Re: virus: Tabacco mind virus

Tony Hindle (
Sat, 2 Aug 1997 03:28:20 +0100

In message <>, Eva-
Lise Carlstrom <> writes
>Yes, advertising and selling cigarettes is an evil way to make a
>living--manipulating people into damaging their health for the sake of
>your own profit.
>No, that doesn't mean that killing them is justified.

The reason I am exploring the possibility that killing (by a
near-death victim) a carefully chosen tobbaco spokesperson would be
justified is simply that when I think through what would happen as a
result I almost always come to the conclusion that it would mean a net
saving of lives.
I would also advocate the killing of a random member of the
public if it was sure to lead to the same net saving of lives. Before
you dismiss this as lunatic rantings I suggest you consider exactly what
it would mean, you act to make the world a safer place for everyone.

>If I shoot someone dead, that's direct; if I hire someone else to do it,
>that's indirect. Same culpability, IMHO. Legal labels may vary, but in
>my moral landscape they're equivalent.

Same here.
>But attempting to convince someone to do something that is against his or
>her own best interests, including even suicide, is not the same thing as
>doing it or getting someone to do it for you. Memetic influence, even
>when used in the service of sleazy causes like cigarette advertising or
>encouraging murder, is not deadly force.

I disagree, just because you cant pin down direct irrefutable
cases doesnt mean that they dont exist, its a simple statistical outcome
that certain key personell working on pro tobacco memes will cause a
number of deaths greater than one in their career.