Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Suicide bombers are not cowards

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"To be greatly and effectively wicked a man needs some virtue. What would Attila have been without his courage, or Shylock without self-denial as regards the flesh?"C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

An old Facebook friend said the Manchester killer was cowardly. I said suicide bombers needed courage and got in response a torrent of swear words. We unfriended each other. Surely he knew after eight years that I am not sympathetic to Muslim mass murderers, but I respect his feelings of anger. What is decadent are the number of people who get angry on behalf of Muslims about some non-existent danger to them from people getting angry about the continual massacres. Them I don't respect.

The bombers are drugged apparently, but still they need courage. Not moral courage - immoral courage I suppose.


Nor was it cowardly of the Manchester bomber to kill teenagers. It takes as much or as little courage to be a suicide bomber and kill a room full of children as a roomful of generals.

Psychopaths of course are very courageous but I don't imagine suicide bombers are psychopaths. Psychopaths are survivors.

7 comments:

  1. Pual i think , in answer to an earlier post, that this current political climate is not new, indeed it stems from the reformation!!

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  2. Nor was it cowardly of the Manchester bomber to kill teenagers. It takes as much or as little courage to be a suicide bomber and kill a room full of children as a roomful of generals.

    It takes more courage than butchering a wedding party with a drone.

    And we in the West are in no moral position to point the figure at anyone when it comes to barbarism in war.

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  3. ha ha ha: 'the moral position'.. It's not about any one group's moral position, it's about the truth. In truth, barbarism is barbarism. Butchering people with the excuse that it is a reaction to alleged previous barbarisms, is still barbarism.
    This reminds me the Obama platitudes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzrEI88hRVI
    I do not believe these people have any courage; courage is standing against the tide of the crowds/majority with the risk of loosing your liberty, being tortured, and eventually loosing one's live painfully and slowly, while being truthfully to one's convictions.
    In the case of terrorists, courage would be refusing to blow oneself up. These people are just drugged, irrational; when drugged. It only takes pushing a button, and poof... This is not courage. I agree that I cannot call this cowardice. It is just the monsters the mind creates in the absence of reason.

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    Replies
    1. This is not courage. I agree that I cannot call this cowardice.

      You're getting tangled up by confusing courage with moral virtue. You can be thoroughly evil and serve an evil cause and still be courageous. You can be a good person and serve a good cause and be a coward. To make things even more complex you can do bad things in a good cause.

      You seem to be determined to equate courage with goodness. They're entirely separate things.

      Whether you think drone strikes that kill civilians are morally justifiable or not doesn't change the fact that drone strikes require no courage. Whether you think suicide bombings can be morally justified or not doesn't change the fact that a suicide bombing does require courage of a high order. I'm talking here about physical courage.

      Japanese kamikaze pilots during WW2 were incredibly brave. That has nothing to do with whether using such tactics was morally justifiable or not. Bomber crews in WW2 were very brave men. Whether bombing civilians was morally justifiable is another matter. I personally happen to think that kamikaze attacks were morally justifiable while bombing attacks on civilian targets were not but that's another issue and it doesn't alter the fact that both required physical courage.

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    2. Yes. Of course. Psychopaths' one virtue is courage. However they don't become suicide bombers. What's in it for them?

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  4. Hmm, and both produced barbaric results, isn't that true? Oh, the slippery path of secular moral judgments...

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  5. Bill Maher lost his show, Politically Incorrect, in 2002 after the outcry from the public due to him making the same argument - that the 9/11 terrorists were everything you could name them, but not cowards (because they joined the mission willingly, knowing they would die). It was deemed a bit callous to make these comments so soon after the tragedy.

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