Could this only happen in Russia? I don’t know. Haven’t been there yet. I know they take their chess seriously so maybe philosophy comes a close second in bar talk. I wonder what Kant himself would have thought about this. The other interesting moral headline I spotted today was about the Twelve Tribes sect and the raid on the sect’s home in Germany to take away their children on the grounds of alleged physical abuse. Jury’s out on that so may pick it up later if there’s a clear outcome.
The Categorical Imperative
Two men in a bar
indulging in chatter
that went much too far
because of Immanuel Kant.
The chatter descended into rant,
then into violent mayhem.
on how they would rate
the Critique of Pure Reason.
Voices were raised,
arms flung in the air;
the question of ethics was one of despair.
Each had a view they wanted to give
on Kant’s categorical imperative.
But neither would listen,
just twisting the words
or that’s what the onlookers heard.
Each bore a grudge
and neither would budge.
The debate got quite heated
with bitter expletives
until one of them brandished a gun.
He’d made a decision
to take a position,
to come off the fence
and ignore consequence.
His only defence?
“To shoot would be morally good”
So he fired and fled,
leaving for dead
the fellow who would
not admit that he’d gotten it wrong.
Deep inside he just knew
the man got his due
since he wouldn’t recant about Kant.
16th September 2013 – headline from the Independent
Notes: “Russian man shot in quarrel over Immanuel Kant’s philosophy.” A philosophical argument over views on Immanuel Kant descended into violent mayhem in southern Russia, leading to a man being shot several times. The dispute occurred when two men waiting for a beer became involved in an increasingly fractious argument over the work of Kant – the author of canonical philosophical text Critique of Pure Reason – according to a police spokeswoman in Rostov-on-Don, the town where the argument broke out. The row ended with one of the men producing an air gun and firing several rubber bullets at his opponent. Police did not identify the men but said that the gunman had been detained after fleeing the scene, while the victim was in hospital with non-life-threatening wounds. The attacker now faces up to 10 years in prison for intentional infliction of serious bodily harm, police said.
- Debate over Kant, philosophy, ends in gunfire (cbsnews.com)