have wept upon killing a carload of

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
The expression "have wept upon killing" appear to be contradictory to me: If the Iraqi soldiers killed the people, why would the soldiers would weep? I guess that a group of Iraqi soldiers killed the people, then another group of soldiers wept upon them. A wild guess.

Thanks in advance

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Consider the recent conflict in Iraq: If the situation had been reversed, what are the chances that the Iraqi Republican Guard, attempting to execute a regime change on the Potomac, would have taken the same degree of care to minimize civilian casualties?<..................> What are the chances that Iraqi soldiers would have wept upon killing a carload of American civilians at a checkpoint unnecessarily? You should have, in the ledger of your imagination, a mounting column of zeros.

-Sam Harris' The End of Faith
 
  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    He asks “what are the chances” that they would weep. Harris gives his answer in the next sentence: zero. In other words, they would not weep.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The expression "have wept upon killing" appear to be contradictory to me: If the Iraqi soldiers killed the people, why would the soldiers would weep? I guess that a group of Iraqi soldiers killed the people, then another group of soldiers wept upon them. A wild guess.

    Thanks in advance

    *************************
    Consider the recent conflict in Iraq: If the situation had been reversed, what are the chances that the Iraqi Republican Guard, attempting to execute a regime change on the Potomac, would have taken the same degree of care to minimize civilian casualties?<..................> What are the chances that Iraqi soldiers would have wept upon killing a carload of American civilians at a checkpoint unnecessarily? You should have, in the ledger of your imagination, a mounting column of zeros.

    -Sam Harris' The End of Faith
    You say there is little chance that the soldiers would weep - that is the zero referre to in the last phrase. The answer is zero - there is little chance they would weep.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you.

    But the question is who killed the people and who wept upon the people. Are both the same Iraqi soldiers?

    Supposed an American soldier killed an Iraqi, would the soldier weep for him? Normally NO because he has killed an enemy unless it turned out that he found the Iraqi was actually innocent. And if you want to weep for him anyways, why do you want to kill him in the first place? It doesn't hold water. It is ridiculous.
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Nobody wept. Harris was asking a (rhetorical) question about how likely it would be for the soldiers to weep.
    What are the chances that Iraqi soldiers would have wept upon killing a carload of American civilians at a checkpoint unnecessarily?
    There was no weeping by the Iraqi soldiers when they killed the American civilians - that’s why the answer is zero - one of the zeros in your ledger.
     
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    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Supposed an American soldier killed an Iraqi, would the soldier weep for him? Normally NO because he has killed an enemy unless it turned out that he found the Iraqi was actually innocent. And if you want to weep for him anyways, why do you want to kill him in the first place? It doesn't hold water. It is ridiculous.
    :eek: I think you're watching too much TV (= polarizing news) or hollywood war movies. Do you really think that every drafted soldier is automatically a stone-cold killer?
    Your OP is talking about "killing a carload of civilians unnecessarily".
    I'd see nothing wrong in a solder weeping after he was ordered to shoot a carload of unarmed everyday people. Don't forget that the military usually follows a chain of command, and in wartime a soldier who disobeys orders could actually get shot on the spot by his own people!
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thanks. :)


    I'd see nothing wrong in a solder weeping after he was ordered to shoot a carload of unarmed everyday people. Don't forget that the military usually follows a chain of command, and in wartime a soldier who disobeys orders could actually get shot on the spot by his own people!
    Have I said it is wrong to weep for innocent civilians? No I haven't. What I said is:

    Normally NO because he has killed an enemy unless it turned out that he found the Iraqi was actually innocent.
     
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