Anti-Consequentialism Is a Sometime Thing

How bad a given policy is depends on which party is in power – according to, this time, Thomas Sowell.

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3 Responses to Anti-Consequentialism Is a Sometime Thing

  1. Lode Cossaer July 2, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    I might be totally missing something, but I don’t really see how this conclusion follows from the article that the person you link too, links too?

    I would draw something like a ‘encroaching liberty is a systematic problem’, which is a totally different conclusion. But again; I might be missing something?

    • Bob Kaercher July 2, 2010 at 10:07 am #

      I believe Roderick’s point is a reference to this quote from Sowell:

      “Whatever the verbal fencing over the meaning of the word ‘torture,’ there is a fundamental difference between simply inflicting pain on innocent people for the sheer pleasure of it– which is what our terrorist enemies do– and getting life-saving information out of the terrorists by whatever means are necessary.” Here Sowell contradicts his own previous quote regarding means and ends.

      BTW, it’s amazing that Sowell still trots out the “ticking time bomb” canard.

      Perhaps he should read this:

      http://www.alternet.org/rights/41648/?page=1

      It never ceases to amaze me that Sowell 1.) is never the least bit embarrassed to serve up half-baked Hollywood plots as a justification for torture or that 2.) despite all his (correct) insistence that government can hardly achieve anything productive in other areas, his views on national defense and foreign policy imply that government can be virtually omniscient in THOSE areas.

      But that is typically the inconsistent logic of the right-wing tool.

      • JOR July 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

        I always thought the “ticking bomb” scenario would be the one in which torture is least likely to work. After all, the terrorist only has to hold out until the bomb goes off…

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