My good buddy Niassne and I were talking about logically evaluating topics. I know. I know. It seems almost impossible these days for the thoughtful application of logic to actually take place, but we're programmers...we like logic. It's not just part of our jobs, it's part of how we think and generally operate things in our lives.
Don't act like you guys haven't evaluated some choice at some point using a complex "IF" statement.
Anyway...we kind of stumbled upon this idea of "Need" Vs. "Right". Because we feel like we need something does that mean we have the right to that? Because we have the right to something does that mean we need it?
There are several examples I could make that are prone to offend, but that's not really what I'm trying to get across here. What I'm trying to provoke is a little extra thought before we simply react to a given topic making it that much more volatile.
Lets take the man in Florida who wanted to burn the Koran. Does he have the right to burn that book? In this country he absolutely does, but should he? An interesting continuation to that story...apparently another man stole the copy of the Koran that another man was about burn (I don't believe it was the same guy that started the whole thing...just a supporter). Did he have the right to steal that book? Simply put...NO. Stealing is stealing and it's simply wrong, not to mention against the law. Now it could be said that the man who stole that Koran did the right thing, even a needed thing, to protect the feelings of Muslims across the country.
And that's what it really comes down to...need is a much more flexible word, at least in my mind. A need can be considered valid or not based solely on a person's point of view. Where as, a right seems much more concrete. If one person has a right to something then so does everyone else.
But where do need and right intersect? What is their place in the process of lawmaking? I think that on a personal level needs will most likely take precedence over rights, at least in our everyday activities and I think that's what allows us to be emotionally driven by the media or politics or almost anything really.
And since that's true, or at least I think it is, I feel like maybe Niassne's got something with this whole core values idea. Core values, that you and I as individuals can use to evaluate how we feel about a particular topic. One complication of this idea, that I find is the prioritization of these values. Does God always take precedence over Country or does Country sometimes win? Or should things always be evaluated on a level playing field?
I know this is a more demure Monk then you usually read, but lets check our outrage and anger at the door and evaluate some of the topics we've taken a stance on recently with a calm and logical pattern of thought.