Recently— an hour before posting this — I indulged that habit of conveying my dismay at the current state of culture over a facebook post. Most of my facebook post barely receive a response, mostly because many of my friends are more concerned with the release of the Hobbit than anything else, no offense to Tolkien.
I posted the following:
Am I the only person under 30 who still realizes that there is not a single individual, group, country, government, social club, industry, or bank that owes me anything? Am I also the only person under the age of 30 who realizes that nobody owes me a job, or security, or healthcare or a drivers license for that matter, and to think they do is not only idiotic but immoral?
Is human life really that worthless in your eyes? If someone becomes sick through no fault of there own but can’t afford to treat it deserve to die. Because that is exactly what you are saying. And I find it disgusting!
I thought that my response to this person was adequate for a post, so here it is. Enjoy:
Name Withheld, that I don’t think that anyone owes me anything does not suggest that I think human life is not valuable. Nor can we arrive at the conclusion that I believe that someone who is sick but can’t afford care deserves to die. This is an egregious non-sequitor, just shameless. Your pronouncement reminds me of an introductory philosophy course where everyone believes, the professor included, that uncharted territory has been traversed upon the observation that things don’t always arrive at our aesthetic ideal. The professor himself, stolid, perhaps stout, adjusting his wide brimmed glasses, clears his throat and announces to the class that there are situations which are naturally unjust, a hypothesis, as it happens, which is emphatically reinforced by current thinking in biology. The pre-pubescent intellects of youth are ready to imbibe this toxin with great alacrity and, after having had a look around, see injustice in every place that it is not. Committees and clubs are formed around the latest natural injustice that needs to be rectified; rage is generally considerable, and anyone who decides their banter odious is found to be “disgusting.”
I could just let you dwell on the implications of your illogical inferences about my opinions regarding human life, but I am feeling rather generous at the moment and will instead guide you step by step through the process. Owing to your incredible reading comprehension skills, and your diminutive interpretive ones, you seem to believe that if one does not feel as if they are owed something, that same person does not feel responsible for something. I do believe that some people deserve to die, mostly dwelling under the categorical heading “serial killers.” But if one cannot afford the medical care requisite for a complete recovery, that they may perish, without the accompanying intercessory compassion, does not imply that they deserve to perish. You injected the term “deserve,” you own it. Congratulations. But this is where the notions of responsibility and obligation comes into the discussion, a topic that gets very little air time in our culture now so emphatically intoxicated on the concept of “rights.”
That sucking sound we all now hear is the sound of a society whose compassion has been drained increasingly by the parasitic and now meaningless term rights. I remember when the healthcare law was being overtly protested and counter-protested on the steps of the United States capital and young women in the camp of the dreamy eyed Obama was interviewed saying the following: “I believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right.” That the right of a Doctor not to practice medicine and instead write books would be circumscribed by such a metaphysics didn’t need to enter her ruminations because she can count on the state deity to enforce it. And as I wrote on this very same subject months ago: “The Gulags of the Soviet Union did not exist because of some mere malevolence of its leaders, but precisely as a deterrent to those who desired to write books over practicing medicine, or make steel in lieu of mining coal. By appealing to rights outside of its negative implication in the individuals relation to the state, in a secular society, is to invite gulags, a materialist secular hell in replace of a transcendent spiritual one. They popped up all over Europe this last century like flowers blooming in the fauna of secular spring.”
I am my brothers keeper, but that does not mean that my brother should believe that I owe him something, for his psychology would always be in a subtle state of war with me, looking for instance and chance to pounce and derive benefit by appeals to guilt. I term this the ethics of guilt; it is an ethics we have enthusiastically embraced. This is not synonymous with conscience. Conscience is the awareness of ones duty and the standing orders of moral axioms. As such, my devotion to my brothers well being does not derive from a belief that recompense is owed me, but because it is my duty, religious to be exact; but as we have chipped away more and more at our spiritual foundations as an entire society, guilt is the means and measure of ethics. And so we are a society gone slowly mad. Billions of dollars are spent annually on therapy and psychology, the science of the derelict of duty, to sooth the guilt inflicted on us by both our absence of collective meaning and the duties we have so thrown away in its absence.
There was once a time when the thinkers of Europe believed that reason would light our ethical path, that religious duty and positive obligations were impediments to progress, but our current circumstances suggest otherwise. We now inhabit a culture of getting and not giving, of being owed something instead of the honor of being obligated something. Benjamin Franklin suggested, nay empirically observed, that a society not girded with the strength of morality and conviction, of positive and religious moral duty, would not last for long. But those on the left that so gush and bleed their hearts out, exuding and radiating a psychological guilt, are the first to mock the traditions of past of spiritual and ethical fulfillment that are designed to rectify many of the problems that we now face. That sucking sound you hear is the sound of a sewer gutter gargling the last few ounces of compassion and duty we still have, that which has been consumed now manifests itself as the screeching whine heard when some new natural injustice is discovered. Somebody else is always guilty, and we are consumed further by a political discourse that demands that we toss to the dustbin ancient metaphysics but keep ancient ethics, albeit the ones, and only ones that don’t violate a women’s right to kill fetuses on demand.. This too does not go.
I appreciate your comments if only because it gave me an opportunity to release some polemic angst.