In the original proportionality article I indicated that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump displays many of the traits of disproportionate punishment that plague our society and is detrimental to our society.
But I never actually explained that point, and while the point may be implied from the article it requires explicit explanation as well.
Perhaps, I would have left it at an implied explanation had not the mass murder occurred in Orlando at a gay bar. As the information comes in a specific point came to light.
Apparently, the father of the killer indicates that the son’s terrorist mass murder may have been the result of seeing two gay men kiss.
What is the proportional response – assuming you don’t accept gay men kissing, to two gay men kissing?
Well, you could ignore it. You could kiss a member of the opposite sex. You could say out loud “oh gross” (probably not the best choice).
Any of the above choices would have been far better than to plan to kill dozens of people.
Can you imagine? The units of harm from two gay people kissing is zero because it is not illegal. The units of harm for killing a single person is 10,000,000 X 50 people that he killed.
Perhaps, the real story is more complex than that. The motives for murder – even mass murder may be complex or simple.
Considering, that the father can say:
And then say:
Mateen said he didn’t know what motivated his son to target the partygoers in Pulse, a gay club.
–> The father doesn’t recognize the inherent paradox in his statements. His son simply replaced god in the statement “God will punish those involved in homosexuality” with his own name.
What Seddique doesn’t realize is that children are very good at learning who we are. They take what we the parents are and want to improve upon it – to show that they are in fact better than their parents. It doesn’t work like this with everyone. However, the more masculine dominated, the more pressure upon the male children to step up, to improve their world (in whatever way they believe will improve their world – through violence reducing the number of homosexuals in the world, in this case) – the more this need to show previous generations – this is how it is done.
Back to Donald Trump. Echoes of the past are in Donald Trump. President Bush’s “You are either with us or against us” mentality carried to much greater extremes.
Some people from Mexico that come to the US are bad people. Therefore all people from Mexico are bad people. So, we will build a wall to stop the Mexicans from entering the United States of America.
Walls, surrounding the land of the free (one can easily envision) where once walls and everything they stood for in Berlin. “Tear this wall down!” Ronald Reagan said. He didn’t talk about building walls.
Proportionality. Donald Trump easily blames an entire people for the actions of a small part of the population. Just as there is a small part of the native United States of America population that do bad things – but you can’t throw all of your own people in jail – as hard as it seems that our government is trying (war on drugs, criminalizing people with simple fines that once they are expired you get a free go to jail card, etc).
While there are millions of people in the country of Mexico it isn’t a large enough population to blame for the actions of a few.
There is terrorism. There isn’t any question of that. There are people trying to get away from terrorism. The vast number of people who are both the terrorists and trying to get away from the terrorists are of the same religion – Islam.
This is a simple case of “is a” relationship.
Are all terrorists Islamic? No.
Are all followers of Islam terrorists? No.
Therefore, we cannot come to the conclusion that all terrorists are members of the Islamic faith.
However, according to Trump, all 1.n billion people who are members of the Islamic faith should be prohibited from our country because some (but not all) terrorists are Islamic.
Now, I’m not some apologist for Islam. I think there are a lot of things wrong with large segments of the Islamic population. Women’s rights (or the lack thereof), treatment of homosexuals (execution), treatment of apostates (again execution), allowing/encouraging cultural behaviors such as FGM.
I remember 9/11 and people in other countries celebrating the destruction of the twin towers. This is highly disturbing to me. It isn’t like a war victory (no one was at war). It wasn’t like there were warriors of terrible might that were destroyed (in fact it was common working citizens of a great many countries that were killed).
I also have problems with taking care of suicide bombers families, suicide bombing in general, and suicide bombers attacking non-military targets. These things based on surveys have been for a long time accepted and celebrated practices.
All of which I consider to be highly immoral and unethical.
The disturbing similarities of Saudi Arabia and the ISIS ruled regions of Iraq and Syria definitely cause me to pause and wonder how it is that we consider one our friend and not the other, or one our enemy and not the other. It definitely causes me to be hopeful about new energy sources, green energy sources, and non-middle eastern oil dependent energy sources – to remove this political protection racket for Saudi Arabia. People do not cease to hate you because you do business with them and they make lots of money. They just use the money they make off of you to plan your demise.
I do have concerns with Islamic people coming in to Western countries and not accepting the culture they now live. I do have concerns that while the initial generations of Islamic people moving in to the US and other Western nations are free and love their new countries – their children seem to hate their own birth people (such as the attacker in Orlando).
Even with all this, a person is an individual. There are billions of individuals that are members of homo sapiens sapiens. Just because some perform horribly immoral actions, doesn’t mean the species can never be trusted. Just because some Christians take their religion seriously enough to kill, or Muslims, or Jews, or Buddhists, or atheists or whatever – doesn’t mean the whole batch in bad.
The world isn’t simple. Banning one group of people won’t make your people safe.
It took a long time for the English and the IRA to come to terms. Similar activities happened between them, with many innocent people dying. What is happening now isn’t something special, or something that hasn’t happened before.
What matters is how we deal with these issues, how we deal with people as individuals, and how we as a species move forward in to the future.
A future I hope will be filled with incredible things, people doing what we consider to be miraculous activities, and humanity as a species living long and prospering.