If the beauty of a 'free market' is it's ability to efficiently determine 'value', and that asymmetrical information flows lessen that efficiency, well than lies cause inefficiencies. If the goal of capitalism is efficient markets, than lies are contrary to the ethics of capitalist system.This holds well by definition, though I don't think we'll ever see it in the 'real world' we live in.
Killing is bad. It can't be defended on pure logic alone. As I've stated previously, something must die, or be aborted, in the case of seeds, eggs, etc., for me to live (I doubt I could live, on say, milk alone). In fact, my mere existence causes death. So killing, in and of itself is not 'bad', or my existence is 'bad', which seems to be very counter-intuitive.So, Bruce and I are going through these questions, and I provide some examples of slippery slopes and the like, and to make a long story short, Bruce brought up the idea that 'exploitation' could be the basis for a moral argument against many activities. Exploitation is also subject to many of the same slippery slope arguments, but I do like it. It does provide a handy term, and allows for a nice distinction between activities that may be purely survival based, in opposition to activities that harm others for 'personal' gain beyound survival.
So then the statement must be, "Killing is bad when..." And at that point, you move off the scale of logic, and must now bring some 'truth' from outside of the observable system to bear. It's okay to kill to survive, but it's not okay to kill to achieve...?
I believe that raping small children is 'bad' and even morally wrong, but I can't defend that position on a logical basis. It is something I feel. I believe a purely 'logical' argument could be made based on the necessity for expediency in gathering intelligence for our war effort to 'ultimately save lives', and can be made to justify our actions in Iraq. But I feel that it is wrong. There is no argument that you could provide which would change my feelings on the subject.Well, that may have been a wee bit tangential to my ponderings, but...
If you are devoid of these feelings (like I think this administration is), I can make no logical case against the act. Well, I could, but I'd have to resort to expanding the picture beyound the immediate war, and would have to rely on ephemeral things like global good will, and engendering a greater hate and resistance on the part of our friends and enemies. But, while I think these are valid, I can not make a causal relationship with out resorting to subjective analysis. And, if the supposition is that this is truly an effort to build a US empire, well, these arguments can again be ignored on the basis of expediency.
Paraphrasing here, 'Why are other people so resistant to new thoughts or alternative ways of viewing information/the world/the universe/etc.?'Wish I had a tape recording of the conversation. I would like to have been more accurate, but the conversation in reality did not flow quite so succinctly. I do think, however, that I am providing an account that is true to the 'spirit' of the conversation.
And I think in a brief moment of insight, I found an answer. Not THE ANSWER, necessarily, but an answer. My reply was that, again paraphrasing from memory, 'If you do not fear death, you do not fear questions and their answers. You have no need to cling to an outside source for internal strength. You have the confidence to in yourself to be able to handle the challenges of intellectual curiosity. If you are scared of dying, you fear ambiguity.'
To which he smiled and replied, 'I'm sort of looking forward to finding out what comes next. I'm in no hurry, but I am truly curious.'
And I said something to the effect of, 'I love facing ambiguity, and have no need for absolutes. And, yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next, regardless of what it is. It may be blackness, that would be okay. But, based on experiences I have had, I think there is something more. And it will be an adventure.'
Toward the end of the conversation, Freelancer said, 'I really like exploring existence.'And I guess that was the point. I, too, ponder the nature of existence, but I don't ever really consider the question of purpose. I don't think there is a PURPOSE, and I don't find that I have the need for one. I have chosen to spend my time pondering the nature of existence, and in trying to improve the existence of those around me. But, this is not in compliance to some mandate from on high, just choices I have made; for good or ill.
To which I immediately fired back with the question, 'The meaning of existence or the nature of existence?'
He smiled and replied, 'The nature of existence'
What was the first time that someone was willing to trade useful tools or meat or other survival apparatus for a pretty rock? What was the motivation on the part of the first guy to trade two chickens for a hunk of gold? Or however the first economic transaction occurred...I am drawing a distinction here between the barter of 'useful things' between agents, and the first time someone gave up something useful, for something else. Easy question you say. And perhaps, now that I've rephrased the question in my mind, the answer may indeed be 'obvious'. At first, I was trying to start with the first 'monetary' transaction. Not necessarily minted currency, but the idea that a gold or silver nugget was worth something utilitarian.
The answer lies in Aesthetics. I know, it is obvious now, I was just being obtuse. The first exchange would have been based not on utilitarian values, but on aesthetics. The rock is pretty, and it's worth my exchanging a utilitarian object to possess that 'pretty' object. Even then, I first wanted to argue that the person who accepted the 'pretty' object in exchange for a utilitarian object, must have felt the it would be valuable to a third party. That a third party would value the object as highly or higher than they did. But it dawned me, that I was making the situation too complicated. It may indeed have been considered during that first exchange, but it really wasn't necessary for that exchange to have happened. Certainly over time it would have progressed from there to a point of shared community values of pretty objects, but it was not required for the first exchange. Though it would be interesting if in that first exchange, it was two males and one of them was thinking about how much his mate would appeciate the bauble, but it is not a necessary element for the exchange.So, if I'm anywhere close to the truth on this, than the basis for our global economy may ultimately be traced to aesthetic appeal, and not a purely utilitarian one. I will probably get around to coming up with some simple equation to express it, like y(AV) = x(UV), where there is no fixed relationship between x and y. Or something similar, and somehow express the values as entirely/largely or to some smaller extent subjective on the part of the agents involved