Israel/Palestine discussion

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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:06 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Meaningless, you have to analyze what the most probable and logical cause is, which I have made my case for. Quote parts of it, and tell me where you disagree.

Not exactly. You don't have to show that Iran will most likely use a nuclear weapon, just that there's a non-negligible chance that they will. And if we're weighting probabilities by number of casualties involved, then (assuming that an Iranian response to an Israeli air strike wouldn't kill more than a few hundred people), we only need a .1% chance that Iran is going to use a nuclear weapon. Are you here to tell me that, through their statements of genocide, funding of groups whose purpose is to commit genocide, and programs to acquire the means to better commit genocide that there is not even a .1% chance that Iran is going to use a nuclear weapon?

Don't insult me. You can't just say something is argued from ignorance, you have to prove it. Do so, or stop saying it.

I don't think you know what an argument from ignorance is. I'm not saying you're ignorant, it's a particular kind of logical fallacy. It's the fallacy of saying "because I can think of no other explanation, mine must be true." It's like people who argue that God exists because they can't think of another way for the universe to have come into existence, or when O'Reilly says "tide goes in, tide goes out. You can't explain that."

Find me something that necessitates that they are. Why is only one side of the argument required to provide proof? For that matter, why 3 sigma? Why not 2, or 10, or something other measure? If you're going to demand specific numbers for rationale, again, you need an explanation for those numbers.

See above calculations. Adjust them a bit as necessary, the principle holds.

All I've seen you say is "they claim their purpose is to commit genocide, and Iran gave them rockets". If you gave a better argument, link to it or just requote it instead of merely saying it exists. You can say you've already explained it before, but obviously you have not done so to a satisfactory level if people keep bringing the points up. If you still think you have, then requote yourself- I have not see a better argument from you on this matter, and I am not at all satisfied with "they totally said they want to commit genocide", because, as I have said however many times, they have not backed up that rhetoric with action in any appreciable amount.

I've already addressed these arguments.

In that very last post, I made my argument for why their lack of attempted genocide is because of a non-desire to commit genocide (or at least, a non-desire to commit genocide at the costs that they, the leadership of Iran, would incur). Again, if you disagree, quote parts of it and say why.

Your explanation is valid. But so is mine.

The Iranian population doesn't care now, sure; how would they feel if we built a bunch of military bases in Iran? The US isn't friends with other nations for the chance to be friends, we expect something in return, as dickish as it is. And why was Iraq an enemy? Because we made them one- they were just as much jackasses when we supported them as when we opposed them. Nuclear weapons won't defeat a revolution, but they might forestall one happening (hence, the mention of Pakistan: other nations invest in preventing their government's collapse).

I doubt that the Iranians would hate the current regime more or less if there were US military bases there. The majority that doesn't support Ahmedinejad, to my knowledge tends to be either pro-West or apathetic.

You say this like they can just show up with a hallmark card that says "Sorry we were resentful about that time you ousted our democratically elected government, and then provided weapons to a country that invaded us, who then used chemical weapons against us. Will you be our friends now? -xoxo Iran", and everything will all be sunshine and puppies from then on. Why would Iran become friends with the west? The last time we were friends, we were dicks to to them, and then made them into a global pariah. Saying they should just become our friends again completely ignores history, which is a pretty important tool to take into account, especially for such a contentious region. They know that being our friend doesn't help them, because they already tried it! Seriously, don't ignore history when reaching your conclusions.

I expect Iran to take action to make reparations for its misbehaviour. Otherwise its being self-destructive. Being a friend of the US may not be a guarantee for safety, but it's a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Iran can afford to risk a few air strikes over the years for the potential ability to completely prevent invasions- how is that not a valuable resource for them? They have every reason to believe that, if they're going to get invaded over their nuclear program, that even if they abandon all aspirations for nuclear weapons and let in inspectors and all that, that they will still be a valid target for invasion (again, and again and again again: Iraq. Their neighbor, not even a ten years ago- they aren't blind to what happens right outside their doorstep!). From their perspective, if the prospects of an invasion are just as likely no matter what they do, then being able to yell "don't invade us or we'll nuke your armies!" and being able to actually back that threat up with action is very very valuable.

I've addressed this several times.

You are completely misrepresenting my argument if you think I said Iran needs nuclear weapons. They have a justified reason to believe that they will benefit from possessing nuclear weapons- that does not mean they need them, or even that I want them to have them, merely that I think them acquiring them would not be the end of the world, nor would it be the end of Israel.

The concern isn't for the Iranian population, but the people holding power in Iran, and keeping Israel occupied at minimal cost to themselves (how many times do I have to mention that?).

How many times to I have to address it, as I already have many many times?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:34 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Not exactly. You don't have to show that Iran will most likely use a nuclear weapon, just that there's a non-negligible chance that they will. And if we're weighting probabilities by number of casualties involved, then (assuming that an Iranian response to an Israeli air strike wouldn't kill more than a few hundred people), we only need a .1% chance that Iran is going to use a nuclear weapon. Are you here to tell me that, through their statements of genocide, funding of groups whose purpose is to commit genocide, and programs to acquire the means to better commit genocide that there is not even a .1% chance that Iran is going to use a nuclear weapon?


One hundred thousand casualties times 0.1% likelihood of use is only a hundred casualty-equivalents (if you have a different preferred method of weighting outcomes and probabilities, please say). Quite comparable to the likely number of direct casualties in any Israeli airstrike (which you contend should be 100% likely, if present trends continue). Add to this the enormous damage done to Iran's internal liberalisation movements (unquantifiable, but large), Israel's international reputation, national stability in the region and any constructive uses of the nuclear infrastructure (power, etc), it becomes quite clear that a strike is distinctly unfavourable.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:43 am UTC

I'm sorry sourmilk, but can you read? I specifically asked you to not just say "I already addressed this", and yet you did that three times. If you want to actually discuss things with people instead of giving yourself a smug sense of superiority, you need to actually respond to points people make. I am attempting to have an actual discussion with you. If I wanted to hear "I already addressed this" repeatedly, I would get a parrot and teach it to say that.

sourmìlk wrote:Are you here to tell me that, through their statements of genocide, funding of groups whose purpose is to commit genocide, and programs to acquire the means to better commit genocide that there is not even a .1% chance that Iran is going to use a nuclear weapon?

That is exactly what I am saying, yes. I have stated why I think those actions are insufficient to convince me that there is any noteworthy chance of Iran using nuclear weapons against Israel. To recap briefly:
(1) Statements of genocide are irrelevant if they are not backed up with sufficient action. They have the capacity for that action, but have not attempted to do so.
(2) Supporting those groups is much more easily explained by them wanting to keep Israel occupied at minimal cost to themselves, as it is not at all an uncommon tactic through history (I believe this is the fourth time I have mentioned this, and you have yet to acknowledge it).
(3) Nuclear weapons are only a program to better commit genocide if you already assume that they are willing to do so; using it in your argument is purely circular.
(4) Use of nuclear weapons against another nation, especially a western ally, would almost certainly result in a much stronger retaliation, killing, removing from power, or otherwise completely destroying the power of the Iranian leadership. Since they aren't stupid, they are going to want to continue living and being in power.

(Also your numbers miss, beyond what Torchship brought up, the fact that it would require repeated air strikes to ensure. At the very least, following your rational, you would need a 1% or greater chance.)

sourmìlk wrote:I don't think you know what an argument from ignorance is. I'm not saying you're ignorant, it's a particular kind of logical fallacy. It's the fallacy of saying "because I can think of no other explanation, mine must be true." It's like people who argue that God exists because they can't think of another way for the universe to have come into existence, or when O'Reilly says "tide goes in, tide goes out. You can't explain that."

Which is magically not insulting, how? And again: prove that it's argued from ignorance, don't just say it is. You can declare our arguments anything you like, but that does not make it true.

sourmìlk wrote:See above calculations. Adjust them a bit as necessary, the principle holds.

Still doesn't answer why the burden of proof is all on one side. Can you give me actual proof that they are at least 0.1% likely to use a nuclear weapon? With actual math and analysis? No, you can't, because you can't prove those exact numbers for either group. Just because you can set an unreachable goalpost doesn't mean your argument is solid.

sourmìlk wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:All I've seen you say is "they claim their purpose is to commit genocide, and Iran gave them rockets". If you gave a better argument, link to it or just requote it instead of merely saying it exists. You can say you've already explained it before, but obviously you have not done so to a satisfactory level if people keep bringing the points up. If you still think you have, then requote yourself- I have not see a better argument from you on this matter, and I am not at all satisfied with "they totally said they want to commit genocide", because, as I have said however many times, they have not backed up that rhetoric with action in any appreciable amount.

I've already addressed these arguments.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Did you truly just read my post, and the emphasized part, and reply with "I already addressed this"? That is not an argument, it's you being a dick. When I ask you for an argument, I actually want one.

sourmìlk wrote:Your explanation is valid. But so is mine.

Why? Again, you can not just declare something valid and have it be so.

sourmìlk wrote:I doubt that the Iranians would hate the current regime more or less if there were US military bases there. The majority that doesn't support Ahmedinejad, to my knowledge tends to be either pro-West or apathetic.

Apathetic when they don't have the west using their country as a glorified aircraft carrier. You don't see how building bases or extracting other concessions from them could change that?

sourmìlk wrote:I expect Iran to take action to make reparations for its misbehaviour. Otherwise its being self-destructive. Being a friend of the US may not be a guarantee for safety, but it's a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

Again, this misses history: pretend you are Iran for a moment, and someone comes in and fucks up your government that you elected, solely because they wanted more oil (and this is after a close ally of that nation invades you during WW2, also for the sake of oil). Then that country gives weapons to a country that invades you, and they continue to give weapons and support to that country after it uses chemical weapons against you. Then they backstab that country and invade and kill its leader. Why would you have any desire to apologize to and get along with that someone or its friends? Iran has done more than its share of jerk moves, but both sides have been jackasses in the middle east, and putting all of the onus on Iran to make things better is, quite frankly, completely unreasonable and unrealistic.

And again: they aren't being self destructive if they are attempting to acquire a weapon that will almost certainly prevent any and all invasions of them in the future? You keep consistently ignoring that fact.

sourmìlk wrote:I've addressed this several times.

Listen: I hate you. This is not an argument. It is not useful for discussion. Stop doing it. Seriously.

sourmìlk wrote:How many times to I have to address it, as I already have many many times?

At least once would be nice. Can you give me a link to when you addressed that point by me? That's what I asked for last time: if you think you've already addressed a point, give me a link. Hell, to be safe, requote yourself too, so I know which actual part of the prior post you're pointing at. For this particular instance, I want you to point to when you responded to it when made by me. Can you do that?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:23 am UTC

I'm not going to rehash my argument on demand every time you forget my previous arguments. I will respond to specific points that I haven't addressed, and if you feel unsatisfied by that, then reread the thread.

Telling you that you've used a logical fallacy is not an insult. It's a normal part of a debate. If you can't handle that you've been told that you've made a logical fallacy without being insulted, then you shouldn't be in debate. Meanwhile, your insults in that post:
I hate you

it's you being a dick


So please keep it civil.

And I'm not saying that being a friend of the US is an all-time guarantee of safety. I'm saying that you are substantially less likely to be attacked by the US if you are an ally of the US. I'd hope that's not a controversial statement.

As a general point, I don't like this argument going around that, if Iran wants to commit genocide, then they'd be throwing all their resources at it. Countries often don't put all their resources towards achieving a goal, particularly when there's no guarantee of success. For example, I think it's fairly obvious that Israel would like to see Iranian nuclear weapons disabled, but you can see that they're not dedicating all their resources to that cause. Iran is putting some resources into actions that match their rhetoric of wanting to commit genocide. None of Iran's actions contradict the notion that they want to commit genocide. They say they want to commit genocide. Thus there is a non-negligible chance that Iran wants to commit genocide. Don't overcomplicate this with references to the West's history in the region because it's not relevant to what countries need to do to defend themselves. Whether Iran was always an enemy of the US or they had this hot and cold thing going on or Iran always secretly resented the US for dating its sister even though it totally said it was cool, man, doesn't change whether Israel will need to defend itself.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:49 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:As a general point, I don't like this argument going around that, if Iran wants to commit genocide, then they'd be throwing all their resources at it. Countries often don't put all their resources towards achieving a goal, particularly when there's no guarantee of success. For example, I think it's fairly obvious that Israel would like to see Iranian nuclear weapons disabled, but you can see that they're not dedicating all their resources to that cause. Iran is putting some resources into actions that match their rhetoric of wanting to commit genocide. None of Iran's actions contradict the notion that they want to commit genocide. They say they want to commit genocide. Thus there is a non-negligible chance that Iran wants to commit genocide. Don't overcomplicate this with references to the West's history in the region because it's not relevant to what countries need to do to defend themselves. Whether Iran was always an enemy of the US or they had this hot and cold thing going on or Iran always secretly resented the US for dating its sister even though it totally said it was cool, man, doesn't change whether Israel will need to defend itself.


Name one other example in the history of mankind of someone doing a half-assed attempt at genocide. Honestly, I think it is a contradiction in terms.

And yes, Iran's relations with the US in particular has a huge amount to do with whether or not Israel has any need to defend itself. If Iran has no intention of ever using its hypothetical nuclear weapons aggressively, then there is no threat to Israel. Since the evidence strongly suggests this is the case, I would say that the risk is pretty minimal.

sourmilk wrote:I don't think you know what an argument from ignorance is. I'm not saying you're ignorant, it's a particular kind of logical fallacy. It's the fallacy of saying "because I can think of no other explanation, mine must be true." It's like people who argue that God exists because they can't think of another way for the universe to have come into existence, or when O'Reilly says "tide goes in, tide goes out. You can't explain that."


No, that's not quite right. Argument from ignorance is an argument that says "something must be true unless it can be proven false". Such as: "And until you can show that explanation is either totally ludicrous or necessarily false, the probability that Iran will use a nuclear weapon is simply too high for Israel, who has hundreds of thousands of lives at stake here, to ignore". What you are talking about is probably more accurately described as an argument from incredulity. Except that, its not that either, because we have actually considered your alternative hypothesis and rejected it because it does not fit the facts as well as the competing one.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:51 am UTC

I'm pretty sure 'I hate you' is not an insult.

That aside, I'm assuming you're dropping your contention that a strike against Iran is sensible from a risk/reward standpoint, since you totally failed to address anything I said?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:03 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I'm not going to rehash my argument on demand every time you forget my previous arguments. I will respond to specific points that I haven't addressed, and if you feel unsatisfied by that, then reread the thread.

You have provided zero evidence that you have addressed any of my points at any specific point; based on my reading, I do not think you have provided any sufficient refutation to them. I have said this, and I have said if you disagree, you should link me to a post of yours saying so. If you don't want to discuss something with me, just say so. I am attempting to have a discussion, and you are refusing to do so but continuing to say you're right.

sourmìlk wrote:Telling you that you've used a logical fallacy is not an insult. It's a normal part of a debate.

It's an insult when you reduce someone's argument down to a logical fallacy with zero logic or reasoning, and merely say "I said it is, therefor it is". I want some reasoning for why saying so is a logical fallacy, and you have not provided it, yet continue to say it is one: that is insulting, no matter how you try to back out of it. You can not just declare something to be true and expect everyone to accept it.

sourmìlk wrote:Meanwhile, your insults in that post:

Are completely deserved because you are actively refusing to provide me with the most basic respect of responding to my core arguments with more than an off-handed dismissal. Civility goes both ways, and I have requested from you to at least discuss with me, not unilaterally declare that you're right and you don't need to show me where you already proved yourself right before. That is very rude on your end, and if you continue it, I will continue to say it is rude. Did you see how I specifically asked you to at least do me the courtesy of showing me where you already addressed all your points? I have been reading the thread, and I do not think you addressed any of the points I made adequately, or in some cases, at all. If you don't want to rehash an argument that you think you adequately addressed, then point to it, because I seriously do not think you have provided a sufficient rebuttal for any of the points I or the others have been making- otherwise, I would have dropped those points.

I was very seriously offended by your insistence of continuing to say "I already addressed this" after I asked you to stop, so if you want civility, then you can stop that, and I'll stop saying I hate you for doing it.

sourmìlk wrote:And I'm not saying that being a friend of the US is an all-time guarantee of safety. I'm saying that you are substantially less likely to be attacked by the US if you are an ally of the US. I'd hope that's not a controversial statement.

And I'm saying that for political and historical reasons, they have zero desire to be friends with the US, and that even if they did want to, it would be a very difficult task to accomplish. Possibly even more difficult (and providing less of a guarantee) than developing nuclear weapons. I would hope that is also not a controversial statement.

sourmìlk wrote:As a general point, I don't like this argument going around that, if Iran wants to commit genocide, then they'd be throwing all their resources at it. Countries often don't put all their resources towards achieving a goal, particularly when there's no guarantee of success. For example, I think it's fairly obvious that Israel would like to see Iranian nuclear weapons disabled, but you can see that they're not dedicating all their resources to that cause. Iran is putting some resources into actions that match their rhetoric of wanting to commit genocide. None of Iran's actions contradict the notion that they want to commit genocide.

The point is that they aren't applying even any significant quantity of resources to it, nor have they over the decades. If they aren't willing to put all their resources towards genocide, why would they risk the almost certain complete loss of all their resources in using a nuclear weapon for genocide?

sourmìlk wrote:They say they want to commit genocide. Thus there is a non-negligible chance that Iran wants to commit genocide. Don't overcomplicate this with references to the West's history in the region because it's not relevant to what countries need to do to defend themselves.

Only if you ignore the history of their actions. Including the history of a region is not "overcomplicating" things: it is necessary to fully understand the actions of everyone involved. You shouldn't ignore pertinent facts when analyzing a situation.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:08 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Name one other example in the history of mankind of someone doing a half-assed attempt at genocide. Honestly, I think it is a contradiction in terms.

I think you generally don't hear about those instances.

And yes, Iran's relations with the US in particular has a huge amount to do with whether or not Israel has any need to defend itself. If Iran has no intention of ever using its hypothetical nuclear weapons aggressively, then there is no threat to Israel. Since the evidence strongly suggests this is the case, I would say that the risk is pretty minimal.

But Iran's intention of using nuclear weapons on Israel isn't really that relevant to The US' history with the middle east.

No, that's not quite right. Argument from ignorance is an argument that says "something must be true unless it can be proven false". Such as: "And until you can show that explanation is either totally ludicrous or necessarily false, the probability that Iran will use a nuclear weapon is simply too high for Israel, who has hundreds of thousands of lives at stake here, to ignore".

That's not an argument from ignorance as I've provided an logical explanation where rhetoric matches actions. I've met the standard of proof.
What you are talking about is probably more accurately described as an argument from incredulity. Except that, its not that either, because we have actually considered your alternative hypothesis and rejected it because it does not fit the facts as well as the competing one.

It's not quite an argument from incredulity either, because you are analyzing other hypotheses. Anyways, the fallacy is that, because you can only think of one explanation, that must be the only explanation. However there are other explanations that also match the facts.

Torchship wrote:I'm pretty sure 'I hate you' is not an insult.

It's a personal attack.

That aside, I'm assuming you're dropping your contention that a strike against Iran is sensible from a risk/reward standpoint, since you totally failed to address anything I said?

Nah, I just forgot. I was busy responding to GhostBear. So, Israel has to make decisions based primarily on what benefits itself, not what the international community likes. Thus these things like going against the stability of Iran are both not relevant factors and also entirely Iran's fault. Like I said, you can twerk the numbers a bit as you want, but are you really saying that a nuke wouldn't be 1000 times worse than an Israeli military strike on Iran?

Ghostbear: to address the things I hadn't already, I don't think a lot of the history we're discussing is pertinent, merely asserting that you're wrong (which isn't something that I did) is fallacious but not an insult, and just because it would be difficult for Iran to be friends with the US and just because they might not want to be doesn't mean they aren't exhibiting self-destructive behaviour by actively pissing us off.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:25 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Nah, I just forgot. I was busy responding to GhostBear. So, Israel has to make decisions based primarily on what benefits itself, not what the international community likes. Thus these things like going against the stability of Iran are both not relevant factors and also entirely Iran's fault. Like I said, you can twerk the numbers a bit as you want, but are you really saying that a nuke wouldn't be 1000 times worse than an Israeli military strike on Iran?


I suspect we have a rather fundamental difference of opinion here. I totally reject your assertion that the normal rules of morality magically do not apply to nations, and instead are replaced by some weird system where the only moral factor is the prosperity of the nation. Operating under that basis, almost any action imaginable can be seen as 'moral', no matter how horrific, as long as some twisted purpose is served. Torture of foreign nationals, for example, would be perfectly legitimate as long as the smallest bit of value could be extracted.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:31 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Ghostbear: to address the things I hadn't already, I don't think a lot of the history we're discussing is pertinent, [...]

It is when you're trying to explain why Iran would want nuclear weapons. History does matter, and ignoring it is downright foolish.

Am I to assume by the underlined part that you are not going to provide any evidence that you addressed any of the prior points sufficiently?

sourmìlk wrote:[... ] merely asserting that you're wrong (which isn't something that I did) [...]

I beg to differ:
Spoiler:
sourmìlk wrote:I've already addressed these arguments.

sourmìlk wrote:I've addressed this several times.

sourmìlk wrote:How many times to I have to address it, as I already have many many times?

sourmìlk wrote:I'm not going to rehash my argument on demand every time you forget my previous arguments.

sourmìlk wrote:I explained why it is quite possible that Iran wants to commit genocide but hasn't yet. Reexamine those arguments are respond to them.

sourmìlk wrote:Yurell: every time I said "as I've already explained", that's an argument that's been ignored. I don't say "as I've already explained" for arguments that have been refuted, only ones that haven't been responded to.

Those all state, with zero evidence, that I am wrong about you not adequately responding to any of the points made. They also declare all the points they were in response to wrong, still with zero evidence or reasoning.

Spoiler:
sourmìlk wrote:All of these "but shouldn't Iran be doing this?" arguments are simply arguments from ignorance.

And that one says that we're wrong and committing your logical fallacy, again, with zero evidence or reasoning.

sourmìlk wrote:is fallacious but not an insult, and just because it would be difficult for Iran to be friends with the US and just because they might not want to be doesn't mean they aren't exhibiting self-destructive behaviour by actively pissing us off.

It's only self destructive if they think they can actually avoid an invasion that they would otherwise receive by dropping their program. History (which does matter) indicates that they shouldn't believe that.
Last edited by Ghostbear on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:46 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:37 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Name one other example in the history of mankind of someone doing a half-assed attempt at genocide. Honestly, I think it is a contradiction in terms.


I think you generally don't hear about those instances.


And why do you suppose that would be?

sourmìlk wrote:
And yes, Iran's relations with the US in particular has a huge amount to do with whether or not Israel has any need to defend itself. If Iran has no intention of ever using its hypothetical nuclear weapons aggressively, then there is no threat to Israel. Since the evidence strongly suggests this is the case, I would say that the risk is pretty minimal.


But Iran's intention of using nuclear weapons on Israel isn't really that relevant to The US' history with the middle east.


Yes, it really, really is. Or rather, it is relevant to the fact that they aren't intending on using nuclear weapons aggressively against Israel. It's been explained in some detail exactly why the American relationship with the Iran is relevant, as has GhostBear and others. Here, I'll put it in helpful spoilers in case you forgot.

Spoiler:
GhostBear wrote:You say this like they can just show up with a hallmark card that says "Sorry we were resentful about that time you ousted our democratically elected government, and then provided weapons to a country that invaded us, who then used chemical weapons against us. Will you be our friends now? -xoxo Iran", and everything will all be sunshine and puppies from then on. Why would Iran become friends with the west? The last time we were friends, we were dicks to to them, and then made them into a global pariah. Saying they should just become our friends again completely ignores history, which is a pretty important tool to take into account, especially for such a contentious region. They know that being our friend doesn't help them, because they already tried it! Seriously, don't ignore history when reaching your conclusions.

Iran can afford to risk a few air strikes over the years for the potential ability to completely prevent invasions- how is that not a valuable resource for them? They have every reason to believe that, if they're going to get invaded over their nuclear program, that even if they abandon all aspirations for nuclear weapons and let in inspectors and all that, that they will still be a valid target for invasion (again, and again and again again: Iraq. Their neighbor, not even a ten years ago- they aren't blind to what happens right outside their doorstep!). From their perspective, if the prospects of an invasion are just as likely no matter what they do, then being able to yell "don't invade us or we'll nuke your armies!" and being able to actually back that threat up with action is very very valuable.


LaserGuy wrote:Furthermore, there is an entirely consistent narrative that explains all of the data quite well. On one border, Iran sees a dangerously unstable nuclear state (Pakistan) that gets propped up by Western support. On other border, Iran sees Iraq, a country that both invaded it and actively used weapons of mass destruction with Western backing and was, prior to the Gulf War at least, seeking nuclear weapons of its own. Another bordering country is Turkey, which enjoys protection under the American nuclear umbrella, and is a historic rival of Iran's in the region (although relations between the two countries are fairly cordial at present). And more distantly, there is Israel, a nuclear power in their own right, as well as one with powerful allies. Especially had Iraq continued to enjoy Western backing, Iran could easily have been the odd man out, completely surrounded by nuclear rivals. In such a situation, expecting Iran (and Iraq, regardless of Western backing) to pursue nuclear technology is perfectly consistent. Iran's interest in Israel is, in fact, quite limited, since they have more immediate and dangerous rivals immediately bordering them. Their situation became more dire in 2001, and especially in 2003, when they were singled out by the Americans for a potential invasion, and American forces were stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries that both border Iran from opposite sides--a situation which, had an invasion occurred, would have forced Iran to divide their forces and fight a two-front war against a superior force, on home soil. Once again, the best defense in this situation was to do everything in their power to impede American progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to build a nuclear deterrent to stave off impeding invasion. Likewise, Iran's use of proxies against Israel was not, in their wildest dreams, a serious attempt to even harm the country; rather it was simply an attempt to undermine a rival with a minimal expenditure of resources, and simultaneously gain allies among the countries who have genuine reasons to hate Israel. The most parsimonious explanation is that Iran is not attempting genocide at all, and is never has been, but rather is pursuing nuclear technology in the interests of national security.


sourmìlk wrote:
No, that's not quite right. Argument from ignorance is an argument that says "something must be true unless it can be proven false". Such as: "And until you can show that explanation is either totally ludicrous or necessarily false, the probability that Iran will use a nuclear weapon is simply too high for Israel, who has hundreds of thousands of lives at stake here, to ignore".


That's not an argument from ignorance as I've provided an logical explanation where rhetoric matches actions. I've met the standard of proof.


No, declaring something to be true unless it can be shown to be false is an argument from ignorance. It doesn't matter what positive statements you make in support of the claim. That particular construction is, by definition, an argument from ignorance. Anyway, as I've described in agonizing detail, your explanation utterly fails to explain the established facts.

sourmìlk wrote:It's not quite an argument from incredulity either, because you are analyzing other hypotheses. Anyways, the fallacy is that, because you can only think of one explanation, that must be the only explanation. However there are other explanations that also match the facts.


Your explanation requires unnecessary assumptions and fails to explain the data as well as the competing hypothesis.

sourmìlk wrote:Nah, I just forgot. I was busy responding to GhostBear. So, Israel has to make decisions based primarily on what benefits itself, not what the international community likes. Thus these things like going against the stability of Iran are both not relevant factors and also entirely Iran's fault. Like I said, you can twerk the numbers a bit as you want, but are you really saying that a nuke wouldn't be 1000 times worse than an Israeli military strike on Iran?


Depends how you calculate it, I suppose. I saw a number thrown out that Israel is expecting their casualties resulting from the strike to be in the range of about 500. That's just Israelis, not Iranians, mind you. Presumably since Iran is the country being bombed, their numbers would be much higher. Would a nuclear weapon dropped on Tel Aviv kill half a million people? Probably not with the technology Iran would have access to. If the US and Israel were to actually invade? Well, if the Iraq war is any judge, it would probably save more lives for the US to just drop a nuclear bomb on Tehran.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:49 am UTC

Nobody is suggesting that the US or Israel invade. Anyways, I ran the calculations and a bomb the size of Little Boy dropped on Tel-Aviv would kill about 600,000 people.

I explained why your arguments were arguments from ignorance. Several times. On this page. In the same post that I told you that your arguments were arguments from ignorance.

Saying that I've addressed your point is not an assertion of correctness. It's a statement that the proof has already been presented. I'm not going to rehash my argument every time its requested, and if you don't like that, then you can actually respond to my points instead of ignoring them.

Torchship, I'm not suggesting that countries operate on a totally different moral standard than people. I expect people to primarily take into account the impact a decision has on themselves. It is moral to place one's own interest above the interest of others, or at least it isn't inherently immoral. I don't mean to suggest that the effects of one's actions should simply be ignored when calculating morality, but that they generally come secondary to the impact on oneself. For example, if a person decides that he is going to save himself from a burning building rather than helping another person out first, that isn't immoral. If a person decides to break the arms of a person reaching for a gun to shoot him with, even if that person does some good, that's not immoral. If a country decides to launch a targeted military strike against another country's nuclear facilities as that country threatens to annihilate the first country, even if that causes some disturbance with the international community, that's not immoral.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:00 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Torchship, I'm not suggesting that countries operate on a totally different moral standard than people. I expect people to primarily take into account the impact a decision has on themselves. It is moral to place one's own interest above the interest of others, or at least it isn't inherently immoral. I don't mean to suggest that the effects of one's actions should simply be ignored when calculating morality, but that they generally come secondary to the impact on oneself. For example, if a person decides that he is going to save himself from a burning building rather than helping another person out first, that isn't immoral. If a person decides to break the arms of a person reaching for a gun to shoot him with, even if that person does some good, that's not immoral. If a country decides to launch a targeted military strike against another country's nuclear facilities as that country threatens to annihilate the first country, even if that causes some disturbance with the international community, that's not immoral.


Both of the analogies you've used here are not the same as the one at hand simply because they both involve the trade of one life for another (or, in the latter case, the trade of someone's arms for a life); the moral worth is the same on both sides of the equation. That is not the case here; the casualty-equivalent lives saved on the Israeli side is remarkably lower than the cost on the Iranian side. Therefore it would only be moral for Israel to attack if it were morally valid for Israel to value the lives of its citizens significantly more than those of other countries, which is a notion that I totally reject. See the torture example that I raised earlier. One person's worth is the same as another's, and arbitrary national boundaries do not change this one bit.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby LaserGuy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:59 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I explained why your arguments were arguments from ignorance. Several times. On this page. In the same post that I told you that your arguments were arguments from ignorance.


Here's the statement you're referring to:

sourmilk wrote:Your explanations so far are not, in fact, explanations, but arguments from ignorance. That is to say, you're arguing that because you cannot conceive of another rationale for Iran's actions, one must not exist. I have provided you with one, but even if I hadn't, you haven't met the necessary standard of proof until you've demonstrated that yours is the only explanation for Iran's actions. You either need to show that not wanting to commit genocide is the only explanation for Iran's actions (which it is not), or you need to show that the use of a nuclear weapon against Israel is, in Israel's eyes, not orders of magnitude worse than what would happen if Israel were to launch a strike on Iran.


As I've said the problem here is simple. It is not necessary for me to determine that my explanation is the only explanation for Iran's actions. It is only necessary for me to determine what is the best, and most likely, explanation for Iran's actions. Absolute proofs of the type that you are asking for here are arguments from ignorance, literally: you're saying that unless I can show X to be false, I must assume X is true. As I said earlier when you made this claim, it is an unreasonable standard of proof and is fallacious. Other alternatives do exist: Iran might not want nuclear weapons at all; Iran might want to secretly invade Turkmenistan; Iran might actually want Israel and the US to invade so that their country can be destroyed; or, yes, Iran has been doing an ineffective, piecemeal attempt at genocide while they secretly wait to unleash nuclear attacks against Israel some decades later. These are all valid options. I'm sure that there are others you could think of. What matters here is what are the relative probabilities of these various outcomes in determining the best policy to adopt in this situation. Based on the evidence at hand, it is my estimation that by far the most probable scenario is that Iran is building nuclear weapons for defensive purposes. We should therefore plan our strategy going forward based on that being the most likely outcome, and create contingency plans in the event of a less probable event occurring. Planning your strategy based on a very unlikely scenario is poor planning and bad strategy, and will often lead to outcomes you don't want or don't expect, because your strategy may be incompatible with the probable outcome. Specifically, in our case, Israel attacking Iran based on the unlikely chance that Iran has some hairbrained plan to commit genocide will produce a number of undesirable outcomes--lots of people dying, retaliations from Iran in various forms, spikes in oil prices, etc.--when a better option--peaceful negotiations, or even just allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons--would not provide these same externalities.

sourmìlk wrote:I'm not suggesting that countries operate on a totally different moral standard than people. I expect people to primarily take into account the impact a decision has on themselves. It is moral to place one's own interest above the interest of others, or at least it isn't inherently immoral. I don't mean to suggest that the effects of one's actions should simply be ignored when calculating morality, but that they generally come secondary to the impact on oneself.


I think there are a lot of moral philosophies that would dispute this claim. Most good moral philosophies argue on the basis of equivalence--that is, you cannot inherently privilege yourself in your moral decision-making, because if everyone were to adopt this same belief, it would result in a net harm. It's recognition of the prisoner's dilemma: if you privilege yourself, then you must always betray; but the solution that produces the best result is if you act altruistically. The only way to achieve this is to accept that you must apply equal moral weight to your own actions and your own happiness, as to those of others. In doing so, you serve to increase the overall well-being of everyone. I would be tempted to say that any behaviour that we consider to be immoral will always be one that puts one's own interest above those of others (although it not all selfish behaviours are necessarily immoral). I am not sure if immoral altruism can exist... Are you an objectivist? That would explain a lot, actually.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:12 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Based on the evidence at hand, it is my estimation that by far the most probable scenario is that Iran is building nuclear weapons for defensive purposes. We should therefore plan our strategy going forward based on that being the most likely outcome, and create contingency plans in the event of a less probable event occurring. Planning your strategy based on a very unlikely scenario is poor planning and bad strategy, and will often lead to outcomes you don't want or don't expect, because your strategy may be incompatible with the probable outcome. Specifically, in our case, Israel attacking Iran based on the unlikely chance that Iran has some hairbrained plan to commit genocide will produce a number of undesirable outcomes--lots of people dying, retaliations from Iran in various forms, spikes in oil prices, etc.--when a better option--peaceful negotiations, or even just allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons--would not provide these same externalities.

This is probably said far better than any of my attempts. I would add something to it- one of the potential negative results of this assumption would be to force Iran to actually change their mind and want to harm the west more directly, in a worst case even to want to use nuclear weapons aggressively. If you continually treat people like they are going to do something no matter what, you risk them deciding that they might as well do it, since they'll be punished for it regardless. You can just look at how we treated two countries after our wars with them to see the potential extremes of this approach: Vietnam and North Korea. One of those we largely ignored after ending our war with them, and the other we constantly treated as a huge threat and even included as a member of the "axis of evil". Vietnam is now one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and has more or less re-established itself as part of the world. North Korea, instead, has bunkered down on their opposition to the west is now probably the most oppressive (and if not, certainly one of the most) nation in the world. Both of them started from broadly similar positions, but one of those worked out far, far worse than the other.

So, basically, I agree with this- there's a lot of things that can go wrong with assuming the illogical worst out of another entity you are dealing with.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yoni45 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:39 pm UTC

A thought I had today -- crippling Iran through sanctions under the threat of attack could itself accelerate a different 'acceptable' resolution: Iran's government becoming less and less capable of maintaining itself and becoming more prone to the revolution that is oft-cited as inevitable.

That aside though, LaserGuy, you also can't play by the assumption that Iran nuking Israel is the only detriment being taken into account when deciding whether Iran should be stopped militarily.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:06 pm UTC

I'm not saying that launching a military strike on Iran wouldn't have consequences, but that those consequences are so vastly outweighed by the potential consequences of not launching a military strike that they're overridden. That's why the most likely course for Iran's actions doesn't matter: the unlikely one is so horrible that Israel needs to ensure it doesn't happen. You know the phrase "expect the best, prepare for the worst"? This is the only way Israel has to prepare for the worst. Okay, it's not the only way, but it's the best way.

And Ghostbear, that's a cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. You've not shown that our actions regarding Vietnam and Korea have influenced their economic state.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:13 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:You know the phrase "expect the best, prepare for the worst"?


You notice how the phrase is 'prepare for the worse', and is always taken as 'be ready to do what is necessary should the worst happen', not 'assume the worst is going to happen and try your damnedest to throw away any other moderate solution in the process'.

Also, have you dropped the point of all of us being intellectually dishonest & liars, or are you actually going to provide links and quotes?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Radical_Initiator » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:25 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:That's why the most likely course for Iran's actions doesn't matter: the unlikely one is so horrible that Israel needs to ensure it doesn't happen.


I'm curious: at what point does the unlikely course become so unlikely that you no longer hold this statement to be true? I mean, if there was a 50/50 chance that Iran would definitely use nuclear weapons aggressively, I would likely wholeheartedly support Israeli airstrikes against them. But if the chance was, say, one in a thousand? One in a million? Comparable to the probability of winning the lottery while being struck by lightning in the middle of a plane crash? Historically, Israel and Pakistan have had complicated relations: while they don't have normalized relations or diplomatic envoys, there is evidence of intelligence cooperation in the past and perhaps the present. Yet, for purposes of rhetoric, Pakistan still sometimes refers to Israel as a racist Zionist state, and Israel calls Pakistan antisemitic. Thus, I think you'd be hard-pressed to argue a completely zero chance of Pakistan attacking Israel, but the appraised chance of Pakistan using its (established) nuclear weapons against Israel has been deemed, in the calculus of Israeli policy, to not require direct or overt intervention. Yes, I'm likely oversimplifying several parts of the relationship, and no, Pakistan does not seem to overtly fund anti-Israeli armed groups, but I'm just trying to see if there's a breaking point between "a non-zero chance of nuclear attack means we must bomb them!" and "Nah, they're not likely to do anything to us."

Again, it seems to come down to how much you believe Iranian rhetoric, and how much you think support of terrorist anti-Israeli organizations who have failed utterly at instigating any sort of genocide, really relates to the probability that Iran is willing to, most likely, sign its own death warrant by using nuclear weapons.

sourmìlk wrote:And Ghostbear, that's a cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. You've not shown that our actions regarding Vietnam and Korea have influenced their economic state.


A personal thing here: for the love of Buddha, would people around here stop feeling the need to classify every logical fallacy? Your second sentence above makes your point (regarding what you see as a logical fallacy) quite nicely, and doesn't need a Latin name to make it sound better. Latin names for logical fallacies are the tools of people who want to make a show of the idea that they read a Wikipedia article outlining Latin names for logical fallacies.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Greyarcher » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:39 pm UTC

yurell wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:You know the phrase "expect the best, prepare for the worst"?


You notice how the phrase is 'prepare for the worse', and is always taken as 'be ready to do what is necessary should the worst happen', not 'assume the worst is going to happen and try your damnedest to throw away any other moderate solution in the process'.
It's not like anyone jumped to do the latter. There's been pressure on Iran of the more moderate type for quite some time now.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:56 pm UTC

The trouble with sanctions is they only work if the regime is unwilling to pursue whatever caused the sanctions at the cost of the sanctions (Iran is), or if they can totally prevent the import of vital materials to the endeavour (Iran is still capable of getting uranium), or if they can economically cripple a regime to the point of collapse (Iran is too stable). At the same time, while not a military action, they are antagonistic, telling the sanctioned regime that they can not get what they want with the blessing of the UN, discouraging diplomacy.

Sanctions seem to get used because they're easy and weak enough that they can usually pass the UNSC. But they aren't really a moderate action.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:17 pm UTC

Radical_Initiator wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:That's why the most likely course for Iran's actions doesn't matter: the unlikely one is so horrible that Israel needs to ensure it doesn't happen.


I'm curious: at what point does the unlikely course become so unlikely that you no longer hold this statement to be true? I mean, if there was a 50/50 chance that Iran would definitely use nuclear weapons aggressively, I would likely wholeheartedly support Israeli airstrikes against them. But if the chance was, say, one in a thousand? One in a million? Comparable to the probability of winning the lottery while being struck by lightning in the middle of a plane crash? Historically, Israel and Pakistan have had complicated relations: while they don't have normalized relations or diplomatic envoys, there is evidence of intelligence cooperation in the past and perhaps the present. Yet, for purposes of rhetoric, Pakistan still sometimes refers to Israel as a racist Zionist state, and Israel calls Pakistan antisemitic. Thus, I think you'd be hard-pressed to argue a completely zero chance of Pakistan attacking Israel, but the appraised chance of Pakistan using its (established) nuclear weapons against Israel has been deemed, in the calculus of Israeli policy, to not require direct or overt intervention. Yes, I'm likely oversimplifying several parts of the relationship, and no, Pakistan does not seem to overtly fund anti-Israeli armed groups, but I'm just trying to see if there's a breaking point between "a non-zero chance of nuclear attack means we must bomb them!" and "Nah, they're not likely to do anything to us."


Pakistan hasn't been attacking Israel or threatening to destroy Israel. And one in a thousand is about right, for reasons I discussed before.

yurell wrote:You notice how the phrase is 'prepare for the worse', and is always taken as 'be ready to do what is necessary should the worst happen', not 'assume the worst is going to happen and try your damnedest to throw away any other moderate solution in the process'.

As I said, this is really the best way that Israel has to prepare for the worst.

Also, have you dropped the point of all of us being intellectually dishonest & liars, or are you actually going to provide links and quotes?

We already discussed this.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Greyarcher » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:55 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:The trouble with sanctions is they only work if the regime is unwilling to pursue whatever caused the sanctions at the cost of the sanctions (Iran is), or if they can totally prevent the import of vital materials to the endeavour (Iran is still capable of getting uranium), or if they can economically cripple a regime to the point of collapse (Iran is too stable). At the same time, while not a military action, they are antagonistic, telling the sanctioned regime that they can not get what they want with the blessing of the UN, discouraging diplomacy.

Sanctions seem to get used because they're easy and weak enough that they can usually pass the UNSC. But they aren't really a moderate action.
Well, what scale are we using? Offhand--although it would depend on the severity of the sanction--economic pressure seems like the natural mid-point between negotiation and military strikes.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:00 pm UTC

Unfortunately, the sanctions don't appear to be working. If there were other, less violent means of preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons then I would be all for them, but they're rather close and the sanctions don't appear to be doing anything.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:10 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Also, have you dropped the point of all of us being intellectually dishonest & liars, or are you actually going to provide links and quotes?

We already discussed this.


Yes we have, and you still haven't provided evidence, only more assertions. If you're going to call all of us liars, and then refuse to provide evidence, then you're incredibly dishonest and being an arse.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:11 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I'm not saying that launching a military strike on Iran wouldn't have consequences, but that those consequences are so vastly outweighed by the potential consequences of not launching a military strike that they're overridden. That's why the most likely course for Iran's actions doesn't matter: the unlikely one is so horrible that Israel needs to ensure it doesn't happen. You know the phrase "expect the best, prepare for the worst"? This is the only way Israel has to prepare for the worst. Okay, it's not the only way, but it's the best way.

And Ghostbear, that's a cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. You've not shown that our actions regarding Vietnam and Korea have influenced their economic state.


What are you trying to say here? That the consequences for Israel are so severe that it is moral for them to act, despite the fact that the moral calculus (which takes the severity of the attacks into account) is heavily slanted against them? If so, what basis do you have for claiming that normal morality simply does not function when the threat is severe enough?

As a side point, I severely question the 600 000 casualty figure you raised earlier. Tel Aviv city itself only contains 400 000 people, so the blast must be spilling over into the metropolitan area, which is totally ludicrous for a Little Boy sized explosion. Assuming a circularly-distributed city of 52 km^2, this implies that the nuke must have a lethal radius significantly in excess of 4.1k's. Using this calculator, we can see that the third degree burn radius extends to a paltry 2.1km for a 15 kilo-tonne explosion, giving approximately 100 000 casualties (assuming average density). If one were to take the first degree burn radius (the wikipedia article agrees well with the aforementioned calculator), then one could push this up to 400 000, but assuming first degree burns victims as casualties is truly ludicrous.
Radiation does not appear to be a major factor, as Wikipedia lists the 1 Gray radius for a 20 kilo-tonne explosion at 1.8km, which is smaller than the assumed casualty radius. Since 1 Gray corresponds to only a 5% casualty rate and the effects fall off quickly with dosage, radiation can be neglected.

Basically, I can see no reason to believe your 600 000 casualty figure when not even first degree burns will amount to that number. Even assuming generously that third degree burns victims will count as casualties, barely 100 000 can be mustered.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:14 pm UTC

yurell wrote:Yes we have, and you still haven't provided evidence, only more assertions. If you're going to call all of us liars, and then refuse to provide evidence, then you're incredibly dishonest and being an arse.

I'm not sure what you mean. I told you that every argument I preface with "As I've already explained" is an argument that's been ignored. What more do you want?

Torchship wrote:What are you trying to say here? That the consequences for Israel are so severe that it is moral for them to act, despite the fact that the moral calculus (which takes the severity of the attacks into account) is heavily slanted against them? If so, what basis do you have for claiming that normal morality simply does not function when the threat is severe enough?

The moral calculus is weighted in Israel's favour, that's the point I'm trying to make.

As a side point, I severely question the 600 000 casualty figure you raised earlier. Tel Aviv city itself only contains 400 000 people, so the blast must be spilling over into the metropolitan area, which is totally ludicrous for a Little Boy sized explosion. Assuming a circularly-distributed city of 52 km^2, this implies that the nuke must have a lethal radius significantly in excess of 4.1k's. Using this calculator, we can see that the third degree burn radius extends to a paltry 2.1km for a 15 kilo-tonne explosion, giving approximately 100 000 casualties (assuming average density). If one were to take the first degree burn radius (the wikipedia article agrees well with the aforementioned calculator), then one could push this up to 400 000, but assuming first degree burns victims as casualties is truly ludicrous.
Radiation does not appear to be a major factor, as Wikipedia lists the 1 Gray radius for a 20 kilo-tonne explosion at 1.8km, which is smaller than the assumed casualty radius. Since 1 Gray corresponds to only a 5% casualty rate and the effects fall off quickly with dosage, radiation can be neglected.

Basically, I can see no reason to believe your 600 000 casualty figure when not even first degree burns will amount to that number. Even assuming generously that third degree burns victims will count as casualties, barely 100 000 can be mustered.

I forgot exactly how I calculated it, but I don't think you should immediately discount radiation. About half of the people who died in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions died afterwards of radiation poisoning. I'll settle for 200,000k.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:26 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I'm not sure what you mean. I told you that every argument I preface with "As I've already explained" is an argument that's been ignored. What more do you want?


What more do I want? Maybe ... quotes & links? You know, the things I've been demanding ever since you accused the rest of us of arguing dishonestly & outright lying, while behaving incredibly hypocritically?

sourmìlk wrote:I forgot exactly how I calculated it, but I don't think you should immediately discount radiation. About half of the people who died in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions died afterwards of radiation poisoning. I'll settle for 200,000k.


The radiation has a 5% casualty rate, and you'll 'settle' for doubling the casualties? Especially since you've already counted everyone within the one Gray radius as casualty thanks to third degree burns.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:27 pm UTC

Oh, I'm probably quibbling semantics. I see a distinction between antagonistic and non-atagonistic options. Here's kind of a rough scale for some possible options and how I see them (since my opinion is so valuable and expert).

Give Iran nukes (appeasement) - trade something Iran wants, such as dropping military support to Israel, for the abandonment of the nuclear program (compromise) - defense pact with Iran (treating the underlying problem) - demand full access to nuclear facilities for UN inspectors (neutral) - sanctions (least antagonistic) - sabotaging the nuclear program (provocative) - limited war/airstrikes (inflammatory) - invasion (fuck you, Iran!)

My problem is we started neutral, then moved to the right instead of trying options that would benefit both Iran and the US. This puts Iran in a position where giving in makes them look weak, a capital crime for authoritarian dictatorships, and puts us in a position where we'll naturally become more antagonistic as Iran inevitably refuses to back down. If we did something to make Iran feel more secure rather than vulnerable to US\Israeli hostility, Israel's hostility won from Ahmadenijad's rhetoric and, at the time, the US's insured by a certain warmongering President. Obama lost the opportunity to reverse the damage Bush had done when he pushed for stricter sanctions.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:31 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Give Iran nukes (appeasement)


Since Iran insists it doesn't want nukes, wouldn't helping it build a civilian nuclear program for power & medicine be appeasement?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:32 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:The moral calculus is weighted in Israel's favour, that's the point I'm trying to make.


How so? I've already shown that the direct casualties (weighted by probability) are approximately equivalent, and that there are a host of complications that go hand-in-hand with an Israeli strike which push the issue into severely unfavourable territory. How, then, do you assume that the issue is favourable to an Israeli strike when I've just shown that it is not favourable, and you have totally failed to present any evidence to the contrary?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:36 pm UTC

yurell wrote:What more do I want? Maybe ... quotes & links? You know, the things I've been demanding ever since you accused the rest of us of arguing dishonestly & outright lying, while behaving incredibly hypocritically?

I'm sort of confused as to what you want quotes and links of. Do you need me to link to the specific posts where I've said "as I've already explained" or something?

The radiation has a 5% casualty rate, and you'll 'settle' for doubling the casualties? Especially since you've already counted everyone within the one Gray radius as casualty thanks to third degree burns.

Yeah, because historically radiation accounts for about half of the deaths.

Iulus: anything to the left of neutral constitutes appeasement, and historically it hasn't been a very good strategy to appease anti-Semitic dictators. Iran can't be rewarded for misbehaving, that just encourages them.

Torchship, I don't understand what problems you have with my calculations. Are you contesting that there is more than a .1% chance that Iran will use nuclear weapons or that an Iranian nuclear strike on Israel would be about 3 orders of magnitude worse than and Iranian response to an Israeli military strike?
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:50 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I'm sort of confused as to what you want quotes and links of. Do you need me to link to the specific posts where I've said "as I've already explained" or something?


Provide quotes and links to those "arguments [we've] simply ignored without rebutting, and then when [you've] gone and rehashed them [we] say we've already gone over it."

For all those people you've accused of doing it. Since there are "quite a few" it shouldn't be too hard.

sourmìlk wrote:Yeah, because historically radiation accounts for about half of the deaths.


But to get the 100k number you've already counted everyone within acute radiation distance.
Last edited by yurell on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:52 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Yeah, because historically radiation accounts for about half of the deaths.


Historically third degree burns victims aren't considered to be dead, either. By assuming that I made an incredibly generous assumption which will easily account for any radiation deaths.

sourmìlk wrote:Torchship, I don't understand what problems you have with my calculations. Are you contesting that there is more than a .1% chance that Iran will use nuclear weapons or that an Iranian nuclear strike on Israel would be about 3 orders of magnitude worse than and Iranian response to an Israeli military strike?


I actually think that there is less than a 0.1% chance of Iran ever using nukes (much like there is less than a 0.1% chance of you intentionally doing something so stupid as to get yourself, your family and all that you love and have worked to build completely destroyed), but I am using your number for the purposes of argument.
The latter is closer to correct, but I am also considering the direct casualties due to the strike (likely to be several hundred), as well as the international and internal (but non-government-affiliated) responses. Grouping all these factors together is easily more than a thousandth of the severity of an Iranian nuclear strike.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:58 pm UTC

Sourmilk wrote:Iulus: anything to the left of neutral constitutes appeasement, and historically it hasn't been a very good strategy to appease anti-Semitic dictators. Iran can't be rewarded for misbehaving, that just encourages them.


So it was appeasement when JFK agreed to remove nukes from Turkey in exhange for the Soviet removal of nukes in Cuba? It was also appeasement when the US gave Israel weapons and munitions in exchange for Israel not using nukes?

Appeasement is giving something for the mere hope that they'll stop. By your definition, once a country has done something undesirable, there can never be deescalation.

Yurell, I'm operating under the assumption that Iran does want nuclear weapons, since there's a lot of suspicious evidence pointing that way.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:39 am UTC

Yurell, I've told you twice now where you can find those arguments.

Torchship: I don't care too much about your relatively minor tweaks for the ratio of consequences of nuclear weapon use : consequences of Iranian strike, because ultimately they're unimportant. .1% wasn't intended to be an exact number, but an approximate to illustrate how unlikely it would need to be that Iran were going to use nuclear weapons. The thing is, even if you multiply that number by two or three, there's still such a substantial disparity between the consequences of an Iranian nuclear strike and an Israeli strike on Iran that Israel needs to act.

Anyways, why is it that when Iran actively instigates hostilities by funding terrorist groups you all have a million excuses for Iran, but when Israel takes specific, targeted military action necessary to defend itself that's somehow unforgivable? I think that's a rather unfair double standard.

When JFK removed nuclear weapons from Turkey I'd say that's arguably appeasement, but I'm not sure he had other options. When the US gave Israel weapons during the Yom Kippur war, that isn't exactly appeasement, because Israel wasn't exactly misbehaving. Using nuclear weapons when being faced with an existential threat after having exhausted other options isn't misbehaviour, it's appropriate action. The US obviously didn't want that to happen, so we gave Israel weapons. That's not rewarding bad behaviour so that the person will stop it, that's making a specific course of action unnecessary.

We're getting a bit off-track. The core of the issue is that Iran is attacking Israel and is now getting a substantially more powerful weapon with which to attack them, and Israel can't abide that. I'm learning not to make my arguments too complicated because, when they are, there are a million little nitpicks that we look into for hours without actually getting anywhere.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby yurell » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:17 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Yurell, I've told you twice now where you can find those arguments.


And I've told you to give me quotes and links. You do not get off with calling every person who had posted a liar and then make vague references to 'every time I've said this you lied!' You will quote specific instances, or you will apologise. Or, of course, you could just be a wanker, but if you would rather accuse everyone of being intellectually dishonest & lying, and then refuse to apologise or provide evidence for your claim, I will feel very vindicated in foe-ing you.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:31 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Yurell, I've told you twice now where you can find those arguments.

You told me where I could find them too, and then when I said I had not found them, you insisted on continuing to insult me. Go back to your responses to me and provide links and quotes to the cases where you said you already addressed my points, or apologize, just as Yurell is saying.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Torchship » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:46 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Torchship: I don't care too much about your relatively minor tweaks for the ratio of consequences of nuclear weapon use : consequences of Iranian strike, because ultimately they're unimportant. .1% wasn't intended to be an exact number, but an approximate to illustrate how unlikely it would need to be that Iran were going to use nuclear weapons. The thing is, even if you multiply that number by two or three, there's still such a substantial disparity between the consequences of an Iranian nuclear strike and an Israeli strike on Iran that Israel needs to act.


Again, you simply assert that the moral calculations come down firmly in Israel's favour without providing even the tiniest shred of evidence or logic. How is saving Israel from an incredibly remote threat at the cost of several hundred lives and further destabilising an already unstable region worthwhile? A strike will undermine liberalisation movements in Iran, significantly increasing the chance that millions of women and other minorities will never see full rights in their lifetime. A strike will further damage Israel's relations with neighbouring states, decreasing the chance of ever achieving lasting peace in the region and increasing the chance of another major war. A strike further alienates the US's European allies, shortening the time until the US inevitably withdraws support for Israel, leaving it at the mercy of its highly irate neighbours.

In essence, you are favouring Israel's short-term security over the long-term welfare of Israel and the rest of the region. If Israel continues to act aggressively towards its neighbours, a lasting peace will never be achieved and that absurd war in the Middle East will continue in perpetuity. And, unfortunately, that means that Israel is also doomed, as the US cannot/will not continue to lend its overwhelming military might to Israel for all eternity. Eventually Israel will be left alone (due to the US no longer being able to support military aid to Israel and an all-powerful military, or simply being unwilling to support Israel at the expense of its other alliances) to fight a single-handed war against the rest of the Middle East; do you really think that's a war it can win?
Taking short-sighted actions to ensure Israel's security may seem like a brilliant idea now, but they most certainly come at the expense of Israel's (and the entire Middle East's) long-term welfare. Why is this a trade that you're willing to make?

sourmìlk wrote:Anyways, why is it that when Iran actively instigates hostilities by funding terrorist groups you all have a million excuses for Iran, but when Israel takes specific, targeted military action necessary to defend itself that's somehow unforgivable? I think that's a rather unfair double standard.


What excuses? I've seen a lot of explanations for Iran's behaviour, but no excuses. I'm quite sure that everyone here agrees that Iran's backing of Hezbollah and Hamas is an absolutely despicable action, but this point is not brought up very often precisely because everyone agrees. There is severe disagreement on the morality of Israel's actions, however, which is precisely why these get so much focus.
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Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Postby Maurog » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:06 am UTC

Torchship wrote:A strike will undermine liberalisation movements in Iran, significantly increasing the chance that millions of women and other minorities will never see full rights in their lifetime.

Honestly, I don't see how. "Gee Willikers, they bombed our nuclear facility. Fast, let's oppress some women!"
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