The slop factor reconsidered. A repost

What makes the world go 'round

I have noticed many of Zjabs columns are observations concerning the imperfections of reality.

Zjabs of course is always ready with what SHOULD be done to correct the obvious errors he has uncovered and spotlighted.

In his dream of that perfect world he knows exactly what that Nirvana SHOULD look like.

I hope he is not holding his breath awaiting it.

Carrie Nation and others had the idealistic vision of a perfect world that could easily be reached by banning one of the factors that obviously leads to its imperfection, alchohol, even though the Bible says otherwise.

Alchoholic beverages and their consumption has been a part of human evolution for many reasons including that one feels good after drinking and alchohol destroys pathogens in water making it a good way to safely store and consume it.

The Bible counsels to "take a bit of wine for thy stomach's sake" so it must also aid in the digestive process if not imbibed in too great a quantity.

Still notables like Ben Franklin focused on the harmful social effects of drinking as did Joseph Smith and other Christian leaders.

So who is right? Do we follow Zjabs philosophy of absolutes and eliminate any factor seen as deleterious to human society and its evolution or are there unintended consequences of that type drastic action?

Then of course there is the other Zjabs;the Libertarian guy who says eliminate all restrictions on the sale and posession of all drugs. That is of course the other absolute position. It would be an interesting world for a while.

Perhaps the well known history of the unintended consequences of the Volstead act and later rescinding of that well intentioned Constitutional amendment could serve as an example that the majority sometimes is in error when they desire a change and vote directly for it no matter how good the idea may seem at the moment.

Modern post Prohibition society recognizes that alcohol consumption can be dangerous under certain circumstances. Currently there are many laws and customs regulating its use without totally banning it.

The "slop factor" is recognized and considered of using the common sense where exceptions can be allowed for in preference to the absolute ideals of the Should People.

This is also true with many other areas of human society and behavior.

Allowances are considered and made rather than knee-jerk absolute responses to recognizing that sometimes there are unintended consequences that MAY need to be recognized and MUST not be dealt with on an arbitrary basis.

However some of the SHOULD people will always be there to demand that their ideals be followed without consideration of the unintended consequences that often rear their ugly head when idealists grab the reins of social leadership.

I like and respect idealism but consider it a poor form of government philosophy. It is a good source of ideas that then are best modified by practical considerations.

Those ascribing to the principles of Absolute Truth will claim they know what it is all about and consider it the ideal to govern human activity with.

The only absolute that I can agree with is the fact that a human being will never be one hundred correct forever in their interpretation of that principle. The slop factor will always be there to prove to that absolutist that exceptions remain where he may only see certainty.

It is like the need to adjust a machine to the parameters or tolerances that it is designed to operate best with. Try tightening every nut and bolt to the extreme and watch what happens.

It is why the torque wrench was invented and well used by competent mechanics.

© 2009 Matt 7:6 - 3/20/14


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