Date sent: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 19:10:41 -0700 (PDT)

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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Toby: arguendo, Hitler believed his own propoganda, though there is no evidence to support that. What about his cabinet -- who over and again said, "Tell a big enough lie often enough and people will believe it."? Surely they were evil, tracking scientific lies and sociopatholgies every day.

Uncle Joe, as you grow older you sound like the undisputable communist sympathizers who advised FDR.... the patients were richly rewarded by this "ALTRUISM". Roger, the guy was bad, bad, bad.

I don't think Stalin and the Communists were good for Russia. I do think they thought they were good for Russia.

rediculous, he was out for stalin, he even said so to his movie makers etc.

You seemed to have researched atrocities much more fully than I have. (peasants performing surgery) But, if your sources on this are as authoritative as your sources that tell you Intelligent Design is mainstream science, I would check some alternate sources.

we will leave intel design for the time, and my sources for intel design are less sure than that of other matters we have discussed

Wrong -- it isn't a one for one deal, and stalin was sent letters from the gulacs he knew (or his coronies did) those cronies who he didn't kill in his paranoia. he knew atrocities were going on, or chose to deny it. no innocence here.

The heart of the issue for me is that using the "evil people" scenario, I can't explain in my mind how these people could do all the damage they did. Stalin did not personally ship millions of people into gulags. Even Stalin and his top cronies did not. It takes millions of people to ship millions of people into death camps. Were there millions of evil people in Russia?

Did those millions of evil people somehow conspire to come together after WWI and trash the nation? But... those same millions of evil people could not come together a hundred years earlier, or two hundred years earlier, and trash the nation? This what I mean by saying the good-evil thinking has no predictive value.

what is this facination with predictability? why can't you believe these guys were bad?

So, I'll ask you: why were Stalin and his cronies able to accomplish a nation trashing, while some just-as-evil-and-ambitious predessors were not? Was Stalin first of a breed?

history is loaded with stalins; he is one in a series of bad leaders -- going back to Harrad and before

>> To put this question of what a leader is thinking into perspective...

>> o Did Truman think he was doing evil when he ordered the atom bombs dropped?

> he though he was, and he was ending the Jap killing machine.

So, he felt he was doing evil and good in the same action?

What evil, killing non combatants?

>> o Did Roosevelt think he was doing evil when he set up concentration camps for Japanese-Americans?

> He knew this was wrong, but is this the equivalent in your mind to nazi, ussr, irag concentration camps?

Yes, they are the same. It's a difference of degree.

DEGREE MATTERS doesn;t it

Had the war gone badly for the US, had the US community been subject to more stress, would these people have continued to recieve humane treatment? [Japanese-Americans in US relocation camps.] I'm not sure they would have.

useless hypothetical

> so was permitting slavery in constitution, a big mistake, we are still paying for, and they said it might be and encouraged their successors to fix it fast.

A big mistake, but felt necessary at the time. Without the concession the US would have been two nations in 1780.

exactly different degree and purpose than gulags and work camps

o Did Eisenhower think he was doing evil when he planned and executed D-Day?

certainly not, there is no moral ambiguity here at all.

Even though Ike's orders killed hundreds of thousands of people, you see no moral ambiguity?

none, what would you have had him do? It was hard but necessary choice, took him three tries to give the go, the soldiers knew and accepted their role. may god and the country continue to honor them

>> o Did Bush think he was doing evil when he sent people to be held without legal rights in Guantanimo?

> What's with gitmo? you a suscriber to the Nation? do you think they are accused criminals or accused combatants, does it matter to you?

What's with Gitmo is that it is current. Everything else we are talking about is history. Gitmo is something we can do something about. We, personally, hold responsibility for Gitmo.

The Bush administration has very deliberately been defining these people as "without status" for the last two years. They aren't POW's and they aren't criminals. It's a legal maneuver to keep them without legal rights of any sort.

NO they have prisoner of war rights and conditions are very cushy for pows.

>From articles I've read, there are one or two Americans held there, and they have lawyers who are working to get them into the legal system. One was picked up (I can't say arrested because that would put him in the legal system) in a Chicago airport for muttering anti-terrorist things. (I think he had some other terrorist-suspect history, as well.) The point being, yes, the Bush Administration is even holding Americans there, outside the legal system. Not to mention Afghans, Brits and others.

if you commit an act of war, you deal with the military system not the criminal justice system. US citizenship is trumped by espionage or being an enemy combatant.

The Brits held in Gitmo just got sent back to England a couple weeks ago, where they were released immediately. That says to me that these people were not even close to being criminals in England's eyes, but they were held without rights in Gitmo for two years!

too bad. they were cleared of combatant status or actually prosecuting them would have been counter productive to something else, like the german terrorist who couldn't be pros because we would not permit a couple of gitmo guys to go and testify. the brits may have been guilty but the evidence wasn't gonna come out.

I don't think Gitmo is a good example of Rule of Law protecting us. I know for sure that it's a current situation! That's why I keep bringing up Gitmo.

it has its problems but its not crim justice its miltary and national security matters,

> Please, if you hear what they say, and see what they write they do know they are hypocrits, the question is not do they give into evil, yes we all do, but do they embrace evil? do you see this distinction?

I have looked again at what leaders say, and I see less hypocracy than I did before. I see more delusionment than hypocracy. Current example of delusionment. From a recent WSJ article on 9-11 and the 9-11 commission: Bush tells people these days that he remembers being in the school on the morning of 9-11 and watching the first plane crash into WTC on TV. Tells people he thought, "Now there's a terrible pilot!" That's his story of what he recollects. The problem with that story is that no videos were shown of the first plane crashing into WTC until late afternoon of 9-11, because only amatures were filming at the time of the first crash.

This is a small example of self-delusionment. It's small, but real, and I see no reason not to believe it doesn't happen all the time, and on bigger scales. The advantage of believing self-delusionment, rather than evil, powers leaders, is that the predictions of what they will do are better. Self-delusionment is more predictable, and leads to more predictable actions, than the embracing evil model.

> I know, but you think stalin and such are pretty much like bush?

I think Bush has evolved into a ruthless leader. The 9-11 Disaster has stressed the American community thinking so much that for the last few years the community has wanted a ruthless leader, and Bush has accommodated the community nicely. Do I like that about Bush? No! If Bush was truly a leader, he would have been a "cool head" and demonstrated that America should go about business as usual, not been leading the mob into trampling civil rights in the name of a War on Terrorism.

really he should have allowed searching of -- profiling -- of middle easterners. It does no good to search me or mom. He should stop the hispanic invasion,

Is he as ruthless as Stalin? No! Are both leaders responding to what their communities cried out for? Yes.

.... Here's a new insight: Hypocracy is an uncomfortable state of mind for the human brain to be in. So, if the hypocracy is repeated often enough, the brain will change it to delusion -- a much more comfortable state of mind. If this model is accurate, these leaders would have been hypocrites early in their careers, but with time they would have become delusional instead.

hypocracy is a sin, bush guilty, me guilty, but don't slip to moral equivalence

This also explains why the common management admonision to, "Do a reality check" is so important. Delusion is always ready to replace hypocracy.

> Well since the action was voluntary I guess he picked how to do it; the sad thing is the sacrafice, was in part for you but it failed in that part. This is an effort for you to see the passion as a personal act of an "engaged, loving" God not an effort to evangelize you.

Arguendo, if there is a good-God and a caring-God how would he show these attributes?

**Hmm... God was hammering nails into Jesus on the Cross with each spadeful of earth he used to plant the Tree of Knowlege, and Jesus was there watching it happen.** That's a spooky image that I just came up with. That should go into some movie prelude. (This is why I like doing these discussions... this is another new image for me.)

NO we hammered the nails in god, god didn't nail himself. jesus was NOT WATCHING HE WAS NAILED, HOW CAN I GET YOU OFF THIS ARIAN NOTION THAT JESUS WAS WATCHING.

How should God show he's loving? Well, I think it does go back to the Tree of Knowlege. Does he have to plant it in the Garden? Does he have to admonish Adam and Eve not to eat it? If he does, then, I guess, it's Tough Love.

do you mean that a loving god is a super osha or epa -- perfect safety?

> Teaching love (remember god is love) encompasses emotions? It's not like he is teaching emotion for emotion's sake.

Hmm... No, I didn't remember that God is love. Mankind does not know love before Jesus?

can't there is no mankind before god, god made adam and eve, jesus is god, i thought you got that from the three-in-one alpha omega, do you need clarification?

>> Without knowlege, they are proto-human, not human. Without knowlege, they aren't even children.

> How so? which knowledge is uniquely human? if they (and we) are animals, as you believe what's so important about knowledge of good and evil?

What knowlege was on the Tree?

Good and evil

>> Hmm... I think we need a defintion of sin, here. For Adam and Eve Sin was disobeying God, right?

>> How about lower case sin, and sin for the rest of us? Does "doing evil" describe Sin completely? Is there a defintion of sin that isn't based on the Good-Evil axis?

> Sin is disobeying God. Turning away, saying don't love me, I don't love you; the prodigal son, the greedy, Cain, etc. (try the ten commandments)

That's the total definition: turning away from God? I'll be thinking about that.

(I have tried the Ten Commandments. There's a lot of "white noise" in them. White noise is a technical term in communications which means a random signal. In this useage it means that there's a lot of nonsense within which there are a few useful gems. When you're dealing with a signal filled with white noise, you always have to question, "Are these really the gems of information, or are these white noise that looks like gems of information?")

"don't steal", not much noise there

"put no other gods before me", not much noise there

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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