The Ethical Spectacle March 1995 (

Letters to the Ethical Spectacle

Sorry, I just don't have time to read it all.

Seems like you have a position that is inside the political ring; the title Ethical Spectacle led me to believe that you'd have an academic, above-it-all perspective. Oh well, that's okay.

I read the Party rant. I agree that the political parties need a revolution. I urge you to take a look at the world's smallest political quiz:

You'll most likely find your quadrant to the left. I, naturally, am at the top. My point in bringing this to your attention is to get you to consider that two parties might have been enough when the total population was a couple million.

I think that four would not be too many; what do you think?

Matthew Platte Lincoln, Nebraska

Well, I try to stay above the fray, and I think readers should call me on it if I fail. If I hammer the Republicans more, its only because they are in power. As I said in the "Party" article, , the Democrats are worn out and should be replaced.

I think, if we chatted a bit (or if you keep reading the Spectacle) you will see I have views on topics such as abortion, gun control and the death penalty that don't strictly follow any party line. Any political platform I've ever reviewed was inconsistent and contradictory as a set of ethical views.

I think the two party system stifles intellectual independence by forcing candidates to cram themselves into pigeonholes to gain power (ironically, the Democratic party is falling apart because its not a strict enough pigeonhole any more. On the other hand, multiparty systems allow some really funky things to happen, such as weird coalitions putting fringe candidates in power (Adolf Hitler, 1933); in general, given human nature, multiparty systems seem weaker and more likely to fall apart than ours. I'd rather be an independent in the U.S. than a member of the Greens (for example) in a European democracy.

I will go take the test you suggest and let you know how it comes out.

.. and one more thing: building on ramps for the minorities tends to keep them subservient, doesn't it?

Would we have been better off if the French had waded in and fought our battle with King George for us? When will this lesson be learned?

Matthew Platte Lincoln, Nebraska

Oh, gosh. Does this mean we should never try to help anybody, because it makes them dependent? If so, aren't you taking this too far? The old saw says that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you are feeding him for a lifetime. Your position seems to be that we should force him to go out and figure out how to fish for himself. But what if he starves in the meantime? If you teach him, haven't you really helped him become independent, rather than making him dependent? What if the society to which you belong took away his ability to live independently in the first place--is it alright to help him then? I think helping minority individuals to access the Internet gives them a means to independence.

The French didn't fight our battles for us, but, as I recall, they helped us fight them. Nothing wrong with that, was there?

Subject: Hang Tough!

Bravo Jonathan!

Thanks for standing up and expressing your thoughts and feelings. I don't agree with you on all points; but, I do respect your God-given right to express them. I feel a strong need to hear both sides of an issue before taking a position one way or another. By providing the Ethical Spectacle you've created a forum which has been sorely needed on many fronts.

Your fears on assisted suicide are already taking place in this world today with the daily assisted murders by way of abortion which if left alone may surpass in number all of the deaths in all of the wars since the beginning of time. Isn't that genocide against the genes of all mankind?

Thanks. (Jerry Lavelle)

Thank you for your kind words. Letters like yours make it really rewarding to publish the Spectacle.

I have powerfully mixed feelings about the morality of abortion, but do not believe it should be illegal. I'll elaborate on this in a future article. Perhaps you'd like to write something about your views for publication here as well.