Well, why not lie?
After all, if your cause really is an ethical imperative, you can morally justify — even advocate — the assassination of your reprobate enemies, as Jerry Vlasak, MD and Animal Rights Holy Warrior (MD, ARHW), has done.
And if assassination is hunky-dory, what's wrong with a spot of lying for the cause? Nothing at all:
A Rockville animal-rights activist has sent out a mass mailing to property owners in Garrett County, Md., stating they should not allow bear hunters on their properties because 40 percent of them are drug addicts, drunks or mentally unstable.
Earle D. Hightower, chairman of the Institute for Public Safety, a 27-member group mainly concerned with such issues as traffic and smog, acknowledges the statistic printed on 600 cards is phony, but says it's all for the cause. [Emphasis added — ed.]
"My personal opinion is that anybody who goes out and shoots helpless animals has a psychiatric problem," said Mr. Hightower, 82, a former hunter and World War II veteran. "Logically, statistically if you look at a sample of the regular population, certain people will have some kind of psychiatric problems."
[ . . . ]
Steven Christian, president of the Maryland Sportsman's Association, is not amused by Mr. Hightower's efforts.
"I am exploring my options right now for what can really be done about this," said Mr. Christian, president of the Maryland Sportsman's Association. "I believe this gentleman overstepped the bounds of decency."
Mr. Hightower said he plans to distribute another 400 of the 5-by-8-inch cards because he is concerned about residents' safety. [Emphasis added — ed.]
Well, there you have it. In essence, Mr. Hightower is saying: "Sure I lied. And I will continue to lie. But I'm justified in doing so because my heart tells me my cause is noble, and unlike my opponents' heart, mine is infallible!"
Where to start? Well, here's a good place:
Oh. Yeah. That's logical. And statistically sound. To make an opinion about a mental condition you're not qualified to diagnose, and extrapolate that the condition is true for a certain portion of the population in question (about which you really know nothing) and then to send out an unsolicited mass mailing to complete strangers using numbers you admit are false....yeah.
And it's supposedly the hunters who are mentally ill?
Indeed! My minor quibble would be that the Animal Rights movement isn't based on reason, so it's a little unfair to judge it by the constraints imposed by facts and logic.
Now, it's true that Mr. Hightower, unlike the Dr. Vlasak MD, ARHW, is merely lying, rather than asserting the moral justification for killing scientists who use animals in their research, or openly advocating that scientists be assassinated.
But the justification to lie, coerce, intimidate and assassinate is the same: it is born from a moral imperative and nurtured by certitude — and rests squarely on a clear vision of a better world, one that's kinder and gentler. Indeed, the vision of the goal's perfection and the absolute certainty that one is ethically required to pursue it justifies the use of any means to reach it, however extreme those means might seem to the laity.
So the conscience becomes not a barrier that holds one from committing even ghoulish, barbaric acts, but an animating force that drives one to devise novel and more effective ways to force compliance of an otherwise unwilling citizenry.
And thus, out of a sense of righteousness and with a rhapsodic conscience, while in pursuit of a fantasy utopian vision, is born tyranny.
(For those who are interested in the synergy of the two tactics — simple, shameless lies on the one hand, and the advocacy of assassination on the other — you might be interested in reading "AR Tactics: Moving the Middle.)