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Thread: Oh my God!

  1. #76
    The greater good

    Meaningless euphemisms. Whose greater good? Defined by whom? Using what criteria?

    Society's rights

    This is my own opinion here, but societies do not have rights. Governments do not have rights. Cultures do not have rights. Religions do not have rights. Corporations do not have rights. Families do not have rights.

    These are all abstractions. The only beings that have rights are individuals. It is the will and committment of individuals that give these things any weight.

    Why? Because a bunch of Enlightenment era folks recovered some Greek humanist thought and decided that was the way to go.

    Presumptions of right and wrong

    And those presumptions have always reflected the times folks lived in.

  2. #77
    But of course, for the most part we've only been talking about life within free societys. Another valid question is the danger of free societies losing their sense of identity and ability to protect themselves and their goal of safeguarding liberty in the face of determined enemies.

    Here's a view of what we're up against and what can happen when we deny people the structure and sense of identity they crave and that they misguidedly look to others to provide:

    http://khalas.wordpress.com/

    If anything trumps the rights of individuals in my view, it's the preservation of the society that safeguards individual rights. It's an old problem. Athens faced it with the rise of the sophists and never found a satisfying solution (killing Socrates was definitely the wrong way to go).
    Last edited by RAD; November 27th, 2008 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Expansion

  3. #78
    Where's Tonto zorobnice's Avatar
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    We have seen in our country, that rights are given to minority groups before they are given to the majority, even though the majority rule principle is one of the corner stones of the ruling parties constitution.

    If I as an individual have rights, then how do I apply them without infringing on another individuals rights?? The problem is that a group of people get together to determine an individuals rights, legislate it and then punish people who do not abide by said legislation. So in trying to ensure an individuals rights they effectively remove them. Therefore, I suppose one can say we do not really have rights.

    I agree with Kged though, the Do unto others thing is a good way to teach our kids to respect others and try to live in harmony with them. The problem again is the next kid who does not get taught that viewpoint. A never ending circle if you ask me.

    Z

  4. #79
    We have seen in our country,

    Not sure which country you mean, but let me specify again that I was referring to the West. This system is a human construct, it's not perfect and needs modification along the way, and plenty of people have had to fight for their right to be included - in the US anyway (Meanwhile in Europe they're bending over backwards to accommodate people who do not want to be included in a Western democracy, but to supplant it with totalitarianism, but that's another issue). Yes, our rights were given to us by other people, they always have been.

    If I as an individual have rights, then how do I apply them without infringing on another individuals rights?

    By acting within the law, so long as that law is based on the principle of protecting the individual. If anyone has any problem with your actions, there are channels to go through. If these aren't effective, then they can protest, join a political movement, voice their concerns through the free press, or even run for office.

    If a society does not have those things, then I do not consider that society valid.

    So in trying to ensure an individuals rights they effectively remove them.

    Freedom of speech, religion, assembly, etc. is removing your rights?

    Therefore, I suppose one can say we do not really have rights.

    By that logic the USA is no different than Iran, Saudi Arabia or John Calvin's Geneva.

  5. #80
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAD View Post
    By acting within the law, so long as that law is based on the principle of protecting the individual. If anyone has any problem with your actions, there are channels to go through. If these aren't effective, then they can protest, join a political movement, voice their concerns through the free press, or even run for office.

    If a society does not have those things, then I do not consider that society valid.
    Total and utter crap.

    Zorob is from South Africa. Was apartheid ended based on these precious principles of democracy you prescribe? Does democracy exist in the first place because people acted within the law?

    The entire point of democracy is to allow people to define their own law through regional consensus. What you're describing is not democracy at all. It's centralism.

    What's the primary quality of both totalitarianism and fascism? Both are systems of governance based exclusively of the maintenance of power by central authority through legalism. You'll note that of the few obviously fascist nations from history, democracy played a staggeringly important role...

    Look closely at what you've just said -- you've just argued for a centralized state. You've essentially claimed that all non-US political systems are not true democracies, while arguing for a system which is not in itself particularly democratic. And you've also said that the only allowable opposition is the prescribed opposition. Which, you'll note, is completely contradictory to the underlying value you're trying to support in your argument.

    You're proposing a democratic system with unchanging laws and programmed opposition. That is fundamentally counter-democratic. You're not creating "rights" in what you describe at all, but privileges -- the right of individual freedom includes the right to do wrong. Punishment aside, you're describing wrong actions a priori based on the system itself.

    In fact, the purpose for the existence of the 2nd Amendment in the US Constitution is to allow the people to wrest power from just such a corrupted democracy. A "democracy" that values maintaining itself over the right of the people to choose is not a democracy at all.

    By that logic the USA is no different than Iran, Saudi Arabia or John Calvin's Geneva.
    From the perspective of some modern Iranians, Saudis, or Calvinists, (or many Canadians) the USA is precisely what you're implying those nations are. If you actually examine the political system of Iran, their political system is shockingly similar to the US system. That is, both are right leaning pseudo-democracies under fundamentalist, centralist, and socialist governance.

  6. #81
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Rad, don't ever forget that Fung is Canadian.

  7. #82
    Registered User hobbs525's Avatar
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    If you don't believe/stand for something; you'll fall for anything.

    I personally choose to believe in an almighty soverign GOD who answers my prayers and directs my steps leading me to life everlasting.

  8. #83
    Gloriam Imperator kged's Avatar
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    Sorry Hobbs, but you are in no position to talk about others falling for anything if you follow it up with a statement that some supernatural being is directing your life. Even if that were true, it would be horrific, and no cause for happiness.

    Speaking for myself, I believe in a great many things. None of them are deities.

  9. #84
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kged View Post
    Sorry Hobbs, but you are in no position to talk about others falling for anything if you follow it up with a statement that some supernatural being is directing your life. Even if that were true, it would be horrific, and no cause for happiness.

    Speaking for myself, I believe in a great many things. None of them are deities.
    Why isn't she in a position to make that statement? I interpreted it to mean that if you don't have a moral code you believe in, then you'll believe anything is acceptable. Opinions seem to vary on whether a loving God is a good thing or a bad thing.

  10. #85
    I personally choose to believe in an almighty soverign GOD who answers my prayers and directs my steps leading me to life everlasting.

    So did the witch burners. So did the kings who ruled by divine right. So did all their slavish serfs. So do today's fanatics. Same with the smug, smirking apologists and theologians who shilled for them through crocodile tears and still do so to this very day (for their modern counterparts).

    But hey, since the Authority is directing your steps then I'm sure it'll all turn out all right, either in the here and now or in that life everlasting that is your trump card.

    And like all cards, it's paper thin with nothing behind it.

    Hope it works out for you.

    Fung, Radone: I'll get back to you guys later tomorrow or Friday. I've got work to do now and need to get my thoughts in order to clarify a few things. With Fung, I seem to have given the precise opposite impression of what I was arguing about.

  11. #86
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    When you claim one way is valid and others are not, beware!!!

  12. #87
    and I like to party. Seak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAD View Post
    I personally choose to believe in an almighty soverign GOD who answers my prayers and directs my steps leading me to life everlasting.

    So did the witch burners. So did the kings who ruled by divine right. So did all their slavish serfs. So do today's fanatics. Same with the smug, smirking apologists and theologians who shilled for them through crocodile tears and still do so to this very day (for their modern counterparts).

    But hey, since the Authority is directing your steps then I'm sure it'll all turn out all right, either in the here and now or in that life everlasting that is your trump card.

    And like all cards, it's paper thin with nothing behind it.

    Hope it works out for you.
    So do doctors and lawyers and good people and bad people. People have done terrible things with good beliefs, that is true. People have also used technology to do terrible things. I still believe that technology is a good thing.

    And then you go and make fun of cards?! j kidding

  13. #88
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAD View Post
    So did the witch burners. So did the kings who ruled by divine right. So did all their slavish serfs. So do today's fanatics. Same with the smug, smirking apologists and theologians who shilled for them through crocodile tears and still do so to this very day (for their modern counterparts).
    RAD, I'm not sure what to make of this. Is it your belief that ALL religious people are raving fanatics out to kill the infidel? I remember we had this discussion on Gary's other thread a few years back. It got a little heated on my part, but I basically challenged you to stop giving Christians the benefit of the doubt. You stated they were deluded and didn't know better when they were spreading what you felt was an evil belief system. I stated that if they were active participants in the spreading of evil, ignorance could not be a justification or an alibi ie Christians are evil. Has it come to this, then?

  14. #89
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Where I grew up (Nova Scotia) playing cards was a big issue. By tradition, cards were not played by good Christian families as they were instruments of the devil.

    And not just Tarot cards, either. But I'm sure that has something to do with the superstition.

  15. #90
    Registered User hobbs525's Avatar
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    This is obviously not the place for freedom of opinion MUCH LESS a discussion on religion without being told your opinion is WRONG. I am sorry I even replied to a thread like this. On the flip side, I comfortable in my faith and stand firm in my beliefs. GRACE AND PEACE TO ALL OF YOU.

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