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135Re: A Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Problem

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  • Nadav Har'El
    Nov 18, 2004
      On Thu, Nov 18, 2004, Ofir Carny wrote about "Re: A Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Problem":
      > Two words: Define solve.
      > Solution does not mean getting to a quasi static state, not does it
      > mean taking action which is desireable by some critiria, it means a
      > way to get to a desirable state. If you accept this definition, define
      > the desireable state, and show how your plan would achieve it,
      > otherwise, as I said, define solve.

      This is a good point.

      One possible way to define a "solution" is to minimize the number of people
      killed. In that sense, the current situation is probably much better than
      your "solution" of arming everyone, sitting back, and watching the fun (or,
      more likely, the bloodbath).

      The way you seem to define a "solution" is to maximize the total amount
      of freedom that everyone enjoys. But most people disagree with you that
      this should be called a "solution". Do you also think "a solution" to the
      car-accident problem is to let everyone drive more freely without rules,
      "a solution" to the bad education is to let children not come to school if
      they want, and so on? Most people will disagree.

      A more sensible way to define "a solution", if you still want to go with a
      utilitarian definition (i.e., maximizing something over the whole society),
      is not to maximize freedom, but rather to maximize something like "happiness"
      or "wellbeing". Being free to pick up a weapon and enter a bloodbath is
      freedom, but doesn't do much for your wellbeing. With this definition, a
      bloodbath is a bad solution. The current situation is also a bad solution,
      because many people are suffering. A solution of this type would require few
      people to be left suffering, and you done nothing in your document to explain
      why that should happen. Remember, in the "suffering" you should also count
      the people who die and their relatives - don't be fooled by the rhetorics
      like "My son wanted to die, he's a martyr now!" - these relatives are still

      I probably mentioned this already in this group, but being free to do
      whatever you want is not equalent to being happy, or even to getting what
      you really want. The Existancialist philosophers talked a lot about this,
      Sartre talked about the "Nausea" that too much freedom means, and perhaps
      Kirkegaard put it most elequently, when he explained how, when you define
      rules for yourself and follow them, you are actually more free, than if you
      just do whatever you want all the time. (if there is interest, and I didn't
      already mention this, I can expend on this).

      Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Nov 18 2004, 5 Kislev 5765
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone +972-523-790466, ICQ 13349191 |You do not need a parachute to skydive.
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |You only need one to skydive twice.
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