View Poll Results: What should be done with the Founders' ideas?

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  • We should build upon them, but not completely transform them.

    50 70.42%
  • They need to be fundamentally transformed.

    6 8.45%
  • They're dead. Who cares what they thought?

    7 9.86%
  • Other (please elaborate)

    8 11.27%
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Thread: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

  1. #291
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenAsparagus View Post
    Most generations don't build our system of government and get our nation going. The Founding Fathers pledged their lives, property, and sacred honor to that cause.
    Irrelevant. Their sacrifices don't give them any special insight into how the United States is best-governed in 2010. And using the phrase "sacred honor" is a perfect example of the ancestor-worship I've been talking about. These guys were POLITICIANS, not gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenAsparagus
    The Constitution and other founding documents are the foundation of our system of government. When you can reinterpret them to mean whatever they want without going through the amendment process, the documents become meaningless.
    Well since we HAVE been reinterpreting them since before the ink was even dry on the Constitution, I guess it's meaningless. And if that's the case, then your statement that "they built a damn fine country" is factually incorrect, as their document was rendered meaningless from day one and therefore THEY didn't build anything. You can't have it both ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenAsparagus
    If you want to understand the documents, it's best to go through what these men wrote. Simply dismissing them has a bunch of old fogies who simply don't apply to today ignore what they built.
    It's amusing to watch people contort themselves to try to determine how the Founding Fathers would have wanted the First Amendment to apply to the internet, or how they would have wanted the Fifth Amendment to apply to airport security, or how they would have felt about a Federal Reserve and a free-floating currency. The correct answer to all these questions: "Who the **** cares what they would have thought, as they couldn't even IMAGINE the situation?"
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-17-10 at 05:24 PM.
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  2. #292
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    That's because you only choose to view my argument a certain way that allows you to marginalize it in your own mind.

    However, if you choose not to admit that there is a real difference between viewpoints and a concerted effort to influence the public, than I can only chuckle at you as well.

    There has always been a concerted effort to influence the public; you seem to think modern advertising and political propaganda does a better job of this than earlier political writers and philosophers; Karl Marx, VI Lenin, Thomas Paine, Socrates, etc.

    Obviously, that is a silly position to hold, since the aforementioned people had profound and long-lasting impacts on society, both contemporary and historical; their influence far outweighs that of the following...



    What's more, your argument is based upon factually incorrect assumptions about political propaganda (propaganda only a 100 years old). It's only reasonable to assume that the rest of your argument is equally flawed and thus illegitimate.

  3. #293
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    The legal documents that they wrote (i.e. the constitution, bill of rights, declaration of independence, etc.) provide a framework for our government, but beyond that their opinions/thoughts/etc. are meaningless to the world of today. Once they no longer held official government positions (or at the very least once they were dead), their opinions on how the constitution/etc. should be interpreted ceased to be relevant.
    Would you then argue that any court decision based on the intentions and/or writings of the FF - such as, say, the Federalist papers - are then unsound?

  4. #294
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by 1984 View Post
    There has always been a concerted effort to influence the public; you seem to think modern advertising and political propaganda does a better job of this than earlier political writers and philosophers; Karl Marx, VI Lenin, Thomas Paine, Socrates, etc.

    Obviously, that is a silly position to hold, since the aforementioned people had profound and long-lasting impacts on society, both contemporary and historical; their influence far outweighs that of the following...



    What's more, your argument is based upon factually incorrect assumptions about political propaganda (propaganda only a 100 years old). It's only reasonable to assume that the rest of your argument is equally flawed and thus illegitimate.
    Not particularly. Writers such as you mentioned tended to rely on logic and reasoning to present their arguments for their positions on various issues.

    Advertising and propaganda, on the other hand, tend to try and connect their message to our emotional centers and tend to be more subtle. This is why I find it laughable that you do believe you are immune to this. Any comparison between a philosopher and an advertisement is not apples to apples.

    You can keep trying to dismiss me if you wish though, I am sure it is easier for you to do so than participate in an honest discussion.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 05-17-10 at 05:39 PM.

  5. #295
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by 1069 View Post
    That might've been me, except that I said they were misogynistic slave-owners (ie, products of their time) so who cares what they thought.
    Which was a rhetorical question, by the way, because I know who cares: lots of people.
    But I don't.
    The constitution is of no more interest or relevance to me than the bible.
    Ancient documents written by savages, who wouldn't have considered me- or the black family next door- human, or deserving of the same rights they so generously afforded themselves.
    Your black?

  6. #296
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Not particularly. Writers such as you mentioned tended to rely on logic and reasoning to present their arguments for their positions on various issues.
    This is not entirely true. Lenin and Marx used blatantly emotional populist rhetoric to stir up the masses; Stalin did nothing but play on people's emotional sentiments about Soviet glory and prestige.

    The Crusades weren't the product of "logic" and "reasoning", nor was the Spanish Inquisition or the French Revolution.

    Advertising and propaganda, on the other hand, tend to try and connect their message to our emotional centers and tend to be more subtle. This is why I find it laughable that you do believe you are immune to this. Any comparison between a philosopher and an advertisement is not apples to apples.

    You can keep trying to dismiss me if you wish though, I am sure it is easier for you to do so than participate in an honest discussion.
    The only one who is being dishonest is you, by suggesting that modern advertising techniques are somehow more nefarious and effective than the populist rhetoric of Mao, Stalin, Robespierre, the Inquisitors, or the Crusaders. You're trying to have your own version of history, and your basing it upon factually incorrect assumptions about political propaganda.

  7. #297
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by 1984 View Post
    This is not entirely true. Lenin and Marx used blatantly emotional populist rhetoric to stir up the masses; Stalin did nothing but play on people's emotional sentiments about Soviet glory and prestige.

    The Crusades weren't the product of "logic" and "reasoning", nor was the Spanish Inquisition or the French Revolution.

    The only one who is being dishonest is you, by suggesting that modern advertising techniques are somehow more nefarious and effective than the populist rhetoric of Mao, Stalin, Robespierre, the Inquisitors, or the Crusaders. You're trying to have your own version of history, and your basing it upon factually incorrect assumptions about political propaganda.
    Now that I think about it, you are probably right.

    However, I do take exception to being called dishonest. But I will accept your argument.

  8. #298
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Irrelevant. Their sacrifices don't give them any special insight into how the United States is best-governed in 2010. And using the phrase "sacred honor" is a perfect example of the ancestor-worship I've been talking about. These guys were POLITICIANS, not gods.
    The point of that bit was to show the impact of their ideas. They did more than anyone else in our nation's history to build this country. You feel the impact of their ideas every day. Look around, their ideas turned out pretty well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Well since we HAVE been reinterpreting them since before the ink was even dry on the Constitution, I guess it's meaningless. And if that's the case, then your statement that "they built a damn fine country" is factually incorrect, as their document was rendered meaningless from day one and therefore THEY didn't build anything. You can't have it both ways.
    Not following the law is irrelevant when arguing whether or not it should changed or ignored.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    It's amusing to watch people contort themselves to try to determine how the Founding Fathers would have wanted the First Amendment to apply to the internet, or how they would have wanted the Fifth Amendment to apply to airport security, or how they would have felt about a Federal Reserve and a free-floating currency. The correct answer to all these questions: "Who the **** cares what they would have thought, as they couldn't even IMAGINE the situation?"
    No it isn't. How is the right of Joe to write dissenting, even inflammatory things in a newspaper have any greater weight than writing it on the Internet? How is Bill's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures different where he goes (btw, while privatizing much of airport security is another matter, when you get on an airplane, you make an agreement to be searched. They post that at the entrance. It's different than busting down down your door without a warrant), and how are Tim's property rights any less important to today? Saying that things are irrelevant because times have changed makes no sense. Yes, society has changed, that doesn't make previous ideas about government obsolete.
    Last edited by DrunkenAsparagus; 05-17-10 at 06:08 PM.
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  9. #299
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Now that I think about it, you are probably right.

    However, I do take exception to being called dishonest. But I will accept your argument.
    That you were able to accept the shortcoming of your position and rectify it accordingly absolves you of any dishonesty.

    : D

  10. #300
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by 1984 View Post
    That you were able to accept the shortcoming of your position and rectify it accordingly absolves you of any dishonesty.

    : D
    I was never dishonest in the first place.

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