July 2009
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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. They 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.

Hi Jonathan,

I just discovered the Ethical Spectacle today when writing a blog entry about natural rights - I was particularly taken with a quote of yours I found on Wikipedia, from the close of your article "Natural Rights Don't Exist." I agree absolutely with your conclusion: even if natural rights *do* actually exist, we must be open to the possibility that we have failed to correctly identify them, because we are fallible; and if we can't be sure that our understanding of natural rights is correct, then what makes them more fit to dictate our rules than any other premise? Their 'naturalness,' indeterminable, should be ignored in favour of better criteria, like whether they're good ideas or not - whether they promote freedom, happiness, progress, or whatever we wish to be striving for.

Have you read any Karl Popper? I've just started reading his 'Conjectures and Refutations,' and it seems like you might find his philosophy interesting.

I read a couple of the other articles on the site, and would like to continue reading future issues. I was wondering if you've considered setting up an RSS feed, or if there's any kind of mailing list I can subscribe to, so that I could receive a notification when a new issue is published?

Many thanks, and I look forward to reading more...

- Richard

Dear Jonathan,

Regarding military tribunals:

My question to you then is, If they are unable to obtain a conviction are you willing to either house the detainee or let them live next door to you? Because with the Federal Court system, the problem becomes the "evidence", it is extremely hard to collect and process crime scenes on the battle field and just about impossible to get witnesses, other than the military personal who were present at the time, which the defense will file motions against for unreliable witness and they will win about 50% of those motions. So the end result of course will be that those "terrorists" will be free to walk out of the courtroom and on the streets of any town in America. There is no other country willing to take these suspected terrorists whether they have been found not guilty or not. So if they are found not guilty in our Federal court, which will be the case in probably 1/2 or more of the cases because of the evidence provisions difference between the courts, we will not have any grounds to monitor or hold these detainees any longer.

I can say, that if military tribunals are ever taken out of the options, thank goodness President Obama has not followed the far left on this, but if he does...ANY deaths on American soil will and can be attributed to anybody including and primarily, the ACLU, the far left of the democratic party, and everybody else who supported the ending of their use.



Dear Mr. Wallace:

When the family of Dr. George R. Tiller announced that his abortion clinic had closed down for good, millions of “Christians” prayed thanks to Jesus from their pews, saying God be praised that such an institution has been shut down. Such prayers will, of course, scarcely mention the murder of Dr. Tiller by a man well-known within their movement. Dr. Tiller’s murderer predicted more such murders, and he was right. The news story next to the clinic closing was about a Muslim man in Little Rock Arkansas, who claimed that his shooting of an Army recruitment officer was justified, because American soldiers are killing Muslims in the Middle East. The next day, a White Supremist opened fire at a Washington D.C. Holocaust museum, killing a black guard. Like Dr. Tiller’s murderer, this Jew-hater is well-known among both law enforcement agencies and extremist circles.

The members of these political groups, the types of people who elevate their goals above the most fundamental moral principles, share a common physiologic deformity, the mental inability to surrender their sense of “tribe” and “belonging” to simple, common decency. Truth-crazed fundamentalist Christians and gun-toting Muslims exhibit a simple pattern of cognitive deformity. There’s something very basic missing upstairs.

Mr. Paul Chesle

Dear Mr. Wallace:

The brutal war in Sri lanka apppears mostly over now as hugE military victories for the Sri Lankan Government against the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization has been defeated. This example of near total victory in Sri Lanka is different from most other anti terror actions worldwide as most all of the top leaders were killed and have little change of reorganizing and continuing their murderous actions any more. One reason for this defeat of the Tamil Tigers is that they had evolved into a conventional military which is easier to destroy than a guerilla army. Also, The Tamil Tigers have no foreign countries that would accept them and with the post 9/11 improvements in fighting funding of terror organizations worldwide the Tamil Tigers had and will have a more dificult time raising money for thier violent acts. India is one of the nations that has a very large amount of people support the Tamil Tigers from the Tamil populated regions of Southern India. Even these activities will be under pressure as the recently killed Tamil Tiger leader Prabakaran was personally convicted in absentia of ordering the assassination of former Indian leader Rajiv Gandhi as well as the killing a pro western SrI Lankan president. I am personally pleased to see that a cruel and violent terror group which caused misey, death and destruction for all of Sri Lanka's ethnic groups and peoples has now been dealt a total defeat. This example proves that violence will always loose and thus now is the time to have Sri Lanka build itself into a more human rights respecting and prosperous nation.