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Public Sector Workers - Reality Check
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pooley
pooley
501 posts

Re: Public Sector Workers - Reality Check
Jul 08, 2010, 20:40
PMM wrote:
Blimey pooley. That's the most insulting and patronising thing I've read here for quite a while.

Complex things are constructed from simple elements. For me the most obvious example is driving. It's a dynamic and complex interaction between the driver, the vehicle, the road surface, road markings and signs, and other road users, who are also having to deal with a complex and dynamic situation and make constant adjustment to their speed and road position. There'd be no way you could learn to do such a thing unless it was possible to break it down into simple things. So I build driving from simple unit elements, eventually putting all those elements together until the learner is able to cope with everything they encounter, almost without having to think about it.

That doesn't just apply to an activity though. It can apply to things (atoms are simple but they come together to form molecules which come together to form the human brain, a computer chip is just a large number of very simple and very small logic gates) and it can apply to arguments.

In this case, the argument being made is indeed simple. Doing good doesn't confer the right to do evil. One does not balance out the other.

I'm sure you agree with this. Helping an old lady across the road does not give me the right to steal her handbag.

The fact that policemen and women do good things does not give them the moral authority to do evil, and merrick is correct to call them on their behaviour.

Aside from this direct issue, it's often useful to construct an argument from simple elements like the one above. It's not necessarily naive and simplistic. It just shows an understanding of the underlying principles.
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