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philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Mar 5, 2014 - 01:54pm PT
Got rant?
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 5, 2014 - 09:25pm PT
Madbolter, I have never been intentionally rude or offensive to you or anyone on this site, if I have, I do apologize. My previous expression of gratitude to you for your posts you was entirely sincere. I am a lurker far more often than I ever post, and your posts frequently lead me to learn new facts and ideas and occasionally even to change my views. I consider any correspondence where I leave thinking or knowing more than I started to be a win.

We obviously share a love of climbing, and we likely share more common beliefs than you would ever imagine, but I try to express mine as merely my personal beliefs and I have and will continue to take exception to what is perhaps only your literary device of presenting your opinion or political philosophy as fact. I am a scientist, not a philosopher, I can readily believe in almost anything, but facts need proof.

I believe in inalienable rights. I believe in a right to life and liberty, implicit in which is the right to self-defense. When it comes to property/fruits of labor, I rapidly become much more nuanced. Those are my beliefs, they are not facts and cannot be proven or disproven.

Despite my belief in inalienable rights, it is a fact that if I lived in a society that did not share those beliefs or protect those rights, their existence would serve as little consolation to me. This is why I believe that the societal contract to protect those rights is the only way in which those rights or any other rights have any any effective existence, and is therefore far more important than the philosophy behind that contract. To me as a scientist, any argument based on the existence of an unprovable entity is a valuable and interesting exercise, but to present conclusions from such an argument as fact is dishonest.

TE




madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 5, 2014 - 10:20pm PT
TE, I really appreciate your post, and I apologize for coming across like I'm pompous. Tone is very, very hard to convey by email or forum posts, and I must admit that I thought you were being sarcastic. I'm sorry for taking you that way! Most "disagreement" posts on the Taco are heavily laden with sarcasm and personal attacks. I must have subconsciously painted you at least a bit with that brush. For that I am indeed sorry.

We might well agree about more than we ultimately disagree about. I have hopes that we can find that common ground and build from there with discussions that will prove more productive than are most on the taco stand. And now that I have a sense of how to "read" you, that will help a lot!

Believe me, I am very sympathetic with your idea that you believe in inalienable rights but that defining exactly what they are and what parameters they have, particularly in a society that is increasingly clueless about this basic, is the big issue. In discussing this, I'm trying to find that magic balance between "holding the line," trying to actually explain something, and simultaneously not coming off as too pompous of a jerk. I'm sure I err on all sides of the attempt.

Thank you again!
bigbird

climber
WA
Mar 5, 2014 - 10:44pm PT
Comparing the many liberal-minded mothers of today (many of them just poppin' out kids they have no clue how to pay for) with mothers back then is a pitiful joke, plain and simple.

Thats a disingenuous way to frame things... Because it not like G_D fearing conservatives-minded mothers don't get pregnant and have no clue how to pay for it...
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 5, 2014 - 10:57pm PT
You quoted it, so please read it. I said "many." There is cluelessness on "both sides of the aisle."
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 5, 2014 - 11:43pm PT
Yes, women who had no right to vote and who didn't attend school knew all about your imaginary inalienable rights?!!? Hahahahahahaha..... That may be the dumbest post ever on supertopo. Hahahaha......

Actually, many woman in those days were a lot more educated and aware than many college-educated people nowadays. They understood the price of freedom and what it implied a LOT better than people today.
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Mar 5, 2014 - 11:54pm PT
They, for instance, would never project their romanticized vision of others onto people who lived hundreds of years ago that they knew very little about.
QITNL

climber
Mar 6, 2014 - 03:25am PT
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 6, 2014 - 09:47am PT
project their romanticized vision

All fluff and nonsense. I'll say again: either you believe in inalienable rights or you do not. If you do, then you should know that there is nothing "romanticized" about truly understanding what the founders intended to set up. If you do not, then your version of Amerika is really what is romanticized.

Oh, and unlike our founders, who merely had (turns out very GOOD) theory to go on, WE are the beneficiaries of 100 years of social experimentation that clearly contrasts the empirically-known failings of communitarianism with the empirically-known successes of philosophical libertarianism.

Nothing romanticized about the fact that the founders got it right.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Mar 6, 2014 - 09:48am PT
Men with beards do

Is that what all the noise at RLF's place is about?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:28am PT
I bet women with beards would kill people too.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 6, 2014 - 08:07pm PT
Oh yeah? Ever hear of Ailene Wuornos?



I went to the range today to try out my new Savage .22/410ga purchased this morning. Three other parties there but they packed up quickly.
Almost as soon as they left the wind died and the sun came out.
Perfect.

Out came the pump .45LC and the Schofield. (2 much fun)
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de la Playa
Mar 6, 2014 - 08:29pm PT
wood-do my ass!

Credit: zBrown

Is it theoretically possible to shoot a bullet up your aASS and blow your brain out (assuming you have one) without actually having consciousness of the deed. Would this be considered ischemic or hemorrhagic or merely hemorrhoidal
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 6, 2014 - 10:31pm PT
WE are the beneficiaries of 100 years of social experimentation that clearly contrasts the empirically-known failings of communitarianism with the empirically-known successes of philosophical libertarianism.

It is empirically-known that the sun revolves around the earth, that doesn't make it true. If you have any more objective evidence for your claim, I'd like to know.

How do you explain successful countries with large social programs like Norway, Switzerland, Canada or any one of the dozens of others? Switzerland has almost as many guns per capita than the US, but a negligible gun murder rate. How? Strict regulation.

TE









Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:22pm PT
I like the observation about Sweden. I heard facebook is becoming a hub for people to sell guns without background checks here in the States and gun nuts are in another ever loving snit that their "freedom" may be cracked down upon there soon. I'm all for gun ownership, but maybe if you guys followed the "well regulated" part of your favorite amendment, we'd have less troubles. Or maybe that idea just c*#k blocks your steaming hot freedom pie.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:27pm PT
Madbolter said:
"Nothing romanticized about the fact that the founders got it right."

Yup. People use to have a lot less crap bombarding their brains back then. They would sit, and think, maybe drink, and discuss. Then think some more. It is fairly difficult to do that now, but especially for the younger folks who are use to having electronics and talking heads to fill their lives.

The times, they done changed. In many ways for the better, in some ways, not so much.


madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:38pm PT
It is empirically-known that the sun revolves around the earth, that doesn't make it true. If you have any more objective evidence for your claim, I'd like to know.

Well, you're right to note that empirical "knowledge" is never provable, but we always require this or that level of "certainty" depending upon context. I mean, we "know" a lot of things scientifically, but that doesn't make that "knowledge" metaphysically true. But, it's close enough for rock and roll, and for building microwave ovens and space shuttles that don't blow up most of the time. I didn't realize that we were using the bar of deductive knowledge for this sort of inquiry.

So, I'll recast my statement to say, "We have very strong empirical evidence demonstrating...." Are you after something stronger than that? In that event, you can forget about all forms of observation, statistics, or any other empirical metric we typically employ in these sorts of discussions. Honestly, if you're after deductive proofs, I can provide them, but to do so, we'd have to wade into, for example, Kantian ethics and Rawls' Theory of Justice--and that's some HEAVY slogging! Much more reliable, though, than just observing how things play out around the world.

It's of note that our founders really were depending upon political theory that was MUCH more deductive than how most argumentation typically goes (relying as it does on empirical observation). So, if you'd like to shift to pure theory, I'm happy to go there. But it is heavy slogging!

How do you explain successful countries with large social programs like Norway, Switzerland, Canada or any one of the dozens of others? Switzerland has almost as many guns per capita than the US, but a negligible gun murder rate. How? Strict regulation.

A LOT goes into play in answering this question.

First, "successful" is very relative. Are you evaluating personal freedoms, economic "stability," GDP, or what? Your metric will make a LOT of difference here!

When is the last time that neutral Switzerland had its people worry about overthrowing their government? When is the last time its people even thought about political theory? (Of note is that Switzerland was arguably the worst hotbed of political-religious persecution and abuse during the late reformation and into the period that formed the US. Think Zwingli. Ultimately, people fled here.)

Second, these countries you refer to are not really comparable to the US; it is often done, but there really is little comparison. These countries have populations and land-masses (and even GDPs) more like one of our states. Some are larger states, and others are smaller states. I mean, California alone is something like the 7th largest country in the world! So, what can "work" for a small, state-sized enterprise doesn't obviously map-onto or "work" for something like the US. Of note, long before there was a "west" like we know it now, the founders were planning for a continent-sized nation. So, this very point was one they contemplated. It is often overlooked, but they did not imagine us being anything like the tiny nation-states of Europe.

Third, "large social programs" can mean a whole lot of things! The fact that, for example, Canada (at least not a tiny Euro-nation, although still population-tiny!) has socialized medicine must be put alongside Canada's other expenditures. For example, Canada has almost no military. Why? Well, because they are joined at the hip to the US, and we WILL defend them against any threat, as they know. So, their military expenditures are quite insignificant. Even so, Canada's taxes are HIGH! I mean, really high!

We have customers in Canada and so often visit there. I always take the opportunity to ask everybody how things are going. Of course this is anecdotal, but I can tell you that EVERYBODY I talk to in BC wishes that the US would just annex BC. They HATE the taxes they pay, and they do NOT feel that they are getting any real value for what they pay. Furthermore, they do NOT like their healthcare. Not one person I have talked to there likes their socialized healthcare. In fact, the Registrar at one of our schools told me flat-out at lunch that he wished the US would look at Canada's healthcare program, see the vastness of the mistake, and not try to follow suit. And just look at how many Canadians stream across the border to have procedures done here. By contrast, Americans are not streaming across the border to have procedures done in Canada! Canada's healthcare infrastructure cannot even support the Canadian population.

Again, this is anecdotal evidence, but, believe me, I've seen and heard a LOT of it, and all consistent. So....

Fourth, "working" might not seem so good when assessed by the locals themselves. There are always trade-offs, and these large social programs only relatively-speaking "work." Which leads naturally to....

Fifth, the jury is still out on this one! Twenty years ago, most people would say that Spain and Greece were "working." But now we see.... NOT! The time-slice you are evaluating for any of these large social programs is really amazingly short in nation time-line terms. Even the US experiments on this front are relatively short-lived. Social Security, for example, is essentially bankrupt, and it's taken about 70 years for the pyramid scheme it always was to start becoming clear. 30 years ago, people could well call it a "success," but we see now that it was actually quite ill-conceived, and people would have done a lot better to never depend upon it. Ask ANY current SS recipient on fixed income if they think it was a net gain for them to pay into SSI all their lives. I know for a FACT that I have paid more in than I will ever, possibly get back out of it. That's net dollars; forget about "adjusted for inflation," and forget about "with interest!" So, it's really pretty ridiculous to call these "large social programs" successes, when the time-slices are so short! Again, think Spain and Greece.

I could go on and on, but this is already getting lengthy. I simply don't agree that comparing the US with these little European nation-states is legitimate. I don't agree that we have reliable evidence that the programs are "working." And I don't agree that we have even watched long enough to know how things are going to play out across these nation-states. The initial evidence, however, is very concerning!

Now, by contrast, we have seen big "socialist revolutions," and they have all been dismal failures! The Soviet Union imploded, and it was founded on socialist principles. In fact, the communism of that "socialism" was great for our purposes, because it revealed in a fairly short time-frame the results of socialism writ-large. They didn't go half-way, which really shortened the time-frame we had to watch to see the whole thing play out.

Next, check out China. Their grand experiment in socialism has already been virtually entirely replaced by capitalism (they LEARNED from Hong Kong). So, China is a classic example of how "communism" can come apart from "socialism" in its final stages. China has the political repression of communism, while trying to meld it with the economic robustness of capitalism. Now, note that this very capitalism puts constant and increasing pressure upon China's political system. Capitalism tends to promote individual values, and that is the opposite pressure that communism applies: elevating collective values over those of the individual.

Cuba? Socialist South American countries? Huh? They are "working?" They have revolutions and bloody uprisings (well, not Cuba, but do we want to emulate them) about as often as people change their underwear!

The American experiment in democracy has been quite long-lived by comparison to other modern nations. And our really significant problems (the ones that are threatening our very existence in anything like our previous form) have emerged in my lifetime; that is NOTHING in nation time-line terms. And you can clearly see a significant transition in political thinking starting in the late-20s and 30s. In my own lifetime I have seen this nation start sliding (in accelerating fashion) into the abyss.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 6, 2014 - 11:40pm PT
Yup. People use to have a lot less crap bombarding their brains back then. They would sit, and think, maybe drink, and discuss. Then think some more. It is fairly difficult to do that now, but especially for the younger folks who are use to having electronics and talking heads to fill their lives.

+10!

You nailed one of the major issues, imho!
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Mar 7, 2014 - 12:07am PT
So, I'll recast my statement to say, "We have very strong empirical evidence demonstrating...."

Please point to any of that evidence, that's all I asked for. Evidence, not even proof.

It probably was easy to sit back by candlelight to consider at your leisure the existential implications of liberty and property rights when your every need was being attended to by dozens of slaves. Sure, I know the FF's mostly wanted to abolish slavery, but they were afraid of the immediate implications to society and industry etc. etc., but isn't that just another pragmatic compromise to limit a freedom for the greater good of the whole?

Like requiring background checks for all gun purchases?
Or requiring firearms dealers to keep accurate records of how many guns they "lost", with actual penalties for non-compliance?

TE

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 7, 2014 - 12:53pm PT
Please point to any of that evidence, that's all I asked for. Evidence, not even proof.

Of what? LOL... I've lost track of where we are at this point.

It probably was easy to sit back by candlelight to consider at your leisure the existential implications of liberty and property rights when your every need was being attended to by dozens of slaves. Sure, I know the FF's mostly wanted to abolish slavery, but they were afraid of the immediate implications to society and industry etc. etc., but isn't that just another pragmatic compromise to limit a freedom for the greater good of the whole?

That's a pretty severe oversimplification of the state of affairs at that time. And this idea that we have to limit individual freedoms "for the greater good of the whole" is THE problematical way of casting the issue. The issue is NOT a conflict between individual freedoms and "the greater good." That presumes communitarianism! The issue is that negative rights cannot in principle come into conflict; only positive rights can. And the resolution of a positive rights conflict is always between individuals; never between individuals and some mythical "greater good!"

Like requiring background checks for all gun purchases?
Or requiring firearms dealers to keep accurate records of how many guns they "lost", with actual penalties for non-compliance?

About these points, I don't believe we are in disagreement. I have no problem with keeping guns out of the hands of convicted, violent criminals; and that implies background checks. NP
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