NRA - a terrorist organisation

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:07 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:In any system, we can work hard to get the rules and laws we want (and do away with those we don't),

And therein lies the contradiction in your position. Where did you get the right to work hard for laws you want? Who gave you the authority to enact laws in the first place?

"...♫...Over and Over and Over again............♫..."
Everyone has the POWER to advocate for as many rights as they think are appropriate.

I agree. That has been my position all along. Thank you for agreeing with me.

(I assume it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it, regardless what the law says.)

My question to EM, which you did not answer, is to explain why  you think everyone has that power, or explain where  that power comes from. Do you simply believe it to be true, as EM claims you do?

EM has claimed that no one has the legal power to protect one's rights unless the law allows it. Are you arguing that everyone has some other kind of power to protect their rights even if the law does not allow it? I'm asking because I want to be clear what your position is here.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:16 am

xouper wrote:(I assume it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it.)

No. Thats the whole point......... basic vocabulary on the subject.

:flushed: :neener:
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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:40 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
xouper wrote:(I assume it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it.)

No. Thats the whole point......... basic vocabulary on the subject.

Please explain what you mean by that. I ask because I do not want to be accused of assuming incorrectly what you mean.

If everyone has the power, as you say, but they do not have the right to use it, as you also seem to be saying, then in what sense do they have any power at all if they cannot use it? Please clarify your argument on this point.

EM claimed: "we can work hard to get the rules and laws we want." EM seems to be arguing that we have the right to do that work, even if the law says we do not have that right. Are you saying we do not have the right to do that work? Please clarify.

Also, please answer my other two questions (which I will repeat here):

My question to EM, which you did not answer, is to explain why you think everyone has that power, or explain where that power comes from. Do you simply believe it to be true, as EM claims you do?

EM has claimed that no one has the legal power to protect one's rights unless the law allows it. Are you arguing that everyone has some other kind of power to protect their rights even if the law does not allow it? I'm asking because I want to be clear what your position is here.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:11 am

Use the dictionary.
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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:14 am

Xouper, why can you not keep some basic terminology straight? And why do you keep on shooting for me, when EVERYONE here disagrees with you on natural rights?

You seem to harbor under the illusion that something is impossible to do unless you have some permission to do it, be it granted by a government or your beloved moral rights'.
This is of course pure B.S.. If you follow that logic, every criminal is just exercising his rights.

I tried to be as obvious as possible when in another thread I made the comparison to lions and gazelles: does a lion have the power to the kill and eat gazelle, or the right, or both? You seem to claim that he can not kill and eat the gazelle unless he somehow has the right to do so. So who has given him that right?

You are just on the wrong horse, and are slowly starting to realize it.

Any system has ways to change them - some might be legal, others illegal. Either way might have consequences, but just because something is forbidden does not make it impossible.

We MAKE our rights by demanding more than we had before - they do not exit a priori.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:01 am

ElectricMonk wrote:Xouper, why can you not keep some basic terminology straight?

Please explain my terminology error.

ElectricMonk wrote: And why do you keep on shooting for me, when EVERYONE here disagrees with you on natural rights?

That is factually incorrect.

In any case, I'm surprised you would try to argue the fallacy of appeal to popularity. On a skeptic forum no less. :roll:

Sorry, but not everyone here disagrees with my position. But even if it were the case that everyone on this forum disagrees with me, that does not matter because there are plenty of other people in the world who do agree with me, including some of the world's well known thinkers and philosophers.

Secondly, given that this is a forum for critical thinking, it is entirely reasonable that I challenge the validity of your arguments and claims. If you don't want to be challenged in that way, then you are posting in the wrong forum.

ElectricMonk wrote:You seem to harbor under the illusion that something is impossible to do unless you have some permission to do it, be it granted by a government or your beloved moral rights'.

That is not my position. I have never claimed that.

It has always been my position that I have the right to protect my rights even if the law says otherwise. You on the other hand have said that you have no legal right to work for the laws you want if the law says you do not have that right. Are you saying that is not your position?

Despite my repeated requests, you have not explained why you think you are justified in "working to have the laws you want", especially if the law says you are not allowed to do that. Please explain how you justify your demand for rights if the law does not give them to you?

ElectricMonk wrote:If you follow that logic, every criminal is just exercising his rights.

Wrong.

What criminals do and what you are advocating are not the same thing.

You are talking about working to get the laws to protect your rights, not merely to violate the law as a criminal might do. There's a huge difference between those two kinds of actions.

ElectricMonk wrote:I tried to be as obvious as possible when in another thread I made the comparison to lions and gazelles: does a lion have the power to the kill and eat gazelle, or the right, or both?

Yes I remember that. What was your answer to that question? And why do you think that's a valid analogy to human rights?

ElectricMonk wrote:You seem to claim that he can not kill and eat the gazelle unless he somehow has the right to do so.

No, that has never been my claim.

ElectricMonk wrote:You are just on the wrong horse, and are slowly starting to realize it.

Right back at you, pal.

ElectricMonk wrote:Any system has ways to change them - some might be legal, others illegal. Either way might have consequences, but just because something is forbidden does not make it impossible.

It is your claim that you have the right to violate the law (if necessary) to protect your rights? Is that what you are saying here?

ElectricMonk wrote:We MAKE our rights by demanding more than we had before - they do not exit a priori.

You are claiming an a priori  right to make that demand. Your position is built on circular reasoning.

In any case, how is your demand any different from mine? You demand your rights and I demand mine. Where is the difference?

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:04 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Use the dictionary.

The dictionary does not have the answers to the questions I posed to you.

Your intentional evasion of my questions is noted for the record.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:19 am

One more thing . . .

ElectricMonk wrote:We MAKE our rights by demanding more than we had before

I find that assertion a tad bit amusing given your position against certain rights that many people demand (such as the Second Amendment, for example).

According to your assertion, people MAKE the right to keep and bear arms merely by demanding it. Fascinating. ;)

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:45 am

Please read before you post, xouper.

Also, name one poster who agrees with you.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:08 am

xouper wrote:then in what sense do they have any power at all if they cannot use it?

Something you fail consistently on: failure to use basic words as defined in any standard dictionary..... much less any source more nuanced.

Power: the ability to do something. /// Your response: How do they have power if they cannot use it. Ipso Dipshit: if they cannot use it, they don't have it. The simple definition of the concept.

The concept of "power" is much more direct and simple than the much more nuanced concept of "rights."

Get your baby steps in order.
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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:11 am

ElectricMonk wrote:Please read before you post, xouper.

What is that supposed to mean?

ElectricMonk wrote:Also, name one poster who agrees with you.

clarsct.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:29 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Power: the ability to do something. /// Your response: How do they have power if they cannot use it. Ipso Dipshit: if they cannot use it, they don't have it.

Interesting.

You just refuted your earlier claim that "Everyone has the POWER to advocate for as many rights as they think are appropriate."

Using that definition of "power", does everyone in Saudi Arabia or North Korea have "the POWER to advocate for as many rights as they think are appropriate"?

No.

Do they have the right to so advocate? I say yes, even if the law prohibits such advocacy. Apparently you say no, they do not have that right. Suit yourself. No skin of my nose.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:32 am

What we do or not do has a priori nothing to do with rights - this is a social concept that only becomes applicable when actions and interests are in conflict and a meta-stable solution is established to prevent continued conflict. Both humans and social animals can demand and establish rights due to dominance. (I know - as a theists, you find it shocking that humans are not somehow special in their magical Powers of Right).


xouper wrote:One more thing . . .

ElectricMonk wrote:We MAKE our rights by demanding more than we had before

I find that assertion a tad bit amusing given your position against certain rights that many people demand (such as the Second Amendment, for example).


Xouper, take a step back - we are talking rights in general, not just the ones you you are heavily emotionally invested in. If you had even a shred for integrity as a debater, you would (even if only for the sake of argument) try to understand this line of reasoning instead of just being snark about it - heaven's forbid you might learn something.

xouper wrote:According to your assertion, people MAKE the right to keep and bear arms merely by demanding it. Fascinating. ;)


We make a right by demanding it - we establish that right by remaining unopposed in our demands.

In the absence of any opposing force, you can do what you want since no one is there to oppose you - in the absence of possible opposition, there is no point to talk about rights - like the lion is not opposed by the gazelle in killing it (though it might be opposed by another lion in eating it).

You might have a sense of ownership due usage, i.e. things that you consider to be under your control and would feel it a violation if you had to compromise with others on them.

When you receive opposition to this usage, you have to make a demand of rights to the opposing party, and negotiation starts (either peaceful or violent). This is how rights arise in the absence of states (like a raid-leader demanding first choice of loot and being granted it by the rest of the party). Over time, these rights can become established and even hereditary, but they are never permanent: sufficient opposition cancels them.

This is what Hobbes means when he believes that we need a powerful state so that no rights granted by the state can be opposed. Governments are there to create, organize and protect rights. Since they have a monopoly on making laws and on making violence, there can be no way to establish a right against the will of the government. So the only way to establish a new rule against the current will-of-the-rulers is either to change the rulers' mind or to change the rulers.
Of course, regimes often make either choice impossible in fact, which leaves you to either live in crime and treason or try to emigrate. But no magical 'Moral Right Power Squad' will come in and give you any superpowers to claim your rights against an overwhelming force.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby Tom Palven » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:19 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
We MAKE our rights by demanding more than we had before - they do not exit a priori.


I agree with this. After Iranian students and others overthrew the US-imposed Shah, for example, some began agitating for, claiming, the LEGAL "right" to freedom of speech.

Here in the States and elsewhere, people agitate for the LEGAl right to affordable housing," "the right to a living wage," the "right to equal pay for women", and so on. Those advocating a "right" or own or carry a gun appear to be waning. Latest stats at your fingertips?

The city fathers of NYC (Sullivan Act), NAZIS and other nationalists of all stripes, and other governing bodies, have used their power to deny people a possible choice of self-protection. The US military had gun buy-back programs in the Mid-East.

I don't question or care whether these actions are legal, condoned by the Supreme Court or whatever, but do question whether they are ethical.
Last edited by Tom Palven on Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:39 am

very nice examples, Tom, thanks.

I think our sense of ethics only comes into play when we see rights granted to some but not others who we consider to be equals in some way. If I have never known anything but oppression by those I consider 'my betters', it's unlikely that I will start demanding some of the rights they have.
The novelty of humanism is that it declares all humans to be such equals, hence entitled to the same rights regardless of influence or power.
But for many, this remains both a novel and strange concept, since people are so obviously not equal in so many ways. Furthermore, what can socially and economically be granted in terms of rights will vary widely from country to country. So while some in those countries people might identity themselves as belonging to western-humanists style groups, a majority will not. This means that these people can campaign for more rights, but they don't have them just because US citizens (who they might be emulating) have them.
This can be seen in the curious case of 'Miranda Rights': US TV and movies has popularized this term so much that in many countries, people being arrested demand these rights, not knowing that they don't exists in their country.

concerning statistics:
While gun ownership has been in steady decline since 1977 (~50% of households) to 2014 (31%), the number of NRA members has remained constant or grown. NRA-released numbers seemed to be a bit padded, but membership has grown from about 3 million to maybe 4.5 million, while widely fluctuating. This means that less than 5% of gun owners are NRA members, which means that the organization has absolutely no justification for claiming to speak on behalf of all US gun owners.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:45 am

wouper: total fail. I guess some concepts are beyond the talking points.
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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:17 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:wouper: total fail. I guess some concepts are beyond the talking points.

Right back at you, numbnuts.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:20 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:concerning statistics:
While gun ownership has been in steady decline since 1977 (~50% of households) to 2014 (31%),

Depends on which polls you believe. Gallup is a very credible poll that shows no such decline.


Tom Palven wrote:Those advocating a "right" or own or carry a gun appear to be waning. Latest stats at your fingertips?

The trend is going the other way. More people believe it is more important to protect gun rights than to control gun ownership.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:51 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:... - as a theists, you find it shocking that humans are not somehow special in their magical Powers of Right).

I am not a theist. Stop lying about my position. You have been corrected on that point numerous times and yet you continue to post the same lie about me. That's deliberate dishonesty on your part.

ElectricMonk wrote:Xouper, take a step back - we are talking rights in general,

No, I am talking about natural rights not legal rights. Unless you have conveniently forgotten, I have always maintained there is a difference between legal and natural rights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights

I have posted that link so many times you should be sick of it by now, but for some reason, you seem to keep conflating the two. Your arguments and opinions are valid (more or less) with respect to legal rights, but they fail when it comes to natural rights.

ElectricMonk wrote:... If you had even a shred for integrity as a debater,

That's comical coming from someone who keeps lying about me being a theist.

ElectricMonk wrote: you would (even if only for the sake of argument) try to understand this line of reasoning instead of just being snark about it - heaven's forbid you might learn something.

Right back at you, pal.

ElectricMonk wrote:blah blah blah . . . Governments are there to create, organize and protect rights. . . . blah blah blah ...

That is your personal opinion, which you have conceded is no more valid than mine.

I agree that governments are there to protect rights, and I agree that certain legal rights are granted by government, but natural rights are not granted by the government. Ask any constitutional lawyer or expert. Example, the First Amendment does not grant the right of free speech, it merely acknowledges an a priori right and limits government infringement of that right.

ElectricMonk wrote:But no magical 'Moral Right Power Squad' will come in and give you any superpowers to claim your rights against an overwhelming force.

I have never claimed that.

You keep bringing up this straw man, and then you have the nerve to accuse me of not having integrity. Nice double standard you have there.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:31 pm

Xouper, I'm done with you on this - you keep on moving and switching goalpost, because in fact you do not know what you think yourself. You are not able to explain your opinion on the matter in your own words, which proves that you have not understood it.
If you could intelligibly describe the nature of natural laws and what they can be derived from (in your view), we might actually have a conversation about this.

Instead, you rely on a belief which is very theistic in nature (which does not require understanding, only acceptance), but that you of course refuse to come to terms with. Until you are able to honestly confront your preconception about the matter you will not be able to see the weak points of the concept of natural rights.

As I mentioned in my reply to Tom, we demand rights of ourselves if people we identify with had those rights - in your case, you are suck in a romanticized version of the War of Independence in which the availability of firearms to citizens slightly contributed to removing the British out of North America (all the heavy lifting was done by the French military).
Since you consider this rebellion such a moral event, you think that the moral framework is essentially the perfect template for a society - a very common view for people brought up with much too rosy a history of the US.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:57 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
xouper wrote:(I assume it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it.)


if that is your view it's no wonder you are confused - that a silly idea!
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:00 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
xouper wrote:(I assume it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it.)

if that is your view it's no wonder you are confused - that a silly idea!

I'm confused???

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:01 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:Xouper, I'm done with you on this - you keep on moving and switching goalpost, because in fact you do not know what you think yourself.

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote: You are not able to explain your opinion on the matter in your own words, which proves that you have not understood it.

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote:If you could intelligibly describe the nature of natural laws and what they can be derived from (in your view), we might actually have a conversation about this.

If you could comprehend what I have said about it, we might actually have a conversation, but you keep lying and mischaracterizing my position.

ElectricMonk wrote:Instead, you rely on a belief which is very theistic in nature

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote: but that you of course refuse to come to terms with.

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote: Until you are able to honestly confront your preconception about the matter you will not be able to see the weak points of the concept of natural rights.

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote: - in your case, you are suck in a romanticized version of blah blah blah ...

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote:Since you consider this rebellion such a moral event,

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote:you think that the moral framework is essentially the perfect template for a society

Wrong.

ElectricMonk wrote:- a very common view for people brought up with much too rosy a history of the US.

Wrong.

EM, your comments above are nothing more than a pile of lies and personal attacks on my character.

Shame on you.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:16 pm

xouper wrote:(I assume it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it.)


xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:If you follow that logic, every criminal is just exercising his rights.

Wrong.


are you able to see your contradiction? The criminal has the power to rob you - ergo (according to you) the inalienable right to do so.

Yes, you are seriously confused.

So tell us (in your own words) about such rights that necessarily flow from power ... because that makes no sense whatsoever.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:38 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
xouper wrote:(I assume it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it.)

xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:If you follow that logic, every criminal is just exercising his rights.

Wrong.

are you able to see your contradiction?

I already explained it to you why you are wrong.

But here we go again.

ElectricMonk wrote: The criminal has the power to rob you - ergo (according to you) the inalienable right to do so.

That was not my argument. You have dishonestly twisted it out of context from your original claim.

Your original comment was about a specific power, not just any power in general. My reply was to your claim that you have the power to make laws to protect your rights. (A claim which you have never properly justified, by the way.)

YOU are the one who is confused and failed to comprehend what I was saying.

YOU are the one who has failed to comprehend that I was referring ONLY to YOUR claim about the power to make laws to protect your rights.

YOU are the one who has contradicted yourself in claiming that in any system you have the power to make laws to protect your rights. Go try that in North Korea, for example.

YOU are the one who is moving the goalposts by trying to make it look like I was referring to any kind of power, such as the power of a criminal to rob me.

And it is YOU who has failed to answer my question where you got that power or why you feel justified in claiming that power for yourself. Despite repeated requests, you have never answered that question.

ElectricMonk wrote:So tell us (in your own words) about such rights that necessarily flow from power ...

Since that was not my claim, there is nothing to explain.

And you have the temerity to accuse ME of being confused???

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby Tom Palven » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:39 pm

I don't see how Natural Law theory has promoted or preserved anyone's alleged Natural Rights to life liberty and/or property and/or happiness and/or gun ownership.

The best thing about Natural Law as far as I can see is that it doesn't seem to grant individuals or groups of individuals any special privileges to control the peaceful actions of other individuals or groups, unlike the prior beliefs in the divine rights of kings and popes.

That is, there doesn't seem to be a Natural Law justification for a group of individuals to take away guns or knives owned by other individuals, or to aggress against peaceful individuals in any way.
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:14 pm

Tom Palven wrote:I don't see how Natural Law theory has promoted or preserved anyone's alleged Natural Rights to life liberty and/or property and/or happiness and/or gun ownership.

The best thing about Natural Law as far as I can see is that it doesn't seem to grant individuals or groups of individuals any special privileges to control the peaceful actions of other individuals or groups, unlike the prior beliefs in the divine rights of kings and popes.

That is, there doesn't seem to be a Natural Law justification for a group of individuals to take away guns or knives owned by other individuals, or to aggress against peaceful individuals in any way.



I fear you are wrong - natural law entirely depends on what you chose to call 'natural'. That is why Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau disagree on them.
If the natural state is peaceful, then government interference into private protection is indeed wrong. But if the natural state is violence, then the government has to impose a monopoly of force, which means disarming the population to the point where they do not pose a threat to government authority.
They also automatically marginalize anyone and anything considered 'unnatural'.

In the absence of any empirical means to define natural laws, they are putty in the hands of anyone with an agenda.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:18 pm

@xouper

I can see no definition of power (at least not any found in any dictionary) for which the statement:

"it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it."

could be true.

I certainly does not go without saying, since bobbo, me and others disagree on this - please explain what you actually mean by this and how having power can implies 'inalienable right'.

For example, does the US, with the power of nuclear weapons. have an unalienable right to use them?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby Tom Palven » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:33 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
Tom Palven wrote: But if the natural state is violence, then the government has to impose a monopoly of force, which means disarming the population to the point where they do not pose a threat to government authority.


You presuppose that governmental authority and governments not prone to violence represent the natural order of things?
If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:58 pm

Tom Palven wrote:You presuppose that governmental authority and governments not prone to violence represent the natural order of things?


no.

I guess all 'natural law' philosophers see civilization as something unnatural. But they differ in whether government has to support and coordinate an essentially benign and good natural order, or if it has to suppress an essentially bad and destructive natural order.
In any case, the assumption is that a pure natural state is not compatible with a modern world, either because it would be helpless against intellectual corruption or because it would be too destructive.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:05 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:@xouper

I can see no definition of power (at least not any found in any dictionary) for which the statement:

"it goes without saying that having that "power" implies the inalienable right to use it."

could be true.

There are several definitions of the word "power".

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/power
the ability or right to control people or things


http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/power
an ​official or ​legal ​right to do something:


Power does not necessarily or always mean just "ability", it often also means the authority or right to use that ability.

In the context you were using the term "power" (claiming you have the power to work for laws to protect your rights), the mere ability is useless if you do not also have the authority or right to use it.

My question to you, which you have repeatedly avoided answering, is where did you get the authority to use such power?

You claimed that a right does not exist if the law says it does not exist. By that argument, if the law says you do not have the right to work to get laws to protect your rights, then you do not have that right. And without that right, then what good does it do to have the mere "ability" if you cannot use it?

Perhaps you would like to clarify and rephrase your claim using a word that's less ambiguous than "power".

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:20 pm

xouper wrote:You claimed that a right does not exist if the law says it does not exist. By that argument, if the law says you do not have the right to work to get laws to protect your rights, then you do not have that right. And without that right, then what good does it do to have the mere "ability" if you cannot use it?

Perhaps you would like to clarify and rephrase your claim using a word that's less ambiguous than "power".


You are of the opinion that we need some form of permission before doing something. That unless some higher laws says we are allowed to act against the laws of men, we can not possible disobey men's rules because then we would only become criminals, not freedom-fighters.
But most of the rights we have today have been acquired through illegal strikes, protests, civil wars, rebellions, wars and sometimes terrorism - in other words criminal and treasonous acts. The US constitution is a prime example of this.

It is true that revolutionaries, in order to bolster their credibility, will often appeal to some higher rules to justify their violation of actual laws. And indeed you often have to break old rules to establish new one, if the establishment is holding too tight on the old order.
But there is absolutely no need to presuppose that this can only happen because the revolutionaries are in fact just following some natural, abstract laws that supersede the old, legal ones. the existence of such natural laws is an article of faith, not a logical requirement for change.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:31 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:You are of the opinion that we need some form of permission before doing something.

Not quite.

I am saying that all (human) action is either justified by some ethical principle or it is not.

ElectricMonk wrote:... most of the rights we have today have been acquired through illegal strikes, protests, civil wars, rebellions, wars and sometimes terrorism. The US constitution is a prime example of this.

I agree with that (more or less).

My question to you, which you have still not answered, is how do you justify taking those actions?

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:32 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:In the absence of any empirical means to define natural laws,

I can think of many empirical means.

Example: How long can you live without your liver?

That is a simple empirical test that can be repeated on any number of test subjects to collect some statistical data.

From that data, it doesn't take much logic or reasoning to identify not only a natural law, but also the natural right to own your own liver.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:00 pm

xouper wrote:My question to you, which you have still not answered, is how do you justify taking those actions?


Why would I need to justify my actions? And more importantly, to whom? And what purpose would such a justification serve?
In case I want to convince others to consider my actions more than just lawbreaking, I might be tempted to invoke all kinds of justifications, but they are often retroactive and they are in no way necessary for my action in the first place. And of course, if I manage to succeed, I can rewrite history whatever way I want and claim the noblest of reasons for my actions from the very beginning.
I think that justifications we have for our actions is nothing but a story the brain tells itself to explain why we did what we did.


xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:In the absence of any empirical means to define natural laws,

I can think of many empirical means.

Example: How long can you live without your liver?

That is a simple empirical test that can be repeated on any number of test subjects to collect some statistical data.

From that data, it doesn't take much logic or reasoning to identify not only a natural law, but also the natural right to own your own liver.


That is no test whatsoever. We have no context. What if my liver can save a million lives, and I will die in 10 seconds anyway? What if I live in a society which every year fattens up one child (chosen at random) like a goose and then sacrifices its liver to a being that would otherwise destroy an entire village?
In both ways, prevailing morals of the society would suggest that I have less right to my liver than others.

Sorry, but this is not nearly enough to decide whether I have a right to my liver or not.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:12 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
xouper wrote:My question to you, which you have still not answered, is how do you justify taking those actions?


Why would I need to justify my actions? And more importantly, to whom? And what purpose would such a justification serve?

I do not require that you have any justification at all. I am merely asking you to explain to me why you feel justified in making laws to protect your rights. The purpose of explaining your justification is to show us that your beliefs about rights are founded on more than just "because I said so."

ElectricMonk wrote:I think that justifications we have for our actions is nothing but a story the brain tells itself to explain why we did what we did.

You may be right. In which case, your beliefs about rights are no better than mine. Especially if the very foundation of your beliefs about rights are merely "because I said so".

ElectricMonk wrote:
xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:In the absence of any empirical means to define natural laws,

I can think of many empirical means.

Example: How long can you live without your liver?

That is a simple empirical test that can be repeated on any number of test subjects to collect some statistical data.

From that data, it doesn't take much logic or reasoning to identify not only a natural law, but also the natural right to own your own liver.


That is no test whatsoever. We have no context. What if my liver can save a million lives, and I will die in 10 seconds anyway? What if I live in a society which every year fattens up one child (chosen at random) like a goose and then sacrifices its liver to a being that would otherwise destroy an entire village?
In both ways, prevailing morals of the society would suggest that I have less right to my liver than others.

Sorry, but this is not nearly enough to decide whether I have a right to my liver or not.

That's an interesting opinion. I do not agree, but thank you for explaining your opinion that if the law decides to take your liver, you will let them have it, even if you are still using it.

For the record, your opinion does not refute my opinion.

Again, stalemate.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby TJrandom » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:46 pm

I would encourage anyone who believes they have a God given, inalienable, or a natural right, to bear arms - to come to Japan, strapped. I am pretty sure that our immigration and customs agents will set you straight. Same for use of force in self-defense with any deadly object. Go ahead, insist you have that right, under any set of logic you favor, and see how far it gets you.

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby ElectricMonk » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:05 am

xouper wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:I think that justifications we have for our actions is nothing but a story the brain tells itself to explain why we did what we did.

You may be right. In which case, your beliefs about rights are no better than mine. Especially if the very foundation of your beliefs about rights are merely "because I said so".


Except that this is not merely my belief - we now have an overwhelming about of neurological and psychological body for research showing that this is exactly how humans make decisions. We don't make them due to some high moral code, but because we are primed to do them or because of some gut reaction about what should be right.
The justification comes afterwards, and is mostly determined by the result. Ethics is mostly a study of hindsight which hinges on the success of a certain action more than intentions.
One rule we seemed to have identified (and might therefore be considered 'natural') is a sense of fairness: if I consider you my equal, and we do not share the same set of rights, I will feel morally wronged by this inequality. This rule would be enough to equalize existing rights across all humanity in the long run, but it will not help us create new rights.

xouper wrote:That's an interesting opinion. I do not agree, but thank you for explaining your opinion that if the law decides to take your liver, you will let them have it, even if you are still using it.

For the record, your opinion does not refute my opinion.



Disclaimer: the following is not a change of my opinion but a clarification of my statements

look, obviously this is not my opinion (please stop calling it that - I am trying to explain something abstract which should have as little as possible to do with anyone's opinion) .
I am very much attached to my liver, and I think it's doing a splendid job where it is and can not think of any circumstance under which I would willingly part with it.
But I have to recognize that this attitude is the product of the accident of my birth: because I was born into a society which values individual liberties very highly, and because I identify with this society's values, I too, believe that my liver is mine no matter what.
But consider if I had been born earlier and/or somewhere else. Throughout history, the interchange between the individual and the group used to be defined by duties to the group, not by rights for the individual. The concept of the individual as an independent unit is still strange for many cultures. It is often the family which is the smallest unit, not the person. Having been brought up in such a society, I might very well consider it my moral duty to give up this organ for the benefit of my family, my group, my country. One might argue that soldiers do just that, even in western societies.
Now, given that I want to keep my body intact today and forever, can I make the argument that societies without such strong rights of the individual are just wrong? Can I be sure that my humanistic view is now and always will be the correct one? Have I achieve some objective moral truth, just because I was born at a time where people had implemented humanism? Does the humanist view represent the only correct formula on how human societies must the ordered?

I think that we should be very careful not to fix our current moral beliefs to some absolute list of truths, because that would leave no room for improvement.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby xouper » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:42 am

TJrandom wrote:I would encourage anyone who believes they have a God given, inalienable, or a natural right, to bear arms - to come to Japan, strapped. I am pretty sure that our immigration and customs agents will set you straight. Same for use of force in self-defense with any deadly object. Go ahead, insist you have that right, under any set of logic you favor, and see how far it gets you.

By your argument, if your government says you don't have the right to free speech, or the right to own your own liver, then you accept that without complaint?

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Re: NRA - a terrorist organisation

Postby TJrandom » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:15 am

xouper wrote:
TJrandom wrote:I would encourage anyone who believes they have a God given, inalienable, or a natural right, to bear arms - to come to Japan, strapped. I am pretty sure that our immigration and customs agents will set you straight. Same for use of force in self-defense with any deadly object. Go ahead, insist you have that right, under any set of logic you favor, and see how far it gets you.

By your argument, if your government says you don't have the right to free speech, or the right to own your own liver, then you accept that without complaint?


It matters not one iota whether I complain or arrive early for its removal. The government sets rights - legal rights, and they are the ones that matter from a practical standpoint. As EM (I believe it was EM…) wrote – if I don`t like what I get, I can move, vote them out of office, or revolt (with all of the consequences that would come from that should I not be successful).


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