Re: Democracy held hostage

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Oct 01 2001 - 14:27:18 MDT wrote:
> In a message dated 9/30/01 8:32:44 AM, writes:
> >"[White House spokesman Ari] Fleischer used the Maher controversy to
> >issue this creepy Orwellian pronouncement: "Americans need to watch what
> >they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like
> >that; there never is." (Creepier still, someone in the White House then
> >took scissors to the official transcript of Fleischer's remarks to make
> >them less chilling.)"
> The controversy about Maher concerns me. All he said was that, contrary
> to W's claims, flying a plane into a building is a brave act (however
> heinous),
> while shooting cruise missles from 2 countries away is the cowardly action.
> He's absolutely right; it just points out that (to paraphrase Jon Clark)
> bravery is an overrated virtue and cowardliness an overrated vice. It's
> Fleischer who should be cashiered; demanding that the whole country
> must always fall in with Orwell-speak is frightening and inexcuseable.

This conflict reflects the problems moral philosophers have with the
trolley death paradox: given a choice between 5 people dying on one
track, or flipping a switch that will only kill one person, versus 5
people dying in the trolley accident if you refuse to shove one person
in front of the train, most people will look at flipping the switch as a
more moral choice than shoving someone in front of the trolley, despite
the equal cost in lives lost versus lives saved.

Maher is saying that purposely crashing four airplanes full of generally
pacifistic people into buildings full of pacifistic people is more
courageous than purposely dropping cruise missiles from 2000 miles away
on a country full of highly skilled warriors who love little else but
warring and mayhem in very personal in your face circumstances...

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:11 MDT