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Old 06-04-2009, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Idaho Falls
5,027 posts, read 5,891,623 times
Reputation: 1482

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I think the OP is looking for some logic that can be codified to some extent, or some philosophy that can be articulated to show where reasonably clear lines can be drawn. Certainly, if we could do that, it would end a lot of antagonism between interest groups. It does come down to balancing individual interests against group interests. But the complexities of living together in society means that there is a vast middle ground on most subjects. We know that we don't want to live in the extremes: the wild, wild west or the communist east for example. But the gap between the extremes is large, and there are no obvious rules about where the lines should be drawn.

Perhaps the best that can be hoped for is that we work out the rules as we go, allowing the lines to move as the population changes. It requires trusting each other not to murder those we disagree with, and not to murder the facts in our debate. The exteme right on this forum is particularly guilty of the latter, in my opinion. Calling the centrist Obama an extreme socialist, for example.
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Old 06-05-2009, 05:26 PM
 
460 posts, read 756,960 times
Reputation: 269
Bump. Nice to have a reasonable exchange in the midst of teh crazeee.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:04 PM
LML
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,112 posts, read 8,643,452 times
Reputation: 5189
Quote:
Originally Posted by idahogie View Post
I think the OP is looking for some logic that can be codified to some extent, or some philosophy that can be articulated to show where reasonably clear lines can be drawn. Certainly, if we could do that, it would end a lot of antagonism between interest groups. It does come down to balancing individual interests against group interests. But the complexities of living together in society means that there is a vast middle ground on most subjects. We know that we don't want to live in the extremes: the wild, wild west or the communist east for example. But the gap between the extremes is large, and there are no obvious rules about where the lines should be drawn.

Perhaps the best that can be hoped for is that we work out the rules as we go, allowing the lines to move as the population changes. It requires trusting each other not to murder those we disagree with, and not to murder the facts in our debate. The exteme right on this forum is particularly guilty of the latter, in my opinion. Calling the centrist Obama an extreme socialist, for example.

I sometimes long for the days when I was young and saw everything in black and white with no shades of grey...no nuances. I KNEW what was right and what was wrong. As Bob Dylan so wisely said; "I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now." Life has taught me so many exceptions to the rules I once held dear that I now find myself determining my opinions on issues on an almost case by case basis. I generally find myself coming down on the side of what decision will do the least harm to the most people. I still hold some beliefs absolute.....my faith in God and my committment to our Constitution. Other views.......
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:20 PM
 
11,135 posts, read 13,460,318 times
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Plato once said, “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”

While I recognize that in order to have a civil society that laws are certainly needed in order to maintain order and a reasonable level of safety for its citizens. However each time we create a law which are pointed towards behavioral or issues of morality, we are in effect saying that people are ill equipped to make these decisions on their own. In turn we allow the state to make these decisions for us.

I suppose more of what I'm getting at is asking people if they feel that our current level of legislating morality and behavior is acceptable or needs altered for greater control by the state or by the individual? Do you think that when we allow the state to make more and more decisions for us that we begin to lose the ability to make these types of decisions and judgments ourselves? (the notion of use it or lose it)
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:25 PM
LML
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,112 posts, read 8,643,452 times
Reputation: 5189
I think that maybe we have lost our faith in the good will of our fellow citizens and no longer trust them to make decisions that we don't consider harmful. We KNOW that WE would make good decisions but that guy across the street is kind of shady and that woman at work is really out there. How can we leave it to them to make the best decisions for their lives? In truth I think that the government is way, way too much into personal decisions that are simply none of their business. The problem lies in that the things I find too intrusive are the very things that some of my fellow citizens lobby the government to control. And, probably, they would say the same about me.
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:28 PM
 
460 posts, read 756,960 times
Reputation: 269
I guess I would disagree with your premise - I don't know that we legislate behavious because we feel others are ill-equipped to do so. Rather, the most offensive and intrusive legislation comes cloaked in an effort to "protect" some class of folks we deem unable to defend themselves from the predations of society.



As to your question, I'd like to see more control over behaviour handed back to the individual. IMO, you cannot legislate away jerks and laws are often way too broad. Further, the zero-tolerance (zero-discretion) policies that we are taking up is ridiculous, and clearly paves the way for group-think.

I'd also like to think this would be the beginning of the end of the self-righteous class of bureaucrats. A girl can dream, eh?
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