Sunday, January 22, 2012

On Hard Work

"Liberals" aren't nearly as against the idea that hard work is necessary to do well in life as they get portrayed to be.

Most liberals will be much more disgusted by a man who became rich only by inheriting their wealth instead of working hard for it than a a "conservative" would be.

If I wake up and my toast appears to have the face of Jesus on it, and I sell this piece of toast on ebay for a billion dollars, it won't matter to a conservative that I didn't work hard for the money.

If a conservative gives freely to charity, he won't feel like he has done something wrong and his conservative friends won't tell him how immoral he was for giving to charity because they don't care if the people that have been given the donations are getting money without hard work.

Conservatives might have good reasons to support stances like the one above, but this reason cannot be something like hard work being necessary to do well in life because in situations like the above, if just doesn't matter to them if those who ended up with the money did so because of their own hard work.

And while it's typically exaggerated how much conservatives really care about hard work, it's again typically understated how important it is to liberals.

Well liberals might find cases where they feel a person should receive certain benefits even in situations where they have not done hard work, liberals also find hard work so important that they are against the idea that hard work isn't sufficient to being able to live well.  That is, right now one can still work very hard and still lead a shitty life (financially at the very least).  This is the the problem.  They aren't complaining because people need to work hard to live well, they are complaining because one can work hard and still not live well, and that is a significant difference.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What's So Great About Tolerance?

Tolerance seems to be promoted fairly often, but I'm not quite sure when one should even be tolerant.  If x is bad, x shouldn't be tolerated.  If x isn't bad, then one shouldn't have negative feelings towards x, and without the negative feelings I think it's odd to say one "tolerates" something (ex. it would be odd to say something like, "I tolerate non-murderers" since all things being equal, we don't have negative feelings towards non-murderers and despite "accepting" them, it still doesn't feel right to refer to this acceptance as tolerance).

A more relevant example: gay people. If being gay isn't wrong, you shouldn't have negative feelings for them.  If you do have negative feelings towards gays despite thinking being gay is not wrong, I don't think the best answer is to "tolerate" gay people by repressing your negative feelings to act civil towards gays, but instead you should work on getting rid of those negative feelings entirely to the point that the idea of "tolerating gays" sounds just as odd as the idea of "tolerating straights".