Monday, May 28, 2007

From the "That Explains a Lot" Dept.

The Washington Post, May 28, 2007:
In another experiment published in March, University of Southern California neuroscientist Antonio R. Damasio and his colleagues showed that patients with damage to an area of the brain known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex lack the ability to feel their way to moral answers.

When confronted with moral dilemmas, the brain-damaged patients coldly came up with "end-justifies-the-means" answers. Damasio said the point was not that they reached immoral conclusions, but that when confronted by a difficult issue -- such as whether to shoot down a passenger plane hijacked by terrorists before it hits a major city -- these patients appear to reach decisions without the anguish that afflicts those with normally functioning brains.

The Washington Post, June 18, 2004
At 10:39 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney, in a bunker beneath the White House, told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in a videoconference that he had been informed earlier that morning that hijacked planes were approaching Washington.
Within minutes, Cheney would use his authority. Told -- erroneously, as it turned out -- that a presumably hijacked aircraft was 80 miles from Washington, Cheney decided "in about the time it takes a batter to swing" to authorize fighter jets scrambled from Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va., to engage it, the commission reported


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is intriguing.

Anonymous David

10:45 PM  
Anonymous cooper said...

We're not really all that surprised here, are we?

8:14 AM  

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