ProLifeCorner.com- 2/4/2014- By Larry Plachno- It is human nature to assume that we live in an enlightened age where all knowledge is now available and there is nothing new to learn. Nothing could be further from the truth. Reality is that statistics and reports are teaching us new things all the time about how our society functions and how one thing impacts another. It was less than 200 years ago that we learned about how germs spread disease. Today we are learning how selfishness spreads through our society.
It has been less than 200 years since we connected germs with disease. Prior to that numerous people mistakenly assumed that disease was a punishment for an evil done by either the individual afflicted or by his or her parents. It took research and statistics to explain to us how germs spread disease.
It was in the late 1840s, before the days of sanitation and modern medicine, when the Boston area had an epidemic of puerperal fever among women giving birth to children. Oliver Wendell Holmes (the father of the famous Supreme Court Justice) set about trying to find a reason for this. He researched and studied all of the cases he could document, eventually creating what we today would call a pile of statistics.
The statistics made it clear that puerperal fever was contagious and was being spread by doctors and midwives. The situation was not helped by the fact that many of the doctors insisted on wearing old frock coats that had never been washed and whose disreputable condition and number of stains were a mark of tenure in the medical community. Hence, the unfortunate situation was that the doctors and midwives were spreading germs by their own actions because their clothing was full of germs and they were not aware how germs spread through our society.
Change was slow in coming because many people refused to believe that germs existed since they could not be seen. However, several things eventually happened. Doctors and midwives changed their way of doing things to avoid spreading germs and society was encouraged to adhere to sanitary conditions for the good of others.
One of the more important developments learned from sanitation is that spreading germs is black and white. You can ask whether it is OK for nurses to spread germs on Mondays or whether it is OK for doctors to spread germs on the west side of hospitals. The answer is always the same. It is always wrong to spread germs because it is black and white with no gray areas. However, you can also work to encourage people not to spread germs.
The concept of pollution was easier for people to understand. Both our waterways and our atmosphere could become polluted through the release of harmful substances. Like germs, pollution could easily spread.
We also discovered that pollution was like germs in that spreading germs is black and white. You cannot say that it is OK to spread pollution on Fridays or on the west side of waterways. It is always wrong to spread pollution because it is black and white with no gray areas. However, you can also work to encourage people not to spread pollution.
It took a long time before people realized the negative aspects of smoking. Smoking had been around a long time and was deeply ingrained in the customs and traditions of many societies. But, again, it took modern statistics and research to show us the harmful effects of smoking.
In common with germs and pollution, smoking has become a black and white issue. You either smoke or you do not. There are either smoking areas or non-smoking areas.
Decades of research into social problems have shown us how our actions and decisions are interconnected and how selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism spread through our society. Many people who have done the research call this situation interconnected social problems.
When faced with an action or decision that could impact other people or society we have two possible alternatives. We can be unselfish and base our decision on good and evil on what is best for other people and society. Or, we can be selfish, pro-choice and accept moral relativism and do what we want regardless of who gets hurt. Which of these two alternatives are best for society in the long run?
If you take the time to look into it, you will find that many people actually take the position that me and people who think like me have a right to choice but others must do what is best for society. They think that good and evil only exists for other people. This is ludicrous since good and evil either exists or it does not. An obvious question is whether good and evil exist in regard to marriage, abortion, supporting a family wage, selling drugs to kids and shooting guns in schools. How can good and evil exist for some people and not for others?
There are four basic reasons why doing what is best for others and doing what is best for society society is good, while accepting choice and moral relativism is evil. Let me briefly mention each one.
1. Society as a Team
Those people who have done the research and studied the statistics will tell you that unselfishness is its own reward. Society functions much like a team. When we work together we all come out ahead, just like teams win games when the members work together. One of the basic definitions of society is a group of people working together for common goals. When we are selfish and pro-choice then we are not working together for common goals and society suffers.
This is obvious in many things but perhaps most obvious in traditional marriage. Married people are less likely to be homeless or live in poverty if only because there is strength in numbers. Something like 78 percent of the people in the top 20 percent of income are married while but only 17 percent are married in the bottom 20 percent of income. Married people are also less likely to commit crimes, less likely to be the victim of crimes, less likely to be homeless, less likely to need government assistance and more likely to be healthy in many areas.
It is all too easy for people to want to “look out for number one,” but the reports and statistics clearly show that we all come out ahead if we work together and help each other. When members help each other and work together, teams win.
2. Basic Christian Principles
Even those researchers without strong religious beliefs are impressed by the fact that decades of research and computer statistics on social problems endorse and support the basic love of God and love of neighbor admonishments of Jesus Christ.
Since God sent his Son to atone for our sins, love of God means being conscious of the difference between good and evil. Jesus Christ told us to love our neighbors and hence good is doing what is best for other people and society. The traditional definition of a Christian is someone who is concerned for others and puts others first.
Once again we are faced with the fact that people who work together come out ahead while selfishness causes social problems. Love of God and love of neighbor is the Christian equivalent of society coming out ahead when it works as a team. You do not need to be a Christian to understand that we all come out ahead if we do what is best for others and set our selfishness aside.
3. Interconnected Social Problems
One of the more interesting developments from decades of research and computer statistics on social problems is that our social problems are interconnected by selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism. At one time people did not believe or understand how germs cause disease. Today, you still have people who think that their decisions and actions are unrelated. But the reality is that they are all interconnected.
Both the atmosphere and waterways can have different degrees of pollution. What the statistics and reports are showing us is that individuals, cities and states can have different levels of being “polluted” by selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism. This can even be measured to some extent. As you become more accepting of selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism, your idea family size becomes smaller, you are more likely to vote for liberal candidates, and you are more likely to do what you want instead of what is best for other people and society.
Researcher Philip Longman pointed out that in progressive Seattle, there are nearly 45 percent more dogs than kids while in conservative Salt Lake City there are nearly 19 percent more kids than dogs. This obvious difference is not due to any shortage of canine breeders in Utah but it is based on each area’s acceptance of the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism. Is it a coincidence that Utah has the highest fertility rate in the United States with 92 children born annually for every 1,000 women? It is not surprising that Utah also has one of the highest rates of church attendance among the states.
Some of these statistics are logical but ignored by the people who accept choice. For example people who are pro-choice on marriage are statistically highly likely to be pro-choice on abortion. The latest statistics show the only 20 percent of women seeking an abortion are married.
Women who are pro-choice on marriage are statistically more likely to raise children who are pro-choice on breaking the law. Controlling for socioeconomic status, race and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is being raised by a single mother. What the statistics show is that more than 70 percent of juvenile murderers, pregnant teenagers, high school dropouts, teen suicides, runaways and juvenile delinquents were raised by single mothers.
4. Desensitization / Black and White
Like germs, pollution and smoking, spreading selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism is black and white because of desensitization.
To explain desensitization it would be best to go back to the question of whether parents should allow children to watch violence on television. The parents said “no,” while liberals said that the kids should be allowed to be pro-choice in their viewing habits. The experts stepped in and said that the parents were correct. As children watched more and more violence on television, they became desensitized to it and accepted violence as normal behavior.
Desensitization is simply a fancy word for what we used to call “giving bad example.” When people see others being selfish and pro-choice or accepting moral relativism, they become desensitized to selfishness. When people are told that it is OK to be selfish, pro-choice and accept moral relativism, then they are more likely to accept selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism.
We come back to the basic question: Does good and evil exist in regard to marriage, abortion, supporting a family wage, selling drugs to kids and shooting guns in schools? You either spread selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism by desensitization or you encourage people to avoid selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism. Once again, everything is black and white.
Editors Note: Larry Plachno is a successful businessman, publisher, author, and composer of an incalculable number of articles relating to family, life issues and associated problems and solutions. This barely scratches the surface of what Larry really is. His love of God, family and country is inspiring.
For years now Larry has shared his writings with us here at the ProLifeCorner and we are truly humbled by his generosity.
Larry is also an ardent blogger and is a prolificwriter. You can follow his work at:www.unselfish.org