Re: Ethics

Bradley Felton (
Wed, 22 Jul 1998 11:50:25 -0500

At 05:25 AM 7/22/98 -0700, Ashish Gulhati wrote:
>Besides the points in the rest of this post, the most important issue
>here is that applied consistently, over the long term, a criminal
>lifestyle increases the risk of being caught with every act. When you
>are 'trying not to get caught' you are, as Rand pointed out, at war
>with reality - which is a losing proposition.

We are all "at war with reality" in this sense, even if we commit no crime. The person who walks through the jungle "trys not to get caught" by the lions, tigers and bears. When the plague comes through town, everyone "trys not to catch" it. When I eat at the local dive, I try to avoid food-poisoning, and on the way home I try to avoid getting hit by a truck. Sooner or later, "reality" catches up with everyone, whether they commit crimes or not; it is only a losing proposition for those who haven't successfully reproduced (or made backups).

>To 'get away' with a crime, you have to make the facts appear to be
>other than what they are, and since reality is an integrated whole,
>and all aspects of it inter-related, there is no way to sustain a
>consistent misrepresentation of facts over the long term. Indeed, the
>very idea is a contradiction in terms.

One only needs to "make the facts appear to be other than what they are" when the crime that is being attempted is framing someone else for a crime. More usually, the criminal merely needs to make the facts unobtainable. As for the rest of your assertion, one might ask: did Jesus really walk on the water? If not, then this misrepresentation of fact has been maintained consistantly over the long term....

>So you WILL be caught out in the long-term. And the reality-split
>within your own mind will produce paranoia, guilt, and eventually,
>severe psychosis, as you try to win your losing battle against
>I speak not only from a theoretical viewpoint, but from
>experience. Been there, done that. I used to be a kleptomaniac in my
>teens, pulled off the most daring heists, but today there's just no
>way I'd swipe the most trivial of items even when there's nobody
>around to see - it has a way of catching up with you!

That you eventually became psychotic after commiting crimes doesn't mean that the crimes caused the psychosis, and even if this link could be established, it doesn't tell us that all criminals must suffer your fate.

-Bradley Felton