Posts Tagged ‘Cogito ergo sum’

“for your own good” is the most arrogant phrase there is

July 10, 2011

The height of arrogance is when I am told by someone else that I should do something or not do something “for your own good”.

Be it a doctor or a lawyer or an environmental campaigner or a civil servant or a politician or a government,  the phrase raises my hackles.

It presumes too much.

It does not convince.

It is dictatorial.

It imposes one person’s values on someone else.

It is a denial of the subject’s most deep-seated and fundamental value of deciding what constitutes “good”.

I am inclined to think that the most fundamental human characteristic is that

any – and every – human can determine what is “good”

The needs of others and surrounding society and definitions of basic human rights can circumscribe this but cannot – by diktat – take away this fundamental value which is I think integral to being an individual. By corollary any entity which cannot decide what is good and then distinguish between “good” and “bad” does not then qualify for the label “human individual”.

This leads me to paraphrase Descartes’

“cogito ergo sum” (I thinktherefore I am)  

to be instead:

I decide what is “good” and can distinguish that which is “bad”.

Therefore I am.

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