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Old June 3 2012, 05:10 PM   #48
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Re: The Dominion War brought out the worst in Starfleet

naverhtrad wrote: View Post
Okay, let's break this down a bit...

Edit_XYZ wrote:
Also - this criterion is FAR less accurate than the number/intensity of atrocities, for it puts the equal sign between wars/genocides of vastly different scale, vastly different cost in human suffering and death.
But isn't that the point, though? If we are talking about the infliction of violence, doesn't the absolute number of deaths and displacements... well, matter, more than the technology used or the scale of the conflict? The enormity of what the Nazis did shouldn't be downplayed by saying, 'well, sure they were bad, but they had gas chambers, so it was easier for them to kill - ergo they weren't as bad as An Lushan'.

Think about 'A Taste of Armageddon', for example. Even though the inhabitants of Eminiar VII and Vendikar were conducting a war by bloodless and 'civilised' means, they were still killing real people in enormous numbers and had no means of stopping themselves until Kirk destroyed their simulators.

Turning them into proportions of the entire world population just adds a completely unnecessary level of abstraction, in my thinking.
I DID analyze history in absolute numbers - which do matter.

And then I analyzed it in percentage to the total population - which is also highly relevant in establishing the savagery of an era (the chance of being killed by war/etc of a random person; how much humans were willing to kill each other until they said 'That's enough'; etc):

Without the numbers/percentages you get nowhere - you essentially refuse to subject your affirmations to the test of historical facts. Numbers are necessary for any alalysis that claims to be even half-way objective.

What I did NOT analyze was the technology used, how 'sanitized' the killing was.
Regarding this - there is a difference in savagery/sociopathy between killing people with video-game-like means and maiming and killing them by hitting them with a bat until their heads cave in.

Edit_XYZ wrote:
The concept of peace as the normal state and war as the exception is a modern invention. In the past, war was the normal state and peace, merely a transitory interval between wars.

And only by using such immense generalizations can it equate the XX century to the previous ones, when it comes to atrocities.
Speaking of immense generalisations, it seems to me that it takes immense generalisations by necessity to compare the state of the world in any one century to the state of the world in any other.
Immense? Not really, when it comes to wars/atrocoties/etc and you use the actual numbers.

The generalisation MacLeod proposes, on the other hand, IS immense - and completely unnecessary - for the reason I already outlined in my previous post and you selectively didn't quote.

And you seem to work hard just to exclude affirmations about war/atrocity/etc from any way of verifying them (much of your post so far was dedicated to excluding any means of testing them: ~don't use numbers/percentages, generalisations are too large, etc).

And the first sentence is simply not true. The Concert of Vienna was a concerted effort to create a lasting peace in Europe in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars - and it worked, spectacularly, for thirty years. Even if massive death and suffering was going on elsewhere in the world (no differently than the XX century, really), and even if there were sporadic armed uprisings in the European nations during this time, no European country warred against another between 1815 and 1848. Peace was the normal state of affairs at this time.
The Concert of Vienna was in the first part of the XIX century; its architects were influenced by enlightenment philosophy (they were conservatists, a small tweaking of enlightenment humanism) - which, together with scientific advance, are the root reasons/causes for the XX century being the most peaceful in history (as I already said, followed by the XIX century).

Why don't you take a look at how the concepts of war and peace were viewed before enlightenment philosophy took hold?: war was regarded as the normal state of affairs and peace as an anomaly.

Also, during the XX century, war/etc decreased globally, not just in Europe. About Europe - the longest period of peace in history was from ~1945 to the present, surpassing the two intervals from the XIX century.
"Let truth and falsehood grapple ... Truth is strong" - John Milton

Last edited by Edit_XYZ; June 3 2012 at 05:58 PM.
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