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[at-l] Uh, don't you think we've put too much wood on this campfire?
- Subject: [at-l] Uh, don't you think we've put too much wood on this campfire?
- From: "David F. Addleton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 12:45:55 -0400
> After all, the stamp of "democracy" cleanses all acts of sin.
Last time I looked the constitution kept religion and government separate.
All of us need to look elsewhere and not to democracy for absolution.
> If it's on a ballot, then it must be a valid issue to decide
> by poll. And if a majority approves, it must be okay.
At least until someone gets either enough votes to reverse the poll or
convinces enough jurors and judges to undo the poll in the courts (a la
California's prop 129).
> And the more people who participate, the more ethical the
> process and outcome appear. :)
Mixing categories works something like trying to put out the fire with
gasoline. It just gets hotter and hotter. Pour some water on the fire, ok.
Our social contract lets everyone keep their own ethical standards, and
prohibits the government from imposing others' on you. Although one may
find a particular result from the polls, from the legislature, or from the
courts, unjust, unethical, or otherwise contrary to one's religious,
political, ethical, social, or cultural beliefs, we've agreed to live with
it and, if we feel strong enough about it, to follow certain social
procedures to obtain a change in the result. Castigating someone else's
ethical standards doesn't address the politics or advance the intellectual
> You want the courage of numbers to help carry out an act
> that you wouldn't have the *balls* to do by yourself, as
> an individual, with the gun in your own hand.
Misses the mark by a long shot. Doesn't address the issues in contention.
Invites virtual and actual violence: one can imagine a retort: "Do you have
the balls to take your gun and prevent the eminent domain proceedings?" So
much for our social contract which says absolutely nothing about justice or
ethics or whatever. Mixing categories, as I tried to explain, is like
trying to put out fire with gasoline.
> You need me to provide you moral cover. It won't be you who
> steals Saddleback, but rather the "community." It won't be
> done out of a special interest's greed, but for the "common
Mixing categories again, this time with a small dash of hubris and
grandiosity ... the "system" doesn't care who supports what or who opposes
what. It's remains wholly ignorant of individual identities and their
ethics and its results may or may not coincide with your or our ideals,
ethical, religious, or whatever.
> Furthermore, I'm not going to play your game and blame some
> conveniently vague entity like "government" for the taking of
> Saddleback. I'm gonna hold YOU, and all who acted to use the
> power of government toward that end, ultimately responsible.
Do you have a gun? Ammo? Grenades? Tanks? Missiles? An electric chair? A
gas chamber? Sodium penathol? This kind of thinking can be particularly
dangerous. We've experienced too much of this sort of craziness recently.
Littleton, Conyers, Atlanta, Los Angeles to name but a few. What exactly do
you mean when you claim you will hold others responsible? Are you a
dictator, a judge, a jury, and an executioner? Will you remain a part of
society or step beyond the pale of civilized society? Will you take them to
court? Slash their tires? Bomb their houses? Exactly who are you to hold
any civilized person responsible for anything in the politcal sphere?
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