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(47,992 posts)
94. I accept you point as true on its own terms. I'm not here to argue against it. I just really
Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:07 AM
Jan 2013

do need to understand how it works relative to certain probabilities and the office of the presidency.

Probabilities such as:
Even if we didn't do one more bad thing in the world for the rest of our time as a nation on Earth, there are various possibilities for successful and significant violence against us, are there not? Neither you nor I and hardly anyone else has enough of the right information to calculate those probabilities, but just for the sake of this hypothetical, let's say that they are 50 : 50. The chances of successful significant violence against this land/people are as likely as they are un-likely.

So, let's say something significant happens, many innocent people are harmed and killed, and you, as president could have done x, y, and z to reduce the probability of, or even prevent, that successful strike, but didn't because you "have a moral center". If such harms were to happen, what are the consequences to a person with "a moral center" who could have prevented them?

Regarding what is called "rationalization" and please note the root word there, rational: If the principle is that you must not DO things that hurt innocent people, given some likelihood (either more or less probable) of harms that one can DO things to reduce or prevent those harms, why aren't the rights of those victims of harm as equal in value as the rights of a person or persons reasonably suspected of connection to the probabilities of those harms? Especially if you can DO something about those probabilities?

This is an honest question. Not a trap. I just don't understand how a "moral center" works unless it works this way. You DO what you rationally can, in terms of the situation at hand, to sustain the principle. NONE of that means that you give wholesale approval to torture or coercion, only approval limited in specific ways by the terms of specific situations. One doesn't say, TTE, "Cutting people is evil" and then refuse to do surgery, in specific ways, when it will help or save someone's life.

My line of reasoning is not as corrupt as it is often portrayed. It is the essence of what eventually became Zen Buddhism, as it is found in its cultural roots in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna does not provide Arjuna with a handy-dandy get-out-of-jail-free card. He doesn't even tell the great warrior what to do to fight the imminent evil. Krishna just simply reminds Arjuna that his life brought him to the present moment; all that had happened and Arjuna's part in it, was what made the situation what it was and NOT some other, different, less challenging situation. It's as though Krishna is telling Arjuna that he and the imminent events are the SAME thing. He doesn't absolve him, nor does he castigate him for the coming fratricide. Krishna says, in effect, "Own it," so we might conclude that whatever Arjuna does, whether he goes into the war and kills thousands, or whether he does not do battle and thousands are killed because of that, Arjuna should identify with either of his "choices", because the reality and he are not dichotomous. What is happening is who he is, however it turns out, so whatever he decides his course should be, he should DO his best to do that thing.

I'm honestly not trying to convince you of anything here. I'm just trying to explain how something works. That's how I understand it from my own life. The Bhagavad Gita gave voice to that understanding and Buddhism sustains something very similar in the value that it places on "non-attachment". I don't understand a perspective that claims another person has "no moral center" (not relative to most people that is); I don't see how that's anyone's to claim but one's own.

I respect you Bonobo, so I am asking you if you can explain what you mean to me, so I can understand better and agree to whatever extent possible.

Thanks for reading this.


Just lost all respect for Chomsky. nt Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #1
I'm sure he'll be crushed. dorkulon Jan 2013 #10
Ha ha ha! Good one! man4allcats Jan 2013 #27
No more or less than President Obama would be. BlueCaliDem Jan 2013 #85
Just like Sy Hearsh was about Viet Nam. kelliekat44 Jan 2013 #141
Did he try to burst your comfortable denial bubble. Shame on him. nm rhett o rick Jan 2013 #93
+1 Fearless Jan 2013 #111
Did you ever have any respect for Chomsky to begin with? - n/t coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #107
Because he dared criticize President Obama??? Bake Jan 2013 #135
Hang on, I must be missing something here, this is the guy us and Chomski were waiting for buddybrown Jan 2013 #153
Is that English? (n/t) leftynyc Jan 2013 #154
You are the person CJCRANE Jan 2013 #159
LOL! you've never heard of him!! WhaTHellsgoingonhere Jan 2013 #184
Chomsky said the same of Jimmy Carter alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #2
True, Carter "terrorized" the Indonesian people banned from Kos Jan 2013 #18
Don't forget Carter's "devil's bargain" with Pol Pot alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #26
Considering that Chomsky's Pol Pot apologism, that's rich. nt geek tragedy Jan 2013 #58
And he was correct then as well. Right and wrong are real measures and one's capacity Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #32
"a black activist had recounted a story " Itchinjim Jan 2013 #3
I was guessing Alice Walker. limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #13
He's basing this opinion on a second hand story? Wow ! virgogal Jan 2013 #4
No, that is not what he is doing. nt ZombieHorde Jan 2013 #127
Plus, I heard Obama's just like Hiter. JoePhilly Jan 2013 #5
Post removed Post removed Jan 2013 #37
Do you have a graphic, or are you wasting the few posts you will get here on DU? JoePhilly Jan 2013 #40
Is that Strawman #1 in this thread or #2? nt Bonobo Jan 2013 #38
#2, just behind ... "Obama has no moral center". JoePhilly Jan 2013 #41
Errr, ummm, Joe... that is NOT a strawman. Bonobo Jan 2013 #44
Correct ... it was actually a lie ... and not a strawman. JoePhilly Jan 2013 #45
It is called an "opinion" and I agree with it. Bonobo Jan 2013 #46
The funny thing about opinions ... JoePhilly Jan 2013 #50
Your point is muddled. Bonobo Jan 2013 #51
I accept you point as true on its own terms. I'm not here to argue against it. I just really patrice Jan 2013 #94
Thank you, Patrice. Bonobo Jan 2013 #97
Thanks very much for your thoughtful reply. I can see that, like me, you don't think any of this is patrice Jan 2013 #99
Your logic is easily refuted by simply reversing its terms. Consider the following: coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #110
You communicated this beautifully siligut Jan 2013 #123
Beautifully stated. DevonRex Jan 2013 #130
Well, hell, that settles it. Let's all regroup at InfoWars now... freshwest Jan 2013 #48
Thank goodness for people like Noam Chomsky who aren't afraid to state the obvious. limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #6
Hey Commander Buzzkill, we are trying to have a flamefest here! Arctic Dave Jan 2013 #8
LOL my bad, please proceed limpyhobbler Jan 2013 #15
Oh salinen Jan 2013 #23
+ 1 peacebird Jan 2013 #9
"Nice way to take a long, intelligent interview,... cheapdate Jan 2013 #36
Yes, it is called "fucked up, manipulative cherry picking" where I come from. nt Bonobo Jan 2013 #39
YES!!! Arctic Dave Jan 2013 #7
I bet he does, Noam. I'm just vexed by where it lies. TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #11
+100 nt truebluegreen Jan 2013 #21
It may be selective G_j Jan 2013 #68
I saw Chomsky speak at my college last year graywarrior Jan 2013 #12
The only way to get a president to change arthritisR_US Jan 2013 #25
I like to re-watch his debate with Buckley from time to time Major Nikon Jan 2013 #66
I should do that! graywarrior Jan 2013 #67
'a group of african american women were disappointed' says it all for me spanone Jan 2013 #14
I'd like to know who they were... Hekate Jan 2013 #19
The old white guy trick of blackwashing--cherry-picking or inventing geek tragedy Jan 2013 #122
He's a President, not a Priest jberryhill Jan 2013 #16
And that's the truth. And frankly, if he was a priest, DUers would melt down... Hekate Jan 2013 #20
the first he mentions morality in the interview Enrique Jan 2013 #24
Post removed Post removed Jan 2013 #31
Being a sociopath is pretty much a requirement to want to be the President. Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #33
I would like to see you repeat that the next time... Bonobo Jan 2013 #42
That's a matter of being human jberryhill Jan 2013 #47
On his part, yes. Bonobo Jan 2013 #49
What a nasty thing to say about your fellow DUers. You just don't respect us at all, do you? DevonRex Jan 2013 #133
More tedium leftynyc Jan 2013 #156
Right? DevonRex Jan 2013 #162
Do you think he/she leftynyc Jan 2013 #164
I don't know. DevonRex Jan 2013 #166
Pedantic? I'll take that any day over the trash talk, curse-filled bitterness you spill. Bonobo Jan 2013 #175
Yawn leftynyc Jan 2013 #176
12:30 to 18:00 in the video Enrique Jan 2013 #17
Well I'll be up all night.. one_voice Jan 2013 #22
Anyone, ANYONE, who criticizes our leader is a fool Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #28
Oooh, ProSense Jan 2013 #30
Oh, SNAP!!!! Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #54
No, he's just another fraudster who says stuff to get himself attention rather geek tragedy Jan 2013 #56
I have been wondering why this bama_blue_dot Jan 2013 #65
Nice post count. Been here under a different handle before? geek tragedy Jan 2013 #73
I was agreeing with your statement about the poster above. bama_blue_dot Jan 2013 #84
Sorry, thought comment was directed at me. Sorry for being an ass. Nt geek tragedy Jan 2013 #87
No problem.. bama_blue_dot Jan 2013 #89
Yeah, and here I thought your manners were improving . . . patrice Jan 2013 #90
"put Osama bin Laden in the same category as Robert Kennedy Jr" Why in God's green Number23 Jan 2013 #102
That's "Dear Leader" datasuspect Jan 2013 #116
They are not of the body... L0oniX Jan 2013 #137
Wait, ProSense Jan 2013 #29
And equating observation and criticism to hating is? n/t Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #34
And character assassination is not critical analysis. freshwest Jan 2013 #80
Another bit of hyperbole from Chomsky. Anything for attention. nt pnwmom Jan 2013 #35
The old "He just wants attention" thing... Bonobo Jan 2013 #43
"Obama has no moral center" is not a progressive belief. geek tragedy Jan 2013 #57
No, that is just an opinion. Bonobo Jan 2013 #62
"I disagree with his policies" = "he has no morals" is a mindset geek tragedy Jan 2013 #74
Nice try. Bonobo Jan 2013 #77
Sure, just like Rush Limbaugh is allowed to question the morals geek tragedy Jan 2013 #81
"Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Noam Chomsky?" Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #101
It's certainly true with Nader. n/t pnwmom Jan 2013 #69
What's up with this? That's not analysis, it's more like rumor without foundation. Disappointed. freshwest Jan 2013 #88
Chomsky gets more media attention by making hyperbolic statements than pnwmom Jan 2013 #104
I have listened to him for years. Maybe he's slowing down. Or maybe I didn't notice this. freshwest Jan 2013 #105
Chomsky keeps his record perfect: he does not like any US presidents. Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #52
The word that comes to mind is ideologue. KittyWampus Jan 2013 #60
It's easy to take on that role when you provide philosophical guidance .... Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #63
I'd say he has an excellent "moral center" NYC Liberal Jan 2013 #53
Amazing how many fraudsters like Chomsky pretend to know the inner psyche geek tragedy Jan 2013 #55
"fraudsters"? fascisthunter Jan 2013 #61
Anti capitalists who use Romney-style tricks to dodge taxes geek tragedy Jan 2013 #82
yes, you are 12 fascisthunter Jan 2013 #189
Yes, judging a person based on their actions is absolutely INSANE! nt Bonobo Jan 2013 #64
"He has no moral center" is a statement of personal hatred not a policy geek tragedy Jan 2013 #71
No it isn't. It is an opinion about the man's ethics and morality. nt Bonobo Jan 2013 #75
Sure, just like the prognostications of UsWeekly readers on the geek tragedy Jan 2013 #76
Pffft. nt Bonobo Jan 2013 #78
+ 1 eom BlueCaliDem Jan 2013 #83
Your post certainly does raise questions of credibility. dgauss Jan 2013 #70
Eh, what Chomsky's fanboys and fangirls think of his geek tragedy Jan 2013 #72
"Fraudsters like Chomsky" - I'm surprised I had not yet put you on Ignore. But there's coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #112
does he have other suggestions? samsingh Jan 2013 #59
That's ridiculous treestar Jan 2013 #79
+ 1. BlueCaliDem Jan 2013 #86
He's sounding more and more like a right winger. One of the 99 Jan 2013 #91
Funny thing about that. If you listen to the video Freshwest posted above, you realize the 800 pound patrice Jan 2013 #96
The President Of The United States revealed his lack of moral center to DevonRex Jan 2013 #92
Agree. Please see my post #94. patrice Jan 2013 #95
That's fucking disgusting. Zoeisright Jan 2013 #98
lol Number23 Jan 2013 #100
Indeed. Apparently, the most salient point about these women is that they are "African American." msanthrope Jan 2013 #125
Is the statement supposed to be more powerful coming from "disappointed black.... Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #103
Oh come off it! Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #106
It's sad that that needs to even be said. nt Bonobo Jan 2013 #108
Thank you Kingwithnothrone Jan 2013 #109
Ah, but you see, to Obama's defenders, the dead and wounded aren't 'civilians' but rather coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #114
Some of the defenders act like children Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #119
Are you talking about leftynyc Jan 2013 #158
And some of us know that perfection doesn't exist but expect a little more Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #172
Ah - sorry I missed the memo leftynyc Jan 2013 #174
You're muttering angrily while hunched over a can of reheated Campbell's soup, aren't you? nt Bonobo Jan 2013 #177
Nope-taking a break leftynyc Jan 2013 #178
HA!! + a million. It must be bad when something this popcorn-drenched gets a whopping 18 recs Number23 Jan 2013 #188
+1,000,000,000 x 1,000,000,000 - Well put and definitely coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #113
No, you come off your moral high horse and stop condemning everyone geek tragedy Jan 2013 #115
Only one relevant question here Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #117
There is such a thing as distinguishing between policy-based critique and geek tragedy Jan 2013 #121
Sorry, but I do have to wonder about someone who thinks that keeping the Afghan war going Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #126
Um, Obama is planning to end our presence in Afghanistan. geek tragedy Jan 2013 #143
But he widened it--added more troops--before he "planned to end it" Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #148
Yeah yeah, voting for Obama was a sin. Got it. geek tragedy Jan 2013 #165
You are getting desperate enough to argue like a right-winger Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #182
You seem to be in quite the rush leftynyc Jan 2013 #167
Oh that old canard Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #171
What an infantile argument leftynyc Jan 2013 #173
Your reply is incoherent Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #180
An economic model leftynyc Jan 2013 #186
Bingo Marrah_G Jan 2013 #118
This little anecdote reeks of bullshit. He had to mention their race to give it credibility? DevonRex Jan 2013 #131
He's only saying what many of us have suspected Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #134
He lied in saying it. He used fictitious "African American activists" to smear Obama DevonRex Jan 2013 #138
And do you have proof that it's not true Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #149
... DevonRex Jan 2013 #161
+ a million YoungDemCA Jan 2013 #139
I would have been just fine with a drone strike to Tora Bora and number of other targets after 9/11. msanthrope Jan 2013 #142
Bush wanted an Iraq War so badly he could taste it Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #150
+1 leftstreet Jan 2013 #146
Principles can be ANYTHING, e.g. End Times, so some people base their "morality" on the facts patrice Jan 2013 #157
NO!, Obama has no cream filling? Puzzledtraveller Jan 2013 #120
If Chomsky wanted to get that "quote" out there... NCTraveler Jan 2013 #124
Ya just read he thinks Obama is worser than Bush. Rex Jan 2013 #128
My new definition of insanity - whatchamacallit Jan 2013 #129
Like that guy in Uruguay? nt tama Jan 2013 #170
He's a self-important asshole. zellie Jan 2013 #132
Way to refute his points... YoungDemCA Jan 2013 #145
What points? leftynyc Jan 2013 #168
What points? It's a fairly long interview-- he made more than a few. Marr Jan 2013 #187
The morality of politicians is always questionable. Centrist politicians even more so. Tierra_y_Libertad Jan 2013 #136
How dare he criticize our president? ...and L0oniX Jan 2013 #140
Chomsky did not say that "Obama has no moral center" YoungDemCA Jan 2013 #144
I'm with you ann--- Jan 2013 #152
Replace politics with sports and there is not much difference Marrah_G Jan 2013 #163
well,obviously that is true. But if he did, he would never have been elected President of the United Douglas Carpenter Jan 2013 #147
Do we really need even lesser evil? tama Jan 2013 #169
but we don't live in a world without power hierarchies and we do not know if such a world is possible Douglas Carpenter Jan 2013 #183
Choises are scale dependent tama Jan 2013 #185
He's a corporatist ann--- Jan 2013 #151
Brilliant man BigDemVoter Jan 2013 #155
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 2013 #160
Name One President That Had A Moral Center Yavin4 Jan 2013 #179
if chomsky really "thinks" this of President Barack Hussein Obama - hopemountain Jan 2013 #181
When our guy does it, it's fine! woo me with science Jan 2013 #190
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