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Were Terrorists Brave and Courageous?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Coot, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    .Moderator: Originally Split from <a href="http://www.globalaffairs.org/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4628">this thread</a>.

    I have balls that big...probably bigger. I am alive, out of what I have been assured is some cosmic bit of humor, and here to tell you that stunts such as these generally get one removed from the gene pool...not in my estimation that they will be much missed by other than their families.

    Nice of you to quote the definition of bravery, but bravery does squat without the marriage of courage and intelligence.

    It's nice to have balls, it's better to have a cause to go with it, and it's better still to have a realistically achievable plan to go with the other two. Without a plan, that bravery you so highly admire becomes nothing more than grounds for admittance to a mental hospital.

    40 Canadians here, a few thousand European demonstrators there, throw in a few thousand WTO demonstrators and you're on your way to filling up the third base line at Yankee Stadium.

    The point that you have made, and in my estimation, you've made it well, is that causes need audiences. Try as you may, I doubt that you'll drum up an audience here that either Saddam, the more virulent al qaeda or any of the various peacenik organizations have anythying to say that most of us care to hear or care to give any credence to whatsovever. You seem to believe that just because they say it, we all need to listen. Nah...I'll pass. As long as they see fit to blow up hotels, blow up airliners or gas kurds and invade their neighbors and refuse to abide by international law regarding such actions, I'd just as soon see their ass kicked and their toys taken away
  2. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    It takes more courage to live and try to set things straight, then to die and take many with you.
    The hijackers where not afraid to die, in fact they welcomed it because they very much believed that they would be martyrs and therefore richly rewarded in the afterlife. Thats not bravery, thats very much a cowards way out. And Osama and Saddam, they are the biggest cowards of them all.

    The firemen, police officers, and EMTs that entered the WTC that day, knew fully well that they might die. They where afraid to die, but they went in anyway, because people needed them. That is bravery to the fullest.
  3. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Frodo that was very eloquent, thanks for putting to words what I was struggling to say. :thumbsup:
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I hate to say this but according to the definition of Bravery AND Courage, the terrorists were both.

    Both words sort of carry a positive meaning behind them, do they not? What if I told you there was absolutely no difference in the words rhetoric and propaganda but both of those words are chosen very carefully. Same in this case.

    Bravery: n 1: a quality of spirit that enables you to face danger of pain without showing fear

    The terrorist actually faced more than pain, they knew they were going to die, they faced that and the certainty of pain.

    Courage: The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

    I am going to split the thread from here on.
  5. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    they did have both bravery and courage, however much like any human trait, that is neither positive nor negative and the results of their bravery and courage were most certainly negative.
  6. limeygit

    limeygit Assume Sarcasm...

    Here is what is at the heart of all these types of discussions..

    Main Entry: denotation
    Pronunciation: "dE-nO-'tA-sh&n
    Function: noun
    Date: circa 1532
    1 : an act or process of denoting
    2 : MEANING; especially : a direct specific meaning as distinct from an implied or associated idea
    3 a : a denoting term : NAME b : SIGN, INDICATION <visible denotations of divine wrath>
    4 : the totality of things to which a term is applicable especially in logic -- compare CONNOTATION

    Main Entry: connotation
    Pronunciation: "k-n&-'tA-sh&n
    Function: noun
    Date: 1532
    1 a : the suggesting of a meaning by a word apart from the thing it explicitly names or describes b : something suggested by a word or thing : IMPLICATION <the connotations of comfort that surrounded that old chair>
    2 : the signification of something <that abuse of logic which consists in moving counters about as if they were known entities with a fixed connotation -- W. R. Inge>
    3 : an essential property or group of properties of a thing named by a term in logic -- compare DENOTATION
  7. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Do we live our lives and choose our motives and goals based upon definitions in the dictionary? No, of course not.

    Are there instances were we routinely use a word or words incorrectly when describing events, concepts or other things in our lives? Yes, everyday. That is why we have other words such as oxymoron to define those errors.

    Were the hijackers brave? To answer that we first have to agree on what we mean when we say brave. Are we talking dictionary or real world with extra connotations of a moral and personal nature?

    Were they afraid of dying? Death was the major negative they faced for their action. If they were afraid of dying how afraid were they? Did they have other feelings or motives that were stronger than any fear of death they may have had? Or did they view death as a positive experience with a reward attached to it? Did they suffer from any psychological delusions that would impair their judgment and drive them to their acts?

    In summary did they view their act as the right thing to do without negative consequences? Did they believe their act was the right thing to do resulting in rewards to both them and their families? Yes I say. Did they have to overcome a high state of fear to carry out their deed? No, not in the state of mind they were in.

    So were they brave? Not by my personal standards, not even close. Dedicated and committed, but definitely not brave.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Thanks Limy, good point about the words and how they become to mean certain things.
  9. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The problem I have with denigrating the acts of the 19 by dismissing any adjectives as courageous or brave is that inaccuracy in the name of contempt can lead to errors in estimating the abilities or intent of the enemy. We mistakenly dismissed the war fighting abilities of the Japanese before and to some extent during WWII and the military lost lives over it.
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I have to disagree.

    Their will and lack of fear, if any, was provided by religion. Religion was their caretaker since they were babies. Religion brought them to life, in their eyes, and religion killed them off while giving them the justification to what they have done.

    As an article I often point to, Richard Dawkins says the following:

    Could we get some otherwise normal humans and somehow persuade them that they are not going to die as a consequence of flying a plane smack into a skyscraper? If only! Nobody is that stupid, but how about this - it's a long shot, but it just might work. Given that they are certainly going to die, couldn't we sucker them into believing that they are going to come to life again afterwards? Don't be daft! No, listen, it might work. Offer them a fast track to a Great Oasis in the Sky, cooled by everlasting fountains. Harps and wings wouldn't appeal to the sort of young men we need, so tell them there's a special martyr's reward of 72 virgin brides, guaranteed eager and exclusive.

    Would they fall for it? Yes, testosterone-sodden young men too unattractive to get a woman in this world might be desperate enough to go for 72 private virgins in the next.

  11. jamming

    jamming Banned

    These are better words to describe a terrorist.
    Narcissistic Personality
    According to the DSM-IV, the narcissistic personality exhibits, "...a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
    1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    4. requires excessive admiration
    5. hasa sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
    6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

      Depersonalization is a mild but often frightening form of dissociation. Persons who have depersonalized are still aware of what is going on around them, but feel that they don't recognize themselves or feel alien to themselves.

      The term "sociopath" refers to people who are antisocial and who commits antisocial or criminal acts without any sense of guilt. In this context, the term "anti-social" refers to criminal or deviant actions that harm other people rather than people who are loners.

      Bravery and Courage may be imitated but they are not the same as.
  12. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I won't agree or disagree with your descriptions. I have not seen enough study of the 19 to warrant it. But none of them mean that somebody dying in their cause cannot be brave. Targetting innocent defenseless people is also cowardice. But we had better recognize they are not without commitment or feeling of right just because we hold them in the contempt they have earned.
  13. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Just calling terrorists crazy doesn't provide much help, I'm afraid.... Perhaps the following analysis will supply more information:
    The Genisis of Suicidal Terrorism (on page 3):

    The author suggests "The religious path of martyrdom is deeply grooved... ...usually accompanied by a profound sense of injustice who's reversal requires violent death..."

    In other words, a combination of religion and political/ideological indoctrination. Which is why the Palestinian card gets played so often.
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Yes, precisely what Dawkins also tried to point out.

    The word Bravery and Courage can still be applied to them, no matter how much folks would not want it to.

    Is it the same as what Police, and Fireman do? By a mile, but it's still the same application no matter who or what the teacher was.
  15. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Part of the problem here is in the semantic/emotional content of words in question... the denotation, as Limygit pointed out. ;)

    Our men are "brave" and "courageous"; fighting or dying for your side is "heroic".

    The enemy are "sucidial madmen", "evil", "cowardly". Kamakazi flyers of WWII were considered all of the above by the Allies, yet were highly respected and honored in their own culture for being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve their homeland.

    Like the Middle-eastern martyrdom syndrome, the Japanese also had a cultural imperative which not only allowed but -- at times -- encouraged suicide... but only for the "right" reasons.

    You have to be willing to understand them before you can fight them. Else others will just spring up from the same source.
  16. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    So could the terms insane, diabolically manipulated or unweilding fanaticism. Try walking into a psychiatrist's office and saying something along the lines, "I fancy strapping a bomb to myself and going boom." I would think the odds are 50/50 as to whether the outcome would be a jail cell or a mental hospital. FWIW, blind irrationality does not necessarily constitute courage or bravery.
  17. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    For the record: My previous post is strictly in response to the topic and all the posts in general. It is not responding to any specific post or poster! I am not mocking anyone's use of the dictionary or any other source.
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Of course not, but too much positive, and only positive, emphasis has been placed on these words.

    It's not the fault of the words themselves, but how they became to be defined.
  19. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    The 19 hijackers were neither brave or courageous. They were sheep.
  20. limeygit

    limeygit Assume Sarcasm...

    Then an awful lot of sheep have been awarded medals over the years...

    I never assumed you were, I just assumed you were trying to prove my point for me about connotation and denotation ;)

    I am fairly sure, that you couldn't even have got away with commenting that Rommel was a good military tactician, with the standards that are applied today...

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