Scott wrote:May I ask another follow-up question; As you use the word, does 'government' necessarily entail non-consensual non-defensive violence (e.g. murder, rape, slavery, etc.)? In other words, would it be a contradiction for one to specify that they subjectively desire only for a 'government' to exist that does not engage in such non-defensive violence (e.g. murder, rape, slavery, etc.)? If it's not a contradiction, then roughly speaking that is what I want. If it is a contradiction, then I can only say that I do not desire any kind of or amount of non-consensual non-defensive violence (e.g. murder, rape, slavery, etc.).
If the word government is defined so loosely that it includes organizations between humans that are consensual and nonviolent, then I think it may too broad for me to answer your question.marigold_23 wrote: ↑April 23rd, 2021, 1:40 pm To answer your follow-up question, (to the best of my understanding) government is always a semi-permanent constitutional arrangement of some kind (written or spoken). As I understand it, government is, at minimum, any "societal" arrangement...even a family structure could be described this way... an arrangement or organization implies some internal restriction, as opposed to total freedom... in any relevant social structure, members are not absolutely free as we assume that they have a communal or hierarchical system which is reactive (with members reacting to one another) and limited within that scope...
For instance, I have personally served as unpaid President and in other unpaid volunteer positions on what could be called governing board or just board of multiple registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations--namely formal local PTAs--which involved going to formal training in "corporate governance" as part of the on-boarding training and ongoing training during those years. Generally, the purpose of any such organization is whatever its bylaws state, as voted on by the members who join consensually and pay membership fees, which in that way makes it an extension of human purpose. Whether it is a non-profit or for-profit corporation, ultimately the corporation is just an abstract way to describe the behavior, goals, and purposes of the humans behind it. Thus, at least if the word government is defined that broadly such that it does not necessarily entail non-consensual violence, but includes essentially any corporation, human organization, or club, then I think it may be reducible to the following questions: What do I want the purpose of humans to be?
Would that be a proper re-phrasing of your question that maintains the general essence?
Sort of, maybe. My overall philosophy, particularly in a spiritual sense, has me only worry about what I can control, namely my choices. So, for example, I wouldn't look at a rabid dog and say to it, "you should be nicer; I resent you for being mean! I hate you, doggy, for being the way you are!" Likewise, if I walk outside one day and notice it is raining when I was preparing to go to beach, I wouldn't look up at the sky and say, "It shouldn't be raining; I resent this weather. I hate rain! Living in this world is like living in a world run by a sadistic god!"
Instead, I find that for the sake of inner peace I worry only about my choices, and then I don't worry about those either since I can control them and always get exactly what I want when it comes to my choices, 100% of the time.
To your point, what I would more confidently say is that I want to choose to be cooperative, empathetic, loving, and compassionate insofar as I have that choice, and I want to choose to promote consensual cooperation, empathy, compassion, and love in the world insofar as I have that choice.
But that doesn't mean, for instance, that I want rabid dogs to be nicer or such. I believe in the principle of cleaning my own backyard first, and, since one's own backyard is never entirely clean, logic means I only clean my own figurative backyard, and unconditionally love my neighbor and his backyard (or the rabid dog). What I cannot change is not mine to worry about changing but mine to accept as it is.
Thank you for asking. Typically, I personally wouldn't say anything that involves the word should or ought. That's simply because, in my philosophy, there are no shoulds or oughts; and there is no try. In my philosophy, there is can and cannot, and, from can, there is do or do not. In terms of what I can do, I choose whether to do or not to do. Everything else is what it is.marigold_23 wrote: ↑April 23rd, 2021, 1:40 pm Realistically, I think you could try to reduce non consensual, non defensive violence but in a society with any freedom of interaction, you could not remove it completely.
As I see it you could envision a government that does not practice murder or rape. Depending on your definition of slavery (assuming their is a valid social contract, which is certainly rare), you could also envision a society without slavery though it would probably look like slavery from without, in the same way that an ant colony appears like slavery when one sees it's hierarchical structure. Though, if there is a valid provision that members can leave, no internal power dynamic is necessarily non consensual... I'd leave that to the one answering to work out. But from my view, you could theoretically have a government without these elements. I hope that answers your question.
Would you say an ideal government's "function" should be to reduce non consensual, non defensive violence?
With that said, anytime I have the option between committing non-consensual non-defensive violence (e.g. murder, rape, slavery, etc.), I choose not to, or do my best to build a habit of choosing not to. Humans (including me) are great at making and writing diets, but bad at following them. Of course, that is part of why following the policy of figuratively cleaning one's own backyard first (before over-imposing on another), ultimately logically works out to only cleaning one's own backyard ever, and never excessively imposing on another. Except in the ways that we are all inexorably perfect, not one of us is perfect, and in that sense our backyards are never fully clean. The same thing that makes it so easy to rationalize storming into one's neighbor's backyard and playing benevolent dictator is the thing that makes it foolish, but many among us would rather storm their neighbor's yard even if just to distract themselves from their own yard. All yards are dirty.
If I am put in charge of deciding whether to burn the witch at the stake or not, I won't. If given the choice to make it or not make it, I would not choose to make a government or other organization that engages in non-consensual non-defensive violence. Whether it calls itself a "government" or a charity or something else, I am happy to donate money to an organization that genuinely works to reduce non-consensual non-defensive violence. I'm not familiar with many of those, but I have donated to charities that serve victims after the fact such as RAINN. But I would be very eager to donate to a charity that is effective at prevention. The same thing goes for other things like cancer; I'm happy to donate to help those who are inflicted and unable to be cured, even if it is a comfort measures only situation, but I am also very interested in donating to organizations that are working on finding cures or preventing the cancer from even occurring. I have donated to the charity METAvivor before; I don't know much about it, but it's my mother's favorite cancer charity, and she is a stage 4 cancer survivor, so I take her word on that one, even though--as it's probably not hard to believe based on my opinions about government, freedom, and authority in general--I was a very rebellious disobedient child in my younger years. Granted, I still am rebellious and disobedient, but I'm just 34 now, so I'm not technically a child, at least if you go by age.