Who Makes the Rules?

It seems much of our culture has been persuaded today that the enlightened view of morality is one of tolerance rather than standards. To think in terms of right and wrong seems to have taken on a connotation of bigotry and general narrow-mindedness that no "thinking" person could or should ever embrace. The mantra streaming from the mouths of the newly washed elite is nearly always the same: "who are YOU to define what's right or wrong?"

The presumed "intellectual" fallback position would then be humility and tolerance in an effort to avoid making a "close-minded", moral judgment.

The logic employed here seems to insist that judgment is wrong and that if we simply accept those behaviors and individuals different than ourselves our society will be a better place to live. While this may be a nice, "feel-good" way of thinking it seems to me to defy the very tenets of those who espouse it. For all of the intellectualism and fair-mindedness attributed to the idea of social tolerance, the practice itself, in my opinion, falls far short of it's purported goal. What is always missing in a discussion of social behavior it seems is perspective. Such issues always come down to one group or individual demanding that he should get to do what he wants based on his or their "rights".

Once rights are attached to a behavior it is very hard for another person to argue against it. And this is as it should be-rights are something every American is guaranteed. The problem is behaviors are not rights. Some behaviors (such as freedom of movement, voting or the pursuit of happiness) may require actions that are protected but the protection only extends to the "principle" and not the actual event. In other words, pursuing happiness by shooting out street lights would not be a protected right. Moving behaviors from "rights" to their proper place as simply "activities" is a necessary first step in fairly discussing them.

The truth is, if all behaviors are rights then we may as well repeal all our laws and send the police home because now NOTHING is wrong. When confronted with this extreme most "tolerators" will concede that at least "some" behaviors must be judged as wrong. But by making even this concession they have betrayed the validity of their fundamental belief that not one has the right to judge another's behavior. Apparently they have the right to judge based on their moral code but others are not afforded the same. Very interesting.

The thing about tolerance that always goes unnoticed by those who espouse it are the unintended consequences it brings with it. If behaviors are rights, you simply cannot tolerate those of one party without infringing on another's. In other words, if you get the right to use profanity at the 7-11 store I don't have the right to take my small children in for a Slurpee without subjecting them to foul language. And sadly what the secular-progressive crowd has done is brought themselves back to the same place they started - except now it is me asking them: "who are you to define what's right or wrong."

Alan J. Corbett is an average working-class citizen who has stopped to take a long, hard look at how American culture has evolved. It has evoked a concern that he voices on his blog: YOU CAN TAKE A STAND. He welcomes you to visit, read and leave your comments. It can be found at: http://youcantakeastand.com

This article was published on 05 Jul 2014 and has been viewed 1639 times
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