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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:33 am 
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Quote:
The sailor did not force him into the situation. If anything, he put himself "under duress". The sailor has no obligations regarding the drowning man. Coercion would be initiating force against someone. For example, kidnapping someone, stealing from someone, hitting someone.


You haven't given any reason why it should be relevant who put the drowning person into a desperate situation. There are circumstances (like the duress of a drowning person) in which consent can't be given, and in general it doesn't matter who, if anyone, originally brought about those circumstances. Why should coercion require the initiation of force against someone, rather than just the exploitation of force--regardless of origin--which is currently acting on someone? The causal origin of the force doesn't change the force's ability to make people agree to things out of desperation which they don't really want to agree to. That ability is the underlying reason why intentional threats remove the capacity for meaningful consent, and the principle applies irrespective of the nature or source of the force.

Let's try a different thought experiment to illustrate this point. You're walking by yourself along a poorly-lit street at night, and someone mugs you at gunpoint. "Give me your wallet, or I'll kill you," he says. It's agreed that in this situation, if you were to give him your wallet, your doing so would be coerced rather than consensual. The fact that you technically have two 'options'--compliance or death--doesn't change the fact that you can't consent to trade your wallet for not dying. While you're considering your 'options', a passerby comes along and sees what's happening. He says to you, "Ah, I see you're in a tricky situation here. I'll tell you what: if you give me your wallet, I'll beat this guy up for you, and you can go home safe."

According to your position, giving the wallet to the mugger can't be done consensually, but giving the wallet to the passerby can, since the mugger initiated the force--put you under duress--whereas the passerby didn't; rather, the passerby is merely taking advantage of the duress you were already under. But as far as you, the victim, are concerned, your options, motivations, abilities, and desperation are identical regardless of whose offer you take up. Both the mugger and the passerby are presenting you with the same dilemma: giving up your wallet or dying. If deciding to give your wallet to the mugger can't be considered 'voluntary' in the relevant sense, then neither can deciding to give your wallet to the passerby. From your perspective, the situation is bleak either way, and your alternatives are the same regardless of who--the mugger or the passerby--is responsible for your plight.

Furthermore, you can't even be certain who's responsible for it. Suppose the passerby is actually a mad scientist and criminal mastermind who implanted a mind-control device in the brain of someone who's actually a nice guy, turning him into a mugger. The passerby orchestrates the situation so that you believe the mugger to be the one who brought you under duress, when really the whole episode was planned out by the passerby. Then, by your argument, giving the wallet to either of them would be coerced rather than consensual. Or suppose it's the other way around: the mugger is the mad scientist mastermind with control over the passerby's actions. Here, similarly, giving the wallet to either of them would be coerced, by your argument. Yet for you all three of these situations are utterly indistinguishable.

On your conception, consent is something that we can't even know we're giving or not giving. Time to get a better conception.

Quote:
If you charge a drowning man to board your ship, you're being a jerk.


You still aren't giving an explanation. Why is that a jerk move? On your view, the arrangement is perfectly consensual, and all parties involved got what they wanted out of the deal, so what's the problem?

You know the answer, but you also know that you can't admit it without conceding the point. The answer is that people in desperate situations--no matter how they got there--are, for just that reason, not in the position to give meaningful consent.

One more thought experiment. Compare this scenario with one in which the person in the water is a competent swimmer, is in absolutely no danger of drowning, and happens to like checking out people's boats. The sailor comes along in a nice boat, and the swimmer says, "Hey, cool boat! Do you mind if I come aboard and look around?" The sailor turns out to be a private and possessive type, and he doesn't want the swimmer on his boat. So he says brusquely, "Sure! If you agree to give me your life's savings [...etc...], then you can come aboard." On your view, where the validity of the arrangement apparently isn't affected by the fact that one of the parties is drowning, this proposition should be equivalent to the one the sailor gives to the drowning person. So I guess the sailor is just as big a 'jerk' in this scenario too?

No--the difference you refuse to acknowledge is that the drowning person is being coerced by an opportunist, whereas the competent swimmer isn't.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:43 am 
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I'd also like to point out that, independent of our views on these thought experiments, the concept of consent as it appears in American (and probably most of Western) legal theory has it that the drowning person can't give consent due to his duress, regardless of who put him in the water. Don't get me wrong--you have a destitute vision of consent, coercion, duress, etc. But this debate is somewhat academic when the legal framework is already in place in the real world; the thing called 'consent' in the American legal framework justifies, via considerations that have been given, government intervention in wage-setting transactions. Hence the legality and long history of the minimum wage.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:45 am 
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Ginger Josh wrote:
birthdayfan wrote:
1. My logic actually isn't very complicated and nuanced. What I'm talking about is the non-aggression principle; don't hit.
2. How are my arguments utilitarian?

There are two justifications that I've seen for the non-aggression principle. 1. If everyone hits each other, society couldn't work. (Utilitarian) 2. Hitting people is fundamentally morally wrong. Why does morality matter? A. Moral principles make society function well. (Utilitarian) B. God says morality matters. Thus, if we violate morality, God will not be pleased. If God is not pleased with society, there are consequences, e.g., Sodom. (Utilitarian, ultimately)
..........
I call mularkey.
Off the top of my head:
Unprovoked infringement another's rights is inherently immoral -> Living a moral life is an essential part of living a fulfuilled life. -> A fulfilled life is a life of happiness.
Happiness is an individual's ultimate goal, regardless of the state of society.
Therefore, the non aggression principle is good becaise it helps individuals achieve happiness.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:08 pm 
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David Roth wrote:
Ginger Josh wrote:
birthdayfan wrote:
1. My logic actually isn't very complicated and nuanced. What I'm talking about is the non-aggression principle; don't hit.
2. How are my arguments utilitarian?

There are two justifications that I've seen for the non-aggression principle. 1. If everyone hits each other, society couldn't work. (Utilitarian) 2. Hitting people is fundamentally morally wrong. Why does morality matter? A. Moral principles make society function well. (Utilitarian) B. God says morality matters. Thus, if we violate morality, God will not be pleased. If God is not pleased with society, there are consequences, e.g., Sodom. (Utilitarian, ultimately)
..........
I call mularkey.
Off the top of my head:
Unprovoked infringement another's rights is inherently immoral -> Living a moral life is an essential part of living a fulfuilled life. -> A fulfilled life is a life of happiness.
Happiness is an individual's ultimate goal, regardless of the state of society.
Therefore, the non aggression principle is good becaise it helps individuals achieve happiness.

Your argument is reasonable, and I feel no need to dispute it. However, the mental comparison of you with Joe Biden is hilarious. Malarkey is a great term.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:27 am 
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T-Rothasaurus
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I used another term and our amazingly cool moderators censored me :P

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:28 am 
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I'm glad the mods know that my feelings are delicate.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:11 am 
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The Apologist wrote:
Quote:
The sailor did not force him into the situation. If anything, he put himself "under duress". The sailor has no obligations regarding the drowning man. Coercion would be initiating force against someone. For example, kidnapping someone, stealing from someone, hitting someone.


You haven't given any reason why it should be relevant who put the drowning person into a desperate situation. There are circumstances (like the duress of a drowning person) in which consent can't be given, and in general it doesn't matter who, if anyone, originally brought about those circumstances. Why should coercion require the initiation of force against someone, rather than just the exploitation of force--regardless of origin--which is currently acting on someone? The causal origin of the force doesn't change the force's ability to make people agree to things out of desperation which they don't really want to agree to. That ability is the underlying reason why intentional threats remove the capacity for meaningful consent, and the principle applies irrespective of the nature or source of the force.

Let's try a different thought experiment to illustrate this point. You're walking by yourself along a poorly-lit street at night, and someone mugs you at gunpoint. "Give me your wallet, or I'll kill you," he says. It's agreed that in this situation, if you were to give him your wallet, your doing so would be coerced rather than consensual. The fact that you technically have two 'options'--compliance or death--doesn't change the fact that you can't consent to trade your wallet for not dying. While you're considering your 'options', a passerby comes along and sees what's happening. He says to you, "Ah, I see you're in a tricky situation here. I'll tell you what: if you give me your wallet, I'll beat this guy up for you, and you can go home safe."

According to your position, giving the wallet to the mugger can't be done consensually, but giving the wallet to the passerby can, since the mugger initiated the force--put you under duress--whereas the passerby didn't; rather, the passerby is merely taking advantage of the duress you were already under. But as far as you, the victim, are concerned, your options, motivations, abilities, and desperation are identical regardless of whose offer you take up. Both the mugger and the passerby are presenting you with the same dilemma: giving up your wallet or dying. If deciding to give your wallet to the mugger can't be considered 'voluntary' in the relevant sense, then neither can deciding to give your wallet to the passerby. From your perspective, the situation is bleak either way, and your alternatives are the same regardless of who--the mugger or the passerby--is responsible for your plight.

The passerby is basically advertising. He is acting like a security person. The charge? Your wallet. Here, you have three options:
1. Give your wallet to the mugger, out of coercion.
2. Pay for security, which would be a voluntary transaction.
3. Be severely injured/die.
The Apologist wrote:
Furthermore, you can't even be certain who's responsible for it. Suppose the passerby is actually a mad scientist and criminal mastermind who implanted a mind-control device in the brain of someone who's actually a nice guy, turning him into a mugger. The passerby orchestrates the situation so that you believe the mugger to be the one who brought you under duress, when really the whole episode was planned out by the passerby. Then, by your argument, giving the wallet to either of them would be coerced rather than consensual. Or suppose it's the other way around: the mugger is the mad scientist mastermind with control over the passerby's actions. Here, similarly, giving the wallet to either of them would be coerced, by your argument. Yet for you all three of these situations are utterly indistinguishable.

On your conception, consent is something that we can't even know we're giving or not giving. Time to get a better conception.

So, these situations aren't indistinguishable. Who caused the mugger to mug you? The mugger himself? Ok, he's responsible and coercive. The mad scientist? Ok, the mugger is simply a tool for the mad scientist to use to coerce. The passerby being controlled by the mugger is irrelevant.
The Apologist wrote:
Quote:
If you charge a drowning man to board your ship, you're being a jerk.


You still aren't giving an explanation. Why is that a jerk move? On your view, the arrangement is perfectly consensual, and all parties involved got what they wanted out of the deal, so what's the problem?

You know the answer, but you also know that you can't admit it without conceding the point. The answer is that people in desperate situations--no matter how they got there--are, for just that reason, not in the position to give meaningful consent.

Really? I know the answer? Well, I be darned, considering I didn't even know that I knew the answer.
Desperate situations don't mandate holes in standards and morality. Why it is a jerk move is irrelevant.
The Apologist wrote:
One more thought experiment. Compare this scenario with one in which the person in the water is a competent swimmer, is in absolutely no danger of drowning, and happens to like checking out people's boats. The sailor comes along in a nice boat, and the swimmer says, "Hey, cool boat! Do you mind if I come aboard and look around?" The sailor turns out to be a private and possessive type, and he doesn't want the swimmer on his boat. So he says brusquely, "Sure! If you agree to give me your life's savings [...etc...], then you can come aboard." On your view, where the validity of the arrangement apparently isn't affected by the fact that one of the parties is drowning, this proposition should be equivalent to the one the sailor gives to the drowning person. So I guess the sailor is just as big a 'jerk' in this scenario too?

No--the difference you refuse to acknowledge is that the drowning person is being coerced by an opportunist, whereas the competent swimmer isn't.

The drowning man is in need, making the sailor a jerk. For the sailor to coerce, he would need to do something. Taking advantage of convenient opportunities is not coercion.

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"Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain." -John Locke.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:58 pm 
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I know not this "leverage" of which you speak.
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Why are we stuck in analogy land? Let's discussion the original argument.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:54 am 
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Mr Glasses wrote:
Why are we stuck in analogy land? Let's discussion the original argument.

I believe it's the issue of whether or not job scarcity creates duress and whether or not businesses coerce by taking advantage of this, thus either legitimizing or illegitimating the minimum wage. Hence, the analogies.

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"Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain." -John Locke.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:31 pm 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
Furthermore, people should only be paid what they are worth to the company.

While that might be nice, good luck finding a company that will pay people what they are worth to the company. It is precisely by always paying you less than the value you actually provide that a company can make a profit.

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With those who were the perfection of order.
We who everywhere seek adventure,
We are not your enemies.
We would give you vast and strange domains
Where flowering mystery waits for him would pluck it."


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:12 pm 
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Green Tea wrote:
Masked Midnight wrote:
Furthermore, people should only be paid what they are worth to the company.

While that might be nice, good luck finding a company that will pay people what they are worth to the company. It is precisely by always paying you less than the value you actually provide that a company can make a profit.

What you end up agree to be paid is what you are worth to the company. This is different than the amount of value that you generate for the company.

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"Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain." -John Locke.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:30 pm 
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That strikes me as no more than a trivial, semantic distinction. I take "worth to the company" to be equivalent to "value to the company" in this context.

_________________
"Be forbearing when you compare us
With those who were the perfection of order.
We who everywhere seek adventure,
We are not your enemies.
We would give you vast and strange domains
Where flowering mystery waits for him would pluck it."


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Green Tea wrote:
That strikes me as no more than a trivial, semantic distinction. I take "worth to the company" to be equivalent to "value to the company" in this context.

1. Whether it is semantics or not is insignificant.
2. It's not trivial. If you generate $5/hour for a company, then your worth to the company (for how much they will hire you) is anything less than $5/hour. For business to not go bankrupt, companies and employees agree upon a wage that is less than how much they will generate.
TL;DR: Worth = how much generate for a company. Value: For how much said company will hire you.

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"Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain." -John Locke.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:28 am 
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Masked Midnight wrote:
I really don't think there's a huge distinction. We basically agree anyways. :)

Are you promoting...*looks right and left* agreeing? This is the Public Debate forum, not the concurrence round table.

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"Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain." -John Locke.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:35 pm 
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Scratch wrote:
I found this interesting site the other day. Basically, it compares the living wage to the minimum/poverty wage in a given state/county throughout the US. Beyond the simple wow factor, I found the entire concept to be rather thought provoking. The idea that a person who is working full time could still be struggling to meet the basic necessities of survival strikes me as being not merely unfortunate but even horrifying. Yet, some would argue that attempting to fix this problem via the government would only make things worse. What do you guys think: should our society create an environment in which all those who are willing to work a full time job can survive on what they make, or should we instead rely more on the principle of the survival of the fittest?


First, what do you mean by "survival of the fittest"?

Second, I think it's important to recognize that a wage is a price. It is not a price on a person's worth, but on the person's work. Like any other price, a wage (when allowed to fluctuate according to supply and demand) sends a message. A lower wage could send the message that a job has greater supply and less demand. In other words, spending more money on that job would be a waste of resources. That hurts everyone at various levels.

Third, after looking at the site you mentioned, I find that it makes several assumptions/implications. It assumes that everyone who works has to be able to afford certain "basic needs", especially for a family. What about teenagers who may work part-time to get job experience? Do they need a "living wage"? Basic needs cannot be standardized.
As a side note, if it is "unfair" for anyone to make less than a particular wage, why should a self-employed person be able to set his own prices? Shouldn't the customers of those services be forced to pay higher "wages" as well?

Fourth, and finally, those who are willing to work a full-time job should be able to get a full-time job in the first place. Setting a high minimum wage essentially communicates a message of, "You should only be allowed to work if you can produce this much." Fixing high wages effectively keeps low-skilled workers out of jobs they otherwise could have had.
Quote:
“Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero . . ." ~Thomas Sowell

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"The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately. . . modern education produces no effect whatsoever." ~ Lady Bracknell The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde


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