Saturday, March 10, 2007

Being a good UU

Cuumbaya, CRAPonSundays, and Chalice Blog posting on political activism in UU Churches, and being a politically conservative UU; all prompted by this: UUA calls for shareholder votes on CEO pay.

****onSundays found the call embarrassing and drivel. I don't find it an especially politically conservative or liberal issue. Encouraging shareholder activism fine with me.

UUA does slide in a wider political-ethical issue though,
It’s a matter of social justice, said Tim Brennan, the UUA’s treasurer and vice president of finance, who filed the resolutions. “There are CEOs making as much in a day as the average worker makes in a year,” he said. The resolutions bring attention not only to the specific issue of executive compensation, he added, “but to the broader lack of fairness in the distribution of wealth in our country.”
We UU's seem to spout drivel here not because the issue a liberal one, but because we ignore the eithics of seizing from the wealthy to achieve income equality (listen to Clinton, I want to take those profits...).

What liberties do we lose to get equitable incomes; are the tradeoffs worth it? Who taxes, and how much? When have we reached equality? All questions needing answers and Brennan doesn't talk about them. I think because he, and many other UU's, share Sowell's bar of reason,

Many observers who say that they cannot understand how anyone can be worth $100 million a year do not realize that it is not necessary that they understand it, since it is not their money.

All of us have thousands of things happening around us that we do not understand. We use computers all the time but most of us could not build a computer if our life depended on it — and those few individuals who could probably couldn't grow orchids or train horses.

In short, we all have grossly inadequate knowledge in other people's specialties.

The idea that everything must "justify itself before the bar of reason" goes back at least as far as the 18th century. But that just makes it a candidate for the longest-running fallacy in the world.

Given the high degree of specialization in a modern economy, demanding that everything "justify itself before the bar of reason" means demanding that people who know what they are doing must be subject to the veto of people who don't have a clue about the decisions that they are second-guessing.

It means demanding that ignorance override knowledge.
Brennan just slips the broader issue into the call, unexamined; because he takes it for granted reasonable people understand.

We UU's leave unexamined our faith in the bar of reason . Given the history of the last century that makes us seem naive.

And it doesn't help we also appear bit blind to the rest of the world's peoples when we say ...distribution of wealth in our country... An oversight I think an internationally minded Evangelical, just like an international corporation, less prone to do today.

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Above all written because I felt like I should first post on ****onSudays original point (that **** bothers me although I swear freely; just never in print).

What really caught my eye though was this sentence in Cuumbaya's post,
Those who don’t understand how a good UU can be a political conservative....
Who is a good UU?

I go back to my Church's covenant,
Being desirous of promoting practical goodness in the world, and aiding each other in our moral and religious improvement, we have associated ourselves together: not as agreeing in opinion, not as having attained universal truth in belief or perfection in character, but as seekers after Truth & Goodness.
If one can affirm those words, support the Church, and attend service regularly, I'd say you're a good UU. The Geneva Church has been there since 1846 and politics has changed over and over during the years, but the covenant holds up pretty well.

But I'll post more on this one as there was plenty to reflect on in these posts.

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