Ethics Quote Of The Day…Or Is It Just Icky?: Alan Dershowitz

“I have had sex with one woman since the day I met Jeffrey Epstein. I challenge David Boies to say under oath that he’s only had sex with one woman … He has an enormous amount of chutzpah to attack me and challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time.”

—-Alan Dershowitz on Fox News,  attacking super-lawyer David Boies, who is representing Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a woman who claims Dershowitz had sex with her while she was one of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex slaves. 

  • Too much information, Professor.
  • Has Dershowitz never heard of the Streisand Effect? His complaining about the accusation is publicizing it.
  • Decorum? Modesty? Restraint? Dignity? Privacy? Dershowitz is 80: he’s supposed to be in the generation hat still appreciates these things.
  • He had sex with one woman for almost two decades? It was nice of him to give her a break while he chatted with Laura Ingaham…
  • Ick.

8 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Day…Or Is It Just Icky?: Alan Dershowitz

  1. “He has an enormous amount of chutzpah to attack me and challenge my perfect, perfect sex life during the relevant period of time.” The mind behind the acquittal of Orenthal Simpson is as sharp as ever.

  2. I am not really even sure what Dershowitz is trying to say. It really sounds like he is trying to sound virtuous, while omitting inconvenient facts. Is he saying that he has been faithful to each of his wives while he was married to them? Is he trying to say he has been faithful to his current wife, but that he had affairs earlier or at least slept with other women in between marriages? Is he saying he didn’t cheat on his wife during the stated period of time but has at other times? Is he saying he has been monogamous with one woman for the last decade or so, but it isn’t his wife?

    I just don’t know, but it makes me wonder.

  3. I have no desire to figure out what he is saying but why do we not demand more than an accusation from anyone before the allegations are blasted across the airwaves.

    All these accusations at this stage are unverifiable without an offspring whose DNA can be tested against his.

  4. Hi Jack,
    I tried to find your definition of the term ‘Ethics Quote’ on the page, Ethical Decision-Making Tools but I couldn’t find it.

    • It’s not there. Good catch—I’ll add it. I once defined it in a post.

      An ethical quote is a quote that actively does good, or one that embraces an ethical concept of principle.

      An unethical quote states an unethical principle,does harm to an individual or the culture, or violates an ethical value.

      An ethics quote raises or illuminate an ethics issue or controversy.

      • An ethical quote is a quote that actively does good, or one that embraces an ethical concept of principle.

        An unethical quote states an unethical principle, does harm to an individual or the culture, or violates an ethical value.

        An ethics quote raises or illuminates an ethics issue or controversy.

        The entire problem is here. It is not complex. And yet, strangely, it is!

        We do not know, and we often cannot know, nor can we decide, and in fact — this goes to the heart of the issue — we have lost the ground on which we can make proper ethical decisions because we do not know and cannot define what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’.

        Why is this? The larger answer, which can only be answered in philosophical terms, is because we are in a huge shift in valuation which spans centuries. We no longer have a solid sense of what to value nor that which has real, obvious, uncontested and agreed-upon value. I refer often to the contrast or conflict between a ‘transcendent value’ and a ‘mutable’ or ‘mundane value’.

        To make an extreme example, at one time meditation and prayer in a Church to a transcendent divinity was understood to be a high value. Now, masturbation (self-pleasuring) is the preferred activity of the living entity. The former value required a sacrifice in order to attain it. Now, the former value is not even seen as having a value. The term ‘masturbation’ is far more significant than just referring to persons in thrall to sexual-physical sensations. It really means being given over to the mutable and transitory pleasures and activities and sacrificing the higher pleasures.

        In our culture, in our civilization, the notion of ‘value’ had been defined through the high-lighting or the exaltation of the transcendent. Everything of value, and everything of beauty, had been defined through and infused with ‘transcendental values’. This is no longer the case. But the more important issue here is to see that this shift in valuation — a shift in focus obviously — has occurred over a significant period of time. Three hundred to 600 years.

        That then is the backdrop to an understanding of both ethics as a discipline in our present, and the larger issue of ethics as a philosophical concern. But then the question ‘What is good?’ and ‘What is bad?’ comes immediately to the fore.

        What ‘does harm to the individual or the culture?’ And what ‘does good to an individual or a culture?’

        I have come to see that no one has any idea at all! Why is that? Well, the answer is both simple and devilishly complex! As we descend away from ‘the world’ of transcendental value — which as a term is understood to be vacuous and nearly meaningless — we wind up immediately and squarely in the mutable world, and that is the world of sensation and also of ’emotional relationship’.

        Our approach to Life becomes then one of sensation and also of emotion: what it feels like. And the more that one loses the fulcrum of transcendent concept, one has only left to one what is found or sensed in the mutable-immediate. And that becomes, with every passing moment, a world mediated by emotion. The hard decisions cannot be made — indeed there is no *intellect* there to make them! — because they hurt one emotionally. It is pretty important to state that in this ‘new world’ it will naturally be ruled by a) the female, and b) though this seems a terrible contradiction! by what is brute and brutal. So, I guess that explains the brutish screaming women on the university commons. Absolutely ruled by emotion and sensation. Locked into a ‘world’ that must be made ‘safe’. But the other side of this is the greater manifestation of brutishness and the brutal in other areas and in other affairs.

        How has this come about? And where does it tend? Where will it end up? Look out the window . . .

        We have to restructure and redefine — from the ground up! — what really has value and meaning and relevancy, and what we must cultivate and also what we must construct with, and we must actively oppose and resist false-definitions of value and also of ethical value.

  5. I have here what I think is a very good example:

    The Antithesis of Bolsonaro

    RIO DE JANEIRO — The votes had been tallied, and the skies of Rio de Janeiro crackled with fireworks as supporters celebrated the decisive election of a far-right populist, Jair Bolsonaro, as Brazil’s president.

    But not everyone was jubilant. David Miranda, a socialist Rio de Janeiro council member who had campaigned for Congress, reached for a bottle that October night to mourn his electoral loss. His husband, Glenn Greenwald, a spitfire American journalist, popped a Xanax. The political era that dawned felt like a gut punch for the gay, biracial couple.

    “We are the antithesis of Bolsonaro,” Mr. Miranda said in an interview. “We’re everything they hate.”

    Here we have a near-perfect picture to analyze, to read like a *text*. Now, we know where our ‘feelings’ lie. We have been flooded infected saturated with ‘sob-stories’ about the poor gay people who suffer so much in heterosexually-oriented society. We can do very little else but *sympathize* with them: cast our feelings in with theirs: empathize: feel what they feel. And what we *feel* (feelz it has been called) overpowers other considerations which, if analyzed carefully, are in fact more important. These ‘other considerations’ can be named and put our, in clarity, on the table of consideration.

    But Greenwald and Miranda are ‘fighting the good fight’ and they represent the ‘real and true values’ that are ‘good for the individual and for society’. At the very end of the Times article it says:

    Yet the two said they have no regrets about the cause they took on, calling it a make-or-break moment for the rule of law in Brazil.

    “This can wind up strengthening democracy,” Mr. Miranda said. “It will depend on how institutions decide to act.”

    Now, let’s look at this. Here you see the essence of what I call The Americanopolis. This is pure Americanism as it has taken form in the Postwar. It is a whole set of values which thrust themselves (ooops!) into other cultures as positive, determined values by virtue of a sort of brutal stick or club. The American of today walks in the world as a vessel and carrier of his *values* but these have become and are becoming more and more … twisted & strange. There are ten different important levels to take into consideration here, but no one is home to make that analysis. It is simply assumed that what Greenwald & Miranda advocate for is ‘good’ ‘necessary’ ‘metaphysically normal’ and ‘destined to be’.

    And along with the rather normal Greenwald & Miranda (no relationship to The Tempest) comes every level of distorted and perverse activity dreamed up in the twisted soul of man. That is, it is these doors that have been opened in our various cultures and what rushes out to take up a stance in the present are colorful, distorted, leering beings. These are the *facts* when seen without distorting ideological lenses. The one does not come out without the other in close connection. It is the *opening of the gates* that is the real subject of concern, but no one is home who is capable of thinking these things through. How did this happen and why?

    Since then, the two men find themselves on the front lines of the country’s increasingly bitter political divide. In June, Mr. Greenwald’s news organization published reports suggesting that Mr. Bolsonaro’s main opponent in the race was improperly jailed just six months before the election, raising serious questions about the legitimacy of Mr. Bolsonaro’s victory and testing the mettle of Brazil’s democratic institutions.

    What I find interesting in this ‘narrative’ (and who can know if it is true or false? we know that each side is capable of lying, but we seem especially aware that the progressive Left is especially capable!) is the idea that at certain points in culture and history that ‘illiberal intervention’ is undertaken. But to understand Brazilian reaction (“Bolsonaro”) one has to define ‘what is going on’ and what is being resisted (and why). What ‘value’ is being ‘defended’ by Greenwald & Miranda? What does this represent? And what value-perception comes out against them as a value-definition? I described how I see it just above, but not only is my evaluation not understood or accepted, it is actually hated. So then, in that context, what does ‘democracy’ mean? What is being sold here? Greenwald & Miranda’s activism ‘strengthen democracy’ while the reaction-activism of Bolsonaro — according to this twist — destroys it.

    “We are the antithesis of Bolsonaro,” Mr. Miranda said in an interview. “We’re everything they hate.”

    Well, this can be examined as well. It can be looked at as an issue of ‘value’ and a problem of ‘value’. But one has to get clear about what is going on, and to do so one has to refer to a more extensive time-line. Our cultures are beginning to succumb to influences of perversion, this we (seem to) recognize. But we have no tools with which to combat it. In what we call ‘democracy’ and ‘democratic culture’ you are in truth not allowed to have a position that interferes with the ‘freedom’ of the one across from you. Everybody just does what they want — what feels good — and no other person has a right to interject a contrary opinion or idea. Except that ‘liberal culture’ as a machine and as machination is a mill which crunches together contraries and extrudes then out the other end as a ‘production’. It is intensely molding, and it is intensely driven by ideological predicates, bizarrely formulated and conceived though they are!

    Don’t forget: Desmond is Amazing!

    As the political climate shifted, Greenwald & Miranda’s platform and position have been assailed, and:

    “I am not doing well,” Mr. Miranda said he told his therapist, who prescribed anti-depressants. The lawmaker took two weeks off and stayed home with the two sons he and Mr. Greenwald adopted last year.

    Curious, isn’t it? that holistic success and advance or failure and retreat for an individual, or for a culture and nation, leads either to a feeling of well-being or to a situation where one needs an anti-depressant: a drug to be able to cope and get by. I guess one the the necessary concomitants of ‘democracy’ as it is defined in our present will be Xanax stations on street corners or perhaps monthly doses that come by mail from the government?

    Oh well, no one cares. No one even reads what I write! (But no Xanax as yet, I’m still working with robust highland coffee!)

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