Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [existlist] Re: Blinded by numbers...

Expand Messages
  • Eduard Alf
    bravo. nicely said. eduard ... From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@hotmail.com] Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 11:17 PM To: existlist@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re:
    Message 1 of 50 , Oct 2, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      bravo. nicely said.

      eduard
      -----Original Message-----
      From: james tan [mailto:tyjfk@...]
      Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 11:17 PM
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [existlist] Re: Blinded by numbers...



      i haven't read plato to fully appreciate the meaning of the word
      'justice'.
      i used to think the idea of justice do NOT contain the idea of
      repairation.
      it simply means, as i understand it, to give back exactly what one has
      received. punishment does include the idea of repairation, whereby one
      hopes
      that a certain behaviour will not be repeated after the punishment. as
      such,
      if hell is a place where there is no return, then hell is not punishment,
      it
      is more like justice. when bush said he wants justice, his aim is not to
      educate or to get some repairment, he knows those lives lost are lost;
      rather, it is to give back the terrorists what is inflicted on america,
      yes,
      nothing short of death. whether justice is useful or not is another
      question, at least that is the meaning of justice. it is a psychological
      need to get some kind of vengence; not everybody in this world has the
      temperament of a mother theresa or ghandi. a mother theresa cannot deal
      with
      a hitler; she would simply be 'cordially' invited to the gas chamber, that
      is all. besides, it is to america's long term self interest that such
      terrorists acts are eradicated, & it is ususally done by some degree of
      violence. there is a proper place for force, for negotiation, for
      reflection
      on one's foreign policies. we will leave it to the bush team to handle
      those
      strategic matters. it's to any country's interest that that they take a
      anti-terrorist stand.

      james.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • james tan
      thanks. james. From: Jim Aiden Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com To: existlist@yahoogroups.com Subject: [existlist] Re: one, two,
      Message 50 of 50 , Oct 5, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        thanks.

        james.





        From: "Jim Aiden" <livewild@...>
        Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [existlist] Re: one, two, three, 7000
        Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 16:57:12 -0000


        Although I am unsure how I would react in real world decisions, I
        am with you in your struggle for idealism James.

        J.Aiden

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

        --- In existlist@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
        >
        > ideally, all lives are priceless; realistically, sometimes we do
        find that
        > one's person life is more 'pricey' than another's life, but that is
        only as
        > the world judge it, how 'they' judge it. that is the business of the
        'they';
        > i'm more concerned with the 'i'. who is to judge? bill gate may
        think his
        > life is more expensive than, say, a beggar's. but the beggar may not
        think
        > so (if he still has some self-respect). all the thousands of
        employees under
        > microsoft would most probably think bill's worth more. like what u
        said, the
        > worth of one person's life seem to correlate to his income, or
        capacity to
        > generate income. but life per se, at least for me (i'm quite a
        idealistic
        > person), is something that u can't measure with any of these
        variables, such
        > as asset worth, no. of shares one has, bank balance, physical
        beauty, social
        > status, power, the kind of car u're driving in, etc. most may think
        that the
        > president's life is more valuable than a beggar's, but personally i
        think
        > they are equally valuable, or priceless. yea, the president has his
        personal
        > aeroplanes or helicopters, & he commands the entire military with
        millions
        > of fighting fit men and equipments with the most sophisticated
        technology
        > with billions of dollars worth of research, & the beggar got jail &
        other
        > humiliation over stealing a miserable loft of bread from delifrance,
        still i
        > think their lives are equally precious. as u can see, i am
        'hopelessly'
        > idealistic. i can concede that the president has a much more
        important
        > function in society than that old man with trembling hands who sleep
        under
        > the bridge and sometimes feed on filthy & disease-infected rats for
        meals;
        > that, i can say. but whose life is more valuable? to me, they are
        equally
        > so. (of course, u are entitled to your own opinion). personally i
        never
        > subscribe to how the world 'value'; yes, they do try to put some
        kind of
        > price tag on lives based on some variables, but i don't care how
        these
        > 'valuer' values when it comes to life. i can accept that my friend's
        > insurance policy worth so & so only should he die, or he is only
        earning
        > this much income, but to me, my friend's life is priceless.
        >
        > if a murderer can bribe or outsmart the judiciary system his way out
        of
        > conviction, then i guess it is just too bad. that is the system with
        have,
        > it is the best we have so far, & we try to improve where we can. but
        the
        > point was, if he cannot, at least in principle the law will still
        hold him
        > accountable for a life lost, a life no matter how 'cheap' to his
        eyes or the
        > society's, and be totally responsible for the price for it; ie. a
        (no matter
        > how 'expensive') life for a (no matter how 'cheap') life. [the issue
        of
        > whether it make sense to take another life is another point].
        >
        > u are mentioning about the millions of dollars that can save some
        lives.
        > this reminds me of 'schindler's list'. did u watch that steven
        spielberg's
        > masterpiece? i respect this man (i mean, schindler) a lot. he was
        bascially
        > a member of the nazi party, a womanizer, even a war profiteer who
        bascially
        > was concerned with making money, yet more money, a typical and
        thorough
        > businessman. yet when he had amassed much money, he actually gave it
        to the
        > nazis in exchange for the lives of some jews totally unrelated to
        him,
        > either by race or relations (except humanity). some nazis officers
        put price
        > tag on the lives of these jews, & for schindler it was the best
        'bargain' he
        > could have: to pay some dollars (or cents?) in exchange for what is
        > priceless - human lives. he grapped it. what schindler gained or
        profitted
        > is something more than money can buy, his own humanity & lives of
        jews, or
        > let's put it more generally, lives of humans. the nazis might
        artificially
        > put some price labels on these lives, put it as if it's an economic
        issues,
        > but in the eyes of god, or at least schindler's, he appreciated
        better.
        > schlinder more than anyone knew the power of money, but that is not
        the only
        > level he stopped at; his vision was higher, his appreciation deeper,
        his own
        > (spiritual) richness & humanity made him identity the spirit &
        humanity of
        > the Other, which is priceless & infinitely precious, no matter how
        > physically filthy or poor the Other may be. not everybody who had as
        much
        > wealth as him would (choose to) do the same sort of thing; afterall,
        he did
        > become quite penniless; but it was schindler's choice, schindler's
        list.
        >
        > james.
        >
        >
        > From: "Jim Aiden" <livewild@h...>
        > Reply-To: existlist@y...
        > To: existlist@y...
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: one, two, three, 7000
        > Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001 19:02:29 -0000
        >
        >
        > << i have hundreds of millions, & i want to buy your life, would u
        > sell it? >>
        >
        > Those numbers are not my ideals James, just what the world
        ends
        > up doing. Send me a cashier check though, I might surprise you. That
        > money could be put to much better use than myself.
        >
        > << developed (important) countries is tens of millions. say, for
        the
        > sake of argument, what is that tens of millions to u if u have no
        > life? this is what i meant or agree with (can't remember who said
        > what) that life is priceless.
        >
        > I see I misunderstood. Does this mean our own life is
        priceless
        > but others do have a price. (Not implying you believe that, but now
        > that I think about it I believe many might)
        >
        > << if i kill someone, can i bribe my way out & escape the law as
        if
        > there is a price i can pay for that man's life? i can assure u that
        > even if (hypothetically) bill gate, for all his worth & riches,
        kill
        > a dirty, smelly & pathetic old beggar on the fringe of death (but
        not
        > dead yet), he would have to stand on trial for murder, & if
        convicted,
        > get the death penalty.>>
        >
        > There are many potential holes in this argument. Someone very
        > wealthy would likely get someone else to do their dirty work. In the
        > event they were caught, the luckilyhood of conviction drops
        > significantly since they can afford many high priced lawyers. Not to
        > mention the death penelty (where applicable) is usually reserved for
        > certain types of murders. The reality? How many wealthy or
        influential
        > men (although there can be exceptions) have been convicted of
        murder?
        > Stalin and Mao murdered millions, they got away with it just fine.
        >
        > << the price that is tagged by the insurance company is a artificial
        > one, it is just a sum of money the dead's relative will get, but the
        > company will not say that the dead's life is worth that much; the
        most
        > he would say is that his policy is worth that much. there is a
        > difference.>>
        >
        > I agree but you have never addressed how you would handle the
        economic
        > issues I described. The hundreds of millions in your possesion will
        > save someone's life.
        >
        > << well, this is my view, & btw, i'm no existentialist. i happened
        to
        > be in this list just for the fun. >>
        >
        > I find that very interesting about Existentialism. Its a
        > philosophy with few official followers, but with a tremendous number
        > that subscribe to its beliefs. (btw.. I'm not either)
        >
        > J.Aiden.
        >
        > -------------------------------
        >
        > --- In existlist@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
        > >
        > > based on ur listed 'rate' of worth of lives, the 'price' of a
        man's
        > life in
        > > developed (important) countries is tens of millions. say, for the
        > sake of
        > > argument, i have hundreds of millions, & i want to buy your life,
        > would u
        > > sell it? what is that tens of millions to u if u have no life?
        this
        > is what
        > > i meant or agree with (can't remember who said what) that life is
        > priceless.
        > > if i kill someone, can i bribe my way out & escape the law as if
        > there is a
        > > price i can pay for that man's life? i can assure u that even if
        > > (hypothetically) bill gate, for all his worth & riches, kill a
        > dirty, smelly
        > > & pathetic old beggar on the fringe of death (but not dead yet),
        he
        > would
        > > have to stand on trial for murder, & if convicted, get the death
        > penalty.
        > > yes, even a bill gate's life for a beggar. what is the basis of
        > comparison
        > > between one person's life and the other? if u could come out with
        > one,
        > > remember that u are talking about life itself, so question
        whether
        > it is a
        > > valid one the basis u have coined up. the price that is tagged by
        > the
        > > insurance company is a artificial one, it is just a sum of money
        the
        > dead's
        > > relative will get, but the company will not say that the dead's
        life
        > is
        > > worth that much; the most he would say is that his policy is
        worth
        > that
        > > much. there is a difference. well, this is my view, & btw, i'm no
        > > existentialist. i happened to be in this list just for the fun.
        > >
        > > james.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > From: "Jim Aiden" <livewild@h...>
        > > Reply-To: existlist@y...
        > > To: existlist@y...
        > > Subject: [existlist] Re: one, two, three, 7000
        > > Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 17:16:59 -0000
        > >
        > >
        > > >> just because life is calculated by insurance company to be
        worth
        > so
        > > & so doesn't mean it IS so & so. Such a priceless and truly
        > invaluable
        > > thing cannot be calculated. <<
        > >
        > > I usually am in agreement with you James but as someone
        > interested
        > > in Existentialism your response somewhat surprises me.
        > >
        > > Basic Existentialist tenet...
        > >
        > > Every decision in life comes at a cost.
        > >
        > > A pure existentialist has to attach a price to life. I agree
        > with
        > > you somewhat in spirit and what one if our goals should be, but
        must
        > > conceed I do not know of a way yet of not attaching a price to
        life.
        > > Any limited resource we take from one place comes at the cost of
        > > another. Pure math of the universe.
        > >
        > > Here are some examples that might illustate better what I am
        > > saying. It is an easy and noble thing to say life is priceless,
        but
        > if
        > > one were in a position to make such decisions, the arrow may fall
        > > elsewhere.
        > >
        > > Assumption: You have 100 million dollars in your bank account.
        (this
        > > is not really necessary because the options apply right now no
        > matter
        > > how much money you have)
        > >
        > > a. You can spend it all investing in pharmaceutical companies
        cancer
        > > fighting research that may not save even one life but also may
        save
        > > millions later. (and people profit from this)
        > >
        > > b. You can spend it all buying food and medicine for the dying in
        > > third world nations. (Immediate relief - Usually associated with
        > Saint
        > > option but not many long term benefits.)
        > >
        > > c. You can donate it to the Sept.11th Fund. (These people are
        > > suffering but by no means in threat of starvation)
        > >
        > > d. You may spend it on yourself your own family, your own friends
        > and
        > > give some to charities of various sorts. (most common option)
        > >
        > > Every dollar you keep in your own pocket, potentially could be
        used
        > > for saving lives. I can't but help see that in a very real way,
        any
        > > money that I keep (beyond just staying alive) I have in a small
        way
        > > choosen someone's life over sacrificing that money. This is a
        very
        > > painful thought for me and why I can see the allure of ideologies
        > and
        > > religions that 'suggest' sharing.
        > >
        > > Does anyone have the stomach (or any statistics) to put a dollar
        > value
        > > to a human life? I loath to think about it but in practice I
        think
        > > there isn't even one price. It depends who you are, where you
        live,
        > > your importance to the world, and who your friends are. I don't
        > > personally agree with these numbers below (out of my head but
        > further
        > > illustraiting) but this is how I think our society values lives
        > > somewhat. I believe the billions we spend annually on ourselves
        > versus
        > > others will attest to this. I'm not making a moral statement,
        just
        > an
        > > observation. Perhaps it is the best way to help others over the
        long
        > > term, is by significantly helping oneself (Don't ask me where to
        > draw
        > > the line). By far, most charity and medicine in the world does
        come
        > > from the countries with the economic/political structure we have.
        > >
        > > Developed (important)..... tens of millions
        > > Developed (middle)........ a couple of million
        > > Developed (poor).......... a million or so
        > > Third world............... $20
        > >
        > > (There also seems to be a coorrelation between how much an
        > individual
        > > produces and what their life is worth. Despite loud
        proclaimations
        > > otherwise, even communist and religious countries attach a price
        to
        > > life....generally a little more equal but far lower in value in
        > fact)
        > >
        > >
        > > I do not think placing a dollar value on life is very honourable
        or
        > > desirable (I find it belittles life). Despite the philosophical
        > moral
        > > dilemma though, in practice under the current conditions, social
        > > democratic capitalism seems to work best to prevent suffering
        than
        > the
        > > metaphysical and theoretical offerings so far suggested.
        > >
        > > Tough choices. When something better appears, sign me up.
        > >
        > > J.Aiden
        > >
        > > P.S.
        > >
        > > Perhaps one day technology and knowledge might one day free
        us
        > of
        > > this moral burden.
        > >
        > > ----------------------
        > > --- In existlist@y..., "james tan" <tyjfk@h...> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > james.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > From: "Jim Aiden" <livewild@h...>
        > > > Reply-To: existlist@y...
        > > > To: existlist@y...
        > > > Subject: [existlist] Re: one, two, three, 7000
        > > > Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 14:02:17 -0000
        > > >
        > > >>
        > > >
        > > > Our insurance and healthcare companies do it all the time.
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        _________________________________________________________________
        > > > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
        > > http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > _________________________________________________________________
        > > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
        > http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
        >
        >
        >
        > _________________________________________________________________
        > Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
        http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp



        _________________________________________________________________
        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.