Tag Archives | Ethics

Mass Transit

At a mass meeting, thought is eliminated. And because this is the state of mind I require, because it secures to me the best sounding-board for my speeches, I order everyone to attend the meetings, where they become part of the mass whether they like it or not, “intellectuals” and bourgeois as well as workers. I mingle the people. I speak to them only as the mass.
— Adolf Hitler

No witness for the truth dare become engaged with the crowd. The witness for the truth – who naturally has nothing to do with politics and must above everything else be most vigilantly on the watch not to be confounded with the politician – the God-fearing work of the witness to the truth is to engage himself if possible with all, but always individually, talking to everyone severally on the streets and lanes, in order to disintegrate the crowd – or to talk even to the crowd, though not with the intent of educating the crowd as such, but rather with the hope that one or another individual might return from this assemblage and become a single individual.
— Søren Kierkegaard

Unfortunately, the Hitler quote is from Rauschning’s Conversations With Hitler (a.k.a. The Voice of Destruction a.k.a. Hitler Speaks), which means its authenticity is fairly dubious. Still a nice pair of quotes though.

Continue Reading · 2

Caffeinated Casuistry

The Auburn Philosophy Club is hosting another public forum today (Wednesday, 13 November, 5:00, at Mama Mocha’s II, behind the Hound). The topic is Applied Ethics. I’m on the panel and will be talking about punishment.

Continue Reading ·

Boiling the Jaywalkers

So this guy made £35,000 selling forged celebrity autographs, and they caught him. Good. But they’ve also charged him with copyright violations, which is crap; and they’ve decided to lock him in a cage for 21 months, which is absurd. He should be forced to pay back the people he ripped off, to be sure; but he poses no serious danger to anybody. And even if I believed in retributive punishment, which I don’t, how could anyone think nearly two years’ imprisonment was a proportionate response to selling fake autographs?

Of course there is nothing unusual about this case.

Continue Reading ·

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes