“Absolute Moral Authority” in action


Pic taken in San Fransisco on November 2nd. It’s hard to believe that at one time I thought that Cindy Sheehan was pulling political stunts. I’m glad so many folks straightened me out on that one. (pic from Zombietime’s ‘World Can’t Wait’ Rally coverage)


  1. I don’t get it — what gives someone moral authority, other than having strong morals? I could believe that, say, an intellectual religious type like Saint Thomas Aquinas would have moral authority, having spent a good part of his life studying and contemplating morals. Why does grief improve one’s morals? In fact, couldn’t you argue it clouds your judgement and therefore makes your morals unreliable? Some people affected by grief have done horrible things. I watched Mystic River last night and while it was a work of fiction, it reminded me of revenge killing. Seriously, I’d like someone to point out to me the logic which has been used to justify this position. Thanks.

  2. I thought about this for a bit. I thought that someone might argue ‘you don’t know how someone feels if their son dies unless it’s happened to you’. Well, if you can argue that, you also can argue ‘you don’t know how it feels to be oppressed or do live under a dictator unless you’ve done that too’. There’s some validity but this seems to make a few assumptions. One is that we don’t feel empathy for others who lose family members. I think that’s not true. Another is that we haven’t lost family members ourselves. I would imagine most people over the age of 25 would have had one or more family members and/or friends die and probably several pets as well. While it’s not quite the same thing I don’t think you can argue it’s totally different either. In short I don’t think this ‘moral superiority’ argument is as cut and dried or shallow as those who whip it out as an argument-ender seem to think.

  3. That sound you hear is Specialist Sheehan spinning in his grave and cursing his mother. He – like many of us who visit this site – chose to join and serve and take the risks that go with it. She chose to make him the poster boy for a cause he clearly would not agree with.