What are the values of our opposition? Last time, we discussed *our* values. What are the values of the yard barker's owner, the power dog fanatic, and various other miscreants? How do they justify doing what they are doing?
While I/we can't get completely into their heads (and probably would not want to if we could), we can listen to what they say, watch what they do, and induce a value system from that. In other words, you can take someone's secondary values and "back them up" into a primary belief system.
The dog fanatic does not have any real system of ethics. They do not think critically. They have no objective sense of right and wrong. They have a belief system based entirely on faith. As I've said before, their "value" system resembles a primitive religion: It is so, because Dog Almighty made it so!
I am going to refer to these "true believers" as The Initiate.
The primary value of The Initiate's belief system is this:
Dogs and dog owners are always the agents of good. This is an axiom, not a general belief. By that, I mean that it is always true, with no exceptions. I.E. 2+2 always = 4, there is no discussion, digression, or exceptions. It is important to consider that this pernicious "value" has infected the larger culture and is now a primary ethic of a large part of the population.
Everything else flows to and from the primary "ethic" above. It demands the following secondary values. Note that the following are not true ethics, just a set of conceits based on the primary ethic indicated above.
All dog and dog owner behavior is self justifying. If a dog does it, it is good. If a dog owner says it, it is true. Its just a dog being a dog, its what they do, etc... When a dog owner is terrorizing the neighborhood, just go over and talk nicely to them - its a fact that they are great people - they must be, they own dogs!
The interests of dogs and owners take precedence in any and all situations. As long as the dog and/or owner gets what they want, its good. The rights, needs, and interests of others are of no consideration. Ever.
Place no boundaries on dog or owner behavior. The dog not only has the right to make noise, but to be heard. Dog owners have an unconditional right to let their dog run free, and to take their dog anywhere they want. Everything they do is just and good by definition. You cannot improve upon perfection.
Always blame the victim. Do not bother investigating any dog related "problem", simply because no such "problem" could possibly exist: The "incident" is either made up or the victim/complainant deserved what happened to them. To The Initiate, the Dog and Dog Owner can't do anything wrong, so it MUST be the victims fault. There is no one else TO blame. Best case, it was just an accident.
Block any and all effective measures that might solve the problem. Again, to The Initiate, the "problem" is the victim's complaints. This is why "anti" barking laws place a ridiculous burden of proof on the complainant: To them, our neighborhoods do NOT have a barking problem, or the barking is 100% justified. Therefore, the complainants are always the problem, not the dogs or the owners. Moreover, since it is a given that all dogs and dog owners are perfect, why would we need to place any boundaries on their behavior? We can't improve on perfection!
Dogs and dog owners are at the top of the social and legal hierarchy. This enumerates the right of dogs and owners to exert control over everyone around them. Again, legal and social boundaries are for US not THEM. See, this is why THEY get to decide when you get up in the morning. Indeed, your front yard IS their dog's toilet. They even get to make life and death decisions for you. THEY get to make your life choices from now on, not you. Essentially, they OWN you. Why? Again, go back to the First Principle - they are better than you, that is why!
Force must never be exerted against dogs or owners for any reason. The interests of dogs and owners is paramount, so they cannot under any circumstances be stopped from doing what they are doing. No fines, no lawsuits, no impoundments, no arrests, no self help/defense. Ever. Again, you cannot improve upon perfection. Is a given that the dog and the owner are in the right, so preventing them from doing anything would be completely wrong. Moreover, due to their place at the top of the legal hierarchy, they have a 100% monopoly on the use of force.
Anything done to promote the interests of dogs and/or owners is good. Forget about any objective "Golden Rule". Lying, cheating, even killing people is just fine when it promotes the stature of any dog or dog owner. Remember, YOU are an egg that needs to be broken to make the Omelet of dogtopia!
Dogs make everything better. Dogs must be everywhere, all the time. They not only have an unconditional right to be in restaurants, computer factories, and construction sites, they MUST be running loose in those places. It will improve the quality of life of everyone to be completely surrounded by dogs every minute of their life.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and some of these "values" overlap each other.
Note how these "values" conflict with the set of values outlined the other day. The Initiate has no real ethics - they don't believe in Truth, Peace or honesty. Their ethic is Canine Supremacy - If there is a dog involved, its all GOOD.
One thing a reader may want to do is, consider each of these "values" and do a bit of self-analysis - if you harbor any of these "ethics" you may want to re-structure your belief system a bit.
The challenge for the rest of us is to undermine the legitimacy of this primary value - convince people that MAYBE - just MAYBE - a dog or owner just MIGHT be in the wrong? Not to bash all of them, or even most of them, but consider the possibility that its NOT always the victims fault? Perhaps they should NOT be making life decisions for everyone else?
THINK ABOUT IT.