Straw Men

William Saletan compares torturers to people who execute death-row prisoners and people who perform abortions. He writes:

In the fury of a moral backlash, naming names and holding people accountable feels like the right thing to do. But before you go down that road, remember that the choice of targets won't always be yours.

A reader points out the false equivalence:

His logic would be acceptable if it wasn't that execution is legal under public law while torture is only 'legal' under executive secret law. Conflating the two is extremely dangerous and factually wrong.

How does anyone get to the utilitarian argument without confronting the illegal argument? I guess I've been asking this question for six years so it's a little optimistic to expect clarity at this point.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Just In