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View Diary: Wherein I give up my gun. (153 comments)

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  •  I really hate to make this point here, (4+ / 0-)

    of all places....
    but holymotherofgodmaryjesusjoseph and all that is sacred to anyone anywhere (barring that: whatever is sacred to whatever does NOT offend you, whoever "you" happen to be), wtf is so tough about coming to this realization:

     

    It's about what is good for society.  
    Wtf is so tough about that? (And diarist, I'm sorry: it's not about you--I applaud you: I applaud your decision, your actions, and not least of all, your candor in expressing yourself....)

    I just don't fucking get it. For me, for my life, everything I have ever done, it's always been about this:

     

    It's about what is good for society.  
    So why am I the exception (to the Rule)? What the fuck is so hard about this?

    I have struggled with precisely THIS basic problem all. my. life. Fact is, what's good for society may not always be what's best for ME. Me? When it came down to choosing between what's best for ME, and what's best for SOCIETY, well, hell, I've always vested more interest in society. And yeah, I've paid a price (or two or three or four).

    And I have no regrets about that.

    But again, wtf? That is my question: wtf? Wtf is so hard about this:

    It's about what is good for society.  
    smh

    and hat's off to you, diarist. You made my day.

    •  It's a fair question, so no offense taken. (3+ / 0-)

      In the case of gun ownership, most people view it as a very personal and private decision.  The reason that they may discount society in this decision is because society has (arguably) already condoned and legitimized it in our Constitution as an inalienable right.  And again, most people are not out to hurt anyone and thus don't see their personal ownership affecting society at large.

      "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

      by Apost8 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:50:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and a fair answer. See, if we could (3+ / 0-)

        just start breaking these things down, more in the interest of understanding where we are coming from, rather than in terms of placing blame and pointing fingers (as is so often the case), we (as a society) might just get somewhere someday. You do this very well.

        Fundamentally, I want to believe that I'm NOT the exception. My commitment to "what's good for society" is NOT an anomaly. We, as human beings, I believe, are hard-wired to care. We are hard-wired to DO GOOD, not evil. When we DO decide to "do evil", this is the result of any number of mitigating factors: could be mental illness, could be social/societal legitimation (or lack thereof), could be economic/political circumstance. Whatever, But I believe in what may perhaps be called the opposite of "original sin".

         I believe in the "original (random) act of kindness" and "senseless act of beauty". Yes, I believe that we as human beings are hard-wired to kindness and beauty. And what you did was  like that. Senseless act of beauty.

        And I have to believe that when we as humans act in cruel, evil or similarly hideous ways, we do so as the result of external influence.  

         If I am wrong about these things, then the central tenet of MY belief system is clearly bullshit (and I am fucked): We.  Are. All. Related. That's what I believe, and that's what has been at the core of a lifetime of action/s that have served "what is good for society. "

        So if we can take that "inalienable right" idea and break it down: um, what exactly DOES our Constitution condone and legitimize? (Of course, I'm thinking specifically in terms of what "well-regulated" means? Also "militia"? Can an INDIVIDUAL actually qualify as "militia", etc., etc.)....But hey, we can't even hash out these "details, details" until we really understand the notion that We. Are. All. Related.

        In other words: when we do what is good for society, we are also doing what is good for us.

        I don't know. I'm rambling now. But you just broke this down in a way that makes sense, and I encourage you to share your message/thoughts at every opportunity you get.

        Because it is powerful, and may have the power to open the eyes, hearts and minds of others to a profoundly fundamental insight that would serve us ALL well.

        •  I agree that most people are good at heart. (0+ / 0-)

          But they are also prone to fear, and fear makes people act in ways that that they normally would not.  And because people don't like being wrong, they justify their actions and defend them.  Vicious circle.

          "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

          by Apost8 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:25:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well, there is one thing ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grumpelstillchen

      A lot of evil has been done in the name of what's good for society at the expense of what's good for individuals therein.  I really, really don't believe the good of society should always come first.

      BUT.

      In terms of hierarchy of needs, the societal need here is clearly of a more basic level than the individual need.  I think that's a relevant distinction.

      •  yeah, I suppose, in *this* (0+ / 0-)

        society (where corporations are "people"), you may be right.

        BUT. I believe what's good for the "people" (and my definition of "people"includes plants and animals) does supersede what may or may not be good for me (as an individual).

        And actually, that term "individual" is a good one--a good way to take that pesky definitional issue of what constitutes a "person" out of the equation: yeah, plants and animals are "individuals", too, innit? ;-)

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