Thursday, February 07, 2019

An argument for why death is not a bad thing

Here.  It is based on this statement of Epicurus.  The Epicurean argument was an argument against fearing death. This is the quote: “Death is nothing to us. When we exist, death is not; and when death exists, we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the belief that in death, there is awareness.

 From this it is easy to derive a Epicurean defense of abortion. 

1. Where the fetus is, death is not. 
2. Where death is, the fetus is not. 
So, why oppose abortion? 

One of my office-mates was a protege of Rosenbaum. When he explicated his position, another office-mate of mine asked, "So, on your view, why shouldn't I just kill you now?" His answer was "Only if you could do it painlessly." 

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Shoving democracy down people's throats

Democracy is supposed to reflect the will of the people. What if the people get together and vote on it, and decide that they want a dictatorship. Does some greater power have the right to come in and say "No, the people have a right to a democracy, so we're going to shove one down everyone's throat, whether they want it or not?

Isn't this a description of American foreign policy in many cases? 

Sunday, February 03, 2019

My right to my opinion

I have always been puzzled by the phrase "I have a right to my opinion." What does it mean? 

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Are human rights fictions?

I wonder if people are clear on the idea of what human rights are. The idea of human rights is that I am entitled to something in virtue of being human independent of what the people with the biggest guns decide. What this means isn't as easy as it seems to get clear on. It seems to imply the existence of a moral fact.

If it's a human construct, then it seems to be a purely fictional concept. Unless there is some reality that makes it true that I have certain rights, then it is false that I "really" have them even though people with the biggest guns are denying it to me?

What was the UN declaring when it made the human rights declaration. Was it saying we wish countries would treat their citizens this way?

When is religious involvement in our political life inappropriate?

The movements supporting the rights of women, and the civil rights movements, were started within religious groups. It is not an accident that the Civil Rights movement was led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The Declaration says that we were endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights (so, no creator, no rights?) Are these instances of the inappropriate intrusion into our democratic life? If not, what constitutes an appropriate, as opposed to an inappropriate insinuation of religion into our political life? If religion motivates some to oppose abortion or gay marriage, people think that's inappropriate. But when Jefferson makes a religious appeal to defend inalienable rights, or when King organizes the Montgomery bus boycott, or when religious groups organize for women's suffrage at Seneca Falls, this is OK? I'll bet the segregationists wished the King would stay in his pulpit and preach Jesus instead of getting involved in a political issue like civil rights. Is religious involvement in politics bad just in case I agree with it?