Morning Brew on
60 Achieve anything
What is the benefit of settled safety?
The miracle of
cooperation allows humans to achieve nearly anything. This is the
promise of the Ernstraudian Way (article
38), the reason we are here
Fairness equalizes participants in democracy. In a large group,
we trust that somebody will become aware of shortcomings,
allowing us to perfect the system as we go along.
- An authoritarian individual is corrupted more easily than a
- Public trust establishes continuity of the body.
Democracies combine individual personal
contributions to a social contract. People share diverse talents
for the common good. They learn practical necessities like the
protection of minorities and avoidance of extremes. They develop
norms through the accumulation of decisions over time (res
judicata). Cooperative stability promotes well-being and
Are there exceptions? Is democracy innate?
Shared energy is a
precious force for problem solving. Sincerity and enthusiasm are
treasured virtues. However, they are harmful when carried to
excess. Democracy is called self-rule, not ruling others. When
people become selfish, when sportsmanship fails, we call off the
An ignorant public is
slow to improve. When a majority accepts unjustifiable practices
like slavery, social blindness becomes
A minority party, even if
only one person, takes up good causes and appeals to public
conscience. Protection of individual and minority rights is
critical to continuation of majority rule. The majority
must bridle its power to preserve rights of individuals.
This is possible when members realize that anybody is a minority
regarding something. Those who protect the rights of others are
protecting themselves. Threats to individual liberty endanger the
What do we do when the election goes the wrong way?
Article 55 asks
whether you are winning arguments or improving outcomes. There is
no sympathy for bad losers. So long as individual rights are
preserved, the losers of elections are required to bear the
discomfort of majority rule. Dissatisfied factions spoil the
system of benefits described above.
Rights are shared
equally; there is no inherently superior commander of humans.
Time is a healer: tolerant discourse keeps the way forward open
to all. While voting chooses outcomes, it does not establish
rightness. Under careful examination, what was once an
unpopular eccentricity often becomes an adopted norm.
Protection of sincerity
Women’s suffrage and abolition of slavery
were once regarded as minority dreams. Wheels turned slowly, but
eventually the ideals took hold. There is constantly a winnowing
process for eliminating worst practices.
Article 39 showed that science has not always been applied in
settling differences. Brave tolerance, education, and sincere
perseverance are our hope for an always more successful
We discuss eight puzzles to consider,
but not consider solved. Is there a right not to be bound by a
decision? The need for critical discernment is eternal.
Puzzles to consider, but not consider solved
Sometimes we are called on to protect
something that is not encouraged. Perspective is not absolute.
Here is a collection of situations to discuss considering history
compared to modern practice.
Is there a right not to be bound by a
There is increasing tolerance for
aberrations that are not deemed harmful to other parties. There
is increasing declaration that no amount of alcohol consumption
is healthy for humans. Drinking decisions usually remain private
except in cases of drunk driving, which put others at risk. Drug
by drug, there are ongoing debates about balancing risks to self
Profanity seems to be a label attached to
certain words. I question whether hearing profanity affects my
health. On the other hand, I assume that hearing lies does. The
difference is probably conditioning. People are socialized to
associate certain words (sound wave patterns) with intent to
Minority rights now typically include
protection of conscientious objectors to war. The pacifist
intends that personal witness strengthens peaceful society. There
have been times and places where it was a capital offense.
have no scientific basis. Apparently, they are
There is mixed opinion about eating meat.
Religious prohibition does not justify government prohibition of
meat consumption and does not justify outlawing a religion having
that teaching. I may have rules for my
person or house, but I cannot make up or forbid the rules for
your person or house.
Some nations support state religions as a
public service, expecting certain social duties from the
organizations. The practice loses luster if the government
imposes on citizens the norms of a religion.
Intergenerational incest is probably
universally condemned because of unfairness to children. Sibling
incest has been used to annul a marriage after a records search
proved that the parties were brother and sister. In contrast,
there are stories of a society in which sibling marriage was
considered one way to keep the ruling blood line pure. Congenital
weakness is possible but not inevitable in such cases.
Saudi women have sought or rejected the
prohibition of their driving cars. I question whether Sati
(“widow burning”—a woman sits on her husband’s funeral pyre) was
If nothing else,
thoughtful consideration curbs being dogmatic. What appears a
normal option to one may seem hideous to another and obligatory
to a third person. Today’s lesson is a call to examine everything
in search of identifying which customs merit preservation. It is
particularly important that one person should not do another
Being For Others Blog copyright © 2020 Kent Busse
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