1.20.2005

Good professor

Sitting in class today (Poli Sci 103, which I realized just now I don't have to take so I'm trying to switch it to something else) with a bunch of freshmen, the professor asks, "How many of you are absolutists?" I raise my hand, and then a few other hands timidly go up. There aren't more than 5 or 6 of us. "Okay, how many of you are relativists?" Many hands, of course - it's Madison, after all. It wouldn't do to judge other cultures, you know!

Then he asks if murder is acceptable - say army x is from a country which believes that human sacrifices are necessary to please the gods. Army x has captured some soldiers from army y, and pop them up on the alter and lop off their their heads. Is that acceptable? "No, no, of course not!" comes the general reply. Killing is bad! Then one brave soul raises her hand:

"If they were killing their own people, it would be okay..."

Update: ...which reminds me of this post from Chrenkoff:

"Mr Hollenshead said he was not a traditional activist, but he decided to take part in the protest because 'I'm against everything that Bush is for and I'm for everything that he's against'."
President Bush is against cutting off children's ears with chainsaws. He's also not a great fan of peeing in your soup. Oh, and he is not in favor of executing Mr Hollenshead. Over to you, Mr Hollenshead.