LETTER: Enemy of inconsistency
Josh Hopper, '12
Inconsistency is rampant in this evil world, where perhaps the greatest evil is inconsistency.
There are those who make the moral choice to kill infants due to imperfections, malformations or female gender, which is certainly wrong. But there are also those who make the moral choice to take in helpless babies who have no way of protecting themselves, and calling them their own, despite the so called, "imperfections," which is indubitably right.
So we have this split ticket of noble and despicable, which leaves us with the perplexing question: Is there such a thing as a universal right?
An article found in the Los Angeles Times depicts a 65-year-old scavenger (or a man who picks up others' trash to find a living), finding a helpless newborn, freezing in a train station, and taking her home. He and his wife nourish the baby back to health, despite its obvious medical and physical complications.
This poor man named Chen found compassion in his heart and room in his home for the girl, and "... he is still bringing home children-- 42 in all, at last count." All people, despite religion or race or origin, will positively agree that what Chen does is a good, noble, upstanding thing to do.
But it is much harder for all people to agree that the opposite of that act is a bad, horrible and disgusting thing to do. When an act is wrong, people find the need to justify it in order to make it seem like it's not so bad. Like they aren't so bad.
For example, in Pearl S. Buck's novel, The Good Earth, O-lan kills one of her own newborn babies just seconds after she captures her first breath. She does this because with the newborn girl there will not be enough food to sustain the rest of her family. The culture of that day was one where it was acceptable to give away, abandon, or even kill newborn girls, simply for the fact that they were girls.
Even recently in China there is a black market for selling babies to families with no children; 52 ring leaders were sentenced to death or life in prison. The government and law obviously view this as a bad thing, because the punishment is so severe.
But in the time when theses practices were common, justifications are thrown about with words like "culture,-- -time period," "standard of living" and priorities. All these are factors in the decision-making process, but none of them are morally correct.
No one will ever have to justify, explain or defend the actions of Chen, the poor scavenger. Generally, everyone will believe it is right. But because, and simply because we have to justify, defend and argue about the topic of selling babies, abortions and infanticide obviously proves that there is something fishy.
Humans can use rhetoric and language to make anything sound good and okay, so we often trick ourselves into believing something. Anything.
But when we get down to the heart of the matter, we know what is true. There is an inconsistency between what we learn to know in our brain, and what we've always known in our hearts. With inconsistent problems and inconsistent, conflicting ideas being thrown at us everyday, it's hard to know what to believe.
If we strive to be consistent to what we know in our hearts to be true, then we will be much more successful in solving these perplexing, inconsistent dilemmas.