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Old 03-29-2005, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I Am a Liberal, But I Am Amoral ??? Compared to What?

One of our own members here at TFP Politics, posted his opinion that liberals are "amoral". I believe that one thing that liberals have in common, is an inability to consistantly view issues as either black or white; right or wrong. When I delve into the details of issues such as "a woman's right to choose", or the permissibility of same sex marriage, I develop strong opinions for the argument that these are issues to be left to the decision of the people involved, preferrably in private. I am of the same mind when it comes to family members determining when to start or stop artificial methods of life support.

I want accountable, transparent, secular government. I do not subscribe to a mindset, that on many issues, stresses an overriding need to stop abuse of laws or benefits, to the point of entirely eliminating or making it much more difficult to obtain the benefit or relief,

Two examples are the passage of the "bankrutpcy reform" bill that uses the excuse for the need to stop the probable 20 percent, at most, who might be
abusing the chapter 7 debt relief provision in the current law, to pass a "reform" that makes it extremely difficult for the 80 percent of legitimate filers
to qualify for debt relief, many of whom are financially insolvent due to illness.

And.....the opinion that all welfare recipients should submit to mandatory drug and substance abuse testing because a small, stereotypical minority are perceived to buy drugs or alcohol with the proceeds of their benefits.
Too often, I see opinions that are simplistic solutions to complex problems. The solutions are commonly more control, more requirements, less privacy, and proposals that put a greater burden on the least of us, usually in return for less protections and benefits than the abiding majority already enjoy.

I would be more inclined to see the point of an emphasis on stopping the abuse of bankruptcy filing and accepting welfare relief, if I saw a similar outcry and political effort aimed at the corporate criminals who bilk society of vastly greater sums of money, with so little consequence. Where are the proposals to test CEO's of public companies for substance abuse ? Why is the only meaningful results of criminal investigation and prosecution of corporate crime and stock fraud coming from the attorney general's office in one state?

In short, the reaction by those of the opposite view is a focus on targetting those sterotypical abusers of the status quo at the expense of the large majority who obey the rules and genuinely qualify. The Reagan era stereotype of the cadillac driving, "welfare queen" has been replaced by the drug addict on welfare, trading his food stamps for a bag of his drug of choice.

Now......I'm labelled as an "amoral liberal". I'll consider wearing it proudly, if
you'll answer the question, "amoral liberal".....as opposed to what ?

Opposed to this ?:
Quote:
<a href="http://www.opinioneditorials.com/freedomwriters/vmcdonald_20050328.html">http://www.opinioneditorials.com/freedomwriters/vmcdonald_20050328.html</a>
March 28, 2005

The Wages of Moral Relativism

Vance McDonald

America is now a nation ruled by the amoral and fallible will of men. They are called lawyers. The warning has been coming for decades. The current case involving the litigated and legally mandated death sentence of Terri Schiavo has now confirmed our current fate. This should be no surprise.

For at least fifty years we have been indoctrinated with the specious argument that a traditional, rational and common moral code of conduct is bourgeois and unsophisticated. This journey of cultural madness has culminated in massive societal confusion regarding whether right and wrong behavior even exists. This is unless a particular concept is in social vogue as being fashionably acceptable. In which case, principles of right and wrong suddenly spring into legitimacy, i.e., the popular notion of moral goodness of the choice to abort nascent human life. The doctrine of moral relativism now rules.

The fruits of this insanity have now created an ethical vacuum within America that has allowed “the law” to become the de facto cultural moral compass. And, of course, there must be those high priests in black robes who will interpret and define how “the law” will be applied to each of us – as they see it. They are the new arbitrary and indisputable judges subjecting each of us to “the law” according to their individual amoral position. And this wholly subjective and upside down wielding of power is supposedly for the benefit of society. They profess in their sanctimonious intellectual superiority that they, the wondrous oracles in suits with degrees from pristine humanist temples of academia, will show us the way.

The case of Terri Schiavo has borne all of this social psychosis out. The fully indoctrinated moral relativist lawyers are now firmly ensconced. Because “the law” is now the ultimate dictate, the lawyers are now the equivalent of the Inquisitors. The American people and their representatives are now subject to rule by the great black robes. Their hubris is complete and dripping.

If moral common sense versus moral relativism was the foundation of the legal search for justice in the Schiavo case, the vacant husband’s conflict of interest and hearsay testimony would be abandoned and Terri Schiavo’s fate be handed to her loving parents. At the least, a new trial would be ordered post-haste. After all, this is a capital matter.

But the religious fervor accorded the dogma of moral relativism within the legal profession has now rendered impossible the objective and ostensible mission of lawyers and judges to administer justice in a rational, fair and timely manner in this case. Indeed, the automaton lawyers are so mired in their own sterile machinations and legal processes that by the time anyone reads this piece Terri may very well be dead.

Where will it end? Will “the law” eventually allow general hearsay testimony to mandate mercy killing en masse – for the good of society? The cultural sickness of moral relativism has transformed lawyers into the devil’s advocates. America’s citizens are both enablers and victims.

The Schiavo matter is one more warning. Worshipping an amoral perception of social conduct has throughout history allowed “the law” to lead the way to tyranny. From the emperors of Imperial Rome, to the religious dictatorship following Rome’s demise, to the subsequent monarchies of Europe, to the terror of the French Revolution, to the mass crimes against humanity of V.I. Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Tojo, Mao, Castro, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and on and on, the sanctity of “the law” without the guiding influence of moral common sense has always been the direct conduit to despotism.

Lacking the guidance of that still small voice of moral clarity, the principles and devotees of “the law” cannot rationally support “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Our current societal path of amoral cultural conscience will eventually lead to total enslavement by the dictator barristers of the bar. They will be enabled to mandate at will the final solution of how and when we live and die.

This cannot stand. The concept and acceptance of individual and societal moral relativism must be consigned to the toilet of history. Let this be the legacy of Terri Schiavo.

Vance McDonald is a social and political commentator living in Austin, TX.
I wonder if Vance McDonald got as worked up about the 5 SCOTUS Judges
unsigned opinion in Gore v. Bush..........

Or this ???
Quote:
<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/29/politics/29donate.html?">http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/29/politics/29donate.html?</a>
List of Schiavo Donors Will Be Sold by Direct-Marketing Firm
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and JOHN SCHWARTZ

Published: March 29, 2005

WASHINGTON, March 28 - The parents of Terri Schiavo have authorized a conservative direct-mailing firm to sell a list of their financial supporters, making it likely that thousands of strangers moved by her plight will receive a steady stream of solicitations from anti-abortion and conservative groups.

"These compassionate pro-lifers donated toward Bob Schindler's legal battle to keep Terri's estranged husband from removing the feeding tube from Terri," says a description of the list on the Web site of the firm, Response Unlimited, which is asking $150 a month for 6,000 names and $500 a month for 4,000 e-mail addresses of people who responded last month to an e-mail plea from Ms. Schiavo's father. "These individuals are passionate about the way they value human life, adamantly oppose euthanasia and are pro-life in every sense of the word!"

Privacy experts said the sale of the list was legal and even predictable, if ghoulish............

.........................Executives of Response Unlimited declined to comment. Gary McCullough, director of the Christian Communication Network and a spokesman for Ms. Schiavo's parents, confirmed that Mr. Schindler had agreed to let Response Unlimited rent out the list as part of a deal for the firm to send an e-mail solicitation raising money on the family's behalf.

The Schindlers have waged a lengthy legal battle against their son-in-law Michael Schiavo to prevent the removal of the feeding tube from their daughter, who doctors say is in a persistent vegetative state.

Mr. McCullough said he was present when Mr. Schindler agreed to the arrangement in a conversation with Phil Sheldon, the co-founder of a conservative online marketing organization, RightMarch.com, who acted as a broker for Response Unlimited.

"So the Schindlers do know the details," Mr. McCullough said on Monday. How much attention they paid to the matter is hard to assess, he added. "The Schindlers right now know that their daughter is starving to death, and if I ask about anything else, they say, 'I don't want to hear about it.' "..........

................."This time, we have a real chance to break through the 'roadblocks' that the enemies of life have been putting up in front of us," said a mass e-mailing from RightMarch.com, asking supporters to urge Gov. Jeb Bush to intervene somehow.

The message added: "We're asking you to give a donation to help with our activism efforts to save Terri's life. Battles cost money; resources cost money; media costs money; we could go on, but you get the picture."

Mr. Sheldon - whose father, the Rev. Lou Sheldon, founder of the Traditional Values Coalition, has also sent appeals urging support for Ms. Schiavo - apparently played a dual role as a partner in RightMarch.com, which is working with the anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, and as a broker for Response Unlimited. Mr. Sheldon did not respond to phone calls yesterday.

"I think it sounds a little unusual right now because of the situation where she is in the process of dying," said Richard Viguerie, another major conservative direct-mail operator. "If you came across this information six months or a year from now, I don't think you would give it too much thought."
Or these items from the RightMarch website homepage?
Quote:
<a href="http://rightmarch.com/">http://rightmarch.com/</a>
Welcome to RightMarch.com
Leading the Virtual March from the Right

Save Terri Schiavo From Starvation!
They're about to starve a disabled woman to death in Florida. Out-of-control judges and greedy lawyers are set to remove the feeding tube from Terri Schindler-Schiavo this week. She's not brain dead, nor in a coma, nor on any life support system; she is simply severely handicapped. She laughs and cries and tries to talk with her parents. And the judges and lawyers want to kill her. WE MUST STOP THEM NOW. You can help by taking action below.
CLICK HERE to read more...
CLICK HERE to see us in action in Tallahassee...
CLICK HERE to help pay for our efforts and our nationwide ad to save Terri...
CLICK HERE to view the video "I Want To Live"...

.........Boy Scouts Under Attack: Help Defend Them!
Remember when the radical leftists at the American Civil Liberties Union took their case against the Boy Scouts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, to try to force them to accept homosexual scoutmasters? Remember watching as one by one, the ACLU got cities and companies to withdraw their support for the Boy Scouts because of their insistence on their members holding a belief in God? Once again, the Boy Scouts are under ATTACK by the ACLU -- and this time, it looks like the ACLU is going to WIN... unless WE do something to stop them!
CLICK HERE to read more...
Or opposed to this ??
Quote:
<a href="http://www.focusonyourchild.com/hottopics/A0001284.cfm">http://www.focusonyourchild.com/hottopics/A0001284.cfm</a>

# How Parents Can Prevent Homosexuality
Is homosexuality learned, biological or both? The answer to this question deeply concerns parents. Many would have us believe that nothing can be done to foster the development of healthy heterosexual orientation in children. Dr. Nicolosi indicates otherwise.
Is it that simple ??? Amoral liberals, bad. ACLU, bad. Boy Scouts' policy of excluding homosexually oriented scoutmasters, good. Or is what I so often perceive to be hypocrisy, class warfare and religious, racial, or sexual orientation/lifestyle intolerance, actually more sincere and constructive than it seems to be ?

Last edited by host; 03-29-2005 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Or am I an "amoral liberal", as opposed to this ???
Quote:
<a href="http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/pa/index.ssf?/base/news-25/1112132032166400.xml&storylist=penn">http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/pa/index.ssf?/base/news-25/1112132032166400.xml&storylist=penn</a>
NewsFlash Home | More Pennsylvania News
Pa. college professor arrested at Schiavo hospice
3/29/2005, 4:38 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (AP) — A professor at a Bible college near Scranton, Pa., was arrested Tuesday as he tried to storm into the hospice caring for Terri Schiavo.

Dow Pursley, 56, was zapped with a Taser stun gun and tackled to the ground by officers before he reached the door, Pinellas Park police said. He became the 47th protester arrested.

Pursley, who is on the faculty of the Baptist Bible College & Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pa., had two bottles of water with him, police said. He was charged with attempted burglary and resisting arrest.

Baptist Bible College officials said in a written statement that Pursley was not acting on the school's behalf and had traveled to Florida on his personal time.

"He is a dedicated man with strong beliefs and God-given convictions," the statement said.
<b>
Pursley is the clinical director of counseling programs for the theological college's graduate school. He also helps oversee a campus clinic that offers psychological counseling based on biblical teaching..........</b>
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think you're an amoral liberal compared to that sack of shit who sat on the Greta whatever her name is show tonight and explained that:

he didn't go to jail while his, what looked to be a 5 year old boy, was arrested because he wanted to make sure he got out safely

so greta asked some questions while the proud father looked on, clutching his bible to his chest!

so, do you know what is going on?
kid: well, they aren't feeding her or giving her water. they are killing her

well, do you know how she got in that condition?
uh no, but I know it's wrong


yeah, a sack of shit, in my opinion. a whole thread spiraling down the tubes because somebody looked at young boys (what? 17, 13, 8? who knows--but he deserves death and/or flogging according to some) yet this child abuse is acceptable.
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In my experience, liberals tend to take a more (and sometimes overly) nuanced view of complex issues, while conservatives take a more (and sometimes overly) black-and-white view of those issues. The effect of that is that liberals look to conservatives like wishy-washy wafflers with no backbone or moral fiber, and conservatives look to liberals like shallow, dogmatic talking-point-regurgitators who follow blindly and don't think.

I saw a poll that demonstrated (I'm paraphrasing) that liberals are interested in hearing all sides of an issue, and conservatives are interested in hearing the side of an issue that they already agree with. Hence the radical shift to the right in the media over the last few years.
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
yeah, a sack of shit, in my opinion. a whole thread spiraling down the tubes because somebody looked at young boys (what? 17, 13, 8? who knows--but he deserves death and/or flogging according to some) yet this child abuse is acceptable.
You don't have children do you?
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Old 03-30-2005, 07:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
You don't have children do you?
ncb:
what does this question mean?
what are you syaing by way of it?
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Liberals do have morals. Just because their morals and the means by which they develop them is different from some conservatives, doesn't mean they completely lack them. As I said in my Philosophy class a couple of semesters ago, "Just because I'm an athiest, doesn't make me amoral."
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
ncb:
what does this question mean?
what are you syaing by way of it?
I have no idea, but it's absolutely absurd in light of the entire post I wrote.
It's symptomatic of what we've discussed in prior threads: namely the logical inconsistency between various talking points of republicans and their inability or unwillingness to engage in self-reflexivity.

I'll deconstruct it:
What is implies to me is that there is no difference between looking at pictures of 17 year olds, 13 year olds, and 8 year olds--they are all morally reprobate.

How this meshes with various ways of engaging with one's sexual fantasies, specifically on this board a point you already raised roachboy, such as, viewing people who pretend or appear to be minors--most blatant examples would be japanese schoolgirl fantasies, "barely legal," teen posts, tease posts (which scrape the line since they don't show nudity--how this doesn't conflict with the prohibition that the thought constitutes the crime, I am unclear on), but all of those types of fantasies are somehow ok when we discuss the particular case of the scout employee.

Then we have the problematic assumption that 17 and 8 year olds do not contain varying levels of ability of consent to sexual activity--even within their own cohorts, let alone across them. And the other interesting premise that none of them look anything like their adult counterparts (also stated in that thread). Now, I've been warned of deletion of my account in response to my arguing that all humans, minors included, ought to be able to make their own, autonomous decisions regarding sexual activity rather than government, so I won't carry that argument out here.

But I will point out the inconsistency of holding this opinion (that 17 and 8 year olds alike are incapable of consent in regards to sexual activity--that all interactions with them are predatory on the face of it) but 5 year old boys can make autonomous political decisions (stated in the shiavo thread in defense of what this parent did--that noone really knows if this boy was conducting himself according to his own political/religious belief system).



The fact that I left the first set of assumptions unquestioned, actually, goes right past NCB.
That is, since I questioned how this type of abuse could be supported in light of the other thread, the implication would be that I was not disputing whether sexual predation is abuse.


Now, when I pull their statements out of the moral domain and evaluate their logical consistency with one another, that seems to be interpreted by conservatives that I can't make moral evaluations--when in fact that charge is more properly laid at their feet. The fact that I refuse to view all of the former as morally reprobate renders me amoral--regardless if it then creates logical inconsistency on my standpoints on other issues (as it does for them). What does that make someone who can't distinguish between any of this?

So, yeah, what is NCB trying to say?
I guess at it's simplest level it implies that a parent can hold the opinion that all minors, regardless of age, are victims when it comes to sexuality, but that all minors, regardless of age, are autonomous decision makers when it comes to politics/religion.

But only parents can understand that; since my post questions it, I must not be a parent.
(I'll still leave that question unanswered since it seems to me to be my own personal life and I refuse to admit it has any bearing on my understanding of the logical inconsistency I've tried to outline in the awkward form of communication we're constrained by here).



Quote:
Originally Posted by P-Naughty
Liberals do have morals. Just because their morals and the means by which they develop them is different from some conservatives, doesn't mean they completely lack them. As I said in my Philosophy class a couple of semesters ago, "Just because I'm an athiest, doesn't make me amoral."
lol, you should have told them not to confuse your immorality with amorality!
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Last edited by smooth; 03-30-2005 at 08:56 AM..
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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crapola, I've done it...
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This is funny because I just wrote a university paper about how many pieces of legislation are the government's attempt to legislate morality.

I came to the conclusion that there are different morals for different people, both sides have an equal stake at what is moral and right, different strokes for different folks. Everyone is allowed to have their belief.

The fact that the government is biased to one side is unacceptable though, not everyone in the country shares the common Christian fundamental mores.
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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the 'moral relativism' argument is specifically designed to paint things as having to choose between two clearly defined right and wrong answers. It's the diehard republican(note that i'm not saying average conservative here) strategy to insure that those who aren't on the extreme of either side feel they have to choose 'the right' or moral choice instead of allowing that moderate or centrist to stray to a middle party.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We all want to legislate morals, because that's what we think is RIGHT.
Like polygamy. It's illegal in this country, yet many people see no problem with it in other cutures. Why do we see it as something we need to make illegal? Because we see it as wrong.
I see few laws that aren't in some way related to a set of morals.
The only two things that have been found to be commonly looked down upon by ever cuture are incest (to varying degrees) and genocide. Everything else is morals.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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There are some cultures that didn't have a problem with genocide either. One in particular was run by a very right-wing, moralistic, patriotic and clear-thinking individual who had little time for woolly-minded liberals, or Jews.
 
Old 03-30-2005, 09:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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^^^^^^

Godwin'd in 13 posts......that's fast.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey I never actually said it!
(If it hadn't been me, someone else would have done it)
 
Old 03-30-2005, 09:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes, you're probably with Al Qaeda too.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Godwin'd in 13 posts......that's fast.
interesting tactic, this--particularly in a context where the implications of claims to absolute morality lead you straight to fascism when you map them onto politics. using this move, you can trivialize the problem. it's easier that way for you, isnt it? better that than think about the question of how these positions might bleed into each other, yes?
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
I dont know why this definition is made so often.

To me liberals vs conservative is not a meaningful distinction. Both liberals and conservatoves are capitalists - and thus they are placed on one side of the great political divide. On the other side is ths radical working class, the communists.

conservatives seek to preserve the current order, liberals seek only to reform the current order. The reformers is the friend of the capitalist - it is by this tactic that the ruling class divide and conquer the working class. Look at the example of Affirmatibve Action for example... the working class is divided by being turned against itself... one group is given a greater opportunity than the other, and thus the two groups compete, one to defend their advantage, and one to withdraw this advantage. The conservative - even if he is an ethnic minoprity who AA is designed to protect, will seek to maintain the advantage of the white students (in this example) while the liberal - even if she is white - will aim to promote AA to reduce the impact of prejudice and discrimination in school and so on.

To be a communist is really to make two statements - that it is understood that it is incorrect for the white students to be advantaged over the other ethnic groups; but that we do not aim at increasing the opportunity or freedom of one part of the working class, we aim for radical changes in the social order which free the ENTIRE working class. We do not aim ultimately to reform a corrupt unfair system, we aim for this system to be dismantled, to cease to exist, and to be replaced by communist relations of production.

The liberal and the conservative may both me moral or amoral - both may act out of selfishness or perceived moral good - but both stand as the opponent of revolution. Those who stand for the revolution must understand that both ideologies must be swept aside.

If we are asked to choose between Bush and Kerry, my own feeling is that Kerry is a better choice because his reforms will reduce some of the worst suffering of the working class that exists right now, but we must understand Kerry is the enemy as much as Bush is... in fact reform can be dangerous because in the short term it can be a method of averting the unstoppable path of human history which leads us to communism, by appeasing the working class - a more right wing leader, more OPENLY and MORALISTICALLY capitalist may attack the working class far more strongly, which will lead to more immediate revolution.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
...using this move, you can trivialize the problem. it's easier that way for you, isnt it? ...
Bringing Hitler into the discussion is trivializing it.

It instantly dilutes the entire argument into extreme examples of worst-case scenarios.

Why do you think there is a "Godwin's Law"? Do you think it is because of how valuable the addition of a comparison to Hitler is?

Should we now go down the road of how Bush is Hitler and the conservatives are trying to institute fascism?

Or should we, the conservatives, be as dismissive to this tactic as you are to ours?

It works both ways roach.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:54 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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kma---

in certain situations, being warned that aspects of your politics present a fascist-style danger to all of us--you, me, all of us--as is the case here with anything like a claim to knowledge of absolute morality being floated from the right--from the right, not anyone else---being translated from a conceit of certain segments of a particular religious environment into mass politics---requires that one be graphic about it.

not all references to fascism are equivalent.
despite your rhetorical efforts to make them so.

as for "why "we" have godwin's law"--"we" do not have anything---there is this stupid "law" you refer to, and the effects that follow from invoking it. it is a device that you use to trivialilze associations with fascism that pertain to your politics. that's all it is. it is a way of avoiding these problems. it is a way of not addressing concerns.

in this case, more than in most others, it is obvious evasion: or perhaps you do not see any problems that might follow from this claim that the right now works from a standpoint of absolute morality, that evangelical protestant groups know what this absolute morality is, that they and they alone define it? coupled with the total intolerance of anyone and everyone who opposes them? if you have no problem with that, then say as much and defend the position--dont resort to some facile dodge.

[[caveat: not all fascism resulted in hitler. fascism is bigger than hitler--anyone who has studied it even a little is aware of that--the danger fascism poses now has to do with the formal continuities between it and aspects of contemporary conservative discourse--no-one is here equating bush and hitler, for christ's sake--there was mussolini, there was franco, there was japan in the 1930s-40s, there was peron, lots of variants....all radically nationalist, all willing to make absolute claims about elements of that nationalism, all interested in purifying the body politics, intolerant of dissent (minions of satan, dontcha know), etc.]]
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:55 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I was just pointing out the fact that linking oneself to a strict set of morals is open to debate - while the example is extreme, it is a valid one.

Simplicity of thought does not equate to correctness or logical consistancy.

It would be simplistic to equate Bush to Hitler (or Bin Ladin), however, that is what must happen when you measure things using the ruler of absolute morality. I'm sure neither Hitler nor Bin Ladin would describe themselves as liberal or amoral. They DO pass the absolute morality test - it just points out that the morality test is a silly one to use because it logically throws up absurdities.
 
Old 03-30-2005, 10:00 AM   #22 (permalink)
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5. What should I do if somebody else invokes Godwin's Law?
The obvious response is to call them on it, say "thread's over", and declare victory. This is also one of the stupidest possible responses, because it involves believing far too much in the power of a few rules that don't say exactly what you wish they said anyway. The proper response to an invocation is probably to simply followup with a message saying "Oh. I'm a Nazi? Sure. Bye" and leave, and in most cases even that much of a post is unnecessary.

6. "Hitler!" Ha! The thread is over!
Nope, doesn't work that way. Not only is it wrong to say that a thread is over when Godwin's Law is invoked anyway (Usenet threads virtually always outlive their usefulness), but long ago a corollary to the Law was proposed and accepted by Taki "Quirk" Kogama (quirk@swcp.com): Quirk's Exception: Intentional invocation of this so-called "Nazi Clause" is ineffectual. Sorry, folks. Nice try, though.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
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KMA-628: I Want to point out an excerpt from the first quote box in my opening post:
Quote:
.........The Schiavo matter is one more warning. Worshipping an amoral perception of social conduct has throughout history allowed “the law” to lead the way to tyranny. From the emperors of Imperial Rome, to the religious dictatorship following Rome’s demise, to the subsequent monarchies of Europe, to the terror of the French Revolution, to the mass crimes against humanity of V.I. Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Tojo, Mao, Castro, Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and on and on, the sanctity of “the law” without the guiding influence of moral common sense has always been the direct conduit to despotism.............
Please consider that roachboy's reference to fascism is to many of us, an accurate description of what the thugs you support in the Bush administration are about today, It is the inherent symptom of their malignant policy.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.nelson.com/nelson/polisci/glossary.html">http://www.nelson.com/nelson/polisci/glossary.html</a>
An extreme form of nationalism that played on fears of communism and rejected individual freedom, liberal individualism, democracy, and limitations on the state.
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism</a>
Fascism (in Italian, fascismo), capitalized, refers to the right-wing authoritarian political movement which ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. The word fascism (uncapitalized) has come to mean any political stance or system of government resembling Mussolini's, as further discussed below..............

.......................In an article in the 1932 Enciclopedia Italiana, written by Giovanni Gentile and attributed to Benito Mussolini, fascism is described as a system in which "The State not only is authority which governs and molds individual wills with laws and values of spiritual life, but it is also power which makes its will prevail abroad.... For the Fascist, everything is within the State and... neither individuals nor groups are outside the State.... For Fascism, the State is an absolute, before which individuals or groups are only relative...."
Quote:
<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55268-2005Mar21.html">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55268-2005Mar21.html</a>
New EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data
Study Called Stricter Limits Cost-Effective

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 22, 2005; Page A01

When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.

What they did not reveal is that a Harvard
University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion.

That analysis estimated health benefits 100 times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped from public documents, said a staff member who helped develop the rule. Acknowledging the Harvard study would have forced the agency to consider more stringent controls, said environmentalists and the study's author.

The mercury issue has long been the focus of heated argument between utilities and environmental advocates. Health advocates say mercury is so harmful to fetuses and pregnant women that steps are needed to sharply control emissions; industry groups and the Bush administration have warned that overly aggressive measures would impose heavy costs.

Announcing the new rule last Tuesday, officials used charts to emphasize that most mercury toxicity in the United States comes from foreign sources, and they used their cost-benefit analysis to show that domestic controls had minimal impact.

Asked about the Harvard analysis, Al McGartland, director of the EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics, said it was submitted too late to be factored into the agency's calculations. He added that crucial elements of the analysis were flawed.

Interviews and documents, however, show that the EPA received the study results by the Jan. 3 deadline, and that officials had been briefed about its methodology as early as last August. EPA officials referred to some aspects of the Harvard study in a briefing for The Washington Post on Feb. 2.

The Harvard study concluded that mercury controls similar to those the EPA proposed could save nearly $5 billion a year through reduced neurological and cardiac harm. Last Tuesday, however, officials said the health benefits were worth no more than $50 million a year while the cost to industry would be $750 million a year.

"They are saying if they fail to regulate mercury from power plants at all, it really wouldn't make a difference," said John Walke, clean air director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. "To acknowledge the real benefits would be to raise the next question: Why didn't you go further?"

James Hammitt, director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and co-author of the study, agreed: "If you have a larger effect of the benefits, that would suggest more aggressive controls were justified."

Mercury is a toxic metal emitted by industrial sources. U.S. power plants emit 48 tons a year, and the new rule establishes an emissions-trading program that is expected to lower emissions to about 31 tons by 2010 and to about 15 tons by 2026. The Harvard analysis was based on similar targets in President Bush's "Clear Skies" legislative proposal............................

..................... Hammitt's analysis also factored in recent evidence that mercury causes heart attacks among adults. The EPA said other studies contradicted that finding and therefore it quantified only the impact of mercury's better-known neurological hazards. Spokeswoman Cynthia Bergman called Hammitt's cardiac analysis "flawed."

The EPA's McGartland, an economist, said that the preliminary Harvard results sent to the agency on Jan. 3 were inadequate, and that the full study did not become available until February. He questioned the Harvard findings about marine mercury, arguing that ocean levels of mercury do not easily change. No EPA draft of the rule ever discussed the Harvard results, he said.

But the EPA staff member involved with developing the rule said the reference deleted from rule-making documents would have told the public about the Harvard results. "The idea was to say Harvard School of Public Health had quantified these [cardiac] benefits and the amount of these benefits was -- " a blank that was to be filled in with a figure in the billions once the final report became available, said the staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

EPA scientist William Farland, who is the agency's deputy assistant administrator for science in research and development, said he had not seen the Harvard analysis and could not comment on its quality. He said the EPA had not quantified the cardiac costs of mercury because "the science is just not strong enough at this point." While mercury could well damage the heart, he said, that harm might be offset by the known cardiac benefits of eating fish.

Although EPA spokeswoman Bergman said last Tuesday that the "costs of this rule outweigh the benefits," officials said later in the week that the cardiac benefits could change the equation. "We say the costs are bigger than the quantified benefits," McGartland said. "No one can definitively say the costs are bigger than the benefits."

Harvard's Hammitt, who was cautious in describing his findings, readily acknowledged the uncertainties in such analyses. But he questioned the EPA's decision to ignore a study that the agency had paid for and that agency scientists Jacqueline Moya and Rita Schoeny had reviewed.

"If they think there is no significant effect of U.S. power plants on the marine fish we eat, they ought to make that case as opposed to just ignoring it," he said. The fact that U.S. contribution to mercury in oceans "is a small part of the problem doesn't mean it is a part of the problem that should be ignored."
<b>
Hammitt's Harvard Center for Risk Analysis has been widely cited by the Bush administration on various science issues.</b> Hammitt assumed leadership of the center from John D. Graham, who is now the administrator of the Federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Hammitt noted that Graham was criticized during his confirmation hearings for being "pro-industry."

"I didn't think that was terribly fair," Hammitt said. "Now here we are, doing the same kind of analysis and it comes out in a more environmentally protective direction than EPA is, and they ignore it. There is an irony in that."

The Harvard study was commissioned through EPA grants to an independent nonprofit organization of northeastern-state governments that works on regional environmental issues. Praveen Amar, director of science and policy at the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, said the EPA provided about $270,000 in funding for the project. Amar said that scientist Glenn Rice, Hammitt's co-author, is an EPA employee who had been given time to work on a doctoral thesis at the Harvard center.
<b>
"Are you saving the industry a billion dollars but taking away $10 billion worth of benefits for the general public?" Amar asked. </b>
Quote:
Published on Saturday, August 23, 2003 by the Long Island, NY Newsday
EPA Misled Public on 9/11 Pollution
White House ordered false assurances on air quality, report says
by Laurie Garrett

NEW YORK -- In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available.

That finding is included in a report released Friday by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA. It noted that some of the agency's news releases in the weeks after the attack were softened before being released to the public: Reassuring information was added, while cautionary information was deleted.

"When the EPA made a September 18 announcement that the air was 'safe' to breathe, it did not have sufficient data and analyses to make such a blanket statement," the report says. "Furthermore, the White House Council on Environmental Quality influenced . . . the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."

On the morning of Sept. 12, according to the report, the office of then-EPA Administrator Christie Whitman issued a memo: "All statements to the media should be cleared through the NSC (National Security Council in the White House) before they are released." The 165-page report compares excerpts from EPA draft statements to the final versions, including these:

The draft statement contained a warning from EPA scientists that homes and businesses near ground zero should be cleaned by professionals. Instead, the public was told to follow instructions from New York City officials.

Another draft statement was deleted; it raised concerns about "sensitive populations" such as asthma patients, the elderly and people with underlying respiratory diseases.

LEVELS OF ASBESTOS

A statement about discovery of asbestos at higher than safe levels in dust samples from lower Manhattan was changed to state that "samples confirm previous reports that ambient air quality meets OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards and consequently is not a cause for public concern."

Language in an EPA draft stating that asbestos levels in some areas were three times higher than national standards was changed to "slightly above the 1 percent trigger for defining asbestos material."

This sentence was added to a Sept. 16 news release: "Our tests show that it is safe for New Yorkers to go back to work in New York's financial district." It replaced a statement that initial monitors failed to turn up dangerous samples.

A warning on the importance of safely handling ground zero cleanup, due to lead and asbestos exposure, was changed to say that some contaminants had been noted downtown but "the general public should be very reassured by initial sampling."

The report also notes examples when EPA officials claimed that conditions were safe when no scientific support was available.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:44 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roachboy
in this case, more than in most others, it is obvious evasion: or perhaps you do not see any problems that might follow from this claim that the right now works from a standpoint of absolute morality, that evangelical protestant groups know what this absolute morality is, that they and they alone define it? coupled with the total intolerance of anyone and everyone who opposes them? if you have no problem with that, then say as much and defend the position--dont resort to some facile dodge.
As you guys criticize this supposed "absolute morailty", you do the same thing.

Look at what you wrote in the quote above.....it levels criticisms in an absolute manner....equally absurd.

The "Christian Right" is a group, it is not the entire "right" as you claim. Just as the left has its wackos, so does the right. The wackos on the right concern you. The wackos on the left concern me. Both sets of wackos are trying (or have tried) to legislate how I/we should live, what is right, what is wrong, etc., they just do it from two different sides of the spectrum.

I am a member of the "Right", yet I don't believe in "absolute morality".

There are a lot of people on the right that feel as I do, yet you are quite happy to lump us all together, making an absolute argument......the problem is that you are very, very wrong and you are totally incapable of admitting it.

You spend post after post using an arrogant style of being dismissive to any thought that isn't anywhere near your own (dismissing someone's opinion as being of the "foxnews set").....yet you have a problem with someone using the same tactic.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:49 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Host -

Do you find it interesting that taking boths sides to the extreme leads to the same place?

My point being, that the concern of tyranny comes from all parts of the political spectrum, the "right" doesn't hold a copyright on the idea.

I am not concerned about it, personally. There are too many balances in place, especially in the 50/50 position this country is in. For every far-right politician, there is a far-left one.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:52 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Sounds like you are in agreement then - This topic is about the presumed amorality of liberals (or at least that's how I see it) This amorality might occasionally be used as an argument against a liberal point of view and has been used by those occupying the right. I'm not making any comment on leftist, or rightist politics, just stating that the morality argument itself is a logically inconsistant one. (or at least, that it legitimises elements that many would prefer not to legitimise)

Are we all in agreement here?

Last edited by zen_tom; 03-30-2005 at 11:01 AM..
 
Old 03-30-2005, 11:06 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KMA-628
I am a member of the "Right", yet I don't believe in "absolute morality".

There are a lot of people on the right that feel as I do, yet you are quite happy to lump us all together, making an absolute argument......the problem is that you are very, very wrong and you are totally incapable of admitting it.
How many times does he need to remind you that he is speaking about the political machine when he references the "right" and not individual members here or operating in real life before you stop whining about him lumping you in with the party's platform?
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:48 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
^^^^^^

Godwin'd in 13 posts......that's fast.
That's odd that you care that this thread was Godwin'd. In the Schiavo thread the Nazi accusations were all over the place. I was the only one to say something about it.
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:52 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
Host -

Do you find it interesting that taking boths sides to the extreme leads to the same place?

My point being, that the concern of tyranny comes from all parts of the political spectrum, the "right" doesn't hold a copyright on the idea.

I am not concerned about it, personally. There are too many balances in place, especially in the 50/50 position this country is in. For every far-right politician, there is a far-left one.
KMA-628, my take is that it depends on what you perceive to be the "same place".

Take energy policy and environmental policy and enforcement, for example. The Bush administration is heavily influenced and subsidized by energy corporations and industrial polluters.
<a href="http://www.tpj.org/pioneers/icon_index.html">http://www.tpj.org/pioneers/icon_index.html</a>
An example is the Bush campaigns use of an Enron and Haliburton corporate planes during the 2000 election re-count:
Quote:
<a href="http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/special/enron/1519879">http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/special/enron/1519879</a>
Aug. 2, 2002, 7:38PM
Bush campaign used Enron, Halliburton jets, records show
Reuters News Service

WASHINGTON -- During the 2000 presidential election recount battle, George W. Bush's campaign used jets owned by several large corporations, including Enron Corp. and Halliburton Co., that are now under federal investigation, according to Internal Revenue Service records and officials. ........

................The recount committee for Al Gore, the Democratic candidate in 2000, did not report using any corporate jets in its Internal Revenue Service filings.
The result of an extreme right EPA is a muzzled and neutered former enforcement agency, detailed in examples in my last post on this thread.
The effect of the right's penchant for selling their political influence to business interests is a dirtier, more toxic environment that literally makes people sick and threatens their longevity.

The effect of extreme left policy goals are wilderness set asides, possibly adverse economic impact because industry is forced to pay the expense of acting in an environmentally sensitive manner, slower growth, and higher raw material prices. As the mercury pollution argument in my last post mentions,
there may be a greater negatve economic impact from environmental mercury exposure, than from the savings to industry that the EPA manipulation and concealment of impact data presumably is motivated by.

Late 20th century western history seems to show us that environmental protection and resource conservation produces economic benefits in the form of tourism and recreation, healthcare savings, and in recycling and transportation and production process innovation.

I'll err on the side of the tree huggers on these issues. Loggers in the Pacific northwest may go hungry for a period of time, and lumber company shareholders and forest product consumers may be adversely affect economically, but less people will have health problems resulting from dismantling recent environmental protection rules and enforcement.

Another thread discusses an NC sheriff firing a department dispatcher for breaking an NC statute that prohibits unmarried cohabitation.

What negative civil impact would an extreme opposite statute pose? Would enactment of an NC statute that expressly encouraged cohabitation of unmarried couples result in anyone being fired from their job ?
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:58 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by host
I'll err on the side of the tree huggers on these issues.
I'm with you host.
Let's "err on the side of life."

Why doesn't that phrase get bandied about in discussions relating to health care and environmentalism?


Global warming is a contentious issue in the scientific community?
No problem, let's "err on the side of life."

Not quite sure about the impact of ANWR drilling?
"Err on the side of life," my friends.

Death Penalty: "err on the side of life"

Cuba: "err on the side of life"


But those statements aren't made. So it becomes apparent that, in so far that it actually is well thought out and originated from the speakers, that statement can not be based on a general principle/moral belief of respecting life in light of any degree of uncertainty and so long as risk is minimized by the error.
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:14 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:27 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Folks on both sides are walking the line in regards to personal vindictive.

It's up to you at this point whether or not this is a productive thread or just more nonsense that begs for flaming.

You have been warned.

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Old 03-30-2005, 02:25 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Plus it's been Godwin'd, so shouldn't it be off limits?

And the Nazi's weren't a culture, they were a political party. The culture didn't put up with it...that's why we had a war.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:40 PM   #34 (permalink)
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It's foolish to label either side as amoral. There are planty of people on both sides who are amoral. Stereotypes have no place in consideration of anything at any time, except maybe in humor or satire.

Either group calling the other amoral is a case of the pot calling the kettel black. Both sides have their lack or morals, as each side has it's morals.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:05 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
It's foolish to label either side as amoral. There are planty of people on both sides who are amoral. Stereotypes have no place in consideration of anything at any time, except maybe in humor or satire.

Either group calling the other amoral is a case of the pot calling the kettel black. Both sides have their lack or morals, as each side has it's morals.
i think maybe we need to define amoral. If it merely means "having different morals than me," then I completely agree. I don't think anyone has the same morals as anyone else, and thus this thread is a complete waste of time. As stated by Lebell.
I'm a Psych major, so defining terms is very important, cause if you don't, it leads to confusion.
If that isn't your definition, please share what IS your definition?
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:07 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lindseylatch
i think maybe we need to define amoral. If it merely means "having different morals than me," then I completely agree. I don't think anyone has the same morals as anyone else, and thus this thread is a complete waste of time. As stated by Lebell.
I'm a Psych major, so defining terms is very important, cause if you don't, it leads to confusion.
If that isn't your definition, please share what IS your definition?
lindsey,

what other definition of amoral are you aware of than "having no morals"?

for context, you might look at the original thread wherein this statement was first made toward "the amoral left" (on the topic of vindictiveness, one ought to peruse that gold nugget statement from a "fellow" TFPer).


Here's the link to the original thread, and at least the operational definition the person was employing:
Quote:
They believe that any form of morality is wrong, and seek to eliminate the right for people to have absolute morality.
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthread.php?t=86200
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Last edited by smooth; 03-30-2005 at 03:13 PM..
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:15 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooth
lindsey,

what other definition of amoral are you aware of than "having no morals"?

for context, you might look at the original thread wherein this statement was first made toward "all liberals" (on the topic of vindictiveness, one ought to peruse that gold nugget statement from a "fellow" TFPer).
But no one has NO morals...that would make the word merely an insult flung about with no actual thought behind it...Which could be the case, I suppose, but I wanted a definition that was actually applicable.
And amoral means no morals, but that could merely be "no morals in the sense that I understand them," which is the same as "different morals from myself." So there.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:17 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lindseylatch
But no one has NO morals...that would make the word merely an insult flung about with no actual thought behind it...Which could be the case, I suppose, but I wanted a definition that was actually applicable.
And amoral means no morals, but that could merely be "no morals in the sense that I understand them," which is the same as "different morals from myself." So there.
lindsey,

So there?
Why are you getting rude with me?

Read the thread I linked to answer your question better.
You seem like an intelligent gal, make up your own mind whether it was just an insult without thought behind it.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:18 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindseylatch
i think maybe we need to define amoral. If it merely means "having different morals than me," then I completely agree. I don't think anyone has the same morals as anyone else, and thus this thread is a complete waste of time. As stated by Lebell.
I'm a Psych major, so defining terms is very important, cause if you don't, it leads to confusion.
If that isn't your definition, please share what IS your definition?
Amoral: adj. 1. Not admitting of moral distinctions or judgments; neither moral nor immoral.
2. Lacking moral sensibility; not caring about right and wrong.

Amoral to me means morality is inconsistant at best, nonexistant at worst. Liberals being amoral means that if they have morals, they don't stick with them. If they don't have morlas, then they have no morals to break.

I stick with what I said above. There are people on both sides willing to throw out morals for other reasons. Stereotyping one whole side as amoral is nonsense.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:28 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindseylatch
But no one has NO morals...that would make the word merely an insult flung about with no actual thought behind it...Which could be the case, I suppose, but I wanted a definition that was actually applicable.
And amoral means no morals, but that could merely be "no morals in the sense that I understand them," which is the same as "different morals from myself." So there.
But that's not what Conservatives are throwing around these days. According to what you hear on message boards, radio, and virtually any political commentary by people on the far right we liberals are a bunch of gay loving, baby killing, porn loving degenerates. It's a lot more than just an insult without actual thought because it is a fairly popular belief.
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