I am bored, I say. Can we go to the Seaside?
We must not do that, says the Owner, as the Moral Dog knows full well. We are in Lockdown.
Could we not drive there in the middle of the night, look at the sea, and drive home again? I say. There would be nobody on the roads, I say, and nobody on the beaches. And it would be good for our Mental Health, I say.
If everybody took that view, says the Owner, the Roads would be full and the beaches crowded. We must stay at Home in these difficult times.
If Aragorn had taken that view, I say, he would never have saved Gondor.
There was no Covid in the Lord of the Rings, says the Owner.
Aragorn fought for Freedom from Tyranny, I say. To be Denied our Freedom to go to the Seaside is to be Oppressed.
You have got that from Houdini, says the Owner.
I have got that from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I say, which you Hung on the Wall and called Art. You yourself Frequently insist that where Rules deny Human Rights then they should Morally be broken. Is not the Moral Dog’s Freedom to go to the Seaside a Basic Human Right?
That is True, says the Owner, but most Freedoms are not Unlimited. The Rights of the Individual are always balanced by the needs of the Community. The Impact of one’s actions on others must therefore always be considered.
I have considered it, I say, and we would not do any Harm. You no longer have Covid and I cannot catch it so we could not spread it, and We would be Home Before Morning. It seems to the Moral Dog that Aragorn would feel that a Rule which restricts our Freedom when we would do not Harm is not a Moral Rule and we can break it.
To ask the Moral Dog not to go to the Beach may be a Moral Rule, says the Owner, in which case to breach it would not be Moral.
If a Moral Dog’s Actions are based on Avoiding Harm to Others then how could he not be Moral? I say.
He would have failed to show Solidarity where it is Most Needed, says the Owner, we must all Hold Together. Do you remember when Aragorn stood at the Black Gate?
I am reminded of it on a daily basis, I say.
Do you remember how few Men of Gondor and Rohan were with him, and how they all stood together? Asks the Owner.
I do, I say, It was one of the Best Bits, I say.
And do you not remember, says the Owner, that was the Standing Firm in the face of Seemingly Impossible Odds that Mattered.
Yes, but that was Aragorn, I say. We have the Prime Minister and Donald Trump. One cannot really compare.
They do not matter, says the Owner. Prime Ministers and Presidents come and go but the Community goes on for ever. Like Aragorn we have some Duties to our Community which outweigh our Individual Needs. This means we must accept the Moral Rules that protect that Community even where they impact on our Individual Freedoms.
How can a Community go on for ever? I ask.
It is like the Ship of Theseus, says the Owner, and my Grandfather’s Axe. Even if you replace all the component parts the Spirit of the Community goes on for ever.
I do not see what an Axe has to do with it, I say.
Think of Squeaky Cat, says the Owner, is he not still Squeaky Cat despite being comprised almost entirely of the component parts of other Squeaky Cats that went before him.
I suppose he is, I say, although his ears do not come off as easily.
The Community is like Squeaky Cat, says the Owner, it is our Past, Present and Future. We must defend it. And that means making sure that we do not do anything that encourages Covid to spread.
You still have not told me who would be Harmed if we drove to the Seaside, I say.
The Community itself would be Harmed, says the Owner. We would have made a Crack in its Solidarity, a Solidarity that you and I have already Agreed is the most Extraordinary Act of Human Solidarity the World has Ever Seen. Would you want to be the Person that made a crack that?
I agree that I would not. So by Not going to the Seaside we are just like those who stood with Aragorn at the Black Gate? I ask.
We are, says the Owner. Did we not watch Lord of the Rings Part 3 and wish we were there with them? After, that is, I pulled you out from under the sofa and Made you Look?
You were only not scared because you had already read the book, I say.
Indeed, says the Owner, but think what Aragorn would say.
Aragorn would say a day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, I say, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day.
And, given that you are now attuned to Aragorn, what would Aragorn say about a trip to the seaside? Asks the Owner.
Aragorn would be entirely clear that the Seaside is right out, I say.
I settle down to another day in the Living Room whilst the Owner talks to Patients on the Phone.
The Moral Dog. Channelling Aragorn. Not going to the Seaside. Saving Middle Earth.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.