Friday, January 07, 2005

Dr. Clam said...
Just like there was no net moral gain from all the collateral deaths to oust Hitler, I expect. O Tempora! O Mores! It is indisputable that men who kill a thousand babies a year should be hanged, higher than Haman.

I would argue there wasn't any net moral gain - ask any German. Is it biased to think that Dresden shouldn't have been bombed so severely that close to the endgame? If you still think that 100,000 deaths in Iraq is an overestimate, read the article in Thursday's "Australian". The indifference to life of Iraqis by the USA military is sickening. I am starting to think 100,000 is an underestimate. Now that the memories of the Holocaust are starting to fade, is the Israeli populace starting to feel that the only way to beat the terrorists militarily is via genocide? They should know all about genocide. The only other alternative being to "give in" to some extent or fighting indefinitely. Your analogies seem to only be making me think about changing the subject to that of the metaphors. How high is Haman anyway? :-)

But good government is all about increasing the choice of the individual without power in the X/Y relationship

Killing terrorists doesn't increase the choice of victims (it doesn't save the ones that have been killed, and doesn't deter other terrorists), and you are presuming that an unborn baby would choose to live, when they haven't got the brains to weigh up the pros and cons that would a suicidal teenager nor the means to communicate.

Well, so do I! I would much rather everyone did the right thing without having to be forced to, it is better for their souls (assuming they have any) and much more efficient in an econometric sense.

As an interesting side note, in USA, because more of the population is more zealously religious than in Australia, the people tend to follow the law of the land more than Aus even if they disagree with the law, and could get away with breaking it reliably. When under Joh BJ in Qld, abortion laws were tightened, it didn't have much effect on the numbers, until a couple of mock police raids made a farce of the whole thing. I am arguing that the realpolitik in Aus dictates that the approach family first is taking (perhaps with more peaceful activism)is the only path that could get concrete results in law reform or reduced prevalence of abortions.

1 comment:

Dr. Clam said...

You seem to oscillate between being a hard-nosed econometric pragmatist and a pure sentimentalist incapable of making quantitative distinctions. Have you been driven insane by the stress of the Christmas period?

Am I to take it that in your opinion the United States should not have gone to war against Hitler? Do you advocate prayer and peaceful protest as the catch-all solution for all the world’s ills? This is a self-consistent position that can be logically argued from certain starting assumptions, and I respect that.

Yes, I read the article in the Australian, and also the piece by the embedded journalist in Fallujah in the Spectator last November. That is what war is like, as long as humans are humans. Is it at all relevant to the strategic arguments that led you to support the war in the first place? Stop whinging about it; suggest an alternative. You know I want the artificial country to be partitioned, leaving Anbar as Bashar Assad’s problem.

Another thin I read was Nicholas Rothwell in today’s Australian about how Israel is facilitating the elections in the Palestinian Authority. I know I brought the Jews up first by mentioning Haman, but your rant about Israel is completely uncalled for, ill-informed, and devalues the word genocide. I will ignore it. You must have been accidentally channeling a French Intellectual.

I never said anything about killing terrorists. I was describing various situations where we apply some penalty to restrict people from making morally irresponsible choices. Are you suggesting we should decriminalise terrorism, since any punishment of terrorists does not act as a deterrent, nor does it bring back the victims? That is a bold idea. But I don’t think it will fly in today’s political climate.

Now, if I am sleeping, I am incapable of weighing up to pros and cons and making a choice. Wait a while, and I will wake up, and then I can make a choice. In the same way, all we have to do is wait a while, and a foetus will be in a position to weigh up the pros and cons and make a choice. That is, if they don’t watch too much TV, or listen to too many French intellectuals. Does this not make sense to you? You did not challenge it when I raised it before. I still remember how amazed I was, at the tender age of thirty, when I first realised that for some people this argument is about when a foetus ‘turns into’ a human being. Dammit, being is a verb, not a noun! Human being is a process. If X has a 90% chance of growing up to read the Australian, X is worthy of 90% of the consideration that we extend to the extant readers of the Australian.

I would welcome an extended discussion about metaphors :) Or, a discussion about anything that you are emotionally involved with. I feel at a disadvantage being the only one emotionally involved...