Old news, by about 6 1/2 years?
What else can be expected when the press is, for all practical
purposes, legally shielded from libel and slander laws.
The only hard information I see in the link is that a jury award was
reversed by appellate court in 2003. All the rest appears to be
I used to live with a "journalist". She had been taught in school that it
is a journalist's job to know nothing at all about the subject being
reported. The sad thing is that she was quite bright but had been taught to
firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Miller) wrote in
I think most folks can agree on that. Innocent of what, though? I think
that may cause considerable debate, since one person's innocent may be
another's mortal sin. Take shaving, for example. In some places it is a
sin worth your life to have a shaven face; in others it has no moral value
at all, and in still others it is cause for discrimination to wear a beard.
For another example, if one accepts the doctrine of Original Sin, then
abortion is not wrong since the fetus, before baptism, is in a state of
mortal sin and not, therefore, innocent. (If one does not accept the
doctrine of Original Sin, the whole point of Christianity becomes kinda
A ship is at sea and takes a torpedo to one of the forward compartments.
The Captain orders the watertight doors sealed to preserve the ship
while several seamen are still below that compartment. Several innocent
lives are lost, but the remainder of the ship's compliment is saved.
Was the Captain wrong?
The captain ordering the torpedo launch took the "innocent" life. The
captain on the receiving end was mitigating loss, as is his primary
responsibility. Replace "torpedo" with "ice berg" and your point
No, Your example introduced another consideration for blame. The captain
firing the torpedo is absolutely the one responsibile for the loss of life
on the ship that he attacked. The decision of the captain of the attacked
ship was forced up on him. He did not make a decision with out just cause.
Regardless of which decision he made lives were already predetermined to be
lost, his decisions were to minimise lost lives.
In general, if it has exceptions, it's not absolute (but it could still be
In Judaism (for example) there are three conditions in which one must accept
death rather than be forced to commit an act: idolatry, murder, and adultry.
Most other religions have similar absolutes.
To the religious, morality IS absolute. To the secular progressive, morality
To the devout, no good can come from an immoral act (therefore the Church
prohibits abortion even to save the life of the mother). To the not-devout,
the end justifies the means.
And an excellent reason why a democracy/republic that wants to survive
the test of time needs to seriously consider prohibiting graduates of a
law school (where blurring the distinction between morality and legality
is stressed/taught as a noble concept) from participating in the
_legislative_ branch of government.
A silly idea?
Just take a close look at your congress and the damage they wrought to
Maybe for wills, contracts, and other civil matters.
I understand England has two categories of what we call lawyers,
barristers who go to court and solicitors (?) who handle the other
stuff. It must work, they've done it that way for a long time (I
assume), but I wonder if it's really any better or just different from
the way we do it in the US.
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