Should all Humans be Equal?

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GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: December 11th, 2021, 1:04 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: December 11th, 2021, 8:48 am
Other times, the powerful take what they want, often not leaving enough for the less powerful. This is what we generally describe as 'inequality'.
GE Morton wrote: December 11th, 2021, 11:28 am I'm not sure what you mean there. I assume that by "the powerful" you mean "the rich" (correct me if that's wrong). But I'm not sure what you think they are taking, or from whom they are taking it. Could you provide some examples?
I'm fairly sure my words are clear, and my intended meaning is also clear. I will not trade posts with you on what I might mean by "and" or "the". Sorry.
Well, I didn't ask you to do that.

Then you won't answer the questions, "What are they taking?", "From whom are they taking it?"
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

GE Morton wrote: December 11th, 2021, 1:25 pm "What are they taking?", "From whom are they taking it?"
They are taking wealth, in whatever form and location they can find it. They are not taking it from other humans, they are taking it before those other humans can get to it.

You know all this. It's obvious stuff, and you are far from stupid. So stop wasting our time with your distractions? Thanks.
Pattern-chaser

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GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: December 11th, 2021, 1:29 pm
They are taking wealth, in whatever form and location they can find it. They are not taking it from other humans, they are taking it before those other humans can get to it.
You realize that leads to a reductio ad absurdum, don't you? If "those other humans" took it, wouldn't they be committing the same "sin"? Hence no one can take any natural good, and everyone starves or freezes to death?

Of course, 99% of "those other humans" would never take it, even if the evil capitalist never existed --- because they would not have the knowledge, skills, resources, or even the motivations to search for it, recover it, and transform it into a useful product.

But thanks to those evil capitalists, you have a roof over your head and a warm bed in which to sleep, food on the table, probably a car or at least a bicycle, a teevee to watch and books to read, immunizations to numerous diseases, etc., none of which you produced yourself. And, of course, a PC with which you can post denunciations of those evil capitalists. :-)
GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: December 11th, 2021, 1:29 pm
They are taking wealth, in whatever form and location they can find it.
PS: No, they are not taking wealth. A natural good does not become wealth UNTIL it is taken from its natural state and transformed into something useful. Until then it confers no benefits on anyone.
GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: December 11th, 2021, 8:48 am
Each human being is different, and therefore exact equality is impossible, maybe even meaningless. But equality as a general term, as we would (and do) use it in everyday life, is perfectly possible, RL-practical, and practised. Sometimes. Other times, the powerful take what they want, often not leaving enough for the less powerful. This is what we generally describe as 'inequality'.
Oh, I don't think that is how "inequality" is generally used at present, i.e., to mean "taking so much that not enough is left for others." It is most commonly used to describe wealth inequality and income inequality, especially between "the rich" and "the poor" and also between whites and blacks. E.g:

https://www.newsweek.com/share-wealth-h ... ic-1656888

https://www.pewresearch.org/social-tren ... nequality/

With wealth and income there is no issue of "not enough left for others." Your definition imagines some fixed quantity of a good, such as an apple pie, and a big brother who takes it all, leaving none for his younger siblings.

Wealth and income, however, are not fixed quantities; they can increase to infinity. Nor, unlike the pie, which Mom baked for the whole family, is wealth a common asset, to which all family members have equal claims. Wealth does not exist until someone creates it, and no one has any claim upon it except the person who created it. If Alfie invents and sells a widget and makes $1 million, he takes nothing from Bruno, or deprive him of anything to which he had some prior claim. Nor does Alfie's industry prevent Bruno from inventing his own competing widget, or producing some other useful product or valuable services, and making his own $1 million. Alfie's efforts and the wealth they yield have no effect whatever upon Bruno's welfare.

So your characterization of "inequality" misses the mark --- badly.
GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: December 11th, 2021, 11:40 am
Yes, Jefferson's wrtings -- duplicitous though they are -- are "historical evidence". The question is: when someone's public writings contradict his private behavior, which is the better indicator of his true beliefs?
His "true beliefs" are irrelevant. Jefferson enunciated a theory of government, and delivered numerous moral and political arguments against slavery. The only philosophically relevant question is whether that theory is sound and those arguments valid. We have no way of knowing what were his "true beliefs;" we can't read his mind, and certainly not post-mortem. We can guess at them from his behavior, but those are guesses on our part, and have no bearing on the soundness of his arguments. As I've said, my own conjecture is that he didn't free (most) of his slaves because he thought they would be worse off, given the status of Africans at that time and place in America.
I'll bet Jefferson's fellow rapists like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy occasionally stated some noble sentiments, too. Yet their critics sometimes suggested there was something amiss about their sex lives -- just as there was with Saint Thomas Jefferson's.
Oooh, now he's also a rapist! Are you referring to his relationship with Sally Hemings --- an "octoroon" (7/8 white) who to all appearances was white? To the woman with whom he had a 40-year connubial relationship, who was his wife for all practical purposes? Do you suppose Hemings, who could have stayed in France when she went there as a member of Jefferson's household (because she was not a slave in France), but chose to return to America with him, considered herself a rape victim? You don't suppose their relationship was a bit more substantial than that?

And, of course, how is all of this relevant to Jefferson's political philosophy, the soundness of his arguments, and the role of that theory in American history?

You really don't understand what ad hominems are, do you?

Anyone interested in this soap-opera stuff may wish to read this:

https://www.monticello.org/sallyhemings/
Tegularius
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by Tegularius »

Equality neutralizes the polarity which keeps the human race in motion. One can see this on a grand scale in wars and the energy expended in creating advanced technologies and the ability to strategize in defeating the enemy.
The earth has a skin and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man ... Nietzsche
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Pattern-chaser wrote: December 11th, 2021, 1:29 pm They are taking wealth, in whatever form and location they can find it. They are not taking it from other humans, they are taking it before those other humans can get to it.
GE Morton wrote: December 11th, 2021, 2:12 pm You realize that leads to a reductio ad absurdum, don't you? If "those other humans" took it, wouldn't they be committing the same "sin"? Hence no one can take any natural good, and everyone starves or freezes to death?
A childish example: everyone's 'fair share' of a finite pie is $10. A man finds $1000, and takes it. Now, 99 of his neighbours cannot feed or clothe their families, because the pie is finite.
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Ecurb
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by Ecurb »

GE Morton wrote: December 11th, 2021, 11:35 pm

His "true beliefs" are irrelevant. Jefferson enunciated a theory of government, and delivered numerous moral and political arguments against slavery. The only philosophically relevant question is whether that theory is sound and those arguments valid. We have no way of knowing what were his "true beliefs;" we can't read his mind, and certainly not post-mortem. We can guess at them from his behavior, but those are guesses on our part, and have no bearing on the soundness of his arguments. As I've said, my own conjecture is that he didn't free (most) of his slaves because he thought they would be worse off, given the status of Africans at that time and place in America.

Oooh, now he's also a rapist! Are you referring to his relationship with Sally Hemings --- an "octoroon" (7/8 white) who to all appearances was white? To the woman with whom he had a 40-year connubial relationship, who was his wife for all practical purposes? Do you suppose Hemings, who could have stayed in France when she went there as a member of Jefferson's household (because she was not a slave in France), but chose to return to America with him, considered herself a rape victim? You don't suppose their relationship was a bit more substantial than that?

And, of course, how is all of this relevant to Jefferson's political philosophy, the soundness of his arguments, and the role of that theory in American history?

You really don't understand what ad hominems are, do you?

Anyone interested in this soap-opera stuff may wish to read this:

https://www.monticello.org/sallyhemings/

Can you read? Did you just miss the part where I wrote, " The sins of the prophet do not invalidate the prophecy."? Perhaps you are the one who doesn't understand what "ad hominems" are.

You just don't get it. The fact that Jefferson was a rapist (a "fact" because whatever Jefferson's emotional relationship with Hemings, "consent" is impossible for a slave) is relevant and interesting because it contradicts his own written respect for human rights. His hypocricy demonstrates his lack of faith in his own tenets. I mean, Joe Blow who raped his slaves might be just as evil, but we wouldn't much care centuries later.

As for your nonsense about Hemings being "his wife for all practical purposes", that's simply asinine. Jefferson never publicly acknowledged his own childen; Hemings apparently ate with the other slaves instead of presiding at Jefferson's luxury dinners (which were impoverishing the family). Perhaps you missed the part on the website you linked where it says, "Sally Hemings returned with Jefferson and his daughters to Monticello in 1789. There she performed the duties of an enslaved household servant and lady’s maid (Jefferson still referred to her as “Maria’s maid” in 1799)." (This was after giving birth several of Jefferson's children.)

Also, who cares if Hemings was 3/4 or 7/8 "white"? ONly racists, as far as I can see. Nobody knows exactly what Hemings looked like, but how is that relevant? It is true that two of Jefferson's children with Hemings "passed" into white society(they were the "octoroons" by my calculations, although I've heard Hemings so labelled before).

The interesting part of the entire scandal is to wonder how Thomas Jefferson -- prophet of individual liberty and rights -- could justify being a slave owner and a rapist. I don't doubt that Jefferson's relationship with Hemings was complicated. Since he never wrote about it (Hemings, for all we know, remained illiterate) we can only guess. We need not speculate, however, about whether he was a rapist. He was.
GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Pattern-chaser wrote: December 12th, 2021, 10:21 am
A childish example: everyone's 'fair share' of a finite pie is $10. A man finds $1000, and takes it. Now, 99 of his neighbours cannot feed or clothe their families, because the pie is finite.
You appear to have entirely ignored my last couple of posts.

No, wealth is not finite. It is unlimited, or limited only by human imagination. Natural resources are not wealth, until they are discovered, recovered, and transformed into useful products (aviation fuel from crude oil, dimension lumber from trees, steel beams from iron ore, etc.). The Earth, and thus the natural resources it offers, is finite, but we are nowhere near approaching that limit for any of them (also, keep in mind that what we count as a "resource" depends upon the technologies available to us, as well as the demand for the products it can yield). That the Earth is finite is a non-issue.

Nor is everyone's "fair share" of the Earth's resources an equal share. That would only be the case if everyone had an equal claim to those resources, such as the kids previously mentioned to portions of Mom's apple pie, who baked it for all of them. The Earth, however, is not a gift from anyone to anyone. It just is, it is res nullius, not owned "as is" by anyone, and no one has any a priori claim to any of it, any more than anyone has an a priori claim to, say, an iron-bearing asteroid in the asteroid belt. No one will have any valid claim to the latter until someone lands on it, explores it, and sets up a mining operation. Likewise, no one has any valid "share" of the Earth, until they have discovered it and occupied it or begun to derive some benefits from it. These a priori entitlements you assume are baseless and vacuous.

And, of course, if the Behemoth Co. discovers, say, a manganese nodule on the ocean floor, develops an economic method of recovering and refining the metals in it, and puts those products on the market, no one is thereby prevented from feeding their families, or deprived of anything else. Not only did they not derive any benefit from the nodule before its discovery, and hence lost nothing, but 99% of them would never have discovered it, or even looked for it.

The equal shares you imagine are based on one (or maybe both) of two assumptions: 1), that Earth is "Gift from God to mankind in common" (Locke's words), or 2), that all mankind are signatories to some sort of "social contract" which allots equal shares of the Earth to everyone. Both of those assumptions are false.
GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: December 12th, 2021, 12:11 pm
Can you read? Did you just miss the part where I wrote, " The sins of the prophet do not invalidate the prophecy."? Perhaps you are the one who doesn't understand what "ad hominems" are.
An ad hominem is a fallacious response to an argument concerning the character or some feature of the proponent, rather than addressing the substance of the argument. The Latin means, "To the man," as opposed to ad argumentum ("To the argument").

Example:

Alfie: "The Earth revolves around the Sun."

Bruno: "Don't believe anything Alfie says. After all, he's an atheist."

All of your comments in this vein constitute an ad hominem argument. (To refresh your memory, this dialog began with Sculptor's interpretation of the meaning of Jefferson's words in the Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal." His claim was that it meant, "that the highest aims and motives [of government is] to provide all persons with an equal chance at life." I disagreed, and quoted another Jefferson statement explicitly stating his view of the purpose of government.

Whereupon you chimed in with your ad hominems.
You just don't get it. The fact that Jefferson was a rapist (a "fact" because whatever Jefferson's emotional relationship with Hemings, "consent" is impossible for a slave) . . .
That is not just false, it is ridiculous.
Ecurb
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by Ecurb »

GE Morton wrote: December 12th, 2021, 4:08 pm
Ecurb wrote: December 12th, 2021, 12:11 pm
Can you read? Did you just miss the part where I wrote, " The sins of the prophet do not invalidate the prophecy."? Perhaps you are the one who doesn't understand what "ad hominems" are.
An ad hominem is a fallacious response to an argument concerning the character or some feature of the proponent, rather than addressing the substance of the argument. The Latin means, "To the man," as opposed to ad argumentum ("To the argument").

Example:

Alfie: "The Earth revolves around the Sun."

Bruno: "Don't believe anything Alfie says. After all, he's an atheist."

All of your comments in this vein constitute an ad hominem argument. (To refresh your memory, this dialog began with Sculptor's interpretation of the meaning of Jefferson's words in the Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal." His claim was that it meant, "that the highest aims and motives [of government is] to provide all persons with an equal chance at life." I disagreed, and quoted another Jefferson statement explicitly stating his view of the purpose of government.

Whereupon you chimed in with your ad hominems.
Save your lectures for someone you can educate, GE, which does not include me. Your supercilious lecturing is always obnoxious, but it's particularly silly when (as is often the case) you don't know what you are talking about. In this case, your egomania insists that any posts anyone writes must be "an argument" directed specifically at whatever nonsense you wrote. . OK. Jefferson wrote some good stuff. He was also a hypocrite and a racist. Discussing his hypocrisy is not an "ad hominem argument" because it is not an argument with what he wrote at all. This is so glaringly obvious that you make yourself look ignorant by not recognizing it. There. I've responded to your supercilious, silly post with a lecture of my own. My only excuse is that you deserve it.

As far as whether slaves can legitimately consent to a sex with their masters (we'll leave out discussing whether 14-year-olds can legitimately consent to having sex with 40-somethings), you are so glaringly incorrect that no argument is necessary. Arguing the point would be like beating a dead horse. However vicious the beating, it can't affect the horse.
GE Morton
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: December 12th, 2021, 5:21 pm
In this case, your egomania insists that any posts anyone writes must be "an argument" directed specifically at whatever nonsense you wrote.
Oh, no. Not "any posts anyone writes." Only posts inserted into a thread debating Jefferson's (or anyone else's) views on the role of government, and the soundness thereof. The presumption will be that your post aims to contribute in some constructive way to that debate. If that post offers nothing but character assassination of the exponent of the views under discussion, then it is an ad hominem comment.
Discussing his hypocrisy is not an "ad hominem argument" because it is not an argument with what he wrote at all.
Then it doesn't belong in that thread. Perhaps you could launch another thread asking, "Did Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings constitute rape?" Though it would probably be a better fit on Facebook.
Ecurb
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by Ecurb »

GE Morton wrote: December 12th, 2021, 8:32 pm

Oh, no. Not "any posts anyone writes." Only posts inserted into a thread debating Jefferson's (or anyone else's) views on the role of government, and the soundness thereof. The presumption will be that your post aims to contribute in some constructive way to that debate. If that post offers nothing but character assassination of the exponent of the views under discussion, then it is an ad hominem comment.


Then it doesn't belong in that thread. Perhaps you could launch another thread asking, "Did Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings constitute rape?" Though it would probably be a better fit on Facebook.
Yikes! It's the thread police! Run!

In this very thread GE wrote:
Hardships? Yes, such as those suffered by the 76,000,000 murdered by his (Mao's) regime.
Hypocrisy? It's almost, dare I say, "Jeffersonian".
The_architect
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Re: Should all Humans be Equal?

Post by The_architect »

No human is equal from another except the construction of our physical body (which can be deformed to include the brain organ--an automatic individuality). Humans are individualistic. It is the only species that does not have sub-species. Humans are more linked by a long, lateral chain than the pyramids and branches of other species. No two humans are alike.

Should we be equal, then, is asking if we should all have the same qualities/quantities of life. We should all be equal in the foundation of human needs, Pavlov's Hierarchy of Human Needs. It begins with meeting our physiological needs (food, water, breathing, sex, physical health and excretion); second, safety; third, love/belonging; fourth, esteem; last, self-actualization. Humans don't even come near to the first foundational step, much less the rest. It is literally impossible to have equal human beings. Genetics are solo and the biggest difference is the circumstance we are born into which is completely out of our control.
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