Saturday, June 07, 2008

Only the Fittest Ought to Survive

AN EXCEPTIONALLY ANNOYING contemporary irrationality is the confusion between "is" and "ought", where the fact of something's existence is twisted into public policy.

The trend seems to have started in dictionaries, which were originally designed to promote good usage of language by including citations from well-known authorities on the subject.  However, some critics, of good intention or not, thought that actual word-usage was important enough for inclusion in these reference books, despite the fact that a particular usage may be considered incorrect; this was coupled by calls to eliminate old definitions which are no longer in use. However, since dictionaries themselves are often seen as being authoritative, this led to the reference books becoming quickly outdated, while also encouraging a verbal free-for-all. Following this, media style guides have likewise gotten looser over the years, emphasizing ephemera instead of a solid linguistic foundation.  Use of language in the contemporary media is atrocious, and it seems that editors are asleep on the job, or more likely have been fired due to budget cuts.  So the fact that some people use language poorly (and I am one of them) has led to the policy of poor language use on a wide scale.

The fact that some people use recreational drugs has led to experiential-based public school curricula telling students that they ought to use these drugs if they so choose.  The fact of infidelity has led to the policy of infidelity with loose divorce laws.

Likewise consider the fact that sick and disabled animals in nature are not likely to survive long:  "survival of the fittest" is the evolutionary creed.   This fact has now been twisted into the public policy that only the fittest must survive.  See the article:  Drug company supplies cancer drug Oregon Health Plan won't.  
...After her oncologist prescribed a cancer drug that could slow the cancer growth and extend her life, Wagner was notified that the Oregon Health Plan wouldn’t cover it.
It would cover comfort and care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide.
Get used to hearing stories like this.

The goal of equality leads to rationing, as we see in mens' college sports, the economic difficulties of single-earner families, and now in healthcare.

A more traditional solution would be charging on a sliding-scale, which the pharmaceutical company seems to understand.  The wealthy would get gold-plated and diamond-encrusted hospital rooms, charged at an outrageous rate and an equally enormous profit, while the poor pay whatever they can, even if a very small amount.  It isn't equality in an economic sense, but it all works out in the end; isn't that the kind of equality that really matters?  Transportation has long recognized the sliding scale, with first-class passengers providing nearly pure profit, and enabling inexpensive coach fares.  Please note that all of the passengers, first or last class, get from point A to point B, which is a far greater equality than what would occur if there were rationing.


  1. Found this web site today while looking for the rectory number for St. Georges in Affton... am heling Rosalind Moss, who will be living in the convent there w/her new community "nuns... great info and wonderful, insightful article. My mom was one of those whose "qulity of life" was not where it should be and she was virtually starved until she died. We tried to get at least an intervenos (whish I had that dictionary) so she would have food and water, but my dad had put no extraordinary things and the considered our request extraordinary. She went almost three weeks w/nothing....

    Keep up the blog; interesting. Can we get it automatically sent to our emails?

    Christ's peace,


  2. Please tell me where in any public school cirricula it says students ought to use drugs????? Please be very specific! As a Catholic who spent 8 years on a public school board in a community where ther is no Catholic High School I want to see a very detailed response....