Sunday, September 06, 2009

Against Civil Debate

When you and I seek to achieve the same goal, yet disagree about the best manner by which our shared goal might be obtained, then we are likely to benefit by sharing our points of view and seeking to learn from each other and to persuade each other. In addition, civil society survives only when we peacefully resolve such conflicts.

As another example, if I have concluded that, for your own good, your home must be burned to the ground with all your possessions and family inside, you might find it more difficult to civilly discuss the merits of my solution. Such a solution would be a violation of your rights and those of your family members. If I, nevertheless, consider burning down your house with your family inside to be a necessary part of making your life better, how much patience could you muster for civilly discussing the validity of such a proposal? Should it be considered rude or uncivil of you to object so vigorously as to preclude thoughtful debate? Of course not. In fact, if I were to then begin to implement my plan in spite of your objections, one should reasonably expect you to not only take exception, but also to raise your hand against my efforts in order to save your family and your property. And you would be right to do so.

Those persistent, disruptive, sign-carrying, slogan-yelling, camera-wielding citizens who attend town-hall meetings to peacefully object to the subjugation of American citizens to government dictates regarding health care have made themselves objects of ridicule and violence by standing strongly for liberty and against tyranny and corruption. They are American heroes and are to be applauded, celebrated, and revered!

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