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7/8/2004 c1 No Trust
Tiefling,
“Mbwun has a point. I might as well not bother arguing with No Trust since we don't have enough common ground to have a proper debate.”

What does common ground have to do with anything? I haven’t mentioned ethics or rights or anything like that. My arguments have been entirely amoral. They’re actually not very different from yours, they just utilize a different methodology.

“You have such a charming way with words.”

I so do.

“ Nemomen wasn't suggesting that that something that extreme would happen, suddenly or 'magically'.”

No, he wasn’t, but that’s the only way that voluntary charity could possibly be harmful to anyone.

”Er, no. The species exists independantly of our understanding of it.”

Prove it.

“If we all die then we will be an extinct species.”

If everyone dies who believes in “the species”, but people who don’t remain, the species will also cease to exist.

Carlos,
”I have to hand you this, though: since we are now a technical society,”

When has man ever been anything else? Shovels and crossbows are technology as much as a computer is. Language itself is a technology.

“many "disabilities", such as being a paraplegic, no longer really matter, and thus don't detract from our species...unless the kid wants to be an Olympic medalist, in which case he's screwed.”

You cannot ‘detract’ from the species. Except by killing people. Your existence does not in and of itself make others less existent, no matter how many defective genes you’ve got.

”My point is...ya, as long as our medical technology keeps on increasing, genetic disorders aren't really that much of a strain on our species. My problem is just this: what happens when everybody has genetic diseases?”

Here’s a thought for ya: We all already do, and we all always have. Humans found ways to survive with ‘bad genes’ in worse conditions than you or I have ever seen.

If the human race ever goes kaput, it’ll be because of some horrible natural disaster that no-one has any chance of surviving anyhow. Charity ain’t got nothin to do with it.

“What happens when everybody who's born has some kind of cripplig problem? Right now it's no big deal, because disabled folks are in the minority and they're not a strain on everybody else...but if we ALL need help, then we're in trouble. Just a thought.”

So how’s it gonna get like that? Are retards going to force themselves on everyone? Is the human race going to suddenly mutate a gene that causes every single one of us to find slobbering cripples irresistibly sexy?
6/25/2004 c1 12JulieCranford-YouLoveMeDontYou
Cool! Nemomen got a response essay! That means he's famous!
6/25/2004 c1 33Tiefling
I didn't really 'assume you were a guy'. I wrote She (he?), where someone else (less feminist, more sober) might have written 'he or she'. I just like to put it the other way around, just to buck the trend.
'unless the kid wants to be an Olympic medalist, in which case he's screwed.'
He could win gold in the Paralympic Games, that's what they're for.
'.And thanks for "defending" me, in a way, in the second chapter Tiefling. I appreciate it. Kinda.'
Sod off ye ungrateful wee besom 'afore ah gi' ye a heid full 'o heid!
'My point is...ya, as long as our medical technology keeps on increasing, genetic disorders aren't really that much of a strain on our species. My problem is just this: what happens when everybody has genetic diseases?' It's not likely. Most people are carriers for so called 'bad genes', but most such genes are recessive.
'Try not drinking and writing, though...or at least have a designated typist.'
If you'd like a comparison, try checking out any of my other essays. The difference is pretty much what you'd expect. To quote Shakespeare, alcohol 'increases the desire, but detracts from the performance'. Of course he was talking about sex, but the same rule applies to writing.
6/24/2004 c2 24Nemen
This is exactly why I should pay more attention to the essay section...so I don't miss little gems like this. Thanks for letting me know about this, Tiefling.

Ok, first of all: No Trust is right, I'm a guy. If I felt like it, I could get offended that you assumed I was a girl...but why bother? It was an honest mistake, and no harm done.

You're right. I was arguing merely as a devil's advocate, not because I really have anything against charity. After I thought about it, I realized that charity can and probably will have a long-term detrimental effect on our species...but who cares? My reason for arguing wasn't to convince anybody...merely, as you said, because somebody said that charity is "just good", and I couldn't let that stand unchallenged.

What am I smoking? Currently, nothing. Maybe I get messed up naturally, though...it'd be an interesting trait, to get trashed with everyday air.

...And thanks for "defending" me, in a way, in the second chapter Tiefling. I appreciate it. Kinda.

I have to hand you this, though: since we are now a technical society, many "disabilities", such as being a paraplegic, no longer really matter, and thus don't detract from our species...unless the kid wants to be an Olympic medalist, in which case he's screwed.

My point is...ya, as long as our medical technology keeps on increasing, genetic disorders aren't really that much of a strain on our species. My problem is just this: what happens when everybody has genetic diseases? What happens when everybody who's born has some kind of cripplig problem? Right now it's no big deal, because disabled folks are in the minority and they're not a strain on everybody else...but if we ALL need help, then we're in trouble. Just a thought.

Try not drinking and writing, though...or at least have a designated typist.
6/24/2004 c2 33Tiefling
Mbwun has a point. I might as well not bother arguing with No Trust since we don't have enough common ground to have a proper debate. I can't be bothered writing another chapter in response, at least not right now, so I'll just do a half arsed job of responding right here.
'Poking a retarded chick is not magically going to transform everyone else in the world into a slobbering cripple.'
You have such a charming way with words. Nemomen wasn't suggesting that that something that extreme would happen, suddenly or 'magically'.
'The ‘species’ is not a thing. It’s a mental abstraction that can only die with the last individual that believes in it.'
Er, no. The species exists independantly of our understanding of it. We gave it a name, but it was a thing before we named it. If we stopped 'believing in it' we would still be a species. If we all die then we will be an extinct species.
6/17/2004 c2 No Trust
“You'll find that No Trust does not operate in a realm comparable to the one most of us are in.”

Yeah. I operate in the one called ‘rational thought’.

“In as much, he is very difficult to argue with...”

I’ll take that as a compliment.

“…eventually, you stop caring, because you know he'll never accept any of your ideas, and you'll never accept any of his.”

I’ve changed my views on plenty of things since I started posting stuff on Fiction Press. Just, not because of anything that anyone around here has said to me.
6/17/2004 c2 15No Trust
“NoTrust seems to have been so keen to go off on his usual rant about people's rights to do what they want with their money that he has missed the point of what Nemomen was saying. I don't think Nemomen was trying to argue that charity harmed society at all. It looked to me more like his first two paragraphs on the reasons behind charity were just a sort of explanation of what charity is by way of introduction to the rest of the essay. He never said anything about society having desires or values, he was talking about the good of the *species*, and I think that what is good for a species can be safely defined as what helps it to survive, and what is bad for it can be defined as what hinders its survival.”

No, you missed my point. I was making a *methodological* critique that is entirely relevant. Nemomen, and you, apparently, think there is some kind of way to determine what is good for ‘the species’, but that’s fallacious for the same reason as trying to determine what is good for ‘society’. The ‘species’ only exists insofar as individuals exist. Therefore you cannot do harm to ‘the species’ without first doing harm to individuals. Voluntary charity does not do harm to individuals so there is no way that it can be harmful to the species at all.

“Whether an individual wants to have children with someone with 'bad genes' or not has no bearing whatsoever on whether it is good for the species.”

Of COURSE it does. People choosing to breed with ‘bad genes’ folks aren’t doing harm to anyone besides themselves (perhaps). Poking a retarded chick is not magically going to transform everyone else in the world into a slobbering cripple.

“Nemomen was arguing that for those genes to be passed on at all is bad for our survival. What matters is whether or not they reproduce and pass on their genes, not whether the child's other parent is happy about it.”

Whether they pass on their genes has no effect one way or the other on *my* survival, or anyone’s survival but their own kids’, unless their kids become violent criminals.

“Again, this isn't relevant. Nemomen wasn't talking about anyone's willingness to support them, but rather the fact that supporting them at all is possibly detrimental to the species.”

I understand Nemomen’s argument perfectly. You don’t seem to understand mine: The ‘species’ is not a thing. It’s a mental abstraction that can only die with the last individual that believes in it. Voluntary charity does not harm individuals so it is not dangerous to the species. If it gets to a point where charity is interfering with the survival of the individuals dishing it out, they will stop doing so in time to not die. Or maybe some of them won't. But plenty of people don't even contribute to charity of any kind, anyway. They'll be fine.

“If you have a response to my arguments on coercive welfare schemes, which I've already posted on this site (w. fictionpress. com/read.php?storyid=1372787&chapter=20) then bring it.”

It’s on its way.
6/17/2004 c2 Mbwun
You'll find that No Trust does not operate in a realm comparable to the one most of us are in. In as much, he is very difficult to argue with... eventually, you stop caring, because you know he'll never accept any of your ideas, and you'll never accept any of his.

~He Who Walks On All Fours
6/16/2004 c1 7Samara Morgan-Ring
*standing ovation* POWER TO THE CHARITY!
6/16/2004 c1 9fugiguru
way to rebut! (i think that's word.)
6/16/2004 c1 15No Trust
Nemomen’s a guy.

“People also give (their money or their time in the form of voluntary work) to charity for religious reasons, which is a little different since it may not make them feel good in the short term, they may be doing it out of fear or a desire to please their God, but that's basically selfishness too. I think when it comes right down to it everyone is motivated by selfishness, which is not to say that that's a bad thing. It's only natural.”

Exactly. Selflessness is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it simply doesn’t exist.

I think Nemomen’s argument fails horribly.

There is no way to measure what is ‘good’ for society because society does not have desires or values. One can only measure what is ‘good’ for individuals, and then, only by what they themselves desire. One can determine that voluntary charity is ‘good’ because all participants benefit from it (otherwise it wouldn’t take place, as is the nature of all voluntary action). Charitable contributions to people with ‘bad genes’ don’t make anyone worse off than they would have been had the money not been spent. The money spent on the charity went to the end thought best by those who earned it, and of course the folks on the receiving end could always simply refuse the aid if they didn’t want it. Everyone’s happy. Any attempt to try and divine some kind of economic harm to ‘society’ fails on methodological grounds before it even gets anywhere.

The evolutionary argument fails also. Firstly, unless the people with ‘bad genes’ make a habit of committing rape, they’re not going to reproduce with anyone who doesn’t want to reproduce with them. Assuming all charity is voluntary, the ‘bad genes’ folk aren’t going to be a drain on anyone who is not willing to voluntarily shoulder that burden. People with bad genes might be less productive than others, but, again assuming that charity is voluntary (which is what Nemomen was dealing with) they can only add to the productivity of society. There’s also a question of where all these ‘bad genes’ came from. Did they just appear out of nowhere? If one believes in evolution it only makes sense to believe that people with bad genes have been able to exist all along. It is likely that everyone has ‘bad genes’ and that they’re just something that can’t really be gotten rid of.

Nemomen’s arguments, or something like them, apply much better to coercive welfare schemes. They don’t apply at all to voluntary charity.

I don’t know what he’s smoking.

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