Friday, September 08, 2017

Blaise Pascal on War

I saw this quote by Reddit user noplusnoequalsno by scientist Blaise Pascal, and thought it described my views of nationalism and patriotic motivations for war pretty well.

"Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should have the right to kill me because he lives on other sides of the water, and because his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have none with him?" - Blaise Pascal

The patriotic sentiment was never strong in me, even when I was younger. My preference is to label myself as a living being, first & foremost. Everything else is just tribal politics.

I do appreciate the fact that I live in a relatively developed country with a degree of freedom, and access to goods & services. However, the idea that we should be willing to put our lives on the line for war against another country, is cultural brainwashing. Nationalist wars (especially invasions & wars of conquest) rarely benefit anyone except the wealthy sociopaths who profit off conflict and human misery.

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