Posted: Oct 04, 2017 10:01 am
by Cito di Pense
archibald wrote:Stephen Paddock is a good example to cite (or rather the actions of Stephen Paddock are) if we are talking about better ways to approach and justify moral judgements in the ways that have been put forward (by Sam Harris, Finlay, etc).

Because whatever the inevitable flaws and complications, those approaches are better than what we are hearing on the TV, that we are dealing with 'pure evil'.

Obviously, moral judgements do not stop people like Stephen Paddock. Perhaps we believe that moral judgements somehow prevent a higher frequency of such events, but this depends on assessing the probabilities of stuff that didn't happen. What kind of sampling scheme helps with that? In order to test the effectiveness of a remedy, you have to withhold it for some sample. Can we do that? No, I don't think so. Better to just shut the fuck up. Stephen Paddock is no longer an issue, which is just a part of why I brought up his case.

Do moral judgements ensure that perpetrators like Paddock will off themselves, saving the cost of a trial? No, I don't think so in this case, either, but that's nothing compared with the cost to the families and friends of his victims.

We don't know what to do to prevent such events. Having a dialog about morality may calm some people down, but I'm pretty calm to begin with. While I don't approve of what Paddock did, I'm pretty dispassionate about it, since my passion could do nothing to change the course of history. To believe otherwise is to believe in the value of passion. I don't think Paddock's crime was one of passion; he made very careful preparations. The noise that comes up in threads like this one only serves to marginalize people who aren't passionate about moral issues. It could be that Paddock somehow felt marginalized. I don't know. Maybe he was just nuts.