•    Is Compassion Unconstitutional?   

    Scales of Balanced Justice

    By-Line: Is Compassion Constitutional? Ayn Rand answer — “No. Next question.” This is the kind of ultra-right libertarian tunnel-vision perspective Compassion must deal with in America. If Compassion was adopted as the moral compass and guiding force for American society and its laws — would its leadership and its moral dictates be challenged as unconstitutional? For example, Compassion might very well dictate that animals are not mere ‘things,’ personal property, but are beings with certain inalienable fundamental rights not to be harmed by humans. It’s important to understand WHY Compassion and its sanctions would or would not be perceived as unconstitutional. And then there’s the question — What can be deduced about a society that decides that Compassion’s values are inherently unconstitutional? Is that a decrepit social environment that we and our children’s children really want to live in?

    For quite some time now in America there has been a dominant unspoken, stealth operating assumption that “if it isn’t illegal — it must be morally and ethically ‘okay’ as well — otherwise it would have been outlawed.” The same rationale is applied to Constitutional prohibitions. The standard vanilla-flavored over-permissive self-indulgent libertarian — militantly obsessed with unfettered rights and bare-bones minimum government intrusion on those rights — will virtually always insist that such an interpretation is valid — as an ironclad certainty. He does this because he believes anything that curtails the freedom to do something is ‘bad’ and anything that expands the scope of permissability is ‘good.’ If you’ve ever raised a 4-year-old you’re familiar with this sentiment. All rules are bad.

    So the libertarian, who militantly demands unfettered rights and bare-bones minimum government intrusion, is actually “causing” the avalanche of legislated laws he staunchly opposes — by insisting that all socially unhealthy conduct must be declared unlawful in order to be deemed immoral. The irrational, illogical circularity of this ‘infinite feed-back loop’ reasoning is obvious to everyone but the libertarian.

    This is the same libertarian cerebral operation that is at work in the above Ayn Rand answer that Compassion is unconstitutional. Rand’s well-known anthem — “Selfishness is a virtue” — perfectly embodies the libertarian mentality. And make no mistake about it — libertarians mean selfishness is the “supreme” virtue among all virtues. It needs this status in order to trump all other virtues in any future dog-fight. One needn’t be an Oxford scholar to figure-out that Compassion is the antithesis of selfishness. So it shouldn’t be surprising to discover that Compassion is surreptitiously demonized as a mortal threat by the model libertarian, because of its potential to curtail their inalienable right to do as they please.

    If you mouse-over the balance scales of justice graphic at the top of the page you’ll see bubble text that reads: “The Scales of Balanced Justice — Symbolizing a reasonable honest balance between Rights and Responsibilities.” America’s Founding Fathers very well understood the grave potential dangers of the “tyranny of the majority” in a democracy. The “tyranny of the majority” expression refers to the potential in a democracy for the majority of the voting population to decide to abolish or trample the rights of the minority. The dilemma presented by that is enormous. If duly registered voters empower duly elected representatives to carry out the “will of the people” by abolishing the rights of the minority, after amending or overturning all contrary existing laws, it would give rise to the only remaining ultimate question — “Is there a constitutional provision that prohibits this action by duly elected representatives?”

    The Founding Fathers thoroughly anticipated this danger and they drafted a Constitution that stipulates that there must be a reasonable honest balance between Rights and Responsibilities. Libertarians love to talk about rights and predictably shun responsibilities, which are deemed to be an onerous government intrusion and a curtailment of their inalienable right to do as they please — without onerous consequences. If you’ve ever raised a 4-year-old you’re familiar with this sentiment.

    An illustration of the balance between rights and responsibilities looks like this. “Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.” This confers a right and imposes the responsibility not to infringe on the rights of another in the exercise of that right. That’s how the Constitution was written. And as written, it would protect the minority in our example and declare the elected representatives actions unconstitutional. But there’s a problem. A really big problem. The Constitution has been re-written many times over again, without ever being formally “amended” as required. The highly politicized U.S. Supreme Court took the liberty of amending it so many times and in such a hodge-podge patchwork of confusing, obscure, nebulous and contrary rulings that there is conceivably enough wiggle-room to make the outcome less than a certainty. And if that doesn’t scare the daylights out of every American then they must be brain-dead.

    So does this mean Compassion and its moral dictates would likely be challenged as unconstitution? The answer is probably already obvious. For at least the last one-hundred years the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly rewritten the Constitution in such a way that it now reflects the Ayn Rand sentiment that selfishness is the highest virtue in a capitalistic nation that is largely owned and controlled by Wall Street corporate power brokers. Unfortuately, the Founding Fathers anticipated and defended against the potential tyranny of governments and religions and individuals — but it never adequately foresaw or defended against the potential tyranny of mammoth wealthy corporations.

    Everything that corporate interests have monetized instantly becomes their ‘property’ and the Constitution protects property against seizure and against any interference with that property. This was the chief argument in favor of slavery. Slavery had already been monetized heavily in the South — thereby making the slaves their property. In line with this southern reasoning, the southern states argued that the North was interfering with their property rights in violation of the Constitution, which prohibits such property interference. Precisely this same rational has been applied to non-human animals after they were monetized and the U.S. Supreme Court officially ruled that animals are mere property without any rights whatsoever.

    It was Compassion and its moral dictates that informed the conscience of many Americans when the North declared slavery unconstitutional. It has yet to intervene in this way on behalf of animals. So in America — the way to acquire ownership rights over a ‘thing’ or a ‘being’ is to monetize it. Wealthy money-grubbing investors and corporations have learned this lesson well. And today, once a wealthy shopping mall developer heavily monetizes the property your house is sitting on — it can confiscate your property.

    But don’t blame the Constitution for this insanely unfair, unjust state of affairs. ALL blame lies squarely at the feet of the hyper-politicized U.S. Supreme Court and its unconstitutional “amendments” to the Constitution without ever adhering to the extremely rigorous and difficult constitutional requirements (Article V of the Constitution). The U.S. Supreme Court has accomplished this by disingenuously claiming that they are not “amending” the Constitution, but merely “interpreting” its provisions. And as with the axiom “To a hammer — everything looks like a nail” — to the hyper-politicized U.S. Supreme Court, a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporate empire, everything looks like a supreme Corporate interest to be staunchly protected at all costs (including the cost of YOUR rights).

    So where in the Constitution does it say Corporations, a fictional entity (a legal fiction), are ‘persons’ entitled to the same full panoply of Constititional rights as ‘individuals?’ You will NOT find anything in the Constitution that even remotely insinuates such a thing. The unvarnished truth is that the hyper-politicized U.S. Supreme Court has been unlawfully, unconstitutionally AMENDING the Constitution for a very long time. Article V of the Constitution requires a two-thirds (super-majority) vote of members of both the Senate and the House — AND — it requires ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures (at present 38). That makes constitutional amendments extremely difficult. And as we now know with indisputable certainty, had the hyper-politicized U.S. Supreme Court not unconstitutionally AMENDED the Constitution — its early pro-slavery rulings would have been null and void for being profoundly offensive under the ‘real’ Constitution.

    This all goes to explain WHY the answer is “Yes” to the question — “Is Compassion unconstitutional?” — when you realize that this question will be answered exclusively by the hyper-politicized U.S. Supreme Court — for which everything looks like a supreme Corporate interest to be protected at all costs. As a general rule, those who extol Compassion as the supreme virtue are often labeled “socialists” or “Marxists” (and anti-American) . And those who tout Ego (selfishness) as the supreme virtue are typically labeled “capitalists” – “industrialists” and pro-American (or Ayn Rand devotees).

    So Compassion, at the broad social level, is fast approaching a point of being declared largely irrelevant as a driving influence in American life. And the most brutal, bitter irony is that while Compassion is close to being dragged out of the chamber strapped-down on a gurney, mainstream dogmatized religion — which is incapable of recognizing Compassion when it sees it — is optimally lined-up to take Compassion’s place as a driving influence on American life and its values.

    As we repeatedly stressed in a highly related article entitled “Morality Has No Conscience” — Compassion is not widely revered, cultivated, respected, encouraged and ‘groomed’ at home, in schools or at the workplace. But the Ego is. The intellect is. And so is the pursuit of fame and wealth. Over time these impoverished values will only become more dominant if the current trend continues.

    The primary intent here has been simply to raise awareness of the broad, sweeping social implications that can manifest at the social and national level when Compassion is neglected at the grass-roots personal level in the home. And it is important to realize that this has been a broad, sweeping assessment of the various influences on American life and values — only on a collective national scale.

    At the personal individual level, Compassion will never, ever become impotent or irrelevant. And no one should ever give-up on it. To the contrary, this should inspire Compassion’s devotees to do more — not less.

    As we stated in “Morality Has No Conscience” — Compassion is how we de-weaponize the Ego. If Compassion had been widely revered, cultivated, respected, encouraged and `groomed’ at home, in schools and at the workplace, as Ego has been, it would not sound like such a ludicrous idea — making Compassion the preeminent value in American life. If Compassion had gotten all the kudos, the ad spots, promotions, advancements, bonuses & incentives, tax-breaks and welfare hand-outs that Ego has gotten, Compassion would now be an enduring monolithic guardian and guide for us all right now. And that is the paramount point of both these articles!

    The bottom line is that WE created this monster — this perverted inverted value system and we did it at the grass-roots level, in the home, in schools, at work and in the gangs and groups we identify with.
    WE did this. WE can change it. And the motivation for change is “dire necessity.” The machinery for change is as grass-roots as it can get — start revering, cultivating, respecting, encouraging and `grooming’ Compassion at home — then take it to school with you. That alone is a sufficient start.

    Be a cynic at your own peril. It’s YOUR future. And your children’s children’s future.
    Compassion isn’t dead. It’s just sleeping beneath a long, hard Winter snow.

     

    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog


     
     

          Highly Related Articles —

    Morality Has No Conscience

    Has Religion Forsaken Spirituality?

    On Moral Questions – Science is Clueless

    Spiritual But Not Religious

    Rationalism Religion & Dogma – The Three Wicked Sisters

     

    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog


     
     
  •    Morality Has No Conscience   

    Scales of Balanced Justice

    By-Line: Morality should NOT be thought of as society’s “Preeminent Guiding Light” in tempering, regulating, molding, influencing or guiding human behavior and values. At best — it is a fickle, often truant, secondary stop-gap safety-net measure — in case something harmful sneaks past the real “Preeminent Guiding Light.”
    And what is the ‘real’ Preeminent Guiding Light?        COMPASSION.

    As noted in the Topic introduction entitled “Compassionate Truths” — Compassion is not widely revered, cultivated, respected, encouraged and ‘groomed’ at home, in schools or at the workplace. But the Ego is. And so is the Intellect — the neglectful designer and CEO of Morality. And that is precisely the problem. Ego, by its own reckoning, sees itself as the nemesis and arch-rival of Compassion. Ego is exclusively self-inflected and self-directed to the “I – Me – Mine” obsessive concerns — making it, by its very nature, a ‘selfish’ preoccupation. Compassion, on the other hand, is always traceable to a concern for ‘others’ — making it, by its very nature, a ‘selfless’ exercise.

    As tendencies go, those who extol Compassion as the supreme virtue are often labeled “socialists” or “Marxists” (and anti-American). And those who tout Ego as the supreme virtue are typically labeled “capitalists” — “industrialists” — pro-American (and Ayn Rand devotees).

    In the developed countries of the west, societies first and foremost, widely revere, cultivate, respect, encourage and groom the individual Ego — while extolling its virtues as a hyper-motivator and a rocket propellant “call to action.” One could reasonably describe it this way: “The Ego has been ‘weaponized’ in order to cultivate a highly industrious, productive hive of worker bees.” The United States stands as the supreme example of its enormous success in this regard.

    Fundamental human perceptions, understandings and World views are all filtered through and fashioned by one of these two basic building block operations — Ego versus Compassion.

    In some religions, especially Buddhism, Sufiism and Taoism (and Christ’s teachings), Compassion is what is revered, cultivated, respected, encouraged and groomed as the highest good. But statistically these religious factions are a small minority of all religious adherents. Most mainstream religions stand as extreme examples of acute Ego obsession — as in mammoth “Messianic Ego Trips” and “Delusions of Grandeur” that highly motivate adherents to “spread the gospel” and “convert the heathens” to their ideology. This has often perverted their original core teaching’s emphasis on Compassion. This perversion of religion was made possible when religion became dogmatized, politicized and monetized (weaponized) by manipulators with other agendas wholly unrelated to the religious teachings.

    The “Killer Bees” are bees that were weaponized in a laboratory, who then escaped and are now rapidly spreading across North and South America. What a brutal irony — because un-weaponized bees are man’s best friend. Without them we could not grow, en mass, all the food that feeds the World. The genesis of this colossal debacle? The greed of monumental Egos on “Messianic Ego Trips” blinded by “Delusions of Grandeur” who wanted bees that would produce more honey — for higher profits.

    This illustrates — surprisingly — that this is NOT actually an “Ego versus Compassion” warfront. The Ego, before it was weaponized like the Killer Bees, was not an irresponsible, dishonest, dangerous, malevolent instrumentality. It served a basic, important biological function — allowing humans to realize that the foot I see is attached to “MY” body and that “MY” foot and “MY” body are different from “YOUR” foot and “YOUR” body. This is a good thing to know — so we don’t amputate the wrong foot from the wrong body when such an operation becomes necessary.

    So Ego, per se, is NOT the enemy. It is only the ‘weaponized’ Ego that is an irresponsible, dishonest, dangerous, malevolent instrumentality. So the task, as most Buddhists well-know — is how to tame and de-weaponize the Ego so it is not a mortal threat to humanity’s well-being. Let’s now look closely at how morality has and has NOT been operating in society.

    One of the problems is this. Morality is erroneously understood to be the preeminent moral compass and guiding light in tempering, regulating, molding, influencing or guiding human behavior and values. And as many historians have pointed out, “Social morality is immoral because it compromises with society.” Morality is context sensitive — relative to the widely accepted ‘norms’ of a particular time and place. It’s a chameleon. And that is its hypocrisy — which makes it unreliable and unworthy of its “Preeminent Guiding Light” status. It also tends to be a gutless coward. Albert Schweitzer once lamented the fact that physical courage is so revered, rewarded, respected and commonplace, while moral courage is so ridiculed, reviled, despised and so very rare (think ‘whistle-blower’ snitch).

    But by far, the most alarming misconception about morality is that it is perceived as being a kind of Jiminy Cricket inner “conscience” for each individual to listen to for guidance (as in the Pinocchio story). This is a patently false, erroneous depiction of how morality operates. Morality is strictly a ‘shaming’ device and nothing more. It works by instilling guilt for one’s moral offenses — and then subjecting the offender to public ridicule. Most importantly — morality is NOT an “inner voice” of conscience. Morality exclusively references an “external” value (public opinion) and it is context sensitive — relative to the widely accepted ‘norms’ of a particular time and place. It’s a chameleon. The only Jiminy Cricket inner-voice “conscience” there is comes by way of Compassion.

    In the Pinocchio story, Jiminy Cricket is the inner voice “conscience” of Compassion — NOT morality. Stated more succinctly — conscience is synonymous with Compassion, not morality. To be even more succinct — Morality has no conscience. That’s the problem with morality. Morality is strictly an opinion-poll-based weather vane that keeps looking to see which way the wind is blowing in public sentiments. When the social majority deems slavery to be a useful, productive, profitable, acceptable social practice — its morality does not condemn or shame that conduct as immoral. And when the social majority deems slavery to be an inherently unfair, unjust and unacceptable social practice — its morality condemns and shames that conduct. The conduct is exactly the same in both instances. So morality is an unanchored, shiftless chameleon that is swept along in the current generated by the faithless whims and vagaries and vicissitudes of public opinion. Hence morality can only be described as “having no conscience.” For this reason, morality is fully capable of being completely silent, non-judgmental and utterly complacent while unfathomably horrific atrocities are being openly and routinely committed — as happened during the Holocaust. One of morality’s chief crimes is cowardly habitual “Dereliction of Duty.”

    And when the foundation of a society is built around something as shiftless, derelict, fickle, capricious, faithless and volatile as morality — that society will, in turn, be deemed unstable. And that society will correctly be characterized as “having no conscience.” Thus it quickly becomes inescapably clear how vitally important it is that Compassion, not morality, be deemed the “primary function” Preeminent Guiding Light compass and guide for tempering, regulating, molding, influencing human behavior and values. Then Compassion will be readily available to all via the inner voice of conscience and empathy — a far deeper, more constructive, more enduring insight than morality’s shallow, ever-shifting “guilt” mechanism. Guilt should only be considered a secondary line of defense — a desperate last-ditch effort to regulate a sociopath who’s been alienated from Compassion.

    At this important juncture the critical point has to be stressed as to WHY morality today should never even be considered a significant guide for human behavior or a meaningful influence in American life. If the Trump era has taught us anything at all — it is that there are few moral consequences for even the most egregious, reprehensible conduct by public officials. Morality has little influence because there are such meager discernable consequences for immoral conduct. And morality keeps habitually falling asleep at the wheel. Morality has proven to be a cowardly shrinking violet — time and time again — failing to assert itself to temper even the most bone-chilling abusive human behavior. Without question, we have invisibly passed into a parallel universe where morality has largely vanished from our borders. But lets be honest — it had been in notable decline for a long time and it always was grossly inferior to Compassion as a compass and guide for human behavior and values.

    NASA’s shuttle had a fail-safe system with multi-layered alternate back-up options that relied on the many redundancies built into the shuttle. There was the “primary” function — which everyone hoped would work properly, so that no fail-safe alternate operation would be necessary. If the primary function failed, they had contingency plans in their “fail-safe” protocols that would actuate a totally separate back-up instrument, different from the primary instrument — and if that also failed, most often they had a third back-up alternative. With some of the most critical shuttle functions they had as many as 7 or 8 distinctly separate alternative options they could fall back on as a safety net. That was the concept of “fail-safe” — i.e., if it’s going to fail — make sure it fails safely.”

    Similarly — Compassion must be deemed the “primary function” Guiding Light compass — which everyone hopes will work properly, so that no fail-safe alternate operation would be necessary. But today, society has relegated that assignment to morality. It’s a misguided assignment. Compassion must be deemed the preeminent guidepost and the supreme guiding light relied upon in tempering, regulating, molding, influencing or guiding human behavior and values. Ask yourself this — Just how comfortable would you feel being around someone where the only reason he doesn’t shoot you through the head and take your money is because such conduct is not currently morally acceptable — according to the majority in the latest opinion poll of the general population? Somehow, for me anyway, I would find it profoundly unnerving to think that the only thing saving me from a bullet to the head is the outcome of a fickle, often truant, transitory opinion poll referendum. And it gets even more frightening when you consider WHO was swept into the White House via one of the last opinion poll referendums.

    Compassion is the only appropriate, worthy candidate as the primary-function “Preeminent Guiding Light” compass for tempering, molding, influencing or guiding human behavior and values. Now we can probably hear the roar of hysterical laughter from the skeptic who shouts “What an incredibly naive suggestion this is.” But that cynicism is also context sensitive. And the context right now is that Compassion is not and has not been widely revered, cultivated, respected, encouraged and `groomed’ at home, in schools or at the workplace. At the same time — Ego has been. So the root cause of the problem — Ego (me is superior to us) — ends up at the top of the hierarchy as “Commander in Chief” — in the driver’s seat — while Compassion gets booted into the back seat and told to shut-up (more accurately — tied-up, gagged and thrown into the trunk as a hostage).

    Compassion is how we de-weaponize the Ego. If Compassion had been widely revered, cultivated, respected, encouraged and `groomed’ at home, in schools and at the workplace, as Ego has been, it would not sound like such a ludicrous idea — making Compassion the “Preeminent Guiding Light.” If Compassion had gotten all the kudos, the ad spots, promotions, advancements, bonuses & incentives, tax-breaks and welfare hand-outs that Ego has gotten, Compassion would now be an enduring monolithic guardian and protector for us all right now. And that is the paramount point of this entire article!

    The bottom line is that WE created this monster — this perverted inverted value system and we did it at the grass-roots level, in the home, in schools, at work and in the gangs and groups we identify with.
    WE did this. WE can change it. And the motivation for change is “dire necessity.” The machinery for change is as grass-roots as it can get — start revering, cultivating, respecting, encouraging and `grooming’ Compassion at home — then take it to school with you. That alone is a sufficient start.

    Be a cynic at your own peril. It’s YOUR future. And your children’s children’s future.
    Compassion isn’t dead. It’s just sleeping beneath a long, hard Winter snow.

     

    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog


     
     

          Highly Related Articles —

    Is Compassion Unconstitutional?

    On Moral Questions – Science is Clueless

    Has Religion Forsaken Spirituality?

    Spiritual But Not Religious

    Rationalism Religion & Dogma – The Three Wicked Sisters

     

    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog