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The 7 - Random - What is the normal state of mankind? Register and log in to post!
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ekedolphin
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#1 Posted on 25.7.02 1728.17
Reposted on: 25.7.09 1729.03
OK, here's a deep philosophical/theological question, prompted by the recent stories here about the cat and the little baby.

One way that God has shown His love for us all is that He's given us free will. We have the ability to make choices in our lives, for good or for evil, even if those choices are something He wouldn't want us to do.

But at the same time, in every country there is a system of government ready to enforce its judgment upon us if we do decide to do evil things, or more specifically, things in defiance of its laws. If we murder someone in cold blood in front of hundreds of witnesses, we can rest assured that we'll be spending most of the rest of our lives in prison, or worse.

But let's say for a moment that human beings had no such system of enforcement, and people had the free will to do whatever they wanted, damn the consequences (at least while they're still alive). Yes, invariably, some people will choose to do evil. But do you think that most human beings would choose that path, if there was no fear of reprisal? Or are human beings, on the whole, good?
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TheBucsFan
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#2 Posted on 25.7.02 1857.00
Reposted on: 25.7.09 1859.01
If someone thought something was evil, they would not do it.

You are basically asking what the world would be like in a state of anarchy, no? I'll tell you...

It would be exactly the same. While it may not be formally written down, certain people would rise to power just by being a leader, with an understood code in place of laws. People who broke this code wouldn't be sent to prison, they would either be killed or just banished from the "civilization". If the assumed leaders weren't fit, they would be overthrown. So basically, the world would remain the same.
vsp
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#3 Posted on 25.7.02 2004.09
Reposted on: 25.7.09 2004.25
The catch with that scenario, of course, is that "weren't fit" is a highly subjective term. An it harm no one, do as thou wilt sounds like a great system, until you get into who decides what "harm" is.

Look at the people who've gone out and shot at doctors who perform abortions, killing some, because they believe that that's what God wants and that said doctors don't deserve to live. That's in our modern society WITH laws to prohibit such actions, and yet it happens at intervals, because a (thankfully SMALL) minority of people of faith are unwilling to even consider the concept that what's wrong for them might not be wrong for someone else.

Now imagine a world where people who reject the notion of OTHERS' free will are free themselves to act as they will and impose their will on others, without penalty, if they have the might or methods to do so.

Nasty, huh?

The most valuable right in a civilized society is the right to be left alone -- to protect the minority from the majority. Without regulation, the incentive to "play fair" and respect others' beliefs is much smaller. The world wouldn't turn into a Road Warrior movie, necessarily -- more like the classic Catch-22 ("They have the right to do anything to you that you can't stop them from doing.")

"Anarchy sounds good to me! Until someone asks 'Who'll fix the sewers?' Would the rednecks just play King of the Neighborhood?" -- Dead Kennedys
ges7184
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#4 Posted on 25.7.02 2141.35
Reposted on: 25.7.09 2142.46
I agree with BucsFan, it's human nature to establish some rule of order. Whatever form it takes, most humans just won't allow for a state of anarchy to exist. Which is exactly why civilizations have progressed in the manner which it has (because in the very, very beginning, you couldn't have had law and order, it all had to start somewhere).

Besides, if the majority of humans were evil, the system(s) would not work.
Fuzzy Logic
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#5 Posted on 25.7.02 2327.13
Reposted on: 25.7.09 2327.13
well, living in a place where there basically was no (or, very, very little, once or twice a year they'd be around at best) law enforcement or government involvment until about 60 or 70 years ago, it's something like this...

For small, isolated communites (small being, less than 100 people, but more than two family units, and isolated meaning closest community is a days travel away, or more), what happens is a very simple form of communism (you share and help everyone else because it keeps them healthy and on your good side for when you need something). Simply, to survive, it's best for everyone to help each other, so that when you need help there are more people who can help you. The leaders were essentially those who were old and knew damn near everythig and those who could do damn near everything.

With little or no outside influences existing within the community, no external laws being enforced, a virtual "anarchistic commune" comes to exist, where the rule is basically "don't fuck shit up for other people, because you will need their help at some point". Once a community becomes too big and starts to fragment, it will fall apart unless people come to think that that's the way things have to be to survive.
vsp
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#6 Posted on 25.7.02 2333.44
Reposted on: 25.7.09 2340.26
There's order, and then there's civilization. There is a difference.

When I picture this scenario, I envision something somewhat medieval -- the rise of several nobles/warlords/lords/etc. who control sufficient resources and might to essentially have their way with whoever else lives in the area.

This control doesn't necessarily imply outright cruelty, mind you; the noble's leadership and control of the area provides some stability and some steady work for the lessers. Openly abusing one's power is bad form and leads to messy situations. For the most part, the peasants lead normal lives, and as long as they're being productive, they're free to live, love, and help each other as needed. It's more of a general disdain for the underlings and peasants, and an ability to toy with them or dispose of their services as needed or whims dictate.

Other nobles pose more of a threat than the common rabble, as the nobles will tend to fight amongst themselves for power and influence. Peasants may rise up now and then to decry ill treatment and call for an uprising, but more often than not they're ignored, squashed or simply unable to strike at the noble in any measurable way.

In other words, it's sort of like the corporation/private citizen relationship in OUR society.



(edited by vsp on 25.7.02 2135)
TheBucsFan
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#7 Posted on 26.7.02 0811.25
Reposted on: 26.7.09 0817.49

    Originally posted by vsp
    There's order, and then there's civilization. There is a difference.

    When I picture this scenario, I envision something somewhat medieval -- the rise of several nobles/warlords/lords/etc. who control sufficient resources and might to essentially have their way with whoever else lives in the area.

    This control doesn't necessarily imply outright cruelty, mind you; the noble's leadership and control of the area provides some stability and some steady work for the lessers. Openly abusing one's power is bad form and leads to messy situations. For the most part, the peasants lead normal lives, and as long as they're being productive, they're free to live, love, and help each other as needed. It's more of a general disdain for the underlings and peasants, and an ability to toy with them or dispose of their services as needed or whims dictate.

    Other nobles pose more of a threat than the common rabble, as the nobles will tend to fight amongst themselves for power and influence. Peasants may rise up now and then to decry ill treatment and call for an uprising, but more often than not they're ignored, squashed or simply unable to strike at the noble in any measurable way.



Until eventually, the peasants DO finally overthrow those lords, leading to down the road the developement of new forms of governments. In other words, exactly like the Earth's history thus far.
vsp
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#8 Posted on 26.7.02 1132.24
Reposted on: 26.7.09 1136.56

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan

      Until eventually, the peasants DO finally overthrow those lords, leading to down the road the development of new forms of governments. In other words, exactly like the Earth's history thus far.


    But that takes place outside the realm of the exercise, doesn't it? The question was "What would the world be like without any law-based/governmental system of enforcement?" You can certainly theorize that said systems would evolve naturally, but that dodges the question of what society would be like before that happened.
Fletch
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#9 Posted on 26.7.02 1142.29
Reposted on: 26.7.09 1159.02
Didn't he retire two years ago?
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