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Uphold the Social Contract and Keep your vices to yourself


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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2011 2:42:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2011 2:43:32 AM PDT
Blue, said:

>>I have been working with the Pacific Northwest tribes for a few years now. I know there is help out there, even for urban Indians who are not with their affiliated tribes. Is she Native American? I assumed she might be but you didn't exactly say. Meth will kill her as you probably are aware.

J.H.--She isn't acculturated with any tribe. Our roots to Iroquois are quite distant, but she is 'very' in love with her common law husband, a Mexican American. I can't be overly exact, but he's not monogamous. That is to say the mother of his children whom he seldom sees isn't of the mind to grant him a divorce.

I've ordered a couple copies of the book you cited. Thank you. Buying books seems to be my long term addiction. }:^) I'm sending one to my brother from another mother, out in Washington. The way I see it, it's going to take more than just isolation from 'enablers'. A 12-step program which doesn't have the biblical monogamous religious component might stand a better chance of success. (If I understand correctly that 12-steps do incorporate some faith accountability.) Though, these aren't atheists we're thinking about.

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 8:21:56 AM PDT
blueskies says:
The Native American approach to the 12 steps is very acceptable even to atheists and it works, I might add. Support is key. It is hard drug to kick and our clients were sent to detox, then rehab, then outpatient treatment. We used treatment facilities which were geared to Native American culture. I would also look for an intergrative medicine approach to addiction. Ear point acupuncture is very useful and works to dispell cravings. Some street treatment centers offer it.

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 10:10:24 PM PDT
blueskies says:
Do addiction break the social contract? It is difficult to hide an addiction; although if they are illegal, it certainly gives one an impetus to try.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2011 10:39:11 PM PDT
Conley Thorn says:
D.M. OHARA: There was a case in Germany [I think] a few years ago in which a cannibal advertised for a consenting victim whom he duly killed and ate. His defence, that this was a fully consensual arrangement, and thus not a crime, was dismissed by the court.

THORN: I vaguely recall that case. I didn't, and don't, intuitively side with the court. I suspect I might, if I were able to fully assess the motive, psychology, and emotional state of the "victim." But it is very possible that I would exonerate the cannibal.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2011 11:12:53 PM PDT
Conley Thorn says:
WELTANSCHAUUNG: Did he age the meat?

THORN: If I recall accurately, it was already moderately aged. And that was a plus for the hunter. Most cannibals in modern urban environs have to be very careful in the selection of victims. We also don't enjoy the luxury of aging or tenderizing facilities. We can only yearn for the days of old, and pray for the hastening of the insanity and disruption that is sure to come.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2011 5:31:13 AM PDT
Blue said:

>Do addiction break the social contract?...

J.H.--I'm not feeling so brilliant today, but I noticed another poster observed how we're pretty much 'born' into the social contract. I might expand on that, that since we're a multicultural nation, we're often as not born into conflicting social contracts, often unawares.

I remember volunteer tutoring one year with an elementary school teacher from a church I belonged to. He was glad that some of the students could be preserved from getting sucked down into the gang culture of California. I was stunned at hearing a written report from one of the colored students who transferred in from an inner city school district, where playing 'dumb' was how you fit-in and kept from getting beaten. This is a suburb of So. Cal.

Bullying has become an even more lethal problem here than that (say a decade past).

Posted on Jul 30, 2011 7:29:39 AM PDT
blueskies says:
I wonder about that. We are a nation of bullying, being the arms merchant of the world.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2011 6:36:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2011 6:38:19 AM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
Andre Lieven says:

"One approach would simply be to follow the mind your own business credo. If what others are doing doesn't cause you a provable harm, then it's none of your business. So, leave the moralising out of the law. The law is there to protect all from actual criminal harms, not to protect some the feelings of some."

I say:

I don't know if I agree with that. Some people need to be protected from themselves. If your next door neighbor unravels into a deeply disturbed paranoid schizophrenic who is hearing voices, and you see him in his front yard motor oil, are you honestly going to say to yourself that that's none of your business? Indeed, I read about a man in New York City who shot cocaine through a needle into the hole of his penis and it resulted in the loss of the man's penis, fingers and parts of his legs. Are you honestly going to tell me that a person like that doesn't need protection from himself? Indeed, if someone were to tell about the rush you get from shooting cocaine in the urinary tract, and if he were to say that he was going home to do something like that, it would not only be immoral not to tell the police, but it would also be somewhat criminal, to allow someone to go about his business knowing what harm he could do to himself.

Moreover, the way our health care system works, sort of makes us all responsible for one another in a more practical sense. I don't pretend to live a totally clean and healthy life, but if we could encourage people to do so, and even pass laws that might facilitate a cleaner and healthier life style, we might lift some of the burden from the health care system in terms of people who give themselves strokes and heart attacks from eating too much fast food or smoke a lot. And yes, that even reaches into our bedrooms. It may do us good to pass laws that promote less promiscuity and encourage monogomy among both heterosexuals, as well as, homosexuals; to say that as few partners as is possible, is better for yourself and others; becaus ewe all know that sexual partners pass along all kinds of diseases to one another through sex, especially if multiple partners are involved.

In the realm of education, what people do privately should CERTAINLY be the business of others. If we can teach children at very young ages to eat right, excercise, not smoke, manage anger, and be sexually responsible, then we might do society good by decreasing preventable medical conditions, but we might also reduce the amount of money the government spends to put people in jail, or support women who have multiple children off of multiple dead beat dads.

In a larger sense, the social contract of "minding your own business" doesn't do us much good in terms of how the capitalist system works. Indeed, while capitalism is a good thing, these businesses, and I am referring to huge corporations as opposed to small businesses are controlled by heartless people whose only concern is to turn over a profit, and I've been involved in the business world long enough to know that they will do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to reach that end; so the law has to be strong; regulation needs to be strong; because if the law didn't exist, they would even commit murder to turn a profit.

A couple of years back we had a cold winter and oil prices were up and poor and middle class people were struggling to pay their heating bills, then the summer came and everyone was going on vacation and the price of gas went up so that people had to pay more to go on trips in the car or on airplanes. The oil companies were making all kind of excuses as to why oil prices were high, and people were talking about the "oil crisis" and what was going on in the Middle East. While all of this was going on, my uncle told me that the stock he has in the oil companies was going up.

That's just a single example of how dirty and manipulative the corporate world can be, so I say that if a common person off the street makes a "consensual" agreement with McDonalds, Walmart, or Exxon that the it IS everyone's business because the people who run these corporations are completely without ethics or morals; they've sent our all of our jobs overseas pay lots of money to have lobbyist protect ther interests on all levels of government.

If you look at the current economic crisis, it was caused largely by greed; you could say that the "social contract" betwen two consenting adults doesn't effect anyone, but it does. People were lied to by realters, lawyers, and bankers who lined thier pockets and made millions off of people who they KNEW could not afford the houses thatwere being sold to them. A lot of immigrants who came to America hoping to get part of the "American dream" were suckered in by THEIR OWN PEOPLE; the Mexican-American or Albanian-American realter who speaks their language, and these peoplel who spent their lives washing dishes, put their entire life savings as down payments on homes and the realter made money and the lawyer made money and the contracters made money and the loan officer made money, and now that poor Mexican or Albanian is without a home and every DIME he made washing dishes for twenty years is GONE. Moreover, the bubble bursted, the government had to bail out the banks and now there are no jobs and so forth.

In light of that, YOU don't think that "private" business between consenting adults doesn't need to be regulated to some degree?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2011 3:02:06 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
CT: Law is not meant to stop all of what it calls crimes. It serves to both put on notice what are the agreed to rules, and what are the consequences of violating them. Morals themselves are best left to each of us to determine, within the laws.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2011 3:08:24 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
JA:'Some people need to be protected from themselves.'

A reasonable set of laws allows for this, if a case is made that such a person does need such 'protection'. Failure to make that case must mean that any person should be left alone by the law until and unless they commit acts that are either themselves unlawful or that rise to being proper evidence that that person is unfit to care for themselves.

As far as health laws, what are you going to do ? Jail people who don;t eat enough greens ? Please ! The law is supposed to be more of a last resort and not a first one.

The other side is education, which means, when it comes to adults, making a convincing public case. This too, is not easy. It takes time and effort. An example would be MADD. Drinking and driving used to be seen as being no big deal, but with the campaigns, that has changed *by consensus*. That is the way to do things in a free society.

As for the financial sector, the harms I spoke of include such as fraud, which is a proper interest of the law. So, none of that changes my original point at all.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 9:38:34 PM PDT
blueskies says:
Some insurance companies are charging extra premiums to patients who are overweight, even if they have not developed any illness related to being overweight!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2011 11:54:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2011 12:53:21 AM PDT
Conley Thorn says:
J. ANTHONY: ... if we could encourage people to do so, and even pass laws that might facilitate a cleaner and healthier life style, we might lift some of the burden from the health care system in terms of people who give themselves strokes and heart attacks from eating too much fast food or smoke a lot. And yes, that even reaches into our bedrooms. It may do us good to pass laws that promote less promiscuity and encourage monogomy among both heterosexuals, as well as, homosexuals; to say that as few partners as is possible, is better for yourself and others; because we all know that sexual partners pass along all kinds of diseases to one another through sex, especially if multiple partners are involved.

In the realm of education, what people do privately should CERTAINLY be the business of others. If we can teach children at very young ages to eat right, excercise, not smoke, manage anger, and be sexually responsible, then we might do society good by decreasing preventable medical conditions, but we might also reduce the amount of money the government spends to put people in jail, or support women who have multiple children off of multiple dead beat dads.

THORN: Joe, while I agree with your rant against the heartless corporations and the psychotically greedy, I take strong objection to your prescription for human utopia. Every human life is a tragedy, but while one lives, there is no aspect of that life that is more valuable than the freedom to live it as one wills. In the deservedly immortal words attributed to Patrick Henry, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

If I become addicted to the state's nefarious lottery or slot machines, or to some narcotic drug, then I plead for rescue from those who love me. Short of such dire circumstance, I insist on the right to take risks, to engage in adventures, to enjoy the pleasures that living affords. I will not live forever; while I live, I wish to live as freely as a rational "social contract" will allow. I have only a minimal obligation to serve society; the sole purpose of a social contract is to serve my individual liberty.

J. ANTHONY: In light of that, YOU don't think that "private" business between consenting adults doesn't need to be regulated to some degree?

THORN: Only to the degree that one does not intentionally harm the other. Otherwise, the rights of both should be sacrosanct.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 12:45:06 AM PDT
Conley Thorn says:
ANDRE L.: Law is not meant to stop all of what it calls crimes. It serves to both put on notice what are the agreed to rules, and what are the consequences of violating them. Morals themselves are best left to each of us to determine, within the laws.

THORN: Sorry, but I don't perceive a surfeit of reasoning in your argument. Would you argue that the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not bring about a monumental moral change in American society? Every law enacted is based, at least ostensibly, on moral considerations. The only laws that are ineffective are those that attempt to control vice: vis, Prohibition, and the current "Drug War," and laws that prohibit gambling except on games sponsored by the state.

From whence do you think "morality" arises? It results from a concensus of social opinion; contrary to popular superstition, it was not decreed by devinely engraved stone tablets brought forth by Moses from Mt. Sinai. The Decalog--the final six "commandments," at any rate--are simply the necessarily rules by which any viable society must largely abide in order to thrive. No commandment of "God" is required. The commandments are all too human!

Violate a "moral" law and you may very well find yourself facing a judge in a criminal court.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 1:05:03 AM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
CT:'Would you argue that the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not bring about a monumental moral change in American society?'

I would say that the moral change was more incidental, as it's primary effect was to establish legal change.

'From whence do you think "morality" arises? It results from a concensus of social opinion;'

That was my point, as I stated.

'Violate a "moral" law and you may very well find yourself facing a judge in a criminal court.'

Rarely and incidentally.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 7:18:31 AM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
Conley Thorn says:

"If I become addicted to the state's nefarious lottery or slot machines, or to some narcotic drug, then I plead for rescue from those who love me. Short of such dire circumstance, I insist on the right to take risks, to engage in adventures, to enjoy the pleasures that living affords. I will not live forever; while I live, I wish to live as freely as a rational "social contract" will allow. I have only a minimal obligation to serve society; the sole purpose of a social contract is to serve my individual liberty."

I say:

Your example of the state lottery is interesting because is one of best scams going; and the people getting scammed are the poor. If you go the convenience store near the projects around the first of month when everyone gets their checks, you'll see people buying 20 or 30 lottery tickets. Rich people don't buy those tickets but they do decide how the revenue is spent; the state politicians respond to political pressure that comes from the people who elect them and finance them. Since they know that poor people neither vote nor make campaign contributions, the needs of the poor matter little to them, even the poor are the ones producing mnost of the state lottery revenue, taking thier one shot at the brass ring...am I to believe that you're OK with this?

As for "enjoying the pleasures that life affords", that needs to be done within reason. Let's face it, if you mess up your body with alcohol or cigarettes or drugs, and give yourself a stroke or a heart attack, the EMTs and the Hospital are not going let you die because you made it happen. The fact remains though, that someone has to pay for it.

Maybe in Patrick Henry's day, when America was still a country of rugged pioneers, it was more reasonable to expect people to be able to carve out their own nitch and be responsible for their own little piece of land and their own little familes. However, as Hillary Clinton has stated, it now "Takes a Village", not only to raise a child but just to take care of one another. We're not a bunch of rugged pioneers anymore; we're people who live in a very complicated modern economy and their are direct consequences to doing what we feel as though we need to do, and want to do.

...and I'm not saying that I'm Mr. Clean either. I grew up on Lucky Charms and McDonalds and I've been fighting obesity and the chances that I might get a stroke or a heart attack. I try to eat healthy and excercise every day, but I often succumb to laziness and sometimes I can't resist a good piece of Pecan Pie or a Strawberry Sunday. But I've done a few things that seem to work against obesity and stress; like cutting out soda and coffee. Indeed, stroke and heart attack run in my family. My family includes several who died of strokes and heart attacks at all ages; the youngest was twenty-five; my mother was fifty-six. Both my mother's grandparents also died from strokes. Some of the evidence may suggest that it was caused by obesity and/or stress.

Knowing that, don't you think I would be doing my family and my community a dis-service by not taking better care of myself? While it is true that a stroke could kill me instantly, it could also happen that I could go on ten or twenty years as an invalid in a nursing home; and who's going to pay for that? I can't afford it; and as I say, their not going to throw a man who is paralyzed on one side out into the street; so then I would become a ward of the state and the tax-payers will foot the bill.

Taking risks is, indeed, a spice of life; but taking prolonged risks with your own health is not good for you or for your family or for your community; and the government should take measures to encourage people to live healthier lives.

That doesn't mean that people can't enjoy McDonald's once in a while, but they should also know that eating at MCdOnald's on a regular basis is not a good idea, and that's why, I guess, even MCDonald's is beginning to offer people healthier alternatives as well, so that when I take my son to McDonald's he might have an apple juice instead of a Coke with his Happy Meal, as opposed to when I was kid and we drank Soda all the time; just cutting out the soda makes a big difference.

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 10:19:27 AM PDT
blueskies says:
So, should the social contract cover healthy habits? Or, are eating McDonald's and the like part of the vices you keep to yourself? I don't know. I do know that people who ride motorcycles without helmets and who get in wrecks tend to get head injuries that have long time consequences and are costly to the health care system. That is the rationale for making them a requirement. Same thing goes for requiring Driver's Ed for new drivers. Safety of the rest of the public.
Is it right? Some argue that it is the "nanny state." I honestly don't know.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 11:09:37 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 25, 2014 12:06:52 PM PDT]

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 7:28:43 PM PDT
blueskies says:
In economics, it is term that refers to a benefit conferred without price. I don't derive one from such an event as Brittany Spears' flashing the press, but I don't roll that way. Maybe you are saying that you do.

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 9:17:04 PM PDT
blueskies: More specifically, it's a benefit that one passes on the "price" to another for, such as if I strip mine minerals (keeping the minerals, the benefit), while allowing polluted runoff to run off to others' land (the price).

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 10:01:34 PM PDT
blueskies says:
seraphmbladed,

Thanks for the correct definition of Externality. I am at a loss for how it applies to this discussion but perhaps someone will draw the lines for me. Sorry, I am not seeing the connection.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 10:07:36 PM PDT
Conley Thorn says:
THORN: Would you argue that the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not bring about a monumental moral change in American society?

ANDRE L.: I would say that the moral change was more incidental, as it's primary effect was to establish legal change.

THORN: Horse hocky! Social protests and demonstrations forced the laws, and conformance to law brought about gradual, monumental social and moral change. The laws were legislated on humane and moral considerations, and they have resulted in greater understanding and tolerance. There were no coincidentals.

You seem to be restricting morality to the vices. Vices are legally constrainable only to moderate degree. Morality is expressed in the universally-agreed-upon rules, Thou must not murder, rape, cheat, steal or defame, and these are the moral injunctions that our legal systems are created to enforce. Just law is always based on moral considerations.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 10:14:53 PM PDT
Andre Lieven says:
CT:'Social protests and demonstrations forced the laws, and conformance to law brought about gradual, monumental social and moral change. The laws were legislated on humane and moral considerations, and they have resulted in greater understanding and tolerance.'

Given the proportion of USians who are birthers, I would say that claimed change is a bit over-rated...

'You seem to be restricting morality to the vices. Vices are legally constrainable only to moderate degree. Morality is expressed in the universally-agreed-upon rules, Thou must not murder, rape, cheat, steal or defame, and these are the moral injunctions that our legal systems are created to enforce. Just law is always based on moral considerations.'

So, what does the present state of fiscal regulation, tax policy, and budget governance say about modern USian morals ?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 11:29:19 PM PDT
Conley Thorn says:
J. ANTHONY: We're not a bunch of rugged pioneers anymore; we're people who live in a very complicated modern economy and their are direct consequences to doing what we feel as though we need to do, and want to do.

THORN: It has always taken a village, even for pioneers. "No man is an island...," etc. But as admirable, in some respects, as ant and bee societies are, their unquestioning obediance to an utterly socialistic existence is not amenable to human happiness. And since the universe, and this human world, were not designed for our convenience, we can only muddle through, and just hope that our self-serving efforts create minimum grief for others. The sins of the fathers are always visited upon the sons, and the burdens that accrue to every viable society are simply the necessary costs of doing this human business.

And why did you need ask "...am I to believe that you're OK with this [robbery of the poor and the dimwitted by state lotteries]?" Did you not notice that I referred to government-sponsored lotteries as "nefarious"? Gambling (risk-taking) is a natural impulse--as are the other "vices" such as sex and chemical stimulation--and our law-makers, having realized this, have finally figured out how to milk the cow, with state and multi-state lotteries and ever-increasing numbers of revenue-producing casinos.

I defend every person's right to gamble, but I vociferously protest the evil of a government that criminalizes private and commercial poker games and other gambling and then uses all the considerable resources it has to further impoverish the poorest of its citizens. It sickens and enrages me. But I confess that I am too self-centered and self-protective to martyr myself for that or any other cause.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 11:49:32 PM PDT
Conley Thorn says:
ANDRE L.: So, what does the present state of fiscal regulation, tax policy, and budget governance say about modern USian morals ?

THORN: Jesus Hernandez Christos! Do I have to lay out the entire history of U.S. jurisprudence in my attempt to convince you? Belay that! I've explained it in ultra simplex terms. If you don't get it yet, you're just mentally screwed.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2011 9:18:33 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 25, 2014 12:06:53 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
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Initial post:  Jul 25, 2011
Latest post:  Nov 24, 2012

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