Arkadi

Snowden and Galt

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12 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Greg--Necessary conditions (e.g., economic freedom) are not always sufficient ones as regards satisfying quality of life. Some people are satisfied regardless of whether they are under surveillance or not; others are not.

Well, that's where we differ. Capitalism is the foundation of American freedom.

I define Capitalism as a specific set of ethical laws which govern the acquisition and use of private property... and a free market of fair, equitable, win/win, value for value, exchange with others.

No one who fails to be sufficiently ethical to produce more than they consume will ever be free. Notice that this principle operates independently of surveillance.

Anyone who has a computer or a smartphone connected to the internet is a fool if they believe they have any privacy.

Greg

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9 hours ago, Arkadi said:

(I, for one, would not be satisfied with my quality of life if there were nobody around with whom I could discuss Aristotle)

That's fine, Arkadi.

And what you have actually accomplished in your own life as a result of those discussions will be the only accurate indicator of their true value.

Greg

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Greg--No, you're not getting it. Some people enjoy caviar, some playing golf, some traveling around the world. Those things are of value for them regardless of what they "accomplish as a result" of doing them. Discussing Aristotle is of value for me in the same sense. It is a necessary constituent of a satisfactory quality of life.

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Greg--"I define Capitalism as a specific set of ethical laws which govern the acquisition and use of private property..."--I thought American way is the pursuit of happiness. Is acquisition of private property always sufficient to make one happy.

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4 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Some people enjoy caviar, some playing golf, some traveling around the world. Those things are of value for them regardless of what they "accomplish as a result" of doing them. Discussing Aristotle is of value for me in the same sense. It is a necessary constituent of a satisfactory quality of life.

Eating caviar (yuck), playing golf, and travelling around the world are impossible without first doing productive work in order to create the wealth with which to buy them.

Discussing Aristotle is different from those other activities in that it doesn't cost anything to do it. But that's ok because every activity has a point, so what do you personally gain from it? If it's just for the sake of entertainment, that's totally valid because those other activities are also done for entertainment.

Greg

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4 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Greg--"I define Capitalism as a specific set of ethical laws which govern the acquisition and use of private property..."--I thought American way is the pursuit of happiness. Is acquisition of private property always sufficient to make one happy.

In America today "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are God given rights no one can revoke from the man who lives a life deserving of them. Whoever who fails to live a decent responsible productive life has already forfeited those rights by his own choice. Note that happiness is not a guaranteed right in itself, only the right to pursue it.

In America today, doing honest useful productive work creates wealth which buys freedom.

There can be no individual independence without first working to earn your own economic independence.

Greg

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1 hour ago, Arkadi said:

Greg--Discussing Aristotle is more like mountain-climbing. Would you call the latter "entertainment"?

For some mountain climbing is sport  which is akin to entertainment. 

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14 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Greg--Discussing Aristotle is more like mountain-climbing. Would you call the latter "entertainment"?

Climbing a mountain is action. 

Discussing Aristotle is talk.

And yes, I would call mountain climbing entertainment. It's a real world physical challenge, assuming risk of injury or even death, and emotional drama... all which can be very entertaining.

Greg

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6 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Greg--Does independence necessarily implies happiness?

Yes.

Weak dependent failures can never be happy because their own failure drives happiness from their life. Free men are happy because the achievement of earning it makes them happy.

Freedom is earned by doing what's morally right.

Greg

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4 hours ago, Arkadi said:

I thought entertainment does not presuppose commitment or dedication.

That depends on the person.

There is entertainment and there is achievement. Some people find achievement entertaining.. 

Greg

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5 hours ago, Arkadi said:

p.s. Discussing Aristotle requires a carefree leisure and a certain level of education. A certain level of wealth is a precondition for both.

Well, like I said... what you become as the result of what you achieve in your life is the only accurate indicator of the value of discussing Aristotle.

School teaches you what to think.

The world teaches you how to do.

Greg

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Greg--"Free men are happy because the achievement of earning it makes them happy." It does not do so always; otherwise there would be no people killing themselves or others (like Simpson) after earning a lot. "Freedom is earned by doing what's morally right." Again, it is not always so: under some regimes, doing what's morally right paves one's way into jail. "Climbing a mountain is action. Discussing Aristotle is talk." Aristotle was not climbing mountains, he was "talking" (=discussing ideas, with Plato and his own students). Yet this "talking" influenced our civilization more than many actions like mountain-climbing.

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p.s. Basically, you seem to me saying that a person who, by a certain age, has not made a good buck, can be neither happy nor having done what's morally right. My apologies if you did not mean this. But if you did, I've to say that it is patently false.

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2 hours ago, Arkadi said:

p.s. Basically, you seem to me saying that a person who, by a certain age, has not made a good buck, can be neither happy nor having done what's morally right. My apologies if you did not mean this. But if you did, I've to say that it is patently false.

Sometimes people "don't make a good buck"  for problems they have which they did not bring on themselves.   How about  high grade morons with a 70 IQ?  People like that  function at the lowest end of the labor spectrum if they are able to get jobs at all.   And it has been established empirically that IQ cannot be raised after a certain age by any known means so it is not like these happy retards  are not trying hard enough.   Or low  functioning autistic some of whom cannot  talk well enough to hold down any job. 

I have a grand nephew Devon who stopped talking just  before his 2 nd birthday and there was no  outright disease or trauma that caused it.  He was finally diagnosed  as  hard core low functioning autistic.  Deven is a sweet cheerful  kid.  He is 12 o 13 now but he will never be able to function economically.  He is not stupid.  He has learned how to express himself using  a special CGI app we generations pictures, illustrations and diagrams.   But it looks like he will never talk. And then there are the poor kids with Tey-Sachs  disease.  Some of them live  into their 20s and 30s.  They will never be able  to hold down a job.  And they are not smart enough to be "immoral".   At worst they are amoral. Among the mentally retarded you find people who are happy, cheerful and are glad to do any task you give them that is within their range.  But their range is limited. Morally condemning these unfortunates is immoral (I think). That is like cursing the blind because they cannot see or the deaf  because they cannot hear. I can just see Our Moralist  Greg   coming to the conclusion that these  unfortunates  "got what they deserved". 

Basic  Axiom  of existence on this planet  ----- shit happens. Also non-shit happens. 

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Bob, the conversation supposes biologically normal brains if not bodies. The conversation is about morality in action and its consequences.

--Brant

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Then there are the Federal government employees who spend decades working producing nothing and retiring to the "good life."

--Brant

feeling good?

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7 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

Then there are the Federal government employees who spend decades working producing nothing and retiring to the "good life."

--Brant

feeling good?

Most of them have no idea in the world, just how badly the spent their working lives  and what an abomination our government has become.  Government is a Necessary Evil  and ours has become a True Evil with few redeeming qualities.  There are only two kinds of government in the world;  bad and worse. Ours is bad. It is amazing how we are conditioned from youth to regard government as both necessary and good. 

I, indirectly, worked for government until 1968.  In 1968 I had it up to my nostrils with the government  and since that time I took no government contracts.  I worked strictly for private business (as a software contractor)  and only on projects that were not government funded.  I was one of the few  that was even partly aware of  the evil of government.   By the way,  my decision was influenced partly by Rand and Atlas Shrugged.  But even without these, eventually I would have come to the same conclusion. 

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The government insisted I work for them. They forced me to work for the little money they provided. They sent me to a foreign country to protect people I did not know (though I got to like them). But then they let me leave a couple of months earlier than the two year contract I had with them which was nice. I still think being drafted was wrong but I don’t look back in anger. I still think about the adventures I had while I was a soldier.

Peter  

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16 hours ago, Arkadi said:

Greg--"Free men are happy because the achievement of earning it makes them happy." It does not do so always; otherwise there would be no people killing themselves or others (like Simpson) after earning a lot. "Freedom is earned by doing what's morally right." Again, it is not always so: under some regimes, doing what's morally right paves one's way into jail. "Climbing a mountain is action. Discussing Aristotle is talk." Aristotle was not climbing mountains, he was "talking" (=discussing ideas, with Plato and his own students). Yet this "talking" influenced our civilization more than many actions like mountain-climbing.

In your example of Simpson the murderer, he was an evil man who had rotten moral values. No one with rotten values is happy... and neither are they free. Simpson is in prison, and even if he was out he still wouldn't be free.

And I'm not talking about "other regimes" or other historical times in the dead past either.  I'm talking about today in America... not some rotten liberal socialist welfare state shithole. America is unique in that it was founded, not on one nationality, but rather it was founded on a Judeo Christian moral values.

I have a totally different view on mountain climbing than you do...

If people didn't put out the physical effort to hike up mountains they couldn't travel anywhere to live in new territories and civilization couldn't be spread over the world.

That's a way bigger effect than a talking Aristotle. nodder.gif

Greg

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15 hours ago, Arkadi said:

p.s. Basically, you seem to me saying that a person who, by a certain age, has not made a good buck, can be neither happy nor having done what's morally right. My apologies if you did not mean this. But if you did, I've to say that it is patently false.

Again, what I said specifically applies to America today because it was founded on the Judeo Christian work ethic.

 "If anyone is not willing to work, neither let him eat."

--Bible

In free, prosperous, industrious, Capitalist, opportunity rich America today, if a person isn't producing more than they consume, they are doing something morally wrong.

I fully understand that unproductive government sucking parasites who infest secular liberal socialist welfare state crapholes live by completely different moral values.

Greg

 

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