#74 | Ken Solis | Change "Interdependence" to "Stewardship"

Submission 74
Ken Solis
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI) 8415

What is your suggestion or idea?

I have a master’s degree in bioethics, developed a metaethical theory, and well-versed in many areas of science as well as philosophy. I’m published in a number of different disciplines. Sorry - just trying to give a little more credence to my critiques:

  1. Three of the ““values”” (interdependence, pluralism, transformation) are actually value ““neutral”” - they are simply a description of a ““state of being”” for the first two, and a process for the last. In other words, these 3 ““values”” can be good, bad, or neutral depending on the context. Hence, you had to add the additional information about not only about how we are defining and their context. E.g., we are not taking about a rabies virus transforming animals into a vicious state. Adaptation gets us closer to a value, but it is still ultimately neutral, e.g. Covid adapts to our resistance to them.
  2. ““Justice”” and ““equity”” might have slightly different connotations, but they are ultimately synonyms, e.g. Justice is the equitable distribution of materials, application of law, opportunity . . . or other highly valued ““goods.””
  3. As usual, we seem to be naive about the issue of evil. For example, there should be some ““guardrails”” on pluralism and the other ones as well. . . Do we want to celebrate a pluralism that includes white supremacy, ISIS type of religious fanaticism, etc.?

Sorry, I prefer the older set of ““principles”” which I think are less ““clunky.”” I would have just changed one of those principles to state something like: ““We recognize that we are BORN with inherent respect and dignity.”” Unfortunately, a few of us like serial killers and oppressive dictators forfeit the respect owed them through their intentional, self-serving, malicious acts.
Best regards,
Ken Solis, MD, MA

What is the reason for your amendment idea?

Too many of the current ““values”” are not, without further explanation, justice and equity are synonyms and, hence, redundant. We ignore how some of these ““values”” can be made wrong without more context or ““guardrails.”” Unfortunately, these limitations take us farther away from a short description of what UU is about. i.e., we are farther from an ““elevator speech”” and going more towards a 20 minute PowerPoint presentation. I also worry that we are ““in love”” with ““love”” and trying to hard to be clever rather than clear.

Have you discussed this idea with your congregation or other UUs?

Yes, Rollie Hanson. He said that my critiques were ““interesting”” and unique.