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Freedom is Tyranny, Tyranny is Freedom.

  1. Feb 23, 2005 #1
    We all know that democracy gives us our freedoms and security and is way better than all other forms of governance and as such, should be imposed on dictatorships around the world, primarily the axis of evil.

    We all know that freedom within the rule of law is the de-facto standard for any modern culture and protects us from tyranny and abuse.

    How far must we go to protect our freedoms and laws, and who benefits?

    Try these links as my basis for a heated debate:

    http://www.lycaeum.org/drugwar/DARKALLIANCE/ciah1.html

    http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cach....net/fitxers/44.pdf+globalisation+mafia&hl=en

    http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/aspartame.html

    http://www.mcspotlight.org/beyond/companies/monsanto.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/business/2002/enron/default.stm

    http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0403-10.htm
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2005 #2

    If we're going to have a 'heated debate', can you at least start us off with few pointers rather than half a dozen links?
     
  4. Feb 23, 2005 #3

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    Opium, globalization, aspartame, Monsanto, Enron, Halliburton --- "The Illuminati" are sending the black helicopters for you --- you can't be allowed to continue pointing out such connections.
     
  5. Feb 23, 2005 #4

    mm. nop. actualy all black helicopters are bussy in irak...
     
  6. Feb 23, 2005 #5
    Men in White (coats)

    :surprised

    I do beg your pardon. Of course, I'm not actually saying anything in particular, or trying to point out conspiracy theories or anything.

    I was just thinking, you know, how us people are told how our governments are spreading freedom, justice and democracy, and how this was a good thing that should be applauded - and I do applaud such high minded values, especially from Mssrs Bush, Kissinger, Blair and that fella wot runs Italy.

    I just have a few niggling doubts in my mind, confused no doubt by the mixed messages I'm receiving through the metal plate in my head.

    I am a little concerned that we may have some issues that need to be addressed in our own societies concerning those that would lead us.

    I might, (if I was as crass as to ask such a thing) ask, in the drive for freedom and democracy, how many people must we subvert, shoot, bomb, poison, invade and slaughter to achieve this freedom from the danger presented to us by oppressive tyrannies?

    How many oppressive tyrannies should we arm and support in order to suppress neighbouring oppressive tyrannies that don't support our cause of freedom, justice and democracy?

    Drugs are bad mmmkay? Drugs are illegal mmmmkay? It would seem, from the evidence available that not only is the drug trade supported at a government level as a means of directing international activity in a favourable direction, but is also used as a tool to maintain control of populations the world over (in the west as well), whilst providing huge funds for amoral crusades against states that used to be allies, and whose armies where clothed and armed by us when they where such allies (vis-a-vis Iraq-Iran war, Afghani Mujahadeen, Noriega et al).

    If we can pinpoint enemies the world over, and nobody is invincible, then why can't we keep drug dealers from controlling our own streets?

    I'm also a little concerned that criminal organisations are not really considered as such when they are useful allies in fighting, say, fascism in World War II, when Iraqi dictators aren't really evil dictators when they are fighting against Iranian Ayatolla's, when Iranian Shahs are really not dictators at all but benevolent leaders of the people when it is our interest to support them.

    In the fight against the tyranny of communism, it would appear through historical fact that ANY means, no matter how evil or tyrannical was justified in order to protect the west, it's money and it's freedoms. Now that battle is won, are we all richer, or are just some of us richer? Are we free, or just told we are? Has justice prevailed in the world after all these millions of deaths, or is it just as bad as before?

    Are multiple faceless corporate entities that would start a war for profit any better than a dictator who kills for power?

    Oooooohhh god, someone call the men in white coats - I need to be taken away by them, before the helicopter gets me . . . .
     
  7. Feb 23, 2005 #6

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    Okay, that's better --- media vs. history books vs. FOIA vs. "official" press releases vs. what you can see for yourself vs. whatever "information" sources are competing for your attention --- what can you, and what can you not believe?

    Ya got my sympathies --- Hitler's ( or was it Stalin) "big lie," Churchill's "bodygaurd of lies," Hollywood's good guys in white hats vs. bad guys in black hats. Public pronouncements of policy, "War to end all wars," "...world safe for democracy," whatever was passed around with "Remember the Maine" about freeing Cubans from Spanish hegemony, "Pay any price, bear any burden...," and all the other jingles/jingoism of the 20th century are pure, unadulterated, Madison Ave. bullsh*t. "National interest" is a dirty expression for reasons that are quite difficult to pin down --- might be guilt tripping over the Indian Wars in the 19th century, "THE BOMB" at the end of WW II. What ever the reason, it's a real effect in public policy statements and history books --- no one is ever allowed to state a national interest clearly --- it's up to you to winkle it out from between the lines, in the odd transitional phrase authors use not as padding, but to connect topics, and through a lot of reading. You'll also run into endless numbers of conspiracy theories, dubious assertions regarding the effects of religion, arms races, arms limitation treaties, laws of war, and other vague generalities.

    Bottom line? To paraphrase the phrase used in criminal investigations, "Follow the national interest." Who stands to gain what, and who stands to lose what in any historical context --- events fall into a fairly repetitious pattern. Not really predictable in the sense of stating who's going to go after whom on a specific date.
     
  8. Feb 27, 2005 #7
    Confused? Not half as much as I should be.

    I s'pose it all boils down to one or two things, money and power, and sod the morality.

    Follow the money and you find the power, and a complete lack of any sort of morality, pretending to have morals for the greater good, whilst protecting it's own interests at the expense of all the useless eaters out there.

    Or am I way off base here?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2005
  9. Feb 27, 2005 #8

    Astronuc

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    Morality or immorality is by choice, i.e. one chooses to be moral or immoral.

    I choose to behave in a moral way (as defined by convention). Even if others behave immorally around me, or even toward me, I still choose to be moral.

    Morality cannot and should not be coerced nor dictated, it must be practiced willingly.

    When one is moral, one is truly free.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2005
  10. Feb 27, 2005 #9

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    Not too far --- "morality?" Useless word --- you browse around here a bit, you'll see the philosophers have been at it to the point that there is no meaning left.

    The whole world would be like Hitler and Stalin going at it psychopathic tooth and claw without some moral standard? Uh-uh. Hitler and Stalin were first and foremost moralists --- they pedalled moralities as part of their exercise of power. So --- "sod the moralists," certainly --- sod the 10 commandments? Nah --- ditch the "one god and no other" stuff, and the 10Cs are a working set of guidelines for common sense.

    Is it moral to take a can of Raid to the roaches in the kitchen? Is is moral to call the landlord and demand that he take a can of Raid to the roaches in the kitchen in the flats upstairs or down? Yup.
     
  11. Feb 27, 2005 #10
    Morality is not a useless word, and if you feel it has no meaning left you should look more closely. Hitler and Stalin certainly spoke of morals, but they were classic cases of people with very poor moral ideas - their morals were internally inconsistent, poorly thought out, irrational and relied on falsities.

    Suggesting that dropping one commandment will make the ten commandments a good common sense moral basis is not an argument that can be defended; they are still too religion specific to be any good to a secular society (nevermind being terribly incomplete), and a religous society would never toss out any part of them. That argument makes little sense.
     
  12. Feb 27, 2005 #11

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    Sums up just about every moral discussion I've run into.
    Let's see, "the seven deadlies" --- sloth, pride, gluttony, avarice, envy, wrath, and lust --- face it, these are pretty much self-enforcing, no moral code needed --- I'd call 'em good advice for people who want to stay alive.

    Moralists are far more interested in living other peoples' lives for them, and in such interests are being slothful (not living their own lives), proud (thinking they know better than others), gluttonous (they want everybody coming to them), avaricious (their own lives are such pitiful wrecks, they covet others' lives as substitutes), envious (how dare people be happy with themselves without my permission when I'm not happy with myself), wrathful (stems from the envy), and lustful(?) (only in an onanistic sense).

    Postulates that there is some absolute morality against which to measure human progress, conduct, and endeavors, and the endless time and effort put into proving the existence of such, and proving its superiority to all other such postulated moralities is one huge waste.

    Acknowledge the existence of others as equivalent to your own, and let it go.
     
  13. Feb 28, 2005 #12
    These are not the ten commandments, are not contained in the ten commandments, and have nothing to do with the ten commandments. This was either a monstrous blunder due to a grand ignorance of biblical morality, or a rather cheap attempt to change your argument mid debate. Since you are the one who thinks hitler and stalin were moralists, it's difficult to make a guess which happened.

    Why don't you clear that up before we move on?
     
  14. Feb 28, 2005 #13

    russ_watters

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    [to amplify what Locrain said] I would certainly agree that Hitler and Stalin peddled moralities, but so what? Aristotle considered himself a scientist, but that did not make it so. Lorentz made an aether theory, but that doesn't mean there is an aether. Ie, just because Hitler says he has a moral theory doesn't mean his moral theory is right, reality-based, or even self-consistent. Our TD section is littered with similar examples.

    You seem to believe in absolue moral relativism: the idea that morality can be absolutely anything, any two ideas are absolutely equivalent etc. It can't be. It quite simply would not work.
    You're suggesting we acknowledge that Hitler's and Stalin's moralities are equivalent to our own? Seriously? I guess I shouldn't be surprised - if you think morality is a useless word, you would consider all moralities equivalent. But you must see that you live under a system of morality (discussed more in wasteofo2's thread) and that system of morality was not arbitrarily chosen. It can't be completely arbitrary and still be able to function (for more than a short, chaotic period of time).

    Let me ask you this though: do you act based on impulse alone, utterly devoid of thought of the morality of your actions? Do you act only in such a way as to avoid punishment? If you could rob someone without any risk of getting caught, would you?

    Most americans today seem to have a quasi-relativistic/absolutist morality that is not self-consistent (your idea, at least, is more self-consistent). A great many people follow the 10 Commandments (the epitome of absolute moral law), but at the same time think that it is ok for people who have a different idea of morality to follow a different code. And most people don't see the contradiction.

    But I'll make it simpler: Political theory is based on a system of morality and that system is evolving. As it evolves, governments work better - they are more stable, more prosperous, more equitable, etc. Ie: more moral. Functionally, that is no different from the way our theories of gravity have progressed. As our knowledge has increased, we've been able to come up with theories that work better than previous ones. What's more, different sets of laws existing for different people (religions, countries, families, etc.) creates conflicts (religious, ethnic, nationalistic wars) just as competing theories (QM and Relativity or the various cosmology issues) create conflicts in science. Harmony and functionality are realized when the better theory emerges and becomes universally accepted.

    Science is predicated on the postulates that (1)there is an absolute set of laws hat govern the way the universe works and (2)if we are smart enough, we'll figure them out. Morality is no different. Even if you don't like the idea of God, functionally, at least, morality must be absolute.
     
  15. Mar 1, 2005 #14
    Then those that would lead us, Hitler, Stalin, Bush, Clinton, Nixon, Kennedy, Blair et al. speak of that which they know nothing and don't abide by.

    Why am I bunching up our leaders with the likes of Hitler and Stalin - why, because they all spoke and speak at great length of high ideals and good morals and what is good for the people.

    Why then do they prop up the so called evil dictators that run the rest of the world on our behalf - The Saudi Royal Family, Saddam (when he was one of ours) and a dozen other evil so-and-so's whilst turning a blind eye to their atrocities. Why then go beating up on Saddam for invading Kuwait, whilst a few years later deliberately impeding the UN which is trying to stop a massive genocide in Rwanda.

    Why do they say drugs are illigal and bad, whilst they worked the Golden Triangle, started the opium wars with China, use the drug trade as an arm of foreign policy whilst our streets are crawling and run by drug dealing amoral gangster scum and also allow german companies that used slaves in the second world war to continue trading with the allies whilst this was going on, ie IG Farben.

    The moral message for our secular society, if it does not legitimately come from the leaders, must come from the church then - is this the catholic one that stood by to a large extent whilst the jews where exterminated, or perhaps stood by whilst thousands where blown up, shot or kneecapped in Ireland and the UK.


    Are Agent Orange, Daisy Cutters, drugs and support of tyranny our delivery system for freedom and democracy?

    In an evil world, full of evil people, must we be more evil for our way to win the day?
     
  16. Mar 1, 2005 #15

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    Check
    They don't --- this is the "party line" of the "outgroup" of moralists. Look at what it's costing to set up a govt. in Iraq, and find a similar outlay for every "propped up govt" claimed by your outgroup.

    "Evil...evil...evil" Moral judgement --- big waste of time --- people are people, just like you --- recognize that fact, and work with it to understand who people are, what people are, and "why" people do the things they do. Water enough for one in the lifeboat? Everybody's going over the side but one. Water enough for everybody? A life boat full of people who understand each other will survive --- a lifeboat loaded with moralists or philosphers will probably be capsized with all hands lost in the fight to be the "water master."
     
  17. Mar 1, 2005 #16

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    This is the point. 2500 years of philosophical inquiry on the topic, and there ain't nuttin' to show for it. Absence of evidence for an absolute morality is not evidence that no such thing exists, but there've been a couple fairly sharp thinkers took their three strikes at it. My conclusion? There is a very low probability of useful return of time invested on such inquiry --- I'll look elsewhere for behavioral control mechanisms.
    No, I believe there is NO such thing as morality.

    No, that we accept the fact that Dolf and Koba were human beings, motivated by the same drives, interests, whimsies, and impulses as we are.

    Not impulse, that's for three year olds (that's what we had parents for, to control those impulsive behaviors). Self interest. We'll use Willy the Zipper as an example: self interest is that he keep his britches on for health reasons, avoidance of scandal, and focus on the duties of the office; infantile impulse which he chose to gratify immediately was to boff Monica. Consequence? Scandal, permanent association in history books with psychological terms like satyriasis, addiction, whatnot, and credit in the 9-11 commission report for distracting himself and his staff from possible recognition of information that might have contributed to some inkling that UBL was up to bigger things than were in the best interests of the country.

    10 Cs minus first three (no other, in vain, keep sabbath) are plain common sense. The remaining seven in the King J. contain a pair of really grating redundancies (skirt chasing and coveting), and I prefer the Dantean format of the seven deadlies (tad more poetic), but otherwise decent guidelines, rules of thumb, shortcuts to evaluation of my self interest (NOT impulses). When I act on impulse, it is because I recognize it as an impulse, have evaluated the consequences, and choose to accept the consequences (buying lottery tickets, picking up catnip for the furballs, that sort of thing).

    (Had this in here as "'/QUOITE'" )
    Runnymede --- the Magna carta was not based on morality, it was based on the self interests of "the privileged" in their efforts to control a "loose gun on deck." John was gonna wreck the whole works if they did not hold his feet to the fire and squeeze a hard copy social contract from him.

    The balance between individual anarchy and unlimited "eminent domain" of governments is refined and adjusted. "Prohibition! End prohibition!" Nothing moral in either movement --- "Moregovernment! Less government!" Do we go for Roy Bean style vigilante legal systems, or do we turn it over to the ABA and the endless circuses? That'll get reformed over the next century.



    Constraints on social interactions have been selected over the past 300ka to 3Ma depending upon when you want to say H. sap. sap. appeared --- you wanta call that set of constraints an absolute morality, I'll go along. You want a philosophical inquiry to yield some blinding revelation? Uh-uh.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2005
  18. Mar 2, 2005 #17

    russ_watters

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    Just a few things:
    What are you talking about? Civilization today bears little resemblance to civilization 2500 years ago. A large factor in that is the evolution/discovery/formulation of morality.
    Its a postulate, but like the postulate that there are laws of science, every time a moral theory is tested and passes, it provides a piece of evidence that there are absolute moral laws.

    Re: no morality. Selfishness is a morality.

    You didn't answer my question: would you steal if you could get away with it?
     
  19. Mar 2, 2005 #18

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    People are born, breathe, eat, sleep, do other things, and die. They do these things in isolation, and in communities, the births and deaths are both celebrated and mourned. That's present and past. The majority of the populations interact/ed "in good faith," with due diligence, whatever, with each other; a minority run/ran cons, scams, and otherwise preyed upon the majority. I know you're not saying the industrial revolution, age of exploration, ta-da, ta-da, were moral constructs, but I'm not sure where you're seeing real differences --- we're still slaves of the IRS, and if property owners, of the local school districts --- yeah, slavery has been outlawed --- in name.

    "TD is full of theories....," I paraphrase, but you did remark that there is an enormous quantity of BS generated. The Chinese morality of pitching girl babies on trash heaps? The Confucian morality that you are forever responsible for an individual should you save his/her/its life? Tested? Yes. Passed? These items worked at the time. Are they absolute? Not by today's standards.
    We've got a moving target here --- all personality traits are moralities. I don't think we're gonna get anywhere that way. People wanta be selfish, they can be selfish. If they don't appreciate the effect it has on their quality of life, it ain't my department to enlighten every last swinging ____ on the planet. They organize a "community garden" and skim the good stuff off the top at 0430, and leave the bug and slug bit stuff for the rest of us, they're out next year.
    You wanta step outside and call me a democrat? :biggrin: How is that in my self interest? Unless I'm into a gypsy lifestyle, or politics, thievery is not a livelihood with real career opportunities or long-term prospects for comfortable living.
     
  20. Mar 9, 2005 #19
    Gee, I wonder why? This wouldn't be due to society's moral choices incorporated into a civil contract we call law, would it?

    You never got around to explaining how you got the ten commandments confused with the seven deadly sins. Am I to assume you were confused or that you were trying to bait and switch arguments?
     
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