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OfflineFaaip_De_Oiad
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: GazzBut]
    #1781744 - 08/05/03 03:10 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

I'm going back the the topic of medicine and how pink mentioned that the field had made so much progress...

I think the point that supermarket was getting at was that the medical field is just fucked up all around, like the problems with health insurance, and the drug companies that bribe doctors into giving out THEIR drugs, and how there are countless kids doped up on ritalin and similar drugs just because some doctor suggested that the kid might have ADHD instead of just being an active kid, but I digress... a lot.

I hope this made sense


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Invisiblepoke smot!
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Re: Survival in the 21st century *DELETED* [Re: Phred]
    #1781753 - 08/05/03 03:14 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

Post deleted by poke smot!

Reason for deletion: x



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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: Faaip_De_Oiad]
    #1781763 - 08/05/03 03:16 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

Most people are unaware that the increase in life expectancy is due mostly to improvements in sanitation and only peripherally to modern medicine.


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The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlineatomikfunksoldier
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: Swami]
    #1781901 - 08/05/03 03:49 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

I dont know about that, sanitation causes alot of sickness through the debilitation of the human immune system, causing people to fall victim to virus easily.


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Edited by atomikfunksoldier (08/05/03 03:50 PM)


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: poke smot!]
    #1783103 - 08/05/03 10:43 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

pokesmot writes:

I didn't say that the foundations were weak ones. Actually, I was leaving it to be assumed that I was supporting that strong original foundation.

Yes, I know. I was agreeing you. More than just agreeing, in fact -- I was complimenting you on your astute grasp of the situation.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: tekramrepus]
    #1783172 - 08/05/03 11:06 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

supermarket writes:

America was not created to form liberation, or help fight for freedom, like textbooks will state. It was not created in the adversary of taxation or in the unity of mankind. It was built as a growth, or expansion, much like a cancerous growth.

And you arrived at this conclusion by what logical steps?

Are you saying that the entire body of writing of the Founding Fathers was actually an incredibly clever linguistic sham, carefully crafted to conceal their true motives with words that said the exact opposite of what they really planned?

There is no doubt that the American Government that originally started in 1776 or so was and still is not one of the best governments to be craeted thus far.

How could that be? Does that not contradict your previous contention I quoted above?

Regardless - its the less rotten apple out of a rotten bunch. Doesn't mean it still won't make you sick when you eat it.

If by that you mean that government is a necessary evil, I doubt any of the Founding Fathers would disagree. That is why they went to such painstaking lengths to restrict the power of government to the barest minimum they could think of as practicable.

Unfortunately, a society with no government and no laws whatsoever is vulnerable to the first predatory group who happens across it.

I believe the country was built with money and wealth and security in mind - there is no doubt about that.

If you mean the Founding Fathers were interested in constructing a system that would protect the wealth and security of the residents of the United States, you are correct.

It was built with the idea of a select high society controlling the politics...

If by that you mean that originally not every resident had the vote, again you are correct. Note, however, that originally those who were voted for had virtually no power to affect the lives of residents in a negative fashion. There was no standing army, no laws against what you could eat or drink or smoke, no police force, no income tax, no zoning regulations, no way to print fiat currency (the gold standard still existed at that time), no power to draft young men into the armed forces, no power to prevent anyone from persuing whatever career path they chose, etc.

In a very real sense, it made little difference WHO was elected.

...and a weak/low class poor society working for them.

Incorrect. At that time, the United States was largely an agrarian and enterpreneurial society. Farmers worked for themselves, as did blacksmiths and shopkeepers and artisans and newspaper publishers. The days of large companies employing thousands of people were yet to come.

You haven't thought through fully the philosophical principles embodied in the core documents of the United States. In essence, they say that each individual is sovereign and belongs to himself. They say that the only legitimate purpose for the institution of government is to ensure that said sovereignty is not violated by others who refuse to recognize it. What stronger foundation could you ask for?

With the benefit of over two hundred years of hindsight in your favor, what would you add to (or subtract from) that foundation to eliminate its "weakness"?

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: GazzBut]
    #1783251 - 08/05/03 11:33 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

GazzBut writes:

I think the prevalent form of survival today puts the individual's survival above that of the group.

As it must. A group is nothing more than several individuals. Individuals logically antecede groups.

It seems to me that generally people will put their individual comfort, not survival, above the actual survival of other members of our species.

"Generally"? Not so. Those individuals so calloused they will turn their backs on a starving infant are few and far between, and in no case can such behavior by accurately described as "generally".

In a world where we have the resources available to feed the whole world, vast portions of humanity still starve.

Such starvation is almost always a result of the political processes within the affected country, not a result of the lack of generosity of those living outside the country who wish to help. Famine in the modern world is a political phenomenon, not an environmental one.

The current form of survival thrives on competition between those involved, it needs winners and losers to designate how well one has managed to "survive".

Incorrect. It is not necessary for someone to suffer in order for someone else to prosper. Human survival is not a zero-sum game.

In the west we reached a point where our survival was secured a long time ago but we cant stop playing the game of "winners and losers"

How are you defining "survival"? It is foolish in the extreme not to plan for a rainy day. Subsistence survival is an extremely risky strategy to pursue when it is possible to aim for prosperity instead.

Many people have begun to realise that we stand a better chance of long term survival as a species through discarding this method.

Such people are called "social engineers", and none of their theories hold water. Marx was one. Engels was another. Besides, "species survival" is best achieved through allowing the individual members of that species to freely exercize their productive efforts, not through restricting those efforts.

Instead, as soon as an individual has secured hir own survival the individual's primary motive should change so the survival of the group takes priority in hir motivations.

Why?

As a side note, who decides when an individual's survival is assured?

Obviously people cannot have this kind of thinking forced upon them. People arrive at these conclusions through an internal process. Call it spirituality or whatever you prefer.

Agreed. This is why claiming that the system of government which gives people the most freedom to assure their longterm survival is built on a "weak foundation" is baffling to me. Does it not stand to reason that if you are left totally free to achieve prosperity as rapidly as possible you will then have more time to dedicate to spirituality?

Governments can legislate against harmful technologies and methods of industry instead of supporting them and making their existance easier.

Certainly governments should and must protect their constituents from aggressive acts of others -- that is their only legitimate function, after all. If a factory is dumping radioactive sludge into the ground water of the town, it must be stopped.

The method of survival I outlined above i.e where individual comfort takes priortiy over group survival demonstrates one area where governments base themselves on weak foundations. You can tack on irrational greed and fear also. These factors all relate to each other.

How does this indicate weak foundations? Just saying it is so doesn't make it so.

Look, government cannot legislate compassion or generosity -- all it can do is allow its constituents the freedom to prosper to the point where they are in a position to actually help others without jeopardizing their own well-being. The fact that not every individual may choose to help is irrelevant to the function of government. As you have pointed out, such spiritual qualities must come from within.

Anger - The reaction to 9/11 and the subsequent actions taken by the US govt.

Agression - Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam etc etc. I dont think you can really deny the US govt has always shown a high level of agression. Even if the agression hides itself in terms such as "patriotism" or "righteousness" and the like

Dishonesty - Watergate, Oliver North, Clinton, The basis for the Iraq war.

Material craving - The desire to control oil, the desire to see US industry succeed in spite of the damage they may do to other countries.


None of the above examples are even remotely connected to the foundation of the US government. Pokesmot has already addressed this point admirably, so I will not elaborate.

pinky


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: Phred]
    #1784121 - 08/06/03 05:27 AM (18 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

I think the prevalent form of survival today puts the individual's survival above that of the group.

As it must. A group is nothing more than several individuals. Individuals logically antecede groups.




Must? You always seem far too sure of yourself Pinky! Did you click on the link I gave which shows that possibly altruistic groups have more success than groups made up of selfish individuals?

Quote:

"Generally"? Not so. Those individuals so calloused they will turn their backs on a starving infant are few and far between, and in no case can such behavior by accurately described as "generally".




That seems like a bit of an extreme example Pinky. I mean in the west in general people would not want to give up any of their unnecessary material comforts to help those in need elsewhere in the world. Do you deny this?

Quote:

Such starvation is almost always a result of the political processes within the affected country, not a result of the lack of generosity of those living outside the country who wish to help. Famine in the modern world is a political phenomenon, not an environmental one.





A fascinating claim. Can you actually back this up with some hard evidence? Although I agree that the methods of government play a part in the state of some of the poorer nations of the world to see this as the sole cause seems rather shortsighted. Do you really think the west has done all it could (not should, thats for another debate) to help the starving of the world?

Quote:

Incorrect. It is not necessary for someone to suffer in order for someone else to prosper. Human survival is not a zero-sum game.





Please show me where I said this? I merely pointed out that we live in a competitive society where we draw lines in terms of winners and losers in most areas of life. This effect may seem quite subtle but if one looks hard enough you will see it.

Quote:

Such people are called "social engineers", and none of their theories hold water. Marx was one. Engels was another.




You forgot to mention the founding fathers.

Quote:

Besides, "species survival" is best achieved through allowing the individual members of that species to freely exercize their productive efforts, not through restricting those efforts.




Can you substantiate that?Once again I refer you to the link in my post. The way I see it, If people as a whole choose to work together because they see that in the long run this will benefit them, have they placed a restiction on anyone? In one sense they have, they have restricted individuals trying to gain or produce more than they need a behaviour which the group defines as detrimental to the group survival. On the other hand if the group do not restrict this behaviour and certain individuals acquire more of a resource than they need they have also placed a restriction on the remaining members of the group. Share and share alike as my wonderful mother taught me!

Quote:

Instead, as soon as an individual has secured hir own survival the individual's primary motive should change so the survival of the group takes priority in hir motivations.

Why?






I cannot answer that question for you Pinky. Supermarket mentioned the internal work that he has done which has produced this outlook. I feel that once a person begins this internal work in earnest they will eventually arrive at these conclusions. Remember this is S&P not PA&L!

Quote:

As a side note, who decides when an individual's survival is assured?





I get the feeling you are veering towards an attitude of "Ive got enough, I could give some of this away but what if...what if..?"

I dont really think we need to think like that anymore. We have enought paranoia in the world already!

Quote:

Agreed. This is why claiming that the system of government which gives people the most freedom to assure their longterm survival is built on a "weak foundation" is baffling to me. Does it not stand to reason that if you are left totally free to achieve prosperity as rapidly as possible you will then have more time to dedicate to spirituality?





You have answered your own question. The achievement of personal prosperity has priority over group prosperity and also over spirituality. I see this as a weak foundation.

Quote:

The method of survival I outlined above i.e where individual comfort takes priortiy over group survival demonstrates one area where governments base themselves on weak foundations. You can tack on irrational greed and fear also. These factors all relate to each other.

How does this indicate weak foundations? Just saying it is so doesn't make it so.




See the link I provided or try and understand my arguement! Basically I think the forms of government we use have served us well but have now outgrown their usefulness. I dont feel attachment to them and can happily discard them if their usefulness has past. Can you say the same?

Quote:

None of the above examples are even remotely connected to the foundation of the US government. Pokesmot has already addressed this point admirably, so I will not elaborate.




you originally said:
Quote:

Well, those attributes certainly describe some governments that have existed, but I fail to see the connection between that

list and the government of the United States, for example.




So I have simply pointed out how you can connect these attributes with the United States. You didnt say " fail to see the connection between that list and the FOUNDATION OF THE government of the United States, for example"

Always fun to debate with you Pinky. Seems like it has been a while!

Peace


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: GazzBut]
    #1784328 - 08/06/03 09:01 AM (18 years, 3 months ago)

GazzBut writes:

Did you click on the link I gave which shows that possibly altruistic groups have more success than groups made up of selfish individuals?

I read it the first time you posted it -- in the PA&L forum. Others in the PA&L forum pointed out enough flaws in the guy's work that I didn't bother to add my own comments.

It may have escaped your attention that the guy's work (and his theory based on that work) involved the study of zooplankton. The means of survival of zooplankton and the means of survival of Homo sapiens sapiens differ. To propose laws of moral behavior for humans based on a study of unicellular organisms is an exercise in futility.

I mean in the west in general people would not want to give up any of their unnecessary material comforts to help those in need elsewhere in the world. Do you deny this?

Yes. Check the amount of foreign aid per capita (both governmental AND from private donations) given by the "Free World" and then get back to me.

A fascinating claim. Can you actually back this up with some hard evidence?

Countless places. Do a google search on "causes of famine". I find it odd that you would challenge this -- it's neither a new concept nor a controversial one.

Although I agree that the methods of government play a part in the state of some of the poorer nations of the world to see this as the sole cause seems rather shortsighted.

The state of almost all the poorer nations of the world is directly related to the philosophies (or lack thereof) of their own governments. I am in too much of a rush this morning to dig out the dozens of links dealing with this, but here's one I came across recently -- http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110003831

Do you really think the west has done all it could (not should, thats for another debate) to help the starving of the world?

No. The West could have expended a hell of a lot more effort vigorously promoting freedom in those countries than it has. Handing money to the thugs in charge of those countries will never work.

You forgot to mention the founding fathers.

I didn't forget to mention them. They were not social engineers. Their goal was not to change the inherent nature of man through the application of government-controlled force.

The way I see it, If people as a whole choose to work together because they see that in the long run this will benefit them, have they placed a restiction on anyone?

The key word in that question is "choose". The philosophy of the Founding Fathers was that forcing such "co-operation" cannot be allowed -- such actions must be voluntary. Supermarket's contention is that a system of government founded on such a philosophy is "weak", yet at the same time he (and you) advocate looking inside and changing oneself. Do neither of you see the contradiction?

In one sense they have, they have restricted individuals trying to gain or produce more than they need a behaviour which the group defines as detrimental to the group survival.

I repeat, a group is nothing more than several individuals. If the rights of any given individual may be violated at any time, no one in the group is safe. I ask again, WHO DECIDES the point at which an individual has "more than they need"?

On the other hand if the group do not restrict this behaviour and certain individuals acquire more of a resource than they need they have also placed a restriction on the remaining members of the group.

To which resource are you referring?

Share and share alike as my wonderful mother taught me!

Again, the key word here is "share". There is a difference between "sharing" and "confiscating". To take that further, you seem to be saying that if a given individual chooses not to share, he must be forced to "share". Have I misinterpreted you on that point?

I cannot answer that question for you Pinky. Supermarket mentioned the internal work that he has done which has produced this outlook. I feel that once a person begins this internal work in earnest they will eventually arrive at these conclusions. Remember this is S&P not PA&L!

The "P" in S&P refers to philosophy. I am not discussing politics, I am discussing philosophical principles -- specifically, whether or not an individual owns himself or whether he is a "group possession".

I get the feeling you are veering towards an attitude of "Ive got enough, I could give some of this away but what if...what if..?"

I dont really think we need to think like that anymore. We have enought paranoia in the world already!


Paranoia and prudence are not equivalent. I note you dodged (again) the question of "who decides".

The achievement of personal prosperity has priority over group prosperity and also over spirituality. I see this as a weak foundation.

I know you see it that way. I am trying to get you to explain why you see it that way. What logical (or moral) explanation can you present to justify valuing "the group" over many individuals?

Basically I think the forms of government we use have served us well but have now outgrown their usefulness.

Marx felt the same way.

I dont feel attachment to them and can happily discard them if their usefulness has past. Can you say the same?

Not without being presented with a superior alternative, no. To quote Jimmy Carter, ""We must adjust to changing times with unchanging principles."

Forcing others to act in a certain way because one "thinks" that freedom can be discarded now is wrong. It was wrong in the past, it is wrong today, and it will be wrong in the future.

You didnt say " fail to see the connection between that list and the FOUNDATION OF THE government of the United States, for example"

Whoops. Mea culpa. I thought the implication would have been clear from the context of the discussion, but I could indeed have phrased it more precisely.

pinky


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: Phred]
    #1784433 - 08/06/03 10:40 AM (18 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

I read it the first time you posted it -- in the PA&L forum. Others in the PA&L forum pointed out enough flaws in the guy's work that I didn't bother to add my own comments.




Yeah Luvdem really cut it to shreds didnt he!
Cutting!

I do not claim this article holds some hard and fast truth. I leave making such bold claims to your good self. However, I found it interesting as it matches my own philosophy quite nicely and indicates cooperation can indeed have potential as a successful model. So what if we learn it from plankton?

Quote:

Yes. Check the amount of foreign aid per capita (both governmental AND from private donations) given by the "Free World" and then get back to me.




do you want me to trot out those tired statistics that show how 2% of the world have 95% of the wealth in the world? 3rd world countries have developed slower than countries in the west. Do you think the western world would have got to its present state if it had been struggling against a far superior (economically and technologically) culture who had control of 95% of the wealth in the game?
As for foreign aid how about extortionate interest on loans, Arbitrage of currency, exploitation of cheap labour, Government subsidised exports etc etc. We take more than we give.
Nice article in your link which happens to ignore all of the issues I have mentioned above.

Quote:

Countless places. Do a google search on "causes of famine". I find it odd that you would challenge this -- it's neither a new concept nor a controversial one.





I just did. However, you obviously didnt.

Quote:

The key word in that question is "choose". The philosophy of the Founding Fathers was that forcing such "co-operation" cannot be allowed -- such actions must be voluntary.




I dont advocate forcing anyone. I have come to the conclusion that evolution through its own methods will lead us to an approximation of the ideas myself and Supermarket have mentioned in this thread. Probabaly far removed but based on the same spirit of cooperation. I think it will happen thanks to computers! I say this in all honesty by the way.

As for who decides, The individual can decide for himself.

I dont think we will have to force anyone. Patience. I will just continue trying to eradicate greed in my own life and try and live with a sense of balance and harmony towards the all which is me that I am.

Quote:

I know you see it that way. I am trying to get you to explain why you see it that way. What logical (or moral) explanation can you present to justify valuing "the group" over many individuals?





Simple, We are all one.


Anyway, I will let you have the last word if you so wish and will say no more in this thread before we start going round and round in circles.

Peace


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: GazzBut]
    #1784464 - 08/06/03 11:03 AM (18 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Simple, We are all one.




Yes, but how does this one make decisions about what to do?

1. By having a centralized government that decides everything for everyone?

2. By letting everyone decide for themselves?

3. No need, because when being one, there is no need for any decisions involving multiple things, like for example "alternatives".


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: Rhizoid]
    #1784469 - 08/06/03 11:06 AM (18 years, 3 months ago)

We will find out when we need to know!


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: GazzBut]
    #1785035 - 08/06/03 02:53 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

GazzBut writes:

Yeah Luvdem really cut it to shreds didnt he!

Actually, I was thinking more of Rhizoid's post, but luvdemshrooms had some good points, too.

I do not claim this article holds some hard and fast truth.

Good, because it doesn't.

However, I found it interesting as it matches my own philosophy quite nicely...

Would such a match lead you to read more into it than was actually there?

...and indicates cooperation can indeed have potential as a successful model. So what if we learn it from plankton?

The mode of survival of plankton is no more relevent to human morality than is the mode of survival of wolverines.

do you want me to trot out those tired statistics that show how 2% of the world have 95% of the wealth in the world?

So what? Now, if you could show me that the 2% seized that wealth by force, I would sit up and listen.

Inequality of distribution of wealth in and of itself is no more indicative of malfeasance than is the unequal distribution of intelligence or physical prowess or attractiveness.

3rd world countries have developed slower than countries in the west.

True. This is because almost all of their governments are based on weak foundations.

Do you think the western world would have got to its present state if it had been struggling against a far superior (economically and technologically) culture who had control of 95% of the wealth in the game?

Who is struggling "against" the West? The prosperity of the Western nations in no way prevents third world nations from prospering. The fact that there are Arnold Schwarzneggers around doesn't prevent me from putting on fifty pounds of lean muscle mass. The fact that McDonald's exists doesn't prevent me from running a successful fast-food restaurant chain. As I have said repeatedly in threads which I know you have read, before wealth can be looted, it must first be CREATED. The economy is not a zero-sum game.

As for foreign aid how about extortionate interest on loans, Arbitrage of currency, exploitation of cheap labour, Government subsidised exports etc etc. We take more than we give.

And the fact that such things exist negates the fact that people who don't have to give a dime to anyone choose to do so anyway? Here's an interesting tidbit for you -- despite the fact that the US government hands out BY FAR more foreign aid than any other country, PRIVATE contributions by individual US citizens ALONE also outweigh the COMBINED amount of private and government contributions of the next-highest country (Japan).

As for loans, taking out a loan is a voluntary act. You don't want to pay the interest, don't take the loan. Further, you cannot possibly be unaware that a vast percentage of these foreign aid "loans" end up being written off anyway. Arbitrage is a money-manipulation technique which can be practiced on things other than foreign aid loans. Accepting a job is also a voluntary act. Note that if there were no "exploiters" in most of these countries, there would be no jobs at all. As for government-subsidized exports, that is contrary to the principles on which the US government was founded.

Nice try at deflecting the point under discussion -- foreign aid.

Nice article in your link which happens to ignore all of the issues I have mentioned above.

Because none of those issues have anything at all to do with why Africa remains a cesspit, and will always remain a cesspit regardless of how much money is tossed at them -- UNLESS there is a fundamental change in the foundations on which most African nations have built their "governments".

I dont advocate forcing anyone.

Nor do I. Nor did the Founding Fathers. Why then, do you believe that the first government in history which specifically excluded the initiation of force in human interaction (even by government) has a "weak foundation"?

As for who decides, The individual can decide for himself.

Exactly how is this different from what the Founding Fathers envisioned?

I dont think we will have to force anyone. Patience. I will just continue trying to eradicate greed in my own life and try and live with a sense of balance and harmony towards the all which is me that I am.

The Founding Fathers didn't believe it was necessary to force anyone either. They believed that if an issue was serious enough, men of good will acting freely would address it. This is a "weak foundation"?

Anyway, I will let you have the last word if you so wish...

That's right neighborly of you. I appreciate it.

pinky


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InvisibleLe_Canard
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Re: Survival in the 21st century [Re: tekramrepus]
    #1785179 - 08/06/03 03:35 PM (18 years, 3 months ago)

We are evolving, indeed...but into what I cannot say! Like you, I truly hope it is an evolution into something far better than the way we are now.
Be that as it may, a very thought provoking post indeed, SuperMarket! :laugh: 


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