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I'm sorry to hear this decision Mr. Pipes

Reader comment on item: I Give Up: There Is No Terrorism, There Are No Terrorists

Submitted by Martin Kessler (United States), Jun 2, 2015 at 23:08

I'm sorry to hear that. Far be it from me to counter the opinions of experts but my feeling is " a rose by any other name..." is not the same.

I don't think it's so difficult to know what it is when one comes to experience or be a witness to terror. A terrorist is one who terrorizes. I assume that's where the word "terror" comes from. . I would not call him , say, a murderer or a kidnapper. To me a terrorist is a person who uses violence to create fear, that's the distinction. The term is not new to this century-- it's been around for thousands of years. While some may say they cannot define the term and so avoid its use, there nevertheless can be a definition most universally accepted by experts. We are not under the same rules of evidence as a scientist. Defining the term does not require the same logical rigor as does defining the number 2. We all know what 2 is without hesitation. I don't feel this it right for experts to shy away from the term only because some feel there is no meaningful--that is, operational, or scientific -- way to define it. I just defied it. I have no problem with applying that definition to a unique event having the attribute of creating fear through violence.. That's good enough for me to know what I know when I know it.

I am reminded of Spinoza's comment in distinguishing between empirical or intuitivley known knowledge. He said :"When from the fact of knowing something I know what it is to know that thing". You just know it!

You do know what terrorism is. I wish you would give it some more thought and perhaps challenge the BBC to a debate on the benefits, if any, of avoiding the word.

Submitting....

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