Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: January 21st, 2022, 12:00 pm
I'll grant that trespassing involves breaking the law and violating societal norms. To the extent that we are morally required to obey such norms unless they are egregiously immoral, trespassing may be a (very minor) moral transgression. However, it does not (necessarily) deprive anyone of anything, and even if it did, that would not necessarily make it immoral. After all, the owner of the property (we could say with greater validity) is depriving other people of their right to walk where they will on God's Green Earth. Which right should we honor?
Well, that one is easy. There is no "right to walk where one will on God's Green Earth." So there is no conflict.

I assume, of course, the meaning of "a right" understood in the liberal tradition and common law.
Ecurb
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Ecurb »

GE Morton wrote: January 21st, 2022, 2:41 pm

Well, that one is easy. There is no "right to walk where one will on God's Green Earth." So there is no conflict.

I assume, of course, the meaning of "a right" understood in the liberal tradition and common law.
Are you referring to the liberal tradition as represented by John Locke, who wrote, ""Lastly, those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist." ?
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: January 21st, 2022, 3:29 pm
Are you referring to the liberal tradition as represented by John Locke, who wrote, ""Lastly, those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist." ?
No. Locke, though a founder of the liberal tradition, held a confused notion of property rights, since he subscribed to the "primordial common ownership" theory, which held that "God has given the earth to the children of men; given it to mankind in common." Realizing that if that is the case then anyone who, say, wished to pick an apple from a wild apple tree would need the consent of mankind before doing so, which would be impossible, Locke proposed his "labor-mixing theory of property" to resolve that problem. That theory leads to absurdities, however: "If I mix my labor with your silverware by stealing it, does it become my property?" "If I pour my glass of tomato juice into the ocean, does the ocean thereby become my property?"

The problem resolves by abandoning the "primordial common ownership" dogma (for which there is no evidence) and assuming that the Earth, until someone actually takes possession of some portion of it, is unowned; it is res nullius.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Sculptor1 »

The quesion is not framed well.
A predator kills its prey and moves on the the next one.
A better analogy here would be that rich countries, act more like parasites who live in their hosts but have to make sure they do not kill them as they need the relationship to continue.
Belindi
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

I wrote:
To the degree that Alfie's medical qualification, his inheritance,and his good health have deprived someone else who lacked any choice in the matter . . .
GEMorton replied:
Belindi, Alfie's medical qualifications, inheritance, good health don't "deprive" anyone of anything. They do indeed confer some advantages upon Alfie, but that doesn't entail any "deprivation" upon Bruno. Again, you need to apply the non-existence test: If Alfie didn't exist, would Bruno's own qualifications be any better? Would he have any more money? Would he be any healthier? Alfie's existence, with his advantages, has nothing to do with any of those things.

Also, depriving someone of something is only immoral if the person deprived is entitled to whatever he is being denied. I behave immorally if I deprive you of your car by stealing it, but not if the cops deprive a thief of the car he stole by returning it to his victim.
Expensive fee paying schools give the Alfies special advantages, and a quiet space to do their school homework give the Alfies special advantages. Equality is not depriving the Alfies so much as raising non-Alfies' hopes and expectations. The very existence of certain schools and lifestyles imbue certain Alfies with belief in their own entitlement. An egalitarian school sytem is connected to more equality of rewards for work.

To imbue the young of any social class with belief in their own special entitlement is an aggressive act.

Corruption among police is caused by deficient training or selection. Some men have not advanced morally beyond self interest, or obeying orders, and such men either need extra training in ethics, or are deemed unsuitable candidates for a police force in a civilised country.
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Belindi wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 8:37 am
Expensive fee paying schools give the Alfies special advantages, and a quiet space to do their school homework give the Alfies special advantages.
Well, I don't know how "special" they are, but they are advantages.
Equality is not depriving the Alfies so much as raising non-Alfies' hopes and expectations.
Sorry, Belindi, but if that "hope raising" requires forcibly taking something from Alfie, then it IS depriving Alfie, by definition. Alfie has no duty to raise anyone's hopes or expectations.
The very existence of certain schools and lifestyles imbue certain Alfies with belief in their own entitlement.
Alfie has no belief that he has an a priori entitlement. That is why he is in school and determined to do well there, because his doing well in life depends upon that.
An egalitarian school system is connected to more equality of rewards for work.
The US and many other countries already have egalitarian school systems, for K12 (and even K14 in some states). But having an egalitarian school system doesn't entail equal educations for all students. What each student brings to the classroom --- what talents, motives, beliefs, interests, etc. --- determines that. People are simply not equal, and no "social engineering" schemes will ever change that.
To imbue the young of any social class with belief in their own special entitlement is an aggressive act.
Well, you persist with your Newspeak. Even if "the young of any social class" were "imbued with belief" (in anything), it would not constitute "aggression," per the definitions in any dictionary. Communication can't occur if the each party is speaking his own invented language.

Your entire weltanschauung rests on the organic fallacy, i.e., the belief that modern societies are "organic unities" --- tribes, "big happy families" --- whose members all have some natural bonds with and mutual obligations to one another. They aren't, and they don't. Alfie has no duty to make up for any comparative disadvantages suffered by Bruno that he has not himself imposed on him. Please apply the nonexistence test I mentioned earlier.
Ecurb
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Ecurb »

GE Morton wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 1:31 pm

Sorry, Belindi, but if that "hope raising" requires forcibly taking something from Alfie, then it IS depriving Alfie, by definition. Alfie has no duty to raise anyone's hopes or expectations.
That's the crux of all these arguments, isn't it. Does Alfie have a duty to help other people? Some of us think he does, GE thinks he doesn't. In support of the majority opinion, I'll offer these points;

1) If Alfie has no duty to support his children (or other relatives) then GE's point is reasonable. However most of us (and probably GE as well) think Alfie has a duty to support his children. He also has a duty to support his aging parents. He has a duty to support his wife. Then (I suggest) he has a duty to support everyone else. This duty diminishes with social, genetic, and geographical distance. His duty to support a New Guinea tribesman is so small as to be practically non-existant. But it is exists. We are all related -- and as the vegans here will argue, that includes non-human animals.

2) As the citizen of a democratic country, Alfie has a duty to follow the laws of the land. This can, of course, be superceded by other duties. Nonetheless, he has a duty to pay taxes, even when some of those taxes go to support government services of which he disaproves. The pacifist cannot reasonable cry "slavery" when his taxes go to the military, and the Libertarian cannot reasonably cry "slavery" when his taxes go to welfare programs.

3) Since GE loves to cite the "liberal tradition", I'll cite an older and more important moral tradition, one that enjoins us to "love our neighbors as ourselves." This has been the foundation of Western morality for 2000 years, and it was honored by most of the traditional liberals GE admires. If that's the case, we have a duty to help our neighbors, out of love, just as we have a duty to feed, clothe and care for ourselves.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

GEMorton wrote:
Your entire weltanschauung rests on the organic fallacy, i.e., the belief that modern societies are "organic unities" --- tribes, "big happy families" --- whose members all have some natural bonds with and mutual obligations to one another. They aren't, and they don't. Alfie has no duty to make up for any comparative disadvantages suffered by Bruno that he has not himself imposed on him. Please apply the nonexistence test I mentioned earlier.
You sound like Mrs. Thatcher.
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 1:58 pm
GE Morton wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 1:31 pm

Sorry, Belindi, but if that "hope raising" requires forcibly taking something from Alfie, then it IS depriving Alfie, by definition. Alfie has no duty to raise anyone's hopes or expectations.
That's the crux of all these arguments, isn't it. Does Alfie have a duty to help other people?
Yes he does --- some people, in some circumstances.
1) If Alfie has no duty to support his children (or other relatives) then GE's point is reasonable. However most of us (and probably GE as well) think Alfie has a duty to support his children. He also has a duty to support his aging parents. He has a duty to support his wife.
Yes, he does have those duties. In the case of the children, because he brought them into the world and hence is responsible for their current helpless condition. In the case of the wife, because he has made a promise to her, entered into a contract with her. In the case of the parents, because they supported him for many years, and hence he has a duty of reciprocity. He would also have a duty to help someone he has injured. In all those cases, his duties derive from something he has done, from some act of his own.
Then (I suggest) he has a duty to support everyone else.
I've given you the basis for the above duties. Perhaps you can do the same for this one (it clearly is not derivable from the duties above). As it stands it is ad hoc.
2) As the citizen of a democratic country, Alfie has a duty to follow the laws of the land.
Only when those laws are morally defensible, in a "democratic" or any other country. Popularity and majority support doesn't lend the slightest moral credibility to any law.
3) Since GE loves to cite the "liberal tradition", I'll cite an older and more important moral tradition, one that enjoins us to "love our neighbors as ourselves." This has been the foundation of Western morality for 2000 years, and it was honored by most of the traditional liberals GE admires. If that's the case, we have a duty to help our neighbors, out of love, just as we have a duty to feed, clothe and care for ourselves.
That is the real "crux." The Christian tradition to which you refer certainly is older; indeed, it is archaic. The ethic it embodies is an atavism, a futile effort to preserve the unity, familiarity, and intimacy of the kinship-based tribal societies which humans (like all other primates) inhabited for the first 200,000 or so years of our history on Earth. But human societies have undergone a radical transformation over the last 10,000 years; they are no longer "brotherhoods" or "big happy families," every member of which has a personal relationship with every other member. Instead, modern societies are societies of strangers --- people who don't know most of the other members, who share no common ancestry or culture or interests with them, and who differ from one another in countless ways. Without those personal relationships there is no basis for love, and so they don't "love their neighbors," and never will; indeed, they probably despise more of them than they love. That admonition is a relic of a bygone social form, and in modern societies is whistling in the dark. The best you can hope for in societies of strangers is tolerance --- love is a dead letter.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

GEMorton wrote:
He would also have a duty to help someone he has injured.
The wine bottle is not magically refilled every occasion it becomes emptier. On the contrary the amount of wine is finite. What you drink from the bottle is that which nobody else can drink. Either you share and share alike (assertive), or you take more than your share(aggressive).
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Belindi wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 4:29 pm GEMorton wrote:
He would also have a duty to help someone he has injured.
The wine bottle is not magically refilled every occasion it becomes emptier. On the contrary the amount of wine is finite. What you drink from the bottle is that which nobody else can drink. Either you share and share alike (assertive), or you take more than your share(aggressive).
That depends upon who produced the wine and filled the bottle. If I produced and bottled it, then "my share" is all of it. No one else has any share.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

GE Morton wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 8:17 pm
Belindi wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 4:29 pm GEMorton wrote:
He would also have a duty to help someone he has injured.
The wine bottle is not magically refilled every occasion it becomes emptier. On the contrary the amount of wine is finite. What you drink from the bottle is that which nobody else can drink. Either you share and share alike (assertive), or you take more than your share(aggressive).
That depends upon who produced the wine and filled the bottle. If I produced and bottled it, then "my share" is all of it. No one else has any share.
Whoever or whatever produced the wine notwithstanding , the bottle holds a finite quantity of wine.

The ultimate producer of the wine is not GEM or me it's either nature or God.
True, the man who uses his life energy and time to make the wine deserves to be fairly rewarded. That man can't concentrate his labour on wine-making unless he can sell it to the man who bakes his bread, the man who attends him when he becomes ill, the man who teaches his kids, the man who mints his coins, the man who grows his olives, and the man who scribbles his laws.

I said "fairly". Liberty and equality are always at odds with each other. However we all know the lesson from history that the extreme of liberty and the extreme of equality consume each other's tails. Therefore the moderate position between the two poles is best.

Apply the philosophy of moderation and balance to colonising others' lands . Violence and cruelty are immoderate, whereas peaceful settlement by colonisers with their new cultures benefits everyone.
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Belindi wrote: January 23rd, 2022, 6:08 am Whoever or whatever produced the wine notwithstanding , the bottle holds a finite quantity of wine.
Finite, indeed, but the limits are generous. I can keep re-filling the bottle as long as I keep producing wine.
The ultimate producer of the wine is not GEM or me it's either nature or God.
Well, no, Belindi. Nature does not make wine. There is no wine in nature; it has to be produced by people. So do 99% of the grapes used to make it --- vineyards must be planted, tended, and harvested by people.
True, the man who uses his life energy and time to make the wine deserves to be fairly rewarded. That man can't concentrate his labour on wine-making unless he can sell it to the man who bakes his bread, the man who attends him when he becomes ill, the man who teaches his kids, the man who mints his coins, the man who grows his olives, and the man who scribbles his laws.
That's all true, and he will gladly give a share of his wine to those people in exchange for their products or services. But people who offer nothing in exchange can claim no "share" in his wine.
I said "fairly". Liberty and equality are always at odds with each other.
That has been frequently claimed, but it is false. Equality entails liberty; they are inseparable. If all people have equal status as moral agents then no person is another's master or another's slave. But if one person restricts another's liberty the former becomes a master and the latter a slave, contrary to the equality premise.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

GEMorton wrote:
The ultimate producer of the wine is not GEM or me it's either nature or God.
(Belindi)
Well, no, Belindi. Nature does not make wine. There is no wine in nature; it has to be produced by people. So do 99% of the grapes used to make it --- vineyards must be planted, tended, and harvested by people.
(GEM)

You misunderstand what I intend by "nature". Nature includes everything that naturally is the case . Nature is not to be conflated with what is not man-made but includes what is man-made. Nature is to be contrasted with supernature or God, and is that which is explained by a deterministic causal system.

Wine and all other products of human labour are either natural or miraculous. I presume that you too think of production as natural not miraculous. All human labour has to harmonise with seasons, terrain, level of civilisation, weather, and available technology and it's constraints such as those that cause the gross production of a man or a society to be finite. Economic growth is limited by what's sustainable.

The invasion and colonisation Britain by Rome ultimately benefitted the native British many of whom became Romanised and all the more able to resist raiding Picts and Anglo Saxons. Insofar as the Romans were cruel and greedy the Roman invasion did not benefit the native Britons. 'Predators' and'Prey' are simplistic.
Equality entails liberty; they are inseparable. If all people have equal status as moral agents then no person is another's master or another's slave. But if one person restricts another's liberty the former becomes a master and the latter a slave, contrary to the equality premise.
(GEM)
You are too optimistc about human nature.The playing field has never been level and never will be.
Ecurb
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Ecurb »

GE Morton wrote: January 22nd, 2022, 4:16 pm

That is the real "crux." The Christian tradition to which you refer certainly is older; indeed, it is archaic. The ethic it embodies is an atavism, a futile effort to preserve the unity, familiarity, and intimacy of the kinship-based tribal societies which humans (like all other primates) inhabited for the first 200,000 or so years of our history on Earth. But human societies have undergone a radical transformation over the last 10,000 years; they are no longer "brotherhoods" or "big happy families," every member of which has a personal relationship with every other member. Instead, modern societies are societies of strangers --- people who don't know most of the other members, who share no common ancestry or culture or interests with them, and who differ from one another in countless ways. Without those personal relationships there is no basis for love, and so they don't "love their neighbors," and never will; indeed, they probably despise more of them than they love. That admonition is a relic of a bygone social form, and in modern societies is whistling in the dark. The best you can hope for in societies of strangers is tolerance --- love is a dead letter.
YOu are correct, of course, that human societies are no longer tribal. And you are correct (I think) that Christanity (and other World Religions) attempt (among other things) to preserve, or recreate, the unity, intimacy and familiarity of kinship-based societies. Priests are called "fatther". Fellow parisioners are called "brother" or "sister". These relationships are (or were, at least) cemented in ritual -- common church worship. In the fairly recent past, the Christian community (in the West) didn't make a "futile effort" to preserve familiarity and unity; it made an effective (although imperfect) effort to do so.

I"ll grant that as we've moved to a more religiously diverse and atheistic society, these efforts have been less effective. Perhaps we would benefit from some other common belief system and common sense of ritual togetherness. We don't benefit, I think, from a philosophy that lauds self-interest and promotes it. How we can create a society filled with empathy and love in lieu of fading religious beliefs and mobility that splits kinship units is anybody's guess. But promoting the notion that since empathy and love are dead (with the death of kinship based societies and the Christian culture that taught us to emulate them), we should abandon the hope based on love and empathy, and simply accept, and even laud, private ambition, lust and greed is to abandon hope altogether. Love and empathy are not the means to an end for us humans; they are an end in themselves (as the Christians correctly preach).
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