2005 October 28 Friday
President Of Iran Calls For Destruction Of Israel

Wannabe nuclear power Iran wants destruction of existing nuclear power Israel.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Wednesday that Israel is a ``disgraceful blot'' that should be ``wiped off the map'' - fiery words that Washington said underscores its concern over Iran's nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad's speech to thousands of students at a ``World without Zionism'' conference set a hard-line foreign policy course sharply at odds with that of his moderate predecessor, echoing the sentiments of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution.

But would future Iranian leaders try to use their own nukes to destroy Israel? Or would they hide behind the protection of their nukes to allow them to step up efforts to support terrorists against Israel? What would a nuclear Iran do? Or, rather, what will a nuclear Iran do?

Zionist regime, hundreds year war, blah blah blah.

"The establishment of Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world," Mr. Ahmadinejad said, the news agency reported. "The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land."

Referring to comments by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, Mr. Admadinejad said, "As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

He probably believes what he's saying.

Don't go signing treaties with Israel or righteous Muslims will overthrow your government.

Mr Ahmadinejad warned leaders of Muslim nations who recognised the state of Israel that they "face the wrath of their own people".

He added: "Anyone who signs a treaty which recognises the entity of Israel means he has signed the surrender of the Muslim world."

Remember the Cold War where the opposition adhered to a ridiculous secular ideology based on glaringly huge wrong assumptions about human nature? That was no fun at all. There's seemingly no limit to the delusions that humans will jump on and believe in. Will genetic engineering to raise IQs make this problem any less? Surely, conventional religiosity will decline and with it a lot of the enthusiasms for jihad that we see among some true Muslim believers. At the same time, knowledge about human nature will become so detailed that a lot of ideologies will become provably wrong just using neuroscience and genetics. But will smart people start dreaming up very dangerous ideologies that suck in other smart people even once the old myths fall before the advance of science?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 October 28 10:00 AM  MidEast Iran


Comments
Sal said at October 28, 2005 10:33 AM:

"the old myths fall before the advance of science?" the whole premise is laughable. Every civilization rests on metaphysical postulates. Science has proven that the premise of human equality is false. Does that mean slavery ought to be reintroduced so that the strong can claim what is naturally theirs.

Randall Parker said at October 28, 2005 10:36 AM:

Sal,

Slavery is not cost effective.

Sal said at October 28, 2005 11:21 AM:

Slavery was profitable.

The facts:

http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/stat.html

Sal said at October 28, 2005 11:21 AM:

Slavery was profitable.

The facts:

http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/stat.html

Slavery continues in parts of Africa and west asia because it is profitable.

Randall Parker said at October 28, 2005 11:49 AM:

Sal,

Yes, slavery was profitable. Emphasis on past tense.

Randall Parker said at October 28, 2005 11:50 AM:

Africa: Yes, slavery is more likely to be profitable in a primitive low capitalization economy.

Invisible Scientist said at October 28, 2005 12:56 PM:

Randall Parker asked:
"At the same time, knowledge about human nature will become so detailed that a lot of ideologies will become provably wrong just using neuroscience and genetics. But will smart people start dreaming up very dangerous ideologies that suck in other smart people even once the old myths fall before the advance of science?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Newton was a fundamentalist religious physicist, astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, economist, and financier. I have met people with IQ scores at least 160, who have incredibly absurd metaphysical beliefs, which lead me to believe that the pure intelligence can actually be subverted to serve psychological needs that can be met by inventing unfounded meta-something beliefs. So the short answer to your question, is an emphatic yes: in the 21st century, the wars will be religious wars. There will be a lot of mysterious cults who will want power (P!=R*I^2)

Sal said at October 28, 2005 2:24 PM:

Africa: Yes, slavery is more likely to be profitable in a primitive low capitalization economy.

The russian mafia who traffick in eastern european women do not think it unprofitable.

Randall Parker said at October 28, 2005 2:33 PM:

Sal,

So then why aren't the Russian mafia trafficking in medical doctors, engineers, and computer programmers? The status of slave would tend to be a disincentive to get into those occupations and slave workers in those occupations would be much less productive than free workers.

To put in aother way: A slave economy is going to be less productive than a free market economy.

Marvin said at October 28, 2005 4:06 PM:

Smart is not the same as wise. There are a lot of paranoid nuts with high IQs wandering around the world.

That isn't much of a problem in the muslim world, of course, else the world would have been destroyed by all manner of weapons of mass destruction long ago. Paranoid nuts, yes. High IQs, no. Praise be.

Invisible Scientist said at October 28, 2005 4:10 PM:

Randall Parker wrote:
---------------------------------------------
"So then why aren't the Russian mafia trafficking in medical doctors, engineers, and computer programmers? The status of slave would tend to be a disincentive to get into those occupations and slave workers in those occupations would be much less productive than free workers.
To put in aother way: A slave economy is going to be less productive than a free market economy."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The reason the Russian mafia organizations are not trafficing medical doctors, scientists and engineers, is because
so far they don't have the technology to make such skilled individuals work as slaves in a cost-effective manner.
But this does not mean that in 30 years there won't be drugs and other new methods to make intelligent workers as
slaves. For example, they might inject these kidnapped scientists with a deadly chemical whose antidode is only available to the mafia bosses, and so unless these victims deliver the required high skill contract on time (a new weapon, a software package, etc), they will die in a terrible way.

But seriously, if there is an authoritarian world government in the future, after 30 years, it will almost certainly be possible to subjugate and enslave even artists and scientist to do VERY creative work in order for these victims to stay alive... Believe me, this can be done...

Hugh Angell said at October 28, 2005 6:36 PM:

I thought this most important topic was about Iran and its thuggish government but maybe
not.

Peer pressure is a powerful thing. I doubt Galileo or Copernicus were the only men in
Europe who had some ideas that did not conform to Catholic ideology. Having an IQ of 160
does not make one a 'better' person, it might only make one aware of how horrible a person
one is. That fate might escape someone with a more animalistic mindset. I doubt a guard at
Auschwitz worried too much about what he had to do but the Commandant? He might have had a
good deal more perspective on what his job was all about.

Iran is a problem however. A damn serious one. Israel is not going to sit back and wait to
see if the new thug in chief means what he says. Therefore the 'international community'
is going to have to bring this regime to heel or Israel is going to do something that will
upset the international 'apple cart'... big time.

This coming month will tell the tale. North Korea and Iran are both on the international
agenda. The Group of Six will meet to see if NK will actually dismantle its putative
atomic arsenal and the IAEA will meet to decide if Iran will be referred to the UNSC
over its violations of the NPT. Serious stuff coming our way and the national media is
more concerned about "Scooter" Libby's 'crime' of dissembling about his role in unmasking
a CIA plot against an incumbent president... of the United States of America.

Stephen said at October 28, 2005 11:40 PM:

Invisible: One of the conclusions I've drawn from the moronic torture stuff being done in our name is that its now clear that no one has developed anything approaching a 'truth serum'. (I know that's not what you're talking about, just vaguely apropos of your comments in general).

Hugh said: I doubt a guard at Auschwitz worried too much about what he had to do but the Commandant?

I think that's mistaking high IQ for high empathy. I've been watching a documentary this week about Auschwitz - none were worried (especially the Commandant who came up with the idea for factory killing). No, I rephrase that, they weren't worried until they figured out that the axis was going to lose.

At the core of arab resentment is Palestine - its so deep that its a meme, and I don't think that any form of peace with the west can be achieved without resolving Palestine first. What happened to Palestine was an injustice and that injustice still resonates throughout the middle east. (I think it was one of the Fauds' who said to the western powers post-ww2, "Sure the west is feeling guilty about what happened to the jews, but that's no reason to compound the error by unilaterally eliminating Palestine from the map - wouldn't it be more just to instead award Austria to the jews?").

Israel has a lot to lose from an Iranian nuke - Israel is a one bomb target because its so small, but Iran could take many hits and still survive. An Israeli associate of mine said to me a couple of days ago that Iran has worked very hard to distribute and build redundancy in to its weapons program, so any pre-emptive attack by Israel would need to be sure it could take out everything - if it were to fail then it would be in the incredibly dangerous position of being in a hot war with Iran at a time when Iran at the same time as Iran is on the eve of producing a nuke.

The western powers who are capable of force projection are all tied up guarding sand dunes in Iraq - no way are they going to be able to do anything of a military nature that is guaranteed to work. In fact, even non-military action is problematic (ie more trade boycotts) because (a) they'd be boycotting oil, and that isn't going to happen; and (b), Iran would simply (and cheaply) start to supply advanced weapons (sniper rifles, manpads etc) to the Iraq 'insurgents' to use against western soldiers.

Finally, if you were running Iran, wouldn't you be doing your damnest to build a nuke? A nuke buys you respect/protection from invasion.

Finally finally, we've assumed that Iran has a weapons program. Yet we know our government is happy to exagerate such things. What if its all Iraq-style propaganda?? As they say, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

noone said at October 29, 2005 3:36 AM:

"Will genetic engineering to raise IQs make this problem any less?"

What is the real probability that genetic engineering will raise IQ's within the next 2 generations?

And even if it does.....

"Surely, conventional religiosity will decline"

"knowledge about human nature will become so detailed that a lot of ideologies will become provably wrong just using neuroscience and genetics. But will smart people start dreaming up very dangerous ideologies that suck in other smart people even once the old myths fall before the advance of science?"

...you've answered your own question.It's all about faith and belief,not empirical fact or else marxism would have died out 50 yrs ago rather 15(and there hasn't been a funeral yet,like Mao and Lenin,they;ll enbalm the corpse and keep worshipping).

Marxism is a clear loser on all fronts,yet our universities are still filled with high IQ marxists and will be for some time.

Genetic IQ engineering won't be a panacea,you'll just have a lot of high IQ zealots making more sophisticated rationalizations to justify their irrational beliefs with pseudo-science and infantile but clever "philosophy".

In other words,business as usual.

Patrick said at October 29, 2005 4:30 AM:

I thought I'd just point out that Iranians are not arabs, and are probably a fair bit smarter.

Secondly, the invasion of Iraq, and total foot licking of North Korea, just serves to make any sensible Iranian want nuclear weapons even more. What someone needs to do is come up with a way where Iran BENEFITS from giving up nukes. (And Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, ....)

Patrick said at October 29, 2005 4:35 AM:

Oh yeah, and Slavery was not cost effective in 1776 (Adam Smith did all the maths, you can find it in his book.) But the western world didnt give up slaves for many decades after that. White slaves in about 1830s, black slaves in 1865 as I'm sure American readers already know.

Cost effective isn't everything. There is a huge ego/social status thing.

Stephen said at October 29, 2005 11:10 PM:

In fact didn't it almost cause another war between Britain and the US? I think Britain was blockading African slave ports and siezing US slave ships??

James Klee said at October 30, 2005 5:17 AM:

I think the widespread belief in the near-term arrival of Strong AI, SENS biological immortality, brain-scan downloads into computers and other evidence-free propositions shows pretty clearly that the religious impulse is alive and well in modern "science" / "rationalist" types.

Marvin said at October 30, 2005 6:39 AM:

Muslims have always been great slave traders and owners and continue to do so today.
A lot of people are ignorant of the fact that the foreign slave trade was banned by the US as of Jan 1, 1808. This was less than 30 years from the victory of the colonies over Britain. British naval ships seized a lot of slave ships of other nations, but most of the slaves brought from Africa to the new world before 1808 were carried on foreign vessels, not US flag ships.

As for the Iranians, people can't help but ask the old question, are they stupid from islam, or are the muslim because they're stupid? Is it something in the water, or something that spills out of the mosque? What makes thems such total idiots? Palestinians especially. Palestinians shoot themselves in the foot and in the genitals with regularity. I used to sympathize with the jerks but they've milked it all out of me.

Randall Parker said at October 30, 2005 9:20 AM:

Marvin,

I think the flow of causality is from genetic stupidity to belief in Islam. Obviously, one has to be born into it as well. But a smarter person is far more likely to realize that the religion is false. Raise the average IQ in the Middle East by about 20 points and embrace of Islam would plummet.

Mind you, I also think will eventually be possible to genetically engineer tendency toward religious belief even among the smart.

Invisible Scientist said at October 30, 2005 9:40 AM:

Randall Parker:
I cannot guarantee that if you raise the IQ of people then religion will plummet automatically. It can also be opposite. Suppose somoeone invents a religion that will guarantee immortality, provided that some very elaborate and mentally very complex rituals are practiced every day (only high IQ people will be able to practice these mental puzzles due to their complexity). Then I can guarantee that there will be fierce competition to obtain every drug in the world in order to raise the IQ so that those who have the IQ can practice these very complex and challenging meditation exercises every day, for the purpose of attaining immortality. Suppose that some Nobel laureate at Harvard discovers that a certain kind of immortality hormone exists, but that in order for the body to create it, a very complicated meditation and a certain religious ritual must be practiced... Hey, and then aura reading hormones may also be speculated, but these will cost extra.

Mthson said at October 30, 2005 4:01 PM:

Re: James Klee: "I think the widespread belief in the near-term arrival of Strong AI, SENS biological immortality, brain-scan downloads into computers and other evidence-free propositions shows pretty clearly that the religious impulse is alive and well in modern "science" / "rationalist" types."
-----------------------
Positions such as regarding SENS as possible in the near term might be critisizable as bullish rather than bearish regarding the rate of scientific progress, but there haven't as yet been any serious scientific challenges to the fundamental feasability of SENS. Being bullish is different from using supernatural forces to explain the world.

Technology Review has taken a critical position on SENS, but its editors found themselves unable to criticize it scientifically, so they've offered 20,000 USD to any working biogerontologist who can seriously challenge SENS. See the TR announcement: http://pontin.trblogs.com/archives/2005/07/the_sens_challe_1.html

blookyzim said at October 31, 2005 6:57 AM:

Randall, I thiink you're being overly opitimisitc about the overlap between between high IQ and believing true things. Most of the 9/11 hijackers seem to have been fairly high IQ types -- at least they weren't stupid -- and bin Laden himself is probably pretty smart. People with high IQs often have the ability to rationalize their false beliefs -- to construct intellectual fortifications around them. Plenty of the devotees of Marxism, for example, were very high IQ types. And yet they continued to cling to an ideology which, as you note, depends on provably false assumptions about human nature.

Randall Parker said at October 31, 2005 7:31 AM:

Blookyzim,

Yes, some high IQ people have religious faith. But the rate of religious faith drops off at higher IQ levels.

As for Bin Laden and company: Some of the Arab terrorists are well educated compared to the average Arab. They were elite compared to the societies they came from. A few might be really smart.

Marxism devotees: That's a much stronger argument. Note, however, it was an ideology dreamt up by an intellectual for other intellectuals. That might represent the pattern for the future. Smart people will develop their own belief systems to have faith in.

I think there will turn out to be alleles that predispose people toward faith-based beliefs. Some high IQ types who carry those alleles will tend to belief false things. Others with more empirical and skeptical personalities will be found to be relatively immune to secular and religious faiths.


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