posted on Aug, 18 2012 @ 05:45 PM
Excellent OP and a very difficult question to answer.
Personally ( nobody has ever bothered to try to table this issue with me - even through mind numbingly repetitive debate ) I do not like the term
"terrorist", or any variant of it, to begin with. The very terminology seems engineered ( or we've been conditioned thusly ) to be visceral and to
generate a very precise emotional reaction. It's lynch mob psychology - a trigger for mass hysteria.
Having said that - when confronted with some of the things man ( or men ) are capable of doing in the name of such trivial differences as skin color,
or how we pray? I simply cannot find words to express myself. Thus I defer to the much hated standard in some cases.... terror.
Much like the term "hate crime" this issue is clouded by individual interpretation. Americans hear "terrorism" and we all almost immediately think
of September 11. I'm sure that other countries all have their own personal reference points and immediate associations. So just saying "terrorist"
is likely to put many of us on different pages - right from the start. This is problematic - as we cannot find accord on an issue if the very issue,
itself, is not well defined.
Personally I look at it through the lens of self-interest ( preservation of self, family, community, culture ) - as I'm sure we all do. Unfortunately
the world is such that the interests of my culture might directly clash with the interests of yours. And, even if they don't actually clash, per say,
you can always find an extremist - on any side of a difference - who is willing to create a reason to clash from whole cloth. So, since self ( empathy
) cannot solve the issue, I then defer to logic. And logic says "The lesser of two evils is rational".
And this immediately becomes problematic due to mans propensity for hyperbole and narcissism. I might, for example, say that invading Iraq was
the lesser of two evils ( this is not actually my personal opinion - just a talking point ) but a child in an Iraqi village that is being carpet
bombed would not agree with me any more than I'd agree if foreign soldiers were marching down my street.
This means I have to find a new paradigm from which to think because both emotion and logic have failed to be mutually beneficial here.
I propose that, ultimately, it comes down to personal accountability. Not National identity. Not patriotism. Not ideology. Not conviction, religious
or otherwise, but actual, honest to goodness, one on one, personal choice. We simply have to come to agreement on a single issue and the matter
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Until we can achieve that sort of paradigm? Well this entire topic is not only vitriolic and polarizing.... It is also a moot discussion. As long as
we see others as "different" or "lesser" - it's all pointless as we'll always find rationales and excuses for improper action.
Just my thoughts.