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Default 90 percent of the weapons used to commit crimes in Mexico come from the US

April 7th, 2009, 10:15
I am sorry to say we have neither free will or free choice.

If you had an advanced enough computer located on a planet far away, and not having any effect what-so-ever on the earth and galaxy and you have a lot of computing power, you could calculate each and every movement of every person. "Our decision" is just a consequence of all the happenings in our earlier life and current conditions. Like if you have two paths, you might feel it is your free will , but your decision would be based on your past experiancing current conditions and current state of your mind… which could all be calculated in the advanced computer on a far off galaxy which has a complete mathematic model of our entire galaxy and everything which happens on it!

Sorry to burst the bubble….
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April 7th, 2009, 13:36
There's this other guy who's been working on rights, called John Rawls…

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April 7th, 2009, 15:04
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
"..No light side, Three Stooges Syndrome, only evidence entire history of human race, neocons just Wilsoninan liberals with guns, man is good then evil but then saved so good "oops—religion -avoid!avoid!—- *takes out notebook and starts scribbling..*
Plan on seeing some of the lines in these posts in my sig, someday, my friends.


Seriously, the hardest thing about digesting the thoughts of those who have gone before us in history is not having that context and content of the times that were a given to them available in our own perspective. I wiki'd Leviathon, and it was first published in 1651. There's almost no way it could NOT have had some influence on the Constitution. I'm impressed that you've read it in it's entirety at all, let alone that you are so conversant with it, Rithrandril, and I doubt reading it myself would give me a significantly better understanding than your exposition, so thanks for that. This had to be one of the works that all of the framers of our government read and debated and understood in ways we probably have no clue about, simply because our references are completely different. I assume that's equally true of Locke.
Any time. Glad to be of service - Hobbes is one of those subject areas I'm really in love with - I've been told that when I drink too much (to the point of not being able to walk) I'll launch into explanations about why I think Hobbes is better than Locke. I also tend to talk about Chechnya. No idea why.

Ahem. Yeah - the framers were insanely well educated. Even the ones I can't really stand (Jefferson - sacrilege, I know) were brilliant thinkers. Hamilton largely educated himself, etc. These were the right people in the right place at the right time. We got incredibly lucky.


Originally Posted by magerette View Post
I agree completely. But it's equally misleading and even niave to believe that no good exists. I even agree with Corwin that you can make both arguments, man is good and man is evil, and still be right, because of the amazingly contradictory and perverse thing that is free will. In the midst of the worst evil, the best in humans often is revealed, and seemingly vice versa. But it would seem foolish to base an entire philosophy of governance on any idea other than a middle of the road concept that man as a whole is neither very good nor very bad, but basically—and this may be an aspect of the Hobbesian pov as I have half-digested it— an opportunist restrained by unwilling consent to a society of law in his own self-interest. Or, if you prefer Il Principe, able to be manipulated by his own baser or nobler yearnings by those more skillful, ruthless and therefore(theoretically) more qualified to have the charge of events. I definitely agree there's a lot of that going around.
I myself am not entirely sure "good and evil" exist as a definable, universal constant. I have my own personal definitions, but I have no way of knowing if they are even close to the truth (assuming one exists). I'm not sure if this comes about as a result of my atheism or is independently derived, but I gather it's largely irrelevant either way.

And yeah, opportunity restrained by law/self interest is a pretty good description. It's pretty interesting to look at the twelve rights the Sovereign posses under Hobbes' theory, too - since our government actually possesses those same rights if you get down to it.
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April 7th, 2009, 17:43
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
He's making the classical argument for an enlightened dictatorship through most of it.
Argument? I thought that was one of those "universal truths".
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
To quote President Bartlet in the West Wing: "Il Principe has justified every act of oppression…" I agree that Hobbes' argument is dangerous - but I do agree with him (and this is coming from someone who has donated to the ACLU, btw - although I guess that means dte will have to take away my Republican membership card now).
We'll have to see about some reprogramming. That said, being socially liberal means that occasionally my politics lines up with the ACLU as well. Generally, the cases they pursue are extreme to the point of silliness, which unfortunately stains their participation in the occasional "just cause". Guess I'll be in the re-ejimakayshun class with you.
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
Neocons are just Wilsonian Liberals or former Kennedy Democrats with a gun. The idea that man is naturally good and the world/governments should reflect that is one of the most dangerous ideas ever created.
That first sentence is very interesting. I'm not sure I can dispute it, but that would get quite a few folks on both sides up in arms. The second sentence is another one of those "universal truths".

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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April 7th, 2009, 21:12
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
Any time. Glad to be of service - Hobbes is one of those subject areas I'm really in love with - I've been told that when I drink too much (to the point of not being able to walk) I'll launch into explanations about why I think Hobbes is better than Locke. I also tend to talk about Chechnya. No idea why.
I usually just end up singing old Van Halen songs or something.

Ahem. Yeah - the framers were insanely well educated. Even the ones I can't really stand (Jefferson - sacrilege, I know) were brilliant thinkers. Hamilton largely educated himself, etc. These were the right people in the right place at the right time. We got incredibly lucky.
There's a lot to be said for the concept of self-education.(Lincoln also educated himself, with great personal effort.) I also think we lost a lot as a culture when the idea of a 'classical education" more or less fell by the way—up until the Great War and even after, everyone had much more common ground because they drew from the same pool of knowledge, which was basically the sum total of everything Western civilization had come up with to that point. Then it got to be too 'irrelevant" to modern life or something…

I myself am not entirely sure "good and evil" exist as a definable, universal constant. I have my own personal definitions, but I have no way of knowing if they are even close to the truth (assuming one exists). I'm not sure if this comes about as a result of my atheism or is independently derived, but I gather it's largely irrelevant either way.
Have to agree on 'definable universal constant.' I may totally believe in free will and good and evil, not as philosophical, debatable terms but as tangible,observable aspects of the human condition; that is, I know exactly what I mean when I use them; but they almost always tend to get over-thought and over-defined in debate and discussion. My stab at defining good and evil is that they are always heavily influenced by the 'eye of the beholder' syndrome, but really in their simplest form are obvious extensions of pain and pleasure. Giving pleasure to oneself or others is good except when it results in giving pain to oneself or others, in which case it's bad. I 'm going for the simplest explanation possible here.

@Corwin & Gothic: Free will is my term for describing the course a person steers through his life, (whether or not he or she chooses to exercise it, because not to choose is also a decision). IMO, it can't be merely summed up as the product of upbringing, background, or even random events or fate, though all of these do influence why we make the choices we make—it's the concept that everyone decides their life, even if only in their state of mind, reaction or attitude.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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April 17th, 2009, 16:09
WTF? I'm gone for a week, and suddenly everyone's discussing Enlightenment philosophy? This is the INTERNET, fercryinoutloud!



(BTW, GG: Heisenberg's uncertainty principle precludes a fully deterministic universe. IOW, your hypothetical aliens with their infinitely fast computer would still be stuck with calculating probabilities rather than certainties. Naturally, that doesn't prove the existence of free will — but it certainly leaves room for it, whatever we happen to mean by "it.")
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April 17th, 2009, 16:55
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
WTF? I'm gone for a week, and suddenly everyone's discussing Enlightenment philosophy? This is the INTERNET, fercryinoutloud!
I like Hobbes! I just never have an excuse to talk about it. Glad you are back, by the way.
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