Re: ETHICS: Responsability to life and the Abortion Issue

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 10:34:18 -0800 (PST)

> I'll answer 'Yes' [that one has a moral responsibility to minimize
> human suffering]. And then I have a big problem. Because if that's so.
> If that is what I say I believe... Then what am I doing waisting my
> time typing E-mails when I should be clearing mines in Aghanistan or
> volunteering for Medicine Sans Frontiers in Namibia?

You probably /are/ the very best thing you can do for the future of
all humanity: earning a living. Better still if you actually own a
profit-making business. It would be a sin for you to throw away
your skills to go playing in the third world unless that's actually
where your skills are; comparitive advantage will put people where
their skills make the most difference--and therefore, money. If a
group like the Red Cross or the Peace Corps--staffed with people
who are well-suited to those tasks--wants to go there, that's great.
But as has been pointed out before, Michael Milken did far more to
abolish hunger and poverty in the world than Mother Theresa did.
There is not a more fundamentally moral or socially responsible act
than to earn profit in free trade.

I believe there is, however, another responsibility that sometimes
is overlooked: to actively resist, to the extent of one's ability,
those forces opposed to the values of life. I vote, for example,
because if I did not, I would feel some moral complicity in whatever
atrocities are committed by the government I failed to vote against.
I cannot openly oppose all the tyranny I object to; I am no use to
anyone in jail. But those few bits of dissent their guns allow me--
to speak, and to vote--I feel obliged to press to their limits.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC