----- Original Message -----
From: "Anders Sandberg" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > On Mon, 24 Dec 2001, Anders Sandberg, commenting on my [R.B] comments
> > > You misunderstand what "created equal" is supposed to mean. You
> > > statement in strictly biological terms, and then it of course becomes
> > > But the writers of the above document did most certainly *not* think
> > > polymorphisms or skin color, they were basing this on *ethical*
> > I'll offer a voice as an individual with an "American" education (vs.
> > perhaps a European education). When we are educated in America and
> > U.S. History is the subject -- in 8th grade if I recall so one is ~14
> > old -- "ethics" is not part of the discussion. Ethics comes up perhaps
> > when one takes philosophy classes in High School or College. I cannot
> > recall a situation in my education when the Declaration of Independence
> > was discussed from an "ethical" perspective. So while I may agree with
> > Anders comments, I strongly question whether the average American
> > perceives them as Anders does.
> Yes, you are likely right about this. And of course, the average
> European would have roughly the same lack of understanding - I doubt
> there is any country where the ethical aspects of one's
> constitution is a subject discussed in school below university level.
> Which IMHO is a big problem - if you want democracy, then you better
> explain to children why democracy isn't just an arbitrary choice but
> also the right choice (and quite practical too).
In _Government and the Mind_ Joseph Tussman argues that there are in fact
four branches of government: the executive, the legislative, the judiciary
and the "teaching power" and that democracy's (especially the U.S) have lost
sight of this fourth branch and what it means. Well worth the read. Here's a
(One of my teachers studied with him, I guess that makes me his
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