[Vision2020] Please Respond to Main Point Re: Installment #2 - Character

Joe Campbell philosopher.joe at gmail.com
Fri Dec 24 07:42:01 PST 2010

Paul wrote: "Anyway, if the devil himself had posted a list of virtues on his
website, I'd still suggest actually seeing whether or not you agree with
each individual virtue."

Whose going to disagree with something called a "virtue"? In truth,
many of the so called "virtues" are not really virtues. Virtues are
character traits, good habits in contrast with vices that are bad
habits. Achievement, for instance, is not a habit, so its not a
virtue. Same goes with true beauty (which is something "pleasing," as
it is defined in the post). But who is going to say that achievement
or true beauty is a bad thing?

Actually, I have plenty to say and ask about the content of the
postings. Character is not a virtue either. A bad character is clearly
not a virtue. A good character is not a particular virtue either.
Having a good character is being virtuous. One becomes virtuous by
gaining virtues, good character traits. I pointed out, too, that one
of the definitions was circular. But nobody wants to critically
discuss these posts. No one is interested in these questions or having
this kind of discussion.

Whatever the aims of the website and the posts they are not to see
"whether or not" one agrees "with each individual virtue." Maybe one
can figure out the purpose by figuring out who is behind the website?
That is at least a viable question. You are going to have a hard time
convincing me of some straightforward purpose.

Keep in mind too that someone specifically ASKED who was behind the
website. And someone else gave the answer before Ted gave the answer,
which means that there are at least 4 people (including Ted and
myself) who think that that is an interesting question and topic,
something that is worth mentioning if not discussing.

I think that the best purpose that a community blog like this can
serve is to expose hidden political agendas. Not everyone agrees but
that's what I think. I'll stop looking for hidden political agendas
behind the posts of certain people and organizations once they stop
having hidden political agendas.

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 7:51 PM, Paul Rumelhart <godshatter at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Even not-so-virtuous people, assuming that's the case here, can
> recognize good virtues and have the desire to share them with others.
> As far as advertising, political or otherwise goes, I think the more
> transparency there is the better.  The more informed a decision people
> make, the better.  It's also worth noting at the same time that even if
> you find out that an advertisement has been funded by a group you
> generally don't agree with, it's still worth looking at the actual
> advertisement itself to see if you agree with it specifically or not.
> For example, if I was a person that wanted to vote for Nader and I found
> out that George W. Bush was funding his campaign to a degree, so what?
> I'd think he was a fool.  I would hope I would vote for Nader because I
> wanted him in office, and not vote for someone I didn't want in office.
> Anyway, if the devil himself had posted a list of virtues on his
> website, I'd still suggest actually seeing whether or not you agree with
> each individual virtue.
> Also, and maybe I'm way out there in left field on this one, I sometimes
> don't feel the need to address every single point made in a post.
> Sometimes I have a thought that's tangentially related to the subject at
> hand and just bark it out like an ignoramus.  I'm on what I think is a
> mailing list, not in the midst of a formal debate or a giving a
> deposition in a court of law.
> Paul
> Ted Moffett wrote:
>> I did not indicate the virtues being discussed were not important.
>> I pointed out that the individual supporting the Foundation for a
>> Better Life has funded efforts I do not think are vituous (bigotry,
>> junk science).  You may disagree.
>> My main point was objecting to front groups funding advertising where
>> the source of the advertising is not disclosed.  Therefore I think the
>> Foundation for a Better Life advertising should disclose who is
>> funding it.   I presented data on this issue regarding the 2010
>> election, that neither you nor Paul R. responded to.  I am including
>> this data again at the bottom.
>> Of course sometimes the message can be separated from the messenger.
>> But sometimes in advertising this is definitely not the case,
>> especially political advertising.  Some of the front groups
>> advertising is deliberately deceptive, and disclosing who is funding
>> the advertising would help reveal this deception to the public.
>> I think transparency regarding who is funding advertising, especially
>> politically oriented ads aimed at influencing elections, helps the
>> public make informed decisions about what is the real intent behind
>> the advertising in question.
>> This is not a partisan issue.
>> Consider that groups supporting George W. Bush's election funded
>> advertising for presidential candidate Nader.  If people knew the ads
>> were being purchased by those seeking to defeat Gore by promoting
>> votes for Nader, perhaps the public would not have been duped by these
>> ads.
>> Again, here is the data from the post you responded to, data that you
>> made no reference to, on front groups advertising influencing the 2010
>> election:
>> http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/2010-December/073326.html
>> Advertising using front organizations that do not reveal the forces
>> behind the advertising is a powerful tool to deceive the public and
>> manipulate public opinion.
>> This tactic was used successfully to promote the Tea Pary agenda in
>> the 2010 election:
>> Citizens Blindsided: Secret Corporate Money in the 2010 Elections and
>> America’s New Shadow Democracy
>> https://www.pfaw.org/media-center/publications/citizens-blindsided-secret-corporate-money-the-2010-elections-and-america-
>> >From website above:
>> While we do not know who is funding such organizations, we do know
>> that the groups which played a significant role in the 2010 elections
>> are overwhelmingly backing right-wing candidates.  “Outside groups
>> raised and spent $126 million on elections without disclosing the
>> source,” according to the Sunlight Foundation, which “represents more
>> than a quarter of the total $450 million spent by outside groups.”
>> Republican candidates largely benefited from the downpour of
>> undisclosed money, as pro-GOP groups that did not reveal their donors
>> outspent similar pro-Democratic groups by a 6:1 margin.  The
>> nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reports that of the top ten
>> groups which did not disclose their sources of funding, eight were
>> conservative pro-GOP organizations.
>> ------------------------------------------
>> Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
>> On 12/21/10, Jeff Harkins <jeffh at moscow.com> wrote:
>>>   Oh Ted at first I didn't get it, but now that you have shed light on
>>> the issue, I get it - you mean people like George Soros and
>>> organizations like the Tides Foundation, the Shadow Party and the Open
>>> Society Institute.
>>> One thing I noted about the */Foundation for a Better Life/* that tends
>>> to separate that org from many others was their non-reliance on outside
>>> funding (they don't accept donations) and they don't provide grants or
>>> other funding to other agencies.
>>> For me, Paul R was right on point - the values promoted transcend the
>>> politics, the acrimony and the rhetoric so often a part of our human
>>> dialogues.
>>> Hopefully all of the "friends" on the V will appreciate the posting of
>>> the values as a means of self examination and community enhancement -
>>> nothing less, nothing more.
>>> Happy holidays to all of you - for whatever reason you use for celebration.
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