OT: Entitlements [was Re: Python usage numbers]

John O'Hagan research at johnohagan.com
Tue Feb 14 03:41:46 EST 2012

On Mon, 13 Feb 2012 13:01:05 -0800 (PST)
Rick Johnson <rantingrickjohnson at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Feb 13, 12:38 pm, Ian Kelly <ian.g.ke... at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I hate being suckered in by trolls, but this paragraph demands a response.


> > On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 9:01 AM, Rick Johnson
> >
> > <rantingrickjohn... at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > You are born with rights. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
> > > Healthcare care is NOT a right, healthcare is a privileged.
> HOWEVER, healthcare is not a concern of the greater society, but only
> the individual -- with the exception of contagious disease of course,

[...snip half-baked, social-Darwinist, "there-is-no-such-thing-as-society", 
naive U.S.-capitalist-libertarian drivel...]

> > > Procreation should be a
> > > privilege, however sadly for our collective evolution, it's seems to
> > > be a right :(
> >
> > There is a word for the philosophy that procreation should be a
> > privilege reserved for those with good genes: eugenics.
> No, the word is evolution; which means: "survival of the fittest".

Don't try to hijack real science to bolster a repugnant ideology.
Neither Herbert Spencer nor Darwin meant that phrase the way you do.
[...snip egregious, self-serving display of ignorance on the subjects of
evolution and genetics...] 

> > Welcome to fascism, Rick.
> Don't try to append me onto a specific ideology structure just because
> that group happens to support ONE of my beliefs. I carry no political
[...blah blah...]

It's called duck-typing.

I somewhat optimistically implore you, Rick, to do some basic research on your
chosen subjects. Failing that (almost certainly), here are three simple points
which debunk your agenda (and that of the U.S. Republican Right):

1. Publicly-funded healthcare is both cheaper and more effective than
privatised systems. It's also the right thing to do (i.e. you don't have
to stand by while someone dies because their illness is "their fault").
Which makes it a win-win-win.

2. The recent economic problems were not triggered by "degenerates" (are you
actually talking about homosexuals here, or just in the more general,
McCathyist sense?), but in fact by the operations of the same unregulated
markets you are advocating.

3. The central fallacy of social Darwinism is the misapprehension that because
natural selection occurs in nature, human society _should_ also work this
way. This is a failure to acknowledge the is/ought problem, and is usually
compounded (Rick is no exception) by the equally mistaken view that there exist
"superior" individuals whose possession of a "quality gene-pool" entitles them
to survival - an entitlement that is encroached upon by inferior sorts who take
up space by insisting on not dying. Can you guess in which group those who hold
this view place themselves?

In fact, a gene pool is held by a species, not an individual, and the
maintenance of its diversity is essential for long term-survival. And to the
great disappointment of those looking for a justification of dog-eat-dog, one
of the main drivers of evolution is not competition, but adapting to new
environments to _avoid_ competition. I'm told the Spanish have a saying
which translates as "dogs don't eat dogs".

Genetics is complicated. Switching one gene on switches others off in
unpredictable ways, people choose mates by unfathomable processes, good-looking
geniuses have dumb, ugly children and vice-versa. This is why eugenics projects
are doomed to failure. They are also morally wrong, which is another win-win.

If some featureless fungus, toxic to all other living things, engulfed the
globe, would that make it "superior"? Of course, not, it merely survived.

Considerations of what _should_ happen, of superiority and quality, are human,
social concerns. We are humans, so they are important to us. But they have
nothing to do with genetics or evolution. 

Social Darwinism is merely a psuedo-scientific attempt to justify inequity and
class divides. Furthermore, it is completely dead outside the U.S. - ironically
the only developed nation where real Darwinism is still seriously questioned.


> Go on believing that humans will be inhabiting this rock in
> the next 1000 years, or this universe in the next 10,000 -- because
> the enlightened few will have transcended into the mind hive and your @
> $$ will be glued to Terra firma forever!

Now that is some crazy shit! Maybe L. Ron _is_ still alive...



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