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  • #2142006

    Rock and a hard place

    by bob.b ·


    The Repubs have waltzed themselves into a bind by allowing Trump to run wild for the last four years.

    Expect to hear a lot of CYA in the coming weeks.

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    • #2416942

      You might remember a comment I made on SE

      by nopremx ·

      In reply to Rock and a hard place

      some time ago. I said I felt sorry for Trump because he was setting himself up to be without a friend in the world. AP just had an opinion piece saying that time is very close, if not actually here.

      • #2416930


        by bob.b ·

        In reply to You might remember a comment I made on SE

        When Trump ran for office I had no idea who he was.

        After listening to his speeches I thought….this guy is full of prunes.

        After watching him for the last four years my opinion is Trump does not give a hoot for you/me/the country unless there is something in it for Trump.

        Now the repub congress types have a bomb on their hands.

        • #2417427

          I knew about the TV show and his catchphrase

          by nopremx ·

          In reply to Trump

          “You’re fired!”
          I’m surprised no media used it on January 20th.

    • #2416906

      What Trump cares about, and consequences

      by john.a.wills ·

      In reply to Rock and a hard place

      I don’t know. He may be completely narcissistic. Nevertheless he – or at any rate people in his administration – did a few good things, which Biden will probably undo. Trump does not care about human rights, but Biden is definitely against them (think of the promises he will probably keep to PP, NARAL, etc.). It is the Republic which is between a rock and a hard place, not just the Republicans. But neither party will desist for quite a while from the polarization game.

      • #2416903


        by bob.b ·

        In reply to What Trump cares about, and consequences

        This is not a hot button issue for me.

        I lean toward pro choice with limits.

        Another area for Joe that is Darned if you do…..Darned if you don’t.

        • #2417683

          NARAL etc.

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to Naral

          The purpose of the state, at whatever level, is to secure such God-given human-natural rights as those to life to liberty and to property. The first condition of good governance is therefore that the state itself not violate human rights. I am, of course, using the theory promulgated by Suarez, Grotius and Locke (of whom I have actually read only Locke), and at least externally believed by the founders of the Republic. Biden is promising to use public funds to violate human rights.

          You may have a different theory of the purpose of the state, Aristotle’s (which might lead anywhere) perhaps; you may have a dualist metaphysics. Only so can you fail to be frightened at
          Biden’s promises.

        • #2417682

          Purpose of the state

          by bob.b ·

          In reply to NARAL etc.

          Try to maintain some kind of order.
          Try to keep mankind from exterminating the specie.

          Where did you get this god given stuff?

          Did you read it on a piece of paper written by someone?

          Did someone tell you?

        • #2417681

          some kind of order

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to Purpose of the state

          The Tao Te Ching says “good order” (I cannot give chapter and verse off-hand) (Yes, someone told me, I read it on a piece of paper, most recently on my monitor as part of an email), but that does not help unless we can determine whether an order is good, and Suarez et al. give the criterion as I have given it above. And there is little point in maintaining the species if the members of the species have no rights.

          As for “God-given”, I direct you to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, where you will find two of the rights listed; all three are enumerated in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. If rights do not come from God, where do they come from? Or don’t you believe in human rights at all? In that case YOU have no rights, except accidentally.

        • #2417678


          by bob.b ·

          In reply to some kind of order

          You pointed to a piece of paper written by man.
          I can write anything I want on a piece of paper.

          Rights are granted by the state.
          If a state wants to add or remove some right based on some god then that’s the state’s business.

          Prove to me that god exist.
          Please don’t point me at a piece of paper.

          I don’t deny that god exist.
          I don’t use some god as justification for my actions.

        • #2417428

          All true, Bob.

          by nopremx ·

          In reply to Rights

          “As for “God-given”, I direct you to the U.S. Declaration of Independence” … which is not from God.
          John believes otherwise. How do we know? He said so, in his post. We’re stuck with that.

          BTW the writer(s) of the Declaration, mostly Jefferson, acted as if they were speaking for God. So we’re stuck with that, too. 🙂

          Test for type enhancements. italic Nope.

        • #2417429

          I thought the chase was for

          by nopremx ·

          In reply to NARAL etc.

          life, liberty and the purfuit of happineff. At least that’s the way I read it.

          But seriously, folks.
          “God-given human-natural rights” don’t exist, not in that sentence.
          Suarez, Grotius, Locke and Aristotle (of whom I have read only the Classics Illustrated comic versions) do not speak for God. By happy circumstance he has spoken for himself.
          Book of Genesis has commands for humans but no Bill of Rights (not even on papyrus). This is fact, whether your view is that the Bible is fact (minority) or myth (majority). No rights stated.

          Some don’t like this because they want free will. That they have, and from the beginning. To be exercised within rational limits.
          Example: Laws – ‘i want to obey only laws that I’ve vetted.’ Ok. Start with the law of gravity. Disobey it from a second-floor window and you might be ok. From the fifth floor, not.
          We all see the point of that.
          Where does Genesis come in? Those [few] laws were written by the one who created the subjects of the laws. Should be the best source, agreed? (You want to maintain your Ford? Don’t use a Hillman manual.)
          ‘Too restrictive’, we say. Really? The first commandment is at Gen 1:28. What do you think of it?

          ATTENTION! BOB! This is the Bible. You’re forbidden to read it. 🙂

        • #2413931

          nopremx is right…

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to I thought the chase was for

          about the Declaration of Independence. But that was written with the shared background of Locke’s teaching; I understand (I cannot give chapter and verse, not having read the minutes of the deliberation) that there was some problem with property, so they put in pursuit of happiness instead. The wording of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments does include property, so we can take it, I submit, that Locke’s ideas were still in the background of political thought. Of course, the question is not so much whether the Founding Fathers and their followers believed in unalienable rights as whether we do.

          The Bible in Dt 5: 15 & 19 (or Ex 20: 13 & 15) clearly declares rights to life and property.

          Now, Francisco Suarez thought that the Bible did not give all the details, and that God spoke through nature as well as through revelation. Building on others in the Natural-Law tradition, he wrote in De Legibus (which I do not claim to have read) the theory that the state’s nature (not the way states always acted) was to secure such God-given human-natural rights as those to life, to liberty and to property. His theory does not contradict revelation but might be thought to make a context for it. Also, we know from Ps 111:7 and several verses in Ps 119 that the laws of God are “true”, i.e. conformed to our nature properly understood (C. S. Lewis goes into this in some debt in chapter 6 of his little book “Reflections on the Psalms”.), so that it is reasonable to deduce divine law from our nature. Whether or not we so believe, Suarez and his medieval predecessors did. So did his successors Grotius and Locke. And the founders of the Republic expected their cousins in Britain to believe it enough to appreciate the rightness of the Declaration of Independence.

          Trump damaged the working of the Republic at home and abroad. Biden will disorient it from its purpose.

        • #2413813

          the nopremx goes way back, for reasons irrelevant here.

          by nopremx ·

          In reply to nopremx is right…

          I prefer Doug.

        • #2413788

          your cites are to “the Ten Commandments”,

          by nopremx ·

          In reply to nopremx is right…

          which is a western, Christian construct. A practicing Jew will tell you that the last four books of the Torah have about 600, all with equal standing with Jehovah. And his son, for that matter. The “rights” you find there are for people to observe in dealing with each other, if they want to. “Thou shall not kill”, yet killing goes on apace, as in the beginning. Also, the 600 were given only to the Jews, who did not exist before Abraham. Not ‘natural law’, which would be in Genesis. The commands there are few; one of those was given in ch. 2, v. 17 and tossed aside in ch. 3, v.6. And here we are. (If the Bible history is fact. If not, why are we here, making the man behind the curtain nervous?)

          Rights: Great example just provided for us by the world, in Myanmar.
          Briefly: Military dictatorship for couple of decades.
          Big upheaval, behind Aung San Suu Kyi.
          Military steps down.
          Free elections; she becomes head of state (lower case, because of some technicality).
          Free elections in 2020 (remember 2020?) which her party wins by a landslide (85%).
          New Constitution voted in as well, GUARANTEEING CITIZENS’ RIGHTS.
          BUT WAIT!
          Military steps in, voids the election, arrests Aung San and her staff, issues order of martial law which SPECIFICALLY voids each of the key elements of the Constitution.
          Their reason? “Widespread electoral fraud.”

          In Melville’s Billy Budd, Foretopman the ship from which Billy is impressed is The Rights of Man. “Farewell, Rights of Man” he calls out as his new ship sails off.

        • #2413779

          Jews and such

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to your cites are to “the Ten Commandments”,

          Jews did not start with Abraham but with Ezra. A kind of monotheism started with Abraham. The descendants of Abraham’s grandson Israel gelled the Israelite qahal or church at Sinai under Moses. Israelites split into Jews and Samaritans centuries later. Centuries later still, Jews split into Christians and Rabbinical Jews. Details and biblical references for this are to be found in my post The Nature of Israel from a couple of years ago – and also on my website.

          The Ten Commandments (esra milim) have some priority even among Rabbinical Jews, and certainly in the pre-split Jewish qahal.

        • #2413774

          Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. one of Jacob’s sons

          by nopremx ·

          In reply to Jews and such

          was Joseph. At Gen 40:15 Joseph tells an Egyptian, “I was, in fact, kidnapped from the hand of the Hebrews …”

          Ezra was many hundreds of years later. You are mistaken, on many points. Example: The word “church” doesn’t belong in any OT study. The Jews existed and met in “congregations”; Gk ecclesia. Church, now, almost always means the building, not the people. No buildings at Sinai.

        • #2413816


          by nopremx ·

          In reply to NARAL etc.

          I meant to tell you this earlier, about Aristotle.
          I once came across a 1994 paper Britannica that I got for free, library discard. Wonderful stuff. I read the lengthy article on him – the man, not the philosophy – and it was an eye opener.
          He lived very long ago of course and there is little or nothing available that he wrote. Everything we study, from high school basics up to “the Classics” at Cambridge and the like, is second- or third-hand reports that are themselves thousands of years old, and sometimes unreliable in themselves. Yet his (alleged) thinkng dominated the educated world for millennia. (Part of the Church’s objection to the Galilean view of the universe was that The Man had shown that the earth is immoveable; Ipse dixit Aristotle. Some, not all, RCC scholars believed this and it almost cost Galileo his life; it did cost him his liberty.)
          That much I knew, but it was the rest of the lengthy piece that cured me of Aristotelianism. I’m aware he had much to say about polis and the rest, but the world has tried those and other systems since; no positive results. Afraid I can’t use him, although I appreciate your post.

          I’m trying to get a way to use italics and such on forums that don’t have it. If there are scrambled words here then you know why.
          Ready to post and I see no italics. Oh, well …

    • #2417677

      origin of rights

      by john.a.wills ·

      In reply to Rock and a hard place

      States primarily recognize rights; they should then aim to secure them. If you compare states’ securing or otherwise of human rights you will pretty quickly make a judgement that some do better than others. What is your criterion for betterness? Precisely an external set of rights against which you measure each state’s activities. If you make such a judgement (“this is right, that is wrong”) you are implicitly assuming the existence of God.

      States which attempt to grant rights rather than to recognize them in practice violate rights pretty badly. How do we know that they are violating rights? We can judge them on the utterances of some higher-level state, as we do when we refer to the UN’s International Declaration of Human Rights, but then how do we judge the utterances of that higher-level state?

      • #2417676


        by bob.b ·

        In reply to origin of rights

        I don’t need to believe in god to know that robbing a bank is wrong.

        As for some group getting together and saying this is right and this is wrong.
        I have no idea what criteria they used.
        Was some deity involved in their decision?

        Back to my question.
        Can you prove that god exist?

        • #2417664

          my claim

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to Rights

          How do you know that robbing a bank is wrong? Because you believe in the right to property and, more generally, however inchoately, in human rights generally. You are the one saying that robbing a bank is wrong; what criteria are you using? What is your criterion of right and wrong? I hope that you emphasize the conscious mind rather than exalt subconscious and visceral functions; if you do, I claim, you will attempt to make your rights theory cohere, and land on with the idea that rights are in human nature and given by God. From this you should share my fears regarding Biden.

          You may be interested in my essay “Yireh Satan” at dubdubdub dot my hyphen albatross dot net. I will not reproduce it here.

        • #2417663

          Given by god

          by bob.b ·

          In reply to my claim

          Any rights we have were given to us by man.

          Any rights we have can be taken away by man.

          As for Biden.
          I have not heard him say anything that struck me as being extreme.

          I’m far more interested in what he does and not what he says.

        • #2417643

          search for criteria

          by john.a.wills ·

          In reply to Given by god

          What is your justification for writing that robbery is wrong? Only that some government sometime has said it is wrong?

        • #2417642

          I’ll swap you

          by bob.b ·

          In reply to search for criteria

          You first.
          Can you prove that god exist?
          Words on a piece of paper are not proof.

        • #2413814

          Do you understand that no one “needs” to prove that?

          by nopremx ·

          In reply to Rights

          Not to you or to anyone.
          Since he exists, at least on paper and in discussions, he’s “real”.
          “Moby Dick” is a real book of fiction, as many believe the Bible is. Doesn’t keep us from discussing either one. If I wanted to order my life by the former you might say I was wasting my time; I would agree. Many have used the latter for that, with differing results as you’ve noticed.
          It is possible to look at the results and see if any are worth emulating.

          In the meantime, here’s my own poser: Where did life come from? The Bible has an answer but science does not. Some people are given pause by that; most are not.
          Enjoy your life. 🙂

    • #2417640


      by john.a.wills ·

      In reply to Rock and a hard place

      What I am trying to prove is that you implicitly believe in God. I could refer you proofs on paper, but you say will not accept that, nor, presumably those same proofs on a screen. So nothing I can post here will be accepted. Therefore I try the maieutic method, asking you why you believe what you say you do, viz. robbing a bank is wrong, there is nothing greatly wrong with what Biden says, and no doubt other propositions regarding right and wrong. Can you give a coherent justification for such judgement?

      What do you think of my opinion “Yireh Satan”?

      • #2417638

        I have already said

        by bob.b ·

        In reply to swap-around

        I don’t deny the existence of god.

        For the folks that use god as justification for their actions/thoughts I ask can you prove your god exist.

        So far the response has been a big zero.

        I’ll make it easy.
        Have you ever seen or spoken to this god?
        Do you know anyone who has?

    • #2413773

      in re Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

      by john.a.wills ·

      In reply to Rock and a hard place

      No, premx, I am not wrong on any point. You have now brought in “Hebrew”, an ethnic term, whereas “Israelite”, “Jew” and “Christian” are ecclesial terms. Please read my other posting before responding, and check any Bible references which seem unfamiliar.

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