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  1. #81
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I disagree.

    People, by nature of their own existence, always have the freedom of choice to do as they wish. The law and tradition can only decide the official CONSEQUENCES of the choice if it's discovered. They can influence your choice, but only you can choose to take advantage of freedom. But choice is inherent in everyone in such a way that law cannot completely take it away. There's always the things you do when no one's looking, conversations behind closed doors. People always find a way to get around restrictions to do what they please, if they're determined enough to take the risks. There are bands of outlaws even in the most restrictive regimes, and many of them manage to evade justice.
    That's a nice restatement of Enlightenment ideals, but they're exactly that - ideals. When we talk about freedom, we talk about it in the public sphere. That means that no matter what, anything you do happens by the tacit consent of others. This can even be so little as allowing you to live without violence being done to you.

    A government cannot give you freedom, it can only attempt to minimize the consequences for those who choose it. There are always consequences for choosing freedom, so most people don't choose it even in such governments. Basically, I deny that our freedom belongs to the government, and that it can bestow it upon us. It cannot give what it cannot completely take away. To assume such deifies the government and society to an unhealthy degree. Governments may try to oppress people, but they can only tighten their grip so much before they fall apart.
    This has nothing to do with government. This has everything to do with society. Government is merely a tool of society to make group decisions. Some societies say "hey, let this guy make those decisions". Those are called dictatorships. Others say "everyone should have some say". Those are more democratic. A government doesn't give you freedom, this is true. However, it does make sure that other members of society do not take it away from you. On the other hand, society itself does grant freedom.

    Can you tell me of a society in which outlaws never existed, or in which 100% of them were found and prosecuted?
    Being an outlaw is no way to live. Technically, to be an outlaw means that good citizens are supposed to kill you on sight, lest you take advantage of society's benefits. It's as much freedom as death is freedom from the chains of life.

    And tell me this... if they truly took people's freedom away completely, how did the bands of rebels ever organize? Because they already had freedom on some level, though it was officially punished, despite the attempts to limit it. They can only discourage the use of freedom, not take it away.
    A segment of society disagreed with the way the governing authority was using the powers granted to it from society. They moved to change the government. The government (and segment of society which supported it) acted to protect itself. Could the rebel just walk into the government building with impunity? Then how was he truly free?

    You may shoot me in the head for speaking my mind, but you cannot stop me from doing it in the first place. That's a risk even in America. Remember Martin Luther King?
    Ya - I'm never going to claim the South is a free society.

    Islamic countries may seem restrictive because a woman can't leave the house with her face uncovered, but guess what happens in America if a woman leaves the house with her breasts uncovered, or a man leaves the house with no pants on? It's not that different if you think about it... it varies only in degree. Even so, I'm sure there are people that have streaked in Islamic countries despite the consequences (though they were probably killed, admittedly). People are crazy. Assuming that you can control people with laws that have rationally undesirable consequences, or give them freedom by not discouraging it officially, is to assume more rationality and respect than you can assign to human beings.
    I don't understand what your point here is. Please clarify.

  2. #82
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    There's only one candidate for each party anyway... so the process is more transparent. That's the real advantage... it's harder for them to pull a fast one on us, they have to show us more of what they're doing before we make a decision us than they do there.
    A nice concept but when you vote in some intellectual front man who's made a success of several arenas, to find out that he's stepping down and you're now stuck with a bloke with a face like a guber fish and more "accidents" in his history than most teenage drivers it gets a little less direct and a whole lot more frustrating.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #83
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    That's a nice restatement of Enlightenment ideals, but they're exactly that - ideals. When we talk about freedom, we talk about it in the public sphere. That means that no matter what, anything you do happens by the tacit consent of others. This can even be so little as allowing you to live without violence being done to you.



    This has nothing to do with government. This has everything to do with society. Government is merely a tool of society to make group decisions. Some societies say "hey, let this guy make those decisions". Those are called dictatorships. Others say "everyone should have some say". Those are more democratic. A government doesn't give you freedom, this is true. However, it does make sure that other members of society do not take it away from you. On the other hand, society itself does grant freedom.



    Being an outlaw is no way to live. Technically, to be an outlaw means that good citizens are supposed to kill you on sight, lest you take advantage of society's benefits. It's as much freedom as death is freedom from the chains of life.



    A segment of society disagreed with the way the governing authority was using the powers granted to it from society. They moved to change the government. The government (and segment of society which supported it) acted to protect itself. Could the rebel just walk into the government building with impunity? Then how was he truly free?



    Ya - I'm never going to claim the South is a free society.
    Anything you do officially and openly is done with the tacit approval of others. But you don't have to operate that way, and the fact is that not everyone is a good citizen. There are people who range from good citizens, to citizens who take bribes to look the other way, to apathetic citizens, to fellow outlaws. There are always segments of society, people who disagree with how things are done.

    This isn't theory at all. Freedom isn't freedom from consequences, it's freedom of choice. Freedom from consequences does NOT exist in the public sphere by any means, not even in a free society. Sure, you may not go to jail, but there are plenty of other consequences.

    True, a rebel couldn't just WALK into a government building, but there's no saying he couldn't sneak in and take hostages or steal documents. A regular citizen couldn't "just walk" into the CIA in the US either, BTW... you know what I mean?

    Your assumptions are all based on viewing freedom as freedom from consequences, and an above-board way of life that almost everyone is a part of and seeks to enforce. That's not any more real than ideals are. You're the one focused on assumptions of how things should be, with people doing things in an above board way and what they're officially permitted to do, rather than how they actually are with many people doing things under the table unofficially. There are probably fewer people who DON'T do things they're not supposed to in private (or when they can get away with it) than who do.

    And finally... what about the concept of martyrdom? If enough people die in a certain kind of display of injustice, they could stir sympathy for their cause. So yes, even freedom to do something you'll likely die for is still freedom.

  4. #84
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    LOL... you must live in a very reactionary area. They had the leader of what is considered the british version of the Nazi party on question time and relatively civilisation survived with but a burp of media frenzy.
    A year ago, we were very close to having Sarah Palin one person away from having control of 9,000 nuclear weapons. Xenophobia and greed means dozens of dead Iraqis every day, and dead American soldiers flying back home. Forgive me for taking these things so gravely on November 11. Bad ideas have killed millions in the past century.

    This is the problem with forums, what we needed was a cuppa in a quiet corner and the damn machine is always broken round here!!
    I know, right?

    I tend not to fear the hordes of simple minded shotgun wielders. They're mostly lemmings and tend to die out. It the one's who won't shoot but who want to "educate" you that I fear. I fear them because they've been so damn successful that no one considers that the situation may need reviewing. Like education, moving away from passing exams and moving back to learning, most look at me like I've gone insane!!
    I'm glad you've never had to live among the pitchforks. The educators are easy to deal with - I'm never going to claim you don't have freedom in your mind.

    “You are not free whose liberty is won by the rigour of other, more righteous souls. Your are merely protected. Your freedom is parasitic, you suck the honourable man dry and offer nothing in return."
    This much I understand which is why I understand that the onus for security is placed upon the individual and not the police.
    A beautiful sentiment, but is it true? How can you pursue your desires if constantly having to fend off attack? How does society stay together?

    Precisely but that does not ever equate to good vs evil unless you believe that democracy is some kind of objective good.
    No disagreement there.

    Oh hell yeah but I would like to see implemented similar systems to the australians in britain just so when I've looked at all the candidates I can register my vote that not one of them is good enough, go back and try again.
    Duverger's law is a bitch, isn't it?

    I find it highly suspicious that governments are voted in "by the people" but those people are 51% of the 35% that turned out to vote. So in other words something like 17% of the people of that country actually support the rulers... that indicates a vast majority of 83% who are either indifferent or aren't supporting the rulers.
    Is that suspicious, or blaringly obvious given what you know about your neighbors?

    Because I refuse to kow tow to the system as is. Many people seem to enter the system with the mindset of "if you want to change the system you have to be part of the system" and then they get handed instructions and filed off into stations and basically compartmentalised until they have little effect. Similar to society, if you dropped a real genius off in a village I'd put money on him or her being ostracised and subject to derision more than the village idiot.
    No disagreement there. How are you going to eat, then?

    People look for whether you conform or not, they don't look for, care or understand anything more. Hence to underline that I'm actually disagreeing and daring to say no, I underline my objections.
    Why do you fault them this?

    That and if you were looking for someone who would blow up parliament, you just found one.
    Where would V's actions end up?

    Btw, not sure how familiar you are with the british system but don't you ever wonder what the point is in voting? I mean sure you vote in the leaders but their instructions are still interpreted by the same civil service as the last time and we all know that in large organisations people can lose instructions very well. There's so many sofas in those places!!
    The point is to keep people placated.

  5. #85
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Well the two are kind of best buddies are they not? You always get one messing with the other.
    That would be tradition. I'm not much into that.

    Who decides what constitutes merit?
    Who do you think?
    Efficiency, ingenuity, talent.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  6. #86
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    A year ago, we were very close to having Sarah Palin one person away from having control of 9,000 nuclear weapons. Xenophobia and greed means dozens of dead Iraqis every day, and dead American soldiers flying back home. Forgive me for taking these things so gravely on November 11. Bad ideas have killed millions in the past century.
    I have to admit I know nothing about this Ms Palin but you did have what to all intents and purposes looked like a rather low intelligence monkey in charge of all of them for a while.

    Oh and good ideas kill just as many it's just people think it's worthwhile.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I know, right?
    Someone get an admin in here...
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I'm glad you've never had to live among the pitchforks. The educators are easy to deal with - I'm never going to claim you don't have freedom in your mind.
    Actually I grew up in the sticks.. not what you mean't but it made me chuckle
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    A beautiful sentiment, but is it true? How can you pursue your desires if constantly having to fend off attack? How does society stay together?
    The statement relates more to war than everyday struggles. It basically asserts that those who haven't fought for their freedom have not paid their dues, they are parasites.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Duverger's law is a bitch, isn't it?
    Diverging what now?

    *runs off to research*
    Aha!... most assuredly. I'm so sick of saying to people "why not look at voting liberal or green?" to be met each time with the response of "they'll never get in". Narrow minded, short sighted, dim witted sheep!!
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Is that suspicious, or blaringly obvious given what you know about your neighbors?
    Not really no... just depressing... deeply depressing...

    See democracy relies on people giving two nutshells about the government and the country really and that just doesn't hold up to reality. Now legally requiring people to vote, that system has promise.
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    No disagreement there. How are you going to eat, then?
    I don't get where you're going with this.. I'll use my fingers like normal?
    [QUOTE=onemoretime;913528Why do you fault them this? [/quote]
    I'm a firm believer in the unexamined life being not worth living and I'm tired of fixing problems which could have been avoided if people used the muscle between their ears.

    I don't mind people who aren't bright but those who just won't use it irritate me. And yes I realise the duplicity... it's just my objections and more logical and right
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Where would V's actions end up?
    Tick, tick, boom!!

    It would end up with a new government and one that would perhaps be a little more respectful towards it's power base? I so wish the same would happen to banks. They need a lesson in the idea of "YOU have NO money you arrogant little straight jacket. You have MY money. I, in part, OWN your useless ass!".
    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The point is to keep people placated.
    Just shoot them. Sod elitist society, just wipe out the hangars on. It's much more efficient.

    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  7. #87
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    That would be tradition. I'm not much into that.
    No the history is tradition, the reality is that the government controls the economy to a certain extent. Plus if the government doesn't want the economy to have problems then they have to be nice to businesses to some degree.
    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Who do you think?
    I think my local Jesus is up to the job.

    Him or hypnotoad
    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Efficiency, ingenuity, talent.
    You forgot ruthlessness... you always forget ruthlessness... tsk tsk.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  8. #88
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Anything you do officially and openly is done with the tacit approval of others. But you don't have to operate that way, and the fact is that not everyone is a good citizen. There are people who range from good citizens, to citizens who take bribes to look the other way, to apathetic citizens, to fellow outlaws. There are always segments of society, people who disagree with how things are done.
    So you're restricted in a large sphere - i.e. not free

    This isn't theory at all. Freedom isn't freedom from consequences, it's freedom of choice. Freedom from consequences does NOT exist in the public sphere by any means, not even in a free society. Sure, you may not go to jail, but there are plenty of other consequences.
    So what makes a society unfree, rather than one which has heavy consequences?

    True, a rebel couldn't just WALK into a government building, but there's no saying he couldn't sneak in and take hostages or steal documents. A regular citizen couldn't "just walk" into the CIA in the US either, BTW... you know what I mean?
    Yes, but I never claimed this was a perfectly free country.

    Your assumptions are all based on viewing freedom as freedom from consequences, and an above-board way of life that almost everyone is a part of and seeks to enforce. That's not any more real than ideals are. You're the one focused on assumptions of how things should be, with people doing things in an above board way and what they're officially permitted to do, rather than how they actually are with many people doing things under the table unofficially. There are probably fewer people who DON'T do things they're not supposed to in private (or when they can get away with it) than who do.
    Umm, not so much. I just don't understand what you mean by freedom in relation to the role of government. What people do outside of the public sphere is utterly irrelevant.

    And finally... what about the concept of martyrdom? If enough people die in a certain kind of display of injustice, they could stir sympathy for their cause. So yes, even freedom to do something you'll likely die for is still freedom.
    Suicide's the only real choice you have. Martyrdom is simply suicide by pissing someone off.

  9. #89
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Suicide's the only real choice you have. Martyrdom is simply suicide by pissing someone off.
    Not true. Martyrs can be positive and not due to pissing someone off... well not specifically. I'm thinking wartime here...

    Oh and relation to "freedom" perhaps we need two definitions?

    There seems to be permissive freedom "nothing is banned" and social freedom "you may live unmolested". The titles need working on but they seem to be distinct... not quite sure where though.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #90
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    So you're restricted in a large sphere - i.e. not free

    Umm, not so much. I just don't understand what you mean by freedom in relation to the role of government. What people do outside of the public sphere is utterly irrelevant.
    Oh! I wasn't aware we were limiting the scope of discussion to freedom as it applied to government and control of the public sphere. You might say I literally dwell in an irrelevent world, and have no idea how to become relevent.

    I guess I just don't think about the public sphere that often because I'm not strongly involved in it, and don't feel that I have any power to act in it due to lack of resources and abilities.

    So what makes a society unfree, rather than one which has heavy consequences?
    Actually, I don't believe a society can be made "unfree," rather than just having heavy consequences. I'm claiming that people are inherently free on a certain level because they cannot be 100% controlled, especially if they're determined. That's all I'm claiming.

    I think a better term for "freedom" would be openness and opportunity, in the sense you're thinking of. A country can be closed and offer little opportunity, and that's what most people mean when they say "unfree."

    Yes, but I never claimed this was a perfectly free country.
    Fair enough.

    Suicide's the only real choice you have. Martyrdom is simply suicide by pissing someone off.
    If you put the place the locus upon external end results rather than the process and the individual, then yes.

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