Re: RARA-AVIS: The moral implication of killing

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 24 Oct 2007

At 07:40 AM 24/10/2007, you wrote:

>It does seem to me that there is a basic difference between
>discussing the death penalty (or any other topic) as it appears in or
>relates to fiction and discussing it purely as an issue in the real
>world. I'm not saying one's better or worse than the other -- it's
>not -- but there are different places where each is appropriate.
>If this were a mailing list about cooking, and people used it to
>compare recipes, discuss cooking techniques, share menus, review
>restaurants and chefs, etc., and someone started a protracted
>diatribe about cruelty to animals, would that be appropriate? It
>would be a perfectly reasonable topic to discuss -- but not in that
>location, since that's not the purpose of that discussion group.

Unless I wanted to find recipes that, say, didn't involve boiling animals to death, and others wanted to know why that might be an issue and I said, well, the lobsters aren't crazy for it, for one thing and even if they don't care I just don't think it's morally right and others said, well, is electrocuting or smashing them over the head any better and I said it would at least be faster and others said it would spoil the meat and so on. I accept that the topic might not be of interest to the majority of recipe seekers, especially those who don't care for seafood at all, but it might be on-topic for some and I don't see why those that are interested should be told to take their discussion elsewhere when those who are disinterested might simply avoid the topic of Boiling Lobster.

Also, I sometimes tolerate discussions more for where they might lead than for the current content. In such cases, discussion becomes boring to me when they reach the is-so-is-not stage, as in, "The lobsters don't feel it," "do to," "do not," which is about where our capital punishment discussion is now, I think. But look at the stuff that has come up at the tail end, like this one regarding cooking techniques, and the one about fiction vs. "real" life.

Seems to me this issue is related to the success of the list. More people, more topics, fewer people to be engaged by every one of them. Nice problem to have. Be a shame to limit discussion to hardboil or noir topics only a majority want to discuss.

Hamburger, anyone? Kerry

------------------------------------------------------ The evil men do lives after them

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