Are doing harm and allowing harm equivalent? Ask fMRI

People typically say they are invoking an ethical principle when they judge acts that cause harm more harshly than willful inaction that allows that same harm to occur. That difference is even codified in criminal law. A new study based on brain scans, however, shows that people make that moral distinction automatically. Researchers found that it requires conscious reasoning to decide that active and passive behaviors that are equally harmful are equally wrong.

For example (see below), an overly competitive figure skater in one case loosens the skate blade of a rival, or in another case, notices that the blade is loose and fails to warn anyone. In both cases, the rival skater loses the competition and is seriously injured. Whether it is by acting, or willfully failing to act, the overly competitive skater did the same harm.

"What it looks like is when you see somebody actively harm another person that triggers a strong automatic response," said Brown University psychologist Fiery Cushman. "You don't have to think very deliberatively about it. You just perceive it as morally wrong. When a person allows harm that they could easily prevent, that actually requires more carefully controlled deliberative thinking [to view as wrong]."

In a study published in advance online in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Cushman and his co-authors presented 35 volunteers with 24 and lapses like the one involving the figure skaters. For specific lengths of time the volunteers would read an introduction to the incident, a description of the character's moral choices, and a description of how the character behaved. Then they'd rate the moral wrongness of the behavior on a scale from 1 to 5. All the while, Cushman and his co-authors, who were at Harvard University at the time, tracked the in the volunteers' brains with functional scans.

Cushman expected to confirm what he had observed in and published in 2006: that people employed conscious reasoning to arrive at the usual feeling, which is that actively caused harm is morally worse than the passively caused harm.

Figuring he had a clever way to prove it physiologically, he and his team compared the brain scans of people who judged active harm to be worse than passive harm to the scans of people who judged them as morally equal. His assumption was that those who saw a moral difference did so by explicit reasoning. Such people should therefore have exhibited greater activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex than those who saw no moral distinction. But to Cushman's surprise, the greater levels of DPFC activity lay with those who saw active harm and passive harm as morally the same.

"The people who are showing this distinction are actually the ones who show the least evidence of deliberative, careful, controlled thinking," he said, "whereas the people who show no difference between actions and omissions show the most evidence of careful deliberative controlled thinking."

Social judgment

Cushman emphasized that his research does not suggest which moral judgment is right. But it is notable that our legal system enshrines the belief that active harm is worse than passive harm.

As one example, he cites a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Vacco v. Quill) in which the court ruled that given explicit permission from a patient, a doctor cannot directly euthanize the patient, such as with an overdose of morphine, but the doctor can follow a patient's directive to cease life support or other treatment. In the case, the district court in New York initially ruled the way the Supreme Court ultimately did, but the appeals court in between ruled that euthanasia and ending life support were essentially the same.

Cushman said his new findings may be useful because they describe the mechanisms underlying how they, and perhaps society in general, arrive at moral judgments. Drawing on the metaphor offered by authors Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel in their ethics book Blind Spots, he suggests that the extra thought required to judge passive harm as morally wrong might be analogous to a blind spot.

Much as drivers learn to look over their shoulder before changing lanes, he said, people may want to examine how they feel about passive harm. Especially in specific, real-life situations, they may still conclude that active harm is worse, but they'll at least have compensated for the automatic bias his research suggests is there.

In addition to Cushman, other authors include Dylan Murray, Shauna Gordon-McKeon. Sophie Wharton, and Joshua Greene. The research was supported by the Arete Initiative and the National Science Foundation.

Full example: Active or passive

Setup

Kelly is a figure skater trying out for the Olympics. The final spot on the team will go to either her or Jesse, depending on the outcome of a competition. When Kelly goes to the pro shop to pick up her skates, she sees Jesse's skates lying on the counter.

Harmful act

Kelly realizes that she could loosen the screws on Jesse's skates, causing her to fall during the competition and lose. It is likely that Jesse would also seriously injure herself during the fall. Kelly loosens the screws on Jesse's skates. Sure enough, Jesse falls during the competition and Kelly makes the team. Jesse also severely injures herself.

Harmful omission

Kelly sees that the screws are loose on Jesse's skates, which will cause her to fall during the competition and lose. It is likely that Jesse would also seriously injure herself during the fall. Kelly doesn't warn anybody about the loose screws. Sure enough, Jesse falls during the competition and Kelly makes the team. Jesse also severely injures herself.

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Tausch
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2011
Something is amiss here. Please ask the researchers to label "the usual feeling". The posted article makes an astronomical effort to avoid labeling "the usual feeling".

Readers can not make meaningful comments without this absolutely critical and vital piece of information.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Dec 03, 2011
I don't agree 'harmful omission' is passive.
Shelgeyr
1 / 5 (1) Dec 03, 2011
Are doing harm and allowing harm equivalent?


No. But the false stipulation that it IS equivalent sure as hell has been used to justify many horrible laws.
dogbert
1 / 5 (6) Dec 03, 2011
This article is a generalization of the trolly problem posted on this site 12-01-11.

Like the former article, this one tries to equate deliberate harm to failure to act. These are not equivalent.

Killing someone is not equivalent to allowing someone to die.

Not becoming involved is not equivalent to being involved.

Tausch
1 / 5 (2) Dec 03, 2011
To act or not to act is deliberate. You are aware of the outcomes in any case. Therein lies the equivalency. In your awareness.

The straw men here are competition, involvement and predestination. The assumption is the researchers assert certainty of future events - the researchers invoke inevitability of future events and predestination to create an internal mental state conflict. You are asked to find rationalization, judgement, decision, behavior, morale, and responsibility for any of the outcomes arising from only two choices:
To act or not to act.

To act or not to act are the only responses left to you from your awareness.

Permission (allowing) and killing are equivalent. Before you kill yourself, you must give yourself permission to do so.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Dec 04, 2011
"But to Cushman's surprise, the greater levels of DPFC activity lay with those who saw active harm and passive harm as morally the same."
To act or not to act is deliberate. You are aware of the outcomes in any case.

Given the example of the a doctor not treating a patient or killing him, both are morally equivalent. If the doctor makes his best effort to treat the patient, even if he believes it futile, he his acting in a morally different way.
Tausch
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2011
The article is incomplete. Information supplied insufficient for a meaningful comment.

Cognitive associations arising from rationalization, judgement, decision, behavior, morale, and responsibility,
are not specific to a location or an activity of location:
His assumption was that those who saw a moral difference did so by explicit reasoning. Such people should therefore have exhibited greater activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex than those who saw no moral distinction.


His assumption that this explicit reasoning occurs with greater activity in the DPFC was wrong. DPFC activity does not correlate with that explicit reasoning.

So to assume this correlates for the explicit reasoning for active harm and passive harm as morally the same with the same amount of DPFC activity is presumptuous too.
DPFC activity may correlate to reasoning, just not explicit reasoning about equivalency.
What is your point, R2? We both agree to equivalency. Dogbert chose to disagree with us
CHollman82
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
The answer is no... why would anyone even need to ask this?

I have no moral obligation to help anyone but myself, that's why it's called charity and not duty.

The reality is every single time you go to the movies or to a concert or eat an expensive meal you are choosing your personal luxury over the life of another individual who will starve to death because you didn't take the money you spent and send it to them. Should you feel guilty for that? Of course not. You cannot put the burden of all of the misfortune in the world on your own shoulders or you would be paralyzed.
Tausch
3 / 5 (2) Dec 04, 2011
You are asked to find rationalization, judgement, decision, behavior, morale, responsibility, OBLIGATION, NO OBLIGATION, HELP, CHARITY, DUTY, REALITY, CHOICE, PERSONAL LUXURY, DEATH, STARVATION, MONEY, SPENDING, SENDING, GUILT, NON-GUILT, BURDEN, MISFORTUNE, WORLD, and PARALYSIS for any of the outcomes arising from only two choices:
To act or not to act.

When you treat life and death with charity, then life and death are acts of charity.

When you treat life and death with duty, then life and death are acts of duty.

The answer is yes. Why does anyone even considered a need to ask this?

Return to antialias_physorg. To view the logic of your words. I do not have his patience with you.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
^ the ramblings of a madman...
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 04, 2011
The reality is every single time you go to the movies or to a concert or eat an expensive meal you are choosing your personal luxury over the life of another individual

More 'liberal' tripe.
No, by choosing your 'luxury' you are creating wealth, creating opportunities for others to satisfy your insatiable desire for 'luxury'.
Unearned income redistribution benefits no one.
As long a your actions do not impinge on anyone else's right to life and property, you do not have to worry about taking care of the world.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
More 'liberal' tripe.


Blah blah blah blah blah... if I spend $40 on a luxury I don't need rather than buying a meal for a starving man it means that man dies so I can have my luxury. I don't give a fuck that people are employed to serve that luxury, those people could be employed to serve NEEDS rather than WANTS otherwise. Just because there are no more 4 star restaurants does not mean all the chefs will be out of work... they will find other more meaningful work to serve the NEEDS of the person who I helped to not starve to death.

Of course, as I said, worrying about this is ridiculous, inequality is the way of the world. I am not ADVOCATING this, merely stating that it is a fact.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 04, 2011
if I spend $40 on a luxury I don't need rather than buying a meal for a starving man

Where are you going to get the next $40 to pay for his meal tomorrow, or the next day or the next....especially after you loose your job making 'luxury' goods?
How you spend YOUR money is up to you.
Ted Kennedy almost put blue collar boat makers out of business, which would force you to buy more dinners for starving people, by raising taxes on 'Luxemburg' goods that he thought people didn't need.
I don't give a fuck that people are employed ...

That much is quite obvious and your fellow 'progressives' agree with you.
"Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share of taxes. But yacht retailers reported a 77 percent drop in sales, and boat builders laid off an estimated 25,000 workers."
Yep, 'liberals' don't care if people are employed.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
More 'liberal' compassion:
"In the last two years, about 100 builders of luxury boats recreational craft costing more than $100,000 cut their operations severely and laid off thousands of workers. Some builders filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code."
http://www.nation...xury-tax
"The Democrat Party depends on collecting 85% or more of a substantial black turnout for its political survival. In order to keep these voters motivated and properly bundled, black leaders and white liberals sell a narrative of hopelessness. That is the only logical conclusion to draw, when told that getting through life is impossible without the maternal protection of a vast government."
"No greater disservice has ever been done to the poor than convincing them to make enemies of the people who might wish to hire them."
http://www.humane...id=43000
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
"In his Lincoln-Douglass Dinner speech last month, black freshman Congressman Allen West (R-FL) summed up the situation: It has been almost 50 years since President Lyndon Johnsons Great Society and many in the black community are still waiting. Many of the same problems of the 1960s remain today. For too long, the choice has been to give a handout instead of a hand-up. Liberal politicians continue the same old tired policies of dependence on big government - always the promise that government will solve your problems. We are indeed creating the Nanny States of America.
"

http://www.humane...id=43000

With the evidence of so much 'liberal' harm to all, is this intentional by 'liberals'? If yes, 'liberals' are evil, if no, they a stupid. Stupid because they refuse to see the damage they cause and support proven policies that create wealth so Holly won't have to 'feel' good for creating a more dependent class.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
if I spend $40 on a luxury I don't need rather than buying a meal for a starving man

Where are you going to get the next $40 to pay for his meal tomorrow, or the next day or the next....especially after you loose your job making 'luxury' goods?


I already addressed this for christ sake... try reading what others say rather than spending all of your time and effort pushing your own agenda.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
FYI I am not a liberal... I lean slightly liberal on social issues but I lean further conservative on fiscal issues.

You have your head shoved so far up your own ass worrying about labels such as "liberal" that you cannot take the time to attempt to understand what I am saying. How many times have I said that I am not advocating any change in regard to what I am talking about? You ignore this because you see it as opportunity to spout your partisan bullshit.

The fact is if people chose to spend money on helping others satisfy their needs rather than on luxuries for themselves the markets would shift to satisfying the needs of more people and the luxuries of fewer and people who worked in the luxury service industry would instead work in the now expanded industries that satisfy people's needs.

Industry is shaped by demand, if demand for luxury goods were less due to people helping others demand for other goods would be greater and people would simply be employed somewhere else.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
I am so sick and tired of retards that can only think in terms of partisan politics... it is the most ridiculous and damaging false dichotomy that has ever been created.

If you think a single word such as "liberal" or "conservative" can fully qualify an individuals opinions you're an idiot. If you think those words are even useful AT ALL when discussing public policy then you're a complete moron. People are so goddamn stupid that they only have the attention span to consider two polar opposite extreme points of view even though those points of view are held by very few people.

You pedestrian nitwits cheer for "liberal" or "conservative" like you cheer for your team of ball chasing heroes on the sporting fields, never concerning yourself with the finer details but only the bare minimum understanding of the far extremes of any issue because that is all you are capable of understanding.

I HATE people that blindly follow a political party or ideology. HATE them.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (6) Dec 04, 2011
wow... after posting that first comment I refreshed the page almost immediately and already had a "1" vote... you couldn't have possibly read what I had written before voting me down.

Good to know I am arguing with someone who has zero integrity, who will down vote my posts without reading them out of some kind of childish spite.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2011
I lean further conservative on fiscal issues

But you still spout the politics of envy.
Today's 'luxury' is common tomorrow, IF free markets and conservative fiscal policies are followed. And 'luxury' products help to create wealth and prosperity so you don't have to expand the 'industry of need' as you suggest.
Donate all you want to charity Holly. That is your right.
People are so goddamn stupid

"To be conservative is to have boundless faith in the content of their character and the character of their fellow citizens. It is time to do away with policies that assume our character is corrupt." http://www.humane...id=43000
Careful, calling people stupid and 'hating' has on the path to becoming a full fledged 'liberal' and you will be advocating legal plunder.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 04, 2011
Hey Chollman82,

Now you know how it feels.

Sincerely,

The Physorg 'progressives'

PS: We welcome you with open arms despite your past transgressions.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2011
How many people are employed making and sell Rolex?
If some were not willing to pay $5000 for computers there would not have been $500 computers.
Luxury products are such a waste?
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 04, 2011
Actually if it weren't for the GOVERNMENT FUNDED space program (or government funding during WWII), there would not be $500 computers.

Much of the groundwork for computing was laid out by Herman Hollerith in order to complete his contract to tabulate the 1890 census, a government project. His company would later merge with three others to form IBM.

Another paradigm shifting invention, the chronometer (pocket watch), was spurred by a government prize. This revolutionized maritime travel, literally opening the world to trade. Something marjon (ryggesogn2) should appreciate.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2011
How much did the govt pay for the space program?
How much did the govt for Hollerith's computer?

I have no problem with the govt funding research or buying a product it needs to accomplish its legitimate function of protecting private property, aka defense.
The space program was a defense project you understand?
The census is a constitutionally mandated function and that the govt would try to be efficient was not unusual 120 years ago.
The same can be said of the chronometer. It was needed by the Royal Navy. It would be quite a change if the govt would offer prizes instead of subsidies.

Holly asserts there should be no demand for 'luxury' products.
Without the demand for 'luxury' products there would no commodity products based upon them for the rest of us to enjoy, design, fabricate and sell to create the wealth to create more 'luxury' products to enjoy, design, fabricate and sell to .....
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 04, 2011
The whole definition of "constitutional" to a conservative is a fallacy. How do you determine if something is constitutional, as a legal matter? The federal courts decide.

This is called Judicial Review.

Where in the constitution is judicial review?

Article III you would think. It describes (vaguely) the federal court system. No it's not there. Judicial review is not contained within the constitution. It was established by the supreme court itself. Sort of the ultimate act of "judicial activism".

So you see, if one were to take the constitution, literally, word for word, the entire concept of constitutional goes out the window as there is no method for determining if something is constitutional. The constitution, taken word for word, is a defective document.

How can you even have the concept of constitutional if something can't be declared unconstitutional without violating the constitution?

Conservatives never address this when the criticize the Living Document.
Sinister1811
not rated yet Dec 04, 2011
I don't agree that they are the same thing. I think that doing harm is much more serious than allowing harm. Allowing harm just means that a person is neglectful. Actually doing harm says more about a person's personality traits.
CHollman82
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
Right, and again, you are allowing harm every time you spend a dime that you didn't need to spend to keep yourself alive... there is no point in worrying about "allowing harm"

...and before that nut goes off about sustaining the luxury industries and it's employees I will again remind you that the market responds to demand and that if demand for luxury goods and services fell due to an increase in charitable contributions the demand for other needs-based goods and services would increase and the work force would shift, it would not cause long term unemployment, maybe an increase for a generation or so but like most people rygg-whatever is small minded and thinks in small terms and scales.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
there is no method for determining if something is constitutional.

Article V.

Preach away Holly, preach away.

But Holly, why not provide a hand up instead of a hand out?
If everyone was in a position of not needing a hand up or a hand out, would 'luxuries' be acceptable to you?
CHollman82
5 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
I'm not sure where that quote came from, or who "Holly" is, but if you were talking to me I never said that luxuries were not acceptable. In fact, I explicitly stated with the intent to be perfectly clear that my arguments were not meant to be taken as endorsements or criticisms. I am unsurprised that you ignored these disclaimers to pounce on an opportunity to push your partisan agenda.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 05, 2011
Article V


Amendments are not judicial review, or are you so ignorant of the Constitution that you don't know the difference?

Are you saying at anytime we could amend the constitution to legally include judicial review? Sure, but until that happens judicial review is not constitutional (by your own sophistry), and if judicial review is not constitutional, the entire concept is meaningless.

The Constitution CANNOT be taken literally. It is an unenforceable document as such. Conservatives fail to realize the logical implications of strict constructionism. They also never apply the principal fairly.

"Judicial activism" is conservative code for "court decisions I don't like." Virtually the entire scope of the Supreme Court was decided, by itself, through judicial activism. It's a moot (and desperate) point.
Sigh
5 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2011
CHollman82:
I have no moral obligation to help anyone but myself, that's why it's called charity and not duty.

The reality is every single time you go to the movies or to a concert or eat an expensive meal you are choosing your personal luxury over the life of another individual


Ryggesogn2:
Given the example of the a doctor not treating a patient or killing him, both are morally equivalent.

How you spend YOUR money is up to you.

I don't understand why you disagree. You initially both take a consequentialist position (you are responsible for the consequences of your decisions, whether active or passive), but you both deny responsibility for someone else's wellbeing. I am not sure you two have a coherent notion of what responsibility is, but you perfectly agree on the ethics. You only disagree over the economic consequences for others of you spending on luxuries.
CHollman82
5 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
Right you are sigh. It seems Ryggesogn2 just wants to pick a fight, or to deliberately misinterpret my point to push his agenda.
Sigh
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
It seems Ryggesogn2 just wants to pick a fight, or to deliberately misinterpret my point to push his agenda.

I think the first. A while ago he was so keen to disagree that he produced a chain of reasoning that ended up equating his beloved property rights with the socialism he hates so passionately. That is not effective in pushing his agenda. I am fairly confident he is intelligent enough to know that he keeps alienating potential allies, so I guess he can't help it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
This article is a generalization of the trolly problem posted on this site 12-01-11.

Like the former article, this one tries to equate deliberate harm to failure to act. These are not equivalent.

Killing someone is not equivalent to allowing someone to die.

Not becoming involved is not equivalent to being involved.

Well apparently, according to the laws that really matter, those being the ones we as a society agree upon and not some pseudoethical exclusivist religionist bullshit, they ARE equivalent. At least in some jurisdictions.

"To constitute depraved indifference, the defendant's conduct must be 'so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendants conduct, not the injuries actually resulting."
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
I'm not sure where that quote came from, or who "Holly" is, but if you were talking to me I never said that luxuries were not acceptable. In fact, I explicitly stated with the intent to be perfectly clear that my arguments were not meant to be taken as endorsements or criticisms. I am unsurprised that you ignored these disclaimers to pounce on an opportunity to push your partisan agenda.

You are Holly.
If you really don't care about how people spend THEIR money, why do you bother to mention it?
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 05, 2011
LOL Marjon, CHollman82 is ALMOST as much of a depraved moron as you.

Just give it up and make friends with him.

@Chollman82

Lol, how do you like it? Marjon is treating you like you tend to treat others. You'd be wise to engage in some self-reflection at this point.
CHollman82
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
If you really don't care about how people spend THEIR money, why do you bother to mention it?


You completely missed the point of what I said... I am not all that surprised.
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
"The modern welfare state has reached a historic reckoning. As a political institution, it hasn't adapted to change. Politics and economics are at loggerheads. Vast populations in Europe and America expect promised benefits and, understandably, resent any hint that they will be cut. Elected politicians respond accordingly. But the resulting inertia poses an economic threat, one already realized in Europe. As deficits or taxes rise, the risk is that economic instability will increase, growth will decline, or both. Paying promised benefits becomes harder. Or austerity becomes unavoidable.

The paradox is that the welfare state, designed to improve security and dampen social conflict, now looms as an engine for insecurity, conflict and disappointment. "
http://www.realcl...273.html
'Liberalism' causes real harm in the name of doing 'good'.
The road to heal is paved with good intentions.
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
Holly: "The reality is every single time you go to the movies or to a concert or eat an expensive meal you are choosing your personal luxury over the life of another individual who will starve to death because you didn't take the money you spent and send it to them. "

This is not reality so why do you use this as an example?
The reality is economic activity, whether for 'necessity' or 'luxury' is not a zero sum game. By choosing to buy a fine steak you are helping to keep hundreds of people from starving who are employed to get that steak to your table.
So give your $40 and feed someone for a day or two or trade that $40 for a steak and participate in an economy that feeds millions every day.

CHollman82
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
By choosing to buy a fine steak you are helping to keep hundreds of people from starving who are employed to get that steak to your table.


I've already addressed this argument twice, I will not do so again until you prove to me that you can make an attempt to read and understand what others write in response to you.
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
By choosing to buy a fine steak you are helping to keep hundreds of people from starving who are employed to get that steak to your table.


I've already addressed this argument twice, I will not do so again until you prove to me that you can make an attempt to read and understand what others write in response to you.

It is obvious then you don't support or understand free markets making your assertion of fiscal conservatism questionable.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
Well apparently, according to the laws that really matter, those being the ones we as a society agree upon and not some pseudoethical exclusivist religionist bullshit, they ARE equivalent. At least in some jurisdictions.


Thank you for pointing this out. It might be the only one of the last dozen or so posts that had anything to do with the article. Anyway, it's interesting how many people spout their opinion about how it's "not their responsibility...", etc., yet so many laws internationally and even some in the U.S. clearly say "yes, it IS your responsibility".

ryggesogn2
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
You only disagree over the economic consequences for others of you spending on luxuries.

We apparently disagree on the most basic fundamentals of an economy.
Holly's example suggests he believes an economy is a zero sum game, which is a tenet of socialism.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
wow... after posting that first comment I refreshed the page almost immediately and already had a "1" vote... you couldn't have possibly read what I had written before voting me down.

Good to know I am arguing with someone who has zero integrity, who will down vote my posts without reading them out of some kind of childish spite.


That's because there's a good deal of robo-voting going on. Ditto for sock-puppet aliases. It's an epidemic here.

FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 05, 2011
The paranoid seeks to accuse others of behaviors he is (or would be if competent enough) engaged in.

What's likely is no one is "robovoting" and since the physorg teabaggers are convinced of the robovoting (because they would if capable), they have to blame it on the most threatening person to them.

"The Paranoid Style in American Politics"
http://karws.gso....yle.html
You only disagree over the economic consequences for others of you spending on luxuries.

We apparently disagree on the most basic fundamentals of an economy.
Holly's example suggests he believes an economy is a zero sum game, which is a tenet of socialism.


Haha it took all of one day for Marjon to accuse Chollman82 (another arch-conservative) of being a socialist. Haha I had that one pegged. Conservatives never fail to eat their own.
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2011
The paranoid seeks to accuse others of behaviors he is (or would be if competent enough) engaged in.

What's likely is no one is "robovoting" and since the physorg teabaggers are convinced of the robovoting (because they would if capable), they have to blame it on the most threatening person to them.


Franky, we all know you do it. You've admitted to it previously. The fact that all the votes are within 2 seconds of each other on all article/all comments, in the exact same order, using the slightly altered names of your imaginary enemies list (e.g., CManhole82) is also just slightly telling, don't you think?
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (8) Dec 05, 2011
Franky, we all know you do it. You've admitted to it previously.


"If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth." - Joseph Goebbels

What's that Hofstadter said about emulating the enemy? lol
I'd say most view Goebbels as an enemy. Only the paranoid would seek to emulate him.
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
"When another supporter told Stevenson, "You educated the people through your campaign," Stevenson replied, "But a lot of people flunked the course." "
"The iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension was Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, who died in 1970 but whose spirit still permeated that school when Obama matriculated there in 1981. Hofstadter pioneered the rhetorical tactic that Obama has revived with his diagnosis of working-class Democrats as victims -- the indispensable category in liberal theory. The tactic is to dismiss rather than refute those with whom you disagree. "
"Hofstadter dismissed conservatives as victims of character flaws and psychological disorders -"
http://www.realcl...ion.html
Easier to do that than defend the failures of socialism around the world. Right, Frankie?
CHollman82
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
By choosing to buy a fine steak you are helping to keep hundreds of people from starving who are employed to get that steak to your table.


I've already addressed this argument twice, I will not do so again until you prove to me that you can make an attempt to read and understand what others write in response to you.

It is obvious then you don't support or understand free markets making your assertion of fiscal conservatism questionable.


I've also stated several times now that my argument was not meant to be taken as an endorsement or criticism of any kind... another point you've chosen to ignore.

I feel I am being drawn into the insanity of some of the regular nutbags on this site and am losing hold on my own sense of reality by posting here so often and being subject to their nonsense so I think I'll be taking a bit of a break...
FrankHerbert
1.1 / 5 (8) Dec 05, 2011
"The iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension was Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, who died in 1970 but whose spirit still permeated that school when Obama matriculated there in 1981. Hofstadter pioneered the rhetorical tactic that Obama has revived with his diagnosis of working-class Democrats as victims -- the indispensable category in liberal theory. The tactic is to dismiss rather than refute those with whom you disagree. "
"Hofstadter dismissed conservatives as victims of character flaws and psychological disorders -"
http://www.realcl...ion.html
Easier to do that than defend the failures of socialism around the world. Right, Frankie?


Lol, if all that is true, why did you try to claim him as your own? Did you just research all this about him?

To repeat: Marjon tried to claim Hofstadter as a conservative (via conservapedia) before giving up and trying to discredit him. Move to what works, right?
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
Is Putin paranoid about Russian politics?
http://www.guardi...rassment
Tyrants must be paranoid as they project their motivations and desires onto their victims.
Socialists project their motivations and desires to legally plunder onto the 'people'.
Anti-socialists project their motivations and desires for political and economic liberty onto everyone.
I don't understand why anyone wants to use force to control others, but, unfortunately, others, like socialists, have no qualms about using force to control.
I've also stated several times now that my argument was not meant to be taken as an endorsement or criticism of any kind..

The issue is do you believe the economy is a zero sum game, or not. No endorsement or criticism required.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (8) Dec 05, 2011
Tyrants must be paranoid as they project their motivations and desires onto their victims.


Okay, now after you read that, let's put it into context.

Is Putin paranoid about Russian politics?
http://www.guardi...rassment
Tyrants must be paranoid as they project their motivations and desires onto their victims.
Socialists project their motivations and desires to legally plunder onto the 'people'.
Anti-socialists project their motivations and desires for political and economic liberty onto everyone.
I don't understand why anyone wants to use force to control others, but, unfortunately, others, like socialists, have no qualms about using force to control.


Emulate the enemy right? Are you trying to emulate me now Marjon or are you projecting onto Putin? If you're emulating me, I'm flattered. I've styled my own style in debating conservatives here after you. However, the irony of that is not lost on me ;)
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (8) Dec 05, 2011
The issue is do you believe the economy is a zero sum game, or not. No endorsement or criticism required.


If this is the case why does "theft" bother you so much?
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
The issue is do you believe the economy is a zero sum game, or not. No endorsement or criticism required.


Of course not, with the caveat that in any given instant there is a finite amount of wealth to be divvied up among all participants. Over time however the total amount of wealth shared among all humans grows as represented by an increase in production efficiency, usually brought on by technological advances.

In short, one persons gain MAY be another persons loss in the short term, but in the long term we (humans) as a population have historically shared the benefit of an upward trend of increasing global wealth.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
The issue is do you believe the economy is a zero sum game, or not. No endorsement or criticism required.


If this is the case why does "theft" bother you so much?


How does that even make sense? I am sure you don't even know what he means by zero-sum game, let alone have any knowledge of game theory to begin with.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (8) Dec 06, 2011
Yes I'm sure Bruno Bueno de Mesquita is your best friend and you exchange ideas on game theory all the time.

Lol stop projecting you moron. Learn the difference between atheism and agnosticism before you accuse others of not knowing the meaning of terms.

Since it wasn't obvious to you (I'm guessing many things aren't) "theft" and "taxes" are synonymous according to Marjon. If the economy really were a zero-sum game as he claims, he shouldn't really be that angry over taxes. Especially not to the point of rhetorically referring to the as "theft".
FrankHerbert
1.1 / 5 (7) Dec 06, 2011
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita*

I was going by memory after all. You must forgive me. I've studied quite a bit of political science in formal settings. I'm allowed to say Bruno instead of Bruce ;)
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
Learn the difference between atheism and agnosticism before you accuse others of not knowing the meaning of terms.


Hey, let's drag this into another article, that's not at all insane!

You think agnosticism is soft atheism... in short you're an idiot. They are not points on the same scale, they measure two completely different things, that being knowledge of god and belief in god.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
No, Frankie, it is the socialist who believes an economy is a zero sum game so they can gin up envious paranoia and steal wealth from the producers to buy votes and stay in power.
one persons gain MAY be another persons loss in the short term

Only in a coerced exchange, usually involving some govt entity. In a free trade, both gain, win-win.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
Only in a coerced exchange, usually involving some govt entity. In a free trade, both gain, win-win.


Not necessarily... say I purchase your house for fair market value and 2 days later I find out it is the sight of a historic event and the value of the property increases ten fold... your loss is my gain, no coercion.

Or even if I knew that ahead of time and knew that the asking price was well below the true value... still no coercion.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 06, 2011
Many aspects of our system are considered sacrosanct. But are these precepts really deserving of such reverence?

Caveat emptor ("buyer beware") is one of these. Today, Marjon would have you thinking this is an indispensable precept of Capitalism and if you oppose it you're a dirty lazy socialist.

Does Marjon know how Caveat emptor made its way into law? Surely it was some enlightened group of aristocrats adding it to some great charter, right?

http://en.wikiped...i/Bezoar
Bezoars were sought because they were believed to have the power of a universal antidote against any poison. It was believed that a drinking glass which contained a bezoar would neutralize any poison poured into it.


You may wonder why I've decided to define 'bezoar' all of a sudden. I wish this were a non-sequiter.

(cont)
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
Win-win applies at the time of the sale in a free exchange.

If that property was found to be the sight of a historic event, you loose control of the property to some govt agency to preserve it. You couldn't do anything to it without permission.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 06, 2011
A famous case in the common law of England (Chandelor v Lopus, 79 Eng Rep. 3, Cro. Jac. 4, Eng. Ct. Exch. 1603) announced the rule of caveat emptor, "let the buyer beware" if the goods they purchased are not in fact genuine and effective. The case concerned a purchaser who sued for the return of the purchase price of an allegedly fraudulent bezoar. (How the plaintiff discovered the bezoar did not work is not discussed in the report.)


That's the origin of Caveat Emptor. It also predates capitalism. It has nothing to do with it. Capitalism can and should include protections for consumers. It requires a government to enforce this. THIS would be a free market. Just as a free society contains laws.

Marjon's worldview is universally intellectually bankrupt on all levels. He simply forces everyone he comes in contact with to be the mirror image of his own view, then tries to slay them. He's a hack.
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
Win-win applies at the time of the sale in a free exchange.


Even if one party knows they are royally screwing over the other?

If that property was found to be the sight of a historic event, you loose control of the property to some govt agency to preserve it. You couldn't do anything to it without permission.


Congratulations on finding a flaw in my example, that's not the point.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
Even if one party knows they are royally screwing over the other?

If it is a free exchange no one is getting screwed.
Value is subjective and defined by each participant in the voluntary exchange.
Capitalism can and should include protections for consumers. It requires a government to enforce this.

No, it does not.
It does require free exchange of information. Nearly every major company has very generous return and exchange policies, NOT mandated or enforced by any govt agent. Why? They want your business now and in future.
Why do you think E-bay, Amazon, Abris, etc all provide ratings for their vendors? Is that a govt mandate?

After complaining to the BBB, a private group, about a purchase made of a fraudulent product using an HSBC MC, I obtained a full refund. Only recently has the govt acted to shut down web sites selling fake products.
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (7) Dec 06, 2011
My family received a defective computer from Dell. We reported it to the BBB. Nothing happened. The computer also wasn't individually defective. Every instance of the model was defective.

Admittedly there wasn't a recall and I don't think the government ever got involved. That isn't an indictment of government involvement like you are bound to spin it. It is an indictment of the LACK of government involvement.

Just so we are clear, do you think the BBB could have satisfactorily handled the Ford Pinto debacle? That's something that didn't require government action? You realize Ford willing sold defective, dangerous vehicles, right?

Please rationalize this as a failure of government, and not a failure of the BBB as you are obviously bound to.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
Recall the Ford Firestone tire problem?
The DOT knew about the problems, Ford/Firestone settled out of court with stipulations the settlement be kept confidential.
"he NHTSA did not feel there was sufficient evidence to demand a recall due to incidents of fire. The 27 deaths attributed to Pinto fires is the same number of deaths attributed to a transmission problem in the Pinto, which resulted in 180 total deaths in all Ford vehicles, and in 1974 the NHTSA ruled that the Pinto had no "recallable" problem."
"the Pinto was not significantly more dangerous than other cars of the time, and that the internal memo reflected accepted federal safety standards then in place."
http://wheels.blo...e-pinto/
So the govt was intimately involved and people still died.
The private IIHS has taken the lead in promoting auto safety.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
"The image of top-down, rational-technocratic regulation that
danced before the eyes of reformers in 1966 was an illusion
. . . . [T]wenty-plus years' experience reveal that understanding
the regulation game by attending to its technical
underpinnings is about as effective as trying to give foreign
visitors a feel for American football by introducing them to
the NCAA rulebook. Regulatory agencies are in politics.
They must pursue their objectives by political means"
"In 1972, General Motors was the industry's
greatest proponent of airbag technology. By 1980, however, GM had become its greatest opponent. The authors credit the auto giant's defection to NHTSA's failure to reward innovation and disregard for industry concerns"
http://jolt.law.h...h307.pdf
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2011
"The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS)[9] is a nonprofit organization, which receives funding from auto insurers, with the intent to reduce the number of accidents, extent of damage, and rate of personal injury. Recognizing that the state-imposed regulations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not adequately reflect customers' and insurers' goals, IIHS formulated several unique safety tests."
"The net benefit to consumers is safer vehicles and lower insurance premiums, which stem from the insurers' benefit of less and lower payouts. Auto manufacturers also benefit from testing that better represents real-life conditions and thus reduces the risk of litigation."
http://mises.org/daily/3842
CHollman82
1 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2011
Even if one party knows they are royally screwing over the other?

If it is a free exchange no one is getting screwed.
Value is subjective and defined by each participant in the voluntary exchange.


This is just a denial of the issue... If someone is selling a baseball card for 10 bucks and I know it's worth 1000 then the person selling is being screwed over... denying it doesn't help anything.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2011
If someone is selling a baseball card for 10 bucks and I know it's worth 1000 then the person selling is being screwed over.

A bird in the hand...
'Worth' and cash on the barrel head are not the same.