View Poll Results: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

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  • Yes

    30 83.33%
  • No

    6 16.67%
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Thread: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

  1. #41
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Last I checked, there was no need for the government to tell us how much to eat or drink.

    In fact, last I checked, the government payed farmers to grow less food. If anything, our resources are more limited because of big government.
    Farmers are subsidized for economic/political reasons, not for environmental reasons. That in no way negates Cassandra's point: Government needs to occasionally step in to prevent unsustainable development.

    For an example, consider the waters off the coast of Newfoundland, which was once a major fishing area. For decades, the Canadian government essentially let fishermen catch as many fish as they could with no regard to the environment. By the mid-1990s, there were almost no commercial fish left in that area. It would have been more profitable in the long term if the Canadian government had restricted overfishing from the beginning.
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Most of the rational human beings I know....over 70 years old.... desire a good bowel movement daily. Anything else they can deal with.

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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibberish View Post
    Yes with a slight no.

    We desire to make our own choices but humans in general gravitate towards living in groups and as a result enforce rules agreed upon by the group.

    So yes we desire to live free but at the same time restrain ourselves by laws we choose to enforce for societal order.
    Unencumbered satisfaction of those initiatives constitutes maximization of freedom, though, just as not restricting someone from entering into a BDSM relationship would constitute a maximization of freedom in that case despite the superficial appearance of a restriction on freedom being enacted. Moreover, social mores and guidelines ought to be designed to protect the freedoms that would be absent in conditions of chaos or disorder since there would be an absence of restrictions on restrictions themselves, thereby permitting the powerful to restrict the freedom of others through force or coercion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Freedom doesn't mean anarchy. Submitting to just laws which secure liberty is not a form of sacrificing liberty, indeed, itís the exact opposite.
    Neither does "anarchy" mean chaos or disorder in the nuanced political sense of the word. The political ideology of anarchism is simply plainly sensible, so there was a need to discredit it through association with chaos, disorder, and related forms of disorganization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I wouldn't phrase it quite like that, but most of the world's population views "freedom" in very different terms than European-based cultures do, and it may not be a high priority. For example, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are very happy nations.
    Venezuela is a relatively free country, and certainly possesses democratic institutions that this country lacks that serve to implement legitimate public desires and choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Political freedom may allow me to do something, but if I lack the resources (money) I may still be unable to do that thing. Leaving aside whose fault it is that I lack the money to do X, what good does political freedom do for the desperately impoverished? Some good perhaps... at least the legal possibility of upward mobility is there, but it might or might not be possible in a practical economic sense.
    Formal political or de jure freedom does nothing to maximize de facto freedom in such a case. This is even more problematic than the other restrictions on social freedom that were mentioned, since a lack of financial resources causes a literal inability to satisfy one's initiatives, and proves a crucial impediment to capabilities enhancement, whereas social isolation may be unpleasant but does not necessarily accomplish this (though a refusal to interact or cooperate with an isolated person by those whose assistance is needed to satisfy certain initiatives could occur, of course).

    At present, the prevailing economic conditions of the world do not provide economic freedom since they do not provide equality of opportunity, which means there is a consequent inability for some to satisfy their initiatives no matter how meritorious their character or natural abilities. Skewed and absurdly unjust inequalities of financial assets and resources also mean that those with more are able to compel others to perform labor for them in a purely authoritarian arrangement by depriving them of vital resources otherwise. Until these injustices are cured, economic freedom will be absent and economic slavery and authoritarianism will crush the prospect of liberty.

  4. #44
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Last I checked, there was no need for the government to tell us how much to eat or drink.

    In fact, last I checked, the government payed farmers to grow less food. If anything, our resources are more limited because of big government.

    In any case, that is not even remotely where we find ourselves "as a nation and planet".
    Because you say so? Since 1960 the planet's grain harvest has tripled while the population has doubled. Has world hunger been eliminated? No, much of the grain is used to feed animals (or make fuel). Who eats most of the animals?

    Furthermore, the green revolution was made possible by cheap petroleum and plentiful water. Both of these resources have been used as though they are limitless. Returning to the island analogy; the island earth does not have infinite resources. One generation's freedom can mean the next generation's poverty and adversity.

    Pakistan News Sept 25

    Just a few decades ago, Pakistan was considered to have a profusion of quality water, but a recent World Bank report declared that Pakistan is among the 17 countries that were currently facing a water shortage, Dr Choudhary said.

    And in India:


    In the past two decades, the groundwater table in Punjab has been falling at the rate of 25-30 centimetres (cm) a year, says N S Pasricha of the soil engineering department, PAU. According to a study by Hira, out of the stateís area of 5.03 million hectares (ha), 4.32 million ha has a falling water problem. Going by the statistics of the state groundwater department, the area where the water depth has gone below 10 m increased from three per cent in 1973 to 25 per cent in 1990 and 46 per cent by 1994. If the water table goes below 15 m, the tubewells will stop functioning.

    The State of the World Report, 1998, published by the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, says the gap between water use and sustainable yield of the aquifer is so high that the aquifer under Punjab could be depleted by the year 2025.

    The primary reason for extraction of groundwater is for agricultural purposes, particularly for water-intensive crops such as wheat and rice.

    USA Today March 2008

    AS THE WORLD'S DEMAND FOR WATER has tripled over the last half-century and, as the need for hydroelectric power has grown even faster, dams and diversions of river water have drained many rivers dry. As water tables fail, the springs that feed rivers also go dry, reducing flows. Numerous nations are overpumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy growing water needs, including each of the big three grain producers--China, India, and the U.S. More than half of the world's people live in countries where water tables are falling.


    There are two types of aquifers: replenishable and nonreplenishable (or fossil). The shallow aquifer under the North China Plain and most found in India are replenishable. When these are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping automatically is reduced to the rate of recharge. For the fossil variety, such as the vast U.S. Ogallala aquifer, the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, or the Saudi aquifer, depletion brings pumping to an end. Farmers who lose their irrigation water have the option of returning to lower-yield dryland farming--if rainfall permits. In more arid regions, however, such the Middle East or America's Southwest, the loss of irrigation water means the end of agriculture.

    Underlying most wars and conflicts, there is a struggle for resources.

    What I am trying to convey is that the more dense the population, the greater the need for rules. This is true in a family with many kids, It is true in a densely populated city, it is true of a densely populated planet.

    Of course, most civilizations collapse because people are unwilling to plan for the long term if it means cutting back in the present.

  5. #45
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibberish View Post
    Yes with a slight no.

    We desire to make our own choices but humans in general gravitate towards living in groups and as a result enforce rules agreed upon by the group.

    So yes we desire to live free but at the same time restrain ourselves by laws we choose to enforce for societal order.
    I look at it just a litle differently.

    Humans are social creatures, and therefore crave social interaction - a social bond with others.

    In doing so, and for said social bond to remeian stable and useful for as many people as possible, humans must accept the idea that everyone is different, and in order to maintain the social bond, these differences must be recognized.

    This leads to the 'law' of the society.

    Acceptance of this law is the price one pays for memberhsip in the social bond.

    And so, humans choose to give up some of their choices to get someting they want. They retain the ability to regain all of their choices by simply splitting from the social bond.

    So, my answer is a straight yes.

  6. #46
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra View Post
    Because you say so? Since 1960 the planet's grain harvest has tripled while the population has doubled. Has world hunger been eliminated? No, much of the grain is used to feed animals (or make fuel). Who eats most of the animals?

    Furthermore, the green revolution was made possible by cheap petroleum and plentiful water. Both of these resources have been used as though they are limitless. Returning to the island analogy; the island earth does not have infinite resources. One generation's freedom can mean the next generation's poverty and adversity.

    Pakistan News Sept 25

    Just a few decades ago, Pakistan was considered to have a profusion of quality water, but a recent World Bank report declared that Pakistan is among the 17 countries that were currently facing a water shortage, Dr Choudhary said.

    And in India:


    In the past two decades, the groundwater table in Punjab has been falling at the rate of 25-30 centimetres (cm) a year, says N S Pasricha of the soil engineering department, PAU. According to a study by Hira, out of the stateís area of 5.03 million hectares (ha), 4.32 million ha has a falling water problem. Going by the statistics of the state groundwater department, the area where the water depth has gone below 10 m increased from three per cent in 1973 to 25 per cent in 1990 and 46 per cent by 1994. If the water table goes below 15 m, the tubewells will stop functioning.

    The State of the World Report, 1998, published by the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, says the gap between water use and sustainable yield of the aquifer is so high that the aquifer under Punjab could be depleted by the year 2025.

    The primary reason for extraction of groundwater is for agricultural purposes, particularly for water-intensive crops such as wheat and rice.

    USA Today March 2008

    AS THE WORLD'S DEMAND FOR WATER has tripled over the last half-century and, as the need for hydroelectric power has grown even faster, dams and diversions of river water have drained many rivers dry. As water tables fail, the springs that feed rivers also go dry, reducing flows. Numerous nations are overpumping aquifers as they struggle to satisfy growing water needs, including each of the big three grain producers--China, India, and the U.S. More than half of the world's people live in countries where water tables are falling.


    There are two types of aquifers: replenishable and nonreplenishable (or fossil). The shallow aquifer under the North China Plain and most found in India are replenishable. When these are depleted, the maximum rate of pumping automatically is reduced to the rate of recharge. For the fossil variety, such as the vast U.S. Ogallala aquifer, the deep aquifer under the North China Plain, or the Saudi aquifer, depletion brings pumping to an end. Farmers who lose their irrigation water have the option of returning to lower-yield dryland farming--if rainfall permits. In more arid regions, however, such the Middle East or America's Southwest, the loss of irrigation water means the end of agriculture.

    Underlying most wars and conflicts, there is a struggle for resources.

    What I am trying to convey is that the more dense the population, the greater the need for rules. This is true in a family with many kids, It is true in a densely populated city, it is true of a densely populated planet.

    Of course, most civilizations collapse because people are unwilling to plan for the long term if it means cutting back in the present.
    So what "rules" are you suggesting are necessary? Limits on how much water people drink? That's the only thing I could think of that would do anything to solve a water shortage, and nobody ever argues for it except during droughts.

  7. #47
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra View Post
    Then you don't think that government should "prevent people from injuring each other."
    I don't recall saying that. I believe that it should prevent people from doing things that infringe on other's rights, (I'd consider assault a crime), but it shouldn't attempt to correct every externatality of every relationship. This is because regulations usually just whitewash over problems and create more problems than they fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra View Post
    If you have an island with one limited source of clean water and only a small number of island inhabitants, there might be very few necessary restrictions on freedom. If, on the other hand, the number of island inhabitants pushes the limits of the carrying capacity of the island resources, the need for rules and restrictions becomes critical to group survival. I.M.O., that is where we find ourselves as a nation and planet.
    Why do you think that a large government is any more capable of using the resource more wisely than a small government and the market? Food production is run by the government in many Sub-Saharan African nations, and look where that's gotten them.

  8. #48
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cassandra View Post
    Then you don't think that government should "prevent people from injuring each other."
    The governemt cannot prevent this -- it can only be deterred through the promise of punichment.
    If you have an island with one limited source of clean water and only a small number of island inhabitants, there might be very few necessary restrictions on freedom. If, on the other hand, the number of island inhabitants pushes the limits of the carrying capacity of the island resources, the need for rules and restrictions becomes critical to group survival. I.M.O., that is where we find ourselves as a nation and planet
    This is a vast overstatement -- the planet isnt even close to straining its resources. There is more than enough of everything for everyone.

    The problem isn;t the availability, but the distribution of these resources into the places that need them. These problem usually derive from a lack of education and politicsl freedom.

  9. #49
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    I voted "No". I think Humans only seek comfort. If they believe freedom will grant them that comfort, they will desire it, if they feel that freedom will not grant them that comfort, they will not desire it.

    People trade freedom for comfort all the time.

  10. #50
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    So they desire the freedom to seek comfort. Any desire for the unrestricted fulfillment of one's initiatives and interests is a desire for freedom.

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