[LMB] OT: Malfoy on Pratchett, rated G I swear.

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Mon, 16 Aug 2004 11:58:08 -0400 (EDT)

I got lost in the embedded attributions here - please
forgive me if I get it wrong about who said what.

Malfor (I htink) said:
> > aphorisms.  But then, I
> > wonder about Bujold aphorisms too -- 
> > "all true wealth is biological" can be
> > pretty creepy.

It depends how you take it.  If you take it as meaning
"people are more important than things" it doesn't
seem creepy at all.  If you take is as "people are
possessions" it is.

> I do agree with you there.  I think mostly because I
> don't actually *have* any biological family 

Does the phrase refer to biological family?  I always
took it as being more general than that. (Maybe
because I have few or no relatives myself.)

> A society, in my opinion, works better when human
> nature is acknowledged.

True, but I think the question here is how much the
process is or is not codofied in law or resolution.
Systems that try to prevent nepotism can be
sidestepped, if illegally; systems that don't try to
prevent it can be encouraging its abuses.

> Speaking as one of those who wear the green and
> silver, it's my personal belief that the 
> personal is damned important 

I think most people for any society would agree with
that; the question is, is there a point at which
impersonal objectivity can achieve a greater good? 
Personal ethics applied on a national basis can lead
to considerable social injustice (and consequent
crime, revolution or violent chaos).  

> And caring about people in
> specific seems necessary to me for developing the
> ability to care about people in general.

Generally speaking, I don't think society is full of
people (on any level) who dont' care about anyone at

> I believe it's important to hear all sides of a
> story before making a judgement.

Which is the 'impersonal' argument, is it not -
listening to all sides of everyone's story before
being judgemental?

> But it's natural and human to give more 
> credence to someone with whom you
> have a long and positive history.  

If you know them to be trustworthy, yes.  And that
knowledge of trustworthiness has an objective value in
itself - your friend is a friend because he was proved
that he is honest and reliable, which a stranger has
not done.

> Everyone has some prejudices.  I'm most comfortable
> with those who admit their prejudices and biases 
> and are honest about it and take them into account 
> when making decisions, 

Are you talking about political, philosophical and
religous bias here, or bias towards friends? or all of
the above?