Sane conversation about abortion

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Quote Zenzoe:

Actually, no, Kerry. THAT is gibberish.

It is my opinion that most of what he writes is gibberish; his are the disordered ravings of an unorganized mind, incapable of thought which is simultaneously deep while of sufficent breadth to be cogent and universally understandable.

Ulysses's picture
Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Kerry, I certainly don’t wish to take sides between you and Ulysses. Apparently you two have a track record I know little about. I have a bit of a track record with Ulysses, and, despite our occasional disagreements and his having told me one time to “go play in traffic” (I now find it funny, btw, Ulysses), I appreciate his writing, his ability to be clear, direct and well-spoken. Anyway, I have no animosity toward either of you. I think Ulysses, though I can’t speak for him, objects to what both of us receive as obfuscation on your part; that is, sometimes your paragraphs seem overly convoluted, with all due respect. Perhaps in my case it’s just that I’m too dumb for you. But I don’t think it would hurt if you were to be more concise. Just a suggestion, with acute awareness of my own flaws. (I have the same problem with others here, believe me.)

Your understanding of one main facet of my objection to him is clear. The others are that he's a Lib, and they'll never admit they're wrong or acknowledge the flaws of Libertarianism, and that he constantly wants to re-invent the wheel in all discussions he enters, in addition to the fact that he's not a clear thinker and I think he's lying about being a doctor, just to give himself slightly more bona fides than he'd have otherwise, so that people would give more credence to his ramblings before dismissing them. I suspect he may be here just to get a rise out of people and to waste their time to gratify his ego.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Way too paranoid. Why not just let Kerry be an ER doc with his own ax to grind? If one wished to invent cred, there are better aces to have up one's sleeve for most of the points he makes. I have my own bones to pick, and do. But I find no evil intent.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

You see, Kerry, you've set up a false dilemma there, in my opinion—only two options: either "right to life," or no right to life, without any opportunity to consider nuance, complexity and context. It's all so absolutist with you—if animals "have feelings" (a put-down of the notion of animals as sentient beings), and that's a reason to grant them a right to life, then I'm going to have to grant zygotes the same right and also give them all the rights of fully developed human beings. Nonsense! I've already told you that life is not always at the top of my hierarchy of values. How about let's have a little common sense:

Why are you calling it a 'zygote' now? You did say 'fetus' before--and you did say that fetuses have feelings. The common sense that I think is missing here, Zenzoe, is consistency in conceptualization--that's why there is a need for 'fundamentals' in the context of any message. The 'fundamentals' get us the closest to being able to understand that we are communicating--and that we are communicating about the same thing. Otherwise, your 'common sense' will be all messed up with miscommunications--which can, then, be used by those in positions that can do so to change it to whichever way they want despite what your claim on 'common sense' is here. Many on these boards have pointed out the 'Orwellian factor' in 'miscommunication for political gain'...

So, can we agree on a few fundamentals--or not? What to you is a 'right'? I've said that a right to me is an obligation not to impose upon--or impose against. 'Liberty' to me implies that. But, so does 'the right to life'. So, does 'the right to the pursuit of happiness'--and, in other areas of the constitution itself (as Amendment 14), so does 'right to property'. None of these can be imposed upon without 'due process of law'--and 'due process of law' means without openly and up front explaining the purpose for the impositions in order to be judged accordingly. That used to be what courts were for. Now, as I've said before, as Roe vs. Wade also stated in its oral arguments concerning elective abortions, the fundamental right to have is 'the right to life'--without that right, you can have no other rights. Do you either agree with and/or understand that? If not, we are not saying the same things. I have no earthly idea how you can claim an animal has 'rights'--and, then, live in a world where animals are killed--and killed frequently for reasons to be eaten, to use as clothes, and, sometimes, just for sport. So, tell me, with respect to the fundamentals that I see rights contain, what right are you giving that animal--and how are you giving it? If you claim that there is a 'nuance' to your claim on these animals' 'rights', I know in my understanding of the political implications that the fundamental meaning of 'right' takes, you have just 'nuanced' yourself out of any practical meaning when it comes to 'animal rights'--especially if, in the human political context, the fundamental right to have is 'right to life'.

Or, what do you actually mean when you say the word 'rights'? Respect for their feelings? How does killing them in any way do that--and how could you actually prove that? Are you saying, for instance, that only those animals that interact with us 'in a human way' should have 'their feelings respected' as if that could be a 'right'--and some animals, say like fish, that can't interact with us in a human manner don't need that kind of respect because they don't show those kind of 'feelings'? I'm having a hard time following whatever nuanced message you are saying if it, in any way, includes what I would see as the political meaning of the word 'right'--especially if you agree with me in it meaning an obligation not to impose upon or impose against without due cause stated open and up front (for humans, by court proceedings or other legislative or political actions). And, as I've said, when there isn't such a thing as an 'individual right', then, 'community standards' are the defining factor. In animals cases, even in animals that interact with humans cases, those 'community standards' can change (but that's because they aren't 'rights' in my fundamental understanding of the term). You do realize that dogs are eaten in Asia--that's their 'community standard'. Now, even if you understand the concept of 'natural rights' as my definition from my wife's law textbook defined it as 'universal rights', how do you square any 'right' to a dog to 'be respected and treated as with human feelings' up against the 'community standard' in Asia of dogs being eaten? Once again, I think you are 'nuancing' yourself out of any meaning, or fundamental to the meaning, of the word 'right'--especially 'individual rights' in the context of the Declaration of Independence and the manner in which Supreme Court decisions have used that context up against the imposition of 'community standards'. Do you understand that point? If not, you do need to come up with what you mean by the term 'right'--if we cannot agree on such fundamentals, as I see it, we cannot really communicate.....

And, by the way, why are you whitewashing this issue of 'animal feelings' up against the fetus (that you have admitted has feelings) by changing it to the word 'zygote'--you realize that, with respect to the entire term in pregnancy, the zygote stage is rather brief--and the fetus starts forming characteristic features within two weeks. If 'feelings' is you issue around this (or, in your nuanced manner, is that only for animals and not fetuses that you have previously stated have feelings?), when do you believe the fetus gains 'feelings'? A twelve week fetus will avoid a needle for instance. Is that feelings enough for you? Fetuses can suck their thumb, grab a physician's hand when being operated on, and show all sorts of issues as humans. Are elective abortions only to be allowed in the zygote stage because, perhaps like fish don't show feelings as if human, neither can a zygote? If your standard is when the being has 'feelings' is when that being should gain 'rights' (but, apparently, not the 'right to life' because you say, in your nuanced manner, that is not your priority), then what do you mean by 'rights'--and when would you give a fetus such 'rights' as you do animals? And, what 'right' is that if it's not life?

You know, I'm pro-abortion but if you are going to start making me have to consider feelings, consider sentience, consider all life in the context of respect in that manner, maybe I shouldn't be.....but, then, I thought this all had to do with opposing rights--the mother's 'right to the pursuit of happiness' up against an unwanted pregnancy vs. the fetus' 'right to life'. Maybe there is some nuanced meaning that I am missing here.....what do you mean by the term 'right' if it doesn't include 'right to life' in this human political context?

Quote Zenzoe:

Actually, no, Kerry. THAT is gibberish.

Then, again, what do you mean by the word 'right'? If, as you claim in the statement just above that, it's to mean that 'we' are to respect animals in the context of their feelings even as 'we' eat them, I'm afraid I'm having a problem understanding how that's a 'right'--also, since they are being eaten, I cannot visualize a manner in which that animal's 'respect' is proven. When Asians eat dogs--man's 'best friend'--is that 'respect for the dog's feelings'--or just the 'community standard in Asia to eat dogs'? Where does 'right' belong in how you seem to be 'nuancing it'? Do you 'respect' Asia's 'community standards' in eating dogs? Or, how would that 'dog's feelings' be proven to you as 'being respected' before it has been killed to be eaten--if you allow the Asian children to play with it just before they chop its head off--inject with some agent that puts it to sleep before doing so--what is this 'nuanced meaning in rights' that you so profess when it comes to killing animals (and why are you calling fetuses zygotes now)? No, Zenzoe, I'm afraid that your claim on the 'nuances of rights' is what needs to be better explained for me to understand what you mean....

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

DRC, Ulysses' intent isn't in claiming that I'm 'evil'--Ulysses' intent is in claiming that I'm stupid--especially for being 'libertarian' in any way because, of course, Ulysses is so 'feeling for Ulysses' fellow man' and 'intelligent in Ulysses own mind' in claiming that Ulysses' form of 'liberalism' is wise, thoughtful, and true. And, if Ulysses' form of liberalism, as Ulysses 'promotes it', is what you respect, DRC, I can see why the politics of liberalism is doomed--especially if it claims for itself some 'respect in community' that has no 'selfish egotistical substance' to it--I really do believe that most people that interact with Ulysses can see through that posturing as a blatant lie--Ulysses is every bit of an egotist as any who claim the 'selfish individualism' in conservative--or libertarian--politics. If Ulysses is in a position in government, it would be why people like my brother don't trust anything that government does.....my brother sees all government 'impositions of community interest' as self-serving for the government officials--in other words, hypocritical (one of his favorite statements is 'There is no limit of what good I can do with someone else's money'). I'm not quite to that level because I do see how government can fit into the picture of social order (with guaranteeing and securing individual rights as part of that order)--but, I can see why many disclaim all incentives of government if people like Ulysses implement it 'for the community's sake' with such egotistical (and self-centered and self-serving) methods as Ulysses offers here....evil best works when disguised as good.....

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Kerry, I'll make a deal with you: I'll stop using the word zygotes, if you'll stop using the word feelings. The word feelings has an association with girlieness in the minds of many people —soft-headed, hyper-tenderness— and so it discredits the whole concept of animal rights. (That is, "only the Too-tender and Dumb would be concerned about such things.")

Also, I get the impression, though it may be wrong, that you haven't read the Peter Singer references (on abortion too). Please do. I don't seem to be able to get through to you, so maybe his thinking can. Anyway, I'd like to know if you have that under your belt, informing your responses, before I can respond.

Ulysses: I don't have a reason to doubt Kerry's profession. I think he mentions it just by way of offering personal information. And, anyway, if he does wish his profession to grant him extra credibility, it's of no use. Doctors are often conservative and/or incoherent in their ramblings, so I'm not impressed, not that Kerry fits that profile entirely at all. Sometimes I get his points, sometimes I don't. Obviously, he has the same problem with my ramblings.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I know how Ulysses don't take my words as meaning nothing and all--you know, spelling is more important than context--unless, of course, that context be what Ulysses says is liberal and right--but, maybe Ulysses has a problem with textbooks, also. It appears I am just realizing that liberals have as hard a time as conservatives with my wife's textbook's definitions of 'natural law' vs. 'positive law' (as in West's Business Law--8th Edition):

You might think that legal philosophy is far removed from the practical study of business law and the legal environment. In fact, it is not. As you will learn in the chapters of this text, how judges apply the law to specific disputes, including disputes relating to the business world, depends in part on their philosophical approaches to law. We look now at some of the significant schools of legal, or jurisprudential, thought that have evolved over time.

The Natural Law School.

An age-old question about the nature of law has to do with the finality of a nation's law, such as the laws of the United States at the present time. For example, what if a particular law is deemed to be a "bad" law by a substantial number of that nation's citizens? Must a citizen obey the law if it goes against his or her conscience to do so? Is there a higher or universal law to which individuals can appeal? One who adheres to the natural law tradition would answer this question in the affirmative. Natural law denotes a system of moral and ethical principles that are inherent in human nature and that people can discover through the use of their natural intelligence.

The natural law tradition is one of the oldest and most significant schools of jurisprudence. It dates back to the days of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.), who distinguished between natural law and the laws governing a particular nation. According to Aristotle, natural law applies universally to all humankind.

The notion that people have "natural rights" stems from the natural law tradition. Those who claim that a specific foreign government is depriving certain citizens of their human rights implicitly are appealing to a higher law that has universal applicability. The question of the universality of basic human rights also comes into play in the context of international business operations. Should rights extended to workers in this country, such as the right to be free of discrimination in the workplace, be applied to a U.S. firm doing business in another country that does not provide for such rights? This question is rooted implicitly in a concept of universal rights that has its origins in the natural law tradition.

The Positivist School.

In contrast, positive law, or national law (the written law of a given society at a particular point in time), applies only to the citizens of that nation or society. Those who adhere to the positivist school believe that there can be no higher law than a nation's positive law. According to the positivist school, there is no such thing as "natural rights." Rather, human rights exist solely because of laws. If the laws are not enforced, anarchy will result. Thus, whether a law is "bad" or "good" is irrelevant. The law is the law and must be obeyed until it is changed--in an orderly manner through a legitimate lawmaking process. A judge with positivist leanings probably would be more inclined to defer to an existing law than would a judge who adheres to the natural law tradition.

I know I ain't as smart as Ulysses cause Ulysses has the right cause and I'm an ignorant libby-tarian. But, I suspect even someone as smart as Ulysses doesn't believe in 'natural rights' in the manner that the textbook describes above--neither does DRC. No comments are ever made on their behalf--one way or the other--in any discussion we have had. Zenzoe says she does--but, then, adds all sorts of things about 'animal rights' that I don't see as either extensive (to every animal) or universal (in every community) as being 'nuanced rights'. So, I'm suspicious that no one around here trusts persons enough to decide upon themselves--individually and collectively in the proper contexts made--what is 'right'--or even what a 'right' is. Yeah, we have come a long way baby--but, is the 'new paradigm' just more 'positivist law' in 'the right context'--with 'the right cause'? Perhaps 'nuanced with the right feelings' like Zenzoe likes it? I'm beginnin' to wonder if we are talking about the same things here....I doubt we are. But, then, Ulysses can label it all 'libby-tarian' and claim to 'have answered it all'.....we actually have lost the faith that we once may have had as the American democracy securing and guaranteeing individual rights.....'communitarians' seem to have colluded against 'individualists' that there is no 'faith to keep', anymore......well, now, let's just figure out which side's the right side to be on for the war.....get ready....

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, Zenzoe, are we to drop the term 'rights'? Can you clarify what it is you mean by the term 'rights' in any political context? I've given you my definition--perhaps if you could give me yours, we could come to a better understanding as to what is meant. If your nuances aren't feelings, aren't life, are somehow in some context of what ways we can 'interact with respect' (I guess with humans as well as animals), what is it about your nuances that are 'rights'? Perhaps some examples could also be in order to clarify what it is you mean--what, to you, would be a killing of an animal with 'rights' that is appropriate vs. one that isn't? And, how do you relate that to the fetus in abortions?

And, I know how there has been a claim from me to have fundamentals in communication established as 'being gibberish'--is that to mean any claim on the absoluteness of 'rights' is 'gibberish'? If so, such 'rights' will, then, be changed at will by those in position to do so--perhaps for Ulysses' 'right cause'. In grappling with your nuances in rights, is this a 'gibberish conclusion' to make here, Zenzoe:

You know, I'm pro-abortion but if you are going to start making me have to consider feelings, consider sentience, consider all life in the context of respect in that manner, maybe I shouldn't be.....but, then, I thought this all had to do with opposing rights--the mother's 'right to the pursuit of happiness' up against an unwanted pregnancy vs. the fetus' 'right to life'. Maybe there is some nuanced meaning that I am missing here.....what do you mean by the term 'right' if it doesn't include 'right to life' in this human political context?

Maybe you don't believe me when I think that any state passing the 'fetal right to life from conception' law will change the entire picture of elective abortion rights in the nation to any pregnant mother with an unwanted child--but, I think that is exactly what will result because that is exactly how Roe vs. Wade was brought up and decided before the Supreme Court--a state had granted an individual right and, at one point in American legal and political history, that preempted all 'community standards'--it will do the same if the fetus is granted the right to life from conception in any state.....and 'the right to life' preempts all other rights (without it, you can have no rights)......you can claim that fundamental meaning as being gibberish but, if you do, 'we' don't have the same understanding as to what 'rights' mean....fundamentally......

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Kerry, so let's inform our understanding of rights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights#Individual_rights_versus_group_rights 

I think it does no good to use the word "rights," without qualifying the term with an adjective, or phrase—property rights, natural rights, civic rights, animal rights, human rights, positive, negative, legal, individual, or group rights, rights of the child. The subject cannot be discussed without these clarifications.

You have claimed "natural rights" as essential to your understanding of rights; but then you go on to say, "So, does 'the right to the pursuit of happiness'--and, in other areas of the constitution itself (as Amendment 14), so does 'right to property'. None of these can be imposed upon without 'due process of law'--and 'due process of law' means without openly and up front explaining the purpose for the impositions in order to be judged accordingly. That used to be what courts were for." Despite the first sentence's lack of coherence, I see this implies your preference for a positivist position on rights. This is okay, as long as you're willing to agree we don't have to be consistent or absolute in our thinking.

Then you write, "Now, as I've said before, as Roe vs. Wade also stated in its oral arguments concerning elective abortions, the fundamental right to have is 'the right to life'--without that right, you can have no other rights. Do you either agree with and/or understand that?" And my answer is No; as I've written here before, the right to life is not necessarily at the top of my hierarchy of values, or, even my hierarchy of rights; for example, sometimes the right of a class of sentient being —ethically speaking; natural law speaking— to be free of suffering supersedes what many humans imagine their "right to life," i.e., health, to be. Whether some people have a custom of abusing animals does not make it their right to do so. I am not an ethical relativist: Some things are just plain wrong, according to enlightened, educated and informed ethics. For example, many cultures around the world still practice female genital mutilation: does that make it okay, according to relative ethics? Yes, but not according to more advanced, enlightened ethics and practical ethics. At some point, we grow beyond habits all the way to sensitive awareness and enlightened practice.

Also, rights still exist independent of a "right to life;" I disagree with the notion that all rights stem from the right to life.

I am not fooled by the "right-to-life" crowd's noise about baby-killing and the rest of their insane posturing over abortion. Clearly, this mind-set's most ardent passion, underneath it all, advocates not for the life and health of babies, but for the death of female sexual freedom. Everybody here knows where that comes from —patriarchal religion and hierarchical culture— so I won't belabor the point. Suffice it to say, the very notion of women having the freedom to have sex without the risk of pregnancy threatens male supremacy via control of women (thus they not only want to ban abortion, they want to ban birth-control too.). Once women have control over their reproductive lives, the leverage granted to men by pregnancy and child birth, for the purpose of controlling women and ensuring women's second-class status in society, dissolves. That is a horrifying thought to them. "Oh! Women having happy sex, freely, just like men?! Perish the thought!"

My support for animal rights —my vegetarianism— cannot be understood as a "right to life" issue. It's more a natural-right-of-all-sentient-beings-right, a right to be free of unnecessary pain and suffering (because we have every ability to comprehend how others, besides ourselves, experience pain), especially that pain and suffering caused by commercial interests. It is simply unethical to torture another sentient being; but it is also unethical to profit and thrive from the infliction of torture on other sentient beings. I consider our present meat-production system to be cruel and inhumane; therefore I cannot support it by my purchases, my diet.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

We need to get a few million vasectomies to men who do not want to be daddies. As their reward for choosing for selfishness, we need to give them a years supply of food stamps, and 40 fruit and nut trees, to give them calories for the rest of their lives.

The unwanted children comes from the lack of a father figure. 30% of children are abandoned by their father in USA . If a baby is born, the mommy wanted it. Ifthe woman has an abortion , she could not afford to raise it, and she knew the father was not going to be around further burdening the community. Abortion comes out of love of the community, and trying not to be shunned from the community. Perhaps she knows about her own body, her own diseases.

There are men who women don't mind having sex with , just wouldn't want to marry. Just like a man will say about most sexual conquests. i am guessing manic depression,alcoholism, or just being lonely causes people to have un protected sex.

I feel like america, and the world could thrive, getting a few billion vasectomies and planting trillions of food trees in place of unwanted children.

This will save the economy billions of dollars for food stamps to unwanted kids.

Self proclaimed selfish men, growing hundreds of trees , and not making unintended babies , will calm the mass hysteria called anti abortion. I am guessing mass vasectomies will stop wars. If every child was a wanted, planned, thought out , loved respected human, by the entire community, things would be a utopian paradise!

Think about it!

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TanyaCO
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Dec. 14, 2010 1:52 pm

Is masterbation murder?

TanyaCO's picture
TanyaCO
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Dec. 14, 2010 1:52 pm
Quote TanyaCO:

Is masterbation murder?

Not if the person masturbating is a woman... ;-) Seriously, though, male masturbation couldn't be murder either, since sperm is only part of the equation leading to a human person. The rest is a series of developmental steps, leading up to birth. Funny question, though.

My question is only half frivolous: Is it possible that war, totalitarian capitalism, banksterism, corporatism, and other problems seemingly tied to a mind-set of strength, risk, toughness and cold determination could be caused, underneath it all, by fear of impotence? That is, in short, does the fact of the penis' potential for failure make for over-compensation on a grand scale? Or, is that a wacka-doodle-feminist notion? I'm wondering, because I don't own one of those things, so I never had to worry. But it does seem to me the world has a whole lot of peacock-strut-behavior going on. Is such necessary for fail-proof performance, or is the strutting just a bad habit?

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote TanyaCO:

The unwanted children comes from the lack of a father figure. 30% of children are abandoned by their father in USA . If a baby is born, the mommy wanted it. Ifthe woman has an abortion , she could not afford to raise it, and she knew the father was not going to be around further burdening the community. Abortion comes out of love of the community, and trying not to be shunned from the community. Perhaps she knows about her own body, her own diseases.

There are men who women don't mind having sex with , just wouldn't want to marry. Just like a man will say about most sexual conquests. i am guessing manic depression,alcoholism, or just being lonely causes people to have un protected sex.

I feel like america, and the world could thrive, getting a few billion vasectomies and planting trillions of food trees in place of unwanted children.

This will save the economy billions of dollars for food stamps to unwanted kids.

Self proclaimed selfish men, growing hundreds of trees , and not making unintended babies , will calm the mass hysteria called anti abortion. I am guessing mass vasectomies will stop wars. If every child was a wanted, planned, thought out , loved respected human, by the entire community, things would be a utopian paradise!

Think about it!

Tanya, why is adoption not even on your radar? Is it not an alternative to just killing the baby? I'm also curious as to your thoughts about the fathers finanicial obligations, if the decision to kill or not to kill is the mothers alone, and the man has no say in it whatsoever, surely the decision to finance or not must rest entirely with the man?

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Calperson
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Dec. 11, 2010 10:21 am
Quote Calperson:

Tanya, why is adoption not even on your radar? Is it not an alternative to just killing the baby? I'm also curious as to your thoughts about the fathers finanicial obligations, if the decision to kill or not to kill is the mothers alone, and the man has no say in it whatsoever, surely the decision to finance or not must rest entirely with the man?

Oh, CalPoison, your wacko, right-wing rhetoric has no currency here. Nobody is "killing" any "babies," except your kind, when it comes to supporting social programs that might help a poor mother feed her children. To those you say, Let them die.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Despite the first sentence's lack of coherence, I see this implies your preference for a positivist position on rights. This is okay, as long as you're willing to agree we don't have to be consistent or absolute in our thinking.

I'm not sure where you are getting the idea of what I am saying is a positivist position on rights--if you are speaking with respect to positivist law, you are speaking in terms that are just the opposite of what I am interpreting as rights. Positivist law is written law--which, if I understand what context you are inferring with the term positivist, means that, for a right to be present, a law has to be written to have it exist. However, I am taking the concept of 'right' more in line with how it is promoted in the Declaration of Independence as being 'endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.' I see a right that is 'unalienable' as being a right that is consistent and absolute--and, as I've tried to say before, such 'endowment by the Creator' to me means 'naturally existing regardless of inferences in written law'--which is more in line with natural law--not positivist law. In fact, as how I see the workings of the (especially Warren) Supreme Court in considering the many cases of personal individual rights to acts of conscience (who to marry, when to use birth control, when to carry a baby all the way to term, etc.), what the Supreme Court was having to review in such situations was the written laws that prevented or restricted such rights of individual behavior and conscience--exactly in line with the gist of the Declaration of Independence claiming such individual rights as already naturally present--the only thing that positivist law can do in such cases is improperly impede such rights by written law. In other words, as 'unalienable rights granted by the Creator', their absoluteness is to be taken as existing on its own in civil society--only to be inappropriately restrained through written law as a means of oppression.

The abortion issue is a little different only with respect that the issue of 'abortion rights' (as unalienable rights) did not become politically feasible until it became generally safe to perform in modern medicine. However, as was pointed out in Roe vs. Wade, the gist of the 'right to abort' had always been present in American law with the fact that self-induced abortions have never been illegal--the only thing that was illegal was having anyone help the woman to abort. That, by the way, will change if the fetus obtains the 'right to life from conception' because such rights are 'unalienable'--and, therefore, in natural law and civil customs, absolute. But, this form of the absoluteness of fetal rights to life from conception is a new potentially legal and political entity--if it does happen, even the mother who self-aborts, like no other time in American legal history before this, could be charged with murder (and, if we are going to do this right, all miscarriages will have to be investigated with respect to the potential that the mother brought it on herself--after all, murder is murder--and that is pretty absolute when you consider that someone's 'right to life' has been taken away--or imposed upon or against).

It's not that I agree with the characterization of the fetal right to life at conception--but, I do agree with the characterization that the 'right to life' is absolute without respect to a written law 'allowing it'--with respect to the 'right to life', all a written law can do is support it by punishing any unwillful or premature (or imposed) removal of such a life. That is one reason why I couldn't square what you were saying about 'animal rights' with what I am referring to as 'individual rights'--'individual rights' are 'unalienable'--if written, positivist law is addressing such an issue in a positive manner, it is likely doing so by inappropriately restraining it. That was what Roe vs. Wade was considering when it was noted that elective abortion, aided by medical personel, was being allowed by certain states--were other states in their written laws preventing medically-assisted abortions impeding an unalienable right to the pregnant mother if they prevented that mother from obtaining such an abortion. But, as I've said before, Roe vs. Wade did mention the point that if a fetus was to be seen as having a right to life from conception, then, all forms of written laws allowing abortions were impeding upon the unalienable right to life for that fetus. Roe vs. Wade decided that a fetal right to life at conception did not exist. However, if its existence is promoted in any state, the consideration of this being a heretofore unrecognized unalienable right will have to be considered again by the courts--which I believe is exactly why the recent attempts to pass laws in a state to establish the 'fetal right to life from conception' are being done now. The courts could again just say, 'That's not the case'--but, having a state already recognize it and having the legal precedence that, indeed, some rights to real individuals are unalienable and cannot be impeded by written laws, the courts could consider that, now, such an unalienable right to life from conception has been recognized and, as such, no law can remove it. That is part of the point of it being unalienable. I'm not saying that I would agree that is the case for the fetus--but I am saying that if that is how it is recognized, then, there can be some serious contentions be made on any law impeding that life by abortion. I'm not sure why you don't see that point--nor the 'absoluteness' of unalienable (individual) rights. If there is something that you see lacking as coherent in that statement, can you point out what part of it is incoherent?

Unalienable rights are absolute--that is the point of them as identified in the Declaration of Independence. Now, if you are going to start saying that 'no rights are absolute', then, I believe you have negated the entire point of what rights in the context of being above legal reproach as the Declaration of Independence claims really means. As the Declaration of Independence also points out, when it comes to how government is to relate to unalienable rights, all 'good government' can do is 'secure and guarantee them'....just the opposite of the usual point of positivist law. As the quotes I use from my wife's law textbook points out: "Those who adhere to the positivist school believe that there can be no higher law than a nation's positive law. According to the positivist school, there is no such thing as "natural rights." Rather, human rights exist solely because of laws." By that description of law, no 'right' is absolute--but, that is because no 'right' is seen as natural in the context of natural law--a right seen in the context of natural law is unalienable...the question in abortion's case is does a fetus possess such a right 'naturally'--or when does a human life with rights (naturally) begin....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

And my answer is No; as I've written here before, the right to life is not necessarily at the top of my hierarchy of values, or, even my hierarchy of rights; for example, sometimes the right of a class of sentient being —ethically speaking; natural law speaking— to be free of suffering supersedes what many humans imagine their "right to life," i.e., health, to be.

OK, you're in line with some of the issues addressed in our medical ethics class--but, I think you are missing one very substantial point. When it comes to the issue of a 'sentient being to be free of suffering', who are you claiming is deciding that? Do you want that decision to be a positivist assertion in law that, somehow, claims for itself when it knows a sentient being is suffering too much to live--or would you rather have that sentient being itself determine that? If you are having someone else do that, how well does that recognize that beings sentience? So, I don't think this can be a positivist action in law--however, if it were understood as an unalienable right that such a sentient being could determine that for itself, then, it would be understood that there can be no positivist law impeding that right of conscience for that being. No one else can decide this issue for that sentient being to really honor the sentience of that being, can there be? Otherwise all sorts of oppressive impositions could be placed on that life by those claiming an authority to 'make the decision for that being' as to when the suffering was not worth the life. Now, if that being cannot make that decision for his or herself, then, the next best decision-maker would not be the lawmakers or any authority, it would be the ones that loved that being. Correct?

Quote Zenzoe:

Whether some people have a custom of abusing animals does not make it their right to do so. I am not an ethical relativist: Some things are just plain wrong, according to enlightened, educated and informed ethics.

Well, since I don't see animals as having unalienable rights in the context of political individual rights to humans (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, being of the foremost in such rights), the 'custom of abusing animals' I'm afraid will have to depend completely on 'community standards'. Now, you might could try to 'raise awareness' in making such 'community standards' more fitting to remove abuse, but that's not 'individual rights' to me. And, if you really still have a problem with my coherence in describing such rights, please point out the areas you are unclear about. 'Individual rights' supercede 'community standards' in a natural law context. Animals do not have 'individual rights'--therefore, animals will be treated in the customary fashion with respect to 'community standards'--you might could change that by raising awareness but you cannot do so by comparing 'animal rights' to 'individual rights' because animals have no absolute rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, in the same context as humans with unalienable rights. If you see a suffering animal and want to put it to death, are you giving that animal a choice? No, the best you can do is be 'the loved one' making that choice for the animal. If a sentient human in the same situation were able to communicate, you would not rightfully euthanize that person without letting them speak for themselves. You could do so for an animal. While there are some similarities to the situation, there also are some significant differences. You cannot rightfully act in authority against a human suffering that doesn't want to die (they have a 'right to life')--however, you can take that assumption upon yourself (whether, by the way, you 'love' that animal or not) with an animal (theirs is guided more by 'community standards'). Are you saying that these distinctions aren't absolute?

Quote Zenzoe:

Also, rights still exist independent of a "right to life;" I disagree with the notion that all rights stem from the right to life.

I'm not sure if I'm that incoherent or you are just not hearing me. If there is no 'right to life', there is no right to anything. Do you really not see that point? There is no other way to have a right if there is no life to express a right. Therefore, the 'right to life' is fundamental to all other rights. Absolutely.

Quote Zenzoe:

I am not fooled by the "right-to-life" crowd's noise about baby-killing and the rest of their insane posturing over abortion.

Well, I really don't think you are going to convince them of anything by claiming that the 'right to life' is no longer unalienable. You might get some headway in stating that a fetus has never been treated as if it has a 'right to life' because it's death (by miscarriage) has never been treated like any other human's death (in fact, most miscarried fetuses are 'disposed of' without any particular fanfare unless the family specifically requests it--and, then, that is only for the family). Also, you might get some headway by addressing the unalienable right of the mother to act in conscience about the outcome of her pregnancy since it's no one else's business, anyway (reminding them that it has never been illegal for the mother to self-abort--so, even the law has never recognized the fetus' right to life before the self-righteous decided to take it upon themselves to declare it). But, I won't agree with you if you are going to claim that the fetus doesn't have a right to life because there is no such thing as an unalienable right to life. The question really is when does a human life with rights begin....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Kerry, that's a lot to read. I haven't even had my breakfast yet, so I'll have to come back later and try to tackle it.

However, I am discouraged from reading more, because right off the bat you take my quote of your quote and edit out the most important part, then go on to argue you were talking about the Declaration of Independence, i.e., not "written law."

My section:

"So, does 'the right to the pursuit of happiness'--and, in other areas of the constitution itself (as Amendment 14), so does 'right to property'. None of these can be imposed upon without 'due process of law'--and 'due process of law' means without openly and up front explaining the purpose for the impositions in order to be judged accordingly. That used to be what courts were for." Despite the first sentence's lack of coherence, I see this implies your preference for a positivist position on rights. This is okay, as long as you're willing to agree we don't have to be consistent or absolute in our thinking.

That first part, in quotes, is you referring to the Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment. Then comes my sentence after that. Regardless of that context, you come back and do this, removing your statement referring to written law (positivist):

Quote Zenzoe:

Despite the first sentence's lack of coherence, I see this implies your preference for a positivist position on rights. This is okay, as long as you're willing to agree we don't have to be consistent or absolute in our thinking.

That, above, is your not bothering to copy the entire bit, that is, taking it out of the context you provided for me to consider. And then you go on to insist you were not talking about written law (positivist), you were talking about natural law (the Declaration); but, clearly, if you'd copied my entire paragraph with your entire quote in it, you wouldn't have been able to deny that you referred to written law (positivist).

I'm sorry, Kerry, but that's dirty pool! Why don't you face up to what you actually said? Anyway, now it's really really hard to give the rest of your comments any credence. It appears that your intention is about winning, not communicating.

But, as I said, I haven't eaten yet, so maybe I'll have more energy to read the rest later.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I see. So, you aren't going to address any point of the unalienableness of human individual rights--even compare them to 'animal rights' (especially in the context of the Declaration of Independence which lists 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' as being among others that constitute unalienable rights)--which, again, I think the contention between 'unalienable rights' is the whole point of the issue of elective abortions.

I see now that your claim as to the positivism of my assertions of unalienable, natural, individual rights (as listed in the Declaration of Independence that, simultaneously, notes the list is not exhaustive become it does predicate the list with 'among others') is made because of the point in the 14th Amendment stating such rights of persons cannot be removed (or imposed upon) without due process of law. Note the distinction there, Zenzoe. It's NOT 'due process of law' creating such rights, it IS 'due process of law' removing such rights. A very significant distinction in how 'due process of law' relates to such rights, don't you think? A positivist assertion of law with rights would mean that the 'due process of law' is creating the right--not removing it. And, the whole point of it is that, with unalienable rights, they cannot be removed without 'due process'. And, as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to unalienable rights, such due process would most justly be done by considering opposing unalienable rights--not 'community standards'. In other words, it's 'the right to life' for you, in 'your liberty', to do whatever you think is appropriate for your 'pursuit of happiness'--unless, and until, it interferes with my 'right to life' or 'liberty' or approach to the 'pursuit of happiness'--then, it will require due process of law to determine the infraction and remedy it (which may mean taking somebody's life or liberty or pursuit of happiness away but NOT without 'due process of law'). I guess I am assuming that some of this is already understood. Do you understand that? Is there something 'incoherent' or 'gibberish' about it that you claim to be puzzled over? I don't mind the claim if you qualify it with an explanation but, frankly, just throwing out accusations without explaining them is a tactic that many who really don't want to squarely address the issue do. 'Accuse the messenger' instead of 'address the message'--your friend Ulysses does that with me all the time...as well as others on this board--it must be an acquired tactic.....

So, despite your claims of dirty pool, I'm beginning to think, with accusations of gibberish and all, that you aren't really willing to discuss this issue. What is a 'right' to you (especially in the Declaration of Independence's context of 'unalienable right')? And, apparently despite the point that the Declaration of Independence lists rights as 'unalienable' (and we previously were going to use it along with the U.S. Constitution in discussing laws and rights), is it your position that such unalienable rights are, or are not, absolute? And, if not, can you explain, with respect to the previously accepted ground that the Declaration of Independence could be brought into this discussion on rights and law (after all, even such an austere body of educated persons as the Supreme Court has used the Declaration of Independence to interpret written law), what you think unalienable rights means--and how you would use the term? I do believe it implies an absoluteness in form unless removed by due process of law. And, by the way, that removal is on a case by case basis in such a due process in court--unless, and until, a constitutional amendment in law removes it or, as in abortion's case, a heretofore unalienable individual right went unrecognized until brought forth in a state proceeding as any method of 'due process'. However, and let me make this abundantly clear, once recognized as an unalienable right, it exists on its own forever and always unless removed by due process of law. Why do you think corporatists like it being applied to the 'personhood' of corporations? By do we really have to remove the personhood of everyone else to remove the personhood of corporations? Do you really have to confuse the entire issue of unalienable rights with 'animal rights' as if they have a right above and beyond the 'community standard' as to how they are treated? Dogs are pets here. Dogs can be eaten in Asia (and, for all I know, may even be eaten by Asians here). No universal (forever and always) natural right for dogs other than what community standards give them.....not even 'due process in law' changes that....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Now that I'm thinking about it, let me reiterate one other point that I thought had already been brought out in this issue--but maybe not. When it comes to the deliberations of law contending with unalienable rights, if a good cause is not brought forth in an open and up front manner as to the reason to restrict such an unalienable right, it's NOT due process....it's a postivist imposition that ignores the unalienableness of the natural right to not be imposed upon (without due process). In abortion's case with unalienable rights being considered between the pregnant woman and the fetus, it all depends upon when does a human life with rights begin.....if it is to be determined at conception, then laws allowing abortion can be seen as positivist impositions against an unalienable natural right....and, if you think that that assessment is wrong, Zenzoe, I am telling you just hide and watch if a state ever passes a 'right to life from conception' amendment.....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Kerry, it doesn't serve communication to keep piling on more and more argumentation about what is beginning to me to sound like a "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" discussion. I think it might be helpful to step back for a moment and see where we are.

Keeping in mind that I still haven't completely read your last three comments (116, 117, & 119), and keeping in mind that I still intend to read them, let me state a few basic things about where I stand: First, I am strongly partial to and dedicated to the notion of individual, human rights, whether those rights stem from natural law or written law. However, I ALSO value community, democracy, and consensus-determinations of policy. I can value both and not be in danger of cognitive dissonance.

Then, I recognize that that sometimes written law derives from natural law, and sometimes it derives from community standards, whether those are consistent with natural law or not. But please understand this: Ultimately, nothing in any equation leading to public policy represents an absolute value; in other words, a balanced approach, not an absolutist one, is the best. Some policies derive from natural law; some derive from an evolution of consciousness, when we begin to see morality and ethics in a new way. We grow. We think. We compromise. We change. We adjust long-held habits and beliefs, given new information and new perspectives.

As of now, I'd like to know where we differ on the basics.

1) At what point in a pregnancy do you believe, in your personal perspective (morally, ethically), abortion should be unrestricted? At what point in a pregnancy should restrictions apply? (Please be very brief. I'm not interested in a long bit about what is law now, in how many states, or the history of it, etc. I'm only after your own feeling on it.) (and sorry if I don't know this already—it got lost in the course of the discussion.)

2). If you saw a child abusing an animal, what would you do, and, if you did interfere, what would you say to the child? (Again, please, only briefly.)

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, as you claim that I am piling on 'more and more argumentation', you do keep coming back to how animals are treated in a human fetus abortion issue. I'm not sure how, if at all, you are relating that to unalienable rights or even to elective human abortions--or even if you think such a thing as unalienable rights exist in either the issue of abortion (or in any human context that can, or may, involve 'life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness', etc.) or now, as you seem to want to persist at it, 'animal rights'. It's hard to tell from what you are saying--and how you are granting yourself the option of choosing between 'individual rights' and 'community standards' as some form of 'evolution of consciousness' where 'ethics and morality are seen in new ways', again, I am not sure what you are using to do that--or where you are going with that. What element of authority are you going to use to enact such an 'evolution of consciousness'? 'Community standards' as can be applied in law--and how is that to be instrumented especially against a natural individual right not to be imposed upon--or is there anything like a right to you that is not to be imposed upon (which is what I thought unalienable rights meant)? The 'cognitive dissonance' that I see implicit in your statement hinges on the understanding of what 'unalienable rights' are--and what 'unalienable rights' mean in a legal, moral, and ethical, manner.

There are several examples that could be used to qualify my remarks in this respect. Let's use the Bowers vs. Hardwick Supreme Court decision as one case in point. While many of the previous Supreme Court decisions (Loving vs. Virginia, Griswald vs. Connecticut, Roe vs. Wade) were decisions made on behalf of removing postivist law impositions against natural law rights concerning individual decisions of conscience as being improper laws that impose without due process against such rights, Bowers vs. Hardwick made an exception to that trend by claiming that, one, no unalienable natural right existed in this case, and, two, community standards can prevail in law as a means of determining issues of morality (even, as Chief Justice Rehnquist pointed out, using the Bible as the community standard). I think it is quite true that community standards can prevail as long as there is no unalienable right present--but, like Loving vs. Virginia, Griswald vs. Connecticut, and Roe vs. Wade decisions pointed out, once there is an unalienable individual right identified, community standards cannot be used against that.

Another example that may be pertinent as to how you seem to want to approach this issue is what I've already said about how different 'community standards' treat dogs. One community may treat dogs as pets--invite them into the house as a member of the family to play with the children and be a companion to the family. Another, such as is present in Asia, may eat dogs. Both are different 'community standards' with respect to how dogs are treated. Does a dog have a right (especially an unalienable right) separate from either community standard? No, I don't think so. Do you? In such cases, just like the above Supreme Court decision in Bowers vs. Hardwick, when an unalienable right does not exist, community standards can (and do) hold precedence. If you are going to hold the position that dogs have a 'natural right' against such 'community standards', as I've asked you before, how do you visualize a way to enact such a right--either through the communities, or the courts, or the governments, involved? My suggestion is attempt to 'raise awareness' to change the standard--but, that, in and of itself, still doesn't establish an unalienable right in the context of how the Declaration of Independence (or the 14th Amendment) promotes it for persons. Or, walk me through a maneuver that would promote it in the fashion you appear to be suggesting....

So, in as short as I can make it (without getting to your questions in this post), I don't see how your claim on 'balancing community standards up against individual rights' as some form of 'evolution of consciousness in morality and ethics'--especially if such individual rights are to be seen as unalienable--doesn't carry with it some element of 'cognitive dissonance' if and when you allow the community standard to preempt an individual right that already exists. The only time in law when that is possible is when you claim that an unalienable individual right doesn't exist. That's regardless of whether it's dogs, male homosexual actions, or fetal life.....or, once again, qualify what you understand an 'unalienable right' as.....

(By the way, just as an addition to my remarks, I realize how Lawrence vs. Texas overturned Bowers vs. Hardwick in identifying male homosexual actions as 'unalienable rights' between consenting adults--against any and all 'community standards' to the contrary).

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Calperson:
Quote TanyaCO:

The unwanted children comes from the lack of a father figure. 30% of children are abandoned by their father in USA . If a baby is born, the mommy wanted it. Ifthe woman has an abortion , she could not afford to raise it, and she knew the father was not going to be around further burdening the community. Abortion comes out of love of the community, and trying not to be shunned from the community. Perhaps she knows about her own body, her own diseases.

There are men who women don't mind having sex with , just wouldn't want to marry. Just like a man will say about most sexual conquests. i am guessing manic depression,alcoholism, or just being lonely causes people to have un protected sex.

I feel like america, and the world could thrive, getting a few billion vasectomies and planting trillions of food trees in place of unwanted children.

This will save the economy billions of dollars for food stamps to unwanted kids.

Self proclaimed selfish men, growing hundreds of trees , and not making unintended babies , will calm the mass hysteria called anti abortion. I am guessing mass vasectomies will stop wars. If every child was a wanted, planned, thought out , loved respected human, by the entire community, things would be a utopian paradise!

Think about it!

Tanya, why is adoption not even on your radar? Is it not an alternative to just killing the baby? I'm also curious as to your thoughts about the fathers finanicial obligations, if the decision to kill or not to kill is the mothers alone, and the man has no say in it whatsoever, surely the decision to finance or not must rest entirely with the man?

Zenzoe already pointed out how ignorant your comment is. I just want to agree...with her.

How can righties call an abortion the "killing of a baby"? First of all, we have a way of identifying babies and they are not defined as womb-dwellers. We have a whole other word to describe that period of human development and it ain't "baby". Any woman who does call their pregnancy a baby is engaging in a bit of wishful thinking. Secondly, if abortion is killing, then whom do you arrest? The doctor or the woman, or both? Furthermore, when we decide, as a country, that killing babies or fetuses is not the American way, how do we undertake to go to war ever again. After all, nobody has deliberately killed more actual babies than the armed forces, except they don't call them babies at that point either. They call them "collateral damage". You would probably call them terrorists. A close second place, though, to the military's baby killing adventures is the for-profit health insurance industry, who stand between the people-even babies- and their medical care. We could also include the Republican party in the baby killing tally, since they do so much to make sure that black people stay poor and everyone knows that black people have a higher infant mortality rate than their white brethren.

So, I think that about sums it up. We have the military, the insurance industry and the Republican party all playing their part in making sure that enough babies die. Heck, it almost makes you wonder, given the sort of mine field that American babies have to navigate, how many of the fetuses- had they been forced into existence by our laws-would have just been killed by Republican wars or policies later in their life. Hmmmm...oh yeah, those don't count.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
Joined:
Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Right, D_NATURED. Another good one.

Here's an irony: A woman gets pregnant. It's an unplanned pregnancy, but she decides not to have an abortion and, instead, chooses to take the pregnancy to term and raise the child. Years later, this child, whose mother chose not to abort, grows up, goes to school, becomes a physician and a beautiful person. This physician, this doctor, then decides to work at a Planned Parenthood, since he is pro-choice and cares about the reproductive health of women. So one day along comes a whack-job, anti-abortionist and shoots him dead. So much for "pro-life." It's a fraud.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

This "Kerry" is a waste of time.

He's a time sink, down which you can pour an infinite amount of energy, logic, facts, history, and education, but will still subsequently come back to re-inventing the wheel and asking which came first, the chicken or the egg, in every discussion. He doesn't get how offputting that is. He doesn't get (and, I suspect, sometimes doesn't want to get) why, figuratively speaking, intelligent people don't find it necessary to redefine what a car is before they can compare and discuss the relative merits of Nissans and Toyotas. On the contrary, he thinks infinite redefinition is absolutely essential to his own understanding, and he constantly challenges others to accommodate him, lest they be "imposing," a term he overuses to death. That's why I called him a gasbag in a previous post.

He thinks he's being "imposed upon" by legal enforcement of all laws, rules, standards, or guidelines which are not personally vetted down to the last gnat's ass by himself, or which he simply does not agree with. He thinks he has to know and accept the reason for dotting every individual "i" in every individual sentence before he can accept the necessity for doing same, and that he must be catered to at the level of telling him ALL POSSIBLE (although unknowable and unpredictable) ramifications and contigencies stemming from dotting that "i," before he'll acknowledge its legitimacy, and that if others don't allow him to go there, they're the ones being difficult. So, if he's not being intentionally obtuse to get the attention he's deprived of elsewhere (even if that attention's unpleasant), he simply hasn't learned to think clearly.

He's incapable of moving through a discussion or debate without having to be constantly re-schooled on its original, general context. He's obviously never learned anything about the art and science of intelligent discourse. It's become apparent, over a long continuum, that rather than conducting genuine inquiry in attempting to learn something, he has decided, a priori, what he believes, no matter what contradictory evidence he gets, and the sole object of each of his meandering, one-dimensional discourses is to find evidence or express opinions which support his canned preconceptions. If he finds what he perceives as one grain of same, he tries to claim it's the deciding factor in proving him right, when, most of the time, though such things can be factually accurate, they're of no actual consequence and have never possessed the weight he attributes to them.

He's a kluck.

Ulysses's picture
Ulysses
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Even if you are right, your disdain does not become you. You do not need to belittle Kerry to disagree or to have reason to tire of his arguments. There are good people with bad ideas, we even love our crazy uncle who has some nutty ones. This is why we try to avoid the ad hominem and leave the criticism to ideas. Some people take their ideas way too personally, but if you are saying that it is the thought/belief and not the person being criticized, you can be pretty tough without being a problem.

I find that there are people who I love and admire, whose minds are open as are their hearts, but who cannot hear what I hear as music and often love stuff that bores the hell out of me. This does not make them lesser human beings, but it might make them rate lower on the musically hip, aware or involved in scale. To think about the breaking in new edge of anything sets one apart from what most people are interested in. Wonks have to learn to respect those who don't want to know very much about what obsesses them. Those other people are not stupid even if they seem obtuse to the wonk lore.

Have more fun here.

DRC's picture
DRC
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I'll note one more time how Ulysses has come into this discussion to disclaim me without in any sentence in the above rendition on 'my character', addressing the points at hand. As noted. DRC promotes Ulysses' position tangentially as he appears to try to 'calm Ulysses down' like a little child....

It's hard to get to any point in Ulysses remarks because it is constantly disfigured by Ulysses' claims against my character. But, there are a couple of points in the tirade that I do believe points out exactly what I have already said about Ulysses (and DRC).

Quote Ulysses:

which came first, the chicken or the egg,

If that is Ulysses' way of debasing the issue of elective abortions away from 'unalienable rights' and towards some issue of positivist law as if it represented 'new consciousness community standards', Ulysses doesn't clarify it in any way. Which does hold legal, ethical and moral, precedence in the context of American society when it comes to applying laws? Unalienable rights (as identified in the Declaration of Independence)? Or written laws regardless of them (as the 'new consciousness' promoters seem to implicitly promote--the point I made about seeing that neither Ulysses nor DRC make any comment whatsoever about the textbook descriptions I use distinguishing 'natural law' from 'positive law')? And, if it's written laws regardless of any identifiable unalienable rights, how is that any different from distrusting any and all individuals from making their own decisions for themselves in issues that involve rights of conscience not impeding upon any other entity that may have similar rights of conscience? How is that any different from conservatives imposing laws 'for their causes' if all supposed self-described liberals like Ulysses (and, now, implicitly, DRC--and Zenzoe) can do is impose laws 'for their causes'? Despite the rather self-congratulatory claim of being 'of a higher consciousness' that, of course, a libertarian such as myself, so intent on 'selfish individualism', can't 'understand'....and despite the point that, in any manner that actually confirms any potential distinctions at hand, neither Ulysses nor DRC have come around to actually explain how a 'community interested in individuality' is any different from one that 'grants individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself'.

Quote Ulysses:

intelligent people don't find it necessary to redefine what a car is before they can compare and discuss the relative merits of Nissans and Toyotas.

Yeah, there it is. I, as the libertarian intent on 'selfish individualism', is not possibly 'intelligent enough' to make the 'new evolution in consciousness' distinctions that have so 'elevated moral and ethical situations above mere individual concerns' into 'communitarian causes'--despite the point that I, in my libertarian ignorance, have used examples from Supreme Court cases that point out where 'unalienable rights' should go when it comes to 'communitarian impositions in law'--absent any concern whatsoever for 'due process' in Ulysses or DRC's comments--and Zenzoe claiming that 'due process' is 'positivist law'....

Quote Ulysses:

He thinks he's being "imposed upon" by legal enforcement of all laws, rules, standards, or guidelines which are not personally vetted down to the last gnat's ass by himself, or which he simply does not agree with.

For someone who claims to be more intelligent than I, Ulysses certainly has shortchanged a lot of what I had to say. In my discussion about dogs, male homosexual actions, and fetal life, issues, did Ulysses miss the point I made that 'community standards' can certainly take precedence if an 'unalienable right' has not been identified? Apparently, Ulysses, in this 'new consciousness' advancement, doesn't mind such community standards being imposed against even recognized unalienable rights to individuals as long as whoever is doing it is claiming a 'advanced new consciousness' in doing so......and, who's to say that doesn't involve fetal life and male homosexual activities in such 'advancements' regardless of any recognized unalienable individual rights?

Quote Ulysses:

So, if he's not being intentionally obtuse to get the attention he's deprived of elsewhere (even if that attention's unpleasant), he simply hasn't learned to think clearly.

How clear are you thinking, Ulysses? Do you have an understanding of unalienable rights--or is that to be usurped with respect to 'community standards'? And, please, can you comment about such issues by explaining how such Supreme Court decisions as Loving vs. Virginia, Griswald vs. Connecticut, or Roe vs. Wade could be made using whatever 'egg' or 'chicken' you claim denotes a 'higher consciousness' or 'community standard' than the issues those cases actually addressed? What analysis are you reallly using other than debasing my character in every statement that you can make?

Quote Ulysses:

He's incapable of moving through a discussion or debate without having to be constantly re-schooled on its original, general context.

And, with respect to elective abortions, what context are you suggesting? Let's see:

Quote Ulysses:

He's obviously never learned anything about the art and science of intelligent discourse. It's become apparent, over a long continuum, that rather than conducting genuine inquiry in attempting to learn something, he has decided, a priori, what he believes, no matter what contradictory evidence he gets, and the sole object of each of his meandering, one-dimensional discourses is to find evidence or express opinions which support his canned preconceptions. If he finds what he perceives as one grain of same, he tries to claim it's the deciding factor in proving him right, when, most of the time, though such things can be factually accurate, they're of no actual consequence and have never possessed the weight he attributes to them.

OK, I read that whole thing and I am still asking, 'What context are you suggesting?'

Quote Ulysses:

He's a kluck.

Just like I thought--as is typical for what you've shown me, you have no context other than some vague 'new consciousness' that, apparently, neither you nor any of your cooperatives will imply but without, in any way, distinguishing it--even with respect to some basic words being used in this issue such as 'rights' and 'community standards'. Just debasing me who won't take it as 'the gospel' without questioning....even point out in every way I know how why I don't.....but, all I get back are 'dark eyes'.....and debasing of my character without any qualifications exemplifying any part of your supposed more 'intelligent position'. What a pompous ass you continue to be....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

To Kerry: Okay, so I'm half-way through reading your latest comments. I'm not sure I want to go point by point with you. I'd rather respond to the essentials.

The main hang up appears to be your sense of my not agreeing with "inalienable rights" for humans, those listed in the Declaration, that is, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." You infer from my statements a denial of such individual rights as being absolute, as you would have them be.

Perhaps the difficulty here may stem from my "failure" to attach the same meanings to such generalities of the Declaration as you attach to them. While I too thrill to the eloquence and feel-good quality of the Declaration's "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," a careful look reveals certain difficulties there: For one, no definition of terms: What is meant by "all men?" What, back when the Declaration was written, was meant by that and by "Life?" "Liberty?" "Pursuit of Happiness?" Were those words the same then as you interpret them to mean now, in your modern clothes? Are your assumptions realistic and based in truthiness (best regards to Stephen Colbert)? But you appear to want those to mean a certain, absolute thing, and you go on to say those rights are inalienable, with a lot of confidence in the meanings you attach to them.

But you forget about evolution —progress— and how things —meanings— do and can change.

Clearly, at some point we grew in our moral, ethical and political philosophy to be more inclusive than to restrict such "inalienable" rights to men alone. And rich white men at that. But, regardless, the words in the Declaration, especially those we love the most —"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"— remain generalizations. Each word there can be interpreted differently, depending on who defines it in the moment: A libertarian defines life one way; a democratic-socialist another way; a right-wing, fundamentalist Christian another way. Perhaps that's why the Declaration has not been rendered into written law. It is written like a piece of literature, not like a piece of legislation.

Which brings me back to Utilitarian Ethics, i.e., "...the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can only weigh the morality of an action after knowing all its consequences." This is, to my mind, a better way than endless, circular argumentation over "natural law" vs. "positive law" in considering ethics and political policy. This is why the "when does life begin" question is an irrelevancy: Because the Declaration of Independence doesn't grant unequivocal authority to the word "life." Instead, we weigh outcomes: Whose life, who suffers and how much will they suffer compared to others? What kind of world do we want? Are we a "Me Society or a We Society?" We can be a Me Society, in part; but we can also be a We Society.

It's like yin-yang, Kerry. Balance.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Btw, when I posted my last comment, I hadn't seen the 125th, 126th and 127th comments.

I think Ulysses' frustration must have come of long experience in conversations I've not witnessed. He's entitled to be honest about his reaction, it seems to me. And besides, Kerry seems to be able to take it.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I thought the question was rather straightforward. Do you believe in unalienable rights? If so, what do they mean to you (and, if you want, compare them to 'community standards'--after all, all those Supreme Court cases that I mentioned did)? If not, what are you offering in its place as a natural right--or, is this rather vague amalgamation of 'community consciousness' all about postivist interventions to 'its cause'?

Obviously, as 'generalized' as you see the Declaration of Independence as, 'we' aren't in total agreement as to what all rights are counted as unalienable--and, they too have been 'evolving' with time. All of the Supreme Court cases that I mention occured within the past 50 years. However, it does appear that those who 'amalgamate communalism' as a 'higher consciousness' don't seem to see the point that I see in almost everyone of those Supreme Court cases that I mention (except Bowers vs. Hardwick). In every case, the issue being determined by the Supreme Court concerned extending unalienable individual rights against positivist impositions (most based on 'community standards')--not further restricting them. And, certainly, not further restricting them with respect to some vague issue as 'new consciousness community standards'. As I have told DRC on many occasions, I see that 'evolution' as resorting back to the motives of Original Sin--not surging forward into an era of full recognition of the natural rights to all sentient individuals of conscience against any and all impositions against its fruition. Perhaps some here think that I am reaching too much to conclude that that is exactly the direction that the early American framers were setting us up for in the manner in which they promoted government and individual rights--starting with those 'privileged white men' but taking the very premises of what they offered as 'good government' and extending such rights of individual conscience in community to all races and both genders. Henry David Thoreau said it most succinctly when promoting the best government to be as one that governed not at all--but, recognizing that man's consciousness had not so evolved to allow that in a peaceful, civil, society, noted that the second best government to be one in which every citizen envisioned what good government was to mean and, then, by the structures of democratic government already afforded them, enact that vision. It's that evolution that any form of amalgamation of 'communitarian causes' misses by defaulting away from all 'individual initiative' in any general or specific context of government. And, I mean real individuals with conscience--not the amalgamation that gets to call itself 'individual' (without the responsibility of conscience), corporations--or government, technically, if it strays from its premise of being 'of, by, and for the people'. I truly think that the message in our history is there, 'we' fail to see it....and I think 'we' certainly fail to describe it in the fashion that I truly believe the framers and other significant historical figures throughout American history have 'pointed us toward' (such as Abraham Lincoln and others).

Quote Zenzoe:

As of now, I'd like to know where we differ on the basics.

1) At what point in a pregnancy do you believe, in your personal perspective (morally, ethically), abortion should be unrestricted? At what point in a pregnancy should restrictions apply? (Please be very brief. I'm not interested in a long bit about what is law now, in how many states, or the history of it, etc. I'm only after your own feeling on it.) (and sorry if I don't know this already—it got lost in the course of the discussion.)

You mean I get a personal opinion here? How 'selfish'!....8^)......

I've stated it. I feel comfortable with the Texas law cutting the right to elective abortions off at 20 weeks as being the earliest any gestation has survived outside of the womb--sounds reasonable and rational to me with respect to any potential of a 'right to life' for the fetus as well as recognizing the 'right to abort' of the mother since it is generally understood in our society and culture that 'life' starts at birth ('we' don't celebrate 'conception days'--'we' celebrate 'birthdays').

Quote Zenzoe:

2). If you saw a child abusing an animal, what would you do, and, if you did interfere, what would you say to the child? (Again, please, only briefly.)

I would make the little shits quit. But, I think you are offering 'an exception as a rule'--I see most children as wanting to be nice to animals. But, that still doesn't give animals 'unalienable rights'....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think Ulysses' frustration must have come of long experience in conversations I've not witnessed.

You're absolutely correct! I do respect the opinions of DRC, so I'm going to bow out of this one, as I've threatened to do before, but I just can't stand to let him blather out his nonsense and B.S. uncontested.

Ciao.

Ulysses's picture
Ulysses
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Kerry:

I thought the question was rather straightforward. Do you believe in unalienable rights? If so, what do they mean to you (and, if you want, compare them to 'community standards'--after all, all those Supreme Court cases that I mentioned did)? If not, what are you offering in its place as a natural right--or, is this rather vague amalgamation of 'community consciousness' all about postivist interventions to 'its cause'?

Dammit, Kerry, did you ucking-fay read what I said about Utilitarian Ethics? I swear it is really really hard to get through to you. Please give me one "inalienable" right that cannot be defined differently by different interests under varying circumstances.

Quote Zenzoe:

As of now, I'd like to know where we differ on the basics.

1) At what point in a pregnancy do you believe, in your personal perspective (morally, ethically), abortion should be unrestricted? At what point in a pregnancy should restrictions apply? (Please be very brief. I'm not interested in a long bit about what is law now, in how many states, or the history of it, etc. I'm only after your own feeling on it.) (and sorry if I don't know this already—it got lost in the course of the discussion.)

You mean I get a personal opinion here? How 'selfish'!....8^)......

I've stated it. I feel comfortable with the Texas law cutting the right to elective abortions off at 20 weeks as being the earliest any gestation has survived outside of the womb--sounds reasonable and rational to me with respect to any potential of a 'right to life' for the fetus as well as recognizing the 'right to abort' of the mother since it is generally understood in our society and culture that 'life' starts at birth ('we' don't celebrate 'conception days'--'we' celebrate 'birthdays').

Oh. my. god. We agree. And we agree to "generally understood," and we agree to a balancing of rights. Why are we arguing?

Quote Zenzoe:

2). If you saw a child abusing an animal, what would you do, and, if you did interfere, what would you say to the child? (Again, please, only briefly.)

I would make the little shits quit. But, I think you are offering 'an exception as a rule'--I see most children as wanting to be nice to animals. But, that still doesn't give animals 'unalienable rights'....

I'm not offering anything, Kerry. I agree most children and adults understand instinctively that animals can suffer too; but I also know most children need to be taught respect for animals and taught to be kind to them. When I was a little girl, my best friend, Sue, and I fried live slugs sprinkled with salt on her little toy oven, just to watch them foam up. I don't think that is unusual. Now I would never think of cooking something live, not even lobsters. Whatever, thanks for responding to that. I just wanted to know if you had a conscience about how animals should be treated. It's all that matters in the end.

You say most children want to be nice to animals, and that the abuse of animals would be the exception to the rule. Unfortunately, such is not the case for children who grow up to support our system of meat production: Most everyone is involved in massive cruelty to animals, when they buy supermarket meat. That is the rule.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Please give me one "inalienable" right that cannot be defined differently by different interests under varying circumstances.

It's 'unalienable rights'--I've been corrected on that ala Ulysses style here before (who, interestingly enough, accuses me of wanting to 'dot every i and cross every t'). What difference does the definition make, Zenzoe? I asked you--and you don't seem to want to respond in kind--do YOU believe in unalienable rights? Period. I didn't ask you to define it first--I asked if YOU believed they exist. Then, as the Supreme Court cases I've mentioned, not only is the definition ongoing--up until the recent surge in 'new consciousness meaning communitarian causes against individualist rights', it has evolved to extend unalienable rights--not restrict them in favor of some vague amalgamation of 'new consciousness' and 'new paradigm thinking'. Did you miss that point? I know how that seems to go against your 'new consciousness thinking'--but, then, what's the fucking definition of your 'new consciousness thinking'--or am I just to 'believe' in that? Besides that, are you saying that, in line with the Declaration of Independence, saying, among others, that is to include 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' MEANS NOTHING? Is that what you claim in 'not being able to define it'?

Utilitarian Ethics. I've seen your definition-- "...the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome, and that one can only weigh the morality of an action after knowing all its consequences." I didn't know that was your entire position. Is that the moral worth of the dog--or the Asians eating the dog? Who gets to determine that? Who is your 'Utilitarian Authority'? Visualize that for me and tell me how that's going to work--starting with who are YOU allowing to decide such 'all inclusive consequences'--especially if it is NOT the one in the situaiton having to determine that (and think hard on that point--because it will require AN INDIVIDUAL if you are 'authorizing' it in that fashion....).

Quote Zenzoe:

Oh. my. god. We agree. And we agree to "generally understood," and we agree to a balancing of rights. Why are we arguing?

Perhaps it's not what we agree to--it's how each of us gets to that conclusion that appears to be so 'judged'. I know that is why Ulysses has a problem with me because I'm a libertarian--and many here don't believe it's possible to be 'leftist' in that approach....

Quote Zenzoe:

I just wanted to know if you had a conscience about how animals should be treated. It's all that matters in the end.

It disturbs me a little to know that dogs are eaten in Asia--but, I'm not going to claim that the dog has more rights not to be eaten than the Asians have rights to eat the dog. There are gradations of rights. And, for humans, 'right to life' is close to universally understood as an unalienable right (at least after birth and at least if the possessor of that life wants to live--again, euthanasia is a different point--but, it does still get to an unalienable rights consideration--such as the right to 'pursuit of happiness' to do with your life as you will...).

Quote Zenzoe:

You say most children want to be nice to animals....

Let me ask you something, Zenzoe. You say it was you and your friend that fried the slugs. And, when it does come to animal cruelty, almost all the time, it's a group of brats doing it to amuse each other. Do you not see that as how grouping influences sometimes can work against individual conscience? Who gets to have your 'Utilitarian Authority' in your 'Utilitarian Ethics'?

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
I've stated it. I feel comfortable with the Texas law cutting the right to elective abortions off at 20 weeks as being the earliest any gestation has survived outside of the womb--

Mere survival should not be the sole determinant. Any fetus that is delivered that early will have MAJOR health problems for, perhaps, their entire life...even if they "survive". As Zenzoe has already pointed out, until we value LIFE and not just survival, abortion will be the least of our problems. Your opinion is extremely short sighted.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
Joined:
Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Kerry, yes, the Declaration has it as "unalienable rights." However, my dictionary gives the full definition to the word inalienable, but for unalienable, it refers back to inalienable, but no definition. As it is, I prefer inalienable, so you'll just have to cringe every time I use it, I suppose. Anyway, what difference does it make which version of the word I choose? We know what we're talking about.

I do believe in inalienable rights. Equality is one, perhaps the first of all inalienable rights. That is, all natural, born persons are equally entitled to opportunity, education, dignity and respect by virtue of their basic humanity. (it doesn't mean we're all the same) Equality includes freedom from discrimination in my book, as it includes health, among other things. In fact, equality includes "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," because, if you have equality, all those other rights flow from there. But, while the Book of Zenzoë has equality as an inalienable right, and while our system gives lip-service to the principle, not all people share my opinion, nor does our political system insure that it is a reality for all. It isn't a reality, plain and simple. If it were, Occupation Wall Street wouldn't be necessary.

I think of the Declaration of Independence as a manifesto of sorts. It spells out the underlying principles of our community, if you will. But, as you know, it is not written law; instead, it speaks to natural law, which is no less than written law. I trust we're in agreement on that. We're also in agreement that those rights mentioned in the Declaration evolve and expand, as you prefer to put it, to include those who were not considered to be equals at the time it was first written. However, I do believe we'll get into trouble once we give superior status to a "right to life," above all other rights. That's where arguing rights, and arguing natural law vs. written law, becomes a futile exercise —each faction defines it differently, for one thing— and where we need to bring in a consideration of all the consequences to all parties involved, then weigh those consequences against each other, to come to the most ethical and moral choice.

You and I are in agreement, I believe, that the rights of the individual —self-determination, autonomy, to "be secure in their persons"— must be safe from the dubious interests of "community standards." Female genital mutilation, for an extreme example, violates the human right of a woman to be secure in her person, to put it mildly, but if anyone wants to say the community's interests should be respected in such cases, they'll get an argument from me. The same goes for arranged marriages and the full-body burqa. Such examples speak to the universality of certain human rights, but only when you give a rational look at the consequences and effects of such practices can you understand what's wrong with them.

I have already expressed my opinion about animal rights on this thread: Here, and here. I am an egalitarian, Kerry. I abhor speciesism as an unethical stance, one taken, sadly, by most of humanity. I'm with Peter Singer (quote below) who advocates for the extension of the right of equality to animals, that is, that animals are entitled to equal consideration of their individual and unique interests. I also believe equality should be extended to living eco systems, to the natural world, as an entity deserving not to be under the dominion of human beings, but rather to be in balance with us, as we must take its interests into equal consideration.

Quote Peter Singer:

There are important differences between humans and other animals, and these differences must give rise to some differences in the rights that each have. Recognizing this obvious fact, however, is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals. The differences that exist between men and women are equally undeniable, and the supporters of Women's Liberation are aware that these differences may give rise to different rights. Many feminists hold that women have the right to an abortion on request. It does not follow that since these same people are campaigning for equality between men and women they must support the right of men to have abortions too. Since a man cannot have an abortion, it is meaningless to talk of his right to have one. Since a pig can't vote, it is meaningless to talk of its right to vote. There is no reason why either Women's Liberation or Animal Liberation should get involved in such nonsense. The extension of the basic principle of equality from one group to another does not imply that we must treat both groups in exactly the same way, or grant exactly the same rights to both groups. Whether we should do so will depend on the nature of the members of the two groups. The basic principle of equality, I shall argue, is equality of consideration; and equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights. http://www.animal-rights-library.com/texts-m/singer02.htm

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I meant to add that sometimes community can take precedence over the rights of individuals. A simple example would be how parents, representing the best interests of the family, i.e., their community, must override a child's individual preferences. A toddler might pursue his happiness absorbed in a video game, such as the Angry Birds video. All well and good. But, would it be in the best interest of the family, the child's place in the family, the child's character and growth, if the parents gave in to his reluctance to stop playing the game at dinner time? I don't think so. If you don't want to raise a child to be a narcissistic sociopath, boundaries must be taught. That said, boundaries should never be taught to children using corporal punishment; such would violate the child's right to what I call bodily integrity. (which has no relation to the "precious bodily fluids" referred to by Dr. Stangelove's Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper.) ;-)

I think the above example can stand analogously for certain political and social issues, especially those concerning regulations on industry and business.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote D_NATURED:

Any fetus that is delivered that early will have MAJOR health problems for, perhaps, their entire life...even if they "survive". As Zenzoe has already pointed out, until we value LIFE and not just survival, abortion will be the least of our problems. Your opinion is extremely short sighted.

Yes, it appears a whole lot of people give themselves the privilege of opinion and judgment without the responsibility to explain themselves--actually, if you're in line with DRC and Ulysses, you might even feel like it's stooping too low to have to explain yourself because you are in 'the new consciousness community' that doesn't appear to need to be explained when 'you're in it'--rationalizing an order of human society out of various opinions concerning it is just not the way to go, anymore, when 'you're in it'. However, I think your own shortsightedness is clouded by your lack of awareness with respect to this issue of human relations and interactions in politics--no one rightfully gives up their individuality in a community based on a representative democratic government intent on securing and guaranteeing individual rights (did you miss that entire point I was trying to make with the court issues of unalienable rights up against community standards?)--or, now, does the 'new community' have a 'new government'? Courts need to quit contending between identifying 'unalienable rights' up against positivist-law impositions (based on 'community standards') against that....it's all now 'community standards' as long as 'the community' is based on some 'new consciousness', right?

If you look back in my discussion with Zenzoe, you'll note that it was me that pointed out that most 20 week births do not survive--and, of those that do, many are not normal (did you miss that 'million dollar baby' description?). However, somewhat miraculously (in a 'statistical odds' sort of way), some are normal. I think the point that Zenzoe was asking was what was my personal opinion on it--and I gave it. Obviously, you're too selfish in your 'communitarian new consciousness' form of 'vision' to allow me my personal opinion in such political matters (who gets to have one, then?). Maybe you and Ulysses would get along just fine. Even Zenzoe claimed to acknowledge 'feelings' in a fetus--look over the discussion, again. Remember that issue? Unless you don't believe in the 'right to life' at all (maybe because Asians kill dogs to eat--and you want it all to be 'equal'--I think that's being facetious on my part, Zenzoe--but, then, maybe not), then, it does become important to consider when does the human right to life begin....and, so, even if it is just one 20 weeker that has survived to be normal (not just survivable), and you rationally assume that if it's an unalienable right, it's a right to everyone, then at least that one 20 weeker has a right to life. If the pregnant mother doesn't want the child, she has the right to figure that out before 20 weeks--if she can't figure it out before then, well, when should we stop her from deciding not the have the child to you? Is partial birth abortions OK for you? If there is no 'right to life', maybe the mother decided too late and birth happened, anyway, is it OK now for her to kill the child? Come on, who's really being short-sighted here?

And, why do I get blamed for an opinion that you seem to let others have? It was Zenzoe that brought up the issue of fetal feelings near birth.....some of you seem too short-sighted to understand how prejudice really works.....just exactly in line with the point that if you give one person a right that you do not give another as being a defacto form of prejudice, giving one person the right to hold an opinion that you don't allow another as the same opinion is, also, a form of prejudice--a hypocritical one at that....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

Equality is one, perhaps the first of all inalienable rights.

Actually, I think that you and Peter Singer have it down wrong with respect to unalienable rights. IF a right is identified, and especially if it is identified as unalienable, then, it should ALWAYS be applied equally. Otherwise, it IS a defacto form of prejudice...again, that is the main problem I have with how American medicine is applied today. Some do get it for free on demand as if a right--others have to risk bankruptcy for the same service. I cannot see how that is not addressed more forthrightly in this manner. We need to decide once and for all--if medicine is a right to anyone, it should be a right to everyone--if it is not a right to everyone, it shouldn't be a right to anyone. That is how rights with government should work--and, when it doesn't work that way, oppression is happening somewhere with it...in medicine's case, it's close to an anathema--the same person who is paying for someone else's right to medicine with government (the taxpayer) is, also, the same person who now has to find a way to pay for the medical care separately through private industry (the consumer)--and it is this double-dipping of medical care coverage (that 'applies itself in law' like it is universal because no one can be turned down an assessment and any indicated appropriate treatments through an emergency room regardless of payment ability) that makes the same entity responsible for 'covering it all'--the taxpaying-consumer--that I believe is the main reason American medicine costs twice as much per capita as almost anywhere else in the world (with as much of that going to the corporate and government bureaucracies 'managing the health industry' as it is those that actually apply it)...but this is allowed because of the prejudicial hypocrisy of giving it as a right to some but making it a bankrupting privilege to others through the corporate-government collusion that is the 'health care industry'....this needs to be squarely addressed and not passed off like it is some 'community standard' to help the poor--and, anyway, doing so not by soaking the rich but by draining the middle class taxpaying-consumer even more....and the rich are just getting richer off it....face it, one way or the other, is medicine a right or a privilege FOR EVERYONE--equally....this requires a rational (ie. 'comparative') and fair judgment equally applied....

Quote Zenzoe:

But, while the Book of Zenzoë has equality as an inalienable right, and while our system gives lip-service to the principle, not all people share my opinion, nor does our political system insure that it is a reality for all. It isn't a reality, plain and simple. If it were, Occupation Wall Street wouldn't be necessary.

Lip service may mean nothing--but governmental decisions made on its behalf mean a whole lot politically. Why do you think I am emphasizing how Supreme Court cases (at least before the Roberts Supreme Court got bought out with 'corporate personhood equality') try to (openly and up front) distinguish such unalienable individual rights that CANNOT be affected by 'community standards'? As well as the point that, with history, such unalienable rights (and, therefore, definitions of such) have been continually extended to individuals--not removed for some premise of 'community standards' (in fact, pitted against certain 'community standards')....as Joseph Kobylka (SMU political science professor that has a Teaching Company lesson 'The Cycles of American Political Thought') points out, the historical context of political liberalism has always been 'primacy of the individual'--it's how government has been approached to define it in basically two ways that's different--one, 'minimal state liberalism' of the basic laissez-faire type and, two, 'active state liberalism' where the government takes an active part in 'extending individual opportunities' (such as education and, in the opinion of some people today, health care)--but, in education's case, government has to extend it to everyone equally--why not health care? Of course, now some of the 'minimal state liberalism' promoters (basically promoting for the 'individual rights of corporate personhood') are wanting education not to be considered a right (and, by the way, when it comes to the 'equality of rights' of education, there are some contentions in it--some of the uneducable and those that appear not to want to be educated do, indeed, still have 'equal rights'--but, like euthania's part in possible unalienable rights against the unalienable 'right to life', I think that is a separate issue apart from the concept of applying rights equally to avoid prejudice and oppression...).

If the Occupy Wall Streeters didn't have the constitutional--and individual--right to peacefully assemble to have government redress their grievances, where do you think that they would be now? And, thanks to the Patriot Act that has tried to impose police state actions, those hypocrites in government are close to removing such 'individual rights' in the interest of 'community safety'--and will keep trying....so far, the courts, using such constitutional rights as described, haven't let that happen....yet.....but, I think you need to be well aware of what is at stake here in considering any 'solution'.....are there unalienable rights to individuals that community standards shouldn't be able to touch?

Quote Zenzoe:

However, I do believe we'll get into trouble once we give superior status to a "right to life," above all other rights.

The point is, once again, if you do not have the 'right to life', you do not have the capacity to possess or exert any other right. That is its 'superior status'--and that was recognized in the oral arguments of Roe vs. Wade--you know, that dreadful decision that allowed 'baby killing' to begin with. And, again, as I keep trying to say, the whole point of this depends upon when you think a human life with rights begins....Roe vs. Wade decided it wasn't at conception--and, as far as any unalienable rights for the fetus, it wasn't until birth--however, it did allow 'community standards' of each state to adjust that as it saw fit after the first trimester. In that same light, 'community standards' adjust how to treat animals that have no unalienable rights--nor are animals able to obtain them in the manner that humans have in any political context that I can think of (other than 'adjusting community standards'). Which gets me to your quote and, then, I better start getting ready for work (yes, Ulysses, I do work)--from Zenzoe's quote of Peter Singer:

There are important differences between humans and other animals, and these differences must give rise to some differences in the rights that each have. Recognizing this obvious fact, however, is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals.

There is a substantial and significant difference when it comes to the political implications of rights here, Zenzoe. What does the 'basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals' mean in the context of basic (unalienable) rights to humans? As I've said all along, since animals do not have unalienable rights (in the same fashion as humans), then, just like how the Supreme Court resolved issues of identified unalienable individual rights against community standards, when no unalienable right exists, community standards prevail. Therefore, as far as I can visualize any solution to this issue possible, all 'nonhuman animal rights' ARE going to be based on 'community standards'. There is no 'equality' to unalienable rights in a human political context for 'nonhuman animals'.

I've already mentioned this in the context of euthanasia. With humans, you are going to address this FIRST with respect to how the possessor of that life wants to deal with it--and, then, if that possessor can speak for themself and says that they want to live, no one can change that (that is the priority of the right to life). Now, if that possessor wants to die, euthanasia in the United States is not legal (and you and I may agree that that is 'community standards' taking away what should be identified as an unalienable right--but, that's not the case in America today)--although the 'right to die' does take effect if the person is facing an illness that will kill them and they refuse treatment (so, some 'unalienableness to the person' is still present here--but, just like abortion's case used to be, not in anyone being allowed to directly 'assist in it'). However, when it comes to euthanizing a nonhuman animal, that animal has no say because, perhaps most basically, that animal cannot 'say'--but, more in line with animals not having unalienable rights, whatever human that is making that judgment and taking that action probably doesn't have in mind 'equalizing' that animal's 'will' to theirs. So, you're stuck with community standards, I'm afraid. And, with that, some communities treat dogs as family companions--some eat them. Yep, no 'right to life' here...especially as an unalienable one with 'equal application regardless of the community standard'....

The differences that exist between men and women are equally undeniable, and the supporters of Women's Liberation are aware that these differences may give rise to different rights. Many feminists hold that women have the right to an abortion on request. It does not follow that since these same people are campaigning for equality between men and women they must support the right of men to have abortions too. Since a man cannot have an abortion, it is meaningless to talk of his right to have one.

When it comes to unalienable rights, that's a false analogy. The point of an unalienable right is that, if one person is offered it, all people in the same circumstances are offered it--'equally'. That's not comparing 'abortion rights' as 'men with women because men can't get pregnant'--that's comparing 'abortions rights' with all pregnant women.

The extension of the basic principle of equality from one group to another does not imply that we must treat both groups in exactly the same way, or grant exactly the same rights to both groups. Whether we should do so will depend on the nature of the members of the two groups. The basic principle of equality, I shall argue, is equality of consideration; and equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment and different rights.

Notice that your author here keeps this concept as if 'groups'--and 'membership in groups'. Also, this whole idea that, since this statement starts with 'equality of consideration' but concludes with 'different beings with different treatments and different rights', I'm having a hard time following any rational, or consistent, order in that statement--especially considering the context and extent of 'equality' that the author starts with. Just like another famous Supreme Court case that determined 'separate is inherently unequal'--so is 'different treatments with different rights' despite (some claim to) 'equality of consideration'. If we are going to even try to apply this 'imaginatively', are you that 'dog' that is being considered 'equally' as a member of the family--or the one that gets eaten by the Asians? And, that's even considering 'the same group' (dogs)--I have no earthly idea how this author squares these propositions of 'equality of consideration' and 'different treatments and different rights' when its 'other groups' (any other animal). Using your own example, Zenzoe, does a slug even have 'equality of consideration' in line with a family pet? You can 'equalize this' out of any realistic and rational options here--and, if you are 'equalizing' this to anything like 'unalienable rights' as if human in its political context, I think you already have....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Even my best efforts to agree with you receive your opposition, Kerry. For example, after you objected to my comment, “Some policies derive from natural law; some derive from an evolution of consciousness, when we begin to see morality and ethics in a new way,” one among other comments that tried to agree with you, I adjusted my terminology to fit your terminology, that is, by saying, “We're also in agreement that those rights mentioned in the Declaration evolve and expand, as you prefer to put it.” But that wasn’t good enough for you. You had to work at misunderstanding me and twisting my meaning to fit your ideological prejudice! Thus, my “evolution of consciousness" (rights expanding over the years) became, in your words, “new consciousness community standards,” then “new consciousness,” then “higher consciousness” then, “new evolution in consciousness,” then, “new consciousness advancement,” then, “advanced new consciousness,” then,“higher consciousness” to become conflated with “community standard,” then,“community consciousness,” then,“new consciousness community standards,” then,“new consciousness meaning communitarian causes against individualist rights,” then,“new paradigm thinking,” then,“new consciousness thinking,” then,“the new consciousness community” to “communitarian new consciousness.

In short, despite my “evolution of consciousness” not having assumed any predominance for “community standards” over individual rights, you insisted I had stated such, i.e., the "expansion of consciousness" to mean the predominance of “community standards” over individual rights. I did no such thing. My words were neutral between the two. Both were, and are, implied.

Right now I don’t think it is possible to have a “sane conversation about abortion” with you, Kerry. And that’s putting it as politely as I can.

It's been lovely, but I have to scream now. And that's putting it mildly.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Kerry, sorry, but I lose patience when presented with a fallacious, straw-man argument. And I do believe that's what happened here, when you interpreted my position as being in support of "community standards" over individual rights. That straw man didn't exist. My position is that both of those values must be considered, depending on the situation—each has value and importance, and each has the potential to do harm, depending on context.

To say that individual rights ALWAYS have to come before community interests flies in the face of reality. It is ideology, not common sense.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Kerry:
Quote D_NATURED:

Any fetus that is delivered that early will have MAJOR health problems for, perhaps, their entire life...even if they "survive". As Zenzoe has already pointed out, until we value LIFE and not just survival, abortion will be the least of our problems. Your opinion is extremely short sighted.

Yes, it appears a whole lot of people give themselves the privilege of opinion and judgment without the responsibility to explain themselves--actually, if you're in line with DRC and Ulysses, you might even feel like it's stooping too low to have to explain yourself because you are in 'the new consciousness community' that doesn't appear to need to be explained when 'you're in it'--rationalizing an order of human society out of various opinions concerning it is just not the way to go, anymore, when 'you're in it'. However, I think your own shortsightedness is clouded by your lack of awareness with respect to this issue of human relations and interactions in politics--no one rightfully gives up their individuality in a community based on a representative democratic government intent on securing and guaranteeing individual rights (did you miss that entire point I was trying to make with the court issues of unalienable rights up against community standards?)--or, now, does the 'new community' have a 'new government'? Courts need to quit contending between identifying 'unalienable rights' up against positivist-law impositions (based on 'community standards') against that....it's all now 'community standards' as long as 'the community' is based on some 'new consciousness', right?

You finally noticed me. I felt so snubbed that you would devote paragraph after paragraph defending the natural rights of and the potential consciousness of two freakin' cells, but not a peep over my excellent points. Community standards must take second chair to the standard of human rights that the people demand. We had a little war over "community rights" back in the nineteenth century. You were probably very young then.

Your entire above paragraph-and point-are like the guy who looks at everything through a pair of binoculars. You can clearly see about 20% of reality and will defend, because of its clarity, your mastery of the subject. Meanwhile an elephant walks by you and if it doesn't enter your field of view, or goose you with it's trunk, it doesn't exist.

If you look back in my discussion with Zenzoe, you'll note that it was me that pointed out that most 20 week births do not survive--and, of those that do, many are not normal (did you miss that 'million dollar baby' description?). However, somewhat miraculously (in a 'statistical odds' sort of way), some are normal.

There's that elephant again...

I think the point that Zenzoe was asking was what was my personal opinion on it--and I gave it. Obviously, you're too selfish in your 'communitarian new consciousness' form of 'vision' to allow me my personal opinion in such political matters (who gets to have one, then?).

Only a giant douche bag thinks a dead teenage girl, drained of blood from an illegal abortion, is a "political matter". It's a matter of life and death, of poverty and prosperity. To hell with the natural rights of two cells. Hopefully they have enough consciousness to figure out they don't have any rights and until they can look me in the eyes, they don't have my sympathy. Besides, they're not old enough to vote.

Maybe you and Ulysses would get along just fine. Even Zenzoe claimed to acknowledge 'feelings' in a fetus--look over the discussion, again. Remember that issue?

The giant, lumbering pachyderm walks past with Ulysses on its back...

Unless you don't believe in the 'right to life' at all (maybe because Asians kill dogs to eat--and you want it all to be 'equal'--I think that's being facetious on my part, Zenzoe--but, then, maybe not), then, it does become important to consider when does the human right to life begin

How about when they can exist in the human world.

.

and, so, even if it is just one 20 weeker that has survived to be normal (not just survivable), and you rationally assume that if it's an unalienable right, it's a right to everyone, then at least that one 20 weeker has a right to life. If the pregnant mother doesn't want the child, she has the right to figure that out before 20 weeks--if she can't figure it out before then, well, when should we stop her from deciding not the have the child to you? Is partial birth abortions OK for you? If there is no 'right to life', maybe the mother decided too late and birth happened, anyway, is it OK now for her to kill the child? Come on, who's really being short-sighted here?

Who's being shortsighted? The guy who stands there, looking through his binoculars. Are you going to pay the medical costs of the other nineteen? No, make that all twenty, because nobody's delivered after twenty weeks and doesn't need some medical care. As we agreed, perhaps a lifetime worth of medical care. You know, fetuses aren't built for the early release. To give you a metaphor, they'd be a biscuit that was still sticky in the middle.

And, why do I get blamed for an opinion that you seem to let others have? It was Zenzoe that brought up the issue of fetal feelings near birth.....some of you seem too short-sighted to understand how prejudice really works.....just exactly in line with the point that if you give one person a right that you do not give another as being a defacto form of prejudice, giving one person the right to hold an opinion that you don't allow another as the same opinion is, also, a form of prejudice--a hypocritical one at that....

Down dumbo. Damn, that elephant ran amok in here and you didn't even notice. All you can think about is the potential rights of two cells or two billion cells as justification to force a life threatening-in many ways, physical and financial-infestation. upon a woman who never intended to be infested in the first place. You dwell upon endless minutia of a point that is fundamentally stupid. You argue ad nauseum in favor of the consideration of the irrelevant. The woman wins. The tadpole looses.

D_NATURED's picture
D_NATURED
Joined:
Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm
Quote Zenzoe:

To say that individual rights ALWAYS have to come before community interests flies in the face of reality. It is ideology, not common sense.

Yeah, all that consideration for what I am saying as you NOT making this 'new consciousness' a 'community standard'--and how much you are accomodating for me--and, somehow, you are 'weighing it equally' between 'individual rights' and 'community standards' gets twisted right back to how NOTHING is absolute. You didn't seem to comment on this point, Zenzoe:

The differences that exist between men and women are equally undeniable, and the supporters of Women's Liberation are aware that these differences may give rise to different rights. Many feminists hold that women have the right to an abortion on request. It does not follow that since these same people are campaigning for equality between men and women they must support the right of men to have abortions too. Since a man cannot have an abortion, it is meaningless to talk of his right to have one.

When it comes to unalienable rights, that's a false analogy. The point of an unalienable right is that, if one person is offered it, all people in the same circumstances are offered it--'equally'. That's not comparing 'abortion rights' as 'men with women because men can't get pregnant'--that's comparing 'abortions rights' with all pregnant women.

So, what is it? IF there is such as thing as 'abortion rights' in any way representing an unalienable right, is that to all pregnant women or not? And, isn't 'all pregnant women' pretty absolute--or not? And, isn't that against any and all 'community standards' or not? And, isn't that a realistic and rational and just way of seeing this as a right or not? Or, as you continue to prejudice my position as this being a faliicious 'straw man argument' to claim such 'absoluteness' that, if one pregnant person is to get the right to decide the outcome of her pregnancy in the concept of choice (even against anyone else in the 'community'), all pregnant women should be allowed to do so--OR NOT? That IS the point of an unalienable right--or not? That's how previous Supreme Court decisions have decided such cases--and how some, such as Bowers vs. Hardwick, were 'decided' in trying to 'equalize community standards up agaisnt individual rights'--but, note something very important, when doing that, they had to claim there was no 'unalienable right'. Is that really a strawman argument for you, Zenzoe?

Or, you not wanting to admit that some of this issue of 'unalienable rights'--for it to be a 'right'--has to be considered ABSOLUTE--and ABSOLUTELY EQUAL. Or, are you really going to leave room for 'community standards' to intervene on ANY pregnant woman's RIGHT to determine the outcome of her pregnancy? Is that really NOT an 'absolute statement' with respect to 'individual rights' (especially, just like the Declaration of Independence promotes as natural law, to their unalienableness)--but, because you want to 'keep a balance', you have a problem admitting that--or NOT? Maybe if you will follow just a little bit of this, you might can see why I have so 'prejudiced' your position with this 'new consciousness' as still holding onto a little piece of 'community standard' against any unalienable right as being not seeing the ABSOLUTENESS of the point.

You see, this does get down to how we really understand and use the concepts we are discussing here--IF you think 'community standards' SHOULD stay into any decision to be made, then, it is NOT an 'unalienable right' (not all rights are individual and unalienable--but I do believe that all unalienable rights are individual). That is why I asked you not specifically to DEFINE 'unalienable rights', I asked if you BELIEVED in them. Because if you BELIEVE in them, then WE can come to some rational understanding in how to DEFINE them--and, yes, that can change (or, 'evolve') with time--but, that does NOT, in any way, get rid of their ABSOLUTENESS in any rational context of THE RIGHT in its political context. But, then, I've also gotten the idea from the 'new paradigm/new consciousness' crowd that 'rationally' is not the way to produce social order in its political context. I ABSOLUTELY disagree....

And, since the ever-present accusation of strawman finally comes out as the terminal blow to any productive discussion in thomland, is it a 'strawman' argument for me to have asked (and you never to have answered) what 'authority' (to whom and how--you know, actually SOLVE the problem you are creating) is going to enact your 'Utilitarian Ethics'? Who's going to be the 'Utilitarian Authority' for, say, any pregnant woman wanting to abort her child? Who's going to be the 'Utilitarian Authority' to your 'Utilitarian Ethics'? More to the point as I see it as straightforward as I possibly can, how much of this are you laying at the feet of the person involved in any situation to judge this 'Utilitarian Ethics' vs. any 'community standard' you are going to allow to impose against that--and how are you going to have that determined in each case? While Ulysses claims that is all 'too much dotting of i's and crossing of t's, the whole point behind it is that that is REALLY what happens IN EVERY SITUATION IN REALITY--someone is in a position to judge and act, someone claims a superceding principle to impose upon that actor. WHERE DOES THE BALANCE BELONG? What are you using to determine that? When is it appropriate for a 'community standard' to intervene into who to marry, when to use birth control, when and how to have sex between consenting adults, and, last but not least, when to carry a child all the way to term as a life on its own? Where's that 'balance' up against 'indiividual rights' (some being unalienable--but, of course, only if you believe so) and 'community standards'? And, who or what is the authority to judge that? Especially if, as you say, NOTHING is 'absolute'.....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote D_NATURED:

Only a giant douche bag thinks a dead teenage girl, drained of blood from an illegal abortion, is a "political matter".

Self-abortions have never been illegal. It does speak to the irrationality of some of our laws when the most dangerous abortion is the only one 'applied equally' as the legal one in history--probably mostly trying to claim 'community standards' as some form of 'moral consciousness'--but, that's what you get when you go irrational for a 'good cause'....and, then, irrationally consider 'your group' as 'good' against 'the bad groups' without considering each specific issue you are 'PRE-judging'....

By the way, when did a dead teenager get into this discussion as 'my position'? Ask Zenzoe what that represents.....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Kerry, again, I'm not about community interests being balanced equally with individual rights (whether inalienable or not); I'm not about the equality of rights vs. community interests. I simply recognize few absolutes. One —whoever makes the decision, in the best of all possible of Zenzoë worlds— looks at all the factors, consequences, interests, knowledge, principles, values and rights, then makes a decision based on reason, compassion, law (both natural and written, though not necessarily balancing the two equally), justice and truth. No recipe exists, no absolute principle governs all. That's because each situation may be different.

You, in contrast, advocate for absolutes. You want absolutes. So that's where we differ, if my impression is correct.

Take your example of the "right to life." You appear to have it in the inalienable rights category. And I would agree, if we're talking about an individual human, a born person's right not to be murdered by either another person, group, or our government. We call this civilization, right?

However, what if you're an owner of a textile mill, and your "rights" to living in liberty and pursuing happiness hinge, in your mind, upon your being able to dump toxic waste water into the river next to your mill. Putting aside the possibility Kerry's idea of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" doesn't include such a scenario, lets understand that in the realm of industry it does. I use the scenario to exemplify the fact that people define concepts differently, and this is why "right to life" is not always an absolute. This is where community interests come into play, and where we do not agree with such a definition because of the harm caused to the community (both individuals and ecosystems) by this mill-owner's so-called individual rights. (of course, this is why we react to the libertarian label: libertarianism wants to give the mill owner's rights greater consideration than those of the community. It's a kind of psychosis left over from the cold war, where one must fear and reject the word "community" because it resembles the dreaded word "communism.")

I could also use the example of an unborn fetus to deny the absolute, inalienable nature of "right to life." For me, any and all rights of civilization apply to the natural and the born, not to the unborn or the corporate. This does not mean we should not give consideration to the unborn. We do. We need to have a good reason for an abortion after the fetus becomes "viable" (giving respect to D_NATURED'S point about fetal dependency), but we do not deny abortion altogether, and we —the law, which should serve as a check against reckless or dangerous medical procedures— give great weight to the interests of the mother and her doctor's recommendation. We simply cannot apply absolutes to every situation. If you need a recipe for the absolute and the correct, you should stick to cooking.

Nature also does not grant an absolute "right to life," by the way. Where human populations —or any animal population— grow beyond the earth's capacity to sustain them, death will follow. Where human populations violate the rights of the Earth, death will come. Despite our every foolish effort to maintain our selfish dominance over all, if we disrespect the Others who share the planet with us, we will die. Death is nature's way. "Right to life" is a human construction, one not recognized in the natural world. Life is good and abundant and supported in every way possible; but, so is death.

I have put the animal rights issue aside for the moment. Suffice it to say, please remember my focus for animal rights is on our meat production system, the one our "civilization" has constructed to support our out-of-balance, massive populations. I am not focused on other countries, or on nature's way, but only on the unnatural system U.S. meat-eaters support. It isn't about the absolute equality of rights for animals; it's about preserving ourselves as a humane, responsible species, not a soulless, cruel and unethical one.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

If you don't believe in Abortion, then don't get one....Otherwise, who are you to try to deny other's freedom to choose for no other reason that so you can force your religious beliefs upon others.,..This whole abortion issue reminds me of what is, er was going on in Iraq, remember what we've been over there fighting for er against for the last 8 years, ....

downn2
Joined:
Oct. 30, 2010 7:40 am
Quote downn2:

If you don't believe in Abortion, then don't get one....Otherwise, who are you to try to deny other's freedom to choose for no other reason that so you can force your religious beliefs upon others.,..This whole abortion issue reminds me of what is, er was going on in Iraq, remember what we've been over there fighting for er against for the last 8 years, ....

Or how about------If you dont believe in abortion move to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan etc.

I tell Cons that Jesus preached to help the poor, old and downtrodden and he scorned the rich, but NEVER said anything about abortion. That pretty much shuts them up.

Erik300's picture
Erik300
Joined:
Apr. 2, 2010 10:44 am
Quote Zenzoe:

You, in contrast, advocate for absolutes. You want absolutes. So that's where we differ, if my impression is correct.

Let me get this as specific as I see it. An unalienable right is an absolute right to every-ONE, equally, if to any-ONE, specifically--and I think that it is rational in the same manner of Jefferson's 'rational Christianity' (regardless of any objections to the moralism of the term 'Christianity' some here may have--I suspect that few 'Christians' use that term in the way that I understand how Jefferson meant it). It's an individual right in the sense that, as has been the legal case throughout American history (notwithstanding the lying and hypocritical 'individuality' claim of the association called 'corporations'), such rights are meant to be to the individual--and against any and all community standards imposing against that. It has a direct consequence in reality because, as an unalienable individual right, it allows no intervention from any 'authority' to the judgment of that individual--or upon the judgment of that individual when appropriately applied and considered. It has a general cognitive aspect to it because it, also, can mean that when one is speaking of 'individual rights', it is understood to mean not only 'any individual' but 'every individual' (including 'the individual thinking about it'--and I know how DRC doesn't like 'the thinking individual' controlling anything in its political context). Follow that? Now, that's my definition of unalienable individual rights--and my reasoning behind it.

Do you, in your own mind, have a version of unalienable rights that you can define in any general or specific context accordingly--or do you believe in an unalienable right in that manner? Is that really that hard to follow? Especially as to how I see its 'absoluteness' and 'rationalism' (and I'll get back to that in addressing Zenzoe's 'example'). And, as I thought my examples showed, it doesn't 'get rid' of 'community standards'--but it does point out that there are such 'rights' afforded to 'individuals' that can and do, absolutely, exceed the capacity of any 'community standard' to intervene (both in specific circumstances as defined, and defineable, by law, and in a general context of political theory that is to recognize such 'priorities of unalienable rights to individuals against any and all intervention by community standards' in any premise upon, or action through, or customary understanding of, social order). As history shows, there are variances in that expression that can and do exist--but, also as history shows, that can and does change with time through the functions of society and government that 'honor it'--but, it NEVER gets rid of the absoluteness of unalienable rights against any and all community standards to intervene. If you see it at all, is that how you see 'unalienable rights'. If not, we have never been talking about the same thing.....

Quote Zenzoe:

I simply recognize few absolutes.

Well, has unalienable rights been one of them? I am asking that question. I don't see that as a 'strawman argument' because, as I think I have tried to explain all along, it is, of course, that understanding of that concept (and, as far as I'm concerned, the rational consideration of its 'absoluteness') that hinges on the entire argument of 'individual rights' vs. 'community standards'. And, all those Supreme Court cases that did recognize 'unalienable (individual) rights' as preempting any and all positivist law based on 'community standards' against them I guess need to be 'adjusted' to whatever you believe is 'utilitarian ethics'. However, as far as I'm concerned, it won't look like anything that I see as the American governmental initiative--intent on representative government securing and guaranteeing unalienable rights just like the Declaration of Independence states--but, just like the con-jobs here, you have pointed out that that is not 'written into law' (so what is your problem with any 'positivist law'?).

Quote Zenzoe:

Take your example of the "right to life." You appear to have it in the inalienable rights category.

That is first on the list of 'life, liberty and pursuit of happiness' that the Declaration of Independence (predicated by the term 'among others') describes as unalienable rights (in what I see as a natural law context)--yes....as well as how 'good government is to secure and guarantee them'.....

Quote Zenzoe:

And I would agree, if we're talking about an individual human, a born person's right not to be murdered by either another person, group, or our government. We call this civilization, right?

Is that civilization to be guided by authoritarian impositions of 'written law'--or, understood through each person involved as there being certain things authoritarians have no justification to impose upon--and the authorities need to understand that? And, what I think this entire point of 'rights of abortion' comes down to, regardless of any 'feelings', or 'new consciousness', or 'community standard', posturing claims otherwise, is when does a human life with rights begin....that is a question that impacts the very way civilization is to function, is it not? That is, of course, if you live in a civilization that believes in unalienable rights to individuals as the rational premise for all real 'civilization'....vs. authoritarian impositions under whatever guise....

Quote Zenzoe:

However, what if you're an owner of a textile mill, and your "rights" to living in liberty and pursuing happiness hinge, in your mind, upon your being able to dump toxic waste water into the river next to your mill. Putting aside the possibility Kerry's idea of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" doesn't include such a scenario, lets understand that in the realm of industry it does. I use the scenario to exemplify the fact that people define concepts differently, and this is why "right to life" is not always an absolute.

I thought we had already been through this discussion, Zenzoe. The 'right to life' preempts all other rights--absolutely (and the very rational reason for that is if you don't have the 'right to life', you don't have the capacity to possess and/or exert any other right--you might could argue that the 'right to health' should go with that--but, that may just be me). And, once again, even your above example points that out, Zenzoe. You've got that person using their 'liberty and pursuit of happiness' position to impose against others 'right to life' (and 'right to health') with the owner's 'freedom' to poison the water. Now, in a 'utilitarian ethics' position, what if that guy that is poisoning the water has created the living made by every person in that town and, let's say, only a few people get poisoned by the water because everyone else has bought bottled water. The case comes to court, 'utilitarian ethics' is now the 'rule of law', there is no absolute 'right to life' for anyone, anyway--what's the 'proper decision' now. A slippery slope when, one, you don't gradate unalienable rights (beginning with 'the right to life') and, two, they aren't 'absolute' anyway to any one since any 'right' is now conditioned in 'Zenzoe's world' as being 'utiltarian ethics'....especially any 'rights' to those too stupid to buy their own bottled water....how far do you want to avoid the 'absoluteness' of unalienable rights and avoid how they are gradated?

Now, please, don't try to argue that that makes that owner's 'liberty and pursuit of happiness' not 'absolute'--because, like you like to use Peter Singer's claim on 'animal rights', you aren't holding a rational (ie. 'comparative') context to it. One, there does have to be a gradation of unalienable rights--but, that doesn't get rid of their absoluteness because such rights are applied to everyone equally and they are compared to everyone equally (that is what makes them absolute as 'unalienable rights')--and that comparison comes easy because YOU are 'the thinking individual' doing it for yourself and, in the proper structural context, for others (taking in, like a parable, every actor's position in 'this story' to make the judgment--another reference to Jefferson's 'rational Christianity'). Two, in comparing the 'right to life' (or 'right to health') of others if harmed by the 'liberty and pursuirt of happiness' of another as if a 'rational statement', you are situating that as if it is 'rational' to say that 'the liberty and pursuit of happiness' of a murderer is 'equally as important as' the 'right to life' of those being murdered--the 'murderer' just happens to own a big factory that hires all the people in the town. Wrong, again. If you want to see how this 'comparison of the absolutes of unalienable rights' really should work, have there be two owners known to pollute the water and risk others lives--then, have only one have to shut his factory down. NOW, the 'liberty and pursuit of happiness', which, as absolute unalienable rights, should be seen as unjustly applied because one person 'gets that right' and the other doesn't (and that should NEVER happen with unalienable rights equally judged and equally applied)....perhaps, in 'utilitarian ethics' fashion, the one that 'got the right' is the one that 'hires most of the town'--and that is 'utilitarian ethics justice' up against an absolute unalienable right....

Quote Zenzoe:

This is where community interests come into play....

Read my above extensions to your example and tell me where 'community interest' should 'come into play' in this, Zenzoe. Even use your 'utilitarian ethics' (considering 'all the consequences') if you wish....and, then, tell me--do you believe in the 'absoluteness' of 'unalienable rights' being rationally (ie. 'comparatively') considered in any political context....or is 'utilitarian ethics' based on 'community interest' enough to make any right 'conditional'? If so, watch out for who gets to determine 'utilitarian ethics'--and 'why'...Zenzoe hasn't actually hasn't pointed out the how and why as to the 'solution' to this little problem in an 'utilitarian ethics' (vs. rationally comparing 'absolute unalienable rights') manner.....with the first 'how' being who is the 'Utilitarian Authority' that makes such 'Utilitarian Ethics' decisions--and what do they use to do so (how many people it kills--which is actually considering 'right to life'--or how many people it will economically devastate--not an easy decision to begin with--but, a 'utilitarian ethics' decision that may actually be made easier when you don't have to rationally consider 'absolute unalienable rights' to everyone involved--like the priority of 'the right to life'--in every appropriate political and social context--the only difference in the 'right to abortion's' case is when does a human life with rights begin.....).

Quote Zenzoe:

(of course, this is why we react to the libertarian label: libertarianism wants to give the mill owner's rights greater consideration than those of the community. It's a kind of psychosis left over from the cold war, where one must fear and reject the word "community" because it resembles the dreaded word "communism.")

Well, Zenzoe, I am not that libertarian--but, I do believe in the ABSOLUTE priority of individual rights....and rationally (ie. 'comparatively') considering them....

Quote Zenzoe:

I could also use the example of an unborn fetus to deny the absolute, inalienable nature of "right to life."

Nope. That all hinges on when does a human life with rights begin....

And, if you think I'm wrong on that respect, just hide and watch, Zenzoe, if any state in this nation passes as a state amendment the 'right to life from conception'....

Quote Zenzoe:

Nature also does not grant an absolute "right to life," by the way.

I know that, Zenzoe. This isn't 'nature's law'--this is 'natural law'. There is a significant difference in their meaning. 'Nature's law' is 'survival of the fittest' (even in the animal kingdom--so where are 'the rights' there, Zenzoe?). 'Natural law' is based on unalienable rights to the person as able to be determined by anyone so morally and ethically intent on considering them--both in the context of personal behavior and social order.....

Quote Zenzoe:

Death is nature's way.

So, what's the point of 'animal rights', Zenzoe? Since nothing is absolute, anyway, what's the problem with some dogs being seen as family companions and some dogs being eaten? What's the 'animal rights' issue supposed to 'differentiate' there? Especially considering 'community interests'......which 'community'?

Quote Zenzoe:

"Right to life" is a human construction, one not recognized in the natural world.

And, so is 'justice' and 'morality'--or have those been subverted to 'utilitarian ethics' in 'nature's law' in 'Zenzoe's world'?

Quote Zenzoe:

I am not focused on other countries, or on nature's way, but only on the unnatural system U.S. meat-eaters support.

Oh, I see. As with the dog issue, it comes down to 'accuse the Americans but allow the Asians', does it? I think that is exactly what the corporate world is doing with worker rights....which I guess is the 'utilitarian ethic' in a 'dog eat dog world'.....sorry, Zenzoe, couldn't help myself....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Kerry:

...such rights are meant to be to the individual--and against any and all community standards imposing against that.

First, Kerry, I wish you would drop the term “community standards.” It is a loaded concept, which does not fit what I’ve been talking about, namely, community interests. There’s a big difference between the two, and I think your inserting of the term “community standards” prejudices the discussion with an unconscious reference, by association, to discussions about obscenity. That is, it takes us away from a consideration of the legitimate interests of community, which go beyond petty, or bigoted, or regional, all the way to sensible.

Quote Kerry:
...and in a general context of political theory that is to recognize such 'priorities of unalienable rights to individuals against any and all intervention by community standards' in any premise upon, or action through, or customary understanding of, social order...

Huh? Sorry, but that’s an example of incoherence, with all due respect. You’ve strung together too many abstract phrases, to make any sense. Do you ever edit your comments, Kerry? The idea in writing is not to sound smart or make yourself feel smarter than the average bear; the idea is to communicate. For example, what does “premise upon, or action through,” mean? Those are gobbledygook add-ons that really add nothing to the sentence.

Quote Kerry:

Well, has unalienable rights been one of them? I am asking that question. I don't see that as a 'strawman argument'

1). I gave you an example of an inalienable right. 2). I didn’t say all your arguments were “straw man arguments.” I said you set up “community standards” as a straw man, when I hadn’t claimed community “standards” as superior over other considerations.

Quote Zenzoe: And I would agree, if we're talking about an individual human, a born person's right not to be murdered by either another person, group, or our government. We call this civilization, right?

Is that civilization to be guided by authoritarian impositions of 'written law'--or, understood through each person involved as there being certain things authoritarians have no justification to impose upon--and the authorities need to understand that?

Kerry, why do you gloss over my definition of an inalienable right and go straight to my reference to civilization? You had an opportunity to see where we agree; why do you waste the opportunity?

What is “authoritarian” about laws against killing individuals? Why do you assume lawmakers and representatives in a democratic and civil society to be authoritarians? Authoritarianism stems from dictatorship. The rule of law is consistent with democracy; it is a bulwark against the tyranny of chaos and anarchy.

Quote Kerry:

And, what I think this entire point of 'rights of abortion' comes down to, regardless of any 'feelings', or 'new consciousness', or 'community standard', posturing claims otherwise, is when does a human life with rights begin....that is a question that impacts the very way civilization is to function, is it not? That is, of course, if you live in a civilization that believes in unalienable rights to individuals as the rational premise for all real 'civilization'....vs. authoritarian impositions under whatever guise....

You keep using loaded words I have warned you against using:”'feelings', or 'new consciousness', or 'community standard'.” Those words block communication here. However, as to your incessant repetition of the conflation of law with authoritarianism, I repeat: Freedom is impossible without the rule of law. Yes, our laws sometimes stem from natural law, but natural law is not enough to curb the more negative impulses of some people, groups and corporations.

For the moment, I’m going to ignore the rest of your comments, because right now I don’t see you as being reasonable. I told you that for me any absolute, inalienable rights apply ONLY to natural, born persons, and I said different people apply different associations to different words, but you insist on making “right to life” the first absolute right, and on making the question of when that right is to be applied as the central problem in the discussion: I DISAGREE. Talk about slippery slopes! If you want to take abortion rights away from women, that’s how to do it!

I support D_NATURED’s having brought up “...a dead teenage girl, drained of blood from an illegal abortion...” because I think you’ve lost sight of the reality here, in your rhetorical convolutions.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Aw. now you're just obstructing any conversation, aren't you, Zenzoe? You don't even want to come to terms with someone that calls themself a libertarian, do you? Not even to agree on terms where we might have a useful discussion. You, who claim 'I' have brought 'strawmen arguments' are now siding with D_NATURED--and if placing a dead teenager in a discussion about abortion rights with a person that actually agrees with abortion rights isn't a 'strawmen argument', I guess I don't know what one it. I do know that such a tactic is used quite often here in thomland--more so by those who like to claim corporations as persons and associations as assemblies--but, it looks like even those who want to claim a 'liberal political cause' do it, also, when it appears to 'suit their cause'. No matter what you think about Jesus, Jesus was an insightful student of insincere ploys made in the interest of power--any power (which I think is one reason why Jefferson felt that the reasoning set up for the American experiment as the representative democratic government intent on securing and guaranteeing individual rights it represented was a form of 'rational Christianity')--and which is why the only person Jesus ever spoke against was the hypocrite. Jesus did say something about why worry about the speck in another's eye when you do nothing about the plank in your own....

You know, Zenzoe, I don't mind people disagreeing with me. That is one of the reasons I like boards like this--to hone in on my viewpoint with those of similar intentions--that's why I remember good discussions like the one I keep referring to about myself and that lawyer from California concerning this very subject of abortion rights--and, although they weren't the same, we did come to an understanding of each of our positions on this issue. But, while I respect and honor the concept of equality in its moral and political sense, I can tell you one thing that I don't like--I HATE being condescended--and, call it a knack, but I can pick out a condescension vs.a true egalitarian effort a mile away (here and in real life--I suspect I was 'sensitized' to that in my life for several reasons--ren knows some of them). Ulysses is just an extreme example of that--but, it looks like there is a whole new group of condescenders in thomland here. It's sad to see that you have decided to be one, Zenzoe.

I'm not sure why you cannot at least explain how you see the concept of unalienable rights--even to contrast it with my ideas of its absoluteness with respect to its cognitive political functions--even if you disagree with that absoluteness. But, I'm not going to get a forthright effort from you and that's slowly sinking in that I am wasting my time here--once again.

You claim that I have altered this discussion by using the term 'community standards' instead of 'community interest'--however, just like how you have not once described how your 'Utilitarian Authority' can enact a 'Utilitarian Ethic', you don't explain the difference other than through a very banal effort of associating it with obscenity. Not once relating it to how I have described the Supreme Court decisions on marriage choices, birth control choices, abortion choices, sexual relationship choices as being distinctions made between 'individual rights' and 'community standards'. And, really, how is a 'community interest' applied against an individual's will in any political context except by 'community standards'? If you were really talking about 'community interest' based on 'securing and guaranteeing individual rights', what's wrong with 'due process'? And, 'due process' is a whole lot more than just 'written law'--it's structures offered to interpret such law--which takes natural law forms (including consideration of 'natural rights'--of which, I think some are 'unalienable rights' that have a fundamentally--not fundamentalistically--absolute character to them if not 'specified content')--or, at least used to in America (jury review and jury nullification).

And, bullshit on your claim of my 'abstract phrases' not 'making sense to you'. I have given plenty of examples in how 'priorities of unalienable rights to individuals against any and all intervention by community standards' in any premise upon, or action through, or customary understanding of, social order' works in legal cases and, as far as I'm concerned, should work in society as a whole. Even to the point of describing how I think it would be an improvement over how government functions now if the legislators started each proposal with 'This law would support individual rights because...' or 'This law should supercede individual rights and should do so because....'. And, your condescending remarks on how 'I' should write add not one fucking thing to this conversation, Zenzoe. Not one.

You sure do have a hard time 'agreeing with me' when it comes to the absoluteness of unalienable rights even as you claim your 'intent to agree'. Even as your example with the owner allowed to poison the people for freedom ignores the whole point that, if it is the 'life of the people' that is 'the community interest', THAT is, to me, an 'interest on the right to life' PREEMPTING 'the owner's freedom'. But, instead of either agreeing with me or correcting my interpretation with more explanation on what you mean on your part that 'isn't absolute' (because, apparently, all this is 'conditional' if it's not 'absolute'--I'm not quite sure what other way to relate to what you say in this--so, when it comes to such 'conditional interests', who has the authority to determine that--and how--and why), you have decided to condescend me--just like the con-jobs do here.

Authoritarianism is so much more than just dictatorships. In a very basic and real sense, authoritarianism is any intervention against an individual's will. I wonder how you are going to see the 'new rights intervention for the fetus' when a state finally does pass 'the right to life at conception' amendment--and the courts AUTHORIZE IT--by the way, in the interest of unalienable rights against any and all community interests and community standards (as previous court cases have confirmed it should be). But, you can grapple with me on how much 'absoluteness' you do or do not agree to--claim a 'utilitarian ethic' that you cannot explain how that is applied even if against one individual's will that won't be authoritarian--and, then, perhaps as the sole consolation I can retain for my own behalf, have to put up with an authoritarian interpretation of abortion rights in the ('community') interest the 'right to life of the fetus at conception' against any and all wishes of the pregnant woman--who, by that new interpretation, will be, like no other time in American history, will be charged with murder even if she ends her own pregnancy. Yeah, dead teenagers and all--and 'I've' lost sight of reality....well, I still have a strong sense of rational judgment and I'm not getting a sense that that matters here.

Your claims on me 'not being reasonable' are so fucking condescending, I'm going to stop here, Zenzoe. Your 'animal rights' as if 'human rights' are your 'reasonableness' I guess--even if some dogs are treated as family companions and some are eaten and you really don't have a reasonable way to resolve that, do you? Have fun with Ulysses, DRC, D_NATURED and all the other cohorts that claim such precious 'community interests' against 'individual rights'--of course, without being rational nor reasonable with it because you all are now in a 'new paradigm'--one in which I'm not sure how it establishes 'community with individuality' if it's not intent on 'granting individual rights to others as much as acquiring rights for oneself'--but, then, as all you condescenders have related to me lately, I'm not 'smart enough' to see it...yeah, Zenzoe, 'equality', MY ASS......

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

BRAVO!

I've purposely stayed out of the fray for several days, so others could enter it and thus reveal fully to themselves how he is and what a what a waste of time it is to engage with him and attempt any kind of rational discourse. Any such discourse is about like trying to hold a reasonably intelligent discussion with a box of hammers.

Now do those of you who didn't quite see what my problem is fully comprehend it?

Hail Obtusis Maximus!

Ulysses's picture
Ulysses
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

And to think I came back to share something with Kerry.

I've been fighting a cold today, and so I curled up with Harper's magazine and found a wonderful article there by Earl Shorris, American Vespers, the ebbing of the body politic, who apparently has written a book entitled, "The Art of Freedom," which perhaps you, Kerry, might seek out in 2012, given your interest in freedom. Anyway, the article reminded me of our discussion. Toward the end of the article, he writes the following:

"In the eighteenth century Francis Hutcheson had said that the greatest good is the happiness of others, and Reagan's philosophers—Kristol, Cheney, Bush, Podhoretz, Falwell, Strauss, and Bloom—had said it is not so. Benevolence disgusted them. They spoke of natural law [zenzoe's emphasis], but what really occupied their thoughts was a return to the Hobbesian state of nature in which every man is pitted against every other and the only duty a person has is to himself.

Without ethics, politics has no limits. America broke the rules of living systems, and lost its balance. All the oxygen flowed to a smaller and smaller section of the body politic. The history is brief and unquestionable: close to toppling, the society momentarily pulled itself upright, and then became even less ethical, less balanced, more endangered than ever as a lawless financial system came back from death, and like a foolish patient after a heart bypass operation, continued in its old ways. With no ethical component to national politics, President Obama could deliver his 2011 State of the Union speech without ever mentioning the word "poverty," although one in every five American children lived in poverty. Without a commitment to Hutcheson's idea of the greatest good, which is at the core of the original American philosophy in Jefferson's drafting of the Declaration of Independence, this may no longer be the brilliant experiment. If happiness is for the few and it produces unemployment approaching that of the Great Depression, then the shadow of evening is here. [He's referring here back to the original subject at the start of his piece, which was his cancer and death. Now he analogizes America and cancer death.]

Death is the moment when evening passes into night. I know. There is no surprise, and it often comes after a long sickness that is worse than death...

...I have wished for many years to be a physician to my beloved country. The means to care for it is clear. I was revived by love and ethics. And I am not unique: no man, no woman is a metaphor; that is the place of gods. I do not know who will take America in their arms to revive her.

No nation is forever." —end.

To repeat: "Without a commitment to Hutcheson's idea of the greatest good, which is at the core of the original American philosophy in Jefferson's drafting of the Declaration of Independence, this may no longer be the brilliant experiment." And we also cannot come to rational conclusions about policy, whether about abortion, or animal rights, or anything else.

Kerry. It would have been condescending of me to treat you like an infant and praise you, no matter your babbling: "Good for you. I'm so-o impressed. Such a big boy!" Instead, imagine this discussion as an informal tennis game, that is, a game between equal adults. All well and good, but then I notice that every time I serve the ball, you sometimes let it fly by, then serve your own, as if I hadn't served, or sometimes I notice you're hitting balls into the net, then ignoring the rules, hitting balls wildly over the fence, as if I'm supposed to run after those and return them, even though they may have gotten lost in the surrounding brush. So I say, "Hey! Cut it out, man! What the hell are you doing?" See, it's not about condescension. It's about feedback from an equal adult. Okay?

I have no intention of making you feel bad, but it feels disrespectful of you to not try to be clear. There's no consideration for the other in your discussion. There's no consideration for the greatest good. Such deserves push-back.


Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Has Capitalism and The GOP Destroyed Religion?

Thom plus logo The number of Americans who called them selves Christian or religious has declined precipitously over the last decade, and the number of Americans who are "unaffiliated Christians", atheists, or unconcerned about religion or spirituality has increased.
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