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Sane conversation about abortion

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"The greatest good." That's utilitarian ethics in a nutshell.

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

Kerry, you are perpetually confused. You uses terms like "one" and "individual" in your discussion of human unalienable rights without realizing the "ones" you're talking about are not "ones" or "individuals" at all. In fact, they breath, eat, urinate and defecate from and into the bloodstream of a grown human woman (singular). It is the mother that is the individual, Kerry. The fetus is still a parasite.

If you do not see that there can be no rational discussion of the policy of giving legal preference to the developing being growing inside of an actual, functioning being, I will continue to think Ulysses has a point about you. The whole idea is so upside down as to be the most absurd discussion that anyone ever wasted four pages demonstrating. You are for abortion rights but want to argue symantics just for the hell of it while authoritarian ass hats would gladly use your arguments to throw women in prison. It's just a discussion to you but to real women who are really impacted, it's so much more. You seem to like absolutes until you have to choose in favor of a better reality for women.

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

Kerry. It would have been condescending of me to treat you like an infant and praise you, no matter your babbling:

You don't have to praise me--besides that, I would see that as being a condescending and hypocritical ploy coming from the likes of you and Ulysses and D_NATURED since you all have so judged my capacity of intelligence and sanity from my self-proclaimed position of libertarianism--even as I qualify it as 'leftist'. DRC used to be somewhat respectful in discussions--but the way DRC treats Ulysses like DRC is the mother hen and Ulysses is a wandering (but, of course, well-intended) little chick (like all the 'rightful communitarian-interested persons are') among the foxes (like libertarians that insist on 'individual rights' must be--Ayn Randian and all) is just another method to continue the condescension. None of you have any idea on how to rationally promote 'equality' (to humans) in, and to, a social order (or, now, Zenzoe and D_NATURED, is 'equality' to be 'conditional' like your 'animal rights'?--and I don't believe either Ulysses or DRC ever claimed to believe in 'equality' in any way to begin with). Let me point out some points that none of you have addressed and I'll start with the one I addressed to DRC and Ulysses on the Atheist thread:

1) What is your way of distinguishing a 'community that keeps the interest of individuality' from a person who 'grants individual rights to others as well as acquires them for oneself'? You see, you place me in the category of Ayn Rand just because I claim to be libertarian--without at any time acknowledging what I see as different in how I understand how Ayn Rand is used by the libertarian accusers. Without reading a word by Ayn Rand, I can tell that Ayn Rand is promoted as being one who claims 'individual rights for oneself' without actually coming to the point of seeing how that needs to be coalesced with 'individual rights to others'--and, not, by the way, like some libertarians seem to promote here--the 'individual rights to others' is projected into the association of 'corporations' as if 'individual'--Thom Hartmann taught me that point with the personhood of corporate rights being applied in court cases as a postiivist interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

2) Neither DRC nor Ulysses nor anyone else that I can remember here comments on the distinctions made between 'natural law' (with 'natural rights') and 'positive law' (assuming that 'no rights exist without written law defining them'). That actually distinguishes out a position that I have had a problem with DRC for a long time. 'Natural law' assumes that people given the chance to think about it, set in situations in which to judge it, apart from any impositions of authority to alter it, can make valid decisions on what is right and what is wrong in many situations for themselves as well as social order with others. It's the basic political difference between the political influence of Original Sin (meaning that the individual can only make invalid judgments of right and wrong without the social, and authoritarian, interpretations and interventions) and what I contrast it as an 'innocent until proven guilty' influence on politics (meaning that the 'benefit of the doubt' in such assessments of right and wrong don't go to those in the hierarchy of bureaucracy as 'authority'--they go the 'thinking individuals' that can be placed in positions to judge it--such as what I believe 'jury review' and 'jury nullification' do despite any 'written law'--or 'positivist imposition'). 'Positive law' continues the premise, as you imply, Zenzoe, that without 'written law' we would all be at each other's throats in the throes of anarchy. Well, if you are right in that rather quaint association that is consistent with the premise of Original Sin (ie, 'individuals can't do right on their own'), and, if that is so influenced through the way authority implements this (by making impositions to 'create order' against such individuals), then, that, almost by decree, will be what you have. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy if everyone keeps the assumption that everyone else will be at their throats if it weren't for the authoritarian intervention of written law and its associated imposition of policiing maneuvers. Then what's the whole point behind any consideration of 'equality' and 'liberty' (in anything--much less rights)? Other than to condescend some who still keep a slight hope in 'individual rights' (especially the unalienable ones) as being absolute and equal (and essential for a just social order)--of course, with the condescenders claiming that their 'community interests sees through all of that' as being 'for the conditional good of the community' (and, of course, no one else can unless seen 'just like they see it'--especially if 'individual rights'--and other such 'selfish interests'--are introjected into the 'ideal community' that the 'new paradigm sees'...).

Quote Zenzoe:

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.

'Natural law' is not the same thing as 'nature's law'. That's been in our discussion for quite a while now, Zenzoe. But, instead of recognizing that the 'rights of conscience' actually does carry with it the 'obligation of personal responsibility', I know how those who seem to want to condition the unalieanableness of individual rights as being that people can't have (or, maybe it doesn't matter whether they do have) such personal responsibility in a coherent community. One responsibility that I think that every person could have, in personal and general context as I've claimed, is 'granting others individual rights as much as claiming them for oneself'--I think that involves 'rights of conscience' and 'obligations of personal responsibility'--but even the word 'personal' isn't 'socializing the order' enough for some here. And, those who claim that 'natural law' is 'nature's law' apparently haven't even tried to understand any definition of 'natural law' that can be (or has been) made--I've used the same one coming from my wife's law textbook many times here. Not once has Ulysses, DRC, or any of the 'communitarian idealists', even commented on it--which has me think that their position to impose with authority is not much different than the con-jobs here--but, this time, instead of conservatives with a corporate cause, it's liberals with a government cause....and, 'individual rights' be damned--of course, as in DRC's case, because 'we' are all in a 'new paradigm' of thought 'for the community'....and not once has DRC actually walked me through how that is going to work....right along the lines of your position on 'rights to animals' up against the varying 'community standards' in how they can be treated (that unalienable individual human rights should, and so far do, preempt such 'community standards' in court and law for humans--and, please, don't try to divert this point with 'community interests'--or, once again, walk me through how these 'community interests' are going to be made--other than through the implementation of 'community standards')

3) The belief in the absoluteness of unalienable individual rights against any and all 'community standards', 'community interests', 'authoritarian impositions' (for whatever 'cause'), otherwise. If that belief is not in your definition, we aren't talking about the same thing. But, don't think that there isn't ample evidence in historical, legal, and political American society to indicate that such 'absoluteness in unalienable individual rights' hasn't been seen exactly like that--only, as we've discussed, the contexts in which they are used has changed (but, changed in asserting more actions as unalienable individual rights against any imposition upon them in most modern Supreme Court cases as I've shown--not less for some 'community cause' or 'community interest' especially as can be imposed by 'community standards'). Those who seem to want to condition this with 'communitarian ideologies' forget what they are addressing it appears to me. In the best light I can see that in, they don't trust individuals as a sort of Original Sin way (it 'takes a community to do right'--even as you ignore how 'communities impose wrong'). In the worst light, they are condescending asses that think they have gotten it all figured out how to run the government despite any interest of rights to each person--supposedly, because they have associated their 'individual interest' to a 'higher cause'. What such 'communitarians' fail to recognize in their 'cause for community' is that many people can see through any and all such 'selfless causes' as being condescending and hypocritical--so, such 'communitarian causes' without acknowledging the personal rights of individuality will eventually fall flat--what is the difference between a 'community interested in individuality' and a person intent on 'granting individual rights as much as acquiring them for oneself'?

4) The gradation of unalienable rights--even as absolutes (what makes them absolute is that they are to be seen and applied equally--if to one, then to all). I would have thought your examples would have pointed out how you even implicitly acknowledge such gradation with the 'liberty and pursuit of happiness' of the owner whose toxic wastes kill, or harm, other people's 'right to life'--but, I think the blinders of condescension (against 'the libertarian') this group has put on for itself appears to have you continue to claim how you see the speck in my eye without noting the planck in your own. How can you have any right without the 'right to life'? You think that, somehow, I haven't weighed in feelings, circumstances, situations, opinions, and, perhaps, last but not least, my own understanding of the absoluteness (in equality) of such unalienable individual rights. You even imply that considering it as 'rights' is, somehow, a heartless rendition to the ones being considered--libertarians like to 'talk in terms of rights' when it comes to political issues. That is, of course, what makes me libertarian.

Quote D_NATURED:

You are for abortion rights but want to argue symantics just for the hell of it while authoritarian ass hats would gladly use your arguments to throw women in prison.

5) When does a human life with rights begin? Which am I to have more feelings for--the woman caught up in a pregnancy that she does not want or the fetus she wishes to abort never having a capacity to live? You cannot answer this question in terms of 'feelings'. You have to answer this question in terms of rights--and when does a human life with rights begin? And, then, let those caught up in the situation decide that. Unless, of course, you believe that the 'right to life' begins at conception--and you are NOT going to get rid of that 'right to life' priority by claiming that 'it's only conditional' (and I think you are condescending the very issue of unalienable rights to even claim that)--furthermore, THAT invites an authoritarian imposition to condition it upon the 'right to life at conception'--and impose it upon the pregnant woman, anyway--for the 'best of causes'......you cannot 'condition' the right here--you may be able to 'condition' the circumstances with another's 'right'--but, only if 'we' can come to an agreement on 'when does a human life with rights begin'....it's you not understanding that point that is irrational. And, Zenzoe's claim that 'the right to life is conditional' is, also, irrational. You cannot have any rights if you don't have the 'right to life'--and, my whole point (which all you condescenders seem to gloss over) is NOT that you can make 'the right to life' conditional--it is that you have to determine WHEN does a human right to life begin? Roe vs. Wade actually said 'at birth'--but let 'community interests/standards' intervene on any potential it could claim for the fetus after the first trimester--but left that up to the states. New federal law, by outlawing partial birth abortions, now says the fetus has a 'right to life' even before birth (that no 'community interest/standard' can intervene against). The question that will need to be asked and answered, personally and collectively, for this to have anything OTHER THAN an authoritarian intervention is WHEN does a human right to life begin? Otherwise, in an authoritarian fashion never before realized in America (because self-induced abortions have never been illegal), that WILL BE DECIDED FOR EVERYONE if and when ANY STATE makes 'the right to life to begin at conception'. And, I cannot believe, after four pages of this, you cannot understand why at this time.....

Quote Ulysses:

BRAVO!

You're still one of the most pompous and condescending asses I know, Ulysses. Starting with any claim that 'statistical evidence' as 'official facts' even should be imposed in science and law....but, if you really want to have a conservation without your condescension, what is the difference between a 'community interested in individuality' and a person intent on 'granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring individual rights for oneself'? Or, do you even think that 'individuality' should be in any consideration of 'community'? Knowing your predilection towards 'statistical tendencies' as if representing 'official facts', I'm not so sure.....maybe DRC's 'new paradigm' of 'community' is good enough for 'statistical evidence' in politics--but, I'd prefer a little more specific explanations--in science and law--in order to make my own judgment--but, then, that takes 'thinking individuals' to do it...not 'statistics' as 'official facts' in any way.....

Quote Zenzoe:

I have no intention of making you feel bad, but it feels disrespectful of you to not try to be clear.

Why don't you speak for yourself, Zenzoe? You are the one that, one, appears to want to condition rights and, two, do it right along with how 'animal rights' are conditioned with community interests/standards/impositions upon their lives. Or, tell me, how do you square such 'animal rights' with some dogs being seen as family companions and some being eaten for food depending upon the community involved.....can you clarify that for me in a way that explains what you mean by 'right' in that circumstance and how you could, or would, adjust 'community interests' in that matter? Or, as many con-jobs claim (and I can't believe that I am understanding some of what the con-jobs are saying), is this just an 'assault on American society'--whatever the Asians do with their dogs is of no interest to you?

Quote Zenzoe:

"The greatest good." That's utilitarian ethics in a nutshell.

But, Zenzoe, who gets to determine that 'good'--and how and why? Take your proposal of 'animal rights' and tell me how you would distinguish 'the good' of dogs being family companions vs. 'the good' of dogs feeding Asian communities? If your 'utilitarian ethics' contains only conditional rights without any concern to the absolute equal application of unalienable rights, your 'utlitarian authority' determines that regardless of what harm the 'greatest good' may do to any ONE with unalienable rights. Unless, of course, you don't believe in the absoluteness (at least with respect to conceptualizing and applying such rights absolutely equally) of unalienable rights.

Medicine is a perfect example of that contention. I've already pointed out that most people in medicine (not the condescenders that judge it like Ulysses) recognize that Obama is accurate when Obama claims that 20% of the population takes up 80% of the health care budget--and, of those, most of their expenses are paid for by government. You could also realize that many of that 20% are not (or, are no longer) productive members of society--in fact, as I've pointed out, the productive members of society are being too responsible for keeping this corporate-government collusion in health care administration going--they are having to pay the taxes to supply most of the budget for the unproductive 20%--and, then, have to turn around and pay an insurance company (or out of their own pocket) for the same services for themselves (being doubled-up against with the application of the 'right' of medical care to others--applied freely at the time at little to no cost to them--but, only a 'privilege' that they have to pay separately for themselves--and the corporate-government collusion benefiting from that in both cases). How's the 'greatest good for the greatest number' to deal with that? Make the right to life conditional--and, then, to save the budget (and to continue the corporate-governmental collusion's profitability in this)--allow some to die even if (expensive) procedures might save them and even if they profess a desire, no matter how useless their life is to others in the community, to live?

Like others here, I think your condescension on me being a 'libertarian' is clouding your understanding of my position....

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

I have only scanned the discussion this morning. But I will come back later and take a better stab at it, but, for now, three things:

1) After I asked you, Kerry, if you subscribed to Ayn Rand's philosophy, I tried throughout to open my mind to your views; I wanted to see how your views fit into a libertarian position, or didn't; but mostly I discarded the whole notion of libertarianism, seeing it as irrelevant. However, after awhile it started to become clear that you rejected the entire notion of communitarian ethics, or "greatest good" considerations, and wished to put individualism at the top of your hierarchy of values, as opposed to balancing all.

2). I know the difference between "natural law" and "nature's law." You conflated the two, assuming that was my understanding (which I never meant to imply at all). I merely brought up NATURE as an aside, an addition to the general discussion, something more to consider. I never confused it with "natural law." YOU used the term "nature's law." Show me where I used it:

Quote Zenzoë:

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.

3). I appreciate your making a distinction between natural law and positive law, or written law. I hadn't given such a whole lot of thought, before this discussion. Thanks for contributing to my education on that. I will say now, though, while the Declaration of Independence represents natural law and is not, technically, written law, the Constitution and its evolution represents America's trying to incorporate the Declaration's natural law into written law; and, in doing so, represents the standards, rules, agreements and interests of America as a community, i.e., "We the People."

Also this as a possible factor influencing this discussion: In my experience and observation, in our hierarchical society, doctors have social status, greater than the average bear. Doctors daily experience the subordination of staff and patients to their authority. Doctors are not accustomed, as a rule, to being treated like an equal by those the doctors see as having inferior status. In my experience, doctors do not like their authority to be challenged. Perhaps you are different from most doctors, but still, is it possible your sense that we don't treat you "equally" is the result of your long experience as a doctor with being treated with deference, such that our criticism now feels like "condescension?"

Derrick Jensen says that in our society you're not allowed to hit back UP the hierarchy. It's okay for those with higher status to hit you, but not the other way around. Is it possible that's what's going on here? I ask this with sympathy for your feeling that we're all against you, if that's what you feel. I've been alone in my opinions at times too, and I know how it feels.

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

However, after awhile it started to become clear that you rejected the entire notion of communitarian ethics, or "greatest good" considerations, and wished to put individualism at the top of your hierarchy of values, as opposed to balancing all.

'Granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself' as the personal (and, therefore, more specific and factual) claim on 'communities interested in individual expression' is 'my balance', Zenzoe. What's yours? I'm not into generalizations without specifications--that's why I talk politically in terms of 'rights' almost all the time. Anything else I see as a 'generalization of political action' that can be, and is, used corruptively, oppressively, and condescendingly, by the 'genaralizing communitarians'....'new paradigm' and all.....one big corruption that may lay claim to a 'community cause' is what I've been saying all along--the corporate-government collusion that allows itself to pick-and-choose who gets 'the right' to medical care--and who has to approach it like a bankrupting privilege....no 'right' should even be seen, or applied, as such....another will be when the authoritarians are able to judge 'right to life at conception' if and when any state passes it as an amendment--and, then, apply it equally like all 'rights' should be....

Quote Zenzoe:

I know the difference between "natural law" and "nature's law." You conflated the two, assuming that was my understanding (which I never meant to imply at all).

You did imply that when you used Hobbes as your example (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 qualifying what you meant by 'natural law'. Now, your statement went on to 'disqualify Hobbesian's state of nature'--but, again, without qualifying 'natural law' against such a 'Hobbesian state of nature'. You left it implied that along with the 'Hobbesian state of nature' goes 'natural law'--and I emphatically disagree with that....you don't clarify 'Hobbesian's state of nature' as being more in line with 'nature's law' than 'natural law'--which it is....in fact, now that I'm feeling condescended, I'll go so far as to say that neither Ulysses nor DRC even wish to have any remnant of 'natural law' persist in this 'new paradigm of community' because 'natural law' is giving each person the capacity to judge moral and ethical principles for themselves--and, that, of course, takes considering specific circumstances and 'thinking individuals' as well as the 'natural rights' to exist in such political contexts above and beyond any 'written (positivist) law'.....and you not qualifying the real 'natural law' up against the 'Hobbesian state of nature' just plays right into that scheme....

It's like saying that all libertarians intent on 'individual rights' are 'Ayn Randians that selfishly claim individual rights apart from any community interest' (unless that 'community' is the association of 'corporations' as 'the projected individual')--but, that's just not the case when you qualify the 'priority of individual rights' by adding 'granting individual rights to others as much as acquiring them for oneself'.....but, it is a way of diverting the point away from the 'priority of individual rights' (applied in an absolutely equal manner) altogether for other 'community interests' (say, like, the 'community interest' of conditionally making medicine a 'right' for some as positioning it as a bankrupting 'privilege' for others unless 'the right insurance' is bought separate from the taxes paid for others 'right').

Quote Zenzoe:

Doctors daily experience the subordination of staff and patients to their authority.

While that is still the case when it comes to the final responsibility of patient outcome in its legal and social context, from the viewpoint as to how medicine is applied through corporate and governmental entities (vis-a-vis 'policy implementations' and 'standards of care'), that 'authority' is not what you may assume. Medicine is undergoing a corporization of the application of medicine--much like an assembly line production is. In that case, the 'doctor' is just another cog in the wheel. And, corporate executives have been calling patients 'customers' (even to doctors and nurses--even instructing doctors and nurses to refer to patients as 'customers'--some of us are 'less cooperative' than others in that respect) for quite a few years now. Everything is being 'corporatized'--even 'conscience'.....perhaps, I am the dying breed and DRC and Ulysses represent the 'new world order' in the 'new paradigm' of 'community applications and interests'--but, when something goes wrong, don't think that you are going to be able to find 'who to blame' (the self-righteous--like Ulysses and DRC--are behind the scenes 'looking down/on'...)--but, nowadays, 'we' sure all know 'who to credit'--the 'individuality' of 'corporations' and the 'community' of 'government' (and the self-righteous condescenders somewhat like Ulysses who get to 'apply policy' as if 'statistical trends' represent 'official facts' in law and science regardless of any specific circumstances)....and, 'customers', by the way, 'condescend me' all the time (they either threaten to go to the CEO--or threaten to go to a lawyer--when they don't like what I've done or what I've said)--and corporate executives (and, of course, malpractice lawyers--perhaps with self-righteous condescenders like Ulysses as 'expert witnesses'--that may not see one patient on their own in many cases) are on 'their side'.....I know condescension when I see it....

Quote Zenzoe:

I ask this with sympathy for your feeling that we're all against you, if that's what you feel. I've been alone in my opinions at times too, and I know how it feels.

Well, thanks for those thoughts, Zenzoe....

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

Before moving on to other things, this first:

Quote Zenzoë:

I know the difference between "natural law" and "nature's law." You conflated the two, assuming that was my understanding (which I never meant to imply at all).

You did imply that when you used Hobbes as your example (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 qualifying what you meant by 'natural law'.

What I meant by natural law? Did you understand that as a quote from the excerpt of the article in Harper's? Whatever, I do believe his reference to, and understanding of, natural law is the same as yours. And the Hobbesian state, which is the result of the selfish-individualist position, is as Hobbes described it, i.e., "...the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." He is saying they —the neo-conservatives— paid lip service to natural law, when in fact they were committed to a brutish view of "nature's law."

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

He doesn't clarify it as such--which also leaves the interpretation that 'natural law' is the same thing as 'nature's law'--which it is NOT. Your quote makes the association (without the clarification) with 'natural law' in the same sentence, and, without clarification, it can be the same gist, as 'Hobbesian state of nature'. Ask Ulysses and DRC what they think it means....that's why definitions do sometimes count--and count a lot....

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

What counts besides definitions, Kerry, is careful reading:

"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, 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."

Do you not see his transition from "they spoke of..." to "but what really occupied their thoughts..." That is, "they spoke of this [good thing], but they meant this other [bad] thing." A definition of natural law is not needed in that context; he clearly distinguishes natural law from what the neo-conservatives did to depart from the ideas they pretended to espouse.

Your statement, "...which also leaves the interpretation that 'natural law' is the same thing as 'nature's law'..." is plainly wrong, if you read his writing clearly. He is a careful writer, but what is required is a careful reader, not one bent on misunderstanding the point, according to his own bias.


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

Yes, but that still doesn't clarify 'natural law', Zenzoe. I've been on this board for quite some time--talked with someone who called themself 'Austro-Libertarian'--from Canada, I think. We got into this long discussion concerning 'natural law'--and this 'Austro-Libertarian', who, like Ulysses, claimed to be smarter than most people on this board (especially smarter than me--and that was a person who called themself a libertarian) kept referring to 'natural law' in a way that just wasn't registering with me--which is what made me look it up. The only textbook in law that I own is my wife's West's Business Law--8th Edition--and I found the definition that I have been using since. And, just like you admit, Zenzoe, if it isn't clarified accordingly, most people (even very smart ones--or, at least, ones that claim that they are smart) will confuse it with, or associate it to, 'nature's law'. Historically, this is exactly what the First Gilded Age--vying for 'personhood of corporations'--did do--associate Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' with social order--and that form of 'social Darwinism' as 'nature's law' has been removing the real gist of 'natural law' even in court (with very smart people) since....to come to perhaps its biggest misunderstanding and misapplication in today's discussions that don't really want to go back to the real definitions of 'natural' and 'positive law'--it has been propagandized out of the common understanding that successfully.

Sorry about missing your subtle distinction in the author's 'correction'--but, the author still doesn't go back to confirm what was meant by 'natural law' other than to imply how those who follow 'Hobbesian's state of nature' use it....I would have rather the author correct the concept of 'natural law' directly because of how I have seen it used by (even self-proclaimed smart) people on this board...in fact, even after reading your subtle distinction as you point out, I'm still not sure what the author's position on (and understanding of) 'natural law' is--it's still even possible that this author would rather get rid of the concept of natural law because, perhaps, as most people seem to believe, anyway, it sounds too much like 'nature's law'--therefore, it would be easier just to get rid of the concept altogether than have to explain its real distinctions to those who misunderstand (which would fall right in line with those who would want 'positive law to rule all', anyway--now, just figure out who has the 'right authority' for the 'positive law rule'--perhaps it's Darwinian, after all, the 'positive law rule' will be from those who can obtain it for themselves as if 'the fittest' regardless of their ability to actually convince the populace of such traits in any way that's 'natural law')....the discussion that I had with Austro-Libertarian about the very essence of what 'natural law' means is probably still on this board somewhere...

Here is it in the 'Letter to a conservative' thread on the U.S. Politics section here in thomland from about a year or so ago:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2010/04/letter-conservative

The whole discussion between the meaning of natural law starts on page 2 if you really want to see how I've had to insist on the definition. Austro-Libertarian's form of 'natural law' had something to do with 'free contracts', 'labor as property' (just like the military), and something he termed 'freedom from conflict' (which 'naturally' occurs between two people in a contract as long as government doesn't intervene--although I do remember asking AL if one entity, corporations, getting 'limited liability' (from government) and the other entity (labor) selling their physical efforts as if 'property' was really 'a contract between equals' (that government shouldn't involve itself in))--but, we couldn't get around AL's definition of 'natural law' until I found a definition of 'natural law' that confirmed my ideas behind what it meant (each person's 'natural ability to determine moral and ethical principles')--trying to point out that contested contracts of any type are NOT 'free of conflict'--so, there has to be a way to resolve them--and 'natural law' has a different way of doing so than 'positive law'.

So, perhaps, in this instance, you might give me just a little leeway....the meaning of 'natural law' means a lot to me.....and specifying that meaning I think goes a long ways into understanding my points--that is, of course, just like unalienable indivdual rights and their absolute equality of application, if you believe in 'natural law' against 'positive law'.....and, as I have only recently realized, some liberals don't believe it any more than some conservatives....even if for 'different causes'....

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

Yes, but that still doesn't clarify 'natural law', Zenzoe.

It is my understanding that the author used the term "natural law" with the assumption his audience was versed in the subject; i.e., his audience, the Harper's audience, is an educated audience, one knowledgeable about the term and its meaning for neo-conservatives —and for liberals for that matter— where an association with the Enlightenment and universal human values applies. What his short-hand musing does there —the paragraph in question— is recognize how the neo-conservatives' twisting of "natural law" to fit capitalist economics, governance, and war is and was an illegitimate, bastardization of the concept. He is saying their thinking led to suffering and collapse on many levels —brutish life— not to an enlightened, humane world.

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

and for liberals for that matter— where an association with the Enlightenment and universal human values applies.

What is 'the liberals' definition of 'natural law'? How does 'an association with the Enlightenment and universal human values' define 'natural law'? DRC I believe claims to be a 'liberal'. DRC comes across as an educated person of above average intelligence. Does DRC 'associate the Enlightenment' with 'natural law'? If so, does DRC believe in 'natural law' as a valid concept for social order (I don't think that DRC believes in the 'substantive rationalism' that the Enlightenment professed)? Do you? Does Ulysses? What definition do you have of 'natural law'? I'm suspicious that the concept of 'natural law' escapes many's viewpoint on law today.

I even asked my oldest daughter--who is a lawyer (and fairly smart--by the way, she did have a healthy baby boy--but it had to be by C-section)--what my daughter said 'natural law' meant, as she was taught in law school, that it was something like a 'preliminary order' that present laws base themselves on but, now, have taken more authority in. I even read the definition that I have from my wife's law textbook to her (apparently not one of my daughter's textbooks) and my daughter saw my point but said that is not how law schools teach the concept now....(but, then, my own daughter also says that 'jury review' and 'jury nullification', while still a possibility, are actually more like Urban Legends--stories that contain elements of plausible defiance but more as myths than reality in today's courts of law)....kind of sad....

Quote Zenzoe:

is recognize how the neo-conservatives' twisting of "natural law" to fit capitalist economics, governance, and war is and was an illegitimate, bastardization of the concept.

Yes, I got that. Equating 'natural law' with 'nature's law'--especially Social Darwinism that's been around at least as long as the First Gilded Age. But, that still doesn't say how this author relates to, or defines, 'natural law', itself. And, without it, even 'educated people' can get the wrong idea...

Where are your 'comrades in condescension' here, Zenzoe? And, what are their views on 'natural law'? Is it the same as their views on individual rights? Are those unalienable and conceived of and applied absolutely equally to avoid prejudice and oppression in their stead? Do they have a role in 'community interests'--and what role is that? What is the difference between a 'community interested in maintaining individuality' and a person intent on 'granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself'?

I think that Abraham Lincoln's point where 'you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time' has a fundamental basis in 'natural law'--if the people cannot see the moral and ethical basis of the imposition of order by positive law, they eventually will see the corrupting and oppressing potential of that order and those laws that, otherwise, they are generally compelled to follow (I think most people like 'social order'--but most people also don't like corruption and oppression done in the name of 'social order', either--all this as bases for 'natural law') . Then, perhaps, the Urban Legend comes alive....civil disobedience and defiance become valid alternatives to 'ordered structure without virtue in mind or content'....and what defines 'virtue in law' better than 'rights'--unalienable individual rights just like the Declaration of Independence started with stating that 'good government secured and guaranteed'....

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law#Liberal_natural_law

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke  (“Enlightenment thinkers)

Kerry, I can't help it if not everyone you know shares our author's definition of natural law, a definition which clearly was not some odd, a-historical, bizarre one, but, instead, was the common meaning of natural law (as in your definition a few pages back) or he would have defined it to distinguish it from the common meaning. Obviously, the author's shared meaning with his readers did not require him to define the term; to do so would have been to condescend to his readers. One has to assume a certain shared language and understanding. For example, one wouldn't write, "Our dogs, that is, domesticated carnivorous mammals (Canis familiaris) related to the foxes and wolves and raised in a wide variety of breeds, consider themselves to be family members." You don't explain the obvious.

You can be assured I do not conflate natural law with nature's law.

I don't know what the others here believe about natural law. They probably share your meaning of it. Most likely what they don't share is your emphasis on it, though. Maybe they're past it.

I'm wondering why you place "right to life" at the top of your Rights list. Maybe you could define life to me, at least the aspects that you feel are inalienable to all, with an example.

I wonder if your being a doctor influences your seeing "right to life" as the FIRST inalienable right, and that all other rights stem from it. (You realize I don't agree.) I wonder this, because I'm thinking that if the law were to change, and abortion were banned based on a new definition of life, i.e., it begins with conception, then that would affect your practice (in theory) of medicine. Or maybe you're already feeling squeamish about abortion in general, even though you agree, intellectually, it should be legal before viability?

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

However, after awhile it started to become clear that you rejected the entire notion of communitarian ethics, or "greatest good" considerations, and wished to put individualism at the top of your hierarchy of values, as opposed to balancing all.

'Granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself' as the personal (and, therefore, more specific and factual) claim on 'communities interested in individual expression' is 'my balance', Zenzoe. What's yours? I'm not into generalizations without specifications--that's why I talk politically in terms of 'rights' almost all the time. Anything else I see as a 'generalization of political action' that can be, and is, used corruptively, oppressively, and condescendingly, by the 'genaralizing communitarians'....'new paradigm' and all.....one big corruption that may lay claim to a 'community cause' is what I've been saying all along--the corporate-government collusion that allows itself to pick-and-choose who gets 'the right' to medical care--and who has to approach it like a bankrupting privilege....no 'right' should even be seen, or applied, as such....another will be when the authoritarians are able to judge 'right to life at conception' if and when any state passes it as an amendment--and, then, apply it equally like all 'rights' should be....

You did imply that when you used Hobbes as your example (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 qualifying what you meant by 'natural law'. Now, your statement went on to 'disqualify Hobbesian's state of nature'--but, again, without qualifying 'natural law' against such a 'Hobbesian state of nature'. You left it implied that along with the 'Hobbesian state of nature' goes 'natural law'--and I emphatically disagree with that....you don't clarify 'Hobbesian's state of nature' as being more in line with 'nature's law' than 'natural law'--which it is....in fact, now that I'm feeling condescended, I'll go so far as to say that neither Ulysses nor DRC even wish to have any remnant of 'natural law' persist in this 'new paradigm of community' because 'natural law' is giving each person the capacity to judge moral and ethical principles for themselves--and, that, of course, takes considering specific circumstances and 'thinking individuals' as well as the 'natural rights' to exist in such political contexts above and beyond any 'written (positivist) law'.....and you not qualifying the real 'natural law' up against the 'Hobbesian state of nature' just plays right into that scheme....

It's like saying that all libertarians intent on 'individual rights' are 'Ayn Randians that selfishly claim individual rights apart from any community interest' (unless that 'community' is the association of 'corporations' as 'the projected individual')--but, that's just not the case when you qualify the 'priority of individual rights' by adding 'granting individual rights to others as much as acquiring them for oneself'.....but, it is a way of diverting the point away from the 'priority of individual rights' (applied in an absolutely equal manner) altogether for other 'community interests' (say, like, the 'community interest' of conditionally making medicine a 'right' for some as positioning it as a bankrupting 'privilege' for others unless 'the right insurance' is bought separate from the taxes paid for others 'right').

While that is still the case when it comes to the final responsibility of patient outcome in its legal and social context, from the viewpoint as to how medicine is applied through corporate and governmental entities (vis-a-vis 'policy implementations' and 'standards of care'), that 'authority' is not what you may assume. Medicine is undergoing a corporization of the application of medicine--much like an assembly line production is. In that case, the 'doctor' is just another cog in the wheel. And, corporate executives have been calling patients 'customers' (even to doctors and nurses--even instructing doctors and nurses to refer to patients as 'customers'--some of us are 'less cooperative' than others in that respect) for quite a few years now. Everything is being 'corporatized'--even 'conscience'.....perhaps, I am the dying breed and DRC and Ulysses represent the 'new world order' in the 'new paradigm' of 'community applications and interests'--but, when something goes wrong, don't think that you are going to be able to find 'who to blame' (the self-righteous--like Ulysses and DRC--are behind the scenes 'looking down/on'...)--but, nowadays, 'we' sure all know 'who to credit'--the 'individuality' of 'corporations' and the 'community' of 'government' (and the self-righteous condescenders somewhat like Ulysses who get to 'apply policy' as if 'statistical trends' represent 'official facts' in law and science regardless of any specific circumstances)....and, 'customers', by the way, 'condescend me' all the time (they either threaten to go to the CEO--or threaten to go to a lawyer--when they don't like what I've done or what I've said)--and corporate executives (and, of course, malpractice lawyers--perhaps with self-righteous condescenders like Ulysses as 'expert witnesses'--that may not see one patient on their own in many cases) are on 'their side'.....I know condescension when I see it....

ZZZ! ZZZ! ZZZ!...

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

and for liberals for that matter— where an association with the Enlightenment and universal human values applies.

What is 'the liberals' definition of 'natural law'? How does 'an association with the Enlightenment and universal human values' define 'natural law'? DRC I believe claims to be a 'liberal'. DRC comes across as an educated person of above average intelligence. Does DRC 'associate the Enlightenment' with 'natural law'? If so, does DRC believe in 'natural law' as a valid concept for social order (I don't think that DRC believes in the 'substantive rationalism' that the Enlightenment professed)? Do you? Does Ulysses? What definition do you have of 'natural law'? I'm suspicious that the concept of 'natural law' escapes many's viewpoint on law today.

I even asked my oldest daughter--who is a lawyer (and fairly smart--by the way, she did have a healthy baby boy--but it had to be by C-section)--what my daughter said 'natural law' meant, as she was taught in law school, that it was something like a 'preliminary order' that present laws base themselves on but, now, have taken more authority in. I even read the definition that I have from my wife's law textbook to her (apparently not one of my daughter's textbooks) and my daughter saw my point but said that is not how law schools teach the concept now....(but, then, my own daughter also says that 'jury review' and 'jury nullification', while still a possibility, are actually more like Urban Legends--stories that contain elements of plausible defiance but more as myths than reality in today's courts of law)....kind of sad....

Quote Zenzoe:

is recognize how the neo-conservatives' twisting of "natural law" to fit capitalist economics, governance, and war is and was an illegitimate, bastardization of the concept.

Yes, I got that. Equating 'natural law' with 'nature's law'--especially Social Darwinism that's been around at least as long as the First Gilded Age. But, that still doesn't say how this author relates to, or defines, 'natural law', itself. And, without it, even 'educated people' can get the wrong idea...

Where are your 'comrades in condescension' here, Zenzoe? And, what are their views on 'natural law'? Is it the same as their views on individual rights? Are those unalienable and conceived of and applied absolutely equally to avoid prejudice and oppression in their stead? Do they have a role in 'community interests'--and what role is that? What is the difference between a 'community interested in maintaining individuality' and a person intent on 'granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself'?

I think that Abraham Lincoln's point where 'you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time' has a fundamental basis in 'natural law'--if the people cannot see the moral and ethical basis of the imposition of order by positive law, they eventually will see the corrupting and oppressing potential of that order and those laws that, otherwise, they are generally compelled to follow (I think most people like 'social order'--but most people also don't like corruption and oppression done in the name of 'social order', either--all this as bases for 'natural law') . Then, perhaps, the Urban Legend comes alive....civil disobedience and defiance become valid alternatives to 'ordered structure without virtue in mind or content'....and what defines 'virtue in law' better than 'rights'--unalienable individual rights just like the Declaration of Independence started with stating that 'good government secured and guaranteed'....

Anybody who has a greater understanding of the Enlightenment and the Constitution, respectively, than that provided in The Enlightenment for Dummies and/or The Constitution For Dummies knows that while the ideas of the Enlightenment were heavily used in the Constitution, the Enlightenment was not the be-all, end-all source of the Constituion. He or she knows that the Iroquois Confederation and classical sources reaching back to Greece, as well as ideas of European intellectuals from both before and after the Declaration of Independence, were all incorporated with a contemporary American Colonial apprehension of law and rights to form the synthesis that is the Constitution. Thus, it's halfwitted to pose questions asking whether anybody believes solely in any one source used as a basis for the Constitution, or any one aspect of that source, as if expecting that the Enlightenment or any one of the other numerous sources the Founders relied upon were the Fountainhead of All Knowledge and that arrival at any such belief would definitively settle any and all arguments regarding definitions of natural law as related to the Enlightenment and the Constitution. Seeking such simplistic answers reveals a singular crabbed and distorted understanding of the Constitution itself, and picayune but unproductive arguments about definitional variance between "nature's laws" and "natural law" reveals the singular personal problem of not having enough to do.

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

However, after awhile it started to become clear that you rejected the entire notion of communitarian ethics, or "greatest good" considerations, and wished to put individualism at the top of your hierarchy of values, as opposed to balancing all.

'Granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself' as the personal (and, therefore, more specific and factual) claim on 'communities interested in individual expression' is 'my balance', Zenzoe. What's yours? I'm not into generalizations without specifications--that's why I talk politically in terms of 'rights' almost all the time. Anything else I see as a 'generalization of political action' that can be, and is, used corruptively, oppressively, and condescendingly, by the 'genaralizing communitarians'....'new paradigm' and all.....one big corruption that may lay claim to a 'community cause' is what I've been saying all along--the corporate-government collusion that allows itself to pick-and-choose who gets 'the right' to medical care--and who has to approach it like a bankrupting privilege....no 'right' should even be seen, or applied, as such....another will be when the authoritarians are able to judge 'right to life at conception' if and when any state passes it as an amendment--and, then, apply it equally like all 'rights' should be....

Quote Zenzoe:

I know the difference between "natural law" and "nature's law." You conflated the two, assuming that was my understanding (which I never meant to imply at all).

You did imply that when you used Hobbes as your example (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 qualifying what you meant by 'natural law'. Now, your statement went on to 'disqualify Hobbesian's state of nature'--but, again, without qualifying 'natural law' against such a 'Hobbesian state of nature'. You left it implied that along with the 'Hobbesian state of nature' goes 'natural law'--and I emphatically disagree with that....you don't clarify 'Hobbesian's state of nature' as being more in line with 'nature's law' than 'natural law'--which it is....in fact, now that I'm feeling condescended, I'll go so far as to say that neither Ulysses nor DRC even wish to have any remnant of 'natural law' persist in this 'new paradigm of community' because 'natural law' is giving each person the capacity to judge moral and ethical principles for themselves--and, that, of course, takes considering specific circumstances and 'thinking individuals' as well as the 'natural rights' to exist in such political contexts above and beyond any 'written (positivist) law'.....and you not qualifying the real 'natural law' up against the 'Hobbesian state of nature' just plays right into that scheme....

It's like saying that all libertarians intent on 'individual rights' are 'Ayn Randians that selfishly claim individual rights apart from any community interest' (unless that 'community' is the association of 'corporations' as 'the projected individual')--but, that's just not the case when you qualify the 'priority of individual rights' by adding 'granting individual rights to others as much as acquiring them for oneself'.....but, it is a way of diverting the point away from the 'priority of individual rights' (applied in an absolutely equal manner) altogether for other 'community interests' (say, like, the 'community interest' of conditionally making medicine a 'right' for some as positioning it as a bankrupting 'privilege' for others unless 'the right insurance' is bought separate from the taxes paid for others 'right').

Quote Zenzoe:

Doctors daily experience the subordination of staff and patients to their authority.

While that is still the case when it comes to the final responsibility of patient outcome in its legal and social context, from the viewpoint as to how medicine is applied through corporate and governmental entities (vis-a-vis 'policy implementations' and 'standards of care'), that 'authority' is not what you may assume. Medicine is undergoing a corporization of the application of medicine--much like an assembly line production is. In that case, the 'doctor' is just another cog in the wheel. And, corporate executives have been calling patients 'customers' (even to doctors and nurses--even instructing doctors and nurses to refer to patients as 'customers'--some of us are 'less cooperative' than others in that respect) for quite a few years now. Everything is being 'corporatized'--even 'conscience'.....perhaps, I am the dying breed and DRC and Ulysses represent the 'new world order' in the 'new paradigm' of 'community applications and interests'--but, when something goes wrong, don't think that you are going to be able to find 'who to blame' (the self-righteous--like Ulysses and DRC--are behind the scenes 'looking down/on'...)--but, nowadays, 'we' sure all know 'who to credit'--the 'individuality' of 'corporations' and the 'community' of 'government' (and the self-righteous condescenders somewhat like Ulysses who get to 'apply policy' as if 'statistical trends' represent 'official facts' in law and science regardless of any specific circumstances)....and, 'customers', by the way, 'condescend me' all the time (they either threaten to go to the CEO--or threaten to go to a lawyer--when they don't like what I've done or what I've said)--and corporate executives (and, of course, malpractice lawyers--perhaps with self-righteous condescenders like Ulysses as 'expert witnesses'--that may not see one patient on their own in many cases) are on 'their side'.....I know condescension when I see it....

Jabberwocky.

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

Anybody who has a greater understanding of the Enlightenment and the Constitution, respectively, than that provided in The Enlightenment for Dummies and/or The Constitution For Dummies knows that while the ideas of the Enlightenment were heavily used in the Constitution, the Enlightenment was not the be-all, end-all source of the Constituion. He or she knows that the Iroquois Confederation and classical sources reaching back to Greece, as well as ideas of European intellectuals from both before and after the Declaration of Independence, were all incorporated with a contemporary American Colonial apprehension of law and rights to form the synthesis that is the Constitution. Thus, it's halfwitted to pose questions asking whether anybody believes solely in any one source used as a basis for the Constitution, or any one aspect of that source, as if expecting that the Enlightenment or any one of the other numerous sources the Founders relied upon were the Fountainhead of All Knowledge and that arrival at any such belief would definitively settle any and all arguments regarding definitions of natural law as related to the Enlightenment and the Constitution. Seeking such simplistic answers reveals a singular crabbed and distorted understanding of the Constitution itself, and picayune but unproductive arguments about definitional variance between "nature's laws" and "natural law" reveals the singular personal problem of not having enough to do.

Ulysses, I adore that last sentence, even though I'm sure it is equally directed at me. It reminds me of the wonderful Christopher Hitchens, who can —or could before his illness— let rip so much wit in the process of devastating a verbal opponent, even his victim would have to smile. I mean, I can't be insulted, when the insult is stated so well. And besides, I agree! It's what I get for wanting to go one little step at a time with Kerry, to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Anyway, I don't claim to be a know-it-all about either the Enlightenment or the Constitution, but I hope you don't think I meant to say the Enlightenment was the sole influence/derivation of the Constitution.

...I love that— "...singular crabbed and distorted understanding..." Ha!

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

C'mon, Kerry, don't be discouraged. If some of us want to work through this stuff in a way that doesn't please the Debate Nazi (I'm sure Ulysses would enjoy the title), that's okay. He has his strong points, but he isn't the only one.

I'm still interested in knowing Kerry's answer to my questions here:

Quote Zenzoë:

I'm wondering why you place "right to life" at the top of your Rights list. Maybe you could define life to me, at least the aspects that you feel are inalienable to all, with an example.

I wonder if your being a doctor influences your seeing "right to life" as the FIRST inalienable right, and that all other rights stem from it. (You realize I don't agree.) I wonder this, because I'm thinking that if the law were to change, and abortion were banned based on a new definition of life, i.e., it begins with conception, then that would affect your practice (in theory) of medicine. Or maybe you're already feeling squeamish about abortion in general, even though you agree, intellectually, it should be legal before viability?

I ask it, because supposedly a doctor's first obligation is to saving lives.

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

Anybody who has a greater understanding of the Enlightenment and the Constitution, respectively, than that provided in The Enlightenment for Dummies and/or The Constitution For Dummies knows that while the ideas of the Enlightenment were heavily used in the Constitution, the Enlightenment was not the be-all, end-all source of the Constituion. He or she knows that the Iroquois Confederation and classical sources reaching back to Greece, as well as ideas of European intellectuals from both before and after the Declaration of Independence, were all incorporated with a contemporary American Colonial apprehension of law and rights to form the synthesis that is the Constitution. Thus, it's halfwitted to pose questions asking whether anybody believes solely in any one source used as a basis for the Constitution, or any one aspect of that source, as if expecting that the Enlightenment or any one of the other numerous sources the Founders relied upon were the Fountainhead of All Knowledge and that arrival at any such belief would definitively settle any and all arguments regarding definitions of natural law as related to the Enlightenment and the Constitution. Seeking such simplistic answers reveals a singular crabbed and distorted understanding of the Constitution itself, and picayune but unproductive arguments about definitional variance between "nature's laws" and "natural law" reveals the singular personal problem of not having enough to do.

Ulysses, I adore that last sentence, even though I'm sure it is equally directed at me. It reminds me of the wonderful Christopher Hitchens, who can —or could before his illness— let rip so much wit in the process of devastating a verbal opponent, even his victim would have to smile. I mean, I can't be insulted, when the insult is stated so well. And besides, I agree! It's what I get for wanting to go one little step at a time with Kerry, to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Anyway, I don't claim to be a know-it-all about either the Enlightenment or the Constitution, but I hope you don't think I meant to say the Enlightenment was the sole influence/derivation of the Constitution.

...I love that— "...singular crabbed and distorted understanding..." Ha!

None of it was, in fact, directed at you; in my opinion (which, along with $3.00, may be worth a latte), you are rational and you reason well. You are capable of carrying on a rational and intelligent discussion and you do so. Whether I or anybody else agree with you all of the time is irrelevant to that. Thus, your arguments and positions warrant rational responses, even if later differences of opinion and conclusions based on those arguments and positions lead to heated arguments. The rantings and babblings of those with nothing else to do, which also waste the time of rational respondents by constantly reverting to reinventing the wheel once the latter have thought the discussion has moved on, do not warrant rational responses.

Debate Nazi? OK. Fair enough. But I think you give me too much credit. I just see myself as the guy trying to scrape the Kalikaks off the shoe.

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

Anybody who has a greater understanding of the Enlightenment and the Constitution, respectively, than that provided in The Enlightenment for Dummies and/or The Constitution For Dummies knows that while the ideas of the Enlightenment were heavily used in the Constitution, the Enlightenment was not the be-all, end-all source of the Constituion. He or she knows that the Iroquois Confederation and classical sources reaching back to Greece, as well as ideas of European intellectuals from both before and after the Declaration of Independence, were all incorporated with a contemporary American Colonial apprehension of law and rights to form the synthesis that is the Constitution. Thus, it's halfwitted to pose questions asking whether anybody believes solely in any one source used as a basis for the Constitution, or any one aspect of that source, as if expecting that the Enlightenment or any one of the other numerous sources the Founders relied upon were the Fountainhead of All Knowledge and that arrival at any such belief would definitively settle any and all arguments regarding definitions of natural law as related to the Enlightenment and the Constitution. Seeking such simplistic answers reveals a singular crabbed and distorted understanding of the Constitution itself, and picayune but unproductive arguments about definitional variance between "nature's laws" and "natural law" reveals the singular personal problem of not having enough to do.

Ulysses, I adore that last sentence, even though I'm sure it is equally directed at me. It reminds me of the wonderful Christopher Hitchens, who can —or could before his illness— let rip so much wit in the process of devastating a verbal opponent, even his victim would have to smile. I mean, I can't be insulted, when the insult is stated so well. And besides, I agree! It's what I get for wanting to go one little step at a time with Kerry, to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Anyway, I don't claim to be a know-it-all about either the Enlightenment or the Constitution, but I hope you don't think I meant to say the Enlightenment was the sole influence/derivation of the Constitution.

...I love that— "...singular crabbed and distorted understanding..." Ha!

And no, I made no such assumption as to your own understanding of the relationship between the Enlightenment and the Constitution. My remarks were inspired solely by the "imposing," "condescending" proponent of barbarism.

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

I'll note one more time that Ulysses (or DRC) has made no attempt to address how DRC's statement of 'communities interested in individuality' differs in any substantive way from a person intent on 'granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself'--neither in acknowledging whether there is, or is not, any substantive difference nor, if stating there is, explaining what those differences are to the viewing audience. But, Ulysses sure likes to continue to downcast me into some perception that, of course, 'I' don't understand the nuances present in human interactions because 'I' center on 'too narrow' a viewpoint--Zenzoe even seems to agree with that here (the emphases will be mine):

Quote Zenzoe:

I don't know what the others here believe about natural law. They "probably" (my quotations) share your meaning of it. Most likely what they don't share is your emphasis on it, though. Maybe they're past it.

OK, Zenzoe, if anyone is 'past natural law'--what have they past it to--or for? Tell, me what are they promoting that supercedes the priority of rights to individuals in its political context? I added the quotations to your word "probably" in the above statement because I actually doubt it (so I would put in the words "not likely" in their place when I read that--there is NOTHING that either Ulysses or DRC have said in anything that I have read from them that would confirm Zenzoe's word 'probably' in that statement--NOTHING). Furthermore, as far as I'm concerned, I would rather your author have defined 'natural law' not just in the context of its abuse as its negation but, also, in the context of what that author would see as a proper use that confirms its intention--negating one use of the concept is not the same thing as confirming its support in another in either context or content of the real meaning of 'natural law'. And, as I see it, it's actually more condescending NOT to define 'natural law' and, then, as Zenzoe implies now, presume that 'we' have past all the need for recognizing the ethical and moral premise of the political priorities of individual rights that I think natural law contains--especially, as I see the Declaration of Independence promoting, with the unalienableness of such confirmed rights in any and every political context so confirmed as to its primacy (unless removed by due process)--and especially for the presumption of a 'better community' based on 'something else'. And, just what is that 'something else' that is to take individual rights place in such political contexts? What is the content of that? The 'right thinking'? The 'right actions'? The 'new paradigm in thought for community'? And, as I continue to ask, what does this 'something else' contain that has 'past' such a need for an emphasis on the content of individual rights in its political context (as 'natural rights to everyone') in natural law (against its 'postivist law impositions') and the point of 'granting such rights to others as much as acquiring them for oneself'?

You earlier said that you, Zenzoe, actually hadn't appreciated the distinctions that the real definition of 'natural law' had (probably equating it like many smart people do--to 'nature's law')--until our discussions--or were you just saying that to appease me, somehow? If that is the case, don't. Believe me, I'd rather have a respectful conversation discerning the differences in our positions than the condescending remarks that are used in place of meaningful discourse that some here portray. Some may think that, somehow, I am being too one-sided (which, of course, implies that they have a 'more comprehensive view'--and, I don't mind that truly being the case IF THEY CAN SHOW THAT)--but I don't see it that way (either me being 'too one-sided' or them confirming their proclamation of being 'so comprehensive'). For instance, I reiterate my wife's law textbook definitions in this matter because I think it does do a good job in defining and distinguishing 'natural law' from 'positive law' that many who may claim 'comprehensiveness' for themselves do not really appreciate--and certainly haven't acknowledged (even to disagree with it if that is the case). I do believe that once you recognize the distinctions, you also can start realizing how that plays out in real world situations (you know, SOLVE the problem you create--not just pontificate on it--that action alone actually creates more problems than it solves). That can include discerning the point that 'due process' can be (or maybe even should be) as much a 'natural law' initiatve as 'positive law' one.

And, as I keep pointing out, Akhil Reed Amar (in his book, The Bill of Rights) noted that such natural law initiatives were in the original intent of the constitutional right to trial by jury (of one's peers)--especially if you add 'jury review' (as the common man's understanding of the constitutionality of all written laws in respective court cases) as well as 'jury nullification' (giving the common man the capability of distinguishing the spirit from the letter of the law in declaring persons 'Not Guilty' even if the facts of the case with respect to the letter of the law say otherwise) to such a constitutional intent with natural law emphases as such jury trials could be--all historical aspects of the 'natural law' influence present in the American experiment on government and similarly impressed in the American judicial process that some here now claim 'we've past'. Again, I say, to what? It appears that, in an attempt to remove all 'subjective reasoning' (especially by 'the thinking individual' using 'substantive logic' under such circumstances), some believe that modern law could (and should) be portrayed as if it were as empirical as hard science dealing only 'with facts' (even if they aren't really 'facts' because they are just 'statistical trends'--and any real scientist would recognize their failings as 'facts'--any person considering the need for the moral and ethical confirmation of law would realize that, also, I truly believe). Of course, if you are content with the common man being subjected to all authoritarian interpretation of 'law' as if 'facts' to be applied without informed consent or even a basic understanding for whatever the authority's deem appropriate, then, I guess such 'assumptions of the official facts of declared trends' (as, of course, 'authorities' define them) is enough...but I don't see that as indicative of the American intent of law or government (and I know it's not the intent of science with statistics absent a definitive explanatory process accompanying such trends to imply such cases, in any way, as 'comprehensive understanding')--despite some here implying that 'we' have 'past all that'--or even the need 'for all that'....But, I think that such an agreement on authoritarian decrees can only come from someone that doesn't mind condescending other people (as long as, of course, they are on the side of the 'authority'--in which case, condescension can be such a subtle and selfish, and self-serving, assault on others despite any 'comprehension' of the subjects at hand--that, of course, would have to be allowed to occur by 'the thinking individual')--which, in a way, does get to Zenzoe's question to me....next post....

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

I'm wondering why you place "right to life" at the top of your Rights list. Maybe you could define life to me, at least the aspects that you feel are inalienable to all, with an example.

I wonder if your being a doctor influences your seeing "right to life" as the FIRST inalienable right, and that all other rights stem from it. (You realize I don't agree.) I wonder this, because I'm thinking that if the law were to change, and abortion were banned based on a new definition of life, i.e., it begins with conception, then that would affect your practice (in theory) of medicine. Or maybe you're already feeling squeamish about abortion in general, even though you agree, intellectually, it should be legal before viability?

I ask it, because supposedly a doctor's first obligation is to saving lives.

Come on, Zenzoe. Why are you ignoring my point on this? I've said it many times. It's quite rational and reasonable (interesting that Ulysses uses the point of rational and reasonable now--has Ulysses asked his mentor DRC about the concepts of rationality and reason being used to determine community function--I don't think that follows DRC's 'new paradigm' as even DRC promotes it--that is what DRC has stated DRC doesn't like about 'the Age of Reason' and the Enlightenment era--it's emphasis on rationality and reasonableness...however, if that is really what you are doing, Ulysses, I will agree that I still believe there is a place for it in discussions of proper political impositions--especially against otherwise confirmed individual rights not to be imposed upon). At any rate, the point to the priority of the 'right to life' is, as I've said to you, Zenzoe, on more than one occasion, is because no other right can be appreciated without it--that is very rational and reasonable. You can't have 'liberty', you can't have 'the pursuit of happiness', you can't have choices in things like marriage, birth control, pregnancy or even sexual activities unless you have a life to experience and express such things--thus, its 'priority in rights'. Or, tell me, Zenzoe, how could one have any other right if they do not have the 'right to life'? Really....are you really being 'rational and reasonable' in not seeing that point--or just purposefully dense and ignorant for your own pleasure in jerking me around? And, then, along with Ulysses, condescending me over it? Come on, you can't even see your own unreasonableness because of how you have ganged up on 'me' in your condescension....

Now, if you are being earnest, in asserting your assumption that 'I' prioritize 'the right to life' because I am a physician intent on 'saving lives', as you put it, it's not just me. Roe vs. Wade made the same claim--the only reason that abortion is legal is because of the decision that the 'right to life' does not begin at conception. If it did, then even Roe vs. Wade admits that all elective abortions would have to be made illegal. The attempt to define the 'right to life at conception' recently was defeated in Mississippi--but, if it ever passes in any state, hide and watch, Zenzoe. It will then come before the Supreme Court and they will have to reconsider the decisions made by Roe vs. Wade if there ever is an official recognition in any state of 'the right to life' beginning at conception--and even Supreme Court decisions are overturned all the time (look at Bowers vs. Hardwick and Lawrence vs. Texas--with the overturing hinging on a very similar point--an unalienable individual right exists that, now, no law, or person, can intervene in). As far as elective abortions go, I do not agree with the position that 'the right to life begins at conception'--but I do agree with the position that the 'right to life' is the primary right to assert because no other right can be asserted without it.

Do you really have a problem with that rationale? Or, is the problem your own conceptualization of another person's right to life compared to your own life's right--or the unalienableness of any right to other people as you may claim any such right for yourself through your life? If you have no problem with others not having the same 'right to life' as you would hold for yourself (because you, also, would have no other rights if you had no life--or is that OK with you?), then I would say that you, in any rational or reasonable manner, have no concept of unalienableness in either its legal, moral, or ethical context, of 'rights'. If you do feel that others have the same 'right to life' as you hold for yourself, then I believe you should already understand the priority of 'the right to life'. While you and Ulysses may hold onto the rather condescending perspective that that is 'too simple', I think you are missing a very big part of its 'comprehensiveness' if you don't see how it relates to how you see 'rights' for yourself in any fashion that prevents someone from coming in and taking them away from you against your will....(I know how DRC shuns it, and thinks that the 'new paradigm' has 'past all that', but 'autonomy' was a rather important concept in my ethics class--was it in your ethics class, Ulysses? Or any of the condescension clan?)....

Perhaps a problem that you may have is considering when the 'right to life' shouldn't be the priority. When do you say that should be? Should that be when it is more expedient (in a 'utilitarian ethics' sort of way) for everyone else that one doesn't have a life? That is the objection some people have to elective abortions--it's not reverent enough to life because some get rid of their pregnancies out of no other motive than 'I want a boy and this is a girl' or 'I don't want to look bad in my sexy jeans' or 'I want to get back at my husband or boyfriend and I'm not going to have his baby'. And, you know, I guess that is possible. But, that's the point. Would you let that same mother make a similar decision on a child that is already born's life? I wouldn't. Would you? The 'right to life' is the priority. But, the whole point in the ethical perspective of elective abortions is does the fetus have the 'right to life from conception'--and, when does a human life with rights begin....while many may see such perspectives as not reverent enough for the life of the fetus, to do anything about it means that they don't have enough respect (and, therefore, are condescending) for the will of the pregnant mother no matter what goes into her decision--plus, removing the right for that pregnant woman to consider such spurious reasons to abort could also remove others rights to abort for more compassioned causes such as ill health or extreme poverty or abuse--which you would be simutaneously condescending if you removed such rights due to 'spurious causes' (and, remember, in an 'innocent until proven guilty' perspective, the benefit of the doubt would go more to the one involved more so than the one accusing unless more 'evidence of guilt' were brought forth...in pregnancies case, that's not necessary because the fetus has no right to life from which the pregnant mother would be acting against--unless that perspective on the fetus's 'right' changes as I've said above). However, once again, even in situations of poverty and abuse, would you allow that mother (or anyone) kill that child if already born? I wouldn't. Would you? The 'right to life' is the priority--once it's confirmed as a life on its own....do you really disagree with that? If so, then, please, either you or Ulysses need to bring forth your 'rational and reasonable' argument on this (starting with claiming how you wouldn't care if your own life were removed against your will)...even some examples to exemplify how your 'comprehension' has usurped all my 'simplistic analyses' on such 'rights to life' would be in order....I'm up for that. But, I suspect that neither of you are despite how 'comprehensive' and 'community interested' you claim to be....

Now, do either of you really have any comments to make on the topic at hand--especially how much you want to hold onto your own rights (and do, or can, you relate that to other people's rights)--or is condescending me the only thing either one of you actually have in mind? Neither of you seem to be able to clearly address anything here because you are so smug in your condescension. And, you're talking to someone that agrees with abortion rights--but NOT if you get rid of 'the right to life' being the priority and NOT if you are assuming that such rights are no longer unalienable in either the extent that it is offered to everyone if it is offered to anyone and to the extent that, if you hold it for yourself, the only moral and ethical (and legal) perspective to have is give it to others in the same context (politically and legally). What is the difference between 'communities interested in individuality' and a person intent on 'granting individual rights as much as acquiring them for oneself'? Once again, your condescension precludes your own understanding of the point....whether you think it's 'too simplistic' for you to consider or not (because, of course, both of you are 'so comprehensive' in your understanding of 'community interests') just further verifies your condescending perspective....

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

None of it was, in fact, directed at you; in my opinion (which, along with $3.00, may be worth a latte), you are rational and you reason well. You are capable of carrying on a rational and intelligent discussion and you do so. Whether I or anybody else agree with you all of the time is irrelevant to that. Thus, your arguments and positions warrant rational responses, even if later differences of opinion and conclusions based on those arguments and positions lead to heated arguments. The rantings and babblings of those with nothing else to do, which also waste the time of rational respondents by constantly reverting to reinventing the wheel once the latter have thought the discussion has moved on, do not warrant rational responses.

Debate Nazi? OK. Fair enough. But I think you give me too much credit. I just see myself as the guy trying to scrape the Kalikaks off the shoe.

The last bit there, very droll, Ulysses, again.

And thanks for thinking of me as "rational," though perhaps you give me too much credit as well. Of all the inalienable rights I subscribe to, the right to be wrongheaded is among my best and most favorite, as is my right to change my mind, in the best tradition of my girlhood. ;-)

Actually, I am amazed that any rational person would even bother with online discussions. It's difficult enough for people who know each other well to have a discussion about politics in person, especially if they disagree, even though they can see each other's gestures and facial expressions. Here, we not only can't see each other, we don't know each other in any way but within the stuff of our imaginations. I mean, I'm amazed people ever talk successfully with each other here, given just the vast differences of mind-set, of associations with words and language. In a way, part of our problem here is that we speak different languages. It's all English, technically speaking—(calm down, Ulysses), but, as we've seen, much of our efforts here are devoted to defining things and trying to get to the bottom of what some concept means to one person, and how it differs from what another person thinks of that concept. It's as though we weren't raised in the same culture at all. And then there's the problem of misunderstanding and mis-reading what people write:

Quote Kerry:

You earlier said that you, Zenzoe, actually hadn't appreciated the distinctions that the real definition of 'natural law' had (probably equating it like many smart people do--to 'nature's law')--until our discussions--or were you just saying that to appease me, somehow?

Kerry, I didn't say I'd conflated, before our discussion, natural law and nature's law at all. I meant to say I hadn't given the distinction between natural law and positive law much thought, or even the whole notion of natural law. But to say I'd ever associated natural law with nature's law would be very very wrong. To my mind, nature's law is a third concept, one worth considering as well.

Anyway, right now I don't have time to address Kerry's questions and points, except to offer a couple of observations: I'm wondering if Kerry might feel condescended to, because in his world the only people who assume the right to challenge him are his superiors —those with power over him— in the work place? Whatever, I don't believe I'm coming from a place of superiority at all, any more than Kerry comes from a position of superiority when he posts his information about natural law vs. positive law, or when he asks challenging questions, some of which imply my ignorance of the subject. Kerry's receiving of my criticism as condescending could be taken as arrogant too, though I don't take it as such. I take it as Kerry's frustration with trying to be understood, at least sometimes, or possibly, with respect for the impossibility of knowing for sure.

However, I also have to admit to having scanned much of what Kerry has written, because I'll only go so far into a paragraph, until I stumble into a bramble, a subterranean complex of roots and burrows and dens and cul-de-sacs and capillary subways. In short, I get lost, Kerry. Maybe it's my failing, but it may also be something else, something you may be doing, a thing called, "Proof by verbosity (argumentum verbosium, proof by intimidation): submission of others to an argument too complex and verbose to reasonably deal with in all its intimate details."

I do think it's getting better. It's not as convoluted this time. Anyway, because I'm insane, I'll come back later and see what else I can glean from the discussion.

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

There is something in writing and reading the written word that reveals what verbal conversation does not, and vise versa. Zenzoe, what I like is the person behind the posts as the words on the page do more than provide rationalist definitions for objective arguments. Writing does make us put our words on paper, in sentences, with punctuation and some sense of syntax. I am not offended by mistakes or mispelling, but trying to be clear means trying to avoid them. I would rather have people post honest opinions with bad grammar than have them refrain from lack of writing skills.

What is said in the posts can make these things minor; or the post can be as ignorant and insulting as the bad writing. True, we cannot see the smirks, cannot read the eyes or catch the tone of voice unless the writer lets it get into the writing. But they do, and that is part of the interpretation too. There is a big difference between criticism and contempt.

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

I would rather have people post honest opinions with bad grammar than have them refrain from lack of writing skills.

What is said in the posts can make these things minor; or the post can be as ignorant and insulting as the bad writing.

Far too often, I over-complicate my sentences to satisfy my ego telling me I have so much more to say or a better way to say it. How often do we see the same in various 2000 word posts. If you can clearly make your point with 200 words, the extra 1800 words are usually not needed. We need more Hemingway and less Faulkner.

This post was quite enlightening when it included the first post from various perspectives, but soon deteriorated into excessive words being devoted to settling old scores and re-hashing arguments that have already been beaten to death 10 times over here on this site. When the writer is more focused on the audience than the subject matter, it's time to move on.

We could all benefit from a forum which limits the number of words per post and the number of replies per user that can be posted on any given subject. That would keep us from wasting words on personal bickering and force a focus that is often missing. Maybe Nigel can come up with a special forum with simple constraints aimed to minimize the wasted words?

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

I agree, Laborisgood. Now to ignore your advice... ;-)

DRC, I absolutely agree with much of what you say there at #174, especially your point about a preference for honesty above perfection in writing. And what I know of you so far gives me reason to suspect your treasuring of the value of love and care inspires your comment. Perhaps you’ve cringed at what looked like contempt for Kerry? Well, I wouldn’t blame you for that. However, if you cannot see contempt as well within a well-educated person’s writing, one that does not attempt to be clear and concise, then we will have to disagree. I see it. Not that contempt isn’t a valid human emotion. Sometimes it is deserved.

...which brings me to an example of the difficulty of communication, where usage matters and interpretation matters, with apologies for the seeming nit pick, Laborisgood:

Quote Kerry:

OK, Zenzoe, if anyone is 'past natural law'--what have they past it to--or for?

I don’t know, because my “past” and your “past” are two different things. “Past” in my usage meant, “so as to pass by or beyond,” as in the 13th definition of the word “past” in my dictionary, as in, “The troops marched past.” “Past,” in your usage, is the mispelling of the past tense of the verb “to pass,” i.e., “to convey or transfer,” which should be “passed.” Okay, DRC would have me forgive your misspelling, and I will. But if you cannot see any other meaning than the one that serves your bias, how can we move past this, or past any questions, especially those concerning even more complex issues?

What I meant there was that maybe DRC and Ulysses, or any others who don’t want to discuss natural law vs. positive law, have moved on to other issues—they’ve moved past it, not that they passed its importance to something of greater importance. Maybe it’s resolved in their minds to their own satisfaction and consider it not worth the rehash? Just a possibility. I haven’t been privy to their other discussions with you, so I’ll leave it at that.

In short, your assumption, as in the rest of your paragraph there, that nobody shares your understanding of natural law COULD BE mistaken. How about just assuming we all know what we’re talking about there? I don’t know anybody who doesn’t share a devotion to individual, human rights, at least in theory.

Quote Kerry:
...as I see it, it's actually more condescending NOT to define 'natural law' and, then,

as Zenzoe implies now, presume that 'we' have past all the need for recognizing the ethical and moral premise of the political priorities of individual rights that I think natural law contains--especially, as I see the Declaration of Independence promoting, with the unalienableness of such confirmed rights in any and every political context so confirmed as to its primacy (unless removed by due process)--and especially for the presumption of a 'better community' based on 'something else'.

Mind if I restate your sentence, for my own clarification?— “..condescending not to define natural law, then presume that we have passed the need for recognizing the ethical and moral premise of individual rights that natural law contains, especially the unalienableness of rights confirmed by the Declaration of Independence, in favor of the notion of ‘better community.’” Is that what you meant?

Apparently, Kerry, based on your misunderstanding of my guess as to DRC’s and Ulysses’ reasons for not discussing natural law, you go on to build a case against something that hasn’t been stated by any of us. It would appear that your insistence on the primacy of individual rights allows no place for what the Constitution refers to as “the general welfare.” Perhaps this is where your attitude qualifies as a libertarian one?

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Kerry:
That can include discerning the point that 'due process' can be (or maybe even should be) as much a 'natural law' initiatve as 'positive law' one.

I’m glad you brought up “due process.” As a matter of fact, I have begun to question “inalienable,” or “unalienable” rights, as you prefer to call them, and as you insist on them. I question such, because of the Fifth Amendment’s reference to “life, liberty and property” (Kerry’s unalienables?) as not to be denied, except where “due process of law” can and will deny them, when the government deems it necessary or just. Do you see the contradiction? So, those rights are “inalienable,” but with qualifications. Doesn’t “due process,” the right of the government to prosecute, contradict the whole notion of “inalienable” for certain rights? Either "life, liberty and property" are inalienable, or they are not. If a right is only granted under certain circumstances, but not in others, then don’t call it “unalienable.” As everyone knows, the government takes lives any time it pleases, sometimes via due process, sometimes not. The government will deprive you of your liberty, if the courts decide you deserve it. A city can take your property, as long as due process is implemented. Fetal life can be terminated, where it is in opposition to the life of the mother, according to all law—natural law, nature's law, and written law. Thus, I have begun to see just how impractical, unrealistic, and even mythological the notion of inalienable rights is. I would prefer the grand literature that is the Declaration of Independence to have given us other words, perhaps, “certain fundamental, human rights,” though the power of the words they did choose would have been lost then. Unalienable has such a nice ring to it.

But, here again, let’s not engage in fallacious either/or notions. Due process of law includes consideration of the rights of the individual. It is both individual rights AND “greatest good” considerations, AND written law considerations. And more—including jury nullification.

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

Just to add to my comment at #177, perhaps first among the truly "inalienable" civil rights would be the rights of "due process of law" and habeas corpus. All the other rights are meaningless without those, or so it seems to me. We're talking about the relationship between citizens and government.

As for all the other human rights, including the right of equality under the law, one looks at what is ideal, and what is real. Civic equality under the law is our ideal; in practice, we see another thing altogether.

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

Sorry, Guys, just one more:

Quote Declaration of Independence:

“...to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them...”

You see, even the writers of the Declaration of Independence confused your natural law with “the laws of nature,” or “nature’s law,” as you put it. But I do not.

Among our differences, Kerry, would be the superior status you apparently give to natural law over positive law, while you ignore nature’s lawdistinguished from natural law— as another element in the mix. I don’t tend to place any of those as absolutes, in a hierarchy of values; I see them as being horizontal in value, sometimes giving greater weight to natural law, sometimes to written law, sometimes to nature’s law, depending on the situation, or circumstance.

For example, while it’s fine and good for us to grant each other, as human beings, a right to life so that we might live in peace and safety, in a broader context, that of nature’s laws, human beings simply have no absolute right to life. In fact, to assume as much flies in the face of the balance of nature, which is nature’s law. We do not have the right to over-populate the planet, to eradicate whole species out of gluttony and greed to satisfy our “right to pursue happiness.” We have no right to happiness in nature; we do, however, have an obligation to live in balance with nature and accept her laws. Nature doesn’t care for a species that considers itself entitled, above all other species. In nature, such is a sin and worthy of punishment. There, you get the death penalty, toot sweet (yes, I know: it's tout de suite), or sooner or later, but not in a way you'd like it.

If you bring nature’s law into the conversation, the human-centric “natural law,” which grants rights to humans only, disregarding all others, begins to look rather shabby and unwise. It’s a myopic view, if you think about it.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote "Kerry":5) When does a human life with rights begin? Which am I to have more feelings for--the woman caught up in a pregnancy that she does not want or the fetus she wishes to abort never having a capacity to live?

Ah, you do understand the issue. Don't you see that the above question is the ONLY question?

You cannot answer this question in terms of 'feelings'. You have to answer this question in terms of rights--and when does a human life with rights begin? And, then, let those caught up in the situation decide that. Unless, of course, you believe that the 'right to life' begins at conception--and you are NOT going to get rid of that 'right to life' priority by claiming that 'it's only conditional' (and I think you are condescending the very issue of unalienable rights to even claim that)

That's right. It is not the feelings of the father or that of the fetus that matter. The rights of a woman should NEVER be less important than any being that resides within her. All feelings aside, anything less than that standard is tyrany.

I'm not "condescending" the issue -whatever that means- I'm boiling it down for you so you don't have to waste another paragraph sounding silly. There is only one question, because we can't divide the rights between the mother and child, saying the mother has rights until this or that point in time, when the fetal rights take over. To do that is to, at some point, make the grown woman's - the CREATOR'S- rights second to that of her creation. To value a potential good over the present good is stupid.

furthermore, THAT invites an authoritarian imposition to condition it upon the 'right to life at conception'--and impose it upon the pregnant woman, anyway--for the 'best of causes'......you cannot 'condition' the right here--you may be able to 'condition' the circumstances with another's 'right'--but, only if 'we' can come to an agreement on 'when does a human life with rights begin'....it's you not understanding that point that is irrational.

I could slam my face against a type writer and write something that makes more sense than you have made on most of this thread. At last you begin to write something comprehensible. Again, though, you choose to parse the rights of the living with your desire to be fair to a tad pole. Who gives a crap about the tad pole, Kerry? To make a human woman an unwilling prisoner of her own biology is a greater harm to society- by a thousand fold- than to deny a tad pole the ability to be born and grow into a person. The very idea that you suggest is so dismissive of the human right of physical self determination as to be an insult to everyone who has struggled to win rights for women and other former slaves.

As I said before, it's very easy for we men to sit around harumphing about where the rights of women end and tad poles begin but that's because we men aren't capable of hosting a tad pole of our own. Thus, we should just have faith in women to do the right thing with their bodies, for their lives, and they, in turn, can trust us not to spill our sacred sperm indescriminately. Then, we can devote our valueable on-line time debating such worthy issues as "should women be forcibly impregnated, if there's a good religious justification for it"?

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

Thus, we should just have faith in women to do the right thing with their bodies, for their lives, and they, in turn, can trust us not to spill our sacred sperm indescriminately.

I'm not sure the former correlates with the latter. Or maybe it does, as long as you leave in the word, "sacred." Obviously, women can't trust men not to spill their average, run-of-the-mill sperm not only indiscriminately, but wildly and with utter disregard for ceilings, walls, socks...

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:Apparently, Kerry, based on your misunderstanding of my guess as to DRC’s and Ulysses’ reasons for not discussing natural law, you go on to build a case against something that hasn’t been stated by any of us. It would appear that your insistence on the primacy of individual rights allows no place for what the Constitution refers to as “the general welfare.” Perhaps this is where your attitude qualifies as a libertarian one?

"Community" and "the general welfare" are almost interchangable within the context of this thread. It's easy to see the implications of that, but who knows what novel spin he'll choose to put on it?

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

[quote=Kerry]
That can include discerning the point that 'due process' can be (or maybe even should be) as much a 'natural law' initiatve as 'positive law' one.

I’m glad you brought up “due process.”

Receiving due process in the American legal system means having one's day in court. That's all it means. It does not mean that anybody is guaranteed justice, in the pure, objective, Aristotelian sense of the term. The scales carried by the blind figure of justice do not always balance when the gavel comes down for the final time. More's the pity, but that's the factual truth of it, and nobody on this board or anywhere else currently has the power to force a perfect reconciliation between justice and due process. That's never existed in the history of the republic. If people want to argue that such a reconciliation should exist, no argument here. But if they also want to argue that because it doesn't exist, we can never determine anything correctly or never accomplish anything equitably at all, at that point their argument becomes simply asinine.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
At last you begin to write something comprehensible. Again, though, you choose to parse the rights of the living with your desire to be fair to a tad pole. Who gives a crap about the tad pole, Kerry? To make a human woman an unwilling prisoner of her own biology is a greater harm to society- by a thousand fold- than to deny a tad pole the ability to be born and grow into a person.
As I said before, it's very easy for we men to sit around harumphing about where the rights of women end and tad poles begin but that's because we men aren't capable of hosting a tad pole of our own.

If the movie Alien were real, he'd probably want to debate whether the protagonists should be required to carry those things to term because they're alive, so, after all, wouldn't that mean they were being "imposed upon" or "condescended" if humans were to abort them? Hell, maybe those little sweethearts were just well-meaning leftist libertarians...

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
We do not have the right to over-populate the planet, to eradicate whole species out of gluttony and greed to satisfy our “right to pursue happiness.”

Ah, but one major tenet of libertarianism, as well as the rest of the Right, is that corporations and those who run them DO have that right, and what's it to you, anyway? Mind your own business, they say, and remove ALL regulations, just so they can do that, and when the last day dawns for humanity, they'll be happy, because, like the old bumper sticker says, "He Who Dies With All of the Toys Wins." That's how they look at it.

If you bring nature’s law into the conversation, the human-centric “natural law,” which grants rights to humans only, disregarding all others, begins to look rather shabby and unwise. It’s a myopic view, if you think about it.

Yes, and those who willfully ignore that, or their descendants, will end up with fates analogous to that of the lawyer in Jurassic Park.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

As a relevant aside, the Constitution only means what the Supreme Court says it means, in any era. That's another unpleasant fact of life, and it's the way it's always been. It's also why the electorate should turn out for Obama, despite the foul taste that leaves in lots of our mouths. If the GOP gets both the White House and the Senate, they'll nominate Supreme Court justices who are to the right of Genghis Khan. Then everybody will experience firsthand the joy of corporate fascist law.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Well, despite all the rhetoric and backslapping comaraderie on how much 'community interest' all the 'comprehensive' people have on this as they continue to dog my position because I do emphasis not only individual rights but the very concept of individual rights when it comes to issues of actions against another (especially official actions of a political nature--but, also, any action against the will of another--no comment I see on the word 'autonomy' from the communitarian/anti-libertarian section), and in an attempt to get to a spot where such concepts used in discussions get delineated, I do try to pose questions that I think can help in such understanding. I don't like them being ignored because I suspect that such an ignorance is a form of condescension to the matter--a sort of smug assessment in one's own position in such a way as to 'ignore' any of the contentions that can be brought against it. This has nothing to do with 'superiority' as Zenzoe wants to describe here and, if you knew me in my real life, you would understand that. I am a stringent 'equalizer' in my assessments--which I think is really the only ethical position to have if we are 'among equals' . But, I do speak my mind. Some authorities in corporations have trouble with what I say (and I like it that way--but, then, I don't see them as 'superiors')--and, probably the only reason why I still have a job in this respect (and that has been challenged more than once) is that I am actually a good clinician (despite any ignorant accusations here to the contrary). While I am constantly dogged by committees that do nothing but sit and judge, I have always been supported by the physicians who know me (and, until physicians finally do lose their positions in the health care industry as the 'final judgers', I suspect I will get to keep my job--but, once physicians do lose their positions in the corporatization of medical care, I suspect that I won't want my job). The issues involved in medicine are more than those that can be satisfied by such haughty posturing as some here love to give themselves in their own repose. It's always coming at you all the time.....and it takes an ego to contend with it. Arm chair quarterbacking is not an option. What I hate most is people that give themselves the right to judge others without, simultaneously, addressing an understanding of their position or predicament. That is, also, part of what I mean by 'granting individual rights to others as much as acquiring them for oneself'.

Now, with that said, back to my point--which is actually part of my point in 'equalizing'. Like DRC and Ulysses constantly do in ignoring what a 'community interested in individuality' has different from what a person intent on 'granting individual rights to others as much as acquiring them for oneself', I noticed that, you, Zenzoe, didn't comment on when, or if, there is a dividing line between when you would let a mother kill her (developing) child for any reason--spurious or compassioned--and when, or if, you would not let that mother (or anyone) kill that child at all--whether it is spurious or in conditions of abuse. In other words, do you see any difference from when a killing a member of our species is 'allowed' (much like the Asians killing their dogs for food)--and when it is absolutely forbidden (or do you think in such terms as absolutely forbidden?)? It's this paragraph that contains the questions I'm talking about:

Perhaps a problem that you may have is considering when the 'right to life' shouldn't be the priority. When do you say that should be? Should that be when it is more expedient (in a 'utilitarian ethics' sort of way) for everyone else that one doesn't have a life? That is the objection some people have to elective abortions--it's not reverent enough to life because some get rid of their pregnancies out of no other motive than 'I want a boy and this is a girl' or 'I don't want to look bad in my sexy jeans' or 'I want to get back at my husband or boyfriend and I'm not going to have his baby'. And, you know, I guess that is possible. But, that's the point. Would you let that same mother make a similar decision on a child that is already born's life? I wouldn't. Would you? The 'right to life' is the priority. But, the whole point in the ethical perspective of elective abortions is does the fetus have the 'right to life from conception'--and, when does a human life with rights begin....while many may see such perspectives as not reverent enough for the life of the fetus, to do anything about it means that they don't have enough respect (and, therefore, are condescending) for the will of the pregnant mother no matter what goes into her decision--plus, removing the right for that pregnant woman to consider such spurious reasons to abort could also remove others rights to abort for more compassioned causes such as ill health or extreme poverty or abuse--which you would be simutaneously condescending if you removed such rights due to 'spurious causes' (and, remember, in an 'innocent until proven guilty' perspective, the benefit of the doubt would go more to the one involved more so than the one accusing unless more 'evidence of guilt' were brought forth...in pregnancies case, that's not necessary because the fetus has no right to life from which the pregnant mother would be acting against--unless that perspective on the fetus's 'right' changes as I've said above). However, once again, even in situations of poverty and abuse, would you allow that mother (or anyone) kill that child if already born? I wouldn't. Would you? The 'right to life' is the priority--once it's confirmed as a life on its own....do you really disagree with that? If so, then, please, either you or Ulysses need to bring forth your 'rational and reasonable' argument on this (starting with claiming how you wouldn't care if your own life were removed against your will)...even some examples to exemplify how your 'comprehension' has usurped all my 'simplistic analyses' on such 'rights to life' would be in order....I'm up for that. But, I suspect that neither of you are despite how 'comprehensive' and 'community interested' you claim to be....

And, you're right, so much of this depends upon what each means when saying 'conditional' or 'absolute'. This issue I'm asking you to address is do you see any perspective of what is involved in abortion as 'absolute'? Or, is it all 'conditional' like how dogs can be family companions or dogs can be killed for food depending what 'community interests' dogs serve? I know how the 'community-minded' don't want to address such questions because it does appear to condone the perspective that there are some things in reality that are based on 'absolute considerations'--and the 'individual rights' they may pertain to. Despite Ulysses rather quaint assessment on 'due process', Supreme Court judgments in the past have been based on the unalienableness of certain rights to individuals against any and all 'community interests'--who to marry, when to use birth control, when to have a pregnancy go to term, who and how to have sex between consenting adults, etc. Are all those 'relative' and 'conditional' compared to 'community interests' and 'community standards'? Or, 'absolute'? And, the point that I have tried to make on how I see the absoluteness of 'individual rights' is that, once claimed for any one, the are to be absolutely claimed for every one in the same context and circumstances. Is that also something that the 'community interested' clan here wants to be 'conditional'--and, if so, to what? What is the difference between a 'community interested in individuality' and a person intent on 'granting individual rights to others as much as acquiring them for oneself'? All these questions I pose as an intent to winnow out the meaning and distinctions made in such conversations. Ignoring them, to me, is a form of condescension. Have I ignored your questions, Zenzoe? I think answering them as they come acknowledges mutual respect...if I've missed one to me, you can certainly point it out (I have no problem with that).

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

Receiving due process in the American legal system means having one's day in court. That's all it means. It does not mean that anybody is guaranteed justice, in the pure, objective, Aristotelian sense of the term. The scales carried by the blind figure of justice do not always balance when the gavel comes down for the final time. More's the pity, but that's the factual truth of it, and nobody on this board or anywhere else currently has the power to force a perfect reconciliation between justice and due process. That's never existed in the history of the republic. If people want to argue that such a reconciliation should exist, no argument here. But if they also want to argue that because it doesn't exist, we can never determine anything correctly or never accomplish anything equitably at all, at that point their argument becomes simply asinine.

...

As a relevant aside, the Constitution only means what the Supreme Court says it means, in any era. That's another unpleasant fact of life, and it's the way it's always been.

Exactly.

And this is where I get confused by this thread and Kerry's questions. When Kerry asks, "This issue I'm asking you to address is do you see any perspective of what is involved in abortion as 'absolute'? Or, is it all 'conditional...'" I have to wonder, is he asking for my personal opinion about morality and ethics in an ideal world, or what we should hope for as a compromise between all factions, or what written law is now or has been, or what natural law is now or has been, or what nature's law is or has been? There's a distinction to be made, as Ulysses has pointed out, between the ideal and the real. Do I try to make it, or do I think about what I'd like to see?

Kerry wants an absolute. I haven't been dissuaded that he wants "right to life" to be an absolute. I'm not comfortable with absolutes. That's my tendency, personally. However, a rapist entering my home inspires an absolute in me—his "right to life" becomes nothing to me, and I will kill him gladly if I get the chance. A rapist, by virtue of his criminal intent, has relinquished any right to his life. But I have an absolute right —from every perspective, moral, legal, individual or civic— to defend my own life and happiness from threats against it. Not everyone feels that way. Some people would rather be non-violent and never kill. That's not me.

If Kerry wants life to be an absolute, inalienable right for a fetus, so that once a fetus reaches viability its life deserves equal consideration beside that of the mother, then we have a conflict, as D_NATURED has rightly pointed out. So this is the reason I tend not to put fetal life in the absolute category. I tend to put a woman with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy in the same predicament as one whose home has been invaded by an intruder: She has a right to defend her life against such a threat to her life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; it matters not a jot to me that the fetus itself may be "innocent."

In fact, you may go ahead and define life as beginning from conception. I agree. When I was pregnant, I knew a life grew inside me from the moment I discovered my condition. But had that life represented the end of my life as I'd known it, and planned it, and intended it, and hoped it to be; and if it represented a look forward to degradation, shame, poverty, impossible hard times and an end of my hopes and dreams, then try to imagine how little I would care if the Supreme Corp had defined it as a life with absolute rights. If it invaded my "home," it would have to go. Gladly for me, I've had two pregnancies that I welcomed and two deeply wanted sons. But they were chosen.

So my position supports both individual rights and community interests (those laws which provide for the general welfare and a civil society). It does the community no good for women not to be able to control their reproductive destinies. It absolutely diminishes the community, when the bodies of women lack sovereignty. Must I count the ways?

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Kerry:Well, despite all the rhetoric and backslapping comaraderie

"c-a-m-a-r-a-d-e-r-i-e"

on how much 'community interest' all the 'comprehensive' people have on this as they continue to dog my position because I do emphasis

"emphasize?"

not only individual rights but the very concept of individual rights when it comes to issues of actions against another (especially official actions of a political nature--but, also, any action against the will of another--no comment I see on the word 'autonomy' from the communitarian/anti-libertarian section), and in an attempt to get to a spot where such concepts used in discussions get delineated, I do try to pose questions that I think can help in such understanding.

Well, golly, some of us have had enough blind luck to find definitions; study and comprehend positions and arguments on these matters; and philosophically delineate concepts and personal positions on these matters before coming here to be educated, thrilled, and enlightened by your stunning cosmogonal acumen. Tsk. Hard to believe, I know, but life's often surprising.

I don't like them being ignored because I suspect that such an ignorance is a form of condescension to the matter--a sort of smug assessment in one's own position in such a way as to 'ignore' any of the contentions that can be brought against it.

Reinvent the wheel on your own time.

What I hate most is people that give themselves the right to judge others without, simultaneously, addressing an understanding of their position or predicament.

That's what the Right and Libs do all the time, e.g., Gingrich saying all the people in OWS are freeloaders who need to take baths and get jobs. The Libs do it by advocating an end to all social programs without knowing the individual predicaments of all the people who benefit from those programs. Randian selfishness, Ayn and Paul. Positing that anybody else here jumps to judgment without understanding is nothing more than wishful projection, made, apparently, to bolster untoward raving.

DRC can speak for himself/herself, as the case may be (I don't know DRC's gender, and it doesn't matter). As for me, I already understand how community dovetails with individual rights; I don't need to break it down in order to discuss, support, or disagree with arguments made about them. I don't read and post here for the purpose of educating human foul balls. Let him take a class or three and develop the consensual understanding of terms which is required from the outset for any discussion to be meaningful. It's boorish and offputting to be constantly asked for definitions so the other person can keep up. It's like somebody with a doctorate in nuclear engineering being constantly asked to define and agree upon every established term being used in a current discussion just so he/she can discuss nuclear energy with some high school kid who hasn't done his homework.

He's also fishing, long-term, for any answers he can ultimately turn around and put to use as support for Lib arguments. He's even admitted that. So I ignore it, as I ignore my grandchildren when they're being disingenuously obtuse.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I had started to feel a little bit sorry for Kerry. I'd decided to assume he wanted to be understood and communicate, but he just didn't know the rules of written communication. And that assumption was behind my last comment there at #188; that is, I took one of his most significant, clear questions and sincerely tried to respond.

Since then, because I haven't been present on other posts with Kerry, I went looking for those and found a few of them. Guess what? I discovered that Kerry can, indeed, write coherent paragraphs.

So, maybe Ulysses is right—maybe Kerry has been "disingenuously obtuse" all along. Or maybe he's having a breakdown. One can't know these things for sure. However, I do know that if he was deliberately trying to confuse the issues and frustrate our discussion, to do so was an act of serious passive aggression, i.e., contempt.

I hope that isn't the case. I also do hope this discussion hasn't sent Kerry 'round the bend. There's always a third option—maybe he found religion, and he's off occupying his belly button. ;-)

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

Well, I see once again that you aren't addressing my questions, Zenzoe. Why is that the case? I've quit asking Ulysses--and I notice that DRC only comes in to make a few 'wise' remarks--but it appears that part of your 'rules' involves you being able to ask questions and I answer them but you get to ignore mine. Even though I think as part of my understanding (fuck your rules) that ignorance (of part of the issue being discussed as in questioning the character of our distinctions in position) is a form of condescension.

And, I'll even tell you the point of my questioning. I know how Ulysses and DRC don't like to talk in terms of 'individual rights'--and how the whole clan of condescenders here seem to give themselves the privilege of assuming to 'be beyond that'--but don't seem to have the responsibility of describing what 'beyond that' is. My question that Ulysses and DRC is constantly ignoring (a form of condescension) in how does a 'community interested in individuality' differ in any substantive way than a person intent on 'granting others individual rights as well as acquiring them for oneself' is meant to have either Ulysses or DRC now explain what elements they recognize in such 'community interests' that, with respect to individual rights, are 'beyond that'? Is that really against the rules? If so, fuck the rules....

Now, here you come, Zenzoe, claiming to want 'rights for animals' (and, somehow, are putting that in an abortion thread--but, as condescension goes right along with prejudice, 'I'm' the only one getting called out for 'putting passed issues in the present thread')--but, you haven't at any point really explained what that 'right' is to really mean in the context of how animals can be treated--even as differently as dogs being family companions in one community or eaten as food in another. So, for animals, as I've stated before (is ignoring what others say along with questions attempting to delineate the specifics out of our positions also part of 'the rules'?), at what point does the dog's 'right' get separated from 'community interests/standards'? And, if it doesn't, what does a 'right' mean with respect to your view on 'rights for animals'? Does ignoring that become part of yours and Ulysses' (and even DRC's) 'rules'?

In contrast, since you don't seem to want to separate out the human animal even when it concerns human politics, I was trying to contrast how you, if at all, see 'rights' with respect to the human animal in context with human politics and if you see that any different than a realistic manner of addressing 'animal rights'--especially, unlike anything that I can see being applied as 'animal rights' (take my example with the dogs and the Asian communities that eat them, again)--if you can see any human right differently Or, even if you don't believe in such rights (and, for that to be substantively logically consistent, that would mean that you, also, don't believe in such rights for yourself), can you see how such 'rights' can be not only seen as 'absolute' (in both extent to each person as well as equally to all persons in the same context) but, also, as against any and all interests of 'the community'. You did say at one point you did believe in 'inalienable rights' for the pregnant mother's liberty and pursuit of happiness to do with her body what she wanted, did you not? Is that against any and all 'community interests'--and is that the only 'inalienable right' you believe it--and do you see that at any point being 'absolutely applied as a right'? Does none of that follow your so-called 'rules of discussion'--or is it your condescending ignorance along with your comrades that is really what's the point here?

All unalieanable rights are absolute in the context that they can be addressed politically--and that means against any and all 'community interests' to the contrary. I know how you 'community interest' people that have perched yourselves as if you are in a 'new paradigm' don't believe that that represents any part of the real world--but, not only do I see it that way, there have been Supreme Court judgments that have also applied that point in decisions concerning what adults do in determining who to marry, when to have birth control, when to have a pregnancy give birth, and even with whom and in what way to have sexual relations between consenting adults. Even one of those is claiming that there is an unalienable right present that no 'community interest' can intervene or supercede--not the case with 'dog's rights' when one community can see the dog as a family companion and the other sees the dog as the next meal. Is that against the rules--or is ignoring this point just another part of the clan's condescension? 'Rules' without comprehension is, of course, to me, a sort of 'Original Sin' method of control--you know, you can't individuals to have an input on how such things are 'understood' when it's 'the rule' that is at issue, can you? Of course, condescenders like Ulysses can use 'statistical trends' as if 'official facts' in place of such comprehension in both science and law--and, then, look down on others who question that as not understanding how statistics work--maybe because they aren't in a position to take advantage of 'their rules'.....with 'community interest' and 'new paradigms' as the banner for the cause....but, no real understanding of what that is to mean--perhaps, since they cannot (or won't) explain the distinctions between 'communities interested in individualism' up against 'granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself', not even rationally, or logically, or in any way that they can relate it substantivelly, to their fellow man--or themselves....but, I'm reading into that conclusion, obviously, and I'll admit that that is 'against the rules'...but ignoring my questions on this is still condescending.....

And, now, back to my questions to you, Zenzoe. You don't seem to agree that the 'right to life' is the primary right (as absolute--including yourself, by the way) to possess--even as I have explained that it is very rational and reasonable to understand that without the 'right to life', you can possess no other right (and, I know, you haven't been able to square what 'rights to dogs' mean in that respect to how different 'community interests/standards' can treat dogs whether as a family companion or the next meal--which gets rid of 'right to life' for the dog as a 'right', doesn't it? But, I am referring to the human animal in the human community with human laws and human politics--unless you really are equating dogs, and their 'rights', in the way that 'rights' have, at least in the past, been applied to humans against any and all 'community interests/standards', etc.). My questions to you contrasting the mother's position with the fetus and what can be done against the fetus and, even using the same reasons for the action, the mother (or anyone in the community's) position with the newborn child was to see if you could see, or recognize, any absolute conditions changing. But, instead of acknowledging that point, perhaps even explaining how you don't see it that way, you ignore, as a confirmation of how this clan likes to condescend any and all possible positions that don't agree with their 'cause', addressing it (and, please, don't try to bring in the mother smothering the child crying to prevent the entire community from being detected by the terrorists--which actually does confirm the primacy and absoluteness of concerns of self if not selfish concerns--but I am talking about comparing apples to apples--the reasons possibly made to end the fetus' existence--can any of those reason's--'good' or 'bad'--be used to end an already born child's existence?). And, in such ignorance, am I to infer that you don't claim the absolute distinctions--and, if not, are you saying the differences are 'conditioned' to what? Or, is this just plain ignoring it for the sake of condescending me?

Was it you who claimed the brutality of female circumcision that some communities offer? Are you saying that such females have 'rights' to not be brutalized in that fashion regardless of 'community interests/standards'? Is that 'right' an absolute to you? I'm just trying to see how far you claim the how conditional (and 'not absolute') every human right is along with you apparently having to recognize how conditional any dog's rights really are with respect to 'community interests/standards'. And, even being 'concerned about the rights' of other communities points out the very issues of 'natural law' against 'positive law' that I have been using from that textbook defintion all along--ie. 'natural law'--being made by thinking individuals intent on discerning moral and ethical principles--is 'universal' and 'positive law' depends upon only what a law-making body deems it--and, then, of course, condescends everyone else for not 'following it' without comprehending it. You see how you and your comrades don't seem any different in form and barely seem any different in context from the con-jobs I'm spoken to on this board. The only difference is that the con-jobs didn't have as many cohorts in thomland as you do. If nothing is absolute, somebody's going to have to 'define the law'--and what are they going to use if it's not able to be understood by everyone that law pertains to? 'Community standards'? What if the con-jobs control how that 'factors into law'?

Later...

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

Thus, we should just have faith in women to do the right thing with their bodies, for their lives, and they, in turn, can trust us not to spill our sacred sperm indescriminately.

I'm not sure the former correlates with the latter. Or maybe it does, as long as you leave in the word, "sacred." Obviously, women can't trust men not to spill their average, run-of-the-mill sperm not only indiscriminately, but wildly and with utter disregard for ceilings, walls, socks...

ROFLMAO. Yes...socks...I forgot about those...

You demonstrate well, though it may not have been your intention, that human sexuality has many components that are not even understood by the persons who experiences them. With regard to socks, young men are sufficiently ashamed of their expressions of sexuality that they attempt to disguise the tokens of their desire as unusually stiff footwear.The walls and cieling are beyond my explanation, except to say that passion takes practice to harness.

I can't help but think there must be habits common among females that are equally bizarre, though perhaps less disgusting. It is obvious, though, by this thread that anything human that is sufficiently mysterious can and will be given greater importance than it deserves. Just like the kid who doesn't understand that his hyper sexuality is not some crime against his god, Kerry does not understand that there is nothing special about a zygote, even if their creation does seem magical. Thus, he would place as much value on the spark of life as he does on the flaming inferno of life that is a full grown woman. It's not that he is wrong that life begins at conception, it's that the beginning is not nearly as important as he thinks it is.

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

Thus, we should just have faith in women to do the right thing with their bodies, for their lives, and they, in turn, can trust us not to spill our sacred sperm indescriminately.

I'm not sure the former correlates with the latter. Or maybe it does, as long as you leave in the word, "sacred." Obviously, women can't trust men not to spill their average, run-of-the-mill sperm not only indiscriminately, but wildly and with utter disregard for ceilings, walls, socks...

ROFLMAO. Yes...socks...I forgot about those...

You demonstrate well, though it may not have been your intention, that human sexuality has many components that are not even understood by the persons who experiences them. With regard to socks, young men are sufficiently ashamed of their expressions of sexuality that they attempt to disguise the tokens of their desire as unusually stiff footwear.The walls and cieling are beyond my explanation, except to say that passion takes practice to harness.

I can't help but think there must be habits common among females that are equally bizarre, though perhaps less disgusting. It is obvious, though, by this thread that anything human that is sufficiently mysterious can and will be given greater importance than it deserves. Just like the kid who doesn't understand that his hyper sexuality is not some crime against his god, Kerry does not understand that there is nothing special about a zygote, even if their creation does seem magical. Thus, he would place as much value on the spark of life as he does on the flaming inferno of life that is a full grown woman. It's not that he is wrong that life begins at conception, it's that the beginning is not nearly as important as he thinks it is.

Beautiful, D_NATURED. Thanks for being a passionate advocate for the lives of women.

And I was wondering if anybody noticed my little joke... ;-)

As for Kerry, damn. I answer one of his main questions, and he comes on here to say I don't answer any of his questions! If he cannot look at what I said to answer that one question, why should I bother to answer any others? He not only can't write, he can't read, can't listen, can't take one thing at a time. Hell, I'm not even going to bother to read the rest of his latest, long-winded rambling.

Let me know, Kerry, when you've read and heard what I said at #188. Then please respond to specifics there, in plain language. It's called a conversation.

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

Well, I see once again that you aren't addressing my questions, Zenzoe. Why is that the case? I've quit asking Ulysses--and I notice that DRC only comes in to make a few 'wise' remarks--but it appears that part of your 'rules' involves you being able to ask questions and I answer them but you get to ignore mine. Even though I think as part of my understanding (fuck your rules) that ignorance (of part of the issue being discussed as in questioning the character of our distinctions in position) is a form of condescension.

And, I'll even tell you the point of my questioning. I know how Ulysses and DRC don't like to talk in terms of 'individual rights'--and how the whole clan of condescenders here seem to give themselves the privilege of assuming to 'be beyond that'--but don't seem to have the responsibility of describing what 'beyond that' is. My question that Ulysses and DRC is constantly ignoring (a form of condescension) in how does a 'community interested in individuality' differ in any substantive way than a person intent on 'granting others individual rights as well as acquiring them for oneself' is meant to have either Ulysses or DRC now explain what elements they recognize in such 'community interests' that, with respect to individual rights, are 'beyond that'? Is that really against the rules? If so, fuck the rules....

Now, here you come, Zenzoe, claiming to want 'rights for animals' (and, somehow, are putting that in an abortion thread--but, as condescension goes right along with prejudice, 'I'm' the only one getting called out for 'putting passed issues in the present thread')--but, you haven't at any point really explained what that 'right' is to really mean in the context of how animals can be treated--even as differently as dogs being family companions in one community or eaten as food in another. So, for animals, as I've stated before (is ignoring what others say along with questions attempting to delineate the specifics out of our positions also part of 'the rules'?), at what point does the dog's 'right' get separated from 'community interests/standards'? And, if it doesn't, what does a 'right' mean with respect to your view on 'rights for animals'? Does ignoring that become part of yours and Ulysses' (and even DRC's) 'rules'?

In contrast, since you don't seem to want to separate out the human animal even when it concerns human politics, I was trying to contrast how you, if at all, see 'rights' with respect to the human animal in context with human politics and if you see that any different than a realistic manner of addressing 'animal rights'--especially, unlike anything that I can see being applied as 'animal rights' (take my example with the dogs and the Asian communities that eat them, again)--if you can see any human right differently Or, even if you don't believe in such rights (and, for that to be substantively logically consistent, that would mean that you, also, don't believe in such rights for yourself), can you see how such 'rights' can be not only seen as 'absolute' (in both extent to each person as well as equally to all persons in the same context) but, also, as against any and all interests of 'the community'. You did say at one point you did believe in 'inalienable rights' for the pregnant mother's liberty and pursuit of happiness to do with her body what she wanted, did you not? Is that against any and all 'community interests'--and is that the only 'inalienable right' you believe it--and do you see that at any point being 'absolutely applied as a right'? Does none of that follow your so-called 'rules of discussion'--or is it your condescending ignorance along with your comrades that is really what's the point here?

All unalieanable rights are absolute in the context that they can be addressed politically--and that means against any and all 'community interests' to the contrary. I know how you 'community interest' people that have perched yourselves as if you are in a 'new paradigm' don't believe that that represents any part of the real world--but, not only do I see it that way, there have been Supreme Court judgments that have also applied that point in decisions concerning what adults do in determining who to marry, when to have birth control, when to have a pregnancy give birth, and even with whom and in what way to have sexual relations between consenting adults. Even one of those is claiming that there is an unalienable right present that no 'community interest' can intervene or supercede--not the case with 'dog's rights' when one community can see the dog as a family companion and the other sees the dog as the next meal. Is that against the rules--or is ignoring this point just another part of the clan's condescension? 'Rules' without comprehension is, of course, to me, a sort of 'Original Sin' method of control--you know, you can't individuals to have an input on how such things are 'understood' when it's 'the rule' that is at issue, can you? Of course, condescenders like Ulysses can use 'statistical trends' as if 'official facts' in place of such comprehension in both science and law--and, then, look down on others who question that as not understanding how statistics work--maybe because they aren't in a position to take advantage of 'their rules'.....with 'community interest' and 'new paradigms' as the banner for the cause....but, no real understanding of what that is to mean--perhaps, since they cannot (or won't) explain the distinctions between 'communities interested in individualism' up against 'granting individual rights to others as well as acquiring them for oneself', not even rationally, or logically, or in any way that they can relate it substantivelly, to their fellow man--or themselves....but, I'm reading into that conclusion, obviously, and I'll admit that that is 'against the rules'...but ignoring my questions on this is still condescending.....

And, now, back to my questions to you, Zenzoe. You don't seem to agree that the 'right to life' is the primary right (as absolute--including yourself, by the way) to possess--even as I have explained that it is very rational and reasonable to understand that without the 'right to life', you can possess no other right (and, I know, you haven't been able to square what 'rights to dogs' mean in that respect to how different 'community interests/standards' can treat dogs whether as a family companion or the next meal--which gets rid of 'right to life' for the dog as a 'right', doesn't it? But, I am referring to the human animal in the human community with human laws and human politics--unless you really are equating dogs, and their 'rights', in the way that 'rights' have, at least in the past, been applied to humans against any and all 'community interests/standards', etc.). My questions to you contrasting the mother's position with the fetus and what can be done against the fetus and, even using the same reasons for the action, the mother (or anyone in the community's) position with the newborn child was to see if you could see, or recognize, any absolute conditions changing. But, instead of acknowledging that point, perhaps even explaining how you don't see it that way, you ignore, as a confirmation of how this clan likes to condescend any and all possible positions that don't agree with their 'cause', addressing it (and, please, don't try to bring in the mother smothering the child crying to prevent the entire community from being detected by the terrorists--which actually does confirm the primacy and absoluteness of concerns of self if not selfish concerns--but I am talking about comparing apples to apples--the reasons possibly made to end the fetus' existence--can any of those reason's--'good' or 'bad'--be used to end an already born child's existence?). And, in such ignorance, am I to infer that you don't claim the absolute distinctions--and, if not, are you saying the differences are 'conditioned' to what? Or, is this just plain ignoring it for the sake of condescending me?

Was it you who claimed the brutality of female circumcision that some communities offer? Are you saying that such females have 'rights' to not be brutalized in that fashion regardless of 'community interests/standards'? Is that 'right' an absolute to you? I'm just trying to see how far you claim the how conditional (and 'not absolute') every human right is along with you apparently having to recognize how conditional any dog's rights really are with respect to 'community interests/standards'. And, even being 'concerned about the rights' of other communities points out the very issues of 'natural law' against 'positive law' that I have been using from that textbook defintion all along--ie. 'natural law'--being made by thinking individuals intent on discerning moral and ethical principles--is 'universal' and 'positive law' depends upon only what a law-making body deems it--and, then, of course, condescends everyone else for not 'following it' without comprehending it. You see how you and your comrades don't seem any different in form and barely seem any different in context from the con-jobs I'm spoken to on this board. The only difference is that the con-jobs didn't have as many cohorts in thomland as you do. If nothing is absolute, somebody's going to have to 'define the law'--and what are they going to use if it's not able to be understood by everyone that law pertains to? 'Community standards'? What if the con-jobs control how that 'factors into law'?

Later...

Hmm, lemme see now, how many micrograins of flyshit are in one grain of pepper? Is that an average, or shall we weigh and examine every grain of pepper individually to determine the answer? And once we get the answer uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, oh, I know: we'll determine how many micrograins of pepper are in one grain of flyshit, and once we get that answer uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh...

And dontcha just love that particular strain of two-legged nematode who wants to say, "Fuck your rules" while simultaneously expecting, indeed often demanding, to remain in the game? Clear the decks, pants mice, the brass ball factory's at full capacity!

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

Later...

Don't hurry on my account!

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

[quote=D_NATURED]

Thus, we should just have faith in women to do the right thing with their bodies, for their lives, and they, in turn, can trust us not to spill our sacred sperm indescriminately.

I'm not sure the former correlates with the latter. Or maybe it does, as long as you leave in the word, "sacred." Obviously, women can't trust men not to spill their average, run-of-the-mill sperm not only indiscriminately, but wildly and with utter disregard for ceilings, walls, socks...

And I was wondering if anybody noticed my little joke... ;-)

Oh, yes, but I "condescended" to ignore it because I wasn't sure how far you folks want to take this. It raises serious questions, not the least of which is whether it's sacred only if pipe is well-laid and the ol' pork sword is fully sheathed, or, can sacredness be reasonably imputed even in cases wherein wall and ceiling damage occurs while beatin' the bishop? As regards stiff socks, the only ones who wear those are the staff of Onan's Carpet Cleaners, but don't trust them. They're the same goofballs who spend their vacations waterskiing with the Ty-D-Bol man.

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

D_NATURED, abortions are legal beyond the zygote stage--which doesn't last long compared to the length of the pregnancy. The real question being ignored here for the benefit of 'conditional interests in community' is do you believe in anything like an absolute right (against any and all community interests/standards), does the right to life fit into that (as well as the right to abort), and, if so, when?

Same goes for Zenzoe, DRC, Ulysses, or anyone else that wants to chime in on this issue of abortion. The real question being ignored here for the benefit of 'conditional interests in community' is do you believe in anything like an absolute right to any and every one as a person (against any and all community interests/standards), does the right to life fit into that (as well as the right to abort), and, if so, when? If not, and you do believe in any right, how is that right expressed without life--and what are its conditions once you claim it, in any way, as a right? Or, like dogs, are all rights conditional to something outside of the dog like community interests or standards--as some dogs are family companions and others are eaten depending upon the community interests involved? I actually haven't seen this point delineated out with those, like Zenzoe, who like to claim the absence of absoluteness in rights to humans (like dogs) being addressed at all by those content with 'conditional interests in community' being the 'progressive standard'....again, like dogs, does that mean no absolute rights to any person as human? As I see it, if there is no absoluteness (to the person) implied in a recognized unalienable right, I see it as neither unalienable nor a right...(dogs included since they have no 'right' apart from the decision being made for them 'by community' to either be a famliy companion or the next meal)....

Zenzoe likes to claim that nothing is absolute about rights--and the only unalienable right that Zenzoe has claimed is the pregnant woman to abort. Well, then, is that an absolute right against any and all community standards/interests against it? And, is that the only one? Or, is that even conditioned by something--and what is that? D_NATURED seems to claim abortions are only about zygotes--should pregnancies be conditioned passed the zygote stage to the 'life of the fetus'? And, if that is the case, are you placing an absolute quality on that life (even against the pregnant mother) when you do? Why can't any of you think through this to get me to understand the extent of your position of 'no right being absolute' (especially the 'right to life' once it exists)?

The whole problem with rules regardless of individual comprehension is that it tends to alienate--not unite--communities....with the alienaters being in position to take advantage of such rules against the ones that they are oppressing and marginalizing with such rules. Fuck the rules--especially if they don't have the capacity to be understood in any individual's comprehension--that goes with science, law, medicine, or moral or ethical principles (and holding onto the position that it doesn't take individual comprehension to have 'rules' is another aspect of the political influence of Original Sin in not trusting individuals--nor the thinking individual's abliity to determine moral and ethical principles). The very distinction between natural law and positive law (as that textbook defintion points out) is that natural law assumes that individuals can determine moral and ethical principles through their intelligence (and sets up structures in government to incorporate that assumption--as jury review and jury nullification point out to me)--positive law usurps that through the authoritarian decree of 'rules' despite any moral or ethical principles to be understood (by each thinking individual as substantively logical) as to its proper premise relating to human conduct. The American legal code--up until the quite recent times (correlating to the completion in the overthrow of all governmental structures based on such individual concerns by corporate interests)--used to hold the idea of unalienable rights (to individuals) as being the priority in law--only to be taken away by due process. That is their 'absoluteness' in law--not only against any law being passed to infringe upon it--but also to claim its extent as equally and completely to anyone where that context of right holds true. The lack of the clan of condescenders here in recognizing that point debases any integrity that I see such a 'progressive' movement to contain--but, maybe, I'm not part ('in the know', as it were) of the 'new paradigm' of 'conditional rights prioritized by community interests/standards' (which practically has to be done by those who put themselves in positions to claim 'it's for the community'--or even can be done by 'majority rule' in a democracy overturning 'minority rights' because, like the individual comprehension of moral and ethical principles, 'it doesn't get down to personal rights as absolute, anyway'--some may even see an initiative like Mississippi's 'right to life at conception' amendment doing just if it ever passes by 'majority rule'--against the right of the pregnant mother but for the more basic right to life of the fetus as a community interest--again, when does a human life with rights begin....). And, that 'community interest override of all personal rights since none are absolute, anyway' is actually true (implicitly and explicitly) only if this 'clan' does not see themselves (each one of them) as having any rights beyond 'community interests/standards'--I see that as a part of substantive logic in 'placing yourself in the picture' to reason it out.

The abortion issue is very pertinent to this point because it does implicitly use the premise that Roe. vs. Wade made--the fetus does not have the absolute right to life. But, progressives such as Zenzoe and D_NATURED seem to assume that means that no person has the absolute right to life--putting all human life on a par as being conditional to 'others interests' (in community?) as a dog's life being seen as either the family companion or the next meal--and, somehow, relating 'rights' to that (condtional to something else other than the dog, itself--but, in the context of abortion rights, Zenzoe should know not to make that 'feelings' because that's going to backfire if the 'community'--actually whoever in the name of 'community'--decides to have 'more feelings' for the fetus than the pregnant mother...). And Ulysses makes no comment in kind other than to attack my character.

And, while Zenzoe is a whiz with defintions and words, I noticed that you, Zenzoe, along with the rest of your clan. haven't commented at all on the word 'autonomy'--not even to correct my understanding of the term. Do you think any autonomy of a person should be absolute with respect to being free from community interests/standards--and absolute with respect to if it any such form of freedom is offered to one, it is to be offered to all in the same context? And, I think it takes no rule to understand that, without life, autonomy has no point (as all other rights would have no point). Is autonomy a nasty word to the communitarian progressives here? Perhaps to be shunned like the conservatives do 'socialism'? Have you 'gone past autonomy'? What is it that you hold 'beyond that'? What is the difference between DRC's 'community interested in individuality' and a person 'granting rights to others as much as acquiring rights for oneself'? You can understand how ignoriance is a form of condescension, can't you? Many of the gnostic Christians went so far as to say that ignorance was the ultimate sin....and, in its communal and personal sense, I think the concept of ignorance is closely correlated to hypocrisy....I do think that Jefferson had a point when he claimed the American experiment in government was based on 'rational Christianity'....

Is there any difference in content and context between the ethical concept of 'autonomy' and the political concept of 'unalienable rights'? What principle of community should supercede and/or intervene in that? Relate it to anything you like if you would--or could.....you can start with abortion rights......and it is so much more than zygotes, D_NATURED--unless you, personally, are stopping the right to abort at the zygote stage...is that what you're doing? If so, again, when do you think it's murder to kill a human? At birth--or before that? Or, since no right to life is absolute, maybe not even at birth, eh? Everything's conditional and nothing is absolute according to Zenzoe....and Ulysses doesn't say shit one way or the other other than to claim how smart Ulysses is and how stupid I am.....I really wish Ulysses would make some intelligent comments to back that up.....

Kerry's picture
Kerry
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Ulysses:
Quote Zenzoe: And I was wondering if anybody noticed my little joke... ;-)

Oh, yes, but I "condescended" to ignore it because I wasn't sure how far you folks want to take this. It raises serious questions, not the least of which is whether it's sacred only if pipe is well-laid and the ol' pork sword is fully sheathed, or, can sacredness be reasonably imputed even in cases wherein wall and ceiling damage occurs while beatin' the bishop? As regards stiff socks, the only ones who wear those are the staff of Onan's Carpet Cleaners, but don't trust them. They're the same goofballs who spend their vacations waterskiing with the Ty-D-Bol man.

Are you saying "Sacred" can be imputed to any Original Sinning sperm? How dare you avoid the 'natural law' fact that what I said is to the very special! I can only infer you condition yourself on it as not all sperm are created equal —especially not all "Male Sperm," as written in the Constitution— nor do you condition yourself to say they have an absolute, inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I suppose you think run-of-the-mill sperm are low-class sperm; however, while they may not qualify for the designation "sacred," we should never condescend to ignore their contributions. I know how you 'community interest' people that have perched yourselves as if you are in a 'new paradigm' don't believe that sperm represents any part of the real world--but, not only do I see it that way, there have been Supreme Court judgments that have also applied that point in decisions concerning what adults do in determining when to beat the bishop, when to be fully sheathed, when to squirt to give birth, and even with whom and in what way to waste precious bodily fluids..

Later...

All joking aside, Happy Thanksgiving. Mine will be turkey and pig-less, because in my book, I have an absolute, inalienable, absolute, autonomous right NOT to Feed the Real Pigs of this world.

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

Yeah, the original meaning of Thanksgiving had to do with cross-cultural survival regardless of the interest of any particular community as, perhaps, a crude and primitive rendition of natural law in a hostile environment being a sort of 'all for one and one for all' despite which 'community' we originated from--which could serve as a model behind a true moral and ethical form of globalism today but for those who promote a particular 'community interest' appear not to be able to stand for it--probably mostly due to their own particular personal investments in such 'community interests' as a claim to a 'new understanding of the human potential'--which I see more like an old understanding of Original Sin politics....against the individual and the interests of unalienable rights to the individual....but, then, the original Thanksgiving meeting had those who helped the other community survive get ousted by the 'community interests' of their descendants against any and all considerations of 'rights of person' (especially of the 'other community'). Maybe Abraham Lincoln saw how that represented the plight of all who were oppressed (due to any opposing 'community interest'--at the time, a 'state's rights issue' against any 'individual rights' claim by slaves--something similarly is creeping back in the political horizon as a 'new priority for community interests'--again, as I see it, against the unalienable individual rights interest--as a real individual rights interest) and such of the oppressed (even though they helped their oppressers) were not seen as their own 'person' (with 'unalienable rights') against such 'community interests'--perhaps that is why Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday in the middle of the Civil War....realizing the similarities of 'state's rights interests' as the oppressers against the 'individual rights interests' of oppressed as slaves--just as those that became oppressed had originally aided their oppressers in the original Thanksgiving between the Native Americans and the Pilgram settlers so many centuries earlier....

If it's not a mutual investment in the autonomy of each other as the primary 'community interest', I want to have no part of it....it's the only type of 'community' that I want to be a part of....and, while it appears I cannot get that across to the persons on this board who play with the political idea of Original Sin as if its tenets against the moral and ethical nature of individualism in its most intricate political context are not patently oppressive, prejudicial, and condescending, I know what I'm talking about....and I believe I've tried to show that in every post I make concerning 'political rights' in context against any and all 'community interests/standards', otherwise.....as the so-called liberals (or is it 'progressives' as the 'new paradigm' supporters here) on this board cannot even make an intelligent comment about 'autonomy'--which is a very basic concept in all matters of an ethical nature concerning humans--and human politics....what is an appropriate authoritative intervention against another person's will? DRC says it doesn't matter--people 'don't think that way, anyway'--I say it does--and people do think that way (at least thinking individuals do)....as naturally as natural law....

The real practice of medicine has to deal with 'the autonomy of the patient' up against the 'authoritative intervention of medicine' every day (and lawyers have been allowed to, as my mother used to say, 'play two halves against the middle' over this for quite some time--I'll explain that using real world examples if you cannot follow what I'm saying but I'll leave that for another post--actually, much of today's politics plays 'two halves against the middle'--it's the essence of the corporate-government collusion as being applied today as far as I see it--projecting both the interest of individuality and the interest of community upon each respective managing and coordinating party as if that were all there was to either motive)....but, then, I guess that you wouldn't have to know that if you didn't have to deal with it in a personal, intricate manner.....and, then, maybe--just maybe--you could see the difference between 'rights for dogs' and 'rights for humans' when it comes to the legal and social ramifications of every decision you make....

Happy Thanksgiving....

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

Two halves against the middle. Recently, an ER nurse told me a story related to him of two malpractice incidences where drunks presented to the ER in a New York hospital--but refused to stay. In one case, as the drunk was crossing the street out of the ER, he got ran over and killed--and the family sued. The ER medical director wanted to challenge the lawsuit but the hospital (and probably ER corporation) settled out of court, anyway--probably to avoid prolonging the incident in the press (and it may also have been a cheaper option than taking it to court). As the lawsuit stipulated, the ER physician and hospital had a responsibility to take care of a person that couldn't take care of themselves and were in no state to make informed decisions anyway--'the authoritative intervention of medicine'. However, as the nurse continued his story, shortly after that in the same hospital, another drunk showed up and decided it was taking too long to be seen for whatever problem he thought was an emergency and began to leave. The ER director, remembering the previous incident, wouldn't let him. They tied him and drugged him in order to subdue him. The man sued. The ER physician and hospital was removing his autonomy and right to choose the course of his own treatment against his will--a form of assault. Again, the hospital (and probably ER company) paid. The ER director was furious--and asked how can there be a workable solution to such a problem--it was a 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' scenario that had no workable solution. He apparently quite adamantly voiced his objections to all the powers that be. He was made to go to anger management classes......

While I can't completely verify the story this ER nurse told, I can tell you that such impossibilities in the way medicine is judged in America with such matters is a common problem. Is it autonomy as responsibility to the person--or authoritative intervention in medicine as responsibility to the profression? Which is more absolute? One or the other has to hold precedence for it to be able to make any rational sense to those in the throes of its options. Otherwise, posturing either incentive becomes a ploy used by the accusers that don't have to resolve it other than altering whichever incentive best suits the accusation (somewhat like some posters here like to do).....two halves against the middle.....a liar and hypocrite's game when really does require a rational solution to make any sense in its application....what is autonomy--and, especially with respect to the intervention of medicine, how far should it apply?

Of, course, in abortion's case, it's whose autonomy? The pregnant mother's--or the fetus's? And, what should be the responsibility of the authoritative intervention in medicine in such cases? At one point, it was none--but the mother could still self-abort without any legal consequences. Now, it's whatever the mother wants (but not all medical personel have to abide by her wishes--that, also, is left up to the autonomy of that medical personel) at least up to 12 weeks gestation in any state--with the 'community interest' of the state able to intervene on the fetus's behalf after that--with a recent federal law banning partial birth abortions now saying that the fetus has an absolute right to life before birth. How far before birth? Whose autonomy--and is autonomy to be 'conditioned'--and, if so, how? The reason that the i's need to be dotted and the t's need to be crossed is because, if it's not done at the time of the application of medical care, it will be done at the time that such an application is judged by the accusers. And, I, personally, think that 'two halves against the middle' as the rights of the accusers needs to stop. It's ruining medicine in America. Which is it? Autonomy even, as in abortion's case, with deaths involved (of those who have not had the absolute right to life claimed for them, yet) ? Or, like the medical police, 'safety through authoritarian medical interventions even against the person's will' (even if the person's will, however altered by their own doing, and against their own right to life by their own doing, leads to their own death)? Or, not answer it and let the accusers continue to play 'two halves against the middle'.....like the liar and hypocrite's game being done with the corporate/government collusion in politics as if each entity represented 'individuality' and 'community', respectively.....

With that, I'll be gone for a bit. Carry on....

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

Well, since I have a little time before I'm gone, I'll relate another story to you that I, personally, know that goes right to the point of this issue of 'absoluteness' and 'autonomy' up against 'the organizing authority'. Among others so similarly inclined, there is a person that frequents our ER after self-mutilating efforts--overdoses, cutting himself, hitting himself (and blaming others), etc. One night, in a particularly severe self-mutilation, this person cut his leg quite severely--through muscle, tendon, blood vessels and all. Pressed for time (corporations in 'their standards' say that the ER has to get these patients in and out within 2 hours to 'satisfy the customer'), this incident particularly aggitated me. This person, seeing my aggitation, proclaimed, 'You have to treat me or I'll sue you.' I remarked to him, 'You know, I have a lot of feelings for someone who accidentally gets themself injured but I'm having a hard time "feeling" for you as someone who does this too themself.' 'You can't say that to me,' he proclaimed. 'I know my rights.' While I was trying to fix his severe cut (tieing off bleeding vessels, cleaning up the would, getting myself ready for a rather prolonged suturing procedure), he added, 'And if you don't do a good job, I'll sue you.' That did it. I stopped right then and told him, 'I don't have to take this'--and started dressing the wound for a more definitive procedure to be done, later, adding, 'If that is what you want, you have succeeded. I'll let the surgeon finish this in the morning.'

He seemed to protest my 'autonomy'--but, I didn't care. I called the surgeon on call up and told him the story. As rural areas go, this surgeon knew this patient. 'Yeah,' the surgeon added, 'He is that kind of person. Put him in and I'll take him to the operating room in the morning.' And, that's what we did. After you look up the word 'autonomy', Zenzoe, look up the condition called 'Munchausen's'--the tendency to victimize yourself in order to 'control authority'. What's the solution? This is a much more difficult issue than the accusers seem to understand.....while I knew this person had supposedly bad experiences in his domestic life (his father had apparently sexually abused him as a child--at least, that is what he said--but, his father was still free--no factual evidence and all), was this person's behavior 'solving it'? How is the role of 'autonomy' up against 'authoritative interventions' to be considered in a society that mouths a priority in 'freedom'? Liars and hypocrites that have nothing directly to do with it say one thing--those that have to directly handle the issues may say another....

Later....

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

How our republic could die in the age of Trump - in a stunning parallel to the fall of Rome

Thom plus logo The American republic could die, just like Rome. Wavering for some time on the verge of becoming a complete oligarchy, America is on the verge of flipping from a democratic republic to a strongman or autocratic form of government, something that's happened to dozens of democracies in the past few decades, but never before here.
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