Greggo

Do we have the government we deserve?

278 posts in this topic

Gattacan, when you pass moral judgements on other people you are making an evaluation of a concrete situation in accordance to principles, principles that as of yet you have not defined. When you claim that we are all to blame for out situation you must bring objective facts that support your claim and if you cannot not, you should not make the claim. It seems you want to pass judgement and call all of us guilty, which is a slap in the face to the good, without the responsiblity of proving that judgement.

If someone voted for McCain your first step could be to ask them for an objective reason why. If their response is something like, "my vote was not to support McCain, but primarily a vote against Obama," then you must judge that principled statement in accordance to the concrete situation. It seems as though you just want to judge the concrete with no insight into the why. There is a big difference between a murderer and a person that kills in self-defense, even though both individuals have killed someone.

So, what you have laid out is arbitrary as it is not precise nor objective and hence why you have lost your case.

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Gattacan, when you pass moral judgements on other people you are making an evaluation of a concrete situation in accordance to principles, principles that as of yet you have not defined. When you claim that we are all to blame for out situation you must bring objective facts that support your claim and if you cannot not, you should not make the claim. It seems you want to pass judgement and call all of us guilty, which is a slap in the face to the good, without the responsiblity of proving that judgement.

If someone voted for McCain your first step could be to ask them for an objective reason why. If their response is something like, "my vote was not to support McCain, but primarily a vote against Obama," then you must judge that principled statement in accordance to the concrete situation. It seems as though you just want to judge the concrete with no insight into the why. There is a big difference between a murderer and a person that kills in self-defense, even though both individuals have killed someone.

So, what you have laid out is arbitrary as it is not precise nor objective and hence why you have lost your case.

I am only going to say this once. Starting with your first sentence. Where on earth have I made a moral judgment on another person? Please be specific. Making a generalization that, (1) We have a government that can be judged as anywhere from probably the best on earth to (2) god-awful, and that (3) people are responsible for the government we have is not passing a moral judgement. Saying that you end up with what you deserve is not a moral judgment on anyone. I haven't said anyone here was either good or bad, but merely that they are in part responsible. I don't care about reasons why someone voted for someone who has taken a MAJOR step in leading us towards censorship. I frankly couldn't stomach the explanation. I am not a lesser-than-two-evils type of guy. I saw someone with a swastika tattoo the other day, I didn't ask him why, either. It is not my job to inquire about motives when they seem pretty clear to me. A vote for McCain simply was a lesser of two evils thing. That excuse, even if valid in some cases, doesn't magically exempt one from bearing some of the responsibility of what happens once a man is elected. Plainly put, we are all responsible for the government that we have. My non-voting makes me responsible too. Only I don't delude myself. My god, good governments don't grow on trees. I have had the means to be heard in politics since I was 18. I haven't used my voice. I just don't care much for politics. It doesn't make me a bad person. But it also doesn't make me innocent just because I believe in a constitutionally limited republic. You have to do more than just hold good beliefs, you have to act on them if you want to consider yourself free from blame. And if you feel that when one makes the excuse that they are choosing the lesser of two evils based on a proper belief system, that makes them free from responsibility, that is your opinion. It is not mine. McCain-Feingold was accomplished by men who were duly elected. We have free elections in this country. We can speak to our congress.

********The issue boils down to this: Have you, or anyone here, called or written to any public official to repeal McCain-Feingold? If not, then don't act like you are not partially responsible for the government that we have. If you have, please supply this thread with a copy of what you wrote and to whom. The onus is now on you. I haven't specifically morally judged anyone here, but that can change.

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Gattacan,

As soon as you came to the conclusion that everyone is to blame for, or deserving of, the government then you made a moral judgement.

The real issue boils down to the fact that you do not have a clue of what principles are and how they should be applied to concrete situations.

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I think that Greggo expressed himself somewhat incorrectly. Innocent people *can* be harmed by evil, even without the sanction of the victim. But I think that what Greggo was getting at, is that, absent the sanction of the victim, the innocent man who is victimized by evil, is not hurt *really* deeply, the harm does not "go all the way down". He will have the same serenity that Kira had when she died at the end of We the Living. I think that, thanks to Ayn Rand, I will have that kind of serenity myself, if I fall prey to misfortune in the future.

Hi Henrik,

I didn't want your comment to go unresponded...

You're right in that I'm not bothered by the government to the exact extent that I learn how to live without needing it to take care of me at the expense of others.

My life, my liberty, and my pursuit of happiness belong solely to me.

It seems that a lot of the complaining about government is misplaced... because of seeking comfort in the capital draining involvment with the leftist socialist parasite infested third party payer economic sectors. I stay the hell away from those financially toxic bottomless pits so that I can pursue my own goals with my own money.

Greg

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Hey Gattican,

Ah, I see the posts are here...

There's now a thread in the Activist Projects area under "useful things to do" if you're still interested in discussing home building.

Greg

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It appears to be Greggo's view that 'injustice' is an invalid concept. If that is not his view, he can (and should) offer some concrete instances of injustice.

Hi Rose,

Here's a concrete instance of injustice:

Angrily blaming (unjustly accusing) others

for the just and deserved consequences

set into motion by your own failure to be decent.

Greg

One of the principles of Objectivism is that one must never fail to pronounce moral judgment when it is contextually appropriate.

Hi Paul,

(Sorry, I've been having trouble keeping up with all of the responses.)

Sure, that's true... when appropriate.

Note my statement referred to unjust accusations of others for us getting the consequences of our own failure to be decent.

Again, your statements are arbitrary and unjust statements. Blaming the one who pronounces moral judgment smacks of evasion of the responsiblity of thought on your part.

It's only unjust when the accustion is unjust.

Claiming that it is unjust to identify the injustice of others actions and the effects of those actions on one's life is the height of irrationality.

I didn't actually claim that.

You claimed that I had claimed that.

I said that it's unjust to unjustly blame others for the just and deserved consequences of our own failure to be decent...

...because it is unjust.

You may claim to be a "practical" man but you don't have the foggiest idea about the practicality of moral judgment.

Ok, we'll just have to agree that we each see things differently.

Greg

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I think that Greggo expressed himself somewhat incorrectly. Innocent people *can* be harmed by evil, even without the sanction of the victim. But I think that what Greggo was getting at, is that, absent the sanction of the victim, the innocent man who is victimized by evil, is not hurt *really* deeply, the harm does not "go all the way down". He will have the same serenity that Kira had when she died at the end of We the Living. I think that, thanks to Ayn Rand, I will have that kind of serenity myself, if I fall prey to misfortune in the future.

Hi Henrik,

I didn't want your comment to go unresponded...

You're right in that I'm not bothered by the government to the exact extent that I learn how to live without needing it to take care of me at the expense of others.

My life, my liberty, and my pursuit of happiness belong solely to me.

It seems that a lot of the complaining about government is misplaced... because of seeking comfort in the capital draining involvment with the leftist socialist parasite infested third party payer economic sectors. I stay the hell away from those financially toxic bottomless pits so that I can pursue my own goals with my own money.

Greg

It is not complaining it is called defending one's right to one's own life which obviously you do not know the difference between the two. I, and I am sure others on this forum, are not seeking "comfort" from anyone and your unsupported spouting about people seeking it will not change that fact.

It seems that you think as long as you can evade (which is immoral) what the government is doing that you think you can live untouched which is false.

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I said that it's unjust to unjustly blame others for the just and deserved consequences of our own failure to be decent...

...because it is unjust.

You may claim to be a "practical" man but you don't have the foggiest idea about the practicality of moral judgment.

Ok, we'll just have to agree that we each see things differently.

Greg

Greg, you do not even seem to understand what the term decent means nor how to properly use it. Decent is defined as conforming to standards of propriety and good taste or morality. So, if we were to apply your standard we should discard our own judgement and just conform our thoughts and actions to what someone else told us is of good taste and moral. Morality does not stem from being decent although there are times when it would be in one's best interest to agree to someone else's rule or guidelines.

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The government hasn't prevented me from getting exactly what I deserve... but I took a completely different approach to living than you did.

Briefly, here's my approach to government taxation:

Be decent responsible productive solvent and frugal. Own a business. Own a home. Live modestly and debt free. And importantly... stay clear of the corrupt financially draining third party payer economic sectors: (Government Education Law Insurance Credit/Debt Healthcare Unions)

Anyone who takes that approach will easily be able to afford to pay taxes

But that is precisely the point. If there are a zillion restrictions on your life (and in the end you are still punished for it with taxes) then you aren't free.

There are many things that I do that others don't do, because I aim to set into motion different circumstances from the ones others complain about.

Owning your own business has very different tax ramifications from being an employee in someone else's business... just as building a home instead of buying one has a drastically different tax profile than buying one.

Another reason I'm not nearly as bothered as most people are, is that I refrain from becoming entangled in the above mentioned bankrupt zombie ridden economic sectors. This has added measurably to my happiness and prosperity.

Since freedom can never be absolutely pure...

You'll never hear me complain about the freedoms I do enjoy just because they're not perfect. I'm not perfect either... so the freedoms I enjoy are a good match for how I live, because I live in such a manner as to deserve to earn them.

Greg

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I said that it's unjust to unjustly blame others for the just and deserved consequences of our own failure to be decent...

...because it is unjust.

You may claim to be a "practical" man but you don't have the foggiest idea about the practicality of moral judgment.

Ok, we'll just have to agree that we each see things differently.

Greg

Greg, you do not even seem to understand what the term decent means nor how to properly use it.

I know how to live it.

That's all that matters to me.

Decent is defined as conforming to standards of propriety and good taste or morality. So, if we were to apply your standard we should discard our own judgement and just conform our thoughts and actions to what someone else told us is of good taste and moral.

(Why are you speaking in the royal we?...)

Since reality determines what is decent... the reality of the consequences I set into motion by my own actions is the only valid verdict of whether I'm right or wrong.

It is possible to realize what kind of tree a seed of action will grow into before you plant it. It is then that you can make a wise decision.

Morality does not stem from being decent

Decency is agreeing with the reality of morality.

although there are times when it would be in one's best interest to agree to someone else's rule or guidelines.

...only if they're decent.

Greg

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I did a search in this thread for the words "pragmatism" "pragmatic" and "pragmatist." If my search results "not found" were correct, pragmatism hasn't been explicitly mentioned yet. However, as an identification of Greggo's view, I find that pragmatism "works for me."

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I said that it's unjust to unjustly blame others for the just and deserved consequences of our own failure to be decent...

...because it is unjust.

You may claim to be a "practical" man but you don't have the foggiest idea about the practicality of moral judgment.

Ok, we'll just have to agree that we each see things differently.

Greg

Greg, you do not even seem to understand what the term decent means nor how to properly use it.

I know how to live it.

That's all that matters to me.

Decent is defined as conforming to standards of propriety and good taste or morality. So, if we were to apply your standard we should discard our own judgement and just conform our thoughts and actions to what someone else told us is of good taste and moral.

(Why are you speaking in the royal we?...)

Since reality determines what is decent... the reality of the consequences I set into motion by my own actions is the only valid verdict of whether I'm right or wrong.

It is possible to realize what kind of tree a seed of action will grow into before you plant it. It is then that you can make a wise decision.

Morality does not stem from being decent

Decency is agreeing with the reality of morality.

although there are times when it would be in one's best interest to agree to someone else's rule or guidelines.

...only if they're decent.

Greg

What is the standard of the morality you agree with?

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What is the standard of the morality you agree with?

Reality.

The reality of the just and deserved consequences set into motion by my own actions...

...and the reality I can observe of the just and deserved consequences set into motion by the actions of others.

In my life... I've never seen anyone escape the consequences of doing what is wrong.

Morality is like gravity.

Everyone is free to agree with it when it holds them safely on the ground and from being thrown out into cold airless space...

...or free to disagree with it when they step off of a cliff and are drawn by it to their destruction.

But whether people agree or disagree with it... they cannot violate it... and are obeying it's laws whether they stand or fall by it.

Morality, like reality, is what it is... regardless of our emotional reactions to it... regardless of our opinions or theories about it... regardless of anything we can think, say, or do.

Greg

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What is the standard of the morality you agree with?

Reality.

The reality of the just and deserved consequences set into motion by my own actions...

...and the reality I can observe of the just and deserved consequences set into motion by the actions of others.

Just and deserved ... by what standard?

In my life... I've never seen anyone escape the consequences of doing what is wrong.

Wrong ... by what standard?

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Greg,

If I understand you correctly, your standard for your morality is reality which means that reality is the entity that is achieving the values that you are working to obtain. I would obviously disagree with your standard.

Morality is a code or set of standards that a person uses to guide their choices and actions toward the achievement of their chosen values.

A rational, objective standard would be life. That which allows us to ahcieve and enhance life is the good, that which degrades or destroys life is evil. So, a man's life is the standard that he uses to guide his actions in the achievement of his ulitmate value, life.

So, morality is not like reality that just exists, as man has to first ask the question if he even needs a code to live by and then why he needs one.

"The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live." Ayn Rand, from Galt's speech

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What is the standard of the morality you agree with?

Reality.

The reality of the just and deserved consequences set into motion by my own actions...

...and the reality I can observe of the just and deserved consequences set into motion by the actions of others.

Just and deserved ... by what standard?

In my life... I've never seen anyone escape the consequences of doing what is wrong.

Wrong ... by what standard?

To both of your questions...

By the reality of the laws of morality... which are just as real and utterly impersonal as the physical laws of gravity.

Greg

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Ray, I don't think you should waste your time with any more responses to Greggo's convoluted, fantasy-world line of reasoning. It is completely devoid of basis in reality, inconsistent with Objectivism, and demonstrably false.

To say people always get the government they deserve is ludicrous. In the long run, a society gets the government it deserves but to apply that to individuals is to fundamentally misunderstand human nature. Of course, individuals are responsible for their own happiness, which they pursue using their rational minds and their life as the standard of value. But, the initiation of force, by the government or otherwise (really the main if not only thing we complain about in our government), as Ayn Rand pointed out, makes rational and therefore moral action impossible. When someone puts a gun to your head, you are not being immoral when you give them your money or refuse to do so. The only rationality involved is determining whether you prefer to live with committing the act or to die, maybe even die fighting or running hopelessly. Does any person deserve that fate because they didn't dedicate their entire existence to imprisoning or exterminating all robbers (the robber is a metaphor for government, if that wasn't apparent)?

If Greggo's point was simply that there was more that could be done by many people to extricate and distance yourself from coercive government and thereby weaken it, that is a fine and valid point but his blanket statements have been utterly false.

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Greg,

If I understand you correctly, your standard for your morality is reality which means that reality is the entity that is achieving the values that you are working to obtain. I would obviously disagree with your standard.

So would I... because reality is not an entity... nor is it my standard. It's just my choice to agree or disagree with the reality of moral laws by my actions.

Morality is a code or set of standards that a person uses to guide their choices and actions toward the achievement of their chosen values.

...a chosen set of standards which can either agree or disagree with the reality of the just and deserved consequences of our own actions... but never escapes them.

A rational, objective standard would be life. That which allows us to ahcieve and enhance life is the good,

...when we agree with reality.

that which degrades or destroys life is evil.

...when we disagree with reality.

So, a man's life is the standard that he uses to guide his actions in the achievement of his ulitmate value, life.

...and liberty... and the pursuit of happiness.

So, morality is not like reality that just exists

Morality is reality.

as man has to first ask the question if he even needs a code to live by and then why he needs one.

Both of those questions are responses to the reality of moral laws.

"The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live." Ayn Rand, from Galt's speech

I agree.

The consequences set into motion by our own actions is a superb teacher.

Greg

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Dan, I agree, and look forward to the day when Greg's illogical comments, which I think are continous attempts at degrading Objectivism and also inconsistent with Objectivism, get him what he deserves.

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Just and deserved ... by what standard?

[...]

Wrong ... by what standard?

To both of your questions...

By the reality of the laws of morality... which are just as real and utterly impersonal as the physical laws of gravity.

Where do those "laws of morality" come from? How do you know what they are? Why have people always disagreed about morality?

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Just and deserved ... by what standard?

[...]

Wrong ... by what standard?

To both of your questions...

By the reality of the laws of morality... which are just as real and utterly impersonal as the physical laws of gravity.

Where do those "laws of morality" come from? How do you know what they are? Why have people always disagreed about morality?

Not to mention, what are those laws? Why would we care about something that is "utterly impersonal" when it comes issues of choice?

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Where do those "laws of morality" come from?

Since that's a matter of opinion... my opinion is the reality of the laws of morality come from wherever all the other laws come from that govern the reality of physical matter... for the laws of morality are no different from the physical laws of gravity or the quantum laws of matter or the laws of electricity or chemistry.

How do you know what they are?

Observation.

By observing the consequences of my own actions... as well as those of others.

Why have people always disagreed about morality?

Because everyone responds subjectively to the objective laws of morality.

Everyone either subjectively agrees with objective moral reality by their behavior... or subjectively disagrees with objective moral reality by their behavior.

But the objective reality of the laws of morality itself is not altered either by our subjective agreement or our subjective disagreement.

Greg

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Not to mention, what are those laws?

Don't you know right from wrong?

Why would we care about something that is "utterly impersonal" when it comes issues of choice?

You don't... because that's a choice too.

Greg

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Not to mention, what are those laws?

Don't you know right from wrong?

Why would we care about something that is "utterly impersonal" when it comes issues of choice?

You don't... because that's a choice too.

Greg

I don't consider those answers.

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Where do those "laws of morality" come from?

Since that's a matter of opinion... my opinion is the reality of the laws of morality come from wherever all the other laws come from that govern the reality of physical matter... for the laws of morality are no different from the physical laws of gravity or the quantum laws of matter or the laws of electricity or chemistry.

How do you know what they are?

Observation.

By observing the consequences of my own actions... as well as those of others.

Why have people always disagreed about morality?

Because everyone responds subjectively to the objective laws of morality.

Everyone either subjectively agrees with objective moral reality by their behavior... or subjectively disagrees with objective moral reality by their behavior.

But the objective reality of the laws of morality itself is not altered either by our subjective agreement or our subjective disagreement.

Are you saying that morality is self-evident and somehow -- by no specified means -- you either see it or you don't. That everyone -- including YOU -- accepts it subjectively and based on their feelings.

If that is the case, what would you say to someone who feels it is right for him to kill you and take your property?

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