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We. 09/17/08: Morality

Posted by DaveVause on Sep 17, 2008 4:15:58 PM

Today: 3.0 miles on Severn Crossing Trails @ 06:20

Borg Scale: 4 / unk mpm / unk bpm at end.

week: 4 miles

65 F/65%

unk lbs / unk %


The days are getting shorter.  I waited to 6:15 to get enough light to run on my neighborhood's trails.  While I simply prefer to run through the woods, running on my neighborhood roads can be disturbing.  The speed limit on the streets in our development is 25 mph.  I routinely see cars traveling much faster in the driver's rush to get to work, as high as perhaps 40 mph.  In the park-like atmosphere these drivers endanger the lives of the birds, squirrels, even children.  I have frequently seen a vehicle show no brake lights as it careened towards a sleepy mourning dove, confused squirrel in the road, or stray family dog.  I can only wonder what kind of mindset leads a driver to completely disregard the life of a tiny creature in his or her effort to get to work 10 minutes earlier.


Think about it.  Its a life - not human, but still a life.  I have to wonder if its really so worthless.


Plato, in his dialog on the death of Socrates, portrays Socrates drinking his hemlock despite the opportunity to escape.  Why does he choose death?  Because, in a democracy he argues, the citizens all have a role in creating the law that governs us.  He argues that by living in a democracy, we agree to the benefits and agree that sometimes our vote will set the law, sometimes it will not.  In the expectation that others will obey laws we support and pass in legislature, we are morally bound to obey laws with which we do not agree.  Socrates takes the hemlock rather than flee because as an Athenian, he is bound to Athen's laws.  


I can admit that there are exceptions, like when Northerners helped slaves escape the South before the Civil War.  But getting to work 10 minutes earlier does not rise to the same moral standard as helping slaves escape.


The rapist, the pedophile, the driver who chooses to speed through a sleepy neighborhood or school zone, all stand on the same moral basis.  Each decides his own needs or desires transcend the social contract that binds a democratic society together.  This is immoral. 


Me, I just want to run down my neighborhood roads without concern of being run down from behind or seeing a little tuft of fur or feathers run over by some driver with no respect for life.

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