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Are Corporations Evil ?


CitizenX

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My attitude towards conservative beliefs is one of disagreement, not a lack of empathy. Conservatives show a lack of empathy and compassion towards their fellow man. Read into this what you may. I have no doubt that Hitler suffered from a mental disorder so I would of had empathy for him. I just don't agree with him, and believe society must be protected from his type.

All you're demonstrating to me is some very sloppy thinking; highly prejudiced, overly-generalized and pretty much fallacious. You have adopted a set of private definitions that pretty much allow you to lump people of a wide array of ideologies generally considered "conservative" as lacking empathy, and I gather, from your rather silly definition of "evil", ultimately evil themselves.

That you cannot see how that allows you commit the very sin you seem to rail against is just the icing on the cake.

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That statement shows you have no empathy towards conservatives. If you actually had empathy you would understand that conservatives have plenty of empathy towards their fellow man but simply feel the big government solutions favoured by you cause more harm than good.

You really should try and understand the definition of empathy. Just because I disagree with your conservative philosophy, doesn't mean I don't have empathy for you.

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You really should try and understand the definition of empathy. Just because I disagree with your conservative philosophy, doesn't mean I don't have empathy for you.

I understand what empathy is quite well. I can also recognize a bigot who is trying to rationalize his bigotry via semantics games.

Oh, and how do you know I'm a conservative?

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All you're demonstrating to me is some very sloppy thinking; highly prejudiced, overly-generalized and pretty much fallacious. You have adopted a set of private definitions that pretty much allow you to lump people of a wide array of ideologies generally considered "conservative" as lacking empathy, and I gather, from your rather silly definition of "evil", ultimately evil themselves.

That you cannot see how that allows you commit the very sin you seem to rail against is just the icing on the cake.

Show me an evil act that does not relate to a lack of empathy. Show me an act of good that did not originate from a sense of empathy.

And Again how is my definition self-serving and highly prejudiced?

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Show me an evil act that does not relate to a lack of empathy.

Giving out easy mortgages to people with limited incomes to try to give them home, which then ended up crashing the economy and causing still incalculable woe. See "unintended consquences" and "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

Show me an act of good that did not originate from a sense of empathy.

Greedy railroad barons who built transcontinental railroads to line their pockets. These were ruthless guys, and yet I don't think you could argue that what they accomplished was anything but a great good.

And Again how is my definition self-serving and highly prejudiced?

Because you are bigoted against the adherents of a certain class of ideologies, and have created self-serving definitions to rationalize your bigotry.

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Giving out easy mortgages to people with limited incomes to try to give them home, which then ended up crashing the economy and causing still incalculable woe. See "unintended consquences" and "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

So you believe that bankers gave out easy loans because they empathized with people with "limited incomes"? Really? :blink:

Greedy railroad barons who built transcontinental railroads to line their pockets. These were ruthless guys, and yet I don't think you could argue that what they accomplished was anything but a great good.

My definition for good was to have empathy. How does having a railroad relate to empathy? It relates to a convenience.

Because you are bigoted against the adherents of a certain class of ideologies, and have created self-serving definitions to rationalize your bigotry.

Am I bigoted against persons that demonstrate a lack of empathy...well yes. You aren't? Do I have empathy for them?...yes of course I do.

This thread started with if and how the word evil is connected with the concept of the Corporation.

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So you believe that bankers gave out easy loans because they empathized with people with "limited incomes"? Really? :blink:

The bankers didn't actually mandate this one. It was the US Federal government. In the normal course of affairs, no banker would have ever have extended some of these people the loans they did.

And here we have another delightful example of less-than-noble intentions that can lead to noble ends. A banker, not wanting to damage his bank's bottom line, doesn't give loans out to people who have insufficient income to pay back the loan. This also has the consequence of protecting people with low incomes from getting into ruinous situations.

My definition for good was to have empathy. How does having a railroad relate to empathy? It relates to a convenience.

The plan was certainly a noble one, wouldn't you think? But you see, this is why playing your semantics game ends up in idiocies. Because you're using private definitions, you feel free to make them as big, as little or as misshapen as you care to to make sure that your claims are unassailable.

Am I bigoted against persons that demonstrate a lack of empathy...well yes. You aren't? Do I have empathy for them?...yes of course I do.

Surely you must see the circular reasoning here. Your bigoted against people you claim lack empathy, you then claim all conservatives lack empathy (that's a whole fallacy in and of itself), and thus close back in on it by claiming therefore they have earned your bigotry.

You're practicing two-bit sophistry, my friend. Apart from the clear prejudices it shows, it's so mind-numbingly bad even by the standards of poor reasoning.

This thread started with if and how the word evil is connected with the concept of the Corporation.

Evil is as connected to corporations as it is to hammers or pop-up toasters. Corporations have no independent will, they are not independent actors. It's about as reasonable a claim as saying volcanic ash is evil.

Edited by ToadBrother
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The bankers didn't actually mandate this one. It was the US Federal government. In the normal course of affairs, no banker would have ever have extended some of these people the loans they did.

And here we have another delightful example of less-than-noble intentions that can lead to noble ends. A banker, not wanting to damage his bank's bottom line, doesn't give loans out to people who have insufficient income to pay back the loan. This also has the consequence of protecting people with low incomes from getting into ruinous situations.

Now you talking about Nobility? Your example has nothing to do with "an evil act that does not relate to a lack of empathy" The original question. Bankers do not, not give loans because they are thinking it's the right thing morally to do for the people have insufficient income to pay back the loan. They don't give loans because it's bad for business.

The plan was certainly a noble one, wouldn't you think? But you see, this is why playing your semantics game ends up in idiocies. Because you're using private definitions, you feel free to make them as big, as little or as misshapen as you care to to make sure that your claims are unassailable.

No the Plan was not noble. It was about money. Yes it had great benefits to society, but once again it has nothing to do with "an evil act that does not relate to a lack of empathy" The original question. Now you talk about semantics, but I thought this was about debating my definition of the word evil? You don't seem capable of proving my definition incorrect, and I don't hear you giving an alternate definition.

I got my definition from a book I read - Science of Evil, The: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty and it made a great deal of sense.

Surely you must see the circular reasoning here. Your bigoted against people you claim lack empathy, you then claim all conservatives lack empathy (that's a whole fallacy in and of itself), and thus close back in on it by claiming therefore they have earned your bigotry.

You're practicing two-bit sophistry, my friend. Apart from the clear prejudices it shows, it's so mind-numbingly bad even by the standards of poor reasoning.

I did not claim that all conservatives lack empathy. It has been my observation through many discussions that yes many of the people that suspect as being conservative lack empathy. If I came across as representing this view then I apologize for any part I had in this misunderstanding. There are degree's of conservatism ideals just like there are degree's of liberal ideals.

Evil is as connected to corporations as it is to hammers or pop-up toasters. Corporations have no independent will, they are not independent actors. It's about as reasonable a claim as saying volcanic ash is evil.

I've been through this argument way too many times. Please refer to my earlier responses.

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My grandfather shot a few dogs in his time, and he loved dogs more than he loved most people.

A choice now taken away from the master..when the dog is sick and dying..you can go to the vet and get that 300 dollar injection package -with creamation included...or you shoot the poor creature and give it a real in the earth burial along the fence line. Glad your grandfather loved dogs more than MOST people - key word is most...so he did love some people - and inturn you do also...so grandpa did something right in the rasiing of your dad - who trained you - to love most people.

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I've been through this argument way too many times. Please refer to my earlier responses.

Could you please sum up how an entity that is not an independent actor can be described as evil? From where I stand, this is literally like blaming the gun for the dead guy with the bullet in his back.

If you have explained this so well in prior responses, you certainly can sum it up in a brief one to me.

Edited by ToadBrother
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Could you please sum up how an entity that is not an independent actor can be described as evil? From where I stand, this is literally like blaming the gun for the dead guy with the bullet in his back.

If you have explained this so well in prior responses, you certainly can sum it up in a brief one to me.

Corporations are considered persons under the law, unlike guns. A person can be evil.

They are controlled by a group of people with only one motive, Profits. These people are not legally responsible for the acts of the Corporation. This creates an environment that rewards, and breeds sociopaths. Not unlike the Nazi's the less empathy a member has the higher they climb the ladder.

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Could you please sum up how an entity that is not an independent actor can be described as evil? From where I stand, this is literally like blaming the gun for the dead guy with the bullet in his back.

If you have explained this so well in prior responses, you certainly can sum it up in a brief one to me.

If evil and stupidity are the same entity - then the issue is self explanitory. Corporations will do things that are very stupid in order to generate a profit...in the end that corporation destroys itself. Take all the major industrial accidents that have harmed the reputations of a few large corporate powers...The accidents were caused by stupidity - by the decision of some executive making a few million a year..who decides to try and pocket an extra few thousand by using a cheap and defective valve while drilling for oil - that's stupid thus evil.

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Corporations are considered persons under the law, unlike guns. A person can be evil.

Corporations are described as limited persons, not as persons. They do not enjoy a number of rights that actual persons enjoy. Your confusing what amounts to a legal fiction with the actual rights of living breathing human beings. In other words, if that's your whole argument, it's based on a serious misunderstanding on your part.

Corporations enjoy certain rights of personhood, in large part because it's the easiest way to apply ownership of assets and liabilities, oh, and did I mention that corporations can also be sued, just like real people. The alternatives are what? That every time Nabisco buys a new piece of property, hundreds of thousands of owning entities have to sign transfer papers and deeds? That every time you want to sue Nabisco for busting your tooth because of some negligence on their part, you now have to hire the largest legal firm on earth to file papers with the hundreds of thousands of owning entities?

But it isn't a real personhood, as any lawyer or court would explain. It is useful to ascribe some fictitious personhood, but they can't vote, don't enjoy protections of liberty, or any of those other things that are seen as the actual inherent rights of real people.

They are controlled by a group of people with only one motive, Profits. These people are not legally responsible for the acts of the Corporation. This creates an environment that rewards, and breeds sociopaths. Not unlike the Nazi's the less empathy a member has the higher they climb the ladder.

If profits breed sociopathy, then surely unions and electorates must also been breeding grounds of like kind. Except, of course, it doesn't work that way. Everyone is self-serving to an extent, but a corporation is simply one kind of of formalized co-operative entity. If it is evil, then all forms of co-operative entity where people pursue first and foremost things to their own benefit must be evil as well; and most certainly that would include unions, lobbying groups, parent groups, the list goes on and on and on and on and on...

I actually knew what you're argument would be, since I've seen it stated before, with equal naivety. But it's fun to see silly people reiterate silly arguments based in part upon fallacious reasoning and in part on their own ignorance.

At any rate, legal personhood of corporations still does not make corporations independent actors, which means corporations cannot be, in rational terms, evil in and of themselves. Unless you want to start leaning towards metaphysical claims, and ascribe some magical totemic evil that comes from the mere fact that they are capable of evil making them evil, well so be it. By the same token, I'll argue that the carving knife in your kitchen drawer is evil for all the same reasons.

Edited by ToadBrother
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The corporate entity was created in order NOT to be liable for any sort of damage --- they play the double mirror game...You can sue a person but you can not sue a thing....so when a corporation is litigated against - They act like a person - but are a thing...when it suits them - They want the protection that a person is entitled to but act like a thing - and not a person - they have it both ways.

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Corporations are described as limited persons, not as persons. They do not enjoy a number of rights that actual persons enjoy. Your confusing what amounts to a legal fiction with the actual rights of living breathing human beings. In other words, if that's your whole argument, it's based on a serious misunderstanding on your part.

A person is a person under the law.

A limited person????

"They do not enjoy a number of rights that actual persons enjoy." Such as?

"serious misunderstanding on your part." Enlighten me.

Edited by CitizenX
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A person is a person under the law.

A limited person????

"They do not enjoy a number of rights that actual persons enjoy." Such as?

"serious misunderstanding on your part." Enlighten me.

If you're just going to make things up on the fly, this isn't going to be a very useful debate, is it?

When's the last time you saw a corporation vote in an election? Corporations do not enjoy the right to life and liberty, and can be extinguished via the courts for crimes much less than would be required to, for instance, execute a person, in jurisdictions where capital punishment is allowed, and that does not apply in places like Canada at all, where people cannot be executed by the state, but most certainly a corporation can be effectively destroyed by the state.

Some of the rights in question stem from the fact that corporations are owned by and run by people, so certain rights, like freedom of expression, stem from the fact that the state has little authority to limit those liberties in individuals, so it cannot reasonably gain the right to limit them in organizations made up of people.

At any rate, your claim is spurious from the other end, as well. Even if corporations were somehow the exact equivalent to a human, that still does not change the essential facts that corporations are still not, in the philosophical sense, independent intelligent agents. They remain, whatever legal fiction we wrap them in, simply constructs, essential amoral in nature, possessing in and of themselves neither the power for good or evil, but only such intentions and actions as the actual intelligent agents who control them impart to them. In this they are no different than an automobile, firearm or an alphabet.

Ultimately you're committing a category error ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_mistake ). The underlying logic is completely flawed.

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If they neither have the power or qualities of good and evil...then what are they naturally prone to do? Corporate vision once it is gone with the founder of the company - takes on a trait - savage survivalism at all cost. This creates a large and desperate entity that is prone to moving towards using evil means in order to continue - so in the end - all corporations can not help what they become - destructive to themselves and their environ. I rest my case - corporations start off as being like innocent children who grow into mischievious young people then eventually sinister adults who bath them selves in the illusion of goodness and that thing called "ethics" that can be translated in many ways to suit..the now mindless monster.

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