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  1. #21
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Properly understood I do not consider that there is a dichotomy between liberty and equality, neither acts as a break or limit upon the other.

    Complex equality usually involves some conception of positive freedom/liberty, that is "freedom to", as opposed to negative freedom/liberty, that is "freedom from".

    Traditionally freedom/liberty has been seen exclusively in the negative sense, this is a mistake, in one sense it is true that the rich man and the poor man are equally free to sleep beneath the bridge, ie neither is prevented from doing so by law most of the time, but for one, the rich man with means, it may be a choice, where for the poor man it is necessitated by their lack of means.

    There have been theorists who have tried to achieve the end of positive liberty through legalisation of a negative character, I think called "counter extractive liberty" but its a convoluted idea which I'll not bother going into right now. In short the prohibiting of decisions likely to be made with incomplete information or competence, recognising that not everyone has the same decision making power or bargaining power therefore freedom to each does not mean or constitute the same prowess.

    Anyway, I dont believe that as liberty expands equality necessarily contracts or that as equality expands liberty necessarily contracts.

    Though like I say I believe in complex theories of liberty (its not just being left alone) and equality (its not the same or the uniform, its not the enemy of diversity, disparity or difference).
    The highlighted is a great example. Freedoms granted by law are meaningless if a person does not have the wherewithal to exercise them. It's like the version of Cinderella in which the stepmother says, "Of course you may go to the ball: as long as you finish all your work and can find something suitable to wear." In the real world, few of us have a Fairy Godmother to take care of the practical constraints.

    On the broader issue, I agree with those who have indicated we should be free to do whatever we like as long as it doesn't harm others. Yes, this does leave us with the thorny question of what constitutes harm. I'm sure my personal biases are at play here, but I cannot put emotional harm on a par with more tangible harm. If Sally steals money from her family to elope with her boyfriend, they are out the money, regardless of their feelings on the whole matter and Sally has crossed that line of harming others. If she merely insists on marrying someone her family doesn't like, perhaps due to being from a different race, culture, or religion, they may feel quite hurt but I don't consider her in the wrong. They must own and address their own emotions here. Now if she marries someone involved in a gang who brings danger to the family, that is a problem unless she can somehow fence them off from it.

    In this sense, equality does indeed place some limits on liberty. If everyone is to share equally of this liberty, then my exercise of it cannot come at the expense of your exercise of it. My choices and actions are limited to what doesn't harm others. I cannot say that it is OK to harm certain people as they are not entitled to the same degree of liberty as I am.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    The highlighted is a great example. Freedoms granted by law are meaningless if a person does not have the wherewithal to exercise them. It's like the version of Cinderella in which the stepmother says, "Of course you may go to the ball: as long as you finish all your work and can find something suitable to wear." In the real world, few of us have a Fairy Godmother to take care of the practical constraints.

    On the broader issue, I agree with those who have indicated we should be free to do whatever we like as long as it doesn't harm others. Yes, this does leave us with the thorny question of what constitutes harm. I'm sure my personal biases are at play here, but I cannot put emotional harm on a par with more tangible harm. If Sally steals money from her family to elope with her boyfriend, they are out the money, regardless of their feelings on the whole matter and Sally has crossed that line of harming others. If she merely insists on marrying someone her family doesn't like, perhaps due to being from a different race, culture, or religion, they may feel quite hurt but I don't consider her in the wrong. They must own and address their own emotions here. Now if she marries someone involved in a gang who brings danger to the family, that is a problem unless she can somehow fence them off from it.

    In this sense, equality does indeed place some limits on liberty. If everyone is to share equally of this liberty, then my exercise of it cannot come at the expense of your exercise of it. My choices and actions are limited to what doesn't harm others. I cannot say that it is OK to harm certain people as they are not entitled to the same degree of liberty as I am.
    The final paragraph I think in some ways is informed by scarcity thinking. I just dont see the equal distribution of freedom limiting that freedom per se.

    Questions of resource management, or distributive justice, as opposed to commutative justice, ie equality before the law, make it a little difficult.

    Freedom without resources I would say is still freedom, its just freedom in the narrow, negative, rather than positive sense. It does not cease to have meaning, anyone who has been freed from slavery or oppression of any description, crime, terror, tyranny, name it, will tell you so and I dont underestimate that. Negative freedoms matter. I just do not believe that they are the only freedoms, the true freedoms or any of that sort of talk which libertarians or minarchists or other defenders of privatised power and privilege, by design or merely by default, say.

    There is always the, good I think, question about resource rights, whether they are enshrined in law, custom, tradition or not, either as a universal right or a legacy (I think most resource rights are more the later than the former whatever the conventional wisdom is on the matter) from civics classes.

    If it is said that a Lion has the right to an antelope for Breakfast, does a Lion have a right to an antelope for Breakfast? In reality the Lion can only have an antelope for Breakfast if there is an antelope around/available at Breakfast time.

    It could be argued there's an element of "might makes right" in this scenario, parking that for one moment, its a question related to whether rights exist when they are in conflict with scarcity.

    I think negative rights do, if you are free but poor and starving, you're not less free. Its just (exclusively) negative freedom that you are enjoying. Negative freedoms are necessary but I would say never sufficient for a free society, for free individuals, but as I say I know this is a theory of complex liberty and complex equality, most people will be satisfied with trad definitions. Its possible to argue that negative freedom is a "natural right", as in "naturally" or "spontaneously" occuring, that's fine, I dont think that alone means negative takes precedence, or is more vital or "real", than any other, "constitutive", "citizenship", "human" rights.

    One may be easier to achieve than the other, however, as soon as possible, ie when technics, resources, whatever, have advanced sufficiently it should be the goal to achieve it. I tend to see that as happening in a certain order, for instance policing, contracts, courts, recognizing and enforcing obligations, that all takes resources, you cant have basic safety or basic economy without those things, accumulation beyond that makes other things possible, its possible to progress beyond merely negative freedoms to negative and positive freedom but its both/and, not either/or, I dont think there's a trade off.

    I thought the examples you used when discussing harm was interesting. I guess, in the example you give, both actions are transgressive/betrayal but one only may involve jeopardy/compromise of safety.

  3. #23
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The final paragraph I think in some ways is informed by scarcity thinking. I just dont see the equal distribution of freedom limiting that freedom per se.

    Questions of resource management, or distributive justice, as opposed to commutative justice, ie equality before the law, make it a little difficult.

    Freedom without resources I would say is still freedom, its just freedom in the narrow, negative, rather than positive sense. It does not cease to have meaning, anyone who has been freed from slavery or oppression of any description, crime, terror, tyranny, name it, will tell you so and I dont underestimate that. Negative freedoms matter. I just do not believe that they are the only freedoms, the true freedoms or any of that sort of talk which libertarians or minarchists or other defenders of privatised power and privilege, by design or merely by default, say.

    There is always the, good I think, question about resource rights, whether they are enshrined in law, custom, tradition or not, either as a universal right or a legacy (I think most resource rights are more the later than the former whatever the conventional wisdom is on the matter) from civics classes.

    If it is said that a Lion has the right to an antelope for Breakfast, does a Lion have a right to an antelope for Breakfast? In reality the Lion can only have an antelope for Breakfast if there is an antelope around/available at Breakfast time.

    It could be argued there's an element of "might makes right" in this scenario, parking that for one moment, its a question related to whether rights exist when they are in conflict with scarcity.

    I think negative rights do, if you are free but poor and starving, you're not less free. Its just (exclusively) negative freedom that you are enjoying. Negative freedoms are necessary but I would say never sufficient for a free society, for free individuals, but as I say I know this is a theory of complex liberty and complex equality, most people will be satisfied with trad definitions. Its possible to argue that negative freedom is a "natural right", as in "naturally" or "spontaneously" occuring, that's fine, I dont think that alone means negative takes precedence, or is more vital or "real", than any other, "constitutive", "citizenship", "human" rights.

    One may be easier to achieve than the other, however, as soon as possible, ie when technics, resources, whatever, have advanced sufficiently it should be the goal to achieve it. I tend to see that as happening in a certain order, for instance policing, contracts, courts, recognizing and enforcing obligations, that all takes resources, you cant have basic safety or basic economy without those things, accumulation beyond that makes other things possible, its possible to progress beyond merely negative freedoms to negative and positive freedom but its both/and, not either/or, I dont think there's a trade off.

    I thought the examples you used when discussing harm was interesting. I guess, in the example you give, both actions are transgressive/betrayal but one only may involve jeopardy/compromise of safety.
    This is not simply matter of finite resources, but includes the personal safety and autonomy of others. To paraphrase the familiar saying, my freedom to punch you in the nose ends just before your nose. And if the poor have "only" negative freedom, how is this not less freedom than those whose greater economic means give them also positive freedom?
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha

  4. #24

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    I have mixed feelings on ideas and discussions like this, partly because there is no clear cut answer here (at least, no concise one) and this discussion is often a dog whistle to right-wing bullshit.

    People should be able to persue a lifestyle that achieves them happiness, so long as their lifestyle does not infringe upon the lifestyle of another in an undo manner. I wish I could end it there because to a decent person it's not that difficult to sort out more often than not. The problem is sometimes the damage caused doesn't emerge until it's passed through several channels. So you might not harm anyone in your immediate orbit, but it could be harming others further down the chain. Such as with pollution, fiances, etc. We have to do our best to understand these cases and adapt to them.

    As for people having the freedom to make poor choices that don't harm others, sure. However, this isn't something to celebrate. We should be heavily investing in education of the population and providing basic needs and community support so people are much less likely to do this. After that though, if people still insist, then sure. Humans need a little deviance now and again, but we need to be aware of what devience is permissable, and which isn't.

    As for sadists and people who want to the world to of a dog-eat-dog mentality, let me just give you a royal fuck you please die in a fire, because people like that cause more harm than good to everyone. Sadism should NEVER be tolerated.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This is not simply matter of finite resources, but includes the personal safety and autonomy of others. To paraphrase the familiar saying, my freedom to punch you in the nose ends just before your nose. And if the poor have "only" negative freedom, how is this not less freedom than those whose greater economic means give them also positive freedom?
    Well, I would think its less freedom, although no one has to go with my definition.

    Although I think everyone has negative freedom as a matter of course. I think its part of the spontaneous order. Its objectively universal. Should you in splendid isolation or in a society governed by rules, customs, conventions or even a formal legal coda this remains the case. Laws do not dispel the freedom, conformity to them may do but that's not exactly the same thing. So, I would say that anywhere and always this is the case.

    The positive aspects of freedom, they are attendant upon the development or emergence of civilisation, there's a material side to it, ie eventual post-scarcity, but there's the compliance with law too.

    I'm not sure about the punching analogy. In some sense I believe the saying about "no one has the right to so something unless they first desire to do what is right", its axiomatic to my consideration of the matter, I suppose.

    Perhaps freedom includes wickedness, sadism and cruelty too, within the definition, I would not consider that so. Those are the out growths of some sort of toxicity rather than freedom. Though you are free to disagree, I dont think that everyone can or does act in complete freedom, immature children before the age of majority, vulnerable adults, others with diminished responsibility.

  6. #26
    Noncompliant Yuurei's Avatar
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    One of my greatest issues with the state of the world ( people) is that they seem to think they are entitled to poor choices but not consequences. EVERY action has consequences it's the way of the damned universe, no one is immune to them...check that no one SHOULD be immune, no matter how rich they are.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuu View Post
    One of my greatest issues with the state of the world ( people) is that they seem to think they are entitled to poor choices but not consequences. EVERY action has consequences it's the way of the damned universe, no one is immune to them...check that no one SHOULD be immune, no matter how rich they are.
    Riches do have a tendency to off set consequences.

    I kind of wonder what makes a choice poor other than its possessing negative consequences and being poor on that account.

    The word "poor" is being used in that fashion surely, as opposed to choices the poor, as social class, would make because I'm sure some of those choices would cut across social class lines, almost definitely within a mass society like the one we live in.

  8. #28
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I kind of wonder what makes a choice poor other than its possessing negative consequences and being poor on that account.
    Often we cannot see the full consequences of a choice until well after it is made and implemented. Also, good choices can lead to negative consequences when extenuating or unpredictable circumstances occur. to take a simplistic example, one can make what looks like a "good" choice in buying a new car, by selecting one that has good safety and reliability reviews, is economical, meets your needs, etc. Despite your careful research and well thought-out specifications, however, you might still end up with a lemon that breaks down frequently and needs expensive repairs. I would say, then, that a good decision is one that has a high likelihood of leading to positive results based on available information and an understanding of cause and effect.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha

  9. #29
    Senior Member Madboot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuu View Post
    One of my greatest issues with the state of the world ( people) is that they seem to think they are entitled to poor choices but not consequences. EVERY action has consequences it's the way of the damned universe, no one is immune to them...check that no one SHOULD be immune, no matter how rich they are.
    I agree with this. All of our choices, good or ill, come with consequences. Not all of these consequences are legal in nature, they are there all the same. To me, liberty is the freedom to make your own choices, coupled with the responsibility of dealing with the consequences of those choices. The law should exist to deal with those who do not accept responsibility when their choices adversely affect others. The fact that the practice of law, in the United States, has become as much a business as a branch of government truly saddens me.
    The strong manly ones in life are those who understand the meaning of the word patience. Patience means restraining one's inclinations. There are seven emotions: joy, anger, anxiety, adoration, grief, fear, and hate, and if a man does not give way to these he can be called patient. I am not as strong as I might be, but I have long known and practiced patience. And if my descendants wish to be as I am, they must study patience.

    Ieyasu Tokugawa
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  10. #30
    Noncompliant Yuurei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madboot View Post
    I agree with this. All of our choices, good or ill, come with consequences. Not all of these consequences are legal in nature, they are there all the same. To me, liberty is the freedom to make your own choices, coupled with the responsibility of dealing with the consequences of those choices. The law should exist to deal with those who do not accept responsibility when their choices adversely affect others. The fact that the practice of law, in the United States, has become as much a business as a branch of government truly saddens me.
    I studied law for a while.
    Shirtly after I started the Pheonix Wright series came out. It was frustrating because suddanly everyone wanted to study law but they thought it was a game, which side could manipulate and exploit the rules to win.
    I used to get mad and tell them it wasn’t about that. After about a year I realized that yes, yes it is. Common sense, logic, or even evidence doesn’t mean anything against someone who knows how to use the ules of the game.

    I quit and studied anthropology instead. It’s far more interesting but equally frustrating; namely in the way in which people don’t appreciate free will and the responsibiltiy that comes with it. In that way, I guess it’s something both subjects have in common.

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