Thursday, December 15, 2005

oh, the excitment of it all

Wow. Never in my life have I been accused of being a "materialist" or of valuing money over human life (I have, I admit, been accused of being either a marxist or a commie, but those ain't true accusations either). And yet a post about giving money to help free people from bonded servitude, forced prostitution, etc., and thost being issues that are so close to our Lord's heart, has led to those claims. Yes, sir, the internet is a wild and crazy thing.

So let's read this together and very carefully: The reason I have the "cost of war" counter is because it is good to know 1)how much your government is spending on anything, and 2)I find it interesting to see what that money (money that we have come up with from where?) could have funded instead of war. The point being that as of the writing of this post, that same money could have fully funded global anti-hunger campaigns for 9, count 'em, NINE years. Roughtly 29 THOUSAND children die EVERY DAY from hunger related issues. If you do the math, even just a quick estimate, you will find that over 9 years, that's quite a few lives that could be saved. The interesting thing is that we, as a nation, don't fund the campaings for 9 years. Because we don't have the money. But the counter over there to the right shows that we can come up with the money when we really want to. You do the math. That's all I'm saying.

I am ashamed of myself for even feeding into this discussion. Pointless, stupid, or rude comments will be deleted. Intelligent conversation will be applauded. Enjoy, kids.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

you feed into it b/c you are the only one that reads this silly blog so you want to feel like others do.

you have a skewed definition of are a materialist because you seem to value 100 lives above 10 is all about the #'s for you - you quantify persons...that is do it in the interest of efficiency, much like adolf and his gas chambers...

by the the way, it is false "dichotomy" not false "dilemna" - you sound like an idiot

not tell me i sound like an idiot when i spell words wrong...

4:32 PM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger Garland said...


Bravo! I say, etc. I find it shocking and appalling to be called a "marxist" and a "commi" which indeed, I am so far from being. On the other hand, I would not especially consider myself to be whatever its opposite is (Republican?). I have always thought of myself as a conservative, but not in a reactionary way, but in a Chestertonian (Gilbert Keith, that is) sort of way. Progress for the sake of progress is not progress and just because a bunch of people thought a certain way a millenia (or two) ago that does not invalidate that way of thinking.

Oh, wait, what does this have to do with the post? The war in Iraq is clearly costing the United States a lot of money. And a lot of American deaths, which Americans will not tolerate. $225+ billion dollars by the meter at right is not an amount of money that can be pooled together by everyone digging through their couches. What are we getting for these costs? Security? Justice? Peace? Throughout the world, or just on our own borders?

But I don't think that expediency is itself a good argument. Expediency is the logic of the terrorists, whom we are fighting and can probably never beat, because there will always be people who think that way.

To abridge this, I think that your counter reminds us that there are no easy answers to any of these problems. We can't feed the hungry if our borders are insecure. But why are we in Iraq and not in Sudan? Thousands (millions?) of Christians are dying at the hands of the northern Sudanese Muslims, but we (the US) are not intervening.

If the war in Iraq could be ended overnight and the US could withdraw without subjecting Iraq and possibly the rest of the Middle East instantly to chaos and lawlessness, than I am sure that we would do that. But we can't now.

I would also add that 1) Saddam Hussein was a very evil person and I am glad that he is out of power; 2) Garland is a family name and I am sorry that so many people find it objectionable. My first name is Timothy. People are welcome to call me that, if they prefer. I am not trying to hide my identity by any means; 3) I have family and friends who are Canadian, so I don't think that all Canadians are represented by their governments actions, just like all Americans are not. If Americans are particularly bad at lumping Canadians into a giant undifferentiated lump, I think it is regrettable, for whatever that is worth.

5:00 PM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger metafiz said...

i published anonymous's comment here because i found it funny. s/he seems to confuse materialism with utilitarianism. the former is an ontological claim about the substance of reality, and the latter is a claim about how we should discern morality. i assume mr. or ms. a. nonymous means the latter when they say the former.

the false dilemma comment came from someone in a now deleted comment trying to back me in a corner with a question phrased to give the illusion that there were only two options available, neither one particularily satisfying. of course, there were more than two options. so by asking the question, the poster was committing the fallacy of the false dilemma (which is also sometimes referred to as a false dichotomy).

i assure you, you don't sound like an idiot because you spell things wrong...

7:40 PM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger metafiz said...


for what it's worth, i have always thought of you as quite chestertonian.

i agree about iraq. i think to cut and run now would be a big mistake, and much worse things would happen if we were to do that. though perhaps there is another solution, one that gets "the u.s." out of there, and puts a multi-national police force in, headed up by muslim arabs. that would, i think, at least help because it would be harder for the terrorists to frame it as the infidel west coming in to take over. i also think we need to step up the humanitarian aid. that would go a long way in the "hearts and minds" campaign.

i agree. what is happening in sudan is horrible. why are we not there? that's quite an example of a humanitarian crisis on par, i would think, with saddam.

7:45 PM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger Garland said...

If I continue at my present rate of eating not only will I think like Chesterton, I'll look like him, too. In fact, I think that I owe my awareness of Chesterton to you but also, (and if you don't want to take credit for this, I understand) from that awareness to my current status as standing on the threshold of Rome.

Your suggestion about a multi-national arab police force sounds like a good idea but I wonder. For one thing, isn't there that whole Sunni vs. Shiite thing? And I think that the US is afraid of getting another Iran--a totalitarian, militantly Islamist, anti-American government, that is also sitting on an enormous untapped oil reserve. Also, any multinational force would almost defacto be supported by the US financially or materially, and so the difference in the mind of whomever we are fighting would be nil.

While I think that the Bush administrations intentions were in fact sincere in their desire for a "free" democratic Iraq that would have rule of law instead of the terror of Saddam, the oil is clearly a factor that makes Iraq different from Sudan. I don't think that the Sudanese have anything to offer us in terms of natural resources. Bush & Co. are not interested in making any altruistic moves here.

Please give your best to Mrs. Metafiz. I am really sorry that I missed her art open house. I got overbooked. However, if y'all are game, we should get together and "hang out" or whatever one calls socializing as one gets higher and higher in one's twenties.

I must say, a most superior blog, this.

8:20 PM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger metafiz said...

I think when the Christmas season dies down a bit, I'd be up for some "hanging out".

I think you are probalby right in pointing out the danger of another Iran. I don't think there are any easy answers, and certainly not any that I see that are both pragmatic and in keeping with what I see (and I know this is a debatable claim) as the Christian call to nonviolence.

8:02 AM, December 16, 2005  
Blogger liam said...

wow. I love you metafiz. I read and support your blog

1:12 AM, December 17, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home