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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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To begin with, empirically most consciences have ostensibly been perfectly adaptable to even the most cynical realpolitik all along History,

Just check out any colonialism-related thread all along Historum
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:53 AM   #12

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You're giving mankind way too much credit for even having a conscience
to follow. Its like the old saying of "If you knew you could do something
illegal, and not be caught, would you do it?"
Set the parameters just
right, for each person, and see how much conscience a person will listen to.
Obviously there's room for disagreement here. I myself believe that most people (though there are plenty of exceptions) do have a conscience. On a basic level they feel it's wrong to lie, cheat, steal, kill, etc.

But if you want to try an experiment such as you're proposing, I think there are a lot of people who'd find it very easy to ignore their conscience. That's kind of my point about rationalizing what they're doing. Deep down inside they know they're doing wrong. But it's very easy for self-interest to take over. Then you stop listening to your conscience.

Perhaps what you're saying here is that people don't have much of a conscience to follow, whereas I'm saying I think they do. It's just that all too often they find it easy to disregard it. Practically speaking, it amounts to the same thing. I certainly wouldn't argue that people consistently do what their conscience tells them to do.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:58 AM   #13

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I hold an anti anti-ideology ideology.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #14

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A conscience needs to be created. A "school" of conscience, like religion or philosophy, is required.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #15
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Not me. That's not what I really want. What's the point of being King? All that means is you have subjects, and then you've got to try and get them to do all kinds of things they don't want to do. I couldn't be bothered. I've got lots of things I like to do for myself. I don't know if they're "higher goals", but I enjoy them and they don't hurt anybody else, so why take on a lot of subjects that would prevent me from doing those things?
Well, I wouldn't want to be an actual King either...that would entail responsibility and would not be nearly as enjoyable as simply having vast sums of wealth, the economic and social power that comes with it, and zero responsibility to use that power except in the pursuit of my own pleasure. Plus, I prefer buying people to coercing them...it's not as messy when they displease you and it's easier to get rid of them when you tire of them. But with that said, I think the analogy still holds.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 12:34 PM   #16

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Well, I wouldn't want to be an actual King either...that would entail responsibility and would not be nearly as enjoyable as simply having vast sums of wealth, the economic and social power that comes with it, and zero responsibility to use that power except in the pursuit of my own pleasure. Plus, I prefer buying people to coercing them...
Well, I suppose I'm different. I have zero interest in having power over other people. What I don't like is when they have power over me. And that seems to be the problem in this world: if you haven't got power over others, you can be pretty sure they'll have it over you.

Can anybody tell me how to resolve this dilemma? I've never been able to figure it out.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #17
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Well, I suppose I'm different. I have zero interest in having power over other people. What I don't like is when they have power over me. And that seems to be the problem in this world: if you haven't got power over others, you can be pretty sure they'll have it over you.
Sure you do, you may not want physical control of their lives, neither do I. But you want the power to make them do things for you, generally through the use of money. Do you want to clean your own chimney, do you want to have to hand deliver your mail around the world, do you want to sew your own clothes? Most likely not. You want other people to do it for you and you exert your power and influence over them by paying them. You give them money in exchange for them dedicating a portion of their life to create a good or fulfill a service on your behalf. Just because you are not using coercion and violence doesn't mean you're not exerting power. Being able to pay someone to make you a new pair of shoes or getting them to make a pair by threatening to kill their families are both applications of power...though I certainly prefer the former.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #18

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxglove View Post
Obviously there's room for disagreement here. I myself believe that most people (though there are plenty of exceptions) do have a conscience. On a basic level they feel it's wrong to lie, cheat, steal, kill, etc.
Perhaps, but the longer I live, and the more contact I have with people,
either in a position of power or sway, I see they sleep very well at night
feeling good about themselves and never wasting an atom thinking about
if their actions might have been wrong that day. It takes a big person
to admit they were wrong and that's where the moral Rubicon comes in.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
You're giving mankind way too much credit for even having a conscience
to follow. Its like the old saying of "If you knew you could do something
illegal, and not be caught, would you do it?"
Set the parameters just
right, for each person, and see how much conscience a person will listen to.
It highly depends on what is termed "illegal".

Software piracy? Maybe. I actually paid for both games Democracy and Democracy 2 because I wanted them although I could have got hold of them completely free of charge (piracy), but I didn't, because the one who developed the games... developed it himself with help of some others, but managed to establish as small company. It would be against my conscience and I wouldn't enjoy the game if I knew it was stolen.

Would I buy a political newspaper that was considered illegal due to state censorship? Maybe, if I don't get caught.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:41 PM   #20

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It highly depends on what is termed "illegal"
To follow your train of thought, wouldn't your conscience tell you?
Then, that's where the self serving human rational kicks in. If a person
knows something is illegal, but they really want it, they will rationalize that
"well, it's just me, who am I hurting?"
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