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Posts tagged Timothy McVeigh

Refuge of Oppression #4: Non sequitur edition

Happy 2008, everyone!

In celebration of the new year, here’s a recent correspondence I received over the holidays, from a friend of men’s college sports, a protector of men’s endangered penises, and a defender of virtue, righteousness, and old time religion generally against the assault from femists socialist man hating women, apparently including the elder statesman of Analytic philosophers.

I will bestow 100 bonus points on anyone who can identify absolutely anything in particular on my blog that this missive would count as a reply to.

From: healingchiropracticrehabcenter
To: Rad Geek
Date: 2007-12-28 8:01 PM
Subject: Hilary

Hilary and the rest of the femists socialist man hating women got it all wrong

Women want special treatment because they are woman but want to be lied to saying they achieved something by merit

But in reality by their skirt and flirt.

Women want all the oppertunities of a man but special affirmitive. Action treatment but want to keep their little priveledge of a stay at home housewife.

Womens goal is not to be equal but to destroy men

ALMOST eliminated Wrestling like they did boxing.

Cut football scholarships back
And gave mens football and basketball money to womens sports and mens sports that do not generate revenue

Mens Div 1 Basketball 13 Scholarships
Womens Div 1 basketball 15 scholarships

The National Council of Communist athletes calls this. Gender Equity

Womens Volleyball 15 Scolarships
Mens. Volleyball 41/2 scholarships

Crew. Women can have 40 scholarships
Men. 0 scholarships

Men in football or basketball are picked
Cheverlet player of the game and the money is given to the ” gen Scholarship fund which equates to non male non male athlete benifets

Hollywood and TV is always showing women beating up on men and its okey while the men are being faggy hairstylist and waitressess and nurses

Women walk around in these evolution shirts starting as amonkey progressing to a football player then a high heeled bossy bitch

There are also much more qualified women to run than hilary that love our country Hilary loves the. United Nations of Islamic Terroists

By the way Hila ry already served her 2 terms as President.

Only in America Lorena Bobbit cut off her husbands dick. Stayed out of Prison and Kept Her License to Carry Scissors and cut hair.

If A Man Cut out a womens vagina or cut of her breasts , what do you think would of happened to. The. Guy

One Last Situation

If The Terrorist where White Christian Male military veterans would they get any symathy

Timothy Mcvey killed around 160 people from the IRS They ececuted him within 5 years

Over 6 years after 911 which almost
4000 were killed how many terrorist or planners have been killed
What would the femenist view be if they were white christian heterosexual men who played contact sports and served in the military?

I am sure you can see the point

Where is the outcry when a Muslim converts to christianity and sentenced to death By Now

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

O.K., fess up. Which of you actually penned this over-the-top satire on the illiterate buffoonery of antifeminist Internet trolls? It’s not that it’s not funny, in its own way, but I’d say that it is entirely too ham-handed to be ultimately successful.

Pet Peeves

There’s quite the debate raging over at Catallarchy, in reply to comments condemning Harry Truman as a terrorist as bad, or worse, than Osama bin Laden:

My view is the direct opposite of what they teach in government run schools. They teach that Truman’s action [the use of atomic weapons] was a heroic choice that saved many American lives. With a similar line of reasoning, a friend of mine argued that the massacre of civilians during war may be justified if the reward is high enough. He hesitated to make a judgment in the particular instance of Harry Truman’s wartime actions, claiming that the good of saving American troops at least partially offset the bad of incinerating Japanese homes and families.

Many other men have used logic similar to Truman’s supporters to justify attacking civilian targets to further national objectives. However, I don’t think my American friends would hesitate to condemn their actions because they don’t bat for the home team.

For example, the name Osama bin Laden has taken its place among Hitler and Satan in the pantheon of evil. The reason? He thinks freeing the Arab world from Western imperial influences is important enough to sacrifice civilian lives. We might call him the Harry Truman of the Middle East.

As most Americans condemn bin Laden for putting civilians in harm’s way, so too do I condemn Truman. If bin Laden is a terrorist, then so is Truman. In fact, Truman’s actions are more indefensible because eventual victory was available through conventional military means. For bin Laden, direct military action, against the most feared armed force in all of history, is out of the question.

Americans have a perverse and dangerous view of their place in the world. Until we realize that our civilians are not worth more than other country’s civilians and that our leaders do not operate within a sacred halo that allows them to turn ugly sins into holy acts, America will continue to be a source of great suffering.

Now, I think that Jacob is right on here, and that the shameless apology for mass murder, as long as it happens under the Stars and Stripes, may very well be the most sickening feature in all of American education. But the fish I want to fry today is meta-ethical, not political, so if you want to argue about the massacres at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, etc., feel free to do so, but the point I want to call attention to is actually off to one side of the debate. Here’s a comment in the thread from Dave, howling in protest (emphasis added):

Jacob’s post is about moral relativism gone out of control. Maybe next this libertarian will compare Timothy McVeigh to Murray Rothbard because both harbored anti-government feelings. Look at the passive posture he wants the United States to assume. …

And blah, blah, blah.

I pick this out because it highlights a pet peeve of mine. The Right–thanks to the influence of the Christian Right and fundamentalist ideas about the nature of secular modernism–have been throwing around the phrase moral relativism in public debate over the past ten or twenty years, and every year that goes by they seem to get further and further from having any clue at all what it means. Here we have a particularly dramatic case in point: not only is there there is absolutely nothing in Jacob’s post which either entails or even suggests moral relativism. In point of fact, Jacob’s comments demand that moral relativism be rejected, and that moral principles be applied universally, rather than applied ad hoc depending on your relationship to the agent being judged.

It’s no sin not to know meta-ethical theory, but if you’re going to use the terms, you ought to know what they mean. Moral relativism does not mean being lax about taboos that you shouldn’t be lax about; far less does it mean drawing a mistaken comparison in ethics. Moral relativism is the doctrine that one and the same action can be both right and wrong at the same time–that is, that questions of moral value can only be answered relative to some frame of reference that can change from one judgment to the next. For example, some people have believed (wrongly) that whether an action is right or wrong depends on whether the person making the moral judgment has a feeling of approval or disapproval towards it; other people have believed (also wrongly) that whether an action is right or wrong depends on whether or not the person making the moral judgment lives in a society in which the action is generally praised, generally condemned, or generally considered neutral. (For an excellent discussion of, and critical reply to, actual moral relativism, see Chapter III of G. E. Moore’s Ethics [1912].)

Now, Dave might think that Jacob’s moral principles (for example, that deliberately slaughtering thousands or hundreds of thousands of civilians in pursuit of your goals is wrong, no matter what) are mistaken. I don’t think they are, but that’s not the point here. The point is that Jacob is insisting on principled ethical judgments (even if you think the principles are wrong) and he is not claiming anywhere, ever, that the applicability of those principles is relative to the speaker’s feelings, or culture, or relation to the person carrying out the slaughter, or relation to the victims, or anything of the sort. Quite the contrary; he’s insisting that moral principles, which he claims we insist on in bin Laden’s case, ought to be applied absolutely and for everyone. That’s an outright rejection of relativism and the excuses for atrocities that relativism so happily provides.

On the other hand, I can’t say the same for these comments:

If you don’t believe that your country’s citizens are worth more than the citizens of other countries — that is, entitled to live even if it means the death of citizens of other countries — I don’t want to be in the same foxhole with you.

But of course the comments come not from Jacob, but from the hawkish Tom, in protest of Jacob’s point. The implied conclusion — that subjects of other States shouldn’t be treated as though they have as much of a right to life as the subjects of your own State — is a textbook case of moral relativism. (Specifically, in this case, the claim that fundamental moral obligations, like the rights of innocents not to be burned alive as a sacrifice for others, can only be decided relative to the relationship between the you and the victim–if you are subjects of the same State then it is not O.K., but if you are subjects of different States, then anything up to and including dropping a fucking nuclear bomb on their heads is, apparently, acceptable.) Maybe Jacob’s principles are right and maybe they’re wrong; but he is employing principles, and insisting that they are universally binding. Tom, on the other hand, is explicitly stating that moral principles are binding relative to one group of people and mere breath relative to another. Yet it is Jacob, not Tom, who is denounced as a moral relativist; this is nothing but darkening counsel with words without knowledge.

The kind of argument that Tom uses is, of course, a method of excuse used all the time by the Right: the idea that any means at all are acceptable in warfare, because our moral obligations end at borders on a map, and so the pursuit of victory can trump any and every other moral consideration. Of course, just saying that a view is relativist is not the same thing as saying that it is false; maybe there are some good arguments for relativism. I haven’t found any, and I think there are decisive arguments against it, but it’s an open philosophical topic. But my concern here is about the proper use of terms, and about consistency; if you are going to support a bloody and unapologetic form of relativism, then you had better argue for it, and you had better not pretend that you’re opposed to it. Yet it seems that somehow the self-appointed arch-nemeses of moral relativism never do get around to condemning this sort of blatant disregard for universality in ethics–perhaps because their situation is as the Prophet has written: We have met the enemy, and they is us.

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