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Re: GG: War paragraph

	I'm sorry to be jumping in late on this, but an avalanche of 
homework has made me get quite behind on my reading of the list.  I have 
read GG's opinions on war before and I have always felt that this was a 
subject on which he needed severe re-education.  I believe he and I would 
have quite an argument going on this if he were here to discuss it.  
Basically, I think his ideas about mechanised warfare being more moral 
are misguided at best and dangerous at worst.  As an undergraduate I took 
a seminar in Social Psychology on the Psychology of Evil.  Since it was a 
social psych course, we mainly focussed on the Holocaust, My Lai, and 
other communal examples of evil.  Naturally, we started with Milgram's 
obedience to authority studies.  For those of you who are not familiar 
with Milgram, I will give a brief synopsis.  
	In order to try to understand how Hitler got people to 
participate in the Holocaust, Stanley Milgram set up an experiment to see 
how far people would go in hurting another person when told to do so by 
an authority.  He set up a situation in which people believed they were 
delivering electric shocks of increasing intensity to another volunteer 
in the experiment.  While they were doing this they heard a recording of 
the person begging to be released, complaining of pain and of suffering 
from a heart condition which then descends to banging on the wall 
followed by an ominous silence.  Even with all these cues to the fact 
that they were doing irrepairable(SP?) harm to the person, the majority 
of Milgram's participants followed the instructions of the authority 
figure, the scientist in charge of the bogus experiment, and gave a full 
series of increasingly intense shocks past the point at which the machine 
was labelled "Danger XXX".  In an earlier version, where Milgram did not 
include any sound effects, ALL the participants went through the full 
course of shocks.  
	After getting these results, Milgram tried several variations on 
the experiment trying to find situations that would lead the participants 
to rebel.  One of the factors he varied was the proximity of the victim. 
He found that one of only conditions under which  most of the subjects 
rebelled was one in which the actor playing the victim was physically in 
the room, sitting next to them and they had to hold the persons hand onto 
the shock plate to make sure they recieved the shock.
	By now you're wondering why I am telling you all this.  This 
digression was to make it plain to you that a real physical experience of 
the pain one is causing another person is one of the only ways to keep 
people from blindly committing atrocities.  Gould doesn't seem to 
have a problem with the fact that mechanized warfare has statistically 
higher casualties.  I, however, do and I feel that distancing ourselves 
from the biological reality of warfare as he suggests we do is one of the 
most reckless and immoral things we can do because it will produce more 
suffering, more death, more atrocities and more holocausts.  

	Thank you for letting me sound off on what I have always found 
the most reprehensible element of Gould's thought.  It's good to discuss 
his warts now and then.

Janet T. O'Keefe

"Some of us are cursed with brains like fly paper.  Stuck to it is an 
enormous amount of miscellaneous information - most of it useless."