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Old 05-10-2008, 11:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Less Government? Bad

I don't see how a person could possibly prefer less government unless they thought the government was good in some way. And I don't see how anyone can see any good in the government if the only means by which it can accomplish anything is through violence.

Saying that the government is necessary is saying, unequivocally, that there are no non-violent solutions to the problems that the government attempts to solve.

That scares me. Not that there would be no non-violent solutions but that people would actually think that. It's like people have completely given up on peaceful solutions to the problems of murder, theft, education, health care and others even though the alternative is forcing people to do what you want them to do, as if that doesn't actually promote what you're trying to avoid.

I don't see how anything could trump violence as being a worse situation. I don't think you not having a public education is worse than you being threatened. I do not think that not having health care and dying of a heart attack is worse than you being shot. I don't think that having something stolen from you is worse than being forced to give up your money to pay for protection your entire life.

I don't see how being forced to do anything can ever be considered good. I'd love to hear one reason. Is it OK to force someone to pay for your education? Should someone be shot or imprisoned if they disagree with you on that issue? If not, then why does it all of the sudden become OK when you slap a label on the person doing it, like "police officer" or "soldier?"

If your morality doesn't preclude all things but people themselves (this means government, this means greater good, which are concepts, not people), then I'm really concerned with what you'd be willing to put actual people through in order to achieve what you think is "good."
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good post, snap.

It's a tough subject... Government, society and the like. I generally like to draw comparisons between society and the human body. Within that context we could compare the conscious mind of the body to the government of society. I can and do on many occasions prioritize the enrichment of the conscious mind's experience over the enrichment of the body. I smoke, both weed and cigz, damaging my lungs or my body in order to appease the mind.

Anyways, stemming from this... We see the necessity of a collective homogeneity to the physical and social bodies. "Outside" material is criticized and undergoes a process of integration. If integration cannot be made then it is expelled (such as in the case of viruses). In this sense there is a forced conformity that encourages a relatively and isolated harmonious operation.

There's a tremendous amount of potential to be reached through this act of collective operation. The evidence can be seen in both the physical and social manifestations. Physical evolution can very well be seen in the light of a progression towards a platform capable of manifesting the "next level" in a sense. In this fashion we can see the history of numerous attempts at establishing a suitable platform and the attempts that have failed. Similarly, our societies go through a similar "survival of the fittest" progress. Currently, our western form of democracy is seen as the dominant force in our global environment.

There is the acknowledgment of the individual free will at play. There is and always will be the potential for one to elect to use violence, to use force. We deem this as unharmonious, as inconducive to the achievement of our collective goals. If we take a position where we will not use such methods in conflict resolution, one person exercising this ability would theoretically be able to rule the world. We again have historical evidence of appeasement being a risky gamble of a method. When gambling with lives a whole new level of consequence is opened up.

It would appear to be at this stage in our evolution to be a necessary evil to respond to violence with violence as it is in a way the be all end all of conflict resolution. You do have within your grasp the potential to remove a person from this corporeal arena effectively nullifying to a degree their consequence within it. It is tremendously difficult to work around.
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not opposed to combating violence with violence, and it has to do with individual liberty and free will.

As a preface to this argument, I would like to say that this is a personal moral individual with each and every person. Every person is different and everyone has a different view on what they think is good. This is a moral argument.

Without free will (or some notion of free choice) there can be no responsibility. Rocks aren't morally responsible for their actions if they fall on someone's head and kill them. Even if the rock is no longer a menace to society, we still consider suicide bombers to be immoral while we don't consider rocks to be immoral. If people don't have the choice to do right or wrong, then there is no possible way to act rightly or wrongly. I believe this precludes any argument from morality.

You can have free will without a conscious being to act in such a way. This is why I'm rejecting your analogy to the human body or to a collective group of people. Collectives don't think. They are comprised of thinking individuals aggregated as a concept in someone's mind. A person cannot allay moral responsibility by blaming it on a group. Every person's action is their own and nobody else's. People can be swayed to act a certain way, but no one is immune from this.

Basically everyone is morally equal. To say otherwise is to say that one person has more of a right to make moral claims than another as well as to force other people to act in certain ways. I see no evidence for this. Democracy can't account for this. The use of force can't account for this (for it begs the question). The greater good doesn't account for this (since my definition of "greater good" obviously differs, and why would my opinion of what is good trump yours or vice versa--and you can see I'm not putting forth such an argument). I just see no logical or empiricism to say why some people should be allowed to use force and others aren't.

(Poorly wrapping this up to my first point) Combating violence with violence is not a moral issue Since violence is used to force people to act, the person who has their will restricted cannot be held to the same moral standards as the free individual who chose to initiate violence. Any time someone's will is restricted by another individual, it is always the initiator of the violence that is immoral and never the retaliator.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Snap I agree with you completely, my friend. My post was on the dynamics of society, government, management, interactions, and the "evils" it necessitates in a sense. As I said at the end of the post, "at this stage of evolution," I think with advances in our interactions, etc, we can overcome this use of violence. Theoretically that potential is there, and theoretically it is the "just" existence.

I completely agree with you on your justification for use of violence argument. You're spot on. I like that argument.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool. So, what's up?
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not much, man. How about you? Good to see you back around here.

You've really gone in depth on your thinking on the subject of morality, eh? Curious question, what do you feel it's done for you and your life? I'm interested for my own selfish reasons.

On a sort of related topic to the OP, what sort of advances in society and such do you see as the precursors for a world (or government or whatever) absent of violence?
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In my own life, studying the depths of what I think is good has completely ruined it (my life)--but in a good way.

I would say the main thing that it has done is it has brought me in touch with my emotions more. This is also been extremely tough on me. Imagine going through life knowing that you've committed evil. To me, it seems like the reason people are moral relativists is not because they don't believe in an objective reality, but because they can't come to terms with their own views on what is good or bad--because then they would have to come to terms with everything they have done wrong that they know, deep down, they shouldn't have.

Ever since delving into morality, I've come to find out that I'm a lot more screwed up than I thought I was, which, again, I think is good. If I hadn't have gone soul searching (with logic) I never would have realized how screwed up I actually was--and therefore never would've tried to fix it.

What I'm doing now is basically coming to terms with what I think is good and right and trying to apply that to my life. It's incredibly hard since I've been conditioned (and I've been conditioning myself) to believe mostly the opposite of what I believe now, so my brain and body feel like they are hardwired against this small part of me that is the real me.

But when I do something wrong, I know it's wrong, I feel bad about it. I don't try to explain it away as a an action whose morality is subjective, and can therefore be dismissed. In order to be logically consistent, I have to force myself to look at my actions and be responsible for them.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziplock View Post
On a sort of related topic to the OP, what sort of advances in society and such do you see as the precursors for a world (or government or whatever) absent of violence?
Once I'm willing to stop hanging out with people who don't really care about who I am, what I'm feeling, or how their actions affect me negatively, I'll let you know.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapshot View Post
I would say the main thing that it has done is it has brought me in touch with my emotions more. This is also been extremely tough on me. Imagine going through life knowing that you've committed evil. To me, it seems like the reason people are moral relativists is not because they don't believe in an objective reality, but because they can't come to terms with their own views on what is good or bad--because then they would have to come to terms with everything they have done wrong that they know, deep down, they shouldn't have.
I have been musing on this observation recently... It's funny the relativistic games we will engage in in order to maintain some sort of moral standing.

I was thinking on how from my current understanding of things I can look back at my life and feel shame or remorse for some of the actions I did, how I negatively impacted some people. There is a sort of natural desire to separate myself from these instances or more specifically the individual within these instances. An embarrassment, or shame, as I would not generally bring them up in casual conversation about one's childhood or something to that effect. I found this quite comical when I first was exposed to the realization.

To me however, it serves no purpose to engage in this activity of conscious separation. Those actions were a necessary step to be taken on the path to becoming the person I am. I realize that if those various situation were to have gone another way I could have very well been a much different person. In that sense, I don't have a sense of guilt, or embarrassment, or anything else towards those times. I sort of simply rejoice that I am now able to appreciate their impact and influence.

I found my dive into the depths of moral action to have varying results as well. Morality is in a way an applied science and applying that science to one's life is a difficult undertaking. A life-long practice really, worth dedication to imo though. I found it imposes a powerful obstacle though, as the observation of interaction around you through such a "moral" lens in a sense is terribly... demotivating, depressing, frustrating, blah blah blah.
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