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Passions in Poetry

A Tale

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moonbeam
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0 posted 08-20-2010 02:42 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I own a piece of land with a burn running through it, wooded slopes and meadows.  For some years now I've invited local people on a purely voluntary basis to recreate there, to picnic, trout fish, watch the local badgers and birds, and, if the mood takes them, to contribute a little by improving the paths and bridges, and to help with the brush cutting and tree thinning in the winter.  

They seem to have enjoyed themselves over the years, and although not all behave precisely as I would like, even to the point where I have had to spend some time admonishing them for leaving litter or making undue noise, in general they have made the place a more vibrant and lively location.

Tomorrow night, without warning or discussion, without consultation or explanation, without even a chance for them to collect the various little contributions they have made - a cute sculpture of a squirrel, a brushwood witches broom and hat, a carved picnic log, a woven willow bird hide, two silver birch hollowed nest boxes, and much more - I am going to slam shut the gate and padlock it.  

The recreational resource will quite simply disappear overnight.

I have consulted my lawyer, I own the site, I can do what I like.  

Yet in the early hours as I lay awake I had pangs of conscience.  Legally in the right maybe, but morally?  What sort of a person have I become that I would take this action I wondered.

And in the morning I resolved to ask my friends in my moral philosophy group what they thought.  Does legal ownership absolve one of a moral duty in a case like this?  Is there, indeed, any moral duty?  If so, how far does it extend?
serenity blaze
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1 posted 08-20-2010 03:50 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well that is a lovely side of you, moonbeam. It sounds wonderful.

It's fortunate indeed that your generosity isn't impinged upon by activities of a more sordid type.

I don't know that I could be so generous. I would worry about the legal responsibility, and it would annoy me to no end to have to keep paying code enforcement fines, and? I'd worry about other stuff too. Like safety.

I mean, there might be bodies buried out there...

Seriously, though, it would be a sad day if you had to put up a fence because people started using what sounds like a lovely place to dump their trash.

There are people who ruin things for everybody.
moonbeam
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2 posted 08-20-2010 04:55 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
Seriously, though, it would be a sad day if you had to put up a fence because people started using what sounds like a lovely place to dump their trash.


Humm, yes a sad day indeed Karen.

And so out of character for a lovely generous person to slam shut a gate like that.  I must be getting grouchy in my old age.  

But do you think I have a MORAL responsibility to keep it open, or at least to give everyone fair warning, to maybe start a debate, to allow them time to remove their artefacts.  Or does ownership confer on me a kind of godlike status which enables me to ride roughshod over everyone else's feelings and "rights" and do what the heck I want when I want?
serenity blaze
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3 posted 08-20-2010 07:58 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Hmmm.

Did you know I actually have my own website?

I do. I'm never there. My sister and vlraynes runs the place. Artistic Stylings of Twisted Serenity. (My sister's pen name is "Twist".)

But I tell ya, and a number of people will back me up on it--if she finds something offensive, she just removes it. No warning. No admonition. If a member gets stubborn and puts it back, she removes THEM.

She doesn't explain, nor does she apologize.

Her reasoning is that if people want to practice their rights to free speech, they should feel free to go ahead and make their own site/blog/whatever.

Her reasoning is that it is HER name on it, and she has the right to maintain a dignified  website. (And yes, she knows me very well, and yes, she has edited ME.)

She is a pretty talented web designer, and she wants something she can point to with pride as an example of her work. (I told her it was kind of a mistake to invite writers. *chuckle*)

And I know I have fought a long hard fight about language and such, but the truth is, I actually agree with her now.

She went to the trouble to make the site, and all of our offerings are a cumulative statement with HER name on it.

So she reserves the right to edit. On a whim.

And I reserve the right to post only the most selective poems of mine, although Nan once told me that with me it doesn't matter so much because no one ever knows what I'm talking about anyway. *grin* (That was a long time ago, Nanners, and I think they are on to me now.)

Yep. There's some cantankerous folks out there. So. Y'wanna meet my seeeeeester?  

She can probably beat ya at arm wrestling too.
moonbeam
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4 posted 08-21-2010 05:45 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes, and if I find a pile of dog stuff I remove it.  Or a kid that bark ringed a tree I ban him.

If I find a group who want to barbecue I reason with them, point out the fire risk, discuss, warn, then maybe be bar them - after I've politely told them I am going to do so.

If anyone complains I then I hope have the grace and good manners to take the time to explain to them why I took the action I took.

But then I'm just an angel I guess.

Perhaps most people would just ban lock and run over the horizon.  Perhaps indeed that is after all the right and moral thing to do.  Humm.

........

So basically what you are saying is that your sister would approve of me closing down the woods instantly with no explanation and no apology - just because I CAN!!

I wonder if that's because she knows it's wrong and doesn't care (maybe morally reprehensible).  Or because she thinks it's ok to do that (maybe morally bankrupt).

So confusing!
serenity blaze
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5 posted 08-21-2010 02:41 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay.

I'll tell you about another friend of mine.

She was totally fine with her husband staying home as a "househusband" while she sorked, but sadly, as the story goes, he didn't really pay much attention to their daughter and he was very messy. So one day, after a long day at work, after many weeks of reasoning with him, she took one look at the sink full of dishes and calmly threw them all in the garbage.

Then she took that garbage out and bought paper plates.

You'd think the guy would have got the message. But nooooooooooooooo....

The guy couldn't even manage to throw the paper plates away. So she p;icked up all those paper disks and put the garbage out promptly went to the store. She purchased exactly three plastic plates and a sharpie. She wrote their names on them. She went home to their double wide trailer, handed him his plate and went and lockedc her plate along with her daughter's in her room. This move effectively divided their home in to two warring camps.

She had an actual invisablie line that he couldn't cross. This whole sad story ended up in divorce, all because people who share commmon areas should share the responsibilty of cleaning that area. (That's such a basic rule that even I know it.) If it's left to one person, you get what ya get.

Yep I say Menopausal women would make a very effective army. Menopausal women and...Ron.

*lmao* He totally "gets" women yanno.


Grinch
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6 posted 08-21-2010 02:58 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

What you need Moon is effective land management, a volunteer gamekeeper or two would sort out your problem in pretty short order and give you some peace of mind to boot. If you do decide to go down the volunteer gamekeeper route, remember the old adage that the best gamekeepers are ex- poachers.

Why not ask a couple of the more responsible folk who use the land if they fancy doing the job.

Anyhow that's my two pence worth, sorry it wasn't longer but I'm a little busy - I've got to nip out to check the ferrets and fix my long net and those pheasant aren't going to pluck themselves.

moonbeam
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7 posted 08-21-2010 03:35 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
*lmao* He totally "gets" women yanno.


~looks around~  He sure does!  I rest my case m'lud.    

quote:
a volunteer gamekeeper or two would sort out your problem in pretty short order


Yeah yeah I know Grinch ~sigh~ and believe me I've tried it.  But yanno, each time they started thinking for themselves or using initiative I felt kinda threatened and ended up chopping their balls off.


Now women gamekeepers ... hummm there's a thought ... humm, malleable, easily charmed, capable of direct aggression, no testosterone ... now why didn't I think of that before ...    

....

But we stray from my original questions.  Would I be morally right or wrong?
Grinch
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8 posted 08-21-2010 03:57 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Would I be morally right or wrong?


Your decision would be morally neutral.

You aren't infringing on the rights of the visitors to your land because they don't actually have any. You could tell them of your intention but you aren't obligated to, in fact if you've raised your concerns in the past and barring entry has been discussed you could even argue that you have notified them.
serenity blaze
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9 posted 08-21-2010 05:24 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Moonbeam?

I'm sorry if I came off flippantly unsympathetic.

I understand mourning something that ain't there no more.

I do.
moonbeam
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10 posted 08-21-2010 05:40 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Karen

Hugs right back at you gal - really I am totally ok with all you said, not flippant at all.  And even if you were, tongue in cheek was what this thread was all about really.

And no I certainly don't mourn the loss.  I do however deplore the methodology!

Grinch

quote:
You aren't infringing on the rights of the visitors to your land because they don't actually have any


~deja vu~ lol

Well, perhaps we differ on that point a little.  No question that no legal rights pertain, but I tend to think that are "moral rights" - and certainly there is the more universal "right" to expect to be treated in a "humane/human" way.  I think perhaps I'll post a small notice of my intention, the date it will be operative, and some reasons for my decision.  That I feel is the minimum any decent person should do.
JenniferMaxwell
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11 posted 08-21-2010 05:41 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

But what about Uncle Lumpkinís cute little hand carved squirrel sculpture and the other items?  They were personal property, handcrafted treasures put there to be shared with fellow picnickers and bird watchers on moonbeamís little slice of paradise,  not to be converted to his  personal property as they will be when the gateís slammed shut and the padlockís put in place?  Isnít that a form of stealing and isnít stealing morally wrong? Isnít it usually the case that the evicted are allowed to claim their personal property, and itís up to the landlord to sue for back rent, damages and such rather than withholding the evictees personal property?

serenity blaze
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12 posted 08-21-2010 05:55 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Jenn? That is exactly the loss I was talking about. That is exactly what made me look for an archive--er, if that's what we're talking about here without talking about it here.

for THAT, I mourn. *hugs*

I'm relieved to not have to look at my own outbursts though. But I can't say I didn't have moments, especially after Katrina, that I wasn't genuinely hurt to read some things.

Feel free to e mail me anytime, k?

You've recommended some fine reading to me, and I did take for granted that those recommendations would always be there.

IF that's what we're talking about.

Love ya, lady.
Grinch
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13 posted 08-21-2010 06:44 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
But what about Uncle Lumpkinís cute little hand carved squirrel sculpture and the other items?


Uncle Lumpkin only carved the nose Jen, the squirrel was a construction of small parts built as a group effort to fit a particular location and a particular time. I'm pretty sure that given the choice, uncle Lumpkin wouldn't want the nose returned to him, I mean what can you do with a squirrels nose.



Uncle Lumpkin would be better off looking for a new field where squirrel carving is more readily accepted.

I hear that farmer Algonquin has a corner of a quiet field that's fairly flat, if someone were to whittle a couple of squirrel parts over there I don't think he'd mind.

Alison
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14 posted 08-21-2010 08:15 PM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

[Response removed because it did not apply to the intent behind the original question asked]

[This message has been edited by Alison (08-23-2010 11:33 AM).]

moonbeam
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15 posted 08-22-2010 03:40 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes, but on the Uncle Lumpkin thing, if you follow Karen's sister's theology you would argue that anything, umm, carved on a post in the woods became the property of the State, er, I mean owner, I mean Me.  If Lumpkin had wanted his squirrel's nose he should darned well have anticipated that I might slam shut the door on zero seconds notice and carved himself a copy.  So there :P

And Alison, hi there!  Well I'm glad that the milk of human kindness, common decency and honour is flowing in darkest Alaska anyway.  Thanks for that
serenity blaze
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16 posted 08-22-2010 04:02 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Moonbeam? I happen to have the reputation of being "the sweet one" of the family.

/

Nod.

I just make everybody check their guns at the door...
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17 posted 08-22-2010 12:06 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

I was about to post what Alison quoted...

MB, there comes a time when a few bad apples [you were all waiting for this one] will spoil the whole of the barrell. That's what happened, in the proverbial nutshell.

We are landowners. We are liable for the foot and rest of the body of whomever traverses our property. From a legally moral standpoint, you are not wrong in knowing its time to quit the "welcome to my open house/property" gift.

Upon request of others, we have opened our land, at times, to hunters/gatherers. We had no household/camping site in which they could reside, so there was no problem of that. We did/do have signs up that post "No Trespassing" with all the residual language in smaller print; yet, turkey and deer hunters have been welcome, if we deem them responsible individuals, which usually comes about by personal knowledge. I always voted for the bow and arrow hunter - there was a better than 50/50 chance the trophy would win the race to safety. Also, the few that we did allow within the confines of the hedge trees and barbed wire fences also were good eyes for us - reporting back on lines that needed repair, signs that needed to be replaced, etc. And sometimes we benefitted by their catch.

It's all a give and take - and I realize how you feel when something so freely given as your good will has been trampled upon by the bad apples. Leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

I think the examples of your willingness to change what was are good ones. Maybe they'll realize sooner than later that there is nothing free...not even a country home.

serenity blaze
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18 posted 08-22-2010 12:52 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Since this is a philosophy forum, let's try doing a little philosophizing.

I'll toss out a line I happened to pick up from a movie I saw last night--I forget which one, because I still haven't slept.

But a guy, an apparent veteran of some special black ops forces proposed (he was actually pretty adamant about it) but anyhoo, he said:

"Absolute freedom is always paid for with the price of oppression in some form."

I paraphrased, because I'm tired and my memory sucks, but it doesn't suck so bad that I don't have a vague memory of somebody saying something similar to that in this very forum...or that other one that ain't there no more.

But using your idyllic analogy/example, let's suppose that you suddenly get a group of people who's idea of having fun and exercizing their rights of freedom involve, say, carrying weapons and blowing Bambi's mother away? I have some new neighbors since our infamous storm, and they made a living doing that sort of thing in an area that ...well, ain't there no more and now they live here, and ya know what? THEY WILL SHOOT MY CAT. And there's nothing I can do about it. An unleashed, unrestrained animal is a pest and they have the right to rid their property of pests in a reasonable manner. (Pellet guns are allowed, firearms are not.)

I happen to know this because damn if someone didn't shoot my cat.

And the only thing I can do about it is try to keep kitty indoors, although I suspect the little wise-ass had a key cut in one of his claws.

But you do get what I'm saying, right?

Your idyllic situation could quickly turn dangerous--lethal even, and if YOU were the only one to keep the peace, and you tried valiantly, I wouldn't blame you one bit for putting up a cement wall.

But my question remains: Is that much freedom actually a good thing?

We're hearing a lot of talk about freedom, but I have yet to hear anyone address that particular point.

(Um, Ron? Feel free to join in anytime. I've got yer back.) *laughing*
moonbeam
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19 posted 08-23-2010 06:22 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Karilea and Karen

You are both missing the point.  I clearly have the legal right to close up the shop.  The moral right strengthens in proportion that I get tired and weary of bad behaviour on my land I suppose, although the subjectivity worries me a little.

But however bad the behaviour and however legally and morally justified I might feel myself to be, nothing in my view justifies me descending to the level of the worst of the land vandals and punishing everyone by a high handed, unwarned and unexplained instant chopping of the facility.

How much would a simple notice of the impending event have cost me?  And how much a short note of explanation afterwards?

My place is withering, it grows tired of sameness and repetition, I grow weary with the effort to corral and the unintended result: insipidness.  My tolerance level is zero - my manners nearing those of the very people I seek to curtail.

Perhaps I am not after all the person to allow diversity into my land.  Perhaps a barrier on the gate would have been good -

"Moonbeam Clones and Acolytes Only"

The sad end to an interesting era.
nakdthoughts
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20 posted 08-23-2010 07:24 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

just a question?  I suppose this is really a metaphor for the closing of the Alley, after reading in Q&A this morning...
and I find it just another  way to rant about a place that use to  allow all opinions without the attacks that continued on day after day.


serenity blaze
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21 posted 08-23-2010 09:36 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Yes Mo, it is. and Moonbeam? Can't you even smile for a bit and not totally get that if YOU are tired of one single thread, imagine how Ron must feel?

I don't have time for this thread, either, and I don't have much to, so I can't imagine what goes on in Ron's actual world, because um, I'm pretty sure that Pip isn't the all of it.

I've heard he like, WORKS, and has other things to do, too. So yep, good thing it's not MY finger on the button. But I have access to a few. Like the one that makes this cute little kissy face and the rest of these buttons that can miraculously convey to you, Ron and all of you, sincere gratitude for your time. It's fun. It's enlightening. And it's a microcosm of life in that there are no guarantees. And it's a lot easier than life because in my perception, the consequences are a whole lot less harsh.

Ya'll stay smart, k? I love you all.
moonbeam
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22 posted 08-23-2010 11:17 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Alison
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23 posted 08-23-2010 11:26 AM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

[original response removed]

Nevermind.

I didn't get the meaning behind moonbeam's orginal question post and took it for its literal content.  God, sometimes these exchanges just make me tired.

Alison
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24 posted 08-23-2010 01:33 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Well, if someone's actions ruined even one branch in my woods after me extending them an invitation, I would slam the lock on that gate so fast, and wouldn't look back because they are my woods.   If you don't make people accountable for their actions, this world would be a sorry place.

I would now be in the possession of a cute sculpture of a squirrel, a brushwood witches broom and hat, a carved picnic log, a woven willow bird hide, two silver birch hollowed nest boxes.

Now, should the owners of these items really want that squirrel, witches broom and hat, willow bird hide, and two nesting boxes, (the log will remain mine,) and approach my door with the intentions of a sincere apology, and offer to negotiate some terms, I may just think about a trial opening of the gate.  

Sadly though, in my life anyway, I have learned if someone tells me who they are, I believe them. I have a lot of experience with that one!  

So, if even one incident happened after I re-opened the woods, I believe it would be locked forever, and I would hire someone to clear it.

There is my theory on your "tale."  
 
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