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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