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

Joe Campbell philosopher.joe at gmail.com
Fri Dec 24 08:58:21 PST 2010

I'm not talking about any of this. I'm just saying it is a legitimate
question to ask who is behind a website, for it might help reveal some
kind of hidden political agenda. And I noted that several people seem
to think it is a legitimate question.

I am not going to waste my time talking to you about the details of
the hidden agenda because, as you yourself suppose, you are naive and
are unlikely to believe anything I say. All I'll add is that anyone
who has gone to the trouble of supposing that slavery is not immoral
cannot be too concerned with the promotion of values or virtues, so
there is good reason to think the discussion has more of a political
motivation than an ethical one. If kidnapping and holding people
against their will are not WRONG and contrary to any legitimate set of
values or virtues, then we've fallen down the rabbit hole and nonsense
is the norm. But frankly you are too naive to see even this very clear
point, so there is not much use to talking to you about it. My point
was only that YES it is legitimate to ask who is behind a website.

On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 8:34 AM, Paul Rumelhart <godshatter at yahoo.com> wrote:
> My bad, I should have been using the word "values" instead of "virtues".  It
> is www.values.com, after all.
> Great, so you guys have tracked down who is really behind the website.
>  Wonderful.  Good job.  Accolades all around.  So... end of conversation,
> right?  Well, no, now you guys are talking about hidden agendas and
> transparency in funding and whatnot as it relates to this website.
> So what is their nefarious plan, I wonder?  What is really lurking behind a
> website that seems to cherish values and (at least on the face of it) wants
> to remind others of their importance?  Are there subliminal messages hidden
> in the photos and text?  Are they recording who goes there so they can later
> wipe them off the face of the earth, eliminating all who cherish those
> specific values?  Is the site serving some sort of malware that is going to
> let them trash your computers right before election day?
> Is it possible that they simply revere those values and want to live in a
> world where they are valued highly?
> Maybe I'm just naive, but I actually do believe that a lot of people care
> about such things even if they are on the opposite side of the political
> aisle from where I usually reside.
> It's sad that this political divide that is mortally wounding our country is
> so wide that we can't even try to come together on a list of common values
> where we might actually find some agreement if we actually were interested
> in doing such a thing in the first place.
> Paul
> Joe Campbell wrote:
>> 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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