Saturday, February 26, 2005

Compromise in Boat Building?

Bill's Log

Today we hear much of the word ‘compromise’. It has almost become an accepted norm in everyday affairs. The philosophy is, ‘Nothing is perfect, so why struggle for perfection when a compromise will do?’ But where fundamental principles are at stake, some see no room for what they consider second best, i.e., a compromise. They demand that we should be sensible – “Be reasonable,” they say, “Only accept our standards which we know are best for you.” This militates against the individual who subjects himself to his own standards based on: fact, personal experience, or ignorance.

The Anglican Communion have been discussing the pros and cons regarding the place of homosexual priests within their midst. It appears that proponents take their lead from different sources; progressives maintain Christ’s message of love overrides the Bible’s denunciation of homosexuality. There was a similar issue when it came to the ordination of women. Neither side was prepared, or able to accept a compromise.

When it comes to building a boat certain standards are imposed, either by the builder himself, or by an authoritarian governing body, e.g., the International Organisation for Standardisation, or the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who are responsible for the implementation of the Recreational Craft Directive, which includes the imposition of minimum standards in the building of vessels such as canoes, kayaks and sailing surf boards. For such authoritarian bodies, once legislation has been approved by governments there can be no compromise.

The individual amateur boat builder has to decide what his standards will be. Does he listen to and adhere to the standards set by Governments and Local Bodies, or does he rely upon his own judgment? It seems to me, a compromise is unsatisfactory for either the individual or the legislative authority. Here we have a dilemma.

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