Re: (Fwd: *C&CD*) The main problem (*DIGEST*) (17 lines)
Wed, 25 Oct 1995 11:45:52 -0500

John, let me respond to the question of ethics, which can be glibly asked
by those who don't have to face them. Point one: the decision is most
usually between those things we are in favor of as opposed to those things
we are opposed to (development of a river versus leaving it alone) rather
than good versus evil. In this case, what a writer is doing is heloing
(helping) make the best case for the other side in the open arena of debate.
The people writing documents aren't evil people; they're people who have
differing viewpoints. I would, for instance, be willing to write a document
supporting extended welfare, something I strongly disagree with, because
what we in the U.S. are about is free expression. If I am not willing to help
my opponent with his/her case, what kind of person am I?

To raise the question of "ethics" is to assume that the stance of the
questioner is always right and righteous, and is in itself a form of
censorship (I remember one lady who, after a lecture, approached the speaker and said, "You're advocating censorship. You shouldn't be allowed to say things
like that.")
SEcond: If I find that my client is a real scumbag who is lying through his/her
teeth, I always have the option of quitting. Most situations, though, concern
well-meaning people who have differing viewpoints. In that case, if I refuse
to do my job on the grounds that I am helping "the other side," that means I
am willing to hobble them in the arena of debate.

Is this a flame, or what? Ron Shook