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"Created Equal:" what it really means

 
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jul, 2019 07:29 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

You are saying that that a life without risk is worth living. I disagree with this. I take a lot of calculated risks in life especially travelling. Life to me is about experiences. I don't actually think the risks for anything I do are extraordinarily high... but sure I could stay in my house.

I am curious how this works for you....

What brings you joy in life?

I'd be happy to discuss this topic in another thread, but in this thread it is a deviation from the topic of what it means to say "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence, and how that relates to the principle of self-governance in a republic, liberty, and where personal responsibility fits into that relative to interventions by government where individual liberty is failing to achieve sufficiently good societal outcomes.

In fact, I'll go ahead and start the thread for you.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jul, 2019 08:24 pm
@livinglava,
This topic is rather personal.

- You are claiming that my lifestyle is harmful to liberty.

- You are stating that I have an obligation to live in a way that you think is "right".

- I think you are claiming that I must follow a religion of some sort to have liberty.

I disagree with all of these things. And my lifestyle, which you have judged to be "irresponsible" works for me. I am healthy and happy. I have accepted that I have a responsibility to the people around me beyond the law, and I live that way. But this is a social responsibility that has nothing to do with liberty.

If I understand you correctly, you are making the claim that people need to stop having sex or else liberty crumbles and the government would have to step in. I don't accept that at all.

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Jul, 2019 09:28 pm
@livinglava,
Apparently I am the only person willing to engage you on the topic. And I disagree with each part of your thesis. To answer your questions...

1. "All men are created equal" was political propaganda. It has no real meaning, other than expressing the view that monarchy is an invalid form of government.

2. What you are saying about personal responsibility and government interventions doesn't make any sense.

3. I don't accept that individual liberty is failing anything. Liberty is an intrinsic value... not a means to an end.

You seem to want some sort of dictatorship, where people are only given liberty if they do what some authoritarian figure wants them to do. To me this is the opposite of liberty.

I am a social libertarian. People have the freedom to figure out for themselves what gives their life meaning. Government should only intervene to prevent one person from doing direct harm to another.


0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 08:03 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

This topic is rather personal.

- You are claiming that my lifestyle is harmful to liberty.

- You are stating that I have an obligation to live in a way that you think is "right".

- I think you are claiming that I must follow a religion of some sort to have liberty.

I disagree with all of these things. And my lifestyle, which you have judged to be "irresponsible" works for me. I am healthy and happy. I have accepted that I have a responsibility to the people around me beyond the law, and I live that way. But this is a social responsibility that has nothing to do with liberty.

If I understand you correctly, you are making the claim that people need to stop having sex or else liberty crumbles and the government would have to step in. I don't accept that at all.

I don't want to make this thread about sex. If you want to discuss the relationship between self-governance within a republic of liberty and sexual freedom, start another thread. I will discuss it there. I would just rather reserve this thread for a more general discussion about whether a truly good society/economy can be achieved by giving liberty unlimited reach, or whether liberty will continue to fail because people aren't up to the take of taking full responsibility for all their effects on the world and the future.

Quote:
@livinglava,
Apparently I am the only person willing to engage you on the topic. And I disagree with each part of your thesis. To answer your questions...

Well, the thread can wait for other users. The level you're trying to engage the topic on ends up being a diversion from the topic, so you should start other threads to discuss the topic(s) as you see them.

Quote:
1. "All men are created equal" was political propaganda. It has no real meaning, other than expressing the view that monarchy is an invalid form of government.

It is a very deep, meaningful statement, albeit simple, about the fact that any and all humans are endowed with the capacity to think and act as well as the greatest king ever could.

When people say things like, "it's above my pay grade," they are dishonoring this fundamental idea that "all men are created equal," and thus equally suited to govern themselves rather than be governed by kings/managers/etc.

Quote:
2. What you are saying about personal responsibility and government interventions doesn't make any sense.

It does, but I think you want to squelch it in your mind because it is contrary to how you want to think.

Quote:
3. I don't accept that individual liberty is failing anything. Liberty is an intrinsic value... not a means to an end.

Governance is a means to an end; or at least that's one way to look at it and evaluate it. I don't have to like Chinese centralism to evaluate what kind of society/economy it produces and why/how. There can be forms of government that have stellar results in one sense, but alienate humans from their own innate sensibilities and liberty in another. Just think about beating someone into total submission. The person might follow orders perfectly if you broke them in that way, but there would be something wrong in their spirit.

Self-governance by liberty is the best form of government for this reason, but China or some other society might achieve better results and a better (more sustainable future) simply because the people whose liberty is honored and defended by their government fail to progress toward a better way of life.

Quote:
You seem to want some sort of dictatorship, where people are only given liberty if they do what some authoritarian figure wants them to do. To me this is the opposite of liberty.

I don't know why you think that. People often seem to attribute motivations like this to me based on things I post, but the truth is that I don't like dictatorship/authoritarianism at all. I much prefer liberty and I would actually like to see liberty expand to eclipse even more authoritarianism in the world than it already has. It just so happens that I am able to see why many people in this world lack faith in liberty as a form of governance, and I am objective/unbiased enough to recognize that liberty is not working as well as it should to cause humanity to move in the directions it should be moving to achieve a better world.

Quote:
I am a social libertarian. People have the freedom to figure out for themselves what gives their life meaning. Government should only intervene to prevent one person from doing direct harm to another.

Have you considered that there are situations where people don't seem to harming each other directly in the most superficial sense, but in more subtle ways, and from a longer time frame, they are doing harm to each other and future generations?

Think about in terms of camping: you can have a campground where people are friendly and polite and thus don't appear to be harming each other. But then you might notice that they're breaking branches off the trees for firewood, dumping their waste in streams, running generators and making loud noises that cause nuisance and scare off wildlife, etc. etc.

Or you might notice that all the traffic in and out of the campground has led to many roads being paved, highways built, etc. and that the quality of nature is gradually eroding as a result of how visitors' transport themselves to and from the campground. On one level, people are just getting around in a convenient way to enjoy the natural surroundings, but on another level they are not doing enough to reform their vacation lifestyles to progress toward more sustainable ways of living that can be enjoyed for generations to come without causing degeneration century after century.

Camping may seem like just an example, but really all humans are doing is camping on Earth for the short time we are alive here. So really we have to take the liberty of trying to leave the place better than we inherited it.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 08:26 am
@livinglava,
You seem to want to talk about some philosophical ideal while avoiding anything that is real. You want to talk about the "innate connection between all living things", but you don't want to talk about waking up next to someone that you are passionately in love with. There are different kinds of relationships, the relationship I have with my brother, or my good poker buddies, or a lover are all close. All of these relationships have a level of intimacy.

I don't know what you mean by "truly good society". What you are describing sounds awfully similar to an authoritarian state where people's "liberty" is dependent on them all acting according to some set of rules. There are theocracies. I am pretty sure that the religious government in Iran talks about freedom. It is a common theme in a theocracy that "freedom is following God".

I don't see liberty as failing... quite the contrary, in many ways our society is getting more fair and more accepting. Your view of a "good society" scares me... it is restrictive, judgmental and intolerant.

Liberty means that you can't have a perfectly ordered society. Sometimes there are people who take their shoes off on an airplane, or kiss in public... But I prefer the messiness to authoritarian perfection.


Freedom isn't slavery.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 10:38 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

You seem to want to talk about some philosophical ideal while avoiding anything that is real. You want to talk about the "innate connection between all living things", but you don't want to talk about waking up next to someone that you are passionately in love with. There are different kinds of relationships, the relationship I have with my brother, or my good poker buddies, or a lover are all close. All of these relationships have a level of intimacy.

I asked you to stop the sex talk in this thread. Do you notice you have a problem stopping when asked? You can discuss it in other threads, so why do you need to keep pushing it here? Do you feel like authoritarian power is being exercised over you when someone tells you, "no, stop?"

Quote:
I don't know what you mean by "truly good society". What you are describing sounds awfully similar to an authoritarian state where people's "liberty" is dependent on them all acting according to some set of rules. There are theocracies. I am pretty sure that the religious government in Iran talks about freedom. It is a common theme in a theocracy that "freedom is following God".

Authoritarianism automatically puts any society off-track to becoming 'truly good,' and I think you realize that. I think your problem is that what you consider good, I don't, and you're afraid that if everyone isn't in agreement about what is good, that puts your lifestyle at risk, and so you attack someone like me who doesn't hide my opinion that your values aren't optimal.

I've already explained to you the difference between having state religion and freedom of religion. That was a fundamental issue in creating the US constitution. For some reason, you keep fighting against religion, even though you're free to consider yourself 'non-religious' if that's how you view it. I'm also free to recognize your system of (non)beliefs and ethics as a different form of religion, and maybe one of us is right and the other is wrong (and no one has the power to determine which is true because truth is beyond human control).

Quote:
I don't see liberty as failing... quite the contrary, in many ways our society is getting more fair and more accepting. Your view of a "good society" scares me... it is restrictive, judgmental and intolerant.

So you think the people and economy are sufficiently dedicated to the task of achieving sustainability in the absence of government intervention?

Quote:
Liberty means that you can't have a perfectly ordered society. Sometimes there are people who take their shoes off on an airplane, or kiss in public... But I prefer the messiness to authoritarian perfection.

That's right, humans aren't perfect so societies can't be either. What humans can do, however, is maintain a rigorous orientation toward becoming better. That is what liberty is about; imperfect humans striving toward self-betterment by the compass of their own (true) consciences.

Quote:
Freedom isn't slavery.

Free people can enslave each other and submit to enslavement if they fail to take the liberty of resisting those economic interests that seduce and/or force both slaves and slave-masters into submission.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 11:02 am
@livinglava,
How would someone like me fit into your ideal of a good society? I am not religious, but I respect the right of other people to be religious as long it doesn't impact my way of life.

I like to play poker, drink Scotch, go skydiving (and I will leave out that other thing). I do all of these in moderation. They all add to the happiness in my life and in the lives of the people around me. I also care about the people around me, particularly my family friends and community. I act accordingly.

So where do I fit in? I want to be able to live my own life according to my own values. I don't think God, or anyone's idea of what God wants, has anything to do with it.

My idea of a good society is based on the idea that each person lives their life in according to their own desires and values.

My idea of a good society has a place for you. I accept your right to exist as part of a greater social contract. You follow God. I don't. We have different ideas about morals, and risks and a bunch of other things. Yet, I can still accept you as part of the society we share.

I can let you have liberty... and choose to live the life that you want to live. I wish you could do the same for other people.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 11:25 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

How would someone like me fit into your ideal of a good society? I am not religious, but I respect the right of other people to be religious as long it doesn't impact my way of life.

I like to play poker, drink Scotch, go skydiving (and I will leave out that other thing). I do all of these in moderation. They all add to the happiness in my life and in the lives of the people around me. I also care about the people around me, particularly my family friends and community. I act accordingly.

Are you sufficiently unbiased to reflect on whether your lifestyle choices are really as innocuous as you lead yourself to believe, or whether they might cause more harm than you think not only to strangers, but also to people close to you?

Consider another quote from Learned Hand:
Quote:

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded


Quote:
So where do I fit in? I want to be able to live my own life according to my own values. I don't think God, or anyone's idea of what God wants, has anything to do with it.

Your idea of what 'God' means is irrelevant because you misunderstand it. The closest you can come to understanding it is to grasp that people have the capacity to be short-sighted and so there are realizations that are true, which haven't come to them yet because they haven't reached that level of awareness yet. This is a true for you as it is for me or anyone else.

Quote:
My idea of a good society is based on the idea that each person lives their life in according to their own desires and values.

So you think that if everyone freely pursues every desire they have, it would result in a good society for all?

Do you think that everyone can adopt any values they want for any reason, and that wouldn't cause problems?

So if someone decides they value murder as a form of recreation, that is ok because it's "their own desire and values?" It's an extreme example for the sake of clarity, but surely you understand how all values aren't equally legitimate.

Quote:
My idea of a good society has a place for you. I accept your right to exist as part of a greater social contract. You follow God. I don't. We have different ideas about morals, and risks and a bunch of other things. Yet, I can still accept you as part of the society we share.

But hopefully you can also accept that it's part of my duty to God to attempt to reach you with reason and get you to better tune into your conscience.

I think we both also understand that either of us would ultimately support interventions where we deem the harm of failing to intervene as sufficient to justify the harm of intervention. Do you disagree? Are you willing to allow infinite harm to take place in order to avoid intervention at all costs?

Quote:
I can let you have liberty... and choose to live the life that you want to live. I wish you could do the same for other people.

Liberty comes with responsibility. What you're talking about is autonomy.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 11:54 am
@livinglava,
- I am the best person to decide how to live my life. I am not sure what you mean by "biased". But yes, my suggestion is that each person needs to decide for themselves how to live their own life. Some of us will play poker, some of us will go to church... each individual will find meaning for themselves.

- I get your point that if people all decide they want to start murdering each other, it doesn't lead to liberty. I have accepted this point. I agree with you. You don't need to keep arguing it.

- My solution to that problem is twofold. We have a set of laws based on common interest, and we have a democratic system for us to determine what these laws will be. Murder is illegal.

- We also have a social contract. We agree as part of living in society on certain ways to live that we consider uncivil even if they aren't illegal. You discount the role of economic forces, but they are part of this.

- I don't accept that my life choices impact you enough that they are any of your business. I am a hedonist, your happiness is philosophically important to me (a hedonist balances ones own pleasure against the pleasure of others). But my life decisions although sinful, aren't particularly risky (statistically) or harmful to anyone who isn't a willing participant.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 11:56 am
@maxdancona,
I view my current relationship with God the same way I view my relationship with my ex-wife. We had a relationship, but things just didn't work out. Part of the problem is being in a relationship with someone who is always right (that didn't work for me in either case).

I don't wish God, or my ex-wife, ill-will. But they are no longer part of my life. I wish them both the best.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 03:55 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I view my current relationship with God the same way I view my relationship with my ex-wife. We had a relationship, but things just didn't work out. Part of the problem is being in a relationship with someone who is always right (that didn't work for me in either case).

I don't wish God, or my ex-wife, ill-will. But they are no longer part of my life. I wish them both the best.


You can't 'unfriend' God. You can try, but the alienation can only be from your end because God encompasses the entire universe. All you are really doing is denying your relationship with the universe.

Anyway, this is yet another deviation from the thread topic, so how about we have any further discussions on other topics in other threads and not here?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 06:45 pm
@livinglava,
Quote:
Anyway, this is yet another deviation from the thread topic


You are the one who brought God into the conversation... and I think you also are the first to mention what you refer to as "sexual depravity". It is a little awkward for you to then complain that these are diversions.

I can unfriend God. I don't know what "alienation from the universe" means. But, I can assure you that my life has been more meaningful since I "unfriended" God.

When I left my church, a former friend of mine asked me why I was "abandoning God". I answered -- "I changed, and God never changes". That explained how I felt pretty well. When I grew as a human being, my relationship with God no longer fit with my values.

livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 06:53 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
Anyway, this is yet another deviation from the thread topic


You are the one who brought God into the conversation... and I think you also are the first to mention what you refer to as "sexual depravity". It is a little awkward for you to then complain that these are diversions.

The Declaration of Independence refers to God when it attributes "certain inalienable rights" to people as being "endowed by their creator."

You don't understand the reason it is important to mention God, so stop arguing against it.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 07:03 pm
@livinglava,
It is either a tangent or it is not. You can't tell me to stop talking about God if you keep talking about God.

I think your claim that God is important to liberty is nonsense. I understand perfectly well the claim you are making. I disagree with you.

The Declaration of Independence is not law. It is not part of the Constitution. It was a political statement against Monarchy. I have already pointed out that the "endowed by their creator" line was meaningless propaganda.

Our founding fathers did not put any reference to God in the Constitution. They did put freedom of religion (which includes freedom to be an atheist) and freedom of speech (which includes freedom to say you are an atheist) into the Bill of Rights.

You probably don't want me to mention that our Founding Fathers understood the pleasure from having sexual relationships with multiple women. That is well documented.

We don't need God for liberty. Liberty is based on an individual's choice about how they want to live their life.

That is why I am arguing against your statements about God. I think they are wrong.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 07:31 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

It is either a tangent or it is not. You can't tell me to stop talking about God if you keep talking about God.

You should only talk about God in the context of the thread topic.

Quote:
I think your claim that God is important to liberty is nonsense. I understand perfectly well the claim you are making. I disagree with you.

I get that. Can you stop talking about it now?

Quote:
The Declaration of Independence is not law. It is not part of the Constitution. It was a political statement against Monarchy. I have already pointed out that the "endowed by their creator" line was meaningless propaganda.

You've said several times you view it as meaningless propaganda, even while I've explained the meaning over and over. Now you have nothing left to discuss in this thread, because you've decreed that the source material the thread is based on is nothing more than meaningless propaganda to you.

Quote:
Our founding fathers did not put any reference to God in the Constitution. They did put freedom of religion (which includes freedom to be an atheist) and freedom of speech (which includes freedom to say you are an atheist) into the Bill of Rights.

That's another topic for another thread. Why don't you go start some other threads and I will discuss your topics there. I would like to leave this one for others who might want to partake without having to read page after page of back and forth between you and me over all these tangents.

Quote:
You probably don't want me to mention that our Founding Fathers understood the pleasure from having sexual relationships with multiple women. That is well documented.

We don't need God for liberty. Liberty is based on an individual's choice about how they want to live their life.

That is why I am arguing against your statements about God. I think they are wrong.

I just wish you would heed what I keep asking you about moving your discussions of these side-topics to other threads. Are you just trying to torture me at this point by defying my consistently polite requests? Is it that you want to assert your voice with whatever you have to say in this thread despite you having admitted several times that you find the whole topic propaganda and want to assert your own ideas about liberty against the Declaration of Independence, Learned Hand's Spirit of Liberty, etc."?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Jul, 2019 09:03 pm
@livinglava,
This is a good example of liberty. I am the person to decide what I post on this thread based on my own opinion of what is relevant. You can decide what you want to respond to or not.

Able2know gives me the liberty to post what I feel is appropriate or interesting. Your attempts to control what I post on this thread goes against the nature of this platform. That would be the case even if you weren't being hypocritical by bringing up topics and then demanding that I not respond.

The liberty on this platform gives us both the ability to respond, or not, as we ourselves see fit.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jul, 2019 06:09 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

This is a good example of liberty. I am the person to decide what I post on this thread based on my own opinion of what is relevant. You can decide what you want to respond to or not.

Able2know gives me the liberty to post what I feel is appropriate or interesting. Your attempts to control what I post on this thread goes against the nature of this platform. That would be the case even if you weren't being hypocritical by bringing up topics and then demanding that I not respond.

The liberty on this platform gives us both the ability to respond, or not, as we ourselves see fit.

And your liberty is devoid of the ability to take responsibility for keeping the thread on topic instead of posting whatever you feel like and calling it your liberty to do so.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jul, 2019 03:49 pm
@livinglava,
What you are requesting is that I only write posts that agree with your basic point.
I have the ability to do that. I exercise my liberty by choosing not to.

I think you are confusing ability with choice. Just because I am able to do something (like agree to your restrictions on what I post) doesn't mean that I should.


0 Replies
 
 

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