In the thread "Sam's dishonest review of Chomsky" Lawrence wrote:
I say if we are a classless society why do CEO take home hundreds of millions of dollars and illegal immigrants work twelve hour
days for 60 dollars.
In response Uzi wrote:
I say go and get a job that pays you what a CEO makes.Nothing stopping you other than your own limited ability. A classless society does'nt mean everyone has the same house
and drives the same car,nor makes the same amount of income.
I believe we can do one of three things with what would appear to be
Uzi's overall worldview. We can: 1)Justify it. 2)claim it is not justified.3)conclude that it does not matter.
In order to do this, we must ask ourselves a few questions:1) Is their truly such a thing as ethics/morality/justice? 2) If there is, how do we objectively define ethics/morality/justice?
Allow me to preface everything I am about to say with the following.
As a human being who atleast strongly believes that I make every attempt to think as rationally as possible,I do not at all believe I can
answer either the aforementioned questions with any degree of certainty.
I do however, have strong ideas as to what the answers are but it is
quite possible I could be wrong.
As a stauch agnostic,I do not know whether the universe/"ultimate reality" etc…is wholly material or not. As for the "not", I can only endlessy speculate. Therefore, I do not know if there is such a thing
as an "objective moral law" or anything even remotely related to it like
"karma" etc…Just for the sake of argument,we will assume there is nothing ("truly" nothing,not "no-thing" that kabbalists,mystics and others
claim as their idea of the ultimate reality,the absolute or god, if you will).
In that case, "objective moral law" could only exist in a human sense and
it really would never truly be objective,someone if not many,would always
disagree with it.
In this case all we could have is a moral code in a given society that
the members of that society GENERALLY agree. That is what we have in
this and basically any society,more or less.Remember we are asuming both a wholly material existence and therefore,no true objective moral
law. In that case, our moral law is objective only in terms of how a given
society makes it so. Therefore, there is room for those with different ideas
regarding the moral code. I consider myself one of them. I believe every
living thing is generally ruled by not only the self-preservation instinct,but
(again, keep the assumption in mind) but also a desire for what I will call
some type of "ultimate contentment" or the most contentment the entity
can possibly aquire.Many, if not most people believe greater financial wealth CAN lead to greater contentment. Therefore, many believe they have the right to obtain as much financial wealth as they can irrespective
of who or what,is harmed and/or not content with their choice.It would then be justified for those harmed/not content with their choice to try and
prevent them from making obtaining as much financial wealth as possible
at the expense of others,thus increasing the contentment of those who would be harmed/not content.
The problem is, many would and not with reason that in terms of a utilitarian principle,such a decision by the harmed/not content would
ultimately do greater harm to the society in general and very possibly,the
people who were harmed/not content by the people attempting to aquire
as much money as possible.The burden is then placed on the harmed/not content to come up with something that acheives their first goal AND does no greater harm to the society and themselves. If this is possible, it would
simply mean the would-be rich are now harmed/less content and those who opposed them are more content.Therefore,some people would always
be dissatisfied by any society.I believe to only thing possible is to acheive
the greatest good for the greatest number. I believe the capitalist system has acheived this to certain extent. I believe it has great flaws,but I personally know of no other system that is better. Most,if not all would do
either the same or worse. That does not mean no superior system is possible. It means no superior system has been tried and I personally can not imagine one.
I am sorry for the long post, but I hope you all will bear with me because I think I have a valid point to make.Your disageements are
ofcourse welcome and you may very well prove me wrong,even to myself.
We live in a society where luck makes it much more likely for the individual to achieve what is commonly conceived as "success".
Like most secularists,I believe a person's life is ultimately determined by
nature/nurture. We are again assuming a wholly material existence. Just because human life is ULTIMATELY determined by nature/nurture does not
mean there is not some inital free will. I can "choose" whether or not I want to get out of bed in the morning and go to work. My decision most likely has it's roots in nature/nurture though.
I believe most americans can "choose" to be wealthy or not. Their is some room for personal responsibilty in this. Two people with identical IQ
talents,physical health and enviromental circumstances can still have vastly different outcomes. I would still say the outcomes are utimately determined by biology/genetics.The bottom line is, just about anyone
can "make it". It's just far more difficult for the person who has had
nature and/or nurture or just plain "luck",against them. So how do we
justify paying one person 40 million per year and another $20,000?
Let's assume they both work hard and spend a relatively similiar amount
of time working. The person making 40 million spent four years or so at
college which they were not being paid for? Or is it because they worked their way up the ladder and was also once making $20,000? From my estimation,any way you slice it The fact is, it ultimately much easier for some people to make it than others. So what we have then is a society
where nature/nurture and sometimes luck (like winning the lottery) are
ultimately (GENERALLY speaking) responsible for everyone's outcome and
the individual's control over their outcome is ultimately and generally limited.
Many people in america and elsewhere are fine with this. After all,assuming that existence is wholly material in both nature and
origin, it's just the way things are. So if one person has "good
nature" and "good nurture" it can justly be called "good luck."So
I say for the people who are fine with the aforementioned circumstances
be careful of hypocrisy. How is it possible to rant and rage against the
injustices of the religious when they try to impose their worldview
and laws on you? After all,if they have had the "luck" that enabled
them to be in a position where they can impose upon your contentment,
is that not justified by the economic system you consider just fine and dandy? Mabye you don't consider it fine and dandy, but it's the best system we've got. To me, that would be a perfectly just and rational
reason for opposing any changes.But let's assume for a minute that
some better way(in utililatarian terms and in terms of enviromental
impacts) was possible.I'll bet dollars to donuts there would still be countless people in opposition to such a change.That is because
our current system of global capitalism works PERFECTLY for them,
those fortunate enough to enjoy it's greatest benefits.I hardly
believe this constitutes the greatest number of people, globally
speaking and we are still leaving aside the non-human realm
affected by global capitalism of the kind we practice. If you are
then a rich secularist who would oppose any superior, alternate system
merely because it would remove a significant portion of your
great wealth,then you are a complete hypocritic if you complain
about how the religious negatively impact you. I don't
know if anyone on this forum would qualify, but I do personally
know such creatures exist and are numerous enough.