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20 October 2021

A Neo-Decalogue

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:

  1. Be compassionate. 
  2. People are essentially good. 
  3. People have inherent dignity that can be neither earned nor forfeited.
    1. Honor is a vice. 
  4. We must love ourselves, our neighbors, the stranger, and even our enemies.
    1. In doing so, we love what many have come to call God.
  5. Love is an action, not a sentiment.
  6. 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. 
  7. Any advantaged ascribed status or identity that causes fear or division is a vice. 
    1. These include nationality, race, political party, and family.
  8. All else being equal, the interests of the collective supersede those of the individual.
    1. Indeed, the interests of the individual are best served through the collective. 
  9. Social institutions exist for people, not the inverse. 
  10. 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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