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The rights to be harmonious

by Loren Booda
Tags: harmonious, rights
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nismaratwork
#73
Jan14-11, 07:40 AM
P: 2,284
Quote Quote by mugaliens View Post
This summer I ran into a cougar, near the creek running by our apartment complex. Scary? Heck yes!

Somewhere along the line, though, mankind became the dominant species on our planet. I know it. The cougar knew it (thank God), as did the bear I ran into a few years back, and the wolf, a couple of years before then.

I think they get it. Mostly, anyway.

I've never run into a wild elephant, though. I don't think I'd care to, either, and firmly believe I'd be toast! African crocodiles are similarly not on my list of "friendly species."

Here in the U.S., we've largely domesticated our wildlife, if not simply pushed them into the great white north.

Still, I've kayaked with killer whales, swam with dolphins, barracudas, and sharks (never a great white, though! Thankfully)

Honestly, seals scare me more than sharks. They are so dang smart! They could have easily taken me apart six ways to Sunday. But they didn't. They simply swam alongside me as I kayaked (a different trip than the killer whale trip) in So. California.

Why is that? Why is it that most of our interaction with other animals tends to involve mutual respect?

Getting back to the OP, I'm not really sure I get it. Russ Waters, post #2, seemed to be scratching his head, as well.

Meanwhile "the rights to be harmonious" is a very nebulous statement, so if others here have piggybacked on whatever they thought it meant and ran off with a tangent, more power to them! Robert A. Heinlein was a staunch supporter of "bull sessions," whereby college students would sit around debating whatever came to mind, so in that spirt, let's carry on. :)

I'd like to be harmonious myself, but quite frankly, I cannot. It's not in my nature to relinquish my beliefs, particularly when so many of them came at such a dear price.

If anything, this may be what separates us from the other animals on our planet.
Amen.
mheslep
#74
Jan14-11, 11:38 AM
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Quote Quote by mugaliens View Post
Yet while we may be the dominant species of animal on our planet, should not other animals have rights?
Before rights come responsibilities. Animals can not take responsibility, thus neither can they have rights. People have responsibilities and rights; with dominion over the natural world also comes the responsibility to conserve it.
nismaratwork
#75
Jan14-11, 11:46 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
Before rights come responsibilities. Animals can not take responsibility, thus neither can they have rights. People have responsibilities and rights; with the right to dominion over the natural world also comes the responsibility to conserve it.
We have dominion over the natural world? I'm sorry, but until I see proof that we can live in an artificial biosphere, the only dominion we have is our nearly viral replication and exploitation.

We're constantly at the mercy of microscopic organisms, we're host to more, and eventually they eat us. I think "dominion" is getting needlessly biblical and grand.
FlexGunship
#76
Jan14-11, 11:48 AM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
We have dominion over the natural world? I'm sorry, but until I see proof that we can live in an artificial biosphere, the only dominion we have is our nearly viral replication and exploitation.
I don't see why artificiality is a requisite for domination.
nismaratwork
#77
Jan14-11, 11:54 AM
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Quote Quote by FlexGunship View Post
I don't see why artificiality is a requisite for domination.
He didn't say domination, he said dominion which is VERY different. The former is actually a subset of the latter in which there is legal or 'other' authority.

Beyond that, how can you claim to dominate over what you're subject to, even to the point of pandemic and death? How do you dominate a system you don't understand, especially when the majority of the planet is water...
FlexGunship
#78
Jan14-11, 12:03 PM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
He didn't say domination, he said dominion which is VERY different. The former is actually a subset of the latter in which there is legal or 'other' authority.

Beyond that, how can you claim to dominate over what you're subject to, even to the point of pandemic and death? How do you dominate a system you don't understand, especially when the majority of the planet is water...
I believe "dominion" and "domination" share some sort of common linguistic ancestor. Regardless, this discussion seems to fall apart if we nitpick semantics. So I'll simply retract my statement.

Quote Quote by mugaliens
Meanwhile "the rights to be harmonious" is a very nebulous statement, so if others here have piggybacked on whatever they thought it meant and ran off with a tangent, more power to them! Robert A. Heinlein was a staunch supporter of "bull sessions," whereby college students would sit around debating whatever came to mind, so in that spirt, let's carry on. :)
BTW, I totally have a man-crush on Heinlein (which, if you've read his books could've put me in physical jeopardy, were he still alive). I think he's just about one of the best thinkers our species has ever produced. Not an actual genius of some sort (though, very intelligent), his manner of discourse and conduct were of the highest degree. His books are a reminder of how a roughly average mind can produce amazingly above-average thoughts if you're just willing to throw your prejudices away and open your mind. Stranger in a Strange Land is my favorite book with The Moon is a Harsh Mistress in a very close second. I even named the dog I never had "Anson." My audio engineering PC is called "Mycroft" and my laptop is named "Dora."

Heinlein could win both sides of an argument.
nismaratwork
#79
Jan14-11, 12:11 PM
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Quote Quote by FlexGunship View Post
I believe "dominion" and "domination" share some sort of common linguistic ancestor. Regardless, this discussion seems to fall apart if we nitpick semantics. So I'll simply retract my statement.
Domination is simple, Dominion means domination with higher authority, legal, divine, kingly, imperial... whatever.


Quote Quote by FlexGunship View Post
BTW, I totally have a man-crush on Heinlein (which, if you've read his books could've put me in physical jeopardy, were he still alive). I think he's just about one of the best thinkers our species has ever produced. Not an actual genius of some sort (though, very intelligent), his manner of discourse and conduct were of the highest degree. His books are a reminder of how a roughly average mind can produce amazingly above-average thoughts if you're just willing to throw your prejudices away and open your mind. Stranger in a Strange Land is my favorite book with The Moon is a Harsh Mistress in a very close second. I even named the dog I never had "Anson." My audio engineering PC is called "Mycroft" and my laptop is named "Dora."

Heinlein could win both sides of an argument.
I love Heinlein... I have every book, every book on audio. He's my favorite author next to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Did you know, Mycroft is the name of Sherlock Holmes's brother...?
FlexGunship
#80
Jan14-11, 01:01 PM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
I love Heinlein... I have every book, every book on audio. He's my favorite author next to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Did you know, Mycroft is the name of Sherlock Holmes's brother...?
Of course! How could I be so dense? Mike even says that Sherlock is his brother in Moon.
nismaratwork
#81
Jan14-11, 01:05 PM
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Quote Quote by FlexGunship View Post
Of course! How could I be so dense? Mike even says that Sherlock is his brother in Moon.
It's not dense... I've been reading like a machine (and re-read almost obsessively) since I was nearly a toddler, and they're my favorite authors...

...Before the net, it was just a very clever and relatively obscure reference; only now is it an obvious thing.
Al68
#82
Jan14-11, 05:04 PM
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Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
I don't believe in rights...
LOL. Then why argue so much about where they come from? That's like an atheist arguing about God's gender.
Quote Quote by nismaratwork View Post
I love Heinlein... I have every book....
Well, there's something else we agree on.
nismaratwork
#83
Jan14-11, 05:08 PM
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Quote Quote by Al68 View Post
LOL. Then why argue so much about where they come from? That's like an atheist arguing about God's gender.
You do realize that engaging in a discussion about why I argue is the equivalent of looking into one mirror opposing another.

Beyond that the content of what people commonly call rights, in this very religious country, is essentially what I'm talking about except that I believe they're a wise fiction. In a debate about rights, it's kind of an important distinction to make; I didn't expect this to become a tug of war about what we choose to call the principles we agree (Flex and I) or disagree (you and I) on.


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