By J.G. Franklin
Over the last ten years living in Brazil, I have come to the conclusion that word choice, when speaking, writing, or communicating in any language, truly DOES matter.
“Why does it matter?”, you might ask. I would answer, “Because the most correctly-worded and well-crafted statements are usually the most impactful and the most persuasive.”
Word choice, when correctly applied, demonstrates one’s true level of conscientiousness, rather than simply one’s consciousness – especially since those two words are very, very different in meaning!!
“Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being careful or vigilant. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well, and to take obligations to others seriously. Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.” [All bolding and underlining has been added for emphasis]
That is to say that ‘conscience’ and ‘conscientiousness’ are nouns referring to the awareness that one’s actions are right or wrong, as in one’s “guilty conscience“, while ‘conscious’ is an adjective meaning “awake” or “alert.” If you were asleep, you would be “unconscious.” [All bolding and underlining has been added for emphasis]
This explains why being ‘conscious’ is NOT the same as being ‘conscientious’, nor is ‘consciousness’ the same as ‘conscientiousness’.
I, and many others, are conscious of the words ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’. However, seemingly, very few people are truly conscientious in their use of those same words. The same goes for words like ‘ethical’ and ‘moral’ as well as ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’.
It is truly appalling that we as a human species have seemingly devolved so much as to be unable and unwilling to truly and consciously comprehend the difference in the true meanings of the aforementioned words and to consistently apply those same words conscientiously.
The word ‘freedom’ connotates an immature version of ‘liberty’. Being truly ‘free’ is wonderful, to be sure. However, as Frederic Hayek stated, “Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions and will receive praise or blame for them. Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.”[All bolding and underlining has been added for emphasis]
I would argue that the word ‘ethical’ is different from ‘moral’ – as in morals or mores – in the same way. The former is a higher or more evolved version of the latter. Morals and mores can be very subjective; they differ from culture to culture and region to region; they might be manifested, in practice, as an immature version of the former, that being ‘ethics’, because they lack the fundamental element which makes the former “better or more evolved”. That element is ‘informed consent’.
I would like to clarify that I mean ‘informed consent’ much more broadly, as in all possible senses than just the apparently limited definition within the medical community.
Whereas ‘morals / ethics’ and ‘freedom / liberty’ are connected – in that the first is an immature or less evolved version of the second – the words ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’ are absolutely antithetical; that is to say that they are completely the opposite of one another.
So, one can NEVER be the other. Why is it then that so many people confuse them?
The word ‘rights’ properly refers to anything that is universal among ALL human beings. The most well-known example of this would be those rights to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ as stated in the u.S. Declaration of Independence.
But please keep in mind that those same ‘rights’ would STILL exist independently of the creation of the founding documents of the united states. That’s the point!!!
‘Rights’ are never, and can never be, given or granted; they are simply recognized as being pre-existent!!! That is to say that they pre-date any form of government anywhere and at any time in human history!!
Therefore, since they were never given or granted, they can never be taken away or infringed upon. Anything that any government at any level anywhere tells you to the contrary is nothing less than collectivist propaganda!!!
‘Privileges’ on the other hand, can be and are, indeed, given or granted. They are not, by nature, universal. And, as such, they can, indeed, be more arbitrarily taken away.
The recent “plandemic” is very illustrative of the extent to which we, the human species, have devolved. The vast majority of us seem to be only interested in continuing to talk at cross purposes, having already determined the outcome we each want based solely on our own, respective, ‘truth’.
However, as Richard Whately has correctly stated, “Everyone wishes to have truth on his side, but not everyone wishes to be on the side of truth.”
I phrased it another way when I wrote that there is a world of difference between being in possession of, or “owning”, a piece of THE TRUTH and being in possession of your “own” ‘truth’!!
What we are both stating, emphatically, is that there is such a thing as objective and universal TRUTH!! Consequently, the harmonization of the various objectively provable perspectives of what is true inevitably leads to the integral truth.
The two most important truths, or principles, if you’d prefer, that have apparently been forgotten, ignored, or were never bothered with in the past are as follows:
1) NO government, of any level or of any size, has any RIGHTS of any kind!! AT MOST, they have temporary and limited access to the dispensation of OUR rights for the SOLE PURPOSE of fulfilling their DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES.
2) THE MOST IMPORTANT DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY GOVERNMENT IS (and should be) TO MAKE ITSELF UNNECESSARY!!! This should be done through the empowerment of each citizen, which would help them achieve a greater level of self-sustainability self-sufficiency that would, in turn, promote their independence and their LIBERTY from the government.
If we could all, each of us, truly perceive and focus on this indisputably and fundamentally objective level – at the beginning of every discussion and in every interaction that we have with anyone else – we’d all be much better off and the world would, indubitably, be a much better place!!