Friday, April 30, 2010

249: Rousseau (1712 - 1778)

Jean-Jaques Rousseau (1712 - 1178) is probably the best know philosopher among the 'Social Contract" philosophers. Even his typical way of thinking is still popular.

The Academy of Dijon posed the question, “Has the restoration of the sciences and arts tended to purify morals?” And Rousseau said : NO! in 1750.

And still we see the ambivalence around us. One group who is optimistic and believes that science will solve any problem and the other group who claims that all this science and technology alienates us from our true self.

It is remarkable that more than 250 years ago there were people who had the same ideas. Or should I say that we now experience the influence of Rousseau's philosophy here.

Like the sciences in those days analyzed physical reality in its smallest parts and laws of nature, in the same way philosophers tried to apply this methodology to political philosophy.

So we got the "state of nature" theories of man as formulated by Hobbes and Locke and now Rousseau too.

Hobbes contends that human beings are motivated purely by self-interest, and that the state of nature, which is the state of human beings without civil society, is the war of every person against every other.

Locke’s account of the state of nature is different in that it is an intellectual exercise to illustrate people’s obligations to one another. These obligations are articulated in terms of natural rights, including rights to life, liberty and property.

Rousseau’s picture of “man in his natural state,” is radically different. Rousseau describes natural man as isolated, timid, peaceful, mute, and without the foresight to worry about what the future will bring.

Rousseau acknowledges, that self-preservation is one principle of motivation for human actions. But there is a second principle: “an innate repugnance to see his fellow suffer.”, pity.

Human beings in the state of nature are amoral creatures, neither virtuous nor vicious, but naturally good. according to Rousseau. After humans leave the state of nature, they can enjoy a higher form of goodness, moral goodness, which Rousseau articulates most explicitly in the Social Contract.

Rousseau's philosophy is based on the idea that by nature, humans are essentially peaceful, content, and equal. It is the socialization process that has produced inequality, competition, and the egoistic mentality. But the social contract is the inevitable consequence of historical development.

While Hobbes and Locke had some utilitarian like ideas about a society based on a social contract, Rousseau chooses a completely different approach by introducing the concept of the "general will".

One can understand the general will in terms of an analogy. A political society is like a human body. A body is a unified entity though it has various parts that have particular functions.

And just as the body has a will that looks after the well-being of the whole, a political state also has a will which looks to its general well-being.

The major conflict in political philosophy occurs when the general will is at odds with one or more of the individual wills of its citizens.

Rousseau argues that there is an important distinction to be made between the general will and the collection of individual wills: “There is often a great deal of difference between the will of all and the general will.

The latter looks only to the common interest; the former considers private interest and is only a sum of private wills. But take away from these same wills the pluses and minuses that cancel each other out, and the remaining sum of the differences is the general will.”

And here I am lost with Rousseau. I have no idea where he has found this general will, nor do I know what generates its existence. We know the term "the common good", but now we have to follow "the general will"

An unpleasant political idea in my opinion. Who can claim to know what this general will wants. And if someone does, are we obliged to follow him? Not me…

The Discussion

[13:18] herman Bergson: so much on Rousseau
[13:18] herman Bergson: He started a debate that still rages on
[13:18] Gemma Cleanslate: that reminds me of the problem we had last week with the obligation to follow the majority
[13:18] Qwark Allen: indeed
[13:18] Bejiita Imako: aa yes like whats going on in Thailand for ex now
[13:19] herman Bergson: Well...the majority is not an abstraction....
[13:19] Bejiita Imako: who have right the yellows or red
[13:19] oola Neruda: i am bothered by the manipulation of facts and use of propaganda to influence general will
[13:19] Gemma Cleanslate: no but was still causing the same problem for the minority
[13:19] herman Bergson: These is a difference Bejita...
[13:19] Kiki Walpanheim: sorry i am was bad
[13:20] herman Bergson: In Thailand the rulers are tyrannies in the classic sense...not selected by democratic vote
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: very true
[13:20] herman Bergson: all Social Contract theorists agree on the right to overthrow despotism
[13:21] herman Bergson: and as I said...contrary to this General Will of rousseau.the majority is a realthing
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: hmm true that but general in politics do they think of the people or only themselves and is the later the so called general will
[13:21] herman Bergson: and it is a social agreement that we accept the vote of the majority
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: true
[13:22] herman Bergson: that is an ever lasting problem with representation….do they represent us...
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: or themselves
[13:22] herman Bergson: The greek let all the citizens vote..but that was just a small group
[13:22] Alaya Kumaki: the general will look like if it is a survey s proportion of those who are forcing leaderships, as in an oligarchy
[13:24] Kiki Walpanheim: i dont understand why civilization is a degradation of morals
[13:24] Abraxas Nagy: look around you
[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes...good question Kiki....
[13:24] oola Neruda: a lot depends upon the leader... in some places education is lacking and even denied, in other places it is required
[13:24] herman Bergson: it is what not exactly what Rousseau thought....but that is a matter of debate
[13:25] oola Neruda: who decides what is best for the whole
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:25] Abraxas Nagy: the majority
[13:25] herman Bergson: The question is why did they think it made sense to analyze human existence to arrive at some "natural state"?
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well one decides what is best....
[13:26] Alaya Kumaki: could they analyze from a natural state.. of were they studying humans in a society already?
[13:26] herman Bergson: there is a plethora of interests and a number of people who are selected to tip the balance one way or the other
[13:26] Alaya Kumaki: humans
[13:27] herman Bergson: this natural state is in fact a theoretical construct
[13:27] oola Neruda: but those people need to be honest and wise
[13:27] Alaya Kumaki: its seems so
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: the main problem is we all THINK
[13:27] herman Bergson: maybe related to the idea of us coming from paradise
[13:29] herman Bergson: What these COntract Theorists made clear at least was that the authority of a state was not derived form God or the like but created by man himself
[13:29] herman Bergson: That was their big contribution to our independence
[13:29] Alaya Kumaki: ah the previous state before the society ,what it is related to the religion that was at the time?
[13:29] Kiki Walpanheim: also...if society is unnatural..then why social contract...
[13:30] herman Bergson: christian faith still plaid an important role..
[13:30] herman Bergson: It was the metaphysical background of the philosophers of those days
[13:31] herman Bergson: but what they question is the authority of this religion in relation to the empirical reality
[13:31] Kiki Walpanheim: and yes this general will confuses me too
[13:31] Alaya Kumaki: well ,i my sense, if many persons dont what to follow the general will, they could make a social contract among themselves, and be into another groups.. , this is how i saw his social contract, but i find relate it to the general will, before today
[13:32] Kiki Walpanheim: i think rousseau also mentioned that the social contract cant be applied to a too large society
[13:32] herman Bergson: this GEneral will idea is a questionable issue in Rousseau's philosophy for me
[13:32] Kiki Walpanheim: nods to herman, the same with me
[13:32] herman Bergson: The English like Hobbes an Locke talked about the Common good....
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: so far i like Montesquieu better
[13:33] herman Bergson: in that they meant real security and welfare for the people..
[13:33] Alaya Kumaki: the general will might not be, a leadership, but the will, in general?
[13:33] Kiki Walpanheim: if ppl in this contract are all by free will, then i can understand...not sure...
[13:33] herman Bergson: YEs Alaya, but what wiill...and who knows what this General will wants...
[13:33] Kiki Walpanheim: which mean, ppl could choose to live without or within this contract, rather than coercively
[13:34] herman Bergson: It is a kind of a God idea
[13:34] Alaya Kumaki: hihi, that is the question
[13:34] Alaya Kumaki: but than comes the social contract
[13:34] herman Bergson: well...I dont think you should take the idea of a contract too literal
[13:35] Kiki Walpanheim: also i dont understand why a progressive society is no good.....
[13:35] Alaya Kumaki: oh
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: as in agreement
[13:35] herman Bergson: There never was signed a contract in history...
[13:35] Kiki Walpanheim: oh
[13:35] herman Bergson: Even this contract idea is a theoretical construct to explain reality
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:36] herman Bergson: I think one of the main drives was the believe in the human being himself,,,independent of any authority ...means religion
[13:36] Kiki Walpanheim: rousseau also mentioned that children better be educated by nature rather than books...while i cherish reading books....
[13:36] herman Bergson: that is what I meant in the beginning...
[13:37] herman Bergson: these days you still find people who believe in knowledge an science as a solution...
[13:37] Alaya Kumaki: i dotn see it as a signed paper, but a social, will, something they agree upon , like having basic needs, a a commons understanding, , some cooperative inclination
[13:37] Kiki Walpanheim: network was bad...missed the beginning;( but would check the blog later ;)
[13:37] herman Bergson: while others believe in 'nature'
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: we would have a new set of savages every few years
[13:37] herman Bergson: nature
[13:38] herman Bergson: YEs are right..and in that sense you are closer to Hobbes and Locke than to Rousseau
[13:39] herman Bergson: But this general will idea will play an important role later
[13:39] Kiki Walpanheim: tho nature is good, and ppl do have a side that they like to share....which i agree
[13:39] herman Bergson: Typical continental metaphysics
[13:39] Kiki Walpanheim: still, maybe part of nature is that we are gifted the ability to use tech. be cultivated
[13:40] Kiki Walpanheim: and ppl are selfish as well...tho ppl like to share
[13:40] Kiki Walpanheim tries to understand him rather than let my prejudice take over me
[13:41] herman Bergson: ]A natural state is a myth in my opinion...we never have been in such a state..not is it a desirable state
[13:41] Kiki Walpanheim: nods
[13:42] herman Bergson: Important is to see how normative Rousseau's philosophy is...he is rather a moralist telling us how it should be
[13:42] Kiki Walpanheim: also he described the nice pic of primitives when there was no ownership...
[13:42] Kiki Walpanheim: nods
[13:43] herman Bergson: We'll see more of the influence of his ideas
[13:43] Kiki Walpanheim: maybe could read him as to see how to be good and moral
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:43] Kiki Walpanheim: like,,...kant?
[13:43] herman Bergson: Well Virtue was his highest goal....and education to virtuous life
[13:44] herman Bergson: which means....close to (our) nature
[13:44] Kiki Walpanheim: yes, being virtuous and close to nature...but in my opinion, to neglect the facts that ppl are not like that, is
[13:44] Kiki Walpanheim: might not be quite realistic...i dunno
[13:45] herman Bergson: Well Rousseau had some weird ideas...
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim: tho trying to be virtuous ourselves is good
[13:45] Alaya Kumaki: rousseau was very conservative and a tendency to , moralize yes
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: would never work in this society for sure anywhere
[13:45] herman Bergson: for instance that science was the result of pride and vanity....
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim: if everybody has evolved to angels, then an ideal society would achieve....maybe..
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: hmm maybe then
[13:46] herman Bergson: Well..I think our present perspective is way different....
[13:46] Alaya Kumaki: some scientist are saing that for pride and vanity , , i can see that, but not all
[13:46] Alaya Kumaki: using
[13:46] herman Bergson: we are one step further than `ROusseau....we accept that we ar eevolved animals
[13:46] herman Bergson: and we reason from there
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: when not everybody is as virtuous as that, maybe taking advantage of ppl's self interst works better...
[13:47] herman Bergson: with the focus on the 'animal' features
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: oh
[13:47] herman Bergson: Hobbes , Locke and rousseau accepted the fact that we are social beings
[13:48] herman Bergson: we accept the fact that we are biological organisms with social behavior
[13:48] Alaya Kumaki: does he refer to the animal, as the body part, or more as the mind being gregarious,what were animals for him?
[13:48] herman Bergson: we interpret our situation from another scientific perspective than those men could
[13:49] herman Bergson: For Rousseau we were close to animals, but the big difference is our free will, which no animal posseses
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: rousseau thinks that renaissance made ppl lost the ancient virtues.....also
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: do ppl really have free will?
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well he is a classic Virtue moralist
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: good question
[13:51] Kiki Walpanheim: nods
[13:51] Qwark Allen: do animals don`t have free will?
[13:51] herman Bergson: that is a whole new chapter Kiki
[13:51] Kiki Walpanheim: ;-) yes.....
[13:51] herman Bergson: animals act on instinct
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: I'd say
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: they probably have but follow instinct more i think
[13:51] Blackwell Huet: My favorite subject.
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: the holographic universe
[13:51] Qwark Allen: i think they have
[13:51] Qwark Allen: some
[13:51] Qwark Allen: we tend to be egocentric on that
[13:51] Kiki Walpanheim: maybe focus on rousseau this time ;-)
[13:52] Blackwell Huet: Animals have soul, but people have the ability to develop spirit.
[13:52] herman Bergson: What is your favorite subject Blackwell?
[13:52] herman Bergson: ~free wil?
[13:52] Blackwell Huet: Yes, sir.
[13:52] Alaya Kumaki: will to deviate from nature organisations, as far as i can see, we can eat and poison ourself for the sake of the pleasure of any type, interests of any projection of satisfactions, putting ourself in trouble? is it an advantage?
[13:52] Qwark Allen: spirit can be as subjective as the animals don`t have free will
[13:53] herman Bergson: it is a fact Ayala
[13:53] Kiki Walpanheim: my favorite is ethics and politics, not limited to that tho , anything on philosophy is interesting to me
[13:53] Alaya Kumaki: it might be usefull for something, more, than just loose track
[13:53] Alaya Kumaki: it might be a propultion motor, motive
[13:53] herman Bergson: I dont know Ayala... ㋡
[13:54] Alaya Kumaki: its needed, in trouble as for a fireman to save life , for example
[13:54] herman Bergson: Well…. Rousseau is a bit of a question mark to me .....not sure what to do with him
[13:54] Alaya Kumaki: tha tis the strong social cohesive glue , i guess
[13:55] Blackwell Huet: The strongest social cohesive glue is FEAR.
[13:55] herman Bergson: Next class will be our 250th Lecture...
[13:55] Qwark Allen: omg
[13:55] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark ㋡
[13:55] Qwark Allen: that is great
[13:55] Kiki Walpanheim: who is the guest next time
[13:55] Qwark Allen: got to celebrate it
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: nice
[13:55] Kiki Walpanheim: yes , 250 that is wonderful
[13:56] Kiki Walpanheim: anniversary
[13:56] herman Bergson: Well.. I am thinking..after all these liberals that Property could be our guest
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: goodness
[13:56] Kiki Walpanheim: oh...good
[13:56] herman Bergson: Before we continue into the 19th century...
[13:56] herman Bergson: we could dig into the concept of property....
[13:56] Alaya Kumaki: fear and free will?mmm i was relating it, to will that make us have a strong decisional social behavior, cutting into the self i centrifuge satisfaction
[13:57] Kiki Walpanheim: ty professor it was wonderful....always enjoy the lectures here!
[13:57] herman Bergson: For we are heading for a world of poor and rich....class struggle....
[13:57] herman Bergson: thank you kiki
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes thats true
[13:57] Alaya Kumaki: indeed and maybe more fascist too
[13:57] Abraxas Nagy: yes we are
[13:57] herman Bergson: Property is a fascinating subject I can tell you...
[13:57] Blackwell Huet: I wholly agree.
[13:57] Kiki Walpanheim: yes, surely is
[13:57] herman Bergson: it is at the root of our political system
[13:58] Blackwell Huet: Agreed.
[13:58] Abraxas Nagy: or at least rightwing is coming up
[13:58] Blackwell Huet: It is at the root of our system of laws.
[13:58] Abraxas Nagy: in Holland that is
[13:58] herman Bergson: Well property isnt right or to distribute and share it is the debate for the future

[Hope63 Shephard was one the 'students' in the Philosophy Class since day one. On March 8, 2009, so after about two years of participation, he disappeared from Second Life. We tried to contact him without much effect. He was highly appreciated for his contributions in our discussions.
However, recently we got reports that he was spotted here and there. I also saw him for a split second. And today he appeared in class again, so you can imagine the reception he got….㋡]

[13:58] herman Bergson: HOPE!!
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: OMG!!!
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: omg
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: HOPE!!!!!
[13:59] herman Bergson whispers: WELCOME
[13:59] Qwark Allen: ㋡ ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Helloooooo! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[13:59] Qwark Allen: Hey! HOPPPPEEEEE
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: good heavens!!
[13:59] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hiii hope :-)
[13:59] Abraxas Nagy: ah but how to distribute it IS politcs
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: hi Hope
[13:59] Alaya Kumaki giggles
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: I am glad to see you are alive
[13:59] Blackwell Huet: Popular guy!
[13:59] herman Bergson: For those who dont Hope
[13:59] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[13:59] herman Bergson: ♫♪♫♪ ♪♫♪♫ APPLAUSE ♪♫♪♫ ♫♪♫♪
[13:59] oola Neruda: HOPE!!!
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: :)
[13:59] Zinzi Serevi: hello Hope
[13:59] Zinzi's translator: hello Hope
[13:59] hope63 Shepherd: relax.. lol.. how can you be sure its me..:)
[13:59] oola Neruda: welcome back!!!
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: just not seen in almost a year
[13:59] herman Bergson: One of our most loyal students and oldtimer
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: very old lol
[14:00] Qwark Allen: OMG THAT IS you! just cause of that
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: aa ok
[14:00] Qwark Allen: l ☺ ☻ ☺ l
[14:00] Qwark Allen: lol
[14:00] Abraxas Nagy: ah i see
[14:00] hope63 Shepherd: lol.. oldtimer might be the right
[14:00] herman Bergson: but still on a slow
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: older than me in class
[14:00] bergfrau Apfelbaum: lol
[14:00] Qwark Allen: ╔╗╔═╦╗
[14:00] Qwark Allen: ║╚╣║║╚╗
[14:00] Qwark Allen: ╚═╩═╩═╝
[14:00] Abraxas Nagy: haaaahaaaahaaaahaaaahaaa
[14:00] hope63 Shepherd: please continue professor..:)
[14:00] Zinzi Serevi: he is just in time for the 250
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: wow
[14:00] herman Bergson: Class is dismissed Hope
[14:00] Kiki Walpanheim: i see two characters on hope's shirt....smiles
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: herman
[14:00] Sartre Placebo: thx herman
[14:00] Abraxas Nagy: ty professor
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: see you thursday
[14:01] Qwark Allen: you got here one hour later HOPE
[14:01] Abraxas Nagy: it was a pleasure again
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: interesting
[14:01] Gemma Cleanslate: hope we see you thursday Hope
[14:01] Zinzi Serevi: thanks Herman
[14:01] Kiki Walpanheim: see you
[14:01] Qwark Allen: YES
[14:01] herman Bergson: Hope..Thursday 22:00 European time..Lecture 250
[14:01] Zinzi Serevi: bye all of you
[14:01] bergfrau Apfelbaum: it was interesting!! thanks herman: -) thanks class!
[14:01] Qwark Allen: ㋡ ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Helloooooo! •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜ ㋡
[14:01] Qwark Allen: Hey!
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[14:02] Abraxas Nagy: anything happening Q?
[14:02] Qwark Allen: I`M at europe ---> and it`s at 21 here
[14:02] Qwark Allen: l ☺ ☻ ☺ l
[14:02] Qwark Allen: lol
[14:02] Qwark Allen: no
[14:02] Abraxas Nagy: no?
[14:02] herman Bergson: that is UK Qwark
[14:02] Qwark Allen: today going to bed soon
[14:02] Abraxas Nagy: o A o!
[14:02] Qwark Allen: gemma going to rl work
[14:02] Qwark Allen: @_@
[14:02] Abraxas Nagy: ah ok m8 have A good rest
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: ok
[14:02] Qwark Allen: tomorow we`ll make a partyy
[14:02] Abraxas Nagy: w0oh0o!
[14:02] bergfrau Apfelbaum: see you thursday :-)
[14:02] Bejiita Imako: ah
[14:02] Qwark Allen: ok
[14:03] Qwark Allen: byesee you tomorow
[14:03] Abraxas Nagy: c ya bergFrau
[14:03] Qwark Allen: .-)))
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: cu then Q
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: :)
[14:03] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye abra:-)
[14:03] Abraxas Nagy: :D
[14:03] Bejiita Imako: cu all
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Monday, April 26, 2010

248: Montesquieu (1689 - 1755)

The Age of the Enlightenment is a turning point in the development of European civilization. Some people complain about the individualism and the empty churches of today.

However, this is not a modern phenomenon at all. It all began with the Enlightenment, when knowledge became scientific knowledge and christianity had ceased to be one religion, but a multitude of different interpretations.

These are the roots of our contemporary world and in Montesquieu (1689 - 1755) we again meet a political philosopher who set the beacons for the centuries to come.

He was famous in his own century both in France and in foreign lands, from Russia to the American colonies. He was a follower of John Locke and the outstanding champion in France of the supposedly “English” notions of freedom, toleration, moderation, and constitutional government.

The dominant role of religion in political philosophy had come to a definite end. Locke already proposed to separate state and religion.

God is described by Montesquieu in Book 1 of his "De l'esprit des lois"as creating nature and its laws; having done so, He vanishes, and plays no further explanatory role.

In particular, Montesquieu does not explain the laws of any country by appeal to divine enlightenment, providence, or guidance. On his view it is generally a mistake to base civil laws on religious principles. Religion aims at the perfection of the individual; civil laws aim at the welfare of society.

The civil laws are not an appropriate tool for enforcing religious norms of conduct: God has His own laws, and He is quite capable of enforcing them without our assistance.

When we attempt to enforce God's laws for Him, or to cast ourselves as His protectors, we make our religion an instrument of fanaticism and oppression; this is a service neither to God nor to our country. How modern these ideas sound, if we look at islamic fanaticism and its cry of the Sharia.

Montesquieu's masterpiece is definitely his "De l’esprit des lois". It was first published in Geneva in 1748 against the advice of all the friends to whom Montesquieu had shown the manuscript. It was promptly placed on the Index by the Pope, but it sold twenty-two editions in less than two years.

Montesquieu's aim in "The Spirit of the Laws" is to explain human laws and social institutions. And thus he became the fist scientist formulating sociological research on a strict empiricist basis.

According to him the laws we have are man made and adapted "to the people for whom they are framed..., to the nature and principle of each government, ...

to the climate of each country, to the quality of its soil, to its situation and extent, to the principal occupation of the natives, whether husbandmen, huntsmen or shepherds:…"

In all the diversity however , Montesquieu, saw a general law. At the highest level of abstraction, he saw a uniform law—“Men have always been subject to the same passions”—but in various societies this higher natural law is expressed in differing systems of positive law. The systems differ because the external conditions differ.

To make things work you need the right government. Montesquieu holds that there are three types of governments: republican governments, which can take either democratic or aristocratic forms; monarchies; and despotisms.

If it is to provide its citizens with the greatest possible liberty, a government must have certain features. First, since "constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it ... it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power".

This is achieved through the separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government. If different persons or bodies exercise these powers, then each can check the others if they try to abuse their powers.

And here we see the legacy of a man, who lived a three hundred years ago: the separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government, still a cornerstone of our democracy and thus our liberty.

The Discussion

[13:18] herman Bergson: This on Montesquieu...
[13:18] herman Bergson: Time for questions and remarks ㋡
[13:19] Repose Lionheart: Montesquieu got it right, I think ㋡
[13:19] Gemma Cleanslate: this looks so simple~!!!!!!!! On his view it is generally a mistake to base civil laws on religious principles. Religion aims at the perfection of the individual; civil laws aim at the welfare of society.
[13:19] Gemma Cleanslate: i love that
[13:19] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:19] herman Bergson: I agree Repose....and we are still on the liberal train....
[13:19] Gemma Cleanslate: why cannot our citizens get that throught their heads
[13:19] oola Neruda: yay Gemma.. ye
[13:19] oola Neruda: yes
[13:20] herman Bergson: Good question Gemma ^_^
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: this is at the root of so many of our conflicts here in government today
[13:20] herman Bergson: It is amazing that a man 300 years ago already thought of these things
[13:20] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:20] Gemma Cleanslate: well not necessarly
[13:20] herman Bergson: what exactly Gemma?
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: no wonder the church did not like him
[13:21] Repose Lionheart: oh, yes ㋡
[13:21] herman Bergson: Oh no....immediately put on the INdex
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: well 300 years ago that was the root of the puritans formulation
[13:22] Bruce Mowbray: Is our country's refusal to see churches as corporations a sign of continuing M's liberalism - or a step backward from it?
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: the idea of separation of church and state
[13:22] Abraxas Nagy: our country?
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: our country
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: usa
[13:22] Bruce Mowbray: I'm sorry!
[13:22] Bruce Mowbray: I really am sorry.
[13:22] Bruce Mowbray: The Unitged States.
[13:22] Abraxas Nagy: ah ok
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: It is ok Bruce
[13:23] oola Neruda: a lot of what the church wants and the state wants...overlap... like consequences for murder, stealing etc. the church could make an issue of how they serve all of society as well as the individual
[13:23] herman Bergson: I dont know Bruce... churches dont pay taxes....
[13:23] herman Bergson: that I know
[13:24] Bruce Mowbray: That's part of it, yes.
[13:24] Repose Lionheart: maybe a step back ㋡
[13:24] Repose Lionheart: religion does get special treatment
[13:24] herman Bergson: Well first of all aIlready in those days the political philosophy was that the church has no relation with the affairs of state.
[13:24] Repose Lionheart: but they all get it
[13:25] herman Bergson: Locke already suggested a clear separation…
[13:25] herman Bergson: Religion is something of the individual
[13:25] Zinzi Serevi: i agree
[13:25] Zinzi's translator: i agree
[13:25] herman Bergson: And he only should be protected by law to be free in his choices of religion
[13:25] Bruce Mowbray: Would Mont. and Locke agree that churches should not be treated as corportations, though -- I mean, that they should be granted special status apart from civil laws?
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well...we now witness what the consequences can be of that special status....
[13:26] Repose Lionheart: interesting question
[13:26] Alaya Kumaki: i see that today , we have rather the problem of power abuse checking to organise better also
[13:27] Alaya Kumaki: but what is the difference between the religions executive and the parliament executive?
[13:27] herman Bergson: All those priests that broke civil law regarding sexual abuse...should have been put to trail
[13:27] Gemma Cleanslate: of course
[13:27] Zinzi Serevi: sure
[13:27] Zinzi's translator: sure
[13:28] Alaya Kumaki: dowe have a some slack, in our executive according to the civil laws?
[13:28] herman Bergson: In fact religions have no executive power in the state
[13:28] Bruce Mowbray: If church and state are REALLY separate -- then the churches have their laws/punishments and the states have theirs.
[13:28] herman Bergson: Nor has the Elvis Presley fan club
[13:28] Gemma Cleanslate: but the person broke the law of the state
[13:28] herman Bergson: No....I wouldnt agree to that Bruce...
[13:29] Kiki Walpanheim: what about religions in public school and the military... does accomodating their need of religion conflict with the strict separation
[13:29] Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
[13:29] herman Bergson: When church and state are separated the church is to obey the civil laws
[13:29] Alaya Kumaki: but they were those who abuses of their power over the civil, and we have the law executive, what are we waiting
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: someone once said to me it was none of my business... the priest problem.... because i was not a catholic
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: that is the way they believe
[13:29] Gemma Cleanslate: believe*
[13:30] Gemma Cleanslate: that the church should punish the sinner
[13:30] herman Bergson: Well Gemma..that person was wrong...the priest broke the civil laws YOU obey to as well
[13:30] Gemma Cleanslate: and it is not our business
[13:30] Gemma Cleanslate: exactly!!!!!!!!!!
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: everybody's business when someone breaks a law we all make...a civil law ㋡
[13:31] oola Neruda: if the priest confesses and says he will not do it again... the church believes in redemption... which is a touchy subject
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:31] Bruce Mowbray: Seems to come down to who has the most power -- In Islamic countries, it's the "church," and in secular countries it's the state.
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: oh yes oola
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: the church is not a civil law unto itself anymore
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: though it once was
[13:31] herman Bergson: Well when the murderer confesses and promise not to kill anymore he may walk?
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: old habits die hard, maybe
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:32] Kiki Walpanheim: "secular" countries?
[13:32] oola Neruda: exactly ... prof..
[13:32] Abraxas Nagy: state and church separated
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:32] Repose Lionheart: yes, Bruce
[13:32] Repose Lionheart: agree
[13:32] Bruce Mowbray: Good point - mmmm. . . OK, countries in which there is a "separation between church and state" - which does not exist in Islamic countries.
[13:32] herman Bergson: Yes Bruce..
[13:32] Kiki Walpanheim: nods...ty
[13:32] Abraxas Nagy: exact;y
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: there in is a great example of the problem
[13:33] herman Bergson: and the funny thing is that Montesquieu thought that despositm was 'best' for islamic countries
[13:33] Alaya Kumaki: but for the natures laws, what dies montesquieu says, like if we put that in the context of the protection of the environment? are they god s law, so link to religions?
[13:33] herman Bergson: Monarchy for catholic countries and protestantism for Republican countries
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: hmmmmm
[13:34] Kiki Walpanheim: there are places with no religions too
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: not working lolol
[13:34] Repose Lionheart: minorities were freer under the Shah than they are under the Islamic Republic
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: so he had his list lol
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: his directives
[13:34] herman Bergson: Montesquieu is quite clear about that Ayala...
[13:34] Bruce Mowbray: This reminds me of Ghandi's separation of Hinduism and Islam by sending all the Hindus to India and all the Muslims to Pakistan.
[13:34] Bruce Mowbray: And NOW look at the mess!
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:35] herman Bergson: God created the earth and natural law and then vanished :-)
[13:35] Repose Lionheart: Ghandi resisted that.....
[13:35] Repose Lionheart: that was the idea of the politicians
[13:35] Alaya Kumaki: aaah so,its up to us, than?^^
[13:36] Abraxas Nagy: of couirse
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes Ayala....
[13:36] herman Bergson: This whole idea of natural law, the idea that all mankind is driven by the same passions...
[13:36] Kiki Walpanheim: in whichever way things were created.... we are here at this stage...which is the only truth we can feel
[13:36] herman Bergson: there ideas are now alive even stronger...
[13:37] Repose Lionheart: yes
[13:37] Bruce Mowbray: Mont. said that differing circumstances in different countries would determine how church and state were in relationship with each other. . . What would such circumstance be?
[13:37] herman Bergson: evolutionary theory..... neurobiology....themes like that
[13:37] Gemma Cleanslate: did mont say they should be or that they would be
[13:37] Repose Lionheart: ahhhh...that's where you're going when you go beyond liberalism?
[13:38] Bruce Mowbray: That they would be... ?
[13:38] herman Bergson: Well.. like catholics like a head of their church a pope, thay are also more inclined to accept a king as hea dof contrats with protestants
[13:38] oola Neruda: think tribe... and isolation... do they have those circumstances bruce
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: that seems to be a good explanation as to why they are
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: not how they should be
[13:39] herman Bergson: Mont. was the first who compared legal systems of countries
[13:39] oola Neruda: because we come from the isolated tribe... so how did it all eveove... back to basics
[13:39] Bruce Mowbray: Could the circumstances change?
[13:39] herman Bergson: a brilliant step
[13:39] oola Neruda: evolve
[13:40] Bruce Mowbray: Like, if an evangelican Christian had sufficient backing to take over the government of an otherwise "secular" nation. . . ?
[13:40] herman Bergson: The circumstances changed in Europe Bruce...
[13:40] Bruce Mowbray: Yes.
[13:40] herman Bergson: with the advent of protestantism we also got republics...kings were decapitated even
[13:40] Bruce Mowbray: Puritans were exiled. . .
[13:40] herman Bergson: The Netherlands became a republic...
[13:40] herman Bergson: now we are stuck with expensive royalty again
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: but still have a king and queen
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: ahhha
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: lolol
[13:41] Gemma Cleanslate: money
[13:41] Bruce Mowbray: Yayyyy. . . . Spinoza, my hero!
[13:41] Abraxas Nagy: darn yes
[13:41] Abraxas Nagy: kick em out I say
[13:41] Repose Lionheart: hehehe
[13:41] Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
[13:41] herman Bergson: I agree Abraxas...such outdated folklore
[13:41] Abraxas Nagy: exactly
[13:41] Alaya Kumaki: whay was he the first to compare, ? were they not near one another in europe?
[13:42] Bruce Mowbray: BUT . . . the US is still living the legacy of the Puritans...
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: the best part of their legacy
[13:42] Bruce Mowbray: Spinoza was a sort of Pantheist, I believe.
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: fortunately we do not burn witches anymore
[13:42] Bruce Mowbray: He was also Jewish, of course.
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Ayala...MOnt. was in fact the first sociologist
[13:43] Bruce Mowbray: Are you SURE "we" don't?
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: i cannot remember him from the first project
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: will have to back and look again
[13:43] Bruce Mowbray: Yes, I love Mont's ideas concerning climate and the state, culture.
[13:43] Gemma Cleanslate: depends on the part of the country bruce lol
[13:43] herman Bergson: Yes..he had very specific ideas about that....also remarkable
[13:44] Bruce Mowbray: Those 'hot' Italians - lazy? -- and those brilliantly crisp Scottish.
[13:44] Abraxas Nagy: haaaahaaaahaaaahaaaahaaa
[13:44] Repose Lionheart: hehehehe
[13:44] herman Bergson: well...I think ..let's stick to colorful avatars here Bruce
[13:44] Bruce Mowbray: ok.
[13:45] Alaya Kumaki: so he has brought moderation, by doing this, unless our law executive is weakened,, but by what? alack of civil voice?
[13:45] herman Bergson: what do you mean Ayala?
[13:45] oola Neruda: propaganda
[13:45] oola Neruda: techniques
[13:45] Abraxas Nagy: spindoctors
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: and wow do we have them
[13:46] Repose Lionheart: sadly
[13:46] Abraxas Nagy: very sad indeed
[13:46] Alaya Kumaki: if the church is no longer the state, how did they went over the law, and nobody did nor do nothing about it,, who has more voice, to make the law in executions, who inforce the executive power of the law than?
[13:47] Bruce Mowbray: When Mont. wrote of the influence of 'circumstances,' one of the things he took into consideration was climate. That's why, he said, there were political/cultural difference between Spain or Italy and England or Scotland.
[13:47] oola Neruda: render unto ceasar what is his... and unto god what is his
[13:47] herman Bergson: All these priests should have been arrested in my opinion Alaya...simple as that
[13:47] Abraxas Nagy: right
[13:47] Repose Lionheart: the church used to be the law, and acted like it was still
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: no question
[13:48] Repose Lionheart: it was wrong ㋡
[13:48] oola Neruda: i would go so far as to cut of body parts
[13:48] Repose Lionheart: thanks to Montesquieu in part
[13:48] Abraxas Nagy: mmmm its tempting oola
[13:48] herman Bergson: One Dutch Bishop has transferred a priest to police custody because of sexual abuse and fraud lat seek
[13:48] Alaya Kumaki: we are the civil opinion os we have some representative in the chambre of parliament, what is preventing the law to be apply than?
[13:48] Bruce Mowbray: But if the church and state are truly SEPARATE, shouldn't the church take care of its own, and the state punish its own...?
[13:48] Bruce Mowbray: In other words, these are two separate entities under separate jurisdiction.
[13:49] oola Neruda: right bruce... it is a quandry..isnt it
[13:49] Repose Lionheart: no one can be above the civil law in a culture in which there is the rule of law
[13:49] herman Bergson: No Bruce...
[13:49] Kiki Walpanheim: i think any ideology could be bad if u impose it on ppl, atheism could be the same as this way
[13:49] Repose Lionheart: no one, no institution
[13:49] Bruce Mowbray: I'm trying to see it from Mont's pont of view, not ours.
[13:49] herman Bergson: Like every one the church is under civic law too
[13:49] Repose Lionheart: i see
[13:49] Bruce Mowbray: Would Mont. say that everyone is under the state's laws?
[13:50] herman Bergson: well in my opinion
[13:50] oola Neruda: but they seem to be keeping ceasar and god separate and rendering only to their own
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: so...i guess the separation entails compromise
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: i have to leave now
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: see you all tuesday
[13:50] herman Bergson: AS he said... the law is to protect social welfare....has nothing to do withthe church, which only aims at individual improvement
[13:50] Bruce Mowbray: Bye, Gemma.
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: very interesting class
[13:51] Zinzi Serevi: bye Gemma i have to leave as well
[13:51] Zinzi's translator: Gemma bye i have to leave as well
[13:51] Zinzi Serevi: bye bye
[13:51] Zinzi's translator: bye bye
[13:51] herman Bergson: Our time is up....power to the class here !
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: bye Gemma
[13:51] Alaya Kumaki: yeah
[13:51] Bruce Mowbray: POWER to the CLASSES!
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: YEAH!!!
[13:51] Repose Lionheart: lol
[13:51] Kiki Walpanheim: thank you professor, it was great
[13:51] herman Bergson: So I rest my case for today and dismiss class ^_^
[13:51] Kiki Walpanheim: see you all later
[13:51] Abraxas Nagy: :D
[13:51] Repose Lionheart: Thank you, Professor ㋡
[13:52] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation...
[13:52] Abraxas Nagy: see ya Kiki
[13:52] Bruce Mowbray: Thank you for putting up with me, Herman.
[13:52] Alaya Kumaki: byby thank yu prof herman
[13:52] herman Bergson: You did a find job Bruce, thnx
[13:52] Abraxas Nagy: well it wasnt to bad Bruce
[13:52] Abraxas Nagy: haaaahaaaahaaaahaaaahaaa
[13:52] Abraxas Nagy: o A o!
[13:52] Abraxas Nagy: poof
[13:52] herman Bergson: Gone he is ㋡
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Friday, April 23, 2010

247: John Locke (1632 - 1704)

I don't know how you feel about is, but after Hobbes and our analysis of the concept of Liberty, it almost looks as if liberalism is inevitable.

In the past decades we have seen systems collapse. Communism is no longer a viable way of organizing a society, it seems.

What is left are more or less democratically organized countries and a bunch of totalitarian regimes and on or two communist fossils.

And here we have John Locke(1632 -1704), called the "father of Liberalism". So again a liberal political philosopher.

I must admit that the theory is attractive in an intuitive way, as if it is so obvious indeed. And yet I have the feeling that I am missing something. I can not yet put my finger on it, but I miss something.

But don't worry, eventually we'll get to that point where we say….yes that is what we miss in the theory of liberalism.

John Locke is a man with a long career and he has written a lot,while in his writings there is a constant development. We'll focus on the mature ideas.

Like Hobbes he begins his theory with the natural state of man. In a natural state all people were equal and independent, and everyone had a natural right to defend his life, health, liberty, or possessions.

Though selfishness plays a part in this natural state, Locke believed it was guided and controlled by reason and tolerance, while Hobbes concluded that it leads to a war of all against all.

However, like Hobbes, Locke assumed that the sole right to defend in the state of nature was not enough, so people established a society based on consent to resolve conflicts in a civil way with help from government in a state of society.

Community begins with consent, Locke argues, and this consent can only be majority consent, as universal consent is impossible to gain. Consent of the governed is the only justifiable form of government,

He makes a clear distinction between the legislative and the executive power. This executive power is restricted by the laws. If it goes beyond that the people is justified to revolt.

A central issue in Locke's theory is property. In the state of nature, everything is commonly owned; but as God gave man senses and reason to use for his preservation

and reproduction, that which he removes out of the state of nature with his own hands becomes his property – and this is natural and just.

To quote Locke: “The labour that was mine, removing them out of that common state they were in, hath fixed my Property in them.”

And can we pick all apples from a tree, so that they become our property? No says Locke. Christian morality demands that a man take from nature that which is for his enjoyment,

“as much as any one can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils … whatever is beyond this, is more than his share, and belongs to others. Nothing was made by God for Man to spoil or destroy.”

And here Locke gets very interesting in developing maybe the first well formulated principles of capitalism. By making durable goods you can exchange them for to redundant apples you picked.

Next step is the use of money and the accumulation of money. While it is immoral to accumulate all apples, it is not immoral to accumulate a lot of money. We'll get back to that some other time.

The Discussion

[13:15] herman Bergson: So much on John Locke
[13:16] herman Bergson: maybe even the father of capitalism ^_^
[13:16] Gemma Cleanslate: hmmmm
[13:16] Abraxas Nagy: pffft
[13:16] herman Bergson: This development fascinates me more and more...
[13:17] herman Bergson: kind of how to escape from liberalism ^_^
[13:17] Gemma Cleanslate: having a hard time with the taking from nature etc
[13:17] herman Bergson: It brought us th e financial crisis, didnt it
[13:17] Gemma Cleanslate: if it belons to someone else
[13:17] Gemma Cleanslate: or does it
[13:18] Kiki Walpanheim: majority consent--wouldn't it mean that the minority are ruled without consent
[13:18] herman Bergson: no the natural state of man everything belongs to everyone...there is no private property
[13:18] Zinzi Serevi: je kunt je af vragen of het niet immoreel is zonder grens geld te vergaren
[13:18] Gemma Cleanslate: well now
[13:18] Repose Lionheart: they consent to participate in the system and abide by it's rules ㋡
[13:19] Kiki Walpanheim: but what about some who does not consent to is their country, they can't just have other choices
[13:19] herman Bergson: Yes Kiki....Locke talks about minorities as inconveniences
[13:20] herman Bergson: in Hobbes terms it is a war of all against all
[13:20] Repose Lionheart: can't have two forms of government in one place...they go elsewhere, maybe
[13:20] herman Bergson: In Locke's terms it is a majority against a minority in which reasonprevails..also for the minority
[13:20] Kiki Walpanheim: :/
[13:20] Kiki Walpanheim: nods at herman...
[13:21] Gemma Cleanslate: wow inconveniences .... well
[13:21] herman Bergson: on important issue for Locke was also Tolerance...
[13:21] herman Bergson: he assumed that the reasonable person also is a tolerant person
[13:22] Kiki Walpanheim: and when legal equality is emphasized, inequality of classes becomes inevitable, it seems
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: assumption should be correct but often is not
[13:22] herman Bergson: yes Gemma ㋡
[13:23] herman Bergson: I am anxious to learn how things will continue with men like Rousseau and Montesqieu
[13:24] herman Bergson: and then it might be interesting to focus on the concept of property...
[13:24] herman Bergson: And yes it immoral to accumulate unlimited amounts of money?
[13:24] herman Bergson: Locke accepts this
[13:25] herman Bergson: tho on the other hand it is the task of the government to watch over the distribution of wealth
[13:25] Abraxas Nagy: yea right
[13:25] Gemma Cleanslate: is it???
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: that is a big question is it the task of govt
[13:26] Repose Lionheart: Locke is British...perhaps class is his Achille's heel, as Kiki suggests ㋡
[13:26] herman Bergson: and when you project this on a global scale you may notice ow primitive we still are in this distribution of weath over the planet
[13:26] Repose Lionheart: oh, yes, very true
[13:26] Abraxas Nagy: yep.. but its deliberate
[13:27] herman Bergson: yes Abraxas..that is the worst of all
[13:27] Zinzi Serevi: i agree
[13:27] Zinzi's translator: i agree
[13:27] Abraxas Nagy: exactly
[13:27] Repose Lionheart: "economic democracy" is still a very new concept, I think
[13:27] herman Bergson: Ah..Repose..yes
[13:27] herman Bergson: While selfishness is so old already
[13:28] Repose Lionheart: o
[13:28] Zinzi Serevi: lol
[13:28] Zinzi's translator: lol
[13:28] Kiki Walpanheim: tho laws and legislations are good , better than let the gov abuse power, in my opinion-----still, i think there are flaws with laws...because
[13:29] herman Bergson: In fact I get the feeling primitive we are in respect to economic democracy
[13:29] Repose Lionheart: yes, much room left for the growth of the human heart in the centuries ahead ㋡
[13:29] Kiki Walpanheim: because the laws just make the same rules for every individual... while each individual case is unique... sometimes... what is legal is not moral, what is illegal is indeed moral....because
[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes Repose I agree...we already achieved a little, didnt there is hope
[13:30] Repose Lionheart: Yes ㋡
[13:30] Repose Lionheart: Yes, too
[13:31] herman Bergson: I am not that pessimistic about mankind at all....
[13:31] Zinzi Serevi: its a long way to go
[13:31] Zinzi's translator: its a long way to go
[13:31] herman Bergson: Like 7of9 always says: You will adapt
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: lol!
[13:31] Repose Lionheart: the ever wise 7of9 ㋡
[13:31] herman Bergson: she is a beauty...but this aside...
[13:32] Abraxas Nagy: I'd say
[13:32] herman Bergson: Anyway….
[13:32] herman Bergson: I think we should keep a sharp eye on the development of liberalism...
[13:32] herman Bergson: and question it eventually
[13:33] Abraxas Nagy: i agree
[13:33] herman Bergson: I have a feeling there is something wrong with this theory....
[13:33] Repose Lionheart: Hmmm...last time you kept a close eye on something, you turned me into a virtue ethicist. lol!
[13:33] Repose Lionheart: hehehe
[13:33] Gemma Cleanslate: lololol
[13:33] herman Bergson smiles
[13:33] Kiki Walpanheim: and is this theory about the idea of americanism
[13:34] herman Bergson: Well..most interesting is that Locke was at the cradle of the Declaration of INdependence of the US
[13:35] herman Bergson: and thi scountry is all liberal in all kinds of shapes
[13:35] Abraxas Nagy: wich has been degraded by the patriot act
[13:35] Kiki Walpanheim nods
[13:35] Kiki Walpanheim: patriot act?
[13:35] Abraxas Nagy: after 9/11
[13:35] Kiki Walpanheim: i'll look it up...
[13:35] herman Bergson: I still find the Health Care Act debate and what I heard people say in the US as a perfect example of conflicts in liberalism
[13:36] Abraxas Nagy: yes u should
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: oh yes
[13:36] Kiki Walpanheim nods
[13:36] Repose Lionheart: a law that had the effect of limiting personal freedoms in the US
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: amazing stuff
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: both
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes Repose.....a restricted government or a more active government?
[13:37] Repose Lionheart: no, i mean the patriot act
[13:37] Repose Lionheart: the*
[13:37] herman Bergson: With Locke we are at the cradle of liberalism...
[13:37] Repose Lionheart: the opposition to the Heath reforms was, in my opinion, insane
[13:37] herman Bergson: from here it will develop further
[13:38] herman Bergson: allow me to agree with you `repose
[13:38] Repose Lionheart: ㋡
[13:38] Repose Lionheart: any reasonable person would, and Locke would approve. Prof ㋡
[13:38] Repose Lionheart: heheheh
[13:38] herman Bergson: ok...steady we one will be Montesquieu!
[13:38] Abraxas Nagy: elaborate some?
[13:38] Repose Lionheart: oh
[13:39] Zinzi Serevi: ok
[13:39] Zinzi's translator: ok
[13:39] herman Bergson: Let's take it easy for today...Locke wasnt that controversial.. wasnt he
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: lolol well we are making him so
[13:39] herman Bergson: Unless there is still left an unanswered question.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: You think he was Gemma?
[13:40] Kiki Walpanheim: locke said property hoarding was legitimate till it was spoiled....where is the point of "spoiled"
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: well we all seem to be
[13:40] Gemma Cleanslate: pulling his short words apart
[13:41] herman Bergson: when you have more than you can consume Kiki
[13:41] Kiki Walpanheim: also it seems majority rule becomes inevitable, which was what Mill didnt like
[13:41] Kiki Walpanheim: nods
[13:41] herman Bergson: no.. I dont agree Kiki
[13:42] herman Bergson: Mill indeed spoke of the tyrany of the majority, but he meant something very specific...
[13:42] herman Bergson: He meant the dominating moral of the victorian age....which had more political influence than the chosen majority
[13:42] Kiki Walpanheim: there should be at least some ppl who do not consent to the system, and who do not agree to the taxation, yet the majority vote determines that
[13:43] Repose Lionheart: the "majority" is complex...we all hold hundreds of opinions and policy positions...on some we are in the majority...on others we are in the minority
[13:43] Repose Lionheart: there is fairness in this
[13:43] Kiki Walpanheim: nods....
[13:43] herman Bergson: yes...that too Repose
[13:44] Kiki Walpanheim: and i dont think it is easy , that if some ppl dont agree to the system they could easily find another land and live together in their way..
[13:44] Kiki Walpanheim: well, some compromise is necessary any way
[13:45] Repose Lionheart: well, that's fine, because i don't want to be governed by fascists, or theocrats, or....
[13:45] herman Bergson: the problem with a disagreeing minority is that it claims to posses the REAL THRUTH
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: i would love to take a look at that land after they all get there
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim nods...
[13:45] Zinzi Serevi: yes like in many religions over here
[13:45] Repose Lionheart: take a look at North Korea ㋡
[13:45] herman Bergson: this implies a humiliation and disrespect of the majority which believes at least to have a truth too
[13:46] Repose Lionheart: or Iran ㋡
[13:46] Kiki Walpanheim: nods....
[13:46] herman Bergson: yes..this zealous selfrightiousness has always lead to disaster
[13:47] herman Bergson: sectarism
[13:47] herman Bergson: and what Aristotle already feared...factions and civil war
[13:47] Repose Lionheart: hmmm....yes
[13:48] Kiki Walpanheim: factions... i tend to link that with NGO's
[13:48] herman Bergson: what is that..NGO?
[13:48] Zinzi Serevi: whats NGO?
[13:48] Repose Lionheart: non-governmental organization ㋡
[13:48] Kiki Walpanheim: yes , Repose
[13:48] Repose Lionheart: typically charities
[13:48] herman Bergson: ok
[13:48] Repose Lionheart: not always though
[13:49] Kiki Walpanheim: is Guild NGO too?
[13:49] herman Bergson: the democratic party in the US you can have factions too I think...
[13:49] Kiki Walpanheim: oh...
[13:49] Repose Lionheart: oh, yes, Prof
[13:49] herman Bergson: just small groups with shared (self)interest
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: oh gosh well yes
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: and also in the republican party
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: sharp divisions on some issues
[13:50] Repose Lionheart: true
[13:50] herman Bergson: oh yes Gemma....they arent any better ^_^
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: maybe one way to tackle that problem of majority/minority is to allow some laws made at , say, state level rather than national level...but
[13:51] Kiki Walpanheim: but however specific to a region, some ppl still need to compromise
[13:51] herman Bergson: Well sound like European politics....
[13:51] herman Bergson: And the magic words from Bruxelles
[13:51] Kiki Walpanheim: I don't know....
[13:51] Repose Lionheart: compromise is inevitable and not a bad thing, i think
[13:52] herman Bergson: Well...important is that the minority has to give in...
[13:52] herman Bergson: eventually...
[13:52] Zinzi Serevi: yep
[13:52] Zinzi's translator: yep
[13:52] herman Bergson: if not, you have a civil war at hand
[13:52] herman Bergson: Look at Birma...
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: well we did that too
[13:53] Repose Lionheart: yes, we did
[13:53] herman Bergson: And there the government isnt representing the is totalitarian
[13:53] Kiki Walpanheim nods....
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: oh yes
[13:53] herman Bergson: and Locke supports revolution agains and executive power that ignores the laws
[13:54] herman Bergson: in fact there is happening what almost logically follows form his ideas
[13:55] Kiki Walpanheim: yes,
[13:55] herman Bergson: Well...let me thank you for your participation again...
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: have to reread about locke
[13:55] Kiki Walpanheim: thank you professor
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: is more complicated than he seems
[13:55] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:55] Repose Lionheart: Thank you, Professor ㋡
[13:55] herman Bergson: Oh yes gemma..
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: back to fishing lol
[13:56] Zinzi Serevi: thanks proff
[13:56] Zinzi's translator: thanks Proff
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: while the good ones are left
[13:56] herman Bergson: He was against slavery and secretary of a slaves owning company
[13:56] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thanks for the lecture, herman! bye bye class, see to you Thursday
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: well that is good and bad
[13:56] Kiki Walpanheim is going to read him to understand americanism
[13:56] Abraxas Nagy: see you all Thursday
[13:56] Kiki Walpanheim: see you
[13:56] Zinzi Serevi: bye bye all
[13:56] Zinzi's translator: bye bye all
[13:57] herman Bergson: Ok Abraxas...
[13:57] Abraxas Nagy: it was interesting again ty

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Monday, April 19, 2010

246: On Liberty again

A legal system performs many social functions. Prominent among such functions is the promotion of the welfare and security of citizens and their property.

We can distinguished between laws that impose duties by which citizens must abide, and laws that provide facilities that citizens can make use of if they wish . The promotion of welfare and security involves both kinds of law.

This function at the highest level of generality may be characterized as the use of law to prevent, or to provide compensation for, harm. `Harm’ may be characterized at this level of generality as `the thwarting, setting back, or defeating of an interest’

When I run over your dog, you certainly are harmed emotionally, but should this loss as such be subject to coercive penalty?

The possession of small amounts of marijuana is a criminal offense, but in what sense does that harm others? So what justifies restriction of my freedom by law here?

Kiki referred already to it in our latest discussion, I can harm others economically pretty much. I even can put them out of business by taking over their market.

Their factories may have to close. People may loose their jobs and so on. Yet there are no laws who forbid competition in business, to do so much harm.

We may conclude that the Harm Principle as formulated by Mill is not a universally applicable rule. We are still left with the observation that not all harms are wrong. What is it that turns a harm into a wrong?

I won't pursue this issue here any further. Yet you are still stuck with this question and we'll get back to it when we will have our lecture on John Stuart Mill.

Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (1767 – 1830), a Swiss-born nobleman, thinker, writer and French politician, distinguishes between the liberty of the ancients (Greece and Rome) and the liberty of the moderns.

While the ancients called liberty the collective exercise of political sovereignty, the liberty of the moderns consists in privacy and independence.

An interesting shift in the perception of liberty. Isaiah Berlin formulated in his famous essay "Two Concepts of Liberty" (1958) a more extensive description of this modern liberty.

He differentiates negative liberty and positive liberty: negative freedom has to do with the question “What is the area within which the subject …is or should be left to do or be what he is able to do or be, without interference by other persons”.

On the contrary, positive liberty is related to the question “What, or who, is the source of control or interference that can determine someone to do, or be, this rather than that?”.

Berlin equates negative liberty with absence of interference (or coercion), and positive liberty with individual or collective self-direction.

Typically, self-direction accords with reasons and laws. Berlin associates negative liberty with “liberty from” and positive liberty with “liberty to”.

You'll understand.that the liberal democracy / social democracy debate could be analyzed with respect to the respective weights in the balance between negative and positive freedom.

The liberty of the moderns consists in privacy and independence, Constant said. Privacy and liberty, a really hot issue these days. Let's have a short look at it as conclusion of this lecture.

In a recent newspaper article on this subject I found an interesting description of privacy, by Boudewijn de Bruin, a Dutch university teacher of philosophy.

He says: "If anyone observes my actions, I experience these actions differently, as if I am no longer the only actor of these actions,as if a change of perspective occurs, and I myself am a spectator too."

When we feel observed by cameras in stores, by your peeping neighbor, by your credit card company, by the government, the invasion on your privacy is an invasion on your liberty.

Not only laws can invade our privacy, but also (false) rumors spread through the internet, for instance that I am actually the brother of the present Pope.

This is a lot of information on the concept of liberty. Don't feel overwhelmed. First there is our blog, where you can reread this text and a lot will reappear in our lectures on other political philosophers.

The Discussion

[13:21] herman Bergson: So take the liberty to make some remarks or ask some questions ^_^
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: hmmm
[13:22] herman Bergson: You are also free not to do so of course ㋡
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: in some cases we allow this invasion of privacy for protection
[13:22] Lena Sigall: how would you handle a situation where, no matter what choice was made, someone would be harmed in a wrong way?
[13:22] Kiki Walpanheim: "collective exercise of political sovereignty"--is that tyranny of the majority/democracy , phrased differently?
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: sothat is my liberty to sacrifice the privacy
[13:23] herman Bergson: I wouldnt say so Kiki...
[13:23] herman Bergson: the expression was coined by Mill to express his disgust of the moral oppression by Victorian culture in UK
[13:24] Kiki Walpanheim: oh...
[13:24] herman Bergson: What is interesting is Mills ideas on economics...
[13:24] Kiki Walpanheim nods
[13:24] herman Bergson: We'll get to that , but what we may conclude is that there is harm and harm that is wrong
[13:25] Kiki Walpanheim: defamation/incitement of violence can cause har
[13:25] Lena Sigall: how do you define wrong harm? some call masturbation "self abuse" lol
[13:25] herman Bergson: so the discussion will be to find out when and why some harm is wrong
[13:25] Kiki Walpanheim: *harm
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well LEna in MIll's opinion you may masturbate as much as you like....
[13:26] herman Bergson: It wont harm anyone...
[13:26] herman Bergson: but we are inclined to say..but it is immoral...!
[13:26] Kiki Walpanheim: lena, i think that is something about ...right to privacy
[13:26] herman Bergson: However...moral paternalism is unacceptable in Mills opinioon
[13:27] herman Bergson: He approaches harm in a strict utilitarian way
[13:27] Kiki Walpanheim nods.... in which, moral becomes relative… ach inividual could have his/her morals
[13:28] herman Bergson: But in economics I may do harm as much as I like, it seems
[13:28] herman Bergson: And this because this harm is outweighted by the Comon Good
[13:28] Lena Sigall: say for example, war. what would you do if starting the war would result in "collateral damage" to civilians, but not waging the war would allow the government or whatever force you're fighting to kill innocent people
[13:29] Kiki Walpanheim: masterbation along with other taboos of sexuality, reveal a lot about autonomy, morals, liberty...these issues
[13:29] herman Bergson: a difficult contraposition Lena...?
[13:30] herman Bergson: Well is also related to psychological harm....
[13:30] Kiki Walpanheim: yes....
[13:30] herman Bergson: For instance... doing it in public would shock / so harm people....
[13:31] Kiki Walpanheim: mill's harm principle seems to leave out economic harm,psychological harm.... tho they can be just as harmful or more harmful than physical one
[13:31] herman Bergson: but knowing that my neighbor does it...might be shocking too for me...but is that also called harm?
[13:31] Kiki Walpanheim nods
[13:31] herman Bergson: you see....a lot to study on... ^_^
[13:31] Kiki Walpanheim nods
[13:32] herman Bergson: Just a seach on HARM PRICIPLE brings you a lot of documentation on the subject
[13:32] Kiki Walpanheim: hmm.... what the neighbor does, that is about privacy is tricky
[13:32] Kiki Walpanheim: yes, harm principle is *complicated*
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: i will look at that
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:33] herman Bergson: I think the most important debate these days is about our liberty from and our liberty to....
[13:33] Kiki Walpanheim: negative/positive liberties
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes
[13:34] herman Bergson: negative is not meant to mean negative in the traditional sense
[13:34] herman Bergson: it means ..the absence of restrictions
[13:34] herman Bergson: where positive means the presence or restrictions (laws)
[13:34] Kiki Walpanheim nods
[13:35] Lena Sigall: some say spanking is bad for kids, that it's abuse. some say *not* spanking them is bad for them because it's the only thing that teaches them discipline
[13:35] Kiki Walpanheim: btw, i was in debate on abortion the other day
[13:35] herman Bergson: How far may a state go to restrict its citizens by laws...that is the debate
[13:35] Kiki Walpanheim: that defense on abortion was based on --negative liberty
[13:35] herman Bergson: Good point Kiki...
[13:36] herman Bergson: is the state allowed to restrict the woman in her choice?
[13:36] Abraxas Nagy: NO
[13:36] Kiki Walpanheim: that the mother 's autonomy and liberty triumphs the fetus' even if the fetus is a life, according to how that defense was made..
[13:36] herman Bergson: I answered the question by pointing at the HArm Principle...
[13:37] herman Bergson: Does an abortion harm others?
[13:37] Zinzi Serevi: maybe the father
[13:37] Zinzi's translator: Maybe The father
[13:37] herman Bergson: That is the essence... how to interpret these 'others'
[13:38] Kiki Walpanheim: the defense was about....does the fetus have a right to the mother's body and liberty
[13:38] herman Bergson: Ok Zinzi....
[13:38] Kiki Walpanheim: in comparison, do the poor have the right to the rich's money and liberty?
[13:38] Kiki Walpanheim: the poor who are starving to death
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes Kiki…but here we come to the point: how and when are rights established?
[13:38] Lena Sigall: do the rich have the right to feed off the poor and middle class to create their wealth?
[13:39] Kiki Walpanheim: when a life begins?
[13:39] Gemma Cleanslate: there lies the problem
[13:39] herman Bergson: And here Lena we come to the balance between negative and positive liberty
[13:39] Kiki Walpanheim: if abortion is keen to murderer, then perhaps we are committing murderer every single day, because
[13:39] herman Bergson: Has the state the right/authority to redistribute wealth in society by law?
[13:39] Lena Sigall: well, even if you say for arguments sake, that a fetus is a person equal to the mother,... if it lives in her body, is she forced to sustain the fetus?
[13:40] herman Bergson: That is no good argument Lena, leads to a meaningless discussion
[13:40] Kiki Walpanheim: because, ppl are starving to death every day, tho they can survive with the rich's money
[13:40] Lena Sigall: how so, herman?
[13:41] Kiki Walpanheim: that again, is about positive/negative lliberty
[13:41] herman Bergson: because the foetus is not a person
[13:41] Lena Sigall: some would argue that it is
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes politics
[13:41] Kiki Walpanheim: yes, it is controversial regarding when life begins
[13:41] Lena Sigall: some say a fertilized egg is a person
[13:42] Kiki Walpanheim: some argue that a fetus is a life when it has conception, tho some other would argue against it
[13:42] herman Bergson: That is a play with words...
[13:42] Abraxas Nagy: no a person is a human
[13:42] herman Bergson: a Person is by definition a sentient, rational individual with an egg isnt
[13:42] Kiki Walpanheim: Mill emphasizes only on negative liberty throughout his book, but
[13:42] Abraxas Nagy: exact;y
[13:42] herman Bergson: foetus
[13:43] Lena Sigall: so that means we can kill a person in a vegetative state?
[13:43] Abraxas Nagy: AH HAHAHAHA
[13:43] herman Bergson: That is a contradiction Lena...we dont kill persons
[13:43] Abraxas Nagy: exactly
[13:43] Kiki Walpanheim: but , the ground of his argument is that, ppl are educated enough to be competent for liberty---in which education becomes compulsory
[13:43] Lena Sigall: does that mean we can kill a human body that is in a vegetative state, with no sentience anymore?
[13:43] Kiki Walpanheim: thus it has to involve positive liberty
[13:44] herman Bergson: the vegetative patient is still a person, not just a body
[13:44] Lena Sigall: how so?
[13:44] Lena Sigall: if they have no sentience anymore
[13:44] Lena Sigall: like a fetus doesn't
[13:44] herman Bergson: It has been an individuality with a personal history and identity....
[13:45] herman Bergson: by getting into a vegetative state, that hasnt changed
[13:45] Lena Sigall: so has a dead human body... so what's the difference?
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: and they are constantly finding those people seem to have some consciousness
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: they can now see it in the brain
[13:45] Kiki Walpanheim: and i think the assumption is that ppl are not starving to receive education...
[13:45] herman Bergson: The person is not dead Lena....we even dont know in what state he is often..
[13:46] herman Bergson: some vegetative patients still have sensory experiences
[13:46] Kiki Walpanheim: vegetative patient is a person
[13:46] Lena Sigall: so the question of personal identity and sentience is important if it's present or past, but not future, like with a fetus?
[13:46] herman Bergson: You could say that, yes
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: take sl for example, there are some very offensive sims in sl
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: obscenity/indecency
[13:47] Lena Sigall: well, you say that we don't know what state a vegetative person is in often, but do we really know the fetus's state either?
[13:47] Abraxas Nagy: yay!!
[13:47] Lena Sigall: maybe it has more thoughts and perceptions than we know
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: is it justified when they are private?
[13:47] Kiki Walpanheim: as righ to privacy
[13:48] herman Bergson: we do know the development of the foetus, Lena...
[13:48] Kiki Walpanheim: *as right to privacy
[13:48] herman Bergson: Before week 22 there is no nervous system, so no sensory experience
[13:49] Kiki Walpanheim: if a dying man can be saved if we sacrfice one of our organs
[13:49] Kiki Walpanheim: is it murderer if we dont help him? by our sacrifice
[13:49] herman Bergson: That is a very difficult moral question Kiki...
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: oh goodness
[13:50] herman Bergson: Is there a moral duty to do so....?
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: it is similar with abortion
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: because the fetus asks the woman's sacrifice to survive
[13:50] herman Bergson: Like the government wants everyone to be organ donor by law...negative liberty extended
[13:50] Zinzi Serevi: pffff
[13:50] Zinzi's translator: pffff
[13:50] Kiki Walpanheim: sometimes the sacrifice can destroy the womans life forever, somtimes
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: wants or forces
[13:51] herman Bergson: That is the debate Gemma...between positive and negative libery here indeed
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: lol yes
[13:52] herman Bergson: SHould some one report that he wants to be a donor, or is every one donor by definition and does he have to report he does NOT want to be a donor
[13:52] Kiki Walpanheim: so far i only read mill's defense on liberty, which caused more confusion to me.... wish sometimes some other ways to defend could solve my confusion...
[13:52] Lena Sigall: some would say that the woman chose to have sex, assuming it was consensual, therefore she chose the possibility of pregnancy and so it's not fair to destroy the fetus
[13:52] herman Bergson: that is a discussion in Dutch politics for instance...
[13:52] Zinzi Serevi: omg Lena
[13:52] Zinzi's translator: omg Lena
[13:53] Lena Sigall: i'm not saying that
[13:53] Lena Sigall: in case it seems i'm against abortion rights, i'm not. i'm very much in favor of the right
[13:53] herman Bergson: You should have read my note Lena ^_^
[13:53] Kiki Walpanheim: how about rape? how about failures in contraception
[13:53] herman Bergson: It is an absurd argument...
[13:53] Personal Core: hello ladies, hello gents
[13:53] Lena Sigall: i did herman, i just wanted the others' opinions too
[13:53] CONNIE Eichel: hi personal :)
[13:53] herman Bergson: it means that when you choose for something then you have no right to interfere with the consequences…
[13:54] Lena Sigall: you gave the example of choosing to climb a tree, and then falling out of it
[13:54] Personal Core: sorry that i enter , but i saw this place, and i said , why not
[13:54] Lena Sigall: out*
[13:54] Kiki Walpanheim: even in a contract, ppl have the right to terminate it at proper times
[13:54] herman Bergson: Come in Personal..
[13:54] herman Bergson: you are welcome
[13:54] Personal Core: and also i saw the title philosopher ,
[13:54] Personal Core: thanky u
[13:54] Lena Sigall: but getting treatment for a broken leg is harmless. however some would argue killing the fetus does cause harm to it, which isn't fair if the woman knowingly engaged in what she knew could cause the pregnancy
[13:55] herman Bergson: We have been through that...
[13:55] Kiki Walpanheim: does the woman have the right to withdraw using her body?
[13:55] Kiki Walpanheim: even if she started it consensually
[13:55] Lena Sigall: yes
[13:56] herman Bergson: Let's return to the donor issue...
[13:56] Lena Sigall: ok
[13:56] Gemma Cleanslate: almost time to go :-)
[13:56] herman Bergson: it is a perfect example of the balance between negative and positive liberty...
[13:56] herman Bergson: Indeed Gemma..
[13:57] Personal Core: not always, depends if u know how to define the balance
[13:57] Personal Core: ,,, a small idea, sorry for interrupting
[13:57] herman Bergson: The question is...has the state the right to claim your bodyparts by law
[13:57] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:57] Personal Core: nope
[13:57] Personal Core: after all the state didnt rise u
[13:57] Zinzi Serevi: yes when you have an escape
[13:57] Zinzi's translator: yes When You Have an escape
[13:57] Kiki Walpanheim: is it about donor after death?
[13:58] Zinzi Serevi: yes
[13:58] Zinzi's translator: yes
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: well the state is supposed to represent us so i say unless we give them the right they do not have it
[13:58] Personal Core: or help u to grow ,or participate in any way at your growing
[13:58] herman Bergson: so you can not accept a law that regards every citizen a donor by definition UNLESSS the citizen has explicitely stated that he does NOT want to be a donor
[13:58] Personal Core: or the family,
[13:58] Kiki Walpanheim: it is difficult.. i think each one owns herself/himself
[13:58] Kiki Walpanheim: but
[13:59] Kiki Walpanheim: hmm....
[13:59] Personal Core: can i put a hypottetical question ?
[13:59] herman Bergson: This is what we not yet touched on Kiki....natural laws...
[13:59] herman Bergson: the right to the integrity of your boy
[13:59] herman Bergson: the right to live..
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: see you thursday everyone ...
[13:59] herman Bergson: etc
[13:59] Lena Sigall: bye Gemma
[13:59] CONNIE Eichel: bye gemma :)
[13:59] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma ㋡
[14:00] Lena Sigall: but if one doesn't donate their organ, some will not live. is that a violation of their right to live?
[14:00] Kiki Walpanheim: bye gemma
[14:00] Abraxas Nagy: bye Gemma
[14:00] Personal Core: image that u are sick , the state dont garantate the healing or help without the money , and how come the state use the organs, ? this is an real case that is happened everywhere
[14:00] Sartre Placebo: night
[14:00] Personal Core: good night
[14:00] Abraxas Nagy: night
[14:00] herman Bergson: I wouldnt say so...
[14:00] Personal Core: but is happened,
[14:01] herman Bergson: does falling ill give you the right to claim other man's body parts?
[14:01] herman Bergson: because you have a right to live too
[14:01] Zinzi Serevi: bye Gemma
[14:01] Zinzi's translator: bye Gemma
[14:01] Kiki Walpanheim: which means, the state does not give u much yet asks you for too much
[14:01] Personal Core: the hypothetical question is , right to use the organs and to private the sick ppl to heal or not
[14:01] herman Bergson: I think...we are exhausting people here.....
[14:01] herman Bergson: Time to terminate the discussion ㋡
[14:02] Abraxas Nagy: I have to go.. see you all nexttime :D
[14:02] Lena Sigall: LOL
[14:02] Lena Sigall: bye Abraxas
[14:02] Abraxas Nagy: and ty herman
[14:02] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^

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