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Old 27th April 2012, 11:11 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
See, you keep trying to ignore the relevance of the thought experiment. You have yet to offer a good reason that Bob shouldn't drug and rape Jane, so that it won't scar her psychologically. He's waiting...
Because it's completely unethical. Would you want to live in a society where women could be drugged and raped? Answer truthfully with a yes or no.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:11 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
Yeah but Bob's not quite done yet, he wants to know if they can rob Jane because they think she's arrogant and they decide she won't miss it.
No, for the reason I cited earlier. Protecting the rights of Jane protects all of them. Jane and Tom could later rob Bob.

The dynamics haven't changed. The underlying axioms haven't changed. If all 3 want to ensure that each are protected then it is in the interest of each to ensure the protection of the others.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:13 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by stokes234 View Post
Because it's completely unethical. Would you want to live in a society where women could be drugged and raped? Answer truthfully with a yes or no.
But this is a fallacy. A logically valid justification must be more than an appeal to intuition. Such justification exists.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:15 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
You can vote to require Jane to contribute to the upkeep and cost of the apartment. If she doesn't comply you can force her to move.
Jane pays her share of the rent. But Bob adds that he and Tom have always thought that her car is too nice and she doesn't need it. They want to snatch her keys and take the car for themselves and use it drive to work and party, and want to give her a bicycle which they have decided is all she needs to get to work.

Can they do this? They have voted 2-1 to do it.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:16 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
Okay, they get you. It looks like the light is coming on their eyes...Bob admits it "Alright, you have a point, we do have to respect some rights if we're going to live together. I get that. But what about all that stuff I said in my argument? About how it will make the two of us so happy? Or that we think she owes us something for being in good health? Does that matter? Can we rape or kill someone then? What about just beating them up? Does it become okay if we think they are arrogant and it would make us feel better? Does it become okay to vote to violate their rights then?"

Tom is scratching his chin heavily too, and Jane is starting to look relieved...
What a god-damned waste of time. If you want to talk about the source of rights, then do that. If you want to talk about what is and isn't the source of a government's power, then do that. If you want to talk about a system you think is better than the current one, then talk about that. If you want to talk about the appropriate limits of government spending, then do that. If you want to talk about what the basic functions of a government are, then talk about that. Playing this childish game where we have to say the exact thing you want to hear before we discuss the real subject is annoying, distasteful, and exceptionally unproductive.


If we are talking to people who finally understand why rape is wrong, but don't understand why murder is wrong, then they are too stupid to wander around loose in society and deserve to be locked up before they hurt someone.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:16 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
But this is a fallacy. A logically valid justification must be more than an appeal to intuition. Such justification exists.
Actually, I consider "would you want to live in a society where...?" to be a valid thought experiment when considering utilitarianism, but perhaps Rawl's Veil of Ignorance is a better tool here. Would you implement this rule of allowing women to be drugged and raped for the pleasure of a larger number of men, if you didn't know which party of the deal you would be in this society?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:16 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by stokes234 View Post
Because it's completely unethical. Would you want to live in a society where women could be drugged and raped? Answer truthfully with a yes or no.
Of course not. As I said, I would have plenty to say to Bob and Tom when they were about to rape Jane in order to explain what their misunderstanding of democracy is. If you don't have anything else you would say to them at this point, I would be happy to tell you what I'd say to them.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:18 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
Jane pays her share of the rent. But Bob adds that he and Tom have always thought that her car is too nice and she doesn't need it. They want to snatch her keys and take the car for themselves and use it drive to work and party, and want to give her a bicycle which they have decided is all she needs to get to work.

Can they do this? They have voted 2-1 to do it.
Yes they "can". However it's not ultimately in their best interest (see previous arguments). Again, the dynamics and underlying axioms have not changed.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:19 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
The vote to rape Jane is not in the long term best interest of all 3. It does not result in a flourishing environment and will likely lead to less and less cohesion in the apartment. Alliances can change and Jane can work with Tom to commit violence to Bob.

The GOP invented and tried to implement so called "ObamaCare" because it was believed to be in the best interest of all. All citizens are in the healthcare market. Not all get the best services. As a society we spend the most on healthcare.
  • All citizens of our society are in the market.
  • As a society we spend the most per capita.
  • As a society we get the least.
From a utilitarian standpoint, ObamaCare is nothing like voting to abuse citizens.
IMO, the Constitution & Bill of Rights are not utilitarian. I perhaps could be convinced otherwise.

I'd also contend ObamaCare will if fully implemented abuse 'some' citizens.

ps. Have you ever bothered to dig into details of the studies that back up the points you listed, in particular 'getting the least'?

The details of reported Infant Mortality stats are a joke. Where do you want your premie treated?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:21 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by stokes234 View Post
Actually, I consider "would you want to live in a society where...?" to be a valid thought experiment when considering utilitarianism, but perhaps Rawl's Veil of Ignorance is a better tool here. Would you implement this rule of allowing women to be drugged and raped for the pleasure of a larger number of men, if you didn't know which party of the deal you would be in this society?
Veil of Ignorance is a great thought experiment.

However, if you ever enroll in the Harvard Justice course (where the Veil of Ignorance is used) you likely won't do well to berate the professor in his use of the kinds of hypotheticals that will also be used like the one in the OP.

I see nothing wrong with the OP.
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Last edited by RandFan; 27th April 2012 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:22 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
Of course not. As I said, I would have plenty to say to Bob and Tom when they were about to rape Jane in order to explain what their misunderstanding of democracy is. If you don't have anything else you would say to them at this point, I would be happy to tell you what I'd say to them.
I'd say to them, "Bob, Tom, rape isn't utilitarian. However, if you're a poorly thought-out construct with the underlying intention of equating taxation to rape, then I should also point out to the both of you that progressive taxation is utilitarian, and the best we can hope for in today's civilization is a system that votes in the utilitarian measures and avoids the extremes that you appear to desire."

I'm going out to get horrendously drunk for my friends birthday, so I won't read it til tomorrow, but let's hear what you got.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:23 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
See, you keep trying to ignore the relevance of the thought experiment. You have yet to offer a good reason that Bob shouldn't drug and rape Jane, so that it won't scar her psychologically. He's waiting...
WTF is wrong with you!?

People, including myself, have repeatedly given bob the reasons he can not vote to rape Jane.

Do we need some back story on Bob? Is he an amoral sociopath tortured by rape fantasies? Every time someone explains the flaws in Bob's "logic" he just reverts back to his opening argument.

Are you stuck? Did you forget where you were going with this?

No one has any right to rape anyone by majority or any other system of consensus. No rape so move on. What is the next line of thinking in your analogy?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:24 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by bookitty View Post
Look, if you want to get into a serious discussion of the limits of the constitution protections of minorities and the definition of minorities, that's fine. There are a number of place to start that don't involve rape.

For example, many people consider putting gay marriage to a vote to be an abuse of constitutional protection because it allows the majority domination of the minority. That is a real subject, it has real impact and there are several real, legal examples to research.
Ah! But this is the key point. As far as the thought experiment goes, Bob's eyes light up when you bring up this "Constitution thing."

"I've heard'a that," he says. "What does it mean? Does it have somethin' to do with what we can vote or not vote to do to Jane?"
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:25 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Veil of Ignorance is a great thought experiment.

However, if you ever enroll in the Harvard Justice course (where the Veil of Ignorance is used) you likely won't do well to berate the professor in his use of the kinds of hypotheticals that will also be used like the one in the OP.

I see nothing wrong with the OP.
If I had a professor proposing the OP with the intention of equating it to taxation, I wouldn't be on an ethics course, i'd be on a Cato Institute indoctrination course or something. My dad teaches ethics, i'm not completely clueless when it comes to discussing these things.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:26 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
Jane pays her share of the rent. But Bob adds that he and Tom have always thought that her car is too nice and she doesn't need it. They want to snatch her keys and take the car for themselves and use it drive to work and party, and want to give her a bicycle which they have decided is all she needs to get to work.

Can they do this? They have voted 2-1 to do it.
Of course they can. They can also suffer the consequences of their actions. In this case it will most likely result in their incarceration.


P.S. This is where you should have started your analogy. Its still a terrible analogy but this is a much better jumping off point.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:28 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Yes they "can". However it's not ultimately in their best interest (see previous arguments). Again, the dynamics and underlying axioms have not changed.
I apologize that I keep saying "can" when I actually mean "should."

Anyway, it appears then, that you agree that we should not use voting to steal the possessions of others, even if we have decided for ourselves those other people "don't need it," or that they are "arrogant," or any other such thing. Just like we can't rape Jane, we can't rob her either.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:28 AM   #177
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When did the majority of the citizenry vote to amend the Constitution to decriminalize rape?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:31 AM   #178
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I don't see how invoking the Constitution is any solution to this thought experiment. Any Constitution is rather arbitrary, and 200 years ago one would not have been able to invoke the Constitution to explain why it was unacceptable to, say, capture and enslave Africans.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:31 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
IMO, the Constitution & Bill of Rights are not utilitarian. I perhaps could be convinced otherwise.
Let's assume for the sake of argument that they are not. Can they be defending with utilitarian moral philosophy? Yes, of course.

Quote:
I'd also contend ObamaCare will if fully implemented abuse 'some' citizens.
Contend away. I don't think it would be convincing but have at it.

Quote:
ps. Have you ever bothered to dig into details of the studies that back up the points you listed, in particular 'getting the least'?
Of course. I've been involved in many debates on the subject on both sides. The evidence is rather overwhelming.

Quote:
The details of reported Infant Mortality stats are a joke. Where do you want your premie treated?
Let's assume for the sake of argument that the US is far and away the best for treating premies (preemie?). Is that single data point proof that US health care is the greatest in the world in all areas? BTW: What good is a system where the costs are rising faster than all other nations and many people do not have preventative health care?

Which raises the question, what in the sam hell were the Republicans thinking when they dreamed up "ObamaCare"?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:32 AM   #180
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Can you please just fast forward to the part where you claim that taxation is equivalent to theft?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:33 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
WTF is wrong with you!?

People, including myself, have repeatedly given bob the reasons he can not vote to rape Jane.

Do we need some back story on Bob? Is he an amoral sociopath tortured by rape fantasies? Every time someone explains the flaws in Bob's "logic" he just reverts back to his opening argument.

Are you stuck? Did you forget where you were going with this?

No one has any right to rape anyone by majority or any other system of consensus. No rape so move on. What is the next line of thinking in your analogy?
I was referring specifically to stokes234 who did not answer. These threads tend to be a mess of dozens of exchanges overlapping each other.

If you want to move on, now that you have told Bob and Tom they can't rape Jane just because of a consensus (and I assume because Jane has certain rights that aren't up to a vote), Bob and Tom acknowledge the point, but want to ask if it matters at all that they think she doesn't need those few minutes it would take anyway, or that she owes it to society that she's so fit and healthy? And the other stuff Bob brought up as justification? Can they still not take away her basic rights even for Bob's made-up reasons?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:34 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by maxpower1227 View Post
Can you please just fast forward to the part where you claim that taxation is equivalent to theft?
Rape is a much more effective analogy?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:35 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by maxpower1227 View Post
I don't see how invoking the Constitution is any solution to this thought experiment. Any Constitution is rather arbitrary, and 200 years ago one would not have been able to invoke the Constitution to explain why it was unacceptable to, say, capture and enslave Africans.
For the purposes of this thought experiment, Bob and Tom are just ignorant of how government functions and think that a democratic decision to rape a third person is okay. Bringing up the constitution is relevant because they have a respect for logic and the way government is actually supposed to work, they just don't know those things yet.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:37 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
For the purposes of this thought experiment, Bob and Tom are just ignorant of how government functions and think that a democratic decision to rape a third person is okay. Bringing up the constitution is relevant because they have a respect for logic and the way government is actually supposed to work, they just don't know those things yet.
Suppose the Constitution in this bizarro rape-fantasy world doesn't happen to say anything remotely related to rape? Does it still have any relevance?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:37 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
I was referring specifically to stokes234 who did not answer. These threads tend to be a mess of dozens of exchanges overlapping each other.

If you want to move on, now that you have told Bob and Tom they can't rape Jane just because of a consensus (and I assume because Jane has certain rights that aren't up to a vote), Bob and Tom acknowledge the point, but want to ask if it matters at all that they think she doesn't need those few minutes it would take anyway, or that she owes it to society that she's so fit and healthy? And the other stuff Bob brought up as justification? Can they still not take away her basic rights even for Bob's made-up reasons?
You are not moving on with your analogy you are just repeating the opening argument again.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:39 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
I apologize that I keep saying "can" when I actually mean "should."

Anyway, it appears then, that you agree that we should not use voting to steal the possessions of others, even if we have decided for ourselves those other people "don't need it," or that they are "arrogant," or any other such thing. Just like we can't rape Jane, we can't rob her either.
No, we should not use voting to steal. Of course not.
  • We damn well should require everyone to contribute to the common welfare (in the constitutional sense).
  • The system to ensure that contribution should ensure the most good for everyone while balancing the rights of the advantaged (see Adam Smith and John Locke).
  • Neglect is itself a form of abuse. We need to work to ensure the health, safety and well being of all. Even those who are disadvantaged.
  • The very reasons that Bob and Tom ought not rape Jane are the very reasons society ought ensure the flourishing of all.
  • Taxes != stealing.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:39 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by maxpower1227 View Post
Can you please just fast forward to the part where you claim that taxation is equivalent to theft?
No, because fast-forwarding is a bad idea if you skip past important things.

There are different types of taxation. Some of it is logical, some of it is not. The method and justification for it matters, and in some cases is quite invalid and equivalent to Bob and Tom's reasoning for wanting to rape Jane.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:40 AM   #188
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Why not call up Bob and Tom and ask them? I'm sure they have a hotline.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:41 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
For the purposes of this thought experiment, Bob and Tom are just ignorant of how government functions and think that a democratic decision to rape a third person is okay. Bringing up the constitution is relevant because they have a respect for logic and the way government is actually supposed to work, they just don't know those things yet.
None of this explanation makes any sense.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:41 AM   #190
EGarrett
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Originally Posted by maxpower1227 View Post
Suppose the Constitution in this bizarro rape-fantasy world doesn't happen to say anything remotely related to rape? Does it still have any relevance?
Actually yes, if your thought experiment is otherwise similar to mine, I think it would, because you would still need to respect basic rights to have an organized society, the Constitution just happens to be our method of doing so. You can make the same argument sans Constitution, but either one is valid for explaining the limits of democratic power.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:43 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Why not call up Bob and Tom and ask them? I'm sure they have a hotline.
I originally thought this thread was about them (about halfway through reading the title anyway). Then I read the OP, and realized that it was a bit too low-brow for Messrs. Kevoian and Griswold.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:43 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
You are not moving on with your analogy you are just repeating the opening argument again.
It is moving on, but it is clarifying exactly how the basic rights point applies before doing so. Anyway, the question was...

"Bob and Tom acknowledge the point, but want to ask if it matters at all that they think she doesn't need those few minutes it would take anyway, or that she owes it to society that she's so fit and healthy? And the other stuff Bob brought up as justification? Can they still not take away her basic rights even for Bob's made-up reasons?"
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:44 AM   #193
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A bunch if old, rich, white guys feel sexually violated by the progressive tax system.

News at 11.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:44 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
None of this explanation makes any sense.
They tried to propose logic that would justify them being able to rape Jane. they are woefully mistaken, but they need someone to show them how.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:47 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
It is moving on, but it is clarifying exactly how the basic rights point applies before doing so. Anyway, the question was...

"Bob and Tom acknowledge the point, but want to ask if it matters at all that they think she doesn't need those few minutes it would take anyway, or that she owes it to society that she's so fit and healthy? And the other stuff Bob brought up as justification? Can they still not take away her basic rights even for Bob's made-up reasons?"
Are we still talking about rape?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:50 AM   #196
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So... where do Bob, Tom and Jane live anyway?
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:50 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
No, we should not use voting to steal. Of course not.
  • We damn well should require everyone to contribute to the common welfare (in the constitutional sense).
  • The system to ensure that contribution should ensure the most good for everyone while balancing the rights of the advantaged (see Adam Smith and John Locke).
  • Neglect is itself a form of abuse. We need to work to ensure the health, safety and well being of all. Even those who are disadvantaged.
  • The very reasons that Bob and Tom ought not rape Jane are the very reasons society ought ensure the flourishing of all.
  • Taxes != stealing.
Well, I want to be clear that there are different justifications people give for taxing. For example, "I think the 1% should have to give most of their income to the government because they are fatcats who don't need it."

This is equivalent to "Bob and Tom vote to steal Jane's car because THEY have decided that Jane's car is nicer than she needs."

The majority cannot vote to do crimes to a minority, such as rape, assault OR theft, just because you think they can afford to spare the time or spare the resources or shouldn't mind being sexually-assaulted, or you don't like the way they looked at you, or other whimsical reasons.

If everyone pays a certain share of taxes, okay. If you think they aren't nice people or they don't need it, not okay.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:52 AM   #198
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I'm not sure I understand why all the people who don't like the thread keep trying to change the rules of the thread. There's probably a lesson in there somewhere.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:52 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by EGarrett View Post
"Bob and Tom acknowledge the point, but want to ask if it matters at all that they think she doesn't need those few minutes it would take anyway, or that she owes it to society that she's so fit and healthy? And the other stuff Bob brought up as justification? Can they still not take away her basic rights even for Bob's made-up reasons?"
Jane benefits from living in the Apartment. She can be required to help with it's upkeep and pay rent.
  • Everyone paying for rent is good for all.
  • Raping Jane isn't.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:53 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by maxpower1227 View Post
I originally thought this thread was about them (about halfway through reading the title anyway). Then I read the OP, and realized that it was a bit too low-brow for Messrs. Kevoian and Griswold.
I almost didn't, but I thought it might score EGarrett some free tickets or something.
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