Barry Goldwater: "You can't legislate morality."

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    Default Barry Goldwater: "You can't legislate morality."

    This is going to be my last thread on morality for a good while. I'm curious to know how many people really, truly believe what Goldwater is saying. I am positive that it is false and self-evidently so. It's so simple, a caveman can understand it: if it's wrong to "impose" our/my/your/someone's morality on other people, then that would assume some kind of moral code prohibiting this. But this undeniably leads to a contradiction.

    Now, before you all go saying "no, it's about rights not morality", then open a dictionary to the page listing the term "right" and read the definition. Then, go out to the grocery store or the local seafood store, buy a wet mackerel or something, and hit yourself in the face with it hard enough to leave the impression of scales on your skin. "Rights" are moral propositions. If morality is indeed "subjective" or can't be "imposed", then rights haven't got a leg to stand on. Otherwise, embrace relativism and resign your convictions to mere "preferences" or "tastes".

    The other way we could possibly interpret Barry here is that being forced to do something precludes the possibility of the act being moral. This is also false. Parents do it with children all the time (this does not mean law is a parent). Also, a thieve being made to return the items they've stolen could do be doing it because it is the right thing to do, not because he is required by law enforcement to do so.

    One more thing: the objection "if you're against it, then just don't do yourself" almost always misses the point. Imagine someone saying "if you're against murder, then just don't kill anyone, but don't restrain others from doing so" or "if you don't like sex slavery, then don't purchase any". Someone who is pro-life doesn't think ANYONE should get abortions. Someone who thinks pornography is a curse on society wants to REMOVE it from society. Someone who thinks more tax money should be collected to fund X, Y, and Z believes everyone should chip in. You can't deal with opposing positions by suggesting that a person should keep what they believe to themself. That, my friends, is the great deception of liberalism (broad sense), and if you ever find yourself sounding like that, then you, too, have been bamboozled.

    ETA: This thread was supposed to have a poll, so I'll have to edit it in. The question was supposed to be "What do you think of what Barry Goldwater is saying here?". Here are the options:
    1. I completely agree with him.
    2. It's a figure of speech.
    3. People may not really believe it, but they should still stop repeating it as if they did.
    4. How can someone so bright say something so mindless?
    5. Anyone who says similar should be scolded or at least firmly reminded that what they're saying is nonsense.
    6. It's completely nonsensical.
    Last edited by Samson Corwell; November 21st, 2014 at 3:44 pm.

    “Morality is…the doctrine of how we may make ourselves…worthy of happiness.” — Immanuel Kant
    You can ignore politics, but politics won't ignore you.

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    Barry was right in the sense that you cannot by law change a person's moral code. What you can do it legislate behavior. Laws are the codification of a society's moral code, but all they do is signify and demand the proper behavior that the moral code establishes.

    That cannot and will not actually change the individual's moral code. It can only influence how his/her code might be formed. If I see the great majority of my society signify their moral code by the laws it writes to restrict behavior, I'm going to be inclined to think they are right and agree with them, but certainly not always. I'm still an individual that can go outside the herd.



    M
    "WE KNOW the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest." - Hillary Clinton, September 12th, 2012

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samson Corwell View Post
    This is going to be my last thread on morality for a good while. I'm curious to know how many people really, truly believe what Goldwater is saying. I am positive that it is false and self-evidently so. It's so simple, a caveman can understand it: if it's wrong to "impose" our/my/your/someone's morality on other people, then that would assume some kind of moral code prohibiting this. But this undeniably leads to a contradiction.

    Now, before you all go saying "no, it's about rights not morality", then open a dictionary to the page listing the term "right" and read the definition. Then, go out to the grocery store or the local seafood store, buy a wet mackerel or something, and hit yourself in the face with it hard enough to leave the impression of scales on your skin. "Rights" are moral propositions. If morality is indeed "subjective" or can't be "imposed", then rights haven't got a leg to stand on. Otherwise, embrace relativism and resign your convictions to mere "preferences" or "tastes".

    The other way we could possibly interpret Barry here is that being forced to do something precludes the possibility of the act being moral. This is also false. Parents do it with children all the time (this does not mean law is a parent). Also, a thieve being made to return the items they've stolen could do be doing it because it is the right thing to do, not because he is required by law enforcement to do so.

    One more thing: the objection "if you're against it, then just don't do yourself" almost always misses the point. Imagine someone saying "if you're against murder, then just don't kill anyone, but don't restrain others from doing so" or "if you don't like sex slavery, then don't purchase any". Someone who is pro-life doesn't think ANYONE should get abortions. Someone who thinks pornography is a curse on society wants to REMOVE it from society. Someone who thinks more tax money should be collected to fund X, Y, and Z believes everyone should chip in. You can't deal with opposing positions by suggesting that a person should keep what they believe to themself. That, my friends, is the great deception of liberalism (broad sense), and if you ever find yourself sounding like that, then you, too, have been bamboozled.
    It's good to put that quote in a little context. He was referring to his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. What is it about equality that consters hate so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by midman View Post
    It's good to put that quote in a little context. He was referring to his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. What is it about equality that consters hate so much.
    They don't play well with others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by midman View Post
    It's good to put that quote in a little context. He was referring to his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. What is it about equality that consters hate so much.
    Barry Goldwater wasn't anti-egalitarian. He was a very, very good conservative.

    “Morality is…the doctrine of how we may make ourselves…worthy of happiness.” — Immanuel Kant
    You can ignore politics, but politics won't ignore you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyS View Post
    Barry was right in the sense that you cannot by law change a person's moral code.
    Almost no one believes THAT. But they can influence people's thinking (not that that's relevant).

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyS View Post
    What you can do it legislate behavior.
    Then people should stop saying we can't do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyS View Post
    Laws are the codification of a society's moral code, but all they do is signify and demand the proper behavior that the moral code establishes.
    They codify a society's norms, but those norms may not be moral ones. Still, that is legislating morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyS View Post
    That cannot and will not actually change the individual's moral code. It can only influence how his/her code might be formed.
    I agree. It also influences how peope act.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyS View Post
    If I see the great majority of my society signify their moral code by the laws it writes to restrict behavior, I'm going to be inclined to think they are right and agree with them, but certainly not always. I'm still an individual that can go outside the herd.
    Alright.

    “Morality is…the doctrine of how we may make ourselves…worthy of happiness.” — Immanuel Kant
    You can ignore politics, but politics won't ignore you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by midman View Post
    It's good to put that quote in a little context. He was referring to his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. What is it about equality that consters hate so much.
    Totally disgusting.

    It was almost entirely DEMOCRATS who opposed the CRA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Samson Corwell View Post
    Barry Goldwater wasn't anti-egalitarian. He was a very, very good conservative.
    True. However, then even someone like Barry() cant get his head around why the Civil Rights Act was the right thing to do, what can you expect from the rest of consterville

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkyS View Post
    Barry was right in the sense that you cannot by law change a person's moral code. What you can do it legislate behavior. Laws are the codification of a society's moral code, but all they do is signify and demand the proper behavior that the moral code establishes.

    That cannot and will not actually change the individual's moral code. It can only influence how his/her code might be formed. If I see the great majority of my society signify their moral code by the laws it writes to restrict behavior, I'm going to be inclined to think they are right and agree with them, but certainly not always. I'm still an individual that can go outside the herd.



    M
    This may read as obtuse and I apologize for that in advance, but what use is a moral code that exists but is not acted out? Isn't the modification of behavior also the modification of the moral code which (allegedly) makes that behavior possible, more likely to occur or enactable? Shouldn't a moral code be understood only in the light of its actions, or the actions which prove it?

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    He is right, you cant legislate morality or behavior, within a mile of most of us is probably a pot smoker, a gay couple or-and a racist and no law in a free society, you dont want that then look to places like Iran and even there I bet there are some that risk being stoned or beheaded to live their lives as they see fit
    A government small enough to drown in a tub is just what I want

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    Quote Originally Posted by midman View Post
    True. However, then even someone like Barry() cant get his head around why the Civil Rights Act was the right thing to do, what can you expect from the rest of consterville
    Still wrong.

    “Morality is…the doctrine of how we may make ourselves…worthy of happiness.” — Immanuel Kant
    You can ignore politics, but politics won't ignore you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnrocks View Post
    He is right, you cant legislate morality or behavior, within a mile of most of us is probably a pot smoker, a gay couple or-and a racist and no law in a free society, you dont want that then look to places like Iran and even there I bet there are some that risk being stoned or beheaded to live their lives as they see fit
    Why are you equating "morality" with "busy-body barbaric theocracy"?

    “Morality is…the doctrine of how we may make ourselves…worthy of happiness.” — Immanuel Kant
    You can ignore politics, but politics won't ignore you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnrocks View Post
    He is right, you cant legislate morality or behavior, within a mile of most of us is probably a pot smoker, a gay couple or-and a racist and no law in a free society, you dont want that then look to places like Iran and even there I bet there are some that risk being stoned or beheaded to live their lives as they see fit
    Morality is really just a sum total of accepted or tolerated behaviors. And legislation does change those behaviors, if it is enforced. Legislation which is enforced alters conduct pretty much everywhere, yes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsjoanne View Post
    Totally disgusting.

    It was almost entirely DEMOCRATS who opposed the CRA.
    And most of them were from the dixicrat south, the same states that went from blue to deep red because of the Civil Rights Act. The Repuubics leveraging their deep hatred of the CRA to what became the "Reagan Democrats". Hatred Repuubics are still leveraging in the immigration debate.

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    Legislate protection for me and my property from direct/measurable/tangible harm or damage by another person(s) actions. Beyond that, the U.S. government should keep its trap shut about how individual liberty is expressed by citizens.
    All together now!

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