Recently a talk-radio personality on a certain radio show that will remain nameless asked, ‘Where do rights come from?’. After very careful consideration, I’ve determined that they generally come from might.

That isn’t a particularly desirable situation, but it does seem to be how things are.

For example, what gives God the right to send me to hell, presuming that (a) there’s a God and (b) He/She/It* does such things? The ability to do so, is pretty much the only answer that I can come up with. What gives the legislature of the state of Utah the right to imprison a girl for having sex? Again, being armed with superior firepower is pretty much the only answer I can come up with.

I’m pretty disguisted with the universe right now. Yes, it’s got lots of beautiful little bits but people keep doing things to other people against their wills for no reasonable reason all over the place.

Another question one might ask is why is any of this any of my business? You could certainly make the case that Sheer isn’t affected by the war in Iraq – after all, I’m not that likely to be killed (my friend Chief Smoke could be, but after all he did choose to be in the Army and that is kind of a occupational hazard).

I guess the only answer I can come up with is that every time someone (like that aforementioned 13 year old who’s in jail for having sex) is wrongfully imprisoned, everytime someone innocent is killed, every time someone is treated unfairly, it makes us all a little less free, a little bit more in a position to huddle in fear inside our locked houses, more inclined to hide things, more inclined to trust our fellow man less.

In other words, I care because by being within a few thousand miles of the people who are wrongfully imprisoning that girl, I’m made less free. My soul is somehow vaugely tainted by her unhappiness.

I’ll be the first to support cops and other government figures when they’re stopping someone from stealing someone else’s belongings, or stopping someone from hurting someone else. But they should keep their laws off my morality. Let me state this as clearly as possible: it is not moral to legislate morality. It is not moral to enforce your morals on other people, and it is not clear that anything is morally ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ because I, you, or anyone else says it is. And even if something is immoral, well, imprisoning someone is immoral too. Do two wrongs make a right? Apparently in modern thinking they do..

I accept that I’m powerless. I accept that I can change nothing. I accept that all I can do is sit here and stare at the brokenness and wonder how on earth it got so broken. I accept that I’m probably a part of the brokenness – that by existing, I probably make things worse.

* = I’m leaning towards he, but only because it’s the majority opinion.

3 Responses to “…”

  1. amberite2112 Says:

    “I’m leaning towards he, but only because it’s the majority opinion.”
    that’s a really lousy reason.

  2. bakeme Says:

    the rule that people shouldn’t hurt each other is a moral rule. the judgment that one ought not slaughter 6 million jews is a moral one.

    we can’t escape laws of morality.

  3. bakeme Says:

    which is not to say that i don’t think we should have rules. it’s just to say that the whole issue is impossibly murky.

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