Ballard and HeavensGate -Reply
MAULE.Prof.Law at LAW.VILL.EDU
Fri Mar 28 15:40:57 PST 1997
Sandy's post makes a lot of good points until...
> Can even Emily, with her notorious (and
> commendable) generosity of spirit, say that we ought to open our minds to
> the possibility that there really are space ships trailing behind Hale-Bopp?
Possibility? They're there. But I'm not about to kill myself to meet
them. They can come get me if they want me. Which I doubt they do.
Now on the serious side: Most wars have been fought on the basis that
the killing was a killing of those doing or defending evil and the
doing of evil. Examples are numerous. The justification defense
permeates the legal system of the nation doing the killing. So if
everyone (or almost everyone) in nation 1 believes that the
inhabitants of nation2 are devils, that becomes justifiable war, but
if only a few of us figure it out, or figure it out too soon,
and act on it, we're either convicted or brande as crazy and
institutionalized. So it pays to be imperceptive, or quiet, or
Suppose Hitler visited America in 1928, and someone killed him and
raised as a defense, "he has the devil in him and had I not killed
him the devil would have brought death's rain on the planet."
Result? Murder conviction?
Alternatively, the person would have claimed a message from God, the
space ships, whomever, whatever, to justify the action.
Result? I don't know how well insanity defenses played 70 years ago
in this country, but I suppose there'd be a murder conviction or an
institutionalization for insanity.
Granted, I'm using 20/20 hindsight, but think of all the tens of
millions of lives that would have been saved (and the many that would
not have occurred because their parents would not have "met during
the war" (and yes, I'm oversimplifying and ignorning the Pacific)).
Last variation. During the trial of Hitler's killer, evidence
surfaces that documents Hitler's plans. Then what?
Cf. government agents who have killed foreign leaders (or assisted in
causing the death) acting on information that the person planned some
catastrophe, war, etc.
Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law
Villanova, PA 19085
maule at law.vill.edu
(610) 519 - 7135
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