Inheriting Ill-Gotten Gains

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Re: Inheriting Ill-Gotten Gains

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:01 pm

Carleas wrote:I think you are extending the game metaphor too far.


I don't think I am... It's the perfect metaphor.
There is a purpose to a game's design, the same way there is a purpose to our moral code.
Neither morality nor games exist in nature... we invent them.

We may discover things about ourselves and our nature that permits us to get better at designing the rules we play and live by to better accomplish our objectives.
And just like with games... it may turn out to be quite difficult, if not impossible, to design something that works equally well for everyone.

I'd define preserving and enhancing our collective well being, as the sole objective of morality.
By that measure we can make judgements as to which set of rules gives us the best results.
This is how I'd argue slavery was not the best agreement our ancestors could have reached.

But slavery was the agreement our ancestors DID reach and they can at least say it was better than nothing... which is where they started.
You and I, on the other hand, have no such excuse when advancing any change like your take on reparations.

So it falls on you to suggest why such a thing would be beneficial or an improvement on what we have...
In principle, it seems wholly unfair to change the rules retroactively. Even if you play by the rules agreed to, the rules could be changed and then you or your kids, forced to return your gains.
In practice it's likewise ill-considered... as you might well take money from someone who needs it and give it to someone who does not, doing more harm than good.

I fail to see in what way this principle is a moral good, much less an obligation...

You have only addressed this criticism by appealing to the utility of an idealistic take on morality.
Where we pretend our rules are constants written into the fabric of the universe, as true yesterday as they are today, to instill a false confidence in their reliability.
The absurdity of which I've already pointed out to you.

I wonder if you would make a distinctions between this kind of retroactive change where it happens within a single lifetime, as opposed to where it happens over generations in the case of slavery.
If so, how do you make that distinction?


The unintentional part is a very important distinction...
But I don't think our ancestors accidentally enslaved people... I very much believe it was intentional.

For example, if we legalize drugs tomorrow... I don't think we should pay reparations to anyone who was convicted and imprisoned for illegal drug trade.
Or if we made the sale of alcohol illegal that we should then ask for our money back or worse imprison anyone who profited from it's sale when it was legal.
If however, we discover we imprisoned a person for a crime they did not commit... then it makes sense to make amends.
There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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Mad Man P
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Re: Inheriting Ill-Gotten Gains

Postby Mad Man P » Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:40 pm

....
There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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