Do No Harm: What’s that mean?

“Positive” ideologues often attempt to masquerade as moral people by quoting the Hippocratic oath – incompletely. They assert that they must first, “do no harm”. The problem is that they do not actually understand what harm really means. That is because their beliefs are not rooted in logic.

To be logical requires the ability to correctly identify things by their unique properties and then connect them to a framework that better describes existence, function and connections. When you are confronted by an ideologue, they cannot do these things – they are, in reality, anti-logical. They use their emotions to generate words and behaviors – purely for the effect they have on others. (and themselves) The logical truth or fiction of any statement is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that it has the appearance of logic to those who are equally anti-logical. Most often this is seen in catch phrases or slogans.

EG: Never, never hit your dog:

OK. What if I hit my dog with a pillow? How about a feather? What if the dog is obviously playing and enjoying the contact? As there is no logic underlying the statement it must be swallowed without examination.

The only logic that can underlie this kind of statement is ‘never, never harm your dog’: I’ll go for that. However, that leads to a logical examination of the word ‘harm’. From the standpoint of the normative hedonist, anything that brings pleasure is good, regardless of outcome. Anything that brings discomfort is bad, again, regardless of outcome. So, hitting your dog is assumed to be unpleasant and therefore bad. Cutting off a male dog’s genitalia is considered pleasant – for the person hiring the cutting. Giving a dog treats that do not correct or end a potentially fatal behavior is good because it is ‘nice’ – and ‘nice’, to them, means harmless. What if hitting my dog with a pillow can save its life and failing to hit it with a pillow will end its life? Now there’s the rub. The unstated rule from Hippocrates is that withholding treatment known to be effective is unethical.

You see, ideologically driven people cherry pick reality to confirm their beliefs. The castrated dog’s pain and suffering is ignored because it allows the true believer to be respected as ‘socially responsible’ – a pleasant outcome. It would never occur to them that simply not letting their dog have access to a bitch in heat is an option so those testicles and ovaries simply have to go. This is singularly ironic. People who oppose punishment have their dogs under lock and key for life, anyway. Why bother with spay/neuter if the dog is perpetually, physically controlled? In almost all cases, those people never imagine that ‘not doing something’ could cause harm. This pleases them. As long as they didn’t do anything, they can deny responsibility and go on feeling superior. That the dog does not enjoy the blessings of being initially compelled to ‘come when called’ and therefore will never be off-leash is ignored.

Here’s the logic they will not and cannot perceive. Harm isn’t about doing or not doing anything. It is about an objective evaluation of circumstances. If a dog is going to be destroyed because it jumps on people, the logical conclusion is to immediately stop the jumping. If the dog is among ten other dogs, only four of whom will be adopted, then six are going to be excluded from the selection process. Who wants to adopt a dog brought to a shelter because it jumps on people with no assurance that the dog will not return to the behavior in its new home? (In about 30 days or less, it will) Who is going to go down a row of wild and crazy dogs and pick any of them for their family with small children? Nobody in their right mind.

What if you could stop the wild behavior immediately and leave a lasting inhibition rather than perpetual bribery and maintenance? That means all ten dogs have a shot at four slots. It means the one that is best suited for the family could be any one of them. That is logical, but does not conform to the impassioned zealot. They come up with temperament tests that allow some expert’s formula pick which ones live or die. Again, if they don’t actually do anything they are free of guilt. To acquiesce is sainted. To provide the dog with what it needs to have a shot at survival is despised. So I will offer a counter-slogan that they will, of course, not tolerate.

Never, never sexually mutilate your dog for your own convenience.

Note: Don’t bother attacking this slogan. It is meant to show how slogans invariably do not embrace the complexities of life. Being logical, I do not believe in making decisions by slogan.

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