Friday, July 17, 2015

Quickies: Balances

     Ashe Schow writes today:

     As a matter of principle, innocent people should never be falsely accused, and rapists should always be punished — and hopefully removed from the population rather than simply expelled from a university. That isn't such an extreme idea. But in the current culture surrounding campus sexual assault, it is. Point out the holes in an accuser's story? You're a "rape apologist." Suggest that accused students be granted their constitutional right to due process? Get ready to be accused of being "pro-rape."

     Even the old cliché has its problems, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out in his 2012 book The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. "If it were an absolute principle, we wouldn't put anyone in prison, lest we punish an innocent in the process," Goldberg wrote in the Washington Post while promoting the book. "Indeed, if punishing the innocent is so terrible, why 10? Why not two? Or, for that matter, 200? Or 2,000?"

     But the basic concept is that it is wrong to destroy the lives of innocent people in the name of progress — perhaps we can debate how much worse it is than letting someone evil continue to harm the public.

     “Progress” is one of those words: the ones that the various sides in our political discourse define differently, according to their respective rhetorical needs. My definition is simple:

Progress is the improvement of the human condition without violating moral or ethical principles.

     In my formulation, the seeming need to balance “progress” against “destroying the lives of innocent people” vanishes: the former absolutely excludes the latter. But this requires a deeper understanding of principle than most people ever acquire:

A principle is a moral or ethical rule – i.e., a rule of right action – from which other rules may be derived with confidence.

     Here are a few principles for you:

  • Honor thy father and thy mother.
  • Thou shalt not murder.
  • Thou shalt not steal.
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  • Thou shalt not covet.

     Any rule that can be shown to be implied by one of the principles above, without contradicting any of the others, may be relied upon. Inversely, a rule that contradicts one of those principles is faulty and should be distrusted.

     “But why are principles necessary, or even desirable?” rises the cry. “Aren’t yours just a facet of your personal religion?

     If there are no principles, there are no rights.
     If there are no rights, then the State is made omnipotent.
     That legitimizes slavery, arbitrary executions, and absolute rule by force.

     Argue against these propositions if you please; I find them irrefutable. That fallible Man cannot always be certain to have abided by them in all particulars does not weaken them in the slightest.

1 comment:

  1. "Honor thy father and thy mother.
    Thou shalt not murder.
    Thou shalt not steal.
    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Thou shalt not bear false witness.
    Thou shalt not covet."

    Every single one of these is violated daily by agents of US governments from the federal down to the state and local level, and by their supporters and fellow travelers.

    Except for a remnant, and with the media distortion field, who know how large it really is (25%? 35%?), America is an empire of soulless unbelievers who spit on the Ten Commandments if it suits them. Most of America has no more use for God than they do a dead puppy, or a dead "fetus". Well, I suppose the latter has some salvage value, as we have seen in past days.

    Fran, a few years ago, I thought America was savable. Now? No. The Founders' Republic is gone. Our only hope now is to cobble together a regional collection of states that will say "NO" to the Feds' increasing tyranny, but maintains some de jure if not de facto membership in the United States. I don't think we can hold off a "hot" civil war much longer, either.

    America will not repent. If God is just, and I think He is, the only possible end for America is that of Sodom, with the righteous fleeing her burning corpse "unto the mountains".

    This isn't despair; this is reality. We, the remnant, must have a paradigm change in mindset, because all the exits have been passed, all the good options have been overcome by events, and our situation has become desperate.

    As the father behind the wire said to Patrick Swayze's character in the original "Red Dawn",
    "We're gone. We're all gone."

    ReplyDelete

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