Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Political Sacrifice and the Permanence of Laws

From We Stand FIRM I learned of an article from Mark Steyn that states that the political price, being voted out of office, may be worth it to the Democrats in order to pass the controversial and unfavored medical care reform bill. Morality is a significant motivating power for men if not the most significant. As quoted (paraphrased?) before from Noodlefood: "Men are willing to create hell on earth if they think it's moral." We have already seen in the middle east how men can be willing to go so far as to commit suicide when they think their actions are moral.

Though the one thing I would like to elaborate on in this post is the fallacy noted by Paul Hsieh in the last paragraph of his FIRM article: treating the laws of men as equivalent to the laws of nature. I've seen some people prone to making this error.

The fallacy entails that a person treats the laws (political sense) enacted by man as if they were the equivalence of the laws (metaphysical sense) of nature, thereby meaning that the laws of man are immutable and will remain in effect forever. This ignores that men have free will and can choose their courses of action.

Just because the Democrats may be willing to sacrifice their political careers in order to pass a piece of legislation unfavorable to the public does not mean that the legislation will remain in effect forever or even for a long time; it may not even go into effect at all. Given the proper education and philosophical foundation a culture can be nurtured so as to reject these kinds of measures in any degree or variant.

At this point in the debate I'd say that we may speculate about the chances of or difficulties inherent in passing this legislation, but if it does pass I think it remains indeterminate how the American people will respond to it. Given that there is such a significant amount of opposition to this legislation (53% according to the latest Rasmussen poll), how do you think the public would react if the bill were passed against their wishes? Certainly not with a "Shucks! We lost! Well, I guess we'll just get used to it!" In the scenario of the bill being passed it would be extremely likely that Congress would have an almost complete turnover, and it also wouldn't be far-fetched to assert that there would be demand for a repeal of the law, but right now there's little evidence to derive any conclusions from.

Whatever does happen, we must remember that the results are not absolutes set in stone that will last forever and ever. If the legislation passes, then there's still hope for repeal, education, and activism; if the legislation fails, then we must continue work to advocate a rational philosophy so that the legislation doesn't get revived in some other form, which would be inevitable in the absence of such support. Right now things are up in the air.

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