Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Chance for Greater Understanding

"Yes, they have the right to do that. But that doesn't mean they SHOULD."

Do you agree with the above statement?  Does your (dis)agreement depend upon whether it refers to (A) the proposed Islamic community center a couple blocks from Ground Zero or (B) the five men who wore holstered guns into Culver's?

If your opinion is not consistent, you have the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of the other side and try to understand the visceral emotions that cause Americans to disregard the Constitution in order to impose their preferences on the mainstream.

For the record, I disagree with that statement in each case, as well as in the case of the idiot Nazis who march in Skokie, Illinois.  In the Illinois Nazis' case, it would be accurate to say "They have the right to do that, but I would prefer that they didn't."

However, I do not get to impose my preferences on everyone else. Living in a free society means putting up with crap you don't like at some point, to ensure that everyone has the same freedoms that you do. Deciding that the preferences of a local majority should trump the rights of minorities subverts our Constitution.

Beware the tyranny of the thin-skinned.  You may agree with them on one particular issue, but sooner or later, they'll take offense to something you want to do.

4 comments:

Deekaman said...

Indeed.

sofa said...

"They have a right to do that."

The 2nd Amendment prevents the government from infringing with the people's right to keep and bear arms. And Mr Lincoln killed many men to force local jurisdictions to comply with federal law. And as neither businesses nor individuals may keep slaves, neither may they infringe on a man's right to keep and bear arms. If one holds, so does the other, as Constitutional Amendments have secured those rights from governments and from each other.

But the other example is a different kettle of fish.

Wanting to build is not a "right"; it is a "want". In commerce and speech, folks may try what they want- And others may try to stop, prevent, obstruct, and interfere. Freedom is messy that way.

Not everything is a "right". A murderer doesn't have the right to do whatever they want. Their wishes are not rights.

The Mosque at Ground Zero will not be built. But the Cathedral built on the rubble of Mecca will be built. There will be a Beer and BBQ joint across the street.

See how "wants" work?

Ordinary Jill said...

sofa, it's clear that you define "right" to mean anything you want to do and "want" to mean anything you don't like. All of your arguments are dependent on choosing your own definitions (like "credible source"). Your millenialist prophecy about the cathedral on the rubble of mecca is a religious belief, nothing more. You can throw non-sequiturs up on my blog as much as you want, but you're not convincing anyone of your arguments.

sofa said...

Even though you say it was only my opinion, the 2nd Amendment is found in a thing called the "Bill of Rights". You can see it on display in DC and online at http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html. This data supports the position that 2A is acknowledged as a "right".

Those same documents do NOT include a right to build something wherever you want.

We can agree as the founders did, that not all natural rights were listed in the "Bill of Rights"; just core foundations of our society. Individuals "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" beyond those found among the Bill of Rights.

But where does one derive a 'right to build whatever someone wants, wherever they want to'?

A 'want really bad' is not a 'right'. It's just opinions.
Which was my point, and now you've stated it to.

But a "right" expressly acknowledged in the "Bill of Rights" is a horse of a different color. Not an opinion, but a foundational principle of our society (something they used to teach back when we had schools).

So the two things offered in the original post represent a "false choice", specifically the "false opposites" logical fallacy. Wikipedia describes the error in reasoning here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

***

Jill,

Help me understand what you mean when you say something is a "right".

Where in the Constitution does it acknowledge a "right" to build a mosque?

Or is 'building whatever someone wants wherever they want' a "natural right endowed by the Creator"?

Or did the original post offer a 'false choice' between 'false opposites'?