Differences in political views.
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01-10-2013, 09:46 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(01-10-2013 09:23 AM)frankksj Wrote:  
(01-10-2013 09:20 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  That is a bag full of fallacies. That is a problem.

You always do that when I post something that hits home. You don't list anything specific. You don't provide any evidence or logic to refute anything I said. You just dismiss the whole thing. Why do you run from specifics? If you state something I think is wrong, I quote it exactly, explain my views and provide links substantiating my position. You just cover your ears and say "I'm not listening".

You also, predictably, refused to answer the simple, direct question I asked you in my previous post.

Do you seriously want me to go through your entire post, piece by piece, and point out ever single straw-man (which have previously been pointed out may times), red-herring, argument from ignorance, false dilemma, etc. (which is pretty much the entirety and should be blatantly obvious)?

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01-10-2013, 09:56 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
(01-10-2013 09:46 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  Do you seriously want me to go through your entire post, piece by piece, and point out ever single straw-man (which have previously been pointed out may times), red-herring, argument from ignorance, false dilemma, etc. (which is pretty much the entirety and should be blatantly obvious)?

No, just pick what you consider the most egregious claims, and let's reach a conclusion.

In the past, others have dismissed my posts as 'straw man' arguments, but I then counter with rebuttals and questions, and the other side backs down and refuses to respond. You can see that @cjlr copied several points in my post and said they're straw man arguments, but then I followed up with specific questions, and he ran, and instead changed the subject.

So, pick an egregious claim, give me a chance to respond and substantiate it, and when I do, don't just run away. This is supposed to be a place to debate.
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01-10-2013, 12:47 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2013 05:53 PM by cjlr.)
RE: Differences in political views.
(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  @cjlr, it's probably pointless to keep asking you specific questions since you favor abstract statement that can be interpreted many different ways, giving you the ability to waffle on position. But I'll try anyway.

I'd welcome your opinion as to where I've waffled on anything I've expressed in this thread.

I have denied your bizarre inferences, yes. That is not waffling. I've declined to answer questions addressed to your straw men. That is not waffling.

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:[The golden rule is] insufficient, since not all people want the same thing.

Q: Give me a specific name and/or culture of someone that does NOT want free will (ie someone that does not object to being forced to do something against his will)?

Submissive sadists. The question is absurd and irrelevant.

The golden rule does not say “respect others' free will”. You provided the literal words earlier. We can begin from the premise of “respect others' free will”, if you like. That's not where you started.

Do you not see what I was getting at? Absolute free will means no restrictions whatsoever. That is not viable. We cannot operate on the assumption that nobody will ever want to do anything bad ever. That is not viable.

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  My experience is that people who balk at the golden rule like this, denying that 'free will' is a universal desire, are simply those who like depriving others of their free will.

You really can't help yourself, can you?
I said: the golden rule is insufficient.
You read: I believe in denying others' free will.
Nope.

You could have just asked, "how do you think it's insufficient?" instead of ascribing wholly inconsistent and inaccurate views to me, and then attacking them as if I held them.

Let's pretend you did ask that:
Simply that not all people wish to be treated the same way. If you're using that to mean "I wish to be treated well, therefore treat everybody well", then that's fair enough. But that's not actually the same thing. Here's my platinum rule: treat others as they wish to be treated. See the difference?

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Obamacare: Here in the US the biggest fight (and the pending government shutdown tomorrow) is over Obamacare, which forces everyone to buy mainstream health care from a US insurance company. It's tied to the tax code, so even an American who lives and works, say, in Canada, pays into the Canadian tax and health care which covers his medical costs no matter where in the world he is visiting, including the US, is required by Obamacare to make a 'donation' of around $600/month to one of the major for-profit US health insurance companies that funded Obama's campaign.

And even if they tied Obamacare to residency instead of citizenship, the fact is that just as some people believe in creation instead of evolution, some believe in faith-medicine instead of traditional modern medicine.

Since you can't conceive of anything beyond the immediate confines of modern American politics, I'll dive in after you.

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: Should people be allowed to opt-out of Obamacare, provided they're willing to eliminate the moral hazard by signing a waiver to the law that requires doctors to provide medical care regardless of a person's ability to pay?

Yes. What's the point?

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: How would you like if the faith-based medical advocates outnumbered you and required everyone in your country to donate to a 'faith-based medical' program?

I wouldn't. What's the point?

Premise: there are some things you wouldn't want to be forced to do
Conclusion: you shouldn't want to be forced to do anything
Nope. Doesn't follow.

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: If you would oppose it, how can you deny that American liberals are violating the golden rule and the original position by forcing it on others?

Let me first say that no, “Obamacare” is not what “American liberals” wanted.

For the sake of silly argument, let's pretend they did and do. In which case all one can conclude is that they think it the best available option. This does not make it a perfect option, or even a good option, merely the best available option.

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Every self-proclaimed American liberal I know defends Obamacare saying that if everybody is forced to pay into the system, including those who don't want it and won't ever use it, it will make health insurance more affordable for them, so they favor sacrificing some individuals' free will for their benefit.

Those who don't want health insurance are incapable of understanding statistics, and those who won't ever need health insurance are a vanishingly small statistic. But never mind that.

As to why “every self-proclaimed American liberal you know” (very little overlap with those I've spoken to, but never mind that) sees it as better than nothing? I'd hate to speak for them. I can only assume they've concluded that the good outweighs the bad.

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I could, of course, do the same thing. I spend a lot on cars, so I would benefit greatly from a law that required everyone, including those who don't drive, to buy car insurance. But, I would vote against such a law regardless because it violates the golden rule, and the original position.

Indeed, let us consider that example! Car insurance is mandatory for those owning and using cars. First, do you agree or disagree with this policy? One might note that owning a care is a choice. There are very strong social pressures towards car ownership, but it is not necessary. Health is not a choice, but an intrinsic character of being alive.

(30-09-2013 01:13 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: What “rule” are American liberals using to decide if Obamacare is moral or should be overthrown?

Seriously? Come on, now...

Morality lies in deciding what is good and what is bad. Nothing in the real world is purely good or purely bad. Therefore nuance lies in determining whether something is more or less good or bad. I very much doubt you needed me to tell you that.

It is bad to restrict free will. It is good to prevent suffering. This is why we stop people from murdering each other. Not being able to murder each other is a restriction on free will. It is also a way to prevent suffering. The good done by preventing murders outweighs the bad done by restricting the ability to murder.

Healthcare is more abstract but not substantially different in principle. It is bad to restrict free will. It is good to prevent suffering. If the good done by minimising suffering via participation in health insurance programs outweighs the bad done by forcing participation in same...

That you disagree does not make them wrong or inferior. That you and I may disagree (and I've stated several times our disagreements are not particularly substantial) does not make either of us wrong or inferior.

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01-10-2013, 12:48 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(01-10-2013 09:17 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  That just brings us back, almost, to where we were originally.

What, then, is your basis?

Which brings us back to “it's impossible to be specific without specifics”.

I'm pretty sure I already answered that.

(01-10-2013 09:17 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  What is the variation?

See for yourself.

(01-10-2013 09:17 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  What do you mean by "first principles" versus "a conclusion reached elsewhere"?

What are you using?

It's the difference between “X is always right/wrong” and “is X right/wrong in this specific instance”, where X is any action one might take.

(I find it extremely hard to believe that you need me to tell you this)

(01-10-2013 09:17 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  Are you, then, saying that rights are, and ought to be, inconsistent, random and/or arbitrary?

Are you saying that rights should only be determined by individual and collective actions toward other individuals and/or collectives? Or do you think there is a basis from which rights should be determined?

No, yes, yes. But the questions are very poorly framed.

Rights in theory are meaningless. Rights in practice depend on society. The basis for an individual to determine what rights ought to be recognized is in their own morality (see above). The basis for a society to recognize rights is in what individuals, collectively, can agree upon (I could've sworn I mentioned that).

(01-10-2013 09:17 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  If you are accepting rights as determined in an inconsistent, random and/or arbitrary way by individual and collective action, are you saying slavery, genocide, terrorism, torture, and similar actions, are justified and legitimate? And saying that those things, where they are justified and legitimized, the institutionalization of those things is also justified and legitimate?

Wut. That's a hilariously dishonest and leading pair of questions...

If a group of people decide slavery, genocide, terrorism, torture, and similar actions are justified and legitimate then that means that group of people decided that slavery, genocide, terrorism, torture, and similar actions are justified and legitimate. And? Point being what, precisely?

Any given person has their own ideas of what is and what ought to be. Individuals disagree. Society is what they do agree on.

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01-10-2013, 02:57 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
First, thank you for responding to my questions. I wasn't expecting that. Now that we have a lively debate going:

Quote:Morality lies in deciding what is good and what is bad. Nothing in the real world is purely good or purely bad. Therefore nuance lies in determining whether something is more or less good or bad. I very much doubt you needed me to tell you that.

I strongly disagree. I do NOT believe that it is at all moral for the people who have the power to decide whether something (like some particular policy) is good and bad. When you say 'morality lies in deciding', no abstract concept called 'morality' can make decisions. PEOPLE make decisions. PEOPLE decide what is good and bad. And if PEOPLE are allowed to make that judgment call on a case-by-case basis, then whatever PEOPLE have the power to make that decision will inevitably say that the “good” decision is the one that benefits them. Therefore, imo, the moral solution is not to determine whether some THING is good or bad, but rather in advance to a set of rules that is fair, neutral, non-discriminatory which determines what is good and bad. It's like playing a game of chess and either (a) both sides agree in advance to the rules, or (b) while the game is in play whichever opponent is bigger and stronger makes up the rules as he goes along.

This issue is the very crux of our debate. I do not want people to decide what is good and bad. I want people to agree to a neutral system, namely that we reject every law that denies people free will and which is applied with universal jurisdiction (ie nationwide). It's a neutral policy, non-discriminatory policy. I agree to follow it even whether the policy being debated benefits me or harms me. It's like agreeing that a 'bishop' can move diagonally, whether or not it benefits me.

Your argument does seem to be that whatever people have the power to make the decisions (ie whatever group has 51% of the vote) should be able to decide on a case-by-case basis what is good and bad. I want a mechanical, pragmatic system to make that decision.

Quote:I'd welcome your opinion as to where I've waffled on anything I've expressed in this thread.

Post #171, you wrote: “Society is individual sacrifice”. I pointed out that this is the same as saying “Society is sacrifice of individuals”. But you responded it was a “ludicrous misinterpretations.... insane troll logic”.

All I did was reverse the word order, “individual sacrifice” becomes “sacrifice of individuals”. They ARE the same. Just like “John's car” is the same thing as the “car of John”. In your phrase “individual sacrifice” what is it that is being sacrificed? Is it not the individual? Obviously not all individuals are sacrificed equally in society, and society IS nothing but a group of individuals, so your claim IS that some individuals in a society should be sacrificed for the sake of others in that society.

You later said that: “Sacrifice for the sake of the group is entirely distinct from sacrifice for the sake of some other individuals.” Well what is a 'group'? Is it not a collection of individuals? So when you force 2 individuals to make a sacrifice for the sake of the group, you ARE forcing them make a sacrifice for the other individuals in the group.

Here's a simple example: A town of 100,000 people wants to build a freeway, but an elderly couple refuses to sell their house even over fair market value because in their aged state they cannot adjust to a new, unfamiliar home, and they don't drive anymore anyway so have no use for the freeway. @cjlr, should the town be able to invoke 'eminent domain' laws and force them out of their home? Please answer that, and if you say 'yes', is this not saying that 2 individuals (the elderly couple) should be sacrificed (ie forced to make a sacrifice) for the sake of the other 99,998 in that town?

I do believe that you keep waffling on this because the crux of your argument does seem to be that it's ok to sacrifice some individuals for the sake of the group, but when I point out how barbaric this reasoning is and how this was the justification for slavery, then you insist you never said that.

I still can't pin you down on this issue, and it seems you're always flipping sides. Here are some statements. Please tell me which #'s you feel are accurate statements and which are not:

1. There should be individual sacrifice for the sake of society.
2. Individuals should be forced to make sacrifices for the sake of society.
3. Society is a group of individuals
4. Individuals should be forced to make sacrifices for the sake of other individuals.

Quote:@cjlr: [The golden rule is] insufficient, since not all people want the same thing.

Q: Give me a specific name and/or culture of someone that does NOT want free will (ie someone that does not object to being forced to do something against his will)?

A: Submissive sadists. The question is absurd and irrelevant.

I asked for specifics. Do you have any links or evidence to prove that self-categorized “submissive sadists” do NOT want to exercise their free will? I know little of s&m, but it's my understanding they DO want to exercise their free will (namely to subject themselves to their master). I've never heard of anybody in s&m who said they want the police to arrest them and force them all to stop practicing s&m. It still seems to me that amongst the 6 billion people on the planet, 'free will' IS something all people want. My question was predicated by your claim of dissing the golden rule because “not all people want the same thing”. I still maintain that one thing which all people DO want is the ability to exercise free will. Therefore, if 'free will' is a universal desire, then only way to practice the gold rule is if nobody infringes on the free will of others.

Quote:Here's my platinum rule: treat others as they wish to be treated. See the difference?

No, to me it's the same thing as the golden rule. Regardless I agree with both.

Quote:Absolute free will means no restrictions whatsoever. That is not viable. We cannot operate on the assumption that nobody will ever want to do anything bad ever. That is not viable.

First, I generally do believe in granting everyone complete free will, provided they're not denying others of their free will in the process. Regardless, as I've said this many times, I know that liberals and conservatives will NEVER give up their club-wielding, forcing others to give up their free will and do what they ask. Therefore, the ONLY request I have is a limited (regional) jurisdiction of these laws denying free will. This way, when one becomes an adult and moves out from his parents' home and decides where he wants to live, he will have a plethora of political systems to pick from, communist, capitalist, libertarian, theocratic, etc.

Q: Do you still insist there's no difference in your ability to exercise your free will between (a) being forced to live in one jurisdiction under one set of laws, and (b) being able to choose amongst a rainbow of jurisdictions the one that most closely reflects your will?

Q: If you concede there is a difference, and if you maintain you want free will, then why are we still debating this? Why not concede that, provided there's another way to address pollution that spreads across jurisdictions, having local jurisdiction is a better way to let everyone exercise their free will?

Quote:Since you can't conceive of anything beyond the immediate confines of modern American politics, I'll dive in after you.

I've written extensively about Switzerland's political systems too. It's not that I cannot conceive others, it's just that when I don't know what I'm talking about, I keep my opinions to myself. Thus I only talk about American politics (since I was born into it) and Swiss politics (which I studied a lot).

Quote:Those who don't want health insurance are incapable of understanding statistics

I think it's the opposite—people who DO understand statistics don't want health insurance. The fact is that ALL insurance companies to survive MUST take in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. Therefore, the AVERAGE American WILL be better off to set aside what he would otherwise pay into health insurance into an investment account that he uses to pay his medical bills from. On average, he will come out ahead. Now, if the person is ABOVE AVERAGE, maybe he doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, exercises regularly, etc. he will come out WAY ahead by self-insuring. And if he also is willing to travel outside the US for his medical care, you can get much better care for 1/10 the price, he will come out WAY, WAY ahead by self-insuring. As I posted that's what I do, and by doing so it has already saved me a fortune and it means I will end up with an extra $1 million in savings in old age. The only health insurance I've carried is the 'emergency' kind, which just covers unplanned emergency room visits. This insurance costs almost nothing, and it eliminates the moral hazard caused by the laws that compel doctor's to provide emergency care regardless of one's ability to pay.

With my current health care system, I am not putting anybody at risk, I get excellent health care and pay very little for it, I am in charge of my own destiny and can pick any doctor anywhere in the world for any treatment I want, even if it's not approved in the US. And I end up with an extra $1 million to leave my kids.

Obamacare deprives me of my right to free will, and, even though I wasn't harming anybody, it forces me to give up my good health care and get locked into the shitty care that you get in the US, which may at some point cost the life of someone in my family, it forces me to give up that $1 million and instead donate it to the companies that funded Obama's campaign, and it takes away our ability to decide for ourselves what treatment we options we want, instead surrendering our lives to Obama's benefactors, letting them decide what treatments we can and cannot get, what doctors we can and cannot see, and stripping us of our ability to exercise free will.

You implied that American liberals had 'no other option' than Obamacare. Sure they did. Let us opt out and sign waivers. Or do it at the local level so we can pack up and move when they try to take over our lives. But tying it to citizenship like they did so that Americans living in Canada and getting Canadian health care STILL have to donate $1,000/month to the evil for-profit companies that financed Obama's campaign is, imo, totally immoral.

Quote:Indeed, let us consider that example! Car insurance is mandatory for those owning and using cars. First, do you agree or disagree with this policy?

Your statement is WRONG. Car insurance is not mandatory to own and use a car. It's up to whoever owns the roads to decide what requirements they put on using those roads. If you drive on roads owned by people who don't require insurance, then car insurance is NOT mandatory. Also, in many US States, if you showed that you had at least $25,000 set aside to cover liability in case of an accident, then insurance requirements were also waived to drive on government-owned roads.

IF I assume your statement is correct and that car insurance is always mandatory to use a car, even if I'm on my own property, then the answer is “No, I do not agree with that policy”.

Quote:Health is not a choice, but an intrinsic character of being alive.

Totally untrue. First, at issue is WHERE you go to get health care. Americans used to have a choice where they went for healthcare, including foreign countries, and alternative medicine. Second, just because one is alive does not mean that one needs one of Obama's healthcare providers. There are people who prefer natural remedies, or faith healing, etc.
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01-10-2013, 06:20 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:Morality lies in deciding what is good and what is bad. Nothing in the real world is purely good or purely bad. Therefore nuance lies in determining whether something is more or less good or bad. I very much doubt you needed me to tell you that.

I strongly disagree. I do NOT believe that it is at all moral for the people who have the power to decide whether something (like some particular policy) is good and bad.

Disingenuous. That's not what I said.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  When you say 'morality lies in deciding', no abstract concept called 'morality' can make decisions. PEOPLE make decisions. PEOPLE decide what is good and bad.

Yep. And PEOPLE'S morality lies in deciding what is good or bad. I'd've thought that a fairly uncontroversial statement. You can hardly accuse me of alluding to some universal morality when I've stated multiple times per post that people disagree as to moral specifics...

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And if PEOPLE are allowed to make that judgment call on a case-by-case basis, then whatever PEOPLE have the power to make that decision will inevitably say that the “good” decision is the one that benefits them.

Well, that's rather more pessimistic than I'd say is warranted. But you are clear that that's an opinion, right? Not a fact?

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Therefore, imo, the moral solution is not to determine whether some THING is good or bad, but rather in advance to a set of rules that is fair, neutral, non-discriminatory which determines what is good and bad. It's like playing a game of chess and either (a) both sides agree in advance to the rules, or (b) while the game is in play whichever opponent is bigger and stronger makes up the rules as he goes along.

That analogy really doesn't follow.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  This issue is the very crux of our debate. I do not want people to decide what is good and bad. I want people to agree to a neutral system, namely that we reject every law that denies people free will and which is applied with universal jurisdiction (ie nationwide). It's a neutral policy, non-discriminatory policy. I agree to follow it even whether the policy being debated benefits me or harms me. It's like agreeing that a 'bishop' can move diagonally, whether or not it benefits me.

Nations are not universal. Division of powers and competencies is arbitrary. But we've been over that.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Your argument does seem to be that whatever people have the power to make the decisions (ie whatever group has 51% of the vote) should be able to decide on a case-by-case basis what is good and bad. I want a mechanical, pragmatic system to make that decision.

The “mechanical, pragmatic system” is something which only exists on an individual level. People have different opinions. Their basis for interaction (also known as: society) is coming to some sort of agreement despite that.

It is literally impossible to decide on all possible contingencies in advance.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:I'd welcome your opinion as to where I've waffled on anything I've expressed in this thread.

Post #171, you wrote: “Society is individual sacrifice”. I pointed out that this is the same as saying “Society is sacrifice of individuals”. But you responded it was a “ludicrous misinterpretations.... insane troll logic”.

That's because that is not the same thing.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  All I did was reverse the word order, “individual sacrifice” becomes “sacrifice of individuals”. They ARE the same. Just like “John's car” is the same thing as the “car of John”.

Man bites dog. Dog bites man.

Absent strong case marking (as in, y'know, English) word order is of strong syntactical import. Deal with it.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  In your phrase “individual sacrifice” what is it that is being sacrificed? Is it not the individual? Obviously not all individuals are sacrificed equally in society, and society IS nothing but a group of individuals, so your claim IS that some individuals in a society should be sacrificed for the sake of others in that society.

Uh, no. Your saying I must've meant the same thing is not the same as my agreeing that I meant the same thing.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You later said that: “Sacrifice for the sake of the group is entirely distinct from sacrifice for the sake of some other individuals.” Well what is a 'group'? Is it not a collection of individuals? So when you force 2 individuals to make a sacrifice for the sake of the group, you ARE forcing them make a sacrifice for the other individuals in the group.

I'd stay stop and listen first, but this is asymmetric communication, and you're already well off the rails of relevance...

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Here's a simple example: A town of 100,000 people wants to build a freeway, but an elderly couple refuses to sell their house even over fair market value because in their aged state they cannot adjust to a new, unfamiliar home, and they don't drive anymore anyway so have no use for the freeway. @cjlr, should the town be able to invoke 'eminent domain' laws and force them out of their home? Please answer that, and if you say 'yes', is this not saying that 2 individuals (the elderly couple) should be sacrificed (ie forced to make a sacrifice) for the sake of the other 99,998 in that town?

That depends on a further ten thousand other variables. Is there literally no other way to accomplish the goal? Is there literally no possible accommodation? What benefits derive from the freeway? What will actually happen to the old couple?

Think outside the box you've built yourself: should the freeway plans be cancelled? In which case, 99,998 people are forced to make a sacrifice for the sake of the other 2 in that town.

(I also note that you have provided your own exception to your stock answer of “just leave if you don't like it”)

This is what I keep saying and you keep missing: there is essentially no real-world action which does not have both positive and negative consequences. In deciding whether to proceed the two are weighed – either by the individual or by the community.

You are implicitly weighing the two options. You are implicitly forming a judgement as to which is comes out ahead in the moral arithmetic. Can you explain how you are doing this?

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I do believe that you keep waffling on this because the crux of your argument does seem to be that it's ok to sacrifice some individuals for the sake of the group, but when I point out how barbaric this reasoning is and how this was the justification for slavery, then you insist you never said that.

I didn't say that. Your thinking I said that doesn't make it so. I hardly think I left charitable room for such misinterpretation, but hell, maybe I was just that darn ambiguous. In which case I reiterate: I never said that. If it seemed that way it was in error, and I apologize for being insufficiently clear.

If you refuse to listen to what I'm saying and only listen to what you'd rather think I said then I give up.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I still can't pin you down on this issue, and it seems you're always flipping sides.

Because your questions are overly narrow and leading and the views you falsely attribute to me lurch from misconception to misconception. Small wonder they're not consistent...

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Here are some statements. Please tell me which #'s you feel are accurate statements and which are not:

1. There should be individual sacrifice for the sake of society.

Yes – insofar as that is the definition of society. An agreement on what to do and what not to do to each other. Do you ever have déjà vu?

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  2. Individuals should be forced to make sacrifices for the sake of society.

If I said I agree then you'd take that as endorsement. Actually you probably will regardless. But no, I think it might be necessary though always undesirable. A communal decision necessarily affects multiple people. A perfect win-win in every case is not a realistic expectation.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  3. Society is a group of individuals

Qualified agreement – it is not merely a group of individuals. More is different. Society has emergent dimensions.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  4. Individuals should be forced to make sacrifices for the sake of other individuals.

A society in which any member may prevent any action is utterly non-functional. Liberum veto is not a thing to emulate.

In a perfect world we could hold out for unanimity. That's not going to happen in reality.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  It still seems to me that amongst the 6 billion people on the planet, 'free will' IS something all people want. My question was predicated by your claim of dissing the golden rule because “not all people want the same thing”. I still maintain that one thing which all people DO want is the ability to exercise free will. Therefore, if 'free will' is a universal desire, then only way to practice the gold rule is if nobody infringes on the free will of others.

Yes, but it's not relevant to my objection.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:Here's my platinum rule: treat others as they wish to be treated. See the difference?

No, to me it's the same thing as the golden rule. Regardless I agree with both.

Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Treat others as they wish to be treated.

If you can't tell the difference, I can't help you there.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  First, I generally do believe in granting everyone complete free will, provided they're not denying others of their free will in the process.

Well, then there you go. So do I. Except of course it's not 'complete', as the rest of the sentence goes on to explain.

What, then, constitutes denying others of their free will? An all-encompassing superficiality seems insufficient to me, but you might well think it's good enough.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Regardless, as I've said this many times, I know that liberals and conservatives will NEVER give up their club-wielding, forcing others to give up their free will and do what they ask.

Your straw men are have very strong convictions.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Therefore, the ONLY request I have is a limited (regional) jurisdiction of these laws denying free will. This way, when one becomes an adult and moves out from his parents' home and decides where he wants to live, he will have a plethora of political systems to pick from, communist, capitalist, libertarian, theocratic, etc.

I have pointed out why that is tremendously narrow-minded. Do I need to repeat myself?

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: Do you still insist there's no difference in your ability to exercise your free will between (a) being forced to live in one jurisdiction under one set of laws, and (b) being able to choose amongst a rainbow of jurisdictions the one that most closely reflects your will?

The boundaries of any given jurisdiction are arbitrary. The ability and competencies of any given jurisdiction are variable. I never insisted there was “no difference”, so that right there's quite dishonest to begin with.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Q: If you concede there is a difference, and if you maintain you want free will, then why are we still debating this? Why not concede that, provided there's another way to address pollution that spreads across jurisdictions, having local jurisdiction is a better way to let everyone exercise their free will?

Provided there's another way to address any issues that extend beyond the immediate jurisdiction in question? Yes, of course.

(bonus question: what about the other issues extending beyond immediate jurisdiction?)

At this point I'm mostly concerned with dispelling your crazy misrepresentations of me.
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(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:Those who don't want health insurance are incapable of understanding statistics

I think it's the opposite—people who DO understand statistics don't want health insurance. The fact is that ALL insurance companies to survive MUST take in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. Therefore, the AVERAGE American WILL be better off to set aside what he would otherwise pay into health insurance into an investment account that he uses to pay his medical bills from. On average, he will come out ahead. Now, if the person is ABOVE AVERAGE, maybe he doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, exercises regularly, etc. he will come out WAY ahead by self-insuring. And if he also is willing to travel outside the US for his medical care, you can get much better care for 1/10 the price, he will come out WAY, WAY ahead by self-insuring. As I posted that's what I do, and by doing so it has already saved me a fortune and it means I will end up with an extra $1 million in savings in old age. The only health insurance I've carried is the 'emergency' kind, which just covers unplanned emergency room visits. This insurance costs almost nothing, and it eliminates the moral hazard caused by the laws that compel doctor's to provide emergency care regardless of one's ability to pay.

Nah, that's called being unable to think rationally about probabilities. Our human 'common sense' is absolutely atrocious at dealing with statistics. Half the population will pay more than the median. Half the population will pay less than the median. By definition. The cost of treatment is almost entirely uncorrelated with the ability to pay. The variance on the average is very high. Travelling outside the US only shifts costs. And so on.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  With my current health care system, I am not putting anybody at risk, I get excellent health care and pay very little for it, I am in charge of my own destiny and can pick any doctor anywhere in the world for any treatment I want, even if it's not approved in the US. And I end up with an extra $1 million to leave my kids.

It totally works for you. At the moment. Until and unless something goes wrong. Naturally your mindset is “well nothing will happen to me, unforeseen medical emergencies are for other people...”. So be it.

A full opt-out, provided one waives subsequent treatment, seems fair enough to me. It's a extremely terrible idea, but people should be free to do so.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Obamacare deprives me of my right to free will, and, even though I wasn't harming anybody, it forces me to give up my good health care and get locked into the shitty care that you get in the US, which may at some point cost the life of someone in my family, it forces me to give up that $1 million and instead donate it to the companies that funded Obama's campaign, and it takes away our ability to decide for ourselves what treatment we options we want, instead surrendering our lives to Obama's benefactors, letting them decide what treatments we can and cannot get, what doctors we can and cannot see, and stripping us of our ability to exercise free will.

You implied that American liberals had 'no other option' than Obamacare. Sure they did. Let us opt out and sign waivers. Or do it at the local level so we can pack up and move when they try to take over our lives. But tying it to citizenship like they did so that Americans living in Canada and getting Canadian health care STILL have to donate $1,000/month to the evil for-profit companies that financed Obama's campaign is, imo, totally immoral.

I never said it was a good policy. You asked me why other people might think it's better than nothing, which I attempted to answer.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Your statement is WRONG. Car insurance is not mandatory to own and use a car. It's up to whoever owns the roads to decide what requirements they put on using those roads. If you drive on roads owned by people who don't require insurance, then car insurance is NOT mandatory. Also, in many US States, if you showed that you had at least $25,000 set aside to cover liability in case of an accident, then insurance requirements were also waived to drive on government-owned roads.

My statement was A SIMPLIFICATION FOR EFFECT. Indeed, a car is not particularly useful if one does not use it on public roads, option though that may be.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  IF I assume your statement is correct and that car insurance is always mandatory to use a car, even if I'm on my own property, then the answer is “No, I do not agree with that policy”.

The thought behind that requirement is that by driving a car (on public roads Rolleyes ) you implicitly endanger others, and it is designed to prevent you from being able to harm others beyond your ability to compensate. Do you agree with that policy?

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
Quote:Health is not a choice, but an intrinsic character of being alive.

Totally untrue. First, at issue is WHERE you go to get health care. Americans used to have a choice where they went for healthcare, including foreign countries, and alternative medicine.

The answer is always more semantics! Health is an attribute of life. Healthcare is a different matter. Tongue

I suppose it's a choice, in that when you need treatment you may either seek it or not. Technically true. Practically irrelevant.

You're acting as though I'd endorsed Obamacare.

(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Second, just because one is alive does not mean that one needs one of Obama's healthcare providers. There are people who prefer natural remedies, or faith healing, etc.

There are those so distanced from modern society that they do not ever use modern healthcare. As it happens there are many exceptions to participation in Obamacare.

You're acting as though I'd endorsed Obamacare.

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01-10-2013, 06:51 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(01-10-2013 02:57 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I think it's the opposite—people who DO understand statistics don't want health insurance.

That's preposterous. I don't not buy insurance because I assume I'm at the peak of the Bell curve, I buy insurance 'cause this particular individual may end up 2-3 standard deviations away. That's kinda like why they call it insurance. 30 yo otherwise perfectly healthy GirlyMan spends 2 weeks in the hospital hooked up to every IV known to man recovering from peritonitis and sepsis for a burst appendix. Cost was like $75K. If I didn't have insurance, who do you think pays?

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01-10-2013, 07:38 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Quote:PEOPLE'S morality lies in deciding what is good or bad. I'd've thought that a fairly uncontroversial statement.

Yes, it's uncontroversial for liberals and conservatives, but as I said, libertarians think the opposite. We do NOT think that morality should be a matter of deciding what policies (like Obamacare) are good or bad. Rather, we think morality should be a set of RULES, or formulas, which make that determination automatically. People still need to agree on the RULES that define morality, but imo should NOT be left to decide each policy case-by-case. It should be decided in advance, and codified into a constitution.

You said my chess analogy doesn't follow. I think you don't understand what I'm saying because it is apropos. So I'll try another analogy. Imagine there are 2 ways to determine whether a policy (say Obamacare) is "moral":

1. Like every policy, it goes to a vote, and if the majority thinks it's moral, then it's moral.

2. BEFORE even considering Obamacare or any other policy, the people agree to a certain of rules, which are testable. And the people instruct some software programmers to write a program. Going forward for each new policy under review (like Obamacare) you fill out a series of simple, objective questions, and the computer spits out the answer. No subjective human judgement call is required for each policy. Humans were ONLY used to agree on the rules up front, and after that, it's an automated process.

Liberals and conservatives believe in #1, libertarians in #2. As I've said before, the libertarian rule is simple: Are people being forced to do something against their will? If yes, the law must be struck down at the national level, and left up to the local jurisdictions to sort out. Thus, there is no judgement call at the national level. A piece of software be like this:

printf("Are people being forced to do something against their will? [y/n]");
boolean bAnswer = get_yes_no();
if( bAnswer==YES )
printf("Law is null and void at the national level");
else
printf("Law is permitted at the national level");

See, no judgement call is involved in determine if Obamacare is right, except in agreeing upon the rules up front. This is the system classic liberals in the US used. The constitution says "Here's a list of enumerated powers for the federal government. All of them are LIMITING coercion, none of them are forcing people to do anything against their will. If a law is passed at the Federal Level beyond those enumerated powers, the Supreme Court must void the law as unconstitutional. This was the 18th century equivalent of that snippet of C code I wrote above. It was designed to be an automated, objective system that provided a set of neutral, fair rules that all sides, liberals and conservatives, could agree to up front.

Quote:
Quote:And if PEOPLE are allowed to make that judgment call on a case-by-case basis, then whatever PEOPLE have the power to make that decision will inevitably say that the “good” decision is the one that benefits them.
Well, that's rather more pessimistic than I'd say is warranted. But you are clear that that's an opinion, right? Not a fact?

Of course it's an opinion, and there are occasional exceptions to the rule. But VERY few in my observation. For example, ask people first if they believe being gay is a sin and if they have gay friends or family. If the answer is 'yes it's a sin, and no I have no friends', they will 99% of the time vote against gay marriage. If the answer is 'no it's not a sin and yes I have gay friends and family', 99% of the time they vote for it. This is on just about every issue. Say undocumented immigrants. What % of undocumented immigrants are in favor of immigration reform? You dispute that it's a VERY high %? In my experience, liberals always vote in favor of liberal laws, and oppose conservative laws. And vice-versa. And this isn't just my opinion. Many political commentators have observed this.

Quote:Nations are not universal. Division of powers and competencies is arbitrary. But we've been over that.

I refer to a law as 'universal' when the jurisdiction covers every place where somebody is legally allowed to live. In the European Union, a law would be universal if it covered the whole EU. In most other countries, it's universal if it's at the national level. If you're Canadian, and it's a national law, you don't have any constitutional rights to live in any country other Canada, thus the law is effectively 'universal' because everywhere that you can legally live you are bound to the law. Come on, this really isn't complicated.

Quote:It is literally impossible to decide on all possible contingencies in advance.

But it _IS_ possible to agree to the set of rules which determine all possible contingencies in advance. That's what the US constitution does!

Quote:
Quote:All I did was reverse the word order, “individual sacrifice” becomes “sacrifice of individuals”. They ARE the same. Just like “John's car” is the same thing as the “car of John”.
Man bites dog. Dog bites man.
Absent strong case marking (as in, y'know, English) word order is of strong syntactical import. Deal with it.

With man bites dog you are reversing the subject and the object. What specifically is the difference between "individual sacrifice" and "sacrifice of individuals"?
Quote:Think outside the box you've built yourself: should the freeway plans be cancelled? In which case, 99,998 people are forced to make a sacrifice for the sake of the other 2 in that town...
You are implicitly weighing the two options. You are implicitly forming a judgement as to which is comes out ahead in the moral arithmetic. Can you explain how you are doing this?

Our disagreement is over positive vs. negative rights. This is something liberals insist doesn't exist, but classic liberals and libertarians have always argued it does. Saying that I have the right to take something from you by force is a positive right. Saying that I have the right NOT to have stuff taken from me by force is a negative right. Liberals argue there's no difference, libertarians argue there is. Which is why we get to the "technical" definition that started this. In the case of the town vs. the couple, who is initiating physical force? Is it the 99,998 people in the town, or is it the 2 in the house? When matter contacts matter (ie a handcuff on the wrists, or a fist around the arm) which side is initiating the force? It's obvious. The 99,998 are initiating force against the 2. Therefore, libertarians almost universally reject eminent domain, because we follow a set of rules that guide our action, rather than deciding on the fly what is right and wrong. Even though 99% of the time we will benefit from eminent domain, and REALLY want that freeway, we accept that if we were that elderly couple with a bit of dementia and unable to physically handle being removed from their home, we wouldn't want to have the police come in and drag us away, so we don't do it to others, no matter how badly we want it. This also passes the Original Position, since behind the veil of ignorance, you don't know if you're the townfolk or the elderly couple.

Libertarians hate the assertion that positive rights are the same as negative rights, that it's appropriate for the 99,998 to throw the couple out of their home because they'd be 'sacrificing' themselves if they weren't able to do so, because this assertion of positive rights has historically been used to justify EVERYTHING. There's absolutely NOTHING that cannot be justified if you believe in positive rights. I want to rape your daughter? No problem! It's not fair for to sacrifice myself for your daughter's sake, my right to rape her is no different than her right not to be raped.

Quote:I never said "it's ok to sacrifice some individuals for the sake of the group"
WTF?! Go back to the eminent domain example. The 'group' is the town of 100,000 people, the 'individuals' being sacrificed are the 2 elderly people. You're defending the towns right to remove them from their home, right? What are you saying? That the 2 elderly people aren't being sacrificed? It's not a sacrifice for them to give up their home and, perhaps even die if they lack the mental agility to adjust to new surroundings? Are are you saying their sacrifice is not for the sake of the group??? It seems like I cannot pin you down on this.

Quote:1. There should be individual sacrifice for the sake of society
2. Individuals should be forced to make sacrifices for the sake of society
You see the 2 as being different. How are they different? I'll give you that I fucked up and missed the pronoun shift in the golden vs. platinum rule, but I still don't understand the fundamental difference here. It seems a silly debate over grammar, because the principle is the same imo.

Quote:[quote]Q: ...provided there's another way to address pollution that spreads across jurisdictions, having local jurisdiction is a better way to let everyone exercise their free will?

Provided there's another way to address any issues that extend beyond the immediate jurisdiction in question? Yes, of course.

(bonus question: what about the other issues extending beyond immediate jurisdiction?)

The problem is how you define 'issues' that cross jurisdictions. I define it in a literal, physical, testable way: is property from one jurisdiction damaged by the other. Yes, that's narrow. But, remember, libertarians like to have rules we follow, rather than leave it up to subjective calls. I think you make it subjective and will allow whatever you feel is an 'issue' to justify universal laws. But by doing so, there are no rules, and anything is justifiable. What if everybody in one state believed prostitution was okay? Sure, the other states could argue they need a national ban because it's an 'issue' that enters their jurisdiction (ie temptation). But you understand, the libertarian position is to agree to the rules of the game in advance, and come up with rules that all parties can live with. Limiting the cross jurisdictional issues to those that are physical (ie polution) is a simple, testable rule. You've left it open to no rule, so you can decide on a case-by-case basis what is a cross jurisdictional issue that requires univeral enforcement.

Do you understand now my point that libertarians believe in establishing rules to the game up front, which all parties must live with, as opposed to make judgement calls on the fly? Does it now make sense that the US Founders said the federal government was NOT a democracy, but rather a constituationally limited republic designed to protect the people FROM democracy? Democracy is a subjective, case-by-case by decision. A constituationally limited republic is a set of rules that are agreed to up front.

Quote:The thought behind that requirement is that by driving a car (on public roads Rolleyes ) you implicitly endanger others, and it is designed to prevent you from being able to harm others beyond your ability to compensate. Do you agree with that policy?

Again, I think it's up to the people who own the roads to decide what rules apply to their use. Germans have different rules for the autobahn than Canada does for it's roads. If the people of Quebec decided they did NOT want to require insurance to drive on Quebecois roads, then I do not believe the people in Ontario have the right to force the Quebecois to change. It's their roads, let them make their own decision.

Quote:[My health care system going outside the US] totally works for you. At the moment. Until and unless something goes wrong.
Totally wrong. I'm now 40. The money I've saved and invested by not buying US health care is now over $500,000. First, that's more than most insurance companies will pay out anyway, and enough to cover any condition, especially since it's my money and I can go outside the US, where $500k is enough to cover anything. I'd say that _IF_ something goes wrong, say I get some new, rare disease, I am in a MUCH better condition than Americans on the US health care system. Those poor chaps are totally at the mercy of their insurance company, who can and do deny them coverage for just about any reason, including that treatment of the disease is experimental or not approved in the US. And what's going to happen as they get older, and hit 65? They're insurance will be cancelled, or the premiums may be so high they can't afford it anymore. By self-insuring, I'm in a MUCH better position. When I hit 65, I'd have so much amassed already I'd be covered for the rest of my life and not need insurance. I have total freedom. If I'm 80 years old and want to live in a retirement home in Rio with hookers who give you lap dances every day, I'm free to do it. Those Americans who are dependent on the health insurance companies will have no coverage, and they'll be dependent on US Medicaid, which doesn't cover shit.

I realize you're not advocating Obamacare. But my point is that the liberals in the US have dug in and said they will not give up Obamacare, even if means shutting down the government. This is what happens when you force a law at the national level. Liberals generally prefer a single-payer system, like Canada. If Obama had focused on health care reform at the STATE level, he might have gotten the more liberal states to switch to single-payer. And if it was successful, it would have put pressure on the other states to switch. But instead he decided to do it as a national law which meant the current compromise, Obamacare, is a disaster for BOTH sides.
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02-10-2013, 07:12 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
frankksj, you remind me of me when I first joined the forum. I went out of the the to explain why I had a problem with direct taxation. Approximately* 100 pages later it just devolves into a few people calling me an idiot, ignorant, nutjob, or worse. Not trying to discourage you, just letting you know what you are likely in for. Good luck!



*Approximation based on feeling alone and may not represent even relatively close figures.

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02-10-2013, 05:16 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(02-10-2013 07:12 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  frankksj, you remind me of me when I first joined the forum. I went out of the the to explain why I had a problem with direct taxation. Approximately* 100 pages later it just devolves into a few people calling me an idiot, ignorant, nutjob, or worse. Not trying to discourage you, just letting you know what you are likely in for. Good luck!

Thanks. I'm used to this in political forums. I was hoping in an atheist forum people would be more willing to question traditional views. Besides, the real purpose of this exercise for me is to help me explain things better. For example, I learned that using the term 'physical force' opened pandora's box because although the meaning is so obvious and simple, it led to absurd word games over what is 'physical' and not, distracting from the message. So I tried re-explaining it using the definition of liberty from the dictionary, namely respecting one's free-will. But this led to the typical liberal issue that there's no distinction between positive and negative rights and my right to use force on you and take something from you is no different than your right not to be forced to give up something against your will. I always say this means that one man's right to pleasure himself raping a woman is no less of a right than the woman's right not to be raped. The point is clear, but they'll constantly push back because, as Friedman said, the modern definition of a liberal is simply somebody who likes to spend someone else's money.
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