It’s NOT Really Thought That Counts
“It’s the thought that counts”, that’s what they say. No, it isn’t. From personal experience I know that is a fallacy.
One day I knew my wife was having a bad time, and so I had thought about getting her some flowers to make her feel better, the yellow ones she likes, roses I think. But I didn’t actually get the flowers because I got distracted on my way home and forgot. When I entered the house, she was still a little out of sorts, so I figured I would cheer her up by informing her of my considerate thought. To my surprise, she was not impressed at all. I said: “Isn’t it the thought that counts? That’s what they say.” I did think about it, I just didn’t succeed in doing it. As I was ducking from the trajectory of a flying frying pan, I realized that I had committed a thought crime. My offense was thinking about getting flowers, and then NOT succeeding in getting them. Apparently this had nothing to do with not getting flowers, my crime was the thought.
Who can figure out women?
Despite what those cute Hallmark cards say, it really is absolutely NOT the thought that matters. I have the mangled cook-ware to prove it. So then why is it so important in law enforcement today to establish and punish based on what the perp was assumed to have been thinking at the time of the crime?
All laws are in some way based on someone's idea or thought about what is right and what is wrong. Good intentions. Murder is wrong. We all know that, so it is a law. Mandating that we can't kill each other is an easy one. Thinking about murder is not murder. Clearly murder has a negative impact on the victim, as does stealing, or property destruction. Thinking about it is immaterial.
These obvious transgressions against another person are not in question, it is pretty clear that the law should protect our right not to be harmed by another.
Morality laws, (thought crimes) have somehow permeated our legal system. Although the specific action (or inaction) may not be proved to be harmful to anyone except the perpetrating individual himself, these are deemed wrong based on moral code of some kind. We have laws to punish individuals despite there being no identifiable victim.
It is not the proper role of government to enforce any morality based victimless crimes. Actions which hurt no one except the perpetrator must be purged from our legal codes.
Some believe there exist immoral offenses against God or the Earth and so must be regulated for the good of society. Don't we have the right not to believe in God or the Earth as creator - and by extension shun this morality? What difference will it make to anyone else if I am morality delinquent so long as I hurt no one else? Many libertarians are atheists, they don't require others denounce God. Those who do believe don't demand others go to church and pray to be saved. That isn't any of my business, it shouldn't be.
The confusion of the right and the left is that they don't distinguish between victimless morality crimes against God or Earth and crimes clearly against man. In today's society, God is not a factor in law, and so can't be discussed. Instead we substitute the Earth god and its quasi-morality in His place. This approach is even more harmful.
This is not to suggest that we can do whatever we want in public based on our own personal morality. This would lead to all kinds of bizarre behavior in California (ok other places too) unfit for children based on a lack of a moral code. No, it means that people should be able to do whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes as long as they hurt no one who doesn't wish to be hurt.
Public morality statutes must still be reserved for the majority to decide because public displays do affect minors incapable of making their own decisions. Parents must be left to teach their own morality to their children in the privacy of their own homes without having it undermined in public.
Sticks and Stones
Because of this misplaced view of controlling morality, we have created laws based on an individual's perceived thought. If we rob a man and also call him a nasty name, now it isn't just robbery, it is a hate crime. If we rob someone of a different race it could also be considered a hate crime merely by the assumption that because the victim was of a different color, race or religion, the robbery was based on hatred. This has to stop. The crime is the robbery, not the thought; much less a thought left unspoken.
Perceived harm to the sensibilities of adults can't be measured by men, and so shouldn't be punished by men. This must be left to God for those who believe. Those who do not believe in God, you get away scot free unless the Earth decides to swallow you up. – or was that God? Anyway you know what I mean.
We must extend this morality debate from private deeds and thoughts to words. Of course yelling "BOMB" in an airliner 36,000 feet over the middle of the Pacific Ocean is an example for limits on free speech. Insults, slurs, even the terrible "N" word must be freely allowed. We must allow bigots to demonstrate their ignorance and stupidity for all to witness.
When we were younger, crying about being teased at school, Mom would always say "Sticks and stones…" you know the rest. Like the Golden Rule, it seems that this simple saying has taken on new meaning. Now, it is: "Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will REALLY hurt you." Silly, isn't it? Have we all become victims somehow? Is political correctness and hyper-sensitivity bringing us to moral destruction?
The ability to freely insult verbally is not the same thing as harassment. Harassment is continual abuse. Where is the line? Not sure, like pornography, though it can't be adequately defined, but most of us know it when we see it.
Courts do not have the wisdom to judge malice of thought. It must be left to a higher authority. In the absence of a belief in such a higher authority, it must then be ignored. No mortal man is sufficiently gifted to accurately assess and impose sentence upon another man's thoughts.
The reason for a physical attack by one person on another is God's problem. Good or bad, what is in a man’s heart is beyond our ability to judge. Let Him deal with that. Maybe He punishes man "B" for calling man "A" a girly-man, or worse. The crime against man should be punished by man if we believe his thoughts or even his words are impure, that is God's department. None of us is wholesome or wise enough to denounce and impose punishment on another man’s thought. The “right not to be offended” does -not exist. It is found no where in our Constitution or Bill Of Rights, nor should it be.
Depraved thoughts, intentions and feelings are a moral issue. Injurious actions are a crime. Morality shouldn't be legislated - it is for a person to deal with alone, or for God to handle in the end. When a man keeps his hatred and nastiness to himself, he hasn’t injured anyone. Perhaps God will punish his prejudices, bigotry, hatefulness; but we really don't know - and frankly shouldn't care as long as he leaves us alone.
When we institute laws punishable by man based on morality which does not interfere with or directly demonstrably harm anyone else, we are playing God - even if we are Earthers and don't believe in Him. That is intellectual hypocrisy.
We have to separate obvious crimes against man from perceived crimes against God or the Earth. Victimless crimes are punishable today because some people believe their morality is superior to others and so want to regulate violations and punish it. Man has not the right, nor capability to act in administering punishment for thought crimes.
If thought crimes were justifiable, then thinking about getting flowers for your wife, and then not actually buying them and admitting to the transgression would be punishable by firing squad. Just ask my wife. No, better not.