@Reaperoa Ah, that’s somewhat similar to a quote that’s resurfaced in my mind just now; something along the lines of “Democracy is rule by the sheep, for the wolves.” Although I think, insofar as we’re summing up Democracy in quotations, the most concise exposition of its failings comes from King Charles the Martyr: “Democracy is the power of equal votes for unequal minds.”
True, which is why there are certain rights that are granted to people that the government is not supposed to infringe on, that is, there is certain things that people agree on when forming governments (or at some later point), that the government is not allowed to do.
With the US, the fundamental human rights are laid out in the Declaration of Independence (Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), and then expanded upon for its citizens in the Bill of Rights (to protect its citizens and their rights). Which brings us back to what we were talking about, gun laws, and the Second Amendment. The forefathers of the United States thought that, to prevent the wolves from voting to eat the sheep, that it was necessary to allow people access to guns, and that therefore “[…] the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
@Drazen With all due respect, you misunderstand the nature of a continuum which is infinitely infnite, as in real numbers, and not like integers, which are only infnite. Human rights are by no means infinitely infinite or mathematically continuous. They are discrete, more like the grains of sand in a heap of sand, which is why I brought up the Sorites paradox in my last reply, something that you ignored entirely in your own reply. Furthermore, there is a distinction between the continuum fallacy and mathematical induction, which is a highly powerful form of reasoning commonly used to prove all sorts of things including Newton’s Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The continuum fallacy confuses the basis step with the inductive step, and I have not done so. You on the other hand have in your assertion. So your assertion is doubly false. quod erat demonstrandum.
No, I do not consider the 2nd amendment to be “only thing holding back state oppression”. It is a last resort. It is precisely because I believe American exceptionalism to be total bunk that I don’t think Americans, or Brits for that matter, are in any way innately superior to the Venezuelans who voted in their dictator for life. Elections by themselves aren’t enough. Our nations are far better off than Venezuela, but all it it takes is a severe enough crisis and the right charismatic demagogue to inspire the faith of the masses, and bye bye Democracy. Case in point, FDR could have potentially become dictator of the USA had he been so inclined and had he not passed away in office during his record 4th presidential term.
@Reaperoa Very well said. As Alexis de Tocqueville once observed, the biggest danger of a Democracy is the “Tyranny of the Majority”. Wolves will think twice about voting to eat the sheep when the sheep carry guns.
@P_Tigras Well, no, you’re mistaken. You’re considering a continuum in set theory, i.e. as the cardinality of the continuum, such as was theorised by Cantor (who’s work I reject, by the way, for attempting to enumerate infinities), whereas I’m highlighting a continuum as transitive quantity in measurement. That is to say, you are thinking in terms of the sum of all real numbers as a continuum, whereas I’m referring to the infinite quantity of potential divisions betwixt ‘1’ and ‘2’, for example.
Now, by highlighting your continuum fallacy, I did actually respond implicitly to your raising of the Sorites paradox. But since you had misunderstood what I meant by ‘continuum’, I shall explain: the Sorites paradox fails to account for the role of variables in probabilistic logic, which is to say, there is a certain size which makes a heap, but the boundary between ‘heap’ and ‘not heap’ cannot be located within one discrete state; by virtue of the variable, there is an overlap. An oft given illustration of this is the overlap that exists between ‘hot’ and ‘warm’, and likewise ‘warm’ and ‘cold’, where there is not just a one degree absolute boundary in temperature.
Your attempted reductio ad absurdum on my advocating of gun-control assumes there needs to be a discrete state which marks the line between ‘too dangerous’ and ‘acceptable danger’ for public possession. I deny such a line, instead holding there is a variable, and consequently note your use of the continuum fallacy, whereby you say “There is a continuum of states between ‘too dangerous’ and ‘acceptable danger’; therefore there is no discrete state where we logically ought to stop.”
It’s convenient that you mentioned Sir Isaac, since he can give a prime analogy of the logical mistake you’ve made: In attempting to address the problems in calculating the fluidity of motion using discreet states, Newton had to develop his theory of Calculus, which accounted for the accumulation of small states in traversing a palpable distance, which is to say if you have enough millimetres you’ll eventually get a centimetre. You have basically opposed this by maintaining that fluidity and discreteness are incompatible, which Newton patently didn’t.
Now I agree that human rights are not ‘infinitely infinite’, because that’s a meaningless statement, likewise for them not being ‘mathematically continuous’. But I do object to any attempted quantifiability therein, which strikes me as the sort of nonsense Bentham came up with in his felicific calculus. Indeed, I’m closer to Kant when he maintained that the value of human beings cannot be expressed as a price, for it is in fact a dignity.
And addressing the role of guns in government limitation, @Reaperoa, whilst the right to bear arms may have been of value to a nation of pioneers and frontiersmen, Manifest Destiny has long since ended. Guns today are about as effective at opposing an overbearing government today as building a wall around a city is at preventing destruction at the hands of an attacking army. Besides, wasn’t it said by the authors that the constitution ought to be re-written every 14 years or so?
Moreover, @P_Tigras, have you thought about the implications behind statements such as “Wolves will think twice about voting to eat the sheep when the sheep carry guns.”? It seems to suggest that anytime the minority in a voting situation doesn’t like what has occurred should defend their position with threats and violence.
@Reaperoa, twenty-odd years ago, the idea that the 2nd Amendment was intended to “prevent the government from getting a monopoly on armed force” was fringe-y militia stuff. I don’t think I agree with you that it’s a neglected or oft-forgotten idea today. I hear it all the time from my tea party friends on FB, and they’re usually quoting somebody on Fox News. The idea that we have guns so we can defend ourselves against the government has definitely gone mainstream.
Now, working in Afghanistan for the better part of the last decade has left me with quite warm feelings about government monopolies on armed force. I’m comfortable with a gun debate that centers around criminology and self-defense, unwarranted restrictions on sport, etc., and think there are good arguments on both sides there. Do we really need to move it from there into failed state territory?
You guys don’t actually talk like these posts do you. Hahaha, it seems like you sit and think about the vocabulary you’re using for a bit. Anyways @P_Tigras is correct, no need to rationalize my thoughts as I believe everyone here understands the reasons.
Going back and forth is something Washington would do, don’t want to end up like those guys here do we? I suggest @Drazen realizes the fact that Britain is different. You don’t have it listed in your government to have the right to bear arms and I doubt most Brits will agree with that idea (while I know a few who do ie. Total Halibut). However, Americans broke away form Britain due to the colonists feeling controlled without consent, (hence “No taxation without representation”) They felt rights being infringed and for this reason, they included basic rights that may not be tampered with under any circumstance. #2 being the right to bear arms. This, along with the other 9 rights, are what make us Americans, to infringe on that is to ruin the idea of America, might as well change our name to Britian #2.
Anyways, my point is, there is no sense arguing something to the very same people who denied it to us before and have been brought up believing differently than us.
@TIYF It is an anthropologically-evidenced universal human trait to comment on my vernacular whenever I write anything, but no I really do talk like this, in general.
Without addressing the Temper-Tantrum of Independence (“No representation without taxation” is what I say), I do believe I commented elsewhere something about Constitutions becoming the ultimate tyranny. You just cannot argue with a constitution, no matter how questionable the laws held therein may be: They could say “Every family has the right to own a tank”, and by jove you’d find an abundance of people willing to defend that absurd right to the death! If the laws granted by the constitution are arguably dangerous or otherwise silly, then the constitution should surely be changed.
I don’t think this would ruin the idea of America. As long as you’ve got weak beer, Protestantism, and dangerous foreign policy, then the American dream is safe.
“temper tantrum”? @Drazen I would not call it so we were simply no longer interested in being part of your organization so we left.
Now to address the issue of gun control. I would begin by stating the idea of robbing an organization of any kind with a sledge hammer is preposterous. Now that I have made that point I would simply state that there may have been one argument you have overlooked. I was born on a farm in Texas, on that farm we had a bit of an infestation of rattle snake. The best way to dispose of the poisonous bastards was bird shot from a 12 gauge shotgun. We didn’t always have that though so on occasion we had to improvise, and that’s how my grandfather almost died.
my point of course being guns have their usess
Refusing to pay taxes nwoehre near as severe as what the English population paid (the majority of whom also had no say at all in government until the Great Reform Act) to compensate Parliament for the fortune said parliament had spent defending the colonies from the French, then tarring-and-feathering one of the most popular and benign monarchs in the history of Britain as a tyrant to this day? Deeming the efforts of the British government to reward their native allies and treat the conquered Quebecois with leniency as “intolerable” and citing them as reasons for open rebellion?
No, that seems completely reasonable.
On gun control: Britain and North America are two different places. There’s a great deal of untamed wilderness here, wild animals are still an issue and a good number of people in my province (British Columbia) are hunters or farmers who definitely need the protection firearms provide. I support the right of those people to own firearms, provided that they have offered the state reasonable proof that they are law-abiding citizens. I also support those who live in fear of their person or want the extra assurance to own firearms for self-defence and enthusiasts to own them for target shooting and the simple history that comes with a lot of firearms (I would love to have a Baker Rifle hanging over my mantel).
That being said, I also support the imperative of the state to ensure that they have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, and believe that reasonable measures to restrict gun ownership (paperwork, background checks, registries) are required for any kind of nation with a gun culture to maintain the privilege of owning a firearm.
Certianly less reasonable than a hundred years of war with the french. Regardless I’m not calling anyone a tyrant all I’m saying is we had different interests it made sense to part.
The Hundred Years’ War is kind of a misnomer. It was all on and off, punctuated by long periods of peace. It would be equivalent to calling the entire period between 1637-1890 or so “The Indian War” and saying the US was at war with natives for nearly three centuries.
Also, I spent four years in the American education system, I know exactly the kind of names elementary school history books in America have for poor “Farmer George”.
“Tyrant”, “despot”, “dictator”, never mind that the “intolerable acts” were Parliament’s idea and unpopular to begin with. Had the colonies waited a decade, it probably would have blown over and gotten their own seats in the Commons.
No doubt a separation would have occurred, but the bloody war, the hypocritical alliances with Bourbon France and Spain, the forced exodus of United Empire Loyalists, the bloody reprisals against the Mohawks and so on could have been avoided.
Party: Not quite sure but I do agree a good amount with the Republican party.
Yes I suppose I could add him to a long list of leaders I never cared for as well. however maybe it’s something less personal, maybe I just don’t care for the idea of king at all. (noting the possible exception of Plato’s philosopher king)
Party: Not affiliated with any organized political movement, I vote Liberal.
To be fair, George III had almost no real power, except for the influence he had on cultural mores and foreign policy at the time. The King was a symbol of state: the state was stronger for it when the King was good, and pretty much ignored him when the king wasn’t.
If were talking about the American Revolution, the colonies were rebelling against Parliament, one which was lawfully (if not quite fairly, but then again, which legislative body is) elected and responsible to the people who voted them in.