Tuesday, October 23, 2012

There are bad people who would be less dangerous if they were quite devoid of goodness.

Petroleum tanks. Selfs Point, Cornelian Bay. October 2012.

More questions sourced from all over the World! I always welcome more though!

  • Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

    No. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I do understand the concept of having established a ‘connection’ with someone even if you have not conversed though.

  • If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?


  • What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you aren’t dying?

    I don’t know, what is it like? I understand that every day spent living is also a day spent dying.

  • Do you believe in the death penalty? What if someone murdered your mother in cold blood?

    No. For a few reasons. 1) I think that capital punishment is rooted in a fundamentally illogical premise (at least that for murder). The notion of placing murder on a special footing of ‘wrongness’ only to punish with the very same ‘wrong’ is inconsistent. 2) I also have an issue with a secular state using retribution as a reason for action. 3) Every scrap of evidence I’ve seen doubts the existence of a deterrence effect. 4) Mistakes happen. 5) We live in a world of inconsistency, which means that certain communities/ types of people more likely to feel the effect of such penalties (see the US figures on racial and gender factors in executions). As for the second part of the question, I probably would want to kill the murderer of a loved one with my own two hands, but that doesn’t make it right, it just makes me human.

  • Would you rather be rich and paralyzed from the waist down or poor and able bodied?

    I’m never flippant about the challenges faced by people with significant disabilities. I wouldn’t choose it for money.

  • Do the words ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’ mean not being persecuted or discriminated against, or do they mean doing whatever you please?

    I prefer to embrace a positive conception of freedom (as Isaiah Berlin defines it). Positive freedom understands the realities of ‘self-actualisation’. That is, ‘freeing’ someone from the burden of school may well be granting them liberty in a simplistic sense, but their inability to read and right will constrain every aspect of their future life and potential.

  • Have you ever discriminated against someone? Imagine that a street gang notorious for wearing purple shirts has robbed and murdered several hundred people in your town. If a man wearing a purple shirt just rang your doorbell, would you answer it?

    First up, like ‘guilt’ ‘shame’ or ‘stigma’, ‘discrimination’ is not just a negative concept. One would hope that when choosing a piece of meat to eat, we can accept that discriminating against the one covered in mould is not fundamentally a bad thing. The example give with the purple shirts is silly, because in “several hundred people” have been robbed and murdered, only a fool would open the door to someone in a purple shirt. If the analogy is supposed to reflect skin colour, it fails, because one can choose to wear another shirt, while one cannot simply change their skin colour.
    As to the question itself... I have. I’ve chosen to avoid the company of people for reasons that ultimately amount to discrimination, but I think that these situations have usually been accompanied or governed by some form of rational thinking.

  • If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

    Of course! What am I, an idiot?!?

  • What is your life motto?

    “Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really understand the situation”.

  • What mistakes do you make over and over again?

    I’m not certain that I do. If I did it probably relates to letting things get to me that are beyond my control. I’m working on that though. I’ll let you know how I get on with that...