Re: [asa] morals/ethics

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Tue Oct 20 2009 - 14:59:52 EDT

Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> People say Hitler was the worst, but I heard Alexander the Great (long before Hitler) was much worse. Alexander killed villages for the vain glory of killing, while Hitler had, what he considered, a noble reason. The reason was wrong, but at least it was a better reason than just killing to show off or have fun or to prove what a big man he was.

As so often, Bernie, we have been over this ground and you insist on making totally spurious claims for no other reason than doing so advances your rather curious personal agenda.

So I will AGAIN offer the challenge that I put LAST TIME: Can you please cite ONE instance in which Alexander behaved in the manner you here assert?

The three obvious candidates are the destruction of Thebes, Tyre, and Gaza. But what you choose to ignore is that all three were destroyed because they broke the rules of ancient politics/warfare. Thebes rebelled against their recognized ruler, Tyre and Gaza chose to oppose Alexander under siege rather than submit. I don't condone Alexander's behaviour - but he certainly wasn't acting on a vain glorious whim.

Now, I know you don't like actually research - so much easier to go on what "people say" or on what "I heard" - so let me lay it out for you. There are NO - repeat NO - instances on record of Alexander "[killing] villages for the vain glory of killing."

So could you please refrain from claiming that Alexander acted for "vain glory".

I'd also appreciate if you refrain from honouring Hitler's motives as "noble" - there IS no "noble" reason for genocide, Bernie - full stop.

I realize that in all of this you want to promote the thesis that human morality has evolved past the point of needing a religious crutch. It's just unfortunate for you that the thesis is wrong and that the two greatest despots of history - Hitler and then Stalin - are such overwhelming evidence of the fact.

But despite the need to explain away their behaviour in order to maintain your thesis of moral evolution, I really think you should consider just impression you give when you attempt to defend Hitler's motives as "noble". Frankly, NOTHING could be better guaranteed to convince me that, when it comes to morality, you just don't get it.


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Received on Tue Oct 20 15:00:20 2009

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