What are principles?
PRINCIPLES: What are they anyway?
What are Principles?
According to the 1913 edition of Websters it is "A fundamental truth; a comprehensive law or doctrine, from which others are derived, or on which others are founded; a general truth; an elementary proposition; a maxim; an axiom; a postulate."
A principle is an absolute, if you have a principle to guide you in moral behaviour then it is an absolute. The best way I can describe this is to quote Leonard Read.
"... most of us are committed to the Biblical injunction, "Thou shalt not steal." This is based on the moral principle that each person has the right to the fruits of his own labor. The point I wish to make - my major point - is that this as a principle defies compromise. You either take someone else's property without his consent, or you do not. If you steal just a bit - a penny - you do not compromise the principle; you abandon it. You surrender your principle."
Can you see what this means? If it is morally wrong to take someones belongings without their consent its ALWAYS morally wrong. A moral principle such as this is not a sliding scale to be altered at will - its an either/or proposition. You are either stealing or you are not - there are no grey areas. Many people don't like to face that truth, but it remains true.
If you support a law which breaks with the above principle, such as a tax hike or forfeiture laws, you are saying its ok to take people's belongings without their consent and open yourself up to plunder - you've given up your right to your own property by saying that ownership is subject to other peoples will.
If you agree to curtailing someones freedom of speech, however slight the restriction and however repugnant the speech may seem, you are saying that speech is not free and yours may be crushed in the future - you've given up your right to speak freely by abandoning the principle that a person may speak freely.
If you want to understand how your freedoms have been eroded by laws, directives & controls then look no further. Every time a freedom of one kind or another is eroded 'just a little bit' for whatever purpose the underlying principle is abandoned and the right it supported - the rights to your own life and liberty - sink into quicksand.
America is slipping already, Fulton Huxtable details this process in his new book Fatal Blindness which is published on the net. I have read parts of it and the paralells with Nazi Germany and current day Britain are frighteningly insightful.
If you want to retain your freedom in choosing what to do with your life, who to associate with, how to raise your children, what to do with your property then in every issue consider the underlying principle and ask which of your freedoms would you be giving up, then defend them. In practice it means demanding lower taxes, saying no to legislation which restricts your choices for yourself and your loved ones. Its the only life you have, and its yours, don't let other people claim it.