| Can a good man spend his days doing bad things and remain a good man? What if he chooses to spend his days doing bad things and could at any time elect not to do the bad things? Could decide – I am not comfortable with this; this isn’t for me – and quit, without risking anything (other than the need to find honest work)?

The German SA man of the 1930s was a very bad man – but he did, at least, have the defense of being under duress.

In 1930s Germany, it was socially (if not legally) difficult for any man to not become a willing helper of Hitler’s in some capacity – or at least, give the appearance thereof. One joined the partei – and sieg heiled along with the crowd. To not do so invited suspicion at minimum – and the very real likelihood of much worse. God help you if you publicly criticized the national socialist state or its leaders.

An even better example of duress would be the camp guard. He had the choice of being on one side of the razor wire – or the other side. We still condemn him for being a cog in the machine of mass murder. But – at some level – his guilt is mitigated by the fact that he could not just walk away without accepting severe repercussions.

It took a brave man – a hero, to use that much over-used word – to say, “no. I won’t be a part of this” – and accept the consequences, come what may.

Very few such men stepped up.

But what are we to make of the man who could easily avoid a job that necessarily entailed tyrannizing his fellow man? Who freely and deliberately chooses to do such work?

Can any such man be a good man? Read Entire Article