#1
Imagine you live on an island. In fact, you own this island, and everything on it. And on this island, there happens to be an abundance of coconut trees. You have more coconuts than you'll need in several dozen lifetimes.

Anways, you're on your island, living comfortably for a while, enjoying your coconuts when one day a small group of sailors become stranded on your island. Now, these people are hungry and have no food, and there is no land in sight other than yours (so they can't get food from anywhere else). And you have more coconuts than you could ever possibly need.

In fact, if you were to show grace to these men give them some coconuts it would cost you next to nothing. That is, you suffer no negative side-effects from giving these men some food. However, the food is indeed rightfully yours, you didn't steal it or anything.

These men have no inherit claim to it. If you do not give these men anything to eat, did you do something morally wrong? Is it more or less or equally as wrong as deliberately killing these men yourself?
Last edited by guitarhero_764 at Dec 20, 2009,
#3
No. They're my coconuts. I'll kill those knobs.
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#5
If you would not give these men food they would take it from you and kill you, and maybe eat you for the protein. I would!

When I was in the Gulf War, there were times that I was so hungry and tired that I would have eaten anything, even people! When you are fighting a war, it is not easy to stop by McDonalds for lunch.
#7
Definitely wrong and almost equal to deliberately killing them, as you are directly depriving them of food.
#11
Yes.


The food is as rightfully yours as it is theirs. Just because you arrived before them doesn't make you more entitled to it. And as Thrill-house said, you're depriving a fellow human being food that you have an abundance of and they need to survive.
#12
Poison the coconuts and give them some.

Then eat those fools for the protein and whatnot
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#14
Obviously it's a bad thing, and obviously you're trying to get a message across here. It's all right, I dislike Capitalism too.
#15
Quote by madbomber233
Poison the coconuts and give them some.

Then eat those fools for the protein and whatnot


dumb move
the poison would multiply in you and you'd die too
no coconuts for anyone
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#16
Quote by guitarhero_764
Your point?

Well it is a very simplistic view of capitalism!

It completely ignores people having ownership of anything by their own merits. By what virtue do you own this island? What if you worked from nothing with every bit of your heart to own this island, and these sailors owned their ship by virtue of thievery and begging, and were stranded of their own foolishness?

I suppose really this situation isn't describing communism as such, it's describing charity.

IF say you were one of these sailors and found yourself stranded on an empty island, and you worked hard to make yourself shelter, collected coconuts, and the others did nothing, you might think twice about throwing your hard earned coconuts at them.
Then again, you wouldn't want them to starve, why not pay them coconuts to go and find other coconuts, or to build more shelters?
That's a little closer to a rational argument for capitalism.
#17
Quote by Shaggy_420
dumb move
the poison would multiply in you and you'd die too
no coconuts for anyone


But aside from you illogical explanation, you're right.
#18
If you didn't give them any then a coconut would probably fall on your head and kill you. You could say its karma but its actually a random accident.
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#19
Quote by MadClownDisease
Well it is a very simplistic view of capitalism!

It completely ignores people having ownership of anything by their own merits. By what virtue do you own this island? What if you worked from nothing with every bit of your heart to own this island, and these sailors owned their ship by virtue of thievery and begging, and were stranded of their own foolishness?

I suppose really this situation isn't describing communism as such, it's describing charity.

IF say you were one of these sailors and found yourself stranded on an empty island, and you worked hard to make yourself shelter, collected coconuts, and the others did nothing, you might think twice about throwing your hard earned coconuts at them.
Then again, you wouldn't want them to starve, why not pay them coconuts to go and find other coconuts, or to build more shelters?
That's a little closer to a rational argument for capitalism.
The point is that, yeah you own it by your own merits(I should add that in), but you own so much that giving some away to the sailors could never hurt you. Just like the wealthiest of the wealthy in the world. I guess it's not as much an argument for communism as one for higher taxes or w/e. It doesn't have to be political at all, it's an interesting situation by itself.
#20
Quote by jimmyled

But aside from you illogical explanation, you're right.


i was thinking about how mercury poisoning happens
how plankton get affected then fish eat a bunch of plankton and if you eat a bunch of fish
idk mercury sucks
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#21
Quote by guitarhero_764
The point is that, yeah you own it by your own merits(I should add that in), but you own so much that giving some away to the sailors could never hurt you. Just like the wealthiest of the wealthy in the world. I guess it's not as much an argument for communism as one for higher taxes or w/e. It doesn't have to be political at all, it's an interesting situation by itself.



No matter how morally wrong it is not to help the sailors there are still greedy people in the world. Raising taxes won't help with spreading the wealth around more or helping those with nothing at all. Whilst your example is good and most people would not doubt about whether they'd give the sailors some coconuts, those people aren't the same people that in real life own the metaphorical coconuts and island.
#22
Quote by icaneatcatfood
Yah. Chances are a small group of sailors would kick my ass if they got hungry enough anyway, better feed em.

this - and I don't see why you wouldn't give them any if you could live and they could live, you'd have some companions to keep you companies
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#23
Sharing is caring

I personally believe that in this situation it would be inhumane not to share due to that they are now inhabitants of the island, too.

Even if you wouldn't give them the coconuts they would take 'em anyway, so what's the point?

You could just have asked if we are right wing Capitalists or left wing socialists instead, much easier.

I don't neither see this as a good example.

A Capitalist's reasoning for not sharing his profits in the form of taxes is that he's worked for it

Right now in this situation, I would not have WORKED to get these Coconuts, if I had to GROW them, it would have been a different story.

Due to the fact that I did not need to GROW the nuts myself, but that they were here when I came here, I have no reason not to share, except for greed.
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Last edited by Ylasto at Dec 20, 2009,
#24
The best thing to do, both morally and economically, is to make them work for it. It's a tropical island, there should be plenty of fish for them to catch. Trade them coconuts for fish, that way they get food and you won't die from malnutricion due to eating nothing but ****ing coconuts.

Be generous, give them plenty of coconuts for every fish, but don't let them know you have unlimited coconuts or there might be mutiny. But play it wisely and they'll become your loyal servants and you get to live as the coconut king.

I don't understand why anyone would buy a remote desert island where nothing grows except for coconuts though. That seems like a very bad deal, i hope you didn't pay much.
#25
Quote by guitarhero_764
The point is that, yeah you own it by your own merits(I should add that in), but you own so much that giving some away to the sailors could never hurt you. Just like the wealthiest of the wealthy in the world. I guess it's not as much an argument for communism as one for higher taxes or w/e. It doesn't have to be political at all, it's an interesting situation by itself.


How is this an argument for higher taxes? That would mean someone takes your coconuts and gives it to the sailors.
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#26
Hmmm... this sounds too much like a treaty of waitangi issue.

It would come down to this. Would I rather spend a lifetime on an island by myself, or with a bunch of people who I could talk to? hopefully some of which are women
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#27
Quote by Ylasto
I don't neither see this as a good example.

A Capitalist's reasoning for not sharing his profits in the form of taxes is that he's worked for it

Right now in this situation, I would not have WORKED to get these Coconuts, if I had to GROW them, it would have been a different story.

Due to the fact that I did not need to GROW the nuts myself, but that they were here when I came here, I have no reason not to share, except for greed.

Essentially aye this is what i meant more or less.

However, as much of a theoretical capitalist as I am, I don't disagree with taxes in the way this implies.
A man is entitled to the fruits of his labours, but in normal society tax isn't simply to re-distribute wealth we've earned, it is akin to us paying for the labours of the government in upkeep of roads, in the police and medical services, in education etc

Quote by rockingamer2
How is this an argument for higher taxes? That would mean someone takes your coconuts and gives it to the sailors.

Yeah that's his point, you'd tax his coconuts as it wouldn't hurt him but would benefit the sailors.
#28
i want my own island
the sailors can suck it if they want some coconut
hehe nut that tastes like coco
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#29
are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
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#30
Morals are irrelevant. Enjoy living life feeling obliged to do certain things.