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#347663 - 05/10/11 03:40 AM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: 2x6spds]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11208
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
What do numbers have to do with ethics? You can either use numbers to justify what you do or do the right thing. That's what makes it a hard choice.

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#347711 - 05/10/11 02:28 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: CV]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Yes, of course. Numbers do not count. Ethically, we all agree that torture is unethical and an offense to society, injurious to the person who tortures and to the person tortured.

However, a hard and fast rule that says the issue is purely ethical and that numbers cannot alter the calculus raises difficult ethical issues as well.

If you are comfortable with an inflexible application of the rule no-torture even if torture could avoid the deaths of millions of people, then you have made the hard choice.

Millions dead, but you sleep comfortably in the knowledge that you have done the right thing at the great expense of others.

Numbers count. Count the numbers. Count the people. People aren't numbers.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#347716 - 05/10/11 02:55 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: 2x6spds]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4022
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
On Saturday, Noam Chomsky stated his reaction to Osama bin Laden's death, and being the most important intellectual alive today (had the most profound impact on my life), I think it's important to heed his sentiments.

I've attached my post because there's parallels in my post and Noam's (even the analogies of incongruous foundations - stoning vis-a-vis the assassination of Bush, which I abstained from saying because I felt I'd be hollered at).

Originally Posted By: Powertothepeople
I personally don't believe Osama was killed yesterday. He's a bad guy that should have been brought to justice, rather than taken out in an act of terrorism, if he in fact was, though.

We have certain elementary principals, and one of those is that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This principle even (rightly) extended to Hitler's goons in the Nuremberg trials, and they were some of the most despicable people the world has seen.

The U.S. has never put forth any direct evidence that connects Osama with 9/11 (even after al-Qaida said that they would turn him over if they provided some), which is one reason they wouldn't want to try him. Another is that who knows what he would say; the U.S. created him, lest not forget that fact.

I want those who committed the atrocities on 9/11 to be held accountable, as much as the next person does, but you certainly don't reach justice by becoming the enemy that which you deplore. I find it unfortunate that so called civilized nations can become uncivilized because vengeance can get the better of some of us.

There's something prolifically wrong with a society that can deem one culture wrong for stoning someone to death as a form of judicial punishment, but then turn around and just shoot someone, rather than capturing them and holding true to our democratic system that we like to speak so highly of.

All that this form of jurisprudence has done, unfortunately, is made things worse (assuming they actually did kill him, of course).



"Noam Chomsky's Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death :

It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany. What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have. Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”

Nothing serious has been provided since. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement.

There is also much media discussion of Washington’s anger that Pakistan didn’t turn over bin Laden, though surely elements of the military and security forces were aware of his presence in Abbottabad. Less is said about Pakistani anger that the U.S. invaded their territory to carry out a political assassination. Anti-American fervor is already very high in Pakistan, and these events are likely to exacerbate it. The decision to dump the body at sea is already, predictably, provoking both anger and skepticism in much of the Muslim world.

We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

There’s more to say about [Cuban airline bomber Orlando] Bosch, who just died peacefully in Florida, including reference to the “Bush doctrine” that societies that harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves and should be treated accordingly. No one seemed to notice that Bush was calling for invasion and destruction of the U.S. and murder of its criminal president.

Same with the name, Operation Geronimo. The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders. It’s like naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk… It’s as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes “Jew” and “Gypsy.”

There is much more to say, but even the most obvious and elementary facts should provide us with a good deal to think about.
"
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#347717 - 05/10/11 02:58 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: 2x6spds]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
I gotta say, 2x6, that if you're half as dogged and determined to win your courtroom arguments as you are to win your Axiom message board arguments, then I'd hire you in a nanosecond.
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#347725 - 05/10/11 03:13 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: medic8r]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
Medic8r, sometimes we have interesting discussions about interesting and important topics. It's a pleasure posting with folks who disagree and test each other's positions with reason.

What's your name today, Cam? Oh, Powertothepeople. Right on Man!

Chomsky is a chump. He did his best work in the late 60's in linguistics. Now, he is just another leftist political hack spouting from his ivory tower.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#347737 - 05/10/11 04:06 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: 2x6spds]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4022
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
You can use any hypothetical or scenario you want, but the fact of the matter is that the intelligence that has been gained to justify enhanced interrogation on another person, could easily be flawed. As a result, an innocent person has been treated immorally and suffered extreme emotional and physical trauma, you save nobody, and ultimately make things worse because it creates more hatred.

And what about if 10, 100, 1000 people were waterboarded prior to said person, but all were as a result of faulty intelligence that was just passed down the line? Just as enhanced interrogation could work (for the sake of the argument of morality) on one person to save 1000, it can also fail on 1000 innocent people to save one (or what ever number of people you wish).

In an effort to find credible information, I believe the moral dilemma is solved if there's a risk of inhumane treatment to one person using a flawed system by someone playing god.
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#347739 - 05/10/11 04:28 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Now all we need to do is get Cam through law school and the bar, and then we can set him and 2x6 against each other in the courts. Big payday, y'all!
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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#347740 - 05/10/11 04:31 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: 2x6spds]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4022
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Originally Posted By: 2x6spds
Chomsky is a chump. He did his best work in the late 60's in linguistics. Now, he is just another leftist political hack spouting from his ivory tower.


Riiiiiiiight.

And you are quite obviously a personal ball washer for right wing political hacks spouting from their ivory bathtubs.

Although I find it quite odd, they would pay good money for your services, and it would easily supersede anything you'd achieve as a lawyer.

I've taken enough crap from you, and although I won't stoop to your level, I'm done with being diplomatic.
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#347741 - 05/10/11 04:34 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: medic8r]
Da_Gimp_Pimp Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4022
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Originally Posted By: medic8r
Now all we need to do is get Cam through law school and the bar, and then we can set him and 2x6 against each other in the courts. Big payday, y'all!


My apologies for carrying this thread on. That will be my last post on the topic.
_________________________
Does a dyslexic atheist not believe in dog?

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#347743 - 05/10/11 04:52 PM Re: Bin Laden is Dead [Re: Da_Gimp_Pimp]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6397
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Well, if you feel it best to step back, then I'd go with that gut instinct. Seems like you can only pound each other so much before tiring out/realizing the futility of trying to change each others' minds.

BTW, I think you know this, but I just wanted to clarify that I didn't mean anything sinister with my last couple of posts. I was just reflecting on the tenacity you two had. You guys must be part pit bull.

See you in the Pop Tart thread.
_________________________
"The Universe is the game of the self, which plays hide and seek forever and ever" - Alan Watts

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