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SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  06:21:28  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote

So Im trying to determine if these arson wildfires in OZ should be counted as terrorism for the contest. I would like to count them however there are numerous fires, some of which probably are not arson and some of which may have been set independently or accidentally.

As of right now Im thinking they will have to be excluded unless hard data can be found...

Any suggestions on how I should handle this?


15831 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  07:47:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not all mass murder is terrorism, even when it terrorizes. I think the fires in Australia are much like those that occur every couple of years in California, in that there is first a very bad fire season in terms of fuel and aridity, and then humans often deliberately or negligently spark the blazes. Of course, the severity this year in Oz has been worse than any wildfire I have heard of.

To be terrorism, I do think that factors other than simply deliberate cause and mass death, such as political or ideological goals and intention to achieve those goals through terror, need to be present. Those factors may indeed be involved, but I don't think that's yet known.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 02/09/2009 07:48:44
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SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  08:10:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah I think we've had a discussion before about what exactly contitutes terrorism, if I remember correctly we did not reach a consensus...

Webster has this ambiguous description,

: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

I think the coercion part is what would exclude most arsons, however maybe some nefarious land developer is trying to get cheap land or something...(mysterious music plays)

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Evil Skeptic

13459 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2009 :  10:25:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fires are started by nutballs who want attention, but the intent is not politically motivated. I think they should be seen more in terms of an abnormal psychology that leads to a compulsive behavior. Sure, the outcome looks and feels the same, but most terrorist acts have some kind of agenda driving them.

Terrorists usually take responsibility for the mayhem as a way to promote a cause. Otherwise, what's the point? The fire starter does not adversities and seems content with seeing their "creation" make the evening the news. (There are examples of fire starters sending notes to law enforcement agencies with the basic theme of "catch me if you can". But again, that sort of thing fits with a narcissistic personality that sees law enforcement as a bunch of bumbling idiots that he can get the better of.)

To my thinking, pushing an agenda in the most terrible way is what makes a for a terrorist. And that agenda is something more than some narcissists need for attention.

So no, I don't consider fire starters as terrorists. I see them as seriously disturbed individuals who act out (often driven by a compulsion that even they don't always understand) by starting fires.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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