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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Liberalism and the lack of ethical reasoning ability

This is breaking news: A group of religious leaders is providing a united front on how President/Emperor Obama has violated religious rights with his mandate that health insurance must provide coverage for free products and procedures related to birth control, including those that abort pregnancies.

Democrats are saying "they had been denied the ability to present witnesses who might support the government stance or speak for the rights of women to reproductive health coverage. They asked why not one of the 10 witnesses at the hearing was a woman."

OK, so if one of the 10 witnesses was a woman, would the Obama Dictate suddenly become constitutional? Would it suddenly become ethical?

Now, I know what the concern is. It seems like it's all one-sided. And perhaps that's not fair. On the other hand, having this rule crammed down everyone's throat by presidential edict is not really fair either. AND, the Obama administration did not seek fair and balanced input when they crafted the the rule. NOW the Democrats are worried about fairness? Where was fairness when the rule was written? Where was fairness when Obama formulated his Dictate last week?

Furthermore, ethics isn't about sides, nor is it about rationales to support an action, nor is it about majorities or numbers.

It's about right and wrong. 

Even if 150 million American women DEMANDED free birth control....
Even if every guru or pundit the Democrats could find to the tune of a majority of voting age citizens of this country supported Obama...
Even if there were a billion reason that society would benefit from trampling on the conscience rights of others...

NONE of that would:
a) make it ethical or constitutional to illegalize health insurance that did not cover these products and services
b) make it ethical or constitutional to force religious organizations to violate their conscience 
c) make it ethical or constitutional to intrude upon what should be a free commercial exchange
d) make the products and services in question ethical in themselves.

The majority does not rule absolutely. That is WHY we have a Constitution. Democracy is majority rule, on the things open to the majority deciding. The majority cannot decide to trample the rights of the minority, or else there would be no argument against slavery, for instance, or discrimination based on age, race, gender, or any other parameter. All aspects of civil rights are a defense of the minority against a possibly dominating majority. 

Declaring a thing to be ethical does not make it so. Not even a majority can make an evil thing to be good simply by declaring it so. We do live in a society of positive ethics. And by "positive" I do not mean the opposite of negative, but something related to the act of positing. In other words, things become good because I declare that they are good. In the area of marriage, we are positing that cats are the same as dogs because of the similarities between them. Define the word "dog" to include meowing mouse-chasers if you wish, but that does not make a cat to become a dog.

The end does not justify the means. First of all, if women have a right to regulate their fertility, that's fine. That does not mean the have a right to any means whatsoever to do it. That right means that the government cannot interfere with the exercise of that right, but it does not mean that women should have free access to any product or service they desire, nor to force others to provide them. The right to free speech does not give me the right to any space in the New York Times. It does not give me the right to prime-time TV slots on major networks. It does not give me the right to an audience. It does not give the right to any venue. It gives me the right to speak my mind wherever I happen to be. The right to regulate her own fertility does not mean free products and services that in themselves are unethical, paid for by someone who does not want to pay for them.

Plausible rationales are not the same as sound reasoning. Plausible rationales are a sign of cleverness, not ethical thinking. If you plan a murder and make it look like self-defense and the claim holds up in court, you still committed murder and you have deceived the court at the same time. It doesn't BECOME self-defense because you can make others believe it is. It remains in truth murder, made even worse by lies. So, Democrats can line up as many as they please who support Field Marshal for Life Obama, it simply does not add up to changing the nature of the thing he's doing. 

It's not a matter of perspective or opinion. Opinion about what the sun is does not change what it is. You can believe it to be this or that, but it is a star powered by atomic fusion. There is no opinion about that. The Obama Dictate is not ethical and constitutional for those who believe it is, but not for the rest of us. And even if it were so, those who like the Obama Dictate have no right to force their opinion on the rest of us.

All laws are forcing someone's morality on the rest of society. One of the things about this Obama Dictate is that it is posited as a defense of the morality of women against having the morality of their employers forced upon them. But you can see that it amounts to Obama forcing his morality on religious organizations, in the name of "It's wrong to force your morality on others." The adage is violated in saying it: You force your morality on others by demanding they not force their morality on others. What people who say this really mean is "YOU cannot force your morality on ME." It is NOT "It's wrong to for people to force their morality on others." The latter is a lie. The former is what it's really about: ME forcing my morality on YOU, so that YOU let ME do what I want, while I make YOU feel like you're being mean and totalitarian against ME -- BUT it's really just the other way around.

At any rate, these SIX ethical fallacies -- ALL of them -- are at work in the brief quotes above. And they are at work in Democrat ethical reasoning in general.

By illegalizing health insurance that does not cover objectionable and elective products and procedures, by fiat and not by any democratic process, without gaining input from concerned parties, Obama has demonstrated his ethical abilities.

Or lack thereof.

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