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A few questions

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samr Posted: Sun, Dec 18 2011 5:18 PM

Hi.

 

I am an Israeli, trapped in some moral dilemmas right now. Asking for your help.

 

1) How does one make moral choices (I am not really sure what the essence of morality is) in mixed situations? If one lives in a country where forced conscription does exist, then not enlisting in the army means being a free rider. Now, in a free society, free riders wouldn't be a problem. But in a "social" society, they are.  

So how can one function in a mixed state of afairs?

 

2) Is it moral to live on welfare? It is not me who takes the money from the victims. It is "the mafia" (the government) that loots. Why is it my responsibility to prevent the government from looting? It isn't. It is their responsibility. So why can't one live on welfare?

And is it wise, even if moral?

 

Thanks. References to literature would also be appreciaed.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 5:23 PM

I didn't understand your first question.

In response to your second question, no, it is not immoral to collect wefare assistance. From the most abstract point-of-view, we are all receiving subsidy from the government. Every time you drive to work, you do so over roads that are provided free-of-charge to you by the government who taxes people who choose not to or cannot afford to drive on that road. Hence, you are subsidized by many others, even if you don't want to be.

That said, collecting welfare is definitely unwise. The clear political purpose of welfare is to create dependency. If you collect, you will be dependent. If your children are literally about to starve and you have no other way to help them, then perhaps it is wise to sign up. But I think only a tiny, tiny percentage of people are in a position where it is actually in their best interests to collect. Even if you can take it, you should avoid it and find other ways to subsist.

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samr replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 5:29 PM

If one lives in an unfree society, then being a free rider is a moral problem, since one lives at the expense of others, and becomes a "slave owner", even if not through his will.

 

In a free society, there is no such problem, because everyone does what he wants. There are no slaves, so you cannot harm anyone by being a "free rider".

 

Would you agree? And what would you decide regarding being a free rider in an unfree society?

 

My specific example - the IDF. I believe, that I can be legimately be charged with being a "slave owner" and living "at the expense of others", if I do not go, even though the conscription is forced. In a free society that could not happen.

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samr replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 5:32 PM

>From the most abstract point-of-view, we are all receiving subsidy from the government. Every time you drive to work, you do so over >roads that are provided free-of-charge to you by the government who taxes people who choose not to or cannot afford to drive on that >road.

 

I am not sure our behaviour is ethical, then.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 5:34 PM

I am not sure our behaviour is ethical, then.

Then your only moral option may be suicide. Even the water you drink is provided by subsidy... pumped to your home through pipes which are built and maintained by tax dollars collected by force from many who may not even use the water system.

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Marko replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 5:55 PM

It is moral, in both your cases. Desertion is not aggression, threatening death for desertion is. Nothing wrong with living on welfare if previously you or your parents were looted by the government for a sum larger than what you recieve now. It's your money you're getting back, similar in some way to pensioners living on state pensions.

Now, in a free society, free riders wouldn't be a problem. But in a "social" society, they are.


They aren't. Free riders are exactly the same in a free society and in a state, only in the former case there isn't a government around to demonize them.

If one lives in an unfree society, then being a free rider is a moral problem, since one lives at the expense of others, and becomes a "slave owner", even if not through his will.


If conscripts are slaves and if conscripts fighting for you make you a slave owner, then you remain a slave owner even if you are conscripted and fight with them yourself. They are still fighting for you and they are still under threat if they desert.

Of course they aren't actually your slaves as you yourself are not threatening to inflict harm upon them if they desert. (Unless you support the government in its threats-making in which case you may be.) Also most of them are servicemen not because of threats, but because they buy into civic duty, so they aren't actually slaves.

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Clayton replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 6:38 PM

if previously you or your parents were looted by the government for a sum larger than what you recieve now

I strongly disagree with this. The amounts involved are immaterial. What alters the moral equation is the lack of causality. - you are not the cause of the taxes being collected, even if you are a beneficiary of State expenditures. The other way to look at it is that the collection of those taxes is practically inevitable.

Some people are massive beneficiaries of State subsidy, well beyond whatever they or their parents have paid in taxes. Any owner of a successful retail store in a downtown district, for example, is a huge beneficiary of State subsidy... every road, every sidewalk, every public bus or train which transports people to your store at no charge to you and at subsidized prices for the travellers is essentially money in your pocket - well beyond whatever you or your business will ever pay in taxes.

You are subsidized by the surrounding suburbs who pay to maintain the bristling infrastructure in the downtown location where you receive immense amounts of retail traffic. Does that make it immoral to run a business? No, I don't think it makes it immoral but it does make it highly political. If no one else, at least the city council appreciates the favors you are receiving and they angle either for increased taxation, regulation or both on your business precisely because you don't "deserve" all the revenues your business generates.

Then where things get really interesting is when the largest local landowners and business-owners angle to place relatives in positions on the city council so they can make favorable decisions for the family's interests. This dynamic is a microcosm of international power politics. This is what politics is really all about... not world government, not RFID chips or a New World Order. It's about capturing the public square and using it to quash one's competitors and increase one's own wealth and influence.

</rabbit trail>

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bbnet replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 7:03 PM

Samr, avoid the morality trap, do what is best for you now without jeapordizing your future goals, don't worry about being a free rider or a slave/master. 

The late great Harry Browne's book How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World might help you sort through your dilemma?

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Marko replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 7:05 PM

Some people are massive beneficiaries of State subsidy, well beyond whatever they or their parents have paid in taxes. Any owner of a successful retail store in a downtown district, for example, is a huge beneficiary of State subsidy... every road, every sidewalk, every public bus or train which transports people to your store at no charge to you and at subsidized prices for the travellers is essentially money in your pocket - well beyond whatever you or your business will ever pay in taxes.

Perhaps, but the store owner can not de-construct roads, nor would this help the people who were forced to pay for them. But if you recieve a large amount of cash from the government it is possible for you to in some way return it to the people it was stolen from. You can donate the cash to a local cause, or even place an add saying you will give it to the first net tax payer that contacts you.

Signing up for welfare is actually heroic as it means you liberate funds from the state. But the fact that you liberated something does not make it yours, if it has previous owners which cash certainly does. The money should be returned to whom it was taken taken from (which in some cases is happening without there being a transfer of the sort I describe, since it had been taken from the now recipient). I would liken this to Russian oligarchs who wrestled control of state companies for themselves. This was not an immoral act at all, but it should have been followed by them offering the real owners (the workers) to take over the title afterwards. So their continuing to hold on to something they liberated from the state, but has real owners is immoral.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 9:42 PM

When you break it down, yes, you indirectly are benefiting from state services. However, the question of causation is important. To live morally (imo) you should not initiate aggression. That means that you should not actively go out to take other people's money (ie, vote for tax increases, etc). You are perfectly fine using roads, because 1) what was stolen from people was money, not roads (and the roads cannot be "given back" in the literal sense) 2) The state has made it impossible for you to function without using these services (through coercion). Alternatively, you can imagine that you are a part owner of the roads (as a public good). While this is not true, in fact it might be allowable, as collections of individuals cannot in fact own property (only individuals can). Hence, the roads are unowned and you are merely using an easement.

Do not kill yourself over the moral argument. The point is to work towards liberty. Within reasonable boundaries, try to not use extra government services (welfare, subsidies, etc). Other services (roads, water, police) you really cannot help using, because of the coercion used to prevent their creation in the free market.

Really, you are being as moral as you can be. Just because you are a slave and the food you create helps the master to later enslave others doesn't mean you are at fault.

Help to spread the cause of liberty through reason and composure. If you prefer, moving to the US might allow you some more freedom than living in Israel.

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samr replied on Sat, Dec 24 2011 2:00 PM

 

 

Can you recommend me books on ethics that do not break a person's spirit?

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Dec 24 2011 2:17 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Ego-His-Own-Individual-Philosophy/dp/048644581X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324757108&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Good-Evil-Friedrich-Nietzsche/dp/1451574835/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324757132&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/philosophy-Friedrich-Nietzsche-H-Mencken/dp/B004Q9SFMG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324757402&sr=1-1

These are books for true atheists. Not just for the ones who are willing to cast god aside (in the classic sense of the term), but all presupposition, and begin to fully accept themselves and strive for their own self-fulfilment. If you're still having moral problems then these might not be the books that are the best for you to read right now, but they will certainly change your outlook and make you more comfortable with doing what you must do.

Edit

Also these books are tough reading with the exception of the last one, which, although somewhat inaccurate, is written wonderfully and conveys the gist of the matter.

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Clayton replied on Sat, Dec 24 2011 3:41 PM

@Neo: Great suggestions... they have been noted. I'm currently reading this. I was initially attracted by the concept of "slave morality" and "master morality". I see something similar, that a person has to choose what sort of life they want to live, whether a docile life of "food and friends" or an enterprising life of risk, action and luck. Neither choice is right or wrong, it depends on one's circumstances and disposition, that is, one's own choice. But depending on which life you choose to live "right" and "wrong" - as a classification of possible ends - are very different. In the former case, it has more to do with conformance and in the latter case, it has more to do with success.

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Dec 24 2011 7:32 PM

Clayton

I agree heartily. I consider that praxeology has really deep implications for an individual who understands their concepts, and I find that the problem is specifically that people, whilst acting by the laws of praxeology, do not think of things in terms of praxeology. All means and ends are subjective, and so there's nothing which one can definitively say about the means and ends chosen unless they are not considered (thusly not meeting the end of ultimate satisfaction as well as could be done), and I believe this is what we see with the vast majority of people. That is to say that people are pursuing ends which have not been considered in any meaningful way. They follow the "get job, obtain spouse, get house, get family, retire in Florida" mentality specifically because that's what they see other people around them doing, and it doesn't occur to people to challenge these sorts of ends, because it's hard to see that they are actually pursuing other people's values. The ultimate tragedy throughout human history has been the fact that people pick up values which have been made for them by others, or "by society", due to presupposition. Even when such values are questioned it rarely goes beyond the mad counter culture movements of, say, the 60's, which are almost always reactions instead of considered alternatives. 

Real happiness and optimal action can only be found on an individual basis by those who discover what is best for themselves, and what they really value, without reference to others except where they find that the values of others really matter. A novel I read once talked about "the invisible hammer"  that's in people's heads which keeps them subjugated by petty authority, which has no real substance, but it's all about what you can get the individual to believe. I find that people believe in what we could call "invisible values" which are values which they feel a duty to follow, which are supposed to be important to them, but in reality they hold no substance, it's only the individual's belief that such values should have substance that gives these values any authority. You can see similar ideas floating around in Nietzsche and Stirner of course, that's where I got the ideas from. 

I see nothing wrong in a radical lifestyle, or the most conformist lifestyle possible. In fact I'd go so far as to argue that there can be nothing wrong in these things, but I consider it a shame that so many people do one or the other (usually something resembling the latter) without actually considering any of the values which lead them to such a lifestyle. I firmly believe that one's life mission can literally be summed up in two phrases:

"Discover what you value"

"Pursue what you value"

Anyway, that's Neodoxy's incredibly deep, meaningful, and somewhat off-topic post for the day.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

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fakename replied on Sat, Dec 24 2011 8:15 PM

"1) How does one make moral choices (I am not really sure what the essence of morality is) in mixed situations? If one lives in a country where forced conscription does exist, then not enlisting in the army means being a free rider. Now, in a free society, free riders wouldn't be a problem. But in a "social" society, they are.  

So how can one function in a mixed state of afairs?"

 

As long as what you plan to do is something that is not inherently wrong, then for the sake of a greater good one can allow a bad thing to result.

I'm not evaluating the morality of your plans whatever they be though.

 

"Is it moral to live on welfare?"

Yes IMO, but you really should see if you can get out of it.

 

 

 

 

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Clayton replied on Sun, Dec 25 2011 12:18 AM


Argh, I had typed a long response and then my browser puked out. *sigh

"Discover what you value"

"Pursue what you value"


Wow, this is almost exactly what I've written in this thread. It would be nice if you gave your input.

I'm currently working on a book based on this idea... it's primarily being written for my own edification but also for my children (and anyone else who's interested). The title of the book will be: The World is Yours. Man in the primitive state was born with an innate sense of this fact. He didn't have to be told the world was his. Like any animal, he simply acted on it.

It is the rapid evolution of mankind that has changed our environment faster than our brains have been able to adapt to it. The evolutionary psychologists have provided a revisionist interpretation of the Garden of Eden myth (which is present in many cultures) to the effect that it is a vestigial memory of "happier times" when people were more innocent in the sense that they did not need to reflect on morality but simply acted without hesitation. Man has "fallen" from his state of innocence and has been forever banished from Paradise, never to return.

This "displacement" from our "natural environment" leaves us vulnerable to manipulation by those who want to intimidate us. (It is much less work to simply intimidate the people you intend to plunder than manually hacking them all to death and then taking their stuff.) We live in a world filled with mental intimidation, exactly like your "invisible hammer" (what was the name/author of the novel, by the way, I'd like to use this phrase and cite it).

The fears that people are inculcated with today are not as strong in the realm of morality than compared to, say, medieval Christian Europe. Today, we are terrified of other things such as being factually incorrect. This is the foundation of expert-based collectivism. It's the reason a doctor (you're paying him) can scold you for smoking cigarettes or being obese... even if it's the first time he's ever met you. You do not have the authority to make decisions over your own body because you might make a mistake. You must consult an expert before acting.

Now that we have fallen from Paradise, most of us have to consciously internalize the fact that the world is our playground because we were, in a million ways, taught the very opposite our whole lives and we didn't have the "mental circuitry" within ourselves to reconcile the manifold dangers of our the modern environment and our internal urge to act. Very few people today are taught the world is their playground or live according to it. The ruling elites, some entrepreneurs, some "Bohemians" and so on, live it. But 99.99% of us do not.

Anyway, you've sent me back to the drawing boards now. I have to read Stirner and Nietzsche before I can continue... *sigh

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Clayton, are you envisaging something similar to this work? http://www.bazkhani.com/wp-content/uploads/freedom_in_an_unfree_world.pdf

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Gumdy replied on Sat, Dec 31 2011 2:55 PM

Hi samr,

I can tell you my perspective (as an Israeli):

You can join the army, if you'd like (just not to kravi). As long as you'r not harming anyone thats ok, and you'r there by force. If you wanna ditch, that can be a smart thing. You won't even have to lie, just say you'r a pacifict (I'll help you if you want). Make the decision based on personal interest.

 

2. As for welfare- no problem with recieving, only natural to do so. Only those who order and execute the taking are immoral.

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Autolykos replied on Sat, Dec 31 2011 3:09 PM

Clayton:
I'm currently working on a book based on this idea... it's primarily being written for my own edification but also for my children (and anyone else who's interested). The title of the book will be: The World is Yours. [Emphasis added.]

I hope I wasn't the only one who immediately thought of Scarface when seeing that.

</off-topic>

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Clayton replied on Sat, Dec 31 2011 4:11 PM

@Aristippus: That's a pretty cool book... I have in mind something a bit more philosophical and a little less "advice-y". A quick scan of Browne's book shows that 1) it is awesome and 2) it is oriented toward a particular kind of audience, even if it does not mean to be. That kind of audience is similar to the kind of audience that would frequent LRC or follow James Altucher's blog... i.e. mostly male, probably white and either self-employed are gnawing at the bit to be self-employed.

I would like the audience of my book to simply be "humanity" (no, I'm not trying to sell the book, so I don't need to worry about market segments). Not dispensing advice per se is one of the means by which I hope to achieve this. I will have a section at the end of the book that talks about impediments to happiness and I am eager to read Browne's description of the many traps in life which prevent us from attaining happiness. But all in all, I still want to avoid assuming that the reader has an entrepreneurial orientation towards life... most people don't.

I'm spring-boarding off the essay linked above (Action and the Soul) and basically taking that approach further. I'm going to start out with same basic concepts from praxeology as a foundation, then introduce the concept of the soul and present the case for its ultimacy in matters of truth and value (this section is called "You Control You"). Then, I will introduce the process of self-discovery I outlined in Action and the Soul but with a little more flesh on the bones. Then, I'm going to address Morality and Law (the limits of action) as the counterpoint to the self-discovery process (action).

Then, I will have a section on virtue because I think this is really what we're all driving towards... are there virtues? Is there a way(s) I should live my life? Should I do "what is right" even when it would obviously benefit me to do wrong (e.g. lying to your car insurer about the cause of a single-vehicle collision involving no witnesses). I have a pretty conservative viewpoint on this and I think that there are virtues and that they are something you should cultivate within yourself - for your own good - and that much of the time you should do "what is right" even if it would benefit you (short-term, long-term, doesn't matter) to do wrong.

Finally, I will have a section on impediments to happiness and I think this will have some similarities to Browne's chapters on traps but I want to keep it as philosophical as possible and just deal with the high-level concepts rather than delve into specific maladies. In fact, the whole book is addressing the biggest trap of all ... the fear trap.

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Neodoxy:
These are books for true atheists.

I find this incredibly strange.  He specifically asks for books that "do not break a person's spirit" and you recommend possibly the most well-known nihilist?

Samr, if you're still around and still reading, Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty is standard around here, however it's a bit more advanced, and most would recommend getting through For a New Liberty first.  (See the links section at each of those pages for a download of the full text in different formats...including audiobook)

There's a 10 lecture course by Roderick Long titled "Foundations of Libertarian Ethics".  In fact, check out all the media from a search on "ethics".

Herbert Spencer authored Principles of Ethics volume 1, volume 2. (You might also check a search in the literature section as well)

 

And finally, Walter Block as written extensively in the area you're kind of asking about...see here.

 

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Clayton replied on Tue, Jan 3 2012 11:54 AM

 you recommend possibly the most well-known nihilist?

I'm inclined to believe that the common depiction of Nietschze as a nihilist is simply a smear.

I agree that Ethics of Liberty (haven't read FaNL) is a good read but I want to say that I don't think Rothbard actually thought deeply enough about ethics. He certainly applied economic/praxeological insights to ethics but he went astray in adopting basically unmodified scholastic natural law theory.

In one of the most memorable passages from EoL, Rothbard asserts that it would be objectively immoral for a solitary individual to eat a poisonous mushroom (which he knows to be poisonous). I think this is confusing morality and self-development. It would definitely be an act objectively set against one's self-development (what Rothbard loosely terms "life"). But the primary distinguishing feature of morality is that it concerns the duties and rights we have with respect to other individuals. Crusoe alone on an island simply cannot act morally or immorally. This means that acting (even knowingly acting) against his own self-development (life) is not immoral. It's really by definition that you cannot derive an ought from an is.

I think this was a pretty big miss on Rothbard's part. He was a champion of self-ownership (righful possession of the self) but you really don't own yourself if there are things that you cannot rightfully to do to yourself (e.g. commit suicide).

Conclusion: Read Rothbard on ethics, he has tons of great insights but take it with a grain of salt.

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Clayton

Argh, I had typed a long response and then my browser puked out. *sigh

Then you can sympathize with me.  How did you resolve it?  And for God's sake, don't send me that link again. 

 

 

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samr replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 10:47 AM

Hi, I was thinking about your replies.

 

Gumdy, thanks for the personal suggestion. So far I am really confused. Since I think truth must be objective (another point of view seems nihilistic), I see no option but to lean towards fascism, more or less.  A totalitarian government. I really don't like this point of view, and I see it inflicts suffering upon me and others. But that is what seems true to me, right now. So i am not sure. On one hand my personal desires conflict with everything I believe in (maybe with bad reason). On the other hand, I do not want to be a hypocrite. 

 

Neodoxy, will read. 

 

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 11:15 AM

"I find this incredibly strange.  He specifically asks for books that "do not break a person's spirit" and you recommend possibly the most well-known nihilist?"

Nietzsche wasn't a nihlist, Nietzsche felt that the goal of life was to fight nihlism at all costs through one's developement as an individual and by becoming the greatest individual that one could possibly be. Nietzsche was about as radical an individualist as it was possible to be and unless one is looking at it in a certain light, the term "nihlist" is the antithesis of what Nietzsche was

@ Clayton

Rothbard had good points on everything that he talked about, but in EOL he labors entirely under the delusion that an objective morality in any meaningful sense is possible. Something that Rothbard and many Rothbardianesque indidividuals never realized is that the morality proposed by him are a form of morality, one logical structure surrounding a moral code, they are not the only one. I agree with Rothbard in many respects on ethical terms in what I want, the ought. However, I disagree almost entirely with the is. I felt that Mises had a much better grasp of ethics and was much more honest in his views on ethical behavior than Rothbard was.

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Gumdy replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 11:25 AM

samr, I failed to make sense from your message... :)

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A totalitarian government. I really don't like this point of view, and I see it inflicts suffering upon me and others. But that is what seems true to me, right now.

Don't confuse certainty with truth. A totalitarian society imposes one hard set of rules and so makes life a little more certain:  disobey and face harsh punishment, or death.  It's an attempt to make reality, rather than bravely facing it.  Truth, on the other hand, is a standard of reality that cannot be determined or imposed, and one whose measure must include the measurer.  The truth about the dictator who talks of the inevitability of his totalitarian regime is that he imposes it out of fear and sadistic ambition--a desire to eliminate his competitors and thus escape his feelings of inferiority.  

Don't be so afraid of blame.  Life is for learning.  Determine the rules of your life for yourself; don't look to others to decide them for you, so as to share the blame, if they were mistaken.  Immoral people are those who leave morality to others; not those who think about morality all the time, like you.  What you don't know, you must learn by mistake.     

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Neodoxy:
Nietzsche wasn't a nihlist, Nietzsche felt that the goal of life was to fight nihlism at all costs

That's interesting.  He must not have been very good at it...since every mention of him I've ever even heard of described him as the exact opposite of what you claim he strived to be.

Maybe he should have been a fireman.

 

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I think you have conflicting opinions on Nietzsche due to his writing as a  'proto'-existentialist. And existentialism and nihilism are like two sides of a weird coin.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

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I have conflicting opinions?  I just pointed out the fact that every mention of him I've ever heard of talks about him being a nihilist, and Neodoxy contends he was the exact opposite who actually argued against being that very thing...so I drew the conclusion he must not have been very good at communicating his argument.

Or did you just mean you think "there are" conflicting opinions?

 

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John James:
I have conflicting opinions? 
No, I'm not alleging that you have a divided soul :P 
John James:
Or did you just mean you think "there are" conflicting opinions? 
Yup. I think its an issue of emphasis. If you look at an existentialist you can focus on their nihilism, i.e. their jumping off point, or on their recipe for 'overcoming' nihilishm, that part that makes existentialism distinct from nihilism. 

But I'm not expert, this is what I gleaned as an amateur. Correct away !

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 5:16 PM

"That's interesting.  He must not have been very good at it...since every mention of him I've ever even heard of described him as the exact opposite of what you claim he strived to be."

I don't know who could actually read his work and not come to a similar conclusion. His work in Zarathustara and his emphasis upon the superman, a fundumental part of his work, destroys any possibility that Niezsche was a nihlist rather than a subjectivist, which can be conflated only in their disregard for objective moralities. Nietzsche was a nihlist in that he did not believe in objective moralities, but he felt that the goal of life was to overcome nihlism in favor of one's own fulfillment. Nietzsche himself lived an antithetical life to what he argued was the proper course for men, but that does not change what he believed.

"Maybe he should have been a fireman."

Maybe the people who you hear mentioning him should become doctors.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Nietzsche wasn't a nihlist, Nietzsche felt that the goal of life was to fight nihlism at all costs through one's developement as an individual and by becoming the greatest individual that one could possibly be. Nietzsche was about as radical an individualist as it was possible to be and unless one is looking at it in a certain light, the term "nihlist" is the antithesis of what Nietzsche was

Right, if someone actually read and understood Nietzsche - this is something that Nietzsche would refer to as "The Last Man" - nihilism is a fantasy and a joke which Nietzsche laughed in the face of.

Also those who say that it is not good to recommend German Continental subjectivists prior to traditional Austrian Economists are probably a bit confused.  Chincy political activism and ethical sloganing is fun and all - but the actual work and mechanics of things concerning human economy are in German continental subjectivism which is grounded in Kant, Nietzsche, Weber, Freud and perhaps most importantly Striner.

The metaphysical, methodological, and logical lines that these men went through are probably the lines that divide us from "mainstream" analytic philosophy, and it seems to be negelected.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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On an interesting note I just thought of

The gulf between us and "mainstream" sociology could be put in Nietzschean terms as them being Apollonian vs our Dionysean perspective on things.

Also: Ludwig Lachman himself calls Austrian Econ "the world of Nitezsche"

A funny note: a dialectic can prbably be done on Nietzsche and Striner:  I think Weber and Austrian Econ thinkers essentially affirm the bourgoise modern capitalistic sociology they were probably trying to rail against

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 11:13 PM

@Vive

Really? I was always under the impression that Stirner was only influential in radical political circles, I didn't know that he really had any real affect upon philosophy as a whole. Is it also fair to call Kant a subjectivist? His conjunction of a priori and a posteriori methods of thought were absolutely essential, but I thought that he was more or less an objectivist in the philisophical sense of the word.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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MrSchnapps replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 12:01 AM

In terms of morality, there is no doubt that he was an ardent objectivist, which is why I sort of find it a little odd that Mises never adopted that approach. I suppose that's why we call him Neo-Kantian.

“Remove justice,” St. Augustine asks, “and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms?”
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samr replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 12:17 AM

According to Ayn Rand, subjectivism logically leads to nihilism. I.e. even if nietzche did not _think_ of himself as a nihilist, positing subjectivism only, logically means you have no criteria to choose according to. 

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Bert replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 12:27 AM

Evola referred to Nietzsche's philosophy as a form of "active nihilism".  Neither good nor bad depending how you view and/or adopt it.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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r58black replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 1:09 AM

I would say that conscription in a country that invades other countries...as the U.S. does....is a bad thing.  However, Israel's foreign policy is based on justifiable self defense.    If you do not protect your homeland against invaders....whether they invade by rocket or army.....then you are not willing to defend it....but yet it must be defended in order to assure its existence.  If it is not defended then you will not have a homeland. 

I myself am OK with conscription in countries such as Israel and Switzerland....because their foreign policy with regards to military intervention is solely based on morally justifiable self defense.   You must defend your home if you want one.    If you don't then you will always be at risk for having to run.  Bullies do not reason kindly with pacifist.   But bullies do understand bullets. 

I am a U.S. citizen.  I would have refused to have gone to Viet Nam....because Viet Nam did not invade America....but America did invade Viet Nam.....yet I volunteered for the IDF.

 

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r58black replied on Fri, Jan 13 2012 1:16 AM

If you are able but not willing to work.....and you relay on government assistance....let's say for a continual period of three years or six years lifetime maximum.....that would make you a moocher.   I do not view moochers as human....but rather part of the pack of demons that plague humanity.

However, there are some people that need it temporarily.  And there are those that truly need it long term because they truly are not able to work....not just because they live in an economic dead zone and refuse to get their ass out of there.

The abuse by the moochers in the welfare system has essentially caused not only a delay in processing of payments to those who truly need it but often not enough to meet subsistence needs on a consistent basis.

Also, those who go on welfare are by definition not self sustainable.....so, they should not expect the government to fund their exponential reproduction..and when I say government ....I mean by legal plunder.

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