- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Errors not contradictions

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on December 22, 1999 at 11:39:08:

In Reply to: the structure of science is replete with contradictory laws posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on December 21, 1999 at 23:05:07:

: No, the rights only contradict each other 1) when you interpret them in a certain way,

A right to shelter means shelter *must* be supplied - or the right is null. Who is to supply it if not others. A right to be free of slavery is to be free of work made compulsory by the force of others. If the above right is to be enforced, and insufficient people volunteer the effort then the effort must be taken from them by force.

Whats exterme about following something to its logical conclusion?

: Anyway, the only thing that seems to be 'contradicted' by the 'social obligations' that you're talking about is YOUR personal view of freedom.

Lets forget views of freedom and look at the above again. An obligation exists to provide others, insufficient people volunteer the necessary effort. How do you resolve it without force? Tax? Tax is force, try not paying it.

: Modern science may be comprehensible to the mind of God, but human minds are certainly not capable of understanding its laws without eventually running into contradictions.

This points, quite accurately as you know, to human failings and not evidence of actual contradiction In fact. Where two 'laws' apparently contradict then one, or possible both, is in error. An object either must pass every plane or it need not. It cannot be both.

: You're the one insisting that rights, to be valkid, have to be extensible to their extreme.

Would have to be seen consistently through to what you call 'extreme'. Otherwise they are guidelines - like Newtonian physics is great for calculating moving bodies to a point - but not at light speed. Thats why physicists look for a unified theory - because they look for consistencty and universal applicability of a law.

Does teh obligation to take care of your child limit your freedeom? I really would like to know your repsonse to taht.

Obligation to ones own children (or wards) is chosen. You choose to have children. Having sex makes babies, one could argue effectively that having sex includes as part of it the 'risk' of having children. At no point do you *not* choose. Your argument makes for interesting conundrums in cases of rape, or teenage pregnancy where the persons are genuinely ignorant of cause and effect though.

Taking care of the poor is likewise a chosen obligation. One interesting point - even as you choose to be obliged you can abdicate that responsibility - hence abandoned children. what is to be done then? I'd like to see David, Dr Cruel etc mull over that one too.

: A world where your linbertarian idea of freedom ruled the roost is frankly not one that seems very attractive.

Why not? People readily choose to have obligations all the time. People aren't nasty unless coerced to behave 'nicely' now are they?

: When you have the freedom, what do you do with it? Freedom is a two-edged sword;

Certainly is - thats why so many people would gladly exchange it for a little comfort and safety. As long as they dont exchange their neighbours freedom while they are at it I dont mind.

: Freedom is the ability to lead a fulfilling life as per teh dictates of your conscience and innermost desires, and the ability to define for oneself the specific goals and paths chosen to achieve a fulfilling life worthy of a human being.

A wonderful way to put it NJ, I admire your words genuinely. Read that again though - and have it as each individual on Earth following it, with their myriad desires and goals, and you and I do not stand so far apart do we?

:Anyone who is not leading such a life is not free, and therefore he is being victimized by some forces outside himself.

Indeed - he who cannot follow his desires, nor set for himself any goals is restrained. The question really is - is he restrained by other people in a deliberate manner (most obviously as a slave, but also in a command economy etc) - or is he restrained by the facts of reality - his poor constitution, his colorblindess, his height, his geographic location, his poor family, his childhood upbringing.

These latter things are those which can be improved for poeple and I think thats what you are after - but think of what it takes to improve them and ask if people want to go about doing that, making that equality of opportunity let alone equality of outcome.

: I'm not necessarily advocating the good of all, I'm arguing that no one should be victimized, even if the majority woudl benefita s a result. If the strong exercising their talents victimizes the week, then even if society as a whole benefits, such an exercise is unjust.

I cant see how it could victimize anyone unless the 'talent' was mugging or somesuch.

: No, because this would result in the lowering of the quality of life for the weak below the standard we see as acceptable. It is better that some have 10 dollars and others 12 than that some have 20 and others 9.

First - is it really better? The sum of wealth in the latter is $29, 7 more than the former, think of the extra facilities the extra wealth can create. Are those the only choices? Why not $20 and $14?

: But as I said, I don't see how the right to own personal property necessarily translateds into teh right to own large-scale productive property.

Because if you can own exclusively, and protect from others, one piece of property then for that right to be meaningful it must be universal - as we discussed above. If one item is not 'allowed' then any item in time can be 'not allowed' for the right has been abandoned.

: Well, I disagree. You said yourself that the right to health care implies a government program to supply it. Similarly, I argeu taht teh purpoose of a right to free speech is to make various schoolds of thought available and to allow people to choose teh one tehy like.

I dont see that in the wording - the right to free speech not being a tangible good in the sense that shelter or medical aid is. The right is a negative one. you may exercise it i you wish, but no one is obliged to listen or provide airtime. Simply that people may not silence you by force.

: Yes! I think I'm free now; freer than I probably ought to be.

I've never heard a man so damn himself!

: But that doesn';t mean I'm your slave, far from it

This tells me you volunteer the effort. What if the recipient was right wing geurillas - welfare for them because they are poor. In other words - would you volunteer effort for something you didnt like?

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