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NYCTwister
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On Feb 3, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
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On Feb 3, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
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On Feb 3, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:

What makes me worthy of my luxurious life, while someone of equal ability and work ethic born in, say, sub-Saharan Africa doesn't have such a lovely life? What makes me so awesome?

And maybe use some time today to think about whether your luck comes all tied up with some responsibility too.


So the question comes down to whether those born in their given situations/circumstances, owe those born into lesser circumstances, and are in turn owed something by those born into better circumstances than they were.
No.

Do we owe humanity, the global society, something since we take part of it? I
MO, yes by initiating no violence, taking nothing that doesn't belong to us, and producing more than we consume.

What are your answers to the questions you posed Magnus?


I'm not worthy; I'm lucky.


Magnus, (may I call you John?)

Do you feel that your good fortune comes with any inherent responsibility, and if so what is the nature of that responsibility?

Also do you feel that those more fortunate than you bear a similar responsibility?

I'm sincerely curious because this subject, and all it encompasses, is important to me.

Dan
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
AllAboutMagic
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Magnus.....have you seen the three part documentary or read the book, "Guns, Germs, @ Steel?" I heard about it from a thread on here and watched it on Netflix. It tries to answer some of those age old questions. It was an eye opener.
landmark
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On Feb 3, 2015, rockwall wrote:
While studies have shown that conservatives are much more generous at donations to charity, the left also believes that they are quite generous. Of course, to the left, generous means, "how much can I take from my neighbor to give to those less fortunate than me."

Wrong. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonk......arities/
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I think the TIME you were born is more important.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
AllAboutMagic
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Are you really using a blog that compares donations to a religious charity with states that voted for Bush as your basis?
Dannydoyle
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Anything that agrees with ones own point of view.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Magnus Eisengrim
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@NYCTwister: yes I do think that my good fortune comes with some burden of responsibility. I can't be specific and I can't quantify, but if we are to take our moral relationships with others seriously, yes we do have responsibilities.

@Allaboutmagic: Yes, I've read the book, but I haven't seen the documentary. I don't follow the connection you're making here. What do you have in mind.


Oh, and please call me John.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
AllAboutMagic
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I was trying to connect it to this question that you posed.... What makes me worthy of my luxurious life, while someone of equal ability and work ethic born in, say, sub-Saharan Africa doesn't have such a lovely life? What makes me so awesome?

I guess it was a stretch, but the book does try to explain why your life is better than the sub-Saharan African, or at least has more opportunities.
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If one feels a personal responsibility that is fine. Act upon it however makes you feel the best.

If you try to force others to act upon your feeling of being to advantaged we have a problem.

John do you purpose anything be done about this?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
NYCTwister
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On Feb 4, 2015, Slim King wrote:
I think the TIME you were born is more important.


Why?
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
NYCTwister
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On Feb 4, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
@NYCTwister: yes I do think that my good fortune comes with some burden of responsibility. I can't be specific and I can't quantify, but if we are to take our moral relationships with others seriously, yes we do have responsibilities.

Oh, and please call me John.


John,

So to follow that way of thinking further, in an effort to specify with the intention of finding and implementing a fair solution to this real problem, a first step would be to define what such a moral responsibility is.
I agree that there is some sort of moral responsibility that should be expected of any individual who chooses to be a part of society, up to and including society on a global level.

I think that since this is a collective problem, and as Tommy pointed out all forests are in essence a collection of individual trees, the first thing to agree on is what constitutes proper moral behavior on the level of the individual.
Until we agree on that, and hold each individual to such a standard by way of objective law, any attempt at a solution, or fair "equalization" cannot work.

Until we specify, the concept of a moral responsibility to each other, whether because of the circumstances of birth or any other reason, remains an abstraction.

However, the inequalities that do exist is not an abstract problem. It's very real and needs to be solved because it's a threat to us all, and is growing as fast as the global population.
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
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Some are unlucky enough to be born on February 29th.
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landmark
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On Feb 4, 2015, AllAboutMagic wrote:
Are you really using a blog that compares donations to a religious charity with states that voted for Bush as your basis?


"Do conservatives give more away? According to a new study by two MIT political scientists, not really.

Michele Margolis and Michael Sances note that Brooks' conclusion [i.e. conservatives give more] comes from a dataset that doesn't really ask how conservative people are politically so much as how conservative they are socially. Using a dataset which uses more traditional questions to test political beliefs - the General Social Survey - they found no statistically significant relationship between peoples' political beliefs, or their partisan affiliation, and their charitable giving level. And this held at the state level too. There was no significant relationship between a state's level of giving and the vote share that Bush received in that state in 2004."
Magnus Eisengrim
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On Feb 4, 2015, AllAboutMagic wrote:
I was trying to connect it to this question that you posed.... What makes me worthy of my luxurious life, while someone of equal ability and work ethic born in, say, sub-Saharan Africa doesn't have such a lovely life? What makes me so awesome?

I guess it was a stretch, but the book does try to explain why your life is better than the sub-Saharan African, or at least has more opportunities.


Oh I see. Yes, Diamond argues that much of the historical development and wealth of the world is deeply influenced by geography. This addresses the cause, but leaves us wondering over the moral implications.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Magnus Eisengrim
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On Feb 4, 2015, NYCTwister wrote:
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On Feb 4, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
@NYCTwister: yes I do think that my good fortune comes with some burden of responsibility. I can't be specific and I can't quantify, but if we are to take our moral relationships with others seriously, yes we do have responsibilities.

Oh, and please call me John.


John,

So to follow that way of thinking further, in an effort to specify with the intention of finding and implementing a fair solution to this real problem, a first step would be to define what such a moral responsibility is.
I agree that there is some sort of moral responsibility that should be expected of any individual who chooses to be a part of society, up to and including society on a global level.

I think that since this is a collective problem, and as Tommy pointed out all forests are in essence a collection of individual trees, the first thing to agree on is what constitutes proper moral behavior on the level of the individual.
Until we agree on that, and hold each individual to such a standard by way of objective law, any attempt at a solution, or fair "equalization" cannot work.

Until we specify, the concept of a moral responsibility to each other, whether because of the circumstances of birth or any other reason, remains an abstraction.

However, the inequalities that do exist is not an abstract problem. It's very real and needs to be solved because it's a threat to us all, and is growing as fast as the global population.


I think we can begin by thinking about social justice, and trying to get at least a provisional idea of what that entails. Domestically, this has led to things like labour standards, environmental policies, health-care requirements, and so on. Internationally, it has mostly led to charity and military intervention.

The current political climate has called all these things into question. Personally, I think its important to keep the fundamental issues before us, in plain sight, lest we adopt a "screw you, I'm already in the lifeboat" attitude.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Dannydoyle
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Well John do you prefer a screw you get out of the lifeboat because too many who look like you are already in attitude?

See the problem with implementation of such collectivist ideas (And make no mistake put any new hula skirt on them you want that is exactly what they are.) is that to make things equal the proposal is inevitably to take from those who you perceive to have more than they need.

I think living examples are always best. You ask these questions but do you have more than others? Why not start there? You have compete control over this. Why worry about others and society when ones own self can not do the things they feel society is responsible for?

Not you specifically. Sorry if it reads that way. Seriously.

But I think people should clean up on heir own back yard before but elling others how to clean theirs. Morals are tricky as they are subjective and personal. No more than any religion should be able to force their morality on others should we do it in this case.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
landmark
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Well John do you prefer a screw you get out of the lifeboat because too many who look like you are already in attitude?


Imagine a large lifeboat with a hundred seats. A hundred people get on the boat. Imagine, further, each seat represents 1% of the nation's wealth and each person represents 1% of the nation's population.

Then, if the 1% rich own 40% of the wealth--as they do in this country-- that means, by analogy, 1 person gets to take up 40 of those seats. The other 99 people have to scramble for a piece of the other 60 remaining seats.

So Bill Gates will not drown even if he gives up 35 of his seats.
Magnus Eisengrim
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On Feb 4, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well John do you prefer a screw you get out of the lifeboat because too many who look like you are already in attitude?


I dislike it because it is ethically odious.

Quote:
See the problem with implementation of such collectivist ideas (And make no mistake put any new hula skirt on them you want that is exactly what they are.) is that to make things equal the proposal is inevitably to take from those who you perceive to have more than they need.


What collectivist ideas?

Quote:
I think living examples are always best. You ask these questions but do you have more than others? Why not start there? You have compete control over this. Why worry about others and society when ones own self can not do the things they feel society is responsible for?


I have kept most of my personal actions private, which is my right and my desire. I think that the questions are appropriately discussed publicly. If, as democratic societies, we do not discuss matters of justice, we have failed to live up to our democratic ideals.

Quote:
Not you specifically. Sorry if it reads that way. Seriously.

But I think people should clean up on heir own back yard before but elling others how to clean theirs. Morals are tricky as they are subjective and personal. No more than any religion should be able to force their morality on others should we do it in this case.


I agree to an extent. But we are always engaged in public and private moral discussion. Every time we talk politics, economics, intervention, diplomacy and what have you, we are engaged in discussions of public morality and social justice.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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Is that designed as an illustration, or as an argument that Bill Gates should give up 35 or more of his seats, since he doesn't need them?
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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1) Illustration, as it helps to have an easily imagined visual when thinking about these things. We can use ten chairs and ten people too. One rich person (much less of course) takes up 4 chairs while the other 9 have to scramble for a piece of the remaining 6 chairs.

2) Danny was distraught that some rich people might get screwed out of the lifeboat. My Bill Gates remark was to reassure him that Bill would land on his feet. He'd still have plenty of room in that lifeboat, even if wealth were substantially re-distributed.

3) Practical how of it? Start with taxing capital gains at the same level as income tax, get rid of the Social Security rich person entitlement discount, enact a stock transfer tax. And for Lord's sake, stop boo-hooing that then you'll only be able to afford ten mansions instead of twenty.
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