Right and Wrong vs. Where to Draw the Line
Many have tried to characterize our current era with various labels. I would propose, “The Era of Rapidly Changing Lines”. Never before have social and legal lines been modified at such a rapid rate. For example, the line is shifting dramatically for freer sex as well as increasing government regulations, which have the opposite effect by decreasing your freedom.
All societies usually make judgments on what’s right and what’s wrong. But technology has shaken the foundation of the American value system, which is increasingly fragmented among many groups lacking a majority consensus. The result is increasing confusion and frustration in making clear decisions. The human mind requires a healthy degree of certitude to function comfortably. Because of this quality and because of rapidly changing lines which create almost daily complex challenges in judging what’s right and what’s wrong, we have an understandably angry and increasingly polarized America. And make no doubt about it; there are groups out there that are making tons of money promoting this insecurity. And as a true decrapinista who tries hard to see the positive side of life, I must confess that a remedy to this very unhealthy state of our national mindset is a stubborn one to conceive let alone deliver. Unlike the curative treatment of lobar pneumonia with penicillin, no such treatment exists for our national confusion and controversy over personal values and public policies.
There is, however, a way to help bring us together and make decisions in a more harmonious way. It is much, much easier, in many cases, to make decisions based on where to draw lines rather than trying to judge what’s right or wrong.
The following are two examples of the drawing-the-line approach:
The data on U.S. military presence in foreign countries is tough to precisely pin down but let’s assume there are 80 of them. Neoconservatives represent one extreme in that they support an aggressive foreign policy and international military presence. On the other side of the extreme spectrum, libertarians hold the opposite point of view and call for a dramatic withdrawal of our international presence. As some of you politically savvy folks know, it would be impossible to convert either faction to the other side. But if the facts are clearly presented to both sides, the probability of agreeing on a decision increases. For example, it is highly probable that we don’t need such an extensive presence but one that is still strong which sufficiently satisfies the neoconservatives, and we should draw the line with a presence in 50 countries which does likewise to the libertarians.
There is a generally recognized problem that kids’ minds, let alone adults’, are being distorted by computers and cell phones. There are parents and educators who have accepted this reality and those who want to dramatically decrease the exposure of this technology to the young. Both sides feel helpless because there is no national consensus regarding a remedy that is right or wrong. If both sides get together and the facts are objectively presented, then it is highly probable that some sort of consensus can be achieved and a line drawn to limit exposure to such technology, for example, beginning, around the dinner table whether at home or in a restaurant.
A huge problem in our country is trying to gather and present the proper facts and also to find leaders to bring the “where to draw the line” approach to problem solving. This is a major mission of the Decrapitation Society and its decrapinistas.