Archive for the 'Philosophy' Category

What’s The Harm?

Posted in Ethics & Morality, Philosophy, Politics, Society on May 3rd, 2015

The role and extent of government has been a matter of contention since Man first developed government. Nowhere is this more true than the ongoing war over what, if any, harm any government should allow to happen to the People.

Even the philosopher Hugo Adam Bedau, a current favorite among limited government and social liberal circles doesn’t provide much surcease from the argument.

Government should allow persons to engage in whatever conduct they want to, no matter how deviant or abnormal it may be, so long as:

  1. they know what they are doing,
  2. they consent to it, and
  3. no one — at least no one other than the participants — is harmed by it.

— Hugo Adam Bedau

Sure, Bedau’s words sound good and is if they’d make a good framework for the limits of government involvement and interference with the lives and actions of the governed.  Sadly, however Bedau’s words beg the questions of what is the proof of knowledge aforethought and what constitutes consent.

His words also, much like the Wiccan Rede – An it harm none, do as you will – leave the glaring and easily warred over questions of what’s the harm and, much like claims of offensiveness,  just who gets to decide that harm has been done in the first place.

No, not even Bedau’s simple prescription will ameliorate the conflict over just what the government should be allowed to regulate or proscribe.

Related Reading:

Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings
Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About American Law, Fourth Edition
The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle for Our Connected World
Politics (Dover Thrift Editions)

This Is How You Win

Posted in Philosophy, Society on April 29th, 2015

There always seems to be a plethora of questions about how one can win. Indeed, there are whole industries profiteering off of it. The answer is so simple though…

This Is How You Win

That’s the answer. Just as Heather Dorniden did, you get up after you’ve fallen – or have been tripped – and you run faster, try harder. This is how you win, whether it is in sports or life.

What you don’t do is: expect the race to halted and restarted; for any of your competitors to help you up; or to just lay there and blame various and sundry other people, groups, organizations, or whole cultures for your having fallen down in some fashion – even in those rare occurrences when they are to blame for it.

Sadly, this is lesson rarely taught anymore. Instead being a victim is what is taught along with blamecasting whenever one doesn’t achieve success quick enough or at all. Perhaps this is because “winning” requires there to also being losers and that’s “not fair.” Perhaps it’s simply that “validation” of one’s self-image has become more important than being of worth in the first place.

In any event, winning is quite simple. Yet, losing because you’re a victim is so much easier to both do and teach.

Related Reading:

Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It
Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility
Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition
Victimology
Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution (Olive Editions)

No Accommodation

Posted in Musings, Philosophy on April 23rd, 2015

Thinking ApeIt may surprise many that I spend a fair amount of my time musing about the state, follies, foibles, and rare successes of Man. Then again, it may not, given that people ascribe little value to such pondering and, hence, would assume I would engage in it.

Much, however, do I muse upon Man and his dysfunctional relationship with both Life and Death. How we deal or, more often than not, fail to deal with either perplexes me.

Some men seek power because life ends. Others, for the same reason, seek meaning. And yet the world is the same for both sorts, and makes no effort to accommodate either.

Related Reading:

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter
The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully
Personal Musings: Reflections on Little and Big Days
Musings on Mortality: From Tolstoy to Primo Levi
The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers