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November 11, 2010

The stronger your connection to reality, the stronger is your morality. If you see reality as an absolute, as did Aristotle, that A is A, that reality is what it is, that your sense perception is certain, then you have clarity and certainty about morality; you clearly know right from wrong, good from evil.

If, on the other hand, you have a disconnect from reality, if you question reality, if you doubt your senses, then your morality will reflect your doubts; you will not always know what is right or wrong, or be able to distinguish good from evil.

For many, experiencing violence awakens them to reality. As the victim of a crime, for example, you know concomitantly what ought NOT to be. Doubt about reality is gone; doubt about morality is gone.

In World War 11, when the atom bombs were dropped in Japan, many Japanese scholars and military men said the bombs were “gifts from heaven.” (See John David Lewis, Nothing Less Than Victory) For the first time, members of the mystical Samurai culture were jolted into REALITY. A teacher on the outskirts of Hiroshima, at the moment of the explosion, said, ” I knew we were wrong.”

Many philosophers and religionists hold that reality is not what it is. Some say that this earth and this life are mere shadows of a greater, clearer reality that lies elsewhere (Plato). Others say that this earth and this life are an imperfect, unknowable morass that we must pass through in order to reach heaven (St. Augustine and most religions). Islam, a fiercely dogmatic religion, has an almost total disconnect from reality. This life and this earth have no value. All that matters is the words of Mohammad in the Koran. Morality for Moslems is thus upside-down: Islam condones the prohibition of free speech and all free thought, the demonization of all non-Moslems, the subjugation of women, conversion by the sword, pedophilia, genocide, and slavery. Self-sacrifice to the point of suicide is a virtue.

In the present day we see in the philosophy of socialism this disconnect from reality and the consequent moral confusion. Some scientific studies of late suggest that the socialist mind-set is partially the result of a defective genetic make-up; that the sincere socialist is somewhat mentally ill(Google “liberal gene,”  DRD4-7R).  This helps explain how the socialist can live in a state of pretense; how he can live with contradictions: in spite of l00 years of evidence of the catastrophic failure of socialism in both theory and in practice (Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Castro, Kim Jong Il…), the modern socialist continues to pretend that this is a beneficent socio-economic philosophy. Contradictions: one need only look at the actions of the Obama Presidency: he spends trillions and says he wants a balanced federal budget; he says he “ardently supports the free-enterprise system” and increases government control over housing, banking, mining, the auto industry…; he says he believes in free speech and tries to impose more government censorship on talk radio (the “Fairness Doctrine”); and so on.

Morally, the socialist cannot clearly distinguish good from evil. Obama again is an example: he regards Palestinian terrorism as morally equivalent to the Israelis defending themselves. He regards making money as a corrupt act at the worst, or as morally questionable at best. Though America is the most noble, moral nation in human history, he apologizes to barbaric foreign nations for America’s “Imperialism.”

We must note that if socialism is to some extent a mental illness, even the experience of violence is unlikely to dislodge its mind-set.

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November 8, 2010

Written for a philosophical contest about the relation of “is” to “ought” :

As the victim of a crime, you wallow in reality and know concomitantly what ought NOT to be.

The stronger our connection with reality, the stronger our sense of what OUGHT to be. To the extent that one is disconnected from reality, to that degree is his sense of “ought” weakened.

In World War 11, when the Atom Bombs were dropped, many Japanese scholars and military men said the bombs were “gifts from heaven.” For the first time, members of the mystical Samurai culture were jolted into REALITY. They knew concomitantly with that experience what ought NOT to be in their society.

In the present day, socialists (and collectivists in general) live in a disconnect from reality. Their morality is one of sacrifice and the use of physical force. Since their “is” is weak, so is their “ought.” To them, might makes right. The concept of “right” comes not from reality, but from holding power.

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