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  1. #41
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    This has come up a number of times, and I want to turn the question back over onto you. Who do you think defines what's beneficial to society?

    What do you think is beneficial to society, and where did you get the idea from?
    I believe each individual/group/business/whatever decides for himself/herself/itself what is beneficial. There is no one-size-fits-all good or bad for society. I believe in peaceful choices in all parts of society (the market, personal life, academia, anything). When people decide that THEY know what is best for society as a whole, you end up with despotism. I can't tell you what is best for your life, and vice versa. Some people might be motivated by money, some by love, some by power. In my world, a religious nut can live next to a vegan atheist next to a communist collective farm next to a financial firm. Freedom is beneficial to society.
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  2. #42
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I think if they are going to do that, they should also offer the same option for low-level employees to profit from the deaths of their employers/former employers. All the low-wage earners could pool their resources to buy shares of a really large policy.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think if they are going to do that, they should also offer the same option for low-level employees to profit from the deaths of their employers/former employers. All the low-wage earners could pool their resources to buy shares of a really large policy.
    If the workers can pool their resources to do that AND find an insurance company offering a policy, that would be fine, too. Certainly, the death of a top manager at a large corporation can affect the future earning potential and job security of underlings.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  4. #44
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    You don't think that buying insurance adds to the economic pie? I would say that it does.
    Then you also believe Social Security adds to the economic pie? Social Security is a form of insurance.

    I don't agree with those who view profit in that manner, but we are talking about a business decision here. Profit is sort of the idea. It's a good idea, too, and one that is beneficial for society, assuming fair play is involved. My mindset is not "can we justify allowing an activity?" To me, it should be "is there a compelling reason why we must PREVENT this activity?" That is liberalism (in the classic sense) in a nutshell.
    I guess the anguish it causes the families that lost loved ones is not compelling enough for you?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #45
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I believe each individual/group/business/whatever decides for himself/herself/itself what is beneficial. There is no one-size-fits-all good or bad for society. I believe in peaceful choices in all parts of society (the market, personal life, academia, anything). When people decide that THEY know what is best for society as a whole, you end up with despotism. I can't tell you what is best for your life, and vice versa. Some people might be motivated by money, some by love, some by power. In my world, a religious nut can live next to a vegan atheist next to a communist collective farm next to a financial firm. Freedom is beneficial to society.
    I think peoples' lives are too intertwined to really take a completely live-and-let-live approach. And when everyone gets to define their own idea of what is benefical to society, or socially acceptable, and acts acordingly only to that, what you get is for all intents and purposes the same as lawless and amoral society.

    Someone, even if that actually technically refers to a group of people (as it does in nearly all societies today), will in fact have to make presumptions about what is socially beneficial and act upon them. It is necessary to make society, which is essentially the same as just saying it is necessary, since society will emerge if you put enough people in one place.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Then you also believe Social Security adds to the economic pie? Social Security is a form of insurance.
    No, because nothing is created at all there, just shifted. I think Social Security does provide help for some people at the margins, but there is a loss of wealth created by the money being taken out of the private sector. I would opt out of SS in a heartbeat, and I'd be better off for it. I think most people would.


    I guess the anguish it causes the families that lost loved ones is not compelling enough for you?
    Anguish, no matter how real or acute, is not the same as quantifiable harm: loss of life, liberty, property, opportunity. Just because something is distasteful to us doesn't mean it should be outlawed.
    Last edited by pure_mercury; 07-10-2010 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Edit: Changed "economy" to "private sector" for clarity
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I think peoples' lives are too intertwined to really take a completely live-and-let-live approach. And when everyone gets to define their own idea of what is benefical to society, or socially acceptable, and acts acordingly only to that, what you get is for all intents and purposes the same as lawless and amoral society.
    I am not arguing that there should be no social mores. I am arguing that they should arise organically, and that the power of government should only be employed when it's ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that behavior is harming others. Someone may fervently believe it's OK to rape or murder others, but that doesn't make it so. I guess I have faith that people can decide for themselves, but I am extremely skeptical that they can decide for others.


    Someone, even if that actually technically refers to a group of people (as it does in nearly all societies today), will in fact have to make presumptions about what is socially beneficial and act upon them. It is necessary to make society, which is essentially the same as just saying it is necessary, since society will emerge if you put enough people in one place.
    I don't believe society can be made artificially. I think it only emerges. I don't believe in social engineering (top-down or bottom-up or whatever).
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #48
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    No, because nothing is created at all there, just shifted. I think Social Security does provide help for some people at the margins, but there is a loss of wealth created by the money being taken out of the economy. I would opt out of SS in a heartbeat, and I'd be better off for it. I think most people would.
    I'm not sure how these life insurance policies aren't mere shifting of money. What is it creating?

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Anguish, no matter how real or acute, is not the same as quantifiable harm: loss of life, liberty, property, opportunity. Just because something is distasteful to us doesn't mean it should be outlawed.
    Would that not mean there can be no harassment laws of any kind?

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am not arguing that there should be no social mores. I am arguing that they should arise organically
    Government itself arose organically.

    I personally don't think it's fruitful to try rating anything's worth based on how allagedly organic or mechanical, natural or unnatural, it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    and that the power of government should only be employed when it's ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that behavior is harming others.
    I do believe that would mean government would fail to address the vast majority of harm. It would also presumably have virtually no preventative capabilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I don't believe society can be made artificially. I think it only emerges. I don't believe in social engineering (top-down or bottom-up or whatever).
    Again, the government emereged itself. Law and government are parts of culture.
    Last edited by Magic Poriferan; 07-10-2010 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Corrected in response to Mercury's edit.
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  9. #49
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    If the workers can pool their resources to do that AND find an insurance company offering a policy, that would be fine, too. Certainly, the death of a top manager at a large corporation can affect the future earning potential and job security of underlings.
    I think if insurance companies allow it for the company buy for employees, they should be legally required to offer the same service to employees. It's only fair.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I'm not sure how these life insurance policies aren't mere shifting of money. What is it creating?
    Jobs? Money to be reinvested into the companies? How are ANY insurance policies positive?



    Would that not mean there can be no harassment laws of any kind?
    Elaborate. I'd like to hear exactly which situations you are talking about.


    Government itself arose organically.
    True enough, although it also arose by force. In the old days, it wasn't as if "consent of the governed" really entered into the deal.


    I personally don't think it's fruitful to try rating anything's worth based on how allagedly organic or mechanical, natural or unnatural, it is.
    That's your prerogative, but I think IN THIS CASE, it's a big difference. Imposing things on people is not good.


    I do believe that would mean government would fail to address the vast majority of harm. It would also presumably have virtually no preventative capabilities.
    Which preventative capabilities do you mean? And I never said that the government should prevent or remedy ALL harm. That's not what it's there for.


    Again, the government emereged itself. Law and government are parts of culture.
    I don't see a contradiction there. I am talking about what government does TO society, not it's legitimacy FROM society. Two different things.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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