Don't be so anti-something that you're pro bad things.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hygro, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

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    I like the principle Hygro, but adhering to it unfailingly relies on there always being a good solution. Which there often is, but not unfailingly. People are pretty good at removing decent options from others. Pretty much any situation that comes down to naked force is like this. I read an interesting article that claimed that ''never before in the course of human history have so few possessed the power to inflict so much harm on so many'' particularly with regard to minority groups that are dedicated to the use of violence.

    If I am to take the opinions of some posters here on conservative Americans that believe in second amendment rights at face value, then I also have to believe they are far more pessimistic along these lines than I am(cough)Cutlass. :mischief:
     
  2. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    There is actually nothing precluding a socialist democracy, just like embracing capitalism isn't a magic bullet that prevents slipping into totalitarianism. The US elite are terrified that somehow someone will get that across to their public.
     
  3. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Are not most males trained to respond that way through peer pressure?
     
  4. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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  5. KevinLancaster

    KevinLancaster Prince

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    Don't get involved? I suppose lurking would be the forum equivalent? Though those in charge of major powers probably can't or feel that they can't do so. especially with a globalized economy.
     
  6. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Sometimes, if a truly bad worst case scenario is possible, you must take action to prevent it. Even if it is extremely unlikely, the mere possibility is sufficient to prompt action. A choice between acting and not acting is not, by itself, an example of false dichotomy. If there really is only one action, or all actions have the same cost, then no fallacy results.

    If there are several actions possible with different costs, eliminating all but the least and most costly ones does risk falling into the fallacy. Arguments of "this one action or nothing" when there were alternatives would be a clear indicator that a dichotomy may be being created / exploited.

    If several options are available, and given a fair and open analysis, then choosing an action which eliminates the risk is not fallacious. And for some really severe risks, choosing the most expedient action is still logical even if that action has severe collateral consequences.
     
  7. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

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    Yeah, exactly.

    There is no doubt where Chili would have gone. It would have been Cuba II in short order.
     
  8. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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    instead chile got a crypto-fascist dictator. that seems like a good prize for meddling in other country's affairs, no?
     
  9. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

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    And this conversation is a good example of why the laudable principle set forth in the OP is mostly useless outside of pipe dreams or religious conviction. People don't generally support what they deem to be ''bad things'' if they feel like they have a workable ''good'' solution. People's guesses at what is workable, what is good, and what is bad is going to set us right back into a standard and normal debate. We're all already doing the OP already, assuming nobody is a sociopath.
     
  10. ywhtptgtfo

    ywhtptgtfo Emperor

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    Not necessarily. But we've seen this enough to have this illusion that there are only two choices. Mandella is an example of a third option that worked well.
     
  11. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    Well, if the US objective was to cripple Chile, then it certainly was. Chile's free market reforms nearly destroyed it, and by 1982 the government was forced to nationalize 5 banks to prevent collapse and unemployment was at 28%. Thankfully, they found a more sound economic path to follow and the post 1982 years led to a better economy. Too bad the military junta forgot about a little something called workers rights. Wages actually decreased even though GDP increased.
     
  12. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

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    Communism may be only an economic system in a college classroom, but out in the real world, it's both.

    Anyway, I think the OP was off anyway. I don't think Kirkpatrick ever "liked" the more authoritarian governments we dealt with, but realized they were allies in the cold war against the commies. The enemy of my enemy and all that. And hey, if that's not legitimate, then I guess we shouldn't have allied with those same commies in WWII.
     
  13. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton One. And many.

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    A little speech of mine:

    I think it is true that often declaring some kind of war on whatever ideology immediately means more suffering.
    But at this point we have to distinguish between the theory and the reality of it. And that means accounting for the human condition. Meaning for the psychological traps of human existence.
    In theory - the suffering caused by a fight is justified by the long-term-gain. In reality, that justification is rarely (not never, but rarely) a subject of truly rational moral considerations. Rather it is the victim of power games. And when they take over what is morally right quickly gets under the wheels of the mechanisms of power.

    What that comes down to is that people suck - so our supposedly just causes tend to actually suck.

    What the OP seems to propose as an alternative is basic decency and compassion. What it according to my little speech means is that utilitarianism is recognized in theory as virtues, but moreover in its actual application - due to human flaws - as very problematic.

    In short: Because humans suck we are better adhering to basic rules of morality than utilitarianism.

    A valid argument me thinks.
     
  14. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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    the ussr and china weren't/aren't communist.
     
  15. Darkflight

    Darkflight Prince

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    I could say I have the biggest penis in the world. That wouldn't make it true.
     
  16. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

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    You just gave me a hearty belly laugh! Thank you :)
     
  17. jackelgull

    jackelgull An aberration of nature

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    I think madviking means that if you interpret communism in the strictest sense of the word, as a classless ideal society, then no those two countries aren't/weren't communist.

    If you interpret communism to mean a state run economy with the government wielding vast amounts of power in order to keep the state run economy going then yes, those two countries are/were communist.
     
  18. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

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    Yeah, I agree. OTOH, at this point history should have taught everyone to be careful about such solutions.

    The failure, I think, isn't so much one of morality as it is of integrity. Maybe moral, maybe intellectual. People quite often find it's easier to go into denial about how bad their "good" solution is rather than face up to a difficult, but better, solution.

    Heck, it seems people will go into contortions to avoid merely "uncomfortable" solutions.

    Or maybe they just don't care about how much evil their solution might breed.
    Either way, it fits hand-in-glove with going into denial about how bad the "bad guys" actually are.

    There's a host of mechanisms - groupthink, demonization, "epistemological closure" ... simple arrogance - available to make the whole "supporting a bad thing" side of the equation pretty much invisible.

    One need never compromise. You can always be on the side of angels.

    I'd say the caution shouldn't be so much that people should be loathe to support bad things. Of course they are. Instead they shouldn't be so frikin' lazy, dishonest, and/or gullible when they formulate their plans, or evaluate the plans of others.

    So ... coming around to your point again ... yes, IMO that's pretty much where we're at already.

    ("Not one cent for evil. Instead, millions to whitewash my position.")
     
  19. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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    yep. if you think communism is anything other than the first definition, you don't understand communism.
     
  20. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    Which is not to say they didn't try to be.

    Marx pointed out unavoidable failures in the capitalist system, and predicted those failures would inevitably produce something else...call it Marxism, socialism, communism...whatever. Looking around at how capitalism is faring it appears he was right.

    However trying to produce that directly from feudalism without passing through capitalism was just not going to work.
     

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