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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: Nomad]
    #1315812 - 02/18/03 03:13 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

Nomad writes:

We have rich people, and then we have poor people. This is because the former are able to back up their possessions beyond need by the use of force.

Incorrect. People need not initiate force against other people in order to become wealthy, nor need they initiate force against others in order to remain wealthy.

Without force, no one could possess more than one house to live in.

Incorrect. People need not initate force against others in order to own more than one house any more than they need initiate force against others in order to own more than one sack of grain.

Is that a premise or what? If not, you come to this conclusion exactly how?

It is not something that lends itself readily to a condensed explanation. It is not an axiom, but derives from axioms. I have no difficulty showing its derivation from first principles, but it would tend to make this post rather lengthy. If you believe it is a false premise, that must mean you believe the initiation of force in human affairs is justifiable. You come to this conclusion exactly how?

There is a planet where everyone...(snip)... That hardly is a convincing argument. Neither philosophically, nor scientifically, and not spiritually, either.

And your alien intervention fable is hardly a relevant analogy. If you are going to try an analogy, try one a little closer to real life, please.

Yes, but only because your demand for a scientific "justification" was nonsensical in the first place.

This forum is called "Spirituality, Philosophy & Science", is it not? The question of "welfare" in my opinion should properly be handled in the "Political Discussion" forum, but since the moderators have chosen not to move the thread, I believe we should try to tie the discussion SOMEHOW into one of those three categories, hence my emphasis. Got it?

Letting someone starve when there is an abundance of food means killing him, there is no moral difference.

!!!!! What possible explanation do you have for making such a startling (and counter-intuitive) statement?

You initiate force to keep him away from the food.

What???? How do I (by keeping my food) prevent him from obtaining food of his own? If there is an abundance of food, why does he need anyone to provide it for him?

Violence against possessions (i.e. taking something away form someone and giving it to someone else) ranks lower than violence against people (i.e. initiating force to keep a starving man away from the food) in my ethical hierarchy.

Violence against possessions is violence against an individual. The two are ethically identical. Furthermore, the starving man is not being "kept away" from the food, he is simply being prevented from stealing (through an agent, i.e. the government) my food. He is left free to trade for food, produce food, persuade others to give him food, or gather food from the wild. He is not free to help himself to food (or anything else) that is the possession of another.

That is, basically, the "natural law" argument by the libertarian right. It is flawed.

There is no flaw in the "natural law" argument (which, by the way, was popularized by Enlightenment philosophers who were far from "right-wing"), there is a flaw in your understanding of it.

Private property does not exist in nature...

Well, duh! Of course private property does not exist in nature. It must be created, and the human who expended the effort to create it is its rightful owner. That is the entire basis of the concept of "natural law". A possession is nothing more than concretized human effort.

... it is brought into being by the application of sheer force.

Possessions are not brought into being by initiating force against other humans, they are brought into being by productive human effort. That is not open to debate -- all that is left to decide is whose effort supports whose continued existence. If you proclaim that anyone other than the producer of a possession has the right to seize it, you proclaim that some people have the right to enslave others.

Letting people starve is generally not considered good ethics.

Depriving people of their rightful possessions by force is generally not considered good ethics.

It is as physical as it can get.

So your "definition" of metaphysics is Kantian rather than Aristotelian? Fine. If you feel more comfortable substituting (in this instance) "physical" for "metaphysical", we can do that. It doesn't alter the nature of my argument.

You didn't make any philosophical argument at all, except labeling it as "metaphysical".

Are you saying that the accurate perception of reality is irrelevant to philosophy? Our understandings of what constitutes philosophy differ, then.

No one who believes in the concept of karma (and I do) would argue that bad karma "justifies" anything.

Fine, then. Leave out "karma" or "fate" or "destiny" and go only with "original sin". Since I believe in neither and was merely repeating what those who profess to be "spiritual" provide as an explanation for human suffering, it really doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

Helping people gives you good karma.

So those who profess to believe in karma claim. Those same people also claim that initiating force against others gives you bad karma.

Huh? And your point is, exactly, what... ?

I was merely forestalling a possible objection that I hadn't "justified" the existence of poor people. My point was that it is irrelevant -- more than irrelevant; impossible -- to "justify" the existence of ANY entity. "Justification" is a null concept in the context of "existence". I cannot make it any plainer than that.

I cannot help but note that you have as yet failed to provide any justification of any sort for welfare. The closest you have come is to falsely equate an inaction with an action.

pinky


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OfflineNomad
Mad Robot

Registered: 04/30/02
Posts: 422
Last seen: 16 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: Phred]
    #1315868 - 02/18/03 03:56 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

Always nice arguing with you.  :laugh:

I'll concentrate on what I consider the relevant thread of the discussion, leaving out a lot of distracting details. Feel free to bring one of them up again, if you think I left out something important.

Last things first.

I cannot help but note that you have as yet failed to provide any justification of any sort for welfare. The closest you have come is to falsely equate an inaction with an action.

Look, I'm not an american. I don't give a fuck about american welfare laws. You already have the highest poverty among all first-world nations, but that is your problem, not mine. If you look at the two other posts, you will discover that I mentioned "welfare" only once, and that was not in a context of approval or disproval. I don't care about welfare.

What I do care about is the following point you made. Sorry for bringing it up again, but it seems that you forgot what we were talking about.

Please justify to us, from a spiritual, philosophical, or scientific point of view why the existence of unfortunate individuals requires the initiation of force against peaceful individuals.

So far, you agreed that, sometimes, unfortunate individuals exist because of the initiation of force in the past. But then, you argued that this cannot justify the initiation of force in the present. I refuted this by a story about aliens, to which you reply:

And your alien intervention fable is hardly a relevant analogy. If you are going to try an analogy, try one a little closer to real life, please.

It is not an analogy, it is a thought experiment. Could you please be so kind to answer it? Do the people on the lower half of that far away planet have the right to get back their things, yes or no?

People need not initiate force against other people in order to become wealthy, nor need they initiate force against others in order to remain wealthy.

Then why do we have police forces? And why do nations with a higher gap between rich and poor have more police forces than nations with a lower gap?

If you believe it is a false premise, that must mean you believe the initiation of force in human affairs is justifiable. You come to this conclusion exactly how?

By the thought experiment you refused to answer.

Me:

Letting someone starve when there is an abundance of food means killing him, there is no moral difference.

You:

What possible explanation do you have for making such a startling (and counter-intuitive) statement?

There are many ways to kill a human being. Taking all his food and locking it away, then watching him starve, is, by all reasonable definitions, killing.

Violence against possessions is violence against an individual.

Nonsensical, sorry. Possessions are not individuals.

Furthermore, the starving man is not being "kept away" from the food, he is simply being prevented from stealing (through an agent, i.e. the government) my food.

And why would it be your food, if you can only keep your property rights by using armed forces? Your property is that which you personally use. If you live in the united states, you cannot possess an entire crop field in south africa. It's that easy.

I was merely forestalling a possible objection that I hadn't "justified" the existence of poor people. My point was that it is irrelevant -- more than irrelevant; impossible -- to "justify" the existence of ANY entity. "Justification" is a null concept in the context of "existence". I cannot make it any plainer than that.

I was talking about moral justification. Sorry, should have made that clearer. My point is that there is no moral justification for letting people starve on this planet, when we have enough food to support everyone. Since voluntary donations do not seem to help here, I'm all for holding the gun to the head of the rich. 

Edited by Nomad (02/18/03 04:00 AM)

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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/25/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: Welfare [Re: Phred]
    #1315987 - 02/18/03 04:53 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

People need not initiate force against other people in order to become wealthy

Nomad is perfectly correct. If they wish to hoard wealth they need force to protect them. This was quickly realised when men started hoarding food beyond that which they needed at the dawn of agriculture around 5-10,000 years ago when armies and "law" forces were first formed.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi

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Anonymous

Re: Welfare [Re: Phred]
    #1316006 - 02/18/03 05:02 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

We are free at all times to voluntarily help anyone we wish to whatever extent we wish. Please justify to us, from a spiritual, philosophical, or scientific point of view why the existence of unfortunate individuals requires the initiation of force against peaceful individuals.

well pinky, here's how it works: in your response, you chose to ignore a basic fact that in a free economy like ours, there will always be some people who want to work, but cannot find work. there will never be enough jobs for all of the people that want them. these are not, as you put it "unfortunate individuals". they are our neighbors and fellow members of our society. if the economy went a certain way, they could be you. do you think that people who slip into the cracks in the economy should be left to freeze and starve?

the initiation of force? i assume you are referring to the compulsory (and thus, ultimately founded on the threat of violent force) requirement of giving some of your pay to welfare programs. well, for those that are so greedy as to not only say, "TO HELL WITH THE UNEMPLOYED" but also "TO HELL WITH THE ECONOMY".... yes, someone's gonna have to force them to pay. you are employed because some other people aren't. it's economics. you owe them something so that they can eat. if you're some sick social darwinist that thinks everyone who "can't keep up" should just die, that's your problem.

Incorrect. If that was indeed the case, then the first business recession to ever occur (long before there was such a thing as government redistribution of income) would still be with us. It isn't, because business cycles are both inevitable and self-correcting.

no, they are not. my statement was correct. simply put: during times of heavy unemployment, spending obviously goes down. this in turn hurts businesses, who then lay off more people. the cycle continues. sometimes, there needs to be some money pumped into the economy. this is usually done by adjusting the fed rate, but social welfare programs are also an inportant buffer against recession.

Keynes was incorrect. His theories have been disproven both by other economists and by observable history. Remember that it was the direct application of Keynsian economics that produced (for the first time in recorded history) the hitherto unknown phenomenon of "stagflation" -- the simultaneous occurrence of high unemployment, rapid increase in cost of living, and declining GDP.

care to back any of that up?

Back to the issue of welfare, however -- to say that it is correct to initiate force against peaceful individuals solely because other individuals exist is to make a mockery of spirituality, philosophy, and science.

ah... the world is such a simple place, isn't it?

do you disagree with the following statement?:

there will always be some people who are willing and able to work but cannot due to economic conditions. (5% unemployment).

do you agree with this one?:

these people should be left to freeze in the street.




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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: Welfare [Re: Xlea321]
    #1316241 - 02/18/03 07:11 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)


Nomad is perfectly correct. If they wish to hoard wealth they need force to protect them.

And force against theft is a bad thing?


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OfflineNomad
Mad Robot

Registered: 04/30/02
Posts: 422
Last seen: 16 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #1316324 - 02/18/03 08:12 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

Force against theft is not necessarily bad, but it is still force, and it is initial. I have been driven off private property pastures by angry farmers because I dared to look for mushrooms in their cow's shit. No one needs to tell me that it was me in this case who used the initial force.

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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: Welfare [Re: Nomad]
    #1316967 - 02/18/03 12:59 PM (21 years, 3 months ago)


Force against theft is not necessarily bad, but it is still force, and it is initial.

And theft is still theft. Force against theft is not initial, it is always in response
to theft. Theft is initial.


I have been driven off private property pastures by angry farmers because I dared to look for mushrooms in their cow's shit. No one needs to tell me that it was me in this case who used the initial force.

You trespassed on another person's property. ...What did you expect would
happen?

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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: Nomad]
    #1317437 - 02/18/03 04:21 PM (21 years, 3 months ago)

Nomad writes:

I am not American.

Nor am I.

I don't give a fuck about american welfare laws.

Nor do I, except insofar as they embody an incorrect and dangerous "ethical" pseudo-principle -- that it is correct to initiate the use of physical force against peaceful individuals as long as enough other individuals don't object.

It is not an analogy, it is a thought experiment. Could you please be so kind to answer it? Do the people on the lower half of that far away planet have the right to get back their things, yes or no?

Why should I expend energy in addressing hypothetical examples involving possible actions of those who are not even of this world when we don't yet agree on what is proper ethical behavior for REAL humans in the REAL world that we know exists? You are merely dodging the issue by introducing irrelevancies.

Note that not only it is unnecessary to address your example from an ethical perspective, it is impossible without more data. What is the nature of the beings who inhabit your planet? Are they born (are they even "born" at all?) with full and automatic instinctual knowledge of how to survive? Once born, are they immortal? Do they possess free will? Are they sentient? Are they even capable of surviving as individuals if left completely free, or are they mere units of a "hive" or "colonial organism" type, similar to earthly ants or bees? Human ethics apply to humans, not to ants or coral polyps or rabbits or pumas or aliens from the Tau Ceti system.

Then why do we have police forces?

To deliver to the court system those who initiate force against peaceful individuals.

For the record, before someone drags in the automatic "but what about the war on drugs?" response, I oppose all laws that criminalize behavior in which there is no victim -- gambling laws, drug prohibition, laws against gambling, etc. The fact that those superfluous laws have been enacted in many countries does not change the need for police enforcement of legitimate laws.

And why do nations with a higher gap between rich and poor have more police forces than nations with a lower gap?

So many assumptions in that sentence! First, the nations with the highest ratio of police to non-police are the totalitarian states such as the ex-USSR, where the gap between rich and poor is less than that of the quasi-capitalist nations not because there are less poor, but because there are less wealthy. Second, police don't create wealth, they merely ensure that those who create it are less likely to have it stolen from them by criminals (but not by their own governments). Third, the nations wherein citizens still have at least a modicum of freedom are the ones which are the most economically well off, therefore are able to afford more police.

Taking all his food and locking it away, then watching him starve, is, by all reasonable definitions, killing.

Of course it is. But that is not what we are talking about. Who "took away" the food from a Bangladeshi villager whose patch of farmland was washed away in a flood? Who "took away" the food from an individual born with an IQ of 30, who is incapable of distinguishing between food and poison? Who "took away" the food of an able-bodied man of 21 years living in a Chicago suburb who prefers watching TV while sucking off the public tit to working at a job flipping burgers?

Nonsensical, sorry. Possessions are not individuals.

You believe that because you still haven't acknowledged the process by which possessions come into existence.

And why would it be your food, if you can only keep your property rights by using armed forces?

It's my food because I produced it -- if it weren't for my actions, that food would never have come into existence. The subordinate clause of your sentence expresses a hidden implication -- that the only people with the right to keep the products of their efforts are those powerful enough to fend off all predators who would steal them; in other words "might makes right".

Your property is that which you personally use.

That assertion, if true, invalidates (among many other things) the concept of savings. Can you please send me the entire contents of your bank accounts? Said contents are not your property.

My point is that there is no moral justification for letting people starve on this planet, when we have enough food to support everyone.

So you have said, repeatedly. You have done nothing more than express an opinion. You have not even attempted to prove why that assertion is true.

Since voluntary donations do not seem to help here...

Incorrect. Of course they help.

...I'm all for holding the gun to the head of the rich.

So as I have said all along, you are in favor of violating the rights of peaceful individuals through the initiation of force against them.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
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Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: ]
    #1317504 - 02/18/03 04:55 PM (21 years, 3 months ago)

mushmaster writes:

in your response, you chose to ignore a basic fact that in a free economy like ours, there will always be some people who want to work, but cannot find work.

I didn't ignore it. However, that basic fact is completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not it is ethical to initiate force against peaceful individuals, so I spent no time on it. There are also many people who don't want to work at all, or want to work only at certain types of jobs. That basic fact is also irrelevant to the topic at hand.

do you think that people who slip into the cracks in the economy should be left to freeze and starve?

I think that all members of society should be left free to provide as much assistance to those people as they feel appropriate.

you are employed because some other people aren't.

Incorrect. If I am self-employed and have success at my work, not only have I not "taken" employment from anyone else, I will soon be in a position to create employment for those who will work for me. Even if I do work for someone else, I have not prevented anyone else from persuading my employer to hire them as well, nor have I prevented them from seeking employment elsewhere, nor have I prevented them from going into business for themselves.

it's economics.

You have an odd understanding of economics.

you owe them something so that they can eat.

How do you figure that? How does my accepting a job in Buffalo mean I now "owe" somebody in Rochester money?

my statement was correct.

So sorry, but it was not.

the cycle continues.

That's what I said -- recessions and recoveries are cyclical, not eternal.

sometimes, there needs to be some money pumped into the economy. this is usually done by adjusting the fed rate, but social welfare programs are also an inportant buffer against recession.

Neither measure is necessary. How is it that there have been business "booms" and "busts" throughout recorded history -- long before there was either a fed rate or social welfare programs?

care to back any of that up?

Sure. Do a net search on Keynes, Ludwig von Mises, Frederick Hayek, and stagflation.

there will always be some people who are willing and able to work but cannot due to economic conditions.

For an infinite length of time? I don't agree with that statement... at least not when it is applied to a quasi-free country such as the United States. For a finite period of time? Certainly. That is the purpose of savings accounts and privately-funded unemployment insurance (neither of which is welfare) -- to enable the individual to survive while he obtains other means to support himself.

these people should be left to freeze in the street.

Tsk, tsk... invalid question. It is not a given that the unemployed will freeze on the street. I have been unemployed on several occasions, and I never faced either freezing or starvation.

pinky


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Anonymous

Re: Welfare [Re: Phred]
    #1317536 - 02/18/03 05:16 PM (21 years, 3 months ago)

this "it is wrong for force to be used against certain individuals because other individuals exist" thing has little application here. if you do not obey the law, men come to get you, and they come with guns. by law, you must pay your taxes, even if you do not agree with the programs they pay for. it's what we do in a democracy. if i don't have children, is it wrong for me to have to pay school taxes, because other people with children exist? should i be clinging to some lame psuedo-philosophical slant about violence?

we are not individuals here. we live in a society. it has many parts, but they are all interconnected and interdependant. we cannot seperate the "good" from the "bad". we are a whole. yes, it is indeed a sad state of affairs when some are so selfish and greedy that they must be literally forced to help their neighbors when they need it.

perhaps you disagree with some of the statements i have made in this post. most of them are indeed not facts, but ideals and principles. the idea that society is one whole thing with many interconnected, interdependant parts may conflict with you if you are an individualist (which you seem to be). of my example about children, you could very well counter that on philosophical grounds, yes, you believe that if you have no children, you should not be forced to pay for schools. if this is the case (and it seems to be), then what we have here is a difference in very fundamental principles that expand far beyond a discussion of welfare. in light of such differences, it is obvious why we have such different viewpoints here. short of the unlikely event that one of us has a life altering change in perspective, i don't think there is very much to be gained from this debate. you've got your principles, i've got mine. until you or i am in charge however, we'll keep voting and keep paying our taxes. i just know i'd prefer to graciously give to ceasar what it his, and help my fellow man, than spend any time getting mad about it. you're not taking any of it with you anyway.

Edited by mushmaster (02/18/03 05:31 PM)

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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 9 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: ]
    #1317714 - 02/18/03 06:56 PM (21 years, 3 months ago)

mushmaster writes:

this "it is wrong for force to be used against certain individuals because other individuals exist" thing has little application here.

Incorrect. It has EVERYTHING to do with welfare.

if you do not obey the law, men come to get you, and they come with guns. by law, you must pay your taxes, even if you do not agree with the programs they pay for.

That doesn't make some laws correct. It was once against the law for blacks to vote. It is still against the law to take certain drugs.

it's what we do in a democracy.

Which is why unlimited democracy is a bad idea.

if i don't have children, is it wrong for me to have to pay school taxes, because other people with children exist?

Yes.

should i be clinging to some lame psuedo-philosophical slant about violence?

There is nothing "lame" or "pseudo" about it. Virtually every society (certainly every CIVILIZED society) since the dawn of recorded history has independently discovered the need for proscriptions against the initiation of physical force against peaceful individuals, regardless of their spiritual base or their level of technology or their philosophical sophistication or their geographical location or their isolation from other cultures. Have you ever wondered why that might be? It's because it is a very simple philosophical principle to discover; a matter of common sense. Murder is wrong -- you don't need to be a thinker on the level of Aristotle or Aquinas to grasp that. Theft is wrong -- you don't need a Bastiat or a Paine to tell you so.

we are not individuals here.

Speak for yourself.

we live in a society.

Society is nothing more than many individuals. I presume you believe in minority rights? Remember that the smallest minority in any society is the individual.

it has many parts, but they are all interconnected and interdependant.

Not all are.

we cannot seperate the "good" from the "bad".

Of course we can. Thieves are bad. Murderers are bad. Rapists are bad. Heads of state who initiate wars of conquest are bad. They can and must be separated from peaceful individuals, hence the necessity for police, courts, and armies.

yes, it is indeed a sad state of affairs when some are so selfish and greedy that they must be literally forced to help their neighbors when they need it.

Why must they be forced? That's all I am asking. What is the justification for initiating force against peaceful individuals who have harmed no one?

the idea that society is one whole thing with many interconnected, interdependant parts may conflict with you if you are an individualist (which you seem to be).

It doesn't conflict with me. What does conflict with me is the premise that the interconnections must be created and maintained by force.

However, the fact that individuals possess inviolable rights regardless of whether the majority chooses to honor them will necessarily conflict with you if you are a collectivist (which you seem to be). An individual neither gains new rights nor loses existing rights by joining a group -- any group, no matter how large. Rights are inherent in the individual, they are not granted by society. Rights are not gifts from the collective, they are protection against the collective.

what we have here is a difference in very fundamental principles that expand far beyond a discussion of welfare.

Indeed.

you've got your principles, i've got mine.

Correct. The fundamental ethical principle in the context of human interaction is that it is forbidden to initiate (or credibly threaten) the use of physical force or fraud against other humans. You seem not to recognize this principle. May I ask what principles you do recognize?

pinky


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OfflineNomad
Mad Robot

Registered: 04/30/02
Posts: 422
Last seen: 16 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: Phred]
    #1318026 - 02/18/03 11:47 PM (21 years, 3 months ago)

Can you please send me the entire contents of your bank accounts? Said contents are not your property.

And of course, that implies that it is your property. You gotta love the logic of capitalists. :laugh:

Note that not only it is unnecessary to address your example from an ethical perspective, it is impossible without more data. What is the nature of the beings who inhabit your planet? Are they born (are they even "born" at all?) with full and automatic instinctual knowledge of how to survive? Once born, are they immortal? Do they possess free will? Are they sentient? Are they even capable of surviving as individuals if left completely free, or are they mere units of a "hive" or "colonial organism" type, similar to earthly ants or bees? Human ethics apply to humans, not to ants or coral polyps or rabbits or pumas or aliens from the Tau Ceti system.

In other words, you agree with me that we need more data to decide when the use of force is ethical against those who didn't personally use force against you. You agree with me that your previous statement:  "The INITIATION of force (or threat thereof) can NEVER be justified, only the RETALIATORY use of force, and even then only against those who initiated (or threatened) it in the first place" is, philosophically, bullshit. That was the whole point of the thought experiment. Thanks for answering it.

 

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OfflineNomad
Mad Robot

Registered: 04/30/02
Posts: 422
Last seen: 16 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #1318042 - 02/19/03 12:04 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

In other words, you argue that trespassing private property is the initiation of force? Oh, sure. Great. Let's stretch all definitions into oblivion.

I agree with you, given your somewhat weird definitions. But be careful, man. When you start to argue that black is white, a zebra crossing becomes a dangerous thing.

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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

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Re: Welfare [Re: Nomad]
    #1318083 - 02/19/03 12:47 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

Nomad writes:

And of course, that implies that it is your property. You gotta love the logic of capitalists.

It's not necessarily my property, but according to your belief system, it isn't your property either, so you might as well send it to me as to anyone else -- at least you know a little bit about me, I am not some random stranger. If you prefer not to send it to me, I suggest you send it to the Somali government -- there are plenty of starving Somalians.

In other words, you agree with me that we need more data to decide when the use of force is ethical against those who didn't personally use force against you.

Not at all. I said we need to know more about the nature of the inhabitants of your hypothetical planet in order to decide what ethical code is proper for them to follow. Don't you agree it is the height of anthropocentric chauvinism to assume an alien species would require an ethical system identical to the one that human beings require?

Back to the real world: we need no more data on humans than we possess already in order to answer the question "When is the initiation of force against those who haven't initiated force correct?" We know that answer already.

You agree with me that your previous statement:"The INITIATION of force (or threat thereof) can NEVER be justified, only the RETALIATORY use of force, and even then only against those who initiated (or threatened) it in the first place" is, philosophically, bullshit.

Not at all. I only state that your thought experiment regarding aliens has no relevance if we know nothing of their nature.

I am sure the readers of this thread find it interesting that you believe the prohibition of the initiation of force against peaceful individuals is bullshit. By what process (excluding alien societies) did you arrive at this conclusion?

pinky


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Welfare [Re: Phred]
    #1318174 - 02/19/03 02:21 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

heh... peaceful individuals. what a sparkly little adjective.

initiation of force? how did this nation come into being again? so if a shitload of lower class somehow rise to power and take all your shit, I hope you don't feel you have a right to complain.

who needs morals when you've got a functional economy! 200$ viles of perfume for me, yay!

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OfflineGrav
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Re: Welfare [Re: Grav]
    #1318177 - 02/19/03 02:26 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

so as long as i remain ignorant of where my money comes from, and what life-sucking establishments make it possible, can you slap a 'peaceful individual' tag on me, too?

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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Welfare [Re: Nomad]
    #1318278 - 02/19/03 03:59 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)


In other words, you argue that trespassing private property is the initiation of force? Oh, sure. Great. Let's stretch all definitions into oblivion.

Trespassing is a violation of a person's property rights. By violating a person's
rights, you are initiating force.

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OfflineNomad
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Re: Welfare [Re: Phred]
    #1318291 - 02/19/03 04:06 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

If you prefer not to send it to me, I suggest you send it to the Somali government -- there are plenty of starving Somalians.

Yeah, great. That makes another Rolls Royce for the Somali president. I'm sorry for you, but I have better things to do with my money in order to help the Somali people. Better things than sending it to you or the Somali government.

It's fun how you dodged the issue again. Okay, next thought experiment. The planet earth is invaded by aliens. They collect everything and give it to the upper half of the planet, blah, blah, blah. Your take, please?

This is a philosophical argument, not a political argument. If you want to debate politics, go to the politics forum. Tell them that you want to discuss property. I'm sure there is an awesome lot of social anarchists over there, dying to discuss that with you. After all, social anarchism seems to be what the mushroom experience would suggest, namely, anti-authoritarianism with a care for your fellow beings. I'm not a social anarchist anymore, sorry for that. I'm not really interested in discussing politics with you. Politics won't save the planet.

But I'm somehow disturbed that we cannot even come to a basic agreement of what I consider the very minimum of ethics, namely, that we do not let any child starve when we have twice the amount of food to sustain the entire world population. That makes me sad, really. Sometimes, I think that I myself are not human, but some alien on this planet. I feel so terribly distant from some humans.

If we cannot agree on a minimum of human ethics, there is no basis for communication. I could as well discuss thermodynamics with a dolphin.


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OfflineGrav
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Re: Welfare [Re: Nomad]
    #1318418 - 02/19/03 04:59 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

i've had people call me a communist for suggesting that everyone should have a certain standard of living (food, medicine, a home, an education)

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OfflineNomad
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Registered: 04/30/02
Posts: 422
Last seen: 16 years, 5 months
Re: Welfare [Re: Grav]
    #1318745 - 02/19/03 06:29 AM (21 years, 3 months ago)

Yeah, and that's exactly what politics is about. You smack a label on something and spend the rest of the evening arguing against yourself. I mean, a communist? What the fuck should that be? Is there even something like a dictionary definition for that? And people tell me that the word "God" is ambiguous...

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