The Moral Right to Set Limits

December 4, 2010 • Family Planning, Daily Email Recap

The Moral Right to Set Limits
By Tim Murray

It is an article of faith among the politically correct that we have no moral right to say “No” to anybody who follows us. To do so would evidence the infamous “draw-bridge” mentality. “Now that you’re here, you want to pull up the ladder!” they taunt. Damn rights I do. And I have a right to do so. I have a right because, you see, there is only so much room here and well, I’m sorry, but I was here first. I may occupy a seat you covet at the table of an exclusive restaurant, but the restaurant is full to capacity as determined by safety rules and I am under no obligation to surrender it to you nor is the manager obligated to make room for you. I have no moral obligation and you have no “right”.

Similarly, you may want to squeeze on board an elevator already jammed beyond its carrying capacity, but I am not morally obliged to move over for you just because well, you’re from Edmonton, a Canadian citizen, a fellow human being and I wasn’t the first on board either. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that I was born here and you weren’t, or that I’m white and you’re not-it’s got everything to do with the fact that I got here early and you got here too late. I would suggest you find another restaurant or another elevator and come a little earlier.

Quadra Island residents, even relative newcomers, have a right to a “drawbridge” mentality. They have a right to say: “This is a population level which provides an acceptable range of services and amenities without compromising the quality of life we cherish, as defined by our ability to leave doors unlocked, know and trust our neighbours, our community spirit, our unblemished trails etc…and we want to keep the island at that level.” Quadra Islanders have a right to set limits, if they choose to. As have the residents of Qualicum Beach and Lasqueti Island or any locality. Now if local communities have the right to cap their population levels, then so do countries.

The primary moral responsibility of every community, of every nation, of every household, is to its own members.

We have been eating into natural capital, carrying capacity has long been exceeded, so we have a moral right, and more than that, a moral responsibility to set limits. To ignore this is to risk sinking our lifeboat by a misplaced compassion toward the infinite millions struggling in the rising waters, a compassion more efficiently directed toward our own passengers. It is not a matter of callousness vs. empathy, or cold indifference vs. moral responsibility, but a matter of where the empathy and the moral responsibility shall be placed.

The politically-correct do not have the Moral High Ground in any discussion about population, immigration or refugee limits. They simply choose to give the unlimited reservoir of outsiders greater consideration than the welfare of those of us who currently live here and the integrity of the natural environment that sustains us. They only know how to say “Yes”, when more than ever, we need to say “No!”. And to set limits to economic growth—-driven by a growing population and growing consumption.

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