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Language and the conflictual nature of man

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  • rclough
    Language and the conflictual nature of man Debating ideas seldom settles an issue, because everybody s beliefs, including mine, are of tribal or
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 1, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Language and the conflictual nature of man

      Debating ideas seldom settles an issue, because everybody's beliefs,
      including mine, are of tribal or anthropological rather than
      logical origin. This is the nature of man. In the end
      we believe what we want to. And what we want comes
      from, and is inherent in, language. Here's how and why:

      1) We learn the meanings of words through use in context.
      I show you an apple and say, "this is an apple". And
      since it is I that show the apple, and you trust me,
      you place this emotional content on the meaning.

      2) Context being cultural- since the meanings
      of words depend on whatever tribes we belong to. Language
      forms our self-identity.

      3) Nature's dirty little trick is to hide all of this from us. Yet we are as
      immersed in language as a goldfish is in the water of a fish bowl. It
      completely controls us, for it gives meaning to everything,
      and yet it is invisible to us.

      4) The vicious part of this is that we can't avoid joining a tribe,
      and accepting their views in trust, since the tribe teaches us language
      and gives thew words meaning through tribal/ emotional context.

      Tribal thinking is what constitues man. It's the nature of man.
      Because it is tribal and thus part of our self-identity,
      we find it almost impossible to agree with
      the opposite point of view, which is foreign and
      therefore dangerous and unacceptable.

      For political issues, there are two tribes, the socialists or liberals
      and the conservatives.

      In religion we have the atheists, agnostics, and the believers.

      - Roger






      rclough, rclough@...
      7/1/2012
      There are two types of truths, truths of fact and truths
      of value. Science deals with the former, which can be proven.
      Theism deals with the latter, which can only be known
      personally.
      ----- Receiving the following content -----
      From: David Bonnell
      Receiver: rclough
      Time: 2012-06-29, 13:33:24
      Subject: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right


      You know, Roger, it may not be fun for you to have to read all the stuff I send you, but I really have a lot of fun thinking about issues, and putting down on "paper" some of what percolates through my mind when I read your emails. Thanks for making me reexamine my thoughts in such detail... Some thoughts on your responses are below, interspersed with your comments, and color-coded.


      David
      ====================================================================================================
      From: "rclough" <rclough@...>
      To: "David Bonnell" <dwbonnell@...>
      Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:03:14 AM
      Subject: Re: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right


      Hi David Bonnell

      IMHO you are mostly presenting for the usual liberal talking points, which are forms for the implication of guilt.


      Actually, I was trying to show that a moderate viewpoint is needed, because both left and right are extremist positions, and both generally produce bad results. As for the idea that liberal talking points are guilt-driven, that is probably a really simplistic viewpoint. If having a conscience is equivalent to guilt, then maybe you have something. I sort of think that selfish behavior implies an issue of conscience. (c.f., your aphorism below about truths of value - are they only personal, or should such reach to everyone? (equally??)


      These are all emotional, not rational, stances.


      Emotion is after all part of what makes us human. Most of life is eat-or-be-eaten, and it's only our empathy regarding others that lifts us above that state. Whether there is any rationality probably depends on whether the response is reasoned or knee-jerk. My point regarding extremism is that extremist views are mostly not reasoned, but knee-jerk responses, and often selfish as well where conservatism is involved (sort of by definition, conservatism means resistance to change, yet it is pretty clear that change is needed - look at the ideas behind the Arab Spring movements - when a few have, and many have not, there must be something wrong. In the US, when most have some, and few have not, it is easier to sweep the few under the rug. But is it right? Might be rational, after all, even Jesus said, "the poor you will always have with you." But I don't think he meant it was right (or even rational) to ignore them. Not that liberalist views are necessarily better - it is certainly possible to go off half-cocked and do a lot more harm than good, or only a little good for the harm caused. In fact, that is probably one of the prime characteristics of extremist views of all sorts.


      They are all opinons. not rational facts. One man's fact is another's opinion. The search for absolute truth is not the search for God, it is the search to BE God. Only God has it right all the time.


      As for issues having to do with opinion vs fact, I think you missed the point I have been trying to make -- that both political extremes use distortion, or one-sided arguments to bolster their points. Facts are facts, and covering up the inconvenient ones to make a point is just another form of lying. Fair is about looking at all sides of the question. Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise -- "good" politics recognizes that there is no perfect solution, and seeks to achieve a good, working compromise for all sides.


      ..the communist party USA. While communism is considered leftist, labeling liberal views as essentially communistic is the same as labeling conservatism as Fascist. When I talk about extremes, I'm not talking these extremes, but American political extremes - also bad, but not to this extent, by far.


      And communism doesn't work, as Russia and Cuba show.


      Actually, neither Russia or Cuba are communism - they are totalitarian regimes paying lip service to an idea. No state I know of has ever tried true communism. That said, I will agree that Communism, even in its purest form is probably way too idealistic to work - too little incentive to the less creative majority to work hard enough. That said, moderate socialism is NOT communism, and to the extent it successfully improves the lot of citizens, without destabilizing, can be a successful adjunct to working Govt. Certainly better than sweatshops, child labor, and industrial pollution, which unbridled capitalism does easily.


      They in fact are essentially those of Europe and now the USA show that socialism doesn't work. Quite a stretch. Actually, socialism, in moderation, produces some of the most benign governmental forms in existence. Consider Sweden, for instance. Even though the tax rate is burdensome, they have no war, much better health care (and longevity) than the US, a much better standard of living, stable environment, you name it. Canada also probably qualifies as socialistic by your definitions, and is doing better than we are at providing better living conditions to the less fortunate than we do. Why do you think people go to Canada for medicines? Without Obamacare, we will all need to go elsewhere for affordable health care. It is abundantly clear that our current health care system is spiraling out of control. The main thrust of Obamacare is an attempt (admittedly with flaws, but there is abundant blame to go all around for the flaws) to control the costs. It may indeed eventually be found to be unaffordable, but those who think that what amounts to unbridled capitalism at work as health care won't make health care unaffordable to all but the most wealthy (or best connected) are kidding themselves. There are 30 million people with no health care -- who do yu think pays when they go to the emergency room, because physicians won't see them without payment up front? Its a hidden tax those who currently pay for insurance bear, and it is burdensome. I like to think of health care as something that ought to be more like highways. We once decided we needed the interstate system, and it has remade our country (maybe not in the best way - way more long-distance goods go by trucks carrying 30 tons per vehicle than by trains, capable of carrying thousands of tons per vehicle. But the roads are free (sort-of) and more convenient, compared to dedicated rail right-of-way). But, it is pretty clear that capitalism, as operated by our health care system, is not a successful paradigm if we expect everyone to be able to afford it. People, without good health care, are only good for 40-50 years. We all want to live more than 70. Should that extra 20 or more years be only for the wealthy (and lucky).

      In contrast to your views, the truth is that capitalism is the only way to create wealth, so it is the only way to improve the world (to raise the standards of living). If you know of a better method, let's hear it.


      Capitalism is NOT in contrast to my views - It is undoubtedly a strong tool for driving innovation rewarding hard work and development. And, is very successful. But, if you think I mean don't agree that only capitalism creates wealth, you are right. Wealth, historically has been created in many ways - dictatorships, kingdoms, and many other forms of social control all create and concentrate wealth. I do think one can say that capitalism is a highly successful way toward wealth. But, capitalism doesn't create wealth any more than other systems of resource management. People and innovation create wealth. As much as anything, capitalism is simply a another method for concentrating wealth, one that tends to minimize privilege. Capitalism is a really good mechanism for exploiting methods for growth because it gets people at all levels involved in the innovation process. But one of the problems with growth is the need for someplace to grow into, and capitalism has not been shown to be particularly effective, without regulation, at dealing with social issues where growth is restricted. Europe, for instance, has more socialistic government forms than the US, as much because of the severe restrictions on growth laid down by being fully developed. Its current problems have come about as much because of compromise needed to create the Common Market and a common currency without a strong Federal government system in place to subordinate nation-state desires to a common platform. I think we are going to see either the development of a more Federal system there, or fragmentation into (potentially warring) nations. Neither of which will much change the extent of socialism, or weaken capitalism.
      As for other successful systems, I think there is no doubt that for a technological society, capitalism with controls is one of the most successful ways of using larger portions of the manpower of a country in highly productive ways. But, there are other systems, and capitalism does require both growth and innovation. Wherever those requirements fail, capitalism fails as well. And, unbridled capitalism can be as people-destructive as the worst feudal system. But, just like other absolutes, capitalism is NOT the universal solution. There are places where it doesn't work well. Like other things, it needs to be modified, controlled, and reviewed. No baby out with the bathwater, but no knee-jerk presumption of panacea, either.

      The fact is that capitalism is why America is the richest or one of the richest nations in the world. Well, if you also include the fact that America was/is one of the most resource-rich regions of the world, was essentially empty when colonized, and was colonized by people with a real work ethic that made exploiting our resources so successful. Also, we were lucky in that we had founding fathers who recognized the value of a free Federalist form of government, with powerful checks and balances mechanisms, and freedom... And, unbridled capitalism has been responsible for the worst financial disasters of modern history -- not just the more recent problems, but think about the robber baron era, the crash of '29 and the subsequent need for a world war to find prosperity again (wow - with a little more bad luck, that crash could have made it possible for the Nazi to have been successful at establishing their "1000 year Reich." A conservative paradise???...).

      rclough, rclough@...
      6/28/2012
      There are two types of truths, truths of fact and truths
      of value. Science deals with the former, which can be proven.
      Theism deals with the latter, which can only be known
      personally.


      Actually, science is not about truth, but about disprovability. Science actually asserts that there may be no absolute truth, but to work toward reality, it is necessary that any assertion regarding "truth" must predict observables - failure to predict is evidence of untruth. Truths about values are essentially always personal, as you note. But again, probably many truths of value are not absolute truths, and many (most religious issues, for instance) deliberately forsake the idea of disprovability - yet the simple fact of so many disjunctive faiths indicates that most people believe "stuff" that must be wrong -- only if there is value in truth can there be truths of value. Opinion, of course.


      Oh, by the way, I re-read part of what you wrote that started this thread -- Those to the right politically are the opposite. They feel that they are in charge and it is the world that is to be manipulated. So those to the right are the capitalists -- Not all those to the right (by a very large margin) are capitalists in more than name - I agree that those to the right want to be in charge, and believe the world is to be manipulated. But many (if not most) want only to be on top, and to be entitled. That includes all the dictators, kings, Nazis, many religious figures, and a whole host of conservative thinkers who pretty much DO NOT have other people's interests at heart. The good news is that those who ARE capitalists, do seem to have a tendency to do good for others while doing good for themselves. But often even that is a by-product. Think of all the people who work for McDonald's. Most are glad to have a job, but few think that their job is good. They actually do some good for the general public (cheap, edible food, clean working conditions [sort-of], etc). A good picture of capitalism at work -- both good parts and bad. Fortunately, market forces, legal issues, and some regulation actually make the exploitation reasonable. Not the best of capitalism, by far. I would suspect that most conservatives would like to think of the personal computer industry as a better model. But, as most other parts of complex issues, there is good and bad, and the balance is most important.
      ----- Receiving the following content -----
      From: David Bonnell
      Receiver: rclough
      Time: 2012-06-27, 22:28:23
      Subject: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right


      Wow - you really have a pretty poor view of both sides of the political spectrum!


      Let me try a different way:


      Liberals: I'm OK - the Rich and Corporate world seems to have more than its fair share, the poor seem to need help (or they wouldn't be poor, sick, weak, etc). Government exists to support ALL its citizens, and should be working to equalize what it does for each one. Thus, (1) regulation is needed to keep capitalists, conspicuous consumers, etc from using their already big advantages unfairly(!) to get more at the expense of those without the resources to defend themselves. Extra regulation is probably needed as ways are found to circumvent regulation. (2) Govt also needs to preserve the natural beauty of its people's environment - that means that those who think that its OK to pollute public (or other's private) land really should be doing that for their own profit. Finally, (3) Govt exists to provide/develop/maintain the infrastructure of its jurisdiction, to the advantage of everyone - generally as fairly as possible, but needs not to be overly considerate of those who make personal assumptions about what they are entitled to, and shouldn't be making special cases to the benefit of the few. These three general principles (which sort of ignore Law/Jurisprudence, National defense, foreign policy, and a lot of other things that are not quite so polar), sort of outline a lot of the issues where liberal and conservative thinking get really at cross purposes.


      Conservatives: I'm OK, and I want what I want, the way I want, and I really get hot when anyone tries to tell me that I shouldn't be doing what I want to do. That especially goes for the Govt. It should give me what I want, when I want it, and otherwise get out of my way and don't bother me. Regulations should be minor, reviewed and discarded quickly, and should not cost anyone anything. Especially, for me to be really OK, I need special privileges, and I really don't want to share, since that would interfere with me getting more of what I'm entitled to. If I get my way, maybe I'll think about passing some along, but, only the way I want it to be. I can take responsibility for myself, my family, and whatever else I want to, but I know good lawyers if I don't get my way.

      Actually, both these pictures are just about as biased as yours, but perhaps tilted a bit in the other way. The main issue I see falls in what you call "taking responsibility." Both liberals and conservatives tend to think they take responsibility, but the more outspoken ones tend to believe that if they are going to be responsible, they need to have control. That is why both sides really create problems, and why the moderate viewpoint recognizes that there is some good in both extremes, but knows mostly that extremism in any form tends to be bad for almost anyone but the extremists. It gets especially worrisome when distortion of facts and information become the main tools, often used by extremists. Sadly, once such an environment develops, as it has here in the US, it is very difficult to combat except with more distortion. Simple facts get lost, and it gets harder and harder, since many of the mainstream are looking for "sound-bites" as the easy way to decide what is best. Deep thinking is exactly that -- difficult, fraught with uncertainty, and requiring delicate balance. That's why politics is a dirty word, and diplomacy is so troublesome - war is easier, and arguing from trenched positions is simpler.


      "...So those to the right are the capitalists. They don't have a very high opinion of human nature. It is up to us individually to improve the world, the responsibility lies wuith(sic) us."
      Capitalism is a powerful force, but it is NOT about, or out to, "improve the world." It is a very selfish idea, and it has taken a long time to tame it, sort-of. The main difference is that capitalists don't have any real notion that their "class" entitles them to any free ride, and anyone with enough steel can succeed. When done reasonably, it tends to be one of the better ways to let quality be a quantity of its own. And, because large capitalistic organizations tend to be plutocratic, the blame and responsibility get shared, diluted, and controlled. This leveling tends to be better for everyone than situations where unscrupulous, but successful single capitalists get control (examples out of history include early railroad magnates, oil barons, etc).


      I don't have a problem with capitalism, per se, but it is really, really clear that unregulated capitalism does not tend to play well with others, and can turn pretty ugly. Just because it is not as bad as feudal or dictator-based ideologies, doesn't make it all good. Just think of all the damage to the environment has been done by big chemical companies, operations like the massive chicken farming industry, and many others. It is only the fact that technology (with some help from Govt regulation) tends to rein in capitalistic excesses and the fact that new capitalistic enterprises often blind-side older, less flexible enterprise, that the whole process, stumbling forward, seems to do OK. But, the so-called liberal, or leftest viewpoint tends to try to balance the overbearing right viewpoint, and often has to do that by taking the side of the less fortunate. Thus, Balance.



      David


      From: "rclough" <rclough@...>
      To: "achristianvsatheistclub" <achristianvsatheistclub@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2012 7:31:37 AM
      Subject: The psychologies of the left and of the right


      The psychologies of the left and of the right

      I believe that there are two basic ways to relate to the world, those of
      the left and of the right.

      This analysis probably needs more work, but right now it looks like this
      and I hope I'm being fair:

      1) Liberals. I'm OK, the poor are OK, but the rich and the rest of
      the world are not OK.

      Those to the left politically (the liberals) seem to view the world as outside
      of them, so that they feel that they are being manipulated from outside,
      by hostle forces, hence their basic emotions are fear and
      loathing of the world. So the world needs changing through legislation
      to make it better for all.


      2) Conservatives. I'm OK, you're not OK, the world is OK, so you should
      just leave it alone legislatively. If it is to be dealt with, I'll take the
      responsibility individually for that.


      Those to the right politically are the opposite. They feel that they
      are in charge and it is the world that is to be manipulated. So those
      to the right are the capitalists. They don't have a very high opinion of
      human nature. It is up to us individually to improve the world,
      the responsibility lies wuith us.

      rclough, rclough@...
      6/23/2012
      God is the justice of the universe.
      Jesus is your lawyer.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Swede
      rclough wrote: ... That is what I have for years labeled ones, Cultural Contingency ... We all are indoctrinated to a belief within our own
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 1, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        "rclough" <rclough@...> wrote:>
        > Language and the conflictual nature of man

        > Debating ideas seldom settles an issue, because everybody's beliefs,
        > including mine, are of tribal or anthropological rather than
        > logical origin. This is the nature of man. In the end
        > we believe what we want to. And what we want comes
        > from, and is inherent in, language.>

        That is what I have for years labeled ones, "Cultural Contingency"...

        We all are indoctrinated to a belief within our "own Culture".

        "It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man." (The Meaning of It All, p. 34)

        "[When a young person loses faith in his religion because he begins to study science and its methodology] it isn't that [through the obtaining of real knowledge that] he knows it all, but he suddenly realizes that he doesn't know it all." (p. 36)

        -- Richard P. Feynman

        "Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition."
        -- Freedom From Religion Foundation



        Here's how and why:
        >
        > 1) We learn the meanings of words through use in context.
        > I show you an apple and say, "this is an apple". And
        > since it is I that show the apple, and you trust me,
        > you place this emotional content on the meaning.
        >
        > 2) Context being cultural- since the meanings
        > of words depend on whatever tribes we belong to. Language
        > forms our self-identity.
        >
        > 3) Nature's dirty little trick is to hide all of this from us. Yet we are as
        > immersed in language as a goldfish is in the water of a fish bowl. It
        > completely controls us, for it gives meaning to everything,
        > and yet it is invisible to us.
        >
        > 4) The vicious part of this is that we can't avoid joining a tribe,
        > and accepting their views in trust, since the tribe teaches us language
        > and gives thew words meaning through tribal/ emotional context.
        >
        > Tribal thinking is what constitues man. It's the nature of man.
        > Because it is tribal and thus part of our self-identity,
        > we find it almost impossible to agree with
        > the opposite point of view, which is foreign and
        > therefore dangerous and unacceptable.
        >
        > For political issues, there are two tribes, the socialists or liberals
        > and the conservatives.
        >
        > In religion we have the atheists, agnostics, and the believers.
        >
        > - Roger
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > rclough, rclough@...
        > 7/1/2012
        > There are two types of truths, truths of fact and truths
        > of value. Science deals with the former, which can be proven.
        > Theism deals with the latter, which can only be known
        > personally.
        > ----- Receiving the following content -----
        > From: David Bonnell
        > Receiver: rclough
        > Time: 2012-06-29, 13:33:24
        > Subject: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right
        >
        >
        > You know, Roger, it may not be fun for you to have to read all the stuff I send you, but I really have a lot of fun thinking about issues, and putting down on "paper" some of what percolates through my mind when I read your emails. Thanks for making me reexamine my thoughts in such detail... Some thoughts on your responses are below, interspersed with your comments, and color-coded.
        >
        >
        > David
        > ====================================================================================================
        > From: "rclough" <rclough@...>
        > To: "David Bonnell" <dwbonnell@...>
        > Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:03:14 AM
        > Subject: Re: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right
        >
        >
        > Hi David Bonnell
        >
        > IMHO you are mostly presenting for the usual liberal talking points, which are forms for the implication of guilt.
        >
        >
        > Actually, I was trying to show that a moderate viewpoint is needed, because both left and right are extremist positions, and both generally produce bad results. As for the idea that liberal talking points are guilt-driven, that is probably a really simplistic viewpoint. If having a conscience is equivalent to guilt, then maybe you have something. I sort of think that selfish behavior implies an issue of conscience. (c.f., your aphorism below about truths of value - are they only personal, or should such reach to everyone? (equally??)
        >
        >
        > These are all emotional, not rational, stances.
        >
        >
        > Emotion is after all part of what makes us human. Most of life is eat-or-be-eaten, and it's only our empathy regarding others that lifts us above that state. Whether there is any rationality probably depends on whether the response is reasoned or knee-jerk. My point regarding extremism is that extremist views are mostly not reasoned, but knee-jerk responses, and often selfish as well where conservatism is involved (sort of by definition, conservatism means resistance to change, yet it is pretty clear that change is needed - look at the ideas behind the Arab Spring movements - when a few have, and many have not, there must be something wrong. In the US, when most have some, and few have not, it is easier to sweep the few under the rug. But is it right? Might be rational, after all, even Jesus said, "the poor you will always have with you." But I don't think he meant it was right (or even rational) to ignore them. Not that liberalist views are necessarily better - it is certainly possible to go off half-cocked and do a lot more harm than good, or only a little good for the harm caused. In fact, that is probably one of the prime characteristics of extremist views of all sorts.
        >
        >
        > They are all opinons. not rational facts. One man's fact is another's opinion. The search for absolute truth is not the search for God, it is the search to BE God. Only God has it right all the time.
        >
        >
        > As for issues having to do with opinion vs fact, I think you missed the point I have been trying to make -- that both political extremes use distortion, or one-sided arguments to bolster their points. Facts are facts, and covering up the inconvenient ones to make a point is just another form of lying. Fair is about looking at all sides of the question. Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise -- "good" politics recognizes that there is no perfect solution, and seeks to achieve a good, working compromise for all sides.
        >
        >
        > ..the communist party USA. While communism is considered leftist, labeling liberal views as essentially communistic is the same as labeling conservatism as Fascist. When I talk about extremes, I'm not talking these extremes, but American political extremes - also bad, but not to this extent, by far.
        >
        >
        > And communism doesn't work, as Russia and Cuba show.
        >
        >
        > Actually, neither Russia or Cuba are communism - they are totalitarian regimes paying lip service to an idea. No state I know of has ever tried true communism. That said, I will agree that Communism, even in its purest form is probably way too idealistic to work - too little incentive to the less creative majority to work hard enough. That said, moderate socialism is NOT communism, and to the extent it successfully improves the lot of citizens, without destabilizing, can be a successful adjunct to working Govt. Certainly better than sweatshops, child labor, and industrial pollution, which unbridled capitalism does easily.
        >
        >
        > They in fact are essentially those of Europe and now the USA show that socialism doesn't work. Quite a stretch. Actually, socialism, in moderation, produces some of the most benign governmental forms in existence. Consider Sweden, for instance. Even though the tax rate is burdensome, they have no war, much better health care (and longevity) than the US, a much better standard of living, stable environment, you name it. Canada also probably qualifies as socialistic by your definitions, and is doing better than we are at providing better living conditions to the less fortunate than we do. Why do you think people go to Canada for medicines? Without Obamacare, we will all need to go elsewhere for affordable health care. It is abundantly clear that our current health care system is spiraling out of control. The main thrust of Obamacare is an attempt (admittedly with flaws, but there is abundant blame to go all around for the flaws) to control the costs. It may indeed eventually be found to be unaffordable, but those who think that what amounts to unbridled capitalism at work as health care won't make health care unaffordable to all but the most wealthy (or best connected) are kidding themselves. There are 30 million people with no health care -- who do yu think pays when they go to the emergency room, because physicians won't see them without payment up front? Its a hidden tax those who currently pay for insurance bear, and it is burdensome. I like to think of health care as something that ought to be more like highways. We once decided we needed the interstate system, and it has remade our country (maybe not in the best way - way more long-distance goods go by trucks carrying 30 tons per vehicle than by trains, capable of carrying thousands of tons per vehicle. But the roads are free (sort-of) and more convenient, compared to dedicated rail right-of-way). But, it is pretty clear that capitalism, as operated by our health care system, is not a successful paradigm if we expect everyone to be able to afford it. People, without good health care, are only good for 40-50 years. We all want to live more than 70. Should that extra 20 or more years be only for the wealthy (and lucky).
        >
        > In contrast to your views, the truth is that capitalism is the only way to create wealth, so it is the only way to improve the world (to raise the standards of living). If you know of a better method, let's hear it.
        >
        >
        > Capitalism is NOT in contrast to my views - It is undoubtedly a strong tool for driving innovation rewarding hard work and development. And, is very successful. But, if you think I mean don't agree that only capitalism creates wealth, you are right. Wealth, historically has been created in many ways - dictatorships, kingdoms, and many other forms of social control all create and concentrate wealth. I do think one can say that capitalism is a highly successful way toward wealth. But, capitalism doesn't create wealth any more than other systems of resource management. People and innovation create wealth. As much as anything, capitalism is simply a another method for concentrating wealth, one that tends to minimize privilege. Capitalism is a really good mechanism for exploiting methods for growth because it gets people at all levels involved in the innovation process. But one of the problems with growth is the need for someplace to grow into, and capitalism has not been shown to be particularly effective, without regulation, at dealing with social issues where growth is restricted. Europe, for instance, has more socialistic government forms than the US, as much because of the severe restrictions on growth laid down by being fully developed. Its current problems have come about as much because of compromise needed to create the Common Market and a common currency without a strong Federal government system in place to subordinate nation-state desires to a common platform. I think we are going to see either the development of a more Federal system there, or fragmentation into (potentially warring) nations. Neither of which will much change the extent of socialism, or weaken capitalism.
        > As for other successful systems, I think there is no doubt that for a technological society, capitalism with controls is one of the most successful ways of using larger portions of the manpower of a country in highly productive ways. But, there are other systems, and capitalism does require both growth and innovation. Wherever those requirements fail, capitalism fails as well. And, unbridled capitalism can be as people-destructive as the worst feudal system. But, just like other absolutes, capitalism is NOT the universal solution. There are places where it doesn't work well. Like other things, it needs to be modified, controlled, and reviewed. No baby out with the bathwater, but no knee-jerk presumption of panacea, either.
        >
        > The fact is that capitalism is why America is the richest or one of the richest nations in the world. Well, if you also include the fact that America was/is one of the most resource-rich regions of the world, was essentially empty when colonized, and was colonized by people with a real work ethic that made exploiting our resources so successful. Also, we were lucky in that we had founding fathers who recognized the value of a free Federalist form of government, with powerful checks and balances mechanisms, and freedom... And, unbridled capitalism has been responsible for the worst financial disasters of modern history -- not just the more recent problems, but think about the robber baron era, the crash of '29 and the subsequent need for a world war to find prosperity again (wow - with a little more bad luck, that crash could have made it possible for the Nazi to have been successful at establishing their "1000 year Reich." A conservative paradise???...).
        >
        > rclough, rclough@...
        > 6/28/2012
        > There are two types of truths, truths of fact and truths
        > of value. Science deals with the former, which can be proven.
        > Theism deals with the latter, which can only be known
        > personally.
        >
        >
        > Actually, science is not about truth, but about disprovability. Science actually asserts that there may be no absolute truth, but to work toward reality, it is necessary that any assertion regarding "truth" must predict observables - failure to predict is evidence of untruth. Truths about values are essentially always personal, as you note. But again, probably many truths of value are not absolute truths, and many (most religious issues, for instance) deliberately forsake the idea of disprovability - yet the simple fact of so many disjunctive faiths indicates that most people believe "stuff" that must be wrong -- only if there is value in truth can there be truths of value. Opinion, of course.
        >
        >
        > Oh, by the way, I re-read part of what you wrote that started this thread -- Those to the right politically are the opposite. They feel that they are in charge and it is the world that is to be manipulated. So those to the right are the capitalists -- Not all those to the right (by a very large margin) are capitalists in more than name - I agree that those to the right want to be in charge, and believe the world is to be manipulated. But many (if not most) want only to be on top, and to be entitled. That includes all the dictators, kings, Nazis, many religious figures, and a whole host of conservative thinkers who pretty much DO NOT have other people's interests at heart. The good news is that those who ARE capitalists, do seem to have a tendency to do good for others while doing good for themselves. But often even that is a by-product. Think of all the people who work for McDonald's. Most are glad to have a job, but few think that their job is good. They actually do some good for the general public (cheap, edible food, clean working conditions [sort-of], etc). A good picture of capitalism at work -- both good parts and bad. Fortunately, market forces, legal issues, and some regulation actually make the exploitation reasonable. Not the best of capitalism, by far. I would suspect that most conservatives would like to think of the personal computer industry as a better model. But, as most other parts of complex issues, there is good and bad, and the balance is most important.
        > ----- Receiving the following content -----
        > From: David Bonnell
        > Receiver: rclough
        > Time: 2012-06-27, 22:28:23
        > Subject: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right
        >
        >
        > Wow - you really have a pretty poor view of both sides of the political spectrum!
        >
        >
        > Let me try a different way:
        >
        >
        > Liberals: I'm OK - the Rich and Corporate world seems to have more than its fair share, the poor seem to need help (or they wouldn't be poor, sick, weak, etc). Government exists to support ALL its citizens, and should be working to equalize what it does for each one. Thus, (1) regulation is needed to keep capitalists, conspicuous consumers, etc from using their already big advantages unfairly(!) to get more at the expense of those without the resources to defend themselves. Extra regulation is probably needed as ways are found to circumvent regulation. (2) Govt also needs to preserve the natural beauty of its people's environment - that means that those who think that its OK to pollute public (or other's private) land really should be doing that for their own profit. Finally, (3) Govt exists to provide/develop/maintain the infrastructure of its jurisdiction, to the advantage of everyone - generally as fairly as possible, but needs not to be overly considerate of those who make personal assumptions about what they are entitled to, and shouldn't be making special cases to the benefit of the few. These three general principles (which sort of ignore Law/Jurisprudence, National defense, foreign policy, and a lot of other things that are not quite so polar), sort of outline a lot of the issues where liberal and conservative thinking get really at cross purposes.
        >
        >
        > Conservatives: I'm OK, and I want what I want, the way I want, and I really get hot when anyone tries to tell me that I shouldn't be doing what I want to do. That especially goes for the Govt. It should give me what I want, when I want it, and otherwise get out of my way and don't bother me. Regulations should be minor, reviewed and discarded quickly, and should not cost anyone anything. Especially, for me to be really OK, I need special privileges, and I really don't want to share, since that would interfere with me getting more of what I'm entitled to. If I get my way, maybe I'll think about passing some along, but, only the way I want it to be. I can take responsibility for myself, my family, and whatever else I want to, but I know good lawyers if I don't get my way.
        >
        > Actually, both these pictures are just about as biased as yours, but perhaps tilted a bit in the other way. The main issue I see falls in what you call "taking responsibility." Both liberals and conservatives tend to think they take responsibility, but the more outspoken ones tend to believe that if they are going to be responsible, they need to have control. That is why both sides really create problems, and why the moderate viewpoint recognizes that there is some good in both extremes, but knows mostly that extremism in any form tends to be bad for almost anyone but the extremists. It gets especially worrisome when distortion of facts and information become the main tools, often used by extremists. Sadly, once such an environment develops, as it has here in the US, it is very difficult to combat except with more distortion. Simple facts get lost, and it gets harder and harder, since many of the mainstream are looking for "sound-bites" as the easy way to decide what is best. Deep thinking is exactly that -- difficult, fraught with uncertainty, and requiring delicate balance. That's why politics is a dirty word, and diplomacy is so troublesome - war is easier, and arguing from trenched positions is simpler.
        >
        >
        > "...So those to the right are the capitalists. They don't have a very high opinion of human nature. It is up to us individually to improve the world, the responsibility lies wuith(sic) us."
        > Capitalism is a powerful force, but it is NOT about, or out to, "improve the world." It is a very selfish idea, and it has taken a long time to tame it, sort-of. The main difference is that capitalists don't have any real notion that their "class" entitles them to any free ride, and anyone with enough steel can succeed. When done reasonably, it tends to be one of the better ways to let quality be a quantity of its own. And, because large capitalistic organizations tend to be plutocratic, the blame and responsibility get shared, diluted, and controlled. This leveling tends to be better for everyone than situations where unscrupulous, but successful single capitalists get control (examples out of history include early railroad magnates, oil barons, etc).
        >
        >
        > I don't have a problem with capitalism, per se, but it is really, really clear that unregulated capitalism does not tend to play well with others, and can turn pretty ugly. Just because it is not as bad as feudal or dictator-based ideologies, doesn't make it all good. Just think of all the damage to the environment has been done by big chemical companies, operations like the massive chicken farming industry, and many others. It is only the fact that technology (with some help from Govt regulation) tends to rein in capitalistic excesses and the fact that new capitalistic enterprises often blind-side older, less flexible enterprise, that the whole process, stumbling forward, seems to do OK. But, the so-called liberal, or leftest viewpoint tends to try to balance the overbearing right viewpoint, and often has to do that by taking the side of the less fortunate. Thus, Balance.
        >
        >
        >
        > David
        >
        >
        > From: "rclough" <rclough@...>
        > To: "achristianvsatheistclub" <achristianvsatheistclub@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2012 7:31:37 AM
        > Subject: The psychologies of the left and of the right
        >
        >
        > The psychologies of the left and of the right
        >
        > I believe that there are two basic ways to relate to the world, those of
        > the left and of the right.
        >
        > This analysis probably needs more work, but right now it looks like this
        > and I hope I'm being fair:
        >
        > 1) Liberals. I'm OK, the poor are OK, but the rich and the rest of
        > the world are not OK.
        >
        > Those to the left politically (the liberals) seem to view the world as outside
        > of them, so that they feel that they are being manipulated from outside,
        > by hostle forces, hence their basic emotions are fear and
        > loathing of the world. So the world needs changing through legislation
        > to make it better for all.
        >
        >
        > 2) Conservatives. I'm OK, you're not OK, the world is OK, so you should
        > just leave it alone legislatively. If it is to be dealt with, I'll take the
        > responsibility individually for that.
        >
        >
        > Those to the right politically are the opposite. They feel that they
        > are in charge and it is the world that is to be manipulated. So those
        > to the right are the capitalists. They don't have a very high opinion of
        > human nature. It is up to us individually to improve the world,
        > the responsibility lies wuith us.
        >
        > rclough, rclough@...
        > 6/23/2012
        > God is the justice of the universe.
        > Jesus is your lawyer.
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • mangummurdock
        Slop for the hogs, pure and simple. Throw out broad terms that everyone has a personal definition for. Politicians do this everyday such as freedom and
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 1, 2012
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          Slop for the hogs, pure and simple. Throw out broad terms that everyone has a personal definition for. Politicians do this everyday such as 'freedom' and 'personal responsibility' and the 'right thing to do.'.
        • Gillespie William
          ODUMBOCARE IS FAITH-BASED SOCIALISM....IT DEMANDS BELIEF WITHOUT PROOF JUST LIKE CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM.... ONLY DUMB, IGNORANT PEOPLE JUMP OFF AND BELIEVE IN
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 1, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            ODUMBOCARE IS FAITH-BASED SOCIALISM....IT DEMANDS BELIEF WITHOUT PROOF JUST LIKE CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM....

            ONLY DUMB, IGNORANT PEOPLE JUMP OFF AND BELIEVE IN STUFF FOR WHICH THERE IS NO PROOF OR EVIDENCE

            FAITH IS A DIRTY WORD. IT MEANS TO BELIEVE SOMETHING IS TRUE WITHOUT ANY PROOF....FOOLS DO THIS

            Carol is blasting and scamming you all hoping that you will be fooled again and buy into Odumbo care. It does not matter if it is a tax, or not a tax...or a tax that is not called a tax...its bad, expensive, draconian socialist health care that will not work.

            It won't work, because the taxes for OdumboCare are the highest that has ever been forced on the American people in history.

            The result will be....companies will not hire anymore people, companies will not create any more jobs, and companies will move overseas....removing the tax base that has already been reduced by 25% since Odumbo came to office.

            So...as in all socialist schemes, there will be no more taxes collected to pay for OdumboCare...because the money has run out. Already, Odumbo has robbed the Medicare funds from old people to pay for healthcare for 30 million illegal aliens and their kids they brought into the US that are sick and mentally retarded. Odumbo could care less about older people.... this scan is also being perpetrated to get Hispanics to vote for Odumbo in this next election....on the backs of senior citizens.

            No taxes, no money, equals a bankrupt failed country, who cannot pay for its bills. 

            Odumbo has lied to the American people 100% of the time. If you believe one word of Odumbo's or any of the dupes and socialist stooges that this will work, then you are just another damn fool too. 

            IT DOES NOT MATTER IF THE US SUPREME COURT SAID ITS OK TO TAX US, ODUMBO HEALTH CARE IS AWFUL, IT IS A HUGE TAX THAT IS ALREADY DESTROYING THIS COUNTRY....WATCH THE FINANCIAL NEWS...WE ARE GOING BANKRUPT...ODUMBO IS DESTROYING THIS COUNTRY AND HE LIKES THE IDEA....ODUMBO IS A VERY SICK CLOWN.

            End of story.   


            ________________________________
            From: mangummurdock <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
            To: achristianvsatheistclub@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, 1 July 2012, 13:02
            Subject: [A ChristianVsAtheist Club] Language and the conflictual nature of man

            Slop for the hogs, pure and simple. Throw out broad terms that everyone has a personal definition for. Politicians do this everyday such as 'freedom' and 'personal responsibility' and the 'right thing to do.'. 



            ------------------------------------

            Yahoo! Groups Links



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Gillespie William
            Atheism is on the rise...why? Because finally, the delusions and self hypnosis of Chritianity and religion in general is being lifted. So, confrontation,
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 1, 2012
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              Atheism is on the rise...why? Because finally, the delusions and self hypnosis of Chritianity and religion in general is being lifted. So, confrontation, argument, any kind of communication works to defeat delusions.... 


              ________________________________
              From: Swede <swedtomkt@...>
              To: achristianvsatheistclub@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, 1 July 2012, 12:22
              Subject: [A ChristianVsAtheist Club] Re: Language and the conflictual Contingencys of man/rc

              "rclough" <rclough@...> wrote:>
              > Language and the conflictual nature of man

              > Debating ideas seldom settles an issue, because everybody's beliefs,
              > including mine, are of tribal or anthropological rather than
              > logical origin. This is the nature of man. In the end
              > we believe what we want to. And what we want comes
              > from, and is inherent in, language.>

              That is what I have for years labeled ones, "Cultural Contingency"...

              We all are indoctrinated to a belief within our "own Culture".

              "It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man." (The Meaning of It All, p. 34)

              "[When a young person loses faith in his religion because he begins to study science and its methodology] it isn't that [through the obtaining of real knowledge that] he knows it all, but he suddenly realizes that he doesn't know it all." (p. 36)

              -- Richard P. Feynman

              "Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition."
              -- Freedom From Religion Foundation



              Here's how and why:
              >
              > 1) We learn the meanings of words through use in context.
              > I show you an apple and say, "this is an apple".  And
              > since it is I that show the apple, and you trust me,
              > you place this emotional content on the meaning.
              >
              > 2) Context being cultural- since the meanings
              > of words depend on whatever tribes we belong to.  Language
              > forms our self-identity.
              >
              > 3) Nature's dirty little trick is to hide all of this from us. Yet we are as
              > immersed in language as a goldfish is in the water of a fish bowl. It
              > completely controls us, for it gives meaning to everything,
              > and yet it is invisible to us.
              >
              > 4)  The vicious part of this is that we can't avoid joining a tribe,
              > and accepting their views in trust, since the tribe teaches us language
              > and gives thew words meaning through tribal/ emotional context.
              >
              > Tribal thinking is what constitues man. It's the nature of man.
              > Because it is tribal and thus part of our self-identity,
              > we find it almost impossible to agree with
              > the opposite point of view, which is foreign and
              > therefore dangerous and unacceptable.
              >
              > For political issues, there are two tribes, the socialists or liberals
              > and the conservatives.
              >
              > In religion we have the atheists, agnostics, and the believers.
              >
              > - Roger
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > rclough, rclough@...
              > 7/1/2012
              > There are two types of truths, truths of fact and truths
              > of value. Science deals with the former, which can be proven.
              > Theism deals with the latter, which can only be known
              > personally.
              > ----- Receiving the following content -----
              > From: David Bonnell
              > Receiver: rclough
              > Time: 2012-06-29, 13:33:24
              > Subject: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right
              >
              >
              > You know, Roger, it may not be fun for you to have to read all the stuff I send you, but I really have a lot of fun thinking about issues, and putting down on "paper" some of what percolates through my mind when I read your emails.  Thanks for making me reexamine my thoughts in such detail...  Some thoughts on your responses are below, interspersed with your comments, and color-coded.
              >
              >
              > David
              > ====================================================================================================
              > From: "rclough" <rclough@...>
              > To: "David Bonnell" <dwbonnell@...>
              > Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 5:03:14 AM
              > Subject: Re: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right
              >
              >
              > Hi David Bonnell
              >
              > IMHO you are mostly presenting for the usual liberal talking points, which are forms for the implication of guilt.
              >
              >
              > Actually, I was trying to show that a moderate viewpoint is needed, because both left and right are extremist positions, and both generally produce bad results.  As for the idea that liberal talking points are guilt-driven, that is probably a really simplistic viewpoint.  If having a conscience is equivalent to guilt, then maybe you have something.  I sort of think that selfish behavior implies an issue of conscience.  (c.f., your aphorism below about truths of value - are they only personal, or should such reach to everyone? (equally??)
              >
              >
              > These are all emotional, not rational, stances.
              >
              >
              > Emotion is after all part of what makes us human.  Most of life is eat-or-be-eaten, and it's only our empathy regarding others that lifts us above that state.  Whether there is any rationality probably depends on whether the response is reasoned or knee-jerk.  My point regarding extremism is that extremist views are mostly not reasoned, but knee-jerk responses, and often selfish as well where conservatism is involved (sort of by definition, conservatism means resistance to change, yet it is pretty clear that change is needed - look at the ideas behind the Arab Spring movements - when a few have, and many have not, there must be something wrong.  In the US, when most have some, and few have not, it is easier to sweep the few under the rug.  But is it right?  Might be rational, after all, even Jesus said, "the poor you will always have with you."  But I don't think he meant it was right (or even rational) to ignore them.  Not that liberalist
              views are necessarily better - it is certainly possible to go off half-cocked and do a lot more harm than good, or only a little good for the harm caused.  In fact, that is probably one of the prime characteristics of extremist views of all sorts.
              >
              >
              > They are all opinons. not rational facts.  One man's fact is another's opinion.  The search for absolute truth is not the search for God, it is the search to BE God.  Only God has it right all the time.
              >
              >
              > As for issues having to do with opinion vs fact, I think you missed the point I have been trying to make -- that both political extremes use distortion, or one-sided arguments to bolster their points.  Facts are facts, and covering up the inconvenient ones to make a point is just another form of lying.  Fair is about looking at all sides of the question.  Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise -- "good"  politics recognizes that there is no perfect solution, and seeks to achieve a good, working compromise for all sides. 
              >
              >
              > ..the communist party USA.  While communism is considered leftist, labeling  liberal views as essentially communistic is the same as labeling conservatism as Fascist.  When I talk about extremes, I'm not talking these extremes, but American political extremes - also bad, but not to this extent, by far.
              >
              >
              > And communism doesn't work, as Russia and Cuba show.
              >
              >
              > Actually, neither Russia or Cuba are communism - they are totalitarian regimes paying lip service to an idea.  No state I know of has ever tried true communism.  That said, I will agree that Communism, even in its purest form is probably way too idealistic to work - too little incentive to the less creative majority to work hard enough.  That said, moderate socialism is NOT communism, and to the extent it successfully improves the lot of citizens, without destabilizing, can be a successful adjunct to working Govt.  Certainly better than sweatshops, child labor, and industrial pollution, which unbridled capitalism does easily.
              >
              >
              > They in fact are essentially those of Europe and now the USA show that socialism doesn't work.  Quite a stretch.  Actually, socialism, in moderation, produces some of the most benign governmental forms in existence.  Consider Sweden, for instance.  Even though the tax rate is burdensome, they have no war, much better health care (and longevity) than the US, a much better standard of living, stable environment, you name it.  Canada also probably qualifies as socialistic by your definitions, and is doing better than we are at providing better living conditions to the less fortunate than we do.  Why do you think people go to Canada for medicines?  Without Obamacare, we will all need to go elsewhere for affordable health care.  It is abundantly clear that our current health care system is spiraling out of control.  The main thrust of Obamacare is an attempt (admittedly with flaws, but there is abundant blame to go all around for the flaws) to
              control the costs.  It may indeed eventually be found to be unaffordable, but those who think that what amounts to unbridled capitalism at work as health care won't make health care unaffordable to all but the most wealthy (or best connected) are kidding themselves.  There are 30 million people with no health care -- who do yu think pays when they go to the emergency room, because physicians won't see them without payment up front?  Its a hidden tax those who currently pay for insurance bear, and it is burdensome.  I like to think of health care as something that ought to be more like highways.  We once decided we needed the interstate system, and it has remade our country (maybe not in the best way - way more long-distance goods go by trucks carrying 30 tons per vehicle than by trains, capable of carrying thousands of tons per vehicle.  But the roads are free (sort-of) and more convenient, compared to dedicated rail right-of-way).  But, it is
              pretty clear that capitalism, as operated by our health care system, is not a successful paradigm if we expect everyone to be able to afford it.  People, without good health care, are only good for 40-50 years.  We all want to live more than 70.  Should that extra 20 or more years be only for the wealthy (and lucky).
              >
              > In contrast to your views, the truth is that capitalism is the only way to create wealth, so it is the only way to improve the world (to raise the standards of living). If you know of a better method, let's hear it.
              >
              >
              > Capitalism is NOT in contrast to my views - It is undoubtedly a strong tool for driving innovation rewarding hard work and development.  And, is very successful.  But, if you think I mean don't agree that only capitalism creates wealth, you are right.  Wealth, historically has been created in many ways - dictatorships, kingdoms, and many other forms of social control all create and concentrate wealth.  I do think one can say that capitalism is a highly successful way toward wealth.  But, capitalism doesn't create wealth any more than other systems of resource management.  People and innovation create wealth.  As much as anything, capitalism is simply a another method for concentrating wealth, one that tends to minimize privilege.  Capitalism is a really good mechanism for exploiting methods for growth because it gets people at all levels involved in the innovation process.  But one of the problems with growth is the need for someplace to grow
              into, and capitalism has not been shown to be particularly effective, without regulation, at dealing with social issues where growth is restricted.  Europe, for instance, has more socialistic government forms than the US, as much because of the severe restrictions on growth laid down by being fully developed.  Its current problems have come about as much because of compromise needed to create the Common Market and a common currency without a strong Federal government system in place to subordinate nation-state desires to a common platform.  I think we are going to see either the development of a more Federal system there, or fragmentation into (potentially warring) nations.  Neither of which will much change the extent of socialism, or weaken capitalism.
              > As for other successful systems, I think there is no doubt that for a technological society, capitalism with controls is one of the most successful ways of using larger portions of the manpower of a country in highly productive ways.  But, there are other systems, and capitalism does require both growth and innovation.  Wherever those requirements fail, capitalism fails as well.  And, unbridled capitalism can be as people-destructive  as the worst feudal system.  But, just like other absolutes, capitalism is NOT the universal solution.  There are places where it doesn't work well.  Like other things, it needs to be modified, controlled, and reviewed.  No baby out with the bathwater, but no knee-jerk presumption of panacea, either.
              >
              > The fact is that capitalism is why America is the richest or one of the richest nations in the world.  Well, if you also include the fact that America was/is one of the most resource-rich regions of the world, was essentially empty when colonized, and was colonized by people with a real work ethic that made exploiting our resources so successful.  Also, we were lucky in that we had founding fathers who recognized the value of a free Federalist form of government, with powerful checks and balances mechanisms, and freedom...  And, unbridled capitalism has been responsible for the worst financial disasters of modern history -- not just the more recent problems, but think about the robber baron era, the crash of '29 and the subsequent need for a world war to find prosperity again (wow - with a little more bad luck, that crash could have made it possible for the Nazi to have been successful at establishing their "1000 year Reich."  A conservative
              paradise???...).
              >
              > rclough, rclough@...
              > 6/28/2012
              > There are two types of truths, truths of fact and truths
              > of value. Science deals with the former, which can be proven.
              > Theism deals with the latter, which can only be known
              > personally.
              >
              >
              > Actually, science is not about truth, but about disprovability.  Science actually asserts that there may be no absolute truth, but to work toward reality, it is necessary that any assertion regarding "truth" must predict observables - failure to predict is evidence of untruth.  Truths about values are essentially always personal, as you note.  But again, probably many truths of value are not absolute truths, and many (most religious issues, for instance) deliberately forsake the idea of disprovability - yet the simple fact of so many disjunctive faiths indicates that most people believe "stuff" that must be wrong -- only if there is value in truth can there be truths of value.  Opinion, of course.
              >
              >
              > Oh, by the way, I re-read part of what you wrote that started this thread -- Those to the right politically are the opposite. They feel that they are in charge and it is the world that is to be manipulated.  So those to the right are the capitalists -- Not all those to the right (by a very large margin) are capitalists in more than name - I agree that those to the right want to be in charge, and believe the world is to be manipulated.  But many (if not most) want only to be on top, and to be entitled.  That includes all the dictators, kings, Nazis, many religious figures, and a whole host of conservative thinkers who pretty much DO NOT have other people's interests at heart.  The good news is that those who ARE capitalists, do seem to have a tendency to do good for others while doing good for themselves.  But often even that is a by-product.  Think of all the people who work for McDonald's.  Most are glad to have a job, but few think that their
              job is good.  They actually do some good for the general public (cheap, edible food, clean working conditions [sort-of], etc).  A good picture of capitalism at work -- both good parts and bad.  Fortunately, market forces, legal issues, and some regulation actually make the exploitation reasonable.  Not the best of capitalism, by far.  I would suspect that most conservatives would like to think of the personal computer industry as a better model. But, as most other parts of complex issues, there is good and bad, and the balance is most important.
              > ----- Receiving the following content -----
              > From: David Bonnell
              > Receiver: rclough
              > Time: 2012-06-27, 22:28:23
              > Subject: Re: The psychologies of the left and of the right
              >
              >
              > Wow - you really have a pretty poor view of both sides of the political spectrum! 
              >
              >
              > Let me try a different way:
              >
              >
              > Liberals:  I'm OK - the Rich and Corporate world seems to have more than its fair share, the poor seem to need help (or they wouldn't be poor, sick, weak, etc).  Government exists to support ALL its citizens, and should be working to equalize what it does for each one.  Thus, (1) regulation is needed to keep capitalists, conspicuous consumers, etc from using their already big advantages unfairly(!) to get more at the expense of those without the resources to defend themselves.  Extra regulation is probably needed as ways are found to circumvent regulation.  (2) Govt also needs to preserve the natural beauty of its people's environment - that means that those who think that its OK to pollute public (or other's private) land really should be doing that for their own profit.  Finally, (3) Govt exists to provide/develop/maintain the infrastructure of its jurisdiction, to the advantage of everyone - generally as fairly as possible, but needs not to be
              overly considerate of those who make personal assumptions about what they are entitled to, and shouldn't be making special cases to the benefit of the few.  These three general principles (which sort of ignore Law/Jurisprudence, National defense, foreign policy, and a lot of other things that are not quite so polar), sort of outline a lot of the issues where liberal and conservative thinking get really at cross purposes.
              >
              >
              > Conservatives:  I'm OK, and I want what I want, the way I want, and I really get hot when anyone tries to tell me that I shouldn't be doing what I want to do.  That especially goes for the Govt.  It should give me what I want, when I want it, and otherwise get out of my way and don't bother me.  Regulations should be minor, reviewed and discarded quickly, and should not cost anyone anything.  Especially, for me to be really OK, I need special privileges, and I really don't want to share, since that would interfere with me getting more of what I'm entitled to.  If I get my way, maybe I'll think about passing some along, but, only the way I want it to be.  I can take responsibility for myself, my family, and whatever else I want to, but I know good lawyers if I don't get my way.
              >
              > Actually, both these pictures are just about as biased as yours, but perhaps tilted a bit in the other way.  The main issue I see falls in what you call "taking responsibility."  Both liberals and conservatives tend to think they take responsibility, but the more outspoken ones tend to believe that if they are going to be responsible, they need to have control.  That is why both sides really create problems, and why the moderate viewpoint recognizes that there is some good in both extremes, but knows mostly that extremism in any form tends to be bad for almost anyone but the extremists.  It gets especially worrisome when distortion of facts and information become the main tools, often used by extremists.  Sadly, once such an environment develops, as it has here in the US, it is very difficult to combat except with more distortion.  Simple facts get lost, and it gets harder and harder, since many of the mainstream are looking for "sound-bites" as
              the easy way to decide what is best.  Deep thinking is exactly that -- difficult, fraught with uncertainty, and requiring delicate balance.  That's why  politics is a dirty word, and diplomacy is so troublesome - war is easier, and arguing from trenched positions is simpler. 
              >
              >
              >    "...So those to the right are the capitalists. They don't have a very high opinion of human nature. It is up to us individually to improve the world, the responsibility lies wuith(sic) us."
              > Capitalism is a powerful force, but it is NOT about, or out to, "improve the world."  It is a very selfish idea, and it has taken a long time to tame it, sort-of.  The main difference is that capitalists don't have any real notion that their "class" entitles them to any free ride, and anyone with enough steel can succeed.  When done reasonably, it tends to be one of the better ways to let quality be a quantity of its own.  And, because large capitalistic organizations tend to be plutocratic, the blame and responsibility get shared, diluted, and controlled.  This leveling tends to be better for everyone than situations where unscrupulous, but successful single capitalists get control (examples out of history include early railroad magnates, oil barons, etc). 
              >
              >
              > I don't have a problem with capitalism, per se, but it is really, really clear that unregulated capitalism does not tend to play well with others, and can turn pretty ugly.  Just because it is not as bad as feudal or dictator-based ideologies, doesn't make it all good.  Just think of all the damage to the environment has been done by big chemical companies, operations like the massive chicken farming industry, and many others.  It is only the fact that technology (with some help from Govt regulation) tends to rein in capitalistic excesses and the fact that new capitalistic enterprises often blind-side older, less flexible enterprise, that the whole process, stumbling forward, seems to do OK.  But, the so-called liberal, or leftest viewpoint tends to try to balance the overbearing right viewpoint, and often has to do that by taking the side of the less fortunate.    Thus, Balance.
              >
              >
              >
              > David
              >
              >
              > From: "rclough" <rclough@...>
              > To: "achristianvsatheistclub" <achristianvsatheistclub@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2012 7:31:37 AM
              > Subject: The psychologies of the left and of the right
              >
              >
              > The psychologies of the left and of the right
              >
              > I believe that there are two basic ways to relate to the world, those of
              > the left and of the right.
              >
              > This analysis probably needs more work, but right now it looks like this
              > and I hope I'm being fair:
              >
              > 1) Liberals.  I'm OK, the poor are OK, but the rich and the rest of
              > the world are not OK.
              >
              > Those to the left politically (the liberals) seem to view the world as outside
              > of them, so that  they feel that they are being manipulated from outside,
              > by hostle forces, hence their basic emotions are fear and
              > loathing of the world.  So the world needs changing through legislation
              > to make it better for all.
              >
              >
              > 2) Conservatives. I'm OK, you're not OK, the world is OK, so you should
              > just leave it alone legislatively. If it is to be dealt with, I'll take the
              > responsibility individually for that.
              >
              >
              > Those to the right politically are the opposite. They feel that they
              > are in charge and it is the world that is to be manipulated.  So those
              > to the right are the capitalists. They don't have a very high opinion of
              > human nature. It is up to us individually to improve the world,
              > the responsibility lies wuith us.
              >
              > rclough, rclough@...
              > 6/23/2012
              > God is the justice of the universe.
              > Jesus is your lawyer.
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >




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