A moral paradox

Ethical Foundations Political philosophy has its beginnings in ethics: Since people are by nature sociable — there being few proper anchorites who turn from society to live alone — the question follows as to what kind of life is proper for a person amongst people.

A moral paradox

Thus, it is beyond dispute that the motives of those designing and running the "War on Poverty" in the Johnson Administration were well intentioned. Who could be against ending poverty? However, it had long been observed that giving people money removed the incentive for them to earn any.

Thus, Benjamin Franklin had said: In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.

And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. Thus, a motto of the War on Poverty was, "Not a handout, just a hand. Despite misgivings about such notions, their political appeal to certain voters and certain intellectuals was undeniable and unavoidable -- although a majority of Americans were actually outraged by them earning accusations of callousness, racism, etc.

The Moral Paradox

The results were indeed Hell, as is most clearly embodied today in Detroitwhere much of the city has been abandoned, as people have fled the joblessness, crime, hostility to business, and failure of public institutions.

The "solution" to the riots was a government of Democrats that drove business out of the city, allowed crime to soar, and left much of the populaton, black and white, little recourse but to leave, even when abandoning homes and property.

Baltimore and Chicago in seem to be in tight competition to emulate Detroit, even as Detroit has improved somewhat under State supervision. Thus, two approaches to poverty, the "hand" and the "handout," were both tried; and neither worked. But you would never know it from much of public discourse, certainly not on the Left.

In the light of such a history, doubts are raised about the continuing good will of the agents and activists involved in these ideas and programs. They begin to look more like rent seekers than like disinterested benefactors.

It is noted that the dependence of voters on the largesse of politicans and bureaucrats renders them politically beholden to them, making said activists and politicians richer themselves, far more so that those relying on welfare and living in devastated and crime-ridden neighborhoods and from which they cannot be released by payments that merely maintain them in their situation.

The dynamic is the same as it was in Detroit: The transparent dishonesty, let alone folly, of this seems to escape many voters, and curiously, many of the best "educated" -- which may tell us something about the nature of their education.

Of course, the lesson here may just be corruption. Good motives and well motivated actions begin the story. Then it lapsed into less well motivated, in fact discreditable, actions. The failure of either approach, with reflection on the status serendipitously achieved by the agents and activists, results in an erosion of motive, to the point where the "educated" begin to regard Cuba and Venzuela as, remarkably and appallingly, paradigms of good government and economics -- all because they give dictatorial power and privilege to the bien pensants.

This dynamic has of course been embodied in the maxim about those "who came to do good and ended up doing well. Only recently has it become an issue of public debate that "insider trading" laws did not apply to Members of Congress, who have freely used knowledge gained from even secret Congressional testimony to anticipate influences on markets.

But as a tale of corruption it is very different from the dilemmas where good intentions are starkly faced with with choices between a wrong whose consequences are good and right action whose consequences are bad.

The most important lesson, however, for the nature of ethics is that the valences of motive and action vary independently. Closer to home, we have the films of D. When Griffith showed the movie to the new President of the United States, Woodrow WilsonWilson is supposed to have suggested what became the title of the movie, Birth of a Nation.

The storm of protest over the racism and pro-Southern sentiments of the movie moved Griffith to make his next movie, Intolerance [], which detailed various historical examples of religious or political oppression.

Griffith seems to have been a very morally confused person -- although this is not unusual among the self-righteous, especially as a defense mechanism for vicious causes. In modern Hollywood, however, reproductions of the Babylon set from Intolerance shown at left and below can now be inspected at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, next to the former Kodak now Dolby Theatre, which has become the permanent site for the Oscar telecasts.

Toleration | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Thus, only partially in jest, I like to say that movie business liberals have built a monument to the Ku Klux Klan at Hollywood and Highland.Paradox Economics: 19 Counterintuitive Economic Phenomena and Common Misconceptions - Kindle edition by Tuure Parkkinen.

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SCHREIBER'S AWESOME GLOSSARY (Clinical terms you've been unsure of, but were afraid to ask about.). Learn, Heal and Grow. Aberrant: Considered outside the norm, or abnormal; "his aberrant behavior made her feel uneasy, and she was concerned for her children's safety when he visited with the family.".

Asks whether the existence of moral paradox is a good or a bad thing Presents analytic moral philosophy in a provocative, engaging and entertaining way; posing new questions, proposing possible solutions, and challenging the reader to wrestle with the paradoxes themselves.

Toleration. The heart of tolerance is self-control. When we tolerate an activity, we resist our urge to forcefully prohibit the expression of activities that we find unpleasant. The “Kantian paradox” lies in his conception of an autonomous individual: one the one hand Kant postulates that the freedom of the individual is the summum bonum, “The moral law must bind all rational beings as such, regardless of their preferences and inclinations.

A moral paradox

The Generalized Structure of Moral or Ethical Dilemmas. Dererjenigen unter den Menschen, die nach Gundsätzen verfahren, sind nur sehr wenige, welches auch überaus gut ist, da es so leicht geschehen kann, daß man in diesen Grundsätzen irre und alsdenn der Nachteil, der daraus erwächst, sich um desto weiter erstrechkt, je allgemeiner der .

A moral paradox
Hobbes's Moral and Political Philosophy (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)