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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Politics, Shmolitics

I saw a thing the other day that a Catholic political group "blasted" Paul Ryan for his alleged departures from Catholic social doctrine. And for all we know, he is out of harmony with the teaching. That's neither here nor there, at the moment.

My concern is that discussion about anything is being replaced by the ostentatious display of moral disdain for people. This is not the same as an argument. An argument goes like this:

A minimum wage insulates people from unforeseen difficulties, and rewards honest work, keeping people out of abject poverty.

The current minimum wage in the US does not suffice to provide for basic needs, for individuals or families.

Therefore, the minimum wage should be increased.

That's an argument. It may be a good one or a bad one, but if you wish to dispute it, dispute the premises or the conclusion. We don't do that; we dispute each other. We sort of decide in our own tribes what Good People are supposed to believe, and then we viciously attack the Other as morally defective. Rinse, repeat. It may be that some fault in reasoning or moral judgment has taken place in any one case, but I think many grow weary of having to assert their own good will in every case. We can do better.

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