Post to a comment on Sandi’s Blog – re extremism

It seems to me that evil exists only in so far as individuals hold on to the simplistic notion of good and evil.

I certainly subscribe to a values set that upholds individual life as the greatest value, and individual liberty as a close second.

In that value set, I would certainly support restraining anyone who proposed or actually did unreasonable restriction on the freedom of others or threat to the life of another. So any member of ISIS would be restrained and re-educated and not released until they could satisfy the wider community that they held the values of respect for life and liberty as their highest values.

In that sense, I see fundamentalism, be it Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist, or scientific as the issue.
To me it is holding onto simple binary classifications, like good and evil, rather than acknowledging that all people are amazingly complex entities capable of an amazing array of responses in different situations and contexts, that is one of the biggest issues for humanity.

It seems to me that it is the almost total lack of value of human life that is engendered by relating to people through markets that is another of the biggest issues. Now that we have the technology to mechanise and automate the delivery of any good or service, the only reason that anyone on the planet experiences material want is our attachment to market values over human values.

So yes, good and evil exist in as much as people believe in the ideas.
Yes some people are willing to kill other people over differences in religious or political of philosophical ideas; rather than accept the infinite diversity that is possible and will result if individuals are given freedom from dogma (any and all dogma – religious, cultural or scientific) and encouraged to explore choice responsibly (in the sense of respecting the life and liberty of others).

And to me it is the belief in ideas like good and evil, and valuing money over life and liberty rather than a loving acceptance of the value of every individual that are at root cause.

Accept diversity, embrace it, learn to love it; and take all actions necessary to prevent harm to anyone.

[followed by]

Hi Sandi

I am definitely not in favour of the continued liberty of anyone who is proposing to kill anyone else – whatever their religious or political persuasion, whatever cult or army they belong to.

It seems to me relatively easy to design a set of technologies that would restrain (without killing) all such people, and put them in institutions designed to instil the values of life and liberty.

And I do not trust any institution based on either market principles or nationalistic principles to achieve such an outcome.

When someone dies in battle as a member of an army, for a state sanctioned battle, we call them a hero, and award them posthumous honours. I understand the history of such things, and their historical utility. I doubt that any utility remains in the sort of world we are capable of creating today.

If we are serious about valuing human life, then we need to do just that – all of them.
Killing, for any reason, is not an option.
Restraint on liberty, fine – that is entirely reasonable, because they pose a real threat to others.

All I am doing is asking for real integrity in values!

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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