Governments and violence

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Governments and violence

Post by Red » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:00 pm

BrianBlackwell wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:26 pm
When suggesting punitive legislation for victimless crimes, you are ignoring human rights, regardless of your concern for them in any other instance.
I'm not saying that. Victimless crimes should be at least decriminalized; I agree that the War on Drugs was a disaster, and a well recognized of violation of human rights. I said legislation in regards to helping solve social issues, such as civil rights, ensuring healthcare, well being of workers and the environment.

Something like DUI (with drugs or alcohol, and both are terrible) is more overtly dangerous to yourself and others, so it makes more sense to make that illegal, while smoking pot in your mom's basement is not hurting anybody (of course, if there are more effective methods of dealing with DUI, I'd be happy to hear them).
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 am
What does it mean to own something? It means you have the supreme or exclusive right to dictate what is done with it, how it is used, etc. Government tells you that you cannot drive the car you purchased unless you get their permission. This is a claim to ownership over the car.
That makes sense, since lives are at risk. Enforcing traffic laws and driving tests, and making it illegal to be under the influence when you drive exist to minimize death and injuries caused. Again, be a consequentialist.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 am
The fact that their dictates are limited does not diminish this claim. If I lend you my car and say, "My only condition is that you don't drive it into XYZ neighborhood", have I diminished my claim to ownership by granting you a high degree of freedom in its usage?
Well if I intended on using the car so I can drive into XYZ neighborhood, then yes. But no matter, I shall seek out another car.

But surely you'd have other conditions? Assuming no one will notice (or, there are no traffic laws), would you allow me to hit pedestrians, bring prostitutes in your car and leave love stains in the backseats, piss on the radio and AC Unit, take a hammer to the engine, and basically just pretend I'm in GTA? Cars are quite expensive.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 am
Dictating what property you can own, or what victimless behaviors you can perform, is a claim to ownership over YOU. The fact that you may do as you please the other 91% of the time is irrelevant.
Sorry to accuse, but you seem to be very dogmatic here. I know on the other thread you said you are a consequentialist (and I do believe you think you are), but you're quite preoccupied with this idea of the government 'owning' the citizens: Far too much political rhetoric here. I'm kind of getting the feeling you aren't looking at this discussion as a moral issue, it's more political for you, far too ideological, and being generally politics averse.

And again, I'm all for decriminalization or legalization of victimless crimes, when no one is in direct danger.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 am
At any moment, that may be reduced to 87% at the masters' discretion (complex political rituals notwithstanding), just as with any slave. African American slaves were typically free to pursue their own endeavors on Sundays and around the Christmas season - was the master's claim on them relinquished, or even diminished by this? Not at all.
How much freedom do you want? Unfettered freedom? How can you be so sure that'd be good from a consequentialist point of view?
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 am
You make a point about humans being responsible for the cats. But I am not personally responsible, and the people who are responsible are no longer here.
So? As consequentialists, we have to undo their wrongdoings to create a better world. What kind of world would we live in if everyone just said 'Not my problem."?
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 am
So yes, it is wise for us to do something, but this does not justify violating the fundamental rights of the innocent.
I think you're taking this issue of asking people to manage cat colonies a bit too seriously.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:01 am
Your work is to convince people, not to use violence by proxy through government.
:| I don't think anyone is suggesting the use of violence. I try to convince someone to spay and neuter their local feral cats when I can, and have been very successful thus far.
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Post by BrianBlackwell » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:44 am

Red wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:00 pm
I said legislation in regards to helping solve social issues, such as civil rights, ensuring healthcare, well being of workers and the environment.
How legislation "solves" problems:

Civil rights: Force a person to associate with those he does not choose to associate with on his own property (by threat of violence).

Ensuring healthcare: Forcing people to pay for something they would not otherwise willingly pay for (by threat of violence).

Well-being of workers: Forcing people to desist from making mutually-agreeable agreeable arrangements (by threat of violence).

Well-being of the environment: Forcing some people to comply with the demands of others (by threat of violence), while protecting others' ability to ravage the planet in ways that are 1,000 times worse (food and oil industries, for example).

And we must understand that every act of legislation is a threat of violence - it's the only thing a government can do. It begins with a fine, then escalates to a series of greater fines, then an attempt at arrest, then a beating, then outright murder if the person can not be made to comply at some point along that chain of control. When a cop pulls you over on the highway, his lights are a threat of death at the most fundamental level. Don't believe me? Successfully refuse to comply at every stage of their attempt to control you and watch what happens.

A consequentialist must understand what morality is and how it works. It's about acknowledgement or denial of Truth (i.e. the inherent nature of living beings, environments, universal processes, etc.). When our actions duly acknowledge the inherent nature of things, those actions will yield consequences that serve and support those things. What you say "makes sense" (like requiring payment and legal permission to drive without being violently accosted) only seems to make sense when we myopically ignore everything outside our consideration of the topic in a vacuum.

Man is free to drive. What does this statement mean? It means he is free TO do this because the action is free FROM adverse consequences (i.e. it's in accord with his free will nature, and does not inherently impede the authentic expression of others' natures). Now, he may drive stupidly, and this would be dangerous, but what does it mean to drive stupidly? It means to ignore some aspect of the nature of things (the laws of physics, the required conditions for others' safety, etc.). THAT is the wrong-doing, not the act of driving itself, which may be done safely and cause no harm.

To require payment and permission to drive (backed up by threat) is a wrong-doing because it is treating an innocent person as though they are guilty. They are being fined and subject to the domination of others when they have committed no wrong. It's an "original sin" perspective. This is a wrong-doing that will have adverse consequences, even if it mitigates other adverse consequences. It's plugging one hole in the dam, only to have another spring elsewhere.

I know this sounds strange, but we are considering the topic on the most fundamental seed level, and seeds look quite a bit different than the trees which eventually spring forth from them. But it is the seed that ultimately determines the expression. It is the principles at the foundation of our thought which determine the consequences of our actions. This is definitively a moral issue at its core, not a political one.

So where does this leave us? How do we solve our problems? There is only one true solution: widespread wisdom as a sum of individual expressions of wisdom. Education, not legislation. This is highly inconvenient compared to simply dominating people, and the latter has been normalized to the point that it does not seem wrong or strange; but a consequentialist must understand that the effects of ignoring this imperative is all the man-made chaos we see in the world - war, disease, famine, widespread emotional dysfunction, etc., etc., etc.

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Post by Red » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:34 pm

BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
How legislation "solves" problems:

Civil rights: Force a person to associate with those he does not choose to associate with on his own property (by threat of violence).
Whose freedom is more important? The freedom of business to discriminate against minorities or the freedom of the minorities to use whatever businesses and utilities they like?

Almost every time you grant freedom to a particular group, you take away the freedom of someone else. Like, for example, the civil rights act of 1964. It took away the right for businesses to discriminate against blacks, but it granted the freedoms of blacks to use any utility or business regardless of race.

And if you break this law, there isn’t going to be violence, but there will be lawsuits out the ass (rightfully so).

And let us grant that, for the times when you commit a crime or misdemeanor, there is a use of violence for that particular transgression. You’re a consequentialist, right? Violence, when not overused, is effective in ensuring that certain laws are not broken, so as to ensure maximum welfare for the citizens. If you can show that there are better ways to manage these things when violence will be used, please tell us (and provide evidence).
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
Ensuring healthcare: Forcing people to pay for something they would not otherwise willingly pay for (by threat of violence).
Oh no, paying for someone to have access to something which should be a human right is just terrible! Our society is just entering the next totalitarian regime!

Seriously, are you a Randroid or a consequentialist? Having everyone paying into a system to help more people live is something a consequentialist values. Again, I’m not concerned with granting maximum freedom for everyone, I care about doing the most GOOD, and the former does not necessarily help achieve the latter.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
Well-being of workers: Forcing people to desist from making mutually-agreeable agreeable arrangements (by threat of violence).
Regulations are for things that AREN’T mutually agreeable if I’m not mistaken. There are more workers than managers, and the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one), and workers often have little say in their conditions (I do not identify as a Democratic Socialist although I think the system has potential). These regulations are very important, and have had a positive impact (look at legislation passed in the United States during the Progressive Era, and Europe in the middle of the Industrial Revolution).

Are some regulations excessive, ineffective, and overall harmful? I’d say so. But it’s outrageous to conclude that we should get rid of all regulations because of those bad ones.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
Well-being of the environment: Forcing some people to comply with the demands of others (by threat of violence), while protecting others' ability to ravage the planet in ways that are 1,000 times worse (food and oil industries, for example).
The environment is the most important issue today. I’m willing to sacrifice the freedom of oil and coal companies so millions of people won’t die within 10 years.

And I don’t disagree that government is pretty incompotent when it comes to issues like this (not restricting fossil fuel companies significantly, having trouble instituting nuclear because of quacks in government), but legislation has diminished human impact on the environment. Look at the Environmental Protection Agency, and a lot of the legislation passed during the Nixon Administration. I think most notably the banning of CFCs, which were killing our Ozone layer. Since we banned CFCs, the Ozone layer has recovered considerably.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
And we must understand that every act of legislation is a threat of violence - it's the only thing a government can do.
There you go again with the government using violence. You’re starting to seem more like a dogmatic deontologist rather than a rational consequentialist.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
It begins with a fine, then escalates to a series of greater fines, then an attempt at arrest, then a beating, then outright murder if the person can not be made to comply at some point along that chain of control. When a cop pulls you over on the highway, his lights are a threat of death at the most fundamental level. Don't believe me? Successfully refuse to comply at every stage of their attempt to control you and watch what happens.
I know you got this from a meme that I can’t find at the moment.

Why not just pay the fine and not have to worry about the violence? Or, better yet, just don’t break the law, even if you disagree with it? Or are you one of those “What’s wrong with crime?” anarchists?
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
What you say "makes sense" (like requiring payment and legal permission to drive without being violently accosted) only seems to make sense when we myopically ignore everything outside our consideration of the topic in a vacuum.
You need to prove that complete freedom adheres more to consequentialism than governments keeping the people in line through various methods (it isn’t just violence as you so pertly assert). The burden of proof is on you to show this.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
Man is free to drive. What does this statement mean? It means he is free TO do this because the action is free FROM adverse consequences (i.e. it's in accord with his free will nature, and does not inherently impede the authentic expression of others' natures). Now, he may drive stupidly, and this would be dangerous, but what does it mean to drive stupidly? It means to ignore some aspect of the nature of things (the laws of physics, the required conditions for others' safety, etc.). THAT is the wrong-doing, not the act of driving itself, which may be done safely and cause no harm.
Right, and that’s what governments try to stop.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
To require payment and permission to drive (backed up by threat) is a wrong-doing because it is treating an innocent person as though they are guilty. They are being fined and subject to the domination of others when they have committed no wrong.
This sounds like pretty deontological reasoning if you ask me.

You don’t seem to understand that legislation is put in place so as to prevent people from committing wrongdoings. Some people getting hurt as a result of a crime they have committed is a small price to pay, since more often than not the long term consequences are good.

Of course, we should also be concerned with rehabilitation rather than punishment, but that’s a discussion for another time.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
It's an "original sin" perspective. This is a wrong-doing that will have adverse consequences, even if it mitigates other adverse consequences. It's plugging one hole in the dam, only to have another spring elsewhere.
The other hole might be smaller.

I don’t know what you’re getting at here exactly; are you saying that certain actions will always have bad consequences? If so, you need to prove this.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
I know this sounds strange, but we are considering the topic on the most fundamental seed level, and seeds look quite a bit different than the trees which eventually spring forth from them. But it is the seed that ultimately determines the expression. It is the principles at the foundation of our thought which determine the consequences of our actions.
I’m starting to think you don’t have a good understanding of what consequentialism is.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
This is definitively a moral issue at its core, not a political one.
You are definitely treating it as a political one.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
So where does this leave us? How do we solve our problems? There is only one true solution: widespread wisdom as a sum of individual expressions of wisdom. Education, not legislation.
How do you plan on instituting education without legislation? There have to be standards for the quality of the education, and making sure to teach the facts, not opinion or rhetoric.

The education system in America has a lot of problems (I can a write small book detailing all my issues with it), but other countries have very effective education systems (as well as strong governments). Look at Finland, for example. Public education is an essential utility and it must be improved.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:05 pm
This is highly inconvenient compared to simply dominating people, and the latter has been normalized to the point that it does not seem wrong or strange; but a consequentialist must understand that the effects of ignoring this imperative is all the man-made chaos we see in the world - war, disease, famine, widespread emotional dysfunction, etc., etc., etc.
A consequentialist must also understand that what they think is just is not necessarily what is right.
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Post by BrianBlackwell » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm

Red wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:34 pm
Oh no, paying for someone to have access to something which should be a human right is just terrible! Our society is just entering the next totalitarian regime!

Having everyone paying into a system to help more people live is something a consequentialist values. Again, I’m not concerned with granting maximum freedom for everyone, I care about doing the most GOOD, and the former does not necessarily help achieve the latter.
The problem here is that the meaning of the terms "freedom" and "rights" have not been thoroughly examined. Health care is not a human right. A right is something you can rightfully do, not something someone else must do for you. The latter, erroneous belief equates to outright slavery because it means that a doctor MUST perform services in order to uphold your rights. As it regards "free" health care, it also means that other people MUST labor and contribute a portion of their earnings toward you receiving a service.

Consequentialist isn't about "values", it's about defining the "good" in the only rational way possible: by whether or not the consequences of an action serve the inherent nature of the beings in question. It's not about ego desires. A heroin addict may desire heroin, and would see getting some as a "good", but he would be wrong. Heroin does not serve his nature, regardless of what his ego-self wants.

Free will is an inherent feature of human beings, and thus actions which impede upon one's ability to authentically express that will are definitively immoral. "But what about the rampant rapist", you say? The appropriate limit on the expression of free will is set by that same inherent nature. Rape is an ego desire, just like the heroin. It is not within the realm of freedom to rape. We are not infringing upon the rapist's freedom when we stop him from raping. The word "freedom" does not include this action because rape infringes upon the freedom of the victim. This is easier to understand if we consider freedom in the aggregate, rather than "my" freedom and "your" freedom...

To call rape a freedom when it infringes upon the freedom of the victim is to say that rape is both pro-freedom and anti-freedom, both a freedom and a non-freedom, (in logical terms, that it is both "A" and "not A"). This is an impossibility. Furthermore, the act of rape is not free FROM adverse consequences (consequences that do not serve the nature of the beings in question).

Government can ONLY contribute violence to society. Government means *rightful authority* - the moral right to impose dictates and punish disobedience, not just the ability. A mafia may have the ability, but we would not call them government. And authority can only be used to do that which is immoral - you don't need authority to do what is moral. You don't need authority over others to give them a present, to defend yourself, to make a sandwich. You only need authority to perform those actions which would be considered immoral were you to perform them without it. To take people's earnings, to tell them which substances they could put in their bodies, to prohibit mutually-agreeable transactions, to stop people from moving from point A to point B over property not validly owned - these are the actions that require authority, and they are all acts of aggression (i.e. violence). Any actions that people in government perform which are moral (like putting out fires or defending the innocent) would not require authority, and are therefore not dependent upon their status as agents of government. The "government" piece only and ever adds immoral violence.

You understand many of our social ills, but your solutions are just more of the same - immorality in the name of mitigating immorality. It's adding salt to a pie that you're trying to make sweeter. It's a small, temporary, apparent good (someone getting health care without paying for it), with a cost of tremendous, institutionalized, ongoing evil (the violation of fundamental human rights). We can never get to the goal from that perspective.

We must understand morality thoroughly, at the principle level, in order to bring our actions into alignment with the natural order and attain the peace and universal prosperity we desire. Here's a guy who knows something about it:

https://youtu.be/Isb83V89iFA

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Post by Red » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:54 pm

BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
The problem here is that the meaning of the terms "freedom" and "rights" have not been thoroughly examined. Health care is not a human right. A right is something you can rightfully do, not something someone else must do for you. The latter, erroneous belief equates to outright slavery because it means that a doctor MUST perform services in order to uphold your rights. As it regards "free" health care, it also means that other people MUST labor and contribute a portion of their earnings toward you receiving a service.
Arbitrarily redefining words. You don't seem to be intellectually honest, and I'm not sure if you're even trying to be.

A human right is different from a standard right, generally speaking. A right is defined in the legal sense as "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way". A human right is defined as "a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person." In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other documents, a right to health is listed. While people can disagree on the definitions of what it is to be 'healthy' (it's an asinine concern, but anyway), it's agreed that healthcare is something that should be made available to everyone. Read the Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_health
If you look at the criticism section, it's mostly just people questioning that it shouldn't be because they don't want to pay into it. It is possible to give everyone a good standard of healthcare, and the reason healthcare is so expensive in the US has nothing to do with the healthcare itself being expensive.

Someone else working for your rights is irrelevant. Almost everyone pays into the system, and everyone gets it; it's not like it's something just for the poor. Why make 'paying into it' a metric for whether or not something should be a right?
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
Consequentialist isn't about "values", it's about defining the "good" in the only rational way possible:
You best get that log out of your eye.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
by whether or not the consequences of an action serve the inherent nature of the beings in question.
idntimwytim.png
idntimwytim.png (154.19 KiB) Viewed 2336 times
I believe you are confusing consequentialism with Virtue Ethics (we have a thread on how Virtue Ethics can be considered a school of thought of Consequentialism, but that isn't what you seem to be saying).
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
It's not about ego desires.
So why not be willing to pay into a healthcare system?

There's this thing called altruistic consequentialism.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
Free will is an inherent feature of human beings, and thus actions which impede upon one's ability to authentically express that will are definitively immoral.
I don't understand how you don't see this as deontological reasoning. I have a feeling you're just trying to redefine it so that you can still have your anarchist beliefs. Not very consequentialist of you, if that's the case.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
"But what about the rampant rapist", you say? The appropriate limit on the expression of free will is set by that same inherent nature. Rape is an ego desire, just like the heroin. It is not within the realm of freedom to rape. We are not infringing upon the rapist's freedom when we stop him from raping. The word "freedom" does not include this action because rape infringes upon the freedom of the victim. This is easier to understand if we consider freedom in the aggregate, rather than "my" freedom and "your" freedom...
And who is making this distinction? And based on what evidence?

As I said almost every time you grant someone a right, it takes away the rights of someone else. It isn't limited to only a few instances. Freedom may be fair, but what is fair is not necessarily what is good. You seem to be trying to reconcile your ideas of freedom with this.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
Government can ONLY contribute violence to society.
You should read Pinker on this, and you'll see why that is wrong (even though to any rational person, it's obviously wrong):
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/135 ... our-nature

Government doesn't have a monopoly on violence.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
And authority can only be used to do that which is immoral - you don't need authority to do what is moral.
I disagree. If I see someone about to be murdered, I have moral authority to stop the murderer so I can save a life.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
a cost of tremendous, institutionalized, ongoing evil (the violation of fundamental human rights). We can never get to the goal from that perspective.
I'm gonna say it, you're a nut.
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:57 pm
We must understand morality thoroughly, at the principle level, in order to bring our actions into alignment with the natural order and attain the peace and universal prosperity we desire. Here's a guy who knows something about it:

https://youtu.be/Isb83V89iFA
I don't think I agree with this guy about where our morality comes from. You can start a new thread on how we arrive at the golden rule, which is the basis for morality.

We've strayed too far from the original topic, and I don't have the time or patience for this bullshit. Start new threads that address the issues you really care about.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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Post by BrianBlackwell » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:06 pm

Red wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:54 pm
We've strayed too far from the original topic, and I don't have the time or patience for this bullshit. Start new threads that address the issues you really care about.
This conversation has evolved logically from the main topic of the cat thread and is directly relevant, as it concerns the principles at the root of the recommended "solutions". But wherever it resides, we're failing to communicate adequately, probably because our focus is too broad. I can tell you definitively that your responses do not demonstrate an understanding of what I'm saying, and I would imagine you feel the same.

I think we have much of import to discuss, as these ideas are fundamental to what we condone, and what we condone helps shape our world. Why don't we try focusing on one issue at a time? Since consequentialism is at the base of this discussion (and defining morality clearly is necessary to determining what constitutes "violence", as opposed to valid use of force), this seems a likely place to start.

I think the oppositional positioning of the consequentialist view with the deontological is an unnecessary (if not wholly unfounded) framework. I'm saying that there are extant laws of cause-and-effect which determine the consequences of our actions, and that the nature of those consequences is the defining factor in discerning right action from wrong action.

These laws, being immutable, create a circumstance wherein the consequences of a given action (all things considered) are a quality of the action itself. In this way we have a marriage between a law-based, and consequence-based, conception of morality; which I believe most accurately describes the true state of things (It should be noted that the term "action" here does not refer to the mere extending of one's arm with a fist clenched, for example, but to the act of punching an innocent person, or hitting a punching bag as two distinct actions).

Given this explanation, do you find the statement in bold agreeable?

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Post by Red » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:43 pm

BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:06 pm
Given this explanation, do you find the statement in bold agreeable?
No.
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Post by BrianBlackwell » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:32 am

Red wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:43 pm
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:06 pm
Given this explanation, do you find the statement in bold agreeable?
No.
Ah, I see how it is. Goodbye then.

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Post by Red » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:01 pm

BrianBlackwell wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:32 am
Red wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:43 pm
BrianBlackwell wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:06 pm
Given this explanation, do you find the statement in bold agreeable?
No.
Ah, I see how it is. Goodbye then.
Go learn the definitions first then come back. You're twisting the definition of consequentialist so as to make it fit with your nutty worldview.
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