Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Dec 9, 2017.
Life, Liberty, and Justice for All?
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If this was a perfect world you could stop right there.
It's a big promise to keep, difficult at best.
Baseball, Mom, and Apple Pie?
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The pursuit if happiness is the fundamental problem... Not in and of itself, but because some people are not happy unless they have dominance over others, removing the other folks right to the same pursuit.
The Walton family owns one of the largest and most profitable retail outlets in the world, earning them billions annually...
... and instead of paying a livable wage, they hold seminars for their employees on how to apply for food stamps and subsidized health care.
Their Uber excessive way of life is, literally, dependent upon their workers suffering.
An obscure note from the history of philosophy, namely an ancient legend and a nineteenth-century response.
Some might be aware of a saying that runs through post-Christian religions, such as Satanism but also various forms of post-Qabalic ceremonial high sorcery; the common link 'twixt them would usually be Aleister Crowley.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The saying comes from Greek legend; the people of Thelema lived according to this rule, and, as you might expect, came to ruin for their excess.
One need not hold a PhD in classical literature or Greek mythology; one need only know that little bit of barstool trivia.
Modern witchcraft abides a saying called the Rede, which is simply a variation of the Law of Thelema: An' thou harm none, do what thou will.
Again, trivia. And no, nobody really need know either.
But the difference 'twixt the two ought to be obvious. But why the difference?
In all of history, when does liberty unbound fail to find ruin? That's why.
People seem to perceive this viscerally; the literary record of humanity's passing is littered with such tragedies.
In the contemporary American legend, though, we might simply compare functions according to the Pursuit of Happiness. Supreme Court outcomes, for instance, like Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, Roe v. Wade, and also a string of related cases including Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. v. Windsor, and Obergefell v. Hodges, would in this framework purport to augment access to the Pursuit of Happiness. By comparison, in recent years there have been many arguing more conservative perspectives that would pretend one's Liberty to Pursue Happiness is directly infringed if that person is forbidden to arbitrarily disrupt or prohibit the Liberty of another to Pursue Happiness.
It is difficult to understand, for instance, the purpose of asserting the Liberty to Invent Legal Doctrine sufficient to Criminalize Homosexuality Ex Post Facto as Writ of Attainder intended to Unmarry a Dead Man as any matter of one's Pursuit of Happiness or, really, pursuit of anything other than harm.
Will Americans attempt to call off the Republic for the sake of White, Male, or Christian Supremacism?
Shall we Do What They Wilt? Or shall we harm none and, y'know, whatever?
The eternal question of the difference 'twixt Thelema and the Rede is akin to the polar inquiry of human goodness or evil insofar as we might wonder whether humanity will ever be smart enough to engage Thelema in any manner not so tempered as the Witches would dare?
We might well soon test once again the question of the Pursuit of Happiness as Liberty to Arbitrarily Deprive Others Thereof, and watch who needs that argument for what. Will the question be to Deprive Others, or to Deprive the Deprivation of Others? And what do we say to or of those who are unable to discern the difference?
I rather like the more ancient form of a similar saying - "An ye harm none, do what ye will".
Sounds simple enough. How does that play out when you factor in liberty?
Pretty easily. "Is what I am about to do going to inflict harm upon another?" If no, go right ahead. If yes, then don't do it.
So you see no harm in owning a machine gun.
There are various presentations of the Rede, to be certain. Pretty much any of them will be subject to criticism by those you happen to know or encounter who is invested in the language as such, but it is also a purely coincidental side note that yesterday I read a paper by a medieval lit specialist that got published in a journal attending the philosophy of science, so in the moment I can only think that dude would pick the nit, too.
For some reason, I find the difference' 'twixt Thelema and the Rede significant, and if we attend our neighbor's antisocial pretense of ignorance, we also start to see why the difference matters. The Rede is most effective, however, with the Threefold Law, which essentially says you shall reap what you sew thrice over. As you're aware, given a choice, people will start to parse meanings of harm, so it helps to remind that whatever they call it, the ouroboros still comes 'round to bite them.
The harm is not on owning, but in its use. The trouble is that some people cannot be trusted to have them and not use them to inflict harm.
I'm fine with your last post. Well said.
I liken it to having a motor-vehicle.
A motorcycle, a passenger car/suv, and an 18-wheeler are three very different vehicles, and require different licenses, each of which requires someone to prove proficiency with.
Why don't we do the same with, say, handguns and rifles, and their automatic variants? They are very different weapons, and require different handling methods and skills. Case in point - that young girl who was given a fully automatic Uzi and accidentally shot her shooting range instructor, who had stood behind her to the left, where the recoil from the Uzi caused the weapon to go when the girl couldn't control it.
Lots of harm in owning. This shit gets stolen, or kids find it.
There's potential harm in nearly everything. You can't put a condom over life.
Re: Kitt's list of "...A motorcycle, a passenger car/suv, and an 18-wheeler ..."
The trick is rationalizing a non-harmful use for a machine gun.
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