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Devil's Advocate

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Everything posted by Devil's Advocate

  1. Supporting reference material to previous post: https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Founding-Fathers-and-Slavery-1269536
  2. 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??
  3. 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?
  4. Colonialism is immoral vs Thank you for British Colonialism
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. I will accept this one as well from Oxford Dictionaries: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/colonialism
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. Perhaps, but I can't help wondering if the American "Indians" might have fared better from a more complete withdrawal.
  13. @EC, This is why I suggest the positive ideals of rights and capitalism remain unknown, or are known incorrectly by practice. Those who fault capitalism seldom qualify their criticism in the context of the failing of a mixed economic version. To be fair, Mishra is basing his conclusions on the experience of this kind of flawed practice, not that which has yet to be achieved. But in order to begin to understand today's international angst, it's important to recognize the context such as it is, not as how it ought to be. I might argue, for example, that the black market is more capitalistic than wall street by virtue of a lack of regulation, but that remains unfair to the positive ideal of capitalism. By the same reasoning, one can fault the practice of rights enforced by otherwise liberal societies that exclude or exploit them, but that remains unfair to the positive ideal of rights. Nevertheless we live in a world of practice, not ideals, and there's plenty of evidence supporting Mishra's point that much of today's violence is in reaction to experiencing the flaw in lieu of the ideal.
  14. @softwareNerd This link offers a fair synopsis of Age of Anger, which may be helpful to better understand my argument https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/08/welcome-age-anger-brexit-trump
  15. Sorry, I guess I'm still learning to use my words. What I'm trying to express is an argument that positive ideals like Rights and Capitalism remain unknown primarily due to a faulty practice of them. I suppose that's because ideals require sponsorship of the kind represented by British colonists, which is why I was intrigued by your defense of them earlier. British colonists interacted with "Indians" on two separate continents and when they left, the power vacuum which was filled in both cases by leaders who applied what they had learned from their colonial experience. I would argue the British never really left the Americas, but that's just another thread. From today's perspective on these two instances of British colonialism, do you still maintain the lives of the Indians and their descendants are better off (on balance) from those colonial practices of Rights and Capitalism?
  16. Europeans offered trade deals that literally couldn't be refused because they were negotiated from a position of power and historical advantage. Where trade agreements did occur, they were of the kind one might expect children to make with adults. And the colonialists thought (as you suggest) that these cultures benefited, or at least were no worse off in the exchange. What followed was a period of mimicry where the less advanced attempted to jump forward by passing through hoops designed by the more advanced, e.g. play dress-up and learn to speaka-lika-colonist. But becoming a peer culture was never really attainable for essentially the same reason a child can never really compete with an adult. They cannot compete as peers, but they can become dangerous, and so they did. The colonists experienced violent push-back in their day, but nothing like the scale modern weaponry can bring to bear. So yesterday's colonists have become today's nationalists, desperately trying to return that infectious notion of rights their ancestors unwittingly scattered about the world back into Pandora's Box, while today's terrorists ride about in Toyotas with iPads seeking equality by attempting to level the playing field with fire. Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond, sets a historical stage, that Age of Anger, by Pankaj Mishra, populates with today's actors. Both are worth a read, and probably in that order.
  17. It does mater in terms of understanding their motivation in order to deal more effectively with a threat that complacency otherwise dismisses.
  18. More closely that some people in the East hate the West because the West exposed them to a principle of equal rights, e.g. property, pursuit of happiness, they could not experience.
  19. Well Doug, I'd say the terms you're using, e.g. "erased", "copied", determine the difference, but DonAthos may be more agreeable. My contention is that resurrection (if you will) of the body implies resurrection of the mind according to the Law of Identity, i.e., the "first person" having the experience remains the same person that arrives on the other side by default.
  20. There is evidence* that colonization is largely responsible for the violence being visited on the descendants of those who practiced it. It appears that exposure to the idea of rights being imported by the colonizers had the unintended consequence of kindling resentment and self-loathing in those who, failing to mimic the success of the colonizers, now seek to level the playing field by bringing them down. In retrospect it seems the moral argument against colonization has proven to be correct, so I wonder if your opinion of colonization being a net benefit to Indians is challenged by today's events? * ref: Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger
  21. Is there any aspect that you approve of?
  22. The difference would be the creation of a mind-body dichotomy similar to the example of cloning. A copy, by any definition, creates a 2nd something (or a 3rd, 4th, etc), which the Law of Identity posits as NOT the same. In your scenario, the original mind remains with the body, suffers the stroke, and is brought back to life, i.e. once the body is returned to normal function, one presumes the original mind returns as well. By "original", I mean whatever mind is present as a result of the body that generates it; same body - same mind.
  23. Perhaps consider this: Is it the vessel that validates reality, or its contents? Your problem is essentially confined to a zero sum game for all intents and purposes (setting the Riker, and other examples aside); one individual in - one individual out. The food unit, for example, uses additional stuff to produce the meal, but the transporter does not. So unless you're struggling with the concept of a disembodied soul, what you put in is exactly what you get out. If this were a computer with software, which includes AI, I doubt you'd consider the reassembled AI as a different program.
  24. Today's Random Quote seems appropriate: "Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not yet understood." ~ Henry Miller.
  25. Given the choices, this one is most true to me on the presumption that liberty implies life.
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