The standard Bush set four years ago and repeated last week is that we shouldn't take one life--—even an embryonic life--in order to save others. Cost-benefit analysis is never sufficient grounds for the premeditated killing of civilians—except when it comes to the death penalty. When the discussion shifts from embryos to murderers, Bush and his spokesmen routinely argue that killing is justified not because murderers deserve it, but because it's moral to take one life in order to save others. He doesn't say that Person A should be executed because Person A is a danger to society. He says that Person A should be executed because the execution will deter Person B from killing Person C.Saletan's right, but I wonder why he doesn't mention Bush's foreign policy as another instance where Bush thinks it's okay to kill some people for the sake of others.
I mean, the invasion of Iraq was all about 'liberating' Iraqis, right? But presumably this is only good for the ones who survive being 'liberated'. So the survivors get the benefits of 'liberation' at the expense of the dead.