Monday, April 12, 2021

Nothing is off the table

Let's say, one day while minding your own business, you see a cop jump a guy for not wearing a mask. Let's say the guy was struggling against his attacker and more cops showed up and joined in the beating.

Would it be ethically wrong to use whatever force was required to make the cops stop, possibly saving their victim's life in the process? What if deadly force was what it took-- whether intentional or just as a consequence of the violent circumstances?

Someone I was talking to earlier initially said it would be OK to struggle with the cops, but not OK to employ hidden snipers on standby to save such victims.

He said it has to be up-close force from bystanders. He also admitted that filming cops hasn't done much to stop their attacks.

When I pointed out that using any physical force against the cops would result in your probable death-- at least your arrest-- he changed his angle somewhat. He shifted to recommending that bystanders yell at the cops and tell them they don't like what they are doing. (Didn't that happen with the George Floyd event? What did it accomplish?)

He says what needs to happen is that people like me need to get the message out to the public about how bad cops are. He claimed that the "public" needs to be convinced that cops are not the good guys so they would shout them down in the event of any such attack-- shaming them into quitting the attack or even quitting their illegitimate "job".

I think that deserves a place in the arsenal of protecting society from roving police gangs, but that you can't rely on that as your only course of action.

I think that automatically dismissing any tactic is letting the bad guys know they can get away with whatever they want to do. If you say "You'd better stop molesting and killing people or I will call you names and yell at you, but don't worry-- I won't touch you", you're telling them they can do whatever they want.

If they were that worried about "public opinion" they wouldn't do what they do.

I'm in favor of avoiding violence-- even in self-defense when possible. But I also recognize that some aggressors aren't going to stop aggressing until met with sufficient force to stop them. It's not always going to work to talk a rapist out of raping someone-- sometimes you just have to end him. Unless you're OK with him continuing to violate people into the future.

Cops are a very large gang, with almost endless numbers of gang members and supporters. Yes, by all means, whittle away at their support-- undermine the argument that they are in any way good guys. But, also, be mentally prepared to defend yourself and others from their attacks-- in a way which allows you to protect yourself from their retribution whenever possible. I don't need more martyrs for my inspiration.


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  1. If you do the "right thing" then you will be hunted down and killed (if you survived the first incident when doing the right thing) by that nasty blue gang... but I believe that is going to start happening more as the times are 'a changing, and they are pushing good people way too far....

    1. I suspect you are right. But far too many people are still suffering the delusion that cops are good guys. The number may be shrinking, but it's still too large.

  2. "Would it be ethically wrong to use whatever force was required to make the cops stop, possibly saving their victim's life in the process?"

    It would NOT be wrong. As Axeanda45 points out, you'll likely end up dead, but we seem to be rapidly approaching a point where we either take that risk or "live" the rest of our miserable lives on our knees, kissing whatever the government shoves in our face.

  3. Jason Brennan wrote an excellent book addressing just these types of ethical questions (When All Else Fails). I believe his conclusion for the situation described, was that it was ethical to intervene but doing so might be tantamount to suicide.