Thursday, July 7, 2011

On applying the “Golden Rule”

- “How do you decide to apply the Golden Rule?”
- “How can you so easily call another person stupid when you don't even know them?”

- “The Golden Rule is meant to be used as a means to find the humanity in others even when we don't like them or disagree with them. So what is your standard for applying the Golden Rule?”

These questions were posed to me by a friend who took exception with my dismissal of the Casey Anthony jury as grossly wrong in their decision and evidently too stupid to properly assess a preponderance of circumstantial evidence. It was also noted that I am rather liberal with my open disdain for and insulting of individuals and groups with whom I have zero patience and even less respect.

Her questions are worthy of serious introspection.

The Golden Rule, AKA the Rule of Reciprocity - to those who know that its doctrine predates the Jesus myth - by any name is at the foundation of civilization itself. Societies that do not practice treating others as you want them to treat you are destined for extinction. A culture that has no inhibitions against wanton murder, thievery, rape, deception, perjury, et all and which practices those things as social norms would self destruct in the chaos of disorder. The Rule of Reciprocity was born of the recognition that if you smash Og’s head with a rock and steal his dingo dinner, one of Og’s kinsman will likely return the favor.

In that regard I fully support and practice The Rule. I am a product of a civilized and flourishing society. I do not have any psychologically induced defects (that I am aware of) that prompt anti-social/sociopathic disregard for humanity, morality, ethics, and the law. Kind to animals, respectful of fellow travelers in the quest for sustained happiness and freedom, and tolerant of children with a modicum of manners, I try and do my part to ease the suffering of those I can help and treat them as I myself would like to be treated.

BUT, this does not imply that I endorse turning the other cheek when being beaten senseless; or ignoring the trespasses of others who do so with a sense of entitlement; or holding my tongue when the behavior and actions of others exposes an unsavory agenda, diminishes our freedoms or reflects abandonment of basic intelligence.

I treat people who embrace reason and reality with respect. I expect the same from them.
I also have admiration for those who demonstrate a concern for their fellow man and animals, and who see education-the expanding of ones knowledge- as a sacrament. I have no patience for, and no interest in courting the respect of, people who lack self-reliance, self-respect; who are dependent on myth; who reject reality; who are incapable of assessing evidence and formulating an intelligent and logical opinion in response. Society will not be irreparably harmed by my position.

The Golden Rule as I perceive it was never meant to suppress ones expression of outrage or disgust with the outrageous and disgusting. To gloss over, sugar coat, or otherwise acquiesce to such actions or thought with a smile and genteel admonishment is not who I am or who I’d want to be. I have no obligation to spare the feelings of those unworthy of my respect, nor do I have a desire to win their respect or admiration. If their sensibilities are injured; if they are emotionally damaged; or provoked to reply in kind I am unmoved. Besides...if I were an unthinking imbecile I’d expect to be treated like one.

I am one of many “umpires of life” and remain unapologetic about calling ‘em like I see ‘em. If my honesty hurts then correct the defect- don’t expect false civility. Going through life worrying about offending those who are offensive and offended is not who I am. That’s why you’ll rarely see a camel skin door mat.


Anonymous said...

Zero patients,doctor?
Perhaps zero patience is what you meant.

Dromedary Hump said...

Damnit!!! :(