Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How Do I Deserve to be Treated?

A Moral Relativism Quiz

Consider the following scenarios and think about how I ought to be treated.

a) I get up in the morning and go to work in the World Trade Center as a clerk in a (stock brokerage, bank)

b) I get up in the morning and go to work in the World Trade Center as a manager in a (stock brokerage, bank)

c) I get up in the morning and go to work in the World Trade Center as the CEO in a (stock brokerage, bank)

d) I go out to a nightclub in Israel to have fun with my friends.

e) I get up in the morning and mastermind the hijacking of several airplanes, killing all passengers, and hoping to fly the airplanes into the World Trade Center

f) I get up in the morning and organize a couple of young men in the neighbourhood into crossing the border into Israel and blowing away a whole bunch of people dancing and partying in a nightclub.

g) I repeatedly announce to the world my intention to replace the liberal West with a caliphate and proudly talk about the various murderous operations I have organized.

h) I invite the guy in g) to dinner. My neighbours report me to some people who know how to aim missiles and don't like the idea of suffering murderous operations intending to create the new caliphate.

OK which of us deserves some prophylactic action? The Ward Churchill view is a) - d). I am hoping there are other opinions. I think h) is tricky.

There is also the question of how we know any of these things - which is why I tried to make g) so clear.

I do feel that h) is a tricky one.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger Martin said...

e, f and the person who fired the missile at h should be apprehended (the role of h's neighbours should probably be investigated. If h survived we should be questioning him/her about g and I think that g's account should be compared to events to see whether g needs to be apprehended too. Therapy might be in order but you cannot force that very well.

But I dont see any of them as tricky...maybe Ive misunderstood.


At 11:35 AM, Blogger Martin said...

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At 11:35 AM, Blogger Martin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Dan said...

e & f) are truly lost souls -- on the assumption that suicide was involved. I'd be more interested in exploring e + f's immediate handlers and how a situation has arisen where they can feel so much desparation and hatred

g) is a wing-nut, quite possibly very dangerous. If they have alot of support and followers I'd be quite concerned about how to deal with them to not increase the support base. I'd be extremely worried if I, or someone who controls my life significantly, is doing mega-business with anyone who tacitly supports such an individual and their aims.

h) I agree h) a tough one.

What did the guys who know how to aim missiles so well do? Is there another part to this?

I agree with Mart that the neighbour should be considered.

If Ward Churchill really thinks that a) - d) need action then he is pretty extreme. However, I think that a) - d) should all take some time to think about their lives and the system they live in and the impact it has on others in the world (living today and even yet to be born) and ask themselves if there isn't something wrong with it and where it is all heading -- even if economists tell them that that's the way things go and if you want progress then you just have to go with the flow.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Martin said...

I see ALan's reference to Ward Chruchill as an offside trap meant to provoke argument...not as a serious statement about his beliefs. Even casual reading of Churchill would show that he is NOT in favour of terrorism. He (in his sep 12 piece) was reacting to the stupid reaction of the American media pundits.

I know when the event happened I had some friends who decided the people who committed the act were madmen and I found this curious. This was a carefully planned and executed attack on specific targets of strategic and symbolic importance. Not something Id expect of the insane. In fact I found it crazy that because of the seriousness of the crime we should ignore rule of law when prosecuting people for it. Ive never understood this part of our reaction. Well that is except if I understand it as a grab at more power in a plutocratic system.


At 3:26 PM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Never thought madness played the smallest role.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Martin said...

Agreed. But surely you also didnt think Ward Churchill advocated terrorism. He was simply reminding Americans that what goes around comes around. It sure seemed to.

I think the categories you have given us are not that tricky and before we condemn someone to death for inviting a criminal to dinner, we should probably know something more about the relationship.

But I do agree that there may be times when our percieved need to get our man will cause us to endanger and even take an innocent life. I just dont have much faith that the American military exercises due diligence in making the decision.

Ironically Musharref (sp??) may well have called for (or OKd) the attack making it in some twisted sense legal.

At 11:59 PM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Hmm yeah I think Ward Churchill describing what I consider relatively innocent people "little Hitlers" somewhat of an endorsement of terrorism.
One can honestly differ on this.


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