Comment of the Day: "Praise then darkness and creation unfinished"; "praise the fire and the impulse of making"; isn't there another large, very densely-written book by now?

Graydon: : ""Good" is a value judgement, subject to context and hindsight, and it's subject to hindsight forever...

...There are a whole bunch of things even in Christianity about this -- "we do not presume to come to this thy table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness" -- that a whole lot of people clinging to morals over material consequences could do with considering. (Similarly the really very trivial observation that morals do not and cannot scale to large groups; this is why prophets have railed against cities for such a very long time. A working city is not run on the basis of morals. If there are no working cities, there is no economy.)

"Praise ice when it is crossed, ale when it is drunk, a ship returned to harbour, a friend on the pyre..." Moral judgements happen, when it is possible for them to happen, afterwards, in difficulty, in complexity, and -- none of us being divine beings -- in doubt.

Everyone is always responsible for everything they do. They might not be culpable, but they're responsible. That's the inescapable nature of responsibility. It's entirely sensible to look at a group of people determined to do harm and decide you don't really care about why they want to do harm -- it always reduces to "my feels should have material consequences!", a thing factual of no one -- in preference to putting your effort into minimizing the material harm.

Voting for Donald Trump is the kind of error where if you give all your wealth to the poor, conduct yourself with humility and contrition all your days, and work until you die for the benefit of your fellows, perhaps you can atone. It's not a minor failing. You could trivially predict it would not be a minor failing ahead of time; there are a least three ways in which a consequence of great material harm was obvious...