On Saturday, December 15, 2012 3:18:46 PM UTC-5, Stephen Paul King wrote:
>  On 12/15/2012 2:18 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>  Dear Craig,
>>     All of these points are instances of taking a particular evaluational 
>> frame, making it absolute, and issuing judgements from it.
> I think that they are instances of real world examples. I don't issue any 
> judgments from it - I just ask - 
> 'Was slavery good before Progressive activism changed it'?  
> 'Were the practices of industry toward its workers good or bad before 
> Progressive activism changed it? 
> Was colonialism and Apartheid in India, South Africa, the American South, 
> etc good or bad before Progressive activism changed it?
> Hi Craig,
>     Each of those questions has as a premise the idea that we can sit in 
> our current world with its conventions and judge the actions that occurred 
> in circumstances that dis not have our knowledge, as if the people of that 
> time should have known better that slavery was not good, etc. 

I'm saying that to me it seems clear that some people did know better, and 
that those people were Progressive. Again, you might disagree, which is 
what I am asking. If you disagree, ok, cool, but why? Otherwise it seems 
like you are saying that it is pointless to have any political view at all 
because morality is an unknowable mystery.

> I don't intend to prove to anyone that these things were bad or that they 
> were improved - unlike with Conservative approaches - I leave that up to 
> you. Maybe you say they were better off slaves and second class citizens, 
> or that the wars and changes that followed weren't worth it? Or maybe you 
> say these weren't movements of Progressive activism? Maybe you have a list 
> of your own? That's cool, I'm open to hearing about any of that. I don't 
> see that these examples are somehow disqualified though. That just makes me 
> think that there is no counterargument because their truth is self evident, 
> and therefore 'unfair' to the other side.
>     My argument is that the entire idea of making lists and checking them 
> off is wrong! It is a form of prejudice, 

That may be true, but it may also be a counter-prejudice. What other 
intelligence do we have against history repeating itself other than to look 
at history?


> IMHO, to use knowledge one has from experience to rationalize the actions 
> of others into pigeonholes of "good" and "bad".

I agree in general of course, but for this informal conversation I think 
that it is entirely appropriate. I don't demand a yes or no, good or bad 
answer, I am asking instead for an expression of to what extent these 
examples support the view that Progressives are immoral trouble makers who 
are always wrong, or the opposite view, or some other view.

> This kind of ethics drives me batshit crazy as it assumes that the 
> universe has a set of predefined configurations that, if they occur, 
> everything will be fair and justice will prevail.
>     Sorry, "the poor will always be among us". It is simply not possible 
> to maximize more than one variable and thus fairness and justice for all is 
> impossible. Let me give you an example. What would happen if everyone won 
> the Lotto? Would they all be rich? NO! Why?

The poor will always be with us, sure, but the 0.01% have not always 
received 5% of the income (to say nothing of the net worth...)

It doesn't always have to look like this: 

>   It is what is known, to some, as chronocentrism. It is simply 
>> wrongheaded.
> I know you're not saying that I should make up examples from the future 
> instead or talk from theory right? Examples from the past are wrongheaded? 
> How so?
>     We have to evaluate situations using the knowledge that is available 
> under the circumstances of the situation (and not usign knowledge that 
> would be unavailable), 

No, we can evaluate our policies scientifically based on which strategies 
were actually successful and see if we can find any underlying patterns 
with which to shape future policies. What other way makes sense?

> otherwise we are like the aliens that can read your mind and demand that 
> you play the Monty Hall 
> game<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem>with them. Your 
> discussions on the nature of Free Will should clue you in 
> to what I mean here...

 Twenty/Twenty hindsight isn't a reasonable argument for delaying the 
overthrow of tyranny. The overthrow of tyranny is in all of our best 

>>  Unless you put yourself into the context with you are evaluating and 
>> then considering the facts as they stand with a set of universal ethical 
>> principles, then those judgements and implications cannot be seen as 
>> anything more than rationalizations to behave in one way or another.
>>     We can rationalize any action to be good or bad. Rationalization, 
>> pushed too far, allows anything. 
> If we rule out examples from the past - and rule out present day 
> comparisons like the success of Progressive policies in places like 
> Scandinavia and Western Europe versus the failure of Regressive policies 
> everywhere else, then all we have is propaganda made up by Think tanks and 
> our own speculation.
>     Not at all. My point is that it is treachery to change the context of 
> a situation to use it as a reason to do X or to not do Y. It is like 
> assuming one is omniscient when one is not.

No, it's ordinary reasoning. If we leave oily rags around the garage and 
the house burns down a lot, we might want to consider curtailing the oily 
rags behavior? Should we instead let the neighborhood burn down over and 
over and say 'well, we can't assume that oily rags are the same as gasoline 
soaked rags'?


> -- 
> Onward!
> Stephen

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