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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:53 pm 
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This reminds far too much the Nazi's euthanasia program, only with the means of their time. (not the elimination of agressive behavior, though, but the idea of "genetic selection")

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:06 pm 
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Me too!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:30 pm 
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It's already fairly commonplace for people who carry genes for some severe, fatal genetic diseases to use in vitro fertilization and implant only embryos (consisting of only a few cells) that have been genetically tested and shown not to have the gene. So in a way it's already happening. It's definitely a step toward the rim of the slippery slope described in so many dystopian SF novels, but I don't think it goes very close. A world without the gene for Tay-Sachs would be a better world.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:38 pm 
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My daughter got a couple of genes for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome from me and a different one for EDS from my husband. On neither of us parents is it obvious. In her, this has manifested as full blown EDS, hypermobility type. All her joints are loose and injured easily. She can wake up from sleep and find that her shoulder has dislocated in her sleep. She keeps braces for almost all the major joints so she can at least move around (albeit painfully) when recovering from an injury. And to top it off, whenever a menstrual period comes along, the body emits a hormone called "relaxin" which (you guessed it) causes ligaments to relax more. When your connective tissue is already defective and easily damaged, this quadruples the chance of injury.

If gene editing had been available for humans when we were thinking of conceiving her, I wouldn't blame her if she sued us for causing her current condition. As it is, all I can do is apologize and say we didn't know.

Gene editing is a good thing. If they can take horn genes out of cattle and put in the genes for no horns (described in the article I linked before) --- then it ought to be possible to do the same for EDS genes. Take out the defective ones and put in normal genes.

I know this opens a can of worms about what is a defective gene or not, but darn it! When a condition like this causes almost constant pain for the person who has it, it ought to be fixed if possible. It's almost to the point where the next generation of people can do this. Maybe my daughter can actually have a child without these awful mutations. Not that she can carry one herself. The EDS will probably make that impossible. But, as I told her, she can eventually hire a surrogate mother when they get the genetic editing thing figured out.

Equating genetic editing to anything the Nazis did is .... is .... just wrong! :(

Besides, I don't think it would be easy or even possible to figure out which genes are connected to aggression. Sure, I try to breed cattle for mild temperment, but I haven't a clue about what genes are involved. And I often get throwbacks to feral temperment. :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:48 pm 
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I certainly have no issue with parents deciding genetic editing is right for them and their children. But I would surely be bothered a great deal by the gov't saying that you have to fix your baby's genes.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:52 pm 
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My intended point was that a person can carry half of a crappy gene and combine it with another person's half crappy gene, and produce a child with a full on crappy disability.

If everyone doesn't clean their offspring's genes, that will keep happening.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:32 pm 
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I'm going to have to correct myself. They are already well on their way to determining which genes are associated with aggression.
https://news.brown.edu/articles/2009/01/hotsauce
They are dubbing this one the warrior gene. :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:55 am 
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I think gene manipulation is an ethical issue, and a tough one at that.

Yov, going back to your desire to see a workable solution, the problem with my version of a “free society” is that while we can come up with ways where everything can work, it is very difficult to see how we could get there from where we are. If at all possible, I could really only imagine it as very small incremental changes for a very long time… but we have to start sometime.

Nin wrote:
What are the skills that justify differences in scales of million folds? How do you justify inheritance of wealth? Just luck?


To the first point, the difference in scales of million folds is determined by the market. The designer makes millions because (for some reason I do not understand) people think those clothes are worth paying more. The women in third world countries sewing them are willing to do so for that level of pay, and the distributor can optimize their costs by making them there, and shipping them to the wealthier market.

None of this is causing anyone any harm. Everyone is happy with the transactions, and no one is forced to do something they don’t want to do. However, if you feel that they should be paid more, you are welcome to organize a boycott of that designer until they pay their manufacturers more money. You could also organize a charity from amongst all the wealthy designers where they collect money and help the third world country doing their manufacturing create better environments for their workers and such so it’s not a third world country. There are lots of things to do if you think something needs to be done.

On the second point, I don’t think justification of inheritance of wealth is necessary. Why is it wrong for someone who worked their whole life to obtain what they valued (wealth) to give it to who they want when they die? I honestly do not understand what the problem with this is.


As for legal equality being an illusion without social equality, I don’t think that’s correct. In the free society I am proposing, the courts would be entirely different than what we see today. There would be little need for lawyers, as there is only one law, and it’s not difficult for everyone to understand. A trial would be a matter of “Did this person break the maxim? Yes or No?” Sentencing becomes a bit more complicated, but it’s not going to be a matter of who has the better lawyer.

As for opportunity being random, and thus not able to be regulated, I think we might be talking about different kinds of opportunity. Rockefeller had the opportunity to provide a new technology at a low cost to every person in the US (kerosene lamps, and thus light). There’s no possible way to regulate it such that every person has that opportunity… it required him being in a certain position at a certain time in history, and acting in a certain way, AND getting lucky. He became the richest man in US history because he did all the right things, and things went his way… You can’t regulate such things because they are inherently uncertain. They can’t be controlled.

Nin wrote:
But: what is freedom? And how do you achieve it? Freedom can be freedom from fear, and in order for people to feel (and to be) safe you can easily justify a police state. Freedom can mean freedom from need and back we are to social programs. Freedom is too vague, I think. You need something more concrete than that. Smaller goals.


Freedom, as I defined it, and yov pointed out is from the coercive force of others. What you are listing as “freedoms” are an entirely different concept, closer to the positive rights I was talking about before. Very hard to implement.

As for athletics and learning… As I said, I could (and probably should) write a book on this idea. The idea goes along with your idea of the woman in Afghanistan who is the next Einstein. How can society find that person and get them the education they need to help the whole society as much as possible? I would argue that the absolute WORST way to accomplish this is mandatory state funded education. Such education has become a harsh restriction and impediment to the very people you are talking about… because everyone has to be treated equal, which means everyone has to be treated like the stupidest and laziest kid in the class.

A much more efficient and optimal education system would not have any of it be free, which means that employers, who need highly educated employees would have to find them, and they’d want to look for them at a young age. Now, you can’t tell if a 5 year old is going to be Einstein (well, not entirely), but you can sign a contract with their parents (or Guardian) that says the company will pay for 5 years of education as part of compensation for the parent’s work, of even for future work of the child or parents. Now you have a market where third parties can fund education for anyone they want, and sell off the contracts where they want. Some parents could afford to pay for their kids, but why do it when you can get someone else to? There might be parents who hold their kids back, but this is akin to child abuse, and would have to be dealt with accordingly.

If, after 5 years of education, the kid doesn’t want to be a Software engineer (or whatever), they could say “Hey, you the guy that owns my contract, how about you trade me over to the San Francisco Symphony so I can keep working on the Violin which I like and am much better at than working with computers?” The company is happy, because they can get a premium for the skills of the kid, they symphony is happy because they have a talent, and the kid is happy because he/she can work on what they enjoy.

The great thing is, Everything is paid for and done in the most cost effective way to give the best education possible, because the company is invested in the students success. The chances the woman from Afghanistan that is the next Einstein get found and end up in the right place to use those skills the best… is much higher than pure randomness.

I won’t get into why I think the Government is opposite of that, but I’m sure you can imagine.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:52 am 
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On the second point, I don’t think justification of inheritance of wealth is necessary. Why is it wrong for someone who worked their whole life to obtain what they valued (wealth) to give it to who they want when they die? I honestly do not understand what the problem with this is.


Because it weakens the moral justification for why "liberty" includes both my physical self and my property. The idea that others can't take your property is morally important only because you have worked for and earned your property, and what you work for is yours. But claiming some property as yours when you did no work for it, when you attained it largely by arbitrary chance, well, I don't see much moral reason why anyone anywhere could just as easily have legitimate claim to that property.

(This becomes particularly problematic with land, since so much of it has been claimed as "owned" by sheer force over the years that the idea of legitimate ownership becomes extremely murky, if not downright impossible.)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:05 am 
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This is simply a matter of a property rights. When you work the land, you own it. When you die, you transfer those property rights to your heirs. Nothing has changed about who worked the land to own it, it has simply been "sold" to whoever you wanted to sell it to even if the price is 0. If the heirs fail to work that land, then they would eventually lose the property rights to someone that did. No one is saying that if you sell the land (or other property) before you die, that it's a problem... or even if you give it away! So why is simply giving it to the ones you probably were trying to build it up for a problem?

This idea that inheritance is "merely chance" is absurd. People provide for their families. Is it nice to have parents or guardians that have created an amount of wealth that makes your life easier? Certainly... but that is because they worked for it! My goodness, we're all going to die at some point, and we want to take care of our children (should we be fortunate enough to have them)... how on earth is it "wrong" to want to give them as much as possibly through what you can earn in your own life? This is not "chance." This is providing for your family!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:39 am 
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The women in third world countries sewing them are willing to do so for that level of pay, and the distributor can optimize their costs by making them there, and shipping them to the wealthier market.


Since I am currently living in a third world country, I want to weigh in on this.

The women (and children) working for the low wages paid by these companies are "willing" to do so because in many cases, the option is starvation. It's not like they can go find another job, because there ARE no other jobs. Often the old ways of surviving (farming your small plot in a your home village, selling your produce or goods) has been removed due to urbanisation and the growth of these same large companies. Farms, villages, forests, the old dirt roads and open land - all gone.

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None of this is causing anyone any harm. Everyone is happy with the transactions, and no one is forced to do something they don’t want to do.


I think it is causing a great deal of harm, in fact. People already living in abject poverty are being put into an untenable position. Either they work for subsistence wages or they starve. I guess that's sort of a choice...but not really. Are they "forced?" Technically, no - but again - what is the option?

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However, if you feel that they should be paid more, you are welcome to organize a boycott of that designer until they pay their manufacturers more money.


Yes. Those of us lucky enough to live in the first world can do this. But that doesn't speak to the women (and often children) who are in the less-enviable position of working in these places. What should *they* do?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:42 pm 
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halplm wrote:
This is simply a matter of a property rights.


Yeah, and how we think of property rights is kinda of stupid in a lot of ways. I am concerned with society protecting the property that you have earned. They property you haven't earned? Meh.


JewelSong wrote:
Quote:
None of this is causing anyone any harm. Everyone is happy with the transactions, and no one is forced to do something they don’t want to do.


I think it is causing a great deal of harm, in fact. People already living in abject poverty are being put into an untenable position. Either they work for subsistence wages or they starve. I guess that's sort of a choice...but not really. Are they "forced?" Technically, no - but again - what is the option?


It's not very libertarian of me but I do generally support some sort of minimum wage because of these situations. I do see exploiting extreme poverty as a form of force.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:48 pm 
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JewelSong wrote:

The women (and children) working for the low wages paid by these companies are "willing" to do so because in many cases, the option is starvation. It's not like they can go find another job, because there ARE no other jobs. Often the old ways of surviving (farming your small plot in a your home village, selling your produce or goods) has been removed due to urbanisation and the growth of these same large companies. Farms, villages, forests, the old dirt roads and open land - all gone.

Quote:
None of this is causing anyone any harm. Everyone is happy with the transactions, and no one is forced to do something they don’t want to do.


I think it is causing a great deal of harm, in fact. People already living in abject poverty are being put into an untenable position. Either they work for subsistence wages or they starve. I guess that's sort of a choice...but not really. Are they "forced?" Technically, no - but again - what is the option?

Quote:
However, if you feel that they should be paid more, you are welcome to organize a boycott of that designer until they pay their manufacturers more money.


Yes. Those of us lucky enough to live in the first world can do this. But that doesn't speak to the women (and often children) who are in the less-enviable position of working in these places. What should *they* do?



Yes, to all of this. In fact, I'd go a bit farther than Jewel here and say the options are to starve or to sell oneself or one's children into the sex trade. As it is, this is all often in the realm of human trafficking and slavery. People can call it what they want, but that is, de facto, what it is.

I have to leave and may not get a chance to reply again till tomorrow, but I wanted to weigh in before the moment was gone.

This is also why I support initiatives that empower women (and also men) to open their own businesses (e.g., the microloan initiatives) and why I support fair trade products.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:19 pm 
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Yov, as I understand it, you are saying that you can only earn for yourself, you cannot earn for your family?

In my mind, the property rights extend to the earning as well as the physical property. In other words, you own your work, and can transfer that to anyone else you like. In effect, when you inherit something, you are inheriting the work that created it as well.


As for the third world country, poverty, work or starve situation, it is difficult to see if it violates the maxim or not. Keep in mind, there can be highly unethical behavior in a free society, that does not break the law. There will be bad people in any society, unethical people, who will take advantage of a situation for their own benefit. That is the way things are in any system. It’s harder to maintain without coercive force, though.

A hypothetical situation would be where a farming community is working fine, and a widget factory is nearby. Some people work the farms, and others work at making widgets. Then a drought hits for a few years, and the farms cannot function. The only choice is to work for the widget factory or starve (Setting the situation up as you described for the third world country women and children). The people working at the factory before were making a great wage and everyone was happy. Now that there are many more workers, the factory owner can lower wages because of competition. It might be that he chooses not to because he can improve production, and it all works out. Or he might be a jerk and reduce everyone to a poverty level while he buys a fancy new car and top hat.

If he helps everyone out and they all survive, when the drought ends, and people go back to their farms, things wills till be good for him. If he screws everyone over, when the drought ends, he won’t have any workers, because they all hate him. Now he’s screwed.

But that’s only one scenario, and it’s not realistic because it’s eliminating outside influences. The third world country is a third world country because it’s leaders are corrupt, exploitative criminals. Such a situation would not exist in a free society. In a free society those women would not be trapped in a work here or starve situation. They would have the freedom to leave. Because there are so many people (just on this board) who care to make sure such exploitation isn’t possible, there would easily be groups and funds and lots of people to provide help in moving these unfortunate people to better places where they could have their own farm, or open their own business, or start a new life in a better situation.

Eventually, the exploitative factory owner will have no workers, or he’ll pay them better.

If so many people care about these work or starve people in third world countries, and we rich first world countries getting their cheap labor… why haven’t we fixed the situation yet? People have been using this kind of example for decades.

And sorry, yov, but a minimum wage makes no sense ever. If we are going to make it $10 an hour, why don’t we make it $500 an hour and everyone can be rich?

(Also, Lali is right, usually human trafficking is part of the problem, and that certainly violates the maxim as stated.)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:41 pm 
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If I legally become the owner of the only source of food for a community, then I can literally make that community do anything I want as long as the law is behind me. They are at that point my slaves. I do not approve of slavery. If there is no legal way for me to obtain a basic subsistence except submit to slavery, then the law is not worth following and I could not blame that community for forcing me out of power and taking their source of food back. Specially since odds are good that I became the owner through force to begin with.

Quote:
If so many people care about these work or starve people in third world countries, and we rich first world countries getting their cheap labor… why haven’t we fixed the situation yet? People have been using this kind of example for decades.


Because the most rich and powerful people in the world don't want it?

Quote:
In other words, you own your work...


Sure.

Quote:
...and can transfer that to anyone else you like.


Why?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:50 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
If I legally become the owner of the only source of food for a community, then I can literally make that community do anything I want as long as the law is behind me. They are at that point my slaves. I do not approve of slavery. If there is no legal way for me to obtain a basic subsistence except submit to slavery, then the law is not worth following and I could not blame that community for forcing me out of power and taking their source of food back. Specially since odds are good that I became the owner through force to begin with.


This is fine, it's a great business opportunity. If you see a community that is being manipulated into only buying one person's food, It would be highly profitable to open a grocery store there, don't you think? The only way that would be impossible would be if you were literally imprisoning this community and not letting any food in or out. That would violate the maxim quite a bit.

Quote:
Quote:
If so many people care about these work or starve people in third world countries, and we rich first world countries getting their cheap labor… why haven’t we fixed the situation yet? People have been using this kind of example for decades.


Because the most rich and powerful people in the world don't want it?


In the maxim society those people wouldn't have that power. In our society, well, I'm not sure what the solution is, but removing those people from power seems a good start.

Quote:

Quote:
In other words, you own your work...


Sure.

Quote:
...and can transfer that to anyone else you like.


Why?


Because it is property. What you are suggesting is that wealth created simply vanishes when you die. More importantly, when you earn a paycheck, only you can spend it, your husband or wife or children are screwed. If I'm understanding you correctly, there can be no gift giving ever.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:02 pm 
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This is fine, it's a great business opportunity. If you see a community that is being manipulated into only buying one person's food, It would be highly profitable to open a grocery store there, don't you think?


And if some entrepreneur doesn't show up to save the community from their legalized slavery? They should just gladly accept their slavery because, hey, that property was legally obtained?


halplm wrote:
Because it is property.


That's not really an answer. I'm not saying anything can or can't be done. I'm just saying that if you didn't earn your property, I don't know why society in general should give you top priority on what happens with that property.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:21 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Quote:
This is fine, it's a great business opportunity. If you see a community that is being manipulated into only buying one person's food, It would be highly profitable to open a grocery store there, don't you think?


And if some entrepreneur doesn't show up to save the community from their legalized slavery? They should just gladly accept their slavery because, hey, that property was legally obtained?


They can leave. Or, you know, get online and order food from somewhere else. Without coercive force (thus breaking the law) I don't see how that scenario is possible.

Quote:

halplm wrote:
Because it is property.


That's not really an answer. I'm not saying anything can or can't be done. I'm just saying that if you didn't earn your property, I don't know why society in general should give you top priority on what happens with that property.


And my question is, why does "society" have any say in the matter? Why can't you just giver your wealth to whoever you want, whenever you want, even when you die?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:30 pm 
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halplm wrote:
And my question is, why does "society" have any say in the matter?


Because almost everything that we call property started out as raw materials in the earth, something that no one created or earned, and therefore belongs to either no one or to everyone.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:40 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
halplm wrote:
And my question is, why does "society" have any say in the matter?


Because almost everything that we call property started out as raw materials in the earth, something that no one created or earned, and therefore belongs to either no one or to everyone.


That doesn't actually answer my question.

What is property must be defined, of course. The definition we use in the class is that as soon as you mix your labor with something (land, raw material), you own it. By own it, I mean you own the "title" to it, and any use rights of it that go along with owning it. The question of initial conditions is complicated, but once the title is owned, it can be transferred, so no new labor is necessary if you purchase the title... or give it away.

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