To The Daily Sun,
Whatever you want to call it, situation ethics, moral relativity or practicality, it seems to have generated some responses from — you guessed it — the "fringe". I am referring to my letter concerning "the end justifies the means", a title that I did not choose since this newspaper takes it upon itself to change the original titles not only with me but with everyone else who contributes. Of course they will choose a title that is the most inflammatory and provocative to get more readers and to generate responses.
Whatever, it's their paper and they can do what they wish. The title I submitted was: "Motive counts for something" which I wanted to be the central theme of the letter but since a few gullible contributors took the bait they failed again to see the overall focus. As I have said earlier, it is not my intention to debate, refute or mention anyone's name (again, it's still a sucker's game). The opinion pages are not the proper venue to discuss ethics. I would suggest that those who spend their time attacking academia could benefit from an ethics class. I'm sure Lakes Region Community college is accessible to all.
Since a few like to give results of polls here is the latest CNN poll concerning Obamacare. I'll summarize for you. The majority of Americans believe: 1. Obamacare's problems will be solved. 2. It's too early to tell if Obamacare is a success or failure. 3. The majority of Americans do not support Conservative critiques of Obamacare. Republicans have bet everything on "failure" and if they lose that bet it will be an absolute disaster for them in the next election — and deservedly so.
As for moral relativity let's examine briefly if the question is as simple as my detractors imply. If you think the ratification of the 18th Amendment did not justify the ends then your beef is with the Temperance League, John D. Rockefeller and Henry Ford, not with me. Case #2: The U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force Japan to surrender rather than invading. If you don't believe that the means justify the end in this case then your beef is with the U.S. government — not with me. Case #3: Politicians using all kinds of nefarious means to get elected. If you don't believe that the means justify the end in this case then your beef is with them — not me.
And of course the classic Robin Hood who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. If you don't think the means justify the end then your beef is with Hollywood — not with me. I defy anyone that has seen that film to tell me they were rooting for the king! Of course conservatives can be magnanimous when it comes to the "make believe" world but in reality they would prefer that the rich steal from the poor as is the case today in this country. And lastly we have the "good book". If you think that all the horrors and atrocities perpetrated in those pages justify the end then your beef is with your priest, minister or rabbi — not with me.
If one persists in seeing the world in black and white, then I will reiterate my suggestion to take that ethics class. One of the requirements to gain full benefit is to have an open mind, which might eliminate a few. Personally, I would recommend PSU. Don't count on seeing me there since I've been retired for 13 years. By the way, healthcare.gov is working now. You might want to contact Senator Forrester and ask her why she voted against Medicaid expansion while Texas, with all its money, is choosing to negotiate Medicaid expansion.
So in the final analysis — to answer the question about the ends justifying the means — it appears that it all depends on the situation and who you're talking to. I'm sure the citizens of Nagasaki would have a different answer than the more dense contributors to this paper. Lastly, some fatherly advice to a few of the people who contribute to these pages. Try to control your rage. It's becoming a hobby like needlepoint with you guys. Not good for the heart.