(* - A Latin term that means "the refutation of a proposition by demonstrating the inevitably absurd conclusion to which it would logically lead.")

You know what? I give up. I surrender. You’ve convinced me. I admit it, I was wrong. White flag. Uncle.

A fellow can take only so much hate mail and so many beatings about the head and shoulders with a proverbial two-by-four before he finally reaches the conclusion that he has engaged himself in a losing battle and capitulates. And so, effective immediately, you’ll hear no more from this corner regarding such nonsense as compassion and caring. 

What was I thinking anyway? 

Help my fellow man? Balderdash! 

Extend a hand to those in need? Tommyrot! 

Care for those less fortunate than myself? Say, what are you – some kind of communist or something?

What's mine is mine, by golly! Why should I be expected to do anything for anybody else? If there are others who haven’t gotten the same breaks in life that I have, well, tough toenails. 

Ebenezer Scrooge had it right all along. To edge one’s way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance – aye, that’s the ticket! It’s just a pity those blasted liberal bleeding heart spirits came along and made such a snivelling pantywaist out of the old boy...

So that’s it, then. Don’t hassle me with your sob stories and your big talk about doing unto others, because I’ve seen the light. I’ve got mine; go get your own. The milk of human kindness is just so much old cottage cheese. 

But if I’m going to this, I’m going to do it right. No halfway measures or meaningless gestures for this convert, no sirree Bob. If I’m cutting off, I’m cutting off across the board.

No more donations or assistance to school groups of any kind. You’re getting enough of my tax dollars already.

Support for local firefighters or veterans groups? Hey, they knew the job was dangerous when they took it.

Affordable health care for all? Fundraisers for those with medical needs? Seems rather pointless, don’t you think? What was that Scrooge said about the surplus population...?

Support for senior citizens programs? Who do those old people think they are, anyway? Why didn’t they save up while they had the chance?

Blood drives? Ha!

And I don’t think we’ll be buying any of those Girl Scout cookies anymore, either. I’ll just have to figure out a way to get my Thin Mint fix someplace else, I guess.

But why stop there?

I’ve submitted a letter to that church organization I belonged to in college, demanding a refund of the sponsorship money my wife and I provided to that little boy in Africa 20-some years ago. I never should have let them hoodwink me into thinking I could really make a difference in the life of some foreigner. 

Come to think of it, I may just ask my lawyer to draft an itemized list for my sons showing the cost of food, shelter, medical expenses and other amenities they’ve received over the years. Do you realize all things I could have been doing for myself if I hadn’t been so needlessly concerned about always having to provide for those two? I demand compensation!

And now that I’ve come around to this new and more enlightened way of thinking, there are a few other suggestions I’d like to make. Let’s start with the American flag. Those Red stripes have got to go! And if you stand on your head and squint real hard, don’t those stars look a little bit like pentagrams...?

And maybe rewriting the Bible to reflect this conservative point of view isn’t such a bad idea after all. The Sermon on the Mount was probably just the result of a faulty translation... or the deliberate work of some radical liberal element in the early church. And that incident between Jesus and the Money Changers in the Temple? Obviously just a misunderstanding...

Yes, turning a blind eye on mankind is certainly an easier way to live. And I’ll have more for myself. So why not?

Why not? I’ll tell you why not. 

Because it’s wrong. Because it’s cruel.

And because I honestly don’t think I could live with myself – or look my children in the eye – if I were to ever stoop so low as to live in such a selfish manner.

Yes, charity begins at home. But the last time I looked, this planet IS my home. And all the inhabitants thereof my brothers and sisters, regardless of race or creed or religious affiliation or ice cream flavor preferences.

If I’m going to err in this life, by golly, I’m going to err on the side of brotherhood and benevolence. It may not help me pay my bills. It may get me labelled with all manner of negative epithets by those who believe me a fool. It may even cause me some pain along the way.

But at least I’ll be hurting with a clear conscience.