A Statement of Philosophy

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
It occurs that me that any writing that purports wanting to make people think differently about certain things should provide a statement of philosophy that acts as its guiding principle. Why do I think this is important? I think it is important because it allows a user to objectively analyze a situation and come up with consistent outcomes. I hate hypocrites. I also hate people who so blindly follow a line of reasoning without really knowing why they are doing it. This happens when people think the Democrats are always right and that the Republicans are always wrong. Why do you think that? What basis are you analyzing your arguments? Just because George W. Bush said it is not a reason to discount it. I have often come out on the opposite side of an issue when I analyzed it against my own internal philosophy. This allows me to not be so rigid with specific ideas and concepts and to see the merit of my own convictions. When I get into arguments with other people I find inconsistencies in their arguments (i.e. Government should not make decisions on how to spend more of my money but it should tell other people they need to follow my religious beliefs) When I find those in my own ideas I have no problem reversing course because I have one guiding principle in my life.

So I believe everybody should follow something. Whether it be, "Treat others as you would have them treat you" or "What would Jesus do?" you should try to break down your belief system into something simple and see how consistent your arguments are. You might be amazed on how inconsistent you are with yourself, I know I was.

So here is my philosophy, "Individual Choice and Personal Responsibility". Everything I believe in comes from this. What does it mean? It means I should have the right to make choices for myself. Given this right I must be willing to reap the benefits and suffer the consequences for any thing my choices create. This implies that if I have this right others must also have this right and that none of my choices must infringe on theirs. That is I do no have the right (but I suppose you do have the choice) to kill someone else because that would remove their right to make a choice.

So there you have it. When I contradict myself let me know. I'll be happy to look at your arguments and see if I really know what I'm talking about.


Kat said...

sounds like anarchy. individual choices, individual consequences.

what about someone who has AIDS going out and knowingly infecting a group of people? it's a choice, but the consequences are moot because the person is already going to die.

Anonymous said...

In your statement on your philosophy you introduce the idea that you have the right to do things as long as they do not "infringe" on others. That word implies an unlawful act or perhaps an act which has a negative affect. Naturally, the question arises, who defines the standard for infringement? Your views or other people's views? Government laws? How does one objectively analyze a situation and consistently not infringe on other people?

T said...

Where did I say you can make any choice you so desire? Didn't I say you don't have the right to kill someone because you would thus eliminate someone else's ability to choose?

I said INDIVIDUAL choice. Choices that do not directly affect the lives of other people. I never said you had the right to do whatever you want whenever you want to. Now I will buy the argument that defining the term "direct" can be somewhat complicated and it would take books to fully articulate an entire philosophy.

My point is that I have only a few axioms by which I form my code of conduct and my beliefs. Everyone does the same thing to one degree or another if they truly think about the things they believe in. Simply saying, "I just believe it" is never good enough. There needs to be some core belief that when someone ask you "why" it will naturally flow to your core beliefs.

I hardly think these beliefs result in anarchy. Capitalism has has its foundation the notion that people act in their own rational self-interest. When people act in such a manner it actually benefits the entire group. Its counter-intuitive but it works.

Kat said...

when people act in their own self-interest under capitalism, it DOES NOT benefit everyone. hello!? do you read the news?!

T said...

Umm. What country do yo live in? What system does it promote? Which is the wealthiest nation ever to inhabit the earth?

Capititalism is not perfect. No, it doesn't mean that everyone is taken care of and that nobody is poor. Nor should it. I'm not saying that it is the fault of poor people that they are poor, our system has created inequalities outside of capitalism that has contributed to unfair distributions of wealth.

However there can be little doubt that capitalism has created huge amounts of wealth that not only have benefited a few very rich people but created an entire middle-class that is better off than any other in history. Just look at the places that have had capitalism as its basis like the US and Hong Kong and then look at places that have had communism as its basis like the former Soviet Union and the former Eastern Block. Capitalism has proven to be the better system.

For further proof look at China. Now that it has relaxed a lot of its form communistic rules and regulations its economy is booming. This would have been unheard of before.

No it isn't perfect, but few things in life rarely are. It is however the best of what is available.

Kat said...

"our system has created inequalities outside of capitalism that has contributed to unfair distributions of wealth."

i don't understand what you are saying. i think i need an illustration of an inequality outside of capitalism.

T said...

For capitalsim to be truly "equitable" it assumes that there is a level and fair playing field for pepole to freely exchange ideas and products of their labor and to rise above their current situation.

The problem with the system now is that things aren't level. People do not have access to the same level of education. We have neighborhoods that are unsafe and people feel threatened.

I believe that there needs to be available to everybody quality education at all levels. If you are 50 and want to go to school you should have access to some form of education. In addition people need to not feel threatened or in fear of their lives or be subject to other less physical crimes such as fraud.

It could be argued, validly, that these are not problems "outside" of capitalism. However arguing this would imply almost everything has to do with economics (which as a trained economist I would love to believe but don't).

Kat said...