Life Without Principle

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posted on Nov, 27 2012 @ 11:49 PM
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We often debate the efficacy of progressive taxation, the morality of the welfare state and income redistribution, and the value of free market capitalism. Instead of these things I would like to discuss the value of the work we actual do in light of the following essay/lecture given by Henry Thoreau. Here are a few quotes from the work to get the conversation started.


I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.



Most men would feel insulted, if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.



The ways by which you may get money almost without exception lead downward. To have done anything by which you earned money merely is to have been truly idle or worse.


Please add your own quotes if they speak to you or point out the flaws/absurdidies of Theoreau's opinions. I would grealty like to start a discussion not on whether people are willing to work, but whether what we call work is worth doing.

The work is posted here.




posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by hezro
 

Some work is worth doing. Garbage collection to prevent disease for instance. Communications to allow people to share idea's like we are doing here. However there is a lot of work that fits your description. In this society though what would you do with those who have no work? Starve and run free in the streets? What he wrote for was a different time. I wish it wasn't but it is.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 12:10 AM
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reply to post by Jerk_Idiot
 


Thanks JI, this is exactly the kind of response I was hoping for. While Thoreau (in the short time he was living off the land) would have taken care of these problems himself, I do not believe the permanent rural life is humanities ideal. In light of the need (presumptuous for many I'm sure) for high population areas and the problems they create, Thoreau's opinions certainly require a re-evaluation.



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 12:17 AM
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reply to post by hezro
 


Work that leads to learning, knowledge or wisdom is obviously worth the effort. However there are some tasks that are mundane, yet necessary and still work. Then there are the agents that feed on work such as the CRA, IRS, governments, etc., to the benefit of the parasites. Finally you have the parasites themselves, the World Bank, IMF et al whose work is simply feeding on the "work" of others. All work and it's inherrent "value," if the intent is not for a personal increase in knowledge, is simply a means to an end manipulated through "legalized" extortion by parasites.

I don't have any quotes on hand.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 01:37 AM
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Industry has changed many things—for better or worse, I'm not quite sure. There is definitely not much there to ennoble one who performs menial tasks unless he loves performing menial tasks. Work, in order to be enjoyed, must not be considered work, but perhaps a craft one can dedicate himself to, not just for monetary reward, but for fulfillment and reward in a feeling of purpose.

I would have to agree with some of what he says. If one's purely in it for the money and not for joy, then the pursuit of life becomes the pursuit of money.

Life begets money, not the other way around.

edit on 28-11-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2012 @ 07:24 AM
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Most men would feel insulted, if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.


I really like this one.


We are becoming more efficient in our work methods; today one man can do what 10 did a century ago, and yet we are still growing in numbers. Since we distribute recourses through labor, it is essential to have a job to live, and therefore essential for a country to keep creating new jobs.
However, many of these jobs are in my opinion obsolete, in the sense that they don't do anything except waste recourses and time (like marketing), and since we live on a physically finite planet this simply can't go on forever. I am aware that many see this as an overpopulation problem, but I think the biggest problem is that we expect everyone to have a job when there aren't enough. I don't know how many people this planet can actually sustain - but it doesn't change the fact that having people starve when there is actually food, but just because there isn't any work, is just stupid.

We need to reconsider how we distribute wealth.





 
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