Mar 27 2013

Common Sense

Guest Post by Shawn Hughes U.S.M.C

So, I have heard the term “common sense” at least 6 different times this morning. The term was used in a couple of different contexts, but each time, the point was that people should know better because a specific action was “common sense”…

The problem that I have with the term “common sense” is that it assumes a common base of information to draw from; common experiences, common, upbringing; a common thought process – so “common sense” is really something akin to “group think”, which I have always been taught can be extremely damaging and dangerous if not recognized for what it is.

So, what is this “common sense”? We have the Constitution, which is constantly interpreted in different ways by different people/groups of people. Since it is the base of our republic, shouldn’t what the constitution says be considered common sense?

The Bible, as a base for many religions is a common source, so why is the Bible so often interpreted differently?

I would submit that there is no such thing as “common sense”, except in small groups of similar education, upbringing and experience. Often, we consider something to be “common sense” when viewed through our own lens… we think that because we know something, that everyone else should… from my perspective, that makes the idea of “common sense” a very arrogant thing to be sure.

For the record, I have seen stipulations that say the subject of gay marriage is “common sense”; marriage is between one man and one woman. I do not believe that this issue is “common sense” nor do I believe that marriage is defined by the sex of the partnership. Gay marriage has been touted as the number one enemy of the sanctity of marriage… I argue that the number one enemy of the sanctity of marriage is divorce. This is not a rant about marriage or partnerships… rather is a rant about the way that we think and how arrogant we are as a nation.

I have seen comments today about how people find it frightening it is that the Supreme Court can strike down something that a popular vote approved. Really? The Supreme Court is the overriding legal authority of the country… their job is to examine the validity and application of the laws that are passed.

The majority of people re-elected the President, and yet people challenge the majority on that decision/action on a daily basis… I offer that sometimes, the majority wants something that is not in their own best interests long term, but either doesn’t recognize it, or doesn’t care. Either way, it absolutely amazes me the issues that people choose to be vocal about.

In my arrogant view, “common sense” would dictate the view that we are failing as a nation and appear to be doing very little about it. I think “common sense” says that based on numbers, a child is more likely to be molested in a religious environment than to be harmed in a school shooting; so we should be protecting our kids from church.

In my view, “common sense” says that in this age of computers and technology, no U.S. citizen should be uneducated, homeless or derelict  “Common sense” say that people who are in this country illegally should not be afforded the same freedom, benefits or advantages as those who are – and wherever/whenever possible, should be removed from this country.

In my view “common sense” would be to designate, officially, a national language. Not simply bicker over why people don’t speak English.

Anyway, I am full of what I consider to be “common sense”. Except that I don’t believe there is any such thing.


Originally published on Facebook  by Shaw Hughes U.S.M.C., Edited by Cordell Hensley who believes this is as true in the UK as it is in the US

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