[extropy-chat] Rights and Moral Indignation

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 13 04:43:40 UTC 2006

--- Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> Secondly, *these* particular abstractions
> ---"rights"---I do claim to not really exist.
> (Unlike money, or the the number 17, or
> *democracy*, or other abstractions that
> have value and which do exist.)
> Show me an argument that rights exist, 
> oh, say, before the advent of civilization.
> Or, say, before the Magna Carta, or
> whatever.

Well I guess that all depends on how you define
"natural rights". To me natural rights means that if a
man tries to snatch a dog's dinner away from it, and
it growls at him, the dog is asserting its natural
rights. If the man smacks the dog on the nose with the
newspaper and takes the dog's dinner away from it, the
man is asserting his ownership rights over both the
dog and the dog-food.  

My conclusion is that anyone only has those rights
that they are willing to assert so long as others
allow them to assert them. See why I am calling for
self-reliance and bringing the Bush administration to
account? Otherwise we are saying that the President is
above the highest law of the land.
> Well, as James Madison wrote
>     "Is there no virtue among us? If there be not,
> we are in a
>     wretched situation.  No theoretical checks -- no
> form of
>     government can render us secure. To suppose
> liberty or    
>     happiness without any virtue in the people, is a
> chimerical
>     idea. If there be sufficient virtue and
> intelligence in the
>     community, it will be exercised in the selection
> of these
>     men. So that we do not depend on their virtue,
> or put
>     confidence in our rulers, but in the people who
> are to
>     choose them."
> In other words, if the people don't have enough 
> character, then the game's up anyway. Don't
> *expect* a piece of paper to protect you. But
> sorry, that's your point, not mine  :-)

Great quote.

> Yes, we had this argument not long ago. I
> agree that it is a real risk. But there is also
> a risk letting more and more nations get
> nuclear weapons, and a risk of letting
> more and more infiltrators into Western
> countries.  These risks must be balanced.

For a country like the U.S. to be so unhealthily
OBSESSED over one known risk is to let a thousand
other risks go completely unprepared for. Witness
hurricane Katrina.

> > How is that you protest so at them cutting
> > the head off a man with a knife. Yet you
> > and millions of other Americans will pay
> > good money to walk into a theater and
> > watch the simulation of a man doing the
> > same to dozens of people with a chainsaw?
> Maybe because the audience knows the
> difference between fantasy and reality?

Do they? What about Columbine? How is that a child
must be accompanied by a parent to see a woman's
breasts at the theater but not to watch that woman get
stabbed in those breasts?

> > I have, Lee. I have gone into such neighborhoods
> many
> > times in the past and I am sure I will again in
> the
> > future. For her part, Samantha would probably fare
> > much better than you in those parts of town too.
> Your
> > fear is so glaringly evident, its like a spiritual
> > beacon for violence. You seem like a
> "bully-magnet".
> Oh, so now it's *my* fault if I get roughed up
> while you and Samantha were to look on?
> This is one of the most egregious defenses
> of evil I've ever seen of evil.  Just because
> they don't pick on you, that makes them okay?

Again with this ascribing attitudes and actions to
others that are just not true. Why on earth would you,
on the basis of anything I or Samantha have said,
assume that either of us would stand idly by and let
you or anyone else we know get roughed up?

And yes, for you to be smart enough to know that we
live in a Darwinian world and to have never learned
martial arts of any kind is irrational. You could have
taken a couple of hours per week to train in boxing,
wrestling, karate, savate, krav-maga, anything that
would have given you an edge in a confrontation. Then
even if you had lost the fight, the effort the bully
would have had to take to do so would have disouraged
him from ever doing it again. That you did not do any
of these things was your decision and not the bully's.

And what on earth makes you think that you becoming a
monster would earn my respect or that you don't
already have my respect?  

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Phillip K. Dick

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