Putin’s Reich, like Hitler’s Reich, can be thoroughly surrealistic.
Russia captured an Ukrainian army pilot, a well-known woman who served against in the Middle East. That an Ukrainian combat helicopter pilot ended in a cage in Russia is even stranger: did Ukraine invade Russia? No. Did Russia invade Ukraine? How else does Putin capture famous Ukrainian pilot (and then accuse her of “murder”).
Meanwhile, all over the Middle East, The Islamists bulldoze the past, as it proves that their so-called Prophet was just an analphabet raider who came thousands of years after the invention of civilization and secular law, in exactly the same place. The advantage, is that they show Islamist ideology for what it is. Here is how Islam conquered the Middle East:
OK, 13 centuries ago, they used swords, not guns. The child is Christian Armenian in Syria. Armenia was the first Christian nation (early Fourth Century, more than 400 years before the invention of Islam by a raider called Muhammad).
“Here a (nasty) question asked by Daniel C. Dennett in the book “Thinking” (2013) edited by John Brockman.
“Suppose that we face some horrific, terrible enemy… and here’s two different armies that we could use to defend ourselves. The Gold Army and the Silver Army: same numbers, same training, same weaponry. They’re all armored and armed as well as can do. The difference is that the Gold Army has been convinced that God is on their side and this is cause of righteousness, and it’s as simple as that. The Silver Army is entirely composed of economists. They’re all making side insurance bets and calculating the odds of everything… Which army do you want on the front lines?”
And Dennett has introduced the question by citing William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) with: “Far better is it for an army to be too savage, to cruel, too barbarous, than to possess too much sentimentality and human reasonableness”.
So now you ponder on that for a while.”
Thanks Per, for mentioning Daniel Dennet, a well-known American philosopher, with a towering reputation, and this ineffable property of colossal boredom that seems to emanate from all American philosophers.
Like a giant Black Hole at the heart of a galaxy, I need to swallow stuff, so I can make light. Dennet will do for now.
First, let me say that I approve Paul’s answer 100%. Here I go:
GOODNESS ENABLES THE RIGHTEOUS TO DEPLOY THE SAVAGERY SAVAGES CANNOT MUSTER:
The big mistake in World War two was to realize too late that Nazism had to be physically destroyed, with maximum savagery.
The French Republic understood it: by January 1938, the French War Ministry launched a hyper secret NUCLEAR bomb program (Irene Curie, daughter of Marie, had not already a Nobel Prize, but she also had discovered the nuclear chain reaction, and taught it to Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, both German, who, fortunately, had not understood too well what the much smarter Irene had found).
The aim of the program was to atom bomb Berlin: Nazis were to get what they deserved (the project fled later to England, and then MANHATTAN, becoming the project by that name).
Morality? Against those who have none, but the Dark Side, only darker ways win.
The British followed the French example (Churchill of course knew about the nuclear bomb project): against the Nazis, only a deeper darkness would do. So they prepared a strategic bomber fleet. The idea was to eradicate Nazi cities, if it had to come to that. The British were ready for the worst.
The British were ready for the worst, the Nazis were not: it would have meant, for the later, to look deep in their ugly souls.
So they did not look.
So they did not anticipate that they ugly souls would lead them to be at war, again, with France and Britain. Or, maybe in 1945 (some of them, including Hitler, planned, secretly). But not in 1939. Thus the Nazis did not prepare with a bomber fleet and enough anti-aircraft defenses. Britain did, because Britain anticipated the ugliness of what could follow: as the British soul was pure, it could look into the possible consequences of Nazi evil. So Britain prepared for the worst, all-out war (something the ex-director of Mi6 just suggested may happen with Putin).
To fight evil, one has to draw the line somewhere. Thus, in 1939, Britain followed France, which had a defense treaty with Poland, and told Hitler that invading Poland was out of the question.
Hitler, stuck, made his hyper secret alliance with Soviet dictator Stalin official.
France and Britain, and Poland were undeterred. Poland refused to concede any territory for its Prussian tormentors who had occupied her for centuries.
Hitler attacked. France and Britain declared war.
SAVAGE BOMBING EXTERMINATED THE NAZIS:
At that point, it was clear Hitler had lost. It was just a matter of time. The Nazis tried to get lucky, and they were, in May 1940, after several inconceivable blunders by the French and British commands, who had not anticipated how insane the Nazis were. And Lady Luck was Nazi in May 1940.
HITLER’S AIR FORCE LOST THE WAR IN 1940:
When the Nazis had to turn to air war against Britain, though, they were not ready. But the Brits were. Nazi attacks against English cities met the wrath of the RAF. Ultimately savage city bombing at night reduced Hitler’s Reich to smoldering ruins. One million men manned the anti-aircraft guns, but still, British bombers inflicted war hindering damage. (By comparison, the Nazis had never more than three million men trying to invade the USSR.)
Why could not the Nazis reciprocate in kind? They had no (long range) bomber fleet. Their puny force was mostly wiped out in 1940. they had never anticipated they would find themselves in total war with Britain… While they were still unprepared. They had not anticipated that the French and the British would see all the way through their nasty Nazi souls and decided to do away with them, mustering whatever it took.
Later the USAF joined, and the Nazis ran out of everything. Especially the capacity to make ammunitions, explosives, and fuel.
Was it rough? Sure. But there was no other way to win the war.
And if that war had been lost, the Nazis, in the end, would have simply killed most of humanity.
GOODNESS WITHOUT SUPERIOR WRATH IS NOUGHT:
That the ends never justify the means is cheap metaphysics. It’s a perfect metaphysics for slaves to have, if you are a master, as the servants will thus never revolt.
In practice, metaphysics ought to never contradict physics. In the real world, absolute force is justified by absolute morality.
Pointing guns at a toddler, and, or, gloating about it, is an absolute wrong.
Chimps or simple monkeys, or even dogs would understand this (once they have been shown what guns can do). Not only is morality absolute, but, ethological research shows, it is shared among all advanced species.
This is why dolphins rescue people at sea. It is also why dolphins do not attack people, although people do hunt, kill, and eat people in some parts of the world (I discovered that myself as a child in Africa; I have more to say on this another day).
Why is the genus Homo so demonic?
Well, it is a question of superiority.
However, that sense of superiority, with its Dark Side can only be moderated with even greater force. God is not our friend, as it is just an illusion, and allusion, that primitives have. However, force, inflicted with enough demonicity, is all the god we need.
Obama has learned that way: he has, de facto, allied himself with Iran (whose Prime Minister Abadi justified said alliance by claiming it was like that of the West with the USSR against the Nazis; I wonder if he realizes this means that he is working for Stalin…)
One should go one cynicism further: the strength of the Islamist State has come from officers from Saddam Hussein’s army. Should one want to finish the conflict, one could make them an offer they cannot refuse. But then, of course, does not want to really finish that conflict?
Situations develop an intelligence of their own, and conflicts are debates, at another level.
When rats are pressed in a cage, they become vicious. We have been building a cage, and it has not become more comfortable.
Belgium had, a little while back, 381 species of wild bees (crucial to the survival of the biosphere). Three years ago, it was down to 11, and a recent survey found only 5.
What, or rather, who, is killing the bees?
More on this later, and the connection with the world’s richest, and, according to himself, best man, the one who should pay no taxes, Bill Gates. Gates of hell are for those who make it so that too much power comes into too few hands.