When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

October 19, 2005

Abstinence vs. Indulgence


The two most immediately rewarding things humans can do take place in the face of temptation: abstinence and indulgence. But the quality of the rewards are not comparable. Abstinence builds upon and reenforces the empowering conviction that the world is ultimately and universally just, whereas at best indulgence tolerates, and at worst promotes, the conviction that the world is ultimately unjust or indifferent to evil (or that there is no evil). This is why the writings of the Marquis de Sade, for instance, open with a longish philosophical argument that nature and the universe are indifferent to evil, and that therefore evil is merely a human convention.

Terrorism attempts to merge the near-perfect abstinence of the Stoics (the founders of genuine liberalism) and the Christian martyrs with the indulgence of de Sade... and winds up entirely on the side of de Sade. Veiled within the justifications and grandiosly posturing rhetoric of Qutb, Bin Laden, Zawahiri and Zarqawi, claiming that they represent the manifestation of God's righteousness, is the very real conviction that God must either be indifferent, or as evil as their own darkest lusts. It is the ultimate cynicism, and little wonder that on some levels it finds itself allied with the western philosophical and ideological tradition that created both les indulgents and les enrages.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and The Jawa Report)

Launched by Demosophist at October 19, 2005 02:51 PM | Missile Tracks

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