|via Dr Zuleyka Zevallos|
Here is an interesting question: Why should the wants of the few outweigh the rights of the many?
I've been thinking about this evocative image on and off for most of the day. The message is deceptively clear--so deceptive in fact that I almost passed right on by without any additional thought.
Perhaps I stopped and lingered on the image a little more because I was getting ready to see the new incarnation of Start Trek Into Darkness later in the afternoon. Any self-respecting fan knows the famous line uttered by Spock in various versions of the show (see here, here, and here).
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few--or the one.
Of course our Captain Kirk messes this all with up with his dedication to love and friendship:
Sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.
I got to thinking about this image and it began to reveal its complexity. Here is a list of things that I thought about while looking at this picture:
- What I perceive as a right might be perceived by another as a want.
- What I perceive as a want might be perceived by another as a right
- My rights might infringe upon another person's rights.
- My rights might infringe upon another person's wants.
- My wants might infringe upon another person's rights.
- My wants might infringe upon another person's wants.
- Another person's rights might infringe on my rights
- Another person's rights might infringe upon my wants.
- Another person's wants might infringe upon my rights
- Another person's wants might infringe upon my wants.
- Who gets to decide what a right is?
- Who doesn't get to decide what a right is?
- Who gets to decide what a want is?
- Who doesn't get to decide what a want is?
- What is a want?
- What is a right?
Pick any controversial issues facing our society today and pose these questions. You'll end up with more questions than answers. In our polarized society I think we shy away (or just plain avoid) asking these sorts of questions. We are replacing critical thinking with epistemologies and ontologies of personal revelation.
I know I have no answers here. Only questions.
What do you think?