Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rectification of Names

"A is A," as Mark Scott used to say. Much of the immorality being advocated today is promoted by one of two lies:

"A is not-A": "A human zygote/ embryo/ fetus is not a human being. Using taxes to reallocate wealth is not theft. An incestuous marriage is not immoral. Self-defense is not a legitimate use of a gun. Licensing is not rent seeking. The Catholic Church is oppressive. Women are the same as men."

"not-A is A": "Homosexual marriage is marriage. The pregnant man is a man. Government health care is free. Minimum wages protect the poor. Abortion is a right."

Both lists could go on, and on, and on, and on. This is one of the topics that the Western Confucian regularly posts about -- The Rectification of Names. Some have suggested that Rectification of Names proposes that if you get language right, all else will follow, but that's not right, any more than saying the Confucian Rule ("Don't do unto others what you would not have them do unto you") is the same as the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"). Rather, the Rectification of Names proposes that if language is wrong, then nothing else can be right.

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