If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Sat Nov 24 2001 - 20:18:22 MST

> Samantha wrote:
> Do you actually believe that might makes right?
> ### I am assuming that Samantha is using the word "right" in
> the ethical, and not the epistemological sense.
> If so, then one can say the following: being right (e.g.
> having the natural posession of land by virtue of long
> habitation)without being mighty, or having the support of a
> mighty party, is essentially meaningless (see the sad cases of
> American Indians, Palestinians, or the even more unlucky
> Prussians, who are all dead now). Being mighty without the
> right ethical principles for guidance is likely to end badly
> (see the Nazis).

Samantha answered:

So you think "right" is only or chiefly about the possession of
property ethically? Interesting.

### No, I do not think so. Do you wish me to provide additional examples,
not related to having property?


> Might and right are inextricably intertwined - neither being
> the sole source of the other, and yet neither possible without
> the other's contribution in the long run.
> Mike is pointing out that overwhelming force guided by the
> right ethical principles is better than good intentions alone.
> Samantha prefers to see only the force's (in this case largely
> imagined) Dark Side. I do not think their points of view will
> converge.

And overwheliming force alone is what? It certainly can't be
said to be "right" just because it is overwhelming.

### Overwhelming force alone is scary and almost always turns bad (as I said
above). You might perhaps want to re-read the following sentence "Being
mighty without the right ethical principles for guidance is likely to end
badly (see the Nazis)".

Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD

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