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

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 12:26:13 MDT

Hi Barbara,

> I wrote:
>> Not only does it waste resources, it's also not the sort of
>> situation I'd want to live in, since I have no way of knowing
>> for sure that I, or someone I love, won't need help someday.
> Lee Corbin wrote:
>> Why do you think that you need a government guarantee? Why are
>> your own means, your own insurance policies, and the resources
>> of those who love you not enough?
> Sometimes a person can have a run of bad luck (such as being born to a poor
> parent who can't take proper care of herself, let alone a child;

You are changing the meaning of my the question :-) You had used yourself
as an illustration, and now you're back to talking about other people.

> and there's no one around to help. I could give a number of examples, but
> it's difficult to believe you've lived such a sheltered life that you
> wouldn't realize that sometimes people simply don't have enough resources.

Of course I've seen that. There's no arguing that many people are
in real need. In fact, don't forget about all the rest of the
people in the world, not just in your society and mine. Who's going
to see to it that the people of India have enough food and clothing?
Even next door in Mexico, there are some unbelievably poor people
(especially in Mexico city), and it does indeed seem unfair that
rich people here like Bill Gates have so much money, and the starving
of Mexico City have so little. Those poor people need Gates' money
much, much more than he does. You might favor a world government
that would rectify this situation.

> That's right, but I like the idea of minimizing suffering where possible. I
> don't consider suffering particularly beautiful or noble. I've been through
> enough of it personally to know that it sucks.

I'm sorry to say this, but I don't find such comments helpful. Can
you not suppose that I too, and many other people with whom you
disagree, are extreme opponents of suffering? You even go so far
as to imply (by comparison) that other people do consider suffering
"beautiful or noble". If you are really serious about what should
be done about suffering, please read David Pearce's "The Hedonistic
Imerative" (don't be put off by the title) at It's
constituted the most important moral revolution in my life since
I became a cryonicist.

> But theoretically, yes, I'd like to live in a world where every
> person was guaranteed basic food, shelter, and medical care.

So would we all. It's frankly a question of how high a price
we have to pay, whether it would work, and whose rights we have
to trample on to get there.


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