There appears to be a great confusion in the minds of many liberals and a few conservatives when it comes to discussion morality and emotional behavior. One might ask why bother? The question is one of mental clarity. It is also a practical question since the misrepresentation my cause immense damage in unintended ways. The ideal of social justice relies more on emotional argument that moral argument. Indeed, we tend to conflate the two. Morality has a logical basis, emotional argument is strictly an emotional feeling about something. Emotional is often irrational, that is, it may feel good to do some act or have some thought. The logical basis is lacking, there is no precept or guiding law to emotional feelings. They are biased beyond belief. They are unreliable in the dispensing of justice and lack any manner of feedback as to their righteousness. If one wants true justice according the the precepts of the law one cannot afford to allow emotion to over power moral precept. Emotion corrupts in a most deceiving manner.
Now I read and played the video on the blog Unicorns & Glitter & Everything In Between (I like the fact that In Between was spelled correctly, shows attention to detail). I would recommend viewing the video, by the way, I think the author shows a good bit of inventiveness and creativity. But his premise is wrong. I understand why it is wrong and this is not a personal dig. We often make the wrong arguments because we fail to see what the argument really is. Okay, nothing new, the argument is that money is bad. Well, the Old Testament has been spouting that platitude for a very long time and it is no more true then than it is now. The argument is that the existence of some inanimate object is evil. The question becomes, how so? Why is money, that medium of exchange that allows the trading of goods and services by a third party so bad or evil? should we all go back to barter, would that remove on of the evils mankind comes in contact with on a daily basis? Or is it the way we may use money that reduces our “humanity” in this world? Do you see the difference? A state of action versus a state of inanimate being. I mean by such reasoning all snakes should be killed regardless of their usefulness in the environment because the original snake tempted Eve and caused our fall from innocence. I don’t care much for that argument, it rings a bit too false. Nor do I wish to go around trying to bruise the head of all snakes, one of them may bite me and I might die.
How we frame an argument has great importance. It can influence our thinking, our perceptions. It may even cause us to engage in the kind of action we might normally find repugnant. The case of the internment of the Japanese Americans on the west coast during world war two is a case in point. The emotions and hysteria causes millions of Japanese Americans to be interned for the duration of world war two and most of them lost almost all their property. Was this a moral act during an emergency? Maybe a few might have taken hostile action against the US, but most would not. Was this any justification for an act of emotional judgment? Obviously morality be damned was the thinking of the time.
Back to the question, does money, by its very existence, take the humanity out of mankind? The argument fails on many levels. It assumes that the humanity of mankind can be detached as a totally separate entity. How do we know such a thing is true? Humanity is a mixture of morality and emotions. Why would we expect anything less? Humanity is the giving of a few coins out of our pockets to someone who is less fortunate, or so we might believe. Humanity is that sense of ethical behavior that relies on the good will of others. That is, when we do good towards others we tend to expect a reciprocal agreement and action. Quid pro quo. is the common term. I do for you and you do for me. But we are talking about actions, not objects. Then if money is an object, just how does it become an impediment to good government or social relationships? Our blogger does not make that point clear. Unfortunately what was a promising experiment was fatally marred by false assertions that lead to false conclusions. It’s not the money that takes the humanity out of mankind but its use by man himself. This leads us to another blog post of a similar nature.
Big Cat’s Kitty Shed wants us to engage in a thought experiment. But it really is not an experiment at all, it is a reshuffling of ideas. The second amendment is about the right to bear arms. That is, the right to own and use items such as firearms. The ACA is not an amendment, it is essentially a tax law, the Supreme Court reached that tortured bit of logic because the law was written in such a manner as to require that justification, else void it on the grounds that the government cannot compel its citizens to buy a service they may not want from a private party or chain of parties. But this suppose though experiment wants us to imagine that the right to bear arms is now a mere privilege, like operating a motor vehicle, and that the ACA, the representative of health care is now a right. Of course when one discusses rights that are reserved to the people for their personal use we rarely find those who may assert the suppression of such rights disclose that many individuals do not always avail themselves of the use of said right. Not everyone wants to own a firearm let alone use it in whatever manner they may deem proper. By that same token, not everyone wants to pay a private corporation a large percentage of their earnings for services they may not use until much later in their lives. So we can see that substituting the one for the other complicates matters.
You see, a firearm is an inanimate object, a very basic definition. It does not possess any morals or emotions or logic. It can be a deadly tool if used for that purpose. But so can a knife or a hammer or an automobile. But by itself, it cannot kill or destroy human or other life. Those who push for gun control or total bans on guns seem to have overlooked this very basic idea. They will point to the UK as the very embodiment of success of gun control. Almost all guns or every stripe, except those illegally obtained and imported and possessed by the more criminal elements of society, rarely have access to any weapon for what ever reason. The deaths buy guns have gone down, mission accomplished. But the murder rate has not, it has gone up. Now we have a campaign by the police and various governments to convince the people to give up all their knives. Any lock back knife of any size is illegal. Any pocket knife whose blade exceeds three inches in length is illegal. In many areas of that country the simple act of carrying a pocket knife is illegal. I suppose hammers and chisels and many other items now used in murders will be declared illegal and subject to confiscation.
The gun control lobby always focuses on the object and never to behavior of the individual. Thus by limiting access to guns we can eliminate deaths by guns except for the cops who seem to have increased the death rate by gun all on their own. Well, we will not have to worry about automobile deaths since all cars in America will become robots and controlled by a vast army of computers. We will never need pay attention to the road again, all will be done for us. That is the liberal and progressive ideal, all will be dome for every individual in society by the government since that government, staffed by the progressives and liberals with the correct ideals will be the ones running it. I fear for the future generations who shall never know the freedoms of their own actions and thoughts. So we ban guns and make healthcare a right. What have we done? Have we made the world any safer? No we have merely proved that old saying, when the government bans guns from the hands of the ordinary citizen only cops and criminals will have guns and often we can’t tell the two apart. Our world will not be made any safer. And when private enterprise becomes public monopoly then we will receive far less than we pay for. Right now healthcare enjoys an exemption from the laws against monopoly, against deceptive practices, against collusion and fraud. what have we gained from compulsory taxes that support this system. The cry that your right to healthcare insurance, not healthcare per se, includes a compulsory tax but not a compulsory measure of heath care since there are exclusions to the insurance coverage.
So this thought experiment is an illusion. We are urged to substitute the right of obtain and use an object for the right to pay a tax for private services that may or may not be rendered. It does not follow. But those who believe in social justice seldom risk the use of critical analysis. Indeed, the time it takes to teach that subject seems to be a total waste of time and resources for all concerned. That is the result of the new progressive and liberal thinking, all can be solved by simplistic analysis and action. Actually, such thinking is not new and has been referred to, most rightly, as throw more money at the problem and hope it goes away. That is the object of social justice.