One cannot use an ideological image of perfect justice to excuse or ignore an obvious injustice within the actual imperfect system. That these injustices could not arise within one’s vision of the best society does not mean that they have not in fact arisen. That a debate would not occur in an ideal world does not mean that it is not occuring or that nothing morally hangs on its conclusion. To decide to sit out the debate, with an eye on utopia, is not a way to keep one’s hands clean.
i'm smiling next to you in silent complicity
Today's post by Will Wilkinson is nominally about libertarian agnosticism in the debate over gay marriage, but this bit applies beautifully as a general principle: