Dr Laura: Moralistic Busybody

by | Nov 16, 2000

Dogmatic commandments are not enough.

Moralistic busybodies, like “Dr. Laura,” love to tell you: “Thou shalt not…” Under the pretense of originality, Dr. Laura even wrote a book glorifying The Ten Commandments.

Did she ever stop to think: If human civilization is still in such a moral mess after all these centuries, might not something be wrong with the moral code we’ve been using?

A rational helper differs from a moralistic busybody in that he says, in effect, “Thou shalt not because….”

In other words, the rational helper gives you reasons. And objective context. The rational helper respects your mind, if not your current bad judgment. He realizes that you have a conceptual faculty, and inspires you to use it. He gives you guidance, in the form of logic and reasons. The rest is up to you.

Take the example of the woman having a relationship with a married man.

Dr. Laura will say: “How could you do that?! You know it’s wrong! Why do I even have to engage in this discussion with you?”

Dr. Laura is right that the woman should not have a relationship with a married man. But if Dr. Laura has any idea as to why it’s wrong, she does not express it. One wonders if Dr. Laura even knows the reasons; or if reason is something all that important to her in the first place.

Here are some rational reasons not to have a relationship with a married man:

1. You cheat yourself out of having a fully satisfying relationship. It’s the ultimate selfless act, though people like Dr. Laura will call it selfish.

2. You help the person you love engage in living a lie, a fraud and a contradiction.

3. You make it impossible, in a way, to respect this man you supposedly love. Think about it. If you really are the embodiment of his ideal woman, then why does he not have the courage to leave his wife and live with you?

4. Things like this, most often, end badly.

5. You’re an accessory to a crime, of fraud and deception.

One could name many other reasons why it’s wrong and unhealthy to engage in an affair with a married man. But that’s not my central point.

My central point is this: if you’re going to be a mentally healthy and moral individual, you must think and act by reason. You must motivate yourself by rational, objective, and defensible reasons.

Dogmatic commandments are not enough. If they were, human beings would be a lot closer to achieving their potential than they are today. We don’t need more of Dr. Laura. We need less of her. And we need reason in her place.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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