Iran (so far away)

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Hugh Akston
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Hugh Akston »

If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:06
If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Hugh Akston »

JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:06
If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.
I didn't actually make any of those claims in the post you're so dismissively responding to. I'm merely pointing out that when misanthropic policies persist across multiple administrations, the institutional ability to vote the bastards out seems like a laughably low bar to trigger action movie ethics.
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Jennifer
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Jennifer »

JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 06:43
I’ve been ignoring it because it’s stupid and disregards quite a number of the arguments I’ve made.
Which arguments, exactly? The closest you've come to making a "consistent" argument on the Soleimani v. Kissinger debate was perhaps that bit about how a country's treatment of its own people trumps anything it does to other nations -- since most people (and everyone at this forum) would rather live in today's US than today's Iran, that presumably means anything the US does to other countries is fine but it is NOT acceptable for other countries to respond.
Last edited by Jennifer on 10 Jan 2020, 14:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

Jennifer wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:48
since most people (and everyone at this forum) would rather live in today's Iran than today's US
Think you made a typo.

Either that or we need to revisit those old H&R threads on the terrorists forcing you into a burka.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:39
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:06
If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.
I didn't actually make any of those claims in the post you're so dismissively responding to. I'm merely pointing out that when misanthropic policies persist across multiple administrations, the institutional ability to vote the bastards out seems like a laughably low bar to trigger action movie ethics.
You are significantly downplaying the implications of attaining and holding the “my will is law and you can’t get rid of me” seat. Each act of the state is just that guys choice. He owns personally all of the oppression. That’s how he set it up and he’s protecting that arrangement with violence. It’s not a low bar.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

Jennifer wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:48
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 06:43
I’ve been ignoring it because it’s stupid and disregards quite a number of the arguments I’ve made.
Which arguments, exactly? The closest you've come to making a "consistent" argument on the Soleimani v. Kissinger debate was perhaps that bit about how a country's treatment of its own people trumps anything it does to other nations -- since most people (and everyone at this forum) would rather live in today's US than today's Iran, that presumably means anything the US does to other countries is fine but it is NOT acceptable for other countries to respond.
Congrats you got almost a perfect 0 in comprehension

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Jennifer »

thoreau wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:51
Jennifer wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:48
since most people (and everyone at this forum) would rather live in today's Iran than today's US
Think you made a typo.

Either that or we need to revisit those old H&R threads on the terrorists forcing you into a burka.
Oops! Correction made.

IIRC, another one of Jason's justifications for "The US can do unto others, but others cannot do unto us" was something about legitimacy -- can the people of a given country vote out their leaders, or not -- as of today, the US government is refusing to pull troops out of Iraq, despite the latter being an ostensibly sovereign nation which does NOT want foreign troops on their soil. Since the Iraqis cannot vote for or against the US troops, would Iraqis be justified in attacking US soldiers who are on Iraqi soil? I am going to guess Jason's answer is still "no," but I don't know of any morally consistent reason for this, beyond "The US can do what it wants because it's the US" (or even worse, "MY country can do what it wants because it's MY country.") But of course, "my country, right or wrong" only applies to people whose country is the US.
JasonL wrote:Congrats you got almost a perfect 0 in comprehension
[Sigh] Perhaps. If only there were a chance for you to explain your point in a manner which others COULD comprehend! Say, a device which allowed you to type symbols representing figurative language that could be interpreted by someone hundreds of miles away from you at this moment. What IS the actual rubric you use to separate "criminal actions deserving of extra-judicial death" versus "Well, I'm not saying that was a good bombing campaign, but at least Kissinger was doing the wrong thing for the right reason?" (Or: the ones who opposed his bombing campaign may have been right in retrospect, but it doesn't matter because they were right for the wrong reasons--just like every single American who disagreed with you about the wisdom of our invading Iraq after 9/11.)

In other words, is there any situation wherein you'd judge a person's actions on their own merits, without first asking "What country was this guy working for when he did these things? If it's Iran then of COURSE the man is a monster, but if it's America then he gets a pass."
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Hugh Akston »

JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:39
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:06
If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.
I didn't actually make any of those claims in the post you're so dismissively responding to. I'm merely pointing out that when misanthropic policies persist across multiple administrations, the institutional ability to vote the bastards out seems like a laughably low bar to trigger action movie ethics.
You are significantly downplaying the implications of attaining and holding the “my will is law and you can’t get rid of me” seat. Each act of the state is just that guys choice. He owns personally all of the oppression. That’s how he set it up and he’s protecting that arrangement with violence. It’s not a low bar.
Ah so in an illegitimate state one guy is accountable and legitimate state nobody is accountable.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by lunchstealer »

JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 06:43
I’ve been ignoring it because it’s stupid and disregards quite a number of the arguments I’ve made. There are legitimate and illegitimate states. Illegitimate state actors are themselves morally problematic and to the extent the engage in oppression they aren’t justified in retaliation.

Operating outside of a legitimate justice system is the key point there, so no that would not be ok. Yes there are problems when two legitimate governments wage war. Typically the victor gets to say who is a criminal.
So it's immoral to kill a dude who's directing/enabling mass slaughter if he's in a country that could constitutionally try him under rule of law conditions or vote out those who hired him but just don't because who gives a fuck about a buncha gooks we've got commies to murder?
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by Warren »

Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:29
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:39
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:06
If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.
I didn't actually make any of those claims in the post you're so dismissively responding to. I'm merely pointing out that when misanthropic policies persist across multiple administrations, the institutional ability to vote the bastards out seems like a laughably low bar to trigger action movie ethics.
You are significantly downplaying the implications of attaining and holding the “my will is law and you can’t get rid of me” seat. Each act of the state is just that guys choice. He owns personally all of the oppression. That’s how he set it up and he’s protecting that arrangement with violence. It’s not a low bar.
Ah so in an illegitimate state one guy is accountable and legitimate state nobody is accountable.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

A bunch? Maybe a bunch. Commies? Maybe. Stalin certainly. Mao. Pol Pot. Probably even Maduro. But commie isn't the qualifier, nor is ... that other thing. You've got mass murderers, enslavers, tyrants to remove from the perch that enables them to continue doing what they are doing and they won't be removed by any other means because that's how they set it up.

If you are a mass murderer and subject to a mechanism that may allow for that to stop, a reasonable position is yes you are gross but we can all see a way for that process to cease. It is at least conceivable, so all means necessary should be taken to use that mechanism. If there is no way out other than violence, if the populace itself would be justified in giving you the Mussolini treatment, you can expect that from anyone else who happens to give a poo about those people or anyone else you've harmed.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by lunchstealer »

I was thinking more specifically about slaughtering Vietnamese to assuage our national ego with some killin of some commies in the Kissinger circumstance. As long as we theoretically could've brought him to justice or fixed the problem via elections, it doesn't matter that we didn't. We're legitimate so kill kill kill and it's immoral to kill right back.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:29
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:39
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:06
If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.
I didn't actually make any of those claims in the post you're so dismissively responding to. I'm merely pointing out that when misanthropic policies persist across multiple administrations, the institutional ability to vote the bastards out seems like a laughably low bar to trigger action movie ethics.
You are significantly downplaying the implications of attaining and holding the “my will is law and you can’t get rid of me” seat. Each act of the state is just that guys choice. He owns personally all of the oppression. That’s how he set it up and he’s protecting that arrangement with violence. It’s not a low bar.
Ah so in an illegitimate state one guy is accountable and legitimate state nobody is accountable.
In a sense. There is a difference if a populace as a whole via consensus or whatever chose a path. How to deter or mitigate harms done by a whole society is hard. One end of it is war. If the bad stuff is one dude and his flunkies? That dude is the problem.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by lunchstealer »

JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 15:56
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:29
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:39
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:06
If only Iran had institutions that changed the nameplate on the Supreme Leader's door but kept all of the same malicious policies running in perpetuity they could enjoy the moral protections of a legitimate government.
Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.
I didn't actually make any of those claims in the post you're so dismissively responding to. I'm merely pointing out that when misanthropic policies persist across multiple administrations, the institutional ability to vote the bastards out seems like a laughably low bar to trigger action movie ethics.
You are significantly downplaying the implications of attaining and holding the “my will is law and you can’t get rid of me” seat. Each act of the state is just that guys choice. He owns personally all of the oppression. That’s how he set it up and he’s protecting that arrangement with violence. It’s not a low bar.
Ah so in an illegitimate state one guy is accountable and legitimate state nobody is accountable.
In a sense. There is a difference if a populace as a whole via consensus or whatever chose a path. How to deter or mitigate harms done by a whole society is hard. One end of it is war. If the bad stuff is one dude and his flunkies? That dude is the problem.
So what you're saying is that in a democracy, civilians are legitimate military targets?

Or maybe I'm saying that.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

lunchstealer wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 15:55
I was thinking more specifically about slaughtering Vietnamese to assuage our national ego with some killin of some commies in the Kissinger circumstance. As long as we theoretically could've brought him to justice or fixed the problem via elections, it doesn't matter that we didn't. We're legitimate so kill kill kill and it's immoral to kill right back.
I'm struggling to follow the Kissinger thing but I also think it is trying to make a stronger case than I'm making. Which state is killing Kissinger? Are they doing it now or in the late 60s?

It's probably a hard case, but all I'm trying to do is point out that there are easy cases. People whose continued existence is nothing but misery, oppression, murder and deprivation and those people in the present will not be removed by means other than violence. If a populace is itself justified in violent revolution to remove such a person, so is anyone else.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

lunchstealer wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 15:59
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 15:56
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:29
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 14:15
Hugh Akston wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:39
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 13:15

Right. This is your flavor of this. There is no such thing as legitimate government. There is limited material difference between the US and DPRK in terms of validity of laws and method of governance. It's just if Kim is a bad guy he's bad and if Trump is a bad guy hes bad. I know Hugh.
I didn't actually make any of those claims in the post you're so dismissively responding to. I'm merely pointing out that when misanthropic policies persist across multiple administrations, the institutional ability to vote the bastards out seems like a laughably low bar to trigger action movie ethics.
You are significantly downplaying the implications of attaining and holding the “my will is law and you can’t get rid of me” seat. Each act of the state is just that guys choice. He owns personally all of the oppression. That’s how he set it up and he’s protecting that arrangement with violence. It’s not a low bar.
Ah so in an illegitimate state one guy is accountable and legitimate state nobody is accountable.
In a sense. There is a difference if a populace as a whole via consensus or whatever chose a path. How to deter or mitigate harms done by a whole society is hard. One end of it is war. If the bad stuff is one dude and his flunkies? That dude is the problem.
So what you're saying is that in a democracy, civilians are legitimate military targets?

Or maybe I'm saying that.
There is a strong need to make this a universal all cases all the time rule and that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying there are easy cases and hard cases and democracies fighting democracies are hard cases. Take something like apartheid. Is there a justifiable violent response to that kind of arrangement? Probably yes. Who would be justifiable targets? Man, that's hard but off the cuff i'm not sure the people voting for it over and over again get a pass.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

Search hard enough and you can find some cases that are "easy" in isolation, some people who are so odious that nobody weeps for them.

So what? First of all, generally these "easy" cases made themselves unsympathetic by acquiring the power to do truly massive harm, and there's nothing "easy" about deciding to kill a person whose death will leave a major power vacuum and/or provoke retaliation.

Second, when has any liberal or humanitarian interest ever been served by carving out "easy" cases for the state to exercise lethal force? Yeah, maybe some night watchman cases, but that's not what's on the table here.

Carving out "easy" cases for air strikes might provide a righteous adrenaline rush when the unsympathetic bastard dies, but it doesn't do much else that's worth a damn bit of good for the world.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

I mean, remember when people debated torture and "ticking time bombs"? Yeah, some people agreed that if we really did have sufficient information about the threat AND sufficient information about a lack of alternatives AND sufficient information about the efficacy of torture, then maybe some (not all) people would be OK with torture. But so what? How many people walked away from those discussions concluding that acquiescence to torture in this one case was just a special hypothetical with no relevance? Versus how many people who walked away from those discussions and concluded that, you know, maybe this torture stuff has its place because we can justify it in Jack Bauer scenarios?

You can carve out some narrow cases if you want, but there's a big "So what does this mean for the real world?" question to be asked afterward, and that rarely goes anywhere good.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

I'd also say that I think you guys are very much considering the consequentialist to be an after thought and I don't see it that way at all. There are a great, great many actions that may be taken in the world for which action would be justifiable divorced from consequences to third parties but which absolutely should not be undertaken once consequences are taken into account. If I hold values X, Y, and Z, why not a revolution for XYZ topia? Because revolutions suck and produce poor outcomes. If A is a bad person doing bad things why not do whatever it takes to get A? Because doing that creates bad consequences for not A going forward.

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

thoreau wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 16:11
I mean, remember when people debated torture and "ticking time bombs"? Yeah, some people agreed that if we really did have sufficient information about the threat AND sufficient information about a lack of alternatives AND sufficient information about the efficacy of torture, then maybe some (not all) people would be OK with torture. But so what? How many people walked away from those discussions concluding that acquiescence to torture in this one case was just a special hypothetical with no relevance? Versus how many people who walked away from those discussions and concluded that, you know, maybe this torture stuff has its place because we can justify it in Jack Bauer scenarios?

You can carve out some narrow cases if you want, but there's a big "So what does this mean for the real world?" question to be asked afterward, and that rarely goes anywhere good.
Is it morally impermissible for any person in DPRK to feed Kim a lead salad?

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 16:14
I'd also say that I think you guys are very much considering the consequentialist to be an after thought and I don't see it that way at all. There are a great, great many actions that may be taken in the world for which action would be justifiable divorced from consequences to third parties but which absolutely should not be undertaken once consequences are taken into account. If I hold values X, Y, and Z, why not a revolution for XYZ topia? Because revolutions suck and produce poor outcomes. If A is a bad person doing bad things why not do whatever it takes to get A? Because doing that creates bad consequences for not A going forward.
But you aren't spending your time pointing out how important the consequences are. You're spending your time reminding us that the guy deserved killin'. That raises certain suspicions about priorities.

I mean, yeah, we're libertarian internet dorks, we like to debate hypotheticals, but still.
JasonL wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 16:15
thoreau wrote:
10 Jan 2020, 16:11
I mean, remember when people debated torture and "ticking time bombs"? Yeah, some people agreed that if we really did have sufficient information about the threat AND sufficient information about a lack of alternatives AND sufficient information about the efficacy of torture, then maybe some (not all) people would be OK with torture. But so what? How many people walked away from those discussions concluding that acquiescence to torture in this one case was just a special hypothetical with no relevance? Versus how many people who walked away from those discussions and concluded that, you know, maybe this torture stuff has its place because we can justify it in Jack Bauer scenarios?

You can carve out some narrow cases if you want, but there's a big "So what does this mean for the real world?" question to be asked afterward, and that rarely goes anywhere good.
Is it morally impermissible for any person in DPRK to feed Kim a lead salad?
How about "Yes, but so what?" as an answer. The adult world isn't about "He had it coming!" The adult world isn't about "Mom, all I did was..." The real adult world cares more about the "But so what?" part than the first "Yes." To the point where the "yes" is basically irrelevant.

If somebody takes out Kim Jong Un I'm not going to cry for Kim, but I'm going to be worried as hell about what happens next, and I'm going to hope that people in other shitty situations find better ways to solve the problem.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by JasonL »

You are trying to lay out a set of prior moral constraints because it's so hard to carve out narrow cases. Ok. All tyrants live forever stomping on everyone they see, disappearing people, burning books and so forth and there is a universal moral constraint against action to harm their precious persons. That about it?

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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

Jason, you need to work on your bloodlust.
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Re: Iran (so far away)

Post by thoreau »

And it isn't hard to carve out narrow cases. It's the easiest thing in the world. Presuppose enough things, and remove enough issues from the table, and you can justify all sorts of things. So fucking what? It doesn't mean shit for the real world.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
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