An essay in futility, too long to read :)

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Offline David Cooper

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1400 on: 31/07/2015 18:01:59 »
My way is MY BUSINESS and everyone else can choose their own. The people that insist everyone else must conform to their standards, whether they are sticking their finger in your face or a gun makes no difference, these are the people that cause all the trouble.

That would be great if it was that simple, but in order to live by the rules of one belief system, it is typically necessary to treat other people in ways which go against the rules of another belief system. An example of this is the way that religious people block other people's right to assisted suicide, thereby forcing them to kill themselves much sooner than they want to instead of waiting until they can't do it without help. I want to find an example of something more extreme now and I don't want to pick on Islam as usual (usual because it's the worst offender), so I'll go to something worse that's extinct: the Aztecs killed a lot of their own people for religious reasons, and it would be completely wrong to allow that kind of thing to go on today, so we would have to act to prevent it. There are places where belief systems drive abusive behaviour and that is not something that should be tolerated. Not all the abuse is as extreme as killing, but bringing up children in such a way that they are forced to spend any of their precious time learning religious claptrap is also deeply abusive and should not be tolerated - it is fair to make it available for those who want it and it is fair to impose moral education on children who don't behave well, but it is not acceptable to impose it on the rest. Even then, there are disagreements about what is moral, so a moral child can be labelled as immoral by the rules of a belief system and that child can be abused as a result, which is again unacceptable. There is only one true morality (which will be spelt out to us by intelligent machines before long), and it is not found in the laws of any religion.
« Last Edit: 31/07/2015 18:03:52 by David Cooper »

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Offline Ethos_

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1401 on: 01/08/2015 02:10:38 »
My way is MY BUSINESS and everyone else can choose their own. The people that insist everyone else must conform to their standards, whether they are sticking their finger in your face or a gun makes no difference, these are the people that cause all the trouble.

That would be great if it was that simple, but in order to live by the rules of one belief system, it is typically necessary to treat other people in ways which go against the rules of another belief system.
It is that simple David...................I insist on only one rule: "Don't harm me or those I love and you can expect no trouble from me."

If other belief systems would follow this simple rule, we would all have the liberty to believe what ever we choose to believe. And I don't consider it necessary to treat anyone else differently just because they insist on special rules. If they insist on special rules over and above the simple one I stated, it's their problem and not mine.



« Last Edit: 01/08/2015 13:33:18 by Ethos_ »
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Offline David Cooper

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1402 on: 01/08/2015 18:46:15 »
It's virtually impossible not to harm other people. It may be that your religious beliefs are unusual in that they are built in such a way as to avoid harming others, but there are religions which require people and animals to be abused in various ways, and it is not acceptable to others to leave them to do that.

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My way is MY BUSINESS and everyone else can choose their own. The people that insist everyone else must conform to their standards, whether they are sticking their finger in your face or a gun makes no difference, these are the people that cause all the trouble.

The above is telling me it's wrong to intervene to try to stop someone abusing another person or an animal on religious grounds, and that's why I objected to it. Most religions contain immoral aspects which need to be stamped on, and that's why they're in conflict with each other. If they were all correct, they would all be in complete agreement and there would be no conflict. Instead of correcting their own errors though, what they always do is decide that all their rules are correct and that everyone else is wrong.

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Offline Ethos_

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1403 on: 01/08/2015 20:02:29 »
It's virtually impossible not to harm other people.
Remember my rule: "Don't harm me or those I love and you can expect no problems from me."

Quote from: David Cooper

It may be that your religious beliefs are unusual in that they are built in such a way as to avoid harming others,
I didn't mention or claim any religious belief but avoiding harming others should be the goal of every responsible human being whether Atheist or Theist.

Quote from: David Cooper
but there are religions which require people and animals to be abused in various ways, and it is not acceptable to others to leave them to do that.

As I mentioned earlier; People should mind their own business and quit making religious rules for others. When they do, they are in effect, harming those who may have different values than they do. So, I repeat: "Don't harm me or those I love and you can expect no problems from me." And I might add: "Don't expect zero problems from me if you do harm me or those I love."

I think I've made myself perfectly clear and I'm content with my position. You're free to take your own position David, I have no interest in convincing you to change your mind, and I ask that you allow me the same freedom.



 

« Last Edit: 01/08/2015 22:37:47 by Ethos_ »
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Offline David Cooper

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1404 on: 01/08/2015 20:30:50 »
Then stop inviting other people to choose their own way.

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My way is MY BUSINESS and everyone else can choose their own. The people that insist everyone else must conform to their standards, whether they are sticking their finger in your face or a gun makes no difference, these are the people that cause all the trouble.

What you really want is for everyone else to choose your way, so you should say so.

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Offline Ethos_

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1405 on: 01/08/2015 22:36:56 »
Then stop inviting other people to choose their own way.
Who's way would you suggest David, if not a way others should be free to choose for themselves? Maybe you're suggesting David's way?


Quote from: David Cooper

What you really want is for everyone else to choose your way, so you should say so.
Wrong again, my way only works for me................................

You sound like one of those individuals I was talking about, those folks who have to prove their point and always need the last word. Well, here's your chance, I'm out.................

Turn me over,...................I'm done.




« Last Edit: 02/08/2015 01:29:49 by Ethos_ »
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Offline David Cooper

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1406 on: 02/08/2015 19:05:02 »
I'm just trying to help you see that you're no different from the people you're attacking. If you aren't keeping your women under control and making them cover up when they go out in public, there are people who will decide that you are harming everyone who sees them.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1407 on: 03/08/2015 07:42:39 »
Quote from: David Cooper
That would be great if it was that simple, but in order to live by the rules of one belief system, it is typically necessary to treat other people in ways which go against the rules of another belief system. An example of this is the way that religious people block other people's right to assisted suicide, thereby forcing them to kill themselves much sooner than they want to instead of waiting until they can't do it without help.
That's not true though. Religious people don't have that kind of influence. First of all its politicians who make those kinds of decisions, not religious leaders. While religious leaders influence their members its the members who influence the politicians and members of a religion don't always follow what their leaders say. Even so there are many religions which are not against physician assisted suicides. See http://www.deathwithdignity.org/historyfacts/religion

For example: the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America said:
Quote
when pain is so severe "that life is indistinguishable from torture." Surprisingly, even though Death with Dignity is a hotly debated topic, they do not comment on it.

Quote from: David Cooper
Not all the abuse is as extreme as killing, but bringing up children in such a way that they are forced to spend any of their precious time learning religious claptrap is also deeply abusive and should not be tolerated - ....
I strongly disagree. I think you're exaggerating the problem. Parents are the ones who have the main responsibility to raise their children properly. To do that they have to infuse into them a moral and ethical belief system and that's what religion provides. Parents also want the souls of the children to be safe as well. For these reasons they teach them religious beliefs. There's nothing wrong with that at all. Saying that its abusive is way off.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1408 on: 03/08/2015 07:49:43 »
Quote from: David Cooper
It's virtually impossible not to harm other people.
Why?

Quote from: David Cooper
It may be that your religious beliefs are unusual in that they are built in such a way as to avoid harming others, but there are religions which require people and animals to be abused in various ways, ..
Which religions? Where did this come from? Can you point to a religious source so that I can verify this claim? I find it suspicious.

Quote from: David Cooper
The above is telling me it's wrong to intervene to try to stop someone abusing another person or an animal on religious grounds, and that's why I objected to it.
I disagree. That's neither what Ethos said or implied. By saying that his way is his business doesn't mean that he doesn't believe that he should be immune to laws. It's not as if one can spell ever single thing out regarding what "my business" means. But I think Ethos will agree with me that he doesn't except himself from the law.

Quote from: David Cooper
Most religions contain immoral aspects which need to be stamped on, ..
Such as what?

Quote from: David Cooper
and that's why they're in conflict with each other.
What proof do you have of this? The only conflict that I know of is that regarding their rights to certain land.  I know of nothing else so what are you referring to?

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1409 on: 03/08/2015 07:52:41 »
Quote from: David Cooper
Then stop inviting other people to choose their own way. ... What you really want is for everyone else to choose your way, so you should say so.
Come on, David! Everyone thinks that their opinion is the right one. But when it comes to religion I'm sure we can all agree on whether people should have the right to choose what to believe. I know of no religion that tells their members to control other people. To make attempts to influence? Sure. Not to control though.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1410 on: 03/08/2015 07:55:22 »
Quote from: David Cooper
I'm just trying to help you see that you're no different from the people you're attacking.
I'm surprised at you, David. He never attacked anybody.

Quote from: David Cooper
If you aren't keeping your women under control and making them cover up when they go out in public, there are people who will decide that you are harming everyone who sees them.
That's not what Ethos is doing. He doesn't have control over what other nations allow their men to do to control the lives of their wives.

It seems like you're just trying to get the last word in at this point, David.

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Offline David Cooper

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1411 on: 03/08/2015 19:26:32 »
Quote from: David Cooper
That would be great if it was that simple, but in order to live by the rules of one belief system, it is typically necessary to treat other people in ways which go against the rules of another belief system. An example of this is the way that religious people block other people's right to assisted suicide, thereby forcing them to kill themselves much sooner than they want to instead of waiting until they can't do it without help.
That's not true though. Religious people don't have that kind of influence.

Of course they do - it's religious people expressing their power who have shaped the laws on this.

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First of all its politicians who make those kinds of decisions, not religious leaders.

What use is that distinction when political leaders in our countries have to be Christians in order to win office and where they have to pander to people of that religion? The reality at the moment is that people who want to be helped to die are being denied that right because of other people imposing their religious values upon them.

Quote
Quote from: David Cooper
Not all the abuse is as extreme as killing, but bringing up children in such a way that they are forced to spend any of their precious time learning religious claptrap is also deeply abusive and should not be tolerated - ....
I strongly disagree. I think you're exaggerating the problem. Parents are the ones who have the main responsibility to raise their children properly.

I grew up in a Christian family and had half of every weekend ruined by church. I had to sit in a building listening to inane drivel, and the position of this in the day wiped out the opportunity to do anything else. It was torture. It was child abuse. Inflicting religious claptrap on children is torture, but these people have weird ideas about their claptrap being the key to morality when quite often they are the very opposite.

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To do that they have to infuse into them a moral and ethical belief system and that's what religion provides. Parents also want the souls of the children to be safe as well. For these reasons they teach them religious beliefs. There's nothing wrong with that at all. Saying that its abusive is way off.

You are defending the bad along with the good, but in my experience, most children don't need a lot of moral education until after they've been indoctrinated with religious laws, and after they've had all that rubbish shoved into them it is often impossible to deprogram it out of them, so they spend the rest of their lives abusing others with it.

Quote from: David Cooper
It's virtually impossible not to harm other people.
Why?

Because some people don't like being looked at, different people have different ideas about how close someone has to be before they perceive them as invading their space, talking to someone can disturb another person, etc. - these are small things, but they all involve harm that is impossible to avoid unless you're a hermit and don't encounter other people. Someone who loves gnomes may fill their garden with them, and people who hate gnomes can't avoid seeing them, and it makes them feel sick. Some people love cats and would be deeply depressed without them, while others resent having these moggies come into their gardens to defecate everywhere and kill birds. I could write a list of examples longer than this thread if I had the time.

Quote
Quote from: David Cooper
It may be that your religious beliefs are unusual in that they are built in such a way as to avoid harming others, but there are religions which require people and animals to be abused in various ways, ..
Which religions? Where did this come from? Can you point to a religious source so that I can verify this claim? I find it suspicious.

There are religions which require animals to be slaughtered in inhumane ways (which may have been the most humane at the time but which aren't now). There are also religions (e.g. Jainism) which require sick animals to be kept alive in pain until they die of natural causes instead of putting them out of their agony - they have a blind, programmed approach to animal welfare which ends up preventing the reduction of some extreme suffering.

Quote
Quote from: David Cooper
The above is telling me it's wrong to intervene to try to stop someone abusing another person or an animal on religious grounds, and that's why I objected to it.
I disagree. That's neither what Ethos said or implied. By saying that his way is his business doesn't mean that he doesn't believe that he should be immune to laws. It's not as if one can spell ever single thing out regarding what "my business" means. But I think Ethos will agree with me that he doesn't except himself from the law.

Laws come out of a competing mixture of different beliefs, many shaped largely by religion and many shaped largely by attempts at independent reasoning. There is nothing special about law of a country to make it different from the laws of a religion - the imposition of it on people is can be just the same as someone imposing their religious beliefs on someone else, particularly in countries where law is imposed by a religious authority.

Quote
Quote from: David Cooper
Most religions contain immoral aspects which need to be stamped on, ..
Such as what?

Read a Holy book and you're soon find something. There are some which call for you to be killed for not believing in them.

Quote
Quote from: David Cooper
and that's why they're in conflict with each other.
What proof do you have of this? The only conflict that I know of is that regarding their rights to certain land.  I know of nothing else so what are you referring to?

Have you read the Qur'aan yet? There are literally armies of people out there trying to do the right thing by blindly acting on its instructions exactly as they are stated.

Quote from: David Cooper
Then stop inviting other people to choose their own way. ... What you really want is for everyone else to choose your way, so you should say so.
Come on, David! Everyone thinks that their opinion is the right one. But when it comes to religion I'm sure we can all agree on whether people should have the right to choose what to believe. I know of no religion that tells their members to control other people. To make attempts to influence? Sure. Not to control though.

You are inviting members of Islamic State to live by the rules of their religion in the way they interpret those rules (which is to act on its instructions literally without filtering it through what they regard as misguided commentaries with no authority) and who find full religious justification (and indeed obligation) to do things to other people which we regard as abuse (and murder).

Quote from: David Cooper
I'm just trying to help you see that you're no different from the people you're attacking.
I'm surprised at you, David. He never attacked anybody.

Argument is a kind of combat in which people attack each other's positions. I was using the word in that sense and I can't see why you feel the need to try to turn it into something else.

Quote
Quote from: David Cooper
If you aren't keeping your women under control and making them cover up when they go out in public, there are people who will decide that you are harming everyone who sees them.
That's not what Ethos is doing. He doesn't have control over what other nations allow their men to do to control the lives of their wives.

If someone's religion tells him he can abuse "his women" and you don't consider that to be your business because these people are not of your kin, you are not as moral as you imagine. Nations have nothing to do with it.

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It seems like you're just trying to get the last word in at this point, David.

I left your forum (just like the person who left before me) precisely because you have a problem with needing to have the last word - you introduced a rule that effectively gave you the unique right to have the last word and to ban them from replying, and you did exactly that despite saying you wouldn't exploit the rule in that way.

I simply wanted to point out that the philosopy of "Don't harm me or those I love and you can expect no problems from me" is simplistic - it works if you don't love other people who are being abused, but that doesn't make you an attractive person, and if you do love them and feel the need to criticise or intervene, you then find yourself in conflict with your own rule as it's applied by the person on the other side who considers that his abuse of other people under his control is in their best interests. The rule doesn't work, and I have a right to point that out without you or anyone else trying to shout me down. Look at your list of alarmingly ignorant objections and ask yourself why you needed to make them when you surely must have known most of the answers already (unless you don't follow the news, in which case I apologise for assuming knowledge on your part that you genuinely don't have).

Edit (a further thought): Your way of thinking reveals something else here, because you're trying to apply a rule (this thing about it being wrong to have the last word, even though you've shown repeatedly on your own forum how keen you are to have it by bad-mouthing all the people you've fallen out with) which only makes sense in a private conversation where one person declares that they're out and doesn't want it to continue, but this is a public forum where ideas are supposed to do battle and the people behind them are far less relevant. An answer from me which refers to "you" is not aimed solely at you and indeed it is written with no expectation that you will read it - it is there for the benefit of anyone reading the thread now and in the future. A dangerous idea has been proposed which helps to shackle thinking and prevent understanding, and that idea needs to be looked at in the interests of humanity. The idea that "my way is MY BUSINESS and everyone else can choose their own" and that "the people that insist everyone else must conform to their standards, whether they are sticking their finger in your face or a gun makes no difference, these are the people that cause all the trouble" superficially sounds great and it may be taken on by many people who don't stop to think it through, but the very people it is criticising will agree with those same words and think that it's other people who are causing all the trouble. This philosophy leads to people getting stuck in thinking that they are right and everyone else is wrong. In reality, some of them may be right and most of them are wrong, but which are which? Those who merely take their ideas of morality from an ancient philosopher or from the culture of their country or family are almost all wrong (and they may all be wrong). My position on this is that everyone needs to keep re-evaluating their position honestly and as impartially as they can, repeatedly trying to refine the rules in the direction of perfection by finding the points where they go wrong and reworking them to improve them. There should be no point at which you declare yourself right and stop working at this. There must be correct moral answers to all questions (though in some cases there may be more than one equally good way of doing something which is radically different by generating precisely the same amount and distribution of harm), but they are hard to calculate. We will need intelligent machines to work out the best answers because people cannot think deep enough and make too many mistakes. It is a job for machines and they will, some day, spell out what is most probably moral and what is not, ever refining their position over time as they crunch the data better. What we can do in the meantime though is look at the places we get our moral ideas and question them, trying to work out what justification lies behind them and to see if they really stack up. There may be some moral ideas in the very worst of religions which go against our cultural values and yet are correct, even if most of their other moral ideas are depraved. All proposed moral rules need to be looked at with complete independence from systems of learned beliefs, and we should try to test them by working everything out from first principles and looking for cases which disprove them by showing up any places where they fail to produce moral results (and where other rules provide better results overall). That's my point in joining this discussion - I want people to open up their minds and to think rather than just taking in some rule which sounds great and assuming it works when in reality the problem comes from people believing that they are harmless people who follow that rule and that other people are the problem. People in general have conflicting moral values and consider themselves to be doing no harm while others consider them to be doing great harm. The way to resolve this is to look at those points of conflicting moral rules and to get people to abandon the ones that reveal themselves to be inferior by generating more harm (or which distribute that harm in a worse way). In calculating that, they also need to go by actual harm rather than imagined harm to gods, because gods can look after themselves and don't need people to kill other people on their behalf when they (the gods) are insulted through blasphemy.

(NEW PARAGRAPH ADDED - don't like bumping threads.)
« Last Edit: 05/08/2015 18:26:24 by David Cooper »

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Offline yor_on

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1412 on: 05/08/2015 17:54:24 »
It's difficult Ethos. How far can one isolate oneself? Lately I've been feeling like I'm crying in the wind? I agree in that we all should be allowed to make our own choices, but I want education. And I want it now, for us all. Education and a Internet that is allowed to mirror the reality outside my door. Because that is democracy. Without it we're going to a caste society, in where the 'market knows best' and where you're perfectly allowed to live your own life, just don't rock the boat.
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Offline yor_on

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1413 on: 05/08/2015 17:58:50 »
Let me put it this way. Someone said that we all get 15 minutes of fame :)

the question is, will it matter?
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Offline Ethos_

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1414 on: 05/08/2015 19:13:20 »
It's difficult Ethos. How far can one isolate oneself?
Isolation is not necessary for people to "live and let live". I enjoy the social interaction I have with friends and also enjoy making new acquaintances. My comments about those in this world that have something to prove relates to individuals like notorious dictators and people like them.

An example of "people like them" would be those we occasionally run into that won't rest until they have beaten you down with their own particular view of things. They fit into that category as well. Whether a despot or an obnoxious neighbor, these people are responsible for the trouble created in this world.

The individuals that respect others enough to allow them their own point of view are the good citizens of this world, those that won't allow that freedom should isolate themselves and do the rest of us a great big favor.



Quote from: yor_on

 and where you're perfectly allowed to live your own life, just don't rock the boat.
Like I said; "Don't harm me or those I love and you can expect no trouble from me."

I won't rock your boat if you don't rock mine.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2015 19:26:48 by Ethos_ »
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Offline David Cooper

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1415 on: 06/08/2015 00:00:33 »
The individuals that respect others enough to allow them their own point of view are the good citizens of this world, those that won't allow that freedom should isolate themselves and do the rest of us a great big favor.

Extreme counterexample:-

I think torturing live cats to death slowly is great fun. That's my point of view and anyone who leaves me alone to get on with it is a good citizen of the world. Those who won't allow me that freedom should do everyone a favour and shut up. I don't want to be educated about cats and to understand that they have feelings and that their suffering is a bad thing.

Less extreme counterexample:-

I think beating my children to make them learn a holy text is essential for their morals. That's my point of view and anyone who leaves me alone to get on with it is a good citizen of the world. Those who won't allow me that freedom should do everyone a favour and keep their thoughts to themselves. I do not want to be educated about any ideas that children can learn to be just as moral (and maybe more so) by using some approach that is more fun (for them).

So here I am, jumping on you again where I'm not wanted, just like some bastard trying to stop someone torturing cats or beating his children, except that you aren't doing anything so outrageous. What you are doing though is handing out a rule which unpleasant people can use to defend their disgusting behaviour, and that's why I feel the need to step in and point that out.

I have no doubt that you're a fine person who does no intentional damage to anyone, but you are pushing faulty rules which provide support to some really disgusting people, and that demands comment. It's not an attack on you, but on a dangerously faulty rule. No one is entitled to their views if their views are immoral and there is a moral imperative to intervene to clamp down on immorality wherever it occurs.

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Offline David Cooper

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1416 on: 06/08/2015 20:38:10 »
And now a PM from Ethos informs me that he's put me on his ignore list. Well, he was already ignoring what I was telling him, so this is doubtless a good thing as he'll actually be ignoring what I say less! 99% of people never like being told they've got anything wrong, so they dig in instead and close their ears. That human trait is the reason why the world is such an unholy mess, and most of us work exactly the same way - we turn away from people who point out things that we've got wrong and make a point of just going on being wrong instead. So, the real way to change the world is not to tell people how it is, but to trick them into working things out for themselves. You have to play lengthy games where you take up the opposite position from the one you actually want to steer people towards and use that to show up the faults in that wrong position so that you can drive people away from there and get them to make all the mental leaps of understanding for themselves over many days, weeks, months or years (instead of just telling them straight in a few minutes). That way, they don't feel as if they are being instructed by someone who knows better than they do, and they feel good about themselves because they think they are the one who is behind the great advances of understanding they are making as they shift ground. Showing someone an error directly rarely leads to them learning, but leads instead to them denying that they have made an error at all, so the error simply becomes a firmly-fixed part of who they are and they willfully shackle their thinking with it. A more effective way to try to improve the world then is to set out to deceive people and play games, to take a proposed faulty rule and pretend to embrace it, then reveal how it allows you to do wrong through it, but crucially without letting on that you know full well that the things you're justifying through it are wrong. You must pose as the person who tortures cats or who beats holy texts into his children and then thank the rule provider for helping you to justify your behaviour. This approach was tested recently by a scientific study which showed that the best way to steer right-wing nutters towards the political centre is to pose as someone more extreme than them and to disgust them so much that they shift position to get away from you. That is just how humans are: when it comes to morality, effective education requires you to pose as an idiot and to repel them if you are to have any impact. If you try to be honest with them instead to enlighten them directly, you will repel them the wrong way.

It's important to note something here: Ethos is a really nice person who did absolutely nothing wrong other than propose and defend a faulty rule. Having the fault in his rule pointed out to him was too difficult to handle, even though the cost of agreeing that it was wrong would have been tiny (or even a negative cost, because agreeing that you had something wrong where you were in error actually displays high intelligence). How much harder is it for people to accept that they've got something wrong when they're actually doing immoral things too? They almost never can - they just respond by doing more and more wrong while taking great delight in doing the very opposite of what you've told them. This human trait is a large part of what causes conflict and war, and that's why it's so important to discuss this stuff and to try to understand what drives it.

There are two approaches you can follow then if you want to drive change: one is to trick and deceive people into changing position in the right direction (by appearing to be more extreme than them and showing that position to be ridiculous), and the other is to train people to override their natural response to being told they've got something wrong and to learn to love finding out they're wrong - when you find that you're wrong, your understanding of the world leaps forward and it's actually rewarding. Once they have learned to take that approach, they have taken the brakes off their thinking and they can fly. People need to remove the shackles from their minds and focus all their efforts into detecting errors in their own position, checking and rechecking everything they believe and never taking the rightness of any of it for granted. But sadly, almost everyone (regardless of their intelligece) cannot learn to do this and will always dig in instead, rejecting whatever they're told and focusing the rest of their life more strongly on collecting evidence to back their existing beliefs while rejecting anything that might show them to be wrong, so your standard approach must always need to be to use desception and mind games as your primary teaching tool.

If you want to end war and bring peace to the world then, start by working on yourself to make sure that you aren't part of the problem. I clearly am part of the problem, because I've always just told people straight what I think, having sufficient respect for them that I assume they can take it. But respecting people turns out to be a mistake because most of them can't take it. They need to be tricked every step of the way, and that will apply to most of the people who are reading this too. I'm not aiming this at them though as they will not learn - this is for the few who can and who might be able to make a difference. If you want to change the world for the better, remember what I've told you here and apply it. You may be dealing with rational people who can think, but in reality they tend not to allow themselves to be rational and they do not like thinking. They resent being told they're wrong and you will not make any progress with them until you stop being honest and start playing games. If you try to change the world or educate directly and honestly (in a way that shows them respect as you believe they are intelligent enough to be able to take ideas on), people will hate you because they think it lessens them (and that they are being disrespected because someone thinks they have something to learn). They have to be made to feel that they did it (and that requires the removal of respect as you have to trick them into understanding things). Of course, women have known this for millennia as they've needed this skill to control their husbands.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2015 22:41:53 by David Cooper »

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Offline Mordeth

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1417 on: 09/08/2015 00:24:59 »
I'm new here and don't quite understand this thread.  Seems I could spend days just reading the insightful musings of yor_on.   I say that in a positive way.

That said, I want to comment on the recent posts by David Cooper:  What he has written in the last 3-4 posts might be the most articulate, accurate and revealing observations of the behavior of human beings that I have ever read. It is also honest and self-consistent. I have read his words three times and each time I gain a better understanding.  Your words are not lost on me, David, and I appreciate a great deal the time you spent to write them. 


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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1418 on: 09/08/2015 01:07:52 »
Here here Mordeth, I also dip into this thread randomly to read yoron's posts, great stuff, thanks yoron...!  But I'm actually posting to agree with you wholeheartedly about David's ability to express himself so awe-inspiringly!  I'm always struck by this factor in all his posts.  He also takes an extremely logical approach to human behaviour in his philosophy that I find very appealing.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2015 01:13:28 by timey »

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1419 on: 21/08/2015 12:23:03 »
David makes a very nice point. The one about trial and error. Because that is how I read it. When we stop using trial and error in our lives, learning and adapting, we're lost. But Ethos have a point too, that somehow gets lost. The one about being allowed to do your own thing, not getting looked down on just because you choose a different way. It just presumes, that as I, and us know him, that we all understand his value system. I don't think he disagrees too much with your thoughts David, the argumentation makes it sound worse than it is.  Better to look at what you have in common :)
=

I might state it as while you David are building a ethical platform to explain your thoughts from, Ethos expect us to already seen his ethics from former discussions. Then again, you're both good guys :)
« Last Edit: 21/08/2015 12:39:12 by yor_on »
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1421 on: 30/08/2015 12:01:29 »
Some of the problems created through global warming is.

acidity of the oceans, that combined with increased ocean heat force organisms (as our food fish, and other marine creatures, shrimps plankton etc) to migrate, they can't do it as fast as we're pulling up fossils for our energy needs, so they're slowly losing the race. And then you have shells dissolving through the increased acidity too, making it hard for shell using organisms to survive their growth.

Increased floods and droughts, combined with changing weather patterns that can stabilize them for longer periods, making them stay. You can also assume that a chaotic system, as in 'non linear', seeking a tipping, will turn from one extreme to another, before finding a balance. And I would call Earth a non linear system. And the balance is when it found a new way to give us our local weather.

Then there is more water, in the air (humidity), and in the oceans. The ideas there goes from meters (Hansen et al) to centimeters, inside this century.

Take a look at those three.

" BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2015, June 2015, http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

[ii] Guardian, G7 leaders agree to phase out fossil fuel use by end of the century, June 8, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/g7-leaders-agree-phase-out-fossil-fuel-use-end-of-century

[iii] Guardian, Five G7 nations increased their coal use over a 5-year period, research shows, June 8, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/08/five-g7-nations-increased-their-coal-use-over-a-five-year-period-research-shows "

From http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/global-consumption-of-fossil-fuels-continues-to-increase/

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1422 on: 07/09/2015 07:48:36 »
So, what can we do? Well, that depend on what you think about life, doesn't it? Is your glass half full, half empty? Do we only compete about resources? Is life a struggle for 'excellence' and 'domination'? Or can we cooperate too? The first one is what leads to the market knows best, and to us running inside that wheel, never coming anywhere. It's also the one that leads to wars, and geo engineerings, as the answer to what to do about global warming. It's the one in where one may fool poor people to sterilize themselves in exchange for food, exempting oneself as 'I'm not them', they are the problem, not me.
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1423 on: 07/09/2015 07:54:45 »
Another interesting thing to me is ethics. I think that is the real invention we've contributed to the universe, physics secondary to it. Physics is unraveling the 'forces' and 'laws' that create us, and our universe. Ethics, on the other tentacle, is our own answer to what it should be about, for us.

Do you think all intelligent life get to ethics? If you do, would you call that a 'law' too?
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1424 on: 07/09/2015 08:24:04 »
EU is planning to decrease fossil use about with 40% around 2030.

China, which still counts as a developing Nation, will go for reaching its 'top' at 2030, and from there decreasing. Until that time China may have increased its fossil releases about 300% (1990-2030), from 11 billions ton yearly to 15 billions ton. Although it's 'educated guessing' all of it, naturally. At that stage the Chinese should be at the same level as USA releases, and double the EU releases. (All of it described from 'release per person')

India is expected to release about 5 billion tons fossil yearly 2030. (All of it in metric tons, 1000 kg-grams per ton. exchangeable to 2,204.6 pounds, 1.10 tons 'US' or 0.984 tons 'imperial' ) That is a increase around 400 % since 1990.

Climate scientists argue that our fossil use, and releases of CO2 needs to decrease from 50 billion tons worldwide yearly today, to around 44 billion tons yearly at 2030, if we want to stay inside 2 centigrades Celsius world wide. With the increasing releases expected from developing Countries the estimates instead seems to land around 3 C.

And this is from those finding the glass half full.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2015 09:34:18 by yor_on »
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1425 on: 07/09/2015 08:40:45 »
Then we come to Hansen's et al predictions. What is interesting there, to me then, is the idea of a threshold. The threshold being the one in where you can expect all 'constant ice masses' (as the Arctic and Antarctic) to disappear. They sets it around 450 ppm (parts CO2 per million) in the atmosphere. The research is based on geological research, and when it seems those ice masses first got their chance to develop, which then was as the Earths atmosphere went under 450 ppm, a very long time ago to us.

We're at around 400 ppm today. http://co2now.org/current-co2/co2-now/

So? How fast has it been increasing? http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-levels-airborne-fraction-increasing.htm

And when will it pass 450 ppm?
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1426 on: 07/09/2015 08:56:29 »
Lastly, there are two things more to consider. One is that CO2 do come down, although its 'tail' stays, and (at present) builds up yearly by us, for a very long time. One estimate, if I remember correctly, being around 7% staying for about 30 000 years in the atmosphere. The main part of CO2 (released today for example) is expected to come down in about two to three centuries though. And the sinks are land and oceans, the oceans getting and storing the major part (acidity).

And then there is what a 'tipping' toward a new climate might do. And yes, one more thing. This is man made, not geological as easily can be seen by the time scales presented. And, we also have frozen methane that's getting warmed up, as well as we're using it, 'natural gas' as one fossil energy source. Methane's end product is CO2. https://blogs.princeton.edu/research/2014/03/26/a-more-potent-greenhouse-gas-than-co2-methane-emissions-will-leap-as-earth-warms-nature/

« Last Edit: 07/09/2015 09:13:36 by yor_on »
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1427 on: 07/09/2015 09:09:51 »
We're a weird species, ain't we :) Putting a thought construction as being each ones goal in life, profits. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/17/shell-climate-change-rhetoric-the-real-story

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1428 on: 07/10/2015 17:31:46 »
Hi Yor-on.  The last few posts that you made here have been returning to my thoughts with respect to formulating a response.  Its a difficult subject, but first, I'd just like to say that, in my supporting David in his logical approach to human behaviour, I was not in any way, Ethos, detracting from your position. I take the same stance myself.  My granny taught me to treat others as I would wish to be treated myself.  If I'm annoying someone, I'd prefer that they let me know, than didn't.  David just takes the logic beyond the personal and into the long view is all.

Ok, global warming.   Clearly we can link human activities to global warming, but are we just exacerbating the process of a natural phenomenon that is happening anyway?  I have heard it suggested by geologists that earth has a history of being subjected to periods of cooling, and periods of warming.
Of course, an earth that is above or below certain temperatures becomes a difficult prospect for the human, but it would be presumptuous of us to consider that the earth is just in existence for our purposes.
We humans, we like to believe that we can control our environment.  Every part of our lives is designed to this intent.  We wrap ourselves up with conveniences, hot water taps, electric light switches, temperature controlled radiators.  By means of the remote control, on off switch, choice of newspaper, type of book, internet site, we control the information that we subject ourselves to.  Some of us even care to control the actions of others.   Somewhere within all of this, we forget that right here, and right now, there is no tomorrow!
This is an inherent trait in the human.  We are hard wired to plan for the future.  We are hard wired to always seek out the easiest and least time consuming method of reaping the highest gain.  If we were not like this then we would be more synonymous with the members of the animal kingdom who know of no reason to develop beyond their natural habitat. (unless forced to do so by humans.)  Why are we like this?  When considering the long view, do we serve a purpose to our environment in the same way that we have identified that other animals do, such as bees?  Are we 'supposed' to be like this?
Yor-on, what I am trying to get at is that "Do we have to feel so personally responsible?".... And if we do... assuming that we would even be politically capable of initiating such a change... if we all then became vegetarian, bicycle riding people who were willing to accept a far less consumer based existence, would it ultimately stop a warming process of the earth that was initiated long before the advent of the industrial revolution?
On the basis that the human genome is potentially identified as having been originated from an extremely small group of humans, this gives us reason to believe that the human race has possibly been subject to many naturally induced culls.  These being due to pestilence, pandemics, natural disasters such as land mass movement, the resulting floods, volcanic activity, meteorite collision and the resulting earth environment after such events.
One way or another Yor-on, the balance is always restored, just look at open system predator prey wave forms. (Edit: We are the apex predator, our only enemies being natural disaster and ourselves!)
On the brighter side, when considering the universe as a system of particles in a flux of displacement, maybe we can take some comfort in the fact that we consist of matter that is in a state of constant recycle.  In this respect and from this perspective, we are in fact just a part of a greater whole in which our ongoing existence is relative and subject to change.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2015 21:11:23 by timey »

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1429 on: 07/10/2015 21:45:58 »
Hi Yor-on.  The last few posts that you made here have been returning to my thoughts with respect to formulating a response.  Its a difficult subject, but first, I'd just like to say that, in my supporting David in his logical approach to human behaviour, I was not in any way, Ethos, detracting from your position. I take the same stance myself.  My granny taught me to treat others as I would wish to be treated myself.  If I'm annoying someone, I'd prefer that they let me know, than didn't.  David just takes the logic beyond the personal and into the long view is all.

Ok, global warming.   Clearly we can link human activities to global warming, but are we just exacerbating the process of a natural phenomenon that is happening anyway?  I have heard it suggested by geologists that earth has a history of being subjected to periods of cooling, and periods of warming.
Of course, an earth that is above or below certain temperatures becomes a difficult prospect for the human, but it would be presumptuous of us to consider that the earth is just in existence for our purposes.
We humans, we like to believe that we can control our environment.  Every part of our lives is designed to this intent.  We wrap ourselves up with conveniences, hot water taps, electric light switches, temperature controlled radiators.  By means of the remote control, on off switch, choice of newspaper, type of book, internet site, we control the information that we subject ourselves to.  Some of us even care to control the actions of others.   Somewhere within all of this, we forget that right here, and right now, there is no tomorrow!
This is an inherent trait in the human.  We are hard wired to plan for the future.  We are hard wired to always seek out the easiest and least time consuming method of reaping the highest gain.  If we were not like this then we would be more synonymous with the members of the animal kingdom who know of no reason to develop beyond their natural habitat. (unless forced to do so by humans.)  Why are we like this?  When considering the long view, do we serve a purpose to our environment in the same way that we have identified that other animals do, such as bees?  Are we 'supposed' to be like this?
Yor-on, what I am trying to get at is that "Do we have to feel so personally responsible?".... And if we do... assuming that we would even be politically capable of initiating such a change... if we all then became vegetarian, bicycle riding people who were willing to accept a far less consumer based existence, would it ultimately stop a warming process of the earth that was initiated long before the advent of the industrial revolution?
On the basis that the human genome is potentially identified as having been originated from an extremely small group of humans, this gives us reason to believe that the human race has possibly been subject to many naturally induced culls.  These being due to pestilence, pandemics, natural disasters such as land mass movement, the resulting floods, volcanic activity, meteorite collision and the resulting earth environment after such events.
One way or another Yor-on, the balance is always restored, just look at open system predator prey wave forms. (Edit: We are the apex predator, our only enemies being natural disaster and ourselves!)
On the brighter side, when considering the universe as a system of particles in a flux of displacement, maybe we can take some comfort in the fact that we consist of matter that is in a state of constant recycle.  In this respect and from this perspective, we are in fact just a part of a greater whole in which our ongoing existence is relative and subject to change.

Timey I wish you were so clear in the expression of your views on physics as you were in this post. It was very insightful.

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1430 on: 07/10/2015 23:54:28 »
Migration has always been the intentional response of living things to environmental change (evolution being unintentional and generally slower). As, for the most part, change occurs gradually at the boundaries, plants and animals colonise new areas as the old ones become uninhabitable, moving up or down a shoreline or mountain as the sea level, rainfall, or whatever, changes. Or at least they used to.

The problem with the present human population is an inability to migrate. There are too many of us in the habitable and cultivable areas to allow substantial inflow without damaging the quality of life of the inhabitants, and our culture is too complicated and dependent on inherited infrastructure to allow substantial outflow into marginal land.

Furthermore we have taken great pains to ensure that no other species migrates into areas we might consider desirable: we may establish the occasional reserve, but they are surrounded by developed property and we don't tolerate bears, elephants or knotweed intruding on our space.       

So how should we respond to climate change? The one variable that is entirely and unequivocally under human control is the human population. First off, reduce the numbers (no action needed, just breed less) to a level that can live sustainably under current climate conditions, then reduce further to the point at which it becomes worthwhile to cultivate marginal territory that may become productive if climate trends continue. Somewhere between the two, there will be enough space to allow inflow from regions that become unproductive.

Problem is that people aren't much motivated by long term concern for the species, but principally by pursuit of their short term comfort and pleasure. The trick is to sell the one-child family, not as a State imposition but as a desideratum - the key to immediate happiness. Any suggestions as to how this can be done would be very welcome.   
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1431 on: 08/10/2015 00:39:36 »
If a substantial child benefit were offered for a first child, with no increase for a second child, and a minimum or even no increase for a third child, etc. - combined with a significant cash incentive offer of sterilisation after first child (in consideration of the choices of the less less well off), with a significantly reduced cash incentive for sterilisation after second child... and a significant tax break (in consideration of the choices of the middle classes) that became null and void on the advent of a second child?

Or something like that anyway.  I suspect that a financial incentive might well self regulate the situation.  Although this does raise the question as to the morality of such an openly calculated display of financial pressurisation, with the traditional family of brothers and sisters then being a scenario only for the rich... To be fair, the rich should then be further taxed for having more than one child.  Therefore, I imagine that selling it as part of ones manifesto for election purposes might pose problematic...unless of course the manifesto also included significant measures to redistribute a sizeable proportion of the wealth back into the hands of the 'other' much larger percentage of the population...(chuckle)

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1432 on: 08/10/2015 23:07:32 »
Why offer any benefit for the first child? No other species does so, and not all human societies consider it the duty of the taxpayer to support other people's children. It is an outdated invention, introduced in 1909 in the UK at a time when reproduction was, apparently, involuntary. If you can't afford to feed a child, or a dog, don't have one. We don't have dog benefits, car benefits, or indeed any payments to maintain things you don't actually need. 
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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1433 on: 09/10/2015 00:54:07 »
Well Alan, I do get your point... but in the animal kingdom many other human ideals are also lacking, such as resources being disproportionally shared among, or hoarded by members of the population.  Ok, we do observe colonies such as ants or bees that seem inherent with a type of cast system, but this is, I believe, due to their breeding mechanics.
I personally feel that the child benefit ideal is one of the more charming aspects of our social system.  Available for all children from any class or financial background and designed to improve the quality of life for children.  A nobel cause indeed.
However, as with everything, the system is open for abuse.  As a separate issue from any pre-meditated abuse, it's a sad and shocking realisation that many children are born simply because the mother just hasn't got a damn clue what else to do with her life.  More often than not ending up as a single parent on benefits.  Undereducated and under-motivated by job choices, having more kids becomes all that she believes she is capable of.  It's not much of a life, but a person can become institutionalised.
In these instances it is the children who are the ones being let down.  Chances are in these instances that the children of such circumstances will also grow up as undereducated and under-motivated.  So we see a downward spiral.  These are the people who 'cant' afford to have kids.  Why not?  What part of the animal kingdom has portions of society that cannot afford to reproduce?  Who are we to say that our fellow man is not allowed to have children due to his circumstances that, let's face it, are more inherent to a small percentage of the population having obtained all the worlds wealth, than due to his own incapabilities. (I'm a big fan of that program "faking it" as a social study).  Clearly we cannot disallow people to have children based on their financial status, or next thing we will be saying is that these people are of no social desirability, which is fascist...
(Already, since the Reagan administration in the USA under the "war on drugs" banner, we see a capitalisation upon the policy in the very profitable privateering within the prison industry, that is spelling out a scenario of social injustice synonymous to the holocaust in slow motion...don't get me started)
...being realistic, given that these people will have kids whether they can afford them or not, child benefit acts as a sort of social safeguard, in the hope that the children will have a better life.  More well off kids, living under more well adjusted circumstances might have 'their' lives improved by their parents subsequently being able to afford out of school additional learning activities, such as piano lessons, etc.
On the basis that I feel that we have no society at-all if we do not invest in our children, (we are after-all a herd oriented species) I have to disagree with you Alan here, and say that I think that child benefit is a good thing, but that it could be better set up.  If it were slanted in favour of one being significantly better off in the event of having only one child (in conjunction with other financial incentives), I suspect that this would then benefit the requirements that we set earlier in the conversation of reducing the population, and also further to improve the lives of all children on the whole.
« Last Edit: 09/10/2015 01:53:54 by timey »

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1434 on: 09/10/2015 06:41:44 »
Everyone is really over thinking the situation. In poorer countries more children means more hands to help in making what little money they can to survive. In richer countries having children can be a means to an end, gaining some advantage or simply accidental. In both cases it is simply individuals not seeing the results of their actions on a larger scale. What harm can 1 more child do? Ultimately none of it matters anyway. We aren't special. We just think we are.

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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1435 on: 09/10/2015 12:57:21 »
I don't really think you can overthink the situation Jeff.  Its complexity knows no bounds.  We as humans are hard wired, not only in our desire to participate in sexual activity, but to be desirous of continuing the fact of a family line, and indeed to live a life that is inclusive of being part and parcel of a family group.
Yes, poorer people, in poorer countries are more inclined to have more children.  This being a part and parcel of agricultural and family based business in a scenario of zero social benefits.  More hands to help with the work, and insurance of more family support for ones elderly years.
These days, those third world helping hands are employed by sweat shops, whereas 11 year old Dita, who really should be at school, or out playing with her mates, sits for 10 hour shifts embroidering the dress that Mrs Jones, in Ashford, Kent, is subsequently going to buy as her outfit to host her well to do "children in need" benefit champagne dinner.  Mrs. Jones will wear that dress once, and then pop it into a clothing recycle bag to be sent off as a further act of charity, chances are, to the very same region it was made in, to sit amongst the many, many, hundreds of tons of recycled clothing that has been dumped in Dita's local area, causing untold pollution and constituting the very reason why Dita and her mates are not allowed by their mothers to go out and play in the environment of their surroundings.  Dita's mother would like to send her to school, but under the remit of the areas main employers, the sweat shops, taking on Western Hemisphere, brand name business, more cheaply produced, under less stringent work ethics than would be socially acceptable in the West, wages are low.  It is the extra wages that Dita brings to the family that affords her brothers schooling.  Dita is just a girl.  All Dita needs to know is her job within this financial structure.  It's unlikely she will ever know any other life.
Who is at fault here?  It's most certainly not Dita's mother.  Is it the brand name companies responsibility, or do we lay the blame at the feet of Mrs. Jones?
« Last Edit: 09/10/2015 21:29:14 by timey »

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1436 on: 10/10/2015 08:34:04 »
"Helping hands" doesn't make sense. If you can't feed one person on one person's wages, you can't feed two people on two wages. And unless you are going to put babies to work immediately post partum you have to look after then for a year or two before they are able to take their place in the sex trade or whatever rewarding career you had in mind for them.

In the west, we don't expect anyone to contribute to the economy for at least 18 years, and even then they are a threat to the employment of older people with financial responsibilities. Or they go into higher education as an alternative to the dole queue and end up with a debt that can't be repaid because there aren't many jobs in media studies.

The plain fact is that we don't need as many people as we already have, we don't have to make more, we'd all be better off with fewer, and the solution is quite simply "do nothing" - including not making babies. If you want recreational sex (and who doesn't?) then buy a few pills or condoms: much cheaper than skiing or parachuting (or child care) and less likely to end up with a broken leg.   

Apropos Timey's reform of child benefit, my proposal is to give every female 500 every 6 months if she is not pregnant. With a little thought, a woman could build up a useful reserve before having her first child and use subsequent payments as support for that child.

As for the agricultural family business, whilst it may look attractive in the short term to have some free labour, land does not expand to accommodate descendants. An acre might support four people but it won't support the children's children. And it is worth noting that whilst 80% of the Ugandan population works on the land, there are persistent food shortages: in the UK, with a much less favourable climate, less than 5% work on the land and we throw food away to keep the price up. People are not very productive as agricultural machines.
« Last Edit: 10/10/2015 08:50:08 by alancalverd »
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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1437 on: 10/10/2015 14:47:18 »
"Helping hands" doesn't make sense. If you can't feed one person on one person's wages, you can't feed two people on two wages. And unless you are going to put babies to work immediately post partum you have to look after then for a year or two before they are able to take their place in the sex trade or whatever rewarding career you had in mind for them.

But of course Alan.  The mistake here is expecting anything that humans do to make sense! :)

...to turn your statement around, what we must consider is, why it is that one persons wages cannot support a family?  A weeks work in any field is a weeks work, right?  Mr Jones in Ashford, Kent, his working week consists of less hours than Dita's father, or her mother, and even Dita herself works more hours than he.  Yet he supports his family of 2 children and a wife comfortably, and sends his children to a private school.  Dita's father has to send the whole family, himself, his wife and his daughter to work in order to send his boy to school.  (There is no free state education).
Ok, clearly Dita's mother and father should not have had children.  Oh whooptie doo!  Any suggestions as to what Dita's mother and father's life should consist of then?
Mr and Mrs Jones are kind, decent and caring people.  Mrs. Jones dedicates her free time to charitable causes.  She is blissfully unaware that the dress she bought, at a price that made her really happy, was made by a child.  It makes her cry to see the poverty of third world countries... on the telly.  However, both her and her husband have a bitch about their hard earned tax payments being utilised in a social benefits system.  What the ****?   Sorry, but we have a contradiction of terms here!
Most folk in the Western hemisphere have a problem with the ideal of the Hindu caste system.  Why?  Because they think it unacceptable that just because of the circumstances of ones birth, that one should be consigned to a life of poverty.   That this is beyond the ideal of what we consider humanly decent.  I'd say, much as I disagree with it myself, that this philosophy of a social structure is at least "honest"!  Clearly in a social structure that is inclusive of kings and queens, there will be a ladder of less elevated position all the way down to the bottom rung.  What the Hindu caste system does is give the people on the bottom rung a 'position' in life.  It is an accepted fact that by means of the fact of elevated positions, the result is that there will be a least elevated position.  Recognising this, the least elevated people are given a purpose in life, dealing with the dead, tanning leather and begging.  Within this structure, these bottom feeders have a job, and a means to carry on their lives and families as an accepted part of society.  Truly, you would think that people in such a position would not have children, not wish to pass this position in life on to their offspring.  Maybe some don't, but most do.  Why?  Because they are hard wired to be human!  Being part of, and reproducing a family is a basic human trait.  It's the human condition!
What Mr and Mrs. Jones are missing is the fact that their elevated position in life is a direct cause to someone else's less elevated position, and that if it were not for the social security system, they would have to encounter desperate, hungry, and perhaps even dying people every time they left the 'resulting debatable' safety of their home.  They talk about these benefit scroungers, like being on the dole is a teddy bears picnic.  It's a sickening display of hypocrisy in my book.   A direct refusal to accept the consequences of a system that inevitably causes class division.  A refusal to accept that their elevated position in life is the direct cause of another's poverty.  As unintentional as that may be, people should recognise this fact and be honest about it.  Trouble is that for our society to be honest in this way means that we have to jettisoned the ideal of human decency.  What we would be saying is that it is a fact of life that some of us, as a direct result of the fact of others elevated positions, will have to live a life of poverty, and that these people will serve no purpose and be consigned to the fact of not being able to live a normal family life.  That Mrs. Jones had better keep on buying her "price happy" dresses, otherwise Dita might well end up in the sex industry.  Mr and Mrs. Jones cannot bring themselves to make this connection, or even allow these thoughts to cross their mind.  Clearly, if this was an open policy, and we were to tell these people that they have been written off, that the concept of human decency that would not allow another to starve to death (as we would see in the animal kingdom in an overpopulation scenario) is in fact null and void, then these people would arm themselves and rise up to take what they need by force.
So... Mr and Mrs Jones's bitching and whinging is in fact a hypocrisy born of their own non acceptance of the ramifications of a social structure that will inevitable leave some people without means to survive, while others live the fat cat life, and their refusal to accept the fact of their own role in perpetuating this system.  It's dishonest and unattractive.

Yes there are too many people.  What we going to do about it?  Take all the financially insolvent folks, line em up and shoot them?  Oh yes, I forget, traditionally it's been a war that takes care of that scenario.  Or perhaps we should just turn a blind eye to ner-do-wells pumping highly addictive drugs into poverty stricken areas, and then build lots of prisons to lock up the symptom, rather than addressing the cause, like they do in the USA!  Least ways these people would be serving a purpose as an industry, right?  Roads are responsible for more deaths than wars even.  Why not get social security scroungers to address the ragwort that blights Britain's verges?  That would put them in direct danger of death, and if we didn't manage to lose any of the lousy leeches along the way, least ways the ragwort problem would be under control!  Right?

Fact of the matter is that people who are financially insolvent are in fact still people.  Mostly they are not incapable and in fact many are more capable than some that are financially solvent.  Given that they were pitted against each other for survival by acumen and physical attributes alone, without any financial bearing brought to the situation, such as in the animal kingdom, financially solvent people may find their position of guaranteed survival vastly reduced and under threat!!!

Apropos Timey's reform of child benefit, my proposal is to give every female 500 every 6 months if she is not pregnant. With a little thought, a woman could build up a useful reserve before having her first child and use subsequent payments as support for that child.

As a woman who had only one child at the age of 28, that scenario would have suited me just fine. :)
Personally, although I have definitely been eligible to claim benefits at some points in my life, I have not done so. This being due to my abhorrence to total strangers demanding that I answer personal questions, rather than any moral reticence.  I'd prefer to upkeep a juggling act outside Waitrose supermarket for spare change, than talk to those nosy parkers, but that's just me...

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1438 on: 11/10/2015 12:01:33 »

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Yes there are too many people.  What we going to do about it?  Take all the financially insolvent folks, line em up and shoot them?  Oh yes, I forget, traditionally it's been a war that takes care of that scenario.


Not true. Total casualties in WWII were about 48,000,000 out of a world population of 2,400,000,000, of whom about 220,000,000 would have died anyway during that period, so it's a very expensive and disruptive way of achieving very little. The problem with war is it mainly kills fit, productive males, so the net effect is to reduce the overall ability of the species to survive and prosper. Worse still, as Allied casualties outnumbered Axis casualties by about 6:1, and the bleeding-heart Allies decided to rebuild Germany and Japan afterwards, the only lasting benefit was to the aggressors and losers in the contest - another antiDarwinian result.   
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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1439 on: 11/10/2015 12:38:50 »
Oh... Ok, well I wasn't all that keen on starting a war anyway, it's noisy, disruptive to the country side, from what I can tell, and also, as you said, it takes all the men away.  I wouldn't want that! :D

Alan, you may well be right in saying that if all women were to only produce one child in their life, then the population problem could be solved by doing nothing else... but we can see by observation, that people who are more well off, generally tend to produce less children than those who are poor.   This doesn't make any sense at-all, but it 'is' what we observe!  A population reduction will not occur if we are to continue to force people into poverty via the ever widening financial division between the very rich and the very poor.

For me this just about sums it up:
"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank.  Give a man a bank and he can rob the world!"

In respect of the industrial revolution, and the advertising psychology and consumerism based policies of Edward Bernays, our world has become a production line of throw away goods, made by throw away people, to be snapped up by folks who have become as addicted to shopping as a junkie is to heroin.

That dude Edward Bernays has got a lot to answer for in my book!
What chance do we have of pulling together and reducing global warming in a society that purposely makes dross, built with a break by date, and sold to us under the banner of 'status symbol'?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sJhePGnzuUU

:)
« Last Edit: 11/10/2015 12:41:04 by timey »

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1440 on: 11/10/2015 16:29:35 »

Alan, you may well be right in saying that if all women were to only produce one child in their life, then the population problem could be solved by doing nothing else... but we can see by observation, that people who are more well off, generally tend to produce less children than those who are poor. 


Hence my plan to financially encourage those who can't afford to support children, not to have any. This year's state education budget for the UK is about 90,000,000,000. That is about 4,000 per taxpayer. So giving every woman 1000 per year not to breed will save the taxpayer a lot of money in the fifth and later years - something like 1500 per year, every year - on education alone. We can expect a saving of around 3000 per taxpayer per year on welfare and social services, and probably another 1000 on health.

So every woman can be 1000 per year better off, and every taxpayer can take home an extra 5500 per year, by doing nothing at all!

The problem is that with a declining population, house prices will fall, the countryside will become green and pleasant, and economists and commodity speculators will starve. Unthinkable.   

Quote
Ok, clearly Dita's mother and father should not have had children.  Oh whooptie doo!  Any suggestions as to what Dita's mother and father's life should consist of then?
Play bridge, walk the dog, watch Downtrodden Abbey or Scum Dancing, eat better, and worry about other things than their daughter's wedding or whether their son was at school or in police custody again.  I (mostly) enjoyed bringing up children, but (a) I rarely had to worry about money and (b) my childless neighbours never seemed to be short of amusement or purpose in life.
« Last Edit: 11/10/2015 23:49:10 by alancalverd »
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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1441 on: 12/10/2015 11:11:14 »
Although I strongly feel that the money saved should remain within the school budget, in order to afford the now reduced number of state school children a 'desperately required' better class of education... apart from this, I think your plan beats my suggestion hands down Alan.  I like the angle.  Encouraging responsible behaviour, and the extra finance to utilise such with, leading hopefully to better parenting over-all.  But it only takes care of the population in UK!
What good is it that our population is reduced, when the population continues to explode elsewhere?
Perhaps Mrs Jones, and her group of charitable friends, should lobby the brand name companies making use of such sweat shops in third world countries, not only to provide a reasonable wage in context with local economic requirements, safer working conditions and sick pay... but to also include a bonus for women who have not yet become pregnant!  Might need to underwrite that with a requirement that the company is bound by agreement to employ a certain percentage of 'as yet un-pregnant women', otherwise such a measure would be counter productive.  You know how slippery the money hounds can be (chuckle)...
But more significantly, speaking from my own experience, and I think this may pose a significant element, the desire to have a baby becomes something of a hormonal itch.  At first it's just a faint whisper, a primordial tug when you happen across someone else's one of those cute little bundles.  Even soiled and sticky, boy, they just smell sooo good!  Then, after a few years, it escalates to a bit of a louder voice that speaks to you with some urgency.  Finding oneself looking longingly at baby clothes and babies toys, when one was supposed to be out shopping for some winter socks.  Approaching late twenties, I may as well have had my fingers in my ears, shouting lalla, lalla, la, la, la, for all the difference it would have made!  The desire to have a baby was a force of imminence, despite all reason, or 'ideal' circumstance, and a phenomenon not of my conscious decision.
I've heard tell that this feeling is common in the woman.  What can one do about this?  A little pill would be nice!   The contraceptive pill only aggravating such hormonal stirrings, in that it tricks the body into thinking it is pregnant.  The non arrival of the bodily expected then causing hormonal confusion, turning most women I've met on the things into right moody cows.
Anyway, a pill that could reduce the hormonal stirrings of the biological clock, without reducing sex drive, or inducing moody cow-ness, might be 'an' area of research in the quest of a population reduction.

Play bridge, walk the dog, watch Downtrodden Abbey or Scum Dancing, eat better, and worry about other things than their daughter's wedding or whether their son was at school or in police custody again.  I (mostly) enjoyed bringing up children, but (a) I rarely had to worry about money and (b) my childless neighbours never seemed to be short of amusement or purpose in life.

Alan, :)  you do make me laugh...  I don't watch telly as such, so scum dancing took me a mo or two...
I was actually thinking of putting forward the concept of kid pooling, as in the concept of car pooling - (just to make that clear, can't be too careful these days).  If society were to consist of one child families, sibling life is then a past tense scenario.  Children are more well adjusted with siblings.  On the basis that parents are more well adjusted with help, why not kid pool?  This could also be inclusive of a childless couple who don't, or can't have kids.  Two children who live together, with three sets of parents to care for them.  Less financial strain all round, and the kids getting lots of quality time with people who aren't stressed out.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2015 11:37:27 by timey »

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1442 on: 12/10/2015 16:48:10 »
Quote
Finding oneself looking longingly at baby clothes and babies toys, when one was supposed to be out shopping for some winter socks.
I detect a wee hint of social norming here. The accoutrements of western motherhood are designed to sell accoutrements. Would you have looked equally longingly at a shelf full of screaming, vomiting, defecating infants, or the promise of a couple of years of sleepless nights, followed by tantrums, pocket money, homework, and Friday nights apologising to the bail sergeant, until they leave home and start asking for serious money?

Compare http://www.mothercare.com/new-baby-essentials/advice-ms-preg-essentials-root,default,pg.html (for those that can't be bothered, it lists over 100 "essential" items that didn't even exist before the 20th century, and another 80 "nice to haves" - now define "essential") with what an Aboriginal mother considers essential: a bag to carry the baby when you are working. 

Not sure about kid pooling. I was an only child and as my dad was quite capable of feeding three mouths, I spent a lot of time learning stuff from my mum, who was a lot more interesting than any of my contemporaries, and when I acquired friends there was a clear distinction between "family" and "others". Maladjusted? No more so than my four kids.

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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1443 on: 12/10/2015 18:31:10 »
Och now there you beastly man! :) Social normalisation?  I'll have you know that I not only lived with a man and his young family for a good few years before I met the father of my child, (who I'm still with)... but also being an only child, that is of my mother and fathers union, I went on to experience a sister at the age of seven on my mothers side, and at age fourteen onward, (not that I lived with them) 2 further sisters and 2 brothers on my dad's side, the youngest of whom is only 3 years older than my son.  I can absolutely guarantee you that I knew exactly what I was letting myself into in having a child of my own!  The baby clothes and toys comment stands...as an analogy to baby pangs...

Not sure about kid pooling.

Lol... Well, I suspected that this might be the case.  Talking from the experience of being a teenager who made an art out of parent pooling, having at least three or four different families on the go, to which I made myself useful in return for food and sofa surfing, I can say that it does work, but that I could see problems arising in an intentional and structured rendition of such a situation.  People do have a strong tendency for monopoly, it's true...

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1444 on: 13/10/2015 08:00:44 »
OK, so it's deep in the psyche. Now I get a lump in my throat every time I see a beautiful sailplane, but (a) I can't afford it and (b) there would be no pleasure in gliding if the sky was as crowded as the roads. So a combination of financial constraint and common sense keeps my feet on the ground even if my head is in the air. Let's see if it works with babies! 
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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1445 on: 13/10/2015 15:07:45 »
Alan, the point I'm trying to make is, that one hasn't got any hope of ever finding a 'working' solution to any problem, unless one fully understands all the parameters.

A woman's 'body' is designed to have babies, and it will release hormones through that woman's body and brain to that purpose.  It is observed that a woman who continues not to become pregnant will experience an escalation of these hormonal influences.  This is not on par with the desire to 'buy' material goods Alan.  But... in as much as your bank balance regulates your purchases, can we not accept that perhaps the desire to produce babies can be more effectively regulated via a medically associated reduction, or a masking of these hormonal influences?  I think it a most relevant area of consideration in the quest to a population reduction.
Speaking for myself, I am unequivocally relieved that these hormonal tendencies in my body are now over.  I no longer feel like bursting into tears when I see families of young children on outings, or babies at the breast.  I usually balk at the notion of taking even a headache tablet, unless truly desperate, but I would have parted with proper cash to purchase a pill that put a stop to these hormonal feelings that were beyond all common sense, reason, and entirely outside of my own control.

Yes, sure let's see if the world can have less babies, but first, be truly aware of what is involved.  You cannot analogise the desire to have a baby with the desire to own a plane, and then expect the population to reduce under the remit of this type of common sense.  It doesn't apply. 

And what about the population that we do have already?
Don't get me wrong Alan, I'm not getting on your case personally.  A man of your education, age, and in consideration of the economics of your era, I'd expect you to be comfortably well off.  If you are not, then you most certain have had the potential and opportunity to be so.  I don't have a problem with comfortably well off people.  I think there is enough resources in the world for us all, every last one of us, to be comfortably well off.  What I object to is the very rich, who hoard more resources than they, or their families could ever use in a hundred lifetimes.
Have you read a book by James Clavel "King Rat"?  My eyes look upon the world with the same disgust that the American soldiers felt when they showed up to liberate the population of that concentration camp...
The fact that the middle classes vent their frustration of the stranglehold of their tax status, at the poor rather than the rich, (who avoid taxation via offshore accounting) is a direct contradiction in terms.  The middle classes are being used by the rich as a piggy in the middle to ensure that the poor are kept in their place.  The rich incite this middle class attitude to the poor by selling them the idea that if it were not for the poor, the middle class tax would be lesser, when in fact the situation is comprised of, if it were not for the rich, there would be no poor people!

Therefore, to state that poor people should not have children they cannot afford is, a) unrealistic in the face of the natural human condition, and b) unfair, in that there are enough resources in the world for everyone to live comfortably, should the phenomenon of "King Rat" type behaviour be eliminated!!!

I personally view this "King Rat" type  behaviour as being on par with medical illnesses such as bulimia, anorexia, drug addiction, psychotic tendencies and mental illness!

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1446 on: 13/10/2015 17:39:14 »
I'm pretty sure that you could offset the promaternity hormones with a pill costing a lot less than 1000 per year, and certainly a lot less than the 6000 per year that society will save for every baby not conceived.

Quote
if it were not for the rich, there would be no poor people!
  Alas, not true!http://www.sochealth.co.uk/national-health-service/public-health-and-wellbeing/poverty-and-inequality/the-black-report-1980/the-black-report-health-inequalities-25-years-on/black-report-conference-summary/ provides a very clear graph of household weekly income distribution. If you took all the income of those earning more than twice the mean (408 in 2005) and redistributed it to all those earning less than the mean, it would increase their weekly income by 4 per household - less than a packet of fags. 

There are two reasons why governments tax the poor: (a) because there are LOTS more of them and (b) because they can't avoid it.
« Last Edit: 13/10/2015 17:41:25 by alancalverd »
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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1447 on: 13/10/2015 20:58:05 »
I'm pretty sure that you could offset the promaternity hormones with a pill

Yes... exactly Alan, and may I suggest, no matter the cost of producing a pill specified as such, that this pill be as naturally derived as is possible, in order not to cause any physical or mental side effects that unscrupulous pharmaceutical companies can then financially capitalise upon in curing?

There are two reasons why governments tax the poor: (a) because there are LOTS more of them and (b) because they can't avoid it.

Oh no Alan, I think you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick.  I'm taking a much longer view than this. I'm not suggesting that the poor should not be taxed.  I'm suggesting that the poor should be richer in order that we may tax them more!  That the poor should be that much richer, that we wouldn't have need of a welfare system, and that the middle classes be then required to find some other type of misdirected bitching and whining to attend themselves to, should they miss the fact of it.  I'm suggesting that the only means of achieving a wealthier poor, is for the 'very rich' to be that much poorer to achieve a more balanced equilibrium.
You talk about wages, tax brackets and a few tuppence.  I'm talking about a blatant hoarding of a large proportion of world wealth by a small proportion of the population.  I'm suggesting that this small proportion of very rich individuals are suffering from medical conditions of compulsive hoarding, a total lack of empathy to other humans synonymous with psychotic disorders, and displaying a disengagement from reality that reeks of mental illness.  These are the people who dominate world policy.

As for this country, from what I have gleaned from posts you have made elsewhere Alan, I don't need to teach you how to suck eggs.  The Ken Loaches film, "The Spirit of 45" sums up a pulling together of the working classes into trade unions and social welfare measures, etc, resulting in the great British institution of nationally owned business, owned by, and payed for, by the people via their tax.  All sold off now to support policies that the majority did not vote for.  The NHS reduced to tatters, state education in severe crisis.  Wages are beginning to reflect those of third world countries, in that they are not sufficient in respect to economic requirement.  Seriously, this country is a mess, and if we do actually pull out of Europe, without the European Court of Human rights at our service, this country's poor are in great danger of becoming the peasants that they were before the labour movement.

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1448 on: 13/10/2015 23:06:09 »
OK, forget income and deal with wealth. Let's redistribute Bill Gates' net worth among the world's population. That works out at $10 per person, paid once and once only. What are you going to do with your $10? A meal and a glass of wine, and then it's gone. But if a thousand people pooled that money and bought a tractor, they could grow a lot more food and wine. Concentration of capital is the key to efficiency, progress, or anything else that doesn't just end up in the toilet.

I've never succumbed to the politics of simple jealousy. Is a footballer worth $20,000,000 a year? According to the people who pay to watch him, yes. And it's nobody else's business because nobody else has to pay. Is Bill Gates worth $80,000,000,000? Nobody orders you to buy Microsoft at gunpoint, or even to have a computer, so it's all from voluntary donations by people who want the product. Or you could build your own computer and write your own software.

I haven't seen any evidence of the European Court improving the lot of the working man. It has protected murderers and upheld the right of "religious" perverts to tell a woman what to wear, but it hasn't made any peasant less poor. The European Union demanded the dismantling of nationalised industries, and when the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is sealed between the EU and the US, it will require the sale of the NHS and protect industry from any government action that may harm profits.   http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-is-ttip-and-six-reasons-why-the-answer-should-scare-you-9779688.html
« Last Edit: 13/10/2015 23:08:07 by alancalverd »
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Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1449 on: 14/10/2015 00:23:07 »
Well Alan, (chucke), I'm more of an observer of the human condition as a whole, than a politician, just in case that wasn't obvious enough!
What I observe of this country is that we have seen the implementation of laws that allow money to be taken from people in the street under the premiss that they must prove where they got it.  And that people may be removed from their homes on suspicion, under the pretext of anti terrorist laws, and held for 14 days, or longer, without being informed of any charges.  Both of these laws are justified under certain premiss, BUT... both of these same laws were implemented in Nazi Germany.  In the wrong hands these laws are deadly!  The term 'terrorist' being rendered as to "from who's and what perspective"!
Perhaps I am being a little naive about the European Court of Human Rights.

In the case of current wealth distribution, I don't believe there is such a thing as simple jealousy... People who can't afford to eat are jealous of those who can, but most still manage to watch the football.  It's a weird contradiction.  That the poor will worship and wish to emulate their favourite actors, film stars, musical artists, politicians, or other general high rollers, and then perhaps break into a nice middle class family home to steal the means to do so.

Anyway... I'm fairly confidant... (hark at me...chuckle) ...that I have the solution.  It's not my idea, I heard it from a friend.  Not at-all sure if its my friends idea either.  This idea leaves everything just the way it is.  People can still have their disproportionally large wages, but the idea implements a spend by date on the money.  As soon as you get it, you gotta get rid of it, and all your savings must also be spent.  The banks wouldn't like it, but the economy would blossom.  Might not cure all ills, Alan, but I reckon it would take care of a good few of them! :).

Edit:  P.S. You didn't answer and I'm curious.  Have you read James Clavel's "King Rat"?
« Last Edit: 14/10/2015 00:31:14 by timey »