Thoughts on Beheading and Torture

I saw a video of the beheading. I’m not sure if it was uncut or not, as it was a bit jumpy. It definitely stuck in my craw to watch it, but I don’t feel the outrage that so many others seem to feel. I’ve cut the heads off of living creatures before [mostly just fish] and that sticks in my craw too. Still, cutting the head off of a human boils down to nothing more than killing another critter. Seeing something living die isn’t disturbing to me. That isn’t to say that I find the idea of the execution appealing. I don’t think any type of killing is appealing – it all sticks in my craw, but I think plenty of people are finding it difficult to distinguish between the act of killing and the no good reasoning behind it. What makes the beheading so abhorrent is that it was done in cold blood for no good reasons related to personal survival. Instead it was a political killing and the video is a terrorist act. That is what is most disgusting to me, the no good reasonableness1 of it.

In the same vein I equally excoriate the torture of any creature. Torture serves no good purpose- it doesn’t matter if it is a human or a less adaptable critter. Honor and shame are very powerful tools that are always wielded with danger and it seems that torture is one of the more foolish ways that honor and shame are expressed for humans. Beyond that, however, is the purely visceral pain of torture. There ain’t no good reason for that shit period

A quick timeline of my feelings on the this whole clusterfuck in Iraq [I’ve not said much on it the entire time its been going on]:

  1. We shouldn’t have gone in there in the first place, there was no good reason for it. And I am still waiting to hear one.
  2. Well, we went in and fucked things up, so now we’d better stay there and fix it, and;
  3. currently I think the quickest way to fix it might be to get the fuck out since we are so unwanted.

It is a shame that this war seems to be causing more problems than it solved, but that kind of stuff happens when decisions are made for no good reason.

1: I think the word ‘reasonable’ is used incorrectly. Animal behavior seems much more reasonable than human behavior. They mostly kill each other for food. They mostly don’t kill their same species. They mostly don’t torture their same species. I’m sure there are exceptions but for the most part, that seems quite reasonable to me. Yet, if animal behavior is ‘unreasonable,’ then I’m going to start learning from them. Unreason might be the way to go.2

2: My assumptions regarding the definition of reason are shallow, but I am trying to use the word as I think it is most commonly used. That is, I’m not using the academically examined, philosophically challenged, and treatise-heavy dissection of what the word ‘reason’ means. I’m using it like those people who toss out sound bites saying ‘There is no reason for this kind of behavior!’ Well of course there is a reason, it might just happen to be a no good reason and much of it was probably reasoned through before acting upon it. That version of reason sucks.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Beheading and Torture

  1. Actually, some animals do kill their species.We’ve all heard about how the Praying Mantis female eats the head of her mate. Primates kill primates in battles for mates.etc.
    My opinion is that we’re all wired for survival of the self, survival of the species comes in a very distant second.
    That said, I have no plans to see the beheading video. Someone posted a link to it on a forum I check and I have to say, there’s thing out there that I feel I can live my life without seeing. A beheading is one of them.

  2. patrick, did you not see the I’m sure there are exceptions but for the most part… that i wrote right after I said that stuff?

    The majority of animals don’t kill their own kind with the frequency that we do.

  3. Actually, there’s quite a few:
    Praying Mantises
    Black widow spiders
    Lions,
    Sharks
    Chimpanzees
    Gerbils
    Hampsters
    etc.

    Shoot, Cats will kill other Cats, Dogs other Dogs.
    I agree with you, none are with the frequency of humans (except maybe the Mantis. Imagine killing your partner everytime you got laid). But killing your own species is def. not in any way constrained to just our species.

  4. i agree….we need to get the hell out of there. whats happened besides having hundreds of americans die for no reason and gas prices go way up? there is no good reason for us to be there. john kerry in 2004!

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