posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 03:39 AM
"One man's right is another man's wrong". This statement may be more profound than it appears on its face.
You cannot gain what someone else has not lost. If I buy a coke, not only does the store have to lose that coke, but someone else loses the chance to
buy that coke. Not only that. If I buy enough coke, the local gas station is going to start increasing its weekly orders for cokes, and they may cut
back their Pepsi order to accomodate that on the shelf if Pepsi isn't selling as well. And that's bad for the people who work at Pepsi.
Theoretically, my decision to drink coke might be contributing to hurting people.
We live in a world of consequence. Action creates consequence, and morality is generally based on the positive or negative effects one feels as a
result. Isn't it strange how most of the immoral stuff A. You want to do. B. hurts other people?
The prohibition of murder doesn't stem from the sanctity of life in all religions. Plenty of religions have no respect at all for the sanctity of
life that is not considered useful. I killed a spider in the middle of a church service once and the pastor thanked me for dealing with it quietly (it
was descending its web above a group of kids and would have been a disruption). So much for the sanctity of life: I was thanked for taking one of the
lives God created DURING CHURCH.
Consequence however is neutral. If I murder my enemy the consequence is negative for him, but positive for me because he is no longer a threat to me.
If I steal, the consequence is positive for me and negative for someone else, and in turn when I am arrested it is negative for me but positive for
the police officer.
Morality, in fact, seems to work on the exact same premise as laws. We all agree not to do it so that nobody will do it to us. There is no higher law,
just a general agreement that we don't want to be on the recieving end, and so would be willing to agree to a status quo.
The problem is that anytime you take morality too far, you begin banning things that are a necessary part of life. Shall I not buy dinner at McDonalds
so that the people who work at Burger King aren't negatively affected, and so the demand for food goes down and thus the price goes down and thus the
poor can eat? How is me starving myself for the benefit of the poor different from the poor simply stealing my food?
Moral thermodynamics. Charity and sin are on the same level, except the person who is going to lose on the deal initiates the transaction.
Many would say charity is necessary. What does that tell us about a certain level of sin?
People have to get the things they need, and therefore people have to lose things. The saving grace is that there are ways to coordinate losses and
gains in such a way that everyone breaks even and gains in many diverse areas of need while losing in the area where they have surplus.
I give you the first commandment of the religion of Utility and Economics: Sin wisely.