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  1. #1 Our Problem is Immorality 
    HR Corporate Scum patriot45's Avatar
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    Walter Williams, one of the smartest people on earth!




    Most of our nation's great problems, including our economic problems, have as their root decaying moral values. Whether we have the stomach to own up to it or not, we have become an immoral people left with little more than the pretense of morality. You say, "That's a pretty heavy charge, Williams. You'd better be prepared to back it up with evidence!" I'll try with a few questions for you to answer.

    Do you believe that it is moral and just for one person to be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another? And, if that person does not peaceably submit to being so used, do you believe that there should be the initiation of some kind of force against him? Neither question is complex and can be answered by either a yes or no. For me the answer is no to both questions but I bet that your average college professor, politician or minister would not give a simple yes or no response. They would be evasive and probably say that it all depends.

    In thinking about questions of morality, my initial premise is that I am my private property and you are your private property. That's simple. What's complex is what percentage of me belongs to someone else. If we accept the idea of self-ownership, then certain acts are readily revealed as moral or immoral. Acts such as rape and murder are immoral because they violate one's private property rights. Theft of the physical things that we own, such as cars, jewelry and money, also violates our ownership rights.

    The reason why your college professor, politician or minister cannot give a simple yes or no answer to the question of whether one person should be used to serve the purposes of another is because they are sly enough to know that either answer would be troublesome for their agenda. A yes answer would put them firmly in the position of supporting some of mankind's most horrible injustices such as slavery. After all, what is slavery but the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another? A no answer would put them on the spot as well because that would mean they would have to come out against taking the earnings of one American to give to another in the forms of farm and business handouts, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and thousands of similar programs that account for more than two-thirds of the federal budget. There is neither moral justification nor constitutional authority for what amounts to legalized theft. This is not an argument against paying taxes. We all have a moral obligation to pay our share of the constitutionally mandated and enumerated functions of the federal government.

    Unfortunately, there is no way out of our immoral quagmire. The reason is that now that the U.S. Congress has established the principle that one American has a right to live at the expense of another American, it no longer pays to be moral. People who choose to be moral and refuse congressional handouts will find themselves losers. They'll be paying higher and higher taxes to support increasing numbers of those paying lower and lower taxes. As it stands now, close to 50 percent of income earners have no federal income tax liability and as such, what do they care about rising income taxes? In other words, once legalized theft begins, it becomes too costly to remain moral and self-sufficient. You might as well join in the looting, including the current looting in the name of stimulating the economy.

    I am all too afraid that a historian, a hundred years from now, will footnote America as a historical curiosity where people once enjoyed private property rights and limited government but it all returned to mankind's normal state of affairs -- arbitrary abuse and control by the powerful elite.

    : “Grow your own dope. Plant a liberal.”
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    Interesting argument. I have often argued moral issues from this very perspective.

    Lefties can never come to this view because by and large they do not believe in natural rights. Since there are no inherent rights in the human condition, there is no moral argument against any kind of slavery, abuse, or humiliation. They have passing, changeable objections to such things but their concerns are purely utilitarian.

    Your rights stop right where a politician's power and authority begin.
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  3. #3  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Interesting argument. I have often argued moral issues from this very perspective.

    Lefties can never come to this view because by and large they do not believe in natural rights. Since there are no inherent rights in the human condition, there is no moral argument against any kind of slavery, abuse, or humiliation. They have passing, changeable objections to such things but their concerns are purely utilitarian.

    Your rights stop right where a politician's power and authority begin.
    They also tend to believe in group rights, rather than individual rights, unless the individual right is a sexual one. By claiming that membership in a certain group entitles you to certain rights, they are actually creating enclaves of privilege, not rights. I've always argued that in order for something to be a right, it must be universal, even if the capacity to exercise that right is not. For example, the right to live must be universal, and cannot be abrogated unless you have denied that right to others. If you have the right to live, then you have the right to sustain your life through your own efforts, which entails the creation of property, whose disposition you control. Thus, theft is not simply a property crime, but a crime that threatens the life of the producer, who will be unable to sustain himself and his family if his goods are taken. We have the right to defend ourselves and our property, to form alliances and partnerships in order to multiply our efforts or to diversify the available skill sets, which increases the capacity to produce. When we empower courts and police agencies, we are delegating the right of self defense to a neutral power which will then enforce contracts and protect us and our property from those who seek to take what is not theirs, either by force or trickery.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Interesting argument. I have often argued moral issues from this very perspective.

    Lefties can never come to this view because by and large they do not believe in natural rights. Since there are no inherent rights in the human condition, there is no moral argument against any kind of slavery, abuse, or humiliation. They have passing, changeable objections to such things but their concerns are purely utilitarian.

    Your rights stop right where a politician's power and authority begin.
    Natural rights ARE utilitarian.. unless you think violating or removing natural rights results in maximizing goodness and well being for the greatest many.

    But this author contradicts himself in his own article and throws out his own absolutism in favor of utilitarianism and doesn't even realize it... he rambles on about some absolute truth, that it is always wrong to 'forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another'... then goes on to list exceptions, such as taxation. Quite utilitarian... and there's nothing wrong with that actually.

    Using one person to serve the purposes of another isnt really a fundamental difference between conservatives or liberals... we all advocate it to some degree or another.
    Last edited by wilbur; 04-01-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Natural rights ARE utilitarian.. unless you think violating or removing natural rights results in maximizing goodness and well being for the greatest many.
    I don't think that natural rights are utilitarian but almost all utilitarians are perfectly willing to deny an individual's natural rights if it's expedient.
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  6. #6  
    HR Corporate Scum patriot45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Natural rights ARE utilitarian.. unless you think violating or removing natural rights results in maximizing goodness and well being for the greatest many.

    But this author contradicts himself in his own article and throws out his own absolutism in favor of utilitarianism and doesn't even realize it... he rambles on about some absolute truth, that it is always wrong to 'forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another'... then goes on to list exceptions, such as taxation. Quite utilitarian... and there's nothing wrong with that actually.

    Using one person to serve the purposes of another isnt really a fundamental difference between conservatives or liberals... we all advocate it to some degree or another.
    It wasn't a contradiction. He qualified that statement by that which is in the Constitution! Libs always twist words.

    This is not an argument against paying taxes. We all have a moral obligation to pay our share of the constitutionally mandated and enumerated functions of the federal government

    : “Grow your own dope. Plant a liberal.”
    ” Obummercare, 20 percent of the time it works everytime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by patriot45 View Post
    It wasn't a contradiction. He qualified that statement by that which is in the Constitution! Libs always twist words.
    In which case, he's arguing that there are exceptions to what he previously claimed is an absolute. No word twisting here, just parsing them according to their meanings.

    He's arguing that in certain cases, its a DUTY to forcibly require someone to serve the purposes of another (ie through reasonable taxation) but at the same time trying to argue that its absolutely immoral to forcibly require someone to serve the purposes of another. :eek:

    The differences between conservatives and liberals here are really competing concepts of what constitutes "duty".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I don't think that natural rights are utilitarian but almost all utilitarians are perfectly willing to deny an individual's natural rights if it's expedient.
    As are we all... if we weren't we'd never go to war... ever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    As are we all... if we weren't we'd never go to war... ever.
    I'm curious. How would you answer the questions he proposed?

    Do you believe that it is moral and just for one person to be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another? And, if that person does not peaceably submit to being so used, do you believe that there should be the initiation of some kind of force against him? Neither question is complex and can be answered by either a yes or no.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    I'm curious. How would you answer the questions he proposed?
    With a yes. But as we have seen, even the author can't answer 'no' to his own question.

    Unfortunately, the world doesn't always present us with the option of taking a course of action which will NOT violate someones rights.
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