[From Fred Nickols (991203.1735 EST)] --

Bruce Gregory (991202.1030 EST)

>Bill Powers (991202.0333 MDT)

> And no
> rule that is unfair and that leads to bad relations should be
> adopted and
> obeyed except merely to avoid any bad consequences from
> others who take it
> on themselves to enforce it. I would certainly not want them
> taught that
> rules are to be accepted just because somebody thought them up.

Ah, a libertarian. That makes your assumptions clearer to me at least.

Hmm. Is it a generally accepted view that a "libertarian" is someone who,
as Bill P suggests above, doesn't accept rules simply because they are
there (i.e., someone thought them up)?

That's a honest question so no one should go off on it...

Later in the same post cited above...

Bill P:

> Some of us who have descended from the 1940s may have a
> peculiar view of
> anyone who says "I am just following orders." But, evidently, not all.

Bruce G:

The winners get to decide if "I was just following orders" is a
satisfactory or unsatisfactory response. Imagine what would have
happened to the crews that fire-bombed Tokyo if the Japanese had won the

Well, I'm probably an "old fart" but I side with Bill P big time on this
one. The Nuremburg trials were about precisely that, namely, that carrying
out orders wasn't enough to justify one's actions. The chief trial judge
warned that we would be setting a precedent that would come around and bite
us all on the behind, and it did -- at My Lai (although those cowards got
off lightly. A coward, by the way, according to yours truly, isn't someone
who doesn't shrink from physical violence or pain; it's someone who lacks
the moral fiber to do what's right.) We have a similar situation rearing
its ugly head from the past in Korea (i.e., the slaughter of civilians
under a bridge). If we leave it up to the winners, then might makes right
and I don't buy that.



Fred Nickols
The Distance Consulting Company
"Assistance at A Distance"
(609) 490-0095