AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 99):
Your contention appears to be that our consciences should somehow limit our dissent because dissent is bad for the State entity, and that we, as good and ethical establishment units, should recoil from doing harm to the State entity, since it exists only for our good. I

Close, but not quite. In fact, dissent can be good for the state entity, but it can also be quite bad. And, the importance of it is in the consideration of when dissent is truly justified on the firmest of philosphical underpinnings.

I'm saying, on this score, that if national unity is imperiled, and if in particular, the lives of other Americans are imperiled, then there are two important things, among others, that one should consider:

a. Whether one's aims are worth the risk to national unity and therefore the harm to the mechanism through which liberty (ordered freedom) is protected; and,

b. Whether putting lives at risk is, in the extrapolitical, pre-establishmentarian sense (i.e., in the state of existence prior to the establishment of government), something that one can justify.

Further, dissenters should not pretend that their aims cannot sometimes, in fact, put others' welfare and lives at greater risk. They should understand and freely admit that, if a cause of sufficient merit meets their personal approval, they will stand for putting Americans' lives and safety at greater risk, for what they perceive as the greater good that they espouse. (In this they may be right to so espouse, or they may be wrong, but at any rate, the honest admission would be there.)

This is something of the obverse, though not precisely so, of the decisions that policy-makers make, which often place American lives at risk.

Quite often, the justification, which I venture can be illusory in some cases, is made by peace activists that their position is by its nature better because it's less prone to result in harm. In my originating article, my hypothetical deprived dissenters of that justification to the extent that any scientific poll could do so, and asked the reader to consider how it might affect the underpinnings of dissent. The aim was to cut away all the frills that dissenters put on their ideologies, all of which pay lip service to safety, nonviolence, and so forth, but some -- not all, but some -- of which they may actually hold regardless of whether, to their knowledge, they will accept the probability of greater harm to Americans because, in their view, it's still a better alternative than the policy they protest.

[Edited 2006-10-18 23:41:24]
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JGPH1A
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:40 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 100):
a. Whether one's aims are worth the risk to national unity and therefore the harm to the mechanism through which liberty (ordered freedom) is protected; and,

b. Whether putting lives at risk is, in the extrapolitical, pre-establishmentarian sense (i.e., in the state prior to the establishment of the state), something that one can justify.

But you seem to take no account of the possibility that the State entity is in fact endangering the lives of its citizens by its reckless and ill-advised actions undertaken on behalf of those citizens, and that the dissent thus engendered in the citizens is a justifiable reaction to the endangering of those lives. If the State entity cannot be relied on to do its utmost to ensure the wellbeing of those governed, it has forfeited any right to consideration in itself, and the clear duty of every citizen is to ensure that the State entity is brought back into line. Any harm that comes to those citizens in their efforts to correct the State entity must be laid entirely at the door of the State entity itself, for having failed in its primary task.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:44 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 101):
But you seem to take no account of the possibility that the State entity is in fact endangering the lives of its citizens by its reckless and ill-advised actions undertaken on behalf of those citizens, and that the dissent thus engendered in the citizens is a justifiable reaction to the endangering of those lives.

With respect, might I say: To the contrary, I do.

As you've quoted:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 100):
a. Whether one's aims are worth the risk to national unity and therefore the harm to the mechanism through which liberty (ordered freedom) is protected; and,

b. Whether putting lives at risk is, in the extrapolitical, pre-establishmentarian sense (i.e., in the state of existence prior to the establishment of government), something that one can justify.

In the above, the word "whether", in this and other common usages, does not imply the result.

One could very well conclude that it is worth it to destabilize the state, for example. In fact, the signers of the Declaration came to precisely that conclusion.

But let us never forget that acts of dissent can have the effect of putting others' lives and safety in danger, because to do so is to believe in a kind of absolutism that dispenses with the eight factors I mentioned above, with the possible exception of the least important: The eighth.

[Edited 2006-10-18 23:54:17]
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OlegShv
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:45 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 98):
1. Conscience, ruling over all other considerations below.
2. Harm to oneself and to others from any action affecting society.
3. The historical principles upon which this country was founded.
4. High-order suppositions and premises set forth in the above, including God (if deemed to exist), the Creator (if deemed to exist), the philosophical underpinning set forth in Lockeanism, and many others of this nature.
5. Factual elements known to exist.
6. Legal considerations.
7. Political considerations other than that set forth in Point No. 4 of this list.
8. Partisan considerations.

There are other factors and sub-elements, but you get the idea.

Each of these factors, 1 through 8, may very well play important parts in deciding for oneself whether dissent is called for, or whether it should be passed up.

Good point AF. However, you asked for opinions of specific people here on Anet and they gave you their opinions based on whatever considerations they had in mind, including the one that associates any of your posts with über-conservative (in their mind) ideas. If you look at the issue of Americans being killed in Iraq, the idea of keeping it the protests down in order to have less Americans killed in Iraq is IMO like trying to fight the symptoms, but not the actual disease. That said, I agree with other posters that this also an issue of giving up civil liberties.
 
Falcon84
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 100):
Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 99):
Your contention appears to be that our consciences should somehow limit our dissent because dissent is bad for the State entity, and that we, as good and ethical establishment units, should recoil from doing harm to the State entity, since it exists only for our good. I

Close, but not quite.

H.G. Wells is smiling in his grave, I'm sure.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:49 am

Quoting OlegShv (Reply 103):
However, you asked for opinions of specific people here on Anet and they gave you their opinions based on whatever considerations they had in mind, including the one that associates any of your posts with über-conservative (in their mind) ideas.

Fair point, to an extent.

Nevertheless, although some of my ideas are conservative, many of my other ideas aren't anywhere near "uber-conservative". For example, I said recently that I thought that adoption by gay parents should be taken on a case-by-case basis.

And even though, in a thread I posted here, I recently skewered John Kerry for his interview in which I said I thought he engaged in doublespeak, that's hardly a sign of extreme conservatism. In some ways, it's really a matter of good sense.

I think that some people here either must mistake me for someone else, or think of me as being a stereotypical arch-defender of the Bush Administration, which my words don't necessarily support.

In any event, understanding concepts aside from their originators is a sign of good analytical skills, which aren't always in evidence here.

[Edited 2006-10-18 23:52:41]
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TransIsland
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:59 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
If a scientific poll came out tomorrow conclusively showing that dissent in the United States in the form of significant public protests against the Iraq war made it more likely for our foreign enemies to be inspired to injure or kill Americans, would this affect your evaluation of the merits or proper means of protest?

It would. It would lead me to believe that the public protest against Bush and his megalomaniac friends ain't loud enough and strong enough yet.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:01 am

Quoting TransIsland (Reply 106):
It would. It would lead me to believe that the public protest against Bush and his megalomaniac friends ain't loud enough and strong enough yet.

Meaning that you would assent to this greater risk, am I right?
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Falcon84
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:15 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 107):
Meaning that you would assent to this greater risk, am I right?

In my opinion, absolutely. Without risk, there is no reward. In other words, if I don't risk raising my voice against the policies of my government, my children may not have the same Constitutional rights down the road as I enjoy today. I owe it to them to leave such freedoms, free from you uber-paranoia, open to them.

And I'm done with this thread. Much fun as it has been to tear your neo-fascists fantasy to shreds, it's also disturbing-and more than a little frightening-that ANY American, living in a society blessed with the liberties we have, would consider giving them up under any circumstances.

As Patrick Henry did say "Give me liberty, or give me death".

Someone turn the lights out on this thread when AF has lost all credibility.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:27 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 108):
In my opinion, absolutely. Without risk, there is no reward. In other words, if I don't risk raising my voice against the policies of my government, my children may not have the same Constitutional rights down the road as I enjoy today. I owe it to them to leave such freedoms, free from you uber-paranoia, open to them.

That's fine -- but then let it be clear that from what you say, you are willing that other Americans may suffer as a result so that your cause be served, that future generations may be the beneficiary of this abstract justification. You call upon others to sacrifice not for war, but for your belief in your cause.

By the way, ss that cause dissent itself? Must every generation sacrifice its own members to promote the certitude of dissent? Sometime about this strikes me as circular: You dissent to promote dissent. Surely this cannot be the case. But that aside....

Let it be so that every time that Cindy Sheehan, for example, speaks out with the justification that she is thinking about the welfare of the soldiers, it is a fair question to ask her whether she would still take the same position if it turned out that the implementation of her plans would result in greater harm to Americans -- and possibly to the sons of other mothers who are no less worthy of consideration that she.

If she cannot answer this question because it hasn't even occurred to her, I ask how deeply she is committed to dissent.

If she answers it but says that she would withdraw if she believed that others would be harmed, then it seems clear that she would have cause to regret if the contrary turned out to be true.

If she says that she doesn't care if other Americans might be harmed, but she desires to promote her cause anyway, then at least we know where she stands.

It's a pity no one will ask her for a considered answer; or that, if they have, we haven't seen it covered much on the evening news.

For every Cindy Sheehan who protests, we can insert any other protestor -- from the right or the left, Republican or conservative.

And by the same token, let Democrats or Republicans who oppose this war make it clear that their commitment might be of similar conviction -- or not, as the case may be. One way or another, it's good to know.

A little honesty goes a long way.

[Edited 2006-10-19 00:31:39]
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TransIsland
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:32 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 107):
Meaning that you would assent to this greater risk, am I right?

No, I don't agree with your government risking your boys' and girls', men's and women's lives at all... get the 7734 out of there.

Most of "your enemies" didn't choose this role, they just happened to be the poor sods to discover one day that the Bush administration had chosen to become their enemy.

It has been conclusively shown that the continued U.S. presence in Iraq - and not the criticism of Bush's policies within the U.S. - breed terrorism.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:33 am

Quoting TransIsland (Reply 110):
No, I don't agree with your government risking your boys' and girls', men's and women's lives at all... get the 7734 out of there.

Thank you for clarifying your answer. I appreciate it.
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halls120
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:22 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 93):
That's a very Tory approach, and I think you're right. Many colonists did rein in their dissent.

How do you reach the conclusion that my approach is "tory?" After all, I'm a raving liberal to you.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 93):

But it doesn't take much for you to present the argument that I actually espoused, and I wish you would be a bit more original than to repeat what I already said, which apparently many here have failed to read:

Speaking of people failing to read, I'll post my questions posed to you for at least the third time. Questions you are apparently ignoring, for reasons we'd all be interested in hearing about.

1) Why did you insist in categorizing your opening post as asking a "simple question" when it was anything but simple? As I noted previously, it was FAR from a simple question. A less loaded question would be "Does domestic dissent make it likely that foreign enemies will attack the US." That formulation would have provoked a lively debate on the proper role of debate in a free society. So why not begin the discussion of dissent in a less charged manner?

Since you apparently can't bear to respond to the above, let's try a simpler question. Something less abstract than you are used to dealing with.

2) Do you believe domestic dissent against the Bush administration's policies have emboldened foreign terrorists to launch attacks against the US?

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 96):
However, because some here have leaped to the wrong conclusion, they've been attacking a straw man, exerting much of your energies against an argument I've never made.

For those of you playing at home, here is AF's original opening argument/assertion:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
If a scientific poll came out tomorrow conclusively showing that dissent in the United States in the form of significant public protests against the Iraq war made it more likely for our foreign enemies to be inspired to injure or kill Americans, would this affect your evaluation of the merits or proper means of protest?

Note how in post 96, AF wants you to believe that he has been conducting an even handed discussion of the role of dissent in a free society. The truth, however, is different.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 96):
It's really quite simple if you take the fundamental mispresentations or misunderstandings of my position out of it.

What misapprehensions are you referring to? YOU are the one who started this debate by framing the question in manner you did. A manner I have repeatedly asked you to explain, and which you refuse to respond to.

Don't complain about being misrepresented when you are responsible for it in the first place.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 99):
Your contention appears to be that our consciences should somehow limit our dissent because dissent is bad for the State entity, and that we, as good and ethical establishment units, should recoil from doing harm to the State entity, since it exists only for our good. I would suggest that since the State entity can only exist by the consent of those it governs, tough shit for the State entity. If the State entity thinks it has any other raison d'etre than to collect the trash and make sure the trains run on time and in every other possible way make MY LIFE and that of every other citizen easier, it can get stuffed. If I choose to withdraw my consent to its existence, that is my right.

How dare you post a logical argument. Do you really believe AF is going to listen?

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 100):
In my originating article, my hypothetical deprived dissenters of that justification to the extent that any scientific poll could do so, and asked the reader to consider how it might affect the underpinnings of dissent. The aim was to cut away all the frills that dissenters put on their ideologies, all of which pay lip service to safety, nonviolence, and so forth, but some -- not all, but some -- of which they may actually hold regardless of whether, to their knowledge, they will accept the probability of greater harm to Americans because, in their view, it's still a better alternative than the policy they protest.

Well, at least you are now admitting that your original post was ridiculously skewed.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 108):
Someone turn the lights out on this thread when AF has lost all credibility.

Uh, that would have been long before he opened this particular thread.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 109):
Let it be so that every time that Cindy Sheehan, for example, speaks out with the justification that she is thinking about the welfare of the soldiers, it is a fair question to ask her whether she would still take the same position if it turned out that the implementation of her plans would result in greater harm to Americans -- and possibly to the sons of other mothers who are no less worthy of consideration that she.

It is most assuredly NOT a fair question. She is a citizen of the United States, and as such has the right to protest the activities and policies of her government without imposition of your bogus litmus test.

I happen to think Cindy Sheehan is a nut case. A harmless nut case, but a nut case just the same. You, on the other hand, are positively scary, and an excellent example that despite all the lessons we've learned about fascism and other forms of repression, that people live amongst us that would, given half the chance, stifle the voice of the people and impose their warped political opinions on the rest of us, smug in the conviction that you are right and everyone else is wrong.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:14 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 112):
After all, I'm a raving liberal to you.

No. I think that your position as implied was libertarian. I don't think of you as a Tory at all. A Tory would probably take the position that dissent tends not to be justified. In this case, I think you've taken the view that almost any dissent is justified, which is the opposite of the Tory approach.

Your message departs from a mistaken premise.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:22 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 112):
Do you believe domestic dissent against the Bush administration's policies have emboldened foreign terrorists to launch attacks against the US?

Yes, it's quite possible, considering that there are accounts regarding dissent against our policy have been carried in the Middle East. However, I'm not sure.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 112):
You, on the other hand, are positively scary, and an excellent example that despite all the lessons we've learned about fascism and other forms of repression, that people live amongst us that would, given half the chance, stifle the voice of the people and impose their warped political opinions on the rest of us, smug in the conviction that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

I'm positively nightmare-inducing only in the sense that I've asked a simple question based on a hypothetical that some people can't stand. One of the posters here drew a parallel between the questions here an the Socratic method, by posting a picture of Socrates in another thread. The implication that asking a question that some people believe is controversial, based on nothing I said, implies that I'm a fascist is as ridiculous as it is dangerous. Asking question is to be protected as much as dissent, but isn't it telling that those who want dissent for their own, are so eager to point fingers at others when people ask questions they don't like?This has been a rather a telling tale, if you ask me.
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speedbird747BA
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:29 am

This has got to be the longest and stupidest poll I have ever heard of!!!!!!!!!!!

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halls120
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:18 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 114):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 112):
Do you believe domestic dissent against the Bush administration's policies have emboldened foreign terrorists to launch attacks against the US?

Yes, it's quite possible, considering that there are accounts regarding dissent against our policy have been carried in the Middle East. However, I'm not sure.

Wow. for someone who has criticized others for the lack of substance in their arguments, the sparseness of this response is breathtaking. "It's possible, but I'm not sure"

Next time I see you criticize/comment on someone else's lack of substance, I'll remind you of this one.....

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 114):

I'm positively nightmare-inducing only in the sense that I've asked a simple question based on a hypothetical that some people can't stand.

It's not the hypothetical we can't stand. It's your smug self-righteous stance in advocating the if we aren't with you, we are with the enemy line of discussion.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 114):
Asking question is to be protected as much as dissent, but isn't it telling that those who want dissent for their own, are so eager to point fingers at others when people ask questions they don't like?This has been a rather a telling tale, if you ask me.



telling indeed. And illustrative of your real goal of structuring an argument so as to promote/produce the result you desire. Not to "explore when an individual must re-evaluate his own decision-making." If that had been the goal, you have posed a question regarding the limits of debate in a non-partisan manner.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
MUWarriors
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:43 pm

First off your premise is so full of problems you would make any self respecting high school debate student cry. Seriously, a loaded question with a false dilemma, two cardinal sin fallacies in one sentence. Well played.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 20):
Good ol' Ben Franklin said that anyone who would sacrifice freedom for a little bit of safety deserved neither. But remember: He said a little bit of freedom.

You screwed up the interpretation of your own misquote. How is it possible to do that? Nowhere (even in your fabricated quote) does it say "little freedom" it says "little safety" which is a huge difference. Plus if you are going to quote Ben Franklin make sure you use what was actually printed, phraseology makes all the difference. The real quote is this:

Quote:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Basically it means the opposite of what you said, because all safety is temporary. Future issues will arise, and each time you will sacrifice liberty to buy yourself some more time. It's a slippery slope (another fallacy I know), but that is what Franklin was getting at.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:57 pm

Quoting MUWarriors (Reply 117):
You screwed up the interpretation of your own misquote. How is it possible to do that?

Acknowledged. However, substitute the following and you would have the meaning I intended:

Good ol' Ben Franklin said that anyone who would sacrifice freedom for a little bit of safety deserved neither. But remember: He said a little bit of safety.

It was a paraphrase of the original, which you cited as:

Quoting MUWarriors (Reply 117):
Quote:

Quote:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Basically it means the opposite of what you said, because all safety is temporary. Future issues will arise, and each time you will sacrifice liberty to buy yourself some more time. It's a slippery slope (another fallacy I know), but that is what Franklin was getting at

It doesn't mean the opposite of what I said at all. In fact, the use of the term "essential" makes my point even more forcefully, in that it appears that Franklin would agree that if small liberties were given up, it wouldn't matter.

Further, the original as you cited also implies that if what is obtained is other than temporary safety, then that also may be accepted.

Your criticism concerning my misquote of my own paraphrase is correct, but everything else in your message strikes me as quite otherwise.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:13 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 116):
It's your smug self-righteous stance in advocating the if we aren't with you, we are with the enemy line of discussion.

I'm not pleased with the way you argue, either, but I don't make a point of using it to attack your arguments, although it must be said that there is very little of argument from your messages here that exist in the first place. Your issue is with the hypothetical I gave, and you seem to think it's extreme. But so what? Hypotheticals are often meant to be such so that the essential elements of an issue may be determined.

For example, take a look at the various uses of hypotheticals mentioned in the following abstract:

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?i...ence&CFID=15151515&CFTOKEN=6184618

... including that of the extreme case.

To see a few in action, see the usage of an "extreme hypotheticals" in the following:

http://psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/50/1/95

http://www.loundy.com/CDLB/Exon1.html

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/a/pop.html

http://www.bankofamerica.com/annualr...review/22_marketRiskManagement.cfm

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr01/articles/lyric.asp

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/lawbooks/revfeb00.htm

... just to name a few.

The fact that you don't like a hypothetical is really no cause to criticize others for using it, without more.

Come up with good arguments that the hypothetical could never reflect reality, and then we'll have a basis for further discussion. As it stands, my hypothetical is simply an exercise in imagination that assumes that it might be possible to conduct a poll, the result of which might be counterintuitive or even offensive to some. But the virtue of imagination is that it helps us to understand concepts that reality may be so mundane as to obscure.

I'm sure you remember, Halls, the use of hypotheticals in law schools. Some of them were quite ridiculous, but were stated nonetheless to test the limits of preconceived notions. And often, hypotheticals are used to illustrate a point without self-consciously being stated as such. For example, liberals, conservatives, and others like to use the construction, "If... then...." in precisely that way. Here is an example of a possible attack from the left from a time before the Patriot Act was renewed:

"If the Patriot Act is renewed, then the government could listen in on your private conversations at whim."

The above statement is hypothetical in several senses, including the sense in which it posits a situation which is very unlikely to occur. The government could listen to your private conversations, but how likely is it? Not very. And yet the argument does ask you to contemplate eavesdropping in your own situation, however unlikely, and this premise is considered legitimate in many quarters. (Another facet of its hypothetical nature is the fact that, at the time that the argument was made, the Patriot Act had not yet been renewed.)

So I would urge you to reconsider the arguments you choose to make, which are based on formal objections, and to show that the use of hypotheticals in this instance is fundamentally illegitimate for the purposes of discussion for which it has been submitted. If you can, I might be able to respond further.

[Edited 2006-10-19 14:34:48]
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MUWarriors
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:55 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 118):
It doesn't mean the opposite of what I said at all. In fact, the use of the term "essential" makes my point even more forcefully, in that it appears that Franklin would agree that if small liberties were given up, it wouldn't matter.

And you feel the Freedom of Speech, and Right to Assemble is a small liberty? It's the First Amendment, clearly the founding fathers thought it was more on the lines of an essential liberty. In fact if not for those first 10 amendments our constitution would not exist. So yeah, I think those would be essential.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 118):
Further, the original as you cited also implies that if what is obtained is other than temporary safety, then that also may be accepted.

Two points here, before I walk away from this thread. Your premise (faulty as it is), indicates that this is during the Iraq conflict, which unless you see it continuing unabated into the future, is temporary. Second, as I said all safety is temporary. Under no circumstance, ever conceivable could there be a permanent safety, no matter how much you give up. That's all I will say about this from here on out.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:34 am

Quoting MUWarriors (Reply 120):
And you feel the Freedom of Speech, and Right to Assemble is a small liberty? It's the First Amendment, clearly the founding fathers thought it was more on the lines of an essential liberty. In fact if not for those first 10 amendments our constitution would not exist. So yeah, I think those would be essential.

Once again, let me make it clear: I'm not advocating governmental restraint, but merely self-restraint.

Once again:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 96):
A bit of recap:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 19):

Quote:
Quoting Texan (Reply 6):

Quote:
Once you try to quash the freedom of speech and freedom of expression, that's the road you are very quickly heading down.

I think you misunderstand. There's a difference between government's imposing control, and your exercising it yourself. For example, no one forces you to brush your teeth every morning and before you go to bed. It's simply good practice. Suppose that you brush your teeth in the morning, but not before bed. Suppose that a scientific study came out tomorrow that said that if you brush only the morning, your teeth have a better chance of rotting. Well, the question becomes, would you change your habits?

It would be absurd to say that asking the question is inviting suppression of the freedom not to brush your teeth. Whether the study says one thing or the other, it's entirely within your power to brush or not to brush your teeth. In other words, it's within your control, not the government's.

By the same token, as whether one should protest less or differently if American lives were put in danger doesn't implicate the freedom of speech -- only your own control over what you say. The state has nothing to do with it.

However, because some here have leaped to the wrong conclusion, they've been attacking a straw man, exerting much of your energies against an argument I've never made.

Once again, for those playing along at home, the following may be gleaned from my statements, above:

1. Dissent cannot be absolute.
2. The limits of dissent, as discussed here, must be evaluated.
3. The specific application of any limits, in particular, must be considered as a matter of self-restraint.
4. The foregoing is irrespective of and separate from government control.
5. Point No. 4, above, follows because the origins of dissent place it above considerations of government.
6. Because of Point No. 5, each dissenter is bound to seriously consider the benefits versus the harm of such dissent (in a utilitarian way), including, for example, its effect on the national unity by which government is institutes that protects the liberty under whose guise dissent exists.
7. Dissenters should not pretend that their aims necessarily avoid risk to other Americans.
8. Dissenters must be clear when what they advocate is so strongly held that it places the safety of others at greater risk -- i.e., not only must they consider it and act according to what they can withstand in conscience, but they must not believe that others will not disagree with them on the principles upon which this country is founded (the protection of the lives, as well as the liberty, of fellow Americans).

It's really quite simple if you take the fundamental mispresentations or misunderstandings of my position out of it. Just because something isn't white, doesn't mean it's black. It could be some other color. Just because I said that dissent has limits, doesn't mean that I advocate government control. The purpose of this thread has been to explore when an individual must re-evaluate his own decision-making, and not once did I say that government must control it with respect to dissent.

I did say that "loose lips sink ships", and indeed, that may be true, and another consideration to be taken into account.
What's fair is fair.
 
cairo
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:10 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 17):
If silence is required for us to protect American lives, then why not be silent?

Because the protection of American way of life for everyone is far more important than protecting a relatively few individual American lives.

That is the foundation of all of America's wars that were correct, namely, sacrificing a few lives so that the rest of us could remain free.

Anytime America is not fighting to protect American freedoms and the American way of life for Americans at home - or fighting against the real big overseas threats to same - this is when America's wars have been wrong.

You obviously believe security is the biggest goal. A life not worth living is no price to pay for security - it is better to die fighting for what is right (like the Bill of Rights) than to sit by and watch the rights eroded in the name of a little extra security.

Anyone who is afraid of the terrorists so much that they'd compromise the American way of life and the Constitution just to hopefully avoid a little more terrorism (or attacks on Americans in Iraq) doesn't deserve to be an American and has no clue how strong America can be.

Stop living in fear.

Cairo
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:28 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 122):
Because the protection of American way of life for everyone is far more important than protecting a relatively few individual American lives.

I don't necessarily agree with that. I realize that there are some compromises that have to be made, but it is hardly possible to take it for granted, in a largely Christian-influenced society where every life is believed to be sacred, that we can ethically sacrifice a few so that others may enjoy life. There are other issues that could be discussed here as well, but suffice it to say that it's a bit disturbing to take the view that innocent American lives should be sacrificed so that "the way of life" can be protected. Nor is this argument disproved by the fact that members of our military is exposed to greater risk than other Americans, since the military's task is voluntarily assumed, among other things.

One could turn this argument around and say that the torture of innocent people by mistake is a price to be paid for safety, which is the first responsibility of government. This would justify whatever happened to Arar Maher -- if one took this view.

Maher, of course, is not American, but even if he were, if we were to take your proposed view, why couldn't he be deemed one of those who might be deemed "sacrificeable"?

The "American way of life" of which you speak, further, must be defined. If it is the unsecured, pre-9/11 way of life that some people here yearn for, then there are quite a lot of problems associated with it. One is that as a matter of reality, those who end up "sacrificed" by lax security could very well number in the thousands, or even millions, of innocent civilian American lives. Abstract preservation of ideals surely is not worth such a cost.

You mention fear. There is a fine line between fear and prudence. And neither should we should not fear being tough against others, nor should we think that our freedom is so fragile that security measures meant to protect us will destroy our way of life. Hysterics like those of Keith Olbermann, mentioned in another thread here, do nothing to advance the cause of freedom, but reflect a false and internal sense of doom that has no basis in reality. They mislead the public into thinking that the government is exclusively there to harm them, rather than to do what it can to assure our security. It is arguable that the harm people like Olbermann do in condemning our government as if it is the enemy of the people far outweighs any good they seek to do, though they themselves may not realize it.

[Edited 2006-10-20 05:36:24]
What's fair is fair.
 
cairo
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:34 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
in a largely Christian-influenced society where every life is believed to be sacred

No American society believes this - please see the 100000+ Americans killed by other Americans, the 30000+ Iraqis killed, the 3000 American soldiers killed and the untold millions left dying of hunger since January of 2001. There is no sacred life to this administration, only catch phrases that appeal to certain dull voters.

The ridiculous "Christian" hypocrisy of the current administration is the crime that is just coming to the surface. Bush, Rove, etc... give nods to evangelical beliefs now and again only to gain votes; privately they roll their eyes at the 'crazies.'

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
If it is the unsecured, pre-9/11 way of life that some people here yearn for, then there are quite a lot of problems associated with it.

No crackdown on America makes Americans more secure. No increased security in America secures Americans from the alleged threat of terrorism. Note to Aerospace: Americans aren't interested in hurting America, only (allegedly) foreigners. Want to crack down on the civil liberties of foreigners in America: fine. Cracking down on Americans = fascism.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
One is that as a matter of reality, those who end up "sacrificed" by lax security could very well number in the thousands, or even millions, of innocent civilian American lives.

Keep living in fear. Millions dead? From What? When the government finally attacks its own people?

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
security measures meant to protect us will destroy our way of life.

The 'security measures' arent meant to protect us, they are meant to increase the power of the government and eliminate dissent. The terrorists are overseas, if they exist at all, not here in America.

Those willing to give up a little liberty for a little security deserve neither security nor liberty. - Benjamin Franklin

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
They mislead the public into thinking that the government is exclusively there to harm them, rather than to do what it can to assure our security.

Government cares only about government. The people are merely tools to enhance its power - at least under Bush and company.

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away. -Ronald Reagan

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
condemning our government as if it is the enemy of the people

The government IS the enemy - in this crisis.

The Bill of Rights is there, or used to be, to PROTECT US FROM THE GOVERNMENT, because government is frequently used by the politicians and made into an enemy of the people.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' --Ronald Reagan

Cairo

government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
--Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan quoted from the time when Republicans had beliefs that were guided by principles instead of today's "Republicans" who simply want to stay in power at any cost and try to use fear to do it
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Sat Oct 21, 2006 5:05 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 124):
The ridiculous "Christian" hypocrisy of the current administration is the crime that is just coming to the surface. Bush, Rove, etc... give nods to evangelical beliefs now and again only to gain votes; privately they roll their eyes at the 'crazies.'



Quoting Cairo (Reply 124):
The government IS the enemy - in this crisis.

I'm sorry, Cairo. We have a philosophical disagreement. I'm not so cynical about the government as, from your position, you appear to be.

I do not believe that President Reagan would have built up the military had he believed that the government by its nature was the kind of "enemy" suggested in your message.

And there are many who feel under no threat whatsoever to their own civil liberties, despite what critics of the Administration fear. That's really all there is to it, in this regard.
What's fair is fair.
 
LH423
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:48 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 5):
It's a straightforward question, however. If the poll came out with that conclusion, would you say that the increased possibility that our foreign enemies would be inspired to injure or kill Americans is worth it as the price of dissent?

No. Because the day we lose our right to dissent the US no longer stands for anything in my eyes and, dare I say, SHOULD be destroyed. The US was founded on ideals and beliefs, that in those days, were rare. Now the idea of free speech and freedom in general is widespread throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. If we lose our right to dissent we become no better than any two-bit dictatorship any any other part of the world.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
JGPH1A
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:21 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
I realize that there are some compromises that have to be made, but it is hardly possible to take it for granted, in a largely Christian-influenced society where every life is believed to be sacred, that we can ethically sacrifice a few so that others may enjoy life.

That's nonsense. The entire premise of an organised military is to provide people to fight and where necessary sacrifice their lives, so that the general populace doesn't have to. With this in mind, it is the paramount duty of any society with an organised military to ensure that the sacrifices demanded of that military are justified - that the sacrifice really is to ensure the immediate physical security of those they defend.

And as for the U.S. being largely Christian-influenced - you wish. The U.S. founding fathers were anything but, they were for the most part deists and free-thinkers who wanted to escape the pernicious and oppressive influence of organised religion on the state. They must be spinning in their graves right about now.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
halls120
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:41 am

Quoting LH423 (Reply 126):
The US was founded on ideals and beliefs, that in those days, were rare. Now the idea of free speech and freedom in general is widespread throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. If we lose our right to dissent we become no better than any two-bit dictatorship any any other part of the world.

Agree completely.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 127):
And as for the U.S. being largely Christian-influenced - you wish. The U.S. founding fathers were anything but, they were for the most part deists and free-thinkers who wanted to escape the pernicious and oppressive influence of organised religion on the state. They must be spinning in their graves right about now.

Actually, I believe you have it both right and wrong. The US is in fact heavily Christian-influenced. It's only been the last three or four decades where the iron grip of Christian religious dogma has begun to be separated from daily life. For example, before 1960, it was very difficult to find stores open on Sunday, thanks to the ridiculous blue laws - some which still exist today. Before the 60's, religious leaders had real and direct influence on society. Thankfully, their grip has relaxed, although you still have the ridiculous charade of almost every politician having to profess their religious faith in order to get elected.

You are right about the founding fathers being deists and free thinkers. Jefferson's Bible is an excellent example - he admired the ethical teachings of Jesus, but had no patience for the religious dogma of the Christian Bible.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:37 pm

Just a few reactions, for the time being:

1. As I believe I mentioned, the military is an exception to the idea that an individual should not be sacrificed for the good of society.

2. Further, with all due respect, it seems to me indisputable that America is a Christian-influenced society.
What's fair is fair.
 
DrDeke
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:10 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 129):
1. As I believe I mentioned, the military is an exception to the idea that an individual should not be sacrificed for the good of society.

Well, that's what you think. Maybe others think that freedoms including the right to dissent can also be exceptions to that idea.

-DrDeke
If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:13 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 129):
1. As I believe I mentioned, the military is an exception to the idea that an individual should not be sacrificed for the good of society.

Mentioned where ? If you had, I wouldn't have picked up on your fatuous statement. And don't make me hunt through your Britannica-like posts to try and find it ! I haven't the energy.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 129):
2. Further, with all due respect, it seems to me indisputable that America is a Christian-influenced society.

Possibly, but that was far from the intention, you can be sure. And, slowly, it will change to be normal - like everywhere else  Smile
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
MYT332
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:31 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 131):
I haven't the energy.

Do you want a Crunchie McFlurry? I'm just about to go and pick one up as a 'treat' since I haven't been able to drink all week. Oh the huge manity of it all!
One Life, Live it.
 
JGPH1A
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:34 am

Quoting Myt332 (Reply 132):
Do you want a Crunchie McFlurry?

I HARDLY think so - I am in the LX Lounge at ZRH eating free Toblerone (mmmmmmmmm), so no need for McMuck ta very much ! After my blasphemous cheeseless Big Mac in TLV, I've quite gone off them.

Off to stuff handfulls of free choccies into my carry-on before I catch my plane home. Traaaaa !!

 biggrin 
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
MYT332
Posts: 7302
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:46 am

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 133):
I am in the LX Lounge at ZRH eating free Toblerone (mmmmmmmmm),

How oink of you!

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 133):
my blasphemous cheeseless Big Mac in TLV

Was the actual point of your TLV trip just to cross another Maccy D's off the list?

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 133):
Off to stuff handfulls of free choccies into my carry-on before I catch my plane home. Traaaaa !!

You make Skidmarks and Cornish seem sophisticated! Oh dear me, back to France with you!
One Life, Live it.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
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RE: How Much Do You Care About National Unity?

Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:59 am

Quoting DrDeke (Reply 130):
Maybe others think that freedoms including the right to dissent can also be exceptions to that idea.

Again, I've never disputed that there is a right to dissent, but merely whether it is the right thing for a citizen to do in specific circumstances.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 131):
Mentioned where ? If you had, I wouldn't have picked up on your fatuous statement. And don't make me hunt through your Britannica-like posts to try and find it ! I haven't the energy.

Here is your answer:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 123):
Nor is this argument disproved by the fact that members of our military is exposed to greater risk than other Americans, since the military's task is voluntarily assumed, among other things.
What's fair is fair.

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