Oh, but I’ve gone and done it again. Drifted off on some tangential tirade against you. Forgive me, my boy. How did we end up here? I haven’t the foggiest idea. Weren’t we discussing truth?
Ah, yes, that cumbersome thing. You humans don’t like it very much, do you?
And why is that? I mean, it’s truth after all, who would want to devalue it?
You said they were afraid of it.
You’ve been listening. Yes. People fear truth. Because it demands things of you. Once something is recognized as a fact, well then you have to follow it. But if you can deny, debunk, debate its fact-hood, you can drain it of its power. After all, the opposite is just as true. No one would want to follow a lie. So, if you can somehow make it so that the things you do not wish to follow are lies, then you don’t have to follow them. And conversely, if you can maintain that what you wish to follow are truths, then you can hold to them, moreover, you can demand that others do as well.
Oh, you humans and your words. “Truth.” “Fact.” “Reality.” And let’s not forget my favorite: “Right.” Ah, “right”, the incantation of Man. How absolutely deft you are with that word. In one swoop, demanding all that you would wish out of the universe, and in the next, denying any power’s hold over you. Of course, no one bothers to define the word. That would destroy the illusion. Ruin the game. The best thing is to keep it as loose as possible. Like relativism, hold it just lightly enough that you can wield it like a lethal weapon, but not so much that you must start to consider what exactly it is, and which way it is pointing.
I should wonder if even you, my boy, have ever sat down to consider exactly what “rights” you have.
I could probably think up some.
I’ll save you the time. Let’s start with the most widely-known and, thus, most clichéd. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Concise. Straight-forward. And, of course, utterly meaningless.
Life. What claim do you think you have to that? You didn’t purchase life. You don’t own it. You’ve been thrust into this reality against your will, more than that, before you had a will to speak of. And you are ejected from it just as much against your will. One could argue, as some have, that you have the right to end it, which would denote some claim on it. But that is much like the argument a child makes to breaking their toys rather than share them. And that assumes an end of death. “But in death, what dreams may come?” You do not know what you are getting yourselves into.
Liberty. Oh, please. Tell that to the slave. Tell that to the economically, socially, physically, mentally disadvantaged. Tell that to anyone who has even been in a place they did not want to be. Tell that to yourself. You have as much claim to it as Life. Even less so. Liberty is a made-up word. It means you can do what you want. It means choice, which is a subject I could spend more time on, but I shall save it for later so that we may consider the last and most laughable of all.
The Pursuit of Happiness. Really? We’re back to relativism. We’re back to whatever makes one feel good. What society could function like that? What household could function like that? It would tear itself apart. Yet how telling of you as a people that that claim is what you hold to, what you admire. The ability of man to seek his own happiness, however he should define it, whatever it should mean, whatever it should require, whatever it should cost. How many lives, homes, careers, marriages, childhoods have been shattered on the rocks of that statement, thrown against it by your own self-absorbed sense of entitlement?
Rights? Don’t talk to me about rights. You don’t have the faintest idea.