Those Martians Just Won’t Quit Plaguing Us Earthlings

From: K
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 4:40 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Compelled Aggression

Dear Dr Block,

You wrote,

“If the Martians threaten to blow up our entire planet unless someone kills innocent person Joe, it is murder to do so, but it would not be wrong to murder him, paradoxically, saving all others except for him.”

Isn’t this a case of “compelled aggression” ? Martians are compelling earthlings to kill Joe in order to save themselves from Martian aggression. It is still wrong to kill Joe but the guilt lies with Martians, not the person who pulled the trigger. If later it became possible to prosecute the Martians for Joe’s murder that would be a just prosecution.

Thanks

K

Dear K:

Yes, indeed, those vicious Martians are indeed the bad guys. But they are too strong to be prosecuted. The question is, is the person who murders Joe a criminal or not. I say he is. The Martians didn’t “compel” us to kill Joe. They gave us a choice: kill him, or we all die. Hey, I’m the one making this all up. I get to decide what the Martians want. If people don’t like my Martians, they can make up their own Martians.

Best regards,

Walter

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2:15 am on January 1, 2020