...I would like to make an addendum to my last post, because I'm the sort of hasty fool who thinks of important points after I mouth off.
*Upon rereading the original post which sparked this whole exchange, it would appear that we are not so much in disagreement as I had thought. While I still disagree with Didact on some points, such as everyone being equally possessed of reason - which is still a notion of the Enlightenment - he nevertheless does state that those who abuse, or are likely to abuse their rights should have them restricted.
That more or less puts the question down to one of frame control. The core problem lies with how the inevitable calls for expansion of the franchise are dealt with. The framing of various privileges as rights, like republicanism, inevitably leads to demotism; however, when framed as privileges, they can be rescinded much more easily in cases of abuse. Few would argue against a right to life and freedom, but then why do we put people in prison, if not the death penalty when they show they are unable to handle such freedoms without harming others?
Essentially put, it's frame control. "No, you cannot have a say in government because you're not of the aristocracy. Buy a land and title, marry an aristocrat's daughter, or perform some service to the king. Having a say in government is a freedom we accord you." as opposed to "You can't deny my RIGHT to vote!"
*I would like to vehemently disagree that the concept of Noblesse Oblige is one that is exclusive to western civilisation. Consider my post on the Analects:
"In leading a state of a thousand chariots, respect the office and be trustworthy, economise the use of resources and love the people, and employ the people when it is timely."These are but a few verses amongst others which highlight the idea that by virtue of their elevated position, aristocrats and rulers have a paternal duty towards their vassals and need to be virtuous in their ruling. Remember that the Analects formed the backbone of the Imperial Examinations' syllabus for over a thousand years - while like in all systems, there were obviously those who slipped through the cracks, the duty of rulers towards the ruled was nevertheless the officially endorsed position in much of Chinese thought for that time. Sure, there were corrupt officials who did not behave in such a manner, but it was expected of them, and everyone knew they weren't living up to the expected standard.
- Chapter 1, verse 5.
"To rule with virtue is like the North Star in its place, around which all other stars revolve in homage."
- Chapter 2, verse 1.
Duke Ting asked: "How should the lord employ his subjects, and how should subjects serve their lord?"
Confucius replied: "The lord should employ his subjects in accordance with the rites. The subjects should serve their lord with loyalty."
- Chapter 3, verse 19.
*This is a perfect example of "rights" trumping everything, no matter how deleterious, by a self-professed libertarian.
Amongst the other stupid fallacies this fellow commits, such as correlation = causation (cities with growing tech industries have more homosexuals, hence tolerance of those like homosexuals causes creativity, which causes growth), he openly admits that adultery causes numerous problems, yet still wants it to go forward. Why? Because "tolerance" and "individual freedom".
It's not about me being harmed, it's about civilisation and society, which apparently you don't give a shit about. Civilisation doesn't happen by magic.