All of Aaron_Brown's Comments + Replies

If there's nothing more to life than eliminating suffering, you might as well eliminate life and be done.

I nominate this for the next "Rationality Quotes".

This is something I've remarked upon before, with respect to "the terrorists hate our freedom" or "the suicide hijackers were cowards" (statements that are sheerly silly).

I think the terrorists et al. probably do hate our freedom -- e.g., our freedom to watch DVDs of people having sex. This fact may not be particularly useful in keeping from being attacked again (I for one am not willing to give up the right to watch DVDs of people having sex).

On the other hand, I agree that "the suicide hijackers were cowards" is sheerly silly, and I think it's pretty stupid that Bill Maher lost his job for saying the same.

You'd be wrong there. The Muslim world doesn't like* our lax sexual morals, but as long as we stay on our side of the pond it's not something they'll get that worked up about. What angers them are legitimate moral grievances: exploitative "inherited from kings and politicians" capitalism, and political undermining of their states. In no way am I condoning their actions - but it is a desire for freedom, not a hatred of it, which drives them. I'm currently involved in editing a book on the matter, if you're interested. *Little known fact, the night before the 9/11 attack the terrorists all sat around in a hotel room jacking off to porn they'd ordered on the TV. Seriously.

the dreaded Maximum Fun Device

I'm going to start watching for opportunities to use this phrase. "Nobody expects the dreaded Maximum Fun Device!"

I once read an argument (can't find source) that a key component of a zeitgeist is whether it locates its ideals in its future or its past.

David Brin has written about this in his discussions of Star Wars (here and here) and Lord of the Rings.