Now, I do not know if the picture below is stating a fact or not. In fact, I will go even further by saying that I doubt that it is true. But there is one thing I am certain of. As a parent I would not hesitate one second about using what it says as the reason to tell my son to pull his pants up. I would not hesitate to remind him that if someone was to misconstrue his intent and takes advantage of him that he had no one to blame for it but himself if he continued to wear his pants half way down to his knees. And if any parent was to use me as verification that this was a fact I would not hesitate one second before backing them up.
Ethics and Morality
Shaw, over at Progressive Eruptions, gave some advice for her commenters but it is also some great advice for all of us bloggers whether we be the owner of a blog or just a commenter on someone’s blog. Writing an essay as well as commenting on a blog is one thing but we should all be aware of the fact that it should be a logical argument and abide by the rules of logic.
We must realize that while an appeal to emotion may, at times, be a good argument it can never be considered as a logical argument. A good emotional appeal is used to get a person to react emotionally. A good logical argument is meant to be used to give a person something to think on before reacting. When we fully understand this we can know what type of argument we need to use and when to use a particular form of argument.
So, my friends, we need to think before we react, especially when discussing certain emotionally charged issues, and always beware of fallacies in our own arguments as well as others. If we do there is no doubt in my mind that our experience in the blogosphere will be far more pleasant for everyone.
A fetus or a baby, is how we define it a matter of conscience? Do we harden ourselves to the consequences of the act by calling it a fetus rather than a baby? If a fetus is not a person as it is claimed then what difference does it make whether it be a male or female? If abortion is as moral as some claim then why should anyone be appalled by how it is disposed of once it has been taken?
If it is nothing but a clump of cells as some claim then why is flushing it down the toilet wrong as depicted in this story? Why should it be treated any differently or given greater respect just because that clump of cells are human?
If it is not a person as some claim then why shouldn’t it be used as dog food as depicted in this story? Why should that non-person be treated any differently or given greater respect than any other animal remains once killed?
It sounds as if people want to treat that life form one way while it is inside a woman and alive but see it as being something entirely different once life has been aborted and it has been taken out of the woman’s body. And women are the biggest victims of the act of abortion whether it be the mother or child.
Call me an extremist if you want but if this is not the very good example of hypocrisy and how the use of force can effect the moral fibre of individuals and of a nation then I am glad I am not a member of the mainstream of thought.
Say What You Will About Religion and Christianity But This Cannot be Ignored Nor Should it be Condoned Anywhere
Boy, one of the biggest problems with ideology is that all ideology is a collective concept. And when expressed that ideology is expressed only in positive terms for the purpose of convincing those why may be skeptical of its value. It only has credibility when a collective of people accept it. The greater the number of persons who adhere to that ideology the higher the credibility that ideology has.
The big argument now is whether society that practices a collectivist ideology or a society that practices an individualistic ideology is the best form of society. Most persons do not understand the dominant differences in the two ideologies. This is because the people have been taught to avoid the idea of extremism as it is called these days. This may be true in practice but we shouldn’t avoid it in thought.
The biggest value that extremism offers is clarity of thought. If we are to understand the pros and cons to any ideology then we must take it to its most extreme position in order to see what ideal it is leading us to. Once we understand what the ideal is then we can ascertain what needs to be sacrificed in order to achieve that ideal. And it must viewed in a non-judgmental manner.
In the recognition of this we can determine the absolute value of the concept of individualism and collectivism through definition of principle. Since we are seeking an absolute value of each concept we must have a common denominator from each. That common denominator is the “person”. In other words each concept must be identified by what is demanded of the particular person.
The concept of individualism declares that the first and only obligation of the person is to his own needs and desires. To take this concept to the extreme we must declare that the person places this obligation above everything even if it means to sacrifice the needs and desires of others. In other words, a person’s needs and desires take priority even if it means depriving the collective of its needs and desires. And if this results the extermination of the collective then so be it.
The concept of collectivism declares that the first and only obligation of a person is to the needs and desires of the collective. To take this concept to the extreme we must declare the person places this obligation above everything even if it means the sacrifice of his own needs and desires. In other words, the needs and desires of the collective takes priority even if it means depriving a person of his needs and desires. And if this means the sacrifice of the individual then so be it.
Now, if we examine the two concepts we can compare the value of each from that particular person’s prespective. We can declare with certainty that no particular person can be the direct cause of the extermination of a collective but it can be said that a collective can be the direct cause of the extermination of a particular person. The death penalty would be a good example to exemplify this.
Collectivism is a construct of society that is the foundational basis for the philosophical concept of altruism on the social level. Socialism/Communism is the political ideology with the goal of creating a society that practices this philosophical concept. The problem lies in the fact that since the end result is an ideal any means that will aid in the creation of this society is allowed even if it means the use of force.
Every collectivist ideology has this idealic goal, the creation of the perfect society. History verifies this. The only thing separating the different ideologies is the determinant of the imperfection that has to exist. Once any particular collective ideology becomes the dominant ideology of a society it will set out to exterminate the imperfections of that society as that particular ideology sees those imperfections to be.
Grandpa just sat back and was shaking his head after reading a op-ed in the New York Times. Times you have to sit back and just be amazed at how transparent some people are and still get away with it. Here is a piece that tries to justify the attacks on Rush Limbaugh and defend Bill Maher.
Have to admit that they are finally seeing the difference between being fair and being moral though as ilustrated here.
“you will be affirming a single standard, and moreover it will be a moral one because you will be going with what you think is good rather than what you think is fair. “Fair” is a weak virtue; it is not even a virtue at all because it insists on a withdrawal from moral judgment.”
Basically what the author is saying in this piece is that we should judge the acts of people by how we perceive the person is, not judge people by their acts even if it means going against every principle of decent behavior of morality there is. We must also remember that the principle of equality is dependent upon the fair treatment of each other. So, implicitly, he is declaring the concept of equality as being an immoral concept also.
He even admits that collectivism as well as ideology is the foundational basis of it here as he says,
“It elevates tribal obligations over the universal obligations we owe to each other as citizens. It licenses differential and discriminatory treatment on the basis of contested points of view. It substitutes for the rule “don’t do it to them if you don’t want it done to you” the rule “be sure to do it to them first and more effectively.” It implies finally that might makes right. I can live with that.”
Then people wonder why I prefer the right over the left. If this be the morals of the left I don’t understand why anyone would even want to identify with it. It doesn’t just imply that might makes right, it declares it. I, myself, couldn’t have described the attitude of the left any better than this. But, unfortunately one must take this attitude in order to justify the use of force. I, personally, could not live with those principles.
The only thing I can add to this is that someone is finally admitting the same thing that I have been accusing the left of all along. Yet I am the one who is considered the extremist. How can they call themselves progressives when they admit to wanting to take us back to a time when tribal obligations was the law of the land? How can they call themselves progressives when they wish to take us back to a time when the needs of the individual was secondary to the needs of the collective?
TO MY OLD MASTER.
The long and intimate, though by no means friendly, relation which unhappily subsisted between you and myself, leads me to hope that you will easily account for the great liberty which I now take in addressing you in this open and public manner. The same fact may possibly remove any disagreeable surprise which you may experience on again finding your name coupled with mine, in any other way than in an advertisement, accurately describing my person, and offering a large sum for my arrest. In thus dragging you again before the public, I am aware that I shall subject myself to no inconsiderable amount of censure. I shall probably be charged with an unwarrantable if not a wanton and reckless disregard of the rights and proprieties of private life. There are those North as well as South, who entertain a much higher respect for rights which are merely conventional, than they do for rights which are personal and essential. Not a few there are in our country who, while they have no scruples against robbing the laborer of the hard earned results of his patient industry, will be shocked by the extremely indelicate manner of bringing your name before the public. Believing this to be the case, and wishing to meet every reasonable or plausible objection to my conduct, I will frankly state the ground upon which I justify myself in this instance, as well as on former occasions when I have thought proper to mention your name in public. All will agree that a man guilty of theft, robbery, or murder, has forfeited the right to concealment and private life; that the community have a right to subject such persons to the most complete exposure. However much they may desire retirement, and aim to conceal themselves and their movements from the popular gaze, the public have a right to ferret them out, and bring their conduct before the proper tribunals of the country for investigation. Sir, you will undoubtedly make the proper application of these generally admitted principles, and will easily see the light in which you are regarded by me. I will not therefore manifest ill temper, by calling you hard names. I know you to be a man of some intelligence, and can readily determine the precise estimate which I entertain of your character. I may therefore indulge in language which may seem to others indirect and ambiguous, and yet be quite well understood by yourself.
I have selected this day on which to address you, because it is the anniversary of my emancipation; and knowing of no better way, I am led to this as the best mode of celebrating that truly important event. Just ten years ago this beautiful September morning, yon bright sun beheld me a slave—a poor degraded chattel—trembling at the sound of your voice, lamenting that I was a man, and wishing myself a brute. The hopes which I had treasured up for weeks of a safe and successful escape from your grasp, were powerfully confronted at this last hour by dark clouds of doubt and fear, making my person shake and my bosom to heave with the heavy contest between hope and fear. I have no words to describe to you the deep agony of soul which I experienced on that never to be forgotten morning—(for I left by daylight). I was making a leap in the dark. The probabilities, so far as I could by reason determine them, were stoutly against the undertaking. The preliminaries and precautions I had adopted previously, all worked badly. I was like one going to war without weapons—ten chances of defeat to one of victory. One in whom I had confided, and one who had promised me assistance, appalled by fear at the trial hour, deserted me, thus leaving the responsibility of success or failure solely with myself. You, sir, can never know my feelings. As I look back to them, I can scarcely realize that I have passed through a scene so trying. Trying however as they were, and gloomy as was the prospect, thanks be to the Most High, who is ever the God of the oppressed, at the moment which was to determine my whole earthly career. His grace was sufficient, my mind was made up. I embraced the golden opportunity, took the morning tide at the flood, and a free man, young, active and strong, is the result.
I have often thought I should like to explain to you the grounds upon which I have justified myself in running away from you. I am almost ashamed to do so now, for by this time you may have discovered them yourself. I will, however, glance at them. When yet but a child about six years old, I imbibed the determination to run away. The very first mental effort that I now remember on my part, was an attempt to solve the mystery, Why am I a slave? and with this question my youthful mind was troubled for many days, pressing upon me more heavily at times than others. When I saw the slave-driver whip a slave woman, cut the blood out of her neck, and heard her piteous cries, I went away into the corner of the fence, wept and pondered over the mystery. I had, through some medium, I know not what, got some idea of God, the Creator of all mankind, the black and the white, and that he had made the blacks to serve the whites as slaves. How he could do this and be good, I could not tell. I was not satisfied with this theory, which made God responsible for slavery, for it pained me greatly, and I have wept over it long and often. At one time, your first wife, Mrs. Lucretia, heard me singing and saw me shedding tears, and asked of me the matter, but I was afraid to tell her. I was puzzled with this question, till one night, while sitting in the kitchen, I heard some of the old slaves talking of their parents having been stolen from Africa by white men, and were sold here as slaves. The whole mystery was solved at once. Very soon after this my aunt Jinny and uncle Noah ran away, and the great noise made about it by your father-in-law, made me for the first time acquainted with the fact, that there were free States as well as slave States. From that time, I resolved that I would some day run away. The morality of the act, I dispose as follows: I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons, equal persons. What you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. God created both, and made us separate beings. I am not by nature bound to you, or you to me. Nature does not make your existence depend upon me, or mine to depend upon yours. I cannot walk upon your legs, or you upon mine. I cannot breathe for you, or you for me; I must breathe for myself, and you for yourself. We are distinct persons, and are each equally provided with faculties necessary to our individual existence. In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living. Your faculties remained yours, and mine became useful to their rightful owner. I therefore see no wrong in any part of the transaction. It is true, I went off secretly, but that was more your fault than mine. Had I let you into the secret, you would have defeated the enterprise entirely; but for this, I should have been really glad to have made you acquainted with my intentions to leave.
You may perhaps want to know how I like my present condition. I am free to say, I greatly prefer it to that which I occupied in Maryland. I am, however, by no means prejudiced against the State as such. Its geography, climate, fertility and products, are such as to make it a very desirable abode for any man; and but for the existence of slavery there, it is not impossible that I might again take up my abode in that State. It is not that I love Maryland less, but freedom more. You will be surprised to learn that people at the North labor under the strange delusion that if the slaves were emancipated at the South, they would flock to the North. So far from this being the case, in that event, you would see many old and familiar faces back again to the South. The fact is, there are few here who would not return to the South in the event of emancipation. We want to live in the land of our birth, and to lay our bones by the side of our fathers’; and nothing short of an intense love of personal freedom keeps us from the South. For the sake of this, most of us would live on a crust of bread and a cup of cold water.
Since I left you, I have had a rich experience. I have occupied stations which I never dreamed of when a slave. Three out of the ten years since I left you, I spent as a common laborer on the wharves of New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was there I earned my first free dollar. It was mine. I could spend it as I pleased. I could buy hams or herring with it, without asking any odds of any body. That was a precious dollar to me. You remember when I used to make seven or eight, or even nine dollars a week in Baltimore, you would take every cent of it from me every Saturday night, saying that I belonged to you, and my earnings also. I never liked this conduct on your part—to say the best, I thought it a little mean. I would not have served you so. But let that pass. I was a little awkward about counting money in New England fashion when I first landed in New Bedford. I like to have betrayed myself several times. I caught myself saying phip, for fourpence; and at one time a man actually charged me with being a runaway, whereupon I was silly enough to become one by running away from him, for I was greatly afraid he might adopt measures to get me again into slavery, a condition I then dreaded more than death.
I soon, however, learned to count money, as well as to make it, and got on swimmingly. I married soon after leaving you: in fact, I was engaged to be married before I left you; and instead of finding my companion a burden, she was truly a helpmeet. She went to live at service, and I to work on the wharf, and though we toiled hard the first winter, we never lived more happily. After remaining in New Bedford for three years, I met with Wm. Lloyd Garrison, a person of whom you have possibly heard, as he is pretty generally known among slaveholders. He put it into my head that I might make myself serviceable to the cause of the slave by devoting a portion of my time to telling my own sorrows, and those of other slaves which had come under my observation. This was the commencement of a higher state of existence than any to which I had ever aspired. I was thrown into society the most pure, enlightened and benevolent that the country affords. Among these I have never forgotten you, but have invariably made you the topic of conversation—thus giving you all the notoriety I could do. I need not tell you that the opinion formed of you in these circles, is far from being favorable. They have little respect for your honesty, and less for your religion.
But I was going on to relate to you something of my interesting experience. I had not long enjoyed the excellent society to which I have referred, before the light of its excellence exerted a beneficial influence on my mind and heart. Much of my early dislike of white persons was removed, and their manners, habits and customs, so entirely unlike what I had been used to in the kitchen-quarters on the plantations of the South, fairly charmed me, and gave me a strong disrelish for the coarse and degrading customs of my former condition. I therefore made an effort so to improve my mind and deportment, as to be somewhat fitted to the station to which I seemed almost providentially called. The transition from degradation to respectability was indeed great, and to get from one to the other without carrying some marks of one’s former condition, is truly a difficult matter. I would not have you think that I am now entirely clear of all plantation peculiarities, but my friends here, while they entertain the strongest dislike to them, regard me with that charity to which my past life somewhat entitles me, so that my condition in this respect is exceedingly pleasant. So far as my domestic affairs are concerned, I can boast of as comfortable a dwelling as your own. I have an industrious and neat companion, and four dear children—the oldest a girl of nine years, and three fine boys, the oldest eight, the next six, and the youngest four years old. The three oldest are now going regularly to school—two can read and write, and the other can spell with tolerable correctness words of two syllables: Dear fellows! they are all in comfortable beds, and are sound asleep, perfectly secure under my own roof. There are no slaveholders here to rend my heart by snatching them from my arms, or blast a mother’s dearest hopes by tearing them from her bosom. These dear children are ours—not to work up into rice, sugar and tobacco, but to watch over, regard, and protect, and to rear them up in the nurture and admonition of the gospel—to train them up in the paths of wisdom and virtue, and, as far as we can to make them useful to the world and to themselves. Oh! sir, a slaveholder never appears to me so completely an agent of hell, as when I think of and look upon my dear children. It is then that my feelings rise above my control. I meant to have said more with respect to my own prosperity and happiness, but thoughts and feelings which this recital has quickened unfits me to proceed further in that direction. The grim horrors of slavery rise in all their ghastly terror before me, the wails of millions pierce my heart, and chill my blood. I remember the chain, the gag, the bloody whip, the deathlike gloom overshadowing the broken spirit of the fettered bondman, the appalling liability of his being torn away from wife and children, and sold like a beast in the market. Say not that this is a picture of fancy. You well know that I wear stripes on my back inflicted by your direction; and that you, while we were brothers in the same church, caused this right hand, with which I am now penning this letter, to be closely tied to my left, and my person dragged at the pistol’s mouth, fifteen miles, from the Bay side to Easton to be sold like a beast in the market, for the alleged crime of intending to escape from your possession. All this and more you remember, and know to be perfectly true, not only of yourself, but of nearly all of the slaveholders around you.
At this moment, you are probably the guilty holder of at least three of my own dear sisters, and my only brother in bondage. These you regard as your property. They are recorded on your ledger, or perhaps have been sold to human flesh mongers, with a view to filling your own ever-hungry purse. Sir, I desire to know how and where these dear sisters are. Have you sold them? or are they still in your possession? What has become of them? are they living or dead? And my dear old grandmother, whom you turned out like an old horse, to die in the woods—is she still alive? Write and let me know all about them. If my grandmother be still alive, she is of no service to you, for by this time she must be nearly eighty years old—too old to be cared for by one to whom she has ceased to be of service, send her to me at Rochester, or bring her to Philadelphia, and it shall be the crowning happiness of my life to take care of her in her old age. Oh! she was to me a mother, and a father, so far as hard toil for my comfort could make her such. Send me my grandmother! that I may watch over and take care of her in her old age. And my sisters, let me know all about them. I would write to them, and learn all I want to know of them, without disturbing you in any way, but that, through your unrighteous conduct, they have been entirely deprived of the power to read and write. You have kept them in utter ignorance, and have therefore robbed them of the sweet enjoyments of writing or receiving letters from absent friends and relatives. Your wickedness and cruelty committed in this respect on your fellow-creatures, are greater than all the stripes you have laid upon my back, or theirs. It is an outrage upon the soul—a war upon the immortal spirit, and one for which you must give account at the bar of our common Father and Creator.
The responsibility which you have assumed in this regard is truly awful—and how you could stagger under it these many years is marvellous. Your mind must have become darkened, your heart hardened, your conscience seared and petrified, or you would have long since thrown off the accursed load and sought relief at the hands of a sin-forgiving God. How, let me ask, would you look upon me, were I some dark night in company with a band of hardened villains, to enter the precincts of your elegant dwelling and seize the person of your own lovely daughter Amanda, and carry her off from your family, friends and all the loved ones of her youth—make her my slave—compel her to work, and I take her wages—place her name on my ledger as property—disregard her personal rights—fetter the powers of her immortal soul by denying her the right and privilege of learning to read and write—feed her coarsely—clothe her scantily, and whip her on the naked back occasionally; more and still more horrible, leave her unprotected—a degraded victim to the brutal lust of fiendish overseers, who would pollute, blight, and blast her fair soul—rob her of all dignity—destroy her virtue, and annihilate all in her person the graces that adorn the character of virtuous womanhood? I ask how would you regard me, if such were my conduct? Oh! the vocabulary of the damned would not afford a word sufficiently infernal, to express your idea of my God-provoking wickedness. Yet sir, your treatment of my beloved sisters is in all essential points, precisely like the case I have now supposed. Damning as would be such a deed on my part, it would be no more so than that which you have committed against me and my sisters.
I will now bring this letter to a close, you shall hear from me again unless you let me hear from you. I intend to make use of you as a weapon with which to assail the system of slavery—as a means of concentrating public attention on the system, and deepening their horror of trafficking in the souls and bodies of men. I shall make use of you as a means of exposing the character of the American church and clergy—and as a means of bringing this guilty nation with yourself to repentance. In doing this I entertain no malice towards you personally. There is no roof under which you would be more safe than mine, and there is nothing in my house which you might need for your comfort, which I would not readily grant. Indeed, I should esteem it a privilege, to set you an example as to how mankind ought to treat each other.
I am your fellow man, but not your slave,
P. S. I send a copy of the paper containing this letter, to save postage. F. D.
I wish to thank “Letters of Note” for the reprint of this letter