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Author Topic: Gilgamesh and The Script: A Debate  (Read 4306 times)
niemivh
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July 25, 2011, 08:07:42 PM
 #21

Exactly, niemivh. Which is why like any good debater I defined the rules to use technically correct terms and not loaded ones. It's also why I argued asked Atlas in the other thread (which kicked off this one) to define the terms he was using as part of his rhetoric. Everyone has definitions of "freedom", and using sweeping rhetorical terms in a debate is childish at best.

The entire purpose of this thread was to ask one of the most vocal political posters on this forum to defend his political philosophy from some very basic questions without resorting to sweeping assumptions or generalizations. Not to say he is wrong, but to clarify and discuss. Instead I'm called out for trying to define the terms in my favor because I don't believe that "parasite" is an appropriate term in a debate.

The irony is that I don't think they know what they believe.  It's a loose construct of ambiguous disconnected beliefs wrapped in the provincialism that comes with being a US citizen. 

We are all on this forum due to being somewhat 'fringe' already and the amount of people that would qualify as those holding 'radical' opinions are in much higher concentration than the general populace.  Not that that's a bad thing, per se, I find the many people here much more intellectually stimulating than the cow-people that frequent my daily experience; but by the same token I sense that much of the knowledge of our little world here is encapsulated in an Alex Jones 'documentary' or Zeitgeist, etc, style Internet movie.  Hence, 'fringe'. These movies might be a good way to wake people out of their cow-like blissful tranquility but they also make people irrationally afraid.  And fear is nothing you can really do anything with.  It's a 'mind killer' as Frank Herbert wrote and therefore people coming from a position of fear are greatly paralyzed in their overall ability to navigate the world.

Back many years ago when I was an unread pup and was basing my world view on those style documentaries my views where radically different from what they are now; and, case-in-point remind me of beliefs I see posted all over this forum.  Actually just picking up large history books and reading exposes much of the garbage and nonsense that 'fringe' documentaries are exponents of, not to dismiss them entirely or the undeniable facts that they are presenting.  But facts are nothing without analysis and analysis is worth nothing without wisdom and historical understanding, it is more the analysis of the facts that these documentaries typically fail on.  But that's my analysis.

Expecting a discourse with someone like Atlas who's entire belief structure is derived from a bloated novel is not worth your time.  If you have questions for "Atlas" just consult the book Atlas Shrugged.

  Wink




I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 25, 2011, 08:25:29 PM
 #22

I like how Atlas hasn't even responded to this thread.
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July 25, 2011, 09:20:22 PM
 #23

Nobody should be afraid of a formal debate in a public setting. I can't begin to imagine why Atlas would make this the one thread he doesn't post in.
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July 26, 2011, 02:27:48 AM
 #24

I'll bite, if Atlas is too busy or doesn't want to.  I consider myself a cautious voluntaryist/market anarchist/anarcho-capitalist/whatever adjective-noun combination you prefer.  However, there are some points in the philosophy I am not entirely convinced of yet and would like honest critiques of them that will help me more fully evaluate them.

I tend to think that once you get to a certain point the differences between anarchists and minarchists and even statists boil down mostly to differences in values. 

I am willing to debate as long as there is no hyperbole or ad hominem attacks.  Gilgamesh, you seem like a very logical individual and capable of rational debate.  Let's do it.  It will be good for both of us, and for the community. 
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July 26, 2011, 08:08:11 AM
 #25

Sounds good. Would you rather debate purely theoretical or practical applications of the ideology? Given where you stand with some uncertainties, I think practical woul do more good, but I'll leave it up to you.

Also, since I only have Atlas's answer to this and it's pretty central, what do you believe the role of government with regards to it's citizens is?
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July 26, 2011, 02:45:23 PM
 #26

lol @ trying to ban the word 'parasite' as hyperbole. Parasitism describes perfectly the method of survival of weak and unproductive people.
jgraham
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July 26, 2011, 05:33:37 PM
 #27

Exactly, niemivh. Which is why like any good debater I defined the rules to use technically correct terms and not loaded ones. It's also why I argued asked Atlas in the other thread (which kicked off this one) to define the terms he was using as part of his rhetoric. Everyone has definitions of "freedom", and using sweeping rhetorical terms in a debate is childish at best.

Pre-cisely.  Just like how people with "cash" in their nick use phrases like "Libertarianism is Just".  Do we mean that in the same sense some religious folk use the phrase "God is good"?  Meaning not that there is some external standard by which the characteristic has been judged to meet but that we have trivially defined the term to mean so.

Some responses I've got when asking people to define their terms...

Quote from: FredericBastiat
I'm not your wet nurse. I'm not going to argue about an argument any more than I'm going to define a definition. It's called circular.

Quote from: bitcoin2cash
Use a dictionary

...and of course our friend

Quote from: Atlas
I have little incentive to sacrifice my time by holding your hand and giving you a complete tour of my perspective;

I'm rather good with Linux.  If you're having problems with your mining rig I'll help you out remotely for 0.05.  You can also propose a flat-rate for some particular task.  PM me for details.
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July 26, 2011, 06:12:13 PM
 #28

Sounds good. Would you rather debate purely theoretical or practical applications of the ideology? Given where you stand with some uncertainties, I think practical woul do more good, but I'll leave it up to you.

Also, since I only have Atlas's answer to this and it's pretty central, what do you believe the role of government with regards to it's citizens is?

I don't think my currently held beliefs are incompatible with "non-rational" people so I am fine with discussing the practical aspects of the ideology.  In fact, I cannot think of any anarcho-capitalist writers who preach that people are completely logical and rational and who push beliefs that require them to be so.  Ayn Rand's philosophy strikes me as requiring completely logical actors, but that is based off of a partial reading of Atlas Shrugged and little other context, so I could be wrong.  Neither was she an anarchist in any sense of the word.  She supported having a carefully circumscribed and limited government to enforce property rights and mete out justice. 

I shall try to define any questionable words I use for you, but also feel free to ask for clarification if you think that I might be using any words in ways you are unfamiliar with or you think violate the common usage of such words. 

Finally, before we begin I request that you be patient if I don't always respond right away.  As everyone else does, I have a life (and a job) outside of the Bitcoin forums, but also I don't currently have internet at my house so it's hard for me to reply right away sometimes.  Smiley

A few definitions to start with:

I shall use the terms  voluntaryist, market anarchist and anarcho-capitalist interchangeably for variety's sake.  They all refer to the extreme libertarian philosophy that no initiation of aggression is justified, and therefore government is illegitimate.  However, they differ from traditional anarchism in that they believe that man has a right to property and can own things.

Coerce:  1. to restrain or dominate by force  2. to compel to an act or choice 3. to achieve by force or threat

Aggression: 1. a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master 2. the practice of making attacks or encroachments; especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another 3.  hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration

The two preceeding definitions come from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and are solid definitions that I find consistent with common speech in US English.  Let me know if you contest these definitions.

Note, that when I use the word "coercion" I will be using it in the first and third definitions almost exclusively.

Now, as to your question: What do I believe the role of government with regards to its citizens is?  The simple answer to that is, as a voluntaryist, I believe that government is illegitimate and therefore should play no role in society.

However, I am torn because I do believe that there could be a proper role for government in society, strictly limited and delineated, but that it is an unachievable and utopian ideal.
jgraham
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July 26, 2011, 06:53:33 PM
 #29

Sounds good. Would you rather debate purely theoretical or practical applications of the ideology? Given where you stand with some uncertainties, I think practical woul do more good, but I'll leave it up to you.

Also, since I only have Atlas's answer to this and it's pretty central, what do you believe the role of government with regards to it's citizens is?

I don't think my currently held beliefs are incompatible with "non-rational" people so I am fine with discussing the practical aspects of the ideology.  In fact, I cannot think of any anarcho-capitalist writers who preach that people are completely logical and rational and who push beliefs that require them to be so.  Ayn Rand's philosophy strikes me as requiring completely logical actors, but that is based off of a partial reading of Atlas Shrugged and little other context, so I could be wrong.  Neither was she an anarchist in any sense of the word.  She supported having a carefully circumscribed and limited government to enforce property rights and mete out justice. 

I shall try to define any questionable words I use for you, but also feel free to ask for clarification if you think that I might be using any words in ways you are unfamiliar with or you think violate the common usage of such words. 

Finally, before we begin I request that you be patient if I don't always respond right away.  As everyone else does, I have a life (and a job) outside of the Bitcoin forums, but also I don't currently have internet at my house so it's hard for me to reply right away sometimes.  Smiley

A few definitions to start with:

I shall use the terms  voluntaryist, market anarchist and anarcho-capitalist interchangeably for variety's sake.  They all refer to the extreme libertarian philosophy that no initiation of aggression is justified, and therefore government is illegitimate.  However, they differ from traditional anarchism in that they believe that man has a right to property and can own things.

Coerce:  1. to restrain or dominate by force  2. to compel to an act or choice 3. to achieve by force or threat

Aggression: 1. a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master 2. the practice of making attacks or encroachments; especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another 3.  hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration

The two preceeding definitions come from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and are solid definitions that I find consistent with common speech in US English.  Let me know if you contest these definitions.

Note, that when I use the word "coercion" I will be using it in the first and third definitions almost exclusively.

Now, as to your question: What do I believe the role of government with regards to its citizens is?  The simple answer to that is, as a voluntaryist, I believe that government is illegitimate and therefore should play no role in society.

However, I am torn because I do believe that there could be a proper role for government in society, strictly limited and delineated, but that it is an unachievable and utopian ideal.


Kind of depends where you want to go from here.  My take:

If your "voluntaryist" ideal is the highest value you have (i.e. Even if voluntaryism meant a much more brutal and short life to everything you care about you would still hold that position) then there really are only two paths to argue.  One is to attempt to find contradiction and reduce the argument to a less absolute form.   The other prong would be to attack it on the grounds that any such belief is intrinsically irrational.   That is, any belief which cannot be falsified is irrational. 

If either you accept that you need to justify voluntaryism because it's not your highest ideal, that it's more correct in a less absolute form or that it must be falsifiable.  The voluntarism must be justified in terms you can agree with.

Seem reasonable?

I'm rather good with Linux.  If you're having problems with your mining rig I'll help you out remotely for 0.05.  You can also propose a flat-rate for some particular task.  PM me for details.
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July 26, 2011, 07:43:01 PM
 #30

In your view, which has more worth. Human life, or private property? Let's speak in general terms for this, as obviously "the life of your mother" would carry different weight.

Also, since we are moving at a slower pace, I might as well ask the question about roads now. How will roads be maintained in your anarchy-capitalist society?
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July 26, 2011, 08:14:21 PM
 #31

In your view, which has more worth. Human life, or private property? Let's speak in general terms for this, as obviously "the life of your mother" would carry different weight.

Both of those are VERY general with a VERY wide range. I think the life of a professor with a PhD in sciences or mathematics, or a "captain of industry" type CEO who is employing thousands of people and providing service to thousands of customers, is worth a lot more than the life of a homeless drug addict. Likewise, the range is wide for property. I think there are cases where some life is worth more than some property, and some property is worth more than some life.

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July 26, 2011, 08:41:36 PM
 #32

Sounds good. Would you rather debate purely theoretical or practical applications of the ideology? Given where you stand with some uncertainties, I think practical woul do more good, but I'll leave it up to you.

Also, since I only have Atlas's answer to this and it's pretty central, what do you believe the role of government with regards to it's citizens is?

I don't think my currently held beliefs are incompatible with "non-rational" people so I am fine with discussing the practical aspects of the ideology.  In fact, I cannot think of any anarcho-capitalist writers who preach that people are completely logical and rational and who push beliefs that require them to be so.  Ayn Rand's philosophy strikes me as requiring completely logical actors, but that is based off of a partial reading of Atlas Shrugged and little other context, so I could be wrong.  Neither was she an anarchist in any sense of the word.  She supported having a carefully circumscribed and limited government to enforce property rights and mete out justice. 

I shall try to define any questionable words I use for you, but also feel free to ask for clarification if you think that I might be using any words in ways you are unfamiliar with or you think violate the common usage of such words. 

Finally, before we begin I request that you be patient if I don't always respond right away.  As everyone else does, I have a life (and a job) outside of the Bitcoin forums, but also I don't currently have internet at my house so it's hard for me to reply right away sometimes.  Smiley

A few definitions to start with:

I shall use the terms  voluntaryist, market anarchist and anarcho-capitalist interchangeably for variety's sake.  They all refer to the extreme libertarian philosophy that no initiation of aggression is justified, and therefore government is illegitimate.  However, they differ from traditional anarchism in that they believe that man has a right to property and can own things.

Coerce:  1. to restrain or dominate by force  2. to compel to an act or choice 3. to achieve by force or threat

Aggression: 1. a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master 2. the practice of making attacks or encroachments; especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another 3.  hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration

The two preceeding definitions come from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and are solid definitions that I find consistent with common speech in US English.  Let me know if you contest these definitions.

Note, that when I use the word "coercion" I will be using it in the first and third definitions almost exclusively.

Now, as to your question: What do I believe the role of government with regards to its citizens is?  The simple answer to that is, as a voluntaryist, I believe that government is illegitimate and therefore should play no role in society.

However, I am torn because I do believe that there could be a proper role for government in society, strictly limited and delineated, but that it is an unachievable and utopian ideal.


Kind of depends where you want to go from here.  My take:

If your "voluntaryist" ideal is the highest value you have (i.e. Even if voluntaryism meant a much more brutal and short life to everything you care about you would still hold that position) then there really are only two paths to argue.  One is to attempt to find contradiction and reduce the argument to a less absolute form.   The other prong would be to attack it on the grounds that any such belief is intrinsically irrational.   That is, any belief which cannot be falsified is irrational. 

If either you accept that you need to justify voluntaryism because it's not your highest ideal, that it's more correct in a less absolute form or that it must be falsifiable.  The voluntarism must be justified in terms you can agree with.

Seem reasonable?

Yes, seems very reasonable.

I tend to advocate deontology over utilitarianism but I also think that my deontological principles are compatibile with utilitarianist principles and end up achieving the same goals.  I am relatively happy and content with my life now in a coercive system.  This may be because I encounter very little of this coercion on a personal level, but if voluntaryism created a horrendous world full of misery I would certainly renounce it.  I support voluntaryism because it appears to me that it is more moral than the current system and it will provide a better life for mankind in general.


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July 26, 2011, 08:46:39 PM
 #33

Reminder that jggraham isn't me. I'm just ignoring other posters, I'm still reading what they write though. On that note, Rassah you gave a very good answer and just to clarify I would accept that one were you The Script. The reason I ask incredibly general questions is so I can explore The Script's political ideology without making assumptions about it. This means most of my questions will be open-ended instead of "Either A or B" type questions.
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July 26, 2011, 08:53:45 PM
 #34

In your view, which has more worth. Human life, or private property? Let's speak in general terms for this, as obviously "the life of your mother" would carry different weight.

That's a hard question.  I think that human life is bound up in the concept of property.  As a human, if you cannot own property, starting with your own body, you cannot survive.  When I say "own" I use it in the economic sense of having control of and the capability of using for your purposes.  If I do not have control of my body and control of external resources (food, water, shelter) I cannot survive.  Without private property humans cannot survive.  

Also, since we are moving at a slower pace, I might as well ask the question about roads now. How will roads be maintained in your anarchy-capitalist society?

I think we should focus on one topic at a time, lest this thread splinter into too many topics and subtopics.  Let's get the general issues of property, human worth, etc. out of the way before we start looking at specific examples.
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July 26, 2011, 08:56:09 PM
 #35

Reminder that jggraham isn't me. I'm just ignoring other posters, I'm still reading what they write though. On that note, Rassah you gave a very good answer and just to clarify I would accept that one were you The Script. The reason I ask incredibly general questions is so I can explore The Script's political ideology without making assumptions about it. This means most of my questions will be open-ended instead of "Either A or B" type questions.

This is good.  I will be primarily responding to you in this thread, though I might also respond to others if I have time and it's of interest.
Anonymous
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July 26, 2011, 09:21:28 PM
 #36

If you cannot survive without private property, then where does slavery lie? Children? Prisoners of war and criminals in jail?
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July 26, 2011, 09:31:21 PM
 #37

Reminder that jggraham isn't me. I'm just ignoring other posters, I'm still reading what they write though. On that note, Rassah you gave a very good answer and just to clarify I would accept that one were you The Script. The reason I ask incredibly general questions is so I can explore The Script's political ideology without making assumptions about it. This means most of my questions will be open-ended instead of "Either A or B" type questions.

This is good.  I will be primarily responding to you in this thread, though I might also respond to others if I have time and it's of interest.
I concur I am not Gilgamesh.  Grin  I was just poking my nose in. I will get back to you on your responses though.

I'm rather good with Linux.  If you're having problems with your mining rig I'll help you out remotely for 0.05.  You can also propose a flat-rate for some particular task.  PM me for details.
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July 26, 2011, 09:42:23 PM
 #38

lol @ trying to ban the word 'parasite' as hyperbole. Parasitism describes perfectly the method of survival of weak and unproductive people.
Right, just look at the world's royal families.

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July 26, 2011, 10:02:31 PM
 #39

Right, just look at the world's royal families.

Agreed, they are without a doubt the most gluttonous parasites.
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July 26, 2011, 10:24:54 PM
 #40

If you cannot survive without private property, then where does slavery lie? Children? Prisoners of war and criminals in jail?


Slaves and criminals are similar cases in that they are under the control of other human beings.  They are severely limited in their ability to homestead, purchase or trade private property, but not all their ability to manipulate property is taken away.   Once given their food it is their private property as they now have economic ownership of that food: they can eat it or trade it or destroy it.  This can be seen in the fact that slaves and prisoners do trade and exchange what little private property they are allowed, whether that be food, cigarettes, blankets, etc. 

In the extreme case of a prisoner who is so strictly controlled that he is not allowed to consume his own food but instead has it intravenously or force fed to him, perhaps it cannot be said that he has private property.  At this point man is reduced from a human existence to that of livestock, though he technically survives.
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