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  1. #81
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Both premises can be used to justify just about anything. Cost/benefit analysis is superior to both.
    I flatly disagree.

    Life is about risk vs. reward, and the authority to make risk vs. reward decisions should be maximized (not absolute, but maximized) in the hands of the individual. Period.

  2. #82
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    A bit slow in the response here..

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That isn't just mental anguish, though. That would be enough to prevent someone from living and working freely. Admittedly, it's a thin line, but there is a difference between being a jerk and ruining someone's life and work. Also, a harasser could be liable in a civil suit even if he/she didn't do anything extreme enough to be arrested. The burden of proof should be on the government/accuser/plaintiff, though.
    These thin lines creates a problem. This is part of the reason we have to have people interpreting the law left and right, and additionally a whole lot of goverment entities have to exist just to work this crap out.

    From my vantage point, the suffering the families of these employees experience is not something I would liken to a random person just "being a jerk". Furthermore, if you want to talke about living freely as a standard, I could make the absurd argument that the company is compromising their potential freedom by not giving them all that money they are spending on their own policies. It don't think it's a very practical measure. Arguments over freedom always fall down a rabbit hole.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    The issue was that people didn't have a well-thought-out framework of natural rights then. It was still brutal and wrong, though.
    First of all, I don't really believe in natural rights. Rights are variable and they are all socially constructed. A nice idea that can be useful when people comply to them in my mass, but are often disregarded and aren't the same from group to group.

    Even today there's nothing close to a consensus about those rights among law practitioners, even just in this country, no less regarding all the different consitutions around the world. The founding fathers of this country didn't even agree with each other. By talking about those things contained in the bill of rights as "natural" is attributing James Madison a sort of strange, Muhammed like status as a man who somehow got the last and truest word on an ancient controversy.

    And with that, I don't think a belief in natural rights had much to do with the increase in living quality over the years, I really don't. I think it was a product of technological advancement and accumulated education, regardless of the concept of how those rights were conceived.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Doesn't jive with my mentality. I definitely do NOT believe "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know."
    My mentality is that is the entirety of life. Choosing between the best of things that fail your ideals. Like Lateralus said, cost/benefit analysis is the best way to go. I think that's true even regarding the most person of moral questions. It is clear that what you are pressing for here is not cost/benefit analysis, and I think it is impractical.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It's not consistent, though. The government does NOT always get bigger. It did during the Civil War, then abated. It did during the Great Depression and WWII, then abated again. It even lessened during the 1990s. You make it seem inevitable and necessary, but history doesn't bear that out.
    Now come one, this is the difference of incidents vs trends. Of course the increase in size and complexity of government does not look like a perfect line or curve, but it has clearly trended upward since the very dawn of agriculture. Can you really deny that?

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Pennsylvania in the 1680s and 1690s had practically no state, and many people moved there happily. The Northern and Midwestern U.S. from the end of the Civil War until about 1890 was pretty libertarian, too (with a few glaring exceptions).
    I will grant you here that I know very little about PA in that time. I can neither say you are wrong nor take your word that you are right. But I certainly wonder how many people were actually living in PA in that time. I also want to know why it didn't last very long.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Then that is where we disagree. You know how they say the cure can be worse than the disease? The prevention can be worse than the disease, too.
    The government is a social tool, it should be used to its fullest capacity for the benefit of soceiiy. And let me tell you, the choice between the cure and the disease here isn't even real. In any attempt to have a libertarian society with a sizable number of people and advance technology, the most crude, simple form of authoritarian government will be around the corner to fill in the power vacuum and apply the absolutely necessary social administration.

    I don't like authoritarianism, and that actually encourages me to promote the gradual expansion and complicating of government. There will never be a large and advance society with little to no government. The only two choices are between when where the power is concentrated, and one where the power is more diluded and filled with checks and balances. but it will be a big, complicated government one way or the other, by necessity. So I say, don't hate the government, be the government. That's why I like democracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    One reason: power. The government has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force in society. That makes its nature COMPLETELY different from all other organizations.
    And again, I don't think a society of this size and complexity would be possible without assigning some entity the rule of legitimate authority, and therefore some degree of legitimate force since authority with no force is essentially vacant. If a people desired to advance society beyond a certain point, they would have to concede to granting legitimate authority to some particular entity. It's basically the choice of having that legitimate force, or being very small and primitive. If you're okay with being very small and primitive, well that's okay. But you can escape both.

    And yes, it needs to be something with a monopoly, because more than one just creates dysfunctional confusion and disorder. The solution is not to give more than one entity legitimate use of force, but, as I said, to dilute and tie up that one authority. In other words, create intraconflict, not interconflict.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I don't see the point here. I am not talking about self-reliance in all matters. I am talking about freely associating with others. I am not talking about atomizing society. I think we're talking past each other here.
    My point is that there are plenty of exmaples of the need to in fact trust someone else with the responsibility of knowing what is good for you. It is not an absurd foundation for other ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    That is fine, but there must MAJOR checks on what this authority can do. Consent of the governed is not enough to make government action legitimate, because of the force-employing nature I mentioned earlier.
    Sure, there should be checks. That doesn't mean widdling the government down into a tiny shell than can only protect a relatively small list of arbitrary rights. In fact, putting checks on government tome times means making it bigger. Case in point, bicameralism instead of unicameralism.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  3. #83
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I flatly disagree.

    Life is about risk vs. reward, and the authority to make risk vs. reward decisions should be maximized (not absolute, but maximized) in the hands of the individual. Period.
    Then let's go back to blood feuds instead of having criminal trials for murder. Then we really put the risk vs reward choices into the hands of the individual.

    There is no way to objectively maximize this balance. And even if such a balance exists (subjectively), it's certainly not a constant.

    You are trying to claim that your position is superior, but it is only superior if someone holds the same values as 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."

  4. #84
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    No, this isn't about absolute vs situational. This is about what you believe to be absolute or situational.
    So in this case I'm the subjective voice, and you're the objective voice. Gotcha.

    I would disagree with you, but since you're all objective and all, and all I can see is my own limited perspective, of course there would be no point.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    You quoted a line that didn't articulate my point clearly. That's why I deleted it. You're also misinterpreting that line.
    "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."

  6. #86
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    You are trying to claim that your position is superior, but it is only superior if someone holds the same values as you.
    It only makes any sense at all if you substantially share my value system, honestly.

    That's all right. We draw different conclusions because we start with different "assumptions" (or axioms, if you prefer).

  7. #87
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It only makes any sense at all if you substantially share my value system, honestly.

    That's all right. We draw different conclusions because we start with different "assumptions" (or axioms, if you prefer).
    Working toward a common understanding would be very helpful.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #88
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Working toward a common understanding would be very helpful.
    Well, certainly. When you've come around to a substantially Judeo-Christian worldview, let's talk.

  9. #89
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, certainly. When you've come around to a substantially Judeo-Christian worldview, let's talk.
    And the problem for you is that our society is gradually drifting away from this.
    "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."

  10. #90
    Oberon
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    I'd say that's not just a problem for me, but a problem for all concerned.

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