Politics and Religion
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21-08-2011, 07:54 AM
Politics and Religion
I just listened to the podcast http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thethinking...d-politics
by thethinkingatheist.
Now, what I what to pick up is:
Would a global system, without borders etc. work, if you have no laws?
Well, it may be strange, cause we actually have smth. like this in Somalia. But I was impressed by the point of the first "guest". He said that government is, at all, like a religion. You have someone who watches you, gives you laws, who'll punish you if brake these laws etc.
As we atheist know, the "absence" of god don't make us criminal. The opposite is true. Theist are statistical more criminal than non-believers. Why can't it be the same with the government? We'd still have society, and if you steal/kill/rape... you know, you won't have a lot of friends after Wink Isn't that the origin of moral/ethics? I think it's an evolutionary point at all, no governmental.
What do you think?
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21-08-2011, 08:26 AM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2011 08:31 AM by Lilith Pride.)
RE: Politics and Religion
The issue is that we would need groups capable of suppressing power. There would need to be skilled people who joined forces in a vigilante sort of way. Those who wish to cause harm can easily gain power over others. It's not that everyone would go crazy, but that the ones who would might have free reign. Now of course there would be some who stood up to protect others, but how well they unified without a leader would be the question. If we cannot agree to a government in any way then our way of life demands we have no leaders. The issue with this is that people are not as capable of unifying without an agreed upon lead. Nothing can keep power from existing within the world, and there will always be those pursuing it, so we could never completely disestablish the hierarchy. It would lead to the rise of a new one.

Not all aggressive people worry about being part of the group. Some could care less if they get shunned.

If you're asking just about morals and ethics? Those would stay pretty much the same occasionally changing. The government didn't really create them in the first place it just suggests that it is enforcing them. Whatever system exists the morals and ethics that allow it to thrive will eventually win out. There is no case where randomly killing people can be an accepted ethic, unless those people are not your own. If the whole world is one big group, then that would mean the moral would not seek killing other humans. Whether they feel those who betray society are their own though is a completely different hurdle.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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21-08-2011, 10:42 AM
RE: Politics and Religion
I can't imagine a global system without border - not with this species. Look what happened to the United nations in only 50 years.
Look at Yugoslavia: a little federation of tiny states, under a charismatic leader, in the shadow of the USSR, doing better than any other east bloc country. As soon as Tito is gone, the federation falls to squabbling and breaks up.
So does the USSR. The USA managed less than a century of uneasy federation before major carnage - and they had Mexico, Canada and all kinds of First nations to fight both before and after.

I'm just saying: people don't maintain large-scale civilizations for very long; societies tend to reconfigure in smaller groups with common roots or at least common interest. Tribes, in effect, if not in fact. That arrangement has worked better than any other tried in human history - far and away better, if you include pre-history. That's probably how it will play out in post-history.
In every case, and through every transition, there are short periods of lawlessness (really, the tough guys vying for leadership and territory; gang warfare, if you like), just as there are pockets of lawlessness even in nations with stable governments. But most of the time, in every viable community, there is some kind of generally acknowledged moral code and legal system.

It's the breaking down of artificial political entities, like federations and unions and even many nations that will cause most havoc and bloodshed. (See Africa)

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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22-08-2011, 04:40 AM
RE: Politics and Religion
(21-08-2011 07:54 AM)darksky Wrote:  As we atheist know, the "absence" of god don't make us criminal. The opposite is true. Theist are statistical more criminal than non-believers. Why can't it be the same with the government?

There's a lot of Libertarians out there who think that abolishing government would be best for everybody. They haven't stopped for a second to think about how governments arose in the first place. As Lilith already indirectly pointed out, it was through violence.

When you keep thinking about it a little longer, you'll realize that our current governments (in the developed world) are on a leash and wear a muzzle. Our first and foremost duty as citizens is to ensure that they keep wearing both because governments will use any excuse to try to get rid of them. Be it terrorism, be it copyright enforcement, be it child pornography or anything else.

Quote:We'd still have society, and if you steal/kill/rape... you know, you won't have a lot of friends after Wink Isn't that the origin of moral/ethics? I think it's an evolutionary point at all, no governmental.

Actually, morals stopped being evolutionary somewhere around the time when our language developed just enough to talk about it. From that point on, it's mostly driven by consensus and conscious feeling of empathy.
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22-08-2011, 07:02 AM
RE: Politics and Religion
Morality would have a small alteration if we changed our way of life as dramatically as disestablishing the leaders while still not living in the "jungle". We've grown using forms of government to keep natural order from affecting us. If we were to abolish them we would need to come up with ways to exist within our now unnatural world (humans have kind of killed a large portion of the natural world off for resources).

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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22-08-2011, 05:45 PM
RE: Politics and Religion
The jungle isn't a chaotic mess: there are all kinds of rules and constraints within every community of every social species.
Yes, our (humans') efforts have been directed to thwarting and cheating nature, but that's only over the last 30,000 or so years - not long enough to evolve out of pre-civilized behaviour, just long enough to reject it. We wrestle with it, try to regulate it; exhort, threaten, seduce, punish and bribe our children and dogs to forsake it; build enforcement and failsafe systems into social structures; depict ourselves as entirely other - yet never get very far from the ape.

It wouldn't take much for us to revert to savagery. But 'savage' societies have order, rules, hierarchy, structure. It's the period of disintegration, when men* are liberated - stripped, cast out, set adrift - from their place and function in a tribe, that brings out lawless, destructive behaviour.
(*yes, chiefly men)

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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23-08-2011, 05:47 PM
RE: Politics and Religion
I'm not saying that the jungle is a chaotic mess, just using "jungle" as the phrase for the old system before government. Savage is an odd term because it doesn't really describe anything outside of living being. For something to be savage that means it kills and destroys without consideration of its actions. Extremely common among the current society. Just look at animal farms. To live it's imperative that you be "savage" life in general is just savage.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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23-08-2011, 07:33 PM
RE: Politics and Religion
Yes, i get that.
Only, people usually don't understand much about primate, or even mammalian social organization, so they use "jungle" quite inaccurately. I should not have lumped your statement in with those. Sorry.

It's hard to imagine humans before government. I don't now whether there is an identifiable moment when leadership of - and responsibility for - the clan morphed into government in something like our present forms. We can't see how the early versions worked, because they didn't build cities or keep records. Group behaviour in the distant past can only be inferred from the few non-civilized tribes that survived into the 20th century, and we have no idea how many other arrangements were tried.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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23-08-2011, 08:23 PM
RE: Politics and Religion
It's also highly dependent on how you describe government, as many non-humans have governing rules. Often times even having arbitrary rules that really don't help them in any way.

As a social animal there has always been the need for a directing force. What really makes the break? Is a government laws that govern tribes outside of the group?

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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25-08-2011, 03:20 PM (This post was last modified: 25-08-2011 03:26 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Politics and Religion
No, i don't think so, unless outside means laws relating to the entire species, of which each separate group of that species partakes. But even then, i wouldn't call it government, exactly. Overarching principles? Moral base-line?

I think of government as the individual(s) steering a given group. It may have the power of arbitrary life and death by the leader's or leaders' own hand or by lethal enforcers, and no grumbling allowed. Or it may just be a toothless granny they all ask for advice. Any amount of power along that line. It may legislate, arbitrate, regulate, interpret old text or invent new; it may be dependent on the vagaries of popularity or on blood ties; it may be for a brief interval or life. But one thing i'm pretty sure of is that the governing person or committee rises up out of the group, by the will - or at least consent - of the group. Why the governor sent by a victorious foreign power is never considered legitimate, and is borne by the subject people only through force of superior arms - even if the occupying nations's laws are far more enlightened, fair and benevolent than their defeated leaders' were. A people may - often does! - depose a bad leader, but it's a prerogative of which they tend to be jealous. Often, they will put up with a bad leader, rather than accept foreign rule.
Humans, that is. I'm not sure how other pack, flock and herd animals are about this. Be interesting to find out. (Back to Konrad Lorenz!)

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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