Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by playingcards)
    I don’t think this tallies too neatly.

    Human beings need access to housing, whereas they do not need access to computer games. If computer game manufacturers operated as an effective cartel, and set prices well above a reasonable level and into the realms of extravagant profit, people would have the option to stop buying games. They don’t have the option to stop buying somewhere to live.
    I know poor people don't need computer games. The point is that computer games help people make a profit. If I start up a computer games business, or invest in one now, I will make a profit. But only a person who is rich or highly credit-worthy is going to have the initial funds to be able to do this. A poor person is not. The result is that the computer-games industry enables rich people to get richer (and therefore the poor to get poorer, in real terms).

    The poor people need access to housing and not computer games - but engaging in a computer games business works towards making them poorer, reducing their ability to buy anything, including housing, and not just games.

    Buy-to-let and other types of investment all lead to an increase in the gap between rich and poor, making it more difficult for poor people to afford both luxuries and necessities.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I highlighted the relevant part of the comparison between them (i.e. the effect that using them to make money has upon poor people) and showed that it is a similarity rather than a difference - namely that they both make poor people poorer, making it more difficult for them to afford necessities (such as houses).

    The reason why this is the relevant part of the comparison is because the argument provided to explain why buy-to-let is immoral is because it makes poor people poorer, making it more difficult for them to afford necessities (such as houses). In short, exactly the same argument used to support the idea that buy-to-let is immoral can be used for almost any profit seeking venture, including those involving computer games.
    I don't think you realise the different degrees of impact the two actions have on the poor's standard of living. Actually, I think you do, but are refusing to acknowledge it. Sure, people buying more luxury stuff will make producers raise prices, but that's completely differently to blocking someone from owning a home then charging them ever increasing rent just to live.



    Yes, but it does make them worse off, regardless of whether it's by "much". It reduces the gap between rich and poor. This is "good" for poor people and "bad" for rich people.

    To say that this is a "good" thing without any bias towards either of the two groups, one must assume that the current gap between the rich and poor is larger than the "correct" size of the gap, or growing faster than the "correct" rate of change of the gap. In which case one has to have a rigorous standard by which they determine what the "correct" size/rate of change of the gap is. No such thing has been provided on this thread as far as I can see (and in fact I don't even think such a thing exists).
    Is it good or bad that the poor are finding their living standards pushed ever lower? There's only one answer to that question that someone can give with a straight face. As a country (or even world) looking to progress/develop/improve, decreasing living standards are a contradiction. Or would you disagree with improving living standards?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    I don't think you realise the different degrees of impact the two actions have on the poor's standard of living. Actually, I think you do, but are refusing to acknowledge it. Sure, people buying more luxury stuff will make producers raise prices, but that's completely differently to blocking someone from owning a home then charging them ever increasing rent just to live.
    It doesn't matter whether there are different degrees of impact. The point is, the type of impact is the same.
    It's like saying it's moral to steal £100, but immoral to steal £200, just because one causes more harm than the other. It doesn't matter which one causes more harm. They cause exactly the same type of harm. If you consider one immoral purely because it causes a particular type of harm, you must consider the other immoral because that also causes the same type of harm.

    If there are different degrees of impact, then you can say that one is more immoral than the other. But you cannot say that one is moral while the other isn't. Otherwise you find yourself in the position of having to draw an arbitrary line, where you say "this level of impact is perfectly moral, but any impact beyond this is immoral".


    By the way, the part I've highlighted in bold indicates that you still don't understand the argument. Buy-to-let is not analogically comparable with me buying a computer game for myself. One is a profit seeking venture, while another is merely consumption of one's own wealth.

    The comparison is between buy-to-let and investing in or setting up a business which makes its profit through selling/lending computer games (i.e. another profit-seeking venture). Both of these push up the prices of houses in real terms. We don't care whether the price of computer games goes up. Both of these go some way towards "blocking" poor people from buying their own home and having to pay rent instead. Therefore based on the argument put forward, they are either both moral or both immoral.

    This is the point that you don't seem to get, so I'll put it in nice and bold so you can see:
    If I start a computer games business, it doesn't only push up the price of computer games. It pushes up the price of everything that I might buy for myself with my profits, including houses.

    Is it good or bad that the poor are finding their living standards pushed ever lower? There's only one answer to that question that someone can give with a straight face. As a country (or even world) looking to progress/develop/improve, decreasing living standards are a contradiction. Or would you disagree with improving living standards?
    You keep asking me whether I think things are good or bad, whether I think things "should" or "shouldn't" happen, and other subjective things like that. I've already told you, I'm not interested in proposing any position or debating anything regarding subjective matters. So I don't expect to be asked again.

    The only thing I came on this thread to discuss is the consistency of the OP's argument.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    It doesn't matter whether there are different degrees of impact. The point is, the type of impact is the same.
    It's like saying it's moral to steal £100, but immoral to steal £200, just because one causes a greater loss than the other. It doesn't matter which one causes more loss. If you consider one immoral purely because it causes some loss, you must consider the other immoral because that also causes some loss.
    Otherwise you find yourself in the position of having to draw an arbitrary line, where you say "this level of impact is perfectly moral, but any impact beyond this is immoral".
    We punish/discourage varying levels of the same crime by different amounts, we have varying arbitrary tax thresholds, and I wouldn't imagine anyone could argue why the minimum wage should be £6.31 and not £6.30 or £6.32, but these are all accepted. Or do you oppose these as inconsistent too?


    By the way, the part I've highlighted in bold indicates that you still don't understand the argument. Buy-to-let is not analogically comparable with me buying a luxury Rolex watch for myself. One is a profit seeking venture, while another is merely consumption of one's own wealth.
    The comparison should be between buy-to-let and investing in a business, or setting up a business which makes its profit through luxury watches. Both of these push up the prices of necessities in real terms. Both of these make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Both of these go some way towards "blocking" poor people from buying their own home. Therefore based on the argument put forward, they are either both moral or both immoral.
    One is a direct effect, whilst continuing to profit from the poor's poorness, and the other is so indirect you have to claim it goes 'some way'.



    You keep asking me whether I think things are good or bad, whether I think things "should" or "shouldn't" happen, and other subjective things like that. I've already told you, I'm not interested in proposing any position or debating anything regarding subjective matters. So I don't expect to be asked again.

    The only thing I came on this thread to discuss is the consistency of the OP's argument.
    Okay, shy away from answering if you wish, but the answer is obvious and will keep being true (and obvious) for anyone intending to properly discuss the thread title.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Absolutely not. Realise that many people actually prefer to rent as they want to use their money for other purposes (newly married couples, people starting up new businesses, students) and many others want to rent simply because it's cheaper to do so that pay a mortgage.

    As long as the landlord is decent and knows his/her obligations then there isn't a problem. Also don't forget the leasehold option...here the tenant has the chance to buy the property from their landlord should they want.
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mastermind007)
    Absolutely not. Realise that many people actually prefer to rent as they want to use their money for other purposes (newly married couples, people starting up new businesses, students) and many others want to rent simply because it's cheaper to do so that pay a mortgage.

    As long as the landlord is decent and knows his/her obligations then there isn't a problem. Also don't forget the leasehold option...here the tenant has the chance to buy the property from their landlord should they want.
    That's a good point.

    Personally with the price of car travel these days (fuel, insurance) even if i was not in university i would still prefer to rent in Leeds City Center. Until i have a kid i don't see much point in moving to the suburbs.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    We punish/discourage varying levels of the same crime by different amounts,
    Exactly my point. We say that a high amount of a particular crime is worse than a low amount of the same crime. We do not say that a high amount of a crime is immoral, whereas a low amount of that crime is moral.

    we have varying arbitrary tax thresholds, and I wouldn't imagine anyone could argue why the minimum wage should be £6.31 and not £6.30 or £6.32, but these are all accepted. Or do you oppose these as inconsistent too?
    It would be inconsistent if someone said that a minimum wage of £6.32 is moral, while a minimum wage of £6.30 is immoral - or that a tax rate of 41% is moral while a rate of 39% is immoral, yes.

    Setting these rates isn't a case of deciding what level is moral and what isn't. We set rates arbitrarily because there's no other alternative, other than simply not having minimum wages, or not having taxes.

    One is a direct effect, whilst continuing to profit from the poor's poorness, and the other is so indirect
    So? The effect is the same. Whether or not it's "direct" is besides the point.
    This is like claiming that shooting someone is immoral, but hiring an assassin to shoot someone is moral, because the former is a direct effect while the latter is only an indirect effect. The effect is of exactly the same type, so it doesn't make any difference.

    To say that a person is "profiting from the poor's poorness" is just an attempt to add irony to make it sound worse. Again, the effect upon poor people's ability to buy what they need is the same either way.
    This is like claiming that shooting someone with their own gun is worse than shooting them with any old gun. You can make it sound worse in a kind of poetic way, but that doesn't mean it actually is.

    you have to claim it goes 'some way'.
    They both go "some way" towards pushing up the prices of houses. Neither of them push up the price of houses infinitely, such that nobody can afford them.

    Okay, shy away from answering if you wish, but the answer is obvious and will keep being true (and obvious) for anyone intending to properly discuss the thread title.
    And as you know, I'm here to discuss the validity of the argument used to support the thread title, not the actual truth or falsehood of the thread title. The answer is just a matter of one's own opinion, not a matter of fact. It makes no sense to say that the answer is "true and obvious", any more than it makes sense to say that "it's true and obvious that red is a nice colour".
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Exactly my point. We say that a high amount of a particular crime is worse than a low amount of the same crime. We do not say that a high amount of a crime is immoral, whereas a low amount of that crime is moral.



    It would be inconsistent if someone said that a minimum wage of £6.32 is moral, while a minimum wage of £6.30 is immoral - or that a tax rate of 41% is moral while a rate of 39% is immoral, yes.

    Setting these rates isn't a case of deciding what level is moral and what isn't. We set rates arbitrarily because there's no other alternative, other than simply not having minimum wages, or not having taxes.
    We can say which is worse, and hence treat it differently, have differing levels of reaction to it and so on. Someone can be being exploited on £6.31/hr, or even £100k/hr, but the point is we step in where (this is arbitrary, but we agree that we should step in somewhere) the exploitation is most damaging. We needn't call for a complete overhaul of the system.



    So? The effect is the same. Whether or not it's "direct" is besides the point.
    This is like claiming that shooting someone is immoral, but hiring an assassin to shoot someone is moral, because the former is a direct effect while the latter is only an indirect effect. The effect is of exactly the same type, so it doesn't make any difference.

    To say that a person is "profiting from the poor's poorness" is just an attempt to add irony to make it sound worse. Again, the effect upon poor people's ability to buy what they need is the same either way.
    This is like claiming that shooting someone with their own gun is worse than shooting them with any old gun. You can make it sound worse in a kind of poetic way, but that doesn't mean it actually is.



    They both go "some way" towards pushing up the prices of houses. Neither of them push up the price of houses infinitely, such that nobody can afford them.
    The effect is lesser, and of course it matters if it's direct. Hiring a hitman is still your intent, but driving along and not being able to brake in time is an accident. The "effect is the same" as you say, but thankfully the law disagrees with you and sees them differently.

    As for your gun example, it's like you having a gun, and him going to get the last one to defend against bears or whatever, but you buying the gun first and ripping him off because he needs that gun.



    And as you know, I'm here to discuss the validity of the argument used to support the thread title, not the actual truth or falsehood of the thread title. The answer is just a matter of one's own opinion, not a matter of fact. It makes no sense to say that the answer is "true and obvious", any more than it makes sense to say that "it's true and obvious that red is a nice colour".
    You refuse to answer my questions because you don't think you can defend your position, let alone convince anyone of it. Of course it makes sense to say we should be improving everyone's standard of living, of course it does.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    We can say which is worse, and hence treat it differently, have differing levels of reaction to it and so on. Someone can be being exploited on £6.31/hr, or even £100k/hr, but the point is we step in where (this is arbitrary, but we agree that we should step in somewhere) the exploitation is most damaging. We needn't call for a complete overhaul of the system.
    And as I said, we already do step in somewhere, with our (arbitrary)progressive tax rates. It's equally arbitrary for you to say that this isn't enough.

    The effect is lesser, and of course it matters if it's direct. Hiring a hitman is still your intent, but driving along and not being able to brake in time is an accident. The "effect is the same" as you say, but thankfully the law disagrees with you and sees them differently.
    This has nothing to do with anything. The issue is about whether the "directness" of a crime is relevant, not whether the intent is relevant.

    As for your gun example, it's like you having a gun, and him going to get the last one to defend against bears or whatever, but you buying the gun first and ripping him off because he needs that gun.
    No, it's not like that at all. Again, you're confusing "directness" with "intent". If I buy the gun because I want him to get killed by bears, then sure, that's immoral and illegal. If I buy the gun just because I want to buy a gun for some other reason (e.g. I'm in the guns trade) it's a different situation altogether.

    You refuse to answer my questions because you don't think you can defend your position, let alone convince anyone of it. Of course it makes sense to say we should be improving everyone's standard of living, of course it does.
    Baseless claim. You don't even know what my position is.
    It seems as though you really want me to think that it's moral to exploit the poor, just so you can have something extra to argue about.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    And as I said, we already do step in somewhere, with our (arbitrary)progressive tax rates. It's equally arbitrary for you to say that this isn't enough.
    Things are getting worse, that's not arbitrary.



    This has nothing to do with anything. The issue is about whether the "directness" of a crime is relevant, not whether the intent is relevant.



    No, it's not like that at all. Again, you're confusing "directness" with "intent". If I buy the gun because I want him to get killed by bears, then sure, that's immoral and illegal. If I buy the gun just because I want to buy a gun for some other reason (e.g. I'm in the guns trade) it's a different situation altogether.
    I'm trying to make your straw man arguments more relevant. If you still don't feel they're relevant then that just shows how far off your examples were in the first place.



    Baseless claim. You don't even know what my position is.
    It seems as though you really want me to think that it's moral to exploit the poor, just so you can have something extra to argue about.
    I have a pretty good idea, as will anyone else who's read your posts. And indeed, I do want you to admit it, because then this discussion isn't just you criticising a position without offering what you feel is a better alternative, and why you feel it's better. You're not going to convince anyone you're correct if you don't even have the confidence in it to state it.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    Things are getting worse, that's not arbitrary.
    You're the one who said that our tax rates are chosen arbitrarily. If that's true, then whether or not their effectiveness is "enough" is arbitrary as well.

    Yes, the gap between rich and poor is increasing. This only qualifies as "getting worse" if you assume that the gap was larger than it should have been to begin with - a position which cannot be objectively supported, since it's an "ought" rather than an "is".

    I'm trying to make your straw man arguments more relevant. If you still don't feel they're relevant then that just shows how far off your examples were in the first place.
    Though you're making them less relevant, as I pointed out (e.g. apparently not being able to tell the difference between directness and intent)

    I have a pretty good idea, as will anyone else who's read your posts. And indeed, I do want you to admit it, because then this discussion isn't just you criticising a position without offering what you feel is a better alternative, and why you feel it's better. You're not going to convince anyone you're correct if you don't even have the confidence in it to state it.
    Which position have I criticised?
    I've criticised an argument because it is inconsistent, not the position that it argues for.

    You could be arguing something like "1+1=2", but if your argument supporting it is poor e.g. "I know because fairies came and told me so", then I'll criticise the argument even if I agree with the position.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    You're the one who said that our tax rates are chosen arbitrarily. If that's true, then whether or not their effectiveness is "enough" is arbitrary as well.



    Though you're making them less relevant, as I pointed out (e.g. apparently not being able to tell the difference between directness and intent)



    Which position have I criticised?
    I've criticised an argument because it is inconsistent, not the position that it argues for.

    You could be arguing something like "1+1=2", but if your argument supporting it is poor e.g. "I know because fairies came and told me so", then I'll criticise the argument even if I agree with the position.
    All you're really doing is refusing to acknowledge the obvious differences you've had to have pointed out to you. Your line of criticism was a sensible one, but it has been more than sufficiently dealt with so you should either accept it or try another line of criticism if you really are playing devil's advocate.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    All you're really doing is refusing to acknowledge the obvious differences you've had to have pointed out to you. Your line of criticism was a sensible one, but it has been more than sufficiently dealt with so you should either accept it or try another line of criticism if you really are playing devil's advocate.
    I don't think it has, for the reasons I have already provided.
    The only differences I've been provided with have been irrelevant ones. The most ridiculous of which is probably the "directness" difference, which somehow turned into an "intent" difference. I've still received no explanation as to how that happened.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    I don't think it has, for the reasons I have already provided.
    The only differences I've been provided with have been irrelevant ones. The most ridiculous of which is probably the "directness" difference, which somehow turned into an "intent" difference. I've still received no explanation as to how that happened.
    Link up cause to effect. The chains with intent will be shorter, and hence more direct. If someone does A to get B, which then causes C, then that's less direct than someone doing A to get C, where B is an intermediate side effect. You buying a computer game might, after several steps, drive up someone else's cost of living, but to deliberately buy a house to rent it out is doing so far more directly. Tbh, I think you're just being deliberately obtuse rather than playing Devil's advocate, and because you haven't given your position I believe you don't think it defensible. This discussion is going nowhere because you keep going round in circles pretending things haven't been answered, or that obvious things should be explained to you.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    Link up cause to effect. The chains with intent will be shorter, and hence more direct. If someone does A to get B, which then causes C, then that's less direct than someone doing A to get C, where B is an intermediate side effect. You buying a computer game might, after several steps, drive up someone else's cost of living, but to deliberately buy a house to rent it out is doing so far more directly.
    Not necessarily. Lots of chains with intent are very long, and lots of unintentional chains are very short. Directness and intent may have some kind of correlation, but you can't use one as a measure of the other.

    I doubt anyone buys houses to let because they're thinking "I really hate poor people, so I want to make life as difficult for them as possible". Their intent is the same as someone starting a computer games business, namely "I want to invest my money and make a profit". And that will always result in living costs going up for the poor.

    If A = investing the money, B = making the profit, and C is poor people getting poorer, then it doesn't really matter how many steps there are between B and C, because the intent is all contained within the A->B link.

    Tbh, I think you're just being deliberately obtuse rather than playing Devil's advocate, and because you haven't given your position I believe you don't think it defensible. This discussion is going nowhere because you keep going round in circles pretending things haven't been answered, or that obvious things should be explained to you.
    If I thought my position wasn't defensible, what makes you think I'd want to continue to hold such a position? Why would anyone want to believe something that they know is rubbish?

    I've already told you what I'm taking issue with. It is not the idea that buying-to-let is immoral. It is the poor argument being provided to support it. I don't understand why you keep wanting to bring up whether or not I agree with the thread title, when regardless of what my answer is, it has nothing to do with whether the OP's argument is a valid one or not.

    Suppose I told you, for the sake of argument, I do agree with the thread title. Ok, so what? It still doesn't mean the arguments that have currently been provided are any good. Or suppose I told you that I don't agree with the thread title. Again, it doesn't change the quality of the OP's argument. It's faulty either way.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    Not necessarily. Lots of chains with intent are very long, and lots of unintentional chains are very short. Directness and intent may have some kind of correlation, but you can't use one as a measure of the other.

    I doubt anyone buys houses to let because they're thinking "I really hate poor people, so I want to make life as difficult for them as possible". Their intent is the same as someone starting a computer games business, namely "I want to invest my money and make a profit". And that will always result in living costs going up for the poor.

    If A = investing the money, B = making the profit, and C is poor people getting poorer, then it doesn't really matter how many steps there are between B and C, because the intent is all contained within the A->B link.



    If I thought my position wasn't defensible, what makes you think I'd want to continue to hold such a position? Why would anyone want to believe something that they know is rubbish?

    I've already told you what I'm taking issue with. It is not the idea that buying-to-let is immoral. It is the poor argument being provided to support it. I don't understand why you keep wanting to bring up whether or not I agree with the thread title, when regardless of what my answer is, it has nothing to do with whether the OP's argument is a valid one or not.

    Suppose I told you, for the sake of argument, I do agree with the thread title. Ok, so what? It still doesn't mean the arguments that have currently been provided are any good. Or suppose I told you that I don't agree with the thread title. Again, it doesn't change the quality of the OP's argument. It's faulty either way.
    Look, your stance is that you want to make money out of poor people, and make them worse off. You feel guilty about it, though, since it's clearly an immoral thing to do, so you don't want to admit it and also try to make yourself feel better by saying that everybody else does it so it's okay. That, or you're trying to play Devil's advocate but rather than actually take a stance you just quibble over small details and insist the obvious be spelled out.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hopple)
    Look, your stance is that you want to make money out of poor people, and make them worse off. You feel guilty about it, though, since it's clearly an immoral thing to do, so you don't want to admit it and also try to make yourself feel better by saying that everybody else does it so it's okay.
    Wow, I didn't realise you know me better than I know myself. Unique gift, that.

    That, or you're trying to play Devil's advocate but rather than actually take a stance you just quibble over small details and insist the obvious be spelled out.
    Details are important. No argument holds together if the details are ignored.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think the main thing is that it is part of the terrible aspect of our society thats destroying communities and making us into a bunch of competitive individuals. What happened to looking after people around you and taking care of people. Now were all just looking out for our selves. Luxury ruins everything. The problem is people forget that were all the same and when you take care of each other it makes the world a much happier place to be in. I'm not criticising any particular individuals, just the concepts that govern us
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    It's hard to say. On the one hand, part of the reason why people can't afford to buy homes is because wealthier people who already have homes want to buy more, which makes it much more difficult to get a foot on the property ladder.

    On the other hand, I myself rent because a mortgage is a serious contract that requires significant commitment. If you're only wanting to live somewhere for a year, or any amount under five, renting makes sense.

    Like many issues of morality, I don't think this one is cut and dry.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Is it immoral to buy a car, just to use as a taxi?

    No, of course it isn't.

    Someone has used their initiative to purchase something for use as a service to others. If people wish to use this service, instead of purchase their own home, or go through a housing association then it is their prerogative.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.