4.1103 On the War (2/56)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 27 Feb 91 21:05:24 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 1103. Wednesday, 27 Feb 1991.

(1) Date: Tue, 26 Feb 91 23:13 PST (37 lines)
Subject: Re: 4.1093 On the War

(2) Date: Wed, 27 Feb 91 17:58:21 GMT (19 lines)
From: Christopher Currie <THRA004@CMS.ULCC.AC.UK>
Subject: 'Just War'

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 91 23:13 PST
Subject: Re: 4.1093 On the War (2/29)

To Sean O'Caithosaigh, and the others reading our postings: You are
quite corre ct in your surmise that I did not mean an elaborate irony to
demonstrate that " metaphor can be used to silence the voice of reason."
I was being direct and bl unt, and was not intending to be intemperate
at all. It was cold and clear: I c onsider Lakoff's arguments both
insidiously UNreasonable, if reasoned, and full of simplistic nonsense.
I began, long ago it now seems, after the iron has rol led through the
desert of Arabia and now into the Mesopotamian delta, by observ ing that
L's first essay was pretentious and vapid, and had been much better ph
rased and described for us, as analysis of wornout figures and cliches
and lies and propaganda by an essay of George Orwell's, famous for
decades in freshman English classes here in the US. If Orwell is
disliked by some perhaps it is bec ause he was shot in the throat by the
Stalinists in Spain and lived to speak ag ainst the tyranny of lies that
has emanated from the various incarnations of th e disinformation
bureaux of the Kremlin since 1920. This is such old news that it is
simply tiresome to keep reminding the world about it. I myself thought L
was being either disingenuous or naive: take your choice. I prefer that
choice to what I really think and have suggested: that his position and
statements are unworthy of history and of those many millions, tens and
tens of millions, who have died because of positions like his that favor
tyranny by disarming freedo m, or would if they are given the license
to. I stand with Orwell,who is long d ead, but an honorable man. You
will recall that even the crypto-fascist, T S El iot, Mr Churchwarden
himself, never rescinded his anti-Semitic poems from his o wn canon, and
worse, prevented the publication of Orwell's masterly satire on the
essence of the tyrant of our time, ANIMAL FARM, because he believed that
St alin would be offended by it! What a coincidence of interests!
Unsurprising, re ally. Shall we go on? If you think Lakoff is
reasonable, you may protest agains t my passionate statement. Feel
free. That is what freedom of thought means and should mean. Jascha

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------28----
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 91 17:58:21 GMT
From: Christopher Currie <THRA004@CMS.ULCC.AC.UK>
Subject: 'Just War'

Douglas de Lacey in his very interesting piece writes:
>It would I think take a very clever theologian to balance that number
>[Its magnitude doubtless hotly disputed by those with various axes to
>grind on the issue.] against the essentially unknowable number of
>future casualties had the war been fought only with ``conventional''

Recent research suggests that there was no possibility that the war would
have continued to be fought only with 'conventional' weapons, and that
Truman was more or less aware of that when he decided to use the atom
bombs. I would refer interested readers to the discussion on
HISTORY@FINHUTC in January - it's probably available from FINHUTC in the
file HISTORY LOG91001.