Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Miriam English (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 23:44:23 MDT

At 11:39 AM 17/07/2001 -0400, Mitchell, Jerry (3337) wrote:
>I don't care what your situation is. I don't care if your suffering from a
>mutant strain of cancer X and your about to melt into a pile of goo unless
>someone buys you a 10 cent aspirin. You DO NOT have the right to take other
>peoples property (or have the government take it for you). You must rely on
>voluntary contributions and charity if you want to be moral.

OK... I would have said this a little differently, but let's take your
example. It reduces to: A person's right to life is dwarfed by another
person's right to wealth. Huh?!?

You can see how silly this line gets. This will happen anytime you try to
talk about morality in terms of absolutes. This is exactly what religions do.

It is really a matter of practical trade-offs. If you want to make sure
your children will survive then you will want a nice stable system that
tries to keep everybody at maximum health. In order to ensure that they can
expect health no matter what financial circumstances befall them, a
publicly funded health system is needed. Publicly funded systems need tax
because companies and individuals with the most money traditionally fight
tooth and nail to avoid contributing. But a public system by itself becomes
too inefficient, so you need a private system to help with the things the
public one can't easily do.

Messy I know... but not as messy as the vision of you dying destitute in a
doorway for the want of a cheap cure... and possibly infecting hundreds of
rich passers by while doing so.


         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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