Thursday, July 13, 2006

Go Israel!

It's nice not to have to be ashamed of this government.

Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday endorsed Israel's incursion into Lebanon and strikes on Gaza as measured self-defence.

"Israel has a right to defend itself," he told reporters on his plane en route to a visit to Britain and the summit in Russia of the Group of Eight (G8) top industrialised nations.
The UN did what the UN always does:
The United States has vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have demanded a halt to Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The veto drew a sharp rebuke from Arab representatives.

Ten of the Security Council’s 15 members voted in favor of the Arab-backed resolution, one more than necessary for adoption. Four nations - Britain, Peru, Denmark and Slovakia - abstained, and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton cast the lone ‘no’ vote, killing the measure.
The Finns, who as we all know spent the 20th century standing up for all that is good and right, speak for the European Union.
“The European Union is greatly concerned about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel,” according to a statement issued by Finland, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency. “The presidency deplores the loss of civilian lives and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. The imposition of an air and sea blockade on Lebanon cannot be justified.”
Cheerful Nazi collaborators Norway and France also chimed in on the side of genocidal rocket launching barbarians; perhaps it's nostalgia for the V2.

Israel, do not listen to any of these hypocrites and do not take counsel from your enemies' sycophants. Hit hard, kill everyone in Hezbollah, and ignore the crocodile tears of the "world".

81 comments:

James Bow said...

Israel *has* a right to defend itself. But one would hope that they, like other decent people, would still shed tears for the innocent civilians that *are* being killed by this action.

All killing is bad, regardless of who is doing it, or who it's being done to. Military action is, at best, a necessary evil. To be respected, but not glorified.

Mike said...

The entire operation is based on the premise that purposely trying to kill random people should be punished.

Mike said...

So I agree, and my support for Israel in this is based on that principle. They didn't start this.

"Glorifying" has a bad name (its sense 2 meaning is dominant these days) so I'd hate to be accused of that. All I know is, it's good to kill gangs of murderers.

Relieving Lebanon and Israel alike of Hezbollah would be a benefit to the civilians on both sides of the border. For example:

22. Please no more empty words

I beg of Israel not to back off!!!!!!

Please ignore the world and really go after hizbalah.

hizbalah is a foreign iranian/syrian implant in our beloved lebanon.

wipe them out , kill their leaders one by one. we want to live in peace with civilized nations.

Thank you

farid of lebanon (07.14.06)


The Lebanese are victims of Hezbollah too.

Pietr said...

Actually the Finns stood up to the Soviet Union physically;the troops that were sent to Norway to fight the Germans in 1940 were actually a task group intended to support Finland.

James Bow said...

I don't doubt that destroying Hezbollah or Hamas would be a benefit to the Palestinian people as well as to the Israeli people. I do doubt that this operation is going to achieve this. Do you not acknowledge that innocent civilians are being caught in the crossfire?

I sympathize with Israel's plight, but I've been following their attempts to defend themselves for as long as you have. What's different here from what went before? We've seen the occupation of south Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza before, and it failed to stop the terrorist threat inside Israel. Hitting Hezbollah is like hitting Jello, and the action could well end up creating more terrorists to replace the ones that Israel does kill.

I think Israel did far more to reduce the number of suicide bombers inside its borders by pulling back from Gaza and building a wall around the West Bank. Isn't it interesting that we're talking about the kidnapping of three soldiers today rather than the charred skeleton of a commuter bus? I think it's security would be improved if it would pull back to its 1967 borders.

Personally, if Israel ended its occupation of the West Bank, closed the settlements, and secured its wall, I would suggest to our politicians that we should make recognition and respect of Israel's right to exist a key condition to meet before we trade any more with any country in the Middle East.

Mike said...

Do you not acknowledge that innocent civilians are being caught in the crossfire?

Are you referring to the rockets that have been fired into Israel over the past ten months? No one disputes that.

James Bow said...

That *is* deplorable. But does that excuse it happening the other way as well?

I understand that, if I were in Israel's shoes, I'd probably have to take similar action, but what separates us from the terrorists - or should - is that we deplore civilian casualties. And we should show that.

In referring to the glorification of military action, I was using the first sense of your dictionary definition. And that's why I have a problem with the title of this post. In my opinion, it sounds like you're cheering on the deaths of innocent civilians. I know that's probably not your intention, but expressing regret at the death of innocents, even if we ultimately decide to take the steps Israel took, is what separates us from the terrorists. And, ultimately, what does that cost us?

rhebner said...

regarding PM SH's comments...

These are the kind of days I could kiss Harper full on the lips. Economy of words, no ambiguity, direct and to the point. What a change from every other politician who sullies our nation and lives off my paycheque.

He couldn't be more right about Israel. My only quibble would be with his use of the word, 'measured'. That is open to debate and will answered over the next few days and weeks.

I pray (do Libertarians pray?) that no more innocents have to die, but, you said it yourself and I can only repeat it, "Go Israel!".

Honey Pot said...

but what separates us from the terrorists -Jane Bow

What separates Israel from the terrorist is restraint. Israel hs the best trainned and disciplined army in the world. Israel also has the capability to blow Lebanon and the others who provoke them off the face of the earth. They are practising restraint. If the terrorist has the same capablilited to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, they would have did it by now.

Mike said...

"That *is* deplorable. But does that excuse it happening the other way as well?"

*What* happening the other way?

There is an important, *the* important, moral distinction between purposefully killing as many civilians as possible (the policy and practice of Israel's overt enemies), and being forced to kill civilians because those enemies are sick and evil enough to hang out in hospitals and apartment buildings full of innocents ON PURPOSE so that they will be killed.

When Israel's policy becomes killing people for the sake of killing people, let me know. Until then this is not in any way a valid comparison. These things are of completely different moral order and to equate the two is twisted.

"In referring to the glorification of military action, I was using the first sense of your dictionary definition."

Oh -- in that case, yes, indeed, I do give high praise to wiping out gangs of murderers. Don't you?

I give high praise to and glorify my grandfather for shooting Nazis as naval bombardment crashed into Dieppe and planes dropped unguided bombs all over the place. Do you have a problem with that too?

"And that's why I have a problem with the title of this post. In my opinion, it sounds like you're cheering on the deaths of innocent civilians."

"Go Israel!" sounds to you like "I cheer on the deaths of innocent civilians"? That's about as upside down as you can get. Israel is facing an enemy that has repeated many times that their goal is to exterminate Israelis -- killing as many civilians as possible. And you tell me that "Go Israel!" sounds like... yikes.

Mike said...

"My only quibble would be with his use of the word, 'measured'. That is open to debate and will answered over the next few days and weeks."

rhebner, I agree, this stuck in my craw too.

HP,

If the terrorist has the same capablilited to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, they would have did it by now.

Well exactly. Israel, a free country, wants peace, and its enemies, dictatorships and their proxy murderous gangs, aim to destroy Israel and kill everyone there.

It really isn't difficult to sort this stuff out.

James Bow said...

"I give high praise to and glorify my grandfather for shooting Nazis as naval bombardment crashed into Dieppe and planes dropped unguided bombs all over the place. Do you have a problem with that too?"

I give high praise to the valour our soldiers who were willing to lay down their lives for us. I glorify their bravery in standing up against terrible opposition in order to defend our way of life. I greatly respect the sacrifices my family members made fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and Vietnam, but I do not celebrate the deaths of the people they killed. They don't either.

You seem to think that I'm saying that Israel doesn't have a right to defend itself, or that its soldiers are murderers for killing civilians alongside military targets. I'm not. I am not trying to make a moral comparison between the actions of Israel and the actions of Hezbollah or Hamas. Where in my post do I do this?

I am only asking that we acknowledge that there are innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians being killed in this action, and I'm asking for a little acknowledgement that this is happening. Their deaths may be a necessary evil; they may be unavoidable casualties of war, but we should never forget that what separates us from the terrorists is that we value life more than they do. Am I holding Israel up to a high standard? Probably. But then I do so because I know that Israel can live up to that standard.

I deplore terrorists and murderers, but I do not cheer their deaths. Even if I had to kill in self defence, I would greatly regret my action because I value life too much.

And I think it's important to make this acknowledgement, even if in the end that's all we do, over and above completing this military action, so that we can continue to hold the moral high ground over the terrorists. Is that really too much to ask?

Ian Scott said...

I find pretty much all actions of politicians and political entities today, reprehensible.

This particular turn of events, so we are told, is motivated by the kidnapping of three soldiers. Not the killing of Israeli civilians.

I would like to see the justification for an individual to risk the lives of the next town because some members of that town kidnapped a few of my relatives.

Statism is always statism.

I personally prefer to cheer on my son than cheer on any geo-political entity's goals or attempts at solving perceived geo-political grievances.

Israel has no more "right" to exist than the Mohawk "nations" have a "right" to exist as a geo-political entity.

Pietr said...

Israel's right to exist is the summary right of its members to freely associate and describe their own legal system and borders.

Ian Scott said...

"Israel's right to exist is the summary right of its members to freely associate and describe their own legal system"

Sure - just as any group of people have this right (although not recognized), including Mohawk Nations.

"and borders."

Only if there is a legitimate claim to some property in the first place.

As I wrote, Israel has no more "right" to exist than the Mohawk nations have a "right" to exist as a geo-political entity.

Mike said...

I am only asking that we acknowledge that there are innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians being killed in this action, and I'm asking for a little acknowledgement that this is happening.

Obviously: such is war, which Israel has never sought. The problem comes when you place the blame for such deaths anywhere other than Hezbollah or their puppeteers. Israel did not start this war, and it is Hezbollah who purposely lurk among civilians. Dead civilians are entirely the fault of Hezbollah.

Am I holding Israel up to a high standard? Probably. But then I do so because I know that Israel can live up to that standard.

site:http://www.bowjamesbow.ca rockets israel

Huh.

I deplore terrorists and murderers, but I do not cheer their deaths. Even if I had to kill in self defence, I would greatly regret my action because I value life too much.

How lucky you, and Ian, are to be in a position to afford such liberal verbal talismans, and one-thought-fits-all libertarianism. How lucky not to be surrounded by barbarians sworn to push you into the sea.

Ian Scott said...

"How lucky you, and Ian, are to be in a position to afford such liberal verbal talismans, and one-thought-fits-all libertarianism. How lucky not to be surrounded by barbarians sworn to push you into the sea."

Would you mind rephrasing your "liberal verbal talismans" bit? I have no idea what you mean. Would you point to the "liberal verbal talisman" that I wrote?

You've also quoted James who writes that he deplores terrorism but would have regrets about having to kill even in self-defence. What is so liberal or talismanlike with that?

As far as "one-thought-fits-all libertarianism," again, would you point exactly to the "one thought" you are asserting?

With regard to "barbarians sworn to push you into the sea," you are correct. I've not experienced that. Just as I did not experience Jewish terrorism in Palenstine prior to the state of Israel with a government coming into existence. This is your word game and as I've pointed out to you previously, you have no clue what I've experienced or not experienced with regard to threats by others.

Regardless, perhaps I am surrounded by barbarians that would have me support or cheer on something that I have no desire to support or cheer on.

The "war" was started by Hezbollah? I suppose if one suggests kidnapping is an "act of war." In reality though, there has been violence in this area for decades, even centuries - who started what is debatable and depends on how far back one wants to go in history and what "moral" side one wants to take regarding "justifications."

As far as Israel is concerned, Yaweh's prediction that when Israel had a "king" (substitute government), the nation would become a warring nation. See I Samuel 8:6-18.

If there is any "one thought fits all," I'm on Yaweh's side on this one.

James Bow said...

"site:http://www.bowjamesbow.ca rockets israel

Huh."


I'm not sure what you're saying there, Mike, but if you are looking for some thoughts I've had about Israel, here's a page you might be interested in:

http://www.bowjamesbow.ca/2006/04/16/i_am_only_going.shtml

My thoughts on the wider Mideast situation can be found here, although it's fairly Iraq-focused.

http://www.bowjamesbow.ca/politics/iraq_mideast/

Three particular articles that may be of interest:

Disengagement: http://www.bowjamesbow.ca/2005/03/16/disengagement.shtml and http://www.bowjamesbow.ca/2005/03/20/disengagement_i.shtml

Reckoning in Iraq: http://www.bowjamesbow.ca/2005/01/27/reckoning_in_ir.shtml

Alternately, you could do a site search on just Israel. Just because I haven't yet talked about the rocket attacks doesn't mean I've not talked about Israel at all. The deplorable suicide bombings have given me far more to talk about.

gm said...

It seems obvious that appeasment is no substute for justice.Both Hamas and Hezbollah knew that their kidnappings and missile launches would set off retaliation (a legitamite use of force) that would hurt both the Gazans and Lebanese, but they attacked anyway for the sake of a jihad against Israel. A country that is almost the only legitimate state in the middle east.
The tactics of Hamas and Hezbollah are resposible for ALL civilian casualties.


"Israel's cause is the cause of the whole world" said McKeever. "As far as I'm concerned, if we allow - if we encourage - a situation, internationally, where we're saying 'You know what? They've only taken a couple of soldiers, just give them a couple out of the prison and they'll give [the soldiers] back', what we're saying is that appeasement is preferable to justice; that compensation is preferable to justice. But you cannot have a free world - you can't have a rational world - when you have irrational groups pushing a free country..." in that way.
Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever

Pietr said...

Nothing changes in my original statement.The property was implicit in the free association, since they aren't free to associate on anybody else's without permission.
If you studied the history of Israel, you would know that most of the present territory was purchased freely; much purchased territory was lost in the war of 1948.The score was about even when the Palestine Arab population abandoned property while believing that Israel would grant them no protection from Jewish mobs(which didn't materialise).
Oddly enough, when in 1948 the local Jewish community attempted to hold onto their property in old Jerusalem to make it an outpost of Israel, they were defeated by the Hashemite Jordanian Arab Legion; which then set out to protect these prisoners from an Arab mob until they reached a place of safety.

Ian Scott said...

""Israel's cause is the cause of the whole world" said McKeever."

Spoken like a true politician who thinks he can speak on behalf of everyone else.

Israel's cause is NOT my cause, anymore than Ireland's cause is my cause.

McKeevor may be representative of the Freedom Party, but he doesn't hold libertarian philosophy regarding foreign affairs, and most certainly doesn't hold anarchist philosophy.

Whilst I might be in agreement with much of the platform of The Freedom Party and Paul McKeevor, I adamantly refuse to be told by anyone what my "causes" should be.

And of course, those who disagree with me are free to not associate with me.

My cause is my own life, and the life of those I value. I realize that Paul McKeevor has no idea of what value I place upon my loved ones, or in my own mind, how that value should be manifested through my life, but I utterly and absolutely refuse to spend my time on that which has little value to me personally, which if I did would mean I am spending less time on that which I do value.

Telling me what my cause should be is not freedom at all.

Ian Scott said...

"If you studied the history of Israel, you would know that most of the present territory was purchased freely;"

A rather simplistic reporting on the events that lead up to the creation of the "state" of Israel.

1. IF you are correct, and your simplistic reporting of history is 100% accurate, with no other political intervention going on, then as far as I'm concerned, it seems rather stupid to go and buy property that is surrounded by others that claim to hate you. I mean.. would you do that??

2. In fact, this was not just about the free purchase of property, and anyone who tries to suggest that is how the state of Israel came into existence is being quite disingenuous.

3. You stated that they were free to choose their own borders. Well, what makes it the right of one group to "choose their own borders" but not another group? Again, this is rather a simplistic response to what is actually, a political issue - not an issue of inherent rights at all.

Brent Gilliard said...

I had no idea that there was such a thing as libertarian foreign policy. It seems like an oxymoron.

You learn something new every day.

Pietr said...

They would be free to choose their own borders if they were free to own their own property.
The property was bought by rich benefactors(largely) in the 19th and 20th centuries, and given to colonists who could make the land produce.
They were shut down by the Turks in ww1, and liberated by the Anglo-French in 1917-18.
That was when it became 'political', with Lord Balfour declaring the intention of creating Israel under British auspices.
The arabs had other ideas.A large part of the political settlement was given to Jordan.
The British reneged, but gave the 'problem' to the UN.
The UN drew up an emaciated Israel which resembled the Palestinian situation today.
In any case, Jordan, Egypt,Syria and Lebanon attacked in 1948 when the UK Mandate ran out.
The Israelis(veterans of the holocaust) gave the Arabs a bloody nose, but they were only an underground army against regulars.
Oh, and the Egyptians killed hundreds in B17 bombing raids on Tel Aviv.

Ian Scott said...

"I had no idea that there was such a thing as libertarian foreign policy. It seems like an oxymoron. "

Excellent observation. What are you referring to exactly?

Paul McKeever said...

Ian wrote: ""Israel's cause is the cause of the whole world" said McKeever."

Spoken like a true politician who thinks he can speak on behalf of everyone else."


Ian, a clarification: gm is quoting me from a press release, which quoted some of my statements on the Michael Coren Show last Friday, July 14, 2006. The press release did not quote everything I said on the show. I think you may have misunderstood my meaning. By "Israel's cause", I meant "freedom". The whole world most certain should want to be free. Those that do not it to be so, in my opinion, are the enemies of humanity.

Ian wrote: "McKeevor may be representative of the Freedom Party, but he doesn't hold libertarian philosophy regarding foreign affairs, and most certainly doesn't hold anarchist philosophy."

In terms of my metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, I hold an objectivist philosophy. Libertarianism, in my view, is not a philosophy, but a movement: one founded on the idea that if everyone just adheres to the non-agression principle as though it were axiomatic, it doesn't matter why one does so; what ones ethics are. That - the methodical non-adoption of any particular metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical base for the non-agression principle (it is not axiomatic) is both the libertarian movement's defining feature and its demise. It is the reason why libertarianism is completely compatible with even NAZI philosophy...provided the NAZI's don't initiate any violence...but let them verbally provoke the initiation of force, and just watch how they implement their philosophy in the name of "self-defence". In short, the "well he started it" defence is an oversimplification: a dogmatization of a complex philosophy (objectivism), shorn from that philosophy and presented as an "axiom" in the hopes that the libertarian movement could form a "big tent" political party and achieve its aims...aims which, logically, are contradictory, because libertarians hold widely differing reasons for allegedly supporting "liberty".

As I say in the intro to Freedom Party's 2007 Election Platform:

There are those who say that there is no such thing as right and wrong; that what is right for one person might be wrong for another; that everything is relative and subjective; that nothing is black and white; that everything is shades of gray. Tellingly, they feel absolutely certain that they are right.

Such people are easily recognized in the political world. They propose that feelings should trump reason; that emotional whims should prevail over what reason tells us is ethical; that justice is “too judgmental” and “unfair”; that democracy is just another word for majority rule; that freedom means not having to take responsibility for ones own life and happiness. They are the first to demand that nobody judge them, and that nobody be judged. Indeed, their wish to do wrong without being held to account is the very reason why they pretend that there is no such thing as right and wrong.

Not everyone shares that dishonest and self-serving view of how society should be. There are those of us who believe that rationality is the essence of civility. We believe that right and wrong is black and white, and that there is only one word for a compromise between right and wrong: corruption. We do not fear judgment because we do not wish to do injustice to anyone. We advocate democracy for what it truly is: a system in which government must be judged by the same ethical code as the governed because it is comprised of the governed, and acts on no other authority; a system in which government cannot make unjust laws, even when a majority wants it to do so. We advocate freedom because we acknowledge and accept personal responsibility for our own lives and happiness, and because we know it is ethically wrong and unjust for us to be forcibly deprived of our lives, our liberty or our property.
We are as the white tiger, whose stripes make no corrupt compromise between right and wrong. Freedom is our unmoving pole star and point of reference. We seek government that navigates a course to a more rational, good, and just society using not the whimsical winds of public opinion, but a compass that points government in the right direction.


Anarchism: no, neither I nor Freedom Party is anarchistic. For real anarchists to join a political party is, to my mind, hilariously silly.

Ian wrote: Telling me what my cause should be is not freedom at all.

I disagree, entirely, that merely expressing an opinion about what "should be" is in any way contrary to freedom. It is practically the chief aim of freedom.

Honey Pot said...

epistemology??? I think I had one of those after I had a baby...smarted for weeks.

You know... if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Ian Scott said...

"The whole world most certain should want to be free. Those that do not it to be so, in my opinion, are the enemies of humanity."

Are you sure this is what you mean? Or perhaps you are using "freedom" in an entirely different meaning than I hold for it's meaning.

Many people do not want to be free and do not want to be responsible for their "freedom." These people are not my enemies until they insist I share in their lack of freedom.

How is Israel's "cause" is freedom is beyond me - I don't see that at all. Care to explain further?

"Libertarianism, in my view, is not a philosophy, but a movement: one founded on the idea that if everyone just adheres to the non-agression principle as though it were axiomatic, it doesn't matter why one does so; what ones ethics are."

Incorrect. Libertarianism is NOT founded on any such idea of a non-aggression principle. Now, you are being disingenious here.

Libertarianism is founded on the philosophy of what used to be called liberalism, now known as "classical liberalism." "Non-agression" follows from classical liberal philosophy but is not the basis of classical liberal thought whatsoever. One of the tenets of classical liberalism is freedom of expression.

Expression itself is not "provocative," rather "provocation" as far as what someone says is in the mind. I can prove this simply by my own experiences where I have observed others become aggressive towards some who use a particular form of language or that considered "offensive." Yet, others did not feel provoked. This form of provocation is most certainly "unreasoned." Are you justifying subjective provocation?

Your assertion about libertarianism is very simplistic as well as false.

"There are those who say that there is no such thing as right and wrong; that what is right for one person might be wrong for another;"

This is fallacious if you are suggesting that those who agree that what might be right for one and wrong for another are those who say they there is no such thing as right and wrong.

" Tellingly, they feel absolutely certain that they are right."

Interesting. Are you absolutely certain you are right?

I know exactly what I'm right about: Don't interfere with my values and expect me to share the same values as you in my life. I'm willing to protect my life, my inherent rights, with force, if necessary. Indeed, if you have some belief that you know the definition of right and wrong, and decide it is worthwhile for you to regulate my consentual activities, then indeed that is provocation worthwhile of a response up to and including force to stop you from regulating my consentual activities.

"Ian wrote: Telling me what my cause should be is not freedom at all.

I disagree, entirely, that merely expressing an opinion about what "should be" is in any way contrary to freedom. It is practically the chief aim of freedom."


An opinion about what "should be" is not the same as telling one what their cause should be.

Look, if you believe that you should be supporting Israel's military, then by all means, open your wallet and send them your money. Heck, feel free to even ask me to do the same thing. However, don't steal from me to give to Israel just because you think I should be supporting Israel. I am not a supporter of "Zionism." And before you infer from that, that I may be anti-semitic, be very very careful. As the objectivists are fond of saying, "check your premises."

I indeed choose to support Jewish groups that are not Zionist and want nothing to do with the Zionist movement. For you to tell me that Israel's cause is "freedom" and therefore should be my cause, is simply nonsense.

Israel's cause is political. It has nothing to do with individual freedom.

Paul McKeever said...

Ian Scott wrote: "Many people do not want to be free and do not want to be responsible for their "freedom." These people are not my enemies until they insist I share in their lack of freedom."

Do you pay income taxes? How do you think that Bombardier and John Clarke would respond were you to campaign for the abolishment of income taxation? Is OCAP's John Clark not an enemy of humanity just because he has not personally beaten you and taken cash from your pocket (of course, I can only assume he has not done so in the absence of evidence to the contrary)?

Now, that said, not every enemy of humanity is someone against whom it is appropriate to take military measures; which is why I neither said nor implied such a thing. But, in the case of the enemies of humanity that have been shelling Israel and kidnapping is soldiers, a military response is morally just because those who attack Israel have made it clear that they want Israel, and its inhabitants, to be annihilated.

Ian Scott wrote: "How is Israel's "cause" is freedom is beyond me - I don't see that at all. Care to explain further?

Honestly Ian, if you cannot see for yourself that a country that defends itself from shellings, suicide bombings, kidnappings, and threats of utter annihilation is seeking freedom from such things when it defends itself, there is nothing I will be able to say to make it more clear.

Ian Scott, quoting me, wrote: "Libertarianism, in my view, is not a philosophy, but a movement: one founded on the idea that if everyone just adheres to the non-agression principle as though it were axiomatic, it doesn't matter why one does so; what ones ethics are."

Incorrect. Libertarianism is NOT founded on any such idea of a non-aggression principle. Now, you are being disingenious here."


At the very least Ian, we must agree to disagree. At most, you're dead wrong. Consider the words of someone who is considered a much more representative spokesperson for Libertarianism than yourself, economist Dr. Walter Block (http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block26.html):

"The non-aggression axiom is the lynchpin of the philosophy of libertarianism. It states, simply, that it shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another.
[...]
There are several grave problems with these critiques of the non-aggression axiom.

1. They misunderstand the nature of libertarianism. These arguments implicitly assume that libertarianism is a moral philosophy, a guide to proper behavior, as it were. Should the flagpole hanger let go? Should the hiker go off and die? But libertarianism is a theory concerned with the justified use of aggression, or violence, based on property rights, not morality.


As I said, the non-aggression axiom - the "lynchpin" of libertarianism - does not concern itself with ethics (i.e., morality). It is a floating political principle, presented to folks like yourself as an "axiom". But it is not an axiom: the idea that 'nothing can be virtuous which is not done in a state of freedom' is utter poppycock, usually utterred not by philosophers but by economists who - having founded the libertarian movement - having nothing but utter scorn for philosophy...even for the philosophy (objectivism) that first identified the non-aggression principle. Rothbard - who I would argue is the father of allegedly capitalist libertarianism - was initially a member of Rand's inner circle, but he ultimately decided that no rationale was needed for objectivism's political principles (e.g., the non-aggression principle) which were (and are) the logical PRODUCTS of objectivist metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.

Ian wrote: "Libertarianism is founded on the philosophy of what used to be called liberalism, now known as "classical liberalism."

What is that "philosophy"? Who, in your opinion, wrote that philosophy? Might we expect the usual suspects?: Mill, Bentham? Those who actually bother to read these fellows will find that their utilitarianism - with its anti-intellectual, numerical "Greatest good for the greatest number" ethics - is the very recipe needed for a fascist dictatorship. Yet these are so frequently held up as libertarianism's "heroes" and "founders".

Ian wrote: "Non-agression" follows from classical liberal philosophy but is not the basis of classical liberal thought whatsoever.

Ian, you throw out the phrase "classical liberal philosophy" as though it is a recognized philosophical system. It isn't. Name three of the philosophers who you would include in the camp you call "classical liberal" so that we can all get an idea of what, exactly, you actually mean by "classical liberal philosophy".

Ian wrote: "Expression itself is not "provocative," rather "provocation" as far as what someone says is in the mind."

With respect Ian, I think you mistyped something: that's not a meaningful sentence. If you'll re-word it, perhaps I'll be able to respond to it.

Ian wrote: "Are you justifying subjective provocation?

Nothing can be "justified". Something is other just, or it is not. I have no idea what you mean by "subjective" provocation. Most certainly, therefore, I am not "justifying subjective provocation".

Ian, quoting me, wrote: "There are those who say..."

This is fallacious if you are suggesting that those who agree that what might be right for one and wrong for another are those who say they there is no such thing as right and wrong.


Ian, I meant what I wrote. Another way of saying it would be: "There exist moral relativists".

Ian, quoting me, wrote: " Tellingly, they feel absolutely certain that they are right."

Interesting. Are you absolutely certain you are right?


Of course. I believe in objective right and wrong. My point was that moral relativists typically do not, yet - in a feat double-think - claim to be right about such things as the unknowability of reality, about the impotency of reason, and about the utter subjectivity of ethics.

Ian wrote: "...if you have some belief that you know the definition of right and wrong".

I do.

Ian continued: "..., and decide it is worthwhile for you to regulate my consentual activities,..."

I have never suggested such regulation is "worthwhile". Don't confuse assertions about the fact of good and evil with assertions about the proper scope of governmental authority.

Ian wrote: "An opinion about what "should be" is not the same as telling one what their cause should be."

Care to change your sentence? An opinion about what "should be", if voiced, is most certainly the same as telling one what "should be". Are you suggesting that ones opinions about what "should be" are a violation of your freedom when those opinions are voiced?

Ian wrote: "Look, if you believe that you should be supporting Israel's military, then by all means, open your wallet and send them your money. Heck, feel free to even ask me to do the same thing. However, don't steal from me to give to Israel just because you think I should be supporting Israel.

Please quote me suggesting that your money should be spent on Israel or its military. I've never said such a thing. Do not confuse an ethical judgment with a call for taxing, spending, and intervention.

Ian wrote: "For you to tell me that Israel's cause is "freedom" and therefore should be my cause, is simply nonsense."

Which part is "nonsense"? Telling you something (i.e., expressing an opinion). Or that freedom should be your cause?

Ian wrote: "Israel's cause is political. It has nothing to do with individual freedom."

So, in your opinion, freedom has nothing to do with political philosophy or government. I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

Pietr said...

'Subjective provocation'?
Is Ian promoting infinite tolerance?
Is he a Christian then?
And as for stating that people who don't want freedom are not yet his enemies, he is missing a large point; these people are part and parcel of an ongoing movement, something which has been encroaching for generations;the war is being fought everywhere and at all times, and no matter how(correctly) disinterested we may be, it will come calling at any time and without warning.
Russia was not our (fighting)enemy in the 1970's;but what would have happened if our defenders had not assumed it was?
Do you seriously believe that millions of people suddenly trade in freedom, freely, without some sort of moral holocaust going on to cause this?

Paul McKeever said...

I should add that my comments regarding Rothbard and Block are not rejections of their thinking on economics. Both are/were economists of the Austrian school, and I am very much in agreement with the Austrian school on matters of economics...especially in regard to money and banking.

Paul McKeever said...

soreheaduk wrote: "Do you seriously believe that millions of people suddenly trade in freedom, freely, without some sort of moral holocaust going on to cause this?"

I agree with you. The entire world is the target of the Islamic terrorists, and their religious beliefs - which are necessarily philosophical - spearhead their desire for a moral holocaust.

As one of the most recent cases in point, consider Somalia: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50949

Ian Scott said...

Paul, thanks for your response - I don't have time to fully reply at this time - I returned to this comment threat to point out a very interesting interview which provides an alternative point of view to some of the myths about the creation of the state of Israel.

"SHLOMO BEN-AMI: Yes, while, at the same time, a historian. I am trying to be as fair as possible when I read the past, but it's a very interesting point, the one that you make here, about us trying to obliterate the memory of our war against the Palestinians, and the whole Israeli 1948 mythology is based on our war against the invading Arab armies, less so against the Palestinians, who were the weaker side in that confrontation, because it didn't serve the myth of the creation of the state and of the nation. So we need to correct that. There is no way — there is no way we can fully compensate the refugees and the Palestinians, but we need to do our very, very best to find a way to minimize the harm that was done to this nation.

[...]

SHLOMO BEN-AMI: Of course, it is nonsense. I mean, it was populated. Obviously, it was populated. I mean, the notion that existed, I think it was Israel Zangwill, the first to say that we are — we came a nation without a land to a land without a people. Obviously, it was not true, but again, part of the tragedy was that the Palestinians, as such, did not have — the Palestinian peasants did not have the full control of their own destiny. Part of that land was bought by the Zionist organizations from Affendis, landowners living in Turkey or anywhere else throughout the Ottoman Empire, and these people were inevitably evicted by these kind of transactions. But as a whole, I think that not more than 6 or 7% of the entire surface of the state of Israel was bought. The rest of it was either taken over or won during the war.

{...]

I would just add a couple of points he makes, but just to round out the picture. He starts out by saying that the central Zionist dilemma was they wanted to create a predominantly Jewish state in an area which was overwhelmingly not Jewish, and he cites the figure, I think 1906 there were 700,000 Arabs, 55,000 Jews, and even of those 55,000 Jews, only a handful were Zionists. So that's the dilemma. How do you create a Jewish state in area which is overwhelmingly not Jewish?

Now, the Israeli historian Benny Morris, at one point, he said there are only two ways you can resolve this dilemma. One, you can create what he called the South African way, that is, create a Jewish state and disenfranchise the indigenous population. That's one way. The second way is what he calls the way of transfer. That is, you kick the indigenous population out, basically what we did in North America.

Now, as Mr. Ben-Ami correctly points out, by the 1930s the Zionist movement had reached a consensus that the way to resolve the dilemma is the way of transfer. You throw the Palestinians out. You can't do that anytime, because there are moral problems and international problems. You have to wait for the right moment. And the right moment comes in 1948. Under the cover of war, you have the opportunity to expel the indigenous population.

I was kind of surprised that Mr. Ben-Ami goes beyond what many Israeli historians acknowledge. Someone like Benny Morris will say, "Yes, Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948.” That's Benny Morris's expression. But he says it was an accident of war. There are wars, people get dispossessed. Mr. Ben-Ami, no, he will go further. He said you can see pretty clearly that they intended to expel the Palestinians. The opportunity came along, and they did so. Now, those are the facts.

So where do we disagree? I think where we disagree is on responsibility. It's not just a question of moral responsibility. It's not simply a question of tragedy or sadness. It's a question of law, international law. What are your obligations if you are a member state of the United Nations, for example? Now, under international law, refugees are entitled to return to their homes once the battlefield conflict has died down. And Mr. Ben-Ami was absolutely correct. He said the key moment comes in the Israel-Palestine conflict, not when the Palestinians are expelled, but when, after the war, Israel refused to allow the Palestinians back."


And there is much, much more: http://www.democracynow.org/finkelstein-benami.shtml

Folks who want us to believe that the middle east situation is so simplistic as something merely about the right of Israel to defend itself, again, are being disingenious or they are ignorant of many facts. Or perhaps, some folks that I know, seem to refuse to acknowledge some facts because it doesn't suit their own propagandist bullshit.

To suggest that Israel has a right to defend itself is an utterly one-sided assertion and in my mind, immoral. It is immoral because the assertion is based on falsehoods about the existence of Israel and on falsehoods about the treatment of Palestinians by Israel.

It is immoral because it is based on falsehoods, above in this comment thread, that suggests that Israel was "purchased" with an attempt to suggest there are some "property right" issues when the facts of the matter show that only a very small portion of the landmass of Israel was every "purchased."

It is also immoral because it also ignores much of what motivated support for the existence of an Israeli State. Yes, the Holocaust certainly had a great deal to do with support of a new state - but this is not the only reasons.

Emotional support among the Christian communities in North America and the U.K. was very strong - and it was strictly religious reasons. The eschatological view known as "premillenialism" believes that the state of Israel must come into existence in order for the return of Jesus Christ to rule the world (after some battles between "good" and "evil") for a thousand years, bringing peace and harmony.

The idea of a State of Israel existing was wildly popular and is one of the reasons why so much political support for Israel was possible.

The history of Zionism is, unfortunately, not well known by many people, it seems. Of course, we have folks like sorehaduk assert, "The property was bought by rich benefactors(largely) in the 19th and 20th centuries, and given to colonists who could make the land produce" as if this is the full truth about the landmass known as Israel.

Zionism is not my problem and Israel's "cause" is political and religious. There is nothing absolutely "right" about Israel attacking Lebanon. Indeed, those who fully support Israel are allowing myths and lies to cloud their minds about the origins of the State of Israel, and how Israel has dealt with many Arabs in its borders. Sure, one can tell me about all the "nice" things the State of Israel has done to Arabs within its borders - but that does not in any way mean that everything Zionists have done has been "right."

Ignoring the evils that have been done in the name of Zionism is pure and utter bullshit. Well, I haven't ignored the evils, so I choose to not give Israel the time of day as far as any support or approval is concerned.

Pietr said...

Take a look at this IRA mural in Belfast.
http://owlsarentwise.blogspot.com/2006_07_01_owlsarentwise_archive.html
If you look at the posting for Monday July 3rd you will see an open statement that the IRA and 'Palestine' make common cause.
So tell me;if the indigenous people of Israel(the Jews) were not displaced by falestin, do they not,like the IRA and 'Palestinians', have a right to bomb and murder in Rome and all of Jordan as well as parts of Egypt and Lebanon from which they were expelled?
After all, this is the justification for the PLO,PLA,Hamas,PIRA,INLA,RIRA etc etc.
They see no statute of limitations; but somehow their claim is superior?
Hamas was sponsored by Iran.The PIRA was sponsored by the Communist Party of Ireland.
Nobody seems to want to sponsor their opponents, because there is already a presupposition of guilt.
And that is what Ian is failing to address.

Ian Scott said...

Paul,

"Do you pay income taxes? How do you think that Bombardier and John Clarke would respond were you to campaign for the abolishment of income taxation? Is OCAP's John Clark not an enemy of humanity just because he has not personally beaten you and taken cash from your pocket (of course, I can only assume he has not done so in the absence of evidence to the contrary)?"

Nice job of taking my comment out of context. Go back and read the context of my statement, which was in response to your assertion: "The whole world most certain should want to be free. Those that do not it to be so, in my opinion, are the enemies of humanity."

So, you go from talking about the whole world, to income taxes in Canada.

"Honestly Ian, if you cannot see for yourself that a country that defends itself from shellings, suicide bombings, kidnappings, and threats of utter annihilation is seeking freedom from such things when it defends itself, there is nothing I will be able to say to make it more clear."

Heh. Hopefully, you have had an opportunity to read my previous post. Further, Israel has done enough of it's own kidnappings and killings. The State of Israel came into existence partially through Zionist terrorism in the middle east prior to the State existing.

So, honestly Paul, for someone that writes about ethics and moral relativism, I guess I don't quite get your "support" for Israel stance.

You really think that kidnapping two soldiers justifies the killings of civilians in Lebanon over recent days? You think this is a "measured response?" Love to know in your "moral absolute" world, how you would come up with a "measure" of force that suits specific incidents.

Re. Dr. Block: Perhaps Dr. Block is incorrect? When I have time, I'll find you some sources you can read which will help you understand how the term "libertarianism" came about. Most certainly it came about by those who held to the classical liberalism philosophy, but were concerned about today's use of the world "liberal."

"What is that "philosophy"? Who, in your opinion, wrote that philosophy? Might we expect the usual suspects?: Mill, Bentham? Those who actually bother to read these fellows will find that their utilitarianism - with its anti-intellectual, numerical "Greatest good for the greatest number" ethics - is the very recipe needed for a fascist dictatorship. Yet these are so frequently held up as libertarianism's "heroes" and "founders""

I've read Mill, but not heard of Bentham. No, Paul, I'm speaking of John Locke, Thomas Paine, Voltaire, David Hume, Adam Smith, James Madison, and others like them.

In your opinion, does a "philosophy" need to be written by one single person? I know there are Rand worshippers (it's almost like a cult, it seems) who call themselves "Objectivists," is this what you mean?

As an aside, I'd prefer, if I could, to live under a benevolent dictator instead of a democracy with uninformed fools voting on policy and those with opinions that are based on utter nonsense and myth. Like those who refuse to acknowledge historical fact, or the fact that Israel is a welfare state that depends on the theft of money by foreign governments of their citizens through taxation.

"Ian wrote: "Expression itself is not "provocative," rather "provocation" as far as what someone says is in the mind."

With respect Ian, I think you mistyped something: that's not a meaningful sentence. If you'll re-word it, perhaps I'll be able to respond to it.


Expression itself is not provocative. If I say something to you that you think is "provoking," that provocation is in your mind. Provocation in that sense, does not exist. Provocation is an excuse for some behaviours. Weak minded people, those who don't think rationally, may "feel provoked" by someone's expression.

Provocation is subjective, degrees of provocation are in the mind that feels "provoked."

"Of course. I believe in objective right and wrong. My point was that moral relativists typically do not, yet - in a feat double-think - claim to be right about such things as the unknowability of reality, about the impotency of reason, and about the utter subjectivity of ethics."

So, define right and wrong, objectively.

I have to admit that I believe "ALL REALITY" is unknowable. This does not mean that some reality cannot be known.

Would you point specifically to objective ethics? Do these ethics have names? Define ethics, in the way you are meaning in your use of the word.

"Care to change your sentence? An opinion about what "should be", if voiced, is most certainly the same as telling one what "should be". Are you suggesting that ones opinions about what "should be" are a violation of your freedom when those opinions are voiced?

No. I'm stating that you have no right to assert what MY CAUSE should be. I am stating that it is unreasonable and illogical of you to state what my cause should be. In the case of Israel, comparing the "cause of Israel" to the "cause of freedom" is a huge mental and illogical leap, that you are asserting should be "everyone's cause." Reason and logic don't work very well when facts are ignored, do they? Israel's cause is political and religious. It is also a welfare state. That is not "freedom."

"an wrote: "For you to tell me that Israel's cause is "freedom" and therefore should be my cause, is simply nonsense."

Which part is "nonsense"? Telling you something (i.e., expressing an opinion). Or that freedom should be your cause?


That Israel's cause is freedom, and therefore should be my cause.

Israel's cause is not freedom. Not individual freedom recognizing inherent rights.

Ian Scott said...

"And that is what Ian is failing to address."

I addressed what I addressed - which included at least one of your false assertions. There was nothing that I was "failing to address." The IRA are a bunch of thugs, and I don't really care what they claim about common causes.

But good thinking, soreheaduk... you are correct that we can go back in history and find all sorts of events to justify what goes on today. In fact, let's go back to the very original days of Israel, and discuss how the Children of Abraham, after the exodus from Egypt, expelled the inhabitants (well, according to the Bible, slaughtered them, including women and children) of the land that was to be called Israel.

By the way, the Hebrews have a very interesting history. Israel and Judah eventually became separate kingdoms, and often went to war against each other. The capital of the Hebrews prior to this split was Hebron; it was King David that defeated the Caananites in battle, and siezed their land - which included Jerusalem - David moved the capital to Jerusalem.

So what did you want me to address exactly, sorehead?

Paul McKeever said...

Hi Ian,

As much as I'd like to continue this debate, I'm afraid this will probably be my last round. I was told about this thread via e-mail, and thought it courteous for me to clarify my comments on Coren, and to address some of your comments. I think I've done that amply, but here goes the last round:

I wrote: "The whole world most certain should want to be free. Those that do not it to be so, in my opinion, are the enemies of humanity."

To that comment, Ian replied: "These people are not my enemies until they insist I share in their lack of freedom."

To which I responded, in part:
"Do you pay income taxes?"

That's not "taking" your "comment out of context". It's testing your assertion. The fact of the matter is that you pay income taxes because you are forced to do so. Yet you imply that those who force you to do so - and all of the voters who put them into power so that they could do so - are not (my words) "enemies of humanity". Those who propose to increase your tax burden so as to redistribute wealth instead of carry out the proper functions of government are, most certainly, enemies of humanity because they are enemies of human nature. It is not necessary that they have rocket launchers: they have ballots. It is not necessary that they assault you: they have the state do it for them. My point is this: your list of enemies - if you care to be consistent - is much larger than the list of people who should be acted against militarily. One does not have to be killing people in order to be an enemy of humanity. Kant and Hegel are, perhaps, the best examples of this. They attacked humanity with the dishonest pen.

Ian wrote: "Israel has done enough of it's own kidnappings and killings."

The righteousness of a military action has little if anything to do with who fired first. In fact, libertarianism's insistence on "he started it" as the be-all and end-all of when it is appropriate to use force is perhaps one of the most easily-identifiable features of libertarian folly. The superiority of Israel's claim over land, as opposed to that of the palestinians, is not rooted in who had what first. It is rooted in the philosophies of the two groups of people scrapping over the land. No person has a right to govern other people as though they were mindless animals. Ultimately, the role of government is to ensure that individuals relate to one another as individual, reasoning, entities. For any rational country to move into a land governed by irrational mystics who outlaw the mind, and to use force to replace that governance with a rational, pro-humanity, pro-rationality government, is utterly moral and defensible. First come first serve does not make self-government right. A commitment to reality, to reason, and to the propriety of man acting rationally (which implies peacefully pursuing ones own happiness on this earth, in this life) founds righteous governance. "I was here first", "he shot me first", and other kindergarten heuristics have little to do with claims on land in the middle east.

Ian wrote: "You really think that kidnapping two soldiers justifies the killings of civilians in Lebanon over recent days?

I think that the killing of those who kidnapped the two soldiers is just, and that the only people to have murdered "innocent" civilians in southern Lebanon are those who used those civilians as human shields. The killer is often not the murderer: "murderer" is the term given to the person who is morally responsible for someone else being killed.

Ian wrote: You think this is a "measured response?"

I do not have a list of every place that has been hit by the Israelis, but, so far, I have not read or heard of any innappropriate responses. To have taken out the landing strips was absolutely appropriate and measured if, as seems to be well-established, they are a major means by which the terrorists are supplied.

When an irrational group promises to annihilate a relatively rational, peaceful country, the measured response is: annihilation of the enemy. The fact that Israel has not knowingly gone after targets in Lebanon having nothing at all to do with the terrorists' efforts, in the current context, makes their efforts "measured".

Ian wrote: "Perhaps Dr. Block is incorrect?"

Perhaps he is, but all of the evidence I've seen - including the fact that it's hard to find two self-styled "libertarians" in one room who can agree on why "liberty" is righteous - suggests that he's right on the money when it comes to describing libertarianism.

Ian wrote: "I've read Mill, but not heard of Bentham."

Well, that's not an encouraging thing to admit if Mill is one of the folks whose philosophy you feel founds libertarianism. Bentham, essentially, is the founder of utilitarianism, a defining feature of which is the idea that the good of the many comes before the good of the few (something which Hitler and the Nazis agreed with wholeheartedly)...he declared, essentially, that the idea of "rights" is "nonsense upon stilts". Mill followed Bentham in his utilitarianism, though was more concerned with the plight of individuals under utilitarianism.

Ian wrote: "No, Paul, I'm speaking of John Locke, Thomas Paine, Voltaire, David Hume, Adam Smith, James Madison, and others like them."

The problem is: they were radically different from one another so it is meaningless to say "...and others like them". Locke, for example, proposed that individual's had god-given rights of life, liberty and property. Paine, Voltaire, and Hume had little room for the existence of a rights-conferring god. I have little bad to say about Paine. But consider that Hume effectively denied the idea that man lives in, and can accurately perceive and make rational conclusions about, an objective physical universe. Hume was the sort of fellow that the philosophes (including Voltaire) snickered at behind his back.

Consider that Adam Smith, like Ricardo, promoted a "labour theory of value" which is actually the economic cornerstone of communism. The labour theory of value is the idea that the price of a good should be not more than the cost of the goods and labour that went into making it...and that, if the good is sold for a price higher than that, the seller is stealing from the labourers. Crediting the Bible, Hegel, and Adam Smith, it was anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who thereby concluded that "Property is Theft!", and gave energy to millions of anarchists and communists that followed him.

In short, you make my point for me: you have listed these fellows as advocates of a "classical liberal philosophy", but their philosophies conflict one another considerably. None of that matters, usually, to libertarians. In my experience, most libertarians will pull out a quote-book and, on the basis of a line here and a paragraph there, conclude that a mish-mash of earthly angels and devils were all somehow advocates of a single philosophy that founds libertarianism. Philosophy, in truth, is of no interest to most of them, and that is utterly consistent with the libertarian approach, which is founded on the idea that: ethics doesn't matter.

Ian wrote: "In your opinion, does a "philosophy" need to be written by one single person?"

No, in my opinion, a philosophy has to be one philosophy, not two, three, or ten erroneously passed off (usually unwittingly) as a "body" of philosophical consensus (as though consensus were a measure of propriety).

Ian wrote: Expression itself is not provocative. If I say something to you that you think is "provoking," that provocation is in your mind. Provocation in that sense, does not exist. Provocation is an excuse for some behaviours. Weak minded people, those who don't think rationally, may "feel provoked" by someone's expression. Provocation is subjective, degrees of provocation are in the mind that feels "provoked."

Ah, now I know what you intended to mean. I must disagree though. Provocation is not subjective. If a person with a gun to Jill's head says to Jill "I'm going to shoot you if you don't vacate your house and never return", that is quite objectively a provocation to Jill.

Now, that doesn't mean that everyone is correct about the existence of a threat or provocation. For example, evidence that someone is about to launch a nuke at your country might be sketchy. However, that doesn't mean that provocation is subjective. It just means that one does not always have a collection of evidence that, rationally considered, leads to the correct conclusion about the existence of provocation.

Ian wrote: "...define right and wrong, objectively." The subject of what is right and what is wrong cannot be explained fully in a paragraph or two on a blog. However, I subscribe to the objectivist ethics which, in a nutshell, says that an individual's highest value (i.e., the good) is his own life, that rationality (which implies, for example, trade rather than coercion as a means of interacting with people) is his highest virtue, and that the pursuit of his own happiness is his his highest purpose.

Ian wrote: I have to admit that I believe "ALL REALITY" is unknowable. This does not mean that some reality cannot be known.

What isn't knowable? Give me an example. To claim knowledge of that which is unknowable is illogical (think about it).

Ian wrote: "Would you point specifically to objective ethics? Do these ethics have names?

Rational egoism.

Ian wrote: "Define ethics, in the way you are meaning in your use of the word."

That branch of philosophy that deals with the issue of what an individual should decide to do and should decide not to do.

Ian wrote: "I'm stating that you have no right to assert what MY CAUSE should be. I am stating that it is unreasonable and illogical of you to state what my cause should be.

Nonsense. This isn't Iran: it's a relatively free country. I can say any number of "oughts" and "shoulds" with impunity.

Ian wrote: [Israel] is also a welfare state. That is not "freedom."

No, you are correct about that, and I have no respect for Israel's altruistic welfare statism. However, the difference between Israel and its enemy neighbours is not political, but primarily metaphysical and epistemological. Unlike the system proposed by their enemies (and enforced in places like Somalia), the Israeli system of government does not outlaw the human mind, and its independence.

Ian Scott said...

"Yet you imply that those who force you to do so - and all of the voters who put them into power so that they could do so - are not (my words) "enemies of humanity"."

There was no such implication. Your projections upon my words.

"libertarianism's insistence on "he started it" as the be-all and end-all of when it is appropriate to use force is perhaps one of the most easily-identifiable features of libertarian folly."

Well, based on smething you say further on, I guess there is not much point in asking you to point to the folly.

"The superiority of Israel's claim over land, as opposed to that of the palestinians, is not rooted in who had what first. It is rooted in the philosophies of the two groups of people scrapping over the land. No person has a right to govern other people as though they were mindless animals. Ultimately, the role of government is to ensure that individuals relate to one another as individual, reasoning, entities. For any rational country to move into a land governed by irrational mystics who outlaw the mind, and to use force to replace that governance with a rational, pro-humanity, pro-rationality government, is utterly moral and defensible."

Not only is this totally ignorant of reality in regard to how the State of Israel came into existence, your assertion about the role of government is interesting. First, it is quite interesting that you have chosen to ignore the fact that prior to the State of Israel coming into existence, the area was ruled by Britain. Part of Britain's motivation to get out Palestine included Zionist terrorist activity against the British in Palestine. Interesting to me that some folks conveniently forget this fact.

Regarding the role of government, whilst I'd agree with you if it were possible to have a minarchist type of government, that it's only role should be to defend inherent rights if that is what you mean by ensuring that "that individuals relate to one another as individual."

However, your last statement is wild and incredible, especially in regard to the issue of Israel. For one thing, the Zionist Movement was not a country before that movement moved to Palestine and assisted in the creation of the State of Israel, and in doing so, expelled people from their land, or simply siezed land from others.

Secondly, your assertion that it a "rational country" (whatever the hell you mean by that - what exactly is a "rational country" anyhow?) can move into another country "and to use force to replace that governance with a rational, pro-humanity, pro-rationality government, is utterly moral and defensible" is simply bizarre. For those of my friends who do bother to participate in what we call "democracy" and vote during elections, I'll be taking a much different view now than before, when I suggested The Freedom Party might be an alternative for them to consider.

""I was here first", "he shot me first", and other kindergarten heuristics have little to do with claims on land in the middle east."

Heh.. I'd certainly agree with you there, that in regard to claims in the middle east, there are an awful lot of "kindgergarten heuristics" going on.

"I do not have a list of every place that has been hit by the Israelis, but, so far, I have not read or heard of any innappropriate responses. To have taken out the landing strips was absolutely appropriate and measured if, as seems to be well-established, they are a major means by which the terrorists are supplied."

I guess you may want to go read some news. It's been more than landing strips.

"Philosophy, in truth, is of no interest to most of them, and that is utterly consistent with the libertarian approach, which is founded on the idea that: ethics doesn't matter."

Well, indeed I would suggest to you that to most people, philosophy is of no interest. So what's your point? Only philosophers should be leaders of political parties or form governments? I have no idea what you mean by "libertarian approach." Earlier, you made an assertion about the idea that libertarianism is founded upon. Now, you're suggesting that the idea is that "ethics don't matter."

As far as I can tell, libertarianism is founded on the idea of inherent rights. I also have no clue what you mean by "ethics," even after your definition you provided, that it is a branch of philosophy that deals with issue of what an individual should decide to do and should decide not to do. That seems pretty straight forward to me about what I should do, when I should do it, and how I do it, and a bunch of philosophers can argue all they want about it.

If your ethics include something like individuals should go into other lands and take over because the government there is based on mysticism or whatever other excuse one wants to come up with, then your ethics are not my ethics, most certainly.

We have governments here in North America that are not "pro-humanity" or "pro rationality" (some of course, will argue "degree" here). I'm far more interested in dealing with that, then in any kind of support for Israel (or others in the middle east, for that matter). The liberty constraining governments in Canada have more interest to me than supporting Israel has interest to me. Paul, this is my life, and it's my time. What I choose to do with that time - well you can write about what ethics philosophers say I should do all you want - I'll absolutely and categorically reject any assertion that I should "support" Israel, or equate Israel's cause to "the cause of freedom."

"No, in my opinion, a philosophy has to be one philosophy,"

Thanks for your opinion. I may give your opinion some consideration, if choose to spend the time considering it. You are correct that not all of the authors I listed agree with each other, or that some of their assertions (and in some cases, premises) are different. I would even suggest to you that what we call the "age of enlightenment" and many of the authors I listed were the beginning of "classical liberalism" - of which inherent rights were finally recognized after their arguments were published.

"If a person with a gun to Jill's head says to Jill "I'm going to shoot you if you don't vacate your house and never return", that is quite objectively a provocation to Jill."

We were not discussing guns to heads, Paul. We were discussing your view about libertarians and something to do with Nazis - Nazis who didn't actually "do" anything, from what I took from your example, but were "provocative." You did not say how exactly, in your example, how these "Nazis" were being provocative.


"What isn't knowable? Give me an example."

I could give you a million examples, I guess but here's a few for now:

1. I don't know what substance(s) make up the North Star. What is asserted thus far, are guesses.
2. I don't know if fish feel pain. I suspect they do not.
3. I don't know your thoughts or what motivates you when you act a certain way. Even if you write something out, I still can't know you are telling the truth.
4. I don't know that man has gone to the moon. I rely on other reports and then form beliefs based on those reports.

Perhaps my original statement was not clear. I can know reality, but I cannot know all of reality. I can however, make guesses (even those who claim to be using reason to "know" a thing are making guesses - guesses that their premises are correct in the first place).

"Rational egoism."

I still have no idea what you mean. Would you point to reality? What the heck is "rational egoism?"

"Nonsense. This isn't Iran: it's a relatively free country. I can say any number of "oughts" and "shoulds" with impunity."

In this case, regarding the "cause of Israel," it is still unreasonable and irrational for you to do so.

"the Israeli system of government does not outlaw the human mind, and its independence."


Only to some degree.Israel allows for the use of torture. Torture is not something that recognizes a mind's independence, is it?

Honey Pot said...

Holy jumping jesus this is good stuff. Carry on boys...put some comedy into it. Don't make me think too much though, it makes my brain hurt.

Pietr said...

False assertion?Which one was that?
Oh, the one about 'property', for which you 'found' a quote.
If you did visit Owlsarentwise, the latest posting predicts precisely this response.
You claim 'authority' for the opinions of one individual(contrary to my opinion), but it's really just arbitrary doing-down as my article describes.
Either you are choosing arbitrarily to believe what supports your original thesis, or else you are slavishly adhering to some sort of racist 'horses mouth' method because you've found a Jewish dissenter.
The only proof I can offer is this;the modern Israelis have made poor land fertile.They are even irrigating the Negev Desert.
The other lot(who were 'evicted', but hey, it wasn't their property either right?)had two thousand years to achieve something similar and did not.
By the way, I've visited the Soviet trench systems on the Ha-Golan, from where they used to shell farmers.
Still, the Russians meant it in fun, eh?

Ian Scott said...

For which I found a quote? And this has something to do with racism? And the only proof you have to offer is something about irrigation and land fertility?

oooh kayyy..

Ian Scott said...

Heh.. I just took a look at your blog, sorehead. Ummmm... I presume you were writing of your last post, in regard to your statement about "predicting" my response regarding your assertion about land purchase in Israel?

Hehe.. Sorry dude, the ONLY "truths" I hold to be self-evident are the truths of inherent rights.

And yourself?

Well, I'm glad at least you had the foresight to predict that might be challenged on some assertion someday. What it has to do with ice cream and brocolli is beyond me, though. False analogies and all that, you know?

Ian Scott said...

Sorehead, I'm going to help you out a little bit here, ok? It's regarding assertions.

See, you've asserted something which I've known to be a "controversial assertion" for a long time, regarding property purchased in Palestine for Jewish settlers.

You perhaps have ignored the controversy and decided it was one of those "self evident truths." What makes it "self-evident," you don't tell us (I'm using the words from your blog which you referred me to yourself, in context of this discussion).

You're suggested I "found a quote," and ignored all other possibilities with regard to my criticism of your false assertion. You ignore the fact that I may have found quite a number of quotes, which also included the presentation of evidence, which has motivated me to not believe this "land purchase" is "self evident."

You make quite a number of logical errors, in fact.

Now, I'm going to help you out a bit so you can do your own research if you wish, and discover if your "self evident truths" are indeed, "self evident."

Some years ago, a man named Norman Finkelstien wrote an interesting book entitled "The Holocaust Industry."

Naturally, quite controversial. But I realize it is quite possible you have never heard of it. Interestingly though, others have heard of it, and even read it, including one of the leading Jewish historians on the Holocaust. His name is Raul Hilberg. I've quoted him previously on my blog - I quoted his testimony during the Ernst Zundel trial - boy, was the reaction ever funny! Because I quoted a Jewish Historian at the trial of Ernst Zundel, I was accused of being anti-semitic! But that's beside the point.

You might want to read some of Raul's comments in a variety of interviews he did after the book came out. I've taken the time to get some links for you, and thankfully, Finkelstien has provided a lot of the information on a single webpage which is here:

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=3&ar=202

Now, you have a read of that.. and come back and tell me how your prediction about my not accepting your assertion means anything at all - and what the heck you are referring to, especially in light of your "self evident truths" thing on your blog.

I'll do some more research for you if it is of any value to you. Before I do that, please let me know if you do put any value in learning about alternative points of view from respected and noted Jewish historians, as I wouldn't want to waste my time with someone who is simply going to accept what he was told some years ago, as being "self evident truth."

I'll check back later.

Paul McKeever said...

Okay honeypot, one more, just for you:

I wrote: "The superiority of Israel's claim over land, as opposed to that of the palestinians, is not rooted in who had what first. It is rooted in the philosophies of the two groups of people scrapping over the land. No person has a right to govern other people as though they were mindless animals. Ultimately, the role of government is to ensure that individuals relate to one another as individual, reasoning, entities. For any rational country to move into a land governed by irrational mystics who outlaw the mind, and to use force to replace that governance with a rational, pro-humanity, pro-rationality government, is utterly moral and defensible."

Ian replied: Not only is this totally ignorant of reality in regard to how the State of Israel came into existence, your assertion about the role of government is interesting. First, it is quite interesting that you have chosen to ignore the fact that prior to the State of Israel coming into existence, the area was ruled by Britain. Part of Britain's motivation to get out Palestine included Zionist terrorist activity against the British in Palestine. Interesting to me that some folks conveniently forget this fact.

First: currently, the British aren't in Palestine facing "Zionist terrorist activity". Neither is Rome currently facing an onslaught by Germans. I am judging the current situation, not the situation decades ago. Again: how Israel came into being has little to do with who, at present, has a right to govern the region. A government's role is not - for example - to sentence folks to death when they fail to pray five times per day (as was pronounced by an imam of a Somali Sharia court in recent days since the fall of Mogadishu to the Muslim fanatics). It is to ensure that reason, not coercion, governs human intercourse. It is for this reason that Israel, and not a Palestinian or other radical Muslim authority, should be governing the land currently considered to be Israel. Israel - like most of north America - may be a welfare state, but at least it has not stooped to the level of punishing people for thinking independently (e.g., for not praying to god at all).

Secondly: you write "...a "rational country" (whatever the hell you mean by that - what exactly is a "rational country" anyhow?)"

By "rational country", I mean a country that - at the very least - is governed by a set of laws that improve the likelihood that reason, not coercion, governs human intercourse. At the very least, a rational country's laws are not founded upon the idea that independent thought is a crime; that the advancement of human knowledge, wealth and happiness on this earth somehow makes a country "the Great Satan".

I wrote, about libertarian debaters on the web who use quotations in lieu of actually reading books, in an attempt to pretend that they know something about philosophy: "Philosophy, in truth, is of no interest to most of them, and that is utterly consistent with the libertarian approach, which is founded on the idea that: ethics doesn't matter."

Ian responded: "Well, indeed I would suggest to you that to most people, philosophy is of no interest. So what's your point?

My point is that a multitude of libertarian ignorami latch onto the non-aggression principle falsely believing it to be axiomatic and then, when asked to explain why the principle is good and defensible, list a bunch of writers whose philosophies were conflicting, call them all "classical liberal philosophers, and say "libertarianism is founded upon classical liberal philosophy". All the while, had any of those writers lived to see the philosophically vacuous movement currently styled "libertarianism", they would have disowned it in a flash, as such...which libertarians would know had they actually read any of the books written by the people from whose books they pull one-sentence "liberty snippets".

Ian, somehow wondering what is my point about libertarianism's anti-philosophical strategy, wrote: Only philosophers should be leaders of political parties or form governments?

I was saying nothing about who should lead parties or governments: you are changing the topic to avoid dealing with my comments about libertarianism. That said: I would have preferred that our last few Prime Ministers had a clue about the horrible implications of making laws on the basis that they should provide 'the greatest good for the greatest number, and damn the minority'.

Ian wrote I have no idea what you mean by "libertarian approach." Earlier, you made an assertion about the idea that libertarianism is founded upon. Now, you're suggesting that the idea is that "ethics don't matter."

I am sorry Ian, but the problem here is with your comprehension of what I have written, not with what I have written. As I've made perfectly clear: libertarianism's "approach" to making a "big tent" "movement" is to shear metaphysics, epistemology and ethics - the philosophical foundation of Rand's non-aggression principle - from the non-aggression "principle", falsely to present the non-aggression principle as an axiom, and to welcome to its number anybody - including, but not limited to, the scum of society: falsely-pacifistic white supremacists, NAMBLA supporters who want the age of consent eliminated so that they can have sex with children without going to prison, anarchists (i.e., those who want no government at all) - anybody who, for any reason whatsoever, is willing to say that "um, sure, the non-aggression axiom makes sense to me". Does that help you understand my point about libertarianism?

Ian wrote: "As far as I can tell, libertarianism is founded on the idea of inherent rights.

As far as you can tell?? You are that uncertain, yet you accuse me of being "disingenuous" when I - with citations - demonstrate that libertarianism methodically avoids ethical judgments. What, on earth, do you think "rights" refer to? "Rights" are ethical concepts. If you know that - and I'm not suggesting it's obvious that you do - then you are saying that libertarianism is founded on an ethical philosophy. Yet that is precisely what Block - a highly-recognized spokesperson for libertarianism who has written more than one is likely ever to read about libertarianism and its nature - says is erroneous.

Ian wrote: I also have no clue what you mean by "ethics," even after your definition you provided, that it is a branch of philosophy that deals with issue of what an individual should decide to do and should decide not to do.

If true, then anything you write or say about "rights" is no more informed than anything my 7-year-old might say or write about rights. I'm not saying that to be mean. It's simply the case that rights are an ethical concept, so for you, who admits to not understanding even the meaning of the word "ethics", to so sternly and staunchly to defend the idea the libertarianism is - as far as you can tell - "founded on the idea of inherent rights" is, at the very least, a practice that could call your authority into question.

Ian wrote: That seems pretty straight forward to me about what I should do, when I should do it, and how I do it, and a bunch of philosophers can argue all they want about it.

The problem with such an anti-intellectual attitude (which, by the way, is typical of most in the libertarian movement), is that the Lenins, and the Hitlers, and Ottawa's mandarins take philosophy very, very seriously...and ram it down your throat on a daily basis. You are being hit by a weapon that you do not even see, much less understand. Philosophy moves, and has always moved, the world. Perhaps, as someone who likes to write about the wrongs done to people by governments, you would enjoy cracking the spine on a bit of ethical philosophy.

Ian wrote: "In your opinion, does a "philosophy" need to be written by one single person?"

I replied: "No, in my opinion, a philosophy has to be one philosophy,"

Ian rebutted: Thanks for your opinion. I may give your opinion some consideration, if choose to spend the time considering it.

My lord Ian, I was using the words "in my opinion" sarcastically. There's no "opining" about it. "A" philosophy has to be "A" philosophy...just like "An" apple cannot be "A bag of apples". A is A, not Z or A squared.

In response to Ian's claim that all provocation is somehow "subjective", I wrote: "If a person with a gun to Jill's head says to Jill "I'm going to shoot you if you don't vacate your house and never return", that is quite objectively a provocation to Jill."

To which Ian replied: "We were not discussing guns to heads, Paul. We were discussing your view about libertarians and something to do with Nazis..."

Oy yoy yoy Ian! I was addressing your odd claim that provocation is "subjective".

As to the rest of your post, I'm on vacation right now and I am not prepared to write a treatise to deal with your admitted issue that you do not know what ethics is or rational egoism is, etc.. I can only suggest that you might benefit from reading Leonard Peikoff's "Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand", which will probably answer most of your questions.

Honey Pot said...

It is sad and terrible that eight Canadians died in Lebanon due to the latest unrest, and the inaction of the Lebanese government to reign in their homegrown terrorist. I also wonder why anyone in their right mind would take their family on a vacation to that snakepit, called the middle east, on vacation. I know the family is distraught, but singing the praises of the terrorist group Hezbollah as their protectors is ludicrous. Hezbollah would be dancing in glee that eight Canadian citizens of Lebanese orgin were killed. They would look at that as a public relations opportunity for their act of terrorism against Israel.

Honey Pot said...

Thanks Paul. Ok Ian, your turn

Ian Scott said...

"First: currently, the British aren't in Palestine facing "Zionist terrorist activity". Neither is Rome currently facing an onslaught by Germans. I am judging the current situation, not the situation decades ago. Again: how Israel came into being has little to do with who, at present, has a right to govern the region. A government's role is not - for example - to sentence folks to death when they fail to pray five times per day (as was pronounced by an imam of a Somali Sharia court in recent days since the fall of Mogadishu to the Muslim fanatics). It is to ensure that reason, not coercion, governs human intercourse. It is for this reason that Israel, and not a Palestinian or other radical Muslim authority, should be governing the land currently considered to be Israel. Israel - like most of north America - may be a welfare state, but at least it has not stooped to the level of punishing people for thinking independently (e.g., for not praying to god at all).

Well, give you credit for being consistent regarding "history." But are you indeed judging the current situation with your own blinders? Or, perhaps it's all a matter of "degree" for you? Is a government's role to refuse building permits because of your ethnic background, so they are unable to build homes on land they possess?

Are you sure your judgement includes not just a one-sided part of the story? Paul, I don't think you are making your judgement based on many of the issues; it appears that your judgement is based on cherry picking issues that suit your judgement.

"By "rational country", I mean a country that - at the very least - is governed by a set of laws that improve the likelihood that reason, not coercion, governs human intercourse. At the very least, a rational country's laws are not founded upon the idea that independent thought is a crime; that the advancement of human knowledge, wealth and happiness on this earth somehow makes a country "the Great Satan"."

Care to name any country's that meet this standard?

"I am sorry Ian, but the problem here is with your comprehension of what I have written, not with what I have written."

You may be correct. Perhaps you could try to be precise?

"I was saying nothing about who should lead parties or governments: you are changing the topic to avoid dealing with my comments about libertarianism. That said: I would have preferred that our last few Prime Ministers had a clue about the horrible implications of making laws on the basis that they should provide 'the greatest good for the greatest number, and damn the minority'."

It was not a "change of topic" at all, and I was not avoiding anything. I was asking you your opinion, based on what you had written, regarding the qualifications for political office.

"As far as you can tell?? You are that uncertain,"

That is correct. As far as I can tell. Have you read every single source possible? I haven't. I don't have time.

But what I have read and researched leads me to that conclusion. Naturally, as I have been known to do in the past, I can be convinced to change my mind and my beliefs with new evidence. How about you, by the way? Willing to look at new information you might have not seen before, in regard to this "moral" Israel?

"If true, then anything you write or say about "rights" is no more informed than anything my 7-year-old might say or write about rights. I'm not saying that to be mean."

No, I don't think you are being "mean," just silly. As far as rights are concerned, it is self-evident to me what inherent rights are. If they are self-evident to your 7 year old, that's fantastic, huh?

"The problem with such an anti-intellectual attitude (which, by the way, is typical of most in the libertarian movement),"

I am not "anti-intellectual" at all. I do however, find it interesting that some who call themselves "intellectuals" have a difficult time pointing to reality, but instead point to favorite terminologies and phrases.

For example, can you point to a specific "egoism ethic?" I have my own understanding of term "ethics." You are likely using it with a different meaning than I am. You should not have to write a treatise to explain what you mean - just point to them in reality.

"My lord Ian, I was using the words "in my opinion" sarcastically."

Thank you for pointing that out. As mentioned in that list of what I cannot know, one of them was knowing your motivations. I'm not sure I've ever come across someone using the phrase, "in my opinion" as a form of sarcasm. But now that I have, I'll keep it in mind next time I see the phrase.

"I was addressing your odd claim that provocation is "subjective".

Oh yoy yoy Paul! (Ok, that was my sarcasm). Paul, if you read back, you will note that you were the first person to bring up the subject of sarcasm. You had some example of libertarians and Nazis, and somehow this was all "non-violent" except there was "provocation."

Well, I'm not sure what exactly, what some find "provocative" to the point of "shooting first" in a non-violent situation. So, I was assuming that this provocation you were referring to was in the form of expression. You didn't make it clear what the "provocation" was other than some form of speech, Paul. But you did write, "provided the NAZI's don't initiate any violence...but let them verbally provoke the initiation of force, and just watch how they implement their philosophy in the name of "self-defence"."

Now, admittedly, you asked me to clarify what I meant. I subsequently did so. You then stated that you thought you now knew what I meant, but then brought up an example of someone with a gun to their head. Your first example, when YOU brought up the subject of provocation, had no such reference to holding guns to anyone's head. It was "verbal provocation."

So, I really have no clue now what the heck you are going on about. What I did was merely point out to you that in your original statement, in which you brought up the subject of provocation, it was "verbal" or in the form of "expression," and that such provocation is only in the mind of the one "feeling provoked." Granted, you want to bring weapons into the example, then certainly, that would be "objective provocation."

Paul, after reading some of what you have written, what do you think of the right to freedom of expression?

Ian Scott said...

"bring up the subject of sarcasm." in the 5th last paragraph should be "subject of provocation."

Pietr said...

Not quite,Honey.
Suppose that your controversial assertion of the purchase of only 6% or 7% of land in the former Caliphate were true;would you deny that the inhabitants of this land had any right to establish their own entity?
As for Brocolli and Ice-Cream, you don't get it,which is fine by me.Your inability to recognise patterns in the abstract is also something I would predict, if I could be bothered.

Honey Pot said...

Sore, I am confused. Are you referring to me as Honey, or are you trying to sweet talk Ian? If you are talking to me, I have no idea what you are talking about. If you are talking to Ian, and referring to him as honey, there is nothing wrong with that.

Ian Scott said...

"Suppose that your controversial assertion of the purchase of only 6% or 7% of land in the former Caliphate were true;would you deny that the inhabitants of this land had any right to establish their own entity?"

Not at all. Unfortunately, most political viewpoints are such that this would be a case of worthy of violence though.

An inherent right is the right of freedom of association. I don't know of any nation state that fully recognizes this right, however.

I have the "right" to declare myself a fully independent person. I recognize myself as such, and within the bounds of realizing that the State of Canada might come and cart me off and further diminish and try to eliminate my rights if I did so, I pragmatically spend my energies with that threat in mind.

"Your inability to recognise patterns in the abstract is also something I would predict, if I could be bothered.

I prefer reality to subjective "abstract." Patterns are in the mind, and don't exist in reality.

Honey Pot said...

I think I get Ian....we are our own liquor control board. Still a "we" in that though. No collective thought, nor action, unless it benefits us personally? Is that what you are tying to get across Ian? If not, please explain.

Ian Scott said...

"No collective thought, nor action, unless it benefits us personally?"

No idea what you mean by "collective thought." By "collective action," I think you mean something like, a group of people agreeing to take some action which requires some resources of each of those in the group that are agreeing?

If that is what you mean, I have nothing against collective action at all. I have no clue what yuo mean by "benefits us personally" though. Isn't that something only the individual can decide for himself?

There are many things I do, that don't simply benefit me personally, nor do I engage in all activities all on my own.

If folks volunteer, or enter contract with others to "act" in some way, as long as those actions do not infringe on the inherent rights of any other individual, then who am I to say what "benefit" one derives?

Some of my agreements with others afford me the benefit of "joy." One does not require a material benefit for there to be a benefit.

It seems to me that if folks choose to engage in some activity without having identified some "benefit," than they might be insane.

Ian Scott said...

Sorry:

"It seems to me that if folks choose to engage in some activity without having identified some "benefit," than they might be insane" should be:

"It seems to me that if folks choose to engage in some activity without having the ability to identify some "benefit," than they might be insane.

Further explanation:

For example, even Mother Theresa had motivations for her work, I would guess that included being blessed by God in the "afterlife." Some folks talk of a "sense of duty," and when examined when acting within what they suggest is a sense of duty is the corrollary of not acting within their "sense of duty." The benefit may be simply acting in the way the believe is right instead of acting in a way they believe is wrong.

I point this out because often the accusation of "selfishness" is suggested when discussing this sort of thing. I would bet McKeevor may be able to understand my point here as well.

All actions are made out of some sense of selfishness. "Benefit" does not necessarily mean "material gain."

Honey Pot said...

A collective thought or action would be something like....if I don't pick up arms, and defend my neighours, I am the next one going to get my ass kicked by the collective thoughts and actions of that group of fuckwits. I can chose to not have an opinion or take no action. That is an asskicking waiting to happen.

Mother Theresa, bless her cinnamon bun likeness, just knew the world was a fucked up place, and did what she could to help. Being a woman, she didn't have much say on what was going on.

Ian Scott said...

"A collective thought or action would be something like....if I don't pick up arms, and defend my neighours, I am the next one going to get my ass kicked by the collective thoughts and actions of that group of fuckwits. I can chose to not have an opinion or take no action. That is an asskicking waiting to happen."

Yeah, collective action could mean that. My own individual thought however, could include contemplating whether or not some of my neighbours had also acted as a group of fuckwits at times. It could then be possible I'd want to disassociate myself from my neighbours. That's always a possibility.

Honey Pot said...

Yes this could be true, but in this moment in time.... if you think about it logically, what will happen if the Hezbollah and Hamas are given permission from the rest of the world to annihilate Israel? Whereas if Hamas and Hezbollah, are blown off the face of the earth, no one would give a fiddler's fuck. That would actually be a good thing.

Ian Scott said...

" Being a woman, she didn't have much say on what was going on."

Is this an assertion you actually believe? If you wanted to add some qualifiers, such as "Roman Catholic" woman, (maybe I'll think of others), I might give some thought to your assertion. Perhaps we could even come up with ways to help alleviate the problem for women (if they so choose to accept the help) for women who feel they don't have a say, huh?

Lisa.. as a woman, would you agree yourself with this assertion, if you're reading this?

Ian Scott said...

"Yes this could be true, but in this moment in time.... if you think about it logically, what will happen if the Hezbollah and Hamas are given permission from the rest of the world to annihilate Israel?"

Your false analogy aside that is supposed to be "logical" regarding fuckwits and neighbours, I can't answer your question about "what will happen." I'm no mystic with secret powers to peer into a crystal ball. I'd predict one thing though: Israel wouldn't be able to engage in it's own evil actions any longer.

I also have no idea about this "permission" bit, either.

Honey Pot said...

Ian the gatekeepers? who are they? The gatekeepers all have tallywhackers, just the way it is. The gatekeepers have the say.

Honey Pot said...

What are their evil actions Ian? They have a piece of land no bigger than a tampax according to the map. They took that piece of land and did something with it. If I thought for a minute it was even over land, and not just the wish to destroy a people, I might grant your arguments some credence.

Ian Scott said...

"They have a piece of land no bigger than a tampax according to the map."

Try, try real hard, to start thinking logically, instead of projectively. The map is not the thing. Repeat it a few times.

"If I thought for a minute it was even over land, and not just the wish to destroy a people, I might grant your arguments some credence."

I don't really give a shit what you think of my "arguments" or what credence you give them. Others that read this however, might be motivated to do their own research, instead of just listening to propaganda.

Ian Scott said...

If McKeevor is still reading, here's some news about that "measured response":

http://drdawgsblawg.blogspot.com/2006/07/israels-measured-response.html

I don't see any landing strips. Anyone else see landing strips here?

That's an interesting "measured response" to some kidnappings, huh?

Come on back here, McKeevor, and let's discuss in more detail, the absolute morality of this "measured response."

MapMaster said...

It's not incumbent that one try to weigh the actions of other individuals, groups or countries and take a "side" in the scrum but, like Honey Pot says, the consequences might include a future asskicking — a la Niemöller. And in the balance of things now, whatever happened fifty, sixty years ago, it's pretty clear that Israel, and I include its government, respects life, liberty and, yes, property much more than their opponents overall. What are the consequences of not taking sides? Possibly nothing… But what are the consequences of assisting or obstructing one side or the other? Quite possibly great or terrible… and I am inclined to take the leaders of both sides at their words for the consequences.

More than two hundred years ago, the territory of the nascent state of the US was carved out by bloody conflict and expropriating the property of Indians, if you want to call it property. But if I were transported back to that time, I would unreservedly support the new government of the US in its war of independence against a much more honourable enemy than Hamas or Hezbollah.

Ian Scott said...

Mapmaster, good of you to join the discussion :)

"it's pretty clear that Israel, and I include its government, respects life, liberty and, yes, property much more than their opponents overall."

I don't believe it is all that clear. Perhaps it appears that Israel (state) respects live, liberty and property in many instances, but what is often telling as well is when they have acted in ways that did not appear to have respect for any of those.

Might be an interesting research project - forget Palestinians or Arabs for a moment - but ask citizens of Israel, Jews, how they were treated when they disented or publically tried to suggest things were "not so good."

I'm not suggesting it is as extreme as this, but some might claim, "sure, respect for life, liberty, and property, as long as you don't give us a hard time or criticize us too much."

From what I've read, it seems it could be a quite difficult time for disenting Jews, Jews that live in Israel yet who are also interested in civil liberties for all, to continue living there. Many of them have moved out of Israel.

You and I don't even have to agree with Jews who have disenting opinions - but surely if Israel was as committed to "life, liberty, and property" as they claim, dissenters wouldn't feel the need to move away?

Some of those who move away are often attacked as being "left wing." Perhaps they are left wing. But I'd prefer to learn some facts instead of allowing ad hominem to cloud my judgement of reality.

Very quickly, one person (and I'll provide more for you if you wish.. or you can do your own research if you are so interested) who comes to mind is the Israeli Citizen, and Jew, who lived in Israel, named Felicia Langer. Take a peek at this: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/1998/402/pal2.htm

We're not talking about someone who is "anti semitic" here, Mapmaster.

Perhaps there has been built around us, a mirage of sorts, with regard to ME and Israeli politics over the years? I suppose one could try to discredit Felicia Langer.. but does that mean what she has to say is any less truthful?

Seriously, check this out as well - a link I provided earlier in this thread: http://www.democracynow.org/finkelstein-benami.shtml

One of the dudes is a former Cabinet appointed official with the State of Israel. Check out his own addmissions. Anyone want to accuse this guy of being "anti-semetic" by admitting to some things that "Israel Lovers" here in North America don't like to hear about, and accuse anyone of bringing this stuff up as being "anti-semitic?"

Go check out what very respectied Jewish Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg has to say about the truthfullness of these absolutely disturbing allegations.

Then in your own mind (not you personally, but anyone who happens to read this, and actually does the research), ask yourself, do I have some bias in my mind, some emotion about what I think or thought was 'right' about the whole situation?

Then sure.. go make up your mind. Support whomever you want - I for one won't be supporting any, but I'll certainly be pointing out to anyone who is interested in truth, facts that might actually prick that little mirage in their minds enough to help them realize that it ain't all about what many of us have been lead to believe.

And I'm going to put something else to you as well: ENORMOUS support for Israel has been generated in North America by Christian Dispensationalists (Premillenialists) for their own mystical views about eschatology, which teach that Israel must become a State again in order for Jesus Christ to return.

Don't believe me? Go check it out for yourself. Much of North American support for Israel is based on mysticism. And through that mysticism, many have been convinced that support for Israel, no matter what, is just the right thing to do.

If you're bored, go watch some televangelists on TV sometime, when they are discussing "Biblical End Times," and listen to them go on and on and on about "supporting this 'miracle' of Israel," and how it's all "God's Plan" to save His original chosen people, and therefore Christians should support Israel at all costs so that God's Will Be Done.

Do you know how many North American Christians will utterly refuse to ever be critical of Israel simply out of an irrational belief that Jesus Christ is going to reappear on the Mount of Olives once a few other "prophecy fullfillments" have been met?

Criticizing Israel not only comes with risks of being accused as "anti-semetic," it also comes with risks, to that enormous Christian lobby, of not giving into "God's Will" as far as eschatology is concerned.

Think I'm being unrealistic? Go hang out with some Pentacostals in London for awhile. Go hang out with just about any Christian in the USA - the majority of them now seem to have dispensational views on eschatology. And many of these same views are held by Roman Catholics. That Israel is the nation of "God's Chosen People," which means, criticizing God's Chosen People is akin to criticizing God Himself, for the manner in which He has brought about the circumstances for the second return of his son, Jesus Christ, in all his Glory.

According to Christian theology, God is going to save Israel, and once again, the people will return to God, and be part of His Elect. It's prophecied in the Bible, you know. Manoman, can't criticize that, huh??

There is meme that it is ok to overlook Israel's evil; Israel will, because God declares so, repent and accept Jesus Christ (in a collective way) as their Saviour.

It's totally bizarre. And what is even more bizarre to me is how so many others, who claim to be rational thinkers, have been totally sucked into this "love Israel" thing, regardless of what Israel does.

In fact, another little thing you can go do some research on. You know how so many use the term, "Judeao-Christian Tradtions?" Go check it out. That term was invented at the end of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century, for political purposes. Around the time the Christian idea of "dispensationalism" was becoming popular.

There is NO "judeao-christian tradition" whatsoever. Point to ANY tradition that is shared by both Judeaism and Christianity. Christmas? Nope. Easter? Nope. Passover? Nope. Marriage? Nope. Divorce laws? Nope.

The Ten Commandents? Maybe. But so is Hammarabi's Code. Which predates the Ten Commandments, and is Babylonian.

The Sabbath Day? Nope. Not only are the different days of the week, the "restrictions" or "allowances" are completely different.

Jews and Christians might share the "name" of the Sabbath Day, but it has utterly different meanings.

In fact, there is NO Judeao-Christian tradition. Perhaps Christians claim to worship the same God as Jews do.. but in fact, there is MORE in common with Islam and Judaism than there is with Christianity and Judaism.

But.. well.. those mystical Christians have different ideas, ya see? The Jews are just gonna well.. you know.. be God's people again, just like us.. so we gotta support them, no matter what.

I wonder how many other commenters here know "WHY," ie the motivation for such strong support for Israel among Christians, is?

McKeevor, ever studied Christian Eschatology? Sorehead? Honey Pot? Mike? Do any of you realize just how much Christian influence has gone into trying to ensure you support Israel, no matter what?

Ever notice that your criticisms of your own nation's politics don't apply when it comes to Israel and Zionism?

Support for a country the size of a tampax, depending on what map you're looking at.

Based on what, exactly? According to McKeever, on it's "morality." Yet, that is moral relativism, because it sure as hell ain't a moral nation as far as ACTING upon the belief of inherent rights of ALL individuals.

Based on the fact it's a "democracy?" Well, so is Canada.. and that ain't no great shit, is it?

BAsed on the fact it's had terrorist attacks upon it? Well, it has sponsored it's own terrorism on others, when it has suited.

Based on "numbers" of terrorist attacks against it? Well, in that case, instead of going on about the USA, perhaps you should be focusing on the Protestants of Northern Ireland who have had probably, in terms of population, more terrorist attacks levelled against it's citizens per capita than any other place in recent history.

I don't give a rat's derriere if Israel exists or not. But if Israel has a "right" to exist, than so does some nation of Palestine have a right to exist. And Israel has rejected this on a number of occassions, even when other Arab States have promised to recognize Israel if it would give into recognizing Palestine as a legitimate nation state.

Don't believe me? Go do the research yourself. It's out there.

Some folks suggest that Israel has been the one to "give up" stuff.. bullshit. Israel, as a nation state, and as a member of the Unitied Nations, and thereby agreeing to "international law" (which I personally think is a crock, but whatever.. Israel has signed on) has broken "international law" so often, and never been held to account for it.

Don't believe me? Go do some research.

Have a good sleep everyone. Don't bother examining your concious.. start examining your rational mind - you'll find much more there to consider.

Pietr said...

On the event of this thread's 65th posting, may I wish it a happy retirement,free of senile dementia.

Honey Pot said...

Ian I did repeat that "it is not about land," about four times. Your right, this war is about who has the toughest god. I don't know why it didn't come to me before, thank you for shedding some light on it. This war is motivated by the hatred for Jews, by the non-Jews, who make up a whack of the middle east.

I have to admit I was never taught to hate Jews. Never really heard too much about them. Not like they were knocking on our doors with a pamphlet, pointing a finger saying, "jew-are-you!" I was raised a catlick, and we all knew that it was those damn Presbyterians that were the real scourge of the earth.

Ian Scott said...

"Your right, this war is about who has the toughest god."

Possibly. Mystical, huh?

"This war is motivated by the hatred for Jews, by the non-Jews, who make up a whack of the middle east."

Possibly. I guess whatever "side" one is on in a war, there's likely "hatred" for the other side.

I was never taught to hate Jews either. Got some great friends that are Jewish. Zionism, along with all other political systems are what are the scourges of the earth.

Do you love Arabs?

Ian Scott said...

"Your right, this war is about who has the toughest god."

Possibly. Mystical, huh?

"This war is motivated by the hatred for Jews, by the non-Jews, who make up a whack of the middle east."

Possibly. I guess whatever "side" one is on in a war, there's likely "hatred" for the other side.

I was never taught to hate Jews either. Got some great friends that are Jewish. Zionism, along with all other political systems are what are the scourges of the earth.

Do you love Arabs?

gm said...

The reality of the situation today is that Israel is there and it is the almost the only civilized democracy in the region. It is surrounded by dictators, kings, and oligarchies who care about as much for human rights and modern capitalism as a lion cares for the rights of an antelope. To my mind, regardless of how Israel came into being, regardless of its problems and deficiencies, it is the chief entity for civilization in the region. That has got to count for a great deal.

Ian Scott said...

"free of senile dementia."

Are you assuring us there will be no more insane notions written about patterns and abstract?

Ian Scott said...

"That has got to count for a great deal.

As I've said before, you are free to do whatever you want and form whatever opinions you want. You may ignore its deficiencies, if you choose to do so (which in my mind, is hypocritical).

Don't expect me however, to take sides or concern myself, or offer my support, or view it as some "cause."

As an individual, I'd prefer to keep in mind Galt's Oath and work on creating my own Galt's Gulch. I fail to see how any "Objectivist" with Galt's Oath and Gult's Gulch in mind, would concern themselves with the "morality" of a war in the Middle East, and try to do so based on "Objectivity" or reason.

gm, would you mind explaining to me, whatever your opinions are on Israel, that "supporting" Israel is at the same time compatible with Galt's Oath, or Rand's views of society as pictured in Galt's Gulch? Maybe Rand was being a tad simplistic huh, and forgot that some folks' emotions seem to have this nasty way of being stronger than reason. Perhaps she forgot that as much as reason is how we know reality, often folks will come to a conclusion based on their emotion, and then attempt to "reason" their position afterward.

Pietr said...

Ian Scott seeks to aggrandise his uncertain psychological imperialism by stealing purely humorous comment and making it into a trolling weapon.
So Ian-Chingo tu madre.

Pietr said...

Oh, and by the way(as you no doubt know already),it's 'McKeever'.
You childish creep.

Ian Scott said...

"stealing purely humorous comment and making it into a trolling weapon."

You poor poor man. You're projective notions continue to show your insanity.

I stole nothing, but quoted you directly. And my response was a purely humourous comment. So sad that such a mind as yours would insanely project anything about "trolling."

"childish creep"

Again, your projections and word games. No, I did not know it was "McKeever." Never bothered to pay attention to that last syllable and last vowel. For an analist as yourself, perhaps you might want to pay particular attention to your own grammar and usage? There should be spaces between a word and the first parenthesis. As well, commas are followed by a single space.

Ian Scott said...

"So Ian-Chingo tu madre."

Fuck my mother? Why, are you a voyeur and want to watch? Fascinating to me, that you would have some concept in your mind about folks fucking their mothers. Where did that concept come from? Is it a family tradition of yours?

Honey Pot said...

I wonder how come Harper is taking such critiscm for the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon. I kind of admire the man for going to Cyprus and bringing people back on his chartered plane. Would never see a liberal or ndper put themselves in harms way to do that. No one made the majority of these people move back to Lebanon, after they obtained their Canadian citizenship. You would think they would have known that if you move back to the middle east, there is a real good chance some retarded group of terrorist are going to start a war. Just the way of life in the middle east.Not known for an intelligent civilized response to anything.

Speaking of intelligent responses, can't get over the flak Harper is taking for telling the two terrorist groups, Hezbollah and Hamas they are fuckwits for starting this war. For diplomatic reasons, it was suppose to be kept a secret according to the liberals and ndp.Yeppers in times of peril, it is good to have someone who can make a decision, and state the obvious as your leader.

Honey Pot said...

I guess Israel is having a hard time flushing out the Hezbollah. I wonder how many of them will be flying back to Canada with Harper. I guess that really wouldn't be funny, but very possible.

Honey Pot said...

"It was a horrible trip," one after another describe their 13-hour voyage from Beirut to Cyprus when they disembark in the scorching heat here. "People were vomiting, there were no beds, the toilets with filthy.

"There was no air conditioning and they ran out of water," one young women told reporters before storming on board the waiting buses laid on by the Canadian government.

The arrival of the Blue Dawn, the first ship load of Canadians to be evacuated from war-torn Lebanon, was supposed to a joyous occasion.

Instead, the 26 people aboard the Lebanese-owned pleasure boat were disgusted by the conditions on board, particularly when compared to the ships that rescued French and U.S. citizens -National Post

...pretty unthankful bunch. Could of left them there at the hands of the Hezbollah fucktards who could of used them in hostage
negotiations. There is a war going on you wing wangs, you are putting other people's lives at risk trying to rescue you. Too fucking bad the air conditioner didn't work.... and clean the fucking toilets yourself you lazy whining stupid people.

Ian Scott said...

"“For any rational country to move into a land governed by irrational mystics who outlaw the mind, and to use force to replace that governance with a rational, pro-humanity, pro-rationality government, is utterly moral and defensible.”

Another thought, in case Mr. McKeever cares to come back to this, after his vacation. Of course, others may add their thoughts too - especially "Objectivists" that would agree with McKeever's statement, above:

Would it be utterly moral and defensible for Italy to move into the nation state, The Vatican, and replace it's governance? Certainly, The Vatican is governed by "mystics" who outlaw the mind.

gm? Mike? Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it!
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