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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Defending the Wicked Part 1: Introduction

I am going to steal Walter Block's idea here. Walter Block is an economist who wrote the interesting book "Defending the Undefendable". He picked out many different members of society who are hated and velified by everyone and came to their defense by saying that they are really not such bad people. I am going to do the same thing. I will pick topics that Walter Block does not cover and defend those people. Thus, you will not see me talking about prostitution or drug dealing because these are already covered very well by Block. I will try to be a little bit more creative. And I will also try to list each kind of person from least hated to most hated. So I will start with something that some people would already agree with me on and when I reach the end there will be basically no one who would agree with me.

I do this for a reason that I have been saying already for while. Give up morality. Morality is not necessary to be a good person. Atheists says you can be a good person without believing in God, true, but I say more, you can be a good person without having any morals. Not immoral but rather amoral. The moment you give up morals you start to take positions you normally would never take. You become so much freed up. Nihilism is a step closer to freeing up your mind, and nihilism should be the logical conclusion from any atheist.

Yes I believe in all the things I am going to say. Maybe you would get the impression I am doing this only to insult people but that is not true. I genuinely believe in what I defend. If I really wanted to insult people I can tell that the Holocaust never happened, slavery never existed, and Bambi's mother was a prostitute. But I am not going to say these things because I do not really believe in those statements. Notice that I will not be defending the murderer or the theif because I have no defense to give to these people.

An important idea to keep in mind when you want to call something wrong is to ask, "is it wrong to do this by its nature?". Let me give you an example. Consider prostitution. Some people would say, "prostitution is wrong because there are women who are killed for it". The problem with this argument is that killing is not in the nature of prostitution. All what prostitution is, is an exchange of money for sex. That is it. That alone does not make prostitution wrong. The argument that prostitution is wrong because some women have been killed for it only focuses on a special case of prostitution. Instead anyone who wants to condemn prostitution as something which is wrong should explain why it is wrong by its nature alone without creating a special case in which it would be wrong. Now consider murder and theft. The nature of murder and theft is wrong. Murder is about killing other people and theft is about taking away from other people. These things are wrong by their nature. One can point to specific examples where murder and theft are understandable. For instance, if I kill in self-defense that is not wrong, and if a poor person steals money from a rich person's house not because he is trying to cause any problems but rather because he wants some food to buy then that is also understanble and not wrong (unless you happen to be like Ayn Rand and think the poor person should starve). But these exceptions to murder and theft are just that, exceptions. In general though the nature of the act of murder and theft are both wrong. Therefore, if you want to condemn something for being wrong you should ask yourself whether it is the nature of the action that makes it wrong or a special case of the action that makes it wrong.


  1. Excellent. Walter Block doesn't appear enough in the Jewish blogosophere.

  2. "Excellent. Walter Block doesn't appear enough in the Jewish blogosophere.":

    I doubt that Walter Block appears that much in the blogging world in general.

  3. Well, certainly he appears in the Austrian/libertarian blogs.

  4. what if a person just naturally kills. Take someone like Anton Chigur from No Country For Old Men. It's the man's nature to kill. So why is he wrong for doing what comes natural to him?

  5. "what if a person just naturally kills. Take someone like Anton Chigur from No Country For Old Men. It's the man's nature to kill. So why is he wrong for doing what comes natural to him?":

    If it really is his nature to kill then you cannot hold him responsible for that, just like you cannot hold the universe responsible for destruction of life on a non-stop basis. But that is not common in people. I mean when we think "murder" we usually think of one guy killing another guy without the other guy having it his nature to kill. What you wrote is really an exceptional case to murder.

  6. I'm not sure I agree with you Baruch. It seems that gamzoo has described just about every politician I've had the displeasure to come across.