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« Time is right for most U.S. troops to leave Germany and Korea | Main | Quick, Pope, give Sadr the dope »

August 17, 2004




This is a very insightful post. Sacrificing someone else has always been a puzzling issue for me. It means that you end up not being able to do anything or stand for anything. Yet we are the beneficiaries of countless such sacrifices. How many mothers and fathers saw their children go to WWII, knowing that the odds were not nearly as good as they've been lately. At what point does fear overcome the needs of a communal struggle for freedom?

I really don't know the answer, but it sounds like you are getting very close. I hope you come back to this issue in the future and try to clarify it. I would not like to be in Bill O'Reilly's position, answering that question. But he did miss a chance to turn it around by asking Moore whether he would sacrifice his child to avenge 9/11. Maybe O'Reilly has too much honest decency, more than I have credited him for.


"Moore: No. I would be willing to sacrifice my life to track down the people that killed 3,000 people on our soil."

This has a ring of the promise by OJ Simpson that he would track down the killer(s) of his wife. The people who directly killed 3000 people on 9/11 are dead. Moore should kill himself, I guess.

Going back to Moore's original question, "would sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah?", this is an obvious moral trap, like "would I sacrifice my child to secure Pennsylvania?", "would I sacrifice my child to secure New York?", or "would I sacrifice my child to secure Washington DC?".

Most sane people would asnwer "no", as in the Western culture "sacrifice" is an outcome and not a goal.

The proper answer to Moore's question is "I would send my child to secure Fallujah in the name of freedom."


And what odds would you be willing to accept for each specific subgoal? And would you be willing to encourage your child to go fight? And would you encourage your child to join an unsanctioned mercenary group to defend the people of Darfur against the Janjaweed militia?

He can make these questions as hard as he wants to. It hurts my stomach just to think about it.

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