January 2016
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Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. Send your comments to me at jw@bway.net. I will assume the letter is for publication. If it is not, please tell me, and I will respect that. I have gotten into the habit of leaving out full names and email addresses; I have had too many people think better of something they said fifteen years ago. If you want your name and email included, let me know. Flames, however, will be published with full name and email address.


Dear Jonathan:

I'm doing a research project on interracial friendships in American film. I came across this wonderful article that I'd like to cite properly in my bibliography. However, I can't find the author. I was wondering if you could give me a name or if I should just write "anonymous"?


Dear Jonathan,

Thank you so much for writing your piece on lying. It made the misery of the last six months of my life make sense to me... Only after I read your article did I fully comprehend the detrimental effects of lying, of subterfuge. ....

Thank you for the article which gave me such amazing clarity and sparked my resolve to be scrupulously honest.


Dear Jonathan:

Some videos pretend not to understand what all the fuss is about regarding abortion. For example this one.

However, the central issue of abortion has not been answered, just brushed aside. When should living human flesh be given civil protection, and of course why then. The law is objective and shared. Morality, which is subjective and personal, is a different question, and there is little reason to expect unanimity. Legality and morality are different, inevitably.

Abortion has to do with sexual morality, so it should be no surprise that there are divergent opinions. The legal disagreement, such as it is, is confined to a period of nine months. Few at present feel that killing a baby after birth should be allowed, and few argue that sperm deserve protection. While DNA is the scientific marker of a new individual, the fertilized egg can turn into two people as well as into one, so conception does not provide a firm answer.

The original tri-mester structure put in place by Roe v Wade seems to me as close as humans can come, based on our current understandings, but that structure has been disparaged for some time, as demonstrated by the cases on partial birth abortion. But it would be nice if people stopped pretending that there is no issue here.

Martin Gugino