We should talk about politics and morality

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Buddy Dink, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. I'm tired of talking about people, about policies put in place by Bush or Obama or Clinton or anyone. I'm tired of talking about Republicans and Democrats. I'm even tired of talking about the Constitution.

    I want everyone here to talk about government in terms of morality, as long as everyone else here wants to, too.

    I believe we should start off this conversation by addressing the word morality. What is morality? How do you define your morals?

    In my eyes there is only one kind of action that I can view as immoral. Acts of aggression. Aggression can be defined as force and fraud. Acts which use physical force to make others do something against their will are immoral. Acts which use fraudulence to make others act against their will are also immoral. You have the right to do anything that is not immoral.

    So now that I have addressed morality I will apply my definition to our current political problems.

    Taxation is immoral because they are forcing people to pay for things they may or may not want and may or may not use. If you were to look at everything that our taxes pay for, which of those things would you be willing to pay for yourself? Are you willing to pay for police to throw pot heads in jail? Are you willing to pay for the death of millions of Iraqis and Afghans? Are you willing to pay for building nation building?

    I only chose those things because I feel as though the majority of the people here will say that they are not willing to pay for those things. Unfortunately if you do not pay for them, you will be thrown in jail. If you refuse to succumb to them forcibly throwing you in prison, you will be shot at and killed. This is force, and is immoral.

    To those of you who are willing to pay for most of those things, your rights are still being thrown to the wind. I would assume that anyone who is willing to pay for these things accepts the lies, or fraudulence, that our government spews. Would you be willing to pay for police to throw pot heads in jail if you knew how benign marijuana use is? Would you be willing to pay for the death of millions of Iraqis and Afghans if you knew the motivation behind it? Would you be willing to pay for nation building knowing that the only benefit goes to the people investing money into these wars?

    That is my definition of morality, and these are my examples of things which are immoral. Would anyone else like to take a crack at this?
  2. #2 aaronman, Sep 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2009
    As Kant said, "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law."

    Is it OK for the state to steal from you? According to Kant, no, because if this were applied universally, and everybody could steal, then property would cease to exist along with the notion of "theft". What a world that would be...

    Coercive taxation is without a doubt immoral, but that doesn't mean it is not necessary for a functioning society.

    That is a question of economics, which clearly answers, "NO, society does not need a state to redistribute wealth, the people do that naturally."

    In conclusion; the state is a disease that continues to spread until it is destroyed, and can begin anew.
  3. I think that in this society we live in most people think that the state should regulate things, as most do not wish to get involved in civics. In the area I live in, I see a lot of fat, lazy, ignorant and pigheaded people every day. The mentality I am surrounded by every day is something along the lines of either "It's not my problem." or "This is the way it is and this is what we do." I have several friends and all of my clients who do not know my religious beliefs, views on society, and views on law and this country. How does one go about changing the minds of the masses when they are either baptized in the bullshit or made so complacent they just follow along to whatever a politician says, knowing that he/she is a corrupt politician? I am willing to entertain any thoughts on how to do this, as I hate seeing the destruction that lies about this once great nation.
  4. The question about the morality of taxation is interesting... I definitely think that taxation is necessary in a functioning society; I think there is a need for taxation. Whether or not it's immoral seems to be another issue entirely.

    The only counter-argument against the 'taxation is immoral' position I can think of is that a person is also not forced to live within the borders of any given country. When you live in the U.S, for example, you enter into a contract. You will abide by the laws and regulations placed upon you by the government and, in return, they will ensure you the personal protections afforded by the constitution.

    It'd be a lot easier for me to wholeheartedly take up the aforementioned argument if there existed some other alternative to living in any country - sort of a 'you're completely on your own' sort of thing. Unfortunately, according to a quick google search, it would appear that there is no unclaimed land left on planet Earth. I'm sure, however, that there are countries in existence in which certain people are taxed little or not at all. Perhaps in Africa somewhere?

    edit: also, good thread. I'm tired of the same old bullshit too.
  5. I don't remember signing this contract. Musta missed it somewhere along the way, when I had my income first taxed at the age of 16. I don't understand how you go from living where you grow up to fucken agreeing to a contract. Your not even informed about this contract. Kids graduate high school knowing little about taxation and citizenship/residency. Is that what you call agreeing to the contract. Unless you literally mean 'entering' a contract, regardless of choice, rather than abiding by it because you agree and choose to.

    What kind of moral foundation can this crap be based on? You can be left ignorant and uninformed about it, but you automatically enter a contract you don't really know anything about simply by living in a place. Don't give me some batshit retarded reasoning like you can move to another country. The people who have the hardest time with taxes can't move to another country because they can't afford to! And regardless, saying anyone can just simply pack up, move to a new country... :confused:
  6. #6 Buddy Dink, Sep 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2009

    I loved your response. It makes you think about when and where liberty can be intact. Doesn't it seem to be that frontiers are the best when and where for liberty to exist intact? I wish I was born either 500 years ago, or 500 years from now. I want to be a pioneer, a frontiersman. Either colonize "the new world" being the Americas or colonize "the final frontier" in space. We were all born at such an awkward time in some sense.

    Unfortunately that contract is your tax form that you fill out when you become employed. There is a better response, though.

    Just because we are taxed doesn't mean that anywhere else in the world isn't taxed. Most other places are taxed even more so. This is certainly the one of the best countries available, and our rights are still being taken away!

    Imagine government in general as a mugger with a gun. If a mugger with a gun told you to cough up your dough, you would do it, wouldn't you? Is that really consent? It is still force, and it is still wrong.


    I forgot to address the "taxation is necessary" issue. I don't believe that taxation is necessary at all. I believe there will always be people who want to tax, and there will always be people willing to be taxed (maybe even desiring to be taxed), but that doesn't make it necessary. Did Native American tribes have taxes?
  7. Morality is a personal guide to use when making decisions on what is "right" or least evil. Immoral acts are those that the current culture and social teachings view as wrong. , evil, or negative.

    Morality isn't very clear when discussing politics, but here is my best shot. A moral government is one that represents it's citizens ideals as closely as possible. It is one that works for the people, and not one that the people work for.

    Are taxes moral? If the government provides freedoms, infrastructure, and quality of life equal to/worth the tax.

    I do think most people would agree that the native Americans offer a good example of how people can survive without government. This style of living can only be successful when land is more abundant. Small society (tribes) are able to live peacefully with the land if it can meet there needs and they are not fighting for resources with neighboring societies.

    I think if we got rid of the government entirely, mother nature would have to bring our population way down. Which would be a good thing if so many people wouldn't have to die to get there.

    It is very liberating to talk politics outside the box, and at such a basic level without all of the partisanship. Thanks for the posting the thread.

  8. Isn't this what personal responsibility is all about?

    You can't afford to move to another country? Too bad for you, should have worked harder and made more money.

    Can't afford health care? Too bad...
  9. Not everybody has the same set of morals. Take a corrupt politician and his morals. How would you get them to change without force or fraud? You're then being immoral by your standards.

    The world is an imperfect place.

  10. "Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."- HDThoreau

  11. It's not the government's job to force their opinion of morals on anyone... we don't need to de-corrupt politicians, just take away their power...
  12. Politics? Morality?

  13. But it isn't another issue entirely! The taxation issue is at the heart of all political discussions! There are few things more pervasive and more harmful than taxation. Taxation is a politicians word to cover up the real meaning of what is going on. Taxation is nothing more than theft and theft is never necessary. There are those that would argue that taxes are not theft and are all for paying their "fair share," but there are just as many, if not more, that would argue that the "fair share" that is being taken out in taxes, against their will, is not fair since many of the things these taxes support run counter to what they desire. You seem like the type of person that doesn't mind paying taxes, so your view on taxes is that they are necessary. Unfortunately, there are many others, myself include, that view them as wholly unnecessary. Instead of helping mankind taxation is a large contributor the problems we have in society.

    There is no need for taxation. Nothing that the government does can't be provided for by the market. Police, fire departments, roads, bridges, courts, education -- everything the government does can be provided by market forces. While we are forced to pay taxes on things we don't need or want we will never be free. Freedom comes from the ability to keep the fruits of your labor without a coercive state telling you how much you "owe" them for the privilege of working under their rule.

    This is a non-argument. This is the argument used by people who do not have a real rebuttal to our arguments that government is naked aggression, taxation is theft, and governments attempt to mold society it the image of its politicians is immoral.

    I never signed any contract with the United States government, and neither did you. The theory of a mythical "social contract" that you are born into is a lie. My parents, their parents, and preceding generations have no right to establish a contract that binds future generations to slavery. Lysander Spooner made the case back in the 1800's that the United States Constitution, while a very nice piece of reading material, is unenforceable. Since neither I, nor anyone else alive today, save those few who took an oath to obey and defend the Constitution, have sworn any alliegiance to it or its government we should not be held accountable to it. To assume that we must owe our loyalties to a document and a government that we did not choose is to assume that we are slaves. As Spooner said once: "A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years."

    I also like this quote:

    "But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: 'Your money, or your life.' And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat. The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful. The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a 'protector,' and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to 'protect' those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful 'sovereign,' on account of the 'protection' he affords you. He does not keep 'protecting' you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave." -- Lysander Spooner
  14. I never said defending yourself from aggression was immoral. Perhaps I should have made it clear that aggression is the initiation of force or fraud.
  15. Taxation is theft. Every country in the world taxes people. Most people value their lives more than they value money. The threat of force is often enough to coerce people into cooperation.

    Isn't a mugger still a mugger even if you "willingly" give him your money? Just because you value life more than money doesn't mean that mugging is moral.
  16. #16 Jakigi, Sep 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2009
    Morality is tough enough to define right off the bat. Is there an underlying good and evil in all actions, or has our society conditioned our understanding of right and wrong?

    In general, I don't think politics and "good morals" mesh very well. That stems from some not-so-utilitarian characteristics of humans.

    What about a more hands-on approach to taxation....

    A general value (Determined from state to state) is given that a taxpayer must contribute to the state or immediate community. They can then choose where their contribution goes... law enforcement, infrastructure etc.

    Obviously a little idealistic... I don't know how it would be enforced (not corrupted)...
  17. Sticking a gun in your face and telling you to pay up, whether or not you decide where it goes, is still immoral.
  18. I agree, that is cruel. But it still doesn't change that morality is subjective. There is no immoral behavior - no right and wrong.

    "Right" and "Wrong" stem from our evolutionary development. Gathering in tribes made life easier and safer. Obeying certain rules benefited the tribe: not stealing, murdering, lying even. Following these rules allowed for a more harmonious community.

    So there is no right and wrong... only actions that benefit society and those that don't. We expect every member of society to reciprocate "Moral" behavior... but we're fooling ourselves. They don't. Especially those seizing power... it's all about doing it as stealthily as possible.
  19. I don't believe they are as subjective as everyone makes them out to be.

    All people act in accordance with their own wishes. There are only two actions which inhibit others from acting in accordance with their own wishes. Those two actions are actions which initiate force and actions which initiate fraud.

    Otherwise people are free to do as they wish, because people realize that physical force and fraudulence are inhibitory factors when it comes to interactions between people. They are the only inhibitory factors, and are the only actions which are immoral.
  20. It's ultimately subjective, but there are ways of determining morality (ethics).

    Kant's categorical imperitive is my fave...

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