Affluence Argument

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2010, 05:25:41 PM »
If this is a puzzle then he is truly crafty. He made it look as though he was talking about the charities to negate the response, "Well some people don't know it is within their power to donate and save other people."

But if that was only part of it...

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Thork

Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #31 on: November 16, 2010, 05:26:33 PM »
You misunderstand me. The iPod is already going to charity. Whoever wins it, will give it to charity. No one will keep it with 150 peers all judging them for denying a charity, especially as he has planted that thought in your heads. Why do you feel more strongly about FES' charity than CARE? Is FES' charity more deserving, or do you just want those 150 peers to know you won?

Look, I know I am not helping anymore, so even though I would like to grill you on this further, I will wait until you and Wilmore have finished colluding. But rest assured, I will revisit this to see what makes you tick. :p

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #32 on: November 16, 2010, 05:35:25 PM »
I think the problem is that once you state that it is morally obligatory, you are no longer just refuting his claim, but making one of your own. As your task was simply to raise a serious objection, I think settling for an objection (rather than a counter-claim) would be the safer bet.


The reason the new counter-claim might be unsafe is that your revised first premiss is essentially consequentialist in nature, and as a result may get you drawn into a defence of consequentialism. Now, I am all for consequentialism (though perhaps not in this form), but such a defence would be complex and open to attack on many levels. There are plenty of well-tested anti-consequentialist arguments out there, and your proffessor may well throw them at you. That's why I revised my original premise; the objection is easier to make if it is more limited in scope.


For example, there are plenty of people who will tell you it is not morally obligatory to improve the lives of as many people as possible, and that such action is supererogatory, not obligatory. The claim that consequentialism is 'too demanding' is a classic objection to consequentialist theories. Now there are plenty of sound defences, but they are lengthy, and I don't know how easy it would be to present them in class. By making premise one 'right' rather than obligatory however, we make it easier to swallow and harder to object to.


Basically, I see this as an argumentative exercise. I doubt your proffessor expects you to put forth an unassailable moral theory; what he wants is for you to analyse his argument and come up with a serious objection to it. For that reason I think a limited, strong objection is better than a larger but more frail objection.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #33 on: November 16, 2010, 05:36:03 PM »
You misunderstand me. The iPod is already going to charity. Whoever wins it, will give it to charity. No one will keep it with 150 peers all judging them for denying a charity, especially as he has planted that thought in your heads. Why do you feel more strongly about FES' charity than CARE? Is FES' charity more deserving, or do you just want those 150 peers to know you won?

Look, I know I am not helping anymore, so even though I would like to grill you on this further, I will wait until you and Wilmore have finished colluding. But rest assured, I will revisit this to see what makes you tick. :p

To be fair, he never once suggested giving the iPod to charity, just money. Also, they way everyone was acting towards it, I'm pretty sure many people would keep it for themselves. It is just an intro class, so many of the people are not that invested in it.

I am willing to give it to the FES charity over CARE because it is from the help of the FES, (mostly Wilmore) that the iPod might even be attained, so I think the FES should be able to receive it's reward.

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Thork

Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2010, 05:38:17 PM »
Good luck. I will pick over your plastic morality tomorrow, after you have won. :)

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2010, 05:57:59 PM »
Remember, you need to have your shit together when it comes to premise two. Put the earlier arguments about human nature, government and sustainability into terms you can express in class. Be ready to do 'out loud' thought experiments about what would happen if humans had no outlet for luxury or pleasure, or how governments would function and what the cost of governments not functioning would be. 'Sustainability' and 'long-term' are the keywords you should focus on when defending that premise.


As it stands premise one is quite strong, so I doubt he'll challenge you on it (ensuring it's hard for him to challenge it is why I'm trying to make it as unobjectionable as possible), because it would again mean a very in-depth and involved debate/discussion. If he does challenge you on it, don't be afraid to make the same demands he did regarding challenges to his first premise! If he resists this, you can then turn his original argument back on him by pointing out that it implies/assumes that not helping people is immoral, and as such that helping people is moral or 'right'. Any objection to your first premise is an objection to his. This again leaves you with just premise two to defend.


Personally I think it's quite a strong objection. Your proffessor will probably spot some potential holes in premise two, but I doubt his objections will be as strong as yours. If you present the argument well enough, I think he'll consider it 'strong enough'.


Also, Daniel's Winter Charity Drive is now over, so you really can do what you want with any prize. For me the argument alone is prize enough!
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2010, 06:14:45 PM »
Ok, so here it goes. Practice session for what I shall say.



Hello, I'm [Name] and I am going to reject premise two. (Premise two: There is no morally relevant difference between Jimís immoral behavior and my indulging in what I reasonably believe is a luxury instead of trying to prevent the horrific deaths of small innocent children.)

The thought-experiment that it is based off of is only a local situation. Premise two fails because it assumes that the conclusion drawn from the local situation (Jim's actions were immoral) can be applied globally. It assumes that conclusion, indulging is immoral, applies to all luxury purchases. It simply does not.

When considering whether or not something is morally right globally, you first need to consider whether or not it will be beneficial to the world as a whole. Will there be a net gain? If we accept your conclusion that buying luxuries in this manner are immoral, then this is the sort of scenario you would be committed to.

Image that we all stop buying luxuries, and begin to send our money to charities, and in many places in the developing world, the quality of life increases a bit.  However, state tax revenues that rely on purchases begin to fall, and the state would not be able to sustain itself. Soon enough, we can't afford schools, we can't afford roads, that lack of demand of luxuries has put many people out of the job. After not too long, we would be no better off than the people we had originally sent our money to, and if they attempted to give back to us, a downward spiral would occur.

Therefore, when buying taxed luxuries, we insure our country's survival. Something that would create wealth for the world. So while there is a short term gain in donating to charities instead of buying luxuries, over the long term, there is a greater gain make small charitable donations, and to have many people indulge on luxuries.

To end, I give you this argument with premises and a conclusion.

Premise one: It is morally right to improve the condition of as many lives as possible (Obvious Truth).

Premise two: Some degree of luxury and pleasure are necessary to improve the condition of as many lives as possible.

Conclusion: Some degree of luxury and pleasure is morally permissible.


                                                                                                                         

What say you? I'm sure that it needs to be fixed up a bit.

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Thork

Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2010, 06:36:35 PM »
I am supposed to be in bed. Its 2:30 am and I have to be up early, but your 'puzzle' is very interesting and I am thinking about that instead of counting sheep.

A spanner in the works for you ... an acid test.

Your professor has cleverly made you Jim the stockbroker. The parallels seem blinding to me. You cannot win this competition because you couldn't justify keeping the iPod - you want to give it to charity ... I bet you still do even though Daniel's FES drive is over and Wilmore is offering help no strings attached. It is identical to the oxygen bottles. Jim didn't need them. You don't need an iPod. You condemned Jim. If you want to win, how can you keep that iPod for yourself? If you can justify it, then you have your answer. That iPod would pay for a well or something. Its easy to see how it would save 3 children's lives. The question is very real. How can you honestly keep that iPod knowing it could help people, the same as those oxygen bottles. If you genuinely get the right answer, you can keep the iPod. Whatever Wilmore says, bear in mind, if you cannot apply it to keep the iPod for yourself, you have failed. So you really are playing for one now.

And we are not talking about all the luxuries in the world. Other people will still buy luxuries. This question involves you. Why do you not give your things to charity? How is Jim keeping the bottle for himself right? How is you keeping that iPod right? When you know you can stroll down that lecture hall and collect your shiny new iPod, then you will know you have the correct answer. I think you underestimate your professor. ;)

I'd love to be part of the debate some more, but must sleep. I look forward to hearing the outcome.

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2010, 06:38:44 PM »
For the section on government, you need to stress (well, mention) that a stable state can create wealth. We are basically saying that removing all luxury is a zero-sum game, so it's important we stress the difference, i.e. that stable government based on partly luxury-based economy/society leads to more wealth and thus more capacity to do good in the long-term.


Also, I wouldn't leave out the point about the psychological sustainability of a world without luxury, as this is stronger than the point about stable government. After all, that argument is really only based on our current form of government - if he throws a theoretical ultra-philanthropic state at you, it kind of collapses. Human nature on the other hand never changes, and history is littered with examples of our pre-disposition towards lives of luxury and pleasure. Limited luxury and some charity not only makes our lives sustainable, but also makes for a better world. That is the argument that will hold up best.


Also, to kind of cover up the consequentialist strain in your argument (I am a conniving devil, me), I would remove the bits about whether it will be "beneficial to the world as a whole" or if there will be a "net gain". Simply say that 'local conclusions can be drawn from local premises, but a wider or global conclusion must be drawn from global premises. For that reason, we must look at the global implications of purchasing or not purchasing luxuries'. This makes your argument sound less consequentialist and more 'common sense', even if it heart your argument is a filthy, deceitful consequentialist in common-sense clothing.


Mostly this is my fault, because my initial agrument was very consequentialist in tone, whereas now I think you should try to keep the essentials but strip back the consequentialist terminology and phrasing. That way premise one remains an 'obvious truth' and not a consequentialist postulation.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #39 on: November 16, 2010, 07:06:09 PM »
Oh, one last important thing (and something I forgot to even mention until now): he may try and assert that the 'my' in his conclusion makes it a local premise supporting a local conclusion. This is not the case. We do not live in a walled-off thought experiment like Jim. Our lives and decisions exist in a collective global context, and it is for this reason that premise two is open to the local/global line of attack.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #40 on: November 16, 2010, 07:17:59 PM »
I'm writing it, but I'm not sure how to word the part talking about how throughout history human being have shown to want luxuries.

It's hard to make it not come off as, "We want things, so keeping us from getting the things we want is bad."

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #41 on: November 16, 2010, 07:37:02 PM »
Just point out that people seem to instinctively seek pleasure and luxury, and that most monastic orders or other such centres of apparent self-deprivation have usually been corrupted at some point or failed in some way. You're not justifying that self-interested action, just recognising it as instincitve and saying that denying people all luxury is clearly not feasible. Most importantly, it would probably lead to a worse world, because people would react quite strongly against it and seek to cheat what they saw as an unfair system. If smaller, more modest contributions make for a better and more sustainable kind of charity, then (given premise 1) luxury is clearly permissable. Then follow up with the argument about government.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2010, 08:07:05 PM »
Ok, let me try and revise it.




Hello, I'm [Name] and I am going to reject premise two. (Premise two: There is no morally relevant difference between Jim’s immoral behavior and my indulging in what I reasonably believe is a luxury instead of trying to prevent the horrific deaths of small innocent children.)

The thought-experiment that it is based off of is only a local situation. Premise two fails because it assumes that the conclusion drawn from the local situation can be applied globally. It cannot. When drawing a global conclusion, you must draw it from a global premise.

Because of this, we need to look at what would happen globally if we do, or do not purchase luxuries.

It is morally good to try and improve the conditions of life for as many people as possible. If we want to try and make this world the best it can be, than it is reasonable that the people living in it will need to live physically and psychologically health lives. Throughout history, it is should be quite obvious that humans instinctively want luxuries, and in many cases, monastic societies that attempt self-deprivation often become corrupt or fail. To deny humans these things is a bit counterproductive. So if a degree of luxury is required for us to attain a better world, then it clearly cannot be immoral.





(I have realized that it could easily stop here if he is convinced. If he is not however, then I move on to the thought experiment.)






There is another way to think about it as well. Consider this thought experiment.

We are living in modern society. It is announced that to buy luxuries when you have the power to be charitable is immoral. Everyone agrees with this, and not wanting to be immoral, people donate their money to charities instead of buying luxuries. Slowly, in the developing countries in the world, the quality of life starts to get better. But because the public is no longer buying luxuries, the state in no longer receiving nearly enough revenue due to the lack of sales tax. People downgrade their homes so that they can give more money to charity, and the state is receiving less money from property tax. As a result, the state can no longer afford schools, it can't afford roads, the state's infrastructure is on the verge of collapse. Due to the lack of demand of luxuries, the a large quantity of people find themselves without a job. The state is without infrastructure, the people do not have income, and soon the U.S. drops down to the quality of life in which it once sought to improve.

Whenever we buy taxed luxuries, we make sure that our country survives, something that is generator of wealth. In the long term, both making charitable donations and indulging in luxuries produces more good in the world, than if we were to only make charitable donations.

To end, I give you this argument with premises and a conclusion.

Premise one: It is morally right to improve the condition of as many lives as possible (Obvious Truth).

Premise two: Some degree of luxury and pleasure are necessary to improve the condition of as many lives as possible.

Conclusion: Some degree of luxury and pleasure is morally permissible.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 08:12:39 PM by EnglshGentleman »

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2010, 06:04:18 AM »
I think that sounds good. Just remember that if he claims his premise local, you have to point out that it isn't. Jim's scenario is walled off both spatially and chronologically. There are a limited set of factors at work, and the consequences of his actions are known However, premise two if your prof's argument is not - it claims there is no morally relative difference between any and all luxuries you buy and the specific luxury Jim bought, and that claim covers past, present and future purhcases, no matter what their wider and long-term impact. What's more, the full moral implications of such a claim would result in a worse world (which you will then demonstrate). That is the morally relative difference.


You may even want to put this in your argument in some way, in order to pre-empt that criticism.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 06:06:09 AM by Lord Wilmore »
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #44 on: November 17, 2010, 09:24:37 AM »
I've realized that this will end up being a dialogue, not a monologue, so I am going to change how it flows a bit.



Hello, I'm [Name] and I am going to reject premise two. (Premise two: There is no morally relevant difference between Jim’s immoral behavior and my indulging in what I reasonably believe is a luxury instead of trying to prevent the horrific deaths of small innocent children.)

The thought-experiment that it is based off of is only a local situation. Premise two fails because it assumes that the conclusion drawn from the local situation can be applied globally. It cannot. When drawing a global conclusion, you must draw it from a global premise.

Because of this, we need to look at what would happen globally if we do, or do not purchase luxuries.

I submit that it is morally good to try and improve the conditions of life for as many people as possible. If we want to try and make this world the best it can be, than it is reasonable that the people living in it will need to live physically and psychologically health lives. Throughout history, it is should be quite obvious that humans instinctively want luxuries. To refuse people their instincts is likely to be counterproductive. After all. many cases, monastic societies that attempt self-deprivation often become corrupt or fail. So if a degree of luxury is required for us to attain a better world, then it clearly cannot be immoral.

So,

Premise one: It is morally right to improve the condition of as many lives as possible (Obvious Truth).

Premise two: Some degree of luxury and pleasure are necessary to improve the condition of as many lives as possible.

Conclusion: Some degree of luxury and pleasure is morally permissible.






(I have realized that it could easily stop here if he is convinced. If he is not however, then I move on to the thought experiment.)


There is another way to think about it as well. Consider this thought experiment.

We are living in modern society. It is announced that to buy luxuries when you have the power to otherwise be charitable is immoral. Everyone agrees with this, and not wanting to be immoral, people donate their money to charities instead of buying luxuries. Some people even go as far as downgrading their homes so they can be even more charitable. Slowly, in the developing countries in the world, the quality of life starts to get better. But because the public is no longer a demand for luxuries, many people go out of the job. Because now the state no longer has a sustainable income, sales, or property tax, the state can't afford schools. It can't afford roads. The state's infrastructure is on the verge of collapse. Now we are left with no money, no infrastructure, and soon enough the standard of life in the US is no better off than the countries that we once sought to help.

Whenever we buy taxed luxuries, we make sure that our country survives, something that is generator of wealth. In the long term, both making charitable donations and indulging in luxuries produces more good in the world, than if we were to only make charitable donations.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 12:58:11 PM by EnglshGentleman »

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2010, 11:01:37 AM »
I have butterflies. Two hours left.  :P

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2010, 12:05:39 PM »
I hope my argument doesn't suck or get torn apart. Good luck!
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2010, 02:50:23 PM »
We got thrashed.  :(

@Thork

He offered the iPod because he felt confident that his argument succeeds, that he was willing to back it. He was right.

That is why he allowed everyone to get help as much as they could, because he was confident that regardless of what we do, we won't be able to reject it.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 03:06:18 PM by EnglshGentleman »

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Thork

Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2010, 03:04:59 PM »
We got thrashed.  :(
Ahh you douche. lol!

Nevermind. So did anyone else win the iPod? And if so, did they keep it or give it to charity?

I have lots of questions about the challenge as the exercise seems far more interesting to me. Was there a deliberate connection between the exercise and the example you were furnished with? Was the striking similarity between Jim's options and yours a strange coincidence or was there deep plotting?

And as I'm sure Wilmore will also want to know, what then was the answer to this? If the answer revolves around resentment towards those who are in need, as they then make you suffer I will be sorry I didn't suggest that, but Wilmore had already given a very good answer to challenge. My alternative theory was already enough other distraction.

PS - Congrates on not getting lynched. I guess you evaded the bandwagon somehow. Your time will come. :)

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2010, 03:17:57 PM »
We got thrashed.  :(
Ahh you douche. lol!

Mean.

Nevermind. So did anyone else win the iPod? And if so, did they keep it or give it to charity?

Nobody won it. The purpose of the iPod was to draw to light that this is an important issue, and second, that he is so confident that his claim is true that he was willing to back it.

I have lots of questions about the challenge as the exercise seems far more interesting to me. Was there a deliberate connection between the exercise and the example you were furnished with? Was the striking similarity between Jim's options and yours a strange coincidence or was there deep plotting?

And as I'm sure Wilmore will also want to know, what then was the answer to this? If the answer revolves around resentment towards those who are in need, as they then make you suffer I will be sorry I didn't suggest that, but Wilmore had already given a very good answer to challenge. My alternative theory was already enough other distraction.

It really isn't as deep as you thought. I pmed Wilmore some material to read on the argument. But ya, we got shut down.

PS - Congrates on not getting lynched. I guess you evaded the bandwagon somehow. Your time will come. :)

 ;)

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2010, 03:30:48 PM »
Damn! This is why I can't wait to study philosophy formally next year - studying it in isolation just isn't the same.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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Horatio

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2010, 03:34:18 PM »
Seems to me that if he actually believed his argument, he would not have the iPod.

Like many things in the academic world, the premise is sound, but unworkable in the real world.
How dare you have the audacity to demand my deposition. I've never even heard of you.

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Thork

Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2010, 03:36:05 PM »
This is going to sound silly but you should have asked ClockTower for help. He'd have tried his best to shut you down, and may have highlighted some of the holes. He might have been useless and screamed prove it for 3 hours, but I figure if ever there was a use for him, this was probably it.

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #53 on: November 17, 2010, 04:16:04 PM »
Seems to me that if he actually believed his argument, he would not have the iPod.

Like many things in the academic world, the premise is sound, but unworkable in the real world.

That is just the think. It is a tough pill to swallow. It seems to be a sound argument, but he cannot find way to refute it, and as of yet, nobody else has either.  Nobody has ever won the iPod.

As it turns out, it is very workable, it wouldn't destroy the world as we thought. People may be opposed to it, but it isn't unworkable.

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Thork

Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #54 on: November 17, 2010, 05:11:07 PM »
It is too little too late, but I think I know how you might have claimed that iPod.

Consider this. Anyone who has less than you, is in more need than you. You should of course only donate to those who have less. You don't need to give Bill Gates money as a charitable donation to make sure he is ok. Now even if someone is only slightly poorer than you, they still do not have as much. By definition they are more needy than you.

The world's total household wealth is 125 trillion dollars. There are 6881800000 people on the planet. Therefore, if everyone donated to people until all the world's wealth was equalled and no one was any more needy than anyone else, everyone on the planet would have $18,163 dollars worth of assets.

Now you are a student. Do you have assets of less than $18,163? If the answer is yes, then you are not someone who should give to charity. You are actually someone who should be receiving. You are the needy. You are the very sort of person who should receive donations, as you do not yet have your fair share of the world's wealth. You are not expected to contribute. Only to receive.

How do you think that would have played out? Its cold hard reasoning, but it is indisputable, don't you think?

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #55 on: November 17, 2010, 05:29:30 PM »
It is too little too late, but I think I know how you might have claimed that iPod.

Consider this. Anyone who has less than you, is in more need than you. You should of course only donate to those who have less. You don't need to give Bill Gates money as a charitable donation to make sure he is ok. Now even if someone is only slightly poorer than you, they still do not have as much. By definition they are more needy than you.

The world's total household wealth is 125 trillion dollars. There are 6881800000 people on the planet. Therefore, if everyone donated to people until all the world's wealth was equalled and no one was any more needy than anyone else, everyone on the planet would have $18,163 dollars worth of assets.

Now you are a student. Do you have assets of less than $18,163? If the answer is yes, then you are not someone who should give to charity. You are actually someone who should be receiving. You are the needy. You are the very sort of person who should receive donations, as you do not yet have your fair share of the world's wealth. You are not expected to contribute. Only to receive.

How do you think that would have played out? Its cold hard reasoning, but it is indisputable, don't you think?

His response would be. "Which premise are you rejecting?"

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #56 on: November 17, 2010, 05:33:00 PM »
As it turns out, it is very workable, it wouldn't destroy the world as we thought. People may be opposed to it, but it isn't unworkable.


I have to say, I've read the article/essay you sent me, and I don't really see where he deals with the point that a world without luxury is not psychologically sustainable. If it isn't, then some degree of luxury is necessary to make the world better. Thus it cannot be immoral.


The objection we made to premise two was that there is a morally relative difference between Jim's singular purchase and any or all of our luxury purchases. By the above, we know that some luxury purchases are necessary. Therefore, some of my luxury purchases must be morally justifiable. Jim's specific purchase is immoral, and any one of my purchases by itself might be viewed as immoral. However, if some luxury is necessary, then we know that not all luxury my purchases are immoral. There is a morally relative distinction between a local luxury purchase and the sum impact of our global purchases.


I'm also not sure his economic argument about 'market forces' really holds water. 'Market forces' only function when profit is involved, and if all luxury is being given up then no real profit exists. Our capital must leave here in its totality to be invested in saving lives elsewhere. That is not economically sustainable, but again the fact that is not economically sustainable is not the point. The point is if luxury is necessary for the economic stability required to make the world better, then it cannot be immoral. I'd love to see someone knowledgable in ecomonics have a look at that section, because I believe it would collapse under scrutiny.


That said, I am personally of the view that we do lead largely immoral lives - there is an unjustifiable amount of luxury in our lives given the state of the world. I just think that a life without any luxury (even as defined) is not sustainable.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #57 on: November 17, 2010, 05:47:08 PM »
As it turns out, it is very workable, it wouldn't destroy the world as we thought. People may be opposed to it, but it isn't unworkable.


I have to say, I've read the article/essay you sent me, and I don't really see where he deals with the point that a world without luxury is not psychologically sustainable. If it isn't, then some degree of luxury is necessary to make the world better. Thus it cannot be immoral.

The argument has no problem with luxury being good for the world. The argument has a problem with a person indulging in what they reasonably believe is a luxury instead of trying to prevent the horrific deaths of small innocent children. My professor actually accepted the premises and conclusion that we gave him.

The objection we made to premise two was that there is a morally relative difference between Jim's singular purchase and any or all of our luxury purchases. By the above, we know that some luxury purchases are necessary. Therefore, some of my luxury purchases must be morally justifiable. Jim's specific purchase is immoral, and any one of my purchases by itself might be viewed as immoral. However, if some luxury is necessary, then we know that not all luxury my purchases are immoral. There is a morally relative distinction between a local luxury purchase and the sum impact of our global purchases.

Again, the argument has no issue with some luxury purchases.

I'm also not sure his economic argument about 'market forces' really holds water. 'Market forces' only function when profit is involved, and if all luxury is being given up then no real profit exists. Our capital must leave here in its totality to be invested in saving lives elsewhere. That is not economically sustainable, but again the fact that is not economically sustainable is not the point. The point is if luxury is necessary for the economic stability required to make the world better, then it cannot be immoral. I'd love to see someone knowledgeable in economics have a look at that section, because I believe it would collapse under scrutiny.

The main point was that even if we said that all people started donating because they didn't want to be immoral, there would be a point in which the people can no longer have the power to indulging in what they reasonably believe is a luxury instead of trying to prevent the horrific deaths of small innocent children. At a certain point they can no longer easily prevent these deaths, so the argument no longer applies, and buying luxuries ceases to be immoral. Note the argument also allows for a person to buy luxuries if they simply did not have a choice when it comes to buying luxuries or helping people.

When we formulated our argument, we failed to pay close attention to the wording of the premises. We assumed that it was towards the purchase of all luxuries, when it actually is not.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 05:49:03 PM by EnglshGentleman »

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EnglshGentleman

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Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #58 on: November 17, 2010, 05:55:44 PM »
It is too little too late, but I think I know how you might have claimed that iPod.

Consider this. Anyone who has less than you, is in more need than you. You should of course only donate to those who have less. You don't need to give Bill Gates money as a charitable donation to make sure he is ok. Now even if someone is only slightly poorer than you, they still do not have as much. By definition they are more needy than you.

The world's total household wealth is 125 trillion dollars. There are 6881800000 people on the planet. Therefore, if everyone donated to people until all the world's wealth was equalled and no one was any more needy than anyone else, everyone on the planet would have $18,163 dollars worth of assets.

Now you are a student. Do you have assets of less than $18,163? If the answer is yes, then you are not someone who should give to charity. You are actually someone who should be receiving. You are the needy. You are the very sort of person who should receive donations, as you do not yet have your fair share of the world's wealth. You are not expected to contribute. Only to receive.

How do you think that would have played out? Its cold hard reasoning, but it is indisputable, don't you think?

His response would be. "Which premise are you rejecting?"
Premise one. If Jim is up to his eyeballs in debt after splashing out on scuba holidays and maxing his credit card on oxygen, he may well have a net worth of less than $18000. He could be well within his rights not to donate. He is the needy.

So Jim is allowed to let the children die because, "Well, I don't have a whole lot of money, so if I am going to spend it, I am going to spend it on myself!"

?

Thork

Re: Opportunity To Earn Money For Our Charity.
« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2010, 05:57:04 PM »
It is too little too late, but I think I know how you might have claimed that iPod.

Consider this. Anyone who has less than you, is in more need than you. You should of course only donate to those who have less. You don't need to give Bill Gates money as a charitable donation to make sure he is ok. Now even if someone is only slightly poorer than you, they still do not have as much. By definition they are more needy than you.

The world's total household wealth is 125 trillion dollars. There are 6881800000 people on the planet. Therefore, if everyone donated to people until all the world's wealth was equalled and no one was any more needy than anyone else, everyone on the planet would have $18,163 dollars worth of assets.

Now you are a student. Do you have assets of less than $18,163? If the answer is yes, then you are not someone who should give to charity. You are actually someone who should be receiving. You are the needy. You are the very sort of person who should receive donations, as you do not yet have your fair share of the world's wealth. You are not expected to contribute. Only to receive.

How do you think that would have played out? Its cold hard reasoning, but it is indisputable, don't you think?

His response would be. "Which premise are you rejecting?"

Sorry made a mistake ... new angle.
Premise two. There is a difference. Jim is a wealthy stock broker who goes on scuba holidays. His net worth is more than $18000. Yours is not.

Bam, enjoy your ice-cream.