To the Editor:
Surveys indicate that a large majority of Donald Trump voters support Trump’s call for halting any further immigration of Muslims into the U.S.
The recent atrocity perpetrated by Muslims in Brussels will probably increase that majority. Here is one way of thinking about the issue.
Suppose we are considering bringing 50,000 Muslims over here as immigrants. Suppose that 999 out of 1,000 of these people will never become violent. But suppose that 1 out of 1,000 will, at some point, become so filled with hatred for the West and for infidels that he commits an act of mass murder, as a suicide bomber or by other means. Suppose that each of these 50 Muslim terrorists manages to kill, on the average, 10 Americans, for a total loss of 500 American lives.
Should we bring in the 50,000 Muslims? An obvious criterion for the decision is the maximization of human happiness. If that were the criterion, then to me it appears indisputable that the sum total of additional happiness accruing to the 49,950 non-violent Muslims, by being privileged to live in our country, must exceed the total amount of happiness lost by the victims, families, and friends of the 500 Americans tragically murdered by Muslims we have brought here.
Suppose we could take a referendum vote of the American people, the question being: Should we offer to improve the lives of 50,000 Muslims by extending to them the benefits of living in the U.S., even though this will cause an additional 500 Americans to be killed by Muslim terrorists?
We know how Donald Trump’s supporters would vote. How would most Americans vote?
I have no idea.