Subject: Re: Ethics, concretes and foundations. To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date sent: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 09:20:36 -0700 (PDT) From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" <email@example.com (none)> Organization: Piclab (http://www.piclab.com/) Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> >> There are those who have "absolutistic" moral principles,
> >> and this does not make them irrational or unreasonable.
> > I disagree. I consider the term "absolutist" to be an excellent
> > synonym for illogical, irrational and unreasoning dogmatism and
> > consider those who are absolutist to be defenders of a cognitively
> > frozen and quasireligious faith (perhaps intoning a mellifluous
> > BANNGGGGG... to the scent of gunpowder incense) rather than
> > seekers after the optimum state of affairs.
> Whose "optimum"? And is your belief about what is optimum (say,
> that no one dangerous posesses lethal force) an absolute belief,
> or was it arrived at from some other prior? How was that prior
> chosen as a goal/desire?
The optimum compromise between the values of freedom and security, realizing that for embodied, limited and finite mortals that neither value may be achieved absolutely. The one which sacrifices the least combined amounts of safety to freedom and of freedom to safety. It was arrived at both empirically and tautologically; empirically, because they have been convicted of a violent crime, they have demonstrated a propensity or predilection to resort to inappropriate violence; violent criminals are tautologically violent, that is, a greater risk to their fellows than the rest of the people, and thus if one wishes to achieve the greatest amount of increased safety with the least amount of sacrificed freedom, it is logical and rational to selectively restict such people's capacity to obtain the means to commit mass long-range murder.
> Since reason cannot be applied to desires, having absolute
> desires is compatible with reason or with dogma, and is no
> indication of either.
Absolute safety is as unreasonable a goal as absolute freedom; I merely want the world to be as much safer as it can be made with the least amount of freedom sacrificed possible in such a pursuit, a relatively limited goal employing relatively limited means. Allowing violent criminals, children and the certifiably crazy to obtain guns at will is not the way to do it.
> Reason can be used to determine which
> specific actions serve which desires, and one can criticize
> dogmatic adherence to actions that reason shows don't serve
> their intended goals, but once cannot argue with the desires
I can argue that the irrational desire to blow people away is not one which recommends itself as one whose possessors a person would reasonably want to spend a lot of time around, especially if they are armed, but that if such weapons are concealed, one is deprived of the information necessary to make the free and informed choice to stay the hell away from them, and such people, being irrational, if they are legally allowed to obtain firearms, are not constrained to display them in public view, whatever the laws.
> I desire to continue living--this is an absolute and extreme
> position, with which I brook no compromise. I don't think it
> is irrational for me to say so.
As do I, and one way to achieve this is to try to make sure that those who have been legitimately determined to have a greatly increased propensity to use inappropriate force against innocent others are denied the purchase or possession of firearms.
> Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html>
> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
> are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
> for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC