[eDebate] ans Malgorr

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Tue Aug 7 12:08:33 CDT 2007


I am assured by a couple of my debaters that their truth-specced Paladin and Night Elf Druidess have each pwned u repeatedly.  That's just what they say, though.
 
No, obviously quality of life is very important.  Freedom and Liberty are at the top of my list right behind Life and Death.  
 
And even if dictatorships were better guarantors of Life, I think I would require that difference to be huge before I would consider dictatorships and then only situationally.  And I would dump them at the first sign that whatever emergency created the exigency had passed.
 
I can think of some hypotheticals where that might be the case:  
 
a virus turns 95% of the residents of Azeroth into shambling zombie trolls -  well the remaining 5% of those of us still able to function beyond "limb-ripping" and "slow shuffle up to the water's edge" would have to take charge
 
a scientologist sect devises a nanotech gray-goo virus and plans to set it off in 1 week, Jack Bauer is in the hospital with 2 shattered legs, and we need to find and eliminate them:  the US goes on lock-down dammit.
 
a democrat is elected President in 2008:  clearly proof that Democracy cannot possible function.
 
On the other hand, death rate and lifespan and child mortality aren't "just" about how many people get to have a life or how much life they have.  Each of those metrics is the result of myriads of effects:  quality and access to health care, ability to receive a consistent source of nourishment and water, the toxicity of the environment, stability of child-rearing practices and norms, how many hours a day people spend in virtual worlds while snacking on barbecue, happiness and contentment with life, how much violence there is in their lives, and on and on.  So those don't JUST measure "bare life" -  they are measures of the quality of actual, human living as well.  
 
They are clearly not perfect measures - hey if smoking a ton of herb is bad for your lungs but keeps a smile on your face and a hostess twinkie in your belly, then expected lifespan will drop but the Index of Jolliness will rise.  Unfortunatley there is no Index of Jolliness for us to use as common ground in making decisions.  There are only imperfect measures like death rate,  child mortality, and lifespan.
 
One final argument that I don't believe has been answered, not even in the wide swaths of open-skies Kansas farming land of arguments I have dropped in this discussion:  things like homelessness, access to food, happiness, fear of violence, and even Liberty are easily manipulated by which pictures to show, which neighborhood theatre one visits, the ideological lens through which one describes a scene of the hurly-burly of life, and one's knowledge of lurid adjectives.  One person may see a beautiful and busy city street full of activity and human life while another person, looking at the exact same scene observes a squalid urban battlefield of poverty-stricken lives shattered by the ennui of capitalist alienation.  Man, I have heard so many adjective-hurling drama monkeys in my life that my ass itches every time any more.  As creepy as it sounds, give me the simplicity of death rates, child mortality, lifespan, and economic growth and that is plenty for this Ranger.
 
Michael Korcok
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