Willaim Thurber - PhD Student
thurber at FMGMT.MGMT.UTORONTO.CA
Fri Jul 28 10:49:30 MDT 1995
Sorry people, the system shut down and the message sent was a early
unedited edition here is a more understandable message.
On Wed, 26 Jul 1995,
Sam Teel wrote:
> Welcome aboard Will.
> I look forward to discussing the listed topics and
> others as well.
> Which parts of Rush do you consider unintelligent? As you know we hardly
> ever talk about Rush.
> This part is the same lets talk issues and not individuals, espercially
individuals who are not available to defend themselves directly.
> > "If in the free market of ideas
> > the truth will always win, why do we need government to tell us what to
> I'm not sure that's true. Sometimes bad people and liers win. I think your
> point goes more to the issue of law than it's enforcer. Laws are public
> statements of what a culture believes to acceptable behavior. It follows
> that they are also statements of what the culture believes should be the
> punishment for unacceptable behavior. We have a bunch of really hard laws
> but the liberal, feel-good, nobody is responsible types have made a mockery
> of them and us. (us as the citizens of the US)
I will assume that you believe that laws are rooted in the morality of a
culture. If this assumptions correct then you have made a convincing
argument for the existence of situational ethics, at least that they
exist between cultures. Granted it is easier and more acceptable to
accept moral differences on the soft stuff like kissing hello rather than
the hard stuff like abortion, but the basic operation is the same,
accepting that where we stand on moral issues is relative to our previous
Is the hard punishment prescribed in law there to deter, extract revenge,
or attempt reabilatation through self discovery and remorse? I suspect
that your notion or justice contains no 'tempered by mercy' component.
> > consume (ie No Drugs),
> People use drugs every day, cafeine, nicotine, pain relievers. We just say
> no to SOME drugs.
What is the decision rule here? How does society decide between good
drugs like your examples and others like pot, PCP, etc. Why do they
occupy this field at all?
> > who to marry (ie no homosexuality),
> Laws reflect the values of the culture. Most people do not find the homo-
> sexual life style one they want to embrace. (so to speak)
(I love the pun). But why is it necessary to condemn two people who love
each other because the powerful do not approve? Does this not have
parallels to laws outlawing inter-racial marriage?
> >and what to do with our bodies (ie no abortion),
> If I take MY hand, which is part of my body- it has my DNA- and use it to
> tear your body -it has YOUR DNA- limb from limb, I have committed a crime.
> You see my point; it's more than "our bodies."
A great argument because it focuses in on the essence of this debate--
at what point do the sperm and egg become a separate human life. This
will give us lots to talk about, but we can postpone that until later.
> > what to read (ie no porn)
> To my knowledge, it is not illegal to read pornographic material. Law and
> the government allow whatever is considered the local standard. This is good.
> I don't want folks in California or wherever, to tell us in Florida what to
> watch. It's a local matter.
But it is still others (them) telling us what is allowable to read. Even
if you attempt to make the point that community standards only prohibit
selling not buying or reading the only other option is mail order and we
both know where that takes us. Why not let the free market decide if
the community standards allow the sales of materials?
> > who to pray to (ie school prayer\state sponsored religion)?
> Here I think gubment has really messed up. The state sponsored religion is
> New Age/Old Eastern and is pushed on our kids endlessly. "OK class, close
> your eyes and envision your spirit guide in your minds eye" type thing. In
> my daughters class, witchcraft can be used in a play, but not Christainity.
This does not coincide with my interpretation of the separation
argument. I even think that the ACLU would assist you in having
christianity in school productions depending upon context.
> As school started last year, the principal held a parents info day.
> When I asked if she supported the "seperation of church and state"
> she thought I was a liberal. She got a big smile on her face and said, "Yes,
> of course we do, and we support the "goals 2000" laws as well." I asked her
> if the use of witchcraft in class plays fell into those areas, she replied
> "That's not the kind of topic I can discuss in this forum, make an appointment
> with my assistant and we can provide the specific infomation you need."
> Yeah, right.
Give her a break, her job is merely to deliver the course material not to
be drawn into an argument of the separation of church and state. In
fact given the litigation-happy nature of US society I would be very
surprised if she was not under specific instruction to avoid any
discussion of the inclusion of religion in the classroom. I hate the
'not my department' reply too but in this case it might be a little more
Have a good weekend, sorry for the first post, but I had a terrible
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