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09/14/2011

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Bill Gardner

No disagreement about freedom to take risks. Remember the video of the Eiger? Let's stipulate that the young man deserved to die and so did all the executed Texans. My question is whether glee about deserved deaths comports with an attitude that life is [choose one] sacred | the highest value.

Paul Kelleher

I don't know that video. Can you link to it? Or is it a movie? In any case, glee about any death is prima facie wrong. In most cases, I think there's good reason to think it's even wrong in the final analysis.

Beth Haynes, MD

Paul, I greatly appreciate you way of expressing your thoughts on this difficult human problem. Thank you.

I do not think that it is a proper use of government's monopoly on the use of force to take from some to give to others. That does not mean that I see no role for helping those who get sick and can not afford health care, or food or shelter. I too am worried about people who are priced out of the market --but from my understanding of economics, I see government implementing policies which have caused much of the problem and will lead to even greater disparity.
It is frustrating that so many of those who want to use government to solve these types of problems demonize those of us who do not. Instead of seeing that we simply disagree on how to attain a more humane world--we are viewed as cold-hearted, uncaring pariahs who clap with glee at the death of someone who chose to forego insurance. Until we can get past that, there will not be a true conversation.
Again--I greatly appreciate your efforts to create a space for that conversation to take place.(Not just this post, but many others also.)

Beth Haynes, MD

I should add---I realize that demonizing takes place from all sides. It isn't helpful no matter where it arises.

Bill Gardner

Beth,
I would say that the mass of humanity, in every party, will often express demonic attitudes about life and death. There are individuals -- in every party -- who do not.

Paul Kelleher

Bill- Oh yes, now I recall the video. That's an excellent comparison and point.

Beth Haynes, MD

Bill - I don't understand the point you are making. That most people will react strongly and negatively, and rightly so, when life and death are involved, or that most people are inappropriately emotional in matters of life or death, or some other meaning? Can you please clarify for me?
Thanks.

Paul Kelleher

Sorry for the delayed response, Beth. Thanks for your comment.

You write: "I do not think that it is a proper use of government's monopoly on the use of force to take from some to give to others."

I partially addressed this issue in a recent post. Not sure if you might have missed it:

http://notunlikeresearch.typepad.com/something-not-unlike-rese/2011/09/going-baseline.html

--Paul

Bill Gardner

Hi Beth,
Another way to put my point would be that I don't think I was demonizing the crowd. The crowd demonized itself. I think that is why Rep. Paul looks so shocked in the video. I think he is a morally courageous guy, by the way, see his response to Santorum's comments on "American exceptionalism" elsewhere in the debate.

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