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Constitution Day

EmpokNorStationManager

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 9:54 am

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Oct. 22 2013, 8:01 am

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 21 2013, 9:08 pm

>

>
... (One of my favorite quotes in TNG was when Picard said, "The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth. Whether it's scientific truth, or historical truth, or personal truth. It is the guiding principle upon which Starfleet is based."  Too bad those lessons were lost on some others....


 


Careful - one of my other favorite sci-fi characters also stated - "...you're going to find that many of the truth's we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view..."  In my younger years, I felt strongly that truth was black & white, and as I've grown older I've realized that there are several million shades of gray - all which could be construed as the "truth"...


That is all.... Empok Nor Station Manager

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 10:29 am

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 9:54 am

>Careful - one of my other favorite sci-fi characters also stated - "...you're going to find that many of the truth's we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view..."  In my younger years, I felt strongly that truth was black & white, and as I've grown older I've realized that there are several million shades of gray - all which could be construed as the "truth"...
I undertand, but I'm not talking about that ... I'm talking about when someone purposefully lies to support their position, that can never be considered "truth."

EmpokNorStationManager

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 10:35 am

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Oct. 22 2013, 10:29 am

>I undertand, but I'm not talking about that ... I'm talking about when someone purposefully lies to support their position, that can never be considered "truth."


So is it okay to lie if my intentions (or position) are noble and benevolent?  


That is all.... Empok Nor Station Manager

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 10:57 am

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 10:35 am

>So is it okay to lie if my intentions (or position) are noble and benevolent?
Ah... the age old "the ends justify the means" argument.


I know that there are a lot of people that try to justify being deceitful "for the greater good," but how good can something be if it relies on dishonesty?  Yes, history is full of examples where lying has been used to help achieve a "noble" goal, but what would have happened if the truth had been used instead?  (And even in Star Trek, like DS9: In The Pale Moonlight, Sisko used deception to bring the Romulans onto their side.  While we all understand his reasoning, wasn't there a better way?)


And aside from the commandment to not lie, which to me is more logical than religious, there can never be a justification for lying.  How can a person be proud that they lied?  What happens when that lie is exposed?  Telling the truth simplifies things, removes the complexity of trying to remember the lies and telling more lies to cover the original ("Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!")

darmokattanagra

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 11:09 am

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 6:07 am

Quote: darmokattanagra @ Oct. 21 2013, 10:14 pm

>

>Individual states already had laws regarding the legality of slavery and the voting rights (or lack thereof) of women.

 

So what you're saying is that the specific language was not necessarily considered for the Constitution because individual states had already built it into their statutes at the state level.  I could see where that is plausible, especially if it was such a sticky point - the "ignorance is bliss" theory may apply?  i.e. we can't agree on how to proceed with slavery so we'll leave it to the states to make their own determination and have "no comment" on it at the federal level.


Well, it's not that they had "no comment" on it at the Federal level. As I said, there are provisions in the Constitution that protect slavery and slaveowners. The Three-Fifths Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Clause to be specific. The language of these clauses says more about the men who drafted the Constitution than anything else. It shows that while they did care about freedom and liberty, they only cared about THEIR OWN freedom and liberty. It shows that they were hypocrites and that the Constitution was built upon hypocrisy.

But to be fair, let's say Bam is right and that those opposed to slavery had to haggle with those who supported it and that the Constitution was the best compromise they could come up with. If that's true then isn't that still pretty horrible? Why should we live our lives based on something slaveowners and people willing to compromise with slaveowners thought was a good idea?

Bam - What happens when that lie is exposed?

Ignore the person who exposed your lies and keep lying? Lie about why you are ignoring that person? Lie about the lying?

EmpokNorStationManager

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 12:00 pm

Quote: darmokattanagra @ Oct. 22 2013, 11:09 am

>But to be fair, let's say Bam is right and that those opposed to slavery had to haggle with those who supported it and that the Constitution was the best compromise they could come up with. If that's true then isn't that still pretty horrible? Why should we live our lives based on something slaveowners and people willing to compromise with slaveowners thought was a good idea?


Okay - but those clauses are moot now that the 13th ammendment is in place...  so we're arguing about clauses that have been dead over 150 years.  That being the case - and understanding that your followup comment is based on that - what would you propose we do?  Should we throw out the entire Constitution based on some outdated articles that were made exempt over 150 years ago....  Should we reconvene a new Continental Congress to rewrite a new Constitution?  Who should be responsible for the writing?  How do you make sure all demographics are represented?  Should they be represented?  There's a huge Pandora's Box that you open by going down that path...  I liken it to an apple with a bruise...  just because it's bruised doesn't mean the entire apple is bad...  There are still lots of good "apple" in the Constitution, let's not toss it away based on "bruised" pieces that were "pared out" years ago...


 


Or are you suggesting there are NO parts of the Constitution worth saving?


That is all.... Empok Nor Station Manager

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 12:29 pm

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 12:00 pm

>Okay - but those clauses are moot now that the 13th ammendment is in place...  so we're arguing about clauses that have been dead over 150 years.  That being the case - and understanding that your followup comment is based on that - what would you propose we do?  Should we throw out the entire Constitution based on some outdated articles that were made exempt over 150 years ago....  Should we reconvene a new Continental Congress to rewrite a new Constitution?  Who should be responsible for the writing?  How do you make sure all demographics are represented?  Should they be represented?  There's a huge Pandora's Box that you open by going down that path...  I liken it to an apple with a bruise...  just because it's bruised doesn't mean the entire apple is bad...  There are still lots of good "apple" in the Constitution, let's not toss it away based on "bruised" pieces that were "pared out" years ago...

>Or are you suggesting there are NO parts of the Constitution worth saving?

>
"It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God." - George Washington


 


UPDATE EDIT:  One of my favorite authors and economists, Walter E. Williams, has a viewpoint on people who try to bash the Founding Fathers and the Constitution with slavery: "Here's my hypothesis about people who use slavery to trash the Founders: They have contempt for our constitutional guarantees of liberty. Slavery is merely a convenient moral posturing tool as they try to reduce respect for our Constitution."

EmpokNorStationManager

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 12:34 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Oct. 22 2013, 12:29 pm

>"It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God." - George Washington


 


Fine quote - but what are we saying here?  That GW wasn't a proponent of the Constitution?  Or that he thought it was the "best we could do"?  I guess I'm wondering how that quote fits in with the two clauses mentioned by darmok?  Does this quote suggest that GW was in favor of these types of compromises in orde to appease all sides, or that he was idealistic in what he thought that document should contain?


That is all.... Empok Nor Station Manager

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 12:53 pm

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 12:34 pm

>Fine quote - but what are we saying here?  That GW wasn't a proponent of the Constitution?  Or that he thought it was the "best we could do"?  I guess I'm wondering how that quote fits in with the two clauses mentioned by darmok?  Does this quote suggest that GW was in favor of these types of compromises in orde to appease all sides, or that he was idealistic in what he thought that document should contain?

>
Ahh... he was very much a proponent of the Constitution, but he knew it was flawed and hoped that it would be repaired in the future.  He was also telling the delegates to support the work that they themsleves were working on - not badmouth it (as some were doing outside the Convention.)  I'm not sure what clauses you're referencing as I block his comments, but since you mentioned the 13th Amendment, it's obviously about slavery.


Here's one of many quotes regarding what George Washington thought about slavery:


"I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by Legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting."


But think of it this way - take a look at pretty much any bill that goes through Congress nowadays.... do any of them have 100% support for every clause by everyone?  Obviously not - many bills are voted for by members of Congress, even though they vehemently oppose certain provisions... especially bills that are extremely long and overly complex and have a lot of amendments attached that have nothing to do with the primary bill.

EmpokNorStationManager

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 1:15 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Oct. 22 2013, 12:53 pm

>Ahh... he was very much a proponent of the Constitution, but he knew it was flawed and hoped that it would be repaired in the future.  He was also telling the delegates to support the work that they themsleves were working on - not badmouth it (as some were doing outside the Convention.)  I'm not sure what clauses you're referencing as I block his comments, but since you mentioned the 13th Amendment, it's obviously about slavery.


Yes - the two clauses mentioned were the Three Fifths Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Clause.  I guess there has to be some measure of pragmatism in the drafting of a document as monumental as that...  I can imagine compromises were made by both "sides"...  if you will.  Sounds like GW's comments were more geared towards my original comment - put the framework in place to deal with all the "loose ends" (however agregious they may be - i.e. slavery) at a later time.  I'd like to think that the Founding Fathers had the where withall to create the Constitution with enough flexibility to handle situations that they could not resolve on the spot, as well as situations that could not even imagine in those days...


That is all.... Empok Nor Station Manager

EmpokNorStationManager

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 1:17 pm

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Oct. 22 2013, 12:53 pm

>But think of it this way - take a look at pretty much any bill that goes through Congress nowadays.... do any of them have 100% support for every clause by everyone?  Obviously not - many bills are voted for by members of Congress, even though they vehemently oppose certain provisions... especially bills that are extremely long and overly complex and have a lot of amendments attached that have nothing to do with the primary bill.


 


I agree with that as well - it's a pragmatic way of compromising when dealing with a nation of this size.  If it were 25 people in a hamlet, I think there could be more decisive and unilateral action...  not with a nation of 100's of millions.  The unfortunate part is that the compromises made are not always in the best interest of the represented parties - and have a tendency to be beneficial to the politician involved...


That is all.... Empok Nor Station Manager

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 1:41 pm

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 1:15 pm

>Yes - the two clauses mentioned were the Three Fifths Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Clause.  I guess there has to be some measure of pragmatism in the drafting of a document as monumental as that...  I can imagine compromises were made by both "sides"...  if you will.  Sounds like GW's comments were more geared towards my original comment - put the framework in place to deal with all the "loose ends" (however agregious they may be - i.e. slavery) at a later time.  I'd like to think that the Founding Fathers had the where withall to create the Constitution with enough flexibility to handle situations that they could not resolve on the spot, as well as situations that could not even imagine in those days...
Exactly.  The 3/5ths clause was actually a way to limit slavery.  (Remember, it was specific to slaves, not color, which means that a whilte slave (yes, there were whites who were slaves - not specifically indentured servants) were also counted as 3/5ths for representation while free blacks had full representation.)  See, the people that pushed slavery wanted slaves to be fully counted in the census and fully "represented" in Congress as a way to promote slavery at the Federal level by raising their numbers in Congress.  The clause has somehow been redefined as demeaning slaves as "3/5ths a person", thereby lowering their measurment of human worth... but if people actually read the notes on the Constitutional Convention, it was actually an anti-slavery provision to limit the political power of pro-slavery politicians at the Federal level.  But as I mentioned earlier, please read Frederick Douglass as he is much more eloquent and can explain it much better than I.


Here's one of Douglass' quotes:


"I base my sense of the certain overthrow of slavery, in part, upon the nature of the American Government, the Constitution, the tendencies of the age, and the character of the American people….The Constitution, as well as the Declaration of Independence, and the sentiments of the founders of the Republic, give us a platform broad enough, and strong enough, to support the most comprehensive plans for the freedom and elevation of all the people of this country, without regard to color, class, or clime."


As for the Fugutive Slave clause, think of it in line with States Rights... which was huge back then - the states had the vast majority of the power and only tranferred limited amounts to the Federal Government, enumerating each one specifically (Article I, Section 8.)  The Federal Government couldn't just override a state anywhere it wanted.  But to bring it into a modern-day viewpoint... what would happen if someone broke into your house and took some of your belongings and then ran across state lines? Wouldn't you think you had a right to have your property back?  That's basically the same back then as slaves were deemed property and they didn't want one state law trumping another state law when it came to an escaped slave.

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 1:45 pm

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 1:17 pm

>I agree with that as well - it's a pragmatic way of compromising when dealing with a nation of this size.  If it were 25 people in a hamlet, I think there could be more decisive and unilateral action...  not with a nation of 100's of millions.  The unfortunate part is that the compromises made are not always in the best interest of the represented parties - and have a tendency to be beneficial to the politician involved...
You've got that right!  They're now politicians, not Statesmen!  Very few people holding office truly have fidelity to the Constitution (to which they took an oaht) or to the Citizens that they're supposed to represent.  It used to be a hardship for people to hold office, but nowadays, people like the power and profit that comes with it.

EmpokNorStationManager

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 7:19 pm

I know this can get heated between participants of the different viewpoints, but it's the most engaging conversation I've had in a while - and I wanted to take a moment to share my appreciation for this thread...  


That is all.... Empok Nor Station Manager

darmokattanagra

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Report this Oct. 22 2013, 9:09 pm

Quote: EmpokNorStationManager @ Oct. 22 2013, 12:00 pm

Quote: darmokattanagra @ Oct. 22 2013, 11:09 am

>

>But to be fair, let's say Bam is right and that those opposed to slavery had to haggle with those who supported it and that the Constitution was the best compromise they could come up with. If that's true then isn't that still pretty horrible? Why should we live our lives based on something slaveowners and people willing to compromise with slaveowners thought was a good idea?

Okay - but those clauses are moot now that the 13th ammendment is in place...  so we're arguing about clauses that have been dead over 150 years.  That being the case - and understanding that your followup comment is based on that - what would you propose we do?  Should we throw out the entire Constitution based on some outdated articles that were made exempt over 150 years ago....  Should we reconvene a new Continental Congress to rewrite a new Constitution?  Who should be responsible for the writing?  How do you make sure all demographics are represented?  Should they be represented?  There's a huge Pandora's Box that you open by going down that path...  I liken it to an apple with a bruise...  just because it's bruised doesn't mean the entire apple is bad...  There are still lots of good "apple" in the Constitution, let's not toss it away based on "bruised" pieces that were "pared out" years ago...

 

Or are you suggesting there are NO parts of the Constitution worth saving?


In keeping with your bruised apple analogy, no matter how much paring you do the apple is eventually going to rot. Also, some people don't like apples but that doesn't mean they hate fruit.

To be perfectly clear, my problem with the Constitution is not with the freedoms and rights it ensures but rather with the republican government that it established and the intentions of the men who drafted it. What I am advocating for is direct democracy and what I would propose for starters is a national initiative.

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