So I got into an argument with a philosophy professor on Tuesday (surprise, surprise -- someone's opinion rubs me the wrong way). Anyway, we were talking about society's (and the government's) responsibility to step in and correct certain "bad" things. For instance, he argued that local communities have a responsibility to deny liquor stores the right to open up shop in poor neighborhoods because it would only make a bad economic situation worse when everybody starts drinking. At this point, I asked him why he thought that was so, because I couldn't understand why society or the government had any responsibility to replace individual common sense. My thought is that if someone knows drinking is going to put them in the hole, they can choose to do something about it and stop drinking. I know it's possible. The AA meetings have helped many an alcoholic, but they had to have their minds made up to do it. They can also choose not to become drunks to begin with. What he was arguing was that society make up their minds for them.
prof: "Do you, sir, claim that you don't frequent the liquor store?" (he was assuming I do because I'm in college)
me: "I can honestly say I'm not a regular."
prof: "Well good for you, but most of us have our little devils."
That was his premise. We have "little devils" (figuratively, of course) that make us do things that we know are going to get us in trouble. Therefore, society has to pour resources into poor neighborhoods to keep them out of everyone else's backyards -- because they are, according to him, inherently incapable of helping/controlling themselves! He continued to say that "the reason we have to help out the people in poor neighborhoods is because we have to live with them" and "if giving you welfare keeps you out of my backyard, then I'll give you welfare" basically. He was going on ethical egoism at this point, which I don't completely disagree with. However, when you consider the sheer number of people who abuse the welfare system, it isn't solving anything! If you let them starve, they will work. If you feed them, they won't.
Anyway, I believe in the potential of man. I believe in man's ability to change and to help himself. We all have the ability to kick bad habits, or to make changes in our lives for the better. I don't believe I have some little devils that prevent me from bettering my own life. I don't believe that I *need* society to provide me with its charity and deny me of alcohol if it thinks it will keep me out of trouble. I can help myself. All that is required is enough sense to realize that I need to help myself. If society wants to throw money at me -- great! I'll take it, but then I won't have a pressing reason to help myself become better, so I won't.
I just thought his reasoning was blind and that he needed to get a better understanding of how things really are. It's like those people that say "No war for oil." If they had any f*cking clue how important oil is to the global economy and how intricately it affects just about everything (including the nice way of life and standard of living they enjoy in America), they wouldn't say dumb sh*t like that. That's not to say that I'm advocating the invasion of any sovereign country (no matter the reason), but simply that oil can and will cause wars because it is so important (especially in deciding who has economic power and who doesn't). Anyway, to get back on topic, I'm posting this as a sanity check because maybe it's me that's blind
Also, as many of you know, I've been known to be very opinionated about certain things and I've gotten very fired up in the past. I'll *try* to keep a low profile this time because I'm really curious to get your opinions. Nothing more, nothing less.
Does anyone else see the little devils?