The Morality Of Permission

Trying to figure out how to write without a computer. I went to the library but it was insanely loud. Even just the clicking on the keyboard. I had several things to say but it couldn’t come to me.

Then this guy starts talking on his phone while I’m writing an email. I ask him to turn it off. He later comes over and says he doesn’t appreciate me telling him that and he’s trying to buy a house and it isn’t against library rules to be on his phone. I ignore him.

Is this a lazy entitled millennial? No, he’s my parents’ age and looks vaguely homeless. Maybe it’s his white male privilege, or maybe society is just selfish.

He is angry that I interrupted him interrupting us, and so he comes over to interrupt me. And he claims I’m the one who isn’t considerate of others.

As soon as I left the library I could suddenly think again. A flood of inspiration came to me and so I’m in a parking lot typing this on my phone.

Maybe not quite a flood, but it has gotten me thinking about the morality of law and hence something to write about. The man’s justification was that it’s allowed in the library for him to be on his phone. It’s a morality of pure permissiveness. The people in charge say it’s okay, or at least they don’t say it’s wrong.

A few years ago I almost hit (on purpose) one of those cyclists who ride in the middle of the road. Soon after I get to my location and he tracks me down. I tell him to get the fuck out of the middle of the road, and he says it’s legal.

This is the morality of me in elementary school. It’s unrestrained libertarianism.

On the flip side, there are people who never break the rules ever.

There’s a guy at work covered in biker tattoos who is a compulsive rule follower. I told him you can usually run a red light without consequences, and he tries to come up with a possibility of what if someone doesn’t have their lights on.

Look, the rules (or lack thereof) are just the rules. You can make the argument that you have a moral obligation to respect authority, but you cannot tell me that not running a red light at three in the morning is a Kantian absolute natural law like not murdering or stealing.

You can’t be upset that people get upset at you for lawfully blocking traffic for a breast cancer march.

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