Morality in Religious Asceticism

The American Thinker was better when he was less personally invested in things but he still posts strong and interesting arguments. His post on Bidens Abortion Blarney is interesting to read but I would have actually called it Morality in Religious Asceticism.

I try to cut Biden a break with the Grain of Salt the size of a truck. He’s got mental issues. He’s clearly had a stroke or some sort of neurological problem recently. His kid had a stroke, and we know Joe Biden had an aneurysm, so we know the family isn’t running on all eight. We don’t know if he has had any subsequent health issues but judging from the uneven smile and the personality change in the middle of the debate (not the laughing, but the tone) I think it’s extremely likely. The sad part is that Obama (black, middle-aged, high stress job) is three for three for “likely to have a heart attack or stroke” so we could end up with two guys in office with brain damage.

That being said, Biden is pretty much the king of contradicting himself in the same breath, and you can hit up numerous political commentary websites for that. What particularly bothers me isn’t politicians being politicians but politicians ignoring morality. I think the American Thinkers post on Biden on Abortion sums it up nicely. Freedom is about maximizing the rights of the minority while preserving the rights of the majority. Liberty is about keeping to yourself and doing what you want so long as it doesn’t end up on the next guys lawn. Not only are these two distinct concepts, but they are inseparable in the vast majority of cases. It is freedom which would allow gays to marry, it is liberty when they get married. See what’s going on here? It doesn’t infringe on the rights of the typical Christian to allow gays to marry because the typical Christian isn’t gay. It doesn’t affect the liberty of the typical Christian when gays marry except in one very small instance – the official marrying the gays is party to the liberty of the gay marriage. See what Biden did? He’s claiming he’s a Catholic and following social doctrine but not “telling people what to do”. The problem is, if you’re gay, and you’re a Christian, the church isn’t going to marry you.

So lets apply this to a more extreme example per the American Thinker. If you’re a racist, you have the freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want. You have the liberty to say it – these are synonymous, but you do not have the liberty to discriminate. There are people in a purely libertarian environment who would argue that liberty = freedom and therefor they own a private business and they can tell whoever they want to fuck off. In some cases, this is actually true. You cannot sell a car to a 10 year old.

“Sure, because it’s codified in the law!”

Well that’s sort of the point. When it comes to abortion it’s not enough to say, “blah blah Catholic Social Doctrine” while discreetly beating off to a picture of Jack Nicholson as The Joker. Ryan’s answer is The Correct Answer. “This is the law and this the application of the law”.

What happens when we have an excess of freedom or liberty is injustice. Ironically, Obama sued Citibank for this very situation – he played the race card and while Citibank wanted the liberty to give everyone a shitty loan, it did not have the freedom to hand out loans under terrible conditions. Citibank drops the idea that things would be “more fair” if it was somehow compelled to hand out more loans and make more money and suddenly it’s vogue to make sure “everyone gets a loan”. Predictably, people who shouldn’t ever have gotten a loan are now given a loan in our “more fair” society and the whole machine explodes years later. Not hard to see why Obama was quick to shovel money into the bailout machine, it looks extremely bad to sue to compel a company to do something and then have that very something explode. It’s hush money. Rewinding the topic – why then should we compel the catholic church to marry gays? Gays have a freedom to get married, they are at liberty to be married, they do not have the right to be married in a church. That being said, there’s churches that will do it and honestly I think the message in the Bible to love one another and so these churches should do it – but that’s a personal view and probably more fit for another blog. The takeaway here is that it’s entirely up to the church, but they can’t bitch about gay marriage if we entirely secularize it. And we should, if not for the tax revenue.

Liberty stems from freedom, but where does freedom come from?

Freedom comes from protecting the rights of the few in the face of the rights of the many. The collective argument for this is “your right to throw a punch ends at my face”. The problem when you stop believing in the worth of individuals is that freedom suddenly stems from the whims of the majority. It’s dead simple.

That’s really what Biden is saying – “I don’t know where freedom comes from, so it’s just whatever most people want”. It’s a terrible way to run a country.

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One thought on “Morality in Religious Asceticism

  1. The difference between freedom and liberty is a bit more nuanced than that. The difference goes back to the origin of the word “liberty”, which is a fascinating topic in and of itself.

    Freedom is a lack of consequences for actions. If you can do something without fear of repercussions, you have the freedom to do it.

    Liberty is the lack of prior restraint. Steps are not taken to prevent you from doing things that you’re not supposed to do. You are not free to do them — there will be consequences — but you are able to do it if you choose.

    For example, you don’t have the freedom to yell, “fire” in a crowded theatre. Doing so is dangerous, and we punish people for doing so. We do not, however, make the patrons wear gags so that they can’t do it. They are at liberty to do it if they choose.

    Injustice does not come from an excess of freedom or liberty. That is a lie pushed by people with totalitarianist leanings in an effort to get you to allow them to take control and dictate your actions. Injustice comes from an inequity of freedom. The only way injustice manages to stand is when there are men with guns backing it up. Your example of discriminating shop owners is actually a good one. Everything in a shop belongs to the shop owner. He may sell it or not as he sees fit. If he wants to be selective about to whom he sells it, that’s his business. If he discriminates based on factors that have nothing to do with whether the people are good customers or not, he’ll damage his own business and his competitors will scoop those people up and he’ll end up with a very small share of the market. That is his choice, and he’s hurting himself more than the customers he turns away. Injustice happens when he goes to the government and convinces them to apply deadly force to the situation to require all of his competitors to discriminate the same way he does. This is what happened in the discrimination and segregation cases that made this an issue in this country. You look at every case of injustice and you’ll find those men with guns there somewhere making sure nobody steps out of line. You take them away, or add a like number on the other side, and the injustice evaporates.

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