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Re: The Wages of Luck

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  • philosopherknight
    Tom, As you know, the last line of that essay is this: If advocates on both the left and right took the wages of luck into consideration, our national
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 1, 2003
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      Tom,

      As you know, the last line of that essay is this: "If advocates on
      both the left and right took the wages of luck into consideration,
      our national conversation would become very different -- and before
      long, so would our public priorities."

      That is an awfully big "if". FWism is a very rewarding illusion.
      Parties on all sides, left, right, and down the middle don't want to
      live in a world where everything comes down to luck.

      The problem at hand for us "enlightened" is how do we get a person to
      see a truth that they are opposed to seeing? If, (to employ my own
      big "if"), people could see through the whole FW illusion then they
      would see how luck is all everything comes down to in human events,
      and they would take the wages of luck into consideration.

      Tom, thanks for bringing this essay to my attention.


      Steve






      --- In determinism@yahoogroups.com, "twclark2002" <twc@w...> wrote:
      >
      > Gang,
      >
      > I'm happy to report that the Boston Sunday Globe published an essay
      > by Matthew Miller, titled "The Wages of Luck", in which he draws
      out
      > the implications of the fact that none of us chooses our parents,
      > innate abilities, or social status at birth. This suggests that
      > since social inequalities aren't deserved, they shouldn't be left
      > unremedied. Concerning the genesis of such inequalities,
      > conservative economist Milton Friedman is quoted as saying "What
      > you're really talking about is determinism vs. free will... In a
      > sense we are determinists and in another sense we can't let
      > ourselves be. But you can't really justify free will." Wow!
      > This fits in perfectly with what John Rawls said in a Theory of
      > Justice:
      >
      > "It seems to be one of the fixed points of our considered judgments
      > that no one deserves his place in the distribution of native
      > endowments, any more than one deserves one's initial starting place
      > in society. The assertion that a man deserves the superior
      character
      > that enables him to make the effort to cultivate his abilities is
      > equally problematic; for his character depends in large part upon
      > fortunate family and social circumstances for which he can claim no
      > credit. The notion of desert seems not to apply to these cases" (p.
      > 104).
      >
      > The upshot is that Friedman agrees with Miller that more should be
      > done to provide equal opportunity for education and a better
      quality
      > of life, including a negative income tax. This, of course, is
      > exactly in line with one of the major policy goals of this group,
      > and of the Center for Naturalism (see
      > http://www.naturalism.org/policy.htm ).
      >
      > So, I'm quite encouraged that Friedman and Miller are not only
      > making the connection between determinism and lack of metaphysical
      > desert, but seeing the policy implications as well. Yes! Onward!
      >
      > Tom
      >
      > http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/271/focus/The_wages_of_luckP.shtml
      >
      > BTW, www.naturalism.org is working again, so be sure to use that
      URL
      > in reaching me and the Center for Naturalism.
    • rchrdstvr@cs.com
      In a message dated 10/1/03 7:16:32 AM Mountain Daylight Time, no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 1, 2003
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        In a message dated 10/1/03 7:16:32 AM Mountain Daylight Time,
        no_reply@yahoogroups.com writes:

        << The problem at hand for us "enlightened" is how do we get a person to
        see a truth that they are opposed to seeing? If, (to employ my own
        big "if"), people could see through the whole FW illusion then they
        would see how luck is all everything comes down to in human events,
        and they would take the wages of luck into consideration. >>

        One way would be to use terms people are familiar with. Concentration is a
        word everyone understands, and it means the same thing as free will. Maybe this
        excerpt from my book will show you what I mean.

        Practical Richard

        "Hold on a minute," Lannie says. "I understand that I can't pick up 3000
        pounds, and even not being able to do things over again, but I don't buy this
        concentration thing. I can concentrate on anything I want, any time." She looks at
        her fingers. "See. I told myself to concentrate on my fingers and I'm doing
        it. I'm in control, me, Lannie. Not anything else."
        Mr. Ryan nods. "I see. What part of your fingers are you concentrating on?"
        Lannie looks up. "What do you mean?"
        Charleen laughs. "Guess what, Lannie. You're not looking at your fingers
        anymore."
        Lannie pouts. "Well, I was doing all right until he said something."
        "In other words, you really aren't in control," Charleen adds. "You really
        can't concentrate when you want to, can you."
        Lannie pouts. "No, I guess not."
        "What were you trying to prove?" Walter asks.
        "I don't know. I forgot."
        "I'd say that definitely proves that you can't control your thoughts,"
        Charleen says. "Isn't that right, Mr. Ryan.
        Mr. Ryan shrugs. "I don't know Charleen, Is it."
        Charleen stiffens. "It is to me."

        As you can see, the idea is to entrench the facts into their minds, not just
        to teach it, and the best way to do that is to make it Charleen's idea.
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