Re: MD Biological - Terrorism?

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Fri Dec 17 2004 - 14:05:06 GMT

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Biological - Terrorism?"

    Greetings Arlo, Dan . . .

    > My point, as I am beginning to think you deliberately obfuscate :-), is
    > that the Intellectual response to social patterns is not to destroy them in
    > favor of the biological patterns, as you claim those darn hippies want to
    > do, but to reason logically over each particular biological level pattern
    > and decide, based on logic and reason, appropriate levels for social
    > restrictions of these biological patterns.

    I'm all in favor of logic and reason. But as you know, you can rationalize
    any point of view, depending on the premises you begin with. In this case,
    we agree on the premise that there should be social restrictions on
    biological patterns, to one degree or another.

    > As it stands now, it is most certainly not "Intellectual". It is static
    > Victorian social morality. Hence, I can walk down the steet in Germany (or
    > any other European or South American country) while drinking a bottle of
    > beer, but in *America* I am violating Victorian sensibilities, and am thus
    > committing a crime.

    First, I don't look to Europe or South America for my moral standards.
    Second, you have yet to show a well thought out social morality based on
    intellect other than the MOQ which, as we all know, is only known by a
    few, each of whom seems to have a different interpretation when applied to
    specific cases. Finally, you dichotomize Victorian social morality as all
    bad, not recognizing (as Pirsig did) many of the positive aspects of that
    era, particularly the value Victorians placed on the values of capitalism,
    individual freedom and responsibility vs. the socialist ideal.
    > To switch to alcohol, in order to make the point, Intellectually we can see
    > that there is no harm to societal patterns by allowing citizens to enjoy a
    > beer in public. But conservatives holler that it will destroy society as we
    > know it, and use fear to convince people that allowing citizens to stroll
    > down the street and drink a bottle of lager will turn us into a nation of
    > hobos and drunkards. Fear, fear, fear.

    Your fear of conservatives is showing--fear, fear, fear.

    > I had written:
    > Not being an expert on all drugs, I could see that some (maybe things like
    > crystal meth?) should remain remain fully restricted (but for Intellectual
    > reasons, not Victorian morality or fear).

    > I had written:
    > Addiction is the problem, and what we should address always is to the
    > underlying culture that leads to addiction (whether oxycontin, marijuana,
    > alcohol, nicotine, heroin or valium).
    > Platt asked:
    > What "underlying culture?"
    > I reply:
    > Consumerism that fosters addictive behavior. Poverty that fosters
    > hopelessness. Let's take this to another thread though, or back to the
    > Capitalism thread, agreed?

    Agreed. But for every rationale you come up with to back your consumerism
    or poverty excuse, I can find one to refute it.
    > I had said:
    > But I do believe that people, exercising Qualtiy decisions, can make sound
    > choices about their lives and bodies, and will choose (as Pirsig states)
    > wisely.
    > Platt asked:
    > So, some people (not all I presume) can overcome negative cultural
    > influences (whatever you say those may be) and choose wisely? If so, can I
    > assume you have no objections to privatizing social security?.
    > I reply:
    > *Most* people choose wisely, not some. As for social security
    > privitization, there are more issues involved, but I'll give you my short
    > response.
    > Understanding investment strategies requires complex knowledge of markets.
    > And it requires the ability to suffer loss (it is "risk" capital, after
    > all). For those with the ability and the means, I say go for it. If you are
    > saavy enough, and feel you are able to withstand the risk, you should
    > certainly be able to invest privately as you choose. For others, who do not
    > feel they have the investment saavy, nor are willing to take the risk,
    > society is morally justified in providing a safety net. There is only one
    > caveat I'd make to this, and that is: if you opt out and FAIL, you are not
    > entitled to the social security at all. Period.

    I agree, except the bit about "society is morally justified in providing a
    safety net."

    > I wrote:
    > I take it you are of the belief that people will not choose wisely, and so
    > the conservatives should choose for them?
    > Platt responded:
    > No. As I stated, I personally am in favor of legalizing drugs. But, the
    > majority of people (not all) through their elected representatives have
    > decided against what I want, citing the social costs involved. As far as
    > I'm concerned, if you want to blow your brains, go right ahead.
    > I respond:
    > I am pleased with your personal beliefs on this, Platt, but a little
    > dismayed that a supporter of the MOQ would justify "morality" on a
    > "majority decision". Doesn't that place the social level above the
    > Intellectual?

    Well, how else do you make law? Do you want a cadre of self-described
    intellectuals determining morality for society? Oh, I forgot. That's what
    socialists want.

    > Then I responded:
    > Non-sequitur? The comment was directly related to what you said. You
    > clearly state that "legalizing drug use" is "blow(ing) your brains and
    > end(ing) up a blithering idiot lying in a gutter". Just like Pirsig said,
    > you are making some pretty arrogant assumptions about what people would do
    > if conservatives did not have Victorian morality in place.

    I guess I didn't make myself clear for which I apologize. Here's what I

    "If it wasn't for the social cost of treating drug addicts, I'd be all in
    favor of legalizing drug use. If you want to blow your brains and end up a
    blithering idiot lying in a gutter, be my guest. Just don't come running
    to me for a handout to treat your suicidal behavior. But that's just me.
    Society has decided to care for all who are distressed whether self-
    inflicted or not. It rightfully places certain restrictions on behavior to
    reduce the direct and indirect costs of drug use."

    What I meant to convey was that I personally am in favor of legalizing
    drugs so long as my tax dollars aren't used to correct the damage done by
    self-inflicted drug use. However, society through its elected
    representatives have decided otherwise. Perhaps I should have said, "If
    you want to risk blowing your mind . . ."
    > Platt wrote:
    > Many leftists (not all) are proposing just such. Didn't some hospital just
    > today demand that McDonalds be removed from the premises?
    > I reply:
    > Just like some rightists are demanding that our Hooters be shut down. If I
    > haven't convinced you yet that your party is just as guilty as the left in
    > seeking to impose "what's right" on others, no one can. ;-)

    Perhaps the difference is leftist look to the nonelected judges on courts
    to impose their will while conservatives believe in referendums and
    > As to McD's in a hospital, well... I can see where it would be like putting
    > in a tavern- unhealthy food at a place of healing? Who disputes the McDs
    > food is unhealthy?

    McDonalds does, among others. Any food eaten day after day for breakfast
    lunch and dinner would prove unhealthy.

    > I respond:
    > And again, the will of the majority does not make something "moral", only
    > "legal". I am not arguing the drugs are illegal, only that according to the
    > MOQ, many of these restrictions are immoral.

    Regarding drugs, Pirsig wrote:

    "Things like sex and booze and drugs and- tobacco have a high biological
    quality, that is, they feel good, but are harmful for social reasons. They
    take all your money. They break up your family. They threaten the
    stability of the community." (Lila, 13)

    So I guess the MOQ view is different than yours.

    I cut some of your previous statements and my responses in the interests
    of space, but if I left out something you think warrants further
    discussion, please let me know.


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