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Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Ardy
It seems to me that selfishness/self-interests is a biologically inbuilt part of human nature. Fundamentally, we all want more; we all feel that our lives would be better "if only" we could have more of something or other.

I disagree very strongly with that statement.

I was making a glib generalization based upon what I see of the behavior of our pets... and (foolishly) extended such observations to humans making the assumption that humans were similar sorts of animals. I also foolishly watched television nature programs where it always seems that animals are always trying to steal from on another. I read book by an author studying some great apes in Africa... and foolishly thought his description of the behaviour of our near animal relatives might have some relevance to our own behaviour patterns.

After reading your posting, I understand that we are not what so ever like other animals.

Quote
It is intellectual slovenliness to assume that what is true of us, or the people around us, is true of all people and all situations.

I also apologize for making a general statement that could be interpreted to mean that the factor I mentioned is always and only the exclusive determinant of human behavior. I had frankly not considered the possiblity that anyone might consider my comments to be so universal in application.


Last edited by Ardy; 05/16/09 09:16 PM.

"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. --Bertrand Russel
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Originally Posted by olyve
Originally Posted by numan
Modern Westerners, and especially brainwashed American consumers, often fall for the line that is constantly being pushed at them, that their lives will only be complete if they have more of this, that, and the other thing.
I agree with that.
I also believe that with wealth comes the responsibility to give back to the society that enabled said wealth.

Olyve...
As far as I am aware, greed is not restricted to the human animal. I also believe that greed has existed among humans for a time period that extends far into the distant past and across many cultures. And, for those reasons, I personally do not conclude that the origin of greed in humans is entirely attibutable to social brainwashing.


"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. --Bertrand Russel
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I agree greed is universal and not at all new and not "entirely attributable to brain washing" but I do believe that America has taken it to a new level in recent years though.

My friend in England's husband owns a car repair shop in a resort region of northern England. He has seen one Hummer in the 6 years since I have known her.

I think we have an incredible sense of entitlement in this country that really blows my mind and I certainly do think advertisement and 24 hour news stations have contributed to that.
That whole "American Way" thing.
President Bush urged us to "stimulate the economy" by going out and shopping.



"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
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But...
The way I took your original posting about self interest and wanting more being inherent as it applies to Libertarianism, is that we all feel if one segment is getting something we're not (welfare moms for example) that is somehow threatening what we have?
When we pay a higher tax rate than someone, the government is stealing from us to give to someone else?
Someone is drawing disability and therefore doesn't have to go to work because of mental illness, that person is siphoning off from me?

Are those reasonable examples of what you mean, Ardy?

I see these actions as leveling the playing field for those to whom the system wasn't as kind to as I.







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Originally Posted by olyve
But...
The way I took your original posting about self interest and wanting more being inherent as it applies to Libertarianism, is that we all feel if one segment is getting something we're not (welfare moms for example) that is somehow threatening what we have?
I would say this...
I personally have never met a person who would claim they have never felt the emotion of resentment. Different people feel this emotion in different circumstances. Some people are more inclined to feel the emotion when the hear of some government welfare program for the "undeserving" poor.... others are more inclined to feel resentment when executives at AIG get bonuses.


Quote
When we pay a higher tax rate than someone, the government is stealing from us to give to someone else?
Someone is drawing disability and therefore doesn't have to go to work because of mental illness, that person is siphoning off from me?

Are those reasonable examples of what you mean, Ardy?
Yes, those are reasonable examples... although I think the resentment probably elaborates the fantasy so that each of those individuals has no "real problem: other than not wanting to work.
Quote
I see these actions as leveling the playing field for those to whom the system wasn't as kind to as I.

Although I mostly agree with your final conclusion, I may disagree with your logic to get there. I think many of the people who need help have contributed to their own situation. Or, possibly they have been raised in a social circumstance where they have learned poor habits... or not learned good habits.

I do not think that helping a person should be contingent upon a prior judgement that the "system" was not fair to this person. IMO a person who has made mistakes contributing to their own desperate situation is never the less worthy of being helped. ... even if the playing field was level for them and they just blew it.

I think that if there is a God who could look into our hearts... he/she would see that we have all sinned and fallen short. He would see that perhaps some of us were lucky that we did not kill anyone when we drove drunk... or what ever it was that we have done that we are not real proud of today.


"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. --Bertrand Russel
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Ardy,
I do understand and have been around many people who feel that the "undeserving poor" are responsible for the ills of this country.
That bites my shorts big time.

That's not directed at you.
That philosophy in this country though just makes me want to cry.

Poor people who manage through great odds to figure out how to break the system cheat the government/us of hundreds of dollars...gosh maybe even thousands, are not the problem.

Those that contribute to their own problem know no other way. They were born into those conditions that keep perpetuating.
Health care/education.

How would you feel when even now they say you've got opportunities but you really don't?

Ardy there is a whole lot of unfair playing ground going on.




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Originally Posted by olyve
Ardy,
I do understand and have been around many people who feel that the "undeserving poor" are responsible for the ills of this country.
That bites my shorts big time.
I agree
Quote
Ardy there is a whole lot of unfair playing ground going on.

I agree... on he other hand that factor is not the only factor that creates poverty and misery. Some of those other factors include counterproductive individual decisions.


"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
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"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
(Philip K.Dick)

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Apparently, though I have offered to be Phil's huckleberry, he is not yet ready to, in his words, "man up" and engage me in discussion over his concerns with libertarian induced stupidity, so I will attempt to address as many posts from others that I can -- though most questions/comments are the same that have been addressed in this forum by me before.

A few general comments: libertarianism does not mean an absence of government, law, or the rule-of-law. It is not a libertine paradigm nor is it a chaotic state. I can only atttribute such views to willful ignorance or someone having watched one too many showings of "Water World".:-)

Anarchism, whether anarcho-capitalism or socialist anarchism, assumes and advocates a stateless or near-stateless society. Anarcho-capitalism is a minority off-shoot of libertarian thought. Try not to intentionally use it as a strawman, as I will not defend a position I do not hold. And lastly, please do not take it personally if my responses are somewhat blunt, as there is only so much time and the same questions can only be answered so many times before it becomes an exercise in futility.

One more thing. I have mentioned several times that the human critter is a sloppy, fuzzy critter. Those who would demand from me a advocacy for a utopia or a perfection of any sort from libertarian or any other philosophy have not read my past postings and may have some difficulties with a comprehension of the world in which we live.

Yours in laid-back, easygoing, live-and-let-live mellowtude,
Issodhos

Last edited by issodhos; 05/17/09 03:18 AM. Reason: forgot to include last paragraph

"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos
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Originally Posted by Ardy
Originally Posted by issodhos
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
In word, Libertarianism = Somalia.

Even in the best of all imaginable worlds, libertarianism equals a ridiculous fantasy with every man to his own mountaintop valhalla, surrounded by a moat and machine guns.

And that valhalla had better be off the grid too, mate.

In three words, Checkerboard. You are incorrect.:-)
Yours,
Issodhos

The difference may seem obvious to you, but less so to others. Perhaps you could review the salient points of distinction that you see .

Thx
Ardy

From what I am able to discern from reports concerning Somalia, it is currently a lawless region with various warlords engaging in turf wars who show no respect for an individual's rights, including the individual's right to self-ownership. There is nothing libertarian about such a state of existence.

As to the valhalla and moat crap, that may characterize survivalists, but the only thing about it that would relate to libertarian thought is that a fellow wishing to live that way would be free to do so as long as he or she did not violate the rights of others.
Yours,
Issodhos

Last edited by issodhos; 05/17/09 04:47 PM. Reason: removed "not" from last sentence.

"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos
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