Archive for Friday, March 2, 2012

Basic rights

March 2, 2012


To the editor:

Through the late 1950s, it was illegal in many states for whites and blacks to intermarry as it ran contrary to popular religious beliefs. In 1958, two residents of Virginia, a black woman and a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws.  Shortly after their marriage, the couple returned to Virginia where they lived as husband and wife. A Virginia grand jury issued an indictment charging them with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages.  The couple were sentenced  to one year in jail.  The sentencing judge declared:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with His arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

The Virginia judge and our Kansas governor have much in common. They both believe that being required to treat their fellow citizens as equals infringes upon their religious liberties. Isn’t it possible to be religious and yet be accepting of basic human rights such as the right to work, the right to have a roof over your head and the right to marry  the person of one’s choosing whether that person be gay, straight  —  black or white?


BornAgainAmerican 6 years, 2 months ago

Good Grief! There must be a word for this kind of BS, but it eludes me at the moment.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Baa doesn't deserve the attention. His argument is stupidly preseneted

Darrell Lea 6 years, 2 months ago

No - stupid is using the word "preseneted" in a sentence. There is no such word.

George_Braziller 6 years, 2 months ago

Here are a few: documented history, documented facts, and (hold onto your panties) something called reality.

Getaroom 6 years, 2 months ago

Try being reborn again and again if necessary, however I hear third time is a charm and it clears the head of extreme ignorance.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 2 months ago

"You know Obama and Hitler also have much in common."

The notion that there is some sort of moral equivalency between Obama and Hitler is totally without merit. There has never been a US president that was anything of the fabric from which Hitler was made.

Most of the world is aware of the fact that Hitler was responsible for the deaths of over 60 million people. Evidently for you are not.

For anyone to believe that Obama has made a scratch toward that sort of harm would have to be sorely out of touch with reality. Evidently, you are.

What it appears is that you are extremely scared that the world is changing. It is, get used to it.

ljwhirled 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't know, Andrew Jackson would be a bit of an International pariah now a days.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 2 months ago

Agreed. However, his evil just did not stack up with that of Hitler. The comparison of Obama with Hitler that the right wingers engage in is nothing but a sick, pathetic attempt at hate mongering that no intelligent human would buy.

Corey Williams 6 years, 2 months ago

mustrun80 (anonymous) replies… Keep it coming - I couldn't possibly do a better job exposing your insane delusion that one side is good and the other is bad.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

Funny how the religious right doesn't want to suffer religious persecution yet they have no problem persecuting others.

Enlightenment 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok all you racist bigots, it's time to concede. No living person beyond the age of consent should be denied the right to marry regardless of sex, religion, or race. Just get over yourselves and stop the hypocrisy.

voevoda 6 years, 2 months ago

The government doesn't *proscribe" wages, Liberty_One. That would make all of us slaves.

Jimo 6 years, 2 months ago

Only in your bizzaro world is protecting the sheep from the wolves defined as "interference". "Says that wolf: Why must that damned shepherd keep 'interfering' with the liberty of the state of nature?"

How about a freely negotiated wage contract that requires payment of union dues? Government (in KS) forbids this and demands instead a "pro-wolf" contract.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 2 months ago

"Why is it easier to believe that 150,000 Americans are being lazy rather than 400 Americans are being greedy?" That said, what does "Occupy" or any other anti-corporatist movement have to do with gay marriage? Straw man much?

tomatogrower 6 years, 2 months ago

Avoiding the issue again. What a lame brain tactic.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

Were the occupy dudes being all equal minded and raping men as well as women in their encampments?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 2 months ago

This debate and other recent attacks from the GOP just prove that there are no god-given rights. Rights are fought for and won by human beings taking collective and individual action.

This debate also shows that rights can also be taken away in the same manner.

The term "eternal vigilance" comes to mind.

There are those in our society who would deny rights to minority groups and who would turn back the clock on rights already fought for and won.

The choice is a clear one.

voevoda 6 years, 2 months ago

If you don't believe in a Creator, Liberty_One, what is the source of these "natural" rights?

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

Oh good grief. You stirred up a hornets nest.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

Wow, this being spewed from someone who really doesn't seem to understand the political philosophy that they claim to follow. As well as the one who worships an individual who has no problem with theocracy and limiting the rights of the people he sees fit to. You really are a Neoliberal. No surprise there but your not a Libertarian. On a good day your are nothing more than a Tea Bagger and on your off days an Anarchist.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

My post may have been a bit over the top but it is an observation that I stand by. Over and over your posts and blogs are clear and consistent and with that an obvious truth that you do not fully understand the political philosophy you insist you know and follow nor can what you believe in be remotely adapted to out current system. As I have told you a long time ago. Much of what you think would be a perfect world does not exist anywhere on the face of the planet nor has it ever for anything other than a short period in modern times. I believe that was a couple of years plus during the war in the 1940's and it was accomplished in a really small country by the breed of Anarchists that existed at that time. Not Libertarians. Once that regions economics recovered their system died a horrible death mostly because their system was incompatible with everyone elses. Your understanding of how monetary systems blend with certain political systems is even more proof you do not understand what you are preaching. And finally, there is no way you can claim to be Libertarian and follow a leader who believes in theocracy and is perfectly willing to eliminate, infringe or reduce others rights and or freedoms.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Lib You sound false and are hysterical. You are making no sense. Get your emotions under control and use your noggin, stop bla bla baa baa. You make yourself and if you have argument , your argument silly. If you have specifics, don't threaten to present them. present them, then shut up and lay off the personal remarks.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

You have a poor sense of argument and an odd satisfaction on twisting what other say and even deny what you say yourself, bizarre. Your discussion of economics seem to cursed by exclusion of accuracy. When people point out fallacy in your process, you react with name calling and claim it is based on emotions, emotions about you personally. No.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

Liberty_One, I have to hand it to you in that you are persistent. Are you forgetting I know your debate tactics and you have over three years of track record that is impossible for you to change direction on. We never settled anything before and this is no different. All this urination contest would do is waste a monumental amount of time. You are never going to understand that the system you would like requires a free market. Limited Government and regulation with limited or no governing of personal or property rights. Sorry Liberty_One, that situation will never exist and if it does you would have chaos not a Libertarian utopia.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

I told you I know your debate tactics. This is a fine example. I would bet that everyone reading this thread understood exactly what I was saying and I am pretty sure you did too. You just chose to be argumentative by changing what I meant for you to declare some sort of false face saving victorious comeback.

Would you like to stop now while your behind and looking foolish or would you like me to continue and prove what people already suspected beyond a shadow of a doubt, which is you are totally clueless about the actual application of your political system that you mindlessly defend.

voevoda 6 years, 2 months ago

The "right to work" is a whole lot less fuzzy than the "right to liberty."

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 2 months ago

Rights are not god-given nor are they guaranteed.

Rights are only "self-evident" because we believe them to be so, and many fought and died in the 18th century alone so that this idea could prevail.

The idea that rights are god-given and "self-evident" can lead to complacency, the idea that these rights will not and cannot go away. They can.

Eternal vigilance on the part of human beings is required to ensure that our current rights are respected and applied fairly and equivocally.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago


Nature provides none of these rights - only societies do so.

In nature, you can live or die, have your liberty taken from you, and have no right to property whatsoever unless you're bigger and stronger than anybody who might want to take it from you.

It's striking how many people believe otherwise, especially when they leave out the first part of the quote, which is religious in nature - "All men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator..."

Clearly a faith based statement if I've ever seen one.

Peacemaker452 6 years, 2 months ago

Throughout history, societies have been in the business of taking rights away much more that providing or protecting them.

In society, you can live or die, have your liberty taken from you, and have no right to property whatsoever if enough of your neighbors decide they don’t like the way you live, whether you are infringing on their rights or not.

I believe you are using the “tree falling in the forest” argument. Natural rights did not need to be displayed until societies formed that infringed these rights. The rights always existed but now people felt the need to write them down and protect them to keep others from taking them away.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

I see no evidence of "natural rights", as I said.

Certainly societies differ in their belief in what constitute basic "rights" that they protect, and in the level of freedom, etc. that they support.

Where did humans live with these "natural rights" without societies that protected them?

Brock Masters 6 years, 2 months ago

Man's rights cannot be taken away by society. A man, regardless of society, has the right to be free. Now, a society, another individual or a government can violate that person's right, but they can't take it away. It is still his right.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Good letter. Sadly really seems to steamed up the haters.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

tange, you put it so beautifully.

(note that I remembered to use a lower case t)

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

Nice thought tange but with the Neoliberal movement which is made up of a lot of baby boomers doesn't get included in practice. Mostly limited to family, a few friends and business associates that the person wants to influence. All bets are off if what they are wanting is inhibited by those friends, family, and associates.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

I hope you understand that to identify as Christian doesn't mean (to people in their right mind) that all Christians are like Phelps and such bigots. Most Christians don't have a problem with hating homosexuals or even thinking their beliefs must be law. It isn't a liberal or conservative stand to make comparison about the old racial intermarriage law being similar to laws that ban homosexual marriage.

Greg Cooper 6 years, 2 months ago

About what is pace unclear about?

Also, big boy, I am completely sick of your wishing to be the end authority by calling me--yes me--an atheist because I espouse the Democratic Party.

Your insolence and sarcasm and outright lack of the basics of human dignity render your arguments null.

And you know what I'm talking about.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

One your best arguments. Only way your statement would be stronger is if you drooled while you made it. Oh, maybe you are drooling. You might add some sort of signature, showing when you are drooling. Then we might at least get the feeling you believe the nonsense you spew. You are so funny, you should bring more to the game. What were your parent's doing while you meandered through childhood? I can think of many possible rebuttals to my arguments and wonder why you can't . I am sorry for you. Are you scared of putting your opinions to scrutiny? Why the personal remarks rather than argument? A better response is to claim, that while many Christians don't agree with the homophobic stands against marriage, many do agree. You might then claim they should agree with you. At least a comment based on reason. You would still be wrong, but not silly. I don't mind a good argument but I mind a stupid one.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

You ignore facts, you deny your own statements. I don't have any reason to not correct you. In a way it is a matter of respect. You should be responded to as if you were an adult. You should feel free to ignore me. you ignore so much. Feel free to argue, but use reason.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

I hope you understand that to identify as Christian doesn't mean (to people in their right mind) that all Christians are like Phelps and such bigots. Most Christians don't have a problem with hating homosexuals or even thinking their beliefs must be law. It isn't a liberal or conservative stand to make comparison about the old racial intermarriage law being similar to laws that ban homosexual marriage.

Pastor_Bedtime 6 years, 2 months ago

A message to you from this Agnostic Republican: you don't own my party. You'd be suprised how many Republicans don't even remotely identify themselves as Christian.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

"Lots of fear and hate here."

Yes BAA, you have let us know for quite some time how much you fear and hate atheists. You hate atheists so much that you have used the phrase "Party of Atheists" repeatedly, despite the lack of accuracy in that statement.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

It would appear that mindless right wing trolls are over represented on this award winning website. The only fear and hate is coming from the trolls. How does it feel to know that your total happiness and self worth comes from trolling on a small mid Western newspaper forum. Pretty pathetic and even more so when you get bounced and are so disturbed by your meager worth that you have to keep signing back up. One would think if you we really a successful boot strappy Republican that you would have better things to do. Guess your just another mindless right wing follower supporting a party that has done nothing for you.

deec 6 years, 2 months ago

Nice that you recognize your own kind.

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

You continually confuse fair and rational with soft good hearted.. I feel free to castrate and castigate mal formed argument. I am sure that there are good hearted liberals and conservatives, but don't think, not calling a troll a troll has much to do with politics, it is probably more a matter of manners and time. I think that liars and trolls should at least be teased or curbed, without it they just take over all conversation with usually thoughtless hateful remarks. Most trolls are boring.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

In my opinion, trolls should generally just be ignored. They don't come to have intelligent or meaningful conversation, they come to irritate and to get angry reactions from other posters. When they are responded to, especially in a negative way, they know they have succeeded. Replaces the need for the little blue pill.

Just like the Phelps, they should be ignored.

deec 6 years, 2 months ago

I generally agree with you about feeding trolls, but they are just so darn thick around here anymore, it is nearly impossible to avoid them. Especially the ghost trolls. I wish they'd remember where they left their bridges and just go home.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I understand and sometimes the misstatements do need to be set straight.

You'd think, from reading the comments here, that Lawrence is a hotbed of the far rightwing.

radioradio 6 years, 2 months ago

For those of you who don't know. Rick's late father was a concentration camp survivor. This makes the Hitler reference even more appalling that it already was.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

The idea that human nature is easily observable, and results in certain rights is interesting, but flawed.

First, one can't observe human nature in a vacuum - all human beings exist in a context, which shapes their activities. Next, one can't observe it and draw conclusions without a certain view, of which there are many.

For example, are human beings essentially good, evil, or mixed? Are we free, determined, or mixed? Different people can look at exactly the same actions, and arrive at different conclusions.

I don't really understand why the concept is necessary - it seems to me that we can simply say "This is the sort of society we want to create, and these are the basic rights that we want to protect in it" without resorting to concepts like "natural rights".

For that matter, we could do it without the religious language as well - we don't have to believe that the rights are "God given" in order to find them valuable and worth protecting.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

So our natural rights arise out of our preferences? Whatever we prefer - life, sex, money - gives rise to a natural right to it? That's may be the dumbest argument you've ever made, and you've made some dumb ones.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

That's your favorite response isn't it? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? I'm thinking you have a blow-up strawman handy.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

Not to mention the fact that most living things prefer to continue living than to die - its called a survival instinct. Do dogs, cows, worms, and conservatives all have a natural right to life simply because they prefer to avoid death? If so, and its not a crime to kill a cow and eat it, then what does that say about the value of our own natural right to life as you've defined it?

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

Maybe you should make an argument that makes sense and doesn't apply equally to cows.

You clearly don't understand the concept of a strawman argument. I'm simply pointing out how ridiculously simplistic your - "we have rights because its obvious we do" and "we prefer life, therefore we have a right to it" arguments are.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

Lots of dust bunnies exist in my vaccuum.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Except for those folks that commit suicide, of course.

And, the fact that people exist in context means that observations of them are observations of them in context, not of their abstract and unchangeable nature.

Human nature is an interesting, and complex philosophical question, not some sort of easily observable fact.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

"Rights are self-evident because of man's nature which can be observed."

Liberty_Belle, maybe if you repeat the same phrase enough times it will start to mean something. How about this: "Snakefist is right about everything because of his nature which can be observed." Not a very satisfying argument, is it?

Here's the argument you should be making. A person is a thing with rights and obligations. The essential property of personhood is reason, which is necessary to understand the concept of rights and obligations and agree to the social contract which defines them. Thus, most humans have rights (and obligations - you always conveniently forget that part, Liberty_Belle) because they are sufficiently rational to recognize them and give reciprocal consideration to other persons. That's a much more satisfying argument, isn't it?

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

That's funny, I thought I had a legal obligation to refrain from harming others, pay taxes, register for the draft, etc. In fact, don't I have a legal and moral obligation not to interfere with your legal and moral rights? So rights and obligations kind of go hand-in-hand don't they? Wow, that was easy.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

I addressed your argument that a preference (for, e.g., life) creates a right to have it fulfilled above. Its ridiculous. I have a preference for pizza, does that give me a natural right to it?

Good Lord, man, you are way out of your league on this one.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Different contexts means different societies, not different planets.

And, again, people who commit suicide clearly don't prefer life to death.

So, the general statement that human beings prefer life to death is factually incorrect.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

According to the nih, suicides account for about 11% of deaths in the US, but there are an estimated 11 suicide attempts for each successful one.

That's a lot of people who apparently don't prefer life.

Brock Masters 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't think you can say that people who commit suicide clearly don't prefer life to death. It is not as simple as you make it out to be.

Think of it in this way. Can you say that someone who puts down their believed dog prefer life without the dog than life with it because they chose to put it down? No, you can't. Most likely they prefer life with their beloved dog, but don't want the dog to suffer.

I think the same can be said about some who commit suicide. I think many prefer life over death, but their pain and suffering is so great, or they suffer from mental illness or a painful terminal illness that they choose death, but still would have prefered to live if life was different.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure that the decision is complicated, but if they preferred to live, they wouldn't kill themselves.

The same is true when you have to put down a pet - when we did that, we waited until she had stopped eating, indicating a lack of interest in continuing to live. Also, of course, that example would be more analogous to helping a loved one die than suicide.

The claim has been made repeatedly that it's a basic tenet of human nature that people prefer life to death, and that that's easily observable - I say that suicide is the easily observable refutation of that claim.

Would it be fair to say that most people, in most situations prefer life to death? Maybe, but then it's not a basic feature of human nature, which would have to apply to all people in all situations.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

Look, Liberty_Dumb_Belle, of course reason defines our rights - we agree to the social contract because its in our rational self-interest to do so. This is the whole basis of libertarianism - which you claim to know something about - I will give up the freedom to harm you (e.g., kill you, steal from you, rape you), if you reciprocate and give up the freedom to harm me, so we can both exercise most of our freedom in peace. Its in our rational self-interest to give up some freedom (the freedom to harm others) in order to gain security.

Has it occurred to you that people have actually studied these issues and aren't just making up crap arguments like "we have natural rights because its obvious" and "we have a right to life because we prefer it"?

Brock Masters 6 years, 2 months ago

I think the problem is that you and the others are right to a degree. I agree with our founding fathers and you that our rights are natural and self-evident. One cannot say with absolute certainty that human rights are natural rights that are self-evident as some will argue against it.

But one can say with aboslute certainty that our country was founded and our Constitution were based on that belief.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

Of course we possess the freedom to harm others, if we choose to exercise that freedom. Nothing constrains you or I from shooting another person except our rational choice not to. There will be consequences if we do harm others, but that's true of all choices.

You're confusing rights with freedoms. I didn't say we have a right to harm others, I said we have the freedom to do it. Through the social contract, we've agreed not to exercise that freedom.

I agree that we have inherent rights that stem from our nature (not from some mythical sky god), what I disagree with is your ridiculously simplistic hand-waving argument as to where those rights come from and how they're determined.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm a firm believer in the sanctity of property rights.

I own the world.

OK, I'm tired of y'all-- get off my planet.

Greg Cooper 6 years, 2 months ago

"We are the world, we are the children......................"

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

The continued statement that it is "universally true" that human beings prefer to be alive than dead is simply, and obviously, incorrect.

Suicide is the clear example of that untruth, as is the fact that people with terminal illnesses often discontinue life-saving treatment.

I strongly recommend the book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas Kuhn. It's an excellent illustration of how paradigms shape one's thinking, and affect how we see things, and how, in order to maintain them, it often becomes necessary to simply ignore "anomalies", which are facts that don't fit with our paradigm/ideology.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Also, the argument that rights follow from preferences is also flawed, as SF points out.

If human beings prefer to be violent, does that give them the right to do that?

If they prefer to steal property from others, ...?

Rights are that which people are "justly entitled to", from my dictionary, and those terms are philosophical ones, open to discussion and interpretation, not self evident facts.

Brock Masters 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually, I think in some societies it is a right to be violent or to steal. Look at some early tribes and their mores and rights of manhood.

I also think some radical Muslims would agree that they have a right to be violent otherwise we wouldn't have suicide bombers that are revered by others in their society.

Rights, ethics, social norms are not absolute. They vary from society.

Our country was founded on the idea of natural inalienable rights.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

That's what I've been saying - societies create rights, based on different ideas about what those are, and should be.

Our country was founded on the idea of "God-given" inalienable rights.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with the inalienable rights..."

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 2 months ago

Now that Jafs and snakefist have thoroughly dismantled L1's specious arguments, I will say something in somewhat of his defense.

There is something in the nature of humans from which our rights derive. We evolved as social creatures, just as much as wolves hunting in packs and ants forming colonies. Social behavior has evolved in humans and is strong in our genes. From this comes what we call love and empathy, feelings for other humans and indeed other creatures.

Evolution has programmed the golden rule and the categorical imperative into our genes. It is from this that our ideas of liberty, freedom, and equality derive. We label humans who behave otherwise as "anti-social" or "sociopaths". We put to death or imprison these folks, so there continues to be a strong Dawinian selection against them.

In evolution we trust.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

"We label humans who behave otherwise as "anti-social" or "sociopaths"."

And many of them are self-identified as Republicans, conservatives and libertarians.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

I am not arguing just for the sake of argument.

Human nature arguments aren't that "most" people have a certain attribute - they are that "all" people have that attribute.

That's what "human nature" means, the nature of humans, all humans, in all situations and societies - my dictionary says "the fundamental dispositions and traits of humans".

Through observation, we could say that most people, in most situations, seem to prefer life. That wouldn't make it "human nature" though.

I also disagree that it's human nature to always want more money - that's a very clearly socially created desire in this country, and even here, not everybody wants more money. In fact, this is one of the big problems with our system - it encourages this constant acquisitiveness, rather than people finding a level of material prosperity that they're comfortable with, and having "enough".

In addition to suicide, one must also consider terminally ill folks who refuse treatment, knowing they will die.

My basic point is that determining what human nature is is not an easy thing to observe, it involves complexities of philosophy, and that the claim that it is "universally true" that human beings prefer life to death is not correct.

I imagine that any other similarly simple statement is unlikely to be true, except in so far as it relates to concrete, very simple facts of human beings that are not that useful in forming a philosophy of "natural rights".

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

The statistic, if accurate, is a US statistic - other countries undoubtedly have different rates.

And, it doesn't include the estimated 11 attempts for each successful one, or terminally ill folks who stop treatment, or parents who go to their death saving their children, etc. One could broaden the lens to possibly include those who go to war, knowing they may die, or those who engage in high-risk behaviors for the thrill of it, people who get addicted to drugs/alcohol/cigarettes, and kill themselves slowly.

Freud postulated that in addition to the instinct for self-preservation, there is also an instinct for self-destruction (Eros and Thanatos) - while I'm not sure that I agree with that, it certainly seems that people can be very self-destructive.

In addition, one can't generalize from the behavior of Americans to all humans, and one can't possibly "simply observe" all humans.

Any sort of "human nature" that is worth the term would have to apply to Mother Theresa and Hitler, to Australian aborigines and American CEO's. It's quite hard to imagine what that might entail, other than the obvious physical characteristics we share.

Buddhists say that human beings wish to avoid pain and maximize pleasure, which is an interesting idea, but it also has counter-examples.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

My post below belongs somewhere on your much more extensive list-- we're are mortals, and though we generally reluctantly accept it, human "nature" is not determined by delusions of immortality.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Although I should footnote by saying that many folks under 30-40 years of age, sometimes do harbor such delusions, and post about it on forums like this.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

I'd say that the great majority of people who live long enough to become frail, with multiple chronic illnesses and unable to care for themselves indeed do reach a point where they welcome death. And unless something else kills us first, that's a fate that awaits all of us.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago


To share a little personal info, my mother got lung cancer, and it spread - for a little while, she got chemo treatments, but at a certain point, knowing what the options were, she chose to stop the treatment, even though her life would be shortened.

The quality and length of life offered by the chemo treatments just weren't worth it to her.

And, she was always someone with a very strong love of life, and will to live, until that point.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

I recommend the book Enough by Bill McKibben. He's best known for his work to reduce carbon emissions and limit the effects of global warming. But this one is about one of the few undeniable characteristics of being human-- our mortality. He analyzes how all human cultures are based on the passing of life between generations, and how much everything we know about being human would be changed if we were ever to become immortal. It's a great read.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 2 months ago

Fundamental to the question is that observation is only valid in these contexts if the traits being observed are closely defined in such a way that all observers recognize the same trait at the same time. The observers must agree to accept that descriptive definition that all other observers accept. All other observation may result in varied commentary influenced by the observers' own experience and knowledge bases.

In some cultures, those definitions must differ. Some cultures cannot accept the concept whatsoever of ownership of property and think of it as an infantile trait. Some of those same cultures embrace the elders choice of time to wander out into the hinterlands and become no-more. LO's claim, in those cases, is observably wrong.

None of the above discussion has applicable validity without agreement of terms. The argument will go on forever, as SF will say that LO is angry, bea will say he's brown-haired and tange will say he's prone to rambling arguments, pace will say something like "wrong"; all of which, though true and accurate according to the observer's intent, gets us exactly no-where. LO presumes that he possesses the end-all big picture but it is not observable because it only exists in his abstract, internal context. Circus circulum ad infinitum

I, personally, think that without some agreement of terms, arguing so much about so little is less than productive, a sort of collective onanism.

We can all pee far. Now, what was the question?

kansanbygrace 6 years, 2 months ago

Observations are subjective. You see it this way, but that doesn't mean any other observer makes the same interpretation. You're purposely obtuse and unwilling to explain your field of reference, therefore the words and phrases you choose to express yourself are specifically subjective. That's the principal reason you make no progress in your arguments. The fact that no one to that point had mentioned that fact is the reason I brought it.
And the failure is yours to provide any support to your claim. Your declaration is an anonymous black box. Your contributions are as close to a living example of solipsism as anything appearing in these columns. You always speak in that "truth from the burning bush" pseudo-objective slant when virtually everything you refer to is your opinion. You can improve your stance by accepting that.

kansanbygrace 6 years, 2 months ago

My criticism of your discourse is directed to you, Libby. Would you rather I paint it on the fence? Without our agreeing whether you're referring to C. or F. or K., all you can say is "hot" or "cold" and that will unavoidably mean different things to an Eskimo or an equatorial aborigine, regardless of your intent.
In pointing that out, I'm hoping that we could do some ground work before we start beating each other with conclusive declarations (you referred to them above as "logical deductions").which, without defined terms, can be nothing but subjective. "Words don't mean, people mean" You can improve the reception by accepting and accommodating that. Ceteris nunc paribus.

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

The woman in that interracial marriage was actually African and Rhappahannock Indian. I love how the dimwits would love to use the 14th amendment to exclude the US born children of undocumented people and gay US citizens seeking the right to marry and yet conveiniently ignore equal protection under the law in the amendment. Always dumb and turning the law in question on it's head in the pursuit of oblivious trolling.

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