Friday, May 29, 2009

But, but, but... What IF???

[He continues, being egged on by the comments of the previous post...]

Fair enough. But what if instead of an innocent teenaged boy, the person lying in the bottom of the boat near death were a condemned murderer who was due to be hanged upon arrival at port? (And he was very plump to boot.)

Notwithstanding the aversion to eating your fellow travelers (although they probably taste just like chicken), are your values about not taking a life still the exact same, standards-wise?

I am reminded of the VERY old joke about the man in the bar who asked the beautiful woman if she would make love to him for $10 (although I don't think the original joke used the term "make love") and she slapped him silly. Then he asked her if she would do it for a million dollars and she said, "Of course." And then (hell, you've all heard this when you were 10 years old) he says, "How about $100?" And again she slapped him up against the wall and said, "Just what do you think I am??"

Wait for it.

And he says, "We've already established what you are. Right now we are just haggling over the price."

Is that also somewhat true of your values about taking a life to save your own? I mean, would it make a difference if the meal-to-be were worthless scum? - if the price were right, metaphorically speaking?

If so, dear liberal, blow out your death-watch candles the next time Texas executes a child murderer. Your hypocrisy is showing.

But kudos to you if you walk the walk and truly wouldn't kill the worthless meal because it contained LIFE, period.

Me? I think I would have tried much harder to fish instead of pissing and moaning about my limited options until it was too late - maybe just take a few chunks out of him for bait. Sort of a maritime Shylock as it were.

Spock: "There are ALWAYS options."
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For those who missed the first party at #17, this is post #100 of my 2009 blog.

14 comments:

Stephanie B said...

I am actually a proponent for capital punishment.

I didn't have any issue, ethically, over the cannibalism and the only question (for me) was killing the boy first. That's why the testimony of the third crewmember was important for me.

Would I have a problem killing and eating a condemned murderer? Nope, but then I was in the "lesser charge" or acquit camp anyway.

Color me not in the not "all life is sacred" camp.

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - I was just over at your blog getting ready to comment on your today's post when I got the notification of your comment here. Talk about coincidence.

First, one thing you have just GOTTA do for me is stop thinking I am blogging at you. I'm not. You are giving me a complex. Was it the "liberal death-watch" paragraph? I don't have a clue where you stand politically or where you stand on the death penalty. I really don't. (Well, I do now, because you told me.)

I DO know that many many "liberals" (and a lot of my readers of this blog) are against taking life for any reason, no matter how heinous the crime - simply because life is sacred to them. Personally, I think I have a right to defend myself and my family against people who would do me harm, and I also think society has the right (even an obligation sometimes) to protect us as a whole - including the taking of lives. I refer to capital punishment. Just my own opinion.

But despite my Berkeley comment, I don't know your beliefs on this stuff. That comment was narrowly intended to describe the origins and mindsets of statists in this country - and I still think you are a statist rather than a believer in states rights and state superiority, but only within the context of the constitution, which was the subject of that particular post. But that doesn't mean I am labeling you a liberal or, for sure, a bleeding heart for killers.

These recent 2 posts of mine were to stimulate conversation, which is pretty much all I try to do since I rarely deal with things I know the answers to, or for which there even ARE answers.

You should also know that I compartmentalize a lot. That is, I can say some pretty provocative - even vicious, perhaps - things, just to get in a debate. That's how I learn. Consequently, I attack people's positions on things, never them personally. The latter is cowardly and is the very thing I was accusing the "far left" of doing when I spoke of "Saul" tactics: ridicule the person. I hope you will be very vocal with me if you see me doing that, because I don't want to do that kind of thing. I only want to clarify reality and define options. Truly.

To me, you are a person who likes to think about the various possibilities of things, just like I am. That is who I am trying to attract to this blog: thinkers rather than liberals or conservatives. How can one make a choice if he doesn't know all the options? And so I argue until I am convinced I am either right or until I have been set straight with superior logic and evidence.

I have some further things to say which I will say on your blog about your post, but I couldn't help but think YOU thought I was talking at you when I spoke of liberals with candles protesting scum being put to death. I wasn't. I was speaking of liberals (or anyone else, I guess) who I thought were promoting a double standard in that regard. I don't think you have ever shown a double standard. You are pretty straightforward and consistent.

Okay, this comment was too rambling to expect you to read. I will rethink and make up a shorter one.

Stephanie B said...

If you caught antagonism in my post, I'm sorry. It was not intended, Relax Max.

I was just telling you my position and explaining why I don't consider it hypocritical.

Many of my friends are absolutely against capital punishment. I'm just not one of them.

Stephanie B said...

And, actually, I didn't take your candle comment as addressed to me.

I eschew labels and prefer to address each issue individually. I, perhaps, favor a liberal stance on many issues (does that apply as a Statist - I have no idea), but I don't think one label fits me - although I like the "thinker" one. I'll take it.

Lidian said...

I am just here to congratulate you on the 100th 2009 post, Max. That is all.

As they say in NYC (but not in Ontario, except for me), how's by you?

And hi there to Stephanie, too! I will comment over on your blog tomorrow. Right now it is very late and I'm running on, if not empty, then appallingly little.

Obviously.

A. said...

Congratulations on your 100 posts from me too. :)

I see a dividing line, fine in some instances but definite, between killing deliberately and in self defence. On that life boat it wouldn't depend on whether I thought he was a useless scum or not: I would not take his life, and I can't in my present state of mind see myself ever doing that.

But that brings me to what I said in a comment to the last post. I've little idea how I might react: "I can well imagine that being in a situation such as either of these could make you act in an uncharacteristic way - there, but for the grace of God, go I," is what I said, and I'd stand by that.

In this scenario, too, there are so many ifs and buts that it's almost impossible to give an definitive answer. I'm ever an optimist though, so I could see myself always wanting to wait and see, while at least trying to improve the situation by whatever means available at the time.

A. said...

And the next question: would you do anything to protect the intended victim(s) or would you avoid attracting to yourself? If self-preservation is acceptable here, does the same apply to people who turned a blind eye under Nazi occupation, for instance?

frostygirl said...

Congrats on your 100th post, it came by so quickly if you think how new this blog of yours is....well done and thanks for the interesting things you post about, it always makes me think

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - Why am I always on the defensive with you? Even worse, why do I look forward to your comments so much and why am I always disappointed when I find none? Hmmmm.

@Lidian - Thank you for stopping by. We've missed you. :)

@A. - Thank you. And I know you would never take a scum's life. It is enough to know you would eat an inoffensive part of him. A big toe, perhaps.

Please don't be asking your own questions. Stick to the post, please. But I think your observation about self-preservation is true, at least in part, when you speak of Nazi atrocities being condoned. Or at least denied.

Don't get me started again about tolerance not always being the best road. You've read my posts on how evil must be confronted.

@Frostygirl - Thank you for the compliment! It went by fast for me too. And thank you for reading my stuff. I have always relished your friendship.

Janet said...

Congratulations on the 100th post! The Mountain Man and I met while playing the leads in a production of "The Merchant of Venice."

I'm sorry, what was the subject again? Oh yeah.

I too think sometimes society needs to eliminate those who are a constant danger to people. Unfortunately, the death penalty doesn't usually extend to child molesters and rapists, who are so often repeat offenders. (I expect I'm in for it now!)

Relax Max said...

@Stephanie - You did? Really? That is a really complicated play. I have never understood it fully. (What is Dustin Hoffman like?)

Ummmm... Just kidding, LindaJanet.

Do you think, in our attempt to be fair and make sure everyone gets his rights, that we have gone to far - are criminals being coddled in the name of civil rights? Are victims not getting justice nearly as often as perps?

Janet said...

I liked Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. Our director didn't understand the play either. In fact, that was the last production he did here.

Yes, I think criminals are often coddled. But I may be biased in favor of the victims. One sometimes struggles to get past personal experience to see the broader picture. But in these days when they catch some guy redhanded, literally blood dripping off his hands in front of 20 reliable witnesses, and yet he's still only the "alleged" or "accused" murderer and might get off if some idiot gets on his jury and does something stupid. Meh.

ettarose said...

I did not participate in the last post because, well I am no where as deep as the rest of your readers. I tend to think "emotionally" rather than after a huge debate over right or wrong. I would not kill the boy because he is a living person who did no harm to anyone except perhaps be weaker than the others, which does make me think of "survival of the fittest" I believe in the death penalty only if the evidence is actually beyond a shadow of a doubt. Who says one person is deserving of death over another. Perhaps the healthiest should have been eaten to save the life of the boy who obviously had more years ahead of him.

Janet said...

Ettarose has an excellent point - the fatted calf as it were.

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