The Moral Relativism of the Conservative Party
It is a moral certainty that no human or institution owns another human being. From that moral certainty we arrive at a second moral certainty - that no human or institution may, without the express consent of that person involved, take the life of another human.
In other words, murder is morally wrong, in all circumstances. Period. End of story.
But now, as both Chet Scoville and James Bow have so aptly pointed out, our government and the Conservative Party of Canada no longer agree with that assertion. For them now, it seems, the value of a human life is dependent on circumstances, dependent on political relations ships and on vague definitions of things like "democratic state with respect for the rule of law". They say now it is dependent on whether the process used to take the life was done correctly and fairly.
In short, the CPC now believes it is possible for another person or institution to own another human, if the circumstances are "correct". They now say that another person or, worse, the State, may now take the life of another person, against their will and without their consent, simply because of what they do, or where they do it, or if our government is friendly with the government of the state in question, or if it fits in with their own domestic policy aspirations.
All of this means that the Conservatives now consider the morality of the taking of a human life to be relative to the circumstances of their own choosing - the very moral relativism they have always stated one of the greatest failings of the left. Only they have done it with perhaps one of our most widely held moral certainties.
Many of their supporters are trying to minimize and obfuscate this position by stating it is merely the government choosing not to "defend" a self-admitted double murder who was "correctly" and with "due process" sentenced to die - Ronald Smith in Montana. They are attempting to justify this by pointing out how horrible Smith's crimes were and that he has admitted his guilt. But this only serves to further demonstrate their moral relativism. That no person or state can take is a moral absolute regardless of what the person did, where they did it or who they are. What Smith did or how fair the process by which he was sentenced to die is irrelevant to the fact that as a human no one can morally take his life. Except if you are a member of the Conservative government.
It is wrong for a state to take Smith's life without his consent, just as it was wrong for Smith to take the lives of his victims without their consent. A murder planned by friendly people, following the rules in a fair process and living in a "free" and "democratic"country is still a murder, regardless of the process.
If our government won't stand up for that principle of moral certainty and seek clemency for the most heinous, like Smith, because they accept the moral relativist position that human life can be taken if the circumstances are right, then they accept that any citizen's life can be taken if circumstance match those they decide are right. They have joined in this belief regimes such as Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Idi Amin. They agree on fundamentals - that human life can be taken by the state if the circumstances are "right" - and differ only in degree. And that minor degree is something that allows what Hannah Arndt called "the banality of evil" - that seemingly minor policies and actions by ordinary individuals can be used to perpetrate tremendous evil that seems banal and normal.
And this morally indefensible situation and policy was thrust upon Canada without consultation, debate or input from our supposed representatives. Once again, demonstrating that authoritarian, secretive, anti-democratic and arrogant nature of the Conservative government. It is even possible that this outrageous position was announced to simultaneously appeal to their angry, revenge-seeking socially conservative base and to draw attention away from the government's problems with the In and Out Scandal, poor polling numbers and once again its anti-democratic actions against it s own party members.
Canada is ruled, it seems, by an anti-democratic, authoritarian and secretive government that now considers the value of human life to be negotiable upon political considerations. This is nothing short of creeping fascism. Imagine what they would do with an unstoppable Majority. This is no longer about things like tax policy, the amount of social programs or the level of state interference in the economy. This Conservative Party has fundamentally, arbitrarily and unilaterally changed the relationship between the citizen and the state - the citizen is now expendable.
All Canadians of principle and everyone who respects the basic human right that no other person or institution can take away a human life - whether they are "left" or "right" Liberal, principled Conservatives, NDP, Green, Bloc, FCP or any other - should fight this change in policy by the Harper government. The principled must call their MP, write their MP, send letters to the editor and demand a proper debate and a repeal of this position. Principled Conservative need to re-claim their party from these extremists.
And if the Conservative Party continues with this policy, they have lost the moral authority to govern and any law or regulation they pass should be ignored. Refuse to cooperate. Stop paying taxes, license fees or other tariffs. Do not obey them.
Do not let the moral relativism of the Conservative Party drag Canada into a terrible darkness.