Ramblings of ConservativeCathy–It’s not Fair!

It's not fair! It's not, it's not, it's not...

What do you hear little children say all the time – “it’s not fair”.  But we thought that you were not supposed to grow up and learn that life is not fair – nor is it meant to be!

I hear Democrats, President Obama and others using versions of this phrase on almost a daily basis now.

Not wanting to go into all the individual points this phrase is used for I want to just deal with the concept of “what is fair”.

Is it fair that some people are better looking then others?  Is it fair that some people are downright unattractive?

Is it fair that some people have great bodies and most of us don’t?  Is it fair that some people can eat all kinds of things and not put on weight while others of us just look at food and seem to put on weight?

Is it fair that some people can go all night and day and seem to have everlasting energy while others of drag along on a daily basis?

Is it fair that some people get sick when other do not?

Is it fair that some people are smarter then other people?

Is it fair that some people have great athletic ability and others of us are uncoordinated morons?

Is it fair that some people know things that others do not?

Is it fair that some people inherit money while the majority of us need to work for it?  Is it fair that some people are able to invent or think of an invention and make lots of money?  Is it fair that some people become great actors and make all kinds of money and most don’t?  Is it fair that some people successfully build a business empire and make loads of money while most of us don’t?

Is it fair that a lot of us must pay taxes while others do not have to?  Is it fair that taxes are based on our incomes rather then our productivity or looks or weight or what the government actually needs to run just the areas designated in the constitution?

Is it fair that I am never hungry and many others are daily?

Is it fair that I have access to great medicine while many others don’t ?

Is it fair that I have religious freedom and many others don’t?

Is it fair that I am a woman and men seem to rule the world?

Is it fair that children must follow rules?  Is it fair that I cannot have as much as others?  Is it fair that life is not minute-by-minute what I want it to be?

Is it fair that there are poor people in the world?  Is it fair that all people do not have a sense of humor similar to my own?  Is it fair that everyone does not want to live the way I choose?

Is it fair that someone else’s needs are more important then mine?

This list could go on and on…..

Get over it – life is not fair in any aspect – it is just life and you can do whatever you want or are capable of doing with it – so enjoy and make the most out of it without requiring me to participate in you life!   


Any politician using these types of phrases should be immediately removed as they are not mature enough to lead anyone particularly themselves….. is that FAIR??????


Filed under Capitalism, Conservative, Economics, Education, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, GOP, Happiness, Humor, Individualism, liberal arrogance, Obama, Selfishness

22 responses to “Ramblings of ConservativeCathy–It’s not Fair!

  1. RSWillf

    yeah, life is not fair, get over it. the strong kills the weak, that’s the way it’s always been, why doing anything to change the situation?

    • Because when you interfere with life the way you want then you are hurting someone else to help someone – gee that’s not fair!

      • You want to know what is “fair” – well allow everyone to be able to achieve to their highest potential, create, make money, live life, etc. and I can assure you that more people will be helped and more successful once the interference leaves – as it has been proven time and time again that it never helps and it always makes things worse! Again it’s not “fair” but some people never learn and we all get to keep repeating lessons over and over again because of it. The main point that you and your ilk do not learn is you can not determine “fair” and there is no real equality in life other then opportunity.
        You never seem to understand that people/individuals helping people/individuals is good – government helping people is bad! I know it’s not FAIR!

        • RSWillf

          yes, the strong exploiting the weak is doing him a favour. But they don’t understand! It’s been proven time and time again! So please, keep exploiting them! If it’s in your own self-interest it must be in everybody’s best interest! How can they miss this? They must be stupid socialists! Leave people alone, and we’re all better off.

  2. I never said anything about doing a favor for anyone – why do you beleive that strong always vanquish weak and that by being sucessful someone is exploiting someone else? Anything that is in my best interest but harms no one else IS IN MY BEST INTEREST! And yes if you can not follow the logic I am stating then you must be a stupid socialist/liberal/progressive! And yes if you leave people alone (with minor interference only for necessary protection) then society will excel and be better! It did not work in Germany, Russia, China or Europe so it will not work anywhere. Remember the famous “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” (Margaret Thatcher) or “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong” (Calvin Coolidge)
    Use the brain I know you have and work it out by thinking of long term results.

  3. RSWillf

    et’s see: so “people/individuals helping people/individuals is good”.

    So is “people help other people to correct some unfair situation” good? If yes, it’s clearly not a problem with the idea of “unfair”, but with the means used to solve the problem (private vs government intervention).

    I suppose you know some unfair situations (e.g. people oppressed by the government) which people could rightly complain about (as you seem to be doing).

    So why did you write a post about how bad it is to claim that something is unfair, when what you really wanted was an excuse to attack the government?

    • You keep missing the point – I never said it was unfair that people need help. I said that it occurs and if I or others choose to assist them in ways that make us happy and brings them assistance that is good. Government never helps in these situations. But I do not beleive that fairness has anything to do with it. There is a term “justice” and I could see discussing that but “fairness” is a childs vision of life only (adults are supposed to grow up and leave that view) it does not exist in my view of things as “fairness” is arbitray while many can agree/along with history on “justice”.

  4. RSWillf

    let’s see. Fairness: “the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice”. Also search for “justice as fairness” as it is one of the most discussed topics in political science and philosophy of the 20th century, but I see that “it does not exist” for you, since fairness is only for children.

    • “but I see that “it does not exist” for you, since fairness is only for children.”
      And I can see that you are utterly incapable of understanding context. Every time Obama and his ilk use the word “fair” it is not in the context of fair=just. Just is people getting what they deserve and what they have earned. Nothing about taxing people more for doing well is just. Nothing about giving people things they haven’t earned is just. The word fair and just are not perfect synonyms and to suggest that they are as you appear to be doing is at best idiotic and at worst intentionally intellectually dishonest and reprehensible.

  5. Ok – let’s play semantics…. I of course meant this and so did all the people in the US and the politicians who are currently using this word as:
    Being in accordance with relative merit or significance: She wanted to receive her fair share of the proceeds.
    Consistent with rules, logic, or ethics: a fair tactic.
    Archaic Free of all obstacles.
    Now you will return with the 2nd one of rules, logic or ethics. All my statements are within the framework of America and it’s constitution so that already dictates which logic and ethics are to be used.
    So you are correct I am not interested in a political science debate which differs from the Founding Fathers interpretation. This is what our country is based on and the term “fair” is taught as being nonsense in this country and all children (with good parents) are informed many times in their period of growth to maturity that “life is not fair” – basically get over it.
    Now back to your definition:
    “the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice”
    This is a very vague statement. What is the quality of being fair – free from what bias or injustice? One would need to clarify in clear terms items to actually debate the “fairness” or justice of the statement. Basically I do not see how one can legitimately apply this definition to anything if you were to want to defend it and it is this type of definition that allows me to state that children are concerned with fair – it’s not fair – whine but injustice is actually determined by laws and in our country by the constitution. To whine and want something someone else has is to claim your own insecurity and greed. You have the same opportunity to achieve as anyone else born in our country – now what you do with that is up to you so you determine your own destiny. Now I am not saying that it is not harder for some versus others I am just saying that the opportunity exists the same for most people. There will always be exceptions but you cannot steal/redistribute from others to try and correct this. Unfortunately for this type of discussion it is probably more difficult for me to debate it as you would like because I also combine my spiritual beliefs into by complete belief system. I believe in reincarnation and that fact that that allows a soul to continue learning lessons so I attribute some of this “fairness” issue to a souls personal choices in lesson building so on that basis I do not view it the same as many others.

  6. RSWillf

    I was not the one who brought up the issue of “justice”, but here we go:

    @crisap: “The word fair and just are not perfect synonyms”: I don’t think they are perfect synonyms, and I never said they were. Why are your trying to put words in my mouth? There’s clearly some relationship between the two, and ignoring this relationship is “at best idiotic and at worst intentionally intellectually dishonest and reprehensible.” Go and do your homework: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_as_Fairness, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rawls/#JusFaiJusWitLibSoc. Please don’t forget to add your personal attacks on Rawls or whoever you think is an idiot, it will be an amusing read. But let’s be constructive: what do you think is the relationship between “fair” and “just”? none? The dictionary, at least, seems to disagree. e.g. unjust: “not in accordance with accepted standards of fairness or justice; unfair”.
    I suppose you think lexicographers are idiots too.

    @conservativecathy: “I of course meant this and so did all the people in the US and the politicians who are currently using this word as”. Ok, so you claim you can talk for all the people in the US and all the politicians? Great way to discuss. I took my definition from the dictionary, where did you take yours from?

    “but injustice is actually determined by laws and in our country by the constitution”. False. “Just” and “legal” are two very different concepts. There can be unjust laws, otherwise you should never call injust any law passed by your current beloved government.

    “I am just saying that the opportunity exists the same for most people”. Good. “Most” people. What do you do for others? Nothing?

    • Oh dear, what a worthless hack you are. Rawls?..I should have seen this coming. I’ve read Rawls a long tedious attempt to hide lies in between sometimes meaningful statements. I would merely point out that when you strip the jargon and boring thought experiments away Rawls like Kant is little more than a deontologist.

      And besides why insult Rawls and his piss poor belief when Mortimer Adler has already done so so well: “in a widely discussed and overpraised book, “A Theory of Justice”, written by Harvard professor John Rawls. The error consists in identifying justice with fairness in the dealings of individuals with one another as well as in actions taken by society in dealing with its members. Fairness, as we have seen, consists in treating equals equally and unequals unequally in proportion to their inequality. That is only one of several principles of justice, by no means the only principle and certainly not the primary one. If, as Professor Rawls maintained, justice consists solely in fairness, murdering someone, committing mayhem, breaching a promise, falsely imprisoning another, enslaving him, libeling him, maliciously deceiving him, and rendering him destitute, would not be unjust, for there is no unfairness in any of these acts. They are all violations of rights, not violations of the precept that equals should be treated equally. Only when the facts of human equality and inequality in personal respects and in the functions or services that persons perform provide the basis for determining what is just and unjust can justice and injustice be identified with fairness and unfairness.”

      “I don’t think they are perfect synonyms, and I never said they were. Why are your trying to put words in my mouth?” Because you treated them as such, you brought in concepts of the strong and the weak (in a seemingly Marxist class struggle). You used it in context where the phrase justice was appropriate…but as you’re quoting Rawls who wrote the overly long “Justice as Fairness”. And while I could critique Rawls and the concept of fairness quite well you seem to only respect published authors meanwhile trolling people’s blogs trying to set yourself up as more intelligent than people who have the guts to consistently use their real name and not constantly adopt a new pseudonym out of cowardice and inadequacy…so I will give you an article by a professor from Stanford. (http://www.peterberkowitz.com/thenewdogmaoffairness.pdf)
      “But let’s be constructive:” From a troll who can only try to insult others from the veil of anonymity, this comes off as just laughable.

      lexicographers are not idiots. Quotes from “www.thefreedictionary.com” and “dictionary.com” however I’m not sure I trust as much as say Websters or Funk & Wagnels(but it ranks up there with quoting a wikipedia article for philosophic understanding…wikipedia is nice for raw data, but for an accurate description of philosophy? Come on.). Now granted the copies I own are a little old (I have a thing for old book smell) but the definition of just and justice do not contain the word fair…and fair only makes mention of justice in the context of means not ends (I know you’ve had a problem with this distinction from previous comments you’ve made).

      Now I will not deny that modern use of the words fair and just have blurred the meaning, but I like to think that when I’m not clearly being sarcastic or snarky that I use words by what they actually mean by a deeper sense not by the common colloquial sense (I’m sure I fail at times, I’m human but the context of the last comment was clearly making fun of your inability to make this distinction…to which you quote “www.thefreedictionary.com” a source truly ranking with the Oxford English Dictionary in its accuracy). The relationship, I will admit is complicated, as they overlap like a Venn Diagram…but just deals with ends and means that are exclusively the realm of choice and will (It is not fair if a tornado destroys your house…but it is not unjust as no one made the choice destroy your house). Lots of things are unfair without being just, but adult don’t whine about these things because no one is to blame, and often nothing can be done. And certainly government should be concerned only with what is just not with what is fair.

  7. Well to start with – I want to be honest here – I am not as well read as you and Cris.
    My definition came from the American Heritage Dictionary. I took out 3 of the definitions that I felt were appropriate to our discussion. Although I am not as well read I am intelligent enough to know what people mean and are saying when they speak. I do not believe that you live in the US so this becomes a difficult discussion as I do not think you can assume that you understand exactly what is meant or being conveyed when it is from that level. And injustice is actually determined by our constitution is what I said not our laws. We have many unjust laws but none that follow our constitution. I do not love my current government – I think that is the greater point of my original article as I was trying to point out that my current government is childish, immature and most certainly socialistic if not fascist.
    Why do you assume that government owes something other then the barest of safety nets to anyone? Our constitution does allow for safety nets for people but not necessarily from the federal government but from state and local governments. Why do you assume that all people are owed equal possessions and equal life? What would be the point of that? If all people are equal in all things (not sure how to accomplish that) then all things would be at a much lower level and I really can’t see how that would be productive. Any way anything I say will not make you happy but I will state that as least half of my country understood my point. You will not be happy until someone agrees with you but I will never agree that your life choice is the appropriate one and I will continue trying to get my country back on the right track and that will provide prosperity and success to the vast majority of people and it will never be perfect but I accept that while you and others have difficulty with that concept. As I stated previously that acceptance is based on my spiritual beliefs so it is easier for me then others.

  8. RSWillf

    @conservativecathy: please don’t take this personally. You seem to be a nice person, I don’t want to (even assuming I could) force you to accept anything. I was a bit surprised by all this hostily towards “fairness” which seems to be quite a positive concept in general. I don’t think all people are owed equal possessions or equal life. I never said that. That would be impossible and would be a great violence to many people. I was also a bit surprised by the “people helping people is good, government helping people is bad”. How can be the split be so clean? I understand you oppose being forced to do something against your will. It’s very reasonable, but let’s try this test:

    somebody is dying (for causes unrelated to you, e.g. forgot his insulin) and you are the only person who can save him with little cost to you (e.g. calling the doctor, or driving him to the hospital). Do you think that refusing this help should be considered a crime?

    (you can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omission_(criminal_law) )

  9. Well first of all if you lived in the US you would understand the context of the usage of the “fairness”. As I tried to convey previously in this country it is a common phrase that I am sure the vast majority of Americans have heard numerous times in life “life is not fair”. So when it is used here it has a different context than what you may be used to.
    Again as to the split of good versus bad concerning individuals and government – this is also difficult to convey as you would need to be a constitutional scholar probably. But in learning about how our country was conceived it was accepted that people are not perfect so they need government for protection but government is far more evil than people so you need checks and balances to keep it down also. This all gets very complicated in practicality which is why we have this constant debate in our country. In retrospect an honest person would admit that America and it’s ideals have brought great vision and assistance to the world as a whole. That does not mean by any respect that we have been perfect as no society or government has ever been. But we have done more good and provided more advancement than any society to date. So when we have politicians and large groups of people now wanting to go backward and emulate Europe it is very discouraging for me and others like me.
    Now to your scenario. I looked at the Wikipedia page and am quite familiar with the concept. The concept is also used in my country and called aiding and abetting a crime. Of course my first response would be to say that anyone should be ethically and morally compelled to assist in whatever way they could in any situation where someone needed help/assistance. But then I must honestly confess I split hairs regarding the criminalization of inaction. Much to your chagrin you will be happy to hear that Cris has no difficulty here in condemning anyone immediately for not acting. I on the other hand for the exact scenario you gave would have difficulty in criminalizing the inaction of a person who is just a jerk. Many people (unfortunately) feel the need to shut themselves off and not be aware of things around them as they do not wish to become involved in life. I am in a quandary as to how I feel about that – obviously stating that if actual violence is occurring that they have a responsibility to at least call 911. But then you can say is calling 911 enough? In my opinion personally I would say no but I am not sure that it is a criminal act to be wrong and be inhumane. So I guess I am not such a nice person as I do not apply rules that I use for myself in these types of issues. So as Cris told me my quandary is only legal as to what can be proved in court as to what the person was thinking – a very difficult thing. I think it is more than that. I am of the belief that they will punish themselves far more then any jail could. If they do not punish themselves then they are without a conscience and probably should be put away as at some point they will probably be a danger to society as a whole. When you are young you are much more sure of your beliefs and as you age you often become very sure of your beliefs for yourself but hesitant to apply them to others as they must account for themselves.
    I hope that answers your question.
    Although I do not see the correlation between our original discussion and your scenario.

  10. RSWillf

    Cathy, thanks for the answer. My point was simple: since you framed that problem as “it’s bad for government to help people” I looked for a situation where you could accept that the state forces people to act in some way (or punishes them for not doing it). Supporting the military forces (with taxes and draft) would be another case. Or paying taxes to support the police etc. The actual cases don’t matter much. What matters is that they exist. And that is enough to show that in some cases it is necessary and good to force people to act in a certain way, even against their will (it’s unfair, isn’t it?). I know that the conservative argument is for the support of a minimal state (e.g. as specified by the constitution), but the point is exactly why you draw the line there. Framing the issue as “government = bad” is simply not going to help. Also it doesn’t help to claim that some rule is valid because the constitution has infallible authority. To claim as much you should believe you are yourself infallible: infallible at recognizing such authority. The chain of knowledge is only as strong as its weakest link, and knowledge is not simply a true belief. I don’t know why you keep wondering if I ever lived in the US or not. Yes I’ve lived and worked in the US, but it’s not relevant. I am well aware of the childish expression “it’s not fair” but accusing adults of using a term only because children also use it in a particular way doesn’t seem a valid way to reason. In the other two languages I speak every day kids would say “non è giusto” or “c’est pas juste” linking to the “justice” root. The actual translation of “fair” is uncommon in spoken Italian and French.

    Cris. Oh boy, where do we start from? (I won’t comment the most bizarre claims) I never said that “justice = fairness”, I also never said I believe that everything that Rawls wrote was true. I didn’t need to make this claim, but I see you don’t appreciate the subtlety, and keep shooting the wrong target. Since you’re not aware of this, even Rawls didn’t agree with everything Rawls ever wrote, and he spent the rest of his career to reply to the many shortcomings of AToJ. But as the pdf you linked to says Rawls “became the most influential philosophy professor of his generation” and his books “the two most discussed books of political theory of the last fifty years” (too bad for Adler whose ideas weren’t so successful).
    My point was very limited: you cannot globally dismiss claims of fairness while preserving claims of justice if you believe the two are related (as in your poor Venn diagram). At best you would have to show how they are related and then show that *some* claims of fairness can be dismissed while preserving claims of justice. You completely missed this point (quoting Adler saying that fairness is “one of several principles of justice”, which is exactly what I needed to make my point). Congratulations. You’re a textbook fanatic who divides the worlds in two camps (with me, or against me), and you behave as if you hold the keys to the dogma (is he a *true* conservative?) and to the only true interpretation of the will of your divinities (Reagan, Smith, Rand, who else?). Any perceived disagreement deserves insults and immediate framing in one of the few categories you are capable of imagining: socialist, liberal, troll, fascist (what else?). It’s entertaining and sad at the same time. Even dictionaries are not good for you (is the Oxford English Dictionary socialist? It tells me that “fair” means “treating people equally; just”)
    You seem to be spending way too much time thinking about people you hate and feeding trolls. I guess this lowers your self-esteem and creates conflict with your idealized self, beacon of Knowledge Truth and Wisdom, and this explains the insecurity you show in this cyber-bully persona you display here.

  11. I think that you are not from America because of your spelling of words. It is obvious that you were educated outside of the US. You may travel a lot and probably have been in our country but your responses deny the fact that you have a complete understanding of America. You obviously have a philosophy background. I must admit that except for some college courses I personally have no interest or desire to study or understand many ideas that are out in the world. I long ago determined how I felt about life and personal responsibility and how it should apply to society. I find that most philosophy concepts are better dealt with when drinking with friends but as being applicable in normal everyday life most are inappropriate. Now you may want to come back and prove me wrong as I have stated I am not well read on these subjects and was actually quite disappointed with the courses I was required to take and with the concepts that they wanted to promote. I also believe that you keep coming back to Cris’ site under different names (which indicates you are the one with extremely low self esteem and you are the one engaging in bullying tactics). You seem to have some inner desire to irritate Cris. I recognize your writing style and comments are too similar. I have to wonder about that. Cris does not like to have discussions with those unwilling to see truth (not debatable – it is what we see as truth and no one is forcing anyone else to agree). I am an unapologetic conservative. If you knew anything about the US constitution and our Founding Fathers you would be able to better follow or understand the concepts that Cris or I are discussing rather than making ignorant points. Actually government is bad and people are stupid is the Founding underlying concern. Simplistically stated I know. But there is always 2 sides to everything but you must start at the premise to understand the object of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. This is the debate in the US between progressives and conservatives. Either you accept the underlining premise or you don’t. But that is what it is. The whole checks and balances were to try and balance these concepts – majority rule is bad so a representative government, government is needed to provide protection for individuals and society so they provide for national defense, judicial and regulation to ensure these items. This is the problem as the Federal government is supposed to be limited in it’s powers and most powers are given to the states or local governments. Then it would be up to people to determine what they want within their local communities or state. This is all to promote society while protecting all. The problem is that our government has gone beyond the constitution and keeps going. Our President uses the term “fair” along with Democrats all the time and they do not mean what you are saying but more like the child like attitude I was trying to demonstrate. Life can not be equal as we are not clones and not the same. Government should not be in the business of trying to correct these issues. When they do they are bad if they stay with the limited areas they were granted then they can be beneficial.
    When Cris and I are discussing something it is not in the larger picture of philosophy but in the real world of our government/society. To take the discussion elsewhere is of no avail. Of course we both are intelligent and aware enough to know that there are always good and bad in everything.
    Basically you want to discuss philosophy and that is not what Cris wants to discuss and to be honest I do not think he really likes prolonged discussions. I actually enjoy them and do not take them personally.
    I have known Cris his whole life and I can tell you he is a good person along with intelligent but he is in my opinion an old soul and I think that it is not that he has a low self esteem but that he is tired of fighting the “good fight”. I was actually told this by someone who is aware of previous lives (not asking you to believe just stating what I consider a fact). That is why I believe he has little patience with these conversations. Also I think he feels the need to protect me and since he obviously is better read than I and more aware of what you are bringing up he feels better qualified to respond.
    All this means that I have no problem with continuing the discussions with you but I think it inappropriate for you to continue to bait Cris. So if that is your goal then I would prefer that you not bother him further. If you just want to educate and make others aware of your knowledge then I have no problem with continuing these discussions.

  12. RSWillf

    Hello and thanks for the answer. I appreciate that you’re so confident that you don’t need to turn every disagreement into a name-calling fight. That’s a sign of maturity I think, even if I understand there’s a big market (books and TV shows) for those who scream and insult. Unfortunately they seem to think that the first one that calls the other “idiot” wins. Decent people can agree to disagree without that childish drama. I don’t particularly care about Cris, your relationship with him, your strange theories about me. I don’t want to “make others aware” of my knowledge or educate them.

    I’m more interested in how you see the world.

    If challenged I’ll respond (and that usually involves clarifying the terms ⇒ seeing how they have been used in the relevant debates ⇒ referencing some experts in the fields, like the “most influential philosophy professor of his generation”).

    Why do you think there are “2 sides” to these questions? Why do you “either accept this or you don’t”?

    Isn’t the world more complex than that? Isn’t it possible that most of the time the government shouldn’t interfere with personal choices, but that sometimes it is better if it does (e.g. army, police, etc.). It seems that between the two extreme positions (the government should never interfere and the government should always interfere) there is an infinite number of shades. Don’t you think that we should discuss about where to draw the line instead of whether we should draw it at all? Arguments like that sound completely preposterous to me.

    Why do you feel the need to define what the *real* america is, what its *true* values are, what the founding fathers *really* meant? Do you qualify your fellow citizens that disagree with you as non-americans? That really turns any discussion into a dogmatic fight. The constitution becomes the Holy Book and the Founding Fathers some kind of messiahs. What about accepting the fact that the world is complex, that there are a variety of people who might or might not agree with you (some in good, others in bad faith), that there is an infinite number of variations to the ways we can try to solve the problems, that nobody is perfect and everybody can make mistakes? Pretending there is one true america that can be defined by a fixed set of values that never change over time, that people that don’t accept this are evil, is, I think, living in a fantasy world.

    What do you see wrong with that picture?

    If you disagree about policy X you won’t gain anything by trying to convince somebody that X is against the *true* values of america (or *true* conservatives, or whatever you like).

    You cannot think at the same time that both “Z is a good political philosophy because it promotes good policies” and that “X is a good policy because it is promoted by Z”. Doing that is circular reasoning “A is good because B is good, and B is good because A is good”.

    The correct way to proceed is the first one (Z is a good political philosophy because it promotes good policies) while the second one (X is bad because against the true american values) is typical of dogmatic thought, and dogmas don’t really help the healthy discussions that are necessary in a democracy.

    So, my guess, is that arguments of the second type work only with people who already share your dogmatic view of the world (good vs bad, us vs them, where “us” is always good of course, since we never make mistakes). You might see that they succeed with some people around you and you might want to try to convince others (fighting the “good fight” as you correctly said). But for those who don’t share that frame of mind (which are very likely the majority of the people you disagree with) that kind of reasoning is just the mockery of what a valid discussion should be. I suppose you have “enemies” (socialists/liberals/communists/fascists/whatever you want to call them) who share the same kind of mental structures but with a different set of *true* values. And I suppose that’s when debates turn into immediate fights, and that’s probably where many people pick the habit of turning disagreements into name-calling competitions. They see their opponents doing the same, so it must be a good strategy against them. I see that as childish, and I appreciate that you are better than that.

    • Hello, before I respond to your “response” I have some general comments to make. I think Cris has more security in his own self than either of us as he is putting himself out there with his real name and a picture of himself – both you and I refuse to put ourselves out there using fake names and no pictures. Having a discussion requires some give and take – you seem to want to make judgments or assessments while not allowing others to do the same. You want to pose questions while ignoring ones others have made. You prefer to narrow the argument to something you can apply nebulous philosophy theory to rather than dealing in pragmatic real life actualities. When I am speaking/writing I am referencing specific events and those who are honest acknowledge that or question to insure that they fully understand my context. You prefer to take an understandable concept within the public sphere and compare it to again nebulous philosophy. You choose to never stand on principal but prefer to follow philosophy that allows you and others to be paralyzed and never be responsible for their actions. In my opinion the type of philosophy you promote as all in academia allow those who follow to wander in the darkness looking for but never able to reach the unreachable – knowledge/truth. Everything in life allows for faceted subtleties if you wish to waste time worrying about them or questioning every decision due to all the potential variables in life. Back to that “fair” thing. I prefer to stand on principals and make my decisions and actions based on those principals. If I find that I am wrong in my judgment then I adjust and correct my principle or application of such. But at least I can explain my reasoning and actions. And in regard to the calling of names I have seen/read some of your previous responses where you were just as able as Cris to use inappropriate language and name calling so I think that is a false claim. You often use your attitude and philosophies to do the same without the honesty of being blunt and lowering yourself lower than any of your opponents by taking a moral high ground you have do not deserve– I find that sometimes it is more honest to just come out and say what you really mean. I on the other hand do not use that type of language – maybe it is an age thing.

      Now to your response. The first problem I have is the statement that you use “If challenged I’ll respond (and that usually involves clarifying the terms ⇒ seeing how they have been used in the relevant debates ⇒ referencing some experts in the fields, like the “most influential philosophy professor of his generation”).” – this statement has problems as the statement that someone is “the most influential philosophy professor” – you should always qualify these statement “in your opinion” as I have not yet seen you use anyone that I personally would consider relevant or influential. Now I need to qualify that statement – you might mean within the academic community but that is rarely if ever synonymous with “truth”. These are the same philosophies I encountered in college and to date I have no respect for this type of thinking. Again I will state that unless you are drinking and want to have fun discussing the absurd then why bother. It is more important that you are able to state what you believe, how and why and then show how you would apply that belief to whatever issue is being discussed. To state ideas without any practical application serves no purpose.

      Of course I believe that all situations are multi faceted – again “2 sides to every issue” is an idiom that is accepted to convey the same thing although more simplistically. What I don’t believe is that all those multi faceted issues actually affect a decision or action. That is what life is for as you take in all of your experiences and what you believe and that is how you arrive at principled beliefs and actions. I work in business and I can tell you that those that want to take time contemplating all aspects of an issue are rarely if ever successful in the long term. You always start with an end goal and then adjust as you go along to ensure that you meet your end goal while still following your principals, but if you wait until you solve all the potential issues before you start you rarely ever progress. I know this has become more prevalent in business with all the teaching that comes out of college and that is why we are all exposed to committees and their inability to come to a decision as they are more concerned with what could possibly occur in the future rather than starting on a path and adjusting as necessary. I find that you are more likely to reach your goal my way versus the new current thought system. Which is why I am generally more productive than colleagues.

      As far as my comments regarding the Constitution/Declaration of Independence as being “either/or” it is because the writers all ready went through the reasons that the limits were put in place and I think they were highly intelligent and correct. I have not encountered anyone in books or modern times since that I would consider more educated or intelligent in comparison to what they created. Not withstanding intelligence in science or some other areas – I am referring to philosophy of society versus government. I have no respect for any other philosophy that I have heard so far. You mentioned Rand in a previous response and I actually think she was very good except her spiritual view of life (I think something really bad happened to her in Russia) but she has a way of taking obvious “American” philosophy and applying to real life situations. Actually it is turning out that she might have been psychic in her ability to see into the future as her Atlas Shrugged book is unfortunately quickly becoming accurate – especially the wording of her characters in comparison with what you hear currently. I must say that when I first read that particular book – although I enjoyed it – I thought it was a stretch at the time in comparison to what I thought would happen in the future but she was accurate and I was naïve.

      I do not think that further discussion where to draw the line for government is productive as the founders already did that and I agree that they drew it appropriately and any movement is bad as in my lifetime that is what it has proven to be and I have seen no examples in history or other governments that it would be correct to re-draw the line. I would prefer that we put the line back where it was originally drawn. Now if you want to give a particular instance then we could discuss that.

      I define the “real America” in terms of what the country was founded on. Any major variation will/and has brought destruction to the potential of America. I find it productive in using these types of definitions as most then understand my underlying philosophies so they can determine whether it is productive to continue discussions with me. Yes I categorize the Americans who do not agree in general with me very destructive to what I consider the “BEST country” ever created in the history of the world. I believe that God’s hand can be seen in the creation and evolution to the creation of our country. But since that beginning time we have been deviating and destroying the potential goal for the whole world. Keep in mind that the image of America is still the same and more people still want to come to America than any other country in the world. That is due to opportunity and the more deviation destroys that. Currently Hong Kong and some other areas are actually superior in these aspects than America and I find that sad and wrong. I have no problem with other areas offering the same opportunity and thought process but have a problem with the fact that America is becoming less so in all aspects. I do consider our Declaration of Independence and Constitution equal for the world as a holy book. Truth is truth and it is easy to declare what is meant by these documents, as there are many writings from the founders declaring their meaning. The Founding Fathers were messiahs (hand of God) and messiahs does not mean perfect (they were human) but what they did was in the category of messiahs and holy writings.

      I am fully aware that there are others (about half my country) that do not agree with me. But let me clarify why that does not concern me as I can assure you that the majority of that half are either lower educated people or those from the so called intellegensia/acedamia.

      Yes I will continue to believe that liberals, socialists and communists along with dictators/fascists (whatever terminology you like) are evil in the application of their beliefs. Although I do know and accept that there are many of them that mean well but they are wrong and history time and time again proves that. Their well meaning conduct actually causes more damage than it helps. So you see you are correct that there is no point in discussing something that you are not willing to discuss in a give and take manner. I do not need to change your mind – my goal is more in putting myself out there and developing a better ability to state my opinions.

      So basically I am willing to continue a discussion that is a real discussion (give and take – applicable to reality) but not to discuss the vague pointless thought of academia that can not be applied to reality in a practical manner. I actually enjoy discussing topics with those I disagree as it gives me a better understanding as to their reasoning/logic but I only wish to discuss actual points. So when Cris or I write something it is in reference to a particular instance or something occurring in the real world and not in a vague philosophical point.

  13. RSWillf

    hello, thanks for letting me take a look at your thought process. It’s a strange and bizarre land for me, but it’s somewhat fascinating.

    If you want to understand what I mean by that you might want to read this article: http://nymag.com/print/?/news/features/liberals-conservatives-2012-4/

    I like how you say that the majority of those you disagree with are either “lower educated” people of or part of the “acedamia”.
    I am left wondering how you label the rest, and why the academia is automatically disqualified.

    I don’t know what “philosophy” means for you (it seems something very bad), but for me it’s (with a very poor and simplistic definition, I don’t want to bore you) the science of good reasoning (lots of valid definitions exist, and there is no consensus). Attacking “philosophy” is like attacking good reasoning. You see, sometimes you have to go beyond your gut feelings and see what things really mean, see how the same words are used in different contexts, by different people to mean different things … there are philosopher who think that any disagreement is in reality a disagreement about what we are really talking about. There’s this basic idea that to disagree with some philosophical concept is already “doing philosophy”. So brushing off philosophy altogether is a self-defeating pipe dream.

    And the “the most influential philosophy professor” came from the pdf that Cris linked to (he seems to trusts some philosophers, I suppose he has a list of “good” philosophers and a list of “bad” ones, and those he doesn’t know are probably bad by default), it was not my opinion, and I was just using a basic rule of decent discussion, that is, starting from assumptions shared by the “opponent”.

    In any case, let’s pick a very simple case: say (i’m not sure you do) that you agree that it’s ok for government to tax you to support a shared infrastructure, say the highway system. what is your reasoning there? isn’t that a violation of your freedom? I suppose that the constitution doesn’t talk about highways, so how do you work it out? Do you work it out from some principles stated in the constitution? if yes you are already moving away from the literal text. How do you know that your interpretation is correct? Do you trust some “experts”? Why do you trust “these” experts and not “those”? You see, to declare that the constitution is infallible you have to be able to justify how you know that it is infallible, and that justification cannot come from the constitution itself. There’s no way out of this. I think the appeal to some infallible authority is a basic mistake, unless you are ready to say you are infallible in saying which authority is infallible. And if you think you are infallible I don’t think discussion makes much sense.

    (I’ll save you time by not commenting on what I think that you think that Cris thinks etc. it’s really not interesting and quite puerile)

  14. Hello, sorry to take so long to respond. Took me awhile to develop an interest in a response. I forgot to mention previously that one of the reasons I am open to new things in business is that I get bored easily. As I tried to explain before there can be no discussion without a give and take. I realize that you only want info from others but do not wish to discuss your actual opinions or beliefs. But I will take this time to appropriately respond to be courteous. Do not come back unless you want to participate in an appropriate

    First I read/skimmed your recommended article. I am not sure how applicable this article is as the bias is so obvious in the writing and that would bring any thinking person to question all aspects of the article. I can prove this by pointing out that the last part of the article is referring to Mitt Romney and is stating only current media talking points, which in reality are not true if you are prone to doing your own research.
    Let me also take a particular statement as to the meaning of a study – “they found that conservatives were more aroused by images of politicians they disliked (the Clintons) than those they liked (Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush). Liberals were excited by the sight of those they liked”. Now I will restate this using my own bias/life experience – “Conservatives are more highly emotionally moved by pictures or people or things that they consider evil or bad while Liberals are only emotionally moved by those pictures of people or things that make them feel better about themselves.”
    See how bias changes the story with the same set of information?

    Anyway I will agree that with all groups of people you can aggregate that you will find similar traits/beliefs but in reality you will also find many more differences. Do you know the phrase “The more we are alike the more we differ”? This is one of the reasons that bigotry of any kind is silly/wrong. If you are prone to hate or trying to find someone to be superior to it is so much easier to just get to know someone and then whatever item you wish would be truly applicable to the person you wanted to hate or put down (still pointless and a waste of time). And although I realize that there are “white supremacists” and many believe them to be conservatives (although those lacking such brain power or thought don’t seem to belong to that group in my opinion) they are actually small percentages but I have found that liberals are some of the most bigoted people I have ever met in many different areas. Now I agree that I have not met a large percentage of the world or the country – I have met a larger percentage usually used in any poll and that is the results of that experience.

    I thought I had said that liberals were either mostly “lower educated” or intelligentsia/academia. What I meant by intelligentsia/academia is that group includes the media and those in the education arena. They are mostly (75-80%) liberals in the U.S. I was once elected to serve on a local school board and I can assure you that the National Teachers Association promotes Marxism – using quotes right out of the document. What is left is most people who are educated (sometimes formally, but usually self-educated to some degree or another) but aren’t stuck in the morass of academia.

    I never said they were disqualified but mostly liberal thinkers (and I use that word loosely). These people are neither open minded or open to logical thought. There isn’t much left after those two groups but I would hazard a guess that those left are in corporate business and were college educated and do not apply their business philosophy to the political arena. I actually like most people I know and work with but I can assure you that many of them are liberals and in the political realm the liberals lack the ability to articulate their beliefs and arguments but are quite fluent in discussing their feelings regarding a political subject.

    Philosophy to me means the search for truth of life so I also consider spiritual conversations part of philosophy (and I do read those types of books). You use studies in human behavior as philosophy and I differentiate those as medical studies (either psychological or biological as noted by the article you used). I was trying to say that I hold no respect for what is called “modern philosophy” but I like some economic philosophy and not others. I just do not like the type of philosophy’s that (as I stated previously) that come to a conclusion or leave open the fact that you have no personal responsibility or that there is no way of knowing truth – this in my opinion is the majority of the “modern philosophers”. I would say that the above philosophy is bad. Like I previously said I do not read these kinds of books so there could be some others but I seriously doubt I would be interested. If you wanted to state an opinion or belief of yours and use a philosopher to back it up or better articulate it that would be appropriate in my mind but otherwise no. Now I actually work within the healthcare industry (not clinical) and am privileged to actually read many studies and I do find those interesting – along the lines of the ones mentioned in the article you referenced. The issue with reading studies is that they are factual – no bias generally or it is stated at the start – and what you find when you get to read many of these types of things is that there too many variables and too many items with no answers to date within physiology to be able to define anything as black and white.

    Now to my assignment. Yes I agree that it was good for the Federal government to be involved in developing interstate infrastructure – the highway system. This is constitutional:
    Article 1 Section 8 gives Congress the power to: To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
    But once completed it should have reverted to the State governments to handle after that.

    My reasoning is that sometimes although I believe that all bureaucracy is bad that it makes sense to do something under the federal government as with a interstate highway system – it makes for better planning to have it under one area – think about it if you had 48 states involved in the discussion or worse the decision making for such a system – we would still be discussing instead of complaining about it. But once completed the states are the appropriate avenue for maintaining and upgrading, as the federal government should not be in this business. I prefer 50 smaller bureaucracies versus 1 big one under the federal government. And in our government states can come up with whatever type of government they wish (meaning the people) as long as they do nothing unconstitutional- interfere with rights granted or identified in the constitution.

    Actually the wording in the constitution is quite easily adapted to most situations; it is when someone wants to apply a new meaning to the words that the problems occur. The liberals like to do that but the conservatives say that that is the reason for amendments if society wishes to clarify or add something. Actually the literal words in the constitution are worded to be applied to many situations. They are only totally specific regarding the identified rights and some forbidden things. That is why the constitution is so great as it has lasted for so long and included so many things that allowed for more opportunity than any other society in any age.
    Now as to infallibility. I never said it was infallible – neither did the founding fathers so they allowed for amendments. And I along with probably every American might think they could rewrite it a little better for current times but for a document written over 200 years ago it is amazing how applicable and time tested it is and I have never heard of one better or superior. Also the founding fathers made much reference to where their beliefs came from (philosophies) and many wittings explaining the reasoning for all the items written in the constitution. That provides much guidance – my argument is when these are sidestepped and changed. It never works and always comes around that they were right in the beginning and what’s new that was tried does not work – often takes 50 years or more but it will be shown as unworkable such as social security and Medicare – they are going to come to an end and is causing an unsustainable system.

    Hopefully that responds to your questions/statements. Please do not respond again unless you are willing to discuss your personal opinions or beliefs as I will not accept or respond as I stated at the beginning this type of back and forth (serving no real purpose) is boring.

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