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Patriotism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTs6a0ORdQU&feature=player_embedded

This video is in favor of the US Armed Forces.

Some would say it is a bad video because "I like my country" is a symmetrical argument. Other people in other countries use the same kind of argument, but with a different conclusion.

But they are missing something: the US armed forces is good. There are asymmetries, e.g. its exceptionally humane treatment of prisoners, its exceptional skill, and its exceptional efforts to avoid collateral damage.

How can they miss these things? There is no shortage of information about them. To say that someone is using a really bad argument, when no argument is specified and plenty of correct arguments are well known, is dishonest.

The people who enjoy this video knows the USAF is not the same as other militaries. (And they would readily agree that certain specific militaries come close in some ways, and perhaps are even superior in regards to certain specific traits. Meanwhile most militaries are much, much worse.) They aren't blind patriots but rational ones.

Some people might still press on. The video should give those good arguments, they'd insist. It should be more educational. This argument has a certain symmetry to it. It applies equally well to all other kinds of fan videos, e.g. sports fan videos, anime fan videos, and movie fan videos. Why should movie goers be allowed to enjoy a movie without always trying to educate and argue about why it's a good movie? Why are sports fans allowed to hold up signs and cheer for their team without giving any arguments? To say that being a fan of the military is bad because fans are bad, but that being a fan of a sport is not bad in the same way, is a very bad argument.

Elliot Temple on December 14, 2009

Comments (2)

Being a fan of a sports team is different. Sports teams don't have as much importance, so whether they actually are objectively good or bad is less important.

JDT at 4:45 AM on January 2, 2010 | #1946

The U.S. Military is Evil Incarnate

Tell me, how many people have we killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001? Perhaps two million? And how many of those people were we targeting? And of those we were targeting, what exactly was it about them that made their deaths necessary? That they hate our country? Who wouldn't hate an invader? Who wouldn't hate the world's only hyperpower, which uses far more than its fair share of resources, and gets away with it thanks to its military, which is better financed than most of the rest of the world's militaries combined?

Joel Rosenblum at 8:49 PM on January 3, 2010 | #1947

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)