Flawed Logic

This entry is part 39 of 62 in the series 2010

There is much flawed logic in circulation around the cause of the 911 attack.  Here is a response I made to Chris Nemelka who represents many who believe as he does.

Using an analogy illustrating the problem that led to the 911 attack he says:
“Little children playing in a sandbox where some take a lot more sand than the others and build a huge sandcastle.  Those who don’t have enough sand to build their own sandcastle get upset at those who took their sand.  To get back at them, those with less rushed over to the sandcastle and kicked it over.”

It is amazing how many flaws are represented in so few words.

First, he presents the idea that sand, which obviously represents raw materials and resources, are very limited. The picture he paints is of a sandbox with a very limited amount of sand, and the selfish kids take most of it not leaving the other kids with enough to make their own castles.  Since this is seen as unfair the deprived kids feel justified in kicking over the sandcastle of industrious kids.

This picture is completely flawed.  As far as our needs are concerned the resources needed by humans are virtually unlimited and if the day ever comes that we have a shortage of one thing – it can be replaced by another.  A century ago the concern was that we had a shortage of whale oil but human innovation replaced this with petroleum.  Currently, we have enough oil resources for hundreds of years (if we include all sources), but we have the current technology to replace this as an energy source with the next 50 years.  If we did nothing but use breeder reactors to recycle our current nuclear waste we could power our country for the next 1000 years on this alone.

Then there are a half dozen other sources that could do the same, such as Helium3 that could be mined from the moon or nuclear fusion.

As far as power goes, the resources (sand supply) are completely unlimited and if you have all the power you need then all other resources become unlimited.

Short on water?  With unlimited power we can filter ocean water if necessary and transport it to wherever it is needed. We even have the technology to take it out of the air.

Short on copper?  With unlimited power we can go miles under the earth and look for it.  Keep in mind that it is 3963 miles to the earth’s core so two miles deep is almost nothing by comparison.

Correction to flaw #1.  There is plenty of sand (resources).

The second flaw is he says the castle builders just “took their sand.”  This just hasn’t been the case.  The Mideast countries wherein lies most of the support for terrorists and the 911 devastation have lots of resources, especially in the form of oil.  Did we take their oil from them?  No.  They  voluntarily offer it for sale and we purchase it from them.  Then we use the power generated from this oil to generate wealth. Saudi Arabia, Iran and other commodity rich nations could do the same, but their leaders make sure the wealth is shared by the elite and the common people go without.  You can’t blame the U.S., Japan and England for that.  Without the purchasing of oil by the rich nations the poverty of the Mideast countries would be much greater.

Correction to flaw #2
We do not take their sand (commodities) but purchase them and in doing this help their economies.  Poverty persists for the common people because of corrupt leaders.

The third flaw is the implication that we suffered the 911 attack because poor and deprived people are mad at us.

Correction to flaw #3

Osama Bin Laden was a multi millionaire who has never suffered through poverty.  The rest of the hijackers were also well-educated and very well off financially.  These guys were not mad at us because they were deprived, but because of a flawed ideology.

Fourthly, he tells us we are all like spoiled and selfish little children.

Correction to flaw #4
What is being like a spoiled brat is to attack other nations or people because they have achieved more than you and because they believe differently than yourself.  The 911 hijackers attacked because they feel our belief system must be replaced by their own by whatever means possible. If we left them completely alone and didn’t have anything to do with their oil they would hate us even more for not buying from them.

Every nation and belief system would like to see others adopt their ways, but most of them do not resort to such primitive means as did the 911 attackers.

Conclusion:  The problem has nothing to do with a lack of sand or one group taking and hoarding it all.  It has everything to do with too strong of an attachment to a belief system and the willingness to resort to unjust violence to promote it.

Copyright 2010 by J J Dewey

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