September 8, 2014 by Liberty
What if I were to name my son, “Good Guy?” When people meet “Good Guy,” there would probably be a little bit of confusion but after they finish asking all the, “Are your parents crazy?” questions (they are,) the people speaking to him will not instantly be forced to think “Good Guy” is, in fact, a good guy.
A name is a name. If “Good Guy” turned out to be a complete a-hole, no one would consider him a good guy despite the name. This might seem a little confusing but I found it to be a fun way to get to my point.
A name is a non-descriptive label. It means absolutely nothing because it’s completely subjective. Anyone can be labeled whatever they want to be labeled. It means nothing.
Non-Descriptive VS. Descriptive
A descriptive label is one that has some objective definition. I can go around calling hundred of people good guys but that means virtually nothing without clarifying a definition. A good guy could be the kind of guy that would give the shirt of his back to help you out. A good guy could also mean someone willing to help you hide the body of your victim. Without some clarification the label means nothing. On top of all that, you don’t even have to know the person you’re labeling. I couldn’t prove the label wrong.
I can’t go around (logically) calling random things mammals. Sure, I may point at a person every now and then and be right but there is no objective way to call a reptile a mammal. Sorry, there is no hair on the reptile. Does it have a neocortex anywhere in there? There are ways that the label mammal can be proven wrong that are objective. That makes mammal a descriptive label. You can actually prove that it means something specific.
Many people spend their time touting non-descriptive labels as descriptive. Many government agencies intentionally cloud non-descriptive labels with descriptive ones.
This might sound a little weird but doctor is a non-descriptive label. It means absolutely nothing without clarifying a number of things. (The first and obvious one is whether they’re a doctor in medicine or not.) In the past, the label of “doctor” would be attached to people who worked to cure people’s sicknesses. Some doctors were well trained. Others were complete quacks. Learning that a person was a doctor alone meant almost nothing. The government has changed that perception…
The government now regulates the label of doctor. Certain rules have to be met. If you just have years of experience in medicine, sorry, you’re not a doctor. You need to pass these tests, and get this degree. This does mean something (somewhat) positive. People that train to become doctors are not complete quacks. (Some negatives that come with this: less innovation, increased cost, more early doctor retirements.)
People now feel much more “comfortable” trusting their doctor because of governments legal labeling.
Despite the labeling requirements, doctor is still a non-descriptive label. Does a doctor lose all of his or her intelligence the day after their license runs out? Of course not but one day’s difference means everything in the legal labeling now. Does passing medical school and certain tests prove that someone is going to be a good doctor? Try answering that based on personal experience. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably met with an uncaring, and incompetent doctor at some point in your life.
Getting the label or losing the label doesn’t necessarily mean anything but the government’s requirements cloud that fact for the general public. In the past, you might go to multiple doctors to find a good one. Today, people often trust doctors to the point of their own detriment.
More Meaningless Labels
While doctor is a fairly meaningless label, it at least holds a few real standards. There are significantly worse labels that people consistently use in other dangerous situations. Gun control is an issue that makes these meaningless labels pretty obvious.
Of course, when people discuss gun control, they’re not talking about eliminating guns. They’re talking about concentrating the guns in the hands of military and cops. This argument can go to the military as well but I’m going to focus on cops in order to speed this up. I’m going to go over a number of the common objections my point will face.
Cop is a non-descriptive label. We should not give people guns just because they’re cops.
“It is descriptive. It’s a job.”
I can say that I’m a plumber. I’ve been working in the business for a whole 5 minutes. I’ve also played years of Mario. Would you like me to work on your pipes? Of course not. A job is not a description. Human resources is not a magical organization that can distinguish perfect people for a job. They’re mostly there to follow the laws.
A cop could get hired for hundreds of reasons other than good ones. The cop could be a minority in short supply. The cop could have lied on their application. The cop could be a complete sadist looking for a career in it and willing to say anything to get it. A job does not describe anything objective.
Why should we give guns to people that just happen to have impressed some random person in human resources?
In fact, do you feel more or less comfortable when a cop is nearby? I know I tend to feel a whole lot more nervous.
“A cop’s job is dangerous.”
A cop’s job is dangerous but statistically, it’s not all that bad. Taxi driving is also one of the most dangerous jobs, shouldn’t they be allowed to carry guns too?
“A cop helps people.”
Okay. What makes a cop helping people any different than a private security person helping people? In fact, cops have responsibilities other than shooting up bad guys. Wouldn’t it be much safer to have other people around ready to help while the cops are busy pulling over speeders?
“A cop is trained.”
It does make sense to keep the guns out of untrained individuals hands but aren’t there plenty of people with more gun training than cops? Some people have been shooting for decades. Wouldn’t they be more qualified to carry a gun than a cop? Maybe it’s the “cop” training” you’re talking about? Shouldn’t a cop be allowed to carry a gun if they leave their job after being trained?
Most people, after this comment will go make to trying to convince you cop is still a valid objective description. People don’t become cops because of a scientific equation. They become cops from tons of random subjective feelings. They want to be a cop. The human resources think they’ll make a good cop. There is no DNA making someone a cop. It’s just a random label.
Labels Are Not Reality
Just like with doctors, government adds layers of confusion over non-descriptive labels for cops and just about every other major profession as well. With every test and requirement they include, they make the profession seem more descriptive but for the most part, the tests mean little to nothing. Take note that most of these test administered by government have nothing to do with doing their job effectiveness and don’t include customer evaluations or legitimate job performance reviews.
When people begin discussing why some government officials are allowed to do certain things, and others are not, look at the labels they’re using. In just about every case they’ll be forced to use non-descriptive labels that don’t really mean anything.
“The flabbermasters are there to help!” Good luck proving that one wrong.
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