Author Topic: General political theory ...  (Read 816 times)

Online Cavebear

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2019, 12:54:58 AM »
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Are you a Benjamin Button?  That is why you were 60 when you were 20?

"mary sue" is a neologism for a young woman character in stories who has remarkable heroine abilities in spite of not having trained etc ... a deus ex machina with boobs.

I didn't know the Benjamin Button movie, but it sounds Dorian Grayish.  There have been a few sci-fi stories along that line too.  There was one I liked about a guy who lived life chronologically randomly and never quite knew were he was waking up.  Something like 'If You're Judy, This Must be Brussels'.  And then it turned out that the true love of his life was also living that way.  Totally weird and I loved it.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2019, 04:52:21 PM »
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She stressed that the ability to argue was important.   As did old Soc too, I suppose.   

But one fact she missed was that while she was accustomed to teaching young 20-somethings who were "only" students, I was a 40s person with a real career with a long history involving arguing with experts, and that if I didn't agree with an idea, I wasn't going to argue for it. 

She didn't like that much.  And I wasn't sitting there like a student.

The thing about Socrates was that he saw argument as a way of getting closer to the truth. This is to be differentiated from the kind of argument that lawyers, politicians, and apologists use; their argument is a meant to convince others of the case they are trying to make. The thing is, when you are trying to convince others, lies often work as well as the truth. Socrates was not trying to convince anyone of anything. He wanted them to use their heads and figure out things for themselves.

Socrates famously said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." But it is not enough to simply examine one's own life and discern truths from that self-examination. One must (if one is to be thorough) subject one's conclusions to cross examination... one should test his truth by arguing it against those who would disagree. Through that process one stands to learn much concerning possible errors in his thought.

Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian government for the crimes of "atheism" and "corrupting the youth." He did not "corrupt the youth" by teaching them to "sit there like a student." To the contrary, he inspired them to go around and question things that were not normally questioned. I guess what I'm saying, Cavebear, is that the real problem in the scenario you described is that you had a "teacher" when you would have been better served by a "Socrates."

I was enjoying the conversation you two were having, and I feel you on the frustration w/ your teacher. I didn't mean to interject with some smarmy nonsense. It's just that philosophers are often perceived as some kind of rhetoricians. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Rhetoricians have many tools in their toolbox: logical argument, appeal to emotion, appeal to popular opinion, hyperbole, etc. But a philosopher limits himself to just one: logical argument. And that is a key difference.


Online Baruch

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2019, 10:46:15 PM »
Live long and prosper, Tuvac!  Drop in more often.  One of the most wonderful books I have read, is one on classical rhetoric.  Anyone in the pubic sphere shouldn't leave home or enter the public arena without it.

"And sharp swords came out of their mouths by which they will kill the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron and he treads the winepress of the wrath of Almighty God." - from the Aramaic NT.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 10:52:18 PM by Baruch »
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Online Cavebear

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2019, 09:34:33 AM »
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The thing about Socrates was that he saw argument as a way of getting closer to the truth. This is to be differentiated from the kind of argument that lawyers, politicians, and apologists use; their argument is a meant to convince others of the case they are trying to make. The thing is, when you are trying to convince others, lies often work as well as the truth. Socrates was not trying to convince anyone of anything. He wanted them to use their heads and figure out things for themselves.

Socrates famously said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." But it is not enough to simply examine one's own life and discern truths from that self-examination. One must (if one is to be thorough) subject one's conclusions to cross examination... one should test his truth by arguing it against those who would disagree. Through that process one stands to learn much concerning possible errors in his thought.

Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian government for the crimes of "atheism" and "corrupting the youth." He did not "corrupt the youth" by teaching them to "sit there like a student." To the contrary, he inspired them to go around and question things that were not normally questioned. I guess what I'm saying, Cavebear, is that the real problem in the scenario you described is that you had a "teacher" when you would have been better served by a "Socrates."

I was enjoying the conversation you two were having, and I feel you on the frustration w/ your teacher. I didn't mean to interject with some smarmy nonsense. It's just that philosophers are often perceived as some kind of rhetoricians. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Rhetoricians have many tools in their toolbox: logical argument, appeal to emotion, appeal to popular opinion, hyperbole, etc. But a philosopher limits himself to just one: logical argument. And that is a key difference.

Thank you, Vulcan.  I have never objected to people who question things considering facts.  And learning facts from which to consider reality has always been a goal.  I have certainly examined my lief as best I could.  And I think it is fair to say I have presented arguments well.  I have sought to avoid clever lies when discussing things with others.

But (there is always a "but") some people disagree with the Socratic way of thinking.  And I say that because all we really know of Socrates is what Plato said about him.  And Plato had his flaws.

So what Plato said, or hid, as interpreted today, is that Socrates was willing to use bad arguments to win a discussion, was confident in his beliefs to the point of ignoring of opposing views, and arranged his discussions to deliberately diminish those of his opponents after the fact.

That doesn't suggest he was the perfect philosopher some people think he was.

I have read many philosophers.  Most modern ones just seem too abstract.  One site suggested I was 100% Kant and 75% Hume.  They might seem a bit old but we ARE talking about Socrates and Plato, LOL!

The professors I referred to did not so much teach as assign readings and demand we discuss them among ourselves, which is not the worst way to learn.  I enjoyed it.  There were some good groups.  But between the class about the breakup of the Soviet Union and the one on the Vietnam War, I mostly "taught".  I was 40 years old and they were 20.  It didn't matter that some of them were dedicated to majoring in post-Soviet relations or wanted to understand the Vietnam War, I had years more experience than they did and they never stood a chance. 

Much like Socrates and his students, I might add...

Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Sal1981

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2019, 10:00:24 AM »
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From Athens and Rome, thru Machiavelli, to the Federalist Papers:

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Marx is right that society is war of eveyone against everyone else.  Marx is wrong that there is any solution to this, other than extinction.  But people being weak, divide into faction to leverage their greed.

The most stable government is a republic, apparently.

If equality should mean anything, then it should be equal opportunity. Democracy isn't perfect, without stop-gaps for it turning into an oligarchy we tend to distribute real power to several ministries. That's why equal opportunity is so important. Doesn't mean we arrive at a point that we have equal worth, quite the contrary, with equal opportunity we get a wide range of efforts put in, and several differences arise.

This isn't bad in any way that I can see. Just means we specialize into several factions, both politically, otherwise ideologically and in daily work-life.

It's only in perversions of equity, such as Communism, where equal worth is forced upon people. Where the necessary specializations are squandered away and lost in the name of "equality".
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Online Baruch

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2019, 03:33:49 PM »
In other words, "classical liberalism" ... but that is so 18th century!
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Online Baruch

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2019, 07:15:31 AM »
Better than "8 Values" ... 7 axes instead of 4 axes ...

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I agree that the Right is the normal status quo, and the Left is the abnormal disruption ...

So the Right is defined as being non-Left.  Some of you are Libertines, you know who you are ;-)
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Online Cavebear

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2019, 05:12:11 AM »
Anyone who is reduced to arguing that one side of an argument only exists as opposition to "The Truth", is an illogical idiot.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Baruch

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2019, 06:02:38 AM »
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Anyone who is reduced to arguing that one side of an argument only exists as opposition to "The Truth", is an illogical idiot.

Glad you are back.  And your statement is correct.  The first lie, is to arbitrarily delineate the variables.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Online Cavebear

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2019, 09:23:39 AM »
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Glad you are back.  And your statement is correct.  The first lie, is to arbitrarily delineate the variables.

And so many politicians only know the "first lie".  They have several stock answers and will find a way to fit one of them to the question  even if it doesn't fit.

The second lie is to say they aren't familiar with the event being discussed even if they are..  The 3rd lie is to change tense or place .  As in "I haven't seen that poll" or "I didn't hear him say that" when of course they read that poll or were right next to the person they said "they didn't hear speaking".

That's why I didn't go into politics or play poker.  I don't lie well.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Baruch

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2019, 10:58:07 AM »
Neither do I.  But I do embroider.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Online Cavebear

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2019, 11:00:15 AM »
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Neither do I.  But I do embroider.

Ah, "embroiderism".  The new excuse for "MAKING STUFF UP".  I don't visit that planet...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Online Baruch

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2019, 11:34:31 AM »
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Ah, "embroiderism".  The new excuse for "MAKING STUFF UP".  I don't visit that planet...

Decorating, you philistine!  Like taking e e cummings, and putting the capitals and punctuation back where they belong.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Online Cavebear

Re: General political theory ...
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2019, 01:13:00 PM »
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Decorating, you philistine!  Like taking e e cummings, and putting the capitals and punctuation back where they belong.

"I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.

Indeed, unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all."

I bet you loved 'Calvin&Hobbes'...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

 

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