Friday, April 10, 2009

Self-righteous Indignation...

There is a very popular moral system, that teaches both culpability and forgiveness via proxy. Indirect guilt and substitutional justice.

It teaches that if somebody you’ve never met does something bad thousands of years before you are born, you are personally responsible for it and will be severely punished.

It teaches that if somebody commits a heinous act against you, they’ve already been forgiven by someone else, who wasn’t offended, or remotely directly--or even indirectly--affected by it.

It teaches that if your neighbors great-great-great-great grandfather stole something, you can go to jail for it.

It teaches that if somebody rapes and murders your children, somebody else can go to jail for it as surrogate justice. And you should thank them for doing so.

It teaches that you must forgive, or be eternally punished.

It teaches that you can do pretty much whatever you want, as nefarious and heinous as possible, but it’s OK if you don’t think too much or question what someone else says despite a complete lack of evidence.

It teaches that you can be a model citizen who is altruistic, empathetic, benevolent, eleemosynary, and compassionate, but be the worst kind of criminal miscreant, deserving of the ultimate punishment and torture if you use your mind and think for yourself.

It is the de facto prerequisite for being a considered a decent, moral human being in our society.

And you don’t have to believe it. You don’t have to follow it. You don’t have to exemplify it. All you have to do is claim you support it, and you will be instantaneously considered a better person.

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