Friday, December 21, 2012

Jonathan Catalan gets it

I don't need Brian Doherty telling me that the death of children is a bad thing anymore than he needs me to tell him that totalitarian government and bombing innocent people is a bad thing.

The fact that he thinks this centers on it allegedly being "very difficult" to get me to "understand that there might be something horrific and evil about a policy that murders children with bombs from the air" demonstrates how confused Doherty is about all this.

Jonathan Catalan gets that this is a trade-off: that nobody wants to see innocents die but that it's not just a choice of "will innocents die or won't they die". If that was the choice we would all choose to have them not dying. The choice is between one uncertain number of innocents dying and another uncertain number of innocents dying, as well as a lot of very thorny questions of justice and liberty tossed in.

When it comes to the war on terrorism, Jonathan weighs that question differently than me. Doherty weighs it differently too, but unlike Jonathan he doesn't seem to realize that that's the question at hand.

This is precisely the same issue in discussions with pacifists. We don't disagree because you're the one that doesn't like war or killing. We are both on exactly the same page on that one. We disagree because you think your way will lead to less of that and I think my way will lead to less of that.

1 comment:

  1. I think you give pacifists as a whole too easy a pass. Their payback is in painting you as a friend of slaughter, and themselves as uniquely good. Not all, very many.


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