RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri Mar 01 2002 - 15:28:48 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "Re: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence"

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    Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 07:28:48 -0800
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    >Subject: RE: Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office of Influence
    >Date: Fri, 01 Mar 2002 23:39:15 +1100
    >At 11:43 PM 28/02/02 -0800, you wrote:
    > >What were the Serbs and Kosovars fighting about? And the protestants and
    > >catholics in Ireland but land? Territory. Gangs in Los Angeles fight
    > >"turf." People do this in every country and every culture.
    >Well Grant
    >You certainly mount an impressive argument, but you are wrong that these
    >conflicts happen in every culture. I grant you that when indigenous peoples
    >have been pushed into the bad-lands by invading colonisers they have
    >defended their homelands, but in many cases, before the invasion, tribal
    >civilisations lived in territories that were defined in ancient custom and
    >were so respected that no incursions were made that required defence
    > >
    > >The song of the bird and the cry of the cougar are both warnings that
    > >have staked out a territory and will defend it. Wolves mark their
    > >with scent and don't hesitate to defend it against an intruding male
    > >And the sheep they prey on do the same thing by butting heads over the
    > >females they decide are "theirs."
    > >Have you read Guns, Germs and Steel? Jared Diamond describes pacific
    > >islanders doing it. It's a universal trait that has nothing to do with
    > >of food or social chaos. It's the duty of the alpha male of every mammal
    > >species I'm aware of to defend his women and his territory.
    > >
    > >Grant
    > >
    >You want it both ways. We can't say that we are superior to other animals
    >on the grounds that we think, communicate and solve problems and then
    >justify our baser actions as normal because animals behave in some way. As
    >a volunteer fire fighter, I have risked my life many times for complete
    >strangers, does this make me brain damaged or humane?

    Humane. You were defending your town and your tribe. That's the "me meme"
    in action. By the way, I've never said we are superior to other animals --
    just different in some ways. The ant and the cockroach will probably
    outlive us all.

    >As Richard wrote recently, religion provide a set of defaults. The values
    >that you suggest are universal human norms may all be found in the Old
    >Testament and, whether you are atheist, agnostic or calathumpian, if you
    >grew up in a Judao/Christian/Moslem world, those values appear to be normal
    >to you.
    >And no I havn't read Jared Diamond's book. I thought he was a fiction
    Well, one man's science is another man's fiction. E. O. Wilson calls him a
    scientist and that's good enough for me. In my opinion religion was
    invented to solve the problems of human nature. Isn't that what the ten
    commandments were designed to do? Why do we have make a commandment that
    says, "Thou shalt not kill" or "Thou shalt not covet?" It's human nature
    these laws are trying to overcome. If people weren't inclined to do these
    things, we wouldn't have to make laws against them. It's a use of memes to
    overcome the disadvantages of genes in a particular enviornment -- namely,
    people living in large groups.



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