Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > Community Center > The Lounge > Current Events, Philosophy, & Religion
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-27-2011, 06:13 AM   #161 (permalink)
Supernatural anaesthetist
 
Dotoar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Örebro, Sweden
Posts: 434
Default

Maybe we can finally get a discussion going here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
I think generally speaking, a society should try to maximize the quality of life for those who live in it now and for the future, perhaps a bit similar to the utilitaristic ideal of maximizing happiness / minimizing suffering.
What exactly do you mean by 'society' and by what measures do you affirm 'happiness'? And speaking of utilitarism, how big part of the society has to be gratified and, relative to the measure, to what extent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
I have slightly more detailed ideas on how to best achieve that long term, but none of them have included anarchy so far. A working anarchic system doesn't mean that people will be happy just like a working dictatorship in North Korea doesn't mean north koreans are happy and basically, I have little faith in anarchic systems getting the most of what I want from society in the long term.
Well, any form of expressed goal such as happiness-maximizing by political means are by definition self-excluded in any anarchic system since there is no monopoly of jurisdiction, much less governmental welfare activity, in such systems. The anarchists themselves are however nonetheless arguing wether the civil society should embrace capitalism, mutualism or some other means of upholding the order of events.
__________________
- More is more -
Dotoar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 06:53 AM   #162 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
tore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scabb Island
Posts: 5,935
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar View Post
What exactly do you mean by 'society' and by what measures do you affirm 'happiness'? And speaking of utilitarism, how big part of the society has to be gratified and, relative to the measure, to what extent?
To me, a society means people getting together and agreeing to abolish some freedoms for the betterment of all members of society, such as f.ex the freedom to kill and steal. It means that society's people agree to (or at least generally behave according to) a common compromise in an effort to coexist better.

I honestly haven't look up any definitions and I've no idea if that's at all correct, actually, and it may not be the best practical definition for the purposes of this discussion. But regarding this discussion, I (ex) think of Norway as one society and Iceland as another. For example, even if Iceland did have different chieftans ruling different parts and as such could be seen as different societies, they did have an Allting where they got together and compromised for the betterment of the general populace on Iceland and so based on that, I think I can argue by my definition that "anarchic" Iceland could be regarded as one society.

I think the part of society that should be gratified are all the regular members who make compromises and follow the common rules (ex. pay taxes and follow laws). I think it is important for any society to be an environment where exploiters are not successful, exploiters being defined as someone who at some point does not compromise for selfish reasons. Generally speaking, they will be criminals breaking society's laws. Still, I think how we treat the elderly, the disabled and criminals will be reflected in the general behaviour in society's members. For example, harsher treatment of criminals may lead to more violence in society. As such, finding the best way to deal with criminals is one of the tougher problems society face, I think, and determining to what extent society should "gratify" criminals is a real challenge and also dependent on finer context.

You ask me how to affirm happiness. What does affirm mean? Are you asking how I think happiness is best achieved or are you asking how to determine whether or not people are happy? I have answers to both, but I'm not sure I wanna risk going off on an off-topic rant just yet in case I interpret your question wrong.
__________________
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.

Last edited by tore; 04-27-2011 at 07:03 AM.
tore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 07:21 AM   #163 (permalink)
Supernatural anaesthetist
 
Dotoar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Örebro, Sweden
Posts: 434
Default

I'm gonna go ahead and throw out some perky questions here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
To me, a society means people getting together and agreeing to abolish some freedoms for the betterment of all members of society, such as f.ex the freedom to kill and steal. It means that society's people agree to (or at least generally behave according to) a common compromise in an effort to coexist better.
Voluntarily or by force?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
I think the part of society that should be gratified are all the regular members who make compromises and follow the common rules (ex. pay taxes and follow laws).
'Compromise' as in give up self-interest? As for the common rules, well, those are the ones we shake up by discussions like these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
I think it is important for any society to be an environment where exploiters are not successful, exploiters being defined as someone who at some point does not compromise for selfish reasons.
Assuming that everyone generally looks out for his/her own interest, be it by personal or communal benefit; for this supposed 'exploiter'*, as a part of a community, where's the incitement for him/her to take a certain action if the outcome doesn't benefit him/her? By what doctrine are the sacrifice for the collective more justified than the pursuit for personal interests?

*I put it into quotation marks, as I'd say that an exploiter is a person who refines resources into value, nothing more, nothing less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
Generally speaking, they will be criminals breaking society's laws. Still, I think how we treat the elderly, the disabled and criminals will be reflected in the general behaviour in society's members. For example, harsher treatment of criminals may lead to more violence in society. As such, finding the best way to deal with criminals is one of the tougher problems society face, I think.
First of all, let's not forget that what constitutes a criminal is thoroughly dependent on the legislation (which, depending on the nature of the jurisdiction, makes it a crime to possess a joint, not wearing seat belts in your car or, as has been brought up on this forum, wearing burkas).

That said, I think that the proper way to look at crime and punishment is not so much the penalty as the compensation for the victim of the crime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
You ask me how to affirm happiness. What does affirm mean? Are you asking how I think happiness is best achieved or are you asking how to determine whether or not people are happy? I have answers to both, but I'm not sure I wanna risk going off on an off-topic rant just yet in case I interpret your question wrong.
All that and more; I'd like to know what constitutes happiness in a general sense (or it wouldn't be a communal issue), how it should be achieved by the ones in charge of it (providing we should have such an instance), and not least, how it's measured (once again, on a general scale).
__________________
- More is more -
Dotoar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 09:07 AM   #164 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
tore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scabb Island
Posts: 5,935
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar View Post
Voluntarily or by force?
Both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar
'Compromise' as in give up self-interest? As for the common rules, well, those are the ones we shake up by discussions like these.
Compromise as in giving up freedoms. You may like to drive much faster than what is permitted on the freeway, but you may choose not to because it is against a law which is in place in order to make the roads safer for all who use them. When you choose not to break the speed limit even though you'd like to, I generally consider that an example of the compromises I talk of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar
Assuming that everyone generally looks out for his/her own interest, be it by personal or communal benefit; for this supposed 'exploiter'*, as a part of a community, where's the incitement for him/her to take a certain action if the outcome doesn't benefit him/her? By what doctrine are the sacrifice for the collective more justified than the pursuit for personal interests?
In my idea of a good society, an act done for the common good will generally have rewards. If money spent on taxes makes a better education for your children, then you have been rewarded. In a general sense, anything you do that somehow betters society rewards you when you are part of it. There may always be exceptions, such as your money paying for covering a pot hole you will never come across, but the ideal society would strive to create an environment where "selflessness" actually is rewarded so that the altruism required for society to work is at a minimum. In my ideal society, people would feel that the common good includes them.

Also, at the risk of going off topic a bit - if you as a member of a society do become rich and successful, I think you should recognize that you became successful also part because of society. Most likely, you didn't print your own money in your self-built house (put jokingly) and so your success would be dependent on everyone else who bought your services or paid for your products etc. Society made up the environment which you were successful in and, in my opinion, people should be appreciative of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar
*I put it into quotation marks, as I'd say that an exploiter is a person who refines resources into value, nothing more, nothing less.
To me, an exploiter is someone who abuses a system of give and take for selfish reasons. Let's say there's a system of "I scratch your back and you scratch mine". If you let people scratch your back but don't repay the favour, then you are exploiting that system to your own benefit. Following laws for the common good is, generally speaking, such a system. You could be an exploiter for example by cheating the wellfare system, something there are laws against doing of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar
First of all, let's not forget that what constitutes a criminal is thoroughly dependent on the legislation (which, depending on the nature of the jurisdiction, makes it a crime to possess a joint, not wearing seat belts in your car or, as has been brought up on this forum, wearing burkas).

That said, I think that the proper way to look at crime and punishment is not so much the penalty as the compensation for the victim of the crime.
I have no problem with recognizing that different societies have different laws and I believe my general ideals could be applied to an indigenous culture living in a jungle as well as a western modern society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar
All that and more; I'd like to know what constitutes happiness in a general sense (or it wouldn't be a communal issue), how it should be achieved by the ones in charge of it (providing we should have such an instance), and not least, how it's measured (once again, on a general scale).
That's asking for a lot, but I'll try and give an answer

In my ideal democracy, the people are ultimately in charge of their own happiness. For them to be happy, they have to decide on good political decisions. In order for them to do so, they should have a good common education and they should have good general wealth so that they are best able to recognize what is important and have the luxury of being in a position where they can vote for that.
Ex. To clarify with what I mean by the latter, I can use an example from Norway. We've voted no to be part of the european union. The general reason is that norwegian farmers would not be able to compete with foreign farmers. When the norwegian majority votes no, they do so knowing that they have voted for higher priced agricultural products, so they have voted for having to pay more for food than they otherwise would have to had Norway been part of the Union. I believe that was the right choice for the common good, but I believe if people were poor and had to vote with their wallets instead, they would have voted for being in the european union and norwegian farmers would suffer the consequences. Being wealthy enabled/gave people the luxury of voting for the common good and because the majority of voters got their will, the majority are happy.
A good common education is important. That means you should not have a society with a lower class which is undereducated because they would be less able to vote for the good of the society which is the best way to ensure their long term happiness. There are many feedback loops that strengthen social class differences, for example private schools that give better education than public schools and are only available to a minor elite. If having a better education means you're more likely to do well in society, but lower classes are restricted access to that because of a lack of resources, then you can create a democracy where even the majority of voters are comparatively less educated, less resourceful and (I'd argue) less likely to vote for what would best benefit them long term and more likely to vote instead for what benefits them short term.

In my ideal democracy, it's not necessarily important to define what happiness actually is as long as voters have some idea of what it means to them and use their influence to move society in that direction. You can of course try to measure people's feeling of content by polls or try to find a measure of discontent, for example crime rates, but for the sake of this argument, I don't think happiness is necessarily important to define much beyond a general content with life. I hope that in a well educated, wealthy democracy where people have the same general opportunities, they will feel happy and recognize that that society is built on some general values that have ensured that happiness. They would then wish to use their influence in the democracy to perpetuate those general values in the future.

I think it may be important to point out that these are just some general principles that I think would make a good society, but not something I think is always feasible or easily achieved.
__________________
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.

Last edited by tore; 04-27-2011 at 02:20 PM.
tore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 11:00 AM   #165 (permalink)
Anxiety Hangover
 
Buzzov*en's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Gardenia
Posts: 501
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar View Post
Christiania isn't really an anarchy, it's an enclave at best. Anyway, you should forward that to OccultHawk.
hate to burst your bubble but it's a real anarchist society now I will not take you seriously because of what you just said.
__________________

Save the environment, shoot yourself in the head.
And when there is no hope I'll smoke some crack I'll shoot some dope.
Buzzov*en is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 02:13 PM   #166 (permalink)
Supernatural anaesthetist
 
Dotoar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Örebro, Sweden
Posts: 434
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzov*en View Post
hate to burst your bubble but it's a real anarchist society now I will not take you seriously because of what you just said.
Dreary debate technique. In what respect is it anarchic?
__________________
- More is more -
Dotoar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 02:34 PM   #167 (permalink)
Anxiety Hangover
 
Buzzov*en's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Gardenia
Posts: 501
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotoar View Post
Dreary debate technique. In what respect is it anarchic?
Read it. K?
__________________

Save the environment, shoot yourself in the head.
And when there is no hope I'll smoke some crack I'll shoot some dope.
Buzzov*en is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 02:54 PM   #168 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
tore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scabb Island
Posts: 5,935
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzov*en View Post
Read it. K?
Skimming through Christiania's wikipedia article, I found no claim that it is an anarchy. Neither do I see it in the list of anarchic communities you posted. If you've got a point to make, make it yourself, don't depend on Wikipedia to do it for you. What do you think a discussion forum is for anyways?

Your way of arguing in this thread seems more to me like trolling than anything else.
__________________
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.
tore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 03:40 PM   #169 (permalink)
Supernatural anaesthetist
 
Dotoar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Örebro, Sweden
Posts: 434
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
Both.
We obviously won't have to mention the sacrifices that are made voluntarily, but what about the compulsory ones? We've covered 'not killing' and 'not stealing', but these thing doesn't take very much effort to uphold. Actually, all you have to do is leave people alone, i.e. do nothing at all. Are there other more direct actions that are to to be dictated by force?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
Compromise as in giving up freedoms. You may like to drive much faster than what is permitted on the freeway, but you may choose not to because it is against a law which is in place in order to make the roads safer for all who use them. When you choose not to break the speed limit even though you'd like to, I generally consider that an example of the compromises I talk of.
One could argue that driving fast, as in driving unsafely, is a threat to other people's lives in which case such compromises are legitimate. However, that's a technical question which ultimately is for the road owner to consider when setting up rules for how the road is to be used. That is to say, I don't necessarily disagree with you when it comes to speed limits, it's just that I don't think it's a very significant example when talking about collective compromises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
In my idea of a good society, an act done for the common good will generally have rewards. If money spent on taxes makes a better education for your children, then you have been rewarded. In a general sense, anything you do that somehow betters society rewards you when you are part of it. There may always be exceptions, such as your money paying for covering a pot hole you will never come across, but the ideal society would strive to create an environment where "selflessness" actually is rewarded so that the altruism required for society to work is at a minimum. In my ideal society, people would feel that the common good includes them.
In other words a utilitaristic stance which I cannot but strongly oppose in every respect.

See, first of all, what exactly is the common good? Is it to provide one's children with an adequate education? Then that's where you'll invest your money, voluntarily and not by brute force. Is it to cover that confounded pot hole that's been bugging you for ages? Then that's where you'll invest your money, voluntarily and not by brute force. Only if each and everyone within a society are free to choose where and in what to invest their money, it will benefit the 'common good' in its most effective way as the money will be allocated according to the actual needs and demands of the people.

In a society where selflessness/altruism is proposed, it's implied to give up one's own interest in favour of the collective's. Now, that causes problem as soon as 1) it becomes apparent that the collective's interest isn't unified and 2) it's time to actually execute that proposition. Even if it was possible to actually pin down the 'common good' in a certain area, someone would still have to administrate the fulfillment of that affair, and since the people won't do it voluntarily (or they would handle the affair themselves) it has to be done by force, e.g. confiscating the people's resources in order to fulfill the mission. This is a clear-cut violation of each and every individual's right to life, freedom and property, as well as an ineffective way to meet the demands of the people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
Also, at the risk of going off topic a bit - if you as a member of a society do become rich and successful, I think you should recognize that you became successful also part because of society. Most likely, you didn't print your own money in your self-built house (put jokingly) and so your success would be dependent on everyone else who bought your services or paid for your products etc. Society made up the environment which you were successful in and, in my opinion, people should be appreciative of that.
That's absolutely right, I did get rich because other people chose to exchange their money in order to acquire whatever the goods/service I provided. That's what's so great about a free enterprise system, which will let me be that rich if and only if I actually meet the demands of the people. If I mishandle the business and deliver crap I won't be rewarded for it, and even worse, if I conduct misdeeds in the process which become known I probably will even be punished for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
To me, an exploiter is someone who abuses a system of give and take for selfish reasons. Let's say there's a system of "I scratch your back and you scratch mine". If you let people scratch your back but don't repay the favour, then you are exploiting that system to your own benefit. Following laws for the common good is, generally speaking, such a system. You could be an exploiter for example by cheating the wellfare system, something there are laws against doing of course.
This is obviously mainly a definition issue, and like I already said, a person who takes without giving will soon be an outcast in a free society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
I have no problem with recognizing that different societies have different laws and I believe my general ideals could be applied to an indigenous culture living in a jungle as well as a western modern society.
I stick out my chin and believe "my" ideals (they're not mine really) could be applied to anyone that embraces them. That's what has made the western society so prosperous ever since the age of enlightment and the industrial revolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
In my ideal democracy, the people are ultimately in charge of their own happiness. For them to be happy, they have to decide on good political decisions. In order for them to do so, they should have a good common education and they should have good general wealth so that they are best able to recognize what is important and have the luxury of being in a position where they can vote for that.
We already run into trouble here, because what is a good political decision (as differed from an individual decision)? Furthermore, why must the politics get in the way of any arbirtrary decision so that the people must vote for it to (hopefully) be done rather than just get on with the business themselves? Try not to take the politics for granted here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
Ex. To clarify with what I mean by the latter, I can use an example from Norway. We've voted no to be part of the european union. The general reason is that norwegian farmers would not be able to compete with foreign farmers. When the norwegian majority votes no, they do so knowing that they have voted for higher priced agricultural products, so they have voted for having to pay more for food than they otherwise would have to had Norway been part of the Union. I believe that was the right choice for the common good, but I believe if people were poor and had to vote with their wallets instead, they would have voted for being in the european union and norwegian farmers would suffer the consequences. Being wealthy enabled/gave people the luxury of voting for the common good and because the majority of voters got their will, the majority are happy.
And in Sweden, as part of EU, our farmers can go on with their overpriced, ineffective and in some cases even polluting activities (or even do nothing at all) just because the politicians have promised to keep the food production at home. I'm definitely not a supporter of EU, as I'd like to keep the politics off the market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
A good common education is important. That means you should not have a society with a lower class which is undereducated because they would be less able to vote for the good of the society which is the best way to ensure their long term happiness. There are many feedback loops that strengthen social class differences, for example private schools that give better education than public schools and are only available to a minor elite. If having a better education means you're more likely to do well in society, but lower classes are restricted access to that because of a lack of resources, then you can create a democracy where even the majority of voters are comparatively less educated, less resourceful and (I'd argue) less likely to vote for what would best benefit them long term and more likely to vote instead for what benefits them short term.
And there we go with the voting again. I believe that noone, regardless of class (whatever that means), should have to go through the governmental process, ruled by political interests, in order to gain a proper education. And as you might guess, I see no problem with having elite schools just because they aren't available to everyone, just as I see no problem with fancy restaurants which I personally won't be able to afford eating in, high-end food groceries which I can't really indulge in and instead have to stick to the cheaper stuff, or luxury cars just because I am stuck with an old Saab. In fact, if one is inclined to go down the 'common good' path again, the possibility for richer people to send their kids to an elite school will (provided the kid gets through with his education) will result in a batch of high-end competence and in the long run development in certain areas, such as science and medicine. And that's not even mentioning that the money they spend on other things will end up further down the society ladder. The problem isn't that some people are rich, it's that other people are poor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
In my ideal democracy, it's not necessarily important to define what happiness actually is as long as voters have some idea of what it means to them and use their influence to move society in that direction. You can of course try to measure people's feeling of content by polls or try to find a measure of discontent, for example crime rates, but for the sake of this argument, I don't think happiness is necessarily important to define much beyond a general content with life. I hope that in a well educated, wealthy democracy where people have the same general opportunities, they will feel happy and recognize that that society is built on some general values that have ensured that happiness. They would then wish to use their influence in the democracy to perpetuate those general values in the future.
If happiness is an ultimate goal, it's crucial to examine what it constitutes and which means will lead to it. The problem you encounter, and which you even recognize here, is the fact that there can be no such thing as a common goal of happiness; it can only be satisfied if people are allowed to pursue it themselves and not by the means of what we know as 'representative democracy', i.e. through the sheer majority of political interests in which there is absolutely no guarantee that your particular interest will be gratified. The problem as I see it is not if the members of a society cannot have any influence through the democratic system, it's that they are supposed to (instead of mutually decide for themselves).
__________________
- More is more -
Dotoar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 03:42 PM   #170 (permalink)
Supernatural anaesthetist
 
Dotoar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Örebro, Sweden
Posts: 434
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzov*en View Post
Read it. K?
I did. Now, please do spell out exactly what elements in Christiania's communal system it is that makes it an anarchy.
__________________
- More is more -
Dotoar is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes



© 2003-2019 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.