Clarity In Speech

September 6, 2009

There is an interesting article over at Appeal To Heaven, that is a tad old, but touches upon the difference between inalienable, and unalienable rights. This is a distinction largely lost to time, and also phonetics as well, but it serves as a good springboard for what makes for useful discussion.

There is the notion of jargon, overly complicated terminology, which prevails in the culture of expertise. The great irony is that the very jargon that is criticized is simply a function, a reference, and it seeks to keep the discussion from being too complicated, particularly for those outside of its field. However it also runs the risk of assumption, and mistaken implicit definition, which can further the divide in an exchange between two individuals. The difference between inalienable and unalienable is a great one, both convey the natural order of a trait, but one binds it to the possessor’s will, it gives the possessor capability that they would not have in the other. The difference between transubstantiation and consubstantiation is similar, a simple difference can mark some very different views on theology, and to not clarify this, or to assume the listener is intimately aware of the difference, is to leave the impact of the dialog up to chance almost. There are many more examples, where using these references, without reiterating their definition clearly can cause further divide, to the point of even actual conflict.

When debating with someone regarding the existence of a deity, using the argument from miracles, whether the debater is a believer in consubstantiation or transubstantiation is of the utmost importance. When debating health care, whether the other person believes that life is inalienable or unalienable is the very dividing line of the debate itself, and all other points are mere particulars in contrast.

This post exists largely as an appeal, to embrace longevity in speech if it brings about further understanding, and if whoever you are engaged with uses terms that are either loaded with multiple perspectives, or perhaps seen as jargon, employ the spirit of Socrates and seek honest inquiry, not to keep them on their toes, but truly try and understand them. Disagreement is natural, but conflict over disagreement rooted in misunderstanding is a tragedy we should all seek to avoid, as that is a seed for violence.


Without a doubt, the most common relevant discussion being held across the United States at present is that regarding health care. A common defense of further and deeper government involvement is that health care needs reform, and it is a human right. Health care does, to anyone paying attention, obviously need to be reformed, however this term does not refer to a particular method and should not be used obliquely in reference to any piece of legislation.

So is health care a right? If so what becomes of health care providers? In my experience a health care provider is someone who has invested the time, energy and money to gain the knowledge of caring for health, so do we have a right to pursue access to their knowledge, or to attain that knowledge ourselves? Do we have a right to accessing the functional application of their knowledge? If so, what happens when they do not wish to, or if they require renumeration to compensate for their time and effort, and get out of the debts they may have incurred in procuring that knowledge? One does not pay for a right.

In order for health care to be a right, it would need to be instilled in us on birth, it would need to be innate and internally self-sufficient. However I was not innately aware of what a tracheotomy was, or when to perform it. As a small child I could not tell you how to treat a burn, or suture a wound. But I did have the capacity to learn these things through research, and what those who had the liberty to do such had documented. I had life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that is what creates the ability to care for health.

Health care is not ethereal, it is concrete actions on the part of all parties, done on an individual basis. Persons make an effort to avoid injury based on their knowledge of the environment, and to maintain optimum health when they are  responsible; knowledgable persons in the matters of health beyond the norm care for them when they made a mistake, or something out of their control happened. Those persons are then compensated in some way, so that they can continue doing that, but also maintaining their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, so that they can continue to grow as people, and help a new generation learn to care even deeper.

Health care reform begins with ourselves, through knowledge, personal moderation, charity to those in need, of proper appreciation and support of those who excel in particular knowledge to help us.

The Three Ls

September 3, 2009

The three Rs are a commonly held theme for the pillars of education. Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. These are a great start, and excellent tools, however they may become blunt if submerged in fallacies of many sorts, if not allowed freedom, and if not cherished. Thus I propose we progress our society with the three Ls. Logic, Liberty, and Love. We must appreciate truth and consistency, have the room to do so, and then to do so from the heart.