Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Bit More Moral Grandstanding

Hey, I'm not holding anyone else to this standard if that's not how people want to roll, but my entire point is this: if I find I am forced to violate a law, whether I say the law is unjust or not, there are a few things that go along with that. There are consequences. To make the big stand, and to take the bold action, but then try to shirk the consequences, is pathetic. If I'm not willing to pay the price, then I have no business claiming I can make that choice. If I can't accept full consequences, if the punishment isn't part of my choice, than what I'm really saying is: what I'm doing isn't really that "worth it."

I'm prepared to say that I may be more responsible, more conscientious, and in possession of greater moral authority than the law. But if I say all that, and then I can't back it up - if I say all that but add, "oh, I'm not willing to sacrifice myself to it, though," - well, my word and my stance and my cowardly soul are worth approximately a dribble of baby shit at that point, and I ought to sit down and shut up about my moral force and vigor. Frankly.

If I act on my own sanction, then yes, I'm prepared to take all consequences. It means that I weigh the worth, the risk, and the potential sacrifice, and I say: I have no choice. I will do it; it must be done; it is worth the risk of punishment. And if the world disagrees and decrees I lose everything, if I must pay the full penalty the law allows, still it was worth not losing my self.

This is what it means to be responsible for my choice and my action. It means I accept that my mind, fine as I think it may be, is not the final arbiter of justice for society. Being overruled is the price I agree to pay for putting my moral choice first. And if it's not worth that price, well, my moral choice must not have been worth much!

For instance: if someone killed my sister and I knew who it was, and I tracked him down and killed him, I would fully deserve to be tried and executed, for that. Even if it was after the law let him go! Even if it was a tv movie-of-the-week. Doesn't matter. I deserve to get the chair, or the needle, or the gas (or life, I guess - so anticlimactic!). The fact that I may have (in my own eyes) "done the right thing," does not absolve the state of its duty to also do the right thing.

Fair's fair.


limom said...

well said!

dogimo said...

Thanks, man!

I'm a big enthusiast when it comes to whatever it is I'm getting at up there. Justice? Responsibility? I dunno.

Stand-up-it-ive-ness and take-it-ive-ness, I guess. Put-it-on-the-line-it-ive-ness.