Extrapolation, reduce the absurd – but what if it has already happened?

“Because thoughtless Americans do not discern the commonality of interest — because they have been conditioned to never think in terms of concepts. They have been reduced to a state of bipedal animalism — because they have lost (or never developed) the distinctly human capacity to focus on principles rather than particulars. This, in turn, makes it easy to convince them that a given particular, invariably something of no great interest to them (such as a gun), is “bad” — based on childish arguments that would be washed away in an instant if their brains operated on the conceptual rather than the animal level.”

“The only thing preventing the wholesale banning of literally everything (because almost anything could, in the hands of a malignant person, be used to cause harm) is the subjective feelings of the majority — or rather, whomever controls the levers of organized force and can plausibly claim to be acting in the name of the majority.

The concept of rights disappears as the concept of principles slips beneath the waves. Human existence devolves into a high school popularity contest — with all the nasty outcomes of such a contest.”

The car guy at The American Spectator extrapolates from the current gun control brouhaha (it isn’t a debate, really) and then notes that some of the absurd extrapolation has already happened or is in the sights of ‘activists.’

Walter Russell Mead gets into the same core issue in his look at the fourth day of Christmas, Holy Innocents’ Day, and considers concepts of Christianity and the question of why God let’s bad things happen. See Yule Blog 2012-13: The Hinge of Fate. On Christianity:

“Compared to other world religions, Christianity is much less wedded to a set of cultural practices or ritual observances defined by its holy books; the “imitation of Christ” has almost always been understood as an imitation of his moral qualities rather than as a call to eat what he ate or wear what he wore.”

The Holy Innocents were the infants slaughtered by King Herod when hearing that a new King was born.

“The holiday isn’t just about a red-nosed reindeer’s quest for social acceptance; it is about streets red with the blood of slaughtered innocents while the Holy Family flees into exile.” …

“What kind of a God would get his own kid out of harm’s way while leaving so many other children so exposed? … On reflection, that turns out to be a new and very sharp way of asking one of the most basic questions that people quite justifiably ask about God: what kind of God could allow such evil and catastrophic things to happen? Why are innocents slaughtered and oppressed anywhere? If God is so powerful and he loves us so much, why are the historical records, and our daily newspapers, so full of violence, evil and oppression?” …

“God is serious. When he made us, he meant it. We are real, and what we do counts. He has given us the freedom to be co-creators with him of the world we live in. But having given us real freedom, he and we are stuck with the consequences. “

We have rights and with those we also have responsibilities. The focus in many of today’s political issues is on the trivial, the concrete, the easily visible. It is not on the rights, responsibilities, and concepts such as the nature of evil and the role of the individual.

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