Re: virus: Tabacco mind virus: antivirii

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 01 Aug 1997 14:43:07 -0500

Tony Hindle wrote:

> Wishful thinking, suppose the only way to stop him shooting is
> by pressing a button which causes his death instantaneously (I have left
> out the details so you cant nit pick)

We're back to the hypothetical button again. "Here's the big red
button. To press it will kill millions, but it is supposed that killing
those millions will save many many more millions" (think World War II)

OK, Tony, I have an answer: I would like to think I would push it, but
I'm not sure I could.

I've got a story for you.

About two weeks ago, my little sister caught her kitten with a baby bird
(I beleive it was a robin). She saved the bird from the kitten, but
alas it was too late. The little kitty had already wounded the bird too
badly. It's hip was ripped open, and the bird was struggling. It would
toss and turn, and step up on one leg, only to fall down again. I
beleive it was in a lot of pain, although it didn't ever chirp.

My sister was crying. This bird was going to die. The cat had caught
it, and had played with it. If Karen had not found it, the cat would
have eaten it, I suppose. And we would have been none the wiser.

But found it and saved it, and now we had to deal with it. Poor bird!!

It had the most amazing black beady eyes. And I could see the pain.

Karen continued crying.

So I broke, and I offered to kill it. "Put it out of it's misery", you

I didn't know how hard that would be to do, though.

I got a knife, and I took the bird. And I tried to will the nerve to
kill it.

To, in cold blood, swing that knife and kill that poor bird.

But first, I had to face my own demons. Could I kill this bird? The
knife was shiny and sharp. The bird was small and in pain. But the
knife wasn't going anywhere without me, and the bird was still *alive*.

I couldn't do it.

So I called the dog over, and tryed to get him to take it away. Not a
good way to die, I know, but it absolved the problem.

Except that the dog wouldn't take it. He walked away, as if he knew
this was something I should deal with.

And Karen was still crying.

And the bird was still struggling, flipping over and over, and it's
little black eyes still held the pain.

So I picked up the knife again, and I asked the little bird for
forgivness, and I chopped it's head off...

And the worst part was seeing it's little black eyes, on it's detached
head, still looking out. Like it deserved to see the world, still. It
was so young, too. Just a juvanial.

And, of course, there were the muscle spasms. It's little leg (the good
one) twiched for a good minute, out there. Freaky.

Then I dug a small hole and buried it. And made my peace with my first

Death is a scary thing.


Now, the point.

That was a little bird, Tony. You are asking me if I would press a
button to kill a *man*. And not even an injured man. Just an evil one.

Morally, you may eventually convince me you are right, Tony. But
physically, when it comes down to it, I *could*not* press that button.

Such an act is beyond me. Forever, I hope.




> I am sorry. I never meant to call you a christian, I realise now
> that I should refrain from ever calling anyone by this word, it is so
> offensive.

heh. I'm not sure it's an insult, but <fundamental> Christians are
certainly not my favorite people.

"Unashamed to attempt to be Christ-like while
unabashedly proud of not being a Christian."

> >But you will also propagate the meme that one death is *better than*
> >two. That force is a good thing, if applied against the prior (or
> >potential) use of force. The question is: is that a meme you want to
> >spread?
> That one death is better than two, yes.
> That force is a good thing

Tony, admit this: killing someone is a use of force. The fact that you
are justifiying it by claiming a net saving of life does not mean
anything. Killing someone is *still* killing someone, regardless.


and today's posts on this topic will be my last, for this topic. I've
had enough.