By: Sam Weiner
Santa Faces Several Irreducibly Complex Moral Quandaries
Ho ho ho! Time for Santa to pull out my magical scroll and decide which little boys and girls made my Nice List and who made my Naughty List! Little Sarah Goodman helped old Mrs. Crenshaw cross the street. Nice!
Little Tommy O ‘Shay pulled his sister ‘s pigtails. Naughty!
Little Franklin Conners stole a loaf of bread ‘ to feed his starving family.
Well, that is a gray area. I like bread so I ‘ll say Nice.
And it looks like Jenny Miller told lies! But only to criminals to prevent them from hurting her father, Officer Miller. Ho ho ho, this is far outside Santa ‘s limited capacity for moral reasoning!
Little Winnie Porter killed her own cat ‘ Naughty! ‘ to spare it the suffering from its cancer. Ho ho ho, Santa has never even begun to consider the morality of end-of-life questions!
Little Benjamin Smith was on board a runaway train that was only seconds away from crushing five innocent people. He spotted a lever, which if pulled, would switch the train onto another track! But on that track it would crush one innocent person! Benjamin pulled the lever, saving five people! Nice!
But he actively took the life of one innocent man! Naughty!
But by performing a simple utilitarian calculus, he saved five, thus bringing about the greatest good for the greatest number! Nice!
But what if one of the five people he saved grows up to the be the next Hitler? Naughty! Fuck!
Cuauht ‘moc Ahtahkakoop stole! But he lived in a society where the concept of personal property does not exist and so what we consider ‘theft” in fact adhered to all agreed upon social norms and while this introduction of moral relativity triggers an uneasy (if rationally unjustified) feeling that principles of morality should be universal, we nonetheless cannot deny that such differing moral norms do exist and thus even examining such a scenario through the lens of Western deontological or even consequentialist ethics itself represents a form of cultural intolerance, if not outright bigotry, and ‘HU-UH HU-UH Gluah! P ‘U PLUA ‘cock-fucking shit I just threw up all over my red suit! I ‘m just going to skip that whole heathen continent.
Oh, finally an easy one: Daniel Flannery dipped his penis in his brother ‘s water bottle. That ‘s just good, ol ‘ fashioned Naughty.
Last name on here: Santa Claus. Passed judgment on the world ‘s least culpable moral actors without ever even considering the possibility that free will is just an illusion. HO HO NO IS THIS THE UNBEARABLE DESPAIR THAT ALL MEN FEEL? OR IS IT THE TERRIBLE BURDEN OF MORAL JUDGEMENT ITSELF THAT GIVES EXISTENCE ITS VALUE? I BET THE EASTER BUNNY NEVER HAS TO GO THROUGH THIS! FUCK THAT DIABETES-CAUSING, PINK-NOSED BITCH!
This year, I ‘m marking everybody as Nice, drowning my angst in nog, and never, ever thinking about this again. Let no man judge Santa, ever-living Claus of the North!