Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Reject ‘He made me do it’ and similar types of excuses

Don’t get confused. The truth is not “on both sides.” You did it, you pay.

We need to think sharply: who did what. A little thinking goes a long way.

Bad Excuses

People use all kinds of excuses to ‘explain’ away evil they committed. Sometimes friends will volunteer such false justification.

The devil made me do it defense.

The president made me do it defense.

She made me do it defense.

They made me angry defense.

Befehl ist Befehl defense.

Crime of passion defense.

The Adam and Eve defense.*

He didn’t know right from wrong (insanity) defense.


It’s my democratic right defense.

Everyone does this; this is normal defense.

The Gay panic defense.

I didn’t mean to hurt him defense.

I was entrapped defense.

I don’t remember that.

I was underpaid so I could steal defense.

You can’t prove it defense.

I was destined/I don’t believe in Free Will defense.

I trusted them, that’s reasonable (the idiot’s) defense.

I’m addicted.

I believe Jews are evil defense.

My religion tells me Gays are evil defense.

*The Israeli High Court of Justice has ruled: You cannot blame your parents and excuse them because of what their parents had done to them, etcetera, all the way down to Adam and Eve. The buck stops with you.

True justice doesn’t say you could have done differently. You should have.


Here you have several recent examples from the news:

Yes, he broke into the Capitol, but Trump incited them.

Russia didn’t seek to invade Ukraine; Ukraine provoked it.

Russia: The 430 dead found in the Ukrainian village Bucha after Russian troops left were not innocent. They gave poisoned cake to the soldiers.

Will Smith is in a toxic relationship with a narcissistic psychopath who humiliated him until he would do anything, even destroy his reputation.

Yes, Muslims in the Old City of Jerusalem are rioting, but a Jewish cabinet minister then went there to inspect the situation which provoked them.

Yes, he was shooting indiscriminately, but poverty radicalized him.

He doesn’t bully Gay youth. He just says what it says in the Bible.

I’m not saying that any of these claims are justified or even true. I’m just showing how many think that would diminish guilt or responsibility.

The Opposite

The reverse false excuses are given too.

I paid them to murder him, but I didn’t pull the trigger.

I preached that they should all die, but I didn’t do anything.

Why should I be blamed for saying the vaccinations don’t work? I didn’t force anyone to believe me. I’m not their doctor.

I told them to march and overturn the election, but I didn’t tell them to break the law.

You can’t talk away such incitement.

The Opposite of the Opposite

OK, he stole, but there was hardly any security. They asked for it.

Because Biden seems weak, Putin attacked.

The government is too soft on the terrorist, which emboldens them.

You can’t excuse the villain by blaming weak law enforcement.

Being and Becoming Innocent

Indeed, evil often is possible not by the few that commit it but by the majority that permits it by looking away.

But, often, bystanders who could not have prevented evil feel deeply guilty. And, the truly guilty often don’t feel guilt. They’re too busy making excuses.

A tiny bit of guilt is good because it shows you know the difference between good and evil. But anything larger is unhelpful.

The larger the evil committed, to reclaim yourself, the more effort you should make and time you should spend teaching the world about that evil and how to defend against it—after apologizing and paying damages.

There is no need to cancel people. Commemorating the greatness of people who committed evil can also be done while acknowledging any proven evil. How prominent the evil is to be displayed depends on how much was done.

If the law (Jews must be sent off) or the situation (there was plenty, but I had nothing to eat) is unjust, breaking the law must be just.

You can break the law to prevent worse. Steal stolen goods to prevent them from disappearing and becoming unrecoverable. Even killing an attacker to prevent a murder, as last resort, also in self-defense.

Democracies are way too liberal toward anti-democrats/bigots. It is just to oppose liberties for people who oppose the same good for all.

There is a giant difference between a soldier in a war believing that he’s sent justly, and a soldier who feels free and just to commit war crimes.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1500 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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