Basic Moral Courage, Day Five

   If humankind finally evolves morally, Lincoln's appeal to the "better angels of our nature" might not seem so futile. We might begin to free others without resort to Civil War just because we accept the greater principle that it is good for all men to be free. We might do so because we understand that their freedom might magnify our own.

   Perhaps it is at precisely at the point where we can intuit the moral cost of our actions that we can consider ourselves fully evolved. I know it is good for men to be free. Morality as moral assertion does not actually require I know a slave to know that slavery is wrong, in principle and in practice.

   Let us take a more deliberate step to consider morality as the moral assertion. I want people, all people, to be as free as a human be free, with the knowledge that the needs of all somewhat constrain the freedoms of each. I oppose state-sponsored, legalized gambling as a revenue source because I consider this to be a poor means of revenue sourcing. Gambling is regressive taxation, wherein the more one takes part, the more likely you are to fall to the mean. If fifty per cent is the prescribed payout, the gambler is more likely to take home that amount in winnings, meaning he must actually  lose fifty per cent of his wager. The rest of society need not look far to see who will need to make up the loss in the form of social services, needy families and wrecked lives.

   Yet, I want people to be free, all people, as free as they can be free, as much as they can be free. I also want the state that governs us to be moral in this sense,  that it shows genuine concern for the welfare of all its citizens. Complete freedom and regressive taxation made available at every convenience store immediately impact one another, to the detriment of all but a handful of players.

   The greater loss is that of trust. Yes, there is a sucker born every minute, as the old adage reminds us, but that is not an argument for government manufactured suckers. Big Brother watches over me, apparently, but he should not be watching to see if he can get in my pockets. This is the final end of freedom, when trust and faith drown in a miasmic sea of state sanctioned chicanery.

   Morality as moral assertion requires that we think about things others do not think about in ways they do not think about them, that we arrive at moral conclusions in untimely fashion, that we  correct ourselves always to the more generous and compassionate position and that we learn to make the invisible sufferer plainly visible, so that he and his oppressor might be delivered from the burden of oppression. Fully evolved, morally mature man will work as hard on his moral foresight as on his moral insight.

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