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- View topic - THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"
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THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist" 
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"


Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:20 pm
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"
How does one get "morals" to be "morally responsible" for, David? Btw, changing the tense from responsibilities to responsible doesn't really change anything, does it?

Isn't the "man on the button" example phrased as "responsible" of that particular individual?

If it isn't thru the free flow of information/education that one gets useable morals, then you must be born with an innate sense of right and wrong that can be applied reliably to any situation even in the absence any other enabling factor (like, y'know, comprehensive knowledge of the situation). I can't see a third way. Which answer would Prof give?

Burke, patron saint of the CLs, would answer "God" is a pretty big part of that, meaning the Christian God. Jefferson's answer would have been a lot more squishy.

"Answerability" is a more external metric. I'm not saying RAs aren't willing to be held answerable by that observation, but it is. "Morally respsonsible", the phrase Prof uses in the quote you just quoted, is something else, a much more internal metric. In fact, in general useage you usually see accusations of someone being "morally responsible" when an effort to hold them actually answerable has failed or is likely to fail.


Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:46 pm
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"


Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:35 am
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"
Haven't gotten around to re-reading David's piece yet, then I probably ought to re-read the book again too (oh, cruel fate! ;) ).

I would have to concede that generalizing from one example (in this case Prof) is always a dangerous thing to do. An RA with a very different internal moral compass might produce a very different example.

The thing is, I'm bringing a whole lot more "long-term Heinlein context re duty and social good" to what I'm reading in this area, and while I think that's appropriate to do, it does bring its own dangers as well --maybe *this* time he had something else in mind, or at least more of a variation from his usual.


Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:15 am
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"


Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:18 am
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"
Bill--

As is sometimes my wont (which you wouldn't get from the original post on this thread!) I shall fire my artillery oblique rather than trying to "Cross your 'T'" (to mix military metaphors).

In the interstitial matter to EU, which we both admire and find consequential for various reasons, there are a series of quotes that appear throughout. A few are inconsequential bon mots of unnamed provenance shown as Batmobile-like bumper stickers. One is a quote from Horace. One is a quote from "Anon.".

Most of the rest are L. Long quotes. Two are not. One is a quote from Bernardo de la Paz, and one is a quote from the fellow Prof cites as one of his original intellectual forebearers --T. Jefferson.

So score is, of Heinlein-created characters, quotes are provided in EU for only two, L. Long and Prof. With an additional quote from Prof's cite that I started this thread over.

It occurs to me to think, re World as Myth, that perhaps Robert just didn't see artistic room for Jubal and Prof both, and chose Jubal to carry the torch, without meaning any disavowal of Prof as a near Heinlein-doppelganger by the choice. If the author did consider that to be the case, there are several characteristics where Jubal would have the edge in such a competition --particularly to be re-introduced in TNOTB, where in retrospect (all those anagrams) the author is trying to rub our noses in how many of the characters are actually the author. . .

How near a doppelganger is Prof? Ahh, a reasonable question, and why it is nice to have a place like this to cross tips over the matter. There is some fairly simple math here, and being simple does not necessarily make it incorrect --if Prof is a Jeffersonian and Heinlein is a Jeffersonian, then perhaps. . . .

The quote from Prof? Well, I'd say that characteristically it is about both freedom and moral responsibility: "Anything you get for free costs more than worth --but you don't find it out until later".

The quote from Jefferson? "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Yeah, that damn Jefferson, creating ambiguity again (a lot of folks would say the 'altar of God' has created a lot of that tyranny over the mind of man). But still, absent the God bit (a little PR for the masses, or perhaps just a Mighty Oath they would understand as such?), a very RAish internal moral compass kind of thing to say. Surely Robert himself would not have included that quote as a paean to the power of the altar of God in producing victory in such a war.

Oh, and pass me some of that "pink salmon" over there, would you?


Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:13 pm
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"
I'm actually having a re-read of EU right now, which is why that was an easy analysis to do. . . but having got back to it after the above, noticed that there are two Harshaw quotes --on facing pages-- I had missed the first time flipping thru. Still, I don't think that hurts the case. Long, Harshaw, de la Paz --looks like the company I'd expect Prof to be keeping.


Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:07 am
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"


Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:26 am
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"
Lazarus certainly helps fulfill that role. He cheats. Even after he gets caught. . . the second or third time.

If I line the three of them up, on a linear scale with, "do whatever it takes" on the far left, something like a balance of action/larger (than self) morality in the middle, and intellectual wisdom on the far right. . . .I line them up Lazarus, Prof, and Jubal.

Perhaps that isn't quite the right way to deliniate the scale, but hopefully you get the sense of what I mean there. In my estimation, Prof has a lot more in common with either of them than the other two do with each other. That kind of calculation could have left him odd man out. Prof and Lazarus interacting much, or Prof and Jubal interacting much, might have been a bit blurry.


Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:49 am
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Post Re: THJ 21: Jefferson denied "Rational Anarchist"


Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:06 am
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