Punchinello’s Chronicles

April 12, 2009

In Defense of Moral Principles

Filed under: View from the Bottom — Punchinello @ 6:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

We’ve just come through a period of kidnapping and ransom. An American ship captain was held hostage by Somali pirates, with those pirates expecting to be paid money for the captain’s release. This has been the standard model, and shipping companies routinely pay off ransom demands. But this time, it was an American ship and captain.

The US Navy arrived, facing the pirates with the entire United States authority and size. Still, the standoff continued. Until today, when Navy SEALs (somehow) attacked the pirates, killed most of them, and freed the captain. Well done!

And of course, along with the basic reporting of facts, a number of so-called news sources had to add in their editorial commentary. The question in the “minds?” of these journalists: “Will the level of violence now increase in these pirate actions, now that some of them were killed?”

Of frickin’ COURSE it will!

At issue is the willingness of the American people to fight for what’s right. Many (if not most) modern academic philosophers (and I use the term loosely) say there’s no such thing as “right.” There isn’t any objective morality, and certainly no such thing as a predominant moral justification. In particular, those intellectualists would have us believe that there can never be a justification for violence.

Today it was a small band of pirates. The nation of Somlia has no law, has no government, and shouldn’t rightly be called a nation. It’s a group of people gathered in a geographic location, doing whatever they can to survive. But whether it’s a band of pirates of a rogue nation, the principles are the same.

We’re continually hearing arguments that the Iraqi insurgents are only fighting, shooting guns, and blowing up people because they’re reacting to American military invaders. Criminals are reacting to a bad upbringing. Failure is a reaction to someone else’s fault. Violence is a reaction to some obvious other violence.

One of the other major differences between conservatives and liberals is pre-emptive violence. It’s the difference between proactive and reactive situations involving violence. Liberals want to wait until real violence (and the consequences) have taken place. Then they want to discuss, congregate and gather a consensus of what would feel like the best response.

Conservatives hold that human nature can be fairly accurately predicted in many cases. Violent people will continue to use violence as the primary solution to all their problems. Violent people have no similar morality to civilized or socialized people. As such, when someone threatens violence, demonstrates that violence, and continues to use violence, the best response is overwhelming violence.

When people wonder if the ends justify the means, they usually devalue individuals and individual lives to nothing. They place those individuals far below the needs of the group; the consensus; the society.

To suggest that it isn’t worth killing some pirates to free a hostage captain is the same. It’s not worth it, the argument goes, because now the pirates will kill lots of other people. Therefore, to save those possible or imagined “others,” we should allow the pirates free reign to do whatever the hell they want to do.

That’s absurd, and it’s toro-poopoo. If people want a negotiated, diplomatic solution to the pirate problem, then place a major fine on any shipping company that pays ransom. Interdict Somalia, cutting them off entirely from the rest of the civilized world until the people come up with some sort of society based on law.

Otherwise, if pirates are in little boats, out on their own in the ocean, blow them the hell out of the water! Go Navy!

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