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More senseless killing in Paris

december-fire

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Some people like to terrorize and kill.
It makes them feel powerful and in control.
They may claim its for a 'higher purpose' and rally others to join the fight.

These are not rational individuals who experience what we consider normal feelings or thoughts.

My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.
 

JaneSmith

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december-fire|1447463688|3949435 said:
These are not rational individuals who experience what we consider normal feelings or thoughts.

Witness the very human response to atrocity, the deep need to mark the perpetrators as some subhuman 'other' so we can feel normal and safe, because people like us would never do such terrible things.



People act on their ideology all the time, raional human beings doing what they feel is right. These terrorists have deliberately attacked cultural sites - a sport stadium, a music concert, popular restaurants. They are attacking western culture because their ideology tells them it is evil and they are warriors protecting their pure way of life. They are the good guys and we are the irrational ones who don't experience 'normal feelings or thoughts'.
 

Gypsy

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So terribly sad. Why do we have to hurt one another? I just wish "tolerance" were an ideology more people believed in.
 

PintoBean

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JaneSmith|1447466917|3949451 said:
december-fire|1447463688|3949435 said:
These are not rational individuals who experience what we consider normal feelings or thoughts.

Witness the very human response to atrocity, the deep need to mark the perpetrators as some subhuman 'other' so we can feel normal and safe, because people like us would never do such terrible things.



People act on their ideology all the time, raional human beings doing what they feel is right. These terrorists have deliberately attacked cultural sites - a sport stadium, a music concert, popular restaurants. They are attacking western culture because their ideology tells them it is evil and they are warriors protecting their pure way of life. They are the good guys and we are the irrational ones who don't experience 'normal feelings or thoughts'.

I respectfully disagree. December-fire is not calling the perps out as subhuman. I'm :?: :?: as to how you got that from her post...

My friend's daughter is in an au pair program around Paris right now. She posted that she is ok on FB. I was worried at first, but she may actually be safer than me right now In NY with all the extra security and everyone being hyper aware and on guard.
 

AGBF

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JaneSmith|1447466917|3949451 said:
People act on their ideology all the time, raional human beings doing what they feel is right. These terrorists have deliberately attacked cultural sites - a sport stadium, a music concert, popular restaurants. They are attacking western culture because their ideology tells them it is evil and they are warriors protecting their pure way of life. They are the good guys and we are the irrational ones who don't experience 'normal feelings or thoughts'.

You are espousing a more anthropological view, attempting to look at the acts of the killers from a neutral point of view. Even the most neutral anthropologist would point out that these bombers have chosen to defend their "pure way of life" in an aggressive, angry, and warlike manner, however. If Colin Turnbull, for example, were studying their culture, he would not be describing a gentle people with sweet family ties. Not all cultures are equally kind and nurturing. Which does not mean that I think the US is a kind and nurturing culture. I look at Guantanamo Bay Prison and say, I wonder what kind of family life the people who built this had?

Deb/AGBF
 

kenny

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JaneSmith|1447466917|3949451 said:
december-fire|1447463688|3949435 said:
These are not rational individuals who experience what we consider normal feelings or thoughts.

Witness the very human response to atrocity, the deep need to mark the perpetrators as some subhuman 'other' so we can feel normal and safe, because people like us would never do such terrible things.



People act on their ideology all the time, raional human beings doing what they feel is right. These terrorists have deliberately attacked cultural sites - a sport stadium, a music concert, popular restaurants. They are attacking western culture because their ideology tells them it is evil and they are warriors protecting their pure way of life. They are the good guys and we are the irrational ones who don't experience 'normal feelings or thoughts'.

Good points, JS.
It's all in how we're brainwashed.

We think we're right.
They think they're right.
 

december-fire

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JaneSmith said:
december-fire|1447463688|3949435 said:
These are not rational individuals who experience what we consider normal feelings or thoughts.

Witness the very human response to atrocity, the deep need to mark the perpetrators as some subhuman 'other' so we can feel normal and safe, because people like us would never do such terrible things.



People act on their ideology all the time, raional human beings doing what they feel is right. These terrorists have deliberately attacked cultural sites - a sport stadium, a music concert, popular restaurants. They are attacking western culture because their ideology tells them it is evil and they are warriors protecting their pure way of life. They are the good guys and we are the irrational ones who don't experience 'normal feelings or thoughts'.

JaneSmith,

Point taken. In any disagreement, each party believes itself to be correct.

I didn't mean to imply that anyone was "subhuman", and have no "deep need to mark the perpetrators" as such. I do understand, however, that it may be an opinion you've heard elsewhere. Some people use labels such as 'monster' to describe a perpetrator of horrific crimes. I don't believe in 'monsters', but I do believe (and know) that there are people capable of horrific things.

The term 'terrorists' is generally associated with political motivations. I don't know the motivations behind the events in Paris. ISIS has celebrated the actions but, from the news reports I've seen so far, no one has claimed responsibility. I stated that there are people who like to terrorize (create and maintain a state of fear) and kill. For some people, that is the end goal.

Our reactions and opinions are influenced by our personal knowledge and experiences. Kenny clearly started this thread about Paris. However, my comments were written while reflecting on horrific acts that have occurred in the past. In an attempt to keep my comments short and sweet (?), I didn't make it clear that I was thinking beyond the scope of today's events in Paris.

In my humble, misguided, opinion, I still maintain that individuals responsible for planning and carrying out unprovoked acts of violence against innocent individuals, are neither rational nor do they experience what I consider to be normal feelings or thought processes.

On this and other matters in the future, I reserve the right to be wrong. I have no doubt I will exercise that right on a regular basis.

PintoBean,
I glad your friend's daughter is safe.
 

JaneSmith

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PintoBean, the words I quoted are the example of someone attempting to frame the killers as people who are fundamentally different, people who "do not experience what we consider normal thoughts and feelings". A lesser kind of human.
I'm glad your friend's daughter is safe.
I wouldn't want to be a brown person out and about tomorrow, anywhere in the west. It's going to be similar to the days after the 9/11 attacks for them.

AGBF, note that I said "warriors" and "attacking". I was not implying that their actions are anything but violent, abhorrent, repugnant, and utterly without merit. I was arguing that it is inherent in human nature to try to emotionally protect oneself and one's tribe by framing such atrocities as the actions of people who may not be quite human, or at least a lesser kind of human, either way, nothing like 'us'.

Kenny, I'm not sure it's brainwashing, that term implies someone willfully applying a belief to a specific end. I think it's simply a part of our overarching humanity. Some studies on babies show that a measure of xenophobia manifests very early in human development. Our socialization into our culture serves to magnify it.

Does anyone remember that movie 'The Kingdom' about a suicide bomb attack on an American civilian compound in Saudi Arabia and the subsequent FBI investigation, starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner? At the end of the movie, there was a split scene, showing a young Saudi girl crying and being comforted by a relative telling her "don't worry, we'll kill them all"; and then flipping to Garner's character crying at the news of a collegue's death, with Foxx's character comforting her by saying "don't worry, we'll kill them all."

They are the others.
We are the others.
 

iLander

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Well, I'm sorry, no free passes from me. I'm done. :cry:

Every killer, every psychopath, every nut job out there, has justified killing in his or her mind. Inside their heads, it makes sense, or they wouldn't do it, would they?

Their justification of killing and murder is no different than that of the Nazis: "it is our doctrine, our beliefs, our way of life." How is it we condemn the Nazis, but we give these guys some kind of sympathy or understanding? How are these guys better? :confused:

It might make sense in the minds of these murderers, but that doesn't make it okay. And personally I do believe that murderers, who murder innocents, are lesser kinds of humans. Period.

I'm all for "live and let live", but that ends when crazy psychos start shooting up the place. :o

And there's no "we are them" here. I'm not them. I don't want to go and shoot up their villages. Because -guess what?-I'm not the US government either. I didn't want to invade Iraq after 911. I also don't think we need to be in Afghanistan. But I sure do want to round up ISIS, give them a trial, and stick them in jail.

Call them what they are: psychopathic murderers.
 

iLander

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december-fire|1447463688|3949435 said:
Some people like to terrorize and kill.
It makes them feel powerful and in control.
They may claim its for a 'higher purpose' and rally others to join the fight.

These are not rational individuals who experience what we consider normal feelings or thoughts.

My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.

I agree. Murder is not the action of someone with "normal" feelings or thoughts.
 

JaneSmith

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December-fire, I was typing while you were posting. And in your reply to me, you had me until you re-stated the same point I highlighted in the first place. I understand why you would think that way, and many people would agree with you. I argue that you and others think that way because you may not be aware of the human tendency to frame, however unintentionally, the perpetrators of such acts as something different and less than themselves. It's is a protection mechanism because it's too terrible to think that any human being is capable of such actions.

I do agree with you that some people are drawn to organizations and ideologies that prop up their existing desire to control, cow, and even kill to feel like they are superior and leaders. They feel entitled to power and will do anything to seize it.

There are also organizations and ideologies that encourage such feelings and actions from people who would not, under other circumstances, ever try to control, cow, and kill.

If a person believes, with all their heart and mind, that their way of life is superior, is willed by the creator of the universe, and is the only true way of life for all, then they are acting 'rationally' by stamping out others who perpetuate a profane and sacreligious way of life. They are removing an unholy abomination with their creator's blessing.
 

JaneSmith

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Oh please, I'm not wrapping them up with warm fuzzies. I condem their actions in the strongest way. I'm talking about people's lack of realising that any human, if motivated by the right beliefs, can act in ways that others find reprehensible.
Calling them psychopaths completely ignores the reasons why people act like this, and in turn, abruptly and ignorantly cuts off any meaningful contemplation and conversation that may, just may, shine some light on the real goddamn problems.
 

Matata

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JaneSmith|1447472504|3949490 said:
I was not implying that their actions are anything but violent, abhorrent, repugnant, and utterly without merit. I was arguing that it is inherent in human nature to try to emotionally protect oneself and one's tribe by framing such atrocities as the actions of people who may not be quite human, or at least a lesser kind of human, either way, nothing like 'us'.

Well Jane, you seemed to respond to the statement that the terrorists actions were irrational yet your first sentence very much matches the definition of irrational in Webster's. I think you've done a fine job of massaging words to the point where you took the focus of the discussion from a normal response to a tragedy and put it firmly on semiotics which does no justice to those who lost their lives. And you painted yourself into a corner. My opinion, I know. You're free to express yours, so too am I. There's a time and place to philosophize and point out one's superior intellect and there's also a time when one should keep one's mouth shut (and yeah, I know you can retort I should exercise that option too).
 

kenny

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JaneSmith, I agree with you.
These entities are foul.
Unfortunately the vast majority of humans embrace them.
Feeling superior is very very seductive.
 

iLander

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I used psychopaths, as a term, because I meant it in the most clinical sense of the word:

psy·cho·path
a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.


There are 2 different types of psychopaths, those that develop their behaviors from mental illness (chemical imbalance, inherited dysfunction, etc) and those that develop their behaviors from their upbringing. I believe these particular "terrorists" have developed their behaviors from their upbringing. I could pull up the Psychology Today article if it helps.

It's not a hysterical word for me. To me it's a highly accurate description: murdering psychopaths.
 

JaneSmith

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Matata, my reaction to this tragedy is to feel terrible for the people of Paris, and to think about the motivations of the killers, and to respond to other people's thoughts about it. If you think that's irrational, and that I want to show off my 'superior intellect' (hardly), and that I should shut up, you go ahead. This is an open forum, and everyone knows that they are free to post what they think, and I'm not stopping anyone (how could I?) from just posting "this terrorist attack sucks, my thoughts are with the people of Paris" or words to that effect.

iLander, I was quite aware of how you were using the term. I'm saying that calling them psychopaths is a short-sighted way of just sticking a label on them as a way to explain it all away.

Kenny, word.
 

Jambalaya

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These people have senselessly murdered approx 160 people and I think they are inhuman monsters, and I don't care about semantics.
 

Matata

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JaneSmith|1447475274|3949507 said:
I'm not stopping anyone (how could I?) from just posting "this terrorist attack sucks, my thoughts are with the people of Paris" or words to that effect.

iLander, I was quite aware of how you were using the term. I'm saying that calling them psychopaths is a short-sighted way of just sticking a label on them as a way to explain it all away.

Of course you can't stop anyone from expressing their opinion. It would limit your opportunities to sanctimoniously judge their opinions in a condescending way. Your words: "Calling them psychopaths completely ignores the reasons why people act like this, and in turn, abruptly and ignorantly cuts off any meaningful contemplation and conversation that may, just may, shine some light on the real goddamn problems. I'm saying that calling them psychopaths is a short-sighted way of just sticking a label on them as a way to explain it all away.

So if I am they and they are me that makes me simultaneously rational and irrational since I'm expressing an opinion from both points of view thereby meeting your definition of an intellect worthy enough to "shine some light on the real goddamn problems" nicht whar?
 

AGBF

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Well, here are my highly original reflections on the situation in Europe.

The situation in Iraq and Syria was desperate and tragic beyond belief. The mass exodus with its attendant loss of life was heartbreaking and heart-wrenching to watch. The suffering of the refugees involved their physical pain and fear trying to swim to Greek islands and walk in freezing weather; loss of life; and rejection and discrimination by Europeans for those who made it to the promised land.

Then we got the delightful addition tonight of a terrorist attack by an extremist group (extremist to the Europeans) in France to make the situation worse for the refugees. And that is what extremists do...polarize people. So it doesn't shock me.

What we have here is a mess. And George W. Bush had a large part in creating it by de-stabilizing Iraq after the 9/11 attacks. If the US had not invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein, there would be no power vacuum there and no ISIS. No one would be fleeing Syria. In other words, I think I know what happened. I wish someone would tell me what to do to help the refugees. And the people who remain oppressed in the Middle East. And the Europeans, too.

Deb/AGBF
 

iLander

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kenny said:
JaneSmith, I agree with you.
These entities are foul.
Unfortunately the vast majority of humans embrace them.
Feeling superior is very very seductive.

I really don't understand what you are saying, Kenny. Who's foul?

Do you think, at some level, that these people are worthy of our understanding? Because they are not.

And, yes, I do think I'm superior to evil murderers who killed over 150 mothers, daughters, sons, husbands, boyfriends, best friends, lovers, significant others, fathers, grandparents, children, favorite aunts, . . .

Yes. I am superior to them. How terribly boring, white, and bourgeois of me.

:rolleyes:
 

kenny

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This is sliding into a topic forbidden on PS.
 

JaneSmith

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Matata, I'm feeling the love.
I stand by my words. Just calling the killers psychopaths or incapable of normal emotion, or any other 'different kind of human' label does wrap everything up in a neat bow that ignores any other motivations and reasons and cuts off the conversation.
Weird how you think that my wanting to talk about why people think they way they do is somehow me just wanting to be condescending. I've yet to set a bar of 'worthy intellect' for anyone. :???:
 

AGBF

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kenny|1447476862|3949515 said:
This is sliding into a topic forbidden on PS.

Nuclear war?
 

JaneSmith

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AGBF, I mostly agree. It would not be nearly so bad if that region had not been so terribly meddled with by the U.S. There was a great number of young people left with a civilization in tatters and the extremists came in and their ideology became the new civilisation.
These attacks have indeed only made it worse for the refugees in Europe. They are fleeing from this terror and they now can't seem to outrun it.

Consider a donation to Doctors Without Borders. Write to your representative and tell them what you think. Other than that, there is little we can do for them directly. We can on a personal level think about the entirety of the situation and be aware of our own ignorances and biases.



BTW, I don't use the word ignorant as an insult. I use it to mean a lack of knowledge.
 

Matata

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JaneSmith|1447476902|3949516 said:
Matata, I'm feeling the love.
I stand by my words. Just calling the killers psychopaths or incapable of normal emotion, or any other 'different kind of human' label does wrap everything up in a neat bow that ignores any other motivations and reasons and cuts off the conversation.
Weird how you think that my wanting to talk about why people think they way they do is somehow me just wanting to be condescending. I've yet to set a bar of 'worthy intellect' for anyone. :???:

Glad you're feeling the love because, are you ready for this...I agree with most of what you've said. It is my opinion that your first response to d-fire was inappropriate to someone simply expressing emotion at an act that is difficult to understand and you should have started a thread where your points could have been discussed without diminishing the ability of others to just vent emotions. So then, instead of repeating yourself, please share how one discusses differing ideologies without assigning labels and using one's personal cultural experiences.

If you were designated by the US government to start negotiations with IS to attempt to foster understanding between them and us, how would you do it?
 

december-fire

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Oh dear, I was just wrapping up a post and it disappeared! I don't post much and may have hit delete. Or maybe my response was being viewed as it was being typed and was deemed inappropriate. If that was the case, my apologies.

I didn't mean to start a controversy with my initial post.

I will simply repeat my sympathy and thoughts for the victims and loved ones of this terrible tragedy.
 

JaneSmith

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Matata, people have been stating how they feel in this thread. It's late in North America so I expect more people will weigh in come daytime. I don't think that a few others talking about their reactions is going to stop them.

Every time there is a mass shooting or terrorist event, people are shocked and angry and saddened, and they also look for a quick answer. It's always the same quick answer, and as I have stated, it does nothing to further the conversation and only reveals a blind bias. Part of my personal reaction to the terrorism in Paris is wrapped up in the reactions and thoughts of others, because of the immediacy of communication that the Internet brings. It's kind of crappy to be told that my reaction to the Paris attacks is inappropriate, but other's reactions are completely acceptable.

One can easily discuss differing ideologies without calling an adherent of a fundamentalist version of an ideology a psychopath. Anthropologists manage all the time. Comparative religion is taught with no labeling language all the time. Same for geopolitics. It's not hard.

If I was the one to start negotiations between Islamic State and the US, I would simply ask them what they want. As I understand it, they want to establish a caliphate with sharia law. Utterly repugnant to me. But I would then ask them how they planned to run their country, what they envisioned for trade and foreign policy, if they would allow an embassy, how they would reconcile their constitution or similar document with the UN declaration of human rights, etc. Like I said, find out what they want.
But, judging by their actions, they are less interested in statecraft, and more interested in jihad.

They are caught up in their religious fervor, their holy war, their blind adherence to a bloody ideology that says that their way is the only way, and that non believers deserve death. They are the righteous.

Note, there is as yet no evidence that IS or any Muslim group is responsible, but there have been reports of the killers yelling 'allahu akbar'.
 

JaneSmith

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december-fire|1447479574|3949525 said:
Oh dear, I was just wrapping up a post and it disappeared! I don't post much and may have hit delete. Or maybe my response was being viewed as it was being typed and was deemed inappropriate. If that was the case, my apologies.

I didn't mean to start a controversy with my initial post.

I will simply repeat my sympathy and thoughts for the victims and loved ones of this terrible tragedy.

Don't feel bad or apologise. You simply were the first to say what many think, so I quoted your words. It could have easily been anyone else.
I don't blame you or anyone for feeling that the killers are any of the things as described so far in this thread by you or others. I just think that it is a feeling that people do not examine, one of many biases we humans have.
 
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