Weekend thought

Everybody has to die; this can’t be stopped by anything. Millions have to live in misery; this could be stopped given the political will. So why are killings for political ends so universally (including by me) reviled?

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9 thoughts on “Weekend thought

  1. Because, let’s face it, It’s not really the killer’s life you are concerned about.

  2. "Because, let’s face it, It’s not really the killer’s life you are concerned about."

    Well, no, I’m not. Don’t really understand what you’re talking about there.

    However, Tim is likely on the money, I reckon…

  3. I think it’s more a matter of agency. It’s true we’ll all die. If I die of a heart attack, it was probably coming. If someone else gets hit by a car, it’s hard not to think, "Well they should have bloody looked, shouldn’t they?" I think most of us have a hard time not believing that "bad things don’t happen to good people." Only an idiot would fall on a nail gun, for instance. While there have been other tragedies on public transport (the Potters Bar crash; the Kings Cross fire) these were ‘accidents’ or sins of omission, if you like: those responsible didn’t intend them to happen. The bombers, however, did mean to kill. That’s the difference. The "political" part of the question is misdirection. Even children die or nearly die through bad luck, but we still blame people like Ian Huntley.

  4. Hmmm. Well, the easy solution to avoidable poverty and suffering is speeding up unavoidable death. So, I suspect that your preference is undergirded by some bizarre, weirdo view that impoverishment is better than death.

    Given my limited experience of human behaviour, I’m inclined to agree with you.

    That said, if you *have* to kill someone to save lives and liberate your peeps, fucking do it.

  5. At a practical level, I suspect that this may be related to game theory. I’m not yet sure what the payoffs would look like, but i think factors to consider would involve the costs of you trying to kill them and failing (for instance, because they protected themself / selves) and whether one’s scarce resources would be better used protecting oneself than by attacking others (eg. spending on security guards versus spending on assassins).
    Of course, there may also be enforcement going on. For instance, the sensible US response to India and Pakistan’s nuclear escalation being to promise to oppose whichever fires a nuclear weapon first (providing an incentive not to tbe the initial aggressor, assuming that you trust the yanks). In some situations there might be similar agreements in force.

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