Field of Science

No book is worth even one life

This morning I heard people arguing on NPR that, yes, the killing of 12 UN officials by an Afghan mob is horrible, but must be seen int he light of Pastor Terry Jones burning the Qur'an. Then I got angry.

12 UN officials lost their lives because of a book burning they had nothing to do with. I must take the book burning into consideration because... what? Because that's the kind of reverence we have for scripture? Fuck off!

Quoting PZ Myers, who says it right:
Don't even try to pull out a scale and toss a copy of the Koran on one side and the life of a single human being on the other — the comparison is obscene. Do not try to tell me that some people are 'moderates' when they tolerate or even support and applaud war and death and murder for any cause, whether it is oil, or getting even, or defending the honor of wood pulp and ink.
Pastor Terry Jones is an idiot. A big one. The Afghan mob that killed 12 people have blood on their hands, and that is just much, much worse.

I was not in favor of starting a war in Afghanistan because of terrorists attacking the US. I am in favor of getting out of Afghanistan today.


  1. Damn right. If an angry mob of Americans were to storm a mosque and kill 12 Muslims, would we argue that it should be seen in the light of the recent Afghanistan attack?

    I wonder how much of an unconscious racism drives this. If Westerners get really angry and commit murder, they are still responsibly for murder, no matter how angry they are. But if those primitive mountain people get really angry and commit murder, well, they couldn't help it! You don't take a dog's food dish away while he is eating, and you don't burn a brown person's holy book. Right? I have to wonder if subconsciously that's the logic... that people in the developing world should not be treated as adults...

  2. Well, it's got to be something that makes people talk about murder and book burnings in the same sentence.

    I do think there is nothing wrong with trying to understand why people do what they do (and that's not the same as justification, which people easily confuse). So they say, perhaps, that yes, murder is bad (also, we're very used to it by now), but the explanation is partly that some idiotic pastor in Florida finally chose to burn a book, and we all knew that would anger the "primitives" .

    That's as far as I can go with that, though.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS