the dissident frogman

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A comment by Damian Bennett on Are You Ready? ♠ Êtes-Vous Prêt ?

M./Mll. gl, I see the Frogman has beat me to the heavy-lifting. I'll confine myself to your answer to my question. DGB: The truth is the anti-death penalty mob is selective about its principled opposition. gl: They focuse on the cases more convincing for their goal (= to put forward that death penalty is not "the best we can" in terms of justice). That doesn't mean they approve death penalty for other murderers. No, gl, it means they are selective about their principled opposition. If you miss my point, "focusing on cases" is not principled opposition. It is predilection. Let's establish what we're talking about here. A principle is a settled rule which can be uniformly applied to all items in a category. A case is a particular and distinctive item in a category. OK, that ballparks the big concepts. In principle every death sentence is a convincing case against the death penalty, otherwise any exceptions void the principle. Either the principle holds and all cases are worthy of your advocacy equally or you are arguing cases, your pet crusades. Now just what sort of principled justice are you peddling that gives preference to Messrs. Mumia and Einhorn (and good Christ, how were their cases adjudged more "convincing"?) over Mr. McVeigh? Will Eric Robert Rudolph rate your consideration as a "convincing case"? Will he merit a thimbleful of Parisian tears? Your response to the Frogman is equally fatuous. This is the same reasoning Hubert Vedrine used when condemning Israeli self-defense while excusing Pali terrorism -- the French expected more of Israel. Your expectations, whether high or low, neither heighten nor attenuate principle. Perhaps there are individual cases to be argued against the death penalty. But stop trying to steal the moral high ground by pretending you've swanned in here to arguing some be-all principle. DGB

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