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Tags capitalism , communism

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Old 12th June 2019, 08:37 AM   #41
lomiller
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post

I have been in sales for a number of years, working for people of varying levels of integrity.
My job is to motivate people to pay more than they "should" for things. Of late I have questioned why being "stupid" is considered such a character flaw that our culture approves of the "smart" preying on them.
Is it illegal, or immoral, to be less smart than I am?
Why am I-and those that I work for- rewarded for being able to outsmart someone else in a particular transaction to their detriment? Is that truly "merit"?
It’s not. In free market economies the real goal should be economic efficiency. IOW creating the most value with the least effort/input. This frees up resources that can be redirected to more or better goods/services, and when there is more to go around everyone can benefit.

Contrary to the libertarian propaganda laissez faire free market do not accomplish this. This only happens when sellers compete on certain fronts, if there is insufficient regulation they can do an end run around these the opposite can happen.

To work properly markets must be both free and regulated. Similarly, for property rights to work they need to exist but have limitations. The right wing fallacy is that the middle ground doesn’t exist, so the limitations and regulations that are required for things like property rights or free markets to function as intended and deemed “socialist”.
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Old 12th June 2019, 08:41 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
How do you figure?
Compared to modern social democracies the US is more economically stratified based on the economic status of the parent. This means that individual merit plays as smaller role in raising/lowering economic status than, which by definition makes it less of a meritocracy.
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Old 12th June 2019, 08:54 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

My original statement was that gifting your descendants with your wealth has been an important value in most cultures throughout human history.
There have been many societies with such concept.

What’s most relevant, however, is comparing state level societies based on absolute inherited property, privilege and economic status vs state level societies that tried to do away with personal property altogether. Both approached have failed.

The most successful approaches have been someplace in between. The truly relevant question is which direction a society should move to become more successful.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

This concept of the value of inheritance is not all about meritocracy.
It runs counter to meritocracy. You can't have both and the value of one must be weighed against the value of the other.
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Old 12th June 2019, 08:58 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
In my ideal world, from each according to their ability, to each according to their need would be law.
In an ideal world, it wouldn't need to be law.

In the real world, it's actually been tried as a law, with disastrous and deadly results.

---

I'm curious, though. How do you envision enforcing such a law?

How would you go about determining my ability? Would you make me take an aptitude test, and then choose my career for me? Would you figure that I have the ability to work 50 hours a week, and hold me to that requirement?

What if I have the ability to be a really good artist? Would that count? How would you determine the amount of art per year I would be required to produce by law? If I decided to slack off, how would you even know?

What about my needs? Would the law determine how much cream I really need for my coffee? Would the law determine whether I need any coffee at all?

Would your law allow me to grow marijuana on my back porch, for recreational purposes? Trade it to my neighbors for goods and services without regard for need?

How many biographies per month do I really need to read? How many crime caper novels? How many movies do I really need to see in a year? How many hours of X-box are really necessary? Maybe I should be spending that time making more hammers or sickles or whatever. If I have the ability to lean, I have the ability to clean, as it were.

---

I think the whole point of "ability/need" is not to make it a law (which honestly I think is unworkable even in an ideal world), but that come the apotheosis, humans will just operate that way naturally and voluntarily, without the need for laws, or capital, or any of the guff we think is mandatory today in our imperfect state.
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Old 12th June 2019, 09:18 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In an ideal world, it wouldn't need to be law.

In the real world, it's actually been tried as a law, with disastrous and deadly results.

---

I'm curious, though. How do you envision enforcing such a law?

How would you go about determining my ability? Would you make me take an aptitude test, and then choose my career for me? Would you figure that I have the ability to work 50 hours a week, and hold me to that requirement?

What if I have the ability to be a really good artist? Would that count? How would you determine the amount of art per year I would be required to produce by law? If I decided to slack off, how would you even know?

What about my needs? Would the law determine how much cream I really need for my coffee? Would the law determine whether I need any coffee at all?

Would your law allow me to grow marijuana on my back porch, for recreational purposes? Trade it to my neighbors for goods and services without regard for need?

How many biographies per month do I really need to read? How many crime caper novels? How many movies do I really need to see in a year? How many hours of X-box are really necessary? Maybe I should be spending that time making more hammers or sickles or whatever. If I have the ability to lean, I have the ability to clean, as it were.

---

I think the whole point of "ability/need" is not to make it a law (which honestly I think is unworkable even in an ideal world), but that come the apotheosis, humans will just operate that way naturally and voluntarily, without the need for laws, or capital, or any of the guff we think is mandatory today in our imperfect state.
I think previous iterations have defined "ability" basically as
"The ability to successfully pretend to be a machine", and "need" as (broadly) "That which is necessary to not experience premature death".

I accept that it is quite possible that "we" have passed a threshold wherein it may be possible that no one need pretend to be a machine any longer in order to ensure that everyone's needs can be met (using the aforementioned definition of "need")

Since a great deal of human suffering can be attributed both to making people pretend to be machines, and to allowing a situation to persist wherein many people cannot get their needs met. I think a re-alignment of how "we" operate societally should definitely be considered.
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Old 12th June 2019, 09:29 AM   #46
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I think it's the other way around. We make machines that pretend to be human, for some specific task. Up until very recently, at least, the human worker came first, and the machine came later.

For example: Computers. In 1945, a computer was a human who performed computational tasks. Then a series of machines were developed to emulate humans at this task, and the term gradually shifted to refer to these machines. And it's a similar evolution in every field of human endeavor. Farm machinery replaces human effort. Automated systems replace the flight engineer on jet airliners, and the RIO on fighter/attack aircraft.

It's never been about humans pretending to be machines. It's been about humans building a better tomorrow through sheer human effort, and then investing the profits in machines that can perform the same tasks more efficiently and with less overall human effort.

That Amazon warehouse picker isn't a human pretending to be a machine. It's a human putting in human effort the way humans have always done, because there isn't yet a machine that can convincingly pretend to be a human for that task.
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Old 12th June 2019, 09:31 AM   #47
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If 10 of us work at the need factory, and the vacation factory sends over two vouchers for vacation to the beach, and two to the mountains, how do we distribute them?
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Old 12th June 2019, 09:37 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If 10 of us work at the need factory, and the vacation factory sends over two vouchers for vacation to the beach, and two to the mountains, how do we distribute them?
How many days are the vacations for, and how often are they distributed?
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Old 12th June 2019, 09:48 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
How many days are the vacations for, and how often are they distributed?
And which of the workers want a vacation now versus later, or hate the beach, or would rather see Granny at Xmas? Individuals are more complex than the division of the sum of their collective.
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Old 12th June 2019, 09:52 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
In my ideal world, from each according to their ability, to each according to their need would be law.
I'll say this for the old-style communists: At least they recognized that there was an awful lot of work to be done. The new, improved commies seem to think that robots will do all the work and they will be free to do whatever they please. I can understand the appeal, but find myself chuckling at the naivete.
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Old 12th June 2019, 09:57 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If 10 of us work at the need factory, and the vacation factory sends over two vouchers for vacation to the beach, and two to the mountains, how do we distribute them?



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Old 12th June 2019, 10:30 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it's the other way around. We make machines that pretend to be human, for some specific task. Up until very recently, at least, the human worker came first, and the machine came later.

For example: Computers. In 1945, a computer was a human who performed computational tasks. Then a series of machines were developed to emulate humans at this task, and the term gradually shifted to refer to these machines. And it's a similar evolution in every field of human endeavor. Farm machinery replaces human effort. Automated systems replace the flight engineer on jet airliners, and the RIO on fighter/attack aircraft.

It's never been about humans pretending to be machines. It's been about humans building a better tomorrow through sheer human effort, and then investing the profits in machines that can perform the same tasks more efficiently and with less overall human effort.

That Amazon warehouse picker isn't a human pretending to be a machine. It's a human putting in human effort the way humans have always done, because there isn't yet a machine that can convincingly pretend to be a human for that task.
Conceded that humans pre-date machines. Conceded, also, that "humans pretending to be machines" contains some hyperbole.

Not conceded that a picker for Amazon is putting in effort "the way humans have always done". As conceded above, humanity predates the reliance on machine culture by a large span of time. Throughout most of that time (and even now) the behavior of a picker at an Amazon warehouse would have been viewed as decidedly unnatural (except, of course, in the broadest sense of exerting effort towards a reward- a quality shared by most animals)

While "building a better tomorrow" certainly would have included having all aforementioned "needs" met in the minds of the early machine builders and planners, a life of toil in service to the necessities of "machine culture" almost certainly was not part of the dream as more than a necessary evil.

As stated earlier, I think it is worthwhile to explore wether or not we have crossed the threshold wherein the efforts of the early machine builders have reached fruition, inasmuch as humans can behave more in accordance with their nature while still having their needs met, and not needing to fill in the gaps of meeting those with unnatural behavior (by pretending to be machines)

I am open to the possibility that we have reached that point. If we have, it leads to the question of how the "machine culture" humans have created needs to be adjusted so that it functions as envisioned.

Conceded in advance that there are obviously considerations of what "natural" human behavior and its drawbacks are. Left out discussion of such as it seems to run too far afield of topic.
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Old 12th June 2019, 11:00 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
Nah. Thunderdome was more trial by combat and bread and circuses.

I'm thinking a limited number of vacation vouchers would be purchased with sexual favors.

---

"Tell you what: I'll take the vacation at the beach, and you can have a vacation in my pants on our lunch break."

"Deal!"

"Hey! All our needs are met! This kind of bartering for scarce goods is technically impossible and legally prohibited! I'm reporting you to The Machine!"

"THE MACHINE ALREADY KNOWS. GET IN LINE FOR REEDUCATION. PLEASE BE PATIENT. THE INDOCTRINATION BOOTHS ARE OVERBOOKED. WE BELIEVE SOME PEOPLE ARE USING THEM FOR SEX."

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Old 12th June 2019, 11:07 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
The ability to do what, though? Seems like the answer is that "meritocracy" allocates wealth and power to those with the ability to accrue wealth and power. A bit circular, no?
And of course making good decisions in who your parents are is the most important decision of all, as such it gets the highest rewards. Ability and crap like that are meaningless in comparison, as true merit is shown through blood.
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Old 12th June 2019, 11:08 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Conceded that humans pre-date machines. Conceded, also, that "humans pretending to be machines" contains some hyperbole.

Not conceded that a picker for Amazon is putting in effort "the way humans have always done". As conceded above, humanity predates the reliance on machine culture by a large span of time. Throughout most of that time (and even now) the behavior of a picker at an Amazon warehouse would have been viewed as decidedly unnatural (except, of course, in the broadest sense of exerting effort towards a reward- a quality shared by most animals)

While "building a better tomorrow" certainly would have included having all aforementioned "needs" met in the minds of the early machine builders and planners, a life of toil in service to the necessities of "machine culture" almost certainly was not part of the dream as more than a necessary evil.

As stated earlier, I think it is worthwhile to explore wether or not we have crossed the threshold wherein the efforts of the early machine builders have reached fruition, inasmuch as humans can behave more in accordance with their nature while still having their needs met, and not needing to fill in the gaps of meeting those with unnatural behavior (by pretending to be machines)

I am open to the possibility that we have reached that point. If we have, it leads to the question of how the "machine culture" humans have created needs to be adjusted so that it functions as envisioned.

Conceded in advance that there are obviously considerations of what "natural" human behavior and its drawbacks are. Left out discussion of such as it seems to run too far afield of topic.
Fair enough. You raise some interesting points that have given me food for thought.
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Old 12th June 2019, 11:10 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
This. The underlying problem here is that both communism and capitalism were developed in a world in which material wealth was fundamentally limited. When faced with the problem that we can't make everyone rich, what do you do?

In capitalism, you say, fine, let everyone compete, and some will be rich, some will be middle class, and some will be rat-ass poor. In communism, you say, fine, let's make everyone equally not-quite-rat-ass poor.

But in a post-scarcity economy, that problem simply doesn't exist. Given sufficient technology, we could make everyone "rich". That is, adequate housing, food, entertainment, fulfilling work/hobbies, and what not.

The problem is how to get from here to there.
Grinding poverty is a feature not a bug of the american way. You need to know that if you get sick, have an accident or anything you will lose anything and be left to starve because that is needed to motivate people to work harder for what the classes who matter have determined they deserve.
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Old 12th June 2019, 11:12 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I doubt most people throughout history have had much of anything TO pass down to their kids, much less enough to qualify as "providing for their descendants after their death."

Your sentence might be accurate if it read "Most fantastically wealthy members of the hereditary aristocracies through most of history have considered providing for their descendants after their death to be one of the most meaningful dispositions of their private property", though.
Exactly the peasants don't count. Why when serfdom makes a comeback property owns you!
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Old 12th June 2019, 11:48 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Perhaps there's a difference between Granny leaving you $2000 and her good china and Mrs Vanderbilt leaving you three mansions and $200,000,000? Unless it's very good china indeed.
I think it's worth pointing out that in our society there's also a hypocritical trend to bitch and whine about the lazy SOB living off of the government while at the same time kissing the ass of the lazy SOB living off of their inheritance.
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Old 12th June 2019, 12:21 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Agreed. But I invtited you to make a case that "it's all about meritocracy." Why should I care that inheritance isn't based on merit, if "it" (whatever "it" is) isn't actually "all about" merit-based inheritance.

My original statement was that gifting your descendants with your wealth has been an important value in most cultures throughout human history. This concept of the value of inheritance is not all about meritocracy.

So maybe you should start making your case by explaining what "it" is, in your "it's all about".
Never said "all." Readjust and try again.
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Old 12th June 2019, 12:29 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Grinding poverty is a feature not a bug of the american way. You need to know that if you get sick, have an accident or anything you will lose anything and be left to starve because that is needed to motivate people to work harder for what the classes who matter have determined they deserve.
Abject poverty is the natural state of man, not a product of the American way.
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Old 12th June 2019, 12:43 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Abject poverty is the natural state of man, not a product of the American way.
I agree with this opinion.

---

The human condition is death, staved off by hard work and good luck. Some people have better opportunities. Others put in more effort. Everyone rises and falls on some combination of the two.

---

Inheritance is a case of one person choosing to turn their hard work and good luck into better opportunities for someone else. This choice is made possible by the institution of private property.

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Old 12th June 2019, 12:54 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
And of course making good decisions in who your parents are is the most important decision of all, as such it gets the highest rewards.
It always amuses me when somebody makes this argument. The notion seems related to the old euphemism of the stork bringing babies to the proud parents. Baby #15 goes to the grinding poverty family, while baby #16 is deposited on the doorstep of the Gottbux mansion. And if you think about it like that, yes, it does seem super-unfair that #16 got so many advantages compared to the unfortunate infant who came off the assembly line just before him.

Of course, basic biology sort of blows that notion out of the water. Baby #15 could not just as easily have been born to the Gottbux clan. There was no luck or unfairness involved.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:12 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
It's from Marx. It has to do with those who are able to taking care of those who aren't able. Basically describing a decent society.
Quote:
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
Milton Friedman

Do you think the problem with socialism is, that socialism does not produce greater productivity than is produced in Capitalism?

I would maintain that Capitalism, through it's greater productivity, helps more people than even a properly integrated Marxist civilization, simply because there is not enough product generated to help everyone.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:28 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Abject poverty is the natural state of man, not a product of the American way.
Poverty is a relative term, no?

Would an individual human alone on the Earth be living in "poverty"? How about two humans?, or 2000?

Only when the actions of other humans restrict a humans' access to available resources does "poverty" become a concept with any real world implication. That makes it an "unnatural state" IMO -at least for an individual human.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:31 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I agree with this opinion.

---

The human condition is death, staved off by hard work and good luck. Some people have better opportunities. Others put in more effort. Everyone rises and falls on some combination of the two.

---

Inheritance is a case of one person choosing to turn their hard work and good luck into better opportunities for someone else. This choice is made possible by the institution of private property.
A dead person can turn nothing over to anyone- they are dead. Living people can choose to accept that something that used to belong to a dead person now belongs to someone else- or not.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:33 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Because private property is a thing. And most people through most of history have considered providing for their descendants after their death to be one of the most meaningful dispositions of their private property.

Not understanding this is, I think, an anti social trait.

And also a communist trait. But I repeat myself.

---

I think a lot of the anti inheritance attitude is rooted in a belief that individual wealth belongs to the state, and that the individual is merely borrowing it. They're supposed to return it to its rightful owner, not pass it on to their family and friends.
No. It is the idea of meritocracy not aristocracy.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:37 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Poverty is a relative term, no?

Would an individual human alone on the Earth be living in "poverty"? How about two humans?, or 2000?

Only when the actions of other humans restrict a humans' access to available resources does "poverty" become a concept with any real world implication. That makes it an "unnatural state" IMO -at least for an individual human.
I only view it as an absolute measure.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:38 PM   #68
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
A dead person can turn nothing over to anyone- they are dead. Living people can choose to accept that something that used to belong to a dead person now belongs to someone else- or not.
Semantically boring.

Think of it this way:

Q. Who owns private property when the current owner dies?

A. The current owner decides that while they are still alive. The rest of us uphold the decision because we desire the same when it's our turn.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:42 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Semantically boring.

Think of it this way:

Q. Who owns private property when the current owner dies?

A. The current owner decides that while they are still alive. The rest of us uphold the decision because we desire the same when it's our turn.
Most people have a preference because they stupidly believe in the afterlife. Their opinion means little to me on the subject.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:44 PM   #70
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Well.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:59 PM   #71
Distracted1
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Semantically boring.

Think of it this way:

Q. Who owns private property when the current owner dies?

A. The current owner decides that while they are still alive. The rest of us uphold the decision because we desire the same when it's our turn.
That makes "the rest of us" the final arbiter of what happens to the things that formerly belonged to a person who is now dead.
We concur on that.
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Old 12th June 2019, 01:59 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
It always amuses me when somebody makes this argument. The notion seems related to the old euphemism of the stork bringing babies to the proud parents. Baby #15 goes to the grinding poverty family, while baby #16 is deposited on the doorstep of the Gottbux mansion. And if you think about it like that, yes, it does seem super-unfair that #16 got so many advantages compared to the unfortunate infant who came off the assembly line just before him.

Of course, basic biology sort of blows that notion out of the water. Baby #15 could not just as easily have been born to the Gottbux clan. There was no luck or unfairness involved.
Actually, it's YOUR post that is the one confusing the issue, treating babies as if they come off some assembly line in heaven. "We can't send Baby #15 to the Gottbux family; this here's a poverty-gene baby!"

You're completely missing the point: The reward (or lack thereof) of the family a baby is born to is not due to the baby's choosing or the merit of his/her abilities; as far as the baby's will is concerned, it is chance.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:04 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
Actually, it's YOUR post that is the one confusing the issue, treating babies as if they come off some assembly line in heaven. "We can't send Baby #15 to the Gottbux family; this here's a poverty-gene baby!"



You're completely missing the point: The reward (or lack thereof) of the family a baby is born to is not due to the baby's choosing or the merit of his/her abilities; as far as the baby's will is concerned, it is chance.
Chance yes. Unfair no.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:04 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Most people have a preference because they stupidly believe in the afterlife. Their opinion means little to me on the subject.
I can't even imagine why you would believe this. The preference is for leaving material things to those you leave behind, often children. A desire to leave your children well off is rather independent of one's belief or disbelief in an afterlife.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:07 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Chance yes. Unfair no.
I'm not claiming it's unfair. In fact, I would need a rigorous definition of "unfair" (with respect to this situation) before I could even begin to agree or disagree.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:23 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
I can't even imagine why you would believe this. The preference is for leaving material things to those you leave behind, often children. A desire to leave your children well off is rather independent of one's belief or disbelief in an afterlife.
It's kind of odd if you think about it though.

Once I cease to exist there will be no "me" to take satisfaction from the benefits my offspring might get from the material wealth they will have ownership of.

Recognizing that, the only satisfaction I can take from it is the fantasy that it will be appreciated. Similar to the justifications for people purchasing lottery tickets -knowing how worthless they likely are- so that they might enjoy thinking about how they might spend their winnings right up to the point when the numbers are actually drawn.

Once death occurs,it can be of no consequence to me whether my heirs are given my wealth or not by definition.

This seemingly irrelevant philosophical argument actually has had a real-world consequence with the re-branding of "inheritance tax" to "death tax". That was a bit of a disingenuous shift of focus, it is much easier to convince people of the rediculousness of "taxing death" than to convince them that it is somehow unfair that someone receiving an unearned windfall should probably pay some taxes on said windfall (as if they had won the lottery).
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:37 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
....................................

But in a post-scarcity economy, that problem simply doesn't exist. Given sufficient technology, we could make everyone "rich". That is, adequate housing, food, entertainment, fulfilling work/hobbies, and what not.

The problem is how to get from here to there.
Exactly. And it not a "problem". It is a fatal flaw of the whole project. Resources are limited, people needs and demands are not. You can't fulfil unlimited demand with limited resources, period. This system is a pure fantasy and stupid fantasy at that.
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Old 12th June 2019, 02:49 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
It's kind of odd if you think about it though.

Once I cease to exist there will be no "me" to take satisfaction from the benefits my offspring might get from the material wealth they will have ownership of.

Recognizing that, the only satisfaction I can take from it is the fantasy that it will be appreciated. Similar to the justifications for people purchasing lottery tickets -knowing how worthless they likely are- so that they might enjoy thinking about how they might spend their winnings right up to the point when the numbers are actually drawn.

Once death occurs,it can be of no consequence to me whether my heirs are given my wealth or not by definition.

This seemingly irrelevant philosophical argument actually has had a real-world consequence with the re-branding of "inheritance tax" to "death tax". That was a bit of a disingenuous shift of focus, it is much easier to convince people of the rediculousness of "taxing death" than to convince them that it is somehow unfair that someone receiving an unearned windfall should probably pay some taxes on said windfall (as if they had won the lottery).
Unlike the afterlife, a vast majority of people believe that the world (and others in it) continue after their own individual death. I think the highlighted part borders on solipsism. It is meaningful to them while they are alive and therefore that's when (and why) they choose to do something about it. I don't find it odd at all that people find comfort that their children (or others they care about) will be well provided for after they (the parent) dies.

And a comparison to a lottery? You think the satisfaction that knowing your child will be left a million dollars is as worthless as a likely losing lottery ticket? It's not even the same sport, bro.

Worthless (in my opinion) is making plans so that your "life in heaven" will be rewarded: Plans like not eating pork or observing the Sabbath or whatever. Making plans for those you actually leave behind, on the other hand: That is very real.

But sure, I've known some people with this sort of attitude: What does it matter what I do for anyone? We're all gonna die anyway.
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Old 12th June 2019, 04:14 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Cabbage View Post
Unlike the afterlife, a vast majority of people believe that the world (and others in it) continue after their own individual death. I think the highlighted part borders on solipsism. It is meaningful to them while they are alive and therefore that's when (and why) they choose to do something about it. I don't find it odd at all that people find comfort that their children (or others they care about) will be well provided for after they (the parent) dies.

And a comparison to a lottery? You think the satisfaction that knowing your child will be left a million dollars is as worthless as a likely losing lottery ticket? It's not even the same sport, bro.

Worthless (in my opinion) is making plans so that your "life in heaven" will be rewarded: Plans like not eating pork or observing the Sabbath or whatever. Making plans for those you actually leave behind, on the other hand: That is very real.

But sure, I've known some people with this sort of attitude: What does it matter what I do for anyone? We're all gonna die anyway.
The satisfaction derived is the same between the un-drawn lottery ticket and how good it is going to be for my heirs when they get my stuff. Both can only be enjoyed prior to the actual "drawing" in that they are both fantasies that can only be enjoyed before the fact.
Actually, one could say that it is at least possible that one will see the realization of the lottery fantasy.
Actions taken to try to achieve a result after death can only be enjoyed or appreciated as fantasy, even if they actually do turn out exactly as hoped, since the one doing the hoping will no longer exist after the action takes effect.
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Old 12th June 2019, 05:41 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
The satisfaction derived is the same between the un-drawn lottery ticket and how good it is going to be for my heirs when they get my stuff. Both can only be enjoyed prior to the actual "drawing" in that they are both fantasies that can only be enjoyed before the fact.
Actually, one could say that it is at least possible that one will see the realization of the lottery fantasy.
Actions taken to try to achieve a result after death can only be enjoyed or appreciated as fantasy, even if they actually do turn out exactly as hoped, since the one doing the hoping will no longer exist after the action takes effect.
I think you're thinking more chronologically while I'm thinking more probabilistically:

But the reality of the inheritance coming to fruition is quite large (as far as I know, barring unusual circumstances, it is in fact guaranteed). For the lottery ticket: Vanishingly small. The satisfaction of a pipe dream lottery win is absolutely not the same as the satisfaction of a well planned and solidly probable benefit for someone. You're introducing a chronological element where there doesn't need to be one: It makes one feel better now that they've planned for their children's future without them. Of course it doesn't affect the deceased one after they've deceased: It affects the survivors in the future and that is comforting to those still alive in the present. And this isn't some futile probability game like the lottery: It's actually part of law.

Do you feel the same way about organ donation? You know it does make a difference to those receiving the inheritance or the donation, even if you aren't around to witness the difference you make. For some people that means a lot while they are alive. If it means nothing to you then, well, I can't help you.

Anyway, there's no requirement that satisfaction can only be obtained at when a decision comes to fruition. Knowing that your loved ones will be provided for in the future after you've passed is satisfying to many people while they are still alive.
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