Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Causality Does Not Mean Moral Blame

Libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul has said that America's interventionist foreign policy is partly to blame for the 9/11 terrorist attack. Of course, Rudy Guiliani went ballistic. War supporters often smear non-interventionists by saying that the latter claim that America "deserved" 9/11.

This, of course, is not what non-interventionists like Paul are saying. Causality does not mean moral blame. If a man walks down a dark alley in a dangerous neighborhood for no good reason, his foolishness was part of the chain of causality leading to his being mugged. But that is not to say that the mugger had a moral right to mug him.

Likewise, America's foreign interventions do not morally justify killing innocent people on 9/11. At the same time, America's foreign interventions may have motivated the attackers, and it may be wise to cease future interference in others' affairs.

Moral justification for 9/11, no. But causality, yes.

Yet War Supporters will deceitfully twist the words of non-interventionists ("He says America deserved to be attacked!") because people are dull, and easily manipulated emotionally, and if you don't have Reason or the Constitution on your side, twisting words is the way to go. We live in a sound bite culture.

Those who oppose the war, when faced with such deceitful tactics, should observe that the causes of 9/11 (American foreign interventions) do not mean that its victims deserved to die, but it would still be wise (and Constitutional) to cease foreign interventions (as George Washington sagely suggested).

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