Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Quickies: “Democrats Are More Moral”

     If you have a few minutes, please view the following video:

     First, note that the “questioner” isn’t an American citizen, as he states plainly before rambling on into his “question.” Yet he has an opinion about morality in American political alignments. If nothing else has done so, this should convince you, Gentle Reader, of the efficacy of the Democrats’ “stupid or evil” tactics, and of their cleverness in targeting those too young to have an adequate grounding in the rules of rational inquiry.

     Second, note how D’Souza ripostes the “question:” by asking why “global warming” should be considered a moral issue, and drawing an appropriate analogy to theism versus atheism. For anyone in the audience who was listening with an open mind, this should have been stimulus to a huge range of thought: What aspects of a public-policy question qualify it as “a moral issue?”

     Morality and ethics, as the West has understood them for many centuries, are founded on a conception of the individual as a moral agent and possessor of rights. These concepts are inapplicable to collectivities. A nation, no matter how defined, cannot possess rights. Neither can it posture as a moral agent; the deeds done in its name are always the deeds of individuals. Those individuals may represent themselves as acting on legitimate authority – indeed, agents of the State nearly always do – but that does not excuse them from the moral and ethical constraints on them as individuals. Consider this passage from the Gospel According to Luke:

     And the people asked him [John the Baptist], saying, What shall we do then?
     He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
     Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
     And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
     And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

     [Luke 3:10-14]

     In those years, the publicans of the Roman occupation and the soldiers that accompanied them were much given to brutally extorting the Jewish people: mulcting them for far more than the appointed tax and keeping the difference. That they represented themselves as agents of Rome did not free them of the moral-ethical burden they bore.

     But that Rome had the power – not the “right,” but the power — to lay and collect taxes, John the Baptist did not dispute. The State does that sort of thing, and the individual’s alternatives are to accept it as legitimate, to rebel in one fashion or another, or to flee. That will be the case for as long as there are States.

     Moral and ethical considerations and evaluations are like that.

1 comment:

Dystopic said...

In a way, this post inspired my own this morning (although on a very different topic - you will catch the similarity in the mode of thinking, though).

I've been trying to articulate something that, perhaps, I just don't have the education or experience to get out quite the way I want to. I will try anyway.

The way these people think is fundamentally wrong on many levels. Cart before the horse. Dinesh asks the question "why is this a moral issue?" The Leftist doesn't understand how it could be otherwise, because he thinks like this:

1. Most scientists say man-made global warming is both true, and undesirable.
2. Thus government must take various drastic actions to slow or reverse the thing.
3. If you disagree with this, you are immoral.

One may disagree with #1 on both factual and philosophical grounds. One can dispute the facts, the readings, and the interpretation of those facts. One can also dispute it on the grounds that it's not really a repeatable experiment, and thus isn't really science. As a result, the accuracy may be assumed to be less than if it were a repeatable experiment. Disagreements here imply no moral superiority or inferiority.

One may agree with #1, but then disagree with #2, by stating something like "governments are typically terrible polluters themselves, we do not wish to trust them to fix this." They may suggest that the proposed government measures will be ineffective, cost too much relative to the benefit, or have side effects like Dinesh discusses - i.e. impoverishing developing countries. Again, not really a moral question so much as a discussion about the proper and effective actions.

The Left wants to turn everything into a moral question, and then assume a position of implied moral superiority in order to guilt people into agreeing with them. "If you don't agree, you're not a good person." It's insidious, and must be exposed for what it is.