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Debate Score:56
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 Survey of principles (51)

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Nomoturtle(780) pic



Survey of principles

I want to see what people thing with some arguments for/against the following principles:

Primacy of the individual above group identities.

It is better that 1 innocent suffers than 10 guilty people go free.

Each individual is equal under the law.

The ends justify the means.

The means justify the ends.

Power is to be distributed and set against one another.

Healthcare is a human right.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Taxation is theft.

The responsibility of consumption lies with the consumer.

Censorship is a necessity in civilised society.
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2 points

-Primacy of the individual above group identities.

Agreed. Group identity can have relevance, but not primacy. As a governmental issue, only group identities that are adopted willingly by the individual should have relevance.

-It is better that 1 innocent suffers than 10 guilty people go free.

Because of the human fallibility, the coercive mechanisms of government ought be designed to err on the side of the citizen. As such, it is better that 10 guilty people go free than for 1 innocent person suffer at the hands of the government.

-Each individual is equal under the law.

Equality before the law is derived from the fundamental value that is inherent of a human being. Equality before the law is the only equality that matters. It is the only equality that people can even come near achieving, which is fine because it's the only kind of equality that is practically desirable.

-The ends justify the means.

This is rarely the case. I don't attempt to conceive of scenarios wherein this applies because even when it seems to, our ends are only a target and not a guarantee. Most often how we go about achieving our moral ends must be moral as well.

-The means justify the ends.

Proper means do not ensure proper ends in all cases due to the limits of knowledge and information. However, proper means can reduce culpability when proper ends are missed.

-Power is to be distributed and set against one another.

This is a matter of practicality for the maintenance of just governance. A system where governmental powers have a peaceful means to challenge other governmental powers helps to ensure that previously agreed on principles are maintained.

-Healthcare is a human right.

Human rights are fundamental, even in a state of nature, and cannot rely on the labor of one in the service of another. As such, healthcare bus not a human right. You don't own the labor of medical professionals. However, healthcare can become a statutory right. If a laws grants you that right. Though would say that makes it a privilege.

-An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

An eye for an eye, in principle, is not wrong in all cases. Ghandi said this because groups were set against groups in ongoing civil conflict that needed to end.

-He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

This was just Jesus being clever in a particular case. Sometimes stones must be thrown and they will never be thrown by saints.

-The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Needs don't weigh anything. Whether or not group circumstances allow for demands on individuals depends entirely on the matter in question.

-From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

This is nonsense. Who decides your needs? Who decides your ability? This sentiment is a recipe for slavery and totalitarianism.

-Taxation is theft.

Taxation as such is not theft. No more than living under the security provided by military and police is a theft of their services. There are, however, less coercive means of taxation that would be morally superior to our current system.

-The responsibility of consumption lies with the consumer.

If by this you mean that a person should pay their own way, I would tend to agree generally, though not in all cases.

-Censorship is a necessity in civilised society.

The forms of expression that are morally punishable by law are few and defined. Political expression must in all cases be legal in a free society.

1 point

Sometimes stones must be thrown and they will never be thrown by saints.

Yeah. I'd even go further to say that one without sin will often not understand the guilty nor the desire or use of punishment. Pacifism is often the greatest enabler of violence. It is also why one must be capable of defense even when one has no direct desire to acquire or use its means.

Taxation as such is not theft. No more than living under the security provided by military and police is a theft of their services.

True. I don't know where I stand on this one, but I've heard some talk about it, so: Is the absence of consent not relevant here? It is as though ones existence within a country is enough to consent to whatever the state and presumably its populace decides to do with you. It is essentially forcing each person to spend a portion of their life in service of welfare, or of healthcare, or of some government contract, to pakistani gender studies, or to the poor, etc. Often these are hopefully agreeable causes and may even benefit all equally, but regardless it is action enforced under penlty of imprisonment and with consent only of those that impose the particular cause in law. In what other circumstance outside of the state is it acceptable to be forced to buy something?

If by this you mean that a person should pay their own way

Sounds like you might mean cash, credit, etc. I meant the statement to mean that the individual should be allowed to buy what they want 'determine their own needs'. Even if it contributes to climate change, or to sweatshops in India, etc.

The forms of expression that are morally punishable by law are few and defined.

I agree, though the list grows.

Amarel(5282) Clarified
1 point

Why don't we flesh out some of the issues around taxation?

First, property tax is wrong on multiple fronts. In addition to paying continual rent for what you own, property tax contributes to a broken educational system. Property tax provides larger funds from richer areas. Thus, the poor are often stuck with sub par education while wealthy areas are better funded.

Taxation in general has a disincentivising effect, that's why there are "sin taxes". That's the practical reason for income tax to be replaced. If there were a federal sales tax structure then you could avoid taxation by avoiding commercial interactions. Commercial interactions, more than any other kind, owe their flourishing to state structures and institutions. As such it is more of a trade in kind to pay tax on transactions rather than on the fruit of ones labor. Furthermore, the highest volume and value of transactions are vastly disproportionately among the wealthy. In this way, a person's "fair share" is determined as a natural consequence of the tax regime.

I make these arguments with the maximization of liberty as my primary goal, but with the concerns of my left leaning friends in mind.

-He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

That's what Jesus said and then his mom threw the first stone. He was mortified ;)

1 point

He sounds like a misogynist.

I think the jury is still out ;)

1 point

1. Individual.

2. No.

3. They never are as a matter of fact. Equity over equality as the ideal, though increasingly I question that.

4. Nothing justifies anything, but if it did the ends would not justify the means.

5. Nothing justifies anything, but if it did the means would not justify the ends.

6. Meh.

7. There are no absolute or universal (human) rights. Equity in means to access is something I tend to favor, though increasingly I question that.

8. Poppycock; this just empowers the privileged.

9. Incoherent statement.

10. No.

11. No.

12. Yes, but conditionally tolerable.

13. In part, though generally overstated.

14. Incoherent statement.

Amarel(5282) Clarified
2 points

What do you mean by equity? How does it relate to equality? What are you increasingly questioning about equity as the ideal?

Jace(5145) Clarified
1 point

equality refers to identical treatment. equity refers to identical circumstance. roughly, i am shifting the emphasis from means to ends b/c i my concern is less in the treatment of persons and more in their material circumstances. of course, they're not wholly separable and equality will sometimes be in service of equity. but i think the emphasis is better placed on equity.

i increasingly question equity (and equality) as an ideal because i increasingly question the social function of ideals generally. ideals serve a social function of fostering and sustaining narratives, and i am broadly critical of the latter. ideals are rarely secured and the narratives which build up around them generate social expectations which can even be antithetical to the stated ideal. for instance, the ideal of equality is embedded in the classical liberal narrative of public reason and civil discourse. this generates social expectations for how marginalized and oppressed people negotiate their inequity (and inequality) which function to limit the social agency of those people and overtly benefit those oppressing them.

i think there could be practical merit, at least for the marginalized and oppressed, in recognizing that equity and equality are not only idealistic but actively detrimental to effective self-advocacy.

Nomoturtle(780) Clarified
1 point

9. I think it means that in order to judge another, one should be certain that their judgement is infallible, not corrupted with sin. aka A hypocrite makes for a poor judge.

14. It just means that societies require censorship to be considered civilised. Like how one might require law to be civilised, or require art to be civilised, or require an absence of slavery to be civilised etc. It would be a subjective standard.

though increasingly I question that.

Care to explain?

Nothing justifies anything

This I find interesting, not sure if you mean it when you've said so little and implied so much, so maybe an example?

If someone is being raped, are they justified in resisting? Hitting their aggressor in an attempt to knock them out and escape?

Or is it the notion of linking means, intent, and outcome that you disagree with? The wilful neglect of cause and effect?

In general I think there is a 'spirit of the law', the will of the authors, which tends to issue certain principles or outcomes. The rules are constructed in a manner so as to enforce a just means, or with limited foresight attempt to achieve a just ends. So generally I'd think when a particularly nasty end is imminent, people tend to allow a typically nasty means to advert it. And vice versa. Admittedly they are arbitary laws, but also tend to follow consensus, often even across cultures.

Jace(5145) Clarified
1 point

9&14. i understand the intended meanings. the incoherence of the statements is a consequence of the incoherence of their embedded concepts, of 'fallibility/perfection' and 'sin' for 9 and of 'society' and 'civilization' for 14.

3. i increasingly question equity (and equality) as an ideal because i increasingly question the social function of ideals generally. ideals serve a social function of fostering and sustaining narratives, and i am broadly critical of the latter. ideals are rarely secured and the narratives which build up around them generate social expectations which can even be antithetical to the stated ideal. for instance, the ideal of equality is embedded in the classical liberal narrative of public reason and civil discourse. this generates social expectations for how marginalized and oppressed people negotiate their inequity (and inequality) which function to limit the social agency of those people and overtly benefit those oppressing them. i think there could be practical merit, at least for the marginalized and oppressed, in recognizing that equity and equality are not only idealistic but actively detrimental to effective self-advocacy.

4&5. i meant it quite literally. i reject normative concepts like justification. normative claims, including justificatory claims, are subjective personal preferences whose authority has been exaggerated by allusion to something greater than the subjective personal preference which actually generates it.

1 point

Primacy of the individual above group identities.

Yes

It is better that 1 innocent suffers than 10 guilty people go free.

No

Each individual is equal under the law.

They’re meant to be but talk is cheap

The ends justify the means.

A truly Machiavellian statement and utter nonsense

The means justify the ends.

More nonsense

Power is to be distributed and set against one another.

No

Healthcare is a human right.

All the way , it’s one of the marks of a civilised society

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Revenge is sweet

He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

I don’t believe in sin it’s a ridiculous concept

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

No

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Again way to vague to comment

Taxation is theft.

It’s not for me anyway as I’m tax free as a citizen so there’s that

The responsibility of consumption lies with the consumer.

Yes as we are mostly free agents

Censorship is a necessity in civilised society.

It’s not , but all so called “free speech” has limitations most people readily recognise that and would not call it censorship

0 points

Depends on the group.

No.

Yes.

Maybe.

What?

Absolutely.

Absolutely not.

Depends.

Depends.

Usually.

Fuck no.

Usually.

Yes.

No.

Nomoturtle(780) Clarified
1 point

"The means justifies the ends"

It just means that if you follow a just process, then the result is just. Essentially the justification of equal process and good intent, even if it leads to negative results.