Liberals also say and do stupid shit


(Blatantly stolen from Wikipedia)

The idea that certain rights are natural or inalienable also has a history dating back at least to the Stoics of late Antiquity and Catholic law of the early Middle Ages, and descending through the Protestant Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment to today.[ citation needed ]

The existence of natural rights has been asserted by different individuals on different premises, such as a priori philosophical reasoning or religious principles. For example, Immanuel Kant claimed to derive natural rights through reason alone. The United States Declaration of Independence, meanwhile, is based upon the “self-evident” truth that “all men are … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.[7]

Likewise, different philosophers and statesmen have designed different lists of what they believe to be natural rights; almost all include the right to life and liberty as the two highest priorities. H. L. A. Hart argued that if there are any rights at all, there must be the right to liberty, for all the others would depend upon this. T. H. Green argued that “if there are such things as rights at all, then, there must be a right to life and liberty, or, to put it more properly to free life.”[8] John Locke emphasized “life, liberty and property” as primary. However, despite Locke’s influential defense of the right of revolution, Thomas Jefferson substituted “pursuit of happiness” in place of “property” in the United States Declaration of Independence.


I’ll make a new thread for this, and we can have the discussion there.


Cicero wrote about natural law, which is not the same thing as natural rights. The former looks for a universal foundation for law, the latter is explicitly about limiting the reach of government.

Natural rights became popular at about the same time that capitalism became popular, which should come as no surprise since “natural right to property” is the one that is written about most.


I think he wrote about both. For example, we are born for Justice, and that right is based, not upon opinions, but upon Nature, is a statement about natural rights.


There are a lot of “laws” that make no logical sense. Conversely, there are a lot of common sense things which are not legal things.

As popehat says “your feelings are not the law”. Paraphrasing, if common sense were the law, then twitter would be the Supreme Court.


My speculation is that given it contradicts any reasonable interpretation of Article V, and no constitutional law scholar has ever made the type of suggestion as he made, that the SCOTUS would agree unanimously that his suggested course of action is unconstitutional.

To find otherwise would be to suggest that:

  1. Article V goes to the trouble of explicitly prohibiting an action which is accomplished through dramatically more simple means.
  2. The end result is that you can have a federal statute which directly contradicts the text of the US constitution, which effectively negates the notion of Judicial Review.

Those two things do not seem to be likely positions for any supreme court justice to take.

That is of course only my opinion.



Orcs aren’t people, so it doesn’t matter if they’re inferior.


It’s been a while since I re-read the books, but I’m pretty sure Tolkien treats them as people. They have motives, desires, emotions, etc. They’re conscious beings.


And they’re not all that inferior really. They very nearly conquered the world


I might be wrong, but I don’t remember Tolkien treating them as people. Now Jackson attached motive and emotion to them.


Orcs are specifically a corruption of the elves. They are evil beings.

The idea of bad guys is not racist.

While he always denied it, the orcs are essentially the Nazis.


I might be wrong, too, but I don’t think Jackson invented e.g. the fight for possession of Frodo’s mithril shirt in the tower of Minas Morgul. If two orcs can conceive of a desire for the shirt independently of and in conflict with their overall evil instructions, then they’re conscious beings with their own motivations and the ability to act out of self-interest even if it contradicts their supposed evil servant nature.

Edit: I’ll add that this doesn’t make me accept the premise that the books are racist. I think Tolkien was telling a fable about good and evil, so he needed manifest evil and invented the Orcs to fill that role. But there is a good deal of discussion about the implicit (im)morality of the story, and it’s not all silly. Are there no Orc children? Tolkien several times said or at least implied that there were. Are they necessarily evil, and should they be killed at birth?


I mean… they’re obviously conscious. But nothing about that scene says they’re anything other than evil.
They are ready to kill each other over a shiny shirt.

They’re magically evil. They are “of Melkor” the source of all evil.

Also per Tolkien:

“The Orcs were beasts of humanized shape (to mock Men and Elves) deliberately perverted / converted into a more close resemblance to Men. Their ‘talking’ was really reeling off ‘records’ set in them by Melkor. Even their rebellious critical words – he knew about them. Melkor taught them speech and as they bred they inherited this; and they had just as much independence as have, say, dogs or horses of their human masters. This talking was largely echoic (cf. parrots).”

They’re effectively minor demons. Magical creatures made of pure evil to kill things. They are just the foot soldiers of the army. I mean you might as well ask, “Are the Balrogs and Melkor really that evil? Or are we just biased against their culture of destroying and subjugating all life and happiness?”


Tolkien has multiple conflicting origin stories for Orcs. That’s not surprising, since they’re made-up plot devices he needed for his story, and then only after the fact spent decades wondering what they were.

Why not? Saruman was not-evil, then he was evil. Does it only work in one direction? Why?

Edit: This is one of the reasons I was profoundly blown away by Eddison’s The Worm Ouroboros. The character arc of one of the the villains, Lord Gro, is so much more interesting than any of Tolkien’s baddies.


Orcs were created in the service of evil but are not necessarily inherently evil. They definitely are not evil automatons and have independent, selfish motivations and desires as evidenced in the books.

Also they can breed with humans, as half-orcs are described at various points.

We never see a potentially good orc or half-orc in Tolkien but that doesn’t mean none could exist.


They actually are. They were specifically created to be so.

It’s literally their entire reason for existing.

Any suggesting otherwise it’s based on our own anthropomorphizing of them into humans, and assuming that they have the same complexities.

At no point in any of tolkien’s writings did he ever suggest that orcs were anything other than evil, as far as I’m aware. Like, literally zero examples of that, in thousands and thousands of pages of text.


One of the characters in Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy begins as perhaps one of the most evil people you could imagine, and then his character arc slowly evolves as the story progresses. The trilogy is different in that way as there are few truly good or bad characters.


You should read the Silmarillion. Orcs were bred from elves who had been corrupted by Melkor. It is not inconceivable that an orc could redeem itself and escape that corruption.


In my story I do not deal in Absolute Evil. I do not think there is such a thing, since that is Zero. I do not think that at any rate any ‘rational being’ is wholly evil. Satan fell. In my myth Morgoth fell before Creation of the physical world. In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit.’

While Tolkien originally saw all Orcs as descended from tortured Elves, later comments of his indicate, according to Christopher Tolkien in Morgoth’s Ring (“Myths Transformed, text X”), that he began to feel uncomfortable with the theory that orcs were descending from Elves. However, Tolkien died before he could complete his upheaval of the cosmology, and in the published version of The Silmarillion , the Elf origin of Orcs was adopted. It does not appear that the elder Tolkien ever decided on a definitive answer. Different origins proposed were: animals that Morgoth infused with reason (Myths Transformed, text VIII), Elves and (later) Men (M.T.,text IX) and “probably” Men (text X).

The origin of Orcs is an open question. In Tolkien’s writings, evil is not capable of independent creation, making it unlikely that the Vala Melkor, who was obviously the first to produce them, could do that ex nihilo . In The Silmarillion is mentioned that the Orcs were transformed from Elves — the purest form of life on Arda(the Earth) — by means of torture and mutilation; and this “theory” would then become the most popular.