Monday, 5 December 2011

The Moral of the Story

Yin and Yang

In every person's life there is a brief time of stories. Regaled by tales of fantasy by our parents, setting our imagination alight and oft lulling us to sleep. These are formative years, and these stories have purpose. At the end of the story one is asked, what is the moral of this story do you think, or at times it is explicitly stated.

This cultural habit has many purposes. The primary one is to teach children morals. That which a society accepts as right and wrong. Good and Evil. Yin and Yang. The way one is supposed to act in a certain circumstance. It also teaches our children to distill lessons from vast sets of information and incorporate that distilled wisdom, and then using those principles to guide their actions.

In our stories the main persona, signifying ourselves, is either rewarded or punished by his actions. Our stories are created to teach morals, and so when one is rewarded it is done because a good action was performed, and when one is punished it is because a bad action was performed.

Of course, every culture has different stories. As we circle the globe the stories and morals taught to our young is dependent on the culture, but there is, thankfully, the overall theme of that which is good and that which is evil.

We developed this skill at a young age and then simply expand our worlds from which to draw our lessons. In our younger years our parents form the basis from which we draw our morals. Thereafter we begin to be shaped by broader society, prominent individuals, institutions we are taught to respect, and even men long departed from this earth.

Today I must ask, looking at our society, what are the lessons to be learned? What actions are being rewarded, what actions are good?What is rewarded? What is punished? What is the moral? What is incentivized? What type of people and society are we creating?

The Stories

Social grants for unemployment – You will be rewarded if you do not work.

Social grants for children – You will be rewarded if you procreate.

Tax – You will be punished for production. The more you produce the more you will be punished. Implied moral – working is bad.

Nationalization (of land/mines/business) - Your production does not belong to you. It can be taken on a whim by someone with the power of force. Implied moral – saving and production is pointless.

Corruption (going unpunished) – Theft is rewarded. Lying is rewarded.

Crime (going unpunished) – Crime pays.

Inflation policy (sanctioned theft) – Saving money is punished.

These are not the only stories. The world is full of them, I only share some to broaden your vision.

What is the moral of this story?

Stop wondering why our world is going to ruin. Stop asking why. You are the reason. This is your story, your morality, your choice.

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” - Walt Kelly

We are each of us responsible. Shrugging your shoulders and saying there is nothing you can do about it is a lie we tell ourselves. For every small action or inaction you take there is a consequence. What has resulted is mostly from inaction.

"The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing -- Albert Einstein

What we can do to fix it, is start by questioning ourselves. Think on what you see as right and good in the world. Look upon the world and act in support of good and in opposition of evil, in your own small way.

Changing the world starts with changing yourself.

"Be the change you want to see in this world" -- Gandhi

The opposite course of action remains open to you. You can continue to do nothing. Know this though, you cannot absolve yourself of blame by saying you didn't do it. You cannot wash your hands. Through inaction we allow evil to take root and thrive.

You can no longer claim innocence.

Make the choice you can live with.

The Fool


  1. Nice blog Motley. Indeed, WE are the problem. Thank goodness we can also be the solution.

  2. I like this post. I like the fact that you have identified good and evil, right and wrong, punishment and reward, as the key concepts. This is the right direction.

    Now we need to go find ourselves a judge.

    More to follow....

  3. Thank you Miss Taggart. and yes. ^^

  4. Everyone is a judge every day Nickelsaver, this is sufficient.

  5. I dont think its sufficient.Most people are stupid.They arnt fit to judge.


  6. Ozzy

    Every man must judge for himself where it concerns his own affairs. Would you be so presumptuous as to tell a man that he is not fit to judge for himself and that you must decide what is best for him?

    No man is perfect, though some may be closer.

    When every man exercises his best judgment of his own affairs, his own will is served. Where he misjudges, he is punished for his mistake.

    This is freedom.

    You cannot curb the freedom of another man and not harm your own.



  7. If every man is a judge, who is to say what is right or wrong?

  8. I gotta laugh; I typed up a comment which I didn't post because I could see where this conversation would go, and now I am watching as it does.

    Every man is a judge, but only of himself. To relinquish this responsibility to one's "betters" is to throw away one's sovereignty.

    "You cannot curb the freedom of another man and not harm your own."
    How true.

    If any of us were perfect, we would not be here.
    We cannot get there without being responsible for ourselves; anything less is to be enabled by another in our imperfections.

  9. If every man is a judge of himself, then what is the point in arguing right and wrong. One man's good is another man's bad. Or to what standard of truth does one appeal, if every man is a judge. We have a society with laws, differing from country to country, and still we have unfairness in the eyes of most. Men get around the law to their own gain. Remove law altogether, you would expect men to be more honest? The problem is obvious. No man can be trusted to rule, and men cannot keep from annihilating one another without rule.

    But I suggest that their is One worthy of leadership. Men have freewill. But only God is truly sovereign.

  10. Nickelsaver

    I am an atheist, but likely more morally good than most men who profess to have religion as guiding star.

    How is it possible to judge good and evil without referring to a higher moral authority you ask?

    The answer is fairly simple. One needs only recognize what man is. Man is a principle, for others to violate that principle is morally wrong.

    I do not believe that one man's good is another's bad. I believe that all men have the same good, that is learned through experience and interaction.

    Every man can be trusted to do what is in his own best interest. Murdering for profit is like a dog messing where he eats, it only happens if the dog is insane.


  11. You say you are an atheist. The implication is that you have faith that there is not a God. For if you were to say, it is not that I have faith that there is no God, but that I see no proof of God. In that instance you would be an agnostic. So I ask you, are you an atheist or an agnostic?

    If you say that you are an atheist, knowing that there is no way to prove the non-existence of God, than I would say that you have selected your pseudonym well. See Psalm 53:1

    If you say that you are an agnostic, which is the intellectually honest position, than I would make an intellectual argument, not only for the existence of God, but for the specific God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter and Paul.

    I'm willing to bet, that as much as you see yourself as an intellectual, you have written off the idea of God, not because of an honest review of facts, but because your bias prevents you from even considering it. Such is the case with the world.

  12. We see God, not as He is, but as we are>

  13. TF

    Re-read my comments to you. I recant on the part about your bias preventing you from considering God. That is virtually the same as you saying that I have a superficial understanding of Freegold. And I don't know your mind or heart.


  14. "I gotta laugh; I typed up a comment which I didn't post because I could see where this conversation would go, and now I am watching as it does"

    "yeah heh"

    Wow, condescending smugness on steroids.

    You guys are great on economics and the Freegold stuff but human nature? Naaa.

    And Nicklelsaver, quit with all the god stuff.
    I suppose i would be described as an atheist but i dont like the word .
    Why should there be a word for people that dont believe in BS.Theres no word that describes people that dont believe in the tooth fairy or an all powerfull flying spaghetti monster.So why is there a word for people who dont believe in god?
    I suppose i m more of a nonbullshitist really.

    You all could do yourselfs a big favour and quit swatting up on Gandhi quotes and read THE SELFISH GENE by Richard Dawkins(the FOFOA of science). Then read THE BLANK SLATE by Steven Pinker, if you havent allready of course.

    MF said " Every man must judge for himself where it concerns his own affairs. Would you be so presumptuous as to tell a man that he is not fit to judge for himself and that you must decide what is best for him"?
    Well yeah.It s when men start stealing and mudering that you need laws and judges.Your statement states the obvious and means nothing.
    "where it concerns his own affairs"?Well whose to judge whether any actions only affect the mans own affairs? Most of our daily actions affect others.....and so on and so on and so on.

    When you both start giving it the big Gandhi quotes and talking in riddles ,its just soo easy to pic them to bits if i had the time.But then i feel like i m a stinker for pissing on your," most people are cool with each other really" bonfire. People are bad and need to be threatened with bad shit to persuade then not to be bad.Why do u think religions invented hell all those years ago? It was nt because people all got along just swell back then.
    It was a case of , shit dudes , how the 'hell' do we stop everybody from fighting each other?

    And as for Gandhi..
    Gandhi was a kind , wise thoughtfull old man.But he wasnt wise and thoughtfull enough to see the blindingly obvious fact, that 99% of his fellow man were not anywhere near as kind, wise and thoughtfull as him.And as a result of him forcing the Brits out of India ,Millions of his fellow Indians started massacring each other because one lot were percieved to be wearing the wrong type of hat!, or something.(hat tip to religion there NS).

    Of course, i could be be totally wrong about all of the above.


  15. Thats assuming you were being condecending and smug...
    Or have i done the strawman thing again~?
    Oh bugger.


  16. Ozzy

    That is a problem with text. Nuance of emotion gets lost.

    I know Dawkins, Pinker I hadn't heard of.

    The other problem in terms of communication is brevity. I am trying to speak here in fundamental principles, with the thought that perhaps you think I am not crazy, and I wouldn't just state them, and take the time to find the detailed arguments behind my positions yourself.

    The alternative being that I have to write pages for every sentence.

    I was not saying that rules and dispute resolution organizations are not needed.

    The question is in the end if you think I am full of shit. If you had bothered to ask my why I say the things I say I would have either explained myself, or pointed you in some direction.

    As it stands I must simply lament your response.


  17. NS

    " I recant on the part about your bias preventing you from considering God. That is virtually the same as you saying that I have a superficial understanding of Freegold."

    I would disagree.

    I agree that I cannot know your mind perfectly, and as such cannot claim to know your understanding. What I can do is infer from what you say, what I think you think and know. I still think you are missing some things; you do not. Selah.

    Yours is simply a flawed argument as rudely pointed out by Ozzy.

    I try to be polite, but share his sentiments that I would prefer you to 'quit with the god stuff'. At least on my blog.

    If I care to engage you on it, I will do so on your blog, if you don't mind.



  18. MF. I certainly dont think your full of shit lol.I would nt drop by here as much as i do if i thought that.
    I guess i just like the crisp, clear economic stuff the most,such as your exellent response to the ANCYL.
    When you stray from economics i sometimes dissagree (or maybe misunderstand)with what you say.I dont see a problem with that.
    I would like to know what you meant regarding the comment i highlighted.
    I do think there is value in what you write.
    I also try to be polite.
    Its just, i m not very good at it :D


  19. Hey Ozzy

    Which comment please?

    Also, fair enough, some people prefer cold dry logic, others prefer philosophical musings, I do a bit of both depending on my mood. :P