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Quoting Richard Brodie <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> Not Dawkins's best work. His fervent anti-religionism is
> coloring his point
> of view. Certainly belief in a paradisiacal afterlife is not necessary
> for suicide commandos. Animals have a built-in mechanism to
> sacrifice themselves for the good of their kin. All that is
> necessary is to co-opt that. Even the
> heroic passengers on UA93, who overpowered the hijackers and
> crashed the plane, were driven by that mechanism.
You advance the `good of their kin' mechanism, which in itself
is perfectly plausible argument from biology.
However, consistent with using such argument,
you are implying that the brave plane-passengers saved
relatives, who would be living in the White House, by
spelling their own doom on taking control of the plane
and forcing it to crash prematurely far away from
the White House. I find it hard to believe they saved
some of their kin this way. In fact, one of the heroes of the
flight had a 2-year old son on board, which died with him.
Sacrifice, yes, and a very noble one I add,
but I'm a afraid the `good of their kin'
argument is impotent here. It seems to me an example of
self-sacrifice for the good of the people (including
first and foremost the president) under conditions of emergency,
mandating fast action and little contemplation.
Perhaps, the hijackers and passengers were struggling
for control and thus making the plane crash. Perhaps
the passengers didn't even mean to nobly commit suicide
but rather to to force an emergency landing once the hijackers
were overpowered. In the light of your `good of their kin'
argument it even seems more plausible that they aimed at
that option since at least some had families to take after.
I second Dawkins still when he argues that religion is
mainly to blame for last tuesday's disaster. In fact, religion
is the source of most of the misery, suffering and
injustice plagueing this tiny but turbulent planet.
> > It's just that the US does not seem to pay much attention
> > to the 64,000 dollar question: `WHY?'.
> I assure you the Government is well aware of how America's actions are
> perceived by various factions in the Middle East. But remember, these
> barbarians have attacked many other countries. There are some forces
> that it
> just doesn't make sense to appease. They must be destroyed.
I agree, terrorism must seize. But given the never ending
bully-like suppresion by whatever superpower
(in the past Russia: Afghanistan, US: Vietman)
one can ask whether that goal is attainable simply by
vicious spirals of endless violent retaliation.
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