Josh Nuni Something is also not, not harmful just because you claim it is. The debate about causing harm by providing additional choices is long and complicated. The idea certainly can't simply be written off as "illogical and wrong." Good to get to the real point at issue in this conversation, but I think that's as far as we can go here.
Josh Nuni Incentivizing someone in desperate circumstances to make a choice which you believe, at the time, is not in their long-term best interest, and which actually turns out to be not in their long-term best interest, is a form of doing them harm. Add to the equation your own personal gain at the other person's expense and it becomes an even clearer case. You don't think the bumfights operators were wrong to do what they did. Enough said.
Josh Nuni Rand Paul's filibuster isn't a shame for "liberals and leftists." This is one of those rare and wondrous moments in American politics where the true left meets the true right. www.commondreams.org/further/2013/03/06-10
Josh Nuni The fact that you don't think the operators of bumfights were wrong only serves to demonstrate how far you've marginalized yourself from common sense and the moral opinions of most people. There's a clear difference between moral outrage or indignation and the queasiness that results from thinking about cleaning a septic tank. As I've said before, the indignation one feels in confronting the bumfights scenario is rooted in a sense that people are being mistreated, disrespected, or taken advantage of. The underlying moral principle is very simple: treat people as you would want to be treated.
Josh Nuni My comment: "The operators of bumfights were wrong, in my opinion, to do what they did, but they shouldn't necessarily have been prevented from doing so." Your reply: "...respecting people means not taking away their right to make choices for themsel[ves]." "...depriving someone else of the right to choose for themselves is disrespect." "How do you respect someone you are saying should not be allowed to make their own choices?"
Josh Nuni You'll find the trolley dilemma discussed briefly in the "Criticisms" section of the non-aggression principle Wikipedia article you referred to earlier: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle
Josh Nuni I love Mill, and the non-aggression principle is great... sometimes. Sometimes it's not. Take a look into the trolley dilemma for one of it's shortcomings. There is a great deal of nuance in political philosophy and ethics. No one has decisively "figured it out." You should tone down the condescension toward those who hold different opinions. Refer to my comments in the other thread for more on the moral principles operating in my arguments. In some of them, the non-aggression principle itself could be said to be applicable, though that's not always necessary for something to be immoral.
Josh Nuni Doesn't really matter, though. These concerns are very far away when we are voting on the laws that structure our lives. I vote for dignity and respect for all! And if I ever operate a business, I will pay my employees more than the minimum I could get away with paying them--for no other reason than that's what I think is decent and good.
Josh Nuni The moral principle at work in most of these examples is respect for other human beings. Obviously what that means is subjective, but that's just the nature of the game; it's nonetheless a very real force in morality.
Josh Nuni "Feeling uncomfortable" in the case described above is an expression of violated moral sentiments. I don't understand why you keep bringing in this stuff about "infringing on people's freedom." The operators of bumfights were wrong, in my opinion, to do what they did, but they shouldn't necessarily have been prevented from doing so. That's a separate conversation for the members of a political community to have amongst themselves.
Josh Nuni Actually, many acts which are commonly regarded as immoral have little to do with limiting freedom. Think of breaking an important promise to a friend or taking credit for another person's work. Also, as a side note, you seem to be using the term liberty only in the sense of "negative" liberty (i.e., freedom from rules or restrictions). What of the freedom of a political community to pass laws that embody their values? When we pass a law that says people cannot murder, it is at once a limitation of liberty (for the individual actor) and an expression of liberty (for the larger community).
Josh Nuni initial decision to fight is made. These are both very different in the case of professional boxing than in the case of bum fights. And you might be surprised to know that bum fights was not just a hypothetical. It actually happened. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumfights
Josh Nuni Merriam-Webster defines "exploit" as "to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage." That's the sense in which I'm using it. And scenarios like the ones I've described just seem to affront most people's moral sensibilities. You keep trying to provide alternative scenarios (an implicit acknowledgement that you might find something morally amiss in the one's I've put forward), but they are always different in a significant way. The case of professional boxing brings in many new considerations like the level of compensation offered and , most importantly, the context in which the
Josh Nuni Again, I'm not saying "you must pay more." Just that paying more might be the right thing to do. Please take a moment to sit with that. The question of what we decide together is permissible or impermissible in the law is another conversation. Also, one doesn't need to "pretend or force equality" in order to feel extremely uncomfortable with the bum fights scenario. Very few people would say dogs and men are "equal," and yet many would find the operators of a dog fighting ring immoral (even if the dogs were fed after the fights and could choose whether or not to enter the ring or run away).
Josh Nuni If the members of a political community decided to make something illegal, however, (like slavery, murder, etc., or indentured servitude, or labor with very little pay), I think they would be within their rights to do so. After all, they have come together in the first place to put in place a set of rules and regulations that will govern their relations with one another--such is the inherent nature of the law and the state.
Josh Nuni You seem to be totally unable to distinguish the moral question from the question of permissibility. One can consider an action immoral, but simultaneously believe that there should be no rule or regulation keeping individuals from committing that action. I'm sure you have many moral opinions of that nature.