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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Human Decency Is Redundant

Related Link » Joseph Welch confronts McCarthy
“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never gauged your cruelty or recklessness. [...] Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
— ‘Joseph Welch to Senator McCarthy, June 9, 1954’
Related Link » An insult to history that demands a response
“History beckoned [John Adams] to be brave, eloquent and indignant on behalf of the imperishable truth. Would that the same could be said of those who at this moment should confront the perversion of history with something less craven than a polite demur.”
— ‘By Simon Schama, September 22 2009 (’
Like everyone else residing in the animal kingdom, our first priority is survival. What distinguishes our species from all others is, in my humble opinion, the ability to conceptualize decency, once we feel that our personal survival is not immediately at risk. Decency is uniquely human.

The professional philosophers and professors of ethics will continue to debate the finer points of ethical conduct for millennia to come. But those of us who need guidance in our own lifetime must make do with some basic rules of thumb, especially in times like these when the scum of the earth slither to the podium at the United Nations — I'madinnerjacket; Qaddafi; Chavez; (Saddam had lost a conflict).

For me it is ironic that I learned some personal guidance at the movies where, despite the personal failings of many leading actors, the good guys are easily distinguished from the scum, not by their appearances but by their actions. Even the Lone Ranger (who wore a mask) was unambiguously identified as the good guy by an 8-year-old boy. How? Because human beings who are not pathological can sense decency; it is our conscience that makes us human.

So, when you are preparing for bed, with your belly full and your immediate family well and accounted for, consider your own actions and the passions you expressed during the day that is coming to a close. Look at yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself, "Do I feel guilty?"

Well do ya, punk?

h/t Secular Apostate

Post #948 Human Decency Is Redundant

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