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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-09-30 10:59pm
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I just watched RTD's The Second Coming and it got me thinking.

Basically the plot is about a man named Steve being the Second Coming of Christ and coming to write a third testament. At the end of the story he's convinced by his love to kill himself because as long as he's alive humanity cannot be free. Steve counters that millions of people need him and that his dying will leave them alone to possibly fail in a cold universe. The woman responds that that should be their decision. Steve kills himself.

Funnily enough I see this a bit. Angel also had a plot with the same basic premise, that humanity needs to come to it's own rescue or not. That it would be their decision. We also had a thread on this not too long ago.

I was wondering what people here thought because that seems like a silly concept to me. It seems like it greatly underestimates the level of choice people all over the world have. Millions of poor wageslaves don't really have that much choice,they cannot decide that humanity will be good and help each other since they are the ones that need help. It seems a bit fucked up to me that some white, middle-class woman or vampire can decide all of a sudden to make a decision for those people and then claim to be holding up choice as if the world is a democracy.

It makes sense when you think that the entity may not be benign, but in the case of Second Coming, the God is implied to be omniscient and look out for people's best interest.

So...my question is: if you knew that there was a benign entity out there planning to look out for humanity's best interests, ending war, poverty and injustice, is this an acceptable trade to make? Freedom for security? What influences your decision? I would imagine that the higher up the food chain you are the less you have to gain from the interference of such a creature. For example, I don't think that such a communistic system benefits billionaires for example.

Do you believe that we should fight our way out of this? What about the people who can't and will surely die under terrible circumstances? Is there something instinctively wrong with "giving up"?

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-01 11:34am
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Aren't freedom and security at least partially dependent on one another? Don't you need freedom to feel secure, and security to enjoy freedom?

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-01 11:39am
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Scrib wrote:
Steve counters that millions of people need him and that his dying will leave them alone to possibly fail in a cold universe. The woman responds that that should be their decision. Steve kills himself.
Phrased that way, it's a pretty shitty argument on her part. You don't choose to be born poor with little options for advancement in a society with no incentive to help you drag yourself out of the shit. Even in many first-world countries, thousands of children die before puberty due to a myriad of issues they have no control over.

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So...my question is: if you knew that there was a benign entity out there planning to look out for humanity's best interests, ending war, poverty and injustice, is this an acceptable trade to make? Freedom for security? What influences your decision? I would imagine that the higher up the food chain you are the less you have to gain from the interference of such a creature. For example, I don't think that such a communistic system benefits billionaires for example.
Well, people not worrying about starving or being stomped on by the higher tier of society would drastically reduce crime in of itself. The question is, how are problems like rape or general thuggery handled? Are these people mentally neutered to remove those thoughts? Does something stop them from committing their crime like their knife stops before hitting skin? Are they struck down by lightning?

Really, though, turning down the removal of poverty, war, crime, and injustice in general because of the abstract concept of "freedom" seems fairly suspect. I'm more interested in how the specifics would be handled with issues such as "injustice." From a personal/first-world perspective, my whole job exists because people either negligently or purposely dump hazardous materials into the environment. Would there even be a need for someone like me in this brave new world? Garbage collection is one of those jobs that's extremely important, yet gets you no respect: how would you keep people like that employed when they no longer have to worry about starving to death or being poor?

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-01 12:18pm
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Phrased that way, it's a pretty shitty argument on her part. You don't choose to be born poor with little options for advancement in a society with no incentive to help you drag yourself out of the shit. Even in many first-world countries, thousands of children die before puberty due to a myriad of issues they have no control over.

Quote:
Well, people not worrying about starving or being stomped on by the higher tier of society would drastically reduce crime in of itself. The question is, how are problems like rape or general thuggery handled? Are these people mentally neutered to remove those thoughts? Does something stop them from committing their crime like their knife stops before hitting skin? Are they struck down by lightning?


In retrospect I wasn't completely fair. God seems to implicitly agree with her premise, which is why he only casts a few miracles , and tell humanity to write the Testament themselves and get everyone to follow it. And there's also the added benefit of all the demons possessing people leaving with God.

I had a long post about it but let's just use the Culture as a template. Political power is ceded to advanced gods, AI or whatever and they do everything they can to automate the jobs no one wants to do and regulate everything else. Places will be monitored and the minds will be the judges, jury and executioners. Crime would exist to a certain extent, but the with the government providing most goods and having the power to monitor almost everything it certainly won't end well for them. Basically a dictatorship run by near-omniscient, benevolent autocrats.
\
Or you have the Angel method: Everyone is simply made to love one another. Somehow their minds are fucked with until they are empathetic enough to not do such things. Presumably their time and money would then go to helping one another instead. It's not the ideal solution but it's by far the most interesting. Let's put aside realism and say that this only has to be done once: can you justify changing what humanity is to save it?

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-01 07:24pm
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TheFeniX wrote:
Garbage collection is one of those jobs that's extremely important, yet gets you no respect: how would you keep people like that employed when they no longer have to worry about starving to death or being poor?


God will take care of it. See, this is what the problem of evil means in practical terms: if God decides to divinely stop crime, he will have to divinely feed all those cops, prison guards and judges who are broke, and so on and so on. Since every profession exists to tackle a problem, God would have to, after tackling all problems, take personal care of all people on Earth. Because, why not? He's already begun tampering with the universe for the wellbeing of His creation. In doing so, he'd abolish free will. And that's how it goes. He either doesn't exist, or will solve nothing for us so we can maintain our free will, a point that, if objectively proven (that is, that God exists but does nothing), would make even the most religious person go "gee, thanks you asshole" everytime his car breaks down.



Ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμϐαίνουσιν, ἕτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ. Δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης.

The seller was a Filipino called Dr. Wilson Lim, a self-declared friend of the M.I.L.F. -Grumman

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-01 07:44pm
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Eliminating scarcity of survival-related resources will cause across-the-board demand-pull inflation and shifts the supply curve for semi-skilled and unskilled labor to the left. The value of the currency stabilizes at a reduced rate, and inflation-adjusted wages for previously low-income jobs that remain in high demand increase considerably, along with the inflation-adjusted cost of those services: in short, garbage collectors still collect garbage, they just get paid more to do it, and their fees increase accordingly. Economics doesn't suddenly stop working because you change a few variables.



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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-01 07:56pm
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Dr. Trainwreck wrote:
God will take care of it. See, this is what the problem of evil means in practical terms: if God decides to divinely stop crime, he will have to divinely feed all those cops, prison guards and judges who are broke, and so on and so on. Since every profession exists to tackle a problem, God would have to, after tackling all problems, take personal care of all people on Earth. Because, why not? He's already begun tampering with the universe for the wellbeing of His creation. In doing so, he'd abolish free will. And that's how it goes. He either doesn't exist, or will solve nothing for us so we can maintain our free will, a point that, if objectively proven (that is, that God exists but does nothing), would make even the most religious person go "gee, thanks you asshole" everytime his car breaks down.


What's with the rash of slippery-slope arguments around here, lately? Apparently, if God stops crime, he has to solve all problems for everyone?

Incidentally, if God stops crime, a tiny fraction of the population, with useful skills and experience doing jobs that a change in the market has rendered obsolete, enter the labor force. WHAT A CATASTROPHE! THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE, EVER!



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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-01 11:38pm
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Scrib wrote:
Or you have the Angel method: Everyone is simply made to love one another. Somehow their minds are fucked with until they are empathetic enough to not do such things. Presumably their time and money would then go to helping one another instead. It's not the ideal solution but it's by far the most interesting. Let's put aside realism and say that this only has to be done once: can you justify changing what humanity is to save it?

I would simply create another world where people will be absolutely secure in their persons and property, and be happy all the time, provided they follow certain rules. Breaking the rules results in exile back to Earth, and breaking the rules during exile extends the exile.

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-02 05:09pm
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Feil wrote:
Incidentally, if God stops crime, a tiny fraction of the population, with useful skills and experience doing jobs that a change in the market has rendered obsolete, enter the labor force. WHAT A CATASTROPHE! THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE, EVER!
Has it happened on this scale and/or timeframe?

Just by removing crime/war, you're talking about no need for police officers which includes all the dispatchers and other administrative employees. I would assume forensics would be a bust, freeing up those in the medical and IT fields who do said work. Criminal and civil lawyers (unless said God leaves civil disputes to us), judges, and all the paper-pushers who do all the necessary paperwork.The prison workers go poof. You have no real use for the military or at least most of your lower ranking ones, private security, the secret service. You're talking almost 600,000 people only at the local level of law enforcement.

That's also not going into to all the manufacturing jobs that would be lost on the equipment and vehicles used in those professions. Not that cutting down on handcuff and bullet proof vest production is a bad thing, but I just don't see a shift in society like this only affecting a tiny fraction of the population.

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-02 06:13pm
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TheFeniX wrote:
Has it happened on this scale and/or timeframe?


Almost the entire set of equine and equine-related industries, within 15 years of the widespread acceptance of the automobile.
The entire ice industry, in about 10 years between 1935 and 1945, when the refrigerator became a common household appliance.
Almost every military at the end of a major war.

I do like how in your explanation of the large number of people left unemployed by eliminating crime, you feel the necessity of including civil law, war, and the prevention and adjudication of accidents, rather than the prevention of crimes, right after I make fun of you for assuming that if God stops crime he has to solve all problems for everyone.



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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-02 07:17pm
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Feil wrote:
Almost the entire set of equine and equine-related industries, within 15 years of the widespread acceptance of the automobile.
The entire ice industry, in about 10 years between 1935 and 1945, when the refrigerator became a common household appliance.
Making something more efficient to do != the removal of it's need entirely. People still needed a way to transport goods/people and they use ice. This would be relevant if Star Trek transporters were developed and sold for under the cost of the average vehicle (and you ignored the moral ramifications of transporting people). Both options also had ample time for merely coping with new technology (10-15 years as you posted).

But that's still different than one day coming in to work as a police dispatcher and the phone does not ring. Your job and entire industry is literally gone overnight.

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Almost every military at the end of a major war.
World War II had millions of draftees: people whose primary occupation was not soldiering. When they got home, they expected to go back to their average job.

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I do like how in your explanation of the large number of people left unemployed by eliminating crime, you feel the necessity of including civil law, war, and the prevention and adjudication of accidents, rather than the prevention of crimes, right after I make fun of you for assuming that if God stops crime he has to solve all problems for everyone.
First off: get your fucking quotes straight before talking shit. Second: read the OP where it says "war" and "injustice." While injustice is a subjective concept, I would assume this means Mr. Helpful will handle disputes in the civil system or just make them moot by messing with people's brains so they wouldn't think about faking an injury in a car wreck (to just name one example).

Also, if you think there's no actual crime in the civil court system.... then wow.

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-03 06:49am
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Quote:
What's with the rash of slippery-slope arguments around here, lately? Apparently, if God stops crime, he has to solve all problems for everyone?

Well, since he's just given actual proof of his existence, and already abolished a good chunk of free will in doing so, he might as well take full control.



Ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμϐαίνουσιν, ἕτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ. Δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης.

The seller was a Filipino called Dr. Wilson Lim, a self-declared friend of the M.I.L.F. -Grumman

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-03 12:22pm
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TheFeniX wrote:
Feil wrote:
Almost the entire set of equine and equine-related industries, within 15 years of the widespread acceptance of the automobile.
The entire ice industry, in about 10 years between 1935 and 1945, when the refrigerator became a common household appliance.
Making something more efficient to do != the removal of it's need entirely. People still needed a way to transport goods/people and they use ice. This would be relevant if Star Trek transporters were developed and sold for under the cost of the average vehicle (and you ignored the moral ramifications of transporting people).

I don't think that the presence of a replacement industry is relevant. Cutting, storing, and delivering ice, and making ice in your freezer, both end up with ice, but the people employed by the one industry will not be employed by the other. Similarly for horses, excepting the direct transportation component.

Quote:
Both options also had ample time for merely coping with new technology (10-15 years as you posted).

But that's still different than one day coming in to work as a police dispatcher and the phone does not ring. Your job and entire industry is literally gone overnight.

Granted.

Quote:
Almost every military at the end of a major war.
World War II had millions of draftees: people whose primary occupation was not soldiering. When they got home, they expected to go back to their average job.

I don't see how this opposes my point. The jobs they held did not sit empty for five years, patiently awaiting their return.


Quote:
First off: get your fucking quotes straight before talking shit.

I was careless, I apologize.



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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-03 12:49pm
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Feh. Missed a quote tag in there. Here is how this should look.

TheFeniX wrote:
Feil wrote:
Almost the entire set of equine and equine-related industries, within 15 years of the widespread acceptance of the automobile.
The entire ice industry, in about 10 years between 1935 and 1945, when the refrigerator became a common household appliance.
Making something more efficient to do != the removal of it's need entirely. People still needed a way to transport goods/people and they use ice. This would be relevant if Star Trek transporters were developed and sold for under the cost of the average vehicle (and you ignored the moral ramifications of transporting people).


I don't think that the presence of a replacement industry is relevant. Cutting, storing, and delivering ice, and making ice in your freezer, both end up with ice, but the people employed by the one industry will not be employed by the other. Similarly for horses, excepting the direct transportation component.

Quote:
Both options also had ample time for merely coping with new technology (10-15 years as you posted).

But that's still different than one day coming in to work as a police dispatcher and the phone does not ring. Your job and entire industry is literally gone overnight.

Granted.

Quote:
Quote:
Almost every military at the end of a major war.
World War II had millions of draftees: people whose primary occupation was not soldiering. When they got home, they expected to go back to their average job.

I don't see how this opposes my point. The jobs they held did not sit empty for five years, patiently awaiting their return.


Quote:
First off: get your fucking quotes straight before talking shit.

I was careless, I apologize.



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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-03 09:34pm
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Feil wrote:
I don't think that the presence of a replacement industry is relevant. Cutting, storing, and delivering ice, and making ice in your freezer, both end up with ice, but the people employed by the one industry will not be employed by the other. Similarly for horses, excepting the direct transportation component.
The issue is that a large portion of the ice market really didn't change. Large commercial enterprise still needs/needed ice created in massive amounts and they can't afford the cost of operating the machines needed to produce said ice. Just bars alone consume a metric fuckload of the stuff. If anything, the invention of refrigeration increased the market of ice producers. Residential use is a pittance of ice use, at least in America.

Re-reading, I also kind of dropped the ball on the point you were making about horses vs cars in transportation. I was focusing on the transportation industry, rather than horse breeding and selling specifically. But there's still a fairly large market for horses these days and it's likely what horse breeders lost in sales they made up for in markup. It wouldn't surprise me if, even adjusted for inflation, horses were a lot more expensive than they were when used as general transportation.

Quote:
I don't see how this opposes my point. The jobs they held did not sit empty for five years, patiently awaiting their return.
Fair enough as millions of conscriptees coming home and shifting the replacement workers (such as women) away was a major issue. But the point is that for a lot of soldiers of the draft era: soldiering was not their occupation. So, 80% of the "market" dropping out because a war ended is a big step away from anyone with a law enforcement or security skill-set becoming fairly useless overnight. I get visions of them giving guided tours in "History of Violence" museums like in Demolition Man.

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I was careless, I apologize.
Shit happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Freedom vs. Security PostPosted: 2012-10-08 05:03pm
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Police officers are physical fit people or have years of experience in working with people. They may not use their experiences in crime fighting any more, but they still have skills they can use. Or they can sell guns. Which shouldn't be a problem, since in a world without violence those don't do more harm than stamps.

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