RE: Tough Questions

Webb_S (
Wed, 1 Sep 1999 09:26:06 -0400

Mike Lorrey wrote:
> To live in a free society, you must trust first in yourself to act
> responsibly, and if you beleive that people are more or less
> equal, you
> should be prepared to trust your fellow man an equal amount. Do you
> trust yourself with an atomic warhead? Would you hold a nation hostage
> to get what you want? If you trust yourself to not abuse such
> power you
> must trust your fellow man to not abuse such power.

While the belief that people are equal is, as R. A. Wilson might say, a game rule of democracy, it does not appear to reflect reality. Would I hold a nation hostage to get what I want? No, at least not under any circumstances I can currently imagine. But are there others who would? Almost definitely! What about terrorists and militia members who're willing to blow up whole buildings and airliners and use nerve gas and anthrax on unsuspecting civilians? Or the various individuals we periodically see in the news who were pissed off at the world and one day decided to take their revenge by sending people mail bombs, or walking into their office and blowing away as many people as possible?

> Goverment becomes ovebearing over time because those on the
> left do not
> believe in their hearts in this principle, which is the heart of
> democratic society. Instead their first principle is "people
> are no damn
> good". This possibly might be because they actually don't trust
> themselves to begin with, or else they just see themselves as superior
> to everyone else. "I trust myself with a gun, but those damn black
> people in the big city are as bad as everyone says," is the type of
> attitude you get from this sort of people.

The reality is that there are always at least a few people who are, by any arbitrary definition of the term, 'no damn good'. Of course it's foolish and ignorant to view any ethnic group with suspicion because of the acts of a few individuals. In fact, that's the problem: you never know who the bad apples are.

> Such doubts of other human beings says more about YOUR state
> of mind and
> what YOU would do with such power, not about other people. You expect
> the worst of other people because you expect such behaviro from
> yourself, or you think you are so much better than anyone
> else. Here's a
> tip: grow up.

I think this is a gross oversimplification. It is an objective fact that some people engage in terrorism. Some have mental problems that render them a danger to others. Some are violent alcoholics who beat their wives and children. Certainly it would be irrational and paranoid to believe that all people are 'no damn good'. But it's perfectly rational to acknowledge that some people are not playing by the same rules you are.