5/15/12 questions and discussion
assuming success trumps happiness, what purpose(s) does happiness have?
if we continue to care for the sick, will our species survive?
Phillip: allowing some to die for lack of investment in health care for all may mean losing descendants who could save us from future problems. Would it mean losing minds like Stephen Hawking's? One wonders when people with genetic ills produce more kids with the same genetic ills. We don't wanna be like Hitler was, deciding who will live, who will die.
Jon: the inverse being something like the Terry Schievo (sp?) case.
Lynn: didn't someone come out of an 18 year coma . . .?
Jm; exactly. So what are the preconditions for a successful species? We can't just look at intelligence. If we had a subspecies with Hawking's intelligence, and wanted to isolate/magnify that, would that be a net benefit? But that way we can not meet the genetic variability demanded for future survival. Yet how much does variability cost? If we were smart enough to engineer a perfect human that human would be too vulnerable because the future is unpredictable. We're not that smart.
Lynn: we wouldn't agree on what an ideal genetic package is!
Phillip: don't allow anyone who is sick to die.
Jim: is that a moral idea? A practical one? If it's moral, we end up with lots of sick people taking up more of our resources, affecting the rest of our society.
Lynn: we presently overtly control the populations of other species: deer, for example (wolves too?). We also do controlled forest fires to maintain the health of forests.
Jon: how much do political conservatives care about the suffering of others?
Jim; the real dichotomy is the implications of government assistance. What's clear to me is as government scope expands the human sense helplessness/neediness becomes a self-fuliflling prophecy. We conservatives want to help. We don't want to help our government take care of us.
Jon: how might conservatives be selective in their compassion?
Jim: I have an anecdote! I was once in jail in Texas for jumping a freight train to Mexico. I defied a cop who intended to arrest us. He cuffed us, manhandled me. I spun free, got on top of him, ready to hit hi,m then stopped myself. Then he kicked the crap out of me. They had me in jail for aggravated assault. My mother knew a judge and got me out if I pled guilty. My son got into trouble too. He did a dumb thing but I said to myself "this'll be a good lesson for him. But do I trust the system?" We conservatives have a conflict; there are 7 billion people, at some point we have to ask how much is too much? Freedom is at risk as that number grows. Productivity can solve it. But are we willing to make the sacrifices necessary for that level of productivity?
Jon: as the result of 2008's economics my wife's department was reduced from 3 to one person. She is now doing the work of 3 people.
Jim: both her employer and she have figured out how to be more productive.
Jon: but she's made miserable by the added stress of doing 3 people's jobs. She has stress related illnesses.
Jim: if someone said the role of government is to help someone find a job I would have no beef. But I see too much focus on housing and health care.
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