Dé Céadaoin, Feabhra 23, 2011

Riffing on 'Man Was Made for The Sabbath'

"Put me down as believing that any theory of moral action that privileges one particular set of rights or goods lexicographically -- i.e., "based on absolute respect for certain rights" and not for other rights or duties -- above all others is, ipso facto, insane.
Sane thinking starts with taking people as ends in themselves and not as means to ideological purity.
Was the Sabbath made for humanity or was humanity made for the Sabbath?"
- Fred Taylor

Taylor's post was in turn inspired by an essay from more libertarian-than-you Sasha Volokh, who brought a satirical 'Onion' article to real life by stating that, yes, as taxes are in fact so God-damned evil that it would be better to let humanity be squashed by an asteroid than to pay for the asteroids' destruction with public money. Obviously this assertion is insane, one of thousands of insane, stupid, and downright evil conclusions that certain people reach every day in the name of internal consistency or True Belief.

And why do we have this tendency to put principle before people, to insist that Man was made for the Sabbath? I think the ultimate explanation for this mindset is that is one of several ways of lying to ourselves that Morality; our response to the soft, vulnerable love we feel for our fellow mortals, can be transformed into Duty, a rock-strong display of masculine courage.

It is a mindset that is by nature belligerent and destructive . When Man is made for the Sabbath then beliefs and opinions become flags. Opinions do not exist for the primary purpose of understanding humanity's problems and interpreting truth, but to display that one is brave enough to have opinions. Tolerance for opposing beliefs is impossible when showing off ones' willingness to fight for his beliefs is seen as the entire point of having them. Violence and social decay are unavoidable when a significant part of the population come to see the ultimate goal of their beliefs to not be their application towards solving practical problems or providing existential comfort but the attainment of physical power and sporting Victory.

The madness of ideological purity (As well as the mad insistence that this is the only form of moral honesty) is something else that becomes unavoidable whenever principle comes before people. The idea that there is any such thing as a pure or corrupted way, a brave or cowardly way, to neurologically process data and draw conclusions should be self-evidently absurd. But when Man is made for the sabbath it becomes essential to believe this nonsense. This is how every question tangentially related to firearms can come to be seen as a test of either absolute support for or absolute enmity towards private gun ownership; how every question tangentially related to taxes, economics, or labor becomes a test of either absolute belief in or absolute rejection of the free market. Just as Man does not live for his own sake, but for the sabbath, so it is that thought does not exist for its own sake, but only ever as a challenge to where you stand.

Simply adhere to the Sabbath always, spend your entire waking life proving your loyalty to it again and again and again, accept that people are less important then the sabbath and that whatever pain you bring them is justified in some way to be determined later. Do this and you will always be stronger and more correct then those children on the outside who must submit to your wisdom. Do this and your soul will be invincible.

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