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If your country drafts you for a war...


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I thought my personal beliefs on the matter of rights versus responsibilities was clarified in my later posts with LoneWolf 16.  I am not in favor of a draft, unless the very survival of the nation (or an allied nation, or even the world as we know it!) is at stake.  However, the original question was IF the draft was reinstated and IF I was called to serve in a war I dispised and disagreed with, like Iraq, would I serve.  I said yes, I would.  Because, in a nutshell, I believe that I have a responsibility to serve if called upon rather than simply run to a neighboring country while my friends and family fight in my place.  I could go to jail rather than serve, of course, but most folks here did not seem to consider that as a viable option for themselves personally! :)

 

To answer your question, I believe one has considerable responsibility to one's society... a nation is an extention of community... to support that nation financially  (taxes), with time and effort, such as community service, feeding the hungry, joining in groups to clean up highways, search and rescue duty when required, volunteer firefighter, contributing to charities, helping those less fortunate, all manner of ways to participate in and serve one's community... and by participating in the process of running the community, such as participating in elections by understanding the issues and voting, participating in local government to the extend possible, even if that's only attending zoning and PTA meetings... and generally  being a productive member of society contributing to rather than draining its resources.  I enjoy the fruits of others' service in these and other ways; I enjoy the fruits of a safe, prosperous lifestyle.  It's my responsibility as a citizen to obey the laws of the land, even the laws I do not agree with, although it's also my right as a citizen to work toward changing those laws with my vote, or political participation.  I know people who simply take all the good stuff of living in a free society, ignore the laws they don't like, never bother to vote or attend a school board meeting or otherwise carry out the responsibility of being a citizen in a democratic society, then they bitch and moan about the way the country is run.  They want their "rights" as a citizen; they can't be bothered with their "responsibilities" as a citizen.  Well, it doesn't work that way in my mind.

 

In my mind countries are like relatives.  Sometimes we appreciate them, sometimes they annoy the snot out of us, but they will always be our relatives.  For example, I can lobby Aunt Ellen to use deodorant... please!... and beg Uncle Ned not to drink so much, but basically Aunt Ellen is a good soul who bakes me cookies and Uncle Ned can be counted on to drive me to the doctor when everyone else is busy, so I try to change negatives that I can change and accept the negatives that I can't  because I care about them.  They are my family.  I have a responsibility to them, warts and all.

 

I feel the same about my country.  So when people say "I don't owe my country anything", I can't really relate to that.  This is why I ask the question.

 

I don't disagree on any particular point, but I do disagree with the notion that my country has the right to call me up and say "right, you're going off to this country over there to fight because we think it's necessary, not particularly interested in your views on the matter."

 

Like I said, a matter of the country's survival is a different matter and in that case I would fight.

 

I just don't agree that it's my responsibility to answer a draft simply because I happen to be a citizen of that country. That, to my mind, is ridiculous. A draft is an absolute, last ditch, desperate measure to defend a country's sovereignty.

 

Thus, I would have fought in WW2, arguably WW1 but that wasn't really a fight for survival. I would have dodged the Vietnam draft, however, because that was an utterly ludicrous war and the US had no right to enforce its population to fight in it.

 

As for the question of prison, I don't believe the country has the right to draft me, so I'm hardly going to agree with their right to imprison me for it, am I?

Edited by Kroney

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That might have been true, once upon a time - back when people actually lived and died by virtue of their nation.  Today, with globalization breaking down barriers of nationality, it's become increasingly obvious to me, personally, that what country you're from ultimately doesn't matter.  Fluidity is the name of the game - more and more people today are multinational, hold several visas/citizenships, and go where the work and the money are.  Their choice of a nation, therefore, has nothing to do with a sense of family or belonging, but with personal pursuits and market movements.

 

In such an environment, it's hard to relate to the mentality that you owe your country something, or that your country is like your relative.  It's much easier to think - and rightfully so - that your priviledges, if you have them, are the result of personal achievements and not citizenship.  Many people, in fact, adopt the opinion that they're in a country because the country needs them.  And you're really in no position to say that they're wrong - after all, the US actively attempts to recruit the best and brightest in the world and many of the people in question are often sitting on offers from across the globe. 

 

Of course, whether such an environment exists for you depends on your state of residence.  Living in California or New York is very different than living in the heart of Bible country.  In some areas of the US I have no doubt that your point of view is still very much alive and prominent - the South, for example, is much more patriotic and duty-minded than the coastal cities.  But at the same time, there is no right and wrong here.  It's true that the US is a better place to live in than many other places in the world, but it's equally true that the US - unlike many European nations - does not exactly look after your welfare.  A bum living on the streets of downtown LA would probably not respond very well to your ideas toward duty, and if you can't explain, on the basis of citizenship alone, why he's living in abject poverty while others are filthy rich, then the idea that every citizens owes his or her "prosperous" life style to the nation becomes particularly unconvincing.

The most important problem with this point of view (and there are several) is what you are tacitly creating: a private "organisation" ABOVE the law of the land.

 

Terms:

organisation = one or more persons acting in concert for a private agenda

law of the land = the only reliable existing form of legal control of members of societies, i.e. national laws (as international law is hardly robust and certainly not reliable, as it depends on pre-arranged treaties between nations).

 

You have just given Rupert Murdoch carte blanche to create his own self-serving global organisation and behave in any way he wants, including breaking any regional "backward" laws that stand in his nation-spanning organisation's way.

 

So, paradoxically, your treatise to the individual over the state just creates a law of the jungle where economic might makes right. And thereby results bribery, extortion and even pork-barrelling like that of the Hezbollah in Lebanon, where the extremists are BUYING political power with cold cash.

 

See, duty to a state works both ways: the state can protect the individual when the individuals protect the state.

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That might have been true, once upon a time - back when people actually lived and died by virtue of their nation.  Today, with globalization breaking down barriers of nationality, it's become increasingly obvious to me, personally, that what country you're from ultimately doesn't matter.  Fluidity is the name of the game - more and more people today are multinational, hold several visas/citizenships, and go where the work and the money are.  Their choice of a nation, therefore, has nothing to do with a sense of family or belonging, but with personal pursuits and market movements.

 

Interesting concept. Because some individuals, among the wealthiest I would suspect and a small fraction of the global population at that, are privileged enough to be the globally mobile elite, then the concept of individual nations and individual cultures no long matters for the rest of the planet. I beg to disagree. You cannot look at a tiny slice of some of the wealthiest people on the planet and compare them to 99% of the global population.

 

In such an environment, it's hard to relate to the mentality that you owe your country something, or that your country is like your relative.  It's much easier to think - and rightfully so - that your priviledges, if you have them, are the result of personal achievements and not citizenship.  Many people, in fact, adopt the opinion that they're in a country because the country needs them.  And you're really in no position to say that they're wrong - after all, the US actively attempts to recruit the best and brightest in the world and many of the people in question are often sitting on offers from across the globe. 

 

That is a rather narcissistic and misplaced belief, in my opinion. When you say that your privileges, if you have them, are the redsult of personal achievements and not citizenship, that comment alone is demonstrably false. Those who are born in the slums of India, or Indonesia, or the poorer nations of Africa, or even in relatively prosperious but totalitarian nations like China, cannot depend on personal achievement for their lifestyle. Their lifestyle, in fact their privileges or lack thereof, are totally dependent upon a fluke of birth, their citizenship and what privileges their country will allow them to have. And they cannot simply decide from their squalor to become a multi-national citizen because their nation will not allow it. You cannot possibly believe that an individual born in a third world country has the same privilege and opportunity as one born into a prosperous western nation.

 

Of course, whether such an environment exists for you depends on your state of residence.  Living in California or New York is very different than living in the heart of Bible country.  In some areas of the US I have no doubt that your point of view is still very much alive and prominent - the South, for example, is much more patriotic and duty-minded than the coastal cities.  But at the same time, there is no right and wrong here.  It's true that the US is a better place to live in than many other places in the world, but it's equally true that the US - unlike many European nations - does not exactly look after your welfare.  A bum living on the streets of downtown LA would probably not respond very well to your ideas toward duty, and if you can't explain, on the basis of citizenship alone, why he's living in abject poverty while others are filthy rich, then the idea that every citizens owes his or her "prosperous" life style to the nation becomes particularly unconvincing.

 

 

First, you are stereotyping swaths of the American populace... and stereotyping me as well. I do not life in the "bible belt". I never have. I was born in Los Angeles, a coastal metropolis of liberalism, and now live close to San Francisco, another coastal metropolis of liberal thought. As for bums in L.A., I suspect there are bums on the streets of Europe as well, and probably for the same reason... drug addicts, alcoholics, those who are unwilling and unable to support themselves and who do not meet the criteria for receiving welfare payments exist in nearly every country. They are a fraction of a fraction of the total populace. Those who are "filthy rich" are those whom you use as a reason why responsibility to country is no longer needed. They have "privilege" because of their own accomplishments, yes? The those living in abject poverty are doing so because of their own lack of accomplishment. You cannot extoll those rich folk to prove your point on the one hand, then use them again to prove the opposite point.

 

The U.S. has a hell of a lot of welfare programs, so simply saying that the government doesn't look after the welfare of its populace is again demonstrably untrue.

 

Your entire argument is contradictory. On the one hand, you support individual freedoms to the extent that no government has no right to limit those freedoms or to impose any conditions upon them. On the other, you seem to believe that it's the government's job to provide everything it's citizens need, womb to tomb parenting so to speak. Which is it? Are we free to enjoy the privileges available to us because they are available strictly because of our accomplishement? Or are we as a society responsible to take care of all the needs of all its people, including the bum on the street. You simply cannot have both.

 

A government, which is in itself made up of people, cannot care for everyone else in the country without expecting the entire populace to live up to certain of its responsibilities by contributing, both monetarily and by public service, back to the countr. Do you think welfare checks create themselves, fund themselves, and float to those who need it automatically? No, there are people behind that service. Do you think that a nations borders are secured, that defense of the populace from crime and invasion is something that just happens? No, there are people behind that protection.

 

So what happens to a country when the majority of its population believes as you do, that it is a citizens absolute right to have all the privileges available, but has absolutely no responsibility to either his country or his fellow citizens to ensure others have those same rights? When everyone wants only to take and expects government to care for their every need, then there isn't anyone left to actually do the dirty work necessary to supply those needs. It is a totally self-indulgent train of thought which, if taken by the majority populace of any nation, will ultimately lead to that nation's downfall. Statistically, there is no other option.

 

Answer me this: If you owe your country nothing, then why do you believe your country owes you freedom, protection, education, health care, and welfare checks when the need arises? I submit that if you owe your country nothing, then it owes you nothing as well. Please prove to me how that statement is wrong.

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America is too big for me to think "Oh I'll just ask aunt ellen, who I never see, on the east coast to start wearing deoderant because a guy say's she's got a bad scent"

 

 

Also with the way our government has become it's bloody impossible to see your congressman much less ask him to do somthing for you. Why? Because getting in contact with the congressman would require a small chunk of change, otherwise he'd just pass you off to an intern or aide who'd pay little or no attention to you as you ask for him to try somthing. Also, he wouldn't try somthing, like say asking that his states national guard be pulled back if most of the people he represents want it badly because he determines that it's political suicide.

 

I don't think that our dear "lords" who run congress actually represent the people... they represent the money that's given to them so that they can keep that money flowing for the next election.

 

and Di: Why do I owe my country somthing when I pay for 4/5's of that list with taxes, and one is semi intangable?

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America is too big for me to think "Oh I'll just ask aunt ellen, who I never see, on the east coast to start wearing deoderant because a guy say's she's got a bad scent"

Calax, are you posting under the influence again? What does this mean? ;huh:

Also with the way our government has become it's bloody impossible to see your congressman much less ask him to do somthing for you. Why? Because getting in contact with the congressman would require a small chunk of change, otherwise he'd just pass you off to an intern or aide who'd pay little or no attention to you as you ask for him to try somthing. Also, he wouldn't try somthing, like say asking that his states national guard be pulled back if most of the people he represents want it badly because he determines that it's political suicide.

Why should the government of 400 million people listen to one person? If you have something that relevant, you can organise a political rally and lobby your local member: then he can use that groundswell to lobby on your behalf (otherwise the member will be shouted down by the majority of other members). Part of Big Business's political clout is based in their employing (read: paying) a large amount of the constituency. ;)

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America is too big for me to think "Oh I'll just ask aunt ellen, who I never see, on the east coast to start wearing deoderant because a guy say's she's got a bad scent"

Calax, are you posting under the influence again? What does this mean? ;huh:

This was in response to Di's "each nation is one big happy family" post
Also with the way our government has become it's bloody impossible to see your congressman much less ask him to do somthing for you. Why? Because getting in contact with the congressman would require a small chunk of change, otherwise he'd just pass you off to an intern or aide who'd pay little or no attention to you as you ask for him to try somthing. Also, he wouldn't try somthing, like say asking that his states national guard be pulled back if most of the people he represents want it badly because he determines that it's political suicide.

Why should the government of 400 million people listen to one person? If you have something that relevant, you can organise a political rally and lobby your local member: then he can use that groundswell to lobby on your behalf (otherwise the member will be shouted down by the majority of other members). Part of Big Business's political clout is based in their employing (read: paying) a large amount of the constituency. :lol:

and the fact that everyone wants to pull out of iraq at this point but the current administration says no so they are staying means that even if theres a ground swell of support, unless it's what the leader wants it's not gonna happen.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

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Meta: Yet that is in fact what I see as being emergent: the creation of a society that abides by certain "global" rules, but which operates largely in concert with its own interests. The law of the land thus becomes the law of the world, and in doing so transforms into the law of self-interest. This does not, however, necessitate the law of the jungle - what you're referring to is only a short-sighted view of individual interest. The truth of the matter is - we would not have civilization if the state most in people's interests is anarchy. Civilization and its laws exist because people decide that it's in their best interests to establish such laws, not because they have an obligation to become civilized.

 

Answer me this: If you owe your country nothing, then why do you believe your country owes you freedom, protection, education, health care, and welfare checks when the need arises? I submit that if you owe your country nothing, then it owes you nothing as well. Please prove to me how that statement is wrong.

 

The country owes me none of those things. The fact that they exist attracts me to the country in the sense that if they did not exist, I would likely be living in another country, and contributing to that country's economy and wellbeing. Now, that is not to say that I am unwilling to fight for those things - simply that I do not owe a country or its government the right to possess them - for that implies an obligation, and I do not think that people have an obligation to society. Rather, they have an obligation to act in their own interests - which means, most of the times, acting in concert with society. If society, on the other hand, becomes contrary to their interests, that is the time they should act against it.

 

It's an easy stance to misunderstand, but the difference is fundamental. On one hand, you have the abstract notion of a nation and the obligations of citizenship; on the other, you have the concrete benefits of living in a nation and the laws that make them possible. I think the latter idea is much easier to swallow than the former. After all, if you owe anyone your basic freedoms, it's the founders and activists who are now long dead - every politician afterwards just received the benefits. Why should you owe them anything? They haven't done a thing to preserve your rights. If anything, they've taken them away.

 

I do not, therefore, feel that I owe the current batch of people running the country anything. If not them, someone else would be running the country - and they'd probably do just as well of a job. It's ridiculous, in my mind, to generalize the achievements of individuals to the nation at large. The US did not fight for my right to vote; people fought for my right to vote. The Bush administration does not guarantee my freedoms; the Constitution, which is the result of centuries of liberal struggle, guarantees my freedoms. Should I feel like I owe the Bush administration something simply because they allowed those freedoms to be (if only)? No, of course not! The life style that I am able to afford today is a result of 1) my own achievements, 2) my line of descent, and 3) the freedoms of my environment, given to me by those who fought for such freedoms. My best obligation to that last category of people is to fight, in turn, to preserve those freedoms - not to simply serve those who happened to inherit the country's leadership.

 

By that same argument, it's impossible for me to support someone fighting a war that they did not believe in. That sort of duty is self-destructive - if you cannot convince yourself that the war is just, then you have an obligation to not partake in it. That is the true meaning of freedom, and to abandon it is to abandon the very principle behind why societies are formed, which is always for the benefits of the individuals who live within it.

 

In the final analysis, I take issues with the very nature of the statement "if you believe your country owes you nothing..." I am not separate from my country; I am part of it. How can a part of something owe the whole? My duty is not to the abstract concept of a nation but to the people who act on my behalf and in my interests (in the case of a war I do not believe in, this equates to those who are against the war). Bush maybe fighting a war in Iraq, but even though I am an American, it is not my war. Why should it be?

 

I personally think that you need to be alot more selective in terms of who deserves your duty, and not just what country - but that's just me.

Edited by Azarkon

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Those who are born in the slums of India, or Indonesia, or the poorer nations of Africa, or even in relatively prosperious but totalitarian nations like China, cannot depend on personal achievement for their lifestyle. Their lifestyle, in fact their privileges or lack thereof, are totally dependent upon a fluke of birth, their citizenship and what privileges their country will allow them to have. And they cannot simply decide from their squalor to become a multi-national citizen because their nation will not allow it. You cannot possibly believe that an individual born in a third world country has the same privilege and opportunity as one born into a prosperous western nation.

 

So I owe my country something for not oppressing me? Gee, thanks.

 

Moreover, by your argument, it'd also be the case that a citizen of the US owes his or her country alot more than a citizen of, say, China or Africa - and that's just plain wrong as you'd be basing the degree of duty on chance of birth. You might as well feel an obligation towards God, or fate, for having placed you in the position that you are in.

 

Btw, Di, were you one of the ones who argued against me on the subject of national guilt? Because what you're suggesting here applies to national guilt as well - if you're going to base personal duty on the basis of having benefitted from the nation's past achievements, than by the same argument - you would also be guilty of the nation's past misdeeds. Is that the view you want to espouse?

Edited by Azarkon

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Meta: Yet that is in fact what I see as being emergent: the creation of a society that abides by certain "global" rules, but which operates largely in concert with its own interests.  The law of the land thus becomes the law of the world, and in doing so transforms into the law of self-interest.  This does not, however, necessitate the law of the jungle - what you're referring to is only a short-sighted view of individual interest.  The truth of the matter is - we would not have civilization if the state most in people's interests is anarchy.  Civilization and its laws exist because people decide that it's in their best interests to establish such laws, not because they have an obligation to become civilized.

No.

 

What you are proposing (supporting? deriding? I can't tell anymore) is replacing the society of the USA with something like that of modern Russia.

 

Without a civic duty: without citizens contributing to the upkeep of the society, the society will die. All relationships require an investment, lest they die.

 

You are advocating, with your denial of civic duty, a dictatorship of some description. Because without a strong, robust and fair society to protect the little guy, you will let the biggest gorilla make the rules. Without the US liberal (small "L") government, the break-up of the Standard Oil monopoly, for only one example, would never have occurred. Look at Putin and GasProm.

 

Anarchy would only work if there was a lot of equipotent groups, like the city states of Ancient Greece, for example. As soon as one gained a hegemony, like Athens did with her navy in this illustration, then they had supremacy.

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What you are proposing (supporting? deriding? I can't tell anymore) is replacing the society of the USA with something like that of modern Russia.

 

Without a civic duty: without citizens contributing to the upkeep of the society, the society will die. All relationships require an investment, lest they die.

 

You are advocating, with your denial of civic duty, a dictatorship of some description. Because without a strong, robust and fair society to protect the little guy, you will let the biggest gorilla make the rules. Without the US liberal (small "L") government, the break-up of the Standard Oil monopoly, for only one example, would never have occurred. Look at Putin and GasProm.

 

Anarchy would only work if there was a lot of equipotent groups, like the city states of Ancient Greece, for example. As soon as one gained a hegemony, like Athens did with her navy in this illustration, then they had supremacy.

 

@Arkazon: Since you don't seem to be interpreting anything I say as I meant it to be interpreted, perhaps Meta will do a better than getting my position across because, in a nutshell, he has done so above... and much more concisely than I could.

 

:lol:

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@Arkazon:  Since you don't seem to be interpreting anything I say as I meant it to be interpreted, perhaps Meta will do a better than getting my position across because, in a nutshell, he has done so above... and much more concisely than I could.

 

:lol:

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

 

 

~Di, I specifically avoided the stupendous amount of verbiage in those posts, because I don't want to have to read through it all to address each fallacy in turn! If you don't address them then I'll feel compelled to ... :ph34r:

 

Talk about argumentum verbosium! :lol:)

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and the fact that everyone wants to pull out of iraq at this point but the current administration says no so they are staying means that even if theres a ground swell of support, unless it's what the leader wants it's not gonna happen.

 

Just because the public wants it does not mean it's right or wise. Yes they want up to pack up and leave Iraq now but by and large do not understand the terrible consequences of that action. By and large the public wants the US government to pay for healthcare and point to other nations that do. But they don't even understand why it doesn't, can't, or even comprehend the damage it would do to our nation and society to change our system enough to allow it. We tend to elect people because we hope they are better informed about things like this than we are and if you do and those people decide based on the best information they have that a war is needed to defend the best interests of the nation then you should support that until you find out otherwise. And if it means serving and fighting, so be it.

Get off my lawn!

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What you are proposing (supporting? deriding? I can't tell anymore) is replacing the society of the USA with something like that of modern Russia.

 

Without a civic duty: without citizens contributing to the upkeep of the society, the society will die. All relationships require an investment, lest they die.

 

I don't think that's what I'm supporting at all. Anarchy is unrealistic precisely because of what you argue, and so as a result it's unrealistic to expect that people will revert to anarchy if left to their own discretion to decide what sort of society to build.

 

What I'm arguing is that civic duty, upkeep, etc. should exist as long as society represents the interests of the individual. If your argument is that anarchy better serves the interests of the rich and the powerful, I beg to differ - the law of the jungle is self-regulating, and even if you are the big guy today, you might very well be the small guy tomorrow. The sense of insecurity towards the ever present threat of violence, betrayal, and overthrow belies the necessity for rule of law, stability, and peace. Modern society would not exist if it were not a better alternative - for nearly everyone - than what had come before.

 

Let's further not forget that the purpose of this discussion is not to discuss whether the current system of government and society should be changed, but whether you should willingly submit yourself to a draft in the case of an evil war. If society exists, as I argue, for the benefits of the individual, then when an act of society no longer represents the individual's best interests, what duty the individual owes to that act becomes null and void. It's easy - once again - to misinterpret this as saying that you should disobey laws whenever it suits you, but that's not what it implies unless your best interests lie with lawlessness. That would be an excuse. Resisting an evil war is, on the other hand, a means by which you can stop it.

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I think what the US is paying now for health care equals how much health care would cost for everyone. The corporate health care system in place is a sham. Take for instance the bills Bush passed for seniors, or how we won't accept Canadian drugs. Ever had restless leg syndrome, we got a pill for it! Notice how many of the commercials on US television end up advertising drug pills that there pushing on consumers. Thats just the tip of the iceberg. The inner workings of our health care system is nasty.

 

Clicky!!!

 

But at least the gov i help support will help John doe with 6 kids have health care, and congress, while i have to fend for myself. :lol:

 

Edit: Maybe I'm wrong, maybe health care doesn't deserve to be a right.

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Let's further not forget that the purpose of this discussion is not to discuss whether the current system of government and society should be changed, but whether you should willingly submit yourself to a draft in the case of an evil war. 

This discussion has a purpose? =]

If society exists, as I argue, for the benefits of the individual, then when an act of society no longer represents the individual's best interests, what duty the individual owes to that act becomes null and void. 

You are ignoring the very real possibility that a situation might occur where the interests of the individual may involve helping the society in such a way that hurts the individual. Altruism.

 

Two examples:

  • A soldier paying the ultimate sacrifice for King and Country isn't serving his (or her) best interests, unless they have family and friends who will benefit from their (and others') sacrifice.
     
  • Similarly, the busines persons who go bankrupt will not do themselves any direct favours, except that they are participating in the economic system, playing a part so that the whole system can function. Perhaps indirect benefit from benefits might ensue.

In both instances the personal interests of the individual are contrary to what is best for the society. BUT, this will make the society a better one for the kith and friends of the individual.

It's easy - once again - to misinterpret this as saying that you should disobey laws whenever it suits you, but that's not what it implies unless your best interests lie with lawlessness.  That would be an excuse.  Resisting an evil war is, on the other hand, a means by which you can stop it.

This is self-contradictory. Do the individual's best interests lie with lawlessness or not?

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Let's further not forget that the purpose of this discussion is not to discuss whether the current system of government and society should be changed, but whether you should willingly submit yourself to a draft in the case of an evil war.  If society exists, as I argue, for the benefits of the individual, then when an act of society no longer represents the individual's best interests, what duty the individual owes to that act becomes null and void.  It's easy - once again - to misinterpret this as saying that you should disobey laws whenever it suits you, but that's not what it implies unless your best interests lie with lawlessness.  That would be an excuse.  Resisting an evil war is, on the other hand, a means by which you can stop it.

 

 

So, you shouldn't disobey laws whenever it suits you, but you should when doing so is in your best interests? So when something suits you, how is that not in your best interest?

Lou Gutman, P.I.- It's like I'm not even trying anymore!
http://theatomicdanger.iforumer.com/index....theatomicdanger

One billion b-balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b-balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the galaxy. I can feel every single b-ball that has ever existed at my fingertips. I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my viens. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three-pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there.

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You are ignoring the very real possibility that a situation might occur where the interests of the individual may involve helping the society in such a way that hurts the individual. Altruism.

 

I don't see that as an act against the interests of the individual. An act against the interests of the individual is one in which the individual is forced, against his will, to do something (as in a draft); with altruism, the individual decides that his or her best interests lie with helping others and willingly sacrifices his or herself.

 

This is self-contradictory. Do the individual's best interests lie with lawlessness or not?

 

Of course not. Just because you oppose evil laws, does not mean you oppose laws in general. Just because you refuse to serve in an evil war, does not mean you refuse to serve in wars in general.

 

My point has always been that the individual must be free to choose whether his or her interests lie with serving society in a certain situation. In altruism, the individual decides that service trumps personal benefits - but that is still a decision made freely. Not so for drafts.

 

So, you shouldn't disobey laws whenever it suits you, but you should when doing so is in your best interests? So when something suits you, how is that not in your best interest?

 

The doctrine of enlightened self-interest, my friend. The belief that acting for your immediate benefit is in your best interest is naive, as many moralists have argued. Disobeying laws whenever convenient leads to a lawless society, which is against the interests of most individuals. Therefore, we abide by laws so as to not create such a society. However, there are cases when certain laws are so clearly against the interests of the individual that disobedience leads to a better society (for example, laws that compromise your rights). If you believe such to be the case with respect to a certain law, then it is your obligation to disobey it.

Edited by Azarkon

There are doors

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Alright, circular logic.

Lou Gutman, P.I.- It's like I'm not even trying anymore!
http://theatomicdanger.iforumer.com/index....theatomicdanger

One billion b-balls dribbling simultaneously throughout the galaxy. One trillion b-balls being slam dunked through a hoop throughout the galaxy. I can feel every single b-ball that has ever existed at my fingertips. I can feel their collective knowledge channeling through my viens. Every jumpshot, every rebound and three-pointer, every layup, dunk, and free throw. I am there.

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