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  1.    #1  
    Democracies and Democratic Republics in particular, and all societies in general, rely on a standard of right and wrong as agreed upon by the participants. It is only upon such a foundation that one confidently can entrust the preservation of his or her well-being to the collective society. That is to say, when we have an agreed upon standard I know what to expect from you, and likewise I know what to expect from the general population should you operate outside those expectations. And, perhaps most importatnly, I know what to expect from the population should I operate outside the expectatoins.

    To have an agreed upon standard of right and wrong, the population needs a general frame of reference. To be effective, at a minimum, that mutual frame of reference must provide for the notion that right and wrong are legitimate measures. Any frame of reference that relies on relative measures of appropriateness will ultimately fail, because the standards will inevitably deteriorate to the lowest common denominator, which is "do what ever seems right in your eyes." Failure of the society ultimately ensues because:
    1. The mutual trust erodes
    2. I no longer know what to expect from others
    3. I am no longer compelled to have concern for others
    4. I no longer know how the general population will respond when I or another operates outside of the norm
    5. No authority could intervene legitimately anyway, accept with might.
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Democracies and Democratic Republics in particular, and all societies in general, rely on a standard of right and wrong as agreed upon by the participants.
    Exactly. It's called "law".
    Any frame of reference that relies on relative measures of appropriateness will ultimately fail, because the standards will inevitably deteriorate to the lowest common denominator, which is "do what ever seems right in your eyes."
    Not at all, that's a claim you make out of the blue.

    I get the feeling what you are trying to say is that things only work if we all believe in a god, particularly in your god (and not e.g. Allah because then different sets of "law" may apply).
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I get the feeling what you are trying to say is that things only work if we all believe in a god, particularly in your god (and not e.g. Allah because then different sets of "law" may apply).
    I think you're cutting to the chase without doing the hard work so you can dismiss it outright.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    I think you're cutting to the chase without doing the hard work so you can dismiss it outright.
    So what do you suggest? We all believe in the same god, in the same way (leaving out differences between diffrent Christian denominations)?

    Or we stick to the process called legislation via democracy, as it is common practice where we live?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So what do you suggest? We all believe in the same god, in the same way (leaving out differences between diffrent Christian denominations)?

    Or we stick to the process called legislation via democracy, as it is common practice where we live?
    I suggest that, if you want to make a comment on this post then make a comment on this post, not what you believe to be the reasoning behind the post.

    Of course, you're free to make the comment you did. Just aas I am free to call you on it.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Exactly. It's called "law".
    Indeed
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Not at all, that's a claim you make out of the blue.
    To what end do you expect a frame of reference based on relative measures of appropriateness to reach?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup

    I get the feeling what you are trying to say is that things only work if we all believe in a god, particularly in your god (and not e.g. Allah because then different sets of "law" may apply).
    I don't know how I could have stated any more clearly that things work if the participants have an agreed upon frame of reference.

    A logical next step would be to evaluate frames of reference. However, the act of identifying suitable frames of reference has no logical bearing on the observation of the need for such.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    I suggest that, if you want to make a comment on this post then make a comment on this post, not what you believe to be the reasoning behind the post.

    Of course, you're free to make the comment you did. Just aas I am free to call you on it.
    It wasn't a comment on your post, but a question (more precisely: two questions). Of course you're free not to answer but to make a comment on my post.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    To what end do you expect a frame of reference based on relative measures of appropriateness to reach?
    Am I the only one who does not understand this question?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Am I the only one who does not understand this question?
    I said:
    Any frame of reference that relies on relative measures of appropriateness will ultimately fail, because the standards will inevitably deteriorate to the lowest common denominator, which is "do what ever seems right in your eyes."
    To which you responded:
    Not at all, that's a claim you make out of the blue.
    Your rebuttal had two components:
    1) not at all - suggesting the statement was inaccurate
    2 that's a claim you make out of the blue - sugesting a question of the source of the statement

    I felt if we could resolve the question of the accuracy of the statement, the source of the statement would be of little concern. Therefore, I sought to discover your contention with the claim.

    My assertion is that when the frame of reference the society is relying on is relativistic in nature (also known as "situational ethics" and frequently includes concepts such as 'every one's opinions as to what is "right" and what is "wrong" are valid'), the society will ultimately deteriorate.

    That conclusion attempts to take the thinking to its logical conclusion. That is, if everyone is left to his or her own thoughts, no one has a basis to raise objection to another. Therefore, there can be no overarching authority (neither legislative or judicial) to resolve conflict. The result: only might is right, i.e. if you have the ability to enforce your views, they will stand.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    It wasn't a comment on your post, but a question (more precisely: two questions). Of course you're free not to answer but to make a comment on my post.
    It was a comment/question based on your assumptions of the intentions of the poster not merely the post itself. Thats what I took exception to.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    My assertion is that when the frame of reference the society is relying on is relativistic in nature (also known as "situational ethics" and frequently includes concepts such as 'every one's opinions as to what is "right" and what is "wrong" are valid'), the society will ultimately deteriorate.
    And your feeling is that Western societies nowadays tend to be "relativisic" regarding their frame of reference, and hence tend to deteriorate? If so, prior societies were more "absolutistic", and hence somehow superior? When would you have liked to live then? 50 years ago, when lynching Afroamerican people was quite popular in some parts of the US? 100 years ago, when the same group had no right to vote? In the Middle Age, when famine was part of everyday life and the gentry ruled? In ancient Egypt, the Stone Age? Tell me, which time was morally superior to ours, when would you have preferred to live?

    That conclusion attempts to take the thinking to its logical conclusion. That is, if everyone is left to his or her own thoughts, no one has a basis to raise objection to another. Therefore, there can be no overarching authority (neither legislative or judicial) to resolve conflict. The result: only might is right, i.e. if you have the ability to enforce your views, they will stand.
    So which "overarching authority" do you prescribe? Your god, I suppose, according to your interpretation of his (alleged) word - and not e.g. the interpretation of Jehovah's Witnesses (blood transfusion - despicable sin), Catholics (they accept evolution - yuck), let alone Jews, Muslims, let alone the "frame of reference" of Buddhists, Scientologists, and god knows who?
    Last edited by clulup; 03/28/2006 at 04:09 PM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  12. #12  
    Afroafrican?
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    And your feeling is that Western societies nowadays tend to be "relativisic" regarding their frame of reference, and hence tend to deteriorate? If so, prior societies were more "absolutistic", and hence somehow superior? When would you have liked to live then? 50 years ago, when lynching Afroamerican people was quite popular in some parts of the US? 100 years ago, when the same group had no right to vote? In the Middle Age, when famine was part of everyday life and the gentry ruled? In ancient Egypt, the Stone Age? Tell me, which time was morally superior to ours, when would you have preferred to live?
    I have not made any statements about Western culture today or in times past, nor have I addressed the moral superiority of prior eras.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup

    So which "overarching authority" do you prescribe?
    As I indicated in parentheses, I was referring to judicial and legislative authorities.

    BTW, do you agree with my assertion or not?
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    BTW, do you agree with my assertion or not?
    Your assertion seems to be the following: "That is, if everyone is left to his or her own thoughts, no one has a basis to raise objection to another."

    No, I don't agree with it. In a democracy, it is expected that people have their own thoughts, but they still object to the views of other people. Conflicts are resolved via a democratic process. I cannot see what could possibly be wrong with this. Ultimately, the majority decides what is right or wrong (which acts leed to which sort of punishment), whether you like it or not.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Your assertion seems to be the following: "That is, if everyone is left to his or her own thoughts, no one has a basis to raise objection to another."

    No, I don't agree with it. In a democracy, it is expected that people have their own thoughts, but they still object to the views of other people. Conflicts are resolved via a democratic process. I cannot see what could possibly be wrong with this. Ultimately, the majority decides what is right or wrong (which acts leed to which sort of punishment), whether you like it or not.
    If the majority decides what is right or what is wrong, then people are not "left to their own thoughts". They certainly have a right to their own thoughts but their actions are subject to the decision of the majority. And, likewise, when there is a conflict, the decision of the majority overrules that of either of the persons.

    My assertion is if ever the majority decides that no one, not even itself, has a right to decide what is right of wrong for another, but each can decide for himself/herself, then deterioration is inevitable.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    No, I don't agree with it. In a democracy, it is expected that people have their own thoughts, but they still object to the views of other people. Conflicts are resolved via a democratic process. I cannot see what could possibly be wrong with this. Ultimately, the majority decides what is right or wrong (which acts leed to which sort of punishment), whether you like it or not.
    That such an arrangement will eventually deteriorate into mob rule and then into tyranny is an idea that is over two millenia old.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    That such an arrangement will eventually deteriorate into mob rule and then into tyranny is an idea that is over two millenia old.
    In that case I would say it is about time to realise that that idea is wrong.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    My assertion is if ever the majority decides that no one, not even itself, has a right to decide what is right of wrong for another, but each can decide for himself/herself, then deterioration is inevitable.
    So what you are saying that if everybody does as he or she pleases without having to face any consequences from the rest of society, then the society as a whole is in trouble? Fair enough, but that is not new, and as far as I know nobody suggested to allow everything? Or is there a tendency to close down police forces and the legal system in the US?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So what you are saying that if everybody does as he or she pleases without having to face any consequences from the rest of society, then the society as a whole is in trouble? Fair enough, but that is not new, and as far as I know nobody suggested to allow everything? Or is there a tendency to close down police forces and the legal system in the US?
    Agreed that the idea is not new. Thought it would be interesting to explore the concept with the (formerly active in all types of discussions) TC community.

    I agree that no one is suggesting that we allow everything. Rather, there is a more dangerous growing tendency to not bar anything (except smoking).
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    In that case I would say it is about time to realise that that idea is wrong.
    Yes, it is.

    As for the United States, it is a representative democracy within the framework of a Constitutional Federal Republic where, among other things, the democratic process is overseen by an independent judiciary--as opposed to a direct democracy (in case there was any misunderstanding ).
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