Thursday, March 31, 2005

Choose Your Words Carefully

1 a : qualities (as adherence to duty or obedience to lawful authority) that together constitute the ideal of moral propriety or merit moral approval b : something that is morally just
2 : something to which one has a just claim: as a : a power, privilege, or condition of existence to which one has a natural claim of enjoyment or possession b : a power, privilege, immunity, or capacity the enjoyment of which is secured to a person by law
3: Of or belonging to the political or intellectual right.

Terri Schiavo died today, may she rest in peace. Her case was repeatedly characterized as the “the nation’s most bitter – and heavily litigated – right-to-die dispute.” Her parents called it “judicial homicide.” President Bush, in a would-be audacious (if predictable) act signed a law undermining the Constitution’s separation of powers saying "In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life." Terri Schiavo’s right-to-die (or right-to-life, depending on how you look at it) in question over what is or is not morally and ethically right and her life being prolonged at great length by the socio-political right. Just as an aside? The opposite of right? Wrong.

This is all especially interesting in light of our leader’s obsession with

the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another c : the quality or state of being exempt or released from something onerous

During the presidential debates he accused his opponent over and over again of wanting to institute more and more government control, instead of giving people the freedom to make their own decisions, most notably in issues of money and healthcare. Luckily for him, then, that rights are (apparently) restrictive because they reflect the judgment of another allowing us to, as a nation, “have a presumption in favor of life”. Where does that leave freedom?


Xtine said...

you do love your definitions don't you. ; )

Maria said...

"Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born - the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things." -Aldous Huxley