Re: Dyson (Was: Paths to Uploading)
Fri, 8 Jan 1999 13:42:29 -0700

Samael writes:

>Socialism/Capitalism are both ethical/moral views.

Well, yes and no. Socialism is a political philosophy; insofar as political positions embody ethical questions and solutions, you're correct about it being an ethical/moral view.

"Capitalism" is somewhat ambiguous. Viewed as economic science (catallactics, or market theory), it's (ideally) value-free. However, most proponents of capitalism do include an ethical dimension in their arguments, i.e. it's not only what works, but what's right. Nevertheless, market freedom can be, and often is, defended on purely practical grounds apart from ethical considerations. The same doesn't seem true of socialism (at least not any more).

>Ethics is purely
>emptional [sic], based upon what one _wants_ to happen. All right and
wrong are
>subjective. If Dyson stresses (as an example) equality over property
>rights, he will be more likely to be a socialist. It's not irrational,
>just a different moral choice that you disagree with.

If no objective standard is possible, how are we to come to any agreement? Fortunately, most of us are able to get along reasonably well with each other most of the time. Why is this, do you suppose?

I'd feel distinctly uneasy around anyone who actually believes that not conking me over the head to take my watch is just an arbitrary personal preference.