January 2010

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Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. If you write to me about something you read in the Spectacle, I will assume the letter is for publication. If it is not, please tell me, and I will respect that. If you want the letter published, but without your name attached, I will do so. I will not include your email address unless you ask me to. This is in response to many of you who have expressed concern that spammers are finding your email address here. Flames are an exception. T hey will be published in full, with name and email address. I have actually had people follow up on a published flame by complaining that they thought they were insulting my ancestry privately. Nope, sorry.

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I found your Auschwitz Alphabet website extremely moving. I visited Dachau when I was 20 among a bunch of American students; I was struck dumb and could not speak until hours later. Since then I have never ceased to consider the meaning of faith in a God who has the power of intervention, yet allowed the Holocaust to occur, nor the appalling part doctors like myself played in the camps. It is sobering and depressing.

At some point, my friends who are physicists tell me, we may learn to access the past. Not to change it, but just to view it in astonishing detail. Should that technology become available, would you use it to walk invisibly in the awful reality of Auschwitz, a malignancy securely trapped almost 70 years in the past, but still happening even now in a timeless universe? I believe I would, but I might wish to kill myself on the trip back. Crazily enough, the same notion suggests you could copy someone from any point in the past to the present, and so save all the victims...would that be appropriate if possible? Could we save the perpetrators also, before they became evil?

Thank you again for your excellent work.


Mr. Wallace,

I just read your article Why I am not a Libertarian with great interest. It is very well reasoned, although I'll have to read it a few more times to fully grasp it.

Your conclusion is good too; I once kayaked from New London CT to Montauk. Its really nice out there.