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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Might does not make right …

Neither does weakness!

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character
Weakness of attitude becomes
weakness of character
(Photo credit: purplechalk)
Related source » Maverick Philosopher: Weakness is No Justification: The Converse Callicles Principle: 'via Blog this'
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]

“Might does not make right, but neither does impotence or relative weakness. That weakness does not justify strikes me as an important principle, but I have never seen it articulated. The Left tends to assume the opposite. […] The power I have to kill you does not morally justify my killing you. In a slogan: Ability does not imply permissibility. My ability to kill, rape, pillage and plunder does not confer moral justification on my doing these things. But if you attack me with deadly force and I reply with deadly force of greater magnitude, your relative weakness does not supply one iota of moral justification for your attack, nor does it subtract one iota of moral justification from my defensive response. If I am justified in using deadly force against you as aggressor, then the fact that my deadly force is greater than yours does not (a) diminish my justification in employing deadly force, nor does it (b) confer any justification on your aggression.”
— Maverick Philosopher, July 24, 2014, (

I would have thought it goes without saying that neither might nor relative weakness justify agression morally. Sadly, there is nothing that goes without saying to the sinister Left.

The sinister Left is devoid of any principles that would contradict their worldview. That worldview, of course, is replete with a repugnant attitude for self destruction.

Post 2,343 Might does not make right …


  1. Honestly Henry, why don't you stop this left/right rubbish. There are bad people either side of the divide. Racists everywhere, not just on the left.

    As a boring, uncommitted, middle of the road type, on almost everything, let me just observe that the biggest jerks I've ever met were nearly all "right".

    1. There are philosophical differences between Left and Right that rise above the rubbish heap. "Whether or not lack of ability implies permissibility" is an important difference, which I choose to emphasize in this post.

      That there are racists everywhere I don't deny. But the Left insists they are all on the Right, because that is where most of the criticism of this administration is heard.

      As to your claim that the biggest jerks you have met are "right", I can only observe that my own experience has been the opposite.

  2. Okay Henry. It all comes down to lack of ability with you. Personally, I find condescension to be one of the most obnoxious of human traits. I choose to emphasize this.

    I think Henry, that you are on the right of everything, casting aspersions on all those who don't line up behind you. After all, they can't be as clever as you. Nor as certain, I dare say.

    Musey, Musey, quite confusey.

    1. Even more than ability, I value reason and accountability.

  3. Henry, so do I. In my experience, very clever people tend not be be racist. This is a much clearer indicator of likely prejudice than left/right leaning political views. It's easy from the affluence of suburbia or rural idyll, to be so tolerant of all. It's not the academics, in their ivory towers who get called to prayer at five in the morning, whether they want it or not. It's not the rich who live in neighbourhoods where sharia law is taking over. If you talk to a person who lives in a poor area, especially as an ethnic minority, they will be overtly racist though not necessarily of the left.

  4. Anonymous, how are you operationalizing "very clever people" and what quantitative evidence do you have to back up your claim that they tend not to be racist? What evidence do you have that "an ethnic minority" living "in a poor area...will be overtly racist though not necessarily of the left"? And, are you making these claims cross-culturally, i.e., are you claiming this is a valid characterization of cultural dynamics in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, Nigeria, Brazil, Egypt ....

  5. Henry, sometimes I forget to declare myself, because I am continuing the conversation and thought that you recognise the general style, or lack thereof.

    I don't have quantitative evidence, as such, because I don't have irrefutable facts and figures. It would be difficult to prove any observation that comes from, well..observing people. When I worked in Cambridge, amongst the "very clever" it was impossible not to notice that their was a level of tolerance towards diversity that wasn't reflected in the general community.

    When I travelled "Oop North" into Yorkshire, Lancashire, it was equally impossible to ignore the resentment of the locals who find themselves besieged by those whose needs are put above theirs. So, all the local children will study Islam, and eat halal meat in the school canteen, whether they want to or not. This does not happen in the primary school in Hampstead or Richmond, where the parents turn up in their 4WDs to collect the precious darlings, and whiz them off to hockey practice or piano lessons or whatever.

    Obviously, I am talking UK here. Australia is a little different because areas tend to be newer and more homogenous. So there are Greek, Italian, Vietnamese enclaves. There is a little more angst in middle class areas where the Chinese have moved in more recently and completely taken over an area of the city. Of course, the displaced people have the consolation of selling their crappy little houses for millions. It's a great sweetener. I was sitting on a train last week, looking out of the window and it occurred to me that I could be in Hong Kong. Throngs of people, all of Asian appearance. I think that there is concern about the separateness, lack of assimilation into the community. That's how I see it anyway.

    I think that the USA is certainly different, again. I have visited may years ago and travelled by bus and plane across country, starting in New York and flying out of LA. Obviously, I can't comment on the mood, today.

    Just one thing, which might be insensitive, I don't know. I was talking to an Indian lady who was a team leader, Cambridge doctorate and all round bigwig at my workplace. It was shortly after 9/11 and she was telling me about her sister, a NY doctor who was suffering the backlash of that horror. She was a Hindu but like she said, " Musey, they don't distinguish there. It's much worse than here. You have no idea".

    This is going astray here, so to get back to the question which isn't that simple. I believe that most clever people (in the UK) would not articulate racism because it's anti-intellectual. The people who live in the poorer areas are rather more vocal because their everyday lives are impacted. I'm not saying that these people are stupid but they are frustrated and don't have any power, and they lash out in a racist fashion.

    The rich are different. The super-educated are different. There lives are unchanged so they can be generous.

  6. Dear Anonymouses (Anonymice?),

    It would be helpful if both of you signed your comments with a unique moniker of your choice, so we could tell who is saying what to whom. My own comments are always identified as TheBigHenry's comments. I don't do sockpuppetry.

    1. TheBigHenry,

      In order to facilitate identification of discourse participants, I will sign my comments using a handle (not my real name) -- I try to keep a low profile online because of certain sensitivities having to do with my position in academia.


    2. Thanx, Paul. And welcome to my blog.

  7. Right. Thanks for that. You do rude.

    1. Though I am confident this ad hominem remark is adressed to me, and I am confident which Anonymous is commenting, nevertheless, it is rude not to indicate who you are and whom you are addressing, especially after I requested politely that you do so.

  8. Henry, you should practice requesting politely because you have a way to go. All the comments here are down to me, except for Paul's very polite interjection.

    I did spend a few minutes answering your question, to which you gave no meaningful response. It's annoying to see the grammatical errors that slip through because I don't read through thoroughly, and then to read a sarcastic reference to Anonymice, from you, irritates me. I also thought that I was the only person saying anything and seeing as there was continuity of theme, I thought you would know it was me, Musey.

    If there are a whole load of other writers in the background, I have failed to spot them. Give them a go.


  9. Musey,

    The question @7/27/2014 9:03 PM that you spent a few minutes answering was not asked by me. It was asked by Anonymous, who subsequently identified himself as Paul.

    "Anonymice" was a pun on the plural "Anonymouses", namely "Musey" and "Paul". I did recognize which comments were yours, but I realized that the questions you were answering were posed by someone else.

    I am mystified why you insist that I (posing as Anonymous) am the one who asked those questions. I told you that all of my comments are titled TheBigHenry.

  10. Henry, sometimes I don't pay attention. I thought this was a two person conversation.

    I knew what you meant by "Anonymice," because I'm really not quite that stupid.

    Mea culpa. Musey.