Libertarians would stand by and watch someone die rather than help someone caught in a bad spot. I suppose if someone gets a flat tire and they need a jack you'd laugh and drive off?

Comment by Brady on September 14, 2011 at 11:37am

@Jim Too bad we are not all rationalists. I really wish we all were.
There are too many people in this country and world that don't give a shit about others.  That will not change as long as people are divided by some imaginary boundaries.

Comment by Arcus on September 14, 2011 at 11:45am

@Gaytor: "I'd like to ask where have we ever seen a Libertarian country succeed?"

Somalia, Burkina Faso, Niger, Burundi, etc. Great countries virtually without any government interference in the economy, no regulation, and almost noone pays taxes! You can buy anything at dirt cheap prices, once you arrive you can just pay your way through immigration with a 20, then there's nice people waiting for you with your suitcases for only a buck, and then guide you to one of the many local taxies which will take you anywhere for a few bucks. They don't even have a Fed printing money! True Libertarian heavens on Earth. ;)

@Unseen: "I just find it revolting that so many people are okay with a system that keeps their own premiums down by making sure other people get no significant health care at all."

That argument is not quite true, reality is even worse. Hospitals are required to take in uninsured and place them in a stable condition. I believe this program was signed into law by Reagan. Of course, the issue is that this current quasi-socialized system raise the average insurance rate by some $1100 annually per household without providing much benefit to society... The worst of both worlds.

@Brady: "As I believe, our ancestors stayed in relatively small groups and took care of each other."

They also died in droves by disease and continual warfare while under dictatorial leadership. Arguments from antiquity aren't immediately applicable to the current world.

"This will never happen on a large scale."

Because..? There is such a thing as development, which means we are decreasingly slaves of our biology and can create functioning programs on a large scale. Unfortunately, this also applies to warfare...

"it is in our best interest to let those with hereditary diseases die early or prevent offspring."

That's not Darwin, that is social darwinism.

"So unless all the studies on human behavior, evolutionary psychology, and behavior economics that I have read are wrong"

I presume they are not, but I don't think you should jump into reading studies before having covered the introductory stuff.

Comment by Phil Tibbs on September 14, 2011 at 12:19pm

I found this article interesting...  In 2008, Paul's campaign adviser manager died of pneumonia when he was without insurance and left his family with about $400k in expenses. 

 

@Arcus: I think we might disagree on what defines "great countries"...  Here's a little comic take on Somalian libertarianism that sums it up pretty well for me. 

Comment by Artor on September 14, 2011 at 12:21pm

@Arcus

You're kidding, right? Somalia, Burkina Faso, Niger, Burundi are successful? Last I looked in the news, there are armed gangs killing anyone they don't like and robbing anyone with something to rob. Healthcare is nonexistent, so if you get sick, you either leave the country for somewhere more fortunate and less "successful," or you die. If you consider these as triumphs of Libertarianism, then you've proven it to be a failed philosophy.

Comment by Brady on September 14, 2011 at 12:41pm

@arcus I really agree, the past is not a true indicator of future progress, but human nature is not a constant in any developmental equation."This will never happen on a large scale.", might be a bit exaggerated with the "never" because I am no visionary. I should have said, "never in our generation". We might make progress but only at the expense of others. Religion has been trying to change our human nature for thousands of years. I still don't see the positive results and I very much doubt the animals within will ever be eliminated.

Comment by Brady on September 14, 2011 at 12:55pm

@Artor and @Phil Do you agree that indigenous tribes of the Amazon and Africa need to be left alone? They are functioning societies without western influence. Just because your political religion preaches that everyone deserves health care is not a fact. Many functioning societies exist happily without western influence. So, let's not go on a religious missionary to push our ideology on more people that function without our ideals. Your projecting your idea of "perfect" and "should be" on another society. I am sorry but that stinks of a new religion.

Comment by Anonymous on September 14, 2011 at 2:20pm

Ability is not Responsibility. The government is able to provide free health care to all Americans, they are also able to send a man to the moon. They also have the ability to provide health care to the entire world and are able to destroy all human life too.  It is irresponsible for government to move beyond its functions of protecting our rights.  We have a right to life, and this "person" exercised their right of keeping their property (money) in the gamble of not choosing to protect their life in the form of receiving health care. Government should respect that choice but should also respect any individual(s) that wish to give a loving hand to help the individual.

 

And besides that point, health care does not protect life. It can only postpone death.

Comment by kris feenstra on September 14, 2011 at 3:06pm

"And besides that point, health care does not protect life. It can only postpone death."

 

It can also provide better health outcomes while we are living, especially through accessible disease screening and preventative care.  We largely accept a society in which, even counting only working/ contributing members of society, large wealth disparities can form.  The person making $15K/ year working as a cashier at McDonalds is working a job I sure as hell don't want to do.  The CEO sure as hell doesn't want to do it either, yet without those people his annual salary in excess of one million dollars (a fraction of his total compensation) does not exist.  There's no if, ands or buts; without the people on the bottom, the people on the top don't exist.

 

Now, my point is not about wealth disparities and who deserves to make what income for which reasons.  It's just a statement that there are contributing members to society that cannot afford a reasonable standard of care.  In the McDonald's example, the health plan options provided by the company to the restaurant workers are minimal to non-existent.  If those employees contribute something to society, and if they contribute something to their employers, does it not seem reasonable that they can at least secure a basic level of health care provisions -- something that affects productivity -- without incurring debt?

Comment by Gaytor on September 14, 2011 at 4:18pm

I find it extremely interesting that everyone here believes in the sciences but at the same time many believe that humanity, good will, love, fair justice, and all that kumbaya nonsense will prevail. Sounds like a new religion forming among atheists.

When I talk about caring for others, what deity have I proposed? When I talk about making sure that others don't unnecessarily die, how does that harm science? Caring for others isn't about a religion. Caring for other is natural. Helping your neighbor is a natural progression in a society. It's socially evolutionary, especially since we've made leaps in the last 100 years to be interconnected. We've went from newspapers and books that took days, weeks and or months to get to the masses to radio and television that got it to us quickly to today with the internet where we get the information sometimes a day or two before the news can compile it and get it out.

 

This wanting to care for one another is nothing new. FDR, elected 4 times, wanted a 2nd Bill of Rights but simply died too early. John Adams signed the "Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen" which required a healthcare purchase mandate to build government owned hospitals. None of this is new. Caring for your neighbor has a long history in the US. It's been the recent revisionists that would like to claim that we are a purely small government/capitalist only country. 

 

The notion that by default, atheists must not care for one another is a view of the world that lacks humanity. Life is not emotionless because I don't see a god in my creation. If you have another point, I've missed it. More to the healthcare point and science. One program leads to higher costs, higher infant mortality, a 10% denial of care, overall costs 30 to 50% higher... don't you want to know what that other program is? If not, which one of us is not using science? 

Comment by Anonymous on September 14, 2011 at 4:21pm

"If those employees contribute something to society, and if they contribute something to their employers, does it not seem reasonable that they can at least secure a basic level of health care provisions -- something that affects productivity -- without incurring debt?"

 

I agree and disagree. I agree in the sense that this is a good thought for making personal decisions. Either for one deciding to purchase health care, or for an employer to do the same.  And whatever choice one makes, as long as it does not trample on the rights of others I can respect.

 

I disagree with that quote when it comes to making public (opt in or die) policy.  It sounds extreme but any time you give government power over our personal choice we are giving them the power to pull a gun on us if we don't comply. Ideals are great, enforcing them is disrespectful and poor judgement.

 

Ideals need to be left to personal decision not government enforcement. The problem with  the idea that government should enforce ideals leads to the next fallacy. People under the stewardship of the any government don't have the same ideals and certainly not the same priorities when it comes to said ideals. Forcing this ideal of mandated health care gives the government authority to favor health care choice over personal property.  Let the people decide, and if enough people think that health care should be provided freely you are welcome to start a charity to do so. You don't need the government to force its people to pay for other people's personal decisions.

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