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Devil's Advocate

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Devil's Advocate last won the day on December 19 2018

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  1. Devil's Advocate

    The Transporter Problem

    I don't believe the Law of Identity allows for any other interpretation. I believe that continuity implies the sameness of living, meaning those processes that any individual is in possession of that sustain their own life. A momentary lapse of mental faculty doesn't imply a death of self as long as the body that animates both flesh and mind retain the ability of self-generated action. Got body = got mind. The absence of a 2nd individual to dispute the original's claim to life implies no other definition is as reliable to posit self-hood, IMO.
  2. Devil's Advocate

    Is your self an illusion?

    No, for essentially the same reasons I point to in the Transporter Problem thread; the Law of Identity and the mind/body dichotomy. Easter philosophy and fake memories aside, this remains essentially the function of a particular body creating a particular mind. Resurrection or transportation constitute a closed loop (or zero sum game), whereas the introduction of new material, e.g. cloning, prosthetic bodies create duplication or additions to the original and therefore create a fundamentally different self.
  3. Devil's Advocate


    "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." ~ Declaration of Independence Your willingness (and others) to choose (and be grateful for) a lesser evil, one you can live with, is likely why the ideal practice of rights remains beyond our ability to experience socially.
  4. Devil's Advocate


    The distinction I was pointing to (that I hope you'll respond to) is that flawed as they were, the Founders actually dared to place a limit on their own rule by expressly establishing a rights violation benchmark that is objectively true. I believe this is unique in history, and makes "best in their time" argument irrelevant, because they fell short. Far from excusing all prior leaders for not knowing better, the truth of this benchmark determines the immorality of all prior forms of social leadership (including their own) because the lesser of two evils remains fundamentally evil. In addition, I will presume that even in the worst of historical times there were always those who not only met the rights benchmark individually but would have changed the history of social rights recognition had they not been prevented from doing so by the brutes who were in charge in their day (and ours). So I will reserve my gratitude to those individuals throughout history who not only knew better, but practiced it (which included certain individuals who were also Founders).
  5. Devil's Advocate


    Supporting reference material to previous post: https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Founding-Fathers-and-Slavery-1269536
  6. Devil's Advocate


    I wouldn't thank the Founders who didn't live up to the language they were embracing, and there were those who felt betrayed by the perpetuation of slavery but accepted the less than perfect administration of individual rights that was available at that time. I can respect that they established a framework that allowed for the eventual acceptance of rights we enjoy today. Of course the flip side is that today's (and their constituencies) can also work to erode what we have today. The "experiment" isn't over. But again, can you also endorse the flawed practice of colonialism for the potential improvement of rights that might have followed? Where is the British Declaration of stated intent to move in that direction??
  7. Devil's Advocate


    Fair enough, but the Founders acknowledged the American form of self-governance was an experiment; a work in progress to form a "more perfect union". Are you comfortable asserting British Colonialism has equivalent operational room to maneuver in the recognition of individual rights?
  8. Devil's Advocate


    Colonialism is immoral vs Thank you for British Colonialism
  9. Devil's Advocate


    Immoral by practice Yes, but it makes your expressions of gratitude and apparent approval of British Colonialism curious given: These statements appear to be contradictory to me, but perhaps you believe that incidental acts that benefit those who are subjected to colonialism fundamentally alters the morality of the practice?
  10. Devil's Advocate


    That seems to thread a needle, but OK OK I will agree if by "mother country" you mean sponsorship. I appreciate your clarifications and hope that my position regarding the morality of colonization, based on the historical practice of it, is sufficiently clear you. I will be happy to fill in any gaps of clarity for the purpose of this discussion. At this point at would only add that any particular definition that doesn't include the sponsorship by a stronger country over a weaker one, and that wasn't initiated for the purpose of exploiting the resources of that weaker one, would not sufficiently define colonialism. Beyond that, HaPpY HoLiDaYs. I'm preparing to visit family and friends so will continue to check in again from time to time but not as frequently until January.
  11. Devil's Advocate


    OK, I'll play. There are many definitions of colonialism, of which the common thread is an expansion by Group "A" in pursuit of resources (else why bother) into an area with resources of the kind desired by Group "A" that happens to be populated with members of Group "B". In the historical context, this doesn't often work well for Group "B", if at all. In terms of property (a right), Group "B" gets less of it, and in the case of the Americas that measures to about 2% today: https://www.quora.com/What-percent-of-US-land-is-still-owned-by-Native-Americans (please feel free to dispute this, or talk about casinos) History is short on examples where this kind of expansion was welcomed by the group who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, thus my characterization of the group seeking resources as an interloper (please feel free to dispute this as well). What we see today is essentially the reverse of colonialism where a weaker interloper attempts to colonize lands with resources that happen to be populated by members of a stronger group. Obviously that can't be tolerated, because MIGHT MAKES RIGHT, and no one should be FORCED TO SHARE or TRADE (if you care to dispute the Trader Principle, have at it). At this point you appear to be an argument in pursuit of a definition, so please provide one. I've given you mine.
  12. Devil's Advocate


    I will accept this one as well from Oxford Dictionaries: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/colonialism
  13. Devil's Advocate


    As I stated, I've been working with the definition you responded to, and we may continue with that one if you prefer. Merriam-Webster's definition uses the words "power" and "dependent" which is also suitable in the context of British masters and Indian subjects, but my argument doesn't depend on that particular reference. What does yours depend on?
  14. Devil's Advocate


    I have been working with the one you responded to provided by: @Free Thinker, however I'll accept Merriam-Webster's as well: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colonialism (see 3a & 3b) Continuity: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/continuity (see 1a & 1b) Interloper: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/interloper (see a & b) Are we agreed to terms?
  15. Devil's Advocate


    A continuity? The inevitability of mass deaths, corrupt leadership and poor living conditions used to justify a "no worse off" argument for what happened to native populations is counter-factual too, n'est-ce pas? What occurred was exposure to formidable interlopers whose actions demonstrated the practice of "might makes right", regardless of how they spoke about it. And that lesson was learned, went viral and continues to rationalize the actions of those who vie for power today. Therefore, I'm inclined to believe the practice of colonialism, imperialism and the like are immoral, regardless of whatever incidental benefits fall as scraps from the interloper's table, because the ends do not justify the means. Perhaps the Trader Principle is an unknown ideal too?