Geyserism No. 17

February 4, 2017 by Dr. Geyser

It is said by experts on the matter that human beings use emotional judgments rather than those of a more logical variety when it comes to differentiating between a risk of one in a thousand versus one in a million. For example, Americans are more afraid of terrorists than guns, though in fact the latter kill far more (30,000x) people in the United States than the former.

First, the assumption that death is the origin of fear is problematic. The life of the person is present in the body, the house, the city, the state, and the people. The death of the body is not the end of life for the person.

Second, the risk that an act of terrorism poses to public safety is nothing compared with the demonstrated risk terrorism poses to our privacy as civilians.

Third, acts of terrorism destabilize popular governments by making it difficult to distinguish between friend and enemy. When governments overreact to crises, harm inevitably follows. With harm comes mistrust. With mistrust comes corruption. And with corruption, we see why terrorism is one of America’s greatest fears.

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