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Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"

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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by tlb   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:27 pm

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cthia wrote:Are you really going to equate these wars, and resisting the inevitable inhumane subjugation and destruction of entire countries, with what the MAlign are doing? No one was at war with the MAlign when they partook of their centuries long missive to wage war against the whole of humanity and rewriting the depth and breadth of psychosis. There was no real need for what the MAlign undertook, other than the miscreant ripples of a kid scorned by the Beowulfan establishment.

Not for a single second would Britain or the US systematically kill their own children to any end. Own, in this case, means race. Sad to have to distinguish between the two in the U.S.'s case. As far as the Indian wars...

No, I do not equate the quasi-religious guerilla war being fought by Malign with WW2; rather my point was that policies pursued in war, even by societies that think they are moral, can be difficult to justify except for the requirements of that war. During the war England denied that it was conducting a terror campaign against civilians, despite the objections of "Bomber" Harris who was proud of what he was doing, and was embarrassed after the war when the scope of the campaign was made clear.
I believe that the Malign objective is morally wrong, but object to the pop psychology of labeling people who harbor hateful ideas as "psychotic" or "psychopathic".
As for whether a war was ever declared, the formation of Mesa and the Manpower Corporation was more of a declaration than many wars on Earth received. Detweiler and the others who formed Mesa were not "miscreant kids", but adults determined to break free from Beowulfian orthodoxy. As to need; I am not sure there is ever a need for a religious war, but they seem to happen just the same.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by tlb   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:36 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:I think there's a moral difference between 'we will target the civilian workforce : some children may not have been evacuated' and 'let's nuke a school soccer match'.

The British government in World War II had to make a great many morally ambiguous decisions, some of which, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, were wrong. Coventry may be a myth, but British Intelligence certainly tried to divert the V1 and V2 rockets to suburban areas. In fact, Coventry is such a potent myth precisely because we know the government made such brutal decisions between 'more deaths' and 'less deaths'.

In hindsight, area bombing wasn't as effective as Harris thought. But it did divert resources from the German front line, it did affect the workforce and it was a weapon in a formal, declared war - one in which both sides were targeting civilians.

Mesa is bombing its own children for the purpose of angering its own police forces. Seriously, just how sick can you get? The individuals may not be mentally ill; the society that can see that as a valid option is.

As I said before, I think the main objectives of the bombs on Mesa were to implicate Manticore and to preserve operational security for the evacuation of the Onion to Darius. We have evidence in the books that absent the probability of intervention by the Manticore Alliance, the execution of Houdini would have been much less violent.
I am not sure there is a moral difference between targeting worker housing (which Harris did) and targeting a soccer field. Note he was not just targeting factory workers, but also shop workers and street cleaners and everyone else who make a city work; plus all their families. Ditto for Curtis Lemay and Japan, but the USA may have been more honest as the campaign was raging.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:30 pm

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tlb wrote:
Bluesqueak wrote:I think there's a moral difference between 'we will target the civilian workforce : some children may not have been evacuated' and 'let's nuke a school soccer match'.

The British government in World War II had to make a great many morally ambiguous decisions, some of which, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, were wrong. Coventry may be a myth, but British Intelligence certainly tried to divert the V1 and V2 rockets to suburban areas. In fact, Coventry is such a potent myth precisely because we know the government made such brutal decisions between 'more deaths' and 'less deaths'.

In hindsight, area bombing wasn't as effective as Harris thought. But it did divert resources from the German front line, it did affect the workforce and it was a weapon in a formal, declared war - one in which both sides were targeting civilians.

Mesa is bombing its own children for the purpose of angering its own police forces. Seriously, just how sick can you get? The individuals may not be mentally ill; the society that can see that as a valid option is.

As I said before, I think the main objectives of the bombs on Mesa were to implicate Manticore and to preserve operational security for the evacuation of the Onion to Darius. We have evidence in the books that absent the probability of intervention by the Manticore Alliance, the execution of Houdini would have been much less violent.
I am not sure there is a moral difference between targeting worker housing (which Harris did) and targeting a soccer field. Note he was not just targeting factory workers, but also shop workers and street cleaners and everyone else who make a city work; plus all their families. Ditto for Curtis Lemay and Japan, but the USA may have been more honest as the campaign was raging.


Yes, of course there is a moral difference between targeting enemy civilians and civilians who are on your own side. Harris was targeting people who were, however indirectly, trying to kill him, who had supported the previous bombing of the U.K. and the invasion of allied nations.

I live in housing built in the 1950's. The reason it was built in the 1950's is that the workers Harris targeted had built planes that came over and bombed the previous housing into rubble. The shopkeepers had sold their goods to the pilots who flew those bombers, and to the workers who made them. The bombs they then dropped also fell on shop workers and street cleaners and cathedrals and churches. The fact that their cities worked meant that more materials could be sent to the factories that made rockets that then bombed the UK.

And all that made them - in the 1940's - valid targets. Just as it can be argued that our civilian dead died because worker housing for dock workers was a valid wartime target. That Coventry housed war workers. That the destruction of St Paul's Cathedral would help break British morale.


The children playing soccer were not trying to break operational security (they didn't know anything about the Alignment as such). They were not even killed to hide the names of Onion evacuees. The primary purpose of the nuke was not to Implicate Manticore. The primary purpose of the nuke was to make sure that the police forces of Mesa had a reason to be furious at the Seccies.

And the children the Alignment murdered were not citizens of an enemy nation in time of war. Their parents weren't building weapons to be used against the Alignment, they weren't knowingly supporting the destruction of the Alignment, they were in fact helping the evacuation of the Alignment run smoothly by keeping the infrastructure of a space going culture running.

If you believe that Harris' policy - aimed at a nation that was trying to kill him, and who had used the very same tactics - is morally wrong, that's one thing. But I'd argue that David is trying to show that the Alignment has a very special kind of moral sickness with that soccer match bombing. These are people who decide that nuking their neighbours' kids just to make their parents mad is a valid tactic.

If you look at the violence of the evacuation, you can see that it is, in fact, far more violent than necessary. The soccer field is simply the most obvious example.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by tlb   » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:58 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:Yes, of course there is a moral difference between targeting enemy civilians and civilians who are on your own side. Harris was targeting people who were, however indirectly, trying to kill him, who had supported the previous bombing of the U.K. and the invasion of allied nations.
...
The children playing soccer were not trying to break operational security (they didn't know anything about the Alignment as such). They were not even killed to hide the names of Onion evacuees. The primary purpose of the nuke was not to Implicate Manticore. The primary purpose of the nuke was to make sure that the police forces of Mesa had a reason to be furious at the Seccies.

And the children the Alignment murdered were not citizens of an enemy nation in time of war. Their parents weren't building weapons to be used against the Alignment, they weren't knowingly supporting the destruction of the Alignment, they were in fact helping the evacuation of the Alignment run smoothly by keeping the infrastructure of a space going culture running.

If you believe that Harris' policy - aimed at a nation that was trying to kill him, and who had used the very same tactics - is morally wrong, that's one thing. But I'd argue that David is trying to show that the Alignment has a very special kind of moral sickness with that soccer match bombing. These are people who decide that nuking their neighbours' kids just to make their parents mad is a valid tactic.

If you look at the violence of the evacuation, you can see that it is, in fact, far more violent than necessary. The soccer field is simply the most obvious example.

The fact that German bombers also deliberately destroyed civilian housing does not by itself make Harris right or wrong. The problem with Harris is that he preferred to strike civilian housing rather than to try to hit the factories that directly supported the war effort. Wikipedia quotes a wartime memo, when he was trying to get the government to go public on the strategic bombing campaign:
"The aim of the Combined Bomber Offensive ... should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany ... the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories."

If he had tried more directly to attack factories, refineries and utilities as legitimate targets of war, then he could still have had the same effect due to the imprecision of night time bombing; but the difference in intent would place him on a higher moral plane than the Germans.

The soccer bombing was part of the cover up and was specifically to implicate the Audubon Ballroom, which were assumed to be linked to the seccies and to Manticore through Zilwicki.
You say Malign killed their own people, but that is the same as saying a suicide bomber in a market place is killing his own people. To the Onion, most people on Mesa are there for camouflage. Yes that is wrong, but not to a believer fighting to advance his vision. I am not arguing that Malign is not evil, instead I say that within that evil they are not all crazy.
I do not know how to judge what violence was necessary in the evacuation: do we say that one bomb for each group location that did not get out in time is sufficient, but no more? Would that have created a pattern that made it easier to explain? Do we allow a few more bombs to create confusion about that explanation? If RFC is trying to show that Malign is particularly evil, then they would err on the side of what was unnecessary; particularly if this could be blamed directly on Manticore.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by ldwechsler   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:22 am

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tlb wrote:
Bluesqueak wrote:Yes, of course there is a moral difference between targeting enemy civilians and civilians who are on your own side. Harris was targeting people who were, however indirectly, trying to kill him, who had supported the previous bombing of the U.K. and the invasion of allied nations.
...
The children playing soccer were not trying to break operational security (they didn't know anything about the Alignment as such). They were not even killed to hide the names of Onion evacuees. The primary purpose of the nuke was not to Implicate Manticore. The primary purpose of the nuke was to make sure that the police forces of Mesa had a reason to be furious at the Seccies.

And the children the Alignment murdered were not citizens of an enemy nation in time of war. Their parents weren't building weapons to be used against the Alignment, they weren't knowingly supporting the destruction of the Alignment, they were in fact helping the evacuation of the Alignment run smoothly by keeping the infrastructure of a space going culture running.

If you believe that Harris' policy - aimed at a nation that was trying to kill him, and who had used the very same tactics - is morally wrong, that's one thing. But I'd argue that David is trying to show that the Alignment has a very special kind of moral sickness with that soccer match bombing. These are people who decide that nuking their neighbours' kids just to make their parents mad is a valid tactic.

If you look at the violence of the evacuation, you can see that it is, in fact, far more violent than necessary. The soccer field is simply the most obvious example.

The fact that German bombers also deliberately destroyed civilian housing does not by itself make Harris right or wrong. The problem with Harris is that he preferred to strike civilian housing rather than to try to hit the factories that directly supported the war effort. Wikipedia quotes a wartime memo, when he was trying to get the government to go public on the strategic bombing campaign:
"The aim of the Combined Bomber Offensive ... should be unambiguously stated [as] the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilised life throughout Germany ... the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories."

If he had tried more directly to attack factories, refineries and utilities as legitimate targets of war, then he could still have had the same effect due to the imprecision of night time bombing; but the difference in intent would place him on a higher moral plane than the Germans.

The soccer bombing was part of the cover up and was specifically to implicate the Audubon Ballroom, which were assumed to be linked to the seccies and to Manticore through Zilwicki.
You say Malign killed their own people, but that is the same as saying a suicide bomber in a market place is killing his own people. To the Onion, most people on Mesa are there for camouflage. Yes that is wrong, but not to a believer fighting to advance his vision. I am not arguing that Malign is not evil, instead I say that within that evil they are not all crazy.
I do not know how to judge what violence was necessary in the evacuation: do we say that one bomb for each group location that did not get out in time is sufficient, but no more? Would that have created a pattern that made it easier to explain? Do we allow a few more bombs to create confusion about that explanation? If RFC is trying to show that Malign is particularly evil, then they would err on the side of what was unnecessary; particularly if this could be blamed directly on Manticore.


Keep in mind that there were several reasons for the plan.
The first was as a cover for Operation Houdini. Officially, the people who left were listed as killed. The second was to eliminate some elements who were connected to the Houdini people. Third was to enrage the assorted police groups on Mesa to do a real lot of damage which, it was hoped, would provide a real distraction.

All of these were real goals and at least somewhat useful. OF course, people were killed in great amounts. But this is not psychopathia. It is nasty wrong-headedness.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by Peregrinator   » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:04 pm

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I don't think I am arguing that the Detweilers and the MAlign apparat are psychopaths. I am arguing that they are not morally superior to Marinescu, who is a psychopath. Not only have they used her as a tool for their own ends, but they have also enabled her pathology.

Is Don Corleone morally superior to Luca Brasi? If so why?
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by tlb   » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:09 pm

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Peregrinator wrote:I don't think I am arguing that the Detweilers and the MAlign apparat are psychopaths. I am arguing that they are not morally superior to Marinescu, who is a psychopath. Not only have they used her as a tool for their own ends, but they have also enabled her pathology.

Is Don Corleone morally superior to Luca Brasi? If so why?

I appreciate what you are saying and my comments about "psychopathy" or "psychosis" are aimed at others in the forum who use these terms about nearly everyone in Malign, not just Marinescu.
About the question of moral equivalence: I am not an expert on the distinctions between whether intentions or outcomes are more important in moral judgment. Normally I would say the person with better intentions, regardless of outcomes, was more moral. Outcomes determine liability, rather than morality.
But that is difficult to apply here, because the superiors were using Marinescu as their tool - as you say. Still I rank the superiors slightly higher, since they realized that she is not an all purpose tool and disposed of her when done. I understand many will disagree with that ranking; but I use the analogy that "Bomber" Harris ranked lower morally than his superiors in my opinion, because he was enthusiastic about bombing civilians and they were embarrassed.
Please note that I am not placing them high on a moral scale in an absolute sense, only relative to Marinescu.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by ldwechsler   » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:51 pm

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tlb wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:I don't think I am arguing that the Detweilers and the MAlign apparat are psychopaths. I am arguing that they are not morally superior to Marinescu, who is a psychopath. Not only have they used her as a tool for their own ends, but they have also enabled her pathology.

Is Don Corleone morally superior to Luca Brasi? If so why?

I appreciate what you are saying and my comments about "psychopathy" or "psychosis" are aimed at others in the forum who use these terms about nearly everyone in Malign, not just Marinescu.
About the question of moral equivalence: I am not an expert on the distinctions between whether intentions or outcomes are more important in moral judgment. Normally I would say the person with better intentions, regardless of outcomes, was more moral. Outcomes determine liability, rather than morality.
But that is difficult to apply here, because the superiors were using Marinescu as their tool - as you say. Still I rank the superiors slightly higher, since they realized that she is not an all purpose tool and disposed of her when done. I understand many will disagree with that ranking; but I use the analogy that "Bomber" Harris ranked lower morally than his superiors in my opinion, because he was enthusiastic about bombing civilians and they were embarrassed.
Please note that I am not placing them high on a moral scale in an absolute sense, only relative to Marinescu.


Similarly, Marinescu got off on killing, wanted to kill more. There was some regret by the Dets.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by Bluesqueak   » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:24 pm

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tlb wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:I don't think I am arguing that the Detweilers and the MAlign apparat are psychopaths. I am arguing that they are not morally superior to Marinescu, who is a psychopath. Not only have they used her as a tool for their own ends, but they have also enabled her pathology.

Is Don Corleone morally superior to Luca Brasi? If so why?

I appreciate what you are saying and my comments about "psychopathy" or "psychosis" are aimed at others in the forum who use these terms about nearly everyone in Malign, not just Marinescu.
About the question of moral equivalence: I am not an expert on the distinctions between whether intentions or outcomes are more important in moral judgment. Normally I would say the person with better intentions, regardless of outcomes, was more moral. Outcomes determine liability, rather than morality.
But that is difficult to apply here, because the superiors were using Marinescu as their tool - as you say. Still I rank the superiors slightly higher, since they realized that she is not an all purpose tool and disposed of her when done. I understand many will disagree with that ranking; but I use the analogy that "Bomber" Harris ranked lower morally than his superiors in my opinion, because he was enthusiastic about bombing civilians and they were embarrassed.
Please note that I am not placing them high on a moral scale in an absolute sense, only relative to Marinescu.


Yes, I think that my problem with your moral judgements is that you are treating outcomes as equivalents when they're not. Same with intentions. That is, you are taking a situation where Nation A is actively trying to destroy Nation B, and then treating an attack by Nation B on the citizens of Nation A as being the same as the Alignment's attack on the citizens of Mesa.

Essentially, you seem to be saying 'ah, yes, these are both attacks on civilians, therefore it's equivalent' but failing to consider context. Generally, an action in response to a threat (in individuals, self-defence) is not morally equivalent to an attack against someone who is not a threat (in individuals, murder). Both Germany and Britain could argue that the other country (and all its citizens) were directly threatening its survival. The Alignment can't make that argument about Mesan citizens. They're killing them because it's more convenient than an obvious evacuation.

They would certainly argue that it's necessary for their survival, but that's not really the same thing as defending your nation or ideology against a group of people who, as a group, are trying to kill you. They might have more success arguing that it's a 'Coventry' situation, but the myth of Coventry is that Coventry was abandoned to the bombs in order to save the entire country. The Alignment is more in a situation where they choose to devastate the entire planet in order to save Houdini/Coventry.

It's not really the same outcome - one is 'we must destroy this country because the alternative is that they destroy us', and the other is 'we must destroy this planet in order to cover our escape'.

Getting back to the 'psychopaths' thing - no, a psychiatrist or psychologist wouldn't define them as psychopaths. Nonetheless, the ideology they follow is psychopathic. It sees people as objects (collections of genes) to be manipulated.
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Re: Detweiler Vision vs Beowulf Code: "Right" and "Wrong"
Post by tlb   » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:35 am

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Bluesqueak wrote:Yes, I think that my problem with your moral judgements is that you are treating outcomes as equivalents when they're not. Same with intentions. That is, you are taking a situation where Nation A is actively trying to destroy Nation B, and then treating an attack by Nation B on the citizens of Nation A as being the same as the Alignment's attack on the citizens of Mesa.

To be fair, I am making relative moral judgments rather than absolute ones. I consider Malign to be fighting a guerilla war and the guerilla mindset is that anyone who is not actively for my cause is against that cause. This is a more malign version of the dictum: if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. It is obvious, even to me, that a guerilla war raises more moral questions than does a conventional war.

Bluesqueak wrote:Essentially, you seem to be saying 'ah, yes, these are both attacks on civilians, therefore it's equivalent' but failing to consider context. Generally, an action in response to a threat (in individuals, self-defence) is not morally equivalent to an attack against someone who is not a threat (in individuals, murder). Both Germany and Britain could argue that the other country (and all its citizens) were directly threatening its survival.

If you like, I am ready to stipulate that British Bomber Command (including Harris) is more moral tham Malign and Marinescu. I was trying to reason that just as Harris' superiors were more moral than he was, so were Marinescu's superiors more moral than she was. The difference is not by much in either case. The problem that the British had in the European theater, later joined by the Americans, was that before the Normandy landings there was no way to strike directly at Germany except by bombing. And the German bombings had shown that it was inefficient against either morale or war capacity.

Bluesqueak wrote:The Alignment can't make that argument about Mesan citizens. They're killing them because it's more convenient than an obvious evacuation.

They would certainly argue that it's necessary for their survival, but that's not really the same thing as defending your nation or ideology against a group of people who, as a group, are trying to kill you. They might have more success arguing that it's a 'Coventry' situation, but the myth of Coventry is that Coventry was abandoned to the bombs in order to save the entire country. The Alignment is more in a situation where they choose to devastate the entire planet in order to save Houdini/Coventry.

It's not really the same outcome - one is 'we must destroy this country because the alternative is that they destroy us', and the other is 'we must destroy this planet in order to cover our escape'.

The Malign has the very real operational problem of concealing their evacuation to Darius; this is not just a convenience. After the Solarian Press accepted the explanation for the Green Pines incident, where a seccie detonated a nuke in the park of a residential community (that this had been a terror attack by the Audubon Ballroom aided by the notorious Manticoran Zilwicki); then the realization was made that more attacks by the Audubon Ballroom could cover the widespread disappearance of the evacuees. So the points of dispute are whether there was a operational necessity to hide the evacuation (I insist that there is) and whether the most effective way to do this was by exploding bombs among the ordinary citizens of Mesa (I do not know what alternatives there were, given the time constraints of a probable attack by Manticore).


Bluesqueak wrote:Getting back to the 'psychopaths' thing - no, a psychiatrist or psychologist wouldn't define them as psychopaths. Nonetheless, the ideology they follow is psychopathic. It sees people as objects (collections of genes) to be manipulated.

I can agree with this, but prefer the words "evil" or "immoral" to "psychopathic" because I do not want the "not guilty" by reason of insanity defense. I consider Malign to be worse that Warnecke, because he was crazy and they are not.

PS. I had trouble entering this response, because I took too much time composing it. When I hit the preview button, I was told I was not signed in; but how could I get to the response screen if I was not signed in? Anyway I re-entered my ID and password and this wiped out all my work. So on retry I copied everything to an outside text editor. If this happens again, I need to copy all my work before going to the login screen.
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