I've been thinking a lot over the pandemic about how I come to such different conclusions about the world than others. Why do I wear a mask or get vaccinated when others react so strongly--even violently--against such practices? One explanation I entertain is that I have a different set of base assumptions about the world than those folks. I sat down and did the exercise of writing out those starting principles. This is what I came up with:
- Be compassionate.
- People are essentially good.
- People have inherent dignity that can be neither earned nor forfeited.
- Honor is a vice.
- We must love ourselves, our neighbors, the stranger, and even our enemies.
- In doing so, we love what many have come to call God.
- Love is an action, not a sentiment.
- If I fail to help someone in need, it is a statement against my character; if one takes advantage of my willingness to help, it is a statement against their character.
- Any advantaged ascribed status or identity that causes fear or division is a vice.
- These include nationality, race, political party, and family.
- All else being equal, the interests of the collective supersede those of the individual.
- Indeed, the interests of the individual are best served through the collective.
- Social institutions exist for people, not the inverse.
- All choice and responsibility exist within the constraints of a context.
I'm not sure these are inclusive, but they seem like they encompass the gist of what I was thinking.
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