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  1.    #81  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    You still seem not to get it. Political freedom is not about you. It is not about your belief or conviction that you are free. It is not about your courage, the quality or the quantity. It is not about your steel or your resolve. It is not about any or all individual's conviction that they are free. It is not about the individual or individual courage. It is about us.

    Do you think that those who voted for Hitler had any less courage than you? That they felt any less "free" than you do? While individual freedom may be necessary to preserve political freedom, it is not sufficient.

    The Germans fell victim to Hitler not because they were any less noble, courgeous, or "free" than we are but because they were not concerned with political freedom, because they were not committed to the Rule of Law, because they were worried about their own freedom but not that of their neighbors.

    They did not understand that their individual freedom was not separable from that of their neighbors, from that of the community. They thought that they could be free while the Poles were in thrall, that "Aryans" could be free while Jews were in chains.

    They did not understand that there had to be limits on the power of the state. They did not understand that not even the leader is above the law. They did not understand that the enemy was not beyond their borders but in their corridors of power. They did not understand the difference between patriotism and blind obedience to the state.

    But for a constitution that limits the term of our President, that limits his powers while in office, that makes his acts subject to judicial review, there go we. Without our knowledge of and commitment to that constitution, there go we. No individual's feeling or conviction that he is free will make him so.

    Now one may protest one's integrity, one's courage, one's dignity, and one's "freedom" all one likes. One may dismiss political freedom as way down the list of freedoms that one cares about. However, without one's neighbors and our collective commitment to the Rule of Law, one may well find oneself exercising one's freedom from the end of a rope.

    Freedom is more than an individual's conviction that he is free.
    I have made no rebuttal on these matters. I have not been dismissive. I have only stated that my Freedom is not dependent on political freedom. In fact, my true Freedom better enables me to pursue political freedom--for all of us.
  2.    #82  
    As I have pondered on this more, it occurs to me that the concept that I am seeting forth is essentially what our nation's founders declared:

    Quote Originally Posted by Declaration of Independence
    We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
    Government's exist to secure that which is already ours. True Freedom is can neither be given nor taken away by others, though one can cede it, I suppose. Accordingly, political freedom is the result of successful implementation of government in such away as to secure what is already rightfully mine.

    Here is the rub: even if political freedom is absent or abridged, True Freedom remains. Whether I or anyone else recognizes it, or better yet exercises it, is another matter.
  3. #83  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    As I have pondered on this more, it occurs to me that the concept that I am seeting forth is essentially what our nation's founders declared:



    Government's (sic) exist to secure that which is already ours. True Freedom is can neither be given nor taken away by others, though one can cede it, I suppose. Accordingly, political freedom is the result of successful implementation of government in such away as to secure what is already rightfully mine.

    Here is the rub: even if political freedom is absent or abridged, True Freedom remains. Whether I or anyone else recognizes it, or better yet exercises it, is another matter.
    The founders were not arguing about rights in the abstract but in the context of government. They argued for limited government in a time when the "divine right of kings" was the rule. They were arguing that it is illegitimate for government to abridge those rights that you argue are already yours and which the Founders argued do not flow from the king. I do not argue that those rights are not yours but that it is naive to believe that government cannot abridge them. Those who so argue simply ignore the most obvious lessons of history.

    "Successful implementation" of government implies limits on what it can do. It is very clear that the Founders understood this and set out to craft such limits. I argue that those limits must include the doors and windows of one's bedroom and those of one's physician's office.

    My intent in so arguing is to resist the tendency of government to excess. What I do not understand is why you resist this argument so vociferously. What is that I am saying that so offends you? Do you intend to argue that government does not and can not abridge rights? Do you intend to argue that because your rights and freedoms do not flow from government that what government does is irrelevant?

    "The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance."
  4. #84  
    Um, could we get this topic back on track....like the freedom to bust a fantasy nut on Jessica Alba's tight rump?
  5.    #85  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    ...What I do not understand is why you resist this argument so vociferously.
    What I do not understand is what aspect(s) of my statements you perceive as resistent to yours.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    What is that I am saying that so offends you?
    Not a thing
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Do you intend to argue that government does not and can not abridge rights?
    No, I do not.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Do you intend to argue that because your rights and freedoms do not flow from government that what government does is irrelevant?
    No, I do not
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post

    "The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance."
    Indeed.
  6.    #86  
    To mikec's point, I thought it could be helpful to cite an example of what I perceive to be telling example of the basence of sxual freedom that exists despite the sexual license.

    AIDS is a syndrome that is transmitted by specific behaviors. As such, it is a condition that could be eliminated from a society simply by having those infected not engage in the transmitting behaviors. But instead, people demand significant investment in research. Likewise, despite the risk, people still engage in behaviors that make them highly susceptible to contraction.

    In one way, this certainly is the expression of liberty as in we have the right to behave as we please. However, it seems there are those who are so determined to experience momentous pleasure that they are willing to suffer profound and lengthy discomfort in exchange.
  7. #87  
    Well, shop, that's not to my point.

    There is absolutely nothing destructive about a mastabatory fantasy about somebody.

    Bringing AIDS into the picture is completely different. It sounds like you are saying that if we had locked up (i.e. prevented the behaviors) those folks with AIDS, there would be no problem.

    Why stop there? What about smokers? Or how about some gulags for the fat bastards that eat Twinkies and Doritos 24/7?

    No one is thinking "I know Iam going to get AIDS, but I'd rather eff this guy's *** or shoot these drugs", anymore than the tubby chick at the McDonald's is thinking "I will get diabetes, heart disease, and suffer from self esteem issues, but I'd rather suck down a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese".

    It doesn't work that way. People take risks in life every moment.
    This has nothing to do with freedom.

    Example: I work with a co-worker who is, to my tastes, a choice piece of ***. I whack it at night thinking about her. That is freedom.

    If the next day, I grab her ***, that is a risk, and I face the consequences.
  8. #88  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    Well, shop, that's not to my point.

    There is absolutely nothing destructive about a mastabatory fantasy about somebody.

    Bringing AIDS into the picture is completely different. It sounds like you are saying that if we had locked up (i.e. prevented the behaviors) those folks with AIDS, there would be no problem.

    Why stop there? What about smokers? Or how about some gulags for the fat bastards that eat Twinkies and Doritos 24/7?..........
    Not to worry. The control freaks have their hands full just trying to regulate other people's sexual activity and drug use.

    Now that I think about it, MADD did a pretty good job on drinking and driving; even I drink mostly at home and take public transportation to dinner parties. We have even done a pretty good job on smoking, down to 25% nationally and low teens in Utah and California. We did this with ostracism but without creating an outlaw class. (Yes, I know that even Dracon eschewed ostracism as "cruel and unusual" but many churches still use it effectively.)

    Obesity is another matter. Twenty-five years ago the government decided that a low-fat diet would be good for heart disease and a high-carb diet good for political contributions. The result has been a pandemic of obesity and diabetes with no effect on heart-disease. In fact, were it not for the reduction in smoking during this twenty-five years, heart disease would probably have gotten worse.

    The Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Churches have been trying to regulate the sexual and gender behavior of their members, not to mention the rest of us, for millenia. It is not at all clear to me that the religious are more sexually responsible than the rest of us. When the church fails with persuasion, they try to coopt the government so they can use coercion. By preaching abstinence and teaching a preference for coitus (in the Missionary position) while condemning mastrubation, fellatio, and cunnilingus, at the same time that the economic age for marriage is rising, they have created an epidemic of teen-age and out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Marriage has all but disappeared among the poor while reproduction has fallen below the replacement rate among the affluent. Are we sure that that is the result that we intended?

    That said, I think that we can change attitudes and behavior. We do better when we are honest, particularly with teens; they seem to be little hypocrisy detecting machines.

    We need to be very careful what we set out to do. Many of our intitiatives, for example low-fat, prohibition, pro-life, and the war on drugs, have been relatively ineffective and have had unintended consequences that are worse than the problems they set out to solve.
    Last edited by whmurray; 09/04/2006 at 03:10 PM.
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