~ ITEM: The Cardinal Virtues: The four hinges of the moral life, By Scott P. Richert
~ ITEM: Murphy’s Law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
~ ITEM: Theodore Dalrymple on ‘Growing Up British: The sordid is all too typical‘
~ ITEM: David Suzuki repeats assertion that ‘climate deniers’ should be jailed; and ‘Kerry: If We’re Wrong on Climate Change, ‘What’s the Worst That Can Happen?”
~ HUMANS CAN BE naive and accident-prone– ever more so the glowing-screen-raised indoor generation. Wee Binks was running about outside most Summer days, getting into and out of scrapes, petty crimes and misdemeanors. Life in the great outdoors is being alive, and learning (most of the time) how to stay that way.
The hard-won operating rule for me (along with the useful driving-rule of “They Are All Trying To Kill You“) is fairly simple:
What’s The Worst That Could Possibly Happen?
That is, of any possible course of action or situation or activity, ask yourself thusly: WTWTCPH? It establishes the moral seriousness of decisions, bad choices, and life in general.
It’s an old idea, from the Greeks: Wise men learn from wisdom, fools learn from avoidable mistakes. It’s one of the four pagan virtues to think ahead about actions & choices & consequences: prudence.
Lathering With Evil
You don’t actually have to get neck-deep in evil to know that something is evil; or as modern fools would have it “How can you know if you don’t try it?”, which usually comes immediately prior to “Oh dear God, I never thought that would happen!” It’s Adam & Eve versus the verboten arboreal produce all over again.
WTWTCPH does not necessarily make you paranoid or OCD or joyless. It’s a good habit of mind which arises from the simple truth that the world is not a harmless theme park full of harmless characters and no consequences ever… and that some of those avoidable consequences are inflicted on those around you.
As a handy-dandy all-purpose preventer, you can liberally apply, lather, rinse and repeat WTWTCPH whenever needed, whether you are a yoot, a politician, a parent, or an ordinary person.
Alcohol and/ or drugs plus driving. Unmarried engaging in the baby-making activity. Doing whatever because “everybody else is doing it” (vice makes right). Practicing constant inward adultery against a spouse. Various forms of minor & major theft. Dabbling in the occult. Over-feeding on a degraded pop culture. Elaborate forms of blaming & judging everybody else. Silencing others, or– which is demonically worse– inhumanizing them.
You & Your Stuff Is Evil
Oddly enough, the modern progressive Left is all about externalizing evil (Global Warming GMO unfaircoffee patriarchy capitalism homerphobia) without the turn to the mirror which makes good & evil specific and connected to the self, and the will. If, instead of any introspection, I can hate “Them” for their obvious and manifest “Evil & Injustice”, then I never have to look at the state of my own soul, my participation in small evils & terrible careless decisions and all the petty nastiness and cruelty which darkens our world, as opposed to Them & That.
It’s always somebody else’s fault? Nope. You are a moral agent, with choices and accountability. One day, your life or the lives of others may depend upon it.
So– What’s The Worst That Could Possibly Happen? WTWTCPH?
Because evil & accidents, and good and active acts of virtue are (somewhat) in our moral responsibility. ~
Saith Teh Binks