Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

The question of God's existence is a college dorm, four in the morning debate--not a conversation I'd had in many years. Its also not a discussion you would see in the Nation, The National Review or the New York Times; religion, except where it touches politics, is a topic which seems to be politely off-limits in much of the media.

The response was immediate, and also highly interesting. I can't remember a lead article in the Spectacle that attracted so many letters in the days after it appeared.

Someone once pointed out to me that the letters column of a newspaper is a community. Certainly the letters I receive in response to The Spectacle make me feel a part of a very vital one. Keep them coming! I can be reached as always at jw@bway.net.

Does God Exist?
Mr. Lee,

I enjoyed your debate with Lizard in this month's Ethical Spectacle. But one paragraph rubbed me very much the wrong way:

Going back to a scientific model, consider the wave/particle debates on the nature of light. Quantum physics has demonstrated that the mode of observation effects the results of the experiment. If you "believe" that they are particles, they act like particles. >If you "believe" they are waves, they act like waves.

I really must take exception with this; it's a gross misunderstanding of quantum physics. What you _believe_ about photons has no effect on their behavior. Rather, what affects their behavior is a certain type of sampling method which is testable and repeatable. A computer could automate this process and detect the duality of waves and particles just fine, with no human beings in a hundred-mile radius having to believe anything in particular.

The key point here is that wave/particle duality is a falsifiable scientific hypothesis which lends itself to repeatable testing with well-defined answers. It's like any other scientific theory, and in fact more rigorous than most!

Belief, in the sense of "I believe in God," has nothing to do with quantum physics or any other branch of science. When you say "I believe in God," the verb indicates a mode of thinking that is unrelated to evidence or falsifiable hypothesis: it indicates that you are taking something on faith. Which is fine, but you shouldn't pretend that science does the same thing.

(Or any other facet of life, for that matter. When I say "I believe CNN is a reliable source," there is some minimum amount of evidence which I've seen to lead me to this belief, and given sufficient counterevidence I would change my mind and disbelieve it. But, correct me if I'm wrong, Reverend, there is no evidence which would convince you that God does not exist. Correct?)

Coincidentally, I received the latest copy of _Skeptic_ magazine this weekend in the mail (Vol. 7, No. 1). Robert L. Miller is a former Christian Scientist who has written an excellent article entitled "Christian Science and the Perversion of Quantum Physics." It's short, but you might enjoy reading it.

-- Jamie McCarthy

Walter Lee replies:


I acknowledge what you are saying. I understand the distinction that you raise. However, what we look for often determines what we find and demonstrate. What we look for is often determined by what we "believe" we will find. Sometimes we don't find it. Sometimes, we discover something else. But few design a sophisticated scientific expertment without an hypothesis which first exists as unproven. We tend to find what we believe we will find. That was my point. Sorry if I what I wrote was considered a cheap shot.

Walter Lee walt@crcom.net

Dear Jonathan:

You may wish to read Einstein's essay, "Cosmic Religion." The other authors may as well. I liked the book, which IIRC is out of print. :(

Jim Ray jray@digigold.net

Dear Mr. Lee:

More comments; I hope you don't mind. The most compelling kind of website is one that demands feedback.

In the Prisoner's Dilemma, you make the case for win/win senarios. I will agree. I like solutions in which all find advantage. The question is where do you find them? Granted there are some. In theory, Marx raises the issue in political/economic terms. The problem is that it doesn't work because people always cheat, or at least they always have. Value is determined by scarcity, and scarcity breeds competition. Unless/until there is enough for all, people are going to say that is is "good" to have enough for myself, my family, my people. (A third grader ones noted that "my" and "our" are "aggressive pronouns.") Morality is easy, as is life, if you begin with perfect and agreeable people. However, one rotten apple starts a process that leads to vinegar.

This is a beautiful and interesting question, this question of how we end up cooperating (most of the time).

In games like the Dilemma, there are ways to play that biologists call an Evolutionarily Stable Strategy, and economists call "Nash equilibrium." Any such system that is interesting has one or more points where all the players are executing a blend of strategies that is optimum. Perhaps, in one version of the Dilemma with particular parameters, 90% of the players will "mostly cooperate" and 10% will "mostly defect" (where those terms denote strategies that are presumably somewhat complex). Change the parameters of the game a little and it might be 99% to 1%, or 60-40 -- or there might be three or four or a hundred strategies, all at certain percentages. If the system is truly at equilibrium, no player can change strategies (becoming "nicer" or "meaner") without reducing his or her own benefit. Thus no player _will_ change, and the system is stable.

The point is that our many separate self-interests act together like an invisible hand, guiding our society to a point where (here in America in 1999) we mostly cooperate with each other. You aren't quite correct, Walter, where you say "one rotten apple" can spoil the bunch, and Jonathan, where you say:

Across a long series of encounters, we will all score consistently higher than if we were always - or even occasionally - betraying each other.

because in any interesting system, including the real world, we do betray each other, we defect, and society does not begin an inexorable slide into chaos and hatred as a result. A certain amount of defection is not merely tolerated but actually inevitable: total cooperation is, by definition, unstable. If we lived in a society where everyone trusted everyone else, I could sneak a little extra cash out of the till without getting caught. It wouldn't be moral, but it would advance my own well-being: and so "occasional" immorality would invade a community of angels.

Since we do not completely trust each other, the one who defects may be caught - or not; those around him or her note the punishment or lack thereof, and weigh for themselves what they will do in the future. The pendulum swings back and forth but always tends toward whatever equilibrium is determined by our society's parameters.

One of my recent programming projects has been a sort of evolutionary Prisoner's Dilemma with varying and adjustable parameters. It can be hard to build an "interesting" system -- so far, all my efforts have resulted in worlds where either total cooperation or total defection is the result after a relatively short period of time. Obviously, our own world, the world of human interaction, sits squarely in that exciting and chaotic realm on the border!

Oh -- and Walter, where you write:

The complexity of the world says to me that this world cannot be explained by unguided chance. While it is true that a monkey at a keyboard might eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare, given the other combinations possible, it is implausible to me. The existing structure violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy is at work in all things we can view. In a closed system, things tend towards disorder. DNA, the brain of animals and people, etc. make random chance a remarkable theory of construction.

There's a book I cannot recommend strongly enough, called _Darwin's Dangerous Idea_. It's by a philosopher named Daniel Dennett. He breezily dismisses, in the first few pages, your notion as stated above -- that natural selection cannot create the world -- and then spends a few hundred pages talking about the force of natural selection at all the levels it operates, filling in details, chasing down the implications, laying it bare and marvelling at it. If you read with an open mind, you will be amazed, I promise.

Jamie McCarthy

Walter Lee replies:

You state that in a world where everybody trusted everybody, you could slip a little out of the till. The question is how long everybody would trust everybody if the grocery money kept turning up missing? I certainly don't believe that one rotten apple ruins the barrel over night, but given time, the system will change.

If you hypothetical stable system reached equalibrium, how would anything ever change again?

If you read what I wrote, I carefully chose to say: "The complexity of the world says to me that this world cannot be explained by unguided chance." "Says to me" is a significant part of the statement. I do believe in evolution, however, the issue is whether is is based on random chance and Darwin's Theories, or whether evolution is a divine process used by God to create? For John or Lizard to apply Occam's Razor and choose the "simpler" solution just does not fit with the way I see it.

Walter Lee walt@crcom.net

To which Jamie replied:

You wrote:

You state that in a world where everybody trusted everybody, you could slip a little out of the till. The question is how long everybody would trust everybody if the grocery money kept turning up missing? I certainly don't believe that one rotten apple ruins the barrel over night, but given time, the system will change.

The world we live in now is the answer to that question. Do you trust everyone you meet on the street? Presumably not, that's why doors have locks. But are we therefore on an inexorable slide into chaos? I don't think so.

If you hypothetical stable system reached equalibrium, how would anything ever change again?

Well, that's one difference between a model and reality: reality isn't quite so mathematically pretty.

The model as applied to economics and game theory assumes that all participants are intelligent and rational. Not likely!

As applied to evolution, it merely assumes that a zillion random chance occurrances will all balance themselves out, statistically (if Species A gets a lucky break here, Species B will probably get a lucky break eventually too). Very likely.

Stable worlds where nothing ever changes make for interesting science fiction stories, though.

If you read what I wrote, I carefully chose to say: "The complexity of the world says to me that this world cannot be explained by unguided chance." "Says to me" is a significant part of the statement. I do believe in evolution, however, the issue is whether is is based on random chance and Darwin's Theories, or whether evolution is a divine process used by God to create? For John or Lizard to apply Occam's Razor and choose the "simpler" solution just does not fit with the way I see it.

That's fair enough. We see things differently; that's OK.

Out of curiosity, do you suppose God could employ random chance to advance that agenda? Would it be impossible that God set up the world in a particular way, knowing that given a sample size of 1,000 sparrows n would fall and the remainder would propagate their superior genes? Or is the idea of God playing dice impossible to reconcile?

-- Hello.

I read the Ethical Spectable semi regularly and I want to encourage you to continue to post the messages between the Lizard and Walter Lee. While I agree with Walter Lee, I find that both of them present extremely intelligent and interesting arguments for their positions and I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Does God Exist?' So, please see what you can do in ensuring that this series of debate continues.


C. Lichtenstein trelane@home.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I read the June issue a few days ago. The "debate" was logically well ordered, point to point. It's a very old argument though. I read somewhere that when Carl Sagan was on his death-bed, a minister friend of his was discussing the need a soul has to be ready to meet it's maker . Carl said:"I can't understand how someone as intelligent as you can believe in God". The minister replied:"I can't understand how someone as intelligent as you doesn't believe in God". The fact is, some people have an innate sense that there is something more than what the mind perceives through the five senses, and some people either do not or are so involved with the workings of their own mind that they neglect to "see" what is plainly there. To each his own. The day comes soon enough when we all know the answer. Some things come easier when we listen and see without thinking too much about it all.

"Lloyd Westerman" orion@surfsouth.com

Hi Jonathan:

Enjoyed "Morality and Ice Cream". IMO the key to being a moral atheist lies in Walter Lee's fourth point, albeit I totally disagree with what he wrote. Not "what is good," but what is the *greatest* good, which constitutes the basis of any ethical and political system.

Religious people define the greatest good as God's will, whatever that means. If one defines the greatest good as happiness for myself, one may be amoral or immoral. If one defines it as happiness for the many, a rational ethical system may ensue, a la Prisoner's Dilemma.

Personally, I define "the greatest good" aesthetic terms, although I don't base my aesthetic on the "beauty of moral systems" as you do. (Moral dilemmas arise when any moral system is adopted, and thus moral systems aren't beautiful in the same sense as mathematical or logical systems.) My asthetics are based on what I define as "the greatest evil": It pains me -- it is ugly -- to see people suffering needlessly, it is ugly to see unfulfilled human potentials. Preventing that suffering to the best of my ability is what makes me moral.

And perhaps I'm even more moral than those who follow God's will only because they personally fear being condemned to hell or whatever.

To argue that a belief in God is necessary for morality is to increase stereotyping and hatred in the world: That, imho, is what is immoral in this discussion. Compassion is where morality lives, and it can be felt by anyone, no matter what their spiritual beliefs may be.

Lena Rotenberg lenaweb@netkonnect.net

I would just like to say that i think lizard's debate about god was excellent. i also enjoyed the point he made in his last paragraph about prisons. keep up the good work lizard!!!



In your typical short sighted style, you said that I was "self deluded" in that the Columbine shootings took place in "the heart of Second Amendment country" This illustrates how little you know of the demographics of this country. None of the "copycat" shootings in schools have been by kids who have had a chance to have any NRA influence. Littleton, CO. is in the heart of "Patsy Schroder" country. Colorado is perhaps second only to California and your stomping grounds in the numbers of liberals who think guns are responsible for these little monsters their influence has let loose on society. I doubt if there are many "Goths" in the NRA.

When I see such a crime committed by some kid(s) who have ever been a part of an NRA shooting event, or had any training or upbringing in a home which includes NRA influence, I will go for the lobotomy and become a liberal like you.

No Jonathan, these kids seem to be spawned in broken homes or by out of touch parents who watch them collect Nazi paraphernalia, go to school with black trench coats, and/or spend all their waking hours in the basement making bombs. No NRA influence there....Plenty of Patsy Shroeder though.

Bob Wilson

Hi again Jonathan. From time to time when I've read The Ethical Spectacle - I've written a few words to you. I forgot to read the may issue because of all my exams. Now I have.

None of the articles about Columbine mentions the real problem, as I see it. When I heard about the killings, and the killers - my first though "oh, some of us decided to show that enough is enough". I guess that you don't understand what I'm talking about yet. :)

I live in Norway - the shootings made first page in all major papers over here. There was a few things I immediately read -- "excluded" .. "kept for themselves" .. "played doom.. quake..", "goths" .. "trenchcoat mafia" and "he told me that 'I like you, go home'".

As I've understood - and the same thing the entire "slashdot community" has understood (www.slashdot.org - News for nerds, news that matter) - they were 'excluded'. They were 'the nerds'. Those who get nasty comments about their clothing, their opinions, and so forth - just because they are "diffrent". I has been there. I was *the* subject of my "fellow students" attention at highschool. Bullied day after day, tormented mentally and physically. I know that *I* would have gone postal with guns - if I had them at the right moments.

Of course, it's *never* ok to go postal. It's *never* ok to kill other human beings. But - do not blame doom, do not blame mortal kombat. Do not blame the lack of belief in god, in morality etc. It's the society you lives in that formes you - and make you what you is. When you're told that you're a freaking geek every day. When your class"mates" spit on you - just for fun .. and if you DO NOT break down and become suicidal - you get ANGRY. If you don't lose belief in yourself. You *GET ANGRY* and so forth. Of couse, you may point out that some (if not all) that got shot wasn't doing bad things to them. But when ALL you know tell you that you are an asshole, and NONE tell you about the sides they like about you - then you categorize them all as the same. It's "you" and it's "them". ... except .. there was ONE person who was spared.. one of the shooters told him to "go home". It's obvious to me that he was my equivalent of "Ove Johnny". A person that not necessarily was your best friend all the time - but he was "ok" .. He sided with me if he agreed with me, and so forth. I persume that was one of the shooters equivalent to my "Ove Johnny".

My point, as I'm sure you've understood, is that it's all those who came with nasty comments, it's all those who was abusive against them - that are to blame.

There has been a couple of more school-shooting incidents after columbine.. one in canada among others. I've noted that in EACH AND EVERY of them, it was people who was 'excluded'. It was people who very thypically was bullied every day.

Blame Doom if you want. But if Doom didn't exist, they would just have vented their aggression at an earlier phase. I've played Wolfenstein 3d, Doom, quake, Syndicate (oh, *that* was a violent game), and so forth much. It was my way of venting my aggression. Taking all my aggression out at pixelated figures instead of real persons. Heh, I played it so much I won a competition with some 300 players, at a computer party here in norway - and I've never been a more calm and balanced person as after those alternatives came.

And, you do not need to worry about me. My years as a victim ended about 4 years ago - when I finished the compulsory school in Norway. After that I went seperate ways from my bullying class"mates". 9 year in hell was over - and NOW I'm studying at the university, laughing when the pizza-delivery-boy is one of my prior tormentors. Knowing that my wages will be at least 5x his.

Oh, and for more reading about the subject, I *really* recomed that you read the "Voices from Hellmouth" series by Jon Katz, and the discussions that followed his articles. They are *Really* recomended reading.

http://slashdot.org/articles/99/04/25/1438249.shtml - Voices from Hellmouth
http://slashdot.org/features/99/04/27/0310247.shtml - More stories from Hellmouth
http://slashdot.org/features/99/04/29/0124247_F.shtml - The price of being diffrent.

you also find links to them from the slashdot main page, at the top right.

I know that there is a hell-of-a-lot to read if you want to read all the discussions. At least read the main articles, and *start* reading the discussions. It's worth it.

Oh, and please send me some response. Flame, sympathy or whatever - it's all very appreciated.

Rune Kristian Viken arcade@kvinesdal.com

Mr. Wallace:

In his June screed on Columbine, Bob Wilson thunderously condemned a liberal columnist who suggested repealing the Second Amendment. He paraphrased the columnist's argument as: "To hell with all these laws intending to usurp the Constitution! Let's just abolish part of it."

Precisely how is such a proposal very different from conservative attempts to abolish part of the First Amendment to protect the American flag?

On another subject, the June articles on the existence or non-existence of God were riveting. If ever there was a body of work to be savored, thought over, and re-read, that's it. Thanks...

j.bartlett hitsjustkeeponcomin@yahoo.com

Mr. Wallace,

I am sure your past experiences in France and Kent State have influenced you in your hatred of guns and, apparently, gun owners. It is sad, but typical of Liberals and Lawyers like yourself to staunchly defend the First Amendment, which you stretch to the limit, while disregarding and criticizing the Second Amendment. As an American, you should respect and support the entire U.S. Constitution, not just the amendments you favor.

Have you ever heard of 'Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership'? They have quite a bit of Historical data on firearms available. I believe they may even refute some of the 'facts' you refer to on guns and crime. Respectfully, Samuel Caruso SamsSports@aol.com

An Auschwitz Alphabet
Dear Mr. Wallace:

I just wanted to let you know your site is a very good one. My father and mother were born in Vienna Austria--but their parents were from Galicia (Poland, Ukraine in their case) Both of my parents were Holocaust survivors, and both are deceased now.

I wrote you for more than one reason. I would love to see someone in our community (Jewish) deal with the reality of children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors. There is a group calling themselves "2ND GENERATION--very little about the real issues about being children of these survivors--more about a collective guilt that particular organization seems to feel. I have a 7 year old daughter who has virtually no family history.

My parents did not discusss family members who had perished in the camps. I have been trying to piece together some kind of history with basically little to nothing to go on. I envy those Jews whose families have a traceable history. You want to talk about feeling isolated by being Jewish in a society like ours? Try doing it with no family history. I have always felt like I was in a category of 1- me.

I will admit that this has helped me in some cases--but hindered me more than not. I feel that the world needs to spend a little energy on the children of these survivors--we number in the hundreds of thousands. I am afraid that when the last survivor dies the world will look upon the Holocaust as history only--something that no longer touches and affects peoples lives.

Thanks for listening!

Norma Schaffer nsco@gte.net

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I think that what you wrote is great. i know the holocaust happened.I know that jews where murdered and gassed. It was a terrible thing that happened and something that really upsets me, because how can such horror go on in this world. Its such a tragic thing and youre essay is great. I really dont have words to express what i feel because what happened in those concentration camps was just horrible and sad. you know that this really interests me. i would like to learn some more about the things that happened in the concentration camps and the whole story about World War 2. its really good to learn about all the history. my favorite subject in school was always about World War 2. please let me learn more. by the way where you or any one in youre family survivors?


Dear Mr Wallace,

As a seventeen year old British Muslim, I am about as unconnected to the Holocaust as they come, but about three years ago I started reading Holocaust literature and I am still trying to make sense out of how Allah could have let this happen. For Muslims, nothing takes place except by His will, so He has sure got some explaining to do! Something that Chaim Potok said about it will always stick in my head. He said that his response is to shout at God for breaking the covenant, as Job did in the Bible and as, he says, Jews were allowed to do in the Shabbat Morning Service when he was young. What made me think in what he said was his comment that: "You shout out of faith. If you don't have faith you don't have anyone to shout at."

Your Auschwitz Alphabet was utterly harrowing, but I think I am beginning to understand a lot more what those people must have gone through. It is so utterly removed from our own experience in a sheltered middle-class society. But genocide can get you anywhere. I was wondering if you had read "Mila 18" by Leon Uris. It is about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1942 and is definitely worth reading.

I hope you could understand this e-mail, it appears a little incoherent.


PS: thank you also for your informative articles on the use of violence and the prisoner's dilemma. I was really stuck on an Ethics essay on the use of violence and stumbled on this site. Thanks to you I got an A.

Dear Jonathan,

I tried the email on Auschwitz Alphabet to find Jonathan Blumen without success. Is there anything you could tell me about him. How old is he? Has he been to Auschwitz (even as a visitor). I'm intrigued why he used the wrought iron symbol Arbeit Macht Frei instead of the one I saw over the main gate. I know the one he showed does exist because I've seen it in films. But where is it. I didn't see the gates shut - perhaps it is there. I very much liked the account he gave and his personal comments but this triviality is "bugging me". Hope you can unriddle this for me.

Diana Doust ddoust@scu.edu.au


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I share your distaste for the so-called "Christian Coalition," and Pat Robertson, and I reject all anti-Semitic sentiments & teaching, but you cannot change history: At its roots, this is a Christian nation. Nearly all the Founding Fathers were members of orthodox Christian churches, and many actively promoted Christianity specifically.

Also, you are mistaken in your use of the term "establishment of religion." It is clear from historical circumstance and in the well-documented revisions of the first amendment that the intention of this provision was to prevent a particular *denomination* of Christianity from being established as compulsory, *as happened in England*.

In fact, the principles of Christianity were the guiding factors by which our government was formed, and many of the founding fathers, including George Washington and Fisher Ames (who gave us the wording for the first amendment) considered Christianity, true Christianity, essential for the well-being of any country. Our becoming "the most secular and benign of nations," as you put it, is only a very recent phenomenon. Furthermore, a Christian nation does not mean an anti-Jewish nation. A Catholic nation has, historically, meant anti-Jewish, but it has also historically meant anti-Christian as well. True Christians heed Gen. 12:3, where God tells Abram, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Finally, as if your ignorance of American history is not enough, you handwave the 1994 congress and the Contract with America with a sweeping, lofty claim that "in reality, admitted by nobody," they were trying to "rewrite the Bill of Rights." I have seen a lot of similar rhetoric, but it is simply not true Did you ever look at the 13 sections of the Contract with America? It is without exception a secular document, compassing bills such as the Omnibus Tax Bill and the Balanced Budget Amendment. Do these bills infringe on your rights as a citizen? It also contained an anti-crime package, which is based on the principle that, if a criminal is convicted of a crime, he should receive justice for it; that it is his own fault for committing the crime and not society's; hardly an idea solely Christian in origin, in fact I should say it is Jewish in origin, cf Exodus and Deuteronomy!

I do not know you personally, so I will not stretch to suppose that you may even be deliberately using your Jewish background to push an agenda that is obviously liberal, and not Jewish. You may wish to put some research into your articles, even though the bar is lower for internet journalism than for traditional avenues.

Joel Dueck tdueck@usfamily.net

There is a difference between what the state of Texas did to an axe murderer and what the nazis did to the Jews. For you to compare her execution to what Dr. Mengela did will allow for another holocast. If you cannot see that then take off your rose colored glasses. KF Tucker died because she killed, plain and simple. That she could have killed in another state and lived is irrelevant, and the reason why the death penalty should not be an option, rather it should be nationally mandated. The penalty for killing should be death, then these killers are completely unable to ever kill again, and that is good enough for me. If the death penalty was swift it would be a deterent. I believe that the family of the victim should have the first option to be the executioner, and the ability to kill with the same feriousity as the victim was killed. Perhaps if the person killing knew their own death would be just as horrible, or worse, they may pause long enough for thought and move on without killing. I know you will reply with some old bleeding heart song and dance, perhaps even quote the Bible, but as for me I am an unrepentant supporter of George Bush Jr. for president and his tough stance on these and other bleeding heart issues is the reason.


Hi Jonathan,

I saw your report on the Bernstein case in the CU-Digest. It's one of the best explanations of the case I've seen so far--clear and complete. So many reporters seem unable to articulate the First Amendment argument clearly, or to show how it fits into the larger issue of freeing crypto for everyone to use and sell. You did a wonderful job. And I don't say that just because you called us "innovative." ;-).

Thanks again,

Cindy Cohn Cindy@McGlashan.com


I was introduced to your web site by an article entitled, "Who's Watching the 'Watchers'?" posted on Peter Langston's "Fun People" website in which you were referenced. The article was from 1997 but I am fairly new to the net and I am eating up whatever thought-provoking material I can find. This means searching through archives of interesting sites. I was pleased to find your web site; it is exactly what I have been looking for. I am currently stuck in a boring job until I finish some schooling and embark on a new career. I need intellectual stimulation and your site is fascinating. Thank you for taking the time to create and maintain it. I look forward to reading more articles in the future.

Allisa Becker becker@fusion.ucsd.edu

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thanks again for such a superb website and the vital updates, especially regarding censorware.....You have helped this newbie an awful lot!

Jenny LaFauci TizzyYaYa@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace:

While researching a paper on the ethical aspects of sterilizing citizens who are developmentally disabled, Yahoo led me to an astonishing/disturbing piece by Margaret Sanger (founder: Planned Parenthood). I'd heard she'd been a radical for "purifying the race" but her own words really topped it!

Interested to see what publication originated this reprint, I found it was The Ethical Spectacle. Having read your brief bio, I admire your appreciation for the freedom we enjoy in the U.S and your utilization of these freedoms to pursue your goals including the printing of The Ethical Spectacle on-line. I don't know how much we might agree upon, but I surely defend your right to speak print your mind. Good luck.

Tanya Ferrao sunsurf@naples.infi.net