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Old 05-30-2008, 08:21 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JcP View Post
snapshot, if you agree that there is no objective morality...or at the very least no objective morality any subjective consciousness (a human) can know, then that's the point I was trying to get across.

In terms of "the state," in order for you and I to be sitting here in apartments talking to one another using order for society and civilization as we know it to exist...large groups of people have to compromise towards a common goal.

You choose to see "the state" as something that imposes its definition of morality on the parts that make it up. And you are correct. I do not disagree with you that in a given country (and under a given government) your morality might be at odds with the rule of the land, and that if you break the rules you are often punished.

This is why, as I quoted earlier "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried" . Democracy is the best vessel so far for a state to employ to have the most people that make up the state happy. Is it perfect? FUCK NO. But unless you have a better idea to keep coherancy to civilization, it's what we got. And looking around, I don't think humanity is even CLOSE to being able to simply working for the common good without a government. You and I might be, but you're kidding yourself if you think most people are.

So if you want to make the argument that civilization itself is immoral, that's fine. And in a very abstract way, I agree. I just happen to think that working together (and compromising) has its own moral quality that, for me, trumps your argument.

and for the last time (lol) no one is FORCING you to live in the United States. You are actively choosing to use the roads, the facilities, using power and water, using the benefits, and everything else that goes along with living in "the state" of this country.

You have every single right to choose a different one. The only thing you don't have the ability to do is to think you should be able to be part of the compromise, but then not compromise.
Here is something that I think you'll agree with: There are no unchosen positive obligations, meaning at the most base level--starting from first principles--no one can tell you what to do. To say that there are unchosen positive obligations is a self-detonating argument, unless there is some reason why anyone would have that right (to tell others what to do) while others wouldn't. No one can tell you what to do... without using violence.

I haven't figured out objective morality quite clearly, but this seems to be another starting point for it. The same rule applies to everyone. Even if "no unchosen positive obligations" wasn't true, it would still be true, because people could just obligate others to not tell them what to do.

This is purely logical. It's not pragmatic in the sense that the state needs to obligate people to... because the state can't exist in the first place if you accept this--that the only way you could ever obligate anyone to do something is to use violence. The only valid positive obligations that exist are the one's that an individual imposes on his or her self..

Telling me that I have every right to move to another country is saying that I have every right to choose where I want to live, but I have no choice about whether or not a person follows me around with a gun to my head. I am completely aware that I could move, but that's not what I'm concerned about. I'm concerned about the gun--the violence--the initiation of violence--that is required--that occurs when you place unchosen positive obligations on others--in order for their to even be a state in the first place.

When you initiate violence to accomplish something, the violence doesn't go away (even if the goal was to get rid of violence). The accomplishment is now predicated on violence.
We are all atheists about most of the gods that society has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
-Richard Dawkins
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