Archive for Sunday, November 7, 2004

Matter of justice

November 7, 2004

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To the editor:

Reading the "Latest Gadgets" article on Thursday, I couldn't help but notice the approach the writer takes to what basically amounts to a moral question. In the article, the author mentions that he "had no desire to help a mass tort lawyer get rich, possibly causing a chilling effect on new technology," even after it is apparent that a wrong has been done to him by the manufacturer of the product in question. I think this statement offers an interesting insight into the differences between progressives and conservatives, and our polarized electorate.

I would tend to agree with the writer's statement regarding tort lawyers. Furthermore, it would be a shame to stymie economic growth or technological progress by encouraging frivolous litigation. Still, it is really quite interesting to me that he would allow himself to be cheated in the name of the economy or personal values. Assuming he has been cheated, doesn't it make sense to hold the washing machine company accountable for the wrong it has done?

Most Americans today evidently prefer a "moral values" point of view, whereas many others hold "social justice" to be a better approach to ethical issues. This could help explain why our incumbent president retained his post running on a platform shaped largely in terms of values. I am trying hard not to inject any partisan commentary into this letter, but I feel compelled to say this: Aren't issues of justice fundamentally issues of morality?

Brian Clements,

Lawrence

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