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Author Topic: "requesting some enlightenment..."  (Read 15748 times)

Leonard

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2003, 01:47:17 pm »

what scared me was people's seemingly negative attitudes towards the less fortunate. ... i was really turned off by what appears to be a lack of understanding/a rabid streak of "inconsiderateness", if such a word exists.

I think you are seeing something real - many libertarians do tend to be judgemental about welfare recipients, at least in the abstract.  I think if you looked at individual cases you'd find a lot more understanding.  But in the abstract a lot of us see much as Palindrome does: "it's because we've been taken advantage of our entire working lives."  Now, most of the blame for this belongs to "the system", and thus, our fellow citizens rich and poor alike.  But there is at least some blame for those actually taking the welfare: they don't have to, even if it is made available to them.  Of course, I know I would take welfare if the alternatives were bad enough.  But still, I think many libetarians, myself included, believe that many welfare recipients could and would get off it if there were more stigma attached.  

There is a fine line between stigmatizing something, and inconsiderateness, I think you'd agree.  I don't think there is any doubt that stigma can have powerful social effects.  I hope that my desire to stigmatize welfare doesn't morph into contempt for the poor.  I can see how that is a danger.

Another explanation for libertarian attitudes about welfare is Objectivism.  Many libertarians still come to the philosophy via Objectivism, which emphasizes selfishness as a virtue.  To Objectivists, helping others altruistically is a form of evil.  I think most people outgrow this, but it does color a lot of libertarian thinking.  (If you have not read Ayn Rand yet, I'd urge you to, not because I buy her ideas completely but because they are very stimulating for any libertarian.)

Another explanation for some attitudes among libertarians is that we are very much a movement of the cognitive elite.  Especially in a very statist culture, it takes brains to find and understand the history, philosophy, and economics which are the foundations of the libertarian ideology.   Like other ideologues, libertarians tend to be smarter than the average.  This does separate us from the masses; in particular most libertarians have no problems holding down a job/earning money, and thus tend to be cut off from the experience of many of the poor.  

But there are still many libertarians that came to it "from the left": that is, with an abiding concern for the poor.  (I am one.)  I believe that liberty helps the poor more than it helps any other class, though it is good for everyone.  

So anyway, that was just some possible explanations of what you are seeing.
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SN Porc

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2003, 01:59:20 pm »

I'm neither for nor against abortions. I am definitely for a womans choice. Her body, her choice. No law, one way or the other.
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Leonard

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2003, 02:03:58 pm »

Having posted the above, there's something more to say on this issue.  And that is that libertarians, regardless of their attitude towards the poor, uniformly tolerate charity.

In our accepted liberal/statist culture, tolerance is not possible.  The personal is the political.  In a state welfare system, if you want there to be charity, then you have to get the state to do it; in a social democracy like ours, that means convincing the people that welfare is a good idea.  And that, in the long run, means destigmatizing welfare.  People will not vote to have organizations that represent them do things that are evil or wrong.  Thus, in a socialist democracy, either both dependence and welfare are OK, or else both are not OK.  There is no stable middle ground.  

Libertarians don't think the state should be involved, so we do have a middle ground.  We can say that dependence is bad and should be stigmatized, without fear that doing so must be political and therefore must end up as policy.  Those among us that want charity done know that it is up to us: we can tolerate other people that think differently, though we may try to convince them to give.  They, in turn, know that while we might really annoy them going on about the poor, we will never force them to give; so they can tolerate our opinions.

Under public property, the man with an opinion different from yours is not just wrong - he's an enemy.  His opinion is potentially your dispossession.  Under private property, tolerance is possible.
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Stan

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2003, 02:08:56 pm »

1. who would use abortion as their preferred method of birth control? it's expensive, incredibly emotionally disruptive, and highly invasive. no one would do that, i cannot for the life of me understand why so many people say that! abortions are always a last resort, and aren't used nearly as often as people seem to think they are.

No one in their right mind would.  However, I personally know an individual who has made that same mistake 3 times.  She had 2 abortions, one at 16, and one at 18.  The last time she became pregnant, she decided to have the baby, but was unable to care for the child because of her drug addictions.  The little girl is now being raised by her grandmother.

2. the term "partial birth abortion" is a catch-all, inaccurate term used by anti-choice conservatives to describe a number of safe and sometimes necessary abortion procedures. no one is delivering live babies and then killing them; this term is aimed at deceiving the public into supporting laws which criminalize abortion in general.

I use the term partial birth literally.

3. abortion should always be a decision a woman makes for herself. the issue of whether or not it should be legal shouldn't divide people because it's a personal decision. if you don't like abortions, don't have one, but it shouldn't be made unavailable to those who find them necessary.

I agree.   My only reservations against abortion, is that I've seen many cases where it affects the woman's self esteem, or causes emotional damage.  If it were my daughter, I would counsel her against it, but I would respect her decision.  

« Last Edit: August 18, 2003, 02:10:43 pm by Stan »
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Leonard

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2003, 02:13:54 pm »

There have been many previous discussions of abortion, for instance, this 12-pager:

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=6;action=display;threadid=1953

have fun.  If that's what the abortion debate is...
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2003, 02:50:32 pm »

"I think you are seeing something real - many libertarians do tend to be judgemental about welfare recipients, at least in the abstract.  I think if you looked at individual cases you'd find a lot more understanding.  But in the abstract a lot of us see much as Palindrome does: "it's because we've been taken advantage of our entire working lives."  Now, most of the blame for this belongs to "the system", and thus, our fellow citizens rich and poor alike.  But there is at least some blame for those actually taking the welfare: they don't have to, even if it is made available to them.  Of course, I know I would take welfare if the alternatives were bad enough.  But still, I think many libetarians, myself included, believe that many welfare recipients could and would get off it if there were more stigma attached..."

yeah...there is a stigma attached to it, but if you're hungry, homeless, and have children to feed, you don't give a damn what other people think. if we want to combat welfare, we have to make sure a sagging economy doesn't prevent people from working, and that there's enough childcare (i'll take care of the kids!), and so on and so forth. it's not really as simple as "i don't want to be called a welfare cheat, so i won't accept welfare." not to mention that since poverty is so effectively concentrated into certain areas, it's likely that clusters of people on welfare will surround each other, and then who's around to judge? it makes no difference what the rest of us think about it, anyway, so stigmatizing as deterrence is a largely useless strategy.

"Another explanation for libertarian attitudes about welfare is Objectivism.  Many libertarians still come to the philosophy via Objectivism, which emphasizes selfishness as a virtue.  To Objectivists, helping others altruistically is a form of evil.  I think most people outgrow this, but it does color a lot of libertarian thinking.  (If you have not read Ayn Rand yet, I'd urge you to, not because I buy her ideas completely but because they are very stimulating for any libertarian.)

Another explanation for some attitudes among libertarians is that we are very much a movement of the cognitive elite.  Especially in a very statist culture, it takes brains to find and understand the history, philosophy, and economics which are the foundations of the libertarian ideology.  Like other ideologues, libertarians tend to be smarter than the average.  This does separate us from the masses; in particular most libertarians have no problems holding down a job/earning money, and thus tend to be cut off from the experience of many of the poor. "

understandably. my whole thing is that none of this makes a difference if we still allow suffering to exist at every turn. my ENFP nature causes me to abhor/disbelieve the idea that selfishness could ever be a good thing, and i think it's important for the "cognitive elite" to try to feel every once in a while. i think the greatest barrier to the success of a movement like this is that people who think too much and don't feel enough end up doing one horrible PR job for their cause. when people start talking about "where does it say that i have to be nice to everyone?", it scares people away. this sort of statement, while true, fuels the pro-nanny state argument that implies that "if we don't force people to help the needy, they won't do it, and then the poor will die." a movement like this can't afford to lose prospective members because they feel as if it's just a bunch of "screw you!", gun-toting elitists who just want their whole paychecks. remember that you're asking people to pack up and move their entire lives elsewhere; you don't want to make it seem as if once they get there, they're going to be left out in the cold should they fall on hard times.

the point should be to make people realize that 1- excessive legislation by our government has caused most of the economic and social problems many people face, and 2- that, like you said, liberty would be the most beneficial to those who fall to the bottom of our current system- the poor. while everyone has been taken advantage of by large government, it is THEY who have been oppressed the most. any movement whose goal is liberty should focus most on liberating those who have suffered the worst, not alienating and/or marginalizing them.
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2003, 03:00:26 pm »

1. who would use abortion as their preferred method of birth control? it's expensive, incredibly emotionally disruptive, and highly invasive. no one would do that, i cannot for the life of me understand why so many people say that! abortions are always a last resort, and aren't used nearly as often as people seem to think they are.

No one in their right mind would.  However, I personally know an individual who has made that same mistake 3 times.  She had 2 abortions, one at 16, and one at 18.  The last time she became pregnant, she decided to have the baby, but was unable to care for the child because of her drug addictions.  The little girl is now being raised by her grandmother.

2. the term "partial birth abortion" is a catch-all, inaccurate term used by anti-choice conservatives to describe a number of safe and sometimes necessary abortion procedures. no one is delivering live babies and then killing them; this term is aimed at deceiving the public into supporting laws which criminalize abortion in general.

I use the term partial birth literally.

3. abortion should always be a decision a woman makes for herself. the issue of whether or not it should be legal shouldn't divide people because it's a personal decision. if you don't like abortions, don't have one, but it shouldn't be made unavailable to those who find them necessary.

I agree.   My only reservations against abortion, is that I've seen many cases where it affects the woman's self esteem, or causes emotional damage.  If it were my daughter, I would counsel her against it, but I would respect her decision.  


the best way to prevent abortion, though, is to make sure that effective contraception is widely available and that people know how to use it (because let's face it, we're never going to change the human body enough for "abstinence-only" to be a viable solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancy. abstinence has a pretty high user-failure rate). there are tons of reasons why abortion's not a great thing, but none of them warrant making it illegal.
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LeopardPM

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2003, 03:18:09 pm »

Quote
("in the free state, we could greatly reduce the incidence of such situations by educating young people about contraception and safer sex instead of using public funds to promote abstinence-only sex ed as our current government does, and by eliminating destructive legal barriers to safe abortions should an unwanted pregnancy occur")
I am getting the idea here that you have a certain view of 'how' to accomplish 'improving' society by educating youth re: contraceptives et al...

That is one of many ideas, and there will be groups of folks you believe as you do that this is true and will privately promote this idea - even private schools which teach this idea.  It will be up to the individual parents to decide which way they desire to bring up their children and they will choose the method of schooling as desired.

the 'lib' reason for legalized abortion is 'the woman owns her body, not the government'

the 'lib' reason for not allowing abortion is 'abortion is de facto murder and thus illegal'

as you can see, there is not a unified 'abortion' policy and we are just as divided as the rest of the country....

michael
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2003, 03:33:14 pm »

Quote
("in the free state, we could greatly reduce the incidence of such situations by educating young people about contraception and safer sex instead of using public funds to promote abstinence-only sex ed as our current government does, and by eliminating destructive legal barriers to safe abortions should an unwanted pregnancy occur")
I am getting the idea here that you have a certain view of 'how' to accomplish 'improving' society by educating youth re: contraceptives et al...

That is one of many ideas, and there will be groups of folks you believe as you do that this is true and will privately promote this idea - even private schools which teach this idea.  It will be up to the individual parents to decide which way they desire to bring up their children and they will choose the method of schooling as desired.

the 'lib' reason for legalized abortion is 'the woman owns her body, not the government'

the 'lib' reason for not allowing abortion is 'abortion is de facto murder and thus illegal'

as you can see, there is not a unified 'abortion' policy and we are just as divided as the rest of the country....

michael

yeah. i guess it just doesn't make sense to me to tell someone else what she can do with her own body. the way i see it, if someone wants to cut off her own arm, i have no right to stop her. sure, i personally would not do that, but since it's not my body it's not my business.

i also don't see why anyone would move to prohibit abortion (saying it's murder, even though the point at which something becomes a "life" is hotly contested), when torturing, killing, and eating factory farmed animals is legal (when we know those beings are alive beyond the shadow of doubt). not trying to spark a whole uproar or anything, i just honestly don't understand this.
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*sabrina*
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LeopardPM

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2003, 03:47:56 pm »

There are many threads which debate (hotly) whether animals have the same rights as humans (I do not believe so, so equating the killing of a cow for food is not the same as 'murdering a child or fetus (tho I haven't really figured out my position as to when a fetus becomes human or alive..)

I suggest you search around for these threads... and don't mind Larry, he is very hard to understand when you come across him as you will discussing animal/child rights
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2003, 05:03:22 pm »

i found a few posts, and now i'm all hopped up on my hatred for PETA. i am a vegan, for many reasons, and while they have been somewhat useful to me as an organization (they're great about gathering and publishing info as well as leading compassionate consumers to alternative, cruelty-free companies), i hate the fact that their members' outlandish actions have so greatly discredited the animal rights movement. granted, an organization that large cannot control the actions of all of its members, nor should it strive to police them and force them to avoid certain actions and take others. but if i were ingrid newkirk, i certainly wouldn't condone the actions some people have taken in the name of my organization. they're a detriment to the case against cruelty, not an asset. ugh...
« Last Edit: August 18, 2003, 05:05:56 pm by empathyonthefence »
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*sabrina*
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MajesticLeo

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2003, 05:14:29 pm »

I think PETA is a great organization.   Of course that is the People Eating Tasty Animals group I am talking about here. ;D
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empathyonthefence

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2003, 05:20:31 pm »

I think PETA is a great organization.   Of course that is the People Eating Tasty Animals group I am talking about here. ;D

mmm, oh yeah...nothin' tastes better than torture victims all cooked up in antibiotics and hormones, with just a dash of their own fecal matter for seasoning. clog my arteries, please!

sorry, couldn't resist.
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Scott ISMP

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2003, 07:40:45 pm »

I am  not sure where I stand with abortions... I wouldnt like to see it happen, but if the women, girl, lady, female or what ever they might want to be called (;D) wants to they can since it is there own body.  I guess it is a hard line to discuss....

Though a question many people in this forum states " As long as it doesnt effect another person then I am find with it" Well having an aborition is killing someone so isnt it effecting another human being?  So in fact this would turn what people say around?  Bah who knows

Scott
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Reaper

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Re:"requesting some enlightenment..."
« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2003, 08:27:48 pm »

Hey! Wait just a minute now!  I object!

Some of us ARE heartless ghouls!   ;D
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