Comment: MYOB

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The moral problem for us is all the more acute since people in other countries are not all the same. Some of the "good guys" favored by politicians can and often do turn out to be genocidal lunatics, fanatical racists, and even maniacal terrorists. Some of the "bad guys" condemned by politicians can turn out in retrospect to have been simply misunderstood or mistranslated, or even peace lovers. Worse still, the politicians who are agitating to get us involved in conflicts are often operating behind the scenes in ways that complicate the situation at best, or are inherently wrong at worst. If it is almost impossible to know if anyone in a street fight is "right," how much harder is it to judge the nature of people thousands of miles away that you will never meet, and that may be completely misrepresented by politicians? The answer is that it is almost impossible to judge them or their conflicts.

None of this is going to change anytime soon. All that we can do as morally responsible people is to think a little bit. Recognize that there is rarely a "good guy" to root for or arm in a fight you know nothing about six thousand miles away. Recognize that you can irrevocably stain your hands with blood if you unthinking back a group of people who turn out to do unconscionable things. Most importantly, recognize that you don’t need to take sides in fights that don’t directly involve you.

Your conscience will thank you for minding your business.

Leges sine moribus vanae