Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
  1. Easy to answer: I have an informational approach. If you kill one cell, nothing is lost. The information and the potential to become a fully drown human is still there. If you divide the embryo into two and kill one of the two, nothing is lost to that point. If you kill the last cell, it is dead. With time more information is added and gemini are not the same, but at birth they are actually still very similar.
  2. Same answer.
  3. Human DNA can make humans, animal DNA can make animals? I'm not a vegatarian.
  4. I don't follow the biblical approach. But the reason the church wants protection of embryos as early as possible is the fear that the respect for life will erode with time. There is no other clear cut, which non-biologists can see. To take birth is just rediculous after it is possible to see the baby in the womb with modern technology.
In Peru I met an development worker (who pretty much had the same views than I had on these issues) and told that the native Peruvians actually use a natural way to prevent (or not) pregnancies, which actually didn't prevent, but aborted (very early). I found that OK, as the native Peruvians have not all these technology to view the embryo all the time.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers
by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 18th, 2008 at 09:12:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does your respect for life include respect to nature, to the beings living a suffering life in intoxicated environments, deprived habitats? How does your information approach work regarding vanishing species?

Is it only phenotypical expression of human DNA that is important to you? How about decent chances for happiness, love as requisite for fulfilled human life? If even the mother cannot be happy with a born child, how much is that human life worth? What if the society welcomes the child with a high rent, and best prospects for a bit of wealth in the form of meat packing, or drug dealing, or strip dancing job? What if the child is assured to see deteriorating social and common physical infrastructure because of runaway state debt?

Paul Krugman writes in the latest column:

"Poverty in early childhood poisons the brain." That was the opening of an article in Saturday's Financial Times, summarizing research presented last week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

As the article explained, neuroscientists have found that "many children growing up in very poor families with low social status experience unhealthy levels of stress hormones, which impair their neural development." The effect is to impair language development and memory -- and hence the ability to escape poverty -- for the rest of the child's life.

[Living] in or near poverty has always been a form of exile, of being cut off from the larger society. But the distance between the poor and the rest of us is much greater than it was 40 years ago, because most American incomes have risen in real terms while the official poverty line has not. To be poor in America today, even more than in the past, is to be an outcast in your own country. And that, the neuroscientists tell us, is what poisons a child's brain.

by das monde on Mon Feb 18th, 2008 at 10:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does your respect for life include respect to nature, to the beings living a suffering life in intoxicated environments, deprived habitats? How does your information approach work regarding vanishing species?
Of course. Actually vanishing species are a very important issue. One beetle isn't much different than any other beetle and if it dies not much is lost. But a whole category of beetles vanishing might well be worth to sacrifice one's life to rescue them.

I don't think happiness is the main goal of live and adoption is an option.
However, I think the condition less basic income (for the Germans, I think the variant of Althaus is quite acceptible) is a possebility to prevent exploitation as you describe in your link. It would give everybody 600 Euro plus health insurance without condition. If this is achievable in Germany it is as well achievable in the US, as both countries are similar rich.
In Germany actually I can't see runaway state debt. In the US it is due to military imperialism and because of special treatment of the very rich. I have read that investment banker in the US pay less tax the a middle income worker.

I read Paul Krugman's columns regularly and like most very much. He advocates free markets internationally, as this helps the poor. Internationally inequality is declining, 100s of millions of Asian, South American and African people could make it out of absolut poverty.
Domestically he favours more help for the poor than in the US, but in Germany he is an economic rightwinger. A week or two ago there was an interview with the Krugman in the FAZ (the most important conservative newspaper in Germany). He was asked, if he really wants the US becoming more like Germany. He said, he would like the US to go a quarter in the direction of Germany and then analyse ones more. So likely he would like to see Germany to go about half the way in the direction of the US.

Little translation American to German political coordiantes as I see it.


party     US                                 Germany     party
GOP       conservative                        economic fascist, social ultra conservative
Dems      liberal                             liberal       FDP  
          socialist (econ.), social mod-con.  conservative   CDU
          communist                           socialdemocrat SPD
         beyond imagination                   (Post/-)Kommunisten Die Linke
Greens    greens                              greens       greens

The difference between fascists and conservatives is, that fascists use the gov to enrich corporations, conservatives are critical to high gov influence.

The US is not conservative and has no small gov. If you add non-state health care expenditures to the state quote in the US, it is as big as in Germany. Just the US funnels its money to the military and into prisons, while Germany pays for welfare.

With the very poor choice of parties in the US I would vote green in the US.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 12:05:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think happiness is the main goal of live and adoption is an option.

Surely, happiness discussion might get very broad. What I want to stress is having decent chances for happiness, love.

I appreciate your concern of life in nature, and of exploited human lives. But is there anything could and should be done? What is here the "right" conservative attitude? Why protection of fetus could be enforced, while protection of nature and human dignity not?

How fair conservatives should decide which problems and threats require common attention and contribution? If it is becoming clear that human suffering increases with forced supply of cheap cheap labour force, and that the Earth is suffering from hyper-consumption by humans (and perhaps overpopulation), why stick to stubborn creeds that evidently magnify bad troubles and risks? That does not look ethically intelligent.

I wonder what happened to the notion of conservativism   as the attitude not to be over-enthusiastic with new ideas or enforcement possibilities. In this light, Krugman's "quarter" size determination is pretty conservative: make first limited steps, see how that works in America, and then - why not - possibly go another "quarter" further. He is not advocating Germany to shift by 3 quarters towards American social relations, is he?

It is the European pro-corporate reformists who look more like some "progressive follies" than conservative. European social networks were not breaking - why to reform so eagerly? Is globalization competition really that vitally overwhelming and sustainable?

(As for free market reducing international inequality, there are different opinions of it; see here and here.)

by das monde on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 02:16:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding exploited human lives, have you read my comment? People should have the possibility to simply reject jobs as you have described them. I have never and will never advocate getting rid of the welfare system (which in the US was abolished by Bill Clinton). I'm not aware that ever any politician in Germany has ever suggested that seriously. So Bill Clinton would be too much of neocon, to even be in a 5% party.

Nature is complex and it is very difficult for me to give distant advice to the US on that. However, I think global warming may be extremely dangerous and is international.
The US should drastically increase taxes on carbon emissions. For Germany, well have you read the diary(?), I do not advocate to reduce taxes on gas, but not taxing a standing car (and I don't have a car and try to avoid to need one as possible). I would like to see as well taxing of heating oil, natural gas, fertilizer. And I'm for a longer use of nuclear power, which is quite the line of the conservative party in Germany. But private people have as well to do a lot and are often more effective than the gov.

To Consumption, have you really read the diary (?), I have already made clear that I don't think the steady increase is that much sustainable and have critisised the GDPism of the CDU. Overpopulation may be an international problem, but in Germany we have a declining number of inhabitants despite the people become older and older. This will lead as well to problems and I doubt that immigration can solve all the problems especially as there are no German speaking former colonies.

"I wonder what happened to the notion of conservativism   as the attitude not to be over-enthusiastic with new ideas or enforcement possibilities."
First I'm accused to want to go back to the 50s and then this...

Again, have you read my comment? I have not suggested Germany should go 3/4 in the direction of America, but only one half. There are so many single political issues and it is not even always clear what is right and what is left (some left-leaning people agree e.g. that our Riesterrente, something similar like your 401(k) is bad). As nature economy is complex and one would have to debate single issues.

"It is the European pro-corporate reformists"
You are once more confusing fascists and conservatives. I'm not pro-corporate (at least not if my dictionary is right about the definition of corporation). Big corporations can often easily avoiding the employment laws, while only small business partnerships are suffering from the strict rules and e.g. avoid to employ more than 20 people if this means new rules. Actually the socialists are much closer to the big corporations than conservatives. They advocate more subsidies for settling corporations, they advocate collective agreement which help the big corporations to get rid of smaller concurrents and advocate exceptions for the big corporations if they get in trouble, why the small companies, which can't outsource easily are ignored. Endless rules and bureaucracy make it difficult to start a business. The US has its good aspects and I would like to take them without copying everything. I would like to have a google, yahoo, microsoft, ebay, facebook or so.
German social networks were in danger to break. Social security has been fixed now, but it still would be better if the demographic situation would be better, e.g. more children.

With regard to globally decreasing inequality I was referring to income gini. Your sources are just talk, if you like numbers, you will like this page.
The Chinese source is mainly talking about what developing countries should or should not do. That's not the point. The point is, that we should be open for them. US protectionism would have killed the Chinese economic miracle. And our openness is exactly what makes the pressure on wages in our countries. In 20 years this is over. Let China, India and Brasil become half as rich as the developed world and you will see that gloablisation starts to become a better game for workers. In the meantime the go has to help those who can't live from their work in the developed world.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 08:23:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have never and will never advocate getting rid of the welfare system (which in the US was abolished by Bill Clinton).

Ronald Reagan and Bush the Greater, actually. Clinton just presided over the funeral. But hey, who's counting.

I would like to have a google, yahoo, microsoft, ebay, facebook or so.

Actually, I could do without a Microsoft in the Union. Microsoft should never, ever, in any properly managed universe have become as big as they did. In fact, they should have been killed off in their fight against IBM which had a clearly superior system but unfortunately also had clearly inferior lawyers.

That being said, however:

  • I see your eBay and raise you a Skype.

  • I see your Google and raise you a Nokia.

  • I see your Yahoo and raise you a Zentropa.

  • I see your FaceBook and raise you a Kazaa.

It is not at all obvious that Europe offers less fertile grounds for creative start-up companies - whether in the IT sector or anywhere else.

And I would point out that in quite a lot of areas, Europe is doing a lot better than the US:

  • US cars, for example are notorious for their inability to handle even moderately unfriendly weather conditions.

  • European power plants are better across the board than their American counterparts.

  • When was the last time an American railroad ran on time?

  • Hollywood.

And our openness is exactly what makes the pressure on wages in our countries. In 20 years this is over. Let China, India and Brasil become half as rich as the developed world and you will see that gloablisation starts to become a better game for workers.

A rather deterministic view of history for a non-Marxist. If their labour organises, if labour unions don't undercut each other across country borders and if something serious is done about flag-of-convenience countries, then yes. But all three will require political will and political action.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 06:19:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have this about the welfare from Paul Krugman.
Of course I think that Reagan and Bush were more against social spending. It was an even Clinton is not "liberal" (in the US sense of the word) enough on economics and not a defending of Reagan or Bush.

I dislike Microsoft as well and I'm rarely using it. However, it is a big company which has managed to make most schools using their system. Being good at engineering isn't enough. Zuse invented the first computer, the Fraunhofer institute invented MP3, both technologies became big in the US.

With regard to companies you may be right, it may be a cultural bias of the media I use, which gives me a false impression.

If you any economic theory which would make it useful for a country to have huge current account surpluses forever, I could agree, that it is arbitrary to assume, that things change from alone, but I have never heard of that. It would make sense for an Chinese emperor to let is slaves work all day for foreigners.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 02:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you any economic theory which would make it useful for a country to have huge current account surpluses forever, I could agree, that it is arbitrary to assume, that things change from alone, but I have never heard of that.

Mercantilism.

For that matter, there is no real reason to assume that the Chinese government considers economy to be overridingly more important than other strategic interests. That kind of thinking is a Western(TM) peculiarity. It's entirely possible that the Chinese leadership is perfectly content with having lower than possible economic efficiency if that means that it will have a more solid grasp around the balls of several other major powers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 10:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still doubt that it makes sense and I think a creditor is not always in the better situation compared with a debtor.

And if e.g. China would use Mercantilism even after having an overall decent standard of living, we could still start protectionist measures to defend ourselves against them. But up to now this is not the case and western protectionism would really hurt a lot of poor people (and has done it in the last years on agricultural protectionism).

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 at 09:53:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series