Perhaps we all agreed to come here to help us grow spiritually.
Perhaps it doesn't matter what kind of suffering it is, as long as there is some suffering, it can help you grow spiritually.
Perhaps that is the role of government. To provide suffering.
What do you consider suffering and what do you consider spiritual? Just looking for context.
I’m here because I enjoy the debate, the expression of ideas, the challenge to understand and to verbalize my own thoughts. I’m not sure I consider that spiritual. I’m not sure suffering is required in order to grow. People who view their plight as one of suffering have adopted a victim mentality (if we are using suffering in the same context).
Every religion and/or spiritual path I know of, which is damn near every one of them, is about ending suffering in the long run. Christianity may seem to "value" suffering, ie "repenting for your sins", but eventually ends in no more suffering (Heaven) if you live a "good" life. Eastern spirituality more clearly proves the point, Buddhism is all about ending suffering, by escaping from the Karmic cycle, as does Hinduism, and Taoism.
"what do you consider suffering and what do you consider spiritual?"
I'm not 100% sure.
From the governments standpoint, the stealing, the murdering, causing shortages of resources, perhaps even the little things, like the long lines at government buildings. the pointless jobs.
as for spiritual, not sure again, but perhaps causing us to learn to love even greater, or more, learning to forgive. learning difficult lessons that require suffering.
I don't like the word "spiritual". Unless you're directly talking from some sort of mysticism or religious view then I find the world generally meaningless. I do think that suffering is needed for emotional and personal growth, however. With this said I find that society and life in general does a good enough job on its own in thoroughly messing people up.
I think when the OP said "come here" he meant here on Earth, as in the whole "we're incarnated in order to learn and grow" business.
I think that's kind of a meaningless idea but if you want to go with it, I know of LOTS of ways you can learn through suffering if that's what you'd like, without the need for a State to provide adversity for you.
"I know of LOTS of ways you can learn through suffering"
so, you agree? suffering helps us grow spiritually?
Of course it is possible to learn through suffering. It does not follow that it is the only way to learn, let alone that the experience of suffering is the reason for human existence. I'm highly skeptical of that particular belief.
"It does not follow that it is the only way to learn"
I agree. Although, perhaps it teaches pretty important lessons. I can't really understand any other reason why government should exist.
I've been trying to wrap my head around why government exists. This is the best I come up with.
Eh, government's a commodity that some people are willing to pay for. How do you explain half of what's out there on the market?
Please expand on what you mean by "spiritually."
I'm an agnostic, so I tend to lean on the argument that the universe is a cosmic accident, rather than the argument that states that Jesus is going to suck us up with his magical vaccum cleaner.
"I'm an agnostic, so I tend to lean on the argument that the universe is a cosmic accident, rather than the argument that states that Jesus is going to suck us up with his magical vaccum cleaner."
I don't want to try and convince you that a universal conciousness exist, or God exists or that we have souls that are immortal.
But by spiritually, I mean, perhaps our spirit, us, learns to love more, learns to forgive, learns to empathize more.
Ah, I see. And looking back at what I wrote, my words do come off to me as very nonsensical, so I apologize for that. But regarding what you are asking, then yes, I think libertarianism does indeed change the mindset of people by eliminating the dog-eat-dog mentality associated with the state and brings a broader desire for peace.
I think that Nicomachean Ethics basically said that if someone is not perfectly virtuous, then it follows that they take pleasure in something that is wrong, therefore, since the opposite of pleasure is pain, one must practice some pain that one can gain virtue. The practice of virtue should also be pleasurable and without pain.
The government can, I believe Aristotle would say, provide both pleasures and pains but not all of them. So I don't think the essential value of government is suffering, to the contrary something pleasurable would be the more likely use of the state.
"to the contrary something pleasurable would be the more likely use of the state."
I think most people here, would agree, that government causes suffering.
Government steals resources from people. Massive amounts of resources.
Government also murders people. Massive amounts of people. And poisons them.
Perhaps some of the pleasurable things you think government does, is really derived from the market; despite the interference it gets from government?
I think we can say that human life consists of learning through both joy and suffering. Whether it is absolutely necessary (i.e. even aliens must suffer in order to learn) is, I think, a metaphysical question we can't answer.
I'm working on an approach to spiritual growth based on the four cardinal virtues: fortitude, justice, prudence and temperance. I think one of the greatest threats to spiritual growth in the modern world is not the vices (polar opposites of the virtues) but what I would call tin virtues or counterfeit virtues. Instead of fortitude, we want certainty; instead of justice, we want legalism; instead of prudence, we want security; instead of temperance we want to be nannied. These counterfeit virtues are hollow substitutes that create a situation of infantile dependence on authorities and experts rather than mature, adult independence.
I generally take "government" as whatever body or bodies that specifically helps to make people better human beings. As such, the state's main goal is to please people since no one is fully good unless he feels pleasure doing what is good.
The problems of taxes and violence then, must be analyzed from the point of view of voluntariness since moral good is never unvoluntary.
"As such, the state's main goal is to please people"
i think we need a seperate thread to debate the role of government. Government steals and kills. I don't see those as pleasing attributes.
I never said the government was successful with its job, nor do I think that an ancap government is impossible, and to the extent that a government doesn't please people, it becomes less of a government and eventually no government.
But I will not derail the thread further.