Category Archives: Principle

Election Royal Rumble

**UPDATE**

WE ARE AGAINST RIOTING AND THREATS AGAINST OUR HOME THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

We are in a moment of history where I dare not predict the results.

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Tough choices ahead – right now – ether way seems like an utterly disastrous tipping point!

Picking one group over the other almost seems like social suicide to me. Does anyone else feel like that??

In the end, who will win the Election Royal Rumble?

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First offI voted for Obama in both terms – because one reason was I felt John Mccain and Sarah Palin were not what the country needed at the time, so I decided not to vote for them.

In the 2004 election with John Kerry, I sided with Bush.

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My personal take is that we may have come to a crossroads.

This might be stretching it but right now I feel we must choose between the lesser of the two evils. 

I love this country, and I love all minorities. I like both parties and respect all religions. 

But we are really in trouble. With all the drug companies out there – pushing pills for profits – America is asleep at the wheel. And right before we go off the cliff, America has opened up one eye – all bloodshot and startled – because we are waking up out of our coma.

God only knows I bet on the underdog too much. Most of those bets are loss causes – but I value ambition and determination.

So anyway – what I find interesting is how hateful one side is over to the other.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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For some strange reason, this reminds me of the civil war. 156 years ago.

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Republican Abraham Lincoln was our anti-slavery president. The election of Lincoln in 1860 caused seven southern states to form the Confederate States of America. Then four more states joined after the war started.

Fast forward on April 14, 1865 after the Confederate General surrendered thus ending the war, only then was Lincoln assassinated. History shows we are not too kind to people who make a difference. Who remembers John F. Kennedy? What was his problem?

I wonder – what would our country be like if Lincoln lost the election?

Why did so many people believe in slavery back then? Why did they not see the cruelness – the injustice – or the theft of humanity of it at all?

Human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. They should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Whatever the political environment – you would think that this slavery issue would be a no-brainer. But – it seems the social stigma of the idea persisted – and it was resisted at every, single, turn.

They wanted things to stay the same, period.

I personally despise change – but – it is a fact of life that everything will eventually change.

2.4 million soldiers were killed in that war. Was that war even necessary?

When I think about different ideas, I think about that John F. Kennedy dude. Why was he killed again? What was his crime?

Oh, thinking outside the box is bad. Baaad.                                                                  Did someone want to change things again?  Hmm.

Personally – we have two bad choices. Libertarian sounds good about now.

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Now whatever happens, I will support the chosen candidate. Voting with pure conscience I placed a vote to the best choice I felt to be good for me and my country.

This website is built mostly to inspire others and to guide myself. I put my money, time, and energy in this – because I believe in it. It is also my awareness to others – and a portal where I can channel my passions and express myself.

I also wanted to make sure you were all aware – that the Fed has not raised interest rates. I will spare you the ironic facts of this issue – but why they have waited so long, god only knows.

But we face many problems on the horizon that need to be seriously tackled. We have kicked the can so far down the road – it is mind-boggling to think we can’t really find solutions to some of these problems. Is nobody smart enough to do some adding?

After the election – I will discuss the aftermath. With the new President Elect – what really needs to happen in the next decade.

I try not to make this site too religious or too political – but it happens. Oh – so here is some troubling info.

In 12 years – we will have exhausted our reserves in 2028 – bankrupting medicade. SOURCE

So that means – unless we really do something – you and your children won’t have it.

In 30 years it will be all gone – even social security. Social Security and disability trust fund reserves are estimated to run out in 2034 – 18 years from now. When the kids get in highschool…

Ya I know – nobody really cares about the numbers, the fine print… – we got other problems…

So there are other pressing matters. Maybe like – supreme court judges – immigration – culture – racism – suppression of facts – and the kitchen sink while were at it.

I honestly can’t tell you really what the hell is really going on. I have a bright idea – but no cigar.

All I know is – we need both sides – all people – to come together and TRY HARDER.

We need to stop ripping people’s heads off when they think differently (thanks Jobs) – and need to find civilized solutions and solve these problems.

Realize that the only way America will lose – is when the nation is truly divided and tears itself apart from the inside.

It happened 156 years ago during the civil war. The nation was divided, and it costs our country dearly. From what I was reading in history around that time it was hell on earth. I really hope in this case, that I am totally wrong.

Don’t let your kids look you in the eye years from now and say – why did you let it all go?

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We desperately need to make the tough choices today to have a worthy future and a destiny that we can all be proud of. Even during times of great uncertainty – may our prodigious courage shine through.

Thanks for reading everyone, we love you, and please vote on Election Day 2016 !

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Issac Newton

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Issac Newton was one of the greatest scientists of all time.

He laid out the three laws of motion in his masterpiece Principia Mathematica. He discovered the law of universal gravitation, the famous inverse-distance-squared law. Also he wrote deeply about light and optics after performing his own original experiments on light.

This guy invented calculus. He rejected the authority of the great Greek philosopher Aristotle and promoted experiment-based science. He challenged the established laws, theories, and ideas.

What was interesting to me was he was a very deep believer in a higher power. I never knew that..newton-photo-pound

He spent decades delving in the secrets of alchemy and science, but even longer studying the Bible, theology and church history.

Newton wrote 1.3 million words about theology and Biblical prophecy. He was a Christian. This all amounts to far more words written about  theology than all of Newton’s  writings about science combined.

His passion for the study of God’s word the Bible and it’s history was equally as consuming as all his interests in science and physics.

At the time of his death, he left more than a million words of notes on the Bible.

Six years after his death, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John was published. Not only was Isaac a great scientist but also a dedicated student of the Bible.

One of Newton’s writings about the bible I will share with you.

Newton found multiple examples throughout history of reformations by God:

The worship which is due to this God we are to give to no other nor to ascribe anything absurd or contradictions to his nature or actions lest we be found to blaspheme him or to deny him or to make a step towards atheism or irreligion. . . .

For as often as mankind has swerved from them, God has made a reformation. When the sons of Adam erred and the thoughts of their heart became evil continually, God selected Noah to people a new world. And when the posterity of Noah transgressed and began to invoke dead men,

God selected Abraham and his posterity. And when they transgressed in Egypt God reformed them by Moses. And when they relapsed to idolatry and immorality, God sent Prophets to reform them and punished them by the Babylonian captivity. And when they that returned from captivity, mixed human inventions with the law of Moses under the name of traditions, and laid the stress of religion not upon the acts of the mind, but upon outward acts and ceremonies, God sent Christ to reform them.

And when the nation received him not, God called the Gentiles. And now the Gentiles have corrupted themselves, we may expect that God in due time will make a new reformation. And in all the reformations of religion hitherto made, the religion in respect of God and our neighbor is one and the same religion . . . so that this is the oldest religion in the world.

Aristotle and Plato lived about four hundred years before Christ and their impact on Western culture has been considerable. Newton was certainly heavily influenced by Jesus Christ and the early Christian writers, for he quoted them abundantly in his writings. Newton was born on the same day in 1642 that Galileo passed away, and he used many of Galileo’s findings in developing his famous laws of motion. Isaac Newton died in 1727.

Real quick – Galileo Galilei, though famous for his scientific achievements in astronomy, mathematics, and physics, and infamous for his controversy with the church was, in fact, a devout Christian who saw not a divorce of religion and science but only a healthy marriage: “God is known by nature in his works, and by doctrine in his revealed word.”

Very inspiring that the father of modern science would be so interested in the word. My personal take on the bible is many kings and rulers have tried to destroy it. You were killed if you had possession of one. Somehow it survived thousands of years. Coincidence?

We respect whatever you believe, all religions, all races, all people with a beating heart. However – I find it striking that these men who were so brilliant wrote about the word.

I also do not belong to a church at this time, the word of god is in your heart, your blood, and it needs not money or showmanship but real love and belief in the light.

“What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.” – ISSAC NEWTON

Political Leaks

Emails leaked, the DNC leader resigns due to the email content… So where is our democracy? Has it been hijacked?

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If Clinton takes in all this money from other countries for her comfort and the foundation – what does that really mean? What exactly is that money in exchange for? You think I would give you hundreds of thousands of dollars and not want anything back?

We must be United. Washington said we would never fail from foreign enemy’s, but from within. They knew before we did.

Were Just Getting Started

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have dropped out of the Republican presidential race.

There will still be many challenges to overcome, but we are with Trump. Strength has been gaining from the much needed right in the GOP.

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Credit to Migel Parry at CNN for this picture

We might have a leader with balls to put respect all around the world. China and Putin are powerful, and yet – they respect Trump.

Ted Cruz is done and out of the Republican presidential race, making headway for Donald to be the GOP Presidential nominee.

This was a shock as it seemed destined just a few weeks ago that we would end up a contested convention this summer. Cruz had insisted that he would stay in the race until June 7.

Following a painstaking loss to Donald Trump in Indiana, John also suspended his campaign.

Kasich was there all the way till the end – it has been reported that he called his closest friends saying “My heart is not in this.”

Donald Trump, who emerged as the presumptive GOP nominee Tuesday night -when Ted Cruz dropped out.

Trump needs 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination before a contested convention. He has currently has over 1,000.

They put everything on the line in Indiana – and still got beaten.

We wholeheartedly respect these two men, and wish them the best of luck. They are still gears in the American engine.

I believe it takes heart and guts to run for President. Cruz and Kasich had both.

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Liberty

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Mossack Fonseca

Unfortunately, all citizens have to pay taxes. We all need to pay our fair share. Nobody looks forward to it. It isn’t easy or fun – but it’s important in society that we contribute to our streets, roads, first respondents, and contribute to education.

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes – Benjamin Franklin.

Today it was recently discovered that a global investigation has been started on Mossack Fonseca – the world’s fourth-largest offshore company provider. The Panama Papers, a hoard of 11.5m documents, show how long this activity has been occurring.

There was a massive leak of documents recently discovered, that for the first time, how active this bank was helping wealthy and powerful leaders cheat our system. They assisted in helping individuals to do everything in their power, both legal and illegal, to avoid paying taxes.

We rarely report illegal events, but as the USA tax due day slowly closes in, we feel our duty as Patriots to point out this disgrace of cheating our country and the world.

We are about America, and as much as I question the practices of the IRS, this discovery of documents paints an ugly picture of pure fraud on many levels.

The documents reveal the bank is a mill of offshore tax evasion, and tax havens. Data from the World Bank, IMF, UN, and central banks, show cash hidden between $21 and $32 trillion, where registered incorporation agents and law firms operate in small Caribbean countries.

They make the laundering of money and the “disappearance” of the wealthy, into untraceable numbers hidden behind shell companies, possible. The list ICIJ revealed 100,000 HSBC clients who had been dutifully avoiding the payment of taxes.mossack_FRAUD_stats_2

Thirty Two Trillion Dollars of Fraud. Unbelievable. These are immense numbers and it shows that the tax code needs to be corrected and enforced. Sadly, a better system is desperately needed to be put in it’s place. If you steal 32 trillion dollars – you are stealing from the world. Everything goes up when this injustice is done including inflation, devaluation of currency, and core corruption.

I believe taxes should be lowered, even for the rich. But when people cheat – it ruins this concept, and taxes are forced to rise.

We can only hope this will be prosecuted and I would also point out the huge amount of world leaders involved in this. Shocking to thenumber28.

The tax code needs to be over-hulled, simplified, and enforced.

Saint Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day 2016!

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Today, on Febuary 14th, 2016 – let’s continued be inspired. To learn how to give more, to love greater, and to believe in the power of Virtue.

On Valentine’s day we see all the red flowers, cards, and a cycle of expectations and material things. While this is good in it’s own way, it isn’t the point and certainly not the only way to show love.

Love is beyond those pink ribbons, chocolate boxes, and post cards. While I give them myself, due to an expectation, we shouldn’t be required to.

Give flowers every month, chocolates every week. Give love everyday. Why not?

Why do we even have Valentine’s Day?

You can Thank Saint Valentine.

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Saint Valentine was a Roman Priest during the reign of Emperor Claudias, who had persecuted members of the church at that particular time.

Claudias had enacted a law that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers – because married soldiers might be afraid to die if they had wives or families to go back to.

The legend claims that soldiers were sparse at the time so this was a big inconvenience to Emperor Claudias. Valentine also refused to sacrifice to the pagan roman gods, as Christ never commanded this.

Valentine lived in very harsh and critical times, and he had the courage to go against this confinement edict.

The church established that marriage was very sacred and believed that it was to be encouraged. This immediately presented a problem to the church about what to do.

The idea of encouraging people to marry, under God, was what Valentine was all about. And he secretly married them despite the edict law.

Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second.

One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind.

Valentine performed a miracle through God and Christ when he prayed with the daughter, and healed the young girl of blindness and sickness.

Because of this miracle, with such astonishing effect, the roman judge Asterius himself became a Christian as the result.

In the year of 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation.

The last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter, and then he signed it, “from your Valentine.”

Valentine was killed because he did the right thing, he believed in marriage, love, and that men have the right under god to be married and united.

Valentine has come to be known as the patron Saint of Lovers. Before you enter into a Christian marriage, it requires a priest to secure your vows, under God.
saint_valentine1To this day, White friars Street Church is one church that house the remains of Valentine. Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honor the courage, and memory of this Christian Saint.

Trump Tops Iowa 28%

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The Number 28 Inc. proudly supports Mr. Donald J. Trump to be our next president of the United States of America and lead the free world.

Currently he holds the #1 lead at twenty eight percent.

Donald J Trump Leads at 28%

We endorse him and wish him luck tomorrow at the Iowa Caucus 2016 event on February 1st, 2016.

Our country has done great things, putting a man on the moon just touches the surface on the freedoms and social conquests for humanity that the USA has established.

I fear what the world would become without the USA. However corruption, politics, greed, and gluttony has destroyed a once mighty nation. Our forefathers are rolling in their graves.

We NEED to Make America Great Again.

I believe in his pledge, his vision, and trust him to get the job done correctly and honorably.

We here at thenumber28 salute you, Mr. Trump. Godspeed.

Currently Donald J. Trump has surged past Ted Cruz in Iowa, while Hillary Clinton is holding a three-point lead over Bernie Sanders, according to the final Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll before the Iowa caucuses.

Trump leads Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 5 points.

Trump captures the support of 28 percent of likely caucus-goers, compared to 23 percent for Cruz, 15 percent for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and 10 percent for former neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

On the Democratic, the data shows Clinton up over Sanders 45 to 42 percent, with just three percent for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

I believe in America, I believe in Mr. Trump.

In God We Trust. Go Trump !!

Actor Bob Hoskins, in Roger Rabbit dead at 71

I loved who framed roger rabbit, and Bob has now passed.

He will be missed, another great loss.

Bob Hoskins, the pugnacious British actor known for playing gangsters, tough guys and working-class gentlemen in such films as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “The Long Good Friday” and “Mermaids,” has died, publicist Clair Dobbs said Wednesday.

Hoskins was 71.

His passing comes nearly two years after he retired from acting following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Hoskins was perhaps best known for 1988’s live-action and animation hybrid “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” In the comedy, he played detective Eddie Valiant, who hates “toons” — cartoon figures who live in a separate showbiz world bordering Valiant’s 1940s Los Angeles — and takes up the task of proving the innocence of the cartoon title character, accused of murder. The film was the second-highest grossing movie of 1988, after “Rain Man.”

He followed the turn with performances in a variety of films, including 1991’s “Hook” in which he played Smee, the pirate assistant of Captain Hook; 1995’s “Nixon” as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover; and 2001’s “Last Orders” as the gambler friend of protagonist Michael Caine, whose pals gather to spread his ashes after his death.

Hoskins was nominated for an Oscar for 1986’s “Mona Lisa” as a cabdriver who establishes a relationship with a high-priced call girl. Caine was also in the film. Hoskins won both a BAFTA and Golden Globe for his performance.

Robert Hoskins was born on October 26, 1942, in Bury St. Edmunds, England, the only child of a bookkeeper and a cook. He dropped out of school at 15 and took jobs as a truck driver and window cleaner, among others, before falling into acting by accident: A friend was auditioning for a part and Hoskins, who was waiting nearby, was asked to try out. A natural, he got the role.

“I fit into this business like a sore foot into a soft shoe,” he told the UK paper The Telegraph in 2009.

In Britain, he gained fame for his performance as a Depression-era song-plugger in Dennis Potter’s miniseries “Pennies From Heaven,” later turned into a 1980 movie starring Steve Martin.

Though he had a handful of recognizable roles in films after “Pennies” — including 1980’s “The Long Good Friday,” 1982’s “Pink Floyd the Wall” and 1985’s “Brazil” (in which he played a gleefully malevolent repairman), it wasn’t until “Roger Rabbit” that he broke through to mainstream American audiences.

That film drove him a bit nuts, he told The Telegraph.

“I think I went a bit mad while working on that. Lost my mind. The voice of the rabbit was there just behind the camera all the time,” he recalled. “The trouble was, I had learnt how to hallucinate. My daughter had an invisible friend called Jeffrey and I played with her and this invisible friend until one day I actually saw the friend.”

It was his daughter, however, who set him straight.

“My daughter, when I came back from filming in San Francisco, she said ‘Dad, slow down, slow down. You’re going barmy, mate.’ And I was.”

Always a steady and straightforward worker — no “Method acting” for Hoskins — he appeared in at least one production every year from 1972 until his retirement in 2012.

“There’s two things I love about this business. One’s acting and the other one’s getting paid for it,” he told the UK paper The Guardian in 2007. “The rest of it is a mystery to me.”

In one of his last roles, he played the elf Muir in 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” In the 2011 TV miniseries and Peter Pan prequel “Neverland,” he played Smee — a character he had portrayed in “Hook.”

But true to his working-class roots — The Telegraph described his natural voice as “cockney as jellied eels” — he hated to put on airs.

“I met a little old fella in Regent’s Park when I was walking a character around. He said, ‘You are who you are, ain’t you?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I am who I am.’ And he said, ‘That’s good. I grow roses,’ ” Hoskins recalled. “And we sat talking about roses all afternoon. It was wonderful.”

Hoskins is survived by his wife, Linda Banwell, and four children.

The President Moves us Forward

Tonight is the 28th of January – State of the Union –

We hope everyone had an amazing new year, and this year will be even better!

First 28th of the year – we are inspired by god and his wisdom – so as I try to stay positive as I break through the difficult times.

This State of our Union speech was on tonight given by the Prez. This is the 6th union speech given by President Obama. So, I gave it a go.

I really don’t know – but I do hope the President can delivery. I want to believe him. 5 years later – I just want to get us all moving on the same page. We balance each other.

Like 9/11 – America needs to be united before we can take on our Debt and world challenges. One thing he did say was climate change is a fact – and I do continue to feel that proved consecutive year after year, records in all.

The year of action. That’s what 2014 is all about for President Barack Obama, and it was the underlying theme of Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

Click here to Keep reading!!

Felony DUI for Justin Bieber

Drunk Driving Isn't Cool
We have a responsibility to our community not to drive intoxicated.

Children, elderly, mothers and fathers are driving the streets every single day.

Do you know someone who was affected by a drunk driver?

This just happened yesterday at 4am Miami time. He retired right into DUI and resisting arrest. Check out the scope:

Justin Bieber was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after police saw the pop star street racing early Thursday morning, Miami Beach police said.

“What the f*** did I do? Why did you stop me?” Bieber asked the police officer who pulled him over just after 4 a.m., according to the arrest report.

Bieber, 19, was released from a Miami jail an hour after he made a brief appearance through a video link before a Miami judge, who set a “standard” $2,500 bond Thursday afternoon.

He strutted out of the jail dressed in black, with a baggy hoodie covering his head. His pants appeared to be baggy leather. Bieber briefly sat on top of a black Cadillac Escalade, where he waved to screaming fans, before he was chauffeured away.

Bieber was booked into a Miami jail after failing a sobriety test, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told reporters Thursday.

Bieber “made some statements that he had consumed some alcohol, and that he had been smoking marijuana and consumed some prescription medication,” Martinez said.

A Miami Beach officer saw Bieber driving a yellow Lamborghini in a race against a red Ferrari in a residential area of Miami Beach, Martinez said. The cars were speeding at about 55 to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone, he said.


The officer pulled Bieber’s car over, but the singer was “was not cooperating with the officer’s instructions,” Martinez said.

“At first, he was a little belligerent, using some choice words questioning why he was being stopped and why the officer was even questioning him,” he said.

He allegedly ignored a police officer’s request to keep his hands on the car while he did “a cursory patdown for weapons,” the report said.

“I ain’t got no f***ing weapons,” the arresting officer quoted Bieber as saying. “Why do you have to search me? What the f*** is this about?”

The arrest report describes Bieber as having a “flushed face, bloodshot eyes, and the odor of alcohol on his breath.”

We are shocked that this young man is making all these terrible decisions in life. Thank god nobody was hurt or killed – drunk driving is very serious and I doubt this was the first time Mr. Bieber participated.

We hope you give back to the community and fight drunk drivers like yourself, abandon this lifestyle Justin and hire some advisors. And maybe get some limo drivers?

Alcohol was involved

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 32,885 people died in traffic crashes in 2010 in the United States (latest figures available), including an estimated 10,228 people who died in drunk driving crashes, accounting for 31% of all traffic deaths that year.

Since NHTSA began recording alcohol-related statistics in 1982, drunk driving fatalities have decreased 52% from 21,113 in 1982. Since the inception of The Century Council and our national efforts to fight drunk driving, drunk driving fatalities have declined 35% from 15,827 in 1991. (Source: NHTSA/FARS, 2011)

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WTF is a Person Of Principle?

Wow this guy Ramsey McNabb is insane! This was interesting.

Usually, when someone is called a ‘person of principle’ it is meant as a compliment. For the most part, we take that phrase as applying to the ethical elite: those who lead highly moral lives, and never, or at least rarely, fail to follow their moral principles. A person of principle means someone who faithfully follows their principle or set of principles rather than abandoning them when convenient. If faced with a seemingly difficult decision in life, he or she will refer to his or her guiding set of principles and then merely deduce the correct action from it. If on rare occasions such principled people do not behave according to their principles, they would consider such actions to be moral mistakes on their part.

A Christian would certainly strive to be a person of principle. Such a person would live his or her life according to the moral guidelines set out in the Bible, especially for instance the Ten Commandments. Suppose Norbert, a Christian, really wants to get his son a wristwatch from the local department store, but cannot afford to pay for it. He is quite certain that he could steal the watch without being caught. To resolve his inner dispute, all he has to do is refer to his set of guiding principles, and he will recall that “Thou shalt not steal” applies. Norbert, being a man of principle, leaves the store disappointed, without the watch, but also without having violated his principle, and therefore without having acted immorally.

A committed utilitarian is also a person of principle. Suppose Amina is walking down the street, on her way to tutor a boy she knows so that he can pass his upcoming biology test. Suddenly she sees two children stumble into a crevasse left by last week’s earthquake. No one else is around, and it would probably take quite some time for her either to save the children herself, or call for help and wait for it to arrive. She is faced with a dilemma. She can go do her tutoring, and ignore the accident she just witnessed; or she can help the children and miss her tutoring commitment. Being a committed utilitarian, and therefore a person of principle, all she needs to do is consult her guiding principle: “Do whatever will bring about the greatest good for the greatest number.” That solves her problem, because saving the two trapped and wounded girls helps the people who are most in need, and it also helps the greater number of people.

A person who lives her life by Kant’s ethical theory would also be a person of principle. Suppose that Terra, a Kantian, finds a fifty-dollar bill on a football field, and she pockets it, because after looking carefully, she does not see anyone else around. Lucky for her, because she could sure use the money to buy her mom that ceramic pit bull terrier for Christmas. However, ten minutes later, Biff, the quarterback of the football team, comes over to the field and seems to be scouring the ground, as if he’s looking for something he lost. Terra quickly concludes that the money is probably his. Being a person of principle she consults Kant’s categorical imperative, which is her highest guiding principle: “Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will to become a universal law.” She figures on that basis that anyone who finds money should be able to keep it if they don’t know to whom it belongs. But the case has changed, and she couldn’t possibly will that everyone should always keep the property of others just because they’ve briefly misplaced it. She returns the money to Biff, who promptly uses it to buy a ceramic football player for his father.

These are people of principle. They have beliefs and they are committed to living their lives according to those principles. They seem to be highly moral people who make excellent ethical choices. But watch where their principles take them…

Norbert the Christian is invited to go flying with his pilot friend Erica. They fly up north for about an hour, but then the engine gives out and Erica crash-lands the plane in a farmer’s field. Erica is trapped in the cockpit and begs for water. Norbert leaves her and runs to the nearby farmhouse. He knocks on the door but there is no answer. He notices a “NO TRESPASSING” sign. He also notices a hose attached to a tap on the side of the house. He could get water for Erica, but that would be stealing, since he has not been given permission by the owner. Norbert, being a person of principle, will not steal, no matter the case, so he fails to provide Erica with her much-needed water.

When our utilitarian, Amina, grows older, she becomes a doctor. A patient, Mr. Wiggles, comes to see her because he has sliced his finger badly. It’s only hanging on by a flap of skin. Mr. Wiggles would like Amina to repair his hand; but she has other ideas. She has four severely ill patients, who all need urgent transplants to survive their illnesses. The first needs a heart transplant; the second needs two new lungs; the third a bone marrow transplant; and the fourth needs a new liver. When she checks his medical files, Amina notices that Mr. Wiggles is a perfect match for all these patients. Amina sedates and slaughters him (against his will), and uses his organs to save the other patients. She manages to keep the entire procedure a secret from the public, and from everyone involved. She has brought about the greatest good for the greatest number of people. She has sacrificed one life, but saved four.

Our Kantian, Terra, sees a young girl run past frantically. The girl scurries underneath a nearby parked Honda Civic and hides. Moments later, a notorious escaped murderer comes onto the scene and inquires into the whereabouts of the girl. Terra thinks about Kant’s categorical imperative, and realizing that she could not universalize the maxim of her action if she were to lie, she decides to tell the truth, and thereafter the young girl is attacked and killed.

There is an exception to every rule, they say, and maybe they’re right, especially in ethics. Maybe being a person of principle isn’t such a good idea after all…

Dealing With The Exception

The exception is perhaps the greatest obstacle for any moral theory to deal with. You adopt a supposedly ideal moral system which should tell you what to do to act morally in any possible case: all you have to do is deduce the proper action from your principle or set of principles, then follow it. No problem. You’ll be doing the right thing, and acting without sin. But then you run into that odd, unexpected situation where following your rulebook doesn’t seem so neat and tidy. This new case is special, unique, and unanticipated by your ethical system. In fact, it just feels wrong to follow the rules here in this instance. Do you go with your rulebook, or your current intuition?

There are many who would step in and try to defend principled (rulebook style) ethics. They have three obvious defenses:

(1) Simply deny that apparent problems create exceptions.

(2) Hold the view that principles can be rewritten so that the apparent exceptions are no longer exceptions.

(3) Argue that each apparent exceptional case is really a case of conflicting principles, where two or more principles both apply, but one is overruled by another of greater priority.

The first defence holds that there are no exceptional cases. This means that when our current intuition clashes with the principle on which we base our moral system, we should follow our principle, no matter how wrong it might feel.

While this response avoids the problem of the exception, it pays a price that is far too high, often leading us to sacrifice the well-being of innocent people in service of a principle. This is highly counterintuitive and difficult to stomach. It also requires that we have one single overarching principle which defines our entire ethical system, since a plurality of principles would lead to situations where the principles conflict. But the notion that everything that matters morally can be summed up into one action-guiding principle is extremely questionable.

The second defence holds that when faced with an exceptional case, we should rewrite our principles so that the apparent exception is no longer an exception. So in Terra’s situation, where she must choose between lying and allowing an innocent person to be attacked, she might adjust her “do not lie” principle so that it becomes “do not lie unless you must do so to protect innocent people.” While this approach sounds perfectly reasonable, it completely undermines the authority of Terra’s moral principles. After all, if she can overrule and amend her principles whenever she sees fit, it is really Terra who is doing the moral work, and not her principles. Furthermore, as soon as Terra admits that her principles are open to adjustment, she has no assured principled method of determining in any new case whether it is time to follow her principle as it was, or whether it is time to rewrite it yet again.

The third approach would rank different principles in such a way that even though each principle matters, some matter more than others. So, for example, lying might always be a moral minus, but allowing an innocent person to be attacked could be a greater moral minus. Hence, lying, though itself wrong, is morally required in Terra’s case.

This might be the most plausible of the three defences of principles, but there are also drawbacks to taking this route. To know which principle wins out in cases where principles conflict, you would either have to rank all the principles on a hierarchy, or else leave it up to an individual to decide priority on a case-by-case basis. Ranking all moral principles would be a troublesome task, to say the least; but leaving it to be decided on a case-by-case basis seems to minimize the moral authority of principles and the guidance that they can provide, leaving a lot to individual judgement. Further, if there is a strict hierarchy, there will be a top deciding principle, which leads to the same problems as with the first defence.

Moral Particularism

The above three defenses all deserve substantial consideration – certainly more than can be devoted in this article – but in the end I believe that there is a fourth option, and that the fourth one is the best. It’s a theory which is steadily gaining momentum and strength in philosophical circles, even though it flies in the face of much of the history of moral philosophy.

Moral philosophy for the most part has historically been an attempt to find the right principles by which we should live our lives. Whether it is a set of divinely inspired commandments, Mill’s principle of utility, Kant’s categorical imperative, or some other principle(s), determining the proper course of action in any given situation has been thought to require little more than deducing from the right set of universal principles, and moral philosophy has, for the most part, been a search for that perfect set of principles. But I believe that moral judgement is not a matter of applying some overarching universal moral principles. In my view, it is quite the opposite. I propose instead that the moral knowledge we have is founded on particular cases, and that the principles we have are mere generalizations from those cases. Thus, our fourth option when faced with exceptional moral cases is: Allow our particular moral judgements to simply override our principles, thereby invalidating those principles.

This approach lands me among those who propose a theory known as moral particularism. The moral particularist holds that the traditional approach to ethical theory is not the best. Rather than deducing the right action from some principle or set of principles, the particularist holds that moral judgement can get along just fine without any dependence on principles.

Imagine that you see a young girl crash her bicycle. She is knocked unconscious, and lying on a set of railway tracks only a dozen steps or so from you. In the distance, you see a train approaching, although it’s still thirty seconds from reaching the girl. What goes through your mind? Do you do a quick mental survey of your moral principles and attempt to apply them to the situation so that you can deduce what the right thing to do might be? Do you compare your two options – saving her and watching her die – and then apply the categorical imperative or the principle of utility to see which action your principle recommends? Or does it occur to you immediately that you should help her, without any application of principles? The moral particularist thinks that you do not need to apply a moral principle to conclude that you should help her. For the particularist, moral knowledge starts in clear-cut cases like this. If you know anything at all with regard to morality, you certainly know you ought to help the girl. You know you should help her even if you do not know any greater universal principles like the categorical imperative or the principle of utility.

W.H. Gass makes a similar point about clear cases: “When we try to explain why they are instances of good or bad, of right or wrong, we sound comic, as anyone does who gives elaborate reasons for the obvious, especially when these reasons are so shamefaced before reality, so miserably beside the point.” (W.H. Gass, ‘The Case of the Obliging Stranger’, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 66, No.2, 1957, p.196.) If the particularist is pressed to explain why you should help the young girl on the railway tracks, then rather than appealing to some overarching impersonal principle, the particularist will reply with particular reasons, for example: “The girl will die if you do nothing,” or “Because she’s about to get crushed,” or “Her family will be devastated,” or “Wouldn’t you want to be saved if you were in her shoes?”

So the particularist has a different interpretation of the relationship between particular cases and moral principles. Exceptional cases do not trouble particularists, since principles are mere generalizations from cases anyway. For the particularists, principles are, at best, helpful moral crutches. We can fall back on them when we are unable to properly examine the details of a specific case, or when our judgement is impaired or untrustworthy, or when we do not have enough information to fully understand what makes a particular case unique. But it should be made clear that for particularists, moral principles are tools that exist only to serve and help us, and they should be ignored or modified when they don’t. On the contrary, for universalists (believers in universal principles), our moral competence depends on how well we serve universal principles. Yet there is something strange about the notion that morality is ultimately a matter of applying impersonal moral principles to particular cases – morality becomes a matter of calculation rather than care. M.U. Walker makes a similar point: “Even as the theories tell us how to live they defeat or defy motives of attachment to particular people that give us reasons to live or allow us to live well.” (M.U. Walker, Moral Understandings: A Feminist Study in Ethics, Routledge, 1998, pp.30-31.)

If you are not yet convinced, imagine that someone asks you to justify the commonly-accepted principle that murder is wrong. How would you do it? If you are inclined to respond by giving examples of how terrible murders can be, then you are agreeing with the particularists, since you would be using particular cases to justify principles, and thereby treating principles as derivative. Yet justifying moral principles without appealing to specific cases seems almost impossible. As R.W. Krutzen writes, “One could not know ‘the deliberate, intentional killing of innocent persons is wrong’ if one did not know ‘the deliberate, intentional killing of this innocent person is wrong’.” (R.W. Krutzen, ‘In Defence of Common Moral Sense’ Dialogue 38, 1999, p.259.)

Other Arguments For Particularism

Jonathan Dancy, author of Ethics Without Principles, is most likely the leading proponent of moral particularism. He argues for what he calls reasons holism, which holds that a certain factor can constitute a reason in favour of doing an action in one situation, while constituting a reason against doing that same action in another situation. For example, the fact that “a lot of people will be there” is sometimes a good reason to avoid a place; but it is also sometimes a good reason to go to that place. If you want peace and quiet, it will be a reason against, but if you want to be involved in the festivities, it will be a reason for. Dancy claims that this sort of holism is generally accepted outside of the realm of morality, but is not at all popular in the realm of morality, where many philosophers assume that a moral factor must make the same sort of difference wherever it occurs. Dancy challenges that assumption, and argues that there is no clear distinction between moral reasons and other reasons. Reasons holism works just as well in morality, he thinks. For example, the fact that an action will cause inconvenience to someone is usually a reason not to do it. It would be wrong, for example, to trip up an elderly man who is taking his Sunday stroll to the neighbourhood church. However, if a child-molesting kidnapper is running down the street with a child in his arms, the tripping-up action’s status as inconvenience-causing is a reason in favour of doing it! According to Dancy, if reasons do not function the same way in all cases, then universal moral principles cannot be the foundation of moral thought.

Other particularists rely on Wittgenstein to strengthen their position. Following Wittgenstein’s concept of family resemblances, they argue that it is possible to acquire a concept through experience even if there is no ‘essence’ to the concept, or any clear definition of the concept. Wittgenstein argues, for example, that there is no essential definition available for the concept of games. Some games involve running, but not all games. Most games involve competition, but not all do, because many games are played individually. Also, there are some things that involve running and competition that are not games. So it is thought by Wittgenstein that games share similarities, as members of families do, but that there is no one key ingredient which defines the essence of games. Nevertheless, we regularly use the concept and language of ‘games’, and we do so with little difficulty. Some moral particularists want to say that moral concepts, like right and wrong, are similar to such concepts, in the sense that they have no single essence, but they can be used and understood anyway.

Conclusion

There is certainly much more to be said about moral particularism, both for it and against it, and this discussion has barely scratched the surface. I don’t expect that every reader will immediately agree that moral principles are unnecessary. That would be unrealistic, since moral philosophy itself is (still) often seen as the search for the right set of universal principles. I do, however, hope I have cast doubt on the universalist position, and have offered particularism as a theoretical competitor. We should at least not just assume that moral thought is a top-down affair, in which proper moral action is deduced from higher moral principles. We should at least acknowledge and consider the possibility that it might be the other way around – that moral thought is a bottom-up affair, in which the building blocks of moral knowledge are the clear particular moral cases, and that moral principles are inductive derivations from those cases. There are many important ongoing battles which characterize what philosophy is all about, for example empiricism vs. rationalism, freedom vs. determinism, and Cartesian dualism vs. eliminative materialism. I suggest that the moral particularism vs. moral universalism debate should take its rightful place as one of philosophy’s greatest battles.

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