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Author Topic: The Gun is Civilization  (Read 3457 times)
Anonymous
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June 04, 2011, 02:30:17 AM
 #1

"The Gun Is Civilization" - Marko Kloos

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat - it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... And that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
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Jaime Frontero
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June 04, 2011, 05:41:36 AM
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Quote
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.


ummm... no.

sex.

mutual lust is not forced.  but i don't believe the data is at all supportive of the idea that 'reason' enters into it even a little.  in fact, the most common conclusion by those who study love, sex, and lust professionally, is that it is its own particular form of insanity.  chemically-induced, apparently.

and then the argument could be made that civilization exists for the protection and nurture of the offspring of that lust.  but we'll save that for another day.
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June 04, 2011, 11:43:54 AM
 #3

Yes, I like this idea of empowering the weak.... it intrigues me.
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June 04, 2011, 11:44:06 AM
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sex.

mutual lust is not forced.  but i don't believe the data is at all supportive of the idea that 'reason' enters into it even a little.  in fact, the most common conclusion by those who study love, sex, and lust professionally, is that it is its own particular form of insanity.  chemically-induced, apparently.

and then the argument could be made that civilization exists for the protection and nurture of the offspring of that lust.  but we'll save that for another day.

Unless you think that lust leads inevitably to sex.  Erm...  no.

There are plenty of women I find attractive.  Somehow I manage not to ravage them.

Reason is a perfectly workable override for lust.

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Jaime Frontero
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June 04, 2011, 04:11:42 PM
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sex.

mutual lust is not forced.  but i don't believe the data is at all supportive of the idea that 'reason' enters into it even a little.  in fact, the most common conclusion by those who study love, sex, and lust professionally, is that it is its own particular form of insanity.  chemically-induced, apparently.

and then the argument could be made that civilization exists for the protection and nurture of the offspring of that lust.  but we'll save that for another day.

Unless you think that lust leads inevitably to sex.  Erm...  no.

There are plenty of women I find attractive.  Somehow I manage not to ravage them.

Reason is a perfectly workable override for lust.

RTFA.

Quote
mutual lust...

[and the conclusions which follow only from that]
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June 04, 2011, 04:18:50 PM
 #6

mutual lust is not forced.  but i don't believe the data is at all supportive of the idea that 'reason' enters into it even a little.  in fact, the most common conclusion by those who study love, sex, and lust professionally, is that it is its own particular form of insanity.  chemically-induced, apparently.

and then the argument could be made that civilization exists for the protection and nurture of the offspring of that lust.  but we'll save that for another day.

Unless you think that lust leads inevitably to sex.  Erm...  no.

There are plenty of women I find attractive.  Somehow I manage not to ravage them.

Reason is a perfectly workable override for lust.

RTFA.

Quote
mutual lust...

[and the conclusions which follow only from that]

Is my point any different if it's mutual lust?  Two people who find each other attractive do not necessarily jump into bed.  Therefore reason overrides lust.

Humans are not animals.  We are capable of choosing not to let our instincts guide us.  If you are going to say "lust", you might as well say "anger", "sadness", "joy", or "envy" as well.  Humans experience all of these things, and for the most part keep them under control.

The OP is correct: reason and force is all there is.  Even when lust is a factor, the conversation might go "so, I fancy you"; "good, I fancy you too".  That is reason.  It's not explicit but it is code for "I offer you X in exchange for Y", where X and Y is "your pleasure" and "my pleasure".


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June 05, 2011, 06:24:03 PM
 #7

I moot a counter-argument for the sake of debate. (I'm generally in favour of guns)

I have gun, you have gun. The first to shoot wins. Therefore the first to abandon the reasoned debate for violence wins.

I don't think that's very civilised.


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Anonymous
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June 05, 2011, 06:25:52 PM
 #8

I moot a counter-argument for the sake of debate. (I'm generally in favour of guns)

I have gun, you have gun. The first to shoot wins. Therefore the first to abandon the reasoned debate for violence wins.

I don't think that's very civilised.


That's assuming that person won't settle for reason but forcing the other person to their bidding.

Anyways, the first person that shoots would probably be shot by others.
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June 05, 2011, 06:31:22 PM
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That's assuming that person won't settle for reason but forcing the other person to their bidding.
So that implies that there is some other ethical/moral value at play here. What is that?


Anyways, the first person that shoots would probably be shot by others.
What stops a chain reaction of shooters progressively taking out those that fired first?

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June 05, 2011, 06:35:18 PM
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I moot a counter-argument for the sake of debate. (I'm generally in favour of guns)

I have gun, you have gun. The first to shoot wins. Therefore the first to abandon the reasoned debate for violence wins.

I don't think that's very civilised.


That's assuming that person won't settle for reason but forcing the other person to their bidding.

Anyways, the first person that shoots would probably be shot by others.

Through his action, he makes a morality judgement: it is acceptable to use violence if reason fails.

I see no way that he could claim that it does not apply to others against himself.
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June 05, 2011, 06:41:02 PM
 #11

Through his action, he makes a morality judgement: it is acceptable to use violence if reason fails.

I see no way that he could claim that it does not apply to others against himself.
What is that morality judgment based upon?

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Anonymous
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June 05, 2011, 06:48:50 PM
 #12

Through his action, he makes a morality judgement: it is acceptable to use violence if reason fails.

I see no way that he could claim that it does not apply to others against himself.
What is that morality judgment based upon?

His best-interest. What gives him pleasure.
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June 05, 2011, 10:23:01 PM
 #13

Most people don't carry a personal gun for the same reason they don't carry a personal dentistry kit.  They suck at defending themselves, even with a gun.  So they outsource security to people who are good at using guns, usually by joining a guarded territory. 

In most European countries, where governments have a quasi-monopoly on guns, this guarded territory tends to encompass the entire nation.  The quality of service provided by government is variable though. 

In Latin America, and to some extent North America, there is an increasing trend of joining gated communities because government sucks as providing security.   

I would say that most rich countries are reasonably "civilized". I agree with the statement in the title, though "The Gun" does not necessarily mean a personal gun.

Division of labour isn't always a bad thing, you know?
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June 05, 2011, 11:13:06 PM
 #14

This is morally infantile nonsense.

Morality is only based on self-interest for the emotionally undeveloped.

Morality is only based "His best-interest. What gives him pleasure." if you're a fucking child... otherwise it's based upon empathy.


The train of thought you're entertaining was done (to death) about 70 years ago and belongs in the same dustbin as eugenics.



Anonymous
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June 06, 2011, 02:51:00 AM
 #15

This is morally infantile nonsense.

Morality is only based on self-interest for the emotionally undeveloped.

Morality is only based "His best-interest. What gives him pleasure." if you're a fucking child... otherwise it's based upon empathy.


The train of thought you're entertaining was done (to death) about 70 years ago and belongs in the same dustbin as eugenics.




Empathy is derived from what you value. What you value gives you pleasure. My point still stands.
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June 08, 2011, 06:10:42 AM
 #16

This is morally infantile nonsense.

Morality is only based on self-interest for the emotionally undeveloped.

Morality is only based "His best-interest. What gives him pleasure." if you're a fucking child... otherwise it's based upon empathy.


The train of thought you're entertaining was done (to death) about 70 years ago and belongs in the same dustbin as eugenics.




Empathy is derived from what you value. What you value gives you pleasure. My point still stands.

Empathy is an emergent property of the human (and other mammals) brain (mirror neurons, hyppocampal involvement in cognition) and needs no system logic or system of reason to exist.  You disregard the discoveries that science has made of the past 50 years at your own peril.
Anonymous
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June 08, 2011, 05:13:55 PM
 #17

This is morally infantile nonsense.

Morality is only based on self-interest for the emotionally undeveloped.

Morality is only based "His best-interest. What gives him pleasure." if you're a fucking child... otherwise it's based upon empathy.


The train of thought you're entertaining was done (to death) about 70 years ago and belongs in the same dustbin as eugenics.




Empathy is derived from what you value. What you value gives you pleasure. My point still stands.

Empathy is an emergent property of the human (and other mammals) brain (mirror neurons, hyppocampal involvement in cognition) and needs no system logic or system of reason to exist.  You disregard the discoveries that science has made of the past 50 years at your own peril.

You cannot objectively speak for every perspective, pseudo-scientist.
epi 1:10,000
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June 08, 2011, 05:38:40 PM
 #18

This is morally infantile nonsense.

Morality is only based on self-interest for the emotionally undeveloped.

Morality is only based "His best-interest. What gives him pleasure." if you're a fucking child... otherwise it's based upon empathy.


The train of thought you're entertaining was done (to death) about 70 years ago and belongs in the same dustbin as eugenics.




Empathy is derived from what you value. What you value gives you pleasure. My point still stands.

Empathy is an emergent property of the human (and other mammals) brain (mirror neurons, hyppocampal involvement in cognition) and needs no system logic or system of reason to exist.  You disregard the discoveries that science has made of the past 50 years at your own peril.

You cannot objectively speak for every perspective, pseudo-scientist.
How do you interpret the experiments of Sperry, Ramachandran, and other experiments of modern cognitive neuroscience?  I realize this is a very new field and the study of deficits from neural insults are not as specific and advanced as other disciplines but I believe the preponderance of evidence does support the very small claims that have been made from such observations.  With the advances in fMRI and othere measurement tool the field is advancing quite quickly.
Anonymous
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June 08, 2011, 05:42:15 PM
 #19

This is morally infantile nonsense.

Morality is only based on self-interest for the emotionally undeveloped.

Morality is only based "His best-interest. What gives him pleasure." if you're a fucking child... otherwise it's based upon empathy.


The train of thought you're entertaining was done (to death) about 70 years ago and belongs in the same dustbin as eugenics.




Empathy is derived from what you value. What you value gives you pleasure. My point still stands.

Empathy is an emergent property of the human (and other mammals) brain (mirror neurons, hyppocampal involvement in cognition) and needs no system logic or system of reason to exist.  You disregard the discoveries that science has made of the past 50 years at your own peril.

You cannot objectively speak for every perspective, pseudo-scientist.
How do you interpret the experiments of Sperry, Ramachandran, and other experiments of modern cognitive neuroscience?
Sure, there are primal instincts and values that invoke themselves all in the name of preserving the species but it has also been shown that humans can negate these in place of a new system of value. We are not complete slaves to our biology.
epi 1:10,000
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June 08, 2011, 05:50:51 PM
 #20


Sure, there are primal instincts and values that invoke themselves all in the name of preserving the species but it has also been shown that humans can negate these in place of a new system of value. We are not complete slaves to our biology.

How does this make us slaves to our biology?  Why should this be seen through a dichotomy model of slave or free?  I'm not so concerned about "primal instincts" as I am about how biology influences perception, human interaction, and what this says about the cooperative capacity of mankind as a whole.  For example I find it fascinating that the average primate is born with a near universal ingrained nonverbal communication system.
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