Sunday, January 08, 2006

What Would You Do?

If you could go back in time to Septmber 10, 2001, and put a bullet in the head of Mohammed Atta, and not get caught, would you?

7 comments:

Jewish Atheist said...

Yes, assuming that the laws of time travel don't allow him to do differently than he did AND that there was no other way to prevent 9-11. What are you getting at?

Stacey said...

The thought of murdering anyone is not appealing to me, but in this case I definitely would because it's for the greater good.

But even if he was murdered, militant Islam would still be alive and well, unfortunately.

Gavriel said...

The point of tension I see in the question isn't the morality of it, but whether if we'd simply stopped them the day before, such that the world had no idea 9/11 could happen (kind of like the world view that is reasserting itself day-by-day today), would we be safer? For sure I would save the 3000 who died that day, and would have no compunction about killing those who would kill them -- even though I'm not a paricularly violent person. But if I could design the perfect deaths, it would be that they were stopped as late as possible before any innocents died, so that the threat was visible.

In reality, I doubt it would be any different than giving Mama Atta a government sponsered abortion a few decades back, since people would quickly choose to ignore what is plainly before their eyes. But I'd want to try.

Oh, wait, I'd have to remember to read him his rights and try to arrest him first, wouldn't I. This is a really tricky question.

The Jewish Freak said...

Gav: You make an excellent point about the importance of the threat being visible. Unfortunately, the threat has been visible since the 1970's but no one wanted to see it.

ADDeRabbi said...

if it's the right thing to do, why should it matter that i'd get away with it? isn't saving thousands of lives worth spending yours in prison?

The Jewish Freak said...

Adderabbi: You are absolutely correct. Doing the right thing can involve great personal sacrifice. I guess I was being a little too pragmatic in asking the question.

freethoughtmom said...

Att's death on the 10th wouldn't have stopped 9-11 (remember, there were 19, really 18, other terrorists). 9-11 was a big wake-up call about hate, but to stop it via preemptive violence? Hmmmm, I say no. I'd have had him arrested.