Robert Peter Burns
rburns at chaph.usc.edu
Mon Feb 5 01:27:50 MST 1996
Re-reading my post on Peru and killing leftists,
I think I may have slightly misstated my case.
I said that it was idiotic to presume that killing
leftists will have been a good thing on the mere
condition that Sendero subsequently wins power.
What I should have said was that it is idiotic
*if* we mean by 'presume', 'presume
and leave it at that'. If we mean by 'presume',
'provisionally hold, subject to a revision of
views based on an analysis of the actual causal
consequences of the actions in question', then
it is less clear that the view is idiotic.
That is, I might be prepared to grant that extreme
revolutionary-consequentialism is not idiotic--
though this is not much of a concession, since even if
it's not idiotic, it's still wrong. Even then, for
Paul's view not to be idiotic it must also be the case
that the kind of revolutionary aims actually liable to
be realized by Sendero are not idiotically bad ones;
and this I most certainly do not grant.
rburns at scf.usc.edu
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