standard of living of Earthpeople while maintaining that of the aliens.

Other humans decide they will use other methods, such as armed force, in order to cause the aliens to leave.

The aliens claim that they have prior right to Earth because their star charts show that two hundred thousand years ago, some of their ancestors remained there for a time - although the stay was comparatively brief and back then, the leadership of the alien race concluded that other planets were better habitats.

What would you do in this situation? Is the use of force morally right?


Is earth the ancestral home land of theses aliens? Where these aliens persecuted through out history after being exiled from this home land? Where the aliens put in to death camps, and killed in massive numbers?


From: The West | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 14 June 2004 11:59 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why would prior persecution of these aliens by other alien races create a valid justification for the aliens to come to Earth on the flimsy basis of their 200 thousand year old star charts and start shoving humans around?
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Publically Displayed Name
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posted 14 June 2004 12:07 PM      Profile for Publically Displayed Name        Edit/Delete Post
I doubt refinement of this hypothetical situation is going to lead to a more productive discussion.

Were I a human in this situation, I would also oppose any human leadership which built its resistance around tactics that _guaranteed_ human deaths without harming the alien military.


From: Canada | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 14 June 2004 12:07 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Did we humans ever make any overt gestures of aggression against these aliens before they occupied our planet?
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 14 June 2004 12:17 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If you look back at my hypothetical, you will see that there was no indication of any contact between humans and aliens before they looked at their old star charts and decided this was a nice planet.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 14 June 2004 12:24 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, if we've done absolutely nothing to them, and since any ridiculously old history is dodgy from the outset, set your phasers on 'kill'.
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
DownTheRoad
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posted 14 June 2004 12:48 PM      Profile for DownTheRoad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Seeing as armed resistance in this case is most likely futile, not to mention suicidal, I'm going to learn to like this little corner of Antarctica the aliens deported me to. Die a heroic death if you want. Just leave me alone.

From: land of cotton | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 14 June 2004 01:18 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've always felt that hypothetical moral questions, isolated from a concrete example, are of limited usefulness. Then again, having watched The Chronicles of Riddick last night, I'm tempted to try a reply.

The late Dr. Carl Sagan, who was involved with SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) and similar organizations during his life, seemed to emphasize the higher human functions in his work. Intelligence. Reason. I think it would be fair to assert that Sagan viewed the likely interaction between humans and more advanced alien species as probably positive. Sagan seemed to underline our best qualities and ascribe those qualities as well to more advanced species. I think he was on the right track here.

We humans need to get our own house in order. I very much doubt that advanced aliens, able to, for example, master space travel much better than we are, would be hostile at all. Different maybe. Our best qualities would, I think, be their best qualities.

Apocalyptic visions of the future are a reflection of their authors. We should refrain from projecting our conflicts onto the rest of the Universe when it comes to serious questions outside of science fiction and fantasy. That's my two bits.

The phrase, "obedience without content" came up in the film I watched last night. This phrase reflects the favoured approach of the aliens in the film. It is also a perfect description of Nazi rationalizations in Nuremburg, when they were in the dock, for their own criminal behaviour.

So peace to the mythical space aliens. I doubt they would do us any harm.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
token right-wing mascot
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posted 14 June 2004 01:44 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Is earth the ancestral home land of theses aliens? Where these aliens persecuted through out history after being exiled from this home land? Where the aliens put in to death camps, and killed in massive numbers?

Is it just me or does this not sound like the plot to Battlestar Galactica?

Nazis as Cylons. Palastine as Earth.

Hmm.

[ 14 June 2004: Message edited by: HeywoodFloyd ]


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 14 June 2004 01:52 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

"A ram among the sheep."

Check out Boltar in his earlier incarnation as Kommander Kor of the Klingon Empire.

And dig the Can Con in this pic!


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 14 June 2004 06:39 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:

But the question still remains: should I shoot them for taking my property? Whether they have more guns, or bigger guns, isn't the real point: should I shoot them for taking property?

You mean like, if the government is expropriating your house to build a highway on?
Or if a mining company bought the mineral rights to your property and is putting a mine in your front yard?
What are you talking about here? Or are you conflating "property" (as in belongings, which might be stolen by a thief) with "property" as in your home, farm etc.? If you mean "belongings" then you're just playing a word game. Having your VCR ripped off is not the same as being driven from your home.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
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posted 15 June 2004 04:48 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
Don't worry— by mid-afternoon tomorrow (if not sooner) this entire thread will be swamped in irrelevant drivel, childish insults and ad hominem attacks by Starbuck and Brant K, and the whole damn thing will be closed down by Michelle.

Heph, have you ever heard of "self-fulfilling prophecy"? Starbuck and Brant K haven't entered this thread. And if they do enter the thread now and respond to this little jab by you, it will have been YOU who is responsible for starting the sniping.

In the future, if you have a problem with something ad hominem that someone posts, how about instead of getting into a flame war with them, you write a private message to me and then ignore them until I deal with it? Then you won't be contributing to the vicious circle, and it would make it easier for me to moderate. I closed that other thread because it was so far into a flame war that there was no way of salvaging it.

Enough with the "pre-emptive" flame-baiting.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 15 June 2004 11:40 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
I've always felt that hypothetical moral questions, isolated from a concrete example, are of limited usefulness. Then again, having watched The Chronicles of Riddick last night, I'm tempted to try a reply.

I like to occasionally try the "Man from Mars" type approach. People often gain a new perspective when they try this.

For example, a friend of mine who pays no tuition was nevertheless exercised about the university's slowness about issuing a scholarship. I pointed out to him that a man from Mars would probably ask the very naive question, "Why should you get that scholarship in the first place if it's intended to be issued to someone with high academic ability who also needs the money?"

He acknowledged the validity of that point, but seeing as the university DID issue him the scholarship they eventually un-buggered the system and got him his $1500.

Anyhow, the concept is not so different here. I am trying to get a perspective from a different angle.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
rabble-rouser
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posted 13 July 2005 09:58 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
What would you do in this situation? Is the use of force morally right?

Star Trek, as always, know what to do about aliens:
quote:

GOSHEVEN:
we will not hesitate to fight back. We will not be bullied off our land... not by you, and not by the Sheliak.

DATA:
I admire your conviction in the face of certain defeat. Your effort will be valiant, though doomed. Still, when you die, you will die for land and honor. Your children will understand that they are dying for a worthy cause.

PICARD:
get me that treaty! They've been beating us over the head with it for three days. Let's see if we can't find something in it that can be turned to our advantage.

WORF:
The treaty is how long?

TROI:
Five hundred thousand words.

WORF (glumly):
We are going to need a good lawyer.



(Well, Worf said something like that, I think.)

From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Albion1
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posted 14 July 2005 11:48 AM      Profile for Albion1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I know one thing is for sure. The muslim world would resist the aliens and fight them just as they are fighting the Americans in Iraq. Then the world would regard the muslims fighting the aliens as "heroes" and as "resistance fighters" instead of labeling them as "terrorists" and "extremists".
From: Toronto, ON. Canada | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
salaam
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posted 15 July 2005 02:12 PM      Profile for salaam     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Albion1:
I know one thing is for sure. The muslim world would resist the aliens and fight them just as they are fighting the Americans in Iraq. Then the world would regard the muslims fighting the aliens as "heroes" and as "resistance fighters" instead of labeling them as "terrorists" and "extremists".

That would only be after Moslems approach the aliens to join us and be a part of the earthling community, reminding the aliens of our common origins (if they can live on our planet then they must be made of the same stuff), and shared values (they are sentient, and if they have a need to explain their actions, they must some concept of justice). If no rational or emotional arguments convince them to join, then there would be negotiation. If the aliens agree to end all violent activity, let the humans return to their homes, share the planet as equals, and allow the free exchange of knowlege and goods between our communities, then they are free to live in peace on Earth. If that is rejected, then, and only then, would using force be morally acceptable.

[ 15 July 2005: Message edited by: salaam ]


From: exile | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged

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