Differences in political views.
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20-08-2013, 12:39 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
Reverant77X, I would point out to you that one of the reasons the Scandinavian countries work well is that they know that they are all mostly related. This should not be construed to mean that I do not agree with their socio-economic structure, only that they have emotional reasons for accepting the other.

TrulyX, I will dance around what others have stated. Political labeling including self (I consider myself an ancarcho-syndicalist) is intended to preserve top down political power. It is rather like religion. Labeling someone is used to remove the commonality of all. We all have certain needs. We can work to achieve them communally but that may tread on the needs of others. Some of those needs being detrimental to the commons. The use of labeling to reinforce political discourse is intended to protect various power structures that are in detriment to the common good.

I, several years ago, frequented a tavern in Oakland CA. I very much liked the place because it had a mixed crowd and I knew I was safe there. Absent 5 people with machine guns I would not be harmed nor shunned nor otherwise be uncomfortable there. It was a community. I am afraid that politics very much ignores the nature of humans as a community.
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21-08-2013, 12:59 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
The real danger of these kinds of political labels is "group thinking"... I think us atheists generally regard ourselves as "free thinkers", we don't chain ourselves to one particular ideology.

Christopher Hitchens was always associated with the left, but not at the expense of his own opinions. He shocked a lot of people when he came out in support of the Iraq War, and led many to label him a conservative. This is the fallacy... that because you are aligned with one side or the other, you must therefore embrace everything it stands for.

However you align yourself, don't do it at the expense of your own conscience. Be a free thinker... think for yourself, and never let others think for you.

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits... - George Carlin.
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21-08-2013, 02:25 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(21-08-2013 12:59 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  The real danger of these kinds of political labels is "group thinking"... I think us atheists generally regard ourselves as "free thinkers", we don't chain ourselves to one particular ideology.

"us Atheists"?

Anyone else see the irony of warning against group labels and then using atheism as a group label?

You can find atheists who are more inline with some religious people than with other atheists. For good or worse.

Atheism tells you nothing about the person other than if they believe in god(s). Doesn't mean they're skeptical, or secular, or ethical, etc.

And what's this about chaining yourself? I'd be glad to chain myself to any label that represents rational and ethical living.
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21-08-2013, 02:46 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(21-08-2013 02:25 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  
(21-08-2013 12:59 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  The real danger of these kinds of political labels is "group thinking"... I think us atheists generally regard ourselves as "free thinkers", we don't chain ourselves to one particular ideology.

"us Atheists"?

Anyone else see the irony of warning against group labels and then using atheism as a group label?

You can find atheists who are more inline with some religious people than with other atheists. For good or worse.

Atheism tells you nothing about the person other than if they believe in god(s). Doesn't mean they're skeptical, or secular, or ethical, etc.

And what's this about chaining yourself? I'd be glad to chain myself to any label that represents rational and ethical living.

He did say "generally". I took that to be implicitly subjective and based on his own experiences.

Atheism is rather a necessary label, if one is to refer collectively to that group of people who are atheists.

It only strictly refers to the one thing they have in common. Said atheism may well have a high correlation with other opinions held (eg, skepticism); statistics is a reliable thing... Are people lazy sometimes, in assuming that correlation always holds on an individual level? Yes. Is that bad? Yes. That's not really revelatory...

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21-08-2013, 05:21 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(19-08-2013 06:35 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(19-08-2013 06:19 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  I think it's fair to call out our so-called left and our so-called right major political parties and claim that their so-called major differences to each other are relatively minor in practice. I don't think it's fair to say that all political systems are equivalently good or that all economic systems are equivalently good.
I'm asking whether or not certain ideologies have justification (not irrational, arbitrary, circular, etc).
I've mentioned theism as analogy, multiple times. Faith, in my view, isn't good enough to make decisions and/or have ideas, applied
You mentioned theocracy as an example. That would be including religion. You wouldn't have the opposition, if it weren't for the sham of religious ideology and thus theocratic ideology, which has no basis.

If you accept that there are objective criteria by which different ideologies can be assessed (for example, based on the criteria of individual happiness or wealth within the population) then presumably you must accept that there is a basis for objective justified acceptance of one over the other. Even if our information is so incomplete as to be unable to reasonably distinguish between a number of possible alternatives it seems we can safely rule out at least some ideologies as being best practice.

... or would you claim that there is no objective basis for comparing ideologies at all? How would you back up that claim?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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21-08-2013, 05:31 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(21-08-2013 02:25 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  
(21-08-2013 12:59 PM)Paranoidsam Wrote:  The real danger of these kinds of political labels is "group thinking"... I think us atheists generally regard ourselves as "free thinkers", we don't chain ourselves to one particular ideology.

"us Atheists"?

Anyone else see the irony of warning against group labels and then using atheism as a group label?

You can find atheists who are more inline with some religious people than with other atheists. For good or worse.

Atheism tells you nothing about the person other than if they believe in god(s). Doesn't mean they're skeptical, or secular, or ethical, etc.

And what's this about chaining yourself? I'd be glad to chain myself to any label that represents rational and ethical living.

Your reading too much into the word "us"... most atheists tend to regard themselves as free thinkers, at least all the ones I know do. The fact is, whatever kind of atheist you are... you're an atheist. It's just an adjective, not a clique or group label...

Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits... - George Carlin.
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21-08-2013, 05:49 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(21-08-2013 05:21 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  If you accept that there are objective criteria by which different ideologies can be assessed (for example, based on the criteria of individual happiness or wealth within the population) then presumably you must accept that there is a basis for objective justified acceptance of one over the other. Even if our information is so incomplete as to be unable to reasonably distinguish between a number of possible alternatives it seems we can safely rule out at least some ideologies as being best practice.

... or would you claim that there is no objective basis for comparing ideologies at all? How would you back up that claim?

I'm not questioning of comparison, necessarily.

If a man, for a hypothetical example, proposed a women ought to, on demand, be his slave, provide sexual favors, cook, clean, have children and take care of them, not leave the house, not speak unless spoken to, etc., and it were to be assumed that increased her wealth and happiness, by giving her a place in society, providing her with clothing, providing housing, providing family, providing healthcare, providing food and water, providing luxuries, etc., maybe which could be assumed would not take place otherwise, would the latter described criteria be said to then justify the ideology of, let's just call it, sexism, for the lack of a better term?

Obviously, like atheism to religion, the existence of that ideology would provide for, what could be, the necessity of an ideology in opposing ideology, regardless of the justification, be it ignorance or the greed for domination.

What I'm questioning is whether or not certain ideologies-- in attempt to make a decisions one way or the other, i.e., I don't have my mind made up yet-- are based on rational justification, to the extent with which they can be justifiably imposed on society? Or are certain ideologies, simply arbitrarily and irrationally, from ignorance or worse, imposed on society without regard? And the question from those questions, obviously being, if there is such a (justified) ideology: what is it, and what is the reasoning behind it?

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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05-09-2013, 01:44 AM
RE: Differences in political views.
Each political party has what is called a stage" where you can proceed gaze up what they accept as true in more detail. The RNC (Republicans) are the conservatives, the DNC (Democrats) and liberals, and LP are the Libertarians.
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05-09-2013, 05:18 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
IMHO the problem is just that the labels are not used consistently, so the original meaning is lost.

All creatures on earth are born with the natural instinct to use force to get what we want, whether it be to make someone do something we want, to stop doing something we don't want, or to give us something we want. If you focus on using force to achieve economic goals, like redistribution of wealth, that is 'left'. If you use force for moral/social goals, that is 'right'. Most favor democracy, where whoever gets 51% of the vote decides and the role of the government is to use force to coerce people into doing the will of the majority.

Liberal and libertarian, like “liberty” all come from the latin word “liber” meaning “free”, as in free to do what you want with your life without being coerced through the threat of force and violence. Thus they believe the role of government is the opposite: government should play a defensive role and protect individuals against the use of force. They favor the concept of a 'constitutionally-limited republic', which means the government has a limited set of enumerated powers, all of which are defensive in nature, namely protecting people from the initiation of force both domestic and abroad.

From the liberal movement were a group that believed that enforcement of private property rights was, in itself, a more subtle form of coercion. So, they wanted to take it one step further and ban private property, where everything is collectively owned. This is communism. Socialism was merely a halfway point on the way to communism since it still allowed private personal property, but required all property used in the means of production be collectively owned.

The problem is all the meanings have changed. Technically, only Cuba and North Korea are socialist, and they are also communist, since only they ban private ownership of the means of production. However, this hasn't worked out well, so all communist countries eventually abandoned the rejection of the use of force (the non-aggression principle), which was supposed to be the goal of communism in the first place. However few people today think of socialism anymore as a ban on the means of production, and it's used in more vague terms to describe governments that invest on social programs, like Sweden.


Similarly, those today who call themselves 'liberal' generally no longer believe in the non-aggression principle, but are actually 'left' and favor using force to achieve economic goals, like a redistribution of wealth. Thus classic liberals switched to use the term 'libertarian', however that too has lost it's meaning since today, many self-proclaimed libertarians do not even know what the non-aggression principle is, and do not reject the use of force, and are actually 'right'.

Thus, the problem is that the meaning of the labels have gotten all mixed up. However, if you ask questions, it's generally easy to see which side is which.

1. Take a case where the use of force is accepted by both the left and right and ask: Do you believe in eminent domain, that, if it benefits the greater good, an individual should be forced to give up his property or do something against his will? If 'no' then you are a classic liberal/libertarian, or a possibly a socialist/communist in the original, classic sense.


2. Do you believe in the concept of private property, that individuals should be able to own things, and that the government should defend their property rights? If 'yes' go to #3. If 'no', then you are communist. If you also answered 'no' to 1, then you are a communist in the classic sense in that you still adhere to the non-aggression principle, otherwise you're more of a 'modern communist' that believes in using force.

3. Do you believe in the concept of private ownership of the means of production, namely privately owned businesses? If 'yes', continue to #4, if 'no', then you are a socialist.

4. If someone answered 'no' to #1, but 'yes' to #2 and #3, meaning a classic liberal/libertarian who rejects the use of force, I've found that, whether they are a religious conservative or a secular atheist, you can accurately predict their views on monetary policy, foreign policy, drug policy, marriage equality, and most other hot button issues because, in every case, their position boils down to a rejection of the use of force. They will back the libertarian party. If someone answered 'yes' to #1 and accepts the use of force, the question is how do they want to use it. So, ask: Do you believe in the forced redistribution of wealth, regulation of business transactions between private parties, and that the majority should have a say in an individual's economic affairs? You can also ask a variety of social questions, like if they believe in the war on drugs, marriage equality, an interventionist foreign policy, etc. Here, the results are more subjective, with some people focusing the use of force more on economic issues, usually Democrats, others more on social issues, usually Republicans, others on both, so it becomes more of a gradient on the left/right political spectrum and harder to predict.

At least in the US, it seems 95+% of the population believe in the use of force, so they fall somewhere on the left/right political spectrum and are either Democrats or Republicans, and I can see where it's hard to put the left/right into distinct buckets since it's a subjective gradual line where they want to use force. My experience is that the left and right today are unaware what classic liberalism/libertarianism is and that the only defining difference between them is that they oppose the use of force. And generally the classic liberal/libertarian sees the left and right as being mostly the same, just fighting over who gets to wield the club and what to use force on.

But if you oppose the use of force altogether (classic liberal/libertarian), then to me that is completely different than being left or right, and there's a completely different view of the role of government (ie a defensive role, rather than an offensive). However the left and right often resist accepting that the only difference between them and a libertarian is that the latter rejects the use of force, or get it confused with anarchism, a rejection of government completely, and suggest Somalia must be a libertarian paradise since it has no functioning government. This is silly, imho, since libertarians are the most vigorous defenders of the constitution, which is the very foundation upon which the government was built, and they are actually very much pro-government, they just believe it should play a defensive role rather than an offensive one.

The US was considered the model of classic liberalism/libertarianism during the Age of Enlightenment up until the early 20th century. However Hong Kong is the closest modern example of pure libertarianism. In 1971, it was a tiny, poor fishing village, owned by the British when the finance secretary, Cowperthwaite, petitioned the British to allow a modern libertarian experiment where the government had an official policy of positive non-interventionism, meaning it actively prohibited passing 'offensive' laws and it played no role in the economy, imposed no restrictions on economic activity, but also imposed no restrictions on social activity and vigorously defended freedom of speech, religion, and other purely defensive laws. The British agreed, particularly since they had no long term interest in Hong Kong—it was to be handed back to the Chinese in only 26 years anyway.

It should be noted in those 26 years, it was transformed from a tiny, poor fishing village with a per capita income of $180/year, into the world's most successful trading hub, the harbor became the busiest in the world, the airport had the highest volume of freight of anywhere in the world, gdp rose 28,000% so that it had an equivalent per capita income to the US, their stock market is #6 in the world in total volume, but if you factor in the size of the country, it was #1. And they also had such a huge flood of people 'voting with their feet' and flocking to it that the population density also became #1.
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05-09-2013, 06:55 PM
RE: Differences in political views.
(05-09-2013 05:18 PM)frankksj Wrote:  ...

Define 'force'.

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