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Zenoplata
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#26 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/28/11 - 3:22 PM:

"What does it say about our society when we assert that we don't and won't care about people except as a last resort (emergency)?"

I care about people. Just not those that choose or do not have the capability or potential to contribute, or have no contributed to society.
libertygrl
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#27 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/28/11 - 4:54 PM:

Monk wrote:
Who are you to decide what people do and do not 'deserve'?

this is just as ridiculous as anything you've seen fit to ridicule in this thread. is it stupidity, ignorance or are you just trying to stir up trouble? those are the only three options, according to you, right? you're admonishing Z for caring about how his money is spent, apparently convinced that you have the right to decide on his behalf, and then you turn around and ask "who are you to decide?" why don't you ask yourself that question? raised eyebrow

Z wrote:
You sure do have a strong sense of entitlement.

this is where it strays from being about the topic to being personal. hmm, i wonder how it got to that point?

Monk wrote:
What does it say about our society when we assert that we don't and won't care about people except as a last resort (emergency)?

aside from the fact that this is a gross oversimplification and completely ignores several other significant points of exception that have been discussed, what does it say about our society when we don't care enough to enforce a boundary to protect honest, hard-working people from obviously parasitic behavior?

Monk wrote:
There's two things I feel should always be 'free' in a just, humane, and civilized society: Education and health care.

everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Zenoplata
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#28 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 02/28/11 - 7:55 PM:

We'll try to keep it civil for you, lib. smiling face
smokinpristiformis
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#29 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/01/11 - 2:31 AM:

I have to say I'm completely behind Phlogi on this one. And that, although I respect him a lot for his immensely creative mind, really doesn't happen all that often.

Libs, you've been to Europe recently, Belgium in particular. It was a pretty good place to live in, don't you think? The sort of nationally organised support network that a socially conscious government would provide, is much more efficiënt and effective than charity. It gives people that are quickly dropping towards rock bottom a second chance, and a third and a fourth if necessary. And that doesn't have anything to do with handing out free lunches. It's trying to equilibrate for the rotten luck that all of us have at some point. Cancer, road accidents, psychological problems, generational poverty, you name it.

It creates more stable, just, happier and relaxing social environment. That's worth a couple hundred euros a month and offending a couple of people's ideas. I don't mind offending self-centredness at all, really. A couple of years ago, I would have, but I've come to realise that it can be enlightening to have your ideas tackled from time to time.

In the end, this is a political, and possibly (best-case scenario) a democratic decision. It's cool to square it off around here. It's certainly neither the first and probably won't be the last time. But I would suggest, if anyone finds the time, to gather some data on the circumstances and general quality of life that occur in a wide variety of social systems. Unless, of course, you simply don't care about the general quality of life.

Which is at least an uncivilised point of view, and quite possibly a dangerous one. Millions, probably billions, of people have suffered and died because others couldn't identify with them. But if you really are that careless, this argument won't do any good either. End of story.
henry quirk
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#30 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/01/11 - 10:07 AM:

"you simply don't care about the general quality of life."

I don't.

#

"an *uncivilised point of view, and quite possibly a **dangerous one"

Yes: on both counts.

#

"if you really are that careless -- ***as in: not giving a damn -- this argument won't do any good either. End of story.

It didn't, and it is.



*by your definition, not mine

**by your definition, not mine

***my addition
libertygrl
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#31 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/01/11 - 3:54 PM:

Zenoplata wrote:
We'll try to keep it civil for you, lib. smiling face

thank you thumb up
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#32 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/01/11 - 3:56 PM:

smoki wrote:
It creates more stable, just, happier and relaxing social environment.

fair enough. sounds good to me.
henry quirk
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#33 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/02/11 - 9:26 AM:

If compassion (the feeling and the actions stemming from the feeling) is enforced (as a matter of policy), is it still compassion?
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#34 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/02/11 - 10:04 AM:

that's a question i was asking myself. i would say the answer is no. obviously such a policy would not be appreciated by a few, but presumably by a much greater majority. after all, if a person refrains from assaulting another out of fear of prison rather than actual empathy for the person's feelings, i don't think most people will care so much that that small majority failed to actually feel compassion.

no matter what kind of policy anyone instates, there's bound to be someone who doesn't like it. indeed, there's bound to be someone who, more than not liking it, thinks it's morally wrong even. the best that can be made of the situation, any situation, then, is to try to minimize the number of unsatisfied people.
henry quirk
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#35 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/02/11 - 11:26 AM:

If one offers aid to another, not from compassion (as an empathetic choice), but from a fear the other will do him or her injury if the aid is not forthcoming, this is blackmail, thievery, slavery.

If one offers aid to another, not from compassion, but because another with a big stick (the 'majority', for example) says he or she must, this is thievery, slavery.

One such big stick is the appeal to the 'greater good', another is the threat of prison, yet another is the threat of death.

Blackmail, the 'greater good', prison, and death are not sufficient reasons (for me) to submit to having what is mine taken and having my hands bound up and my neck yoked.

Willem says up-thread, "I have to say I'm completely behind Phlogi on this one...It (nationalized health care) creates more stable, just, happier and relaxing social environment. That's worth a couple hundred euros a month and offending a couple of people's ideas"

He describes, I think, 'domestication' (creating stable, just, happy, relaxed, environments).

Now understand: if Monk and Willem and whoever want utopia (or near-utopia) that's fine by me.

Hell: if every person on the rock wants this, that's fine by me.

Each and every one can define (and redefine) compassion as he or she likes, actively refine and promote any program for breeding wildness out of the mix, and -- ultimately -- work to see each man, woman, and child sewn together, ass-to-mouth, to form a single centipede-like 'super-organism' wiggling its way from sea to shining sea.

I simply decline to participate.

My declining, of course, illustrates the essential flaw of communitarian, utopian, thinking.

For domestication to work, for utopia (or near-utopia) to 'be', for that "stable, just, happier and relaxing social environment" to 'be', ALL must submit, ALL must agree, ALL must be 'ALL' (the 'WE' triumphs over the 'I').

Sure: a domestication program can ensure the survival of generation after generation of livestock, and, sure, my "self-centredness" serves only me (and mine). So: one must choose between being 'cog' or being 'I'.

Strip away all the gradations in thinking and get down to black and white: the essential question threads like these pose in any number of ways is, 'Who owns YOU?’

As I see it: there is no, can be no, middle ground on this. I own (possess, control) me, or, someone else does (in the thread's context: 'someone else' is the WE, 'greater good', nation, community, etc.).

If I definitively say, 'I own me' and refuse to compromise on this, then communitarians clear through to Monk's kind of libertarian have no choice but to lock me away or kill me.

The 'I' is the ill-fitting piece that can't be allowed, the wrench in the works, the sugar in the gas tank.

There are a dozen, a hundred, a million, arguments against 'I' and in favor of 'WE' (typically beginning and ending with 'greater good'), and only one substantial argument favoring 'I' (that argument being the organic, on-going, agent him- or her-self).

Again: once all the gradations of thinking are stripped away and one is left with the essential question, then all that left is your answer.

The irony is that cog-living (domestication, being domesticated, taking a place in the great centipede) is, can only be, CHOSEN by an 'I', making such a choice a kind of suicide.

*shrug*

I have no doubt the cogs (and the cog-masters) will win. The war (of which all others are mere echoes) between the 'I' and the 'WE' has been going on since before the first proto fell out of the trees and it goes poorly for the 'I' (as it always has).

Utopia (or near-utopia) will come, the 'I' will be a past anomaly, an aberration bred away (or surgically removed). 'Deviants' will be cared for as possible (and quietly euthanized when needed) and all will -- finally -- be right with, and in, the world.

But not today... wink

Edited by henry quirk on 03/02/11 - 1:47 PM. Reason: washed away some mud; expanded for clarity
Zenoplata
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#36 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/02/11 - 12:31 PM:

Good point henry.

I think the whole compassion issue is entirely fabricated to vilify the opposition and to emotionally coerce people into siding with the free-riders.

libertygrl
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#37 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/02/11 - 1:32 PM:

quirk wrote:
For domestication to work, for utopia to 'be', for that "stable, just, happier and relaxing social environment" to 'be', ALL must submit, ALL must agree, ALL must be 'ALL' (the 'WE' triumphs over the 'I').

i don't think anyone is prescribing utopia. i certainly am not. devising a system is always done, at least when done by sensible people, with the full knowledge that the system will serve most and not all. if you decline to participate, such is your inclination, come what may. such is human nature, even. to my knowledge, no one is ever 100% fully compliant, with anything. or at least rarely, if ever.

Zenoplata wrote:
I think the whole compassion issue is entirely fabricated to vilify the opposition and to emotionally coerce people into siding with the free-riders.

interesting. so you don't think compassion has anything to do with it? just sheer hatred for any opposition? naturally, i think you're way off, if that's the case, but i'm curious to know if that's truly your position. also curious to know if you can cite some rational support for such an assessment.
Zenoplata
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#38 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/02/11 - 9:35 PM:

The argument is that people that don't support universal health care and what not don't have compassion for the people that can't afford it naturally.

It's not a matter of that, it's just a matter of compassion being geared in other directions, let's say for instance my own family. I have compassion for my family and want them to get the best health care possible. I know that this is only possible through the private sector.

The Obamanites and the Bill Maher's of the world know this, it's mainly just a psychological tactic. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt by saying that I don't think they honestly believe everyone else lacks compassion.

Do I think compassion is involved in our decisions? Sure.

Do I think that people oppose universal health care because they have no compassion for the poor? No.

I oppose it because it's an extremely poor business move, and it will reduce the quality of health care overall.
smokinpristiformis
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#39 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/03/11 - 1:03 PM:

It's not a matter of that, it's just a matter of compassion being geared in other direction


Narrowed, you mean your compassion is narrowed. Selective. Much easier.
Zenoplata
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#40 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/03/11 - 4:02 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:


Narrowed, you mean your compassion is narrowed. Selective. Much easier.


Again, you're painting inaccuracies to try to emotionally coerce people to your agenda.

It's a sad fact that this is a world of limited resources. To say I love my family and want them to have their share of resources before I give them away to strangers because the strangers are too incompetent or unwilling to attain their own share is not saying I'm only being compassionate to my family and have no compassion to others.

No, what I'm saying is that I love those close to me more than others, not that I am selecting to love them and not to be compassionate to anyone else.

henry quirk
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#41 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/03/11 - 5:19 PM:

Since you won't say it, Zen, let me:

I have compassion for those I *love (an exceedingly small number): those folks get all of me.

I have no compassion for those I don't love (which is pretty much everyone else, including, I'm afraid, all of YOU): those folks get nothing.

This is not to say I don't, or can't, have **'affection' for the non-loved. I have loads of affection for any number of folks (including some here).

Simply: 'I' am a finite resource and 'I' decide how I'm used. My criterion is simple: again, those I love get all of me and those I don’t love get nothing.

My choices in this aren’t motivated by politics or ideology but simply by the value of 'me', in the world.





*Defined by me, for me: valuing another person as much or more than I value myself. The value I place on 'me' is high. Those I love are therefore valued highly. These folks -- the handful -- get everything I have to give.

**Defined by me, for me: the pleasant feeling of familiarity that comes with sharing a past time or activity.
libertygrl
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#42 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/03/11 - 8:29 PM:

Zenoplata wrote:
Again, you're painting inaccuracies to try to emotionally coerce people to your agenda.

nowhere in any previous posts have you expressed a desire to be compassionate to anyone other than your immediate loved ones. surely you can recognize how easy it would be to come to that conclusion in the absence of the clarification you only just provided here:

Zenoplata wrote:
It's a sad fact that this is a world of limited resources. To say I love my family and want them to have their share of resources before I give them away to strangers because the strangers are too incompetent or unwilling to attain their own share is not saying I'm only being compassionate to my family and have no compassion to others.


not to mention the fact that what smoki said is still true: that you're narrowing the focus of your compassion by being more selective. i have yet to hear any reasonable evidence to support your allegation of "coercion".

what inaccuracies, exactly, do you find in smoki's statement that you quoted?
Zenoplata
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#43 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/03/11 - 9:56 PM:

What was wrong with the way I originally expressed myself? Why did he feel the need to "correct" me by using loaded language?

I'm not accusing him of flat-out lying, I'm saying he's expressing himself in a way a lot of people do during these sorts of discussions, by appealing to emotion rather than fact.

I think smoki and Monk are both extremely intelligent, well-spoken and tend to be objective. I just think that this sort of discussion tends to hit close to home.

It's odd, we can talk about abortion, capital punishment and the rights of homosexuals just fine, but something about the economy just seems to get to us. I think it just goes to show how important money is, it's the one thing none of us can distance ourselves from.

Death and taxes, right?
smokinpristiformis
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#44 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/04/11 - 2:39 AM:

Again, you're painting inaccuracies to try to emotionally coerce people to your agenda.


Wrong. I'm just saying it like I see it. I'm talking to you, not to an audience. You're the one trying to explain the rationale of your stance in life. And I just don't think it holds much water. I know that's a harsh thing to say, so I'm sorry. But I also think your standpoint is rather harsh.

Mind you, there's a whole world of difference between having a potentially harsh world-view and being harsh towards other people. So I do try to keep it on the level, so as not to 'be' harsh towards anyone, which is by far the worse option.

I can take the heat, guys, don't worry. This is a very civilised debate compared to what went on on mpg from time to time (or the average democratic parliament for that matter). whee



And now for an actual contribution to the debate:

I feel that some are also missing out on one major aspect: You and your family are not an island. The world is 'out there'. Your social surroundings and your surroundings in general (aka the environment) are what you live in. For the most part, they define the possibilities, the risks and the comfort you live your life in (Can you build a car, a water purification station,... ?). It is the economical, social, cultural and natural wealth. And some seem to take all that for granted. But it really doesn't come cheap. Taking care of only your family is simply not enough to have a decent life.


Edited by smokinpristiformis on 03/04/11 - 3:06 AM
smokinpristiformis
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#45 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/04/11 - 2:44 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
Since you won't say it, Zen, let me:

I have compassion for those I *love (an exceedingly small number): those folks get all of me.

I have no compassion for those I don't love (which is pretty much everyone else, including, I'm afraid, all of YOU): those folks get nothing.

This is not to say I don't, or can't, have **'affection' for the non-loved. I have loads of affection for any number of folks (including some here).

Simply: 'I' am a finite resource and 'I' decide how I'm used. My criterion is simple: again, those I love get all of me and those I don’t love get nothing.

My choices in this aren’t motivated by politics or ideology but simply by the value of 'me', in the world.





*Defined by me, for me: valuing another person as much or more than I value myself. The value I place on 'me' is high. Those I love are therefore valued highly. These folks -- the handful -- get everything I have to give.

**Defined by me, for me: the pleasant feeling of familiarity that comes with sharing a past time or activity.



I see you've turned to the use of footnotes. It's a thoroughly wintered and refined debater who goes that far. ^^ One of my favorite writers has that habit, too.
henry quirk
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#46 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/04/11 - 9:51 AM:

"Taking care of only your family is simply not enough to have a decent life."

Bluntly: if each one did just that (took care of him- or her-self and his or her own) there would be fewer problems for everyone.

And, each *one who can't take care of him- or her-self should get exactly what the roll of the dice lays outs, that is: thrown out of the game (death).

Again: I'm not against charity, but -- like compassion -- the very nature of charity is volitional...to 'enforce' charity and compassion is to fundamentally enslave one so as to benefit another.

Forgive me, but: fuck that noise.

#

"I see you've turned to the use of footnotes."

Yeah, I've been doing that for a little while now. I got tired of dicking around about definitions and whatnot. Much easier -- when there's a chance a word may be misunderstood -- to simply define it in a footnote.

Also: elaborating on certain ideas is easier as a footnote than within the body of a response or statement.

#

"It's a thoroughly wintered and refined debater who goes that far."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!



*Adults, not children.
Zenoplata
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#47 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/04/11 - 11:23 AM:

Right, but no one is saying that all of the people that do those tasks don't deserve anything.

A good mechanic can afford health insurance.

We're not talking about the people that are contributing. We're talking about the people that are not.

The argument is should we offer a free ride to someone based on the fact that we think everyone deserves equal resources. In my mind, no. The world is overpopulated.
libertygrl
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#48 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/04/11 - 2:25 PM:

@Z you didn't answer my question: what inaccuracies, exactly, do you find in smoki's statement that you quoted? i don't think his statement was loaded at all. it seems completely straightforward, and i agree with it 100%.

Z wrote:
I'm not accusing him of flat-out lying, I'm saying he's expressing himself in a way a lot of people do during these sorts of discussions, by appealing to emotion rather than fact.

some debate appeals to logic, some to emotion, some to both. coercion has nothing to do with it. everyone is entitled to their opinion and all opinions are open for debate.
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#49 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/04/11 - 4:08 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
@Z you didn't answer my question: what inaccuracies, exactly, do you find in smoki's statement that you quoted? i don't think his statement was loaded at all. it seems completely straightforward, and i agree with it 100%.


some debate appeals to logic, some to emotion, some to both. coercion has nothing to do with it. everyone is entitled to their opinion and all opinions are open for debate.


Whether or not you agree with it is irrelevant to it containing loaded language.

If you disagree, then I believe you are wrong. It's as simple as that.

I believe he was using loaded language to exaggerate my feelings towards certain members of society.
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#50 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 03/04/11 - 4:21 PM:

Z wrote:
If you disagree, then I believe you are wrong. It's as simple as that.

exactly. that is how debate works. an impasse is an impasse. yes, it is as simple as that.

also, claiming someone's statement is "loaded" without giving any evidence to support such a claim is clearly an appeal to emotion. something you seem to be advising against?
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