Imagine a society like ours, but with a moral norm against ever using a right hand to hurt anyone. They kill, rape, torture, and so on, but always with their left hand, never with their right. They are proud to live in a civilized society, and are disgusted by barbaric societies where right-handed harm is common. Their disgust sometimes makes them war against barbarians, to civilize them. But even in war they are careful to show their moral superiority by only killing with their left hands. Are these people as moral as they believe?
James Miller’s recent post on replacing prison with torture suggested to me this allegory of kind right-handers. Most of us are apparently very proud of our moral norm against torture, even though we allow ourselves to impose great harms in other ways. We tend to be disgusted by Muslim torture practices, encouraging us to go to war against such "barbarians." But I fear such moral norms do more to help us feel superior than to reduce the total amount of harm.
So who wants to start a crusade against right-handed harm?