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  1. #1
    Branded with Satan murkrow's Avatar
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    Default Contemplative Lives

    Do you think those who wish to dedicate their lives to contemplation have the right to demand necessities from the state in the same way as more traditional welfare recipients?
    wails from the crypt.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abra View Post
    Do you think those who wish to dedicate their lives to contemplation have the right to demand necessities from the state in the same way as more traditional welfare recipients?
    I personally think that since modern economies are based upon the circulation of money and both welfare recipients and this category of individual will not be saving, ie taking money out of the economy, then I guess there has been a denial as to their usefulness for some time.

    Given that someone who is a contemplative will, presumably, be living an aesthetic life also, living simply, not over consuming, contributing to problems of obescity etc. I would imagine that there would be less complaint about their lifestyle being subsidised by the taxpayer. Plus they could be providing health and social services for no extra cost.

    See, I can understand the cultural push and pull against providing for anyone on the tax tab, it appears like you're bankrolling someone to be uproductive, productivity is valued with good reason its a basic need. However that's at odds with the social character the economy calls for and, hey, we all benefit from the economy as is.

  3. #3
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Scarcity, Plenty and Contemplation

    Quote Originally Posted by abra View Post
    Do you think those who wish to dedicate their lives to contemplation have the right to demand necessities from the state in the same way as more traditional welfare recipients?
    Particularly since WW II developed nations have overcome scarcity for the first time in human history.

    Of course we still have the values we learnt in societies based on scarcity. Indeed economics is based on scarcity.

    But slowly we will learn values based on plenty, and one of those values is contemplation.

    But in the meantime we drive forward looking in the rear vision mirror of scarcity while plenty is rushing towards us through the windscreen.

  4. #4
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    The "State"? No.

    But like the artists of old (or hell, the present too), I think they can do well with a patron or two. Nothing wrong with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abra View Post
    Do you think those who wish to dedicate their lives to contemplation have the right to demand necessities from the state in the same way as more traditional welfare recipients?
    in your view, what does a life of contemplation involve?

  6. #6
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The Highest Virtue

    Quote Originally Posted by Edasich View Post
    in your view, what does a life of contemplation involve?
    Usually contemplation is counterpoised to doing. And doing and contemplating are seen to be mutually inhibiting.

    However praxis comes to the rescue and is seen as doing, leading to contemplating what has been done, and then doing again in the light of the contemplation.

    Praxis has been expressed traditionally as orare et laborare (to pray and to work). So it's a very old idea going back to the monastic orders.

    In the modern world though we seem to have little time for contemplation. And indeed attention deficit disorder seems to be on the rise. And medicating our children against attention deficit disorder doesn't seem to have led to contemplation.

    The Ancient Greeks though regarded theoria or contemplation as the highest virtue.

  7. #7
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    Personally, I don't think anybody has the right to demand anything when they're not contributing at least in some useful way, no matter how little it is.

    If you think about it this way that those who receive welfare don't really contribute to the society in any useful kind of way, then those who simply contemplate are exactly in the same situation. And since the state has agreed to provide the necessities to the welfare recipients, then there shouldn't have any reasons not to provide the same to those who contemplate.

    If you think about it with contribution to the society in mind, if the contemplation helps to produce some tangible results (sharing your ideas with people who take action) and is helpful to those around, thus contributing, then of course they have a right to have their basic needs met even though they're not actively taking action.

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    A Free Gift of $A900 Australian

    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    Personally, I don't think anybody has the right to demand anything when they're not contributing at least in some useful way, no matter how little it is.
    This would be true if we lived in an economy of scarcity, but in developed countries we have overcome scarcity since WW II.

    So our economy is now driven by demand and welfare puts demand in the hands of the people and keeps the economy ticking over.

    Keeping this in mind, to handle the last economic meltdown we gave each welfare recipient $A900 Australian. This kept our economy ticking over. And we had no need to bail out our banks. And indeed we were the only developed country that did not go into recession.

    The other developed countries continued to drive forward looking in the rear vision mirror of scarcity when plenty is rushing towards us through the windscreen, and so went into recession.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abra View Post
    Do you think those who wish to dedicate their lives to contemplation have the right to demand necessities from the state in the same way as more traditional welfare recipients?
    Nah. If they're serious, they can learn to take care of themselves.

    I say this as a person who has seriously considered doing just that.

    Contemplation does without fail produce tangible results, but good luck considering average Joe of that. Much easier just to fend for yourself.
    "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see."
    Thoreau

  10. #10
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abra View Post
    Do you think those who wish to dedicate their lives to contemplation have the right to demand necessities from the state in the same way as more traditional welfare recipients?
    They seem to have as much right to some minimal level of upkeep by "the state" as do convicted criminals in prison. Contemplatives at least tend to be relatively harmless and are probably far less of a drain on society.

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