PDA

View Full Version : Morality and ethics: what are your values and why?



Fenn
04-19-2011, 01:55 PM
This started when Delph and I got off-topic in Kodos' religion thread (sorry bout that). The main topic is: what values, morals, and ethical codes do you uphold, and why?

Feel free to critique and question other people's ethics, but remain respectful, logical, and avoid mindless insults, lest I call the mods.

I'll post my morals when I have time. Anyone else can begin in the meantime.

Sylux
04-19-2011, 01:59 PM
I believe that if you are not denying or restricting other innocent (read: non-murderers) peoples' rights and liberties for your own personal gain (i.e. date rape, rape, torture, murder, unlawful imprisonment) you are fine. In other words, if you don't hurt people, you have no reason to be rightfully hurt.

GunZet
04-19-2011, 02:02 PM
Morals and ethics? I never really question that like...ever. All I know is don't do stupid shit and stupid shit won't happen...ok it still will. but less frequently.

butternut
04-19-2011, 02:15 PM
Yeah, how you define that "stupid shit" is where your code of morals and ethics comes into picture. Stuff like murder, and rape shit like that is obvious. But there are loads of other smaller finer things which is confusing and can be right to one, and wrong to another.

jubeh
04-19-2011, 02:39 PM
I have a pretty strict set of rules that I only break if it would be really funny to do so.

Slurpee
04-19-2011, 02:41 PM
I start to question right and wrong when I asked my mother one day
There are people who live in tribes, in places we have never been, but they don't believe in God and don't do anything wrong. Does that make them bad?
She said yes. Which doesn't make much sense ._.
Morality and ethics is difference between good and bad, so how do you know whats good and whats evil?

Hayashida
04-19-2011, 02:43 PM
I have a pretty strict set of rules that I only break if it would be really funny to do so.

example please

Rio
04-19-2011, 02:48 PM
You only have to follow what you think are right and wrong to the best of your abilities at that time.

The way I see it, there's two parts to this. The first part is your own morals and ethics but then there is the broader one which is enforced by society as a whole.

jubeh
04-19-2011, 02:51 PM
example please

I can't really think of anything tbh

Hayashida
04-19-2011, 02:52 PM
I can't really think of anything tbh
I was gonna try to think of an example and be like would you do this then but I cant think of anything either.


edit: Actually I just thought of something: If it really came down to it, would you punch a monkey in the face for comedic effect?

butternut
04-19-2011, 03:06 PM
Speaking of....there's a thought-process question I heard.
On an island, there are 5 survivors. In order to survive for the next few days, one of them has to be killed and eaten by the others. So all of them decide upon a fair method which involves writing down all their names on pieces of paper and drawing lots. One person backs out and wants nothing to do with the others or the system. But the rest of them put his name anyway, and when they draw one, it turns out to be the person who's backed out. So they kill him and eat him. Later they were rescued and the story comes out. Should the four people be convicted or acquitted?

Rio
04-19-2011, 03:17 PM
Convicted. It reeks of The Lord of the Flies.

ClockHand
04-19-2011, 04:03 PM
I think this thread was made before =/

butternut
04-19-2011, 04:12 PM
Convicted. It reeks of The Lord of the Flies.

It might have been taken from that. Or based on that. It was given as a topic to my friend's team in a debating event they attended.
I'm going to read the book. Just downloaded it.

ClockHand
04-19-2011, 04:18 PM
If a village burn someone because they though it was a witch, they should go to jail for that (a entire vilalge)?

Remember than ethic and moral are made by the people-

Rio
04-19-2011, 04:35 PM
^^^
That reminds me of another story: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

ClockHand
04-19-2011, 04:48 PM
And also did actually happened.

Matt
04-19-2011, 06:55 PM
@Rio - The Lottery was one of the most disturbing stories I've heard. I didn't actually read it, but I've seen the story posted all over the place. One of the bands I used to listen to actually made a music video of it.

Zoe
04-19-2011, 11:47 PM
My personal code is pretty much just try my best to be a good person, and be patient until being patient is no longer appropriated. I slip now and then and am a total bitch, but who doesn't have those moments?

@Saphira's proposed situation: CONVICTED. That should be an absolute last resort. I mean, after a single day they're already ready to kill someone? If they had been stranded for months and it was now winter and all the natural resources are buried in snow, then I can see how that could be necessary, but you don't need to kill for food after a few days and anyone that would is probably a psychopath anyways.

@Matt: You should invest the ten minutes and actually read the story, it's very short and worth it.

butternut
04-20-2011, 03:40 AM
@Saphira's proposed situation: CONVICTED. That should be an absolute last resort. I mean, after a single day they're already ready to kill someone? If they had been stranded for months and it was now winter and all the natural resources are buried in snow, then I can see how that could be necessary, but you don't need to kill for food after a few days and anyone that would is probably a psychopath anyways.

Well, the fact that have to kill to survive is an established fact. But the conflict comes in because the one who backed out doesn't take part in any of it - putting in name, or eating or anything. So he's going to die anyway. Instead the other people killed him earlier so that they could survive. If any other person's name were taken, two people would have been dead. But then any man, for whatever reason, doesn't have the right to take another man's life.

Delphinus
04-20-2011, 06:04 AM
@Saphira: ACQUITTED. In this case the needs of the others to survive outweighed his want to choose whether or not to be eaten, in a similar way to dangerous criminals in normal society. Of course they still want to be free, but locking a serial killer in jail (depriving him of personal freedom and choice) protects a vast number of people from potential death. We don't get campaigns to set prisoners free, do we? So why should these guys be convicted of anything other than necessity? His opting out of the system (basic law) causes a slight problem, but all that means is that he's not a 'citizen' under said basic laws and that he therefore has no rights.

EDIT: Though if he'd been a little smarter he would have killed the others and eaten them instead. He's perfectly entitled to defend himself just like they're entitled to eat him.

Regarding my ethics: I don't believe there is an objective good or evil nor that anyone has the obligation to follow any moral principles or laws for the benefit of anyone but themselves. Nonetheless I believe that altruism is the best philosophy most of the time, since it holds society together. Society itself helps the individual in a number of ways, and therefore the destruction of society is in nobody's interest. However, one instance of breaking the law will not destroy society; so long as the majority of people follow the law most of the time society will do just fine, ergo crime is permissible for individuals so long as most people don't do it. A conversation with Kodos on AIM came up with the following 'golden rule' of self-interest:

"Good is that which is recognizing man's freedom to do what he can, while aiding the continuance of his freedom to do what he wills."

Sylux
04-20-2011, 07:30 PM
What about when wills collide? Such as the will to rape and the will to not have sex until marriage/be raped?

Fenn
04-20-2011, 09:53 PM
You only have to follow what you think are right and wrong to the best of your abilities at that time.

The way I see it, there's two parts to this. The first part is your own morals and ethics but then there is the broader one which is enforced by society as a whole.

That's very much what I believe. When it comes to others, If they aren't hurting anyone's means of survival and free will then they are fine. Also, some concepts like scams, cheating, and lying that most people consider "wrong," I tolerate in others but act accordingly. Example: a person cheats to win a game. So long as no one was harmed, I do not consider that wrong because they were taking advantage of an opportunity. However, I respond by not playing, supporting, or closely affiliating myself with them.

For myself, I hold a far stricter code, because I know the kind of life I want to live. Most importantly, I make a commitment to helping others and broader service opportunities because I've learned how rewarding and beneficial such acts can be. Seriously, I can't understand why most people are so opposed to serving those in need. I don't do it out of some moral obligation; I do it because of how much more beneficial it is to be generous than selfish. Of course I try to strike a balance, but more and more I have been gravitating towards service.

Psy
04-20-2011, 10:31 PM
I try not to physically mentally emotionally and directly hurt people or animals as much as possible. If i hurt some one indirectly i probably couldnt help it or it was unavoidable. I cant allways avoid hurting some one emotionally or saying somthing that messes with their heads a bit but i try. I may be part of the cause for some animal cruelty (slaughtering and all that) but i cant say for sure but i would stop eating meat or persue an alternative if i could prove a direct connection.
I dont steal. no comment on the non physical aspect of stealing.

CypressDahlia
04-21-2011, 11:40 AM
However, one instance of breaking the law will not destroy society; so long as the majority of people follow the law most of the time society will do just fine, ergo crime is permissible for individuals so long as most people don't do it.

How could you possibly draw a line on this? You're saying a randomly defined minority of people have the right to commit crimes but you bar the remaining majority of the same right. That's highly hypocritical and doesn't work at all in practicality.


We don't get campaigns to set prisoners free, do we?

Those are two entirely different contexts. A criminal is a criminal because they decide to defy the law, despite being readily aware of all the consequences. They get locked up because they knowingly relinquish their freedoms, often at the expense of another person's. The man on the island did no such thing.

-------

And TBH, Clockhand, I don't fully agree that "right" and "wrong" are dictated by society alone. Surely, society plays a huge role in deciding our values, but a lot of our values derive from innate sensibilities. The desire to live, for example, or the avoidance of pain and discomfort. Happiness and sadness, honor and even jealousy (as evidenced by the extreme anti-adultery laws of early civilizations). Fear and paranoia, especially. What I'm saying is: a lot of our laws come naturally to us.

-------

In response to Saphira: CONVICTED. The person backed out of the lottery, therefore the others' decision to enter his name anyway and follow through with killing and eating him was a form of premeditated murder. What's really stupid is: you have 4 out of 5 people willing to be eaten, but you're going to eat the one guy who doesn't want to be eaten? I mean, come on, how does that even make sense? If it was any of the other 4 people who was eaten, then it would be willful sacrifice, not murder, and I would vote ACQUITTED. Sadly, that's not the case.

ClockHand
04-21-2011, 12:06 PM
Cyp@ what delph describes is how the world works. If you kill someone and you have money, you get 5 years. If you kill someone and you are poor, you have 30 or more.

Also moral and ethic determinate the judgment over peoples actions, so it's the society who build those, this is why in feudal japan was ok to fuck a little kid, in some cultures you can talk of certain way or subjects if you are not in the right place, and so. Desire to live or fear to pain are not moral or ethic principle, but existentialists, and those has worked to argument the actual occidentals conceptions of what is moral and ethically right and whats not. But this argument only gave in occident, and as other cultures still have moral and ethic principles without this argument, we can easily deduce that moral and ethic don't need arguments to exist.

But it does need to understand principles between the people. To say what is good or wrong, they need equal values and certain concepts to build the moral and ethic of a group.

Delphinus
04-21-2011, 12:23 PM
How could you possibly draw a line on this? You're saying a randomly defined minority of people have the right to commit crimes but you bar the remaining majority of the same right. That's highly hypocritical and doesn't work at all in practicality.
No crimes are morally wrong, because there is no absolute right or wrong. The reason I say that the majority should follow the law the majority of the time is an entirely pragmatic one: it benefits them for society to stay together, mass law-breaking would cause social collapse, and ergo it benefits them to ensure that the law is followed most of the time, no matter how absurd those laws are. On the other hand, when a person is not benefited by the law as it stands, it serves their interests to rebel against that particular law, or in the case of a corrupt government, to rebel against the entire state. Whether or not they gain enough support to effect social change is a completely different matter, but if they do then it makes it obvious that the law does not aid all social groups, and thus that the state has failed in its obligations regarding the social contract. Ergo, the state is illegitimate and ought to fall.


Those are two entirely different contexts. A criminal is a criminal because they decide to defy the law, despite being readily aware of all the consequences. They get locked up because they knowingly relinquish their freedoms, often at the expense of another person's. The man on the island did no such thing.
Like I said, by opting out of this very small system of laws he relinquishes his citizenship, ergo the others do not have to treat him in the same way as they treat 'citizens' who have agreed to the cannibalism deal. He is essentially not entitled to the rights that the others have, so they can treat him however the hell they like, up to and including eating him. Disobeying the law is slightly different, agreed, but only because the criminal wants to obtain the benefits of society while not agreeing to the sacrifices of freedom necessary to maintain it. The criminal is still a person with regards to the state: someone who opts out of the system is not.

CypressDahlia
04-21-2011, 01:02 PM
Clockhand: Your example is sorely out of context. It was okay to fuck little kids in feudal everywhere because the life expectancy back then was little longer than 30 years. Hell, marriage occurred at 15, if not sooner. So that was relative to the times, not relative to moral standings. And Delphinus said nothing like that (@money and stuff), but I do get your point. But that's not an issue of legal inequality. A rich person and a poor person will get the same opportunities to appeal in front of a court. It's just a matter of whether or not they can afford to exploit the same resources (obv. poor man cannot). But separation of rich and poor is not a moral issue; that's just Capitalism at work. Yay, America~~!

Delphinus: You fail to answer my question. Where do you draw the line? How do you determine who deserves to be part of that minority who can break the law? What gives you more right to commit crime A than the next person? A simple number or quota? You see, you can't simultaneously break and maintain law. That results in legal inequality, which defeats the purpose of distinct, individual rights. So, again, your thought process is both highly impractical and hypocritical. I have no doubt a state //would// fall under that system because it is innately unfair. Luckily, our government doesn't work like that. Hence, our state hasn't fallen (well, aside from the budget...).

And really, you consider drawing lots a government? I don't even know why we're touching on the subject of citizenship. Does that mean that if I make a sports bet with someone and they back out, I can forcibly oblige them to pay the bet because they opted out of my system? You really understate the scale on which a legitimate government runs. Likewise, in a state of general lawlessness, how can you justify anything under legal terms? But let's go down that road anyway:

The other 4 are also in violation of "basic law" because, since the 5th opted out of the system, they cannot force him to oblige to its laws (like a "diplomat"). But they did. Hell, the only justification they have for eating the man is because his name was drawn on the ballot. But since he opted out, they shouldn't be able to enforce that. Therefore, they no longer have a justification for eating the man, in which case they are just murderers (and cannibals, lawl).

But see, even that's ridiculous. So attempting to apply legal logic to this is pointless. It's five dudes on an island.

ClockHand
04-21-2011, 01:07 PM
I think my example was not well understood. In feudal japan was ok to fuck kids (boy and girls), not because the age expectations (because a 7 years old girl is unable to give birth a baby unless she is a menstruation machine) but because you could (simple). Different from feudal europe, where obviously where cases of pedophile, but also some people was punished (people could do it, but it wasn't well seeing, unless you have power at your side).

Also in both cases is not even for the age expectations, because I'm not talking only about females or females ables to give birth.

Sylux
04-21-2011, 01:10 PM
If the other 4 were truly smart, they would have allowed the man who opted out to die on his own of starvation while they ate the unlucky 1/4, and then they would've eaten the 5th after he died. The 5th probably opted out because he thought there was a good chance of rescue within 3 days. They took away his right to live because he did not want in his system. You know who else did that? Soviet Russia. They killed all who opposed their immoral, restrictive Hobbesian government without any right to do so. The world should be all about individual freedom and happiness, and equal opportunity for economic success or failure.

@Clock: Are you also making an analogy to ancient Greece with your last line?

Delphinus
04-21-2011, 01:39 PM
Delphinus: You fail to answer my question. Where do you draw the line? How do you determine who deserves to be part of that minority who can break the law?
It really doesn't matter so long as the prevalence of crime remains low. Choose it randomly, by lot, by the amount of money people have, by any arbitrary measure, I really don't care. Whoever wants to can break the law - but they should still be hunted down and punished by the appropriate authorities. Thus, only those who are able to break the law and avoid punishment are allowed to commit crimes. That could include rich people, intelligent people, or people with good social connections. Those without can burn, which keeps crime rate low and is incidentally how law enforcement currently works.


What gives you more right to commit crime A than the next person?
Why do we need to be granted the right to break the law? Insofar as we have the ability to do something, we have the right to do it.


You see, you can't simultaneously break and maintain law. That results in legal inequality, which defeats the purpose of distinct, individual rights... I have no doubt a state //would// fall under that system because it is innately unfair. Luckily, our government doesn't work like that.
What makes you assume unfair systems are doomed? The Roman Empire lasted over 1,000 years, longer than the whole of Capitalist and Enlightenment ideology, and yet it was massively unfair by modern standards. On the other hand, supposedly 'fair' Soviet Russia lasted less than a century. Fairness does not equal stability, ideologically convenient as that would be for you.

Sylux
04-21-2011, 01:45 PM
No one has the right to commit a victimized crime. I do not care if you have money or you are the most intelligent person in your city, you cannot take away the rights and liberties of others for your own selfish gain. But, really, are there any victimless crimes?

CypressDahlia
04-21-2011, 01:50 PM
Well said, Sylux.

Also, "fairness" is relative to the time, Delphinus. In retrospect, old societies seem unfair to us because we have been subscribing to progressivist values for so long. Fairness and equality have been advertised to us ever since the second we opened our eyes. But, back then, I'm sure what appeals to us today as unfair may have been widely accepted and even condoned. Womens' suffrage didn't become an issue until the 1920's. In a long history of parliamentary governments, think about how long it took for the concept of "women voting" to register with us. Get what I'm saying?

In short, the only reason the Roman empire seems "unfair" to us is because of the beliefs our era. But going back to that state of "unfairness" at this stage? Impossible. You cannot possibly wean our society, which has been wet nursed on the concepts of equality in all aspects, of said equality this late into the game. That's why it's doomed to fail. Imagine taking women's suffrage away? You can't. Not AFTER the fact.

butternut
04-21-2011, 02:10 PM
It depends on how you think, and on your values and morals. My first reaction was Acquitted(because the guy was going to die anyway, and the other 4 just killed him early and ensured their chances of survival. But when I thought about it, I decided they should be Convicted(becuase no man has the right to take someone else's life, and the guy had opted out too).

I find this similar to whether criminals(read: murderers) should be executed or not.

Delphinus
04-21-2011, 02:55 PM
No one has the right to commit a victimized crime. I do not care if you have money or you are the most intelligent person in your city, you cannot take away the rights and liberties of others for your own selfish gain.
Why not? This is philosophy and ethics, not "say something is true without justifying it". Why do other people have to be 'respected'? What's so great about equality? Why shouldn't I make others my tools? Give me a single good reason that's not based on the Bible or some primitive concept of natural law. I challenge you. And enlightened self-interest isn't going to cut it, either.


You cannot possibly wean our society, which has been wet nursed on the concepts of equality in all aspects, of said equality this late into the game.
Ridiculous. Of course you can: the idea of Divine Right and theological rule was displaced by liberalism despite existing for 3,000 years beforehand and being widely accepted amongst the population, taught in myths and childhood stories, etc.: why are freedom and equality (the cornerstones of liberalism) such unassailable concepts? All that would be required to do so is social change of a similar sort to that that's accompanied any ideological shift. On that note, though, I do believe in freedom - absolute personal freedom, in fact - just not in equality. People are not equal - some are better suited for wielding power in society than others. Would you allow children the vote? No? Then they're not equal to adults, are they? Would you allow a violently schizophrenic man to interact with normal society? No? Then he's not being treated equally to someone without any mental health conditions, is he? Equality is a myth and an excellent bullshit story for politicians to sell to the naive.

To wit, this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVKaemIz860). The lyrics sum it up perfectly: "Political scientists get the same one vote as some Arkansas inbred. Majority rule don't work in mental institutions; sometimes the smallest softest voice carries the grand biggest solutions."


Also, "fairness" is relative to the time, Delphinus. (etc.)
I know. It's not hard to understand.

CypressDahlia
04-21-2011, 03:45 PM
Why do other people have to be 'respected'?

Because you live in a society that ensures that you, yourself are respected. It's standardized, at this point. Hell, look at the rules of this forum. I respect you because it's a standard to respect every member. But hey, if you wanna give me the "okay" on treating you like shit, I will have no qualms. Just don't expect the rest of us to relinquish our entitlements just because you don't believe in them.


Of course you can: the idea of Divine Right and theological rule was displaced by liberalism despite existing for 3,000 years beforehand and being widely accepted amongst the population, taught in myths and childhood stories, etc.: why are freedom and equality (the cornerstones of liberalism) such unassailable concepts?

It's not that they're unassailable, Delphinus. It's that they've already been put into practice. What you're saying is: "Look, society can change. We replaced [worse system A] with [better system B]." I'm saying we can't do that in reverse because our current system ensures the greatest level of equality among its people in comparison. At this point, the average person has so many entitlements and benefits and they're probably not willing to give them up.

In other words: we can't go BACKWARDS on Progressivism because it cuts the majority of people a shitty deal. And nobody wants a shitty deal.


People are not equal - some are better suited for wielding power in society than others...Would you allow a violently schizophrenic man to interact with normal society? No? Then he's not being treated equally to someone without any mental health conditions, is he?

Naturally, but it's the law's job to ensure that they're as equal as possible. A bill isn't going to cure Asperger's, man. You are talking about things that are completely out of anyone's control.


Would you allow children the vote? No? Then they're not equal to adults, are they?

lolwut? Of course they are, considering children become adults... o_O It's not like children will never have the opportunity to vote, or like adults were never children at one point. So, yeah, they do have equal opportunity. Lol.

Delphinus
04-21-2011, 04:12 PM
Because you live in a society that ensures that you, yourself are respected.
I meant it more philosophically than that. What is the benefit of respecting others to the individual, other than a mutual consensus? This links back to what I was saying about anyone having the right to break the law: so long as the general consensus to respect others or obey the law is upheld, isolated cases of disobedience should be fine. You can say "What if everyone did that?" in response (as you have been doing), but my reply would be "Everyone does not do that."


I'm saying we can't do that in reverse because our current system ensures the greatest level of equality among its people in comparison...
In other words: we can't go BACKWARDS on Progressivism because it cuts the majority of people a shitty deal. And nobody wants a shitty deal.
Yes, but like I said equality is a myth. You're analysing the merit of a system based on equality from the perspective of someone who's already accepted that equality is a proper and good aim to strive towards, which is begging the question somewhat. Lack of equality in and of itself doesn't need to give most people a raw deal: for example, it's easy to imagine a wealthy society where only a well-educated upper class hold political power but where they spend the majority of the wealth of the nation on public projects like housing etc. This is basically the model of an authoritarian society like Nazi Germany; despite restricting freedom and abolishing equality, most Germans benefited under Hitler - he saved Germany from total economic collapse (which was how he was elected in the first place) and restored the heavily-damaged German army to its former glory. Now, equality and freedom are raped under that sort of system, but that doesn't mean most people don't benefit.

Also, you assume I want to go back to the former systems: I don't, I favour a highly original type of government that's built on existentialist and anarchist principles - it can be called broadly right-wing libertarian, but that doesn't do it justice because it incorporates a lot of left-wing ideas while supporting the free market.


lolwut? Of course they are, considering children become adults... o_O It's not like children will never have the opportunity to vote, or like adults were never children at one point. So, yeah, they do have equal opportunity. Lol.
I meant at that particular moment in time, and the reason children don't have the vote is because they don't have the mental capacity to make an informed choice about it. So why do we allow adults with equally ill-informed opinions as small children the vote just because of their age? Oh yeah, because of the myth of equality. I repeat: not all adults (a significant minority, perhaps pushing towards a slight majority) are worthy of the privileges they are granted in being allowed to hold the vote.

Why does a political scientist get the same one vote as some Arkansas inbred?

Fenn
04-21-2011, 04:57 PM
Um, what the hell? I'm agreeing with you on all of this. How depressing.

Here's a reminder for everyone: there are NO objective morals. NONE. Any moral you claim is necessary must be proven necessary.

CypressDahlia
04-21-2011, 05:55 PM
...so long as the general consensus to respect others or obey the law is upheld, isolated cases of disobedience should be fine.

And I'm telling you this doesn't work because you are exempting yourself from a law that you expect everyone else to uphold. You defeat the purpose of the law. Furthermore, who decides which people should break the law and which people shouldn't? Your reasoning is about as good as saying "because I can".


Stuff about Germany...

Again, the argument is not whether or not it's beneficial, it's whether or not it's possible, or even plausible. And I still say no. At this point, the government has essentially given "the people" the whole ruler. How the hell do you propose they take it back without mass rioting, rebellion and a Civil War? So, again, I repeat: you can't go backwards on Progressivism. At least, not without a huge struggle that puts not only the governed but the governing body in jeopardy.


I don't, I favour a highly original type of government that's built on existentialist and anarchist principles - it can be called broadly right-wing libertarian, but that doesn't do it justice because it incorporates a lot of left-wing ideas while supporting the free market.

Oh Christ.


I meant at that particular moment in time, and the reason children don't have the vote is because they don't have the mental capacity to make an informed choice about it...

Neither did the adults who currently can vote, 18 years prior. I still don't see what the hell you're getting at, dude. It's not inequality when everyone is presented with the //same opportunity//. The children will have to wait 18 years to vote, just like the adults before them did, and the ones before them, so forth and so forth. What is so "unequal" about that? And it's not like the age requirement is entirely arbitrary, either. Actually, it's //hardly// arbitrary.


...not all adults are worthy of the privileges they are granted in being allowed to hold the vote.

Who are you to decide that? Lol. Among 300 million people you think you can determine who's "mentally prepared" to vote based purely on intuition? Get in control of your megalomania, dude. Besides, platforms don't necessarily have to be assessed from the perspective of a scholar. The candidates the people choose to elect are ones they think will suit //their// needs (that's the point). So even an Arkansas inbred who thinks bubblegum costs too much at the 7-11 will tell you he's voting for the guy who's dropping prices on bubblegum. All in all, you don't have to be a genius to vote.


Why does a political scientist get the same one vote as some Arkansas inbred?

Because of the equality you claim doesn't exist. Lol.

Delphinus
04-21-2011, 06:34 PM
And I'm telling you this doesn't work because you are exempting yourself from a law that you expect everyone else to uphold.
Yes, I know, it creates inequality if some go beyond the law and others don't. Equality is an antiquated ideal.


You defeat the purpose of the law. Furthermore, who decides which people should break the law and which people shouldn't? Your reasoning is about as good as saying "because I can".
Like I said, it doesn't matter as long as the value consensus remains intact. Maintaining a modern justice system will mean that crime is kept low even when people break the law as a matter of course: this is a case of personal ethics rather than social ethics. The laws and such would not change to accommodate lawbreakers, but the attitude of an individual would be that they can disobey or obey the law as they see fit to serve their needs. Crime would remain low but the attitude towards crime would be vastly different.


Again, the argument is not whether or not it's beneficial, it's whether or not it's possible, or even plausible. And I still say no. At this point, the government has essentially given "the people" the whole ruler. How the hell do you propose they take it back without mass rioting, rebellion and a Civil War? So, again, I repeat: you can't go backwards on Progressivism. At least, not without a huge struggle that puts not only the governed but the governing body in jeopardy.
I'm not talking about going backwards on progressivism, I'm talking about going beyond it. Progressivism is purely and simply wrong because it claims that liberty and equality are fundamental rights (mostly derived from Christianity). Going backwards on progressivism would just mean using a different arbitrary set of values to base a government on: I'm talking about using the fact that there are no objective ethical facts to create a completely new type of government that is based on pragmatism and the core of the social contract (a state is only legitimate if it benefits its people beyond total anarchy). So again, nothing is being "taken back" - this is progress (aha) from progressive ethics. Modern political philosophy is by and large based on Enlightenment-era ideas; I'm saying it should be based instead on the rejection of objective moral facts that existentialism, nihilism, absurdism, etc. gave us.


Oh Christ.
Deal.


Neither did the adults who currently can vote, 18 years prior. I still don't see what the hell you're getting at, dude. It's not inequality when everyone is presented with the //same opportunity//. The children will have to wait 18 years to vote, just like the adults before them did, and the ones before them, so forth and so forth. What is so "unequal" about that? And it's not like the age requirement is entirely arbitrary, either. Actually, it's //hardly// arbitrary.
Because when some children are 'too young' to vote, they can easily be smarter than plenty of adults who are plenty old enough to vote. Age is a terrible way to determine maturity: I've seen 40-year-old men with more stupid hangups than some young teenagers. The majority of supporters of far-right parties, at least in the UK, are not educated enough to form an opinion beyond "HOMOS CREEP ME OUT" and "BLOODY IMMIGRANTS TAKING OUR JOBS". Case in point: The Sun is the biggest-selling newspaper in the UK. It's also well-known for peddling bullshit stories, pure propaganda, and 'interest' stories that serve as undercover propaganda for whichever political party the owners of the paper are aligned with at the time of publication. Do you honestly think that many of those Sun readers are informed enough to make a vote helping the economic, diplomatic, and international statuses of the UK? On the other hand, a particularly well-read schoolchild could easily have the basic knowledge of politics required to make a moderately informed vote. Yet the law still accounts by age rather than by merit. That's only superficial equality, and underlying it all is the simple fact that those Sun readers hold more power than those smart kids despite the smart kids being their obvious superiors.


Who are you to decide that? Lol. Among 300 million people you think you can determine who's "mentally prepared" to vote based purely on intuition? Get in control of your megalomania, dude. Besides, platforms don't necessarily have to be assessed from the perspective of a scholar. The candidates the people choose to elect are ones they think will suit //their// needs (that's the point). So even an Arkansas inbred who thinks bubblegum costs too much at the 7-11 will tell you he's voting for the guy who's dropping prices on bubblegum. All in all, you don't have to be a genius to vote.
...you honestly think someone voting on the basis of bubblegum prices is justifiable? He could be voting for Dr. Doom of the CRUSH EM ALL party, for all you know - and you're claiming that someone dumb enough to vote for Dr. Doom should be politically equal to a lecturer on politics at, say, Harvard? Are you insane?


Because of the equality you claim doesn't exist. Lol.

That equality is invented by people, it's not a natural law. And it's an insane lie.

EDIT: Kodos asks this question for you regarding democracy/equality, Cyp:

"You are sick. You tell your friend who is a highly likable person, but rather uneducated and, worse, just not very bright. He says he thinks you have illness X. You then see a doctor and he says you have illness Y.

Do you attach equal importance to both diagnoses?"

And another one:

"We require people have qualifications before they are allowed to practice law or medicine. Similar licenses are required for police officers, architects, andmore. We understand that complex tasks require complex knowledge. Are you saying that running a country is less complex?"

EDIT #2: This is a quick one, but: "Nietzsche saw democracy and Christianity as the same emasculating impulse which sought to make all equal—to make all slaves."
I'm not alone in my sentiments.

Sylux
04-21-2011, 08:56 PM
Dr. Doom of the CRUSH 'EM ALL PARTY is going to lower prices on bubble gum for Arkansas degenerate. Dr. Doom will work for Arkansas degenerate's best interests. Arkansas degenerate should vote for Dr. Doom and the CRUSH 'EM ALLs because they will work for him. Dr. Doom will enslave innocent people against their wills and force them to erect Kabal statues around the country once he illegitimately takes over the country, when his campaign policy said nothing about bad Mortal Kombat character statues. I do not want this. I will assassinate Dr. Doom, and I will kill everyone of high power I can in the CRUSH 'EM ALL party, and now-part-time-slave Arkansas and Kansas degenerates, allied countries, and good people will aid me. He has restricted my and my friends' rights to happiness, so we have restricted his and his cronies' rights to do so unto others. We have established a world order that will be enforced, because it can potentially benefit you, too.

I do not mind being a slave in a system that can potentially grant me happiness. After all, it is my inalienable right to pursue it, so long as my happiness is not satisfied at the expense of others against their will. Your wills take no importance over another person's will in the pursuit of happiness, because you are not special. You exist in the same social system. As for the diagnoses analogy, I call crap. It would not hurt your friend's overall happiness to go with the doctor's diagnosis. In fact, he will probably recognize that the doctor is more educated than he, and that you should trust your doctor over him. However, medicine is different from society.

Delphinus
04-21-2011, 09:40 PM
^ This didn't make sense to me, but it's 2:40am where I am so I'll look again tomorrow. If Kodos wants to chip in he can feel free.

CypressDahlia
04-21-2011, 09:50 PM
Yes, I know, it creates inequality if some go beyond the law and others don't...

And I'm telling you this defeats the purpose of law. So how can you say "this is how law works" when it defeats the purpose? lol.


I'm not talking about going backwards on progressivism, I'm talking about going beyond it.

Until you give me a 12-point plan on your post-Progressivist social machine, you have not given me any hope in the prospect of it succeeding. That was the original argument: reformatting to a system that deprives members of already practiced rights is impossible without being destructive to the overall society. Prove me wrong already.


Because when some children are 'too young' to vote, they can easily be smarter than plenty of adults who are plenty old enough to vote.

Not only is this rarely the case, but the age requirement exists for far more reasons than just "cuz adults are smarter than kids". If you're not willing to see past that, then let's just lay this point to rest now.


...you honestly think someone voting on the basis of bubblegum prices is justifiable?

Yes, because that is how our system works. He analyzed his individual needs and voted accordingly, you know, like in democracy. It's hilarious that you would protest this when you're the one saying it's okay to break laws to appeal to one's own desires. Lol. I think my example, despite however playful, is still more sensible.


...you're claiming that someone dumb enough to vote for Dr. Doom should be politically equal to a lecturer on politics at, say, Harvard? Are you insane?

This is an absurd example that I'm tempted to discard. But you do forget: representative democracy represents the people. Therefore, if an individual feels it suits himself to vote for Dr. Doom, he will. But, as I said, this example is just plain absurd.


...equality is invented by people, it's not a natural law. And it's an insane lie.

Equality is not an invention of the people. Surely, equality in physical and mental terms is an impossibility. I won't deny that all men are born unequal, by those standards. But, in the most natural setting (one without masters and governments, neither of which we are born with) all men are born equal in the sense that they have infinite opportunities. That is my definition of "equality": the preservation of these opportunities through legislature. And that is no lie. In fact, it's a natural truth evidenced by the arbitrary nature of our existence.

----- KODOS' STUFF -----


"You are sick. You tell your friend who is a highly likable person, but rather uneducated and, worse, just not very bright. He says he thinks you have illness X. You then see a doctor and he says you have illness Y.

Do you attach equal importance to both diagnoses?"

Naturally, the doctor. He knows better than the friend. But that is not a matter of equality, just a matter of knowledge. I did not bar my friend's ability to given a opinion, nor did I bar his ability to obtain the knowledge to give me a proper diagnosis. As individuals, the doctor and the friend had received equal opportunities to earn my confidence. But the doctor is the only one who capitalized on them. /shrug


"We require people have qualifications before they are allowed to practice law or medicine. Similar licenses are required for police officers, architects, and more. We understand that complex tasks require complex knowledge. Are you saying that running a country is less complex?"

No, because average people don't run the country, the government does. People simply vote based on preferences, like picking items off of a restaurant menu. The restaurant (candidate) decides -- based on knowledgeable analysis -- what to offer on their menu (platform) and the customers (voters) decide what they want based on their individual needs. It's not like people are writing their own proposals for what should or should not be on the menu. In that situation, it would be necessary to call their education into question. They are simply choosing to either support or reject the ideas of a (presumably educated) candidate. I see the concern you're addressing but that's hardly the case. A doctor would require complex knowledge to perform his job but that's because he is performing his job directly, not vicariously through an educated aide or something. Voters do not make legislative decisions directly, so it's understandable that complex knowledge is not required.

Besides, voting is not the rocket science you're making it out to be. Any average person can scale democracy down to his or her individual needs. Even an "Arkansas inbred" can analyze their own situation, decide what they want and vote accordingly. In fact, that's essentially all you need to know in order to practice your democratic rights: what you, as an individual, want. That's the glory of a government that serves the people. =D


"Nietzsche saw democracy and Christianity as the same emasculating impulse which sought to make all equal—to make all slaves."

That's nice and all but, aside from having a buddy, how does this benefit your argument?

Bacon_Barbarian
04-26-2011, 09:56 PM
War/killing is/are wrong (with very few exceptions).

That's pretty much it.

Delphinus
04-27-2011, 03:24 PM
^ Prove it.

Fenn
04-27-2011, 03:39 PM
^ Prove it.

Depends on what he means by wrong.

For me it's wrong because there are often far, far more favorable options for the majority of the people affected.

But it also depends on what you mean by war. Participating? Starting? That's a very general ethic and it needs fleshing out.

Sylux
04-27-2011, 07:32 PM
I'll prove it: How would you like having your life taken away? There is this thing, Delphinus, you must learn called empathy.

CypressDahlia
04-28-2011, 03:07 AM
Remember, Delphinus is a robot that doesn't believe in respect, compassion or empathy.

Delphinus
04-28-2011, 04:51 AM
I think the normal term is sociopath. Whether or not I am one is something I'm not sure of myself.

Nonetheless, that's irrelevant to ethical discussion. You cannot base your argument on empathy - first you need to define and justify empathy itself. I can see its evolutionary advantage in helping to stabilise a tribe, but we don't live in tribes any more, nor are we reliant on how a small group of other people feel about us to survive. In addition, individuals without empathy are more useful in some parts of society than those with empathy. The most obvious example is in the army, especially in combat situations, where a psychopath can kill repeatedly without having to be desensitised or treated for psychological trauma in the same way as a normal solder.

But justifying a lack of empathy is not what I wanted to do here. It's kind of a tangent, and it's only in response to the ad hominem argument some of you seem to be implying: "This guy is a psychopath! Look at his evil opinions! Everything he says is wrong!"


How would you like having your life taken away?
I kill five people. All of Africa is saved from poverty. I haven't saved any lives, persay, but do the consequence of my actions overrule the actions themselves? In addition, what makes the actions of the person killing me 'wrong', just because I protest? Doesn't that make the standard of wrongness "I don't like it" and reduce everything to moral relativism?


War/killing is/are wrong (with very few exceptions).
What makes them wrong? For example, what makes mass genocide wrong? Is it some absolute moral code? Is it how people feel about it (this would be moral relativism again)? Name me one objective moral truth.


Delphinus is a robot that doesn't believe in respect, compassion or empathy.
Justify these things logically and I'll believe in them.

Sylux
04-28-2011, 01:07 PM
Killing is only wrong when the equivalent or less people stand to benefit from the murder. And just because you have empathy doesn't mean you have to always exhibit empathy; my stepfather is a very upstanding, empathetic man who has killed hundreds of people throughout his career as a militant man, yet has never once showed remorse for it, simply because he believed in what he was fighting for, and that the opposing team was wrong and should be killed for being wrong. However, this is a war situation, will participants that entered willingly of have their lives taken. This is not how it is, nor how it should be, in society.

CypressDahlia
04-28-2011, 02:36 PM
I'll let everyone else take this one. I'm tired of having debates with you, especially since you tend to drop out once you're backed into a corner. Then you come back two days later contesting something else when you have yet to disprove the last set of points.

So, since you don't believe in it, I refuse to respect your argument and will just overlook it. In fact, I refuse to respect you as a member of this forum, or your opinions in the future. It's highly hypocritical for a person to be freeloading off of standardized respect when they don't believe in it, so I will remedy that by no longer respecting you.

I recommend the rest of you do the same. Oh, and don't forget that it's okay to kill him because we save society abroad from a guy whose ego is bound to suffocate everyone around him.

Fenn
04-28-2011, 03:35 PM
I'll let everyone else take this one. I'm tired of having debates with you, especially since you tend to drop out once you're backed into a corner. Then you come back two days later contesting something else when you have yet to disprove the last set of points.

So, since you don't believe in it, I refuse to respect your argument and will just overlook it. In fact, I refuse to respect you as a member of this forum, or your opinions in the future. It's highly hypocritical for a person to be freeloading off of standardized respect when they don't believe in it, so I will remedy that by no longer respecting you.

I recommend the rest of you do the same. Oh, and don't forget that it's okay to kill him because we save society abroad from a guy whose ego is bound to suffocate everyone around him.

Really Cypress? I have respect for you and I understand you not wanting to debate for certain reasons (I'm tired, not in the mood, uninterested), but if this is really the reason-he doesn't accept your own subjective standards-them my respect for you is lost.

Nothing in this world is "standardized," on the grounds of "it is right." If you want to prove that anything must be so, then you have to do it logically, not based on preexisting standards. I believe in potent empathy, compassion and respect, but not at all because they are the right thing to do. I don't care one bit whether they are "the right thing to do" because that is completely subjective. I do them because I believe that, logically, they are better than the alternatives.

CypressDahlia
04-28-2011, 05:31 PM
No. My reason for refusing to debate with him is because he always drops out of debates in the middle. If someone kept dropping out of chess games in the middle, would you continue playing chess with him? It has nothing to do with my standards... lol In fact, if anything, I have simply agreed to disagree with him.

Besides, the point was: Delphinus does not believe in respect, so why should we respect him? Respect is standardized in the forums (observe the forum rules) for all members. Even if we don't dislike a member, we are required by the regulations to respect them. This is not an ethical argument in any aspect, it's simply part of the forum regulations. But if he, himself, does not believe in respect for others, why are we obligated to respect him? It becomes a double standard in his favor if we don't hold him up to the same requirements that we abide.

In short: if he does not believe in respect, he does not deserve respect.

I don't know what you're debating against but it doesn't seem like it's what I said. o_O

Evil_Cake
04-28-2011, 05:33 PM
In short: if he does not believe in respect, he does not deserve respect.are u sure

Bacon_Barbarian
05-01-2011, 11:22 AM
Treat others like how you would like to be treated. If Del doesn't respect others, he shouldn't be respected. As a (possible) human being, he may deserve, but if he doesn't want to reciprocate it, well, that's his loss. On that note, Tit for Tat is a load of Horse Hockey. Why? Because Tit for Tat is equivalent to an Eye for and Eye, and an Eye for an Eye leaves the whole world blind. One must be prepared to let things go. By responding to violence you provoke more violence, and in general violence gets you no-where. Del's whole killing 5 people to save everyone in Africa from poverty is more Horse Hockey. Not only is it hypothetical, it's something that, even hypothetically, would never happen.

Anyway, the question at the begging of this thread is what are YOUR values. I stated mine, and I do have a moral code, one that I (try to) stick to. Do I care if you follow it? No. Am I trying to enforce it upon you? No. Would the world be better if you did? I think so, but who knows.

Fenn
05-01-2011, 06:45 PM
Treat others like how you would like to be treated. If Del doesn't respect others, he shouldn't be respected. As a (possible) human being, he may deserve, but if he doesn't want to reciprocate it, well, that's his loss. On that note, Tit for Tat is a load of Horse Hockey. Why? Because Tit for Tat is equivalent to an Eye for and Eye, and an Eye for an Eye leaves the whole world blind. One must be prepared to let things go. By responding to violence you provoke more violence, and in general violence gets you no-where. Del's whole killing 5 people to save everyone in Africa from poverty is more Horse Hockey. Not only is it hypothetical, it's something that, even hypothetically, would never happen.

I agree that we must let things go--on the basis of intent. If someone, intending to do a good thing, does a bad thing, I expect that they accept whatever legal punishment is required, but I would not hold any grudge or act against them in any way, so long as the bad result was not caused by laziness or willful ignorance. On the other hand, those with bad intent should not only be justly punished, but I would also alienate them in one or more ways for so long as they continue said act. Every time I forgive them and they then repeat this act of bad intent, it will take much longer for me to forgive them.


Anyway, the question at the begging of this thread is what are YOUR values. I stated mine, and I do have a moral code, one that I (try to) stick to. Do I care if you follow it? No. Am I trying to enforce it upon you? No. Would the world be better if you did? I think so, but who knows.

Well the thread does encourage challenging of one's morals as well. If you cannot defend your morals then you may want to rethink them. Of course you don't have to take part in the debate though.


Anywho, another of my morals:
I believe in the value of generosity, sympathy, and charitability as tools for bettering my own life by bettering the life of those around me. I am a parasite in this way: I feed off of the happiness of others. I have found this mindset to be one of the purest and most indestructible ways to find happiness, because no bad can come of it to myself; only good. If, after securing my basic needs of course, I can be joyful and content merely by observing someone's smile, or giving a hug, or volunteering my time, it frees me from dependance on material possesions for happiness, which always pose a risk of letdown. This mindset does not inhibit me from seeking selfish goals; it merely creates a safety net in case those goals do not succeed.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-01-2011, 11:26 PM
What is this shit, I don't even.

Are you telling me to consider the benefits of violence?

I'm pretty sure arguing killing is wrong would be the dumbest thing I've ever done, and I am most certainly not going to bother. Someone who disagrees with that is arguing that they should just kill whenever it may be slightly beneficial to them. That person doesn't deserve to be acknowledged, and should be permanently incarcerated as they are a (very) potential menace to society.

Anyway, the whole paragraph above the one about not enforcing my values is as much of an argument as I'm going to make. I agree with Del on @ least 1 thing: their are NO universal truths. That's why it's stupid to even argue. I just said what I believe to put it out there, not to make a point and bully people into agreeing with me.

Sylux
05-02-2011, 12:55 PM
Treat others like how you would like to be treated.

No, treat others as they would have you treat them. You could be a sadomasochist for all I know.

What is this shit, I don't even.

Are you telling me to consider the benefits of violence?

I'm pretty sure arguing killing is wrong would be the dumbest thing I've ever done, and I am most certainly not going to bother. Someone who disagrees with that is arguing that they should just kill whenever it may be slightly beneficial to them. That person doesn't deserve to be acknowledged, and should be permanently incarcerated as they are a (very) potential menace to society.

Anyway, the whole paragraph above the one about not enforcing my values is as much of an argument as I'm going to make. I agree with Del on @ least 1 thing: their are NO universal truths. That's why it's stupid to even argue. I just said what I believe to put it out there, not to make a point and bully people into agreeing with me.

There are many benefits to violence: power, fear, and respect. However, violence against the innocent is much more different than violence against the motherfucking guiltiest of all bitches (i.e. those who have comitted the victimizing crimes of rape, torture, or murder towards the innocent, who have not in turn done so themselves).

Delphinus
05-02-2011, 02:14 PM
No, treat others as they would have you treat them. You could be a sadomasochist for all I know.
I want you to give me all your money and property. :D


There are many benefits to violence: power, fear, and respect. However, violence against the innocent is much more different than violence against the motherfucking guiltiest of all bitches (i.e. those who have comitted the victimizing crimes of rape, torture, or murder towards the innocent, who have not in turn done so themselves).
P-p-prove that someone committing a crime means they should be punished. Prove justice/revenge is a valuable and/or beneficial thing to base a legal system upon. :D

CypressDahlia
05-02-2011, 02:32 PM
The legal system is not based on justice or revenge, it's based on negative feedback for negative actions. It's a form of Operant Conditioning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning) if anything.

Delphinus
05-02-2011, 02:58 PM
The legal system is not based on justice or revenge, it's based on negative feedback for negative actions. It's a form of Operant Conditioning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning) if anything.

That might be how it works in practice, but it's certainly not what it's based on. Most modern legal systems were devised well before any form of psychology: they're based mostly on natural law, which is derived both directly and indirectly from Christianity. Christianity's ideas of justice, 'an eye for an eye' and the golden rule ('do unto others as you would have them do unto you'), which are themselves partly plagiarised from Platonic tradition, have everything to do with the basis of western legal systems.
Are you just disagreeing for the sake of argument?

CypressDahlia
05-02-2011, 03:05 PM
Psychology is a natural law, so your argument is moot. It's so natural that the theory of Conditioning was actually derived from tests done on a dog. Unless you're willing to argue that dogs also believe in Christianity, justice, revenge and so forth.

Besides, law basically follows this theory:

- Laws are devised based on what is most beneficial to the majority of people
- Punishments are assigned to these laws, should they be broken
- These punishments are based on gauging how dangerous said criminal is, which is directly associated with what law they have transgressed on
- Criminals, given the option to not be criminals, commit crimes, thus opting to risk punishment

Nowhere does revenge equate into this. Justice is a principle applied to the satisfaction of seeing punishments enacted, not what they're based on. To say Christianity equates into this is a stretch. There is a logical way to see everything. Are you disregarding this for the sake of argument? You are, afterall, the one who pursues logic over emotion. lawl.

Delphinus
05-02-2011, 04:09 PM
You're confusing how it works with what it's based on. I understand you when you say that law is effectively just a conditioning apparatus, and I agree, but it didn't originate from psychology and therefore debating how it works in those terms is a moot point when considering the merit of the bases of the western world's systems of law. Natural Law is a term in jurisprudence and refers to one theory that legal systems are created with. Psychology is not considered a basis of any legal system active in the world today.


Besides, law basically follows this theory:

- Laws are devised based on what is most beneficial to the majority of people
- Punishments are assigned to these laws, should they be broken
- These punishments are based on gauging how dangerous said criminal is, which is directly associated with what law they have transgressed on
- Criminals, given the option to not be criminals, commit crimes, thus opting to risk punishment

That's an unreasonably naive and simplified approach to law. I object particularly to your first and third statements.
On your first point: there's rarely any scientific reason behind any new law, primarily because politicians follow ideologies rather than evidence. A left-wing politician will increase taxes and a right-wing one will decrease taxes regardless of the merits of either option. Their choices are based on a primarily 'big picture' and almost relgious view of the issues, not a view with an eye to objectivity and specificity. Ergo, while the politicians are (hopefully) trying to benefit most people with their decisions, they don't necessarily succeed in doing so.
On your third point: not so. A criminal could commit the one-time crime of a murder of passion and be put away for life; on the other hand another criminal could commit a string of assaults and escape with nothing more than community service and fines. Claiming the punishments are based on how dangerous the criminals are is, again, a naive and over-simplified approach to the issue.
Finally, while it's not a major point, your final statement appears to be saying that all criminals choose to break the law. That's also not correct. Under most legal systems proving the intent to commit a crime is necessary to convict a criminal; a defendant can commit any crime up to and including mass murder, but if it was an accident or there were other mitigating factors (mental illness etc.) they won't be convicted despite committing the offence. That is, the actus reus (guilty act) must be accompanied by proof of a mens rea (guilty mind) to secure a conviction.

Have you ever studied law as a hobby or academically?

Fenn
05-02-2011, 04:13 PM
What is this shit, I don't even.

Are you telling me to consider the benefits of violence?

I'm pretty sure arguing killing is wrong would be the dumbest thing I've ever done, and I am most certainly not going to bother. Someone who disagrees with that is arguing that they should just kill whenever it may be slightly beneficial to them. That person doesn't deserve to be acknowledged, and should be permanently incarcerated as they are a (very) potential menace to society.

If you are unwilling to consider the possibility of, even for a moment, a value which opposes your own, then you are afraid of the truth. Morals and values must be constantly re-evaluated as one gains new understanding and experience. I'm not suggesting you accept violence, I'm asking you to look at it objectively before writing it off based on "It's just wrong." It's very well you, like I havem will decide logically that it is wrong. Look, now you have concrete justification for your value!


Anyway, the whole paragraph above the one about not enforcing my values is as much of an argument as I'm going to make. I agree with Del on @ least 1 thing: their are NO universal truths. That's why it's stupid to even argue. I just said what I believe to put it out there, not to make a point and bully people into agreeing with me.

No one asked you to bully, just to support your claims. No universal truths does not mean no need to support your values. What do you think ethical codes are, trading cards?

"Hey look at my morals!"
"Wow those are cool. Do you like mine?"

This is the basis for all of your interpersonal behavoir in your life, and how you affect those around you. If you are unwilling to consider that your morals could be ill-founded, then you are displaying willful ignorance, which makes you a poor souce of any moral insight or input.

Delphinus
05-02-2011, 04:25 PM
No universal truths does not mean no need to support your values. What do you think ethical codes are, trading cards?

Fenn, I think I love you. That's an amazing way of putting the argument against the normal liberal interpretation of moral relativism. Seriously, PM me your MSN or AIM address, we should talk more.

CypressDahlia
05-02-2011, 04:33 PM
You're confusing how it works with what it's based on.

I don't see the distinction at all. Also, Psychology by definition is a natural law: a basis of law observed through human nature. But that's not the point. You are using the argument of what it's based on to suggest that it is illogical in practice. "It is based on Christianity and other outmoded beliefs therefore our laws are enforced without logical reason." I'm telling you that it is perfectly logical in practice and that our laws are enforced with perfect reason.


Ergo, while the politicians are (hopefully) trying to benefit most people with their decisions, they don't necessarily succeed in doing so.

Which is why an extensive voting system, checks and balances and the entire legislative branch exists. In the end, we go as far as possible to please the majority. So, what's your point?


A criminal could commit the one-time crime of a murder of passion and be put away for life; on the other hand another criminal could commit a string of petty thefts and escape with nothing more than community service and fines.

A person who can be driven and has the distinct potential to kill is definitely more dangerous than a petty thief. You fail to make a point.


...but if it was an accident or there were other mitigating factors (mental illness etc.) they won't be convicted despite committing the offence...

Exactly. We have exceptions put in place for these types of cases. But I highly doubt this (actually, it's proven that it doesn't) represents the majority of criminals. So, again--what is your point?

You are just pointing out small exceptions to the rules based on generally arbitrary occurrences: "crooked politicians" and "accidents". Unless you can prove to me that the majority of politicians are crooked, the majority of laws are non-beneficial to society and the majority of crimes are accidents or the results of serious mental illness*, you have not proven the rules wrong.

* ...and by "serious mental illness", I mean an illness so serious that it causes the criminal to lack better judgment. Any degree of judgment suggests that the criminal willfully committed the crime, thus confirming my fourth postulate.

Harvester_Of_Sorrow
05-02-2011, 08:33 PM
I get my morals from a religious text because I'm a fucking idiot.

Fenn
05-02-2011, 09:41 PM
Fenn, I think I love you. That's an amazing way of putting the argument against the normal liberal interpretation of moral relativism. Seriously, PM me your MSN or AIM address, we should talk more.

Haha is this the same guy who ruined my argument in the religion topic?

I'm not sure if you saw my animeboston topic but I'm a web security freak and don't give out that stuff to people I meet online. Just an eccentricity of mine. I'll friend you on here though if you'd like to have some PM conversations though. Again, sorry, just one of my quirks.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-02-2011, 11:23 PM
If you are unwilling to consider the possibility of, even for a moment, a value which opposes your own, then you are afraid of the truth. Morals and values must be constantly re-evaluated as one gains new understanding and experience. I'm not suggesting you accept violence, I'm asking you to look at it objectively before writing it off based on "It's just wrong." It's very well you, like I havem will decide logically that it is wrong. Look, now you have concrete justification for your value!
To be responded to later.


No one asked you to bully, just to support your claims. No universal truths does not mean no need to support your values. What do you think ethical codes are, trading cards?

"Hey look at my morals!"
"Wow those are cool. Do you like mine?"

This is the basis for all of your interpersonal behavoir in your life, and how you affect those around you. If you are unwilling to consider that your morals could be ill-founded, then you are displaying willful ignorance, which makes you a poor souce of any moral insight or input.
Not quite, but they're damn close. If you come in here and see something new that strikes you, you should learn about it and see if it suits you. Also, I supported them. 2 pages ago. Go back and check. What do you think this was?


Tit for Tat is a load of Horse Hockey. Why? Because Tit for Tat is equivalent to an Eye for and Eye, and an Eye for an Eye leaves the whole world blind. One must be prepared to let things go. By responding to violence you provoke more violence, and in general violence gets you no-where.

You even agreed with me.

...

Actually that wasn't very clear. I've considered the benefits of violence. Their are none. OK that's a lie, but it's true I'd say most of the time. Violence leads to more violence which leads to even more violence, etc. etc. All this effort being put into violence could go into places where it really matters. Like curing diseases or feeding the impoverished.

Their are very few actions where violence can be justified. The reason I say this is because I value life. In all honesty, war wasn't actually that bad before the American Civil war. But now, even if you are fighting for something just, you almost never get it accomplished without hurting innocent lives. The only recent example of a recent war that was actually just would be the 1st Gulf War. It only lasted a few months, did cost that much, very few deaths, and we actually helped some people.

That explains war, now on to domestic violence. Say some one goes to the mall and steals from multiple stores on multiple occasions while another man (to go a long with Delph) kills another man kills a person in an act of passion. Neither of these men deserve to die. The thief can be made to repay his dues, locked up for a while, and then released. If he continues his ways? Lock him up for good. The murderer is far more dangerous and should be jailed permanently. Why not killed? Because then you sacrifice your own morals and lower yourself to his or her level.

Capisce?

Delphinus
05-03-2011, 05:06 AM
There will be a longer post here later. For now, though, I'd just like to note that my ethics have shifted from existentialism to absurdism after a period of reflection and some reading. The reasoning is: if all moral codes are based on delusions and phantoms or, ultimately, preferences (basic things like 'life has value' and 'happiness is good'), then they cannot be logically justified in any real sense. That's what I believed anyway.
But since human motivation is ultimately based on emotions, which cannot be logically justified, preference is therefore yet another logically unjustifiable moral code. Someone might say "I enjoy seeing others happy" but if you quiz them with "Why does seeing others happy make you happy?" then ultimately this will just lead back to empathy. Empathy is a feature of human nature itself, and yet, as I've talked about before in this thread, it's impossible to justify and easy to deconstruct. The motivations of the individual will always be rendered logically incomprehensible.
What are we left to do? Either we can follow an illogical ethical code (individualism is just another one of these) or we can accept that all morals will ultimately crumble before the absence of meaning in the universe - and move on. Moral codes are meaningless - even the code of my own motivations. I cannot justify my own preferences from a logical standpoint, so I can't hold them up as an ultimate right or wrong.

Ultimately there is no morality worth subscribing to. The solution: not to follow one, to be amoral (not immoral). Moralities are to me as religions are to an atheist. L'étranger, c'est moi.

Sylux
05-03-2011, 07:07 AM
I get my morals from a religious text because I'm a fucking idiot.

Is it Buddhist

CypressDahlia
05-03-2011, 07:21 AM
Delphinus, I'm still waiting for you to go out and relinquish the respect of your peers, value of your properties and attest the worthlessness of your well-being to the people around you. If you believe these things are worthless, why don't you put your beliefs into practice? Declare that you are worthless to the rest of the world, please. Lead by example.

You are reaping the benefits of being part of a society that upholds moral values, despite not believing in any of it. The respect you receive unconditionally, the property that is "rightfully" yours and the happiness that people try to facilitate are all things you don't believe in, but you seem to have no problem accepting them. In short: you are a hypocrite.

Unless, of course, you are willing to give me a personal invitation to treat you as if you're worthless. Show me your conviction.

Harvester_Of_Sorrow
05-03-2011, 09:14 AM
Is it Buddhist

Yeah, why not.

Fenn
05-03-2011, 07:02 PM
Delphinus, I'm still waiting for you to go out and relinquish the respect of your peers, value of your properties and attest the worthlessness of your well-being to the people around you. If you believe these things are worthless, why don't you put your beliefs into practice? Declare that you are worthless to the rest of the world, please. Lead by example.

You are reaping the benefits of being part of a society that upholds moral values, despite not believing in any of it. The respect you receive unconditionally, the property that is "rightfully" yours and the happiness that people try to facilitate are all things you don't believe in, but you seem to have no problem accepting them. In short: you are a hypocrite.

Unless, of course, you are willing to give me a personal invitation to treat you as if you're worthless. Show me your conviction.

Cypress, Delphinus may in fact not believe in these things, but looking back at page 5 he never denied them; he asked you to justify them.

Morals are not natural laws, and they are not supreme, infalliable principles; they are man-made systems and codes. They arose from a need, or logical inference, not from the Big Bang or Genesis or any other origin of the universe you believe in. They do not exist as anything more than ideas.

That being said, I believe in respect, and dignity. The different between you and I is I have a logical basis for my belief, whereas (from what I have perceived) you cling to it as something you learned and accept without any basis other than "it is right and cannot be argued against." Like I said to Bacon, you need logical support to give your values any worth or merit. It would also help if you defined respect.

Also, if you do believe Delphinus is wrong and simply leeching off of your good will and respect, revoke it. Take it away, and give him no second thought. Save your respect for those who deserve it, until he either realizes what he has lost and submits to your values, or parts ways. But saying "if you don't share my values I'm not debating them with you" is ignorant and pointless.

CypressDahlia
05-03-2011, 10:31 PM
Cypress, Delphinus may in fact not believe in these things, but looking back at page 5 he never denied them.

If he does not believe in these things, why does he need them? Why should others go out of their way to respect and protect him when he does not feel the same moral obligation? You do realize that is a double standard in Delphinus' favor, right? Lol.

I pose this challenge to him because I want him to realize his own hypocrisy. Delphinus needs to make it clear that people do not need to waste their time respecting him or facilitating his happiness. He is part of a very tiny majority of people who do not find value in these things, therefore he needs to announce that he is part of that minority. Because our society operates under a standard of common courtesy, we cannot make that assumption for ourselves. We are taught that everyone pursues happiness and to facilitate (or at least, not to interfere with) their pursuit. Therefore, I expect him to formally invite us and the people around him to not give a rat's ass about his well-being.

People are too nice to assume they're allowed to treat you as if you're worthless. So you need to come out and give us a personal invitation. Unless, of course, you find more value in respect, property and happiness than you're willing to admit.


But saying "if you don't share my values I'm not debating them with you" is ignorant and pointless.


No. My reason for refusing to debate with him is because he always drops out of debates in the middle.

Please read next time before you try to put words in my mouth. He asks for proof, then as soon as the argument becomes too intense, he leaves for a couple days. Then he comes back later, asking for proof of something else as if the last debate already resolved itself (or, worse yet, assuming he is in the position to burden the rest of us with proof). I have never, of the half dozen debates I've had involving Delphinus, finished a single one with this kid.


The different between you and I is I have a logical basis for my belief, whereas...you cling to it as something you learned and accept without any basis other than "it is right and cannot be argued against."

What the hell are you talking about, dude? I haven't shared a single moral or ethical belief in this thread. Everything I've been talking about has had to do with reason, law and plain-sight observations. Name a single purely ethical argument I've made in this entire thread.

Delphinus
05-05-2011, 02:30 PM
Delphinus, I'm still waiting for you to go out and relinquish the respect of your peers, value of your properties and attest the worthlessness of your well-being to the people around you. If you believe these things are worthless, why don't you put your beliefs into practice?

It benefits me both physically and mentally, as an individual, to reap the harvest of respect, property, my well-being, and the like. On the other hand it doesn't benefit me to give these things to others and, in the case of property, may outright disadvantage me. I have no obligation to give these things to others: they have no obligation to give them to me either, but if they want to, who am I to refuse them?

EDIT: And the reason this doesn't justify philanthropy and the like on the principle of enlightened self-interest? Virtually every time I gain currency, someone else has it taken from them. For this to not be true, the economy would need to be expanding in excess of the population growth, and the money from the economy's expansion would need to be divided equally - which it isn't.

EDIT 2: FYI, UK economic growth is hovering at around a 0.43% growth rate (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/gdp-growth) over the last 18 months - the population increase in the UK was 0.7% as of 2009 (http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met=sp_pop_grow&idim=country:GBR&dl=en&hl=en&q=population+growth). Zero-sum economics is the best-case scenario - the average person is getting poorer.

CypressDahlia
05-06-2011, 11:28 AM
So you admit to being both an opportunist and a hypocrite.

Besides, "benefit" is just as subjective as "value". In fact, in order to benefit from something, it entails that the receiving party values it in some aspect. So I don't know how you can talk about benefits when they're the same as values in principle.

Delphinus
05-06-2011, 12:59 PM
The difference in this case is that a value is something one aspires to or wants to abide by. Values can be thought of as commandments: "Thou shalt not kill!", "Thou shalt obey the law!", and are entirely unjustifiable. By benefits I just mean things like food, water and other resources that I can use and enjoy. There's no justification for me possessing 'property' per se, but if I grab myself a double-barrelled shotgun and drive other people away from a large house while claiming it's for my exclusive use, then I can do whatever I want with the house - it becomes my property because nobody else is strong enough to take it from me (yes, this justifies theft etc.). If others are fettered by their morals, then that is good for me, as it means that my property is safe. I have no obligation to make others behave as I behave, only the obligation to follow my beliefs.

Which I'm attempting to do. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

EDIT: Also, isn't opportunism a good thing?

CypressDahlia
05-06-2011, 01:36 PM
By benefits I just mean things like food, water and other resources that I can use and enjoy.

Yes, because usefulness and enjoyment are not entirely relative. Especially the latter, which is entirely //not// a matter of opinion. [/sarcasm]

Property is valued in a society that //values// property. Money is valued in a society that embraces money as wealth. No object is innately valuable. An object only becomes valuable when we attach value to it, which usually just means we use it to represent some abstract idea. Going back to the money example: money in itself is absolutely worthless; just paper. But money represents the abstract idea of "wealth", which is what makes it sought after. Understand? So to say "benefits" are any more objective than values is absurd. And to argue "benefit" on behalf of logic is just as bad.

The only true benefits are the ones that keep us alive. Everything else is relative and/or preferential.


...if I grab myself a double-barreled shotgun and drive other people away from a large house while claiming it's for my exclusive use...it becomes my property.

I'm guessing you also support military occupation, grand theft auto, kidnapping and mugging, too, right?


I have no obligation to make others behave as I behave, only the obligation to follow my beliefs.

Yes, because hiding your beliefs in fear of losing things you deem intrinsically worthless is a great show of conviction. You have failed your own objective.

And opportunism, by definition, is exploitive in nature. In this case, you are creating a double standard for yourself. In a way, it's even worse than a double standard. At least double standards are thoroughly expressed. Whereas yours derives from the fear of practicing what you preach.

Delphinus
05-06-2011, 02:10 PM
The only true benefits are the ones that keep us alive. Everything else is relative and/or preferential.

The above paragraph was pretty pointless. What I enjoy, what is useful to me is what I attempt to obtain. Whether it's relative and/or preferential is meaningless - so long as I value it, I will strive for it. If I enjoy fine dining, why would I not try and gain the resources to dine finely? It may not be objectively something to value, but that really doesn't matter in this case. What I'm arguing against is not the difference between people's ambitions, but the imposition of fetters like 'morality' that prevent people from achieving their ambitions.


I'm guessing you also support military occupation, grand theft auto, kidnapping and mugging, too, right?

If it benefits me; if it is indifferent to me, I'm indifferent to it; if it harms or threatens to harm me, I will fight against it.


Yes, because hiding your beliefs in fear of losing things you deem intrinsically worthless is a great show of conviction. You have failed your own objective.

Objectively worthless, yes. Subjectively worthless? No. There are many things I enjoy that others don't; there are many things others enjoy that I don't. The only difference is that in the pursuit of these subjective desires I'm willing to ignore things that get in my way.


And opportunism, by definition, is exploitive in nature. In this case, you are creating a double standard for yourself.

Good. A double standard in my favour helps me.

CypressDahlia
05-06-2011, 07:00 PM
What I enjoy, what is useful to me is what I attempt to obtain. Whether it's relative and/or preferential is meaningless - so long as I value it, I will strive for it.


Objectively worthless, yes. Subjectively worthless? No. There are many things I enjoy that others don't; there are many things others enjoy that I don't.

Is that so?


...since human motivation is ultimately based on emotions, which cannot be logically justified, preference is therefore yet another logically unjustifiable moral code.

Brilliant self-contradiction, Doctor. The "logic" you claim is so infinitely justifiable as opposed to value is exactly the same as the "preference" you deem entirely unjustifiable. You have collapsed your own logic. In fact, you have just defined "Values" and "Logical Benefit" under the same terms.

Delphinus
05-06-2011, 07:31 PM
There are no goals that can be reached through logic, ergo all goals must arise from an indefensible emotion or preference. While a logical argument can be mounted against these goals, ultimately all options other than suicide (which is also illogical in terms of self-interest and the survival instinct) are a simple matter of preference. There are no logically defensible motivations: the only conclusion is that while one's goals are always basically arbitrary, the means used to achieve those goals can't be illogical or subservient to some other code if we want to succeed - that's just common sense in avoiding conflicting interests and ill-proposed actions.

That is to say, I either phrased that last post you quoted from badly or underwent a minor shift in ideology since it was posted - for which I apologise, my ethics are a bit chaotic.

TL;DR: All goals are arbitrary, but the means one uses to achieve those goals cannot be. Ethics is just a series of rules designed to help one achieve one's goals, so only in the context of the desired end state can a particular moral question be answered.

M3S1H
05-07-2011, 04:35 AM
(Completely ignoring every single post before mine)
While it's true that I'm religious, my morals do not hold up to my religion. I believe that everyone has the right to do what they want, however they should be notified of what is wrong and what isn't. They should also be punished for what wrongs they have done, but they shouldn't be tortured or killed. What I'm trying to say is that my morals are very close to law systems - I have nothing against peoples' personal beliefs, nothing against their thoughts, but something against their vile actions. You can't let a theif loose before having him/her spend time in prison. People have the right to do what they want when they want, but not when they go out of their way to harm others. The conclusion that I'm trying to draw out is simple - my morals abide by a perfect form of justice. However, this doesn't mean that all people should be punished to a point where their future is in jeopardy - just to a point where all is equal, and maybe even to a point where some people cannot be released from confinement unless they have a guardian living with them. I hope this justice will one day be accomplished, as there is no justice where I live.

CypressDahlia
05-07-2011, 05:51 AM
So, Delphinus, you have failed to prove that motivations based on "logical desire" are any more correct than motivations based on one's values. You have also offered that the determinant of how logical someone's actions are is how successful that person is in accomplishing their motives. Therefore, if I simply want to make other people happy and succeed in doing this, it is not illogical. Correct?

In other words, beliefs and motives don't need to be justified as long as they are successfully facilitated. Therefore, morals aren't any less logical than anything else. However, this:


...the means used to achieve those goals can't be illogical or subservient to some other code if we want to succeed - that's just common sense in avoiding conflicting interests and ill-proposed actions.

...is untrue. As long as success is seen, how can you deem an action illogical? Your logic is defined by success. And we can't very well argue difference in motives because you have stated that all motives are equally illogical by nature.

Beyond that, I would argue that implementation of values (such as respect, happiness and preservation of life) both in and out of our legal system has helped //more// people find success altogether. As opposed to older systems (ex. feudalism) that followed your school of thought, success today is shared among many more people, instead of seen in excess among a very small number of people. In today's society, the average person is richer, safer and more respected than they were. In other words, everyone is more successful, ergo our value-based society is highly logical. At least, by your terms.

Doctors' desire to cure people, however "illogical", has lengthened our lifespans nearly three fold. Law officials' desire to protect people has ensured greater security for everyone. Our respect for property ensures people get what they want. Personally respecting others averts conflict and makes achieving one's desires as painless as possible. A lot of the time, it guarantees mutual success. Every one of these things facilitate success, therefore they are logical. Do you see where I'm going with this?

You have failed to prove that a society based on values is less logical than your way of thinking. If anything, you have admitted that your way of thinking is illogical in itself whereas, by your terms, values become more logical. Hell, even I don't think most values are logical, merely beneficial. As it stands, you're even more pro-ethics than me!

Delphinus
05-07-2011, 08:13 AM
You make good points above, Cypress, but I think they stem from a misunderstanding of what I was saying. That's probably because I was writing unclearly rather than a mistake on your part. I fucked up; this fucking up has made me seem to have a different viewpoint to the one I actually hold. Continuing the debate from previous posts is probably pointless so, instead of answering you, I'm going to try and restate my argument more clearly. Sorry if it frustrates you, but the fault is mine and I'm hoping to resolve any misunderstandings by restarting the debate from scratch and being less verbose this time around.

__________________________________________________

Clearer Argument

- Most moral beliefs are based on an idea like equality, justice, or the fundamental rights of man.

- People follow these beliefs because of the benefit it brings them. If someone gives to charity, they are doing it because it makes them feel like a good person. If someone champions the golden rule, they do so because they think it will stop people harming them for their own benefit. (See below for why the Golden Rule is illogical)

- Ultimately people only follow their moral codes because they feel it will benefit them. Therefore, in following these moral codes, they're actually just serving their own self-interest.

- However, these moral codes introduce many principles that do not serve the individual's self-interest: they only help their followers in one way, and therefore cannot ever satisfy them completely.

- Then why do people follow moral codes rather than serving their self-interest? If the reason they follow moral codes is ultimately a self-interested one, then it would make more sense to follow all parts of their self-interest rather than selecting one or two and focusing on those.

- I would argue that a moral code like 'freedom' or 'happiness' only benefits an individual in a limited number of ways and disadvantages them in many other ways.

- For example, 'freedom' is beneficial to me in one way. It allows me to pursue my own interests without interference. However, if I make 'freedom' my only ideal, then I'm forced to seek freedom for others as well as myself. Since our freedoms will always collide, this is unachievable. I cannot be free to enslave someone if I believe that they also have the right to be free: total freedom for all is therefore impossible.

- Another example: Happiness is beneficial to me in a very fundamental way: the pursuit of happiness and achieving it makes me, well, happy. (Redundant, I know.) But if I make happiness my ideal and therefore seek to make others happy (as in utilitarianism), I run into an obvious problem. What makes me happy may upset others; what makes others happy may upset me. If I look for the 'happiness of the greatest number', then this necessarily means that at least some people will be unhappy. What if one of these includes me? I followed the ideal of happiness to make myself happy, but now I find that it has done the opposite!

- So why, then, follow an ideal like 'happiness' or 'equality' when, in the end, I only follow these to serve my own interest? It would make much more sense to just pursue my own interests and not attempt to universalise them.

- If I want to be happy, that doesn't mean I want others to be happy. If I want to be free, that doesn't mean I want others to be free.

- If making others happy makes me happy, that is well. If I say that everyone has the right to be happy, then I'm saying that I want a logical contradiction. One person might want Christianity destroyed; another might want it to take over the world. Both cannot be satisfied; one's happiness will make the other unhappy. Likewise, the freedom of one person to kill someone contradicts the freedom of another to not be murdered: both cannot be satisfied.

- In conclusion: ultimately I only follow ideals to serve an aspect of my self-interest. If following those ideals infringes on my self-interest, then I have no reason to follow them. However, all ideals will ultimately infringe on my self-interest if I apply them to anyone other than myself. If I only follow these ideals to serve my own self-interest, then the ideals are unnecessary, and following my self-interest alone is the only way to resolve this problem.

__________________________________________________

WHY THE GOLDEN RULE IS ILLOGICAL:

The Golden Rule:

- I am a human.
- I want to be happy.
- Others are also humans.
- They also want to be happy.
- I don't want them to make me unhappy for their own happiness.
CONCLUSION: I shouldn't make others unhappy for my own happiness.

The Living Thing Rule:

- I am a living thing.
- I want to stay alive.
- Others are also living things.
- They also want to stay alive.
- I don't want them to kill me to stay alive.
CONCLUSION: I shouldn't kill other things to stay alive.

The Black Plague consists of bacteria that are alive: administering antibiotics to save myself is killing them to stay alive. By the same logic as the Golden Rule, curing diseases is immoral.

Or more tangibly: killing an animal to eat it is wrong, even if it would cause me to starve to death.

Or even more tangibly: defending myself against someone who's trying to kill me and being forced to kill them to survive is wrong.

Fenn
05-07-2011, 09:07 AM
Cypress and Delph, this is quite the intellectual discussion! I'm not going to quote your comments above because it's redundant, but I'll make a few points myself.

I would disagree that values are entirely unjustifiable. While motivation may stem from an ultimately irrational emotional drive, certain aspects of life, experience, understanding--and yes, logic--govern and alter how we respond emotionally to a certain goal or action. With conditioning and exposure to charity, for instance, someone could become partial to aiding the poor, where before they were indifferent.

Why do this? Self-interest. The reason so many people point to charity as illogical is because they are essentially making a sacrifice. This sacrifice can be time, energy, or resources. Thus many people claim charity is pointless in comparison to self-centered actions towards selfish goals. However, these self-promoting actions, without exception, also require a sacrifice of time, money, etc! Furthermore, selfish, pleasurable acts often imply competition: the pleasure you receive almost always comes at the expense of someone else; on the other hand, charity provides pleasure while simultaneously improving the well-being of another. Now which seems most logical?

I say a balance of both. You can't be afraid to seek out what you desire. Jobs, material goods, and other opportunities will usually fall into the hands of determined, self-focused individuals. At the same time, when seeking pleasure, what better means to acquire this than one which also aids another human? By developing an affinity for generosity, I've empowered myself to, whenever I choose, incite pleasure in someone else and share in that happiness. That doesn't even account for the possibilities of alliance and future repayment I could be unknowingly earning by aiding a human who holds the values of loyalty, kindness, etc.

That's my promotion of generosity. For me the pros simply outweight the cons.

Delphinus
05-07-2011, 09:25 AM
I agree with you, Fenn. I totally agree with charity insofar as it's a way to make oneself feel good. There's no loss apart from material - when one donates to charity, it's basically trading material advantage for emotional advantage. (I play way too much chess.)

The problem, I think, arises when you feel the obligation to donate to charity. At that point you're no longer the master of your actions: they've mastered you. The urge to donate excessively to charity could even be thought of as an addiction to altruism: it'd make sense to see a psychiatrist about that sort of thing.

Fenn
05-07-2011, 09:42 AM
I agree with you, Fenn. I totally agree with charity insofar as it's a way to make oneself feel good. There's no loss apart from material - when one donates to charity, it's basically trading material advantage for emotional advantage. (I play way too much chess.)

The problem, I think, arises when you feel the obligation to donate to charity. At that point you're no longer the master of your actions: they've mastered you. The urge to donate excessively to charity could even be thought of as an addiction to altruism: it'd make sense to see a psychiatrist about that sort of thing.

Ah, I hadn't considered that distinction.

So, if you agree with me on that, how do you seem to support violent, cruel, and utterly selfish ends at times? Is it my misunderstanding, or your miscommunication, or both?

Delphinus
05-07-2011, 10:00 AM
So, if you agree with me on that, how do you seem to support violent, cruel, and utterly selfish ends at times? Is it my misunderstanding, or your miscommunication, or both?

Violent, cruel, totally selfish ends might bring me happiness in excess of the guilt of harming others. If altruism brings you happiness because of your empathy, then you're still only doing it for your own satisfaction, which is an egoistic motivation. Everything comes back to that egoism in the end, even the seemingly selfless actions. If giving to charity didn't make you happy enough to sacrifice wealth, you wouldn't do it, you'd have no motivation to. So I can justify charity and grand larceny, genocide and Doctors Without Borders, in the same breath, because everything comes back to 'what satisfies me', no matter whether that means destroying the world or establishing a utopia.

EDIT: Read this trope description and apply it to: "Discovering what I want and getting it." (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheUnfettered)


Some Zen-inspired philosophical Unfettered may have the specific goal of "do what you want to do at the moment without hesitation". These characters can be really scary.

EDIT 2: Oh yeah, that's an interest I've acquired recently, too. Zen Buddhism seems to be fairly close to my ideas and to the work of Stirner and Nietzsche, my favourite philosophers. I should look into it with practitioners near me.

EDIT 3: Apparently the name for my view is Psychological Egoism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_egoism).

Fenn
05-07-2011, 02:16 PM
Hey i replied to this, dammit! Where'd it go?

Delphinus
05-07-2011, 02:45 PM
You gotta rewrite it buddy

Fenn
05-07-2011, 07:34 PM
You gotta rewrite it buddy

Aww! I'll just summarize:

First, I wasn't talking about guilt. My argument is
- Firstly, more often than not, when seeking pleasure charitable pleasure is more logical to seek than violent, self-seeking pleasure. The reason: While both require a sacrifice (time, effort, resources), charitable pleasure also "pleasures" my surroundings and makes it more enjoyable/safe, while selfish pleasure usually requires some form of undesirable competition or conflict in addition.

That being said, I find that a balance of the two is best. In practical matters, I have no qualms about taking/acquiring whatever advantages I can.

Also important is that this is my personal value system: I would not judge another person negatively at all if they chose selfish pleasure at my expense, so long as it did not endanger my basic welfare--my ability to survive and earn my basic needs. That being said, those who choose selfish pleasures will alienate themselves from part or all of my generosity, as opposed to those who share similar values to my own.

In essence, if you won't join me in charity and kindness, just stay out of my freaking way. Pursue your selfish pleasures, but try to stop me or my work and I will retaliate.


Regarding your edits:
1. That's an interesting trope. I wish they talked more about how the unfettered discovers this ultimate goal.
2. Zen Buddism huh? Post your newfound knowledge soon.
3. Thank you for finally giving me a name for the idea I've been carrying around for a year now. I completely agree with psychological egoism. I believe there is nothing wrong with self-serving charity, as I showed above.

CypressDahlia
05-08-2011, 06:51 AM
Ultimately people only follow their moral codes because they feel it will benefit them...

So your entire theory is based on an illogical assumption that every good deed is actually self-interest in disguise. Why illogical, you ask? Because, on a cost-benefit analysis, it doesn't make any sense. If someone was truly looking out for their own interests, they would invest in something that ultimately results in net gain. Things such as charity, though, clearly result in a net loss.

So why would so many people invest in something that is clearly a net loss when they are supposedly only looking out for their own interests? Unless we're under the assumption that everyone is really fucking stupid, I'm just gonna go out on a limb and say maybe, just //maybe//, altruism exists.


Then why do people follow moral codes rather than serving their self-interest?

Is it so hard for you to believe that sometimes peoples' interests synchronize with moral codes? Is it impossible for someone to just want to help others?

But okay, let's assume that is the case. Why is it suggested that following moral codes is either 1.) counterproductive to achieving one's personal interests or 2.) entirely against one's personal interests? As I said, following moral codes is actually the best way to get shit done because it is the method that offers the least resistance, creates little conflict, ensures a sound settlement and might benefit multiple parties. Now, that last part may not be your prerogative, but it's part of the package.

Let's go back and examine your shotgun-house example. Okay, so you occupied someone's house with a shotgun. GG. But //now// what? In 20 minutes time, armed men with badges will be at your door to cuff and jail you. By not following moral codes, you have gained one thing but created a huge conflict with multiple parties. Ultimately, you will probably end up losing that one thing, too.


I would argue that a moral code...only benefits an individual in a limited number of ways and disadvantages them in many other ways.

Well, duh. There is no such thing as an absolute good.


...total freedom for all is therefore impossible.

The point of society is to create order. To maintain order, freedoms must be sacrificed. This applies to any and every society under any and every type of institution. Total anarchy is the anti-thesis of society. But, again, I'd like to point out that our society balances freedom in a way that maximizes opportunity, not diminishes it. And, in return for our freedoms, society offers us plenty of awesomesauce benefits. Besides, most of the freedoms taken from us by society are not completely barred. They tend to offer a legal alternative to everything, but only after it has been refined enough to ensure the general safety of the populace.

Anyway, "total freedom" will never exist, even in a state of complete anarchy. As long as there's any semblance of a power structure (ex. "survival of the fittest"), freedoms will inevitably be violated. This is because "total freedom" entails there are no limiting factors to your success. Even among strifeless animals, strength determines one's freedom. Therefore, the weak are not free. As long as there is some rule, catch or exception, "total freedom" does not exist. Society takes that notion and makes it more agreeable for everyone by taking freedom and turning it into the far more applicable concept of "opportunity". Though, by basis of freedom, a weak man cannot outcompete a strong man, society gives the weak man various opportunities to overcome. Now the weak man can outbid the strong if he is richer, out-credit the strong if he is more reliable or even take up a lawsuit against the strong if his argument holds.


I followed the ideal of happiness to make myself happy, but now I find that it has done the opposite!

We can only maximize happiness, not guarantee it.

Anyway, all of this only applies under the assumption that everyone is a selfish retard that doesn't know when they're getting the short end of the stick. A lot of us go into this thing knowing we can't be entirely happy. But, in order to maintain society (which is proven beneficial), we have to take a few falls.


Stuff about the Golden Rule

Lol, not really giving me much to work with, are you? Anyway, I believe the Golden Rule is a result of shared interests, not self-interest. By that, I mean we do not refrain from killing others because it's beneficial to us, but because we realize they probably share a common interest in living. But see, we can't ASSUME what people think so let's not even go there. Besides, I'm sure the majority of situations where the Rule is applicable are not life-threatening... so I have no idea why you thin-sliced it so severely.

But I will tell you why none of those examples work:

1.) The Golden Rule only applies when both parties are capable of realizing the shared interest in question. It is a teaching tool designed to spread good will through consideration. Bacteria don't share our interests so they cannot be accounted for. In truth, it would be a scientific fumble to say Bacteria even have interests considering they are non-sentient. A person who intends to kill you already realizes you share an interest in living but decided they want to kill you anyway. Therefore, you are not obligated to show them good will. The Golden Rule is sucessfully implemented when the final outcome is a mutual realization and respect for common values. A murderer obviously doesn't care.

2.) Each of these cases is an inevitable tradeoff. If something is entirely inevitable, then it cannot possibly be a show of ill-will. The Rule discourages acting against another with malicious intent. There is no malicious intent in merely trying to survive. Besides, animals are not part of our society and thus operate under a totally different set of laws. It doesn't make sense to mix-and-match ethics with them. If anything, it makes sense to adopt their laws at our convenience because we, too, are animals and therefore the laws of the Kingdom apply to us. So may the fittest eat! The only exception would be pets, which we attempt to integrate into our society through domestication. Our laws take special consideration of the third scenario, offering reduced sentence or total acquittance for reasonable degrees of self defense.

3.) The Golden Rule is a principle of social etiquette, not a guideline for survival. The assumption made by the Golden Rule is that the situation is something that can be avoided or remedied through its practice. If the conflict offers no friendly alternative, then essentially it has extended beyond the capacity of the rule as neither party will gain anything from it.


----------

Also, please, //PLEASE// do not clump Buddhism together with egocentricity. It is, in fact, the exact opposite. Zen Buddhism is a subset of Mahayana Buddhism, the Buddhism I practice, which states that the best way to avoid conflict is to abandon selfish desires. And, through the lack of desire, you achieve enlightenment or, in other words, escape from worldly pressures. I don't know what you've been reading, but it wasn't Buddhism.

Delphinus
05-08-2011, 09:36 AM
So your entire theory is based on an illogical assumption that every good deed is actually self-interest in disguise. Things such as charity, though, clearly result in a net loss...

So why would so many people invest in something that is clearly a net loss when they are supposedly only looking out for their own interests? Unless we're under the assumption that everyone is really fucking stupid, I'm just gonna go out on a limb and say maybe, just //maybe//, altruism exists.

Ah, here's the main point of contention between us. You think people are basically motivated by altruism, I think they're motivated by egoism. That's a debate that's still ongoing in psychology, sociology, economics, evolutionary biology, etc.

Like I said when I was talking to Fenn, even acts that result in a material loss can be thought of as egoistic, because in giving something to someone else at their own expense, people will gain a sense of satisfaction with their actions, which ultimately makes their motivation behind the 'selfless' action to become happier: egoism.
In extreme cases, like self-sacrifice on the battlefield, it can be argued that people are conditioned in a similar way to Pavlov's dogs to be motivated to perform these acts by receiving constant positive reinforcement when they do similar things. People like altruism, as a general rule, so acts of altruism become connected to a sense of reward in the brain - self-sacrificing soldiers are motivated by the Pavlovian response.


Is it so hard for you to believe that sometimes peoples' interests synchronize with moral codes? Is it impossible for someone to just want to help others?

I said before that sometimes personal interests coincide moral codes. I just don't believe that any moral code can satisfy every interest a person may have - thus, it makes more sense to follow those interests rather than a moral code, for more complete satisfaction. And yes, it's possible for someone to want to help others, but as I said above, their motivation is ultimately a sense of emotional reward, which is egoistic.


But okay, let's assume that is the case. Why is it suggested that following moral codes is either 1.) counterproductive to achieving one's personal interests or 2.) entirely against one's personal interests? As I said, following moral codes is actually the best way to get shit done because it is the method that offers the least resistance, creates little conflict, ensures a sound settlement and might benefit multiple parties. Now, that last part may not be your prerogative, but it's part of the package.

1) Following a moral code means one is only following the parts of one's self-interest that correspond to that moral code: complete satisfaction is therefore impossible unless the moral code precisely corresponds to one's self-interest. Therefore the best moral code, and the only one that can satisfy an individual completely, is self-interest itself.

2) I never said it was entirely against self-interest. I said that one part of the self-interest becomes the reason and the motivation behind following a moral code, but that that one interest will always be an incomplete part of what the individual desires. In fact, I'd argue that unless a moral code serves an individual's self-interest, or appears to serve their self-interest, that individual won't follow it.


The point of society is to create order. To maintain order, freedoms must be sacrificed. This applies to any and every society under any and every type of institution. Total anarchy is the anti-thesis of society. But, again, I'd like to point out that our society balances freedom in a way that maximizes opportunity, not diminishes it.

Firstly: that sounds disturbingly like the ideology of the Soviet Union, particularly the part about sacrificing freedoms to maintain order. Ben Franklin once said: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." But although I have numerous objections to the premises and conclusions of Marxism, I'm not about to base an entire argument on "YOU DAMN COMMIE" - this really isn't the place for that.

I'd argue that a society doesn't necessarily need to impose the restriction of freedom on its citizens. For example, a state where individuals agreed on mutually-beneficial contracts, without a centralised government, could count as a totally free society, especially if those contracts were followed for mutual benefit rather than because the individuals felt obliged to follow them as part of a 'fair exchange' (such as in capitalism, where no such 'fair exchange' of wages for labour actually occurs).


And, in return for our freedoms, society offers us plenty of awesomesauce benefits. Besides, most of the freedoms taken from us by society are not completely barred. They tend to offer a legal alternative to everything, but only after it has been refined enough to ensure the general safety of the populace.

Arguably these benefits could also be achieved without limiting our freedoms: see above. And, as I've said before in our alcohol debate, individuals should be free to choose to take actions that harm nobody but themselves: it's not the government's place to protect a person of sound mind from themselves when that person is well aware of the potential consequences of their actions.


Anyway, "total freedom" will never exist, even in a state of complete anarchy...

Arguably not. But freedom of thought, freedom of mind, freedom to do anything within your power, only requires the liberation of the mind from fetters like conventional morality. Even the most beaten-down slave has the choice whether or not he falls into the slave mentality, and if he chooses to remain free and resist indoctrination (since I doubt anybody would enjoy being enslaved), then he's asserted freedom of mind even while he's being forced to labour. He might serve but plan to escape, for example, rather than abandoning all hope. Even in the darkest night, his freedom provides him with hope and a star for navigation: that star is the same self-interest you claim is immoral.


We can only maximize happiness, not guarantee it.

Happiness comes from within: having a goal to strive towards will make even the most despairing person put in their best effort, and the more effort put in, the happier they will be when at last they achieve that goal. Sufficient determination can move heaven and earth.


Anyway, all of this only applies under the assumption that everyone is a selfish retard that doesn't know when they're getting the short end of the stick. A lot of us go into this thing knowing we can't be entirely happy. But, in order to maintain society (which is proven beneficial), we have to take a few falls.

No it doesn't. See above.


The Golden Rule... blah blah blah.

It was a reductio ad absurdem of the Golden Rule. I used the same reasoning as the Golden Rule to create the 'Living Thing Rule', which is deliberately ridiculous, to demonstrate the flaws with the Golden Rule itself. Unless you want to state the premises and the conclusion of the Golden Rule in a way that prevents me from applying it to any category a human is part of, all you're doing is pointing out the absurdity of the Golden Rule itself.

Fenn
05-08-2011, 12:02 PM
Just curious were either of you planning to reply to my post? If not I'll jump in at the next suitable point.

CypressDahlia
05-08-2011, 08:08 PM
Like I said when I was talking to Fenn, even acts that result in a material loss...

Yes, I understand what you're trying to say. But what I'm telling you is that charity cuts the charitable a bad deal. If they were truly looking to benefit, why wouldn't they invest in something more...well...beneficial? Your assumption makes no logical sense.


In extreme cases, like self-sacrifice on the battlefield, it can be argued that people are conditioned in a similar way to Pavlov's dogs...

Oh, you can't be serious. I'm sure the value one has for his own life can't be exceeded by mere positive reinforcement. There has to be a willingness, either because the person devalues his life or because he greatly values his cause, to commit to something like that. You can motivate someone to sacrifice their life, but I believe the decision is exclusively theirs.

Besides, how does this support self-interest? Wouldn't this ultimately be an act of selflessness as there are literally no foreseeable benefits? Again, your assumption makes no sense.


I said before that sometimes personal interests coincide moral codes. I just don't believe that any moral code can satisfy every interest a person may have.

You misunderstand me. I //do// believe it is possible for a person to be fully interested in helping others. But see, moral codes only apply to the social aspect of a person's life. Naturally, following moral codes cannot satisfy every interest in every aspect of a person's life because a person's life consists of more than just interpersonal exchanges. But in that respect, yes, I do believe moral codes can satisfy every interest.


I never said it was entirely against self-interest.


Then why do people follow moral codes rather than serving their self-interest?


Then you should really try to phrase things better. Not just that, but it's suggested in the breakdown of your logic:

- There is no such thing as true charity, people do it for their own benefit
- Thus, one cannot be truly charitable without the absence of self-interest
- Furthermore, total self-interest cannot be realized without the absence of moral codes
- But because self-interest is good, moral codes can be considered an inhibitor to one's satisfaction
- In conclusion, moral codes and self-interest are mutually exclusive

Tell me where I'm getting it wrong.


Firstly: that sounds disturbingly like the ideology of the Soviet Union...

More like that's the ideology of any place with standards and regulations. And what is with you and the Soviet Union? That's been coming up way too often lately. Anyway, why bother to quote Franklin? He laid the foundations for the United States: a perfect example of what I'm talking about. In fact, the document he personally drafted and signed had to be amended 27 times just so people could receive more liberties than it initially granted.


I'd argue that a society doesn't necessarily need to impose the restriction of freedom on its citizens.

I would love to see an example of this actually working. Show me one successful society with absolutely no restrictions on its citizens.


...freedom of thought, freedom of mind, freedom to do anything within your power...

In any given situation, everyone has the freedom to do what's "within their power". It is simply up to the individual to determine whether or not this power surpasses ethical and legal standards.


Even in the darkest night, his freedom provides him with hope and a star for navigation: that star is the same self-interest you claim is immoral.

Lol How poetic, but I never said self-interest is immoral. Please show me where I have. Self-interest is vital to many things. It is the cornerstone of capitalism and the fuel of every autonomous citizen. But there are undoubtedly ways to pursue self-interest without harming others; proper channels to go through. I wholly support these. But pursuing your self-interest at the expense of others' is what's immoral.


It was a reductio ad absurdem of the Golden Rule.

I understand that. And I gave you many reasons why the Golden Rule did not apply to any of those situations, therefore you have disproved nothing. Your argument only works under the assumption that the Golden Rule takes no exceptions. Apparently it does. Hell, one can be inferred directly from the rule itself. It states: "treat others as you would want to be treated." Hence, a person who treats you like shit wants to be treated like shit.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-09-2011, 08:12 PM
I understand that. And I gave you many reasons why the Golden Rule did not apply to any of those situations, therefore you have disproved nothing. Your argument only works under the assumption that the Golden Rule takes no exceptions. Apparently it does. Hell, one can be inferred directly from the rule itself. It states: "treat others as you would want to be treated." Hence, a person who treats you like shit wants to be treated like shit.

This. No one ever said to apply it to other living creatures. Other assumes you are talking about humans. Your Reductio ad absurdum is exactly what it sounds like. Absurd. It proves nothing and at most is a fallacy.

Fenn
05-10-2011, 09:24 AM
A lot of your post has some good stuff which I agree on. But I disagree that charity "cuts the charitable a bad deal," and that you can perform an action without self-interest at heart.

First off, I already explained why charity is a logical and rational action for a self-interested person. It can bring pleasure while avoiding all the conflicts that arise from self-serving pleasure, at the same material cost.

Second, every act is motivated by self interest. At the least, you are striving to fulfill a value that you hold. If the value is "help those in need," then you are simply complying with the part of yourself that holds this value instead of the part that says "protect one's self-interest." The cause is still internal and self-serving.

CypressDahlia
05-10-2011, 10:53 AM
Yes, you explained it and I kindly disagreed. You're saying people give more than they receive in the pursuit of pleasure. From an economical perspective, that makes no sense. From a logical perspective, that makes no sense. What I'm saying is, if people were really in it for self-benefit, there are many legal, ethically sound alternatives they could invest in that return far more than charity does. So why is it people insist on being charitable, knowing they lose far more than they could ever gain? Because there is selflessness in the world. So yeah, I'm not saying everyone who donates to charity is selfless, but that not everyone is selfish.

Again, I disagree with you. First of all, self-interest and values are not mutually exclusive. Secondly, "helping those in need" is, by definition, not self-serving. You are abstracting the terms "self-interest" and "self-serving" to the point where they don't even mean anything anymore. Thirdly, this only works under the assumption that the action is self-motivated. Not all actions are motivated by oneself. In truth, most of our actions are responses to various worldly pressures. You would say all working men are self-interested, right? Wrong. I'm sure a good number of them wish they could get by without working. But because we live in a society that values currency, they are forced to adopt those interests. Ultimately, they are not serving their truest self-interest.

Delphinus
05-10-2011, 05:59 PM
Just so you know, Cyp, I've read both your posts and I /will/ reply to them soon. I had a response typed out earlier but some weird psychological thing stopped me from posting it, and I'm now too drunk and tired to write a new one. Should have one tomorrow though.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-10-2011, 06:46 PM
You would say all working men are self-interested, right? Wrong. I'm sure a good number of them wish they could get by without working. But because we live in a society that values currency, they are forced to adopt those interests. Ultimately, they are not serving their truest self-interest.
Of course they're self interested. I think you're right it may not be their "truest" self interest, but if they want to live and make money, then yeah, they're doing that stuff out of self interest.

Fenn
05-10-2011, 09:49 PM
Yes, you explained it and I kindly disagreed. You're saying people give more than they receive in the pursuit of pleasure. From an economical perspective, that makes no sense. From a logical perspective, that makes no sense. What I'm saying is, if people were really in it for self-benefit, there are many legal, ethically sound alternatives they could invest in that return far more than charity does. So why is it people insist on being charitable, knowing they lose far more than they could ever gain? Because there is selflessness in the world. So yeah, I'm not saying everyone who donates to charity is selfless, but that not everyone is selfish.

Pleasure is not quantifiable. I never said that the sacrifice required for pleasure is greater than the reward; that is entirely subjective. It depends on how much the individual values the pleasure, and how much they value what is being sacrificed. You are viewing things from a purely practical and material perspective and, although many times more material goods leads to more pleasure, more material goods does not automatically equal more pleasure.

Pleasure =/= self-benefit. Doing something because it brings you pleasure and doing something because it mathematically gives you more are different. When you perform an act of charity, it is because you value that act more than the selfish alternative. Read that again: YOU VALUE. You are acting out of a desire to fulfill your value. That is selfish.

It's worth saying that selfish, in this context, is not intended to be negative at all.


Again, I disagree with you. First of all, self-interest and values are not mutually exclusive. Secondly, "helping those in need" is, by definition, not self-serving. You are abstracting the terms "self-interest" and "self-serving" to the point where they don't even mean anything anymore. Thirdly, this only works under the assumption that the action is self-motivated. Not all actions are motivated by oneself. In truth, most of our actions are responses to various worldly pressures. You would say all working men are self-interested, right? Wrong. I'm sure a good number of them wish they could get by without working. But because we live in a society that values currency, they are forced to adopt those interests. Ultimately, they are not serving their truest self-interest.

Of course they aren't (self-interest and values). My example just stated that self-interest was based on a desire to fulfill something that one values!

Helping those in need for personal benefit is entirely possible, thus your definition cannot be correct.

What do you mean by "truest self-interest?" It sounds to me like you are using it to mean "perfect world" or "ideal." Regardless, I say these men you speak of are self-interested. It is these men's desire to survive and earn the means to better their life that drives them to work, not society. Every act is affected by outside forces, of course, but in the end The values of society have little to do with a man's drive to survive or self-interest; they only help to create the environment that he has to work with in working towards this interest. In short: these men want money to fulfill their self-interest. Whether or not they have to work to achieve this is irrelevant.

CypressDahlia
05-11-2011, 04:47 AM
Pleasure is not quantifiable.

Yes, which is partly what makes your argument impossible to follow. In order for charity to be ultimately beneficial, it requires that some intrinsic value (such as pleasure) be quantifiable and worth more than what's given. Otherwise, there are neither subjective nor objective benefits to being charitable.


Pleasure =/= self-benefit.

Then define a benefit, please. I think you need to find different words for the ideas you're expressing. If there is no desirable outcome from an action, it is non-beneficial. Charity is, by all objective standards, non-beneficial. So there must be some intrinsic value that the individual takes pleasure in, right?


It's worth saying that selfish...is not intended to be negative at all.

Then can we stop using that word?


"–adjective
1.
devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
2.
characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives."


My example just stated that self-interest was based on a desire to fulfill something that one values!

So self-interest is no different than completing compulsory tasks with no discernible benefit? How is that different from just "doing stuff"? Apparently you and Delphinus are talking about two different kinds of self-interest.


...your definition cannot be correct.

You can argue that with Marriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-serving).


What do you mean by "truest self-interest?"

What people truly want to do. Our value of currency is something born from standardized society. I'm sure many people would choose not to value currency but, because there is not a single place in the world that doesn't, they are forced by circumstance to value it.

You said every action that is motivated by one's own values is self-interested. I'm telling you that not every value is self-derived and, thus not every action is self-interested.


The values of society have little to do with...self-interest.

What? Your entire charity argument crutches on this being false.


Whether or not they have to work to achieve this is irrelevant.

It is entirely relevant because your previous argument was that all self-motivated actions are self-interested. My point was that not all actions are self-motivated, nor do all actions follow an individual's truest desires.

Fenn
05-13-2011, 10:32 AM
^ I haven't forgot about you. Still musing

CypressDahlia
05-13-2011, 06:52 PM
It's cool, man. No pressure.

I think too much pressure leads to debates that end too early haha. So take your time, dude.

Sylux
05-16-2011, 12:59 PM
I honestly believe it's okay to rape ugly girls, fat girls, and all boys/men.

Delphinus
05-16-2011, 04:57 PM
^ Screw that, it's okay to rape anyone.

Sylux
05-16-2011, 06:17 PM
I'll kill you if you rape my fiancee. It's okay to kill anyone, right?

Delphinus
05-16-2011, 06:18 PM
That too, but it's also okay for me to kidnap your fiancée, rape her, and gun you down. :D

Sylux
05-16-2011, 06:19 PM
I'm pretty sure my fiancee doesn't meet your absurd standards, so I'm quite alright with you feeling that way.

Delphinus
05-16-2011, 06:50 PM
...I'm basically a nihilist, although not a depressed/depressing one. You could name anything you like and I would say it was okay...

Bacon_Barbarian
05-16-2011, 08:34 PM
Sketty, you're you're younger then me, and not out of High School. What are you doing with a Fiance.

Sylux
05-16-2011, 08:50 PM
We're deeply committed and are about to probably face a pregnancy. What are you doing without a fiance.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-16-2011, 08:53 PM
I have nothing polite to say in response to that. You may continue your debate, or whatever it was you two were doing.

Del's right though. There are no moral absolutes. Unless your Batman of course, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

Fenn
05-16-2011, 10:10 PM
Okay Cypress, I'm going to venture a reply to you. I can't reply to each comment you made; we'd be going way off the point. There are two reasons for our confusion: semantics (me using words incorrectly/differently than you interpret them) and unclear main arguments.

I am trying to make two points:
1. Charity is vastly underestimated by most people today as a logical path to pleasure.
2. True altruism is impossible.

I have supported the first point already. As another example, I have a large piece of chocolate cake. Before I eat it, I spy a lonely man on the corner starving. I can give the man the cake, or eat it myself. First, clarification:
- I am not starving; this means I can afford to lose the cake.
- Any emotional gains are based on the personal value of those emotions to me.
- This hypothetical is most likely incomplete; feel free to add to it.

If I eat the cake:
+ I gain sensory pleasure from eating the cake.
+ I gain emotional pleasure from eating the cake.
- There is a possiility that I have angered the man.
- The pleasure is temporary; it ends when I finish the cake.

If I give the man the cake:
+ I gain emotional pleasure from seeing the man enjoy the cake.
+ There is a possibility that I have befriended the man.
+ The pleasure can last a very long time, since the knowledge that I have helped someone (which brings me pleasure) will not fade.

If I have conditioned my mind to appreciate the emotional pleasure of charity over the physical pleasure of taste, I can make the choice with the greater objective benefit (possible alliance or at least avoidance of conflict) rather than the choice that risks conflict.

For my second point, I need your help. Name one time where you performed an act you believe to be altruistic. Why did you do this act?

CypressDahlia
05-17-2011, 12:50 PM
If I have conditioned my mind to appreciate the emotional pleasure of charity over the physical pleasure of taste...


Pleasure is not quantifiable...


In order for charity to be ultimately beneficial, it requires that some intrinsic value (such as pleasure) be quantifiable and worth more than what's given.

So you agree, right?

And even then, I would argue that this is merely a matter of preference. This does not support charity being beneficial on a logical or objective level at all. Whether or not pleasure is worth more than material good is respective to every individual. Whereas to assume that something (ex. money) with objective worth is ultimately more valuable than something with variable or indeterminate worth (pleasure) is logical.


And I once gave a bum 5 dollars. I was not pressured to, nor did I feel obligated to, nor did I receive anything from it. Nobody saw me do it and nobody knows that I did it. He did not ask me for it; I chose to give it to him. Personally, I would've preferred to keep the money, but I felt he //needed// it more than me. It was an assessment of need.

Delphinus
05-17-2011, 01:24 PM
And even then, I would argue that this is merely a matter of preference. This does not support charity being beneficial on a logical or objective level at all. Whether or not pleasure is worth more than material good is respective to every individual. Whereas to assume that something (ex. money) with objective worth is ultimately more valuable than something with variable or indeterminate worth (pleasure) is logical.

...you really don't get it, do you? Emotions can still be factored into a logical decision; it's logical to seek happiness, even if you gain that happiness by sacrificing material goods. It's not logical to assume money is worth more than pleasure; the degree of 'worth' is ultimately based on emotional attachment to it either way. If you don't care about material things but care a lot about making others happy, it's logical to give money to the poor. An analogy can be found in this chess strategy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_gift_sacrifice).

Here white sacrifices a low-value piece (the bishop/the $5) to gain a position of greater value (yielding the queen OR the mate/gaining emotional benefit).

It's likely that in a capitalist society like ours, where genuine emotion is rare and material wealth is high, that people would sacrifice material goods (which are common and thus of little value to them) to gain emotional benefits (a commodity). Indeed, such a sacrifice would even be consistent with traditional economics, assuming one could assign a value to happiness. That one can't, in practice, assign any such universal value is immaterial: they're still making a good trade if the happiness they gain is worth more to them than their money, and thus, again, it's ultimately an egoistic action.

CypressDahlia
05-17-2011, 01:30 PM
...you really don't get it, do you? Emotions can still be factored into a logical decision...

[/head explode]

Deja Vu, anyone?

But srsly. Yes, I understand emotions can be factored into a logical decision. Remember the good 'ol Unpopular Opinions thread? That was my entire platform. But you're assuming that every--single--person who donates to charity values emotion more than material good. I'm telling you why that assumption is illogical.

Firstly, the subjectivity of "value" itself protests your argument. How can you make that assumption for every person when every person's values are different? Furthermore, money has objective worth, believe it or not. Are you telling me that five dollars is not always worth five dollars? Surely, its usefulness varies between people (hence "assessment of need"), but it is always the same. Hence, it is more logical to assume that people would want money over emotions because it will //always// be worth something to everyone. Oppositely, emotions may very well be worthless in a great number of real-world contexts.

Delphinus
05-17-2011, 01:48 PM
Mmm, yeah, I forgot that not everyone is a psychopath. Perspective was duly amended. >__>

Fenn
05-17-2011, 09:58 PM
[/head explode]

But you're assuming that every--single--person who donates to charity values emotion more than material good. I'm telling you why that assumption is illogical.

I won't speak for Delph, but I never said anything of the kind.


Firstly, the subjectivity of "value" itself protests your argument. How can you make that assumption for every person when every person's values are different? Furthermore, money has objective worth, believe it or not. Are you telling me that five dollars is not always worth five dollars? Surely, its usefulness varies between people (hence "assessment of need"), but it is always the same. Hence, it is more logical to assume that people would want money over emotions because it will //always// be worth something to everyone. Oppositely, emotions may very well be worthless in a great number of real-world contexts.

First of all, we are not talking about a great number of real-world contexts. We are talking specifically about the pursuit of personal satisfaction and pleasure.

Secondly, The PERSONAL value of money is subjective. The currency value remains objective of course, but seeing as we are dealing with individuals, the value of the currency itself is subjective. Some people hold money in higher priority and regard than others. For example, my personal value regarding money is to try to gain as much as my value system allows, but rely on it only as much as I have to, since I find money (and all material sources of pleasure) to be highly unreliable and costly in comparison to emotional pleasures such as politeness and charity.


And I once gave a bum 5 dollars. I was not pressured to, nor did I feel obligated to, nor did I receive anything from it. Nobody saw me do it and nobody knows that I did it. He did not ask me for it; I chose to give it to him. Personally, I would've preferred to keep the money, but I felt he //needed// it more than me. It was an assessment of need.

Believe it or not, from where I stand you are acting on self interest. You valued the fulfillment of the other's need over your own; this is true. However, you acted because your personal rewards and repercussions of giving the bum the money had a higher net worth to you than keeping the cash. If your net gain in the selfish act (net worth being a combination of material and emotional results of each act) was greater than the selfless one, you would have chosen that.

I realize it may seem arrogant to assume I know what you're thinking, but read what I've written closely and consider it yourself.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-17-2011, 10:32 PM
Mmm, yeah, I forgot that not everyone is a psychopath. Perspective was duly amended. >__>

Only 1 in 100.

CypressDahlia
05-19-2011, 01:33 PM
I won't speak for Delph...

Yeah, well, then you probably shouldn't be replying to the post DIRECTED at Delphinus then, should ya?


First of all, we are not talking about a great number of real-world contexts.

You missed the point. Money = worth something all the time. Emotions = variable or indeterminable worth. You can't pay rent with emotions, nor can you buy food with them, or watch movies with them. I'm giving you a reason why money is more valuable //to the average person//, which includes all contexts in which the average person deals with money. Of course, if you narrow it down to values and ethics, emotions are more valuable because money's objective worth does not apply in "metaspace". But, as I said before, and will say again:


Naturally, following moral codes cannot satisfy every interest in every aspect of a person's life because a person's life consists of more than just interpersonal exchanges.


Secondly, The PERSONAL value of money is subjective.

Not really. Though how much money you require ("usefulness") may vary, the "personal value" of money is actually quite formulaic. It's a calculation based on three factors:

- How much money you have
- How much you need
- How much it costs to buy what you want

Believe it or not, these things are decided by hard numbers. It's an evident trend that can be observed in different socioeconomic demographics. People who need money (high living standard, lack of money or desire for higher living standard), will value it. People who don't need money (excess money, easy access to money or a desire for lower living standard), will not value it. Of course, there are plenty of other scenarios, but you get the point. Our personal need/decided usefulness of money is determined by its objective worth. Furthermore, money's value is not decided by an individual. I would argue that money has no worth (objectively or subjectively) without society, or without at least one other person who values it equally. That's because the worth of money is decided by how much OTHER people value it. It is the same principle behind Supply and Demand; it's worth more only if your transactor values it more. And that, again, is based entirely on hard numbers.


Believe it or not, from where I stand you are acting on self interest.

Oh, bullshit. You mean to tell me that I gave away that five dollars just for some cheap emotional high that I didn't even get? If I could, I would go back to Florida and take my money back because obviously I've been ripped off. I'm supposed to feel better about myself, right? I just feel poorer.

Delphinus
05-19-2011, 05:09 PM
Oh, bullshit. You mean to tell me that I gave away that five dollars just for some cheap emotional high that I didn't even get? If I could, I would go back to Florida and take my money back because obviously I've been ripped off. I'm supposed to feel better about myself, right? I just feel poorer.

Actually, there's another possibility with regards to socialisation and conditioning. Assuming you were brought up in a family with typical social values (Golden Rule, sharing is good, etc.) the 'goodness' of giving to those less fortunate than yourself has probably been inculcated into you since birth. It's likely your parents and other authority features rewarded you for following those principles and penalised you when you didn't. Over time you'd grow to subconsciously associate actions in keeping with those principles with good things for yourself - regardless of whether or not you actually receive any emotional or material benefit from carrying out those principles.

This would cause an 'altruistic instinct' where you'd act selflessly because you felt it was the 'right' thing to do: yet it all ultimately arises from egoistic principles.

Is that satisfactory?

EDIT: Oh, and since that would mean altruism is socially instilled (unsurprisingly, given it's only needed in social interactions), it would mean that it's not a part of one's own will. It's an alien presence, a means of society asserting power over you: altruism is slavery.

Fenn
05-19-2011, 08:30 PM
Yeah, well, then you probably shouldn't be replying to the post DIRECTED at Delphinus then, should ya?

I didn't realize I needed permission to reply when I read what you had wrote and found flaws in it.


You missed the point. Money = worth something all the time. Emotions = variable or indeterminable worth. You can't pay rent with emotions, nor can you buy food with them, or watch movies with them. I'm giving you a reason why money is more valuable //to the average person//, which includes all contexts in which the average person deals with money. Of course, if you narrow it down to values and ethics, emotions are more valuable because money's objective worth does not apply in "metaspace". But, as I said before, and will say again: Naturally, following moral codes cannot satisfy every interest in every aspect of a person's life because a person's life consists of more than just interpersonal exchanges.


You say money is worth something all the time?

Your quote:
I would argue that money has no worth (objectively or subjectively) without society, or without at least one other person who values it equally.

I'll agree with you, though, that to the average person money has more value than emotion. Absolutely. It's a necessity in today's society; emotion isn't. Once basic needs are met, however, I would argue their are much more simple, effective, and consistent forms of pleasure than those that rely almost soley on money.

I'm not saying money-reliant pleasure should be taboo or abandoned; I simply shake my head when I see everyone in the world [exaggeration] turn straight to money whenever they lack pleasure, and complain because they never have enough of it, and THEN hurt other people for it instead. They are only restricting and depriving themselves and others.

Here's where the logic comes in: Free yourself of your dependency on money for pleasure, and you can spend far more of your money on practical matters, while still having a very pleasant enjoyable life. Every dollar spent on pleasure is a dollar not spent on improving yourself or the world around you. This is another logical benefit of charity: the happier and more content those around you are, the safer you are and the less you need to worry.


Not really. Though how much money you require ("usefulness") may vary, the "personal value" of money is actually quite formulaic. It's a calculation based on three factors:

- How much money you have
- How much you need
- How much it costs to buy what you want

Believe it or not, these things are decided by hard numbers. It's an evident trend that can be observed in different socioeconomic demographics. People who need money (high living standard, lack of money or desire for higher living standard), will value it. People who don't need money (excess money, easy access to money or a desire for lower living standard), will not value it. Of course, there are plenty of other scenarios, but you get the point. Our personal need/decided usefulness of money is determined by its objective worth. Furthermore, money's value is not decided by an individual. I would argue that money has no worth (objectively or subjectively) without society, or without at least one other person who values it equally. That's because the worth of money is decided by how much OTHER people value it. It is the same principle behind Supply and Demand; it's worth more only if your transactor values it more. And that, again, is based entirely on hard numbers.

Simply being quantifiable does not make something objective. To be objective everyone must value it the same. Some people hold money in higher priority than others--hence it is subjective.

I'm not saying ten dollars to one person is ten million to another LITERALLY, but if one person finds a ten dollar bill on the ground, they might act as ecstatically as someone else who has found a winning MegaMillions ticket. In this way, money is subjective.

Other than that, your logic is sound. But as I keep stressing, we are talking about pleasure.


Oh, bullshit. You mean to tell me that I gave away that five dollars just for some cheap emotional high that I didn't even get? If I could, I would go back to Florida and take my money back because obviously I've been ripped off. I'm supposed to feel better about myself, right? I just feel poorer.

Then why'd you do it? Some magical "altruistic" emotion that led you to your humble and generous act? That's still self-motivated; you couldn't bear to have you altruistic side dissatisfied, so much so that you sacrifice money to do so.

CypressDahlia
05-20-2011, 04:37 PM
I didn't realize I needed permission to reply when I read what you had wrote and found flaws in it.

You don't. It just didn't make sense to reply to a post directed at Delphinus and go "Well, I can't speak for Delphinus but..." lol


You say money is worth something all the time? (Followed by quote)

Yes, money is worth something all the time because, as I said, all it requires is that at least one (or 6 billion) other person(s) places equal value in it. And that seems to be the case, doesn't it?


...I simply shake my head when I see everyone in the world [exaggeration] turn straight to money whenever they lack pleasure, and complain because they never have enough of it, and THEN hurt other people for it instead.

Amen.


Here's where the logic comes in: Free yourself of your dependency on money for pleasure, and you can spend far more of your money on practical matters, while still having a very pleasant enjoyable life.

Buddhism in practice.


To be objective everyone must value it the same.

Everyone does value it the same, dude. Money has an objective worth. If you are to frame it as "nonobjective" merely because people place different importance on it, then nothing in the world is objective. Math is, by nature, objective but that doesn't necessarily mean it's important to people. lol. I personally don't give a rat's ass about math (art major yeahhh~), but I acknowledge that 2=2 to everyone and everything on the planet.


Then why'd you do it? Some magical "altruistic" emotion that led you to your humble and generous act?

According to Delphinus, yes. But no. I told you: it was an assessment of need. I acknowledged that this man needed money more than I so I gave it to him. It didn't make me feel better, nor did I feel like I gained anything from it. It's just that I didn't need it at the time, so it didn't hurt to give it up. It's like having three shoes and giving one away. Why not?


And Delphinus, I'm gonna call our debate off now. You're telling me that your argument boils down to assuming that some metaphysical concept exists in some else's mind based on various lifestyle factors you extrapolated despite not knowing anything about that person's upbringing. That's...just not worthwhile, dude. Sorry.

Delphinus
05-20-2011, 04:52 PM
It's an example. Socialisation is a powerful tool, that's all I'm saying. All people (in my opinion) perform so-called altruistic actions because:

- It brings them emotional or material benefits.
- They've been socialised to behave that way.

Socialisation offers an explanation for why someone would do something altruistic without receiving anything of significance from the transaction, and socialisation is generally performed by pandering to the egoistic emotions of an infant and essentially manipulating them into believing that certain socially-acceptable behaviours will bring them benefit regardless of whether they actually will.

I don't care about you or your upbringing. The whole post was a hypothetical and an example.

EDIT: Oh, and I don't believe socialisation is ever a good thing except in the most minimal sense (helping with effective communication). Rejecting the irrational beliefs of socialisation is my quest - and the only route to true freedom.

Fenn
05-21-2011, 10:45 AM
Yes, money is worth something all the time because, as I said, all it requires is that at least one (or 6 billion) other person(s) places equal value in it. And that seems to be the case, doesn't it?

If it was worth something all the time there would be no requirements. It is worth something NOW, and has for a long time, but not all the time. This isn't that relevant anymore, though, so we may as well drop it.


Everyone does value it the same, dude. Money has an objective worth. If you are to frame it as "nonobjective" merely because people place different importance on it, then nothing in the world is objective. Math is, by nature, objective but that doesn't necessarily mean it's important to people. lol. I personally don't give a rat's ass about math (art major yeahhh~), but I acknowledge that 2=2 to everyone and everything on the planet.

Math, or rather the concepts of math, existed before humans even came about; thus it is objective in that 2+2=4 whether humans agree or not. Try to change math, and you will find that it will fail when applied practically.

Money is created and sustained by man. Without humans money would not exist. And someone who is completely self-sufficient (a farmer many centuries ago, perhaps) could in theory hold no value of money.

You cannot separate these concepts from individual value and emotion because we are dealing with pleasure, which is completely subjective and dependent on individual values and emotions. I already told you we aren't dealing with practical matters but the pursuit of pleasure.


According to Delphinus, yes. But no. I told you: it was an assessment of need. I acknowledged that this man needed money more than I so I gave it to him. It didn't make me feel better, nor did I feel like I gained anything from it. It's just that I didn't need it at the time, so it didn't hurt to give it up. It's like having three shoes and giving one away. Why not?

Assessment of need means nothing unless you value it. You value the concept of assessing need and carrying out the response you deem proper to the assessed situation. By giving the bum the money, you fulfilled your own personal desire to assess need and act on it.

CypressDahlia
05-21-2011, 02:38 PM
If it was worth something all the time there would be no requirements.

Sorry, Fenn, I was under the assumption that we were talking about Earth and people, you know, and not like Mars and aliens. Yes, in our current human society on Earth it is worth something all the time. Maybe not on the moon. /shrug


Math, or rather the concepts of math, existed before humans even came about; thus it is objective in that 2+2=4 whether humans agree or not.

Likewise, the value of a five dollar bill will always read "five". What's your point? They're numbers, I get it.


Money is created and sustained by man....And someone who is completely self-sufficient...could in theory hold no value of money.

Yes, that self-sustaining farmer would feel that money has no IMPORTANCE, but if you showed him a five dollar bill, he could easily tell you it's worth five dollars lol. Of course, if the world decides every dollar bill is now worth 50 cents, everyone would think they're worth 50 cents. Either way, it's still an objective fact; //everyone// still acknowledges that money has the same value. What you're talking about is IMPORTANCE and, as I said, if you evaluate objectivity by importance, nothing is objective!


You cannot separate these concepts from individual value and emotion...

I'm not. I'm just telling you that pleasure derived from money is based on mostly objective factors, the only variable being IMPORTANCE, which does not change the objectivity of a matter.


You value the concept of assessing need and carrying out the response you deem proper to the assessed situation.

Oh, wow. You know computers do that a lot, too, right? That's how they prioritize your CPU. What you're describing here is not different from an automatic or COMPULSIVE task. You've blurred the line between compulsory tasks and self-promotion to the point of nonexistence.



And Delphinus, I did not assume you were talking about me, I assumed you were talking about the hundreds of millions of other people who, at one point, did something charitable in their lives. Which makes it sound even more absurd. In short: your hypothetical proves nothing.

Delphinus
05-21-2011, 05:39 PM
It was to make a point. I refuse to have you dismiss me and put your fingers in your ears when you clearly understood me: that socialisation is just as effective in instigating behaviours as a 'primary' egoistic motivation, and that socialisation itself works by playing on a person's egoism in a comparable way to Pavlovian conditioning.

Unless you want to deny that socialisation is effective at making people do anything you want, no matter how absurd (psychological data wouldn't back you up), or that the majority of cultures around the world socialise people into altruistic behaviours from a young age, or that socialisation isn't based on what amounts to coercion, you're avoiding the debate. Either admit defeat or formulate a counter-argument.

EDIT: Basically I feel like Paxman, the interviewer, in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KHMO14KuJk).

CypressDahlia
05-21-2011, 07:50 PM
Okay, so let's say there are a million people who have been charitable in their lives. You are speaking on behalf of all one million of those people. And you are assuming that one million out of one million-- one hundred percent of those people --follow the same psychological trend you describe... Come on, give me a break. Not only is that statistically improbable (being generous here) but if your entire argument is comprised of some wild assumption about millions of people, without any knowledge of their background or upbringing, about something so variable as values, then it's hardly worthwhile.

And one million is a pretty modest estimate of how many people have, at least once, donated to charity.

Delphinus
05-21-2011, 08:13 PM
Well, given there's literally no other logical reasons aside from socialisation or personal benefit (whether emotional or material) that anyone would give to charity, yes, I believe every last one of those hypothetical 1,000,000 people gave to charity for an egoistic reason.

I do not believe genuine selflessness exists.

CypressDahlia
05-21-2011, 08:23 PM
Okay, wow. Debate over.

Fenn
05-21-2011, 10:31 PM
Not if I have a say in it.


Sorry, Fenn, I was under the assumption that we were talking about Earth and people, you know, and not like Mars and aliens. Yes, in our current human society on Earth it is worth something all the time. Maybe not on the moon. /shrug

Likewise, the value of a five dollar bill will always read "five". What's your point? They're numbers, I get it.

Yes, that self-sustaining farmer would feel that money has no IMPORTANCE, but if you showed him a five dollar bill, he could easily tell you it's worth five dollars lol. Of course, if the world decides every dollar bill is now worth 50 cents, everyone would think they're worth 50 cents. Either way, it's still an objective fact; //everyone// still acknowledges that money has the same value. What you're talking about is IMPORTANCE and, as I said, if you evaluate objectivity by importance, nothing is objective!

I'm not. I'm just telling you that pleasure derived from money is based on mostly objective factors, the only variable being IMPORTANCE, which does not change the objectivity of a matter.

I'll concede; money has objective worth. HOWEVER, pleasure derived from money is NOT based on objective factors, and the objective worth has NOTHING to do with someone's gaining of pleasure from it.

People value money because they can use it to get things. The objective worth of money does not matter in the end; what matters is that enough of it can be used to gain something desired. I don't care, and neither does anyone else, that money is quantifiable--it just makes using it convenient. I get pleasure from spending money, not quantifying it, and that pleasure is based on how much I subjectively value money--or more precisely, how much I subjectively value what I can buy with it.

You can assign numbers to it all you want, but in the end someone values a $100 bill because it gets them something, not because of the quantity 100 dollars.


Oh, wow. You know computers do that a lot, too, right? That's how they prioritize your CPU. What you're describing here is not different from an automatic or COMPULSIVE task. You've blurred the line between compulsory tasks and self-promotion to the point of nonexistence.

Our brains are organic computers. Even if you don't agree with that, every single decision you make is based on assessment of countless factors. Your brain weighed all the possible choices and picked the one that it, at the time, it thought was best for you.

If you only look at the material side of self-promotion, then altruism exists, but the fact is there is an emotional side to self-promotion. When this is added to the equation, every act you make is intended to promote the self.

CypressDahlia
05-22-2011, 02:03 AM
Okay, you're making sense. At this point, it's evident that we're never going to entirely agree on this issue, but I think we've come close enough to call it quits. Good debate.

Fenn
05-22-2011, 10:48 AM
Okay, you're making sense. At this point, it's evident that we're never going to entirely agree on this issue, but I think we've come close enough to call it quits. Good debate.

Fair enough. Good show, old bean.

Any other morals up for discussion?

CypressDahlia
05-22-2011, 02:02 PM
How about Delphinus' morals that change every weekend?

The man is like a Rubik's cube that can't figure itself out.

Alexander_Hamilton
05-22-2011, 03:24 PM
I used to think that human happiness was the fundamental guiding value of morality, but I don't think that's enough to cover all the basis. There's also truth, for truth's sake. Preservation, too. Important historical objects should be preserved; we should avoid the extinction of animals and destruction of environments. Once those things are gone you can never get them back.

Delphinus
05-22-2011, 03:27 PM
They change gradually and over time, normally as a result of either reading some new book on philosophy (seriously, I read far too many books on ethics) or coming to a personal eureka on something. Generally what happens is I have said personal eureka and I then look for similar viewpoints, stumble across a series of books and philosophers, read said books, find something I disagree with in those books, think about it, have another eureka moment, and so on.

However, I haven't believed in altruism or that altruism is 'good' for a long while. The moment one starts to claim altruism is a good quality is the moment one throws oneself boldly into religious belief. Well, likewise for claiming egoism is good, but at least we can argue that valuing egoism allows us to account for the total subjectivity of morals.

All moral values are ultimately indifferent; neither good nor bad. What you believe is 'good' or 'bad' will not change anything significantly: the universe is either indifferent or lifeless. The only way to translate your morals into reality is to live by them and to force others to live by them. Most people are sheep and will believe anything they're told provided it's put to them the right way. The few who aren't have the right to use the others as pieces in a battle between their ethical codes.

I have no pity nor any sympathy for those who buy their ethics from a university training course or a corporate training day, and no sympathy for those who blindly accept the values instilled in them from childhood. On the other hand, I may respect someone with an opposing viewpoint who has the guts to have first rejected everything they'd been socialised into, in the sense of a worthy opponent. But those who just take other perspectives on board without questioning, no matter whether they're left wing, right wing, or centre, are beneath my consideration. Likewise with the weak, pathetic and shockingly middle-class interpretation of 'moral relativism': "Oh my god, you close-minded person... it's part of their culture, we should accept it." Bullshit. It's part of their culture? That's nice, but you know what? My morals are also part of my culture. By which I mean the culture of me. In terms of morals, I am the only king, and if I like I can conquer the world and force everyone to obey those morals. They'd become the norm over time and then what? The majority would crush insurrection against my will long after I was dead and gone. Maybe some rebel would overthrow my moral system one day. That's a pity, but if I'm dead, I'm indifferent - just as the universe is indifferent to how we conduct ourselves now.

What I say is moral is moral.
What others say is moral is bullshit.
What the state says is moral is cause for insurrection.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-22-2011, 10:39 PM
However, I haven't believed in altruism or that altruism is 'good' for a long while. The moment one starts to claim altruism is a good quality is the moment one throws oneself boldly into religious belief. Well, likewise for claiming egoism is good, but at least we can argue that valuing egoism allows us to account for the total subjectivity of morals.

Altruism is why we, Homo sapiens sapiens, evolved in the 1st place. Pretty horrible stuff, yeah.

Delphinus
05-23-2011, 11:43 AM
We didn't evolve for any reason other than to survive, numbnuts. I think you mean that we evolved altruism as a survival mechanism, which I can dig, but if altruism is basically only there to ensure individuals survive...

Then yeah, still egoism.

CypressDahlia
05-23-2011, 01:40 PM
Delphinus, you went from arguing the absoluteness of logic to saying your argument cannot be supported by logic, therefore it can be supported by some magical metascience and still be worthwhile. Now, I don't mind if you use psychology as a basis for your argument (I love the stuff), but even psychology can't support the full weight of your outrageous convictions.

So at this point, yeah. Okay. Good luck with that.

Delphinus
05-23-2011, 02:43 PM
Cypress, at this point I'm convinced you're either deliberately misinterpreting me or your reading comprehension sucks balls. I think it should be obvious to any reasonably intelligent reader why I say egoism is the only logical conclusion.

- The objective practice of logic invariably leads to the discovery of the subjectivity of morals.
- The subjectivity of morals means there is no objective moral standard.
- However, that there is no objective moral standard is objectively true.
- The most individually-beneficial subjective moral standard arises from the individual.
- External subjective morals are not guaranteed to be beneficial to the individual.
- Therefore the subjective moral standard arising from the individual's needs and wants is objectively most likely to be beneficial to the individual.

Maybe you're reading me expecting to find ethics: I'm writing about meta-ethics.

CypressDahlia
05-23-2011, 03:21 PM
There is nothing wrong with my reading comprehension. What I'm telling you is that your assumption makes no logical sense, nor does it make sense under the assumption that logic plays no role in this.

- Logically, it is statistically impossible for one million out of one million people to follow the same ideology. Logically, [re-state last 12 pages of thread]
- In terms of psychology, it is still impossible for one million out of one million people to follow the same ideology. This is attested by theory itself: values are subjective. To say something subjective must be true 100% of the time is absurd by any psychological standard.


...There's literally no other logical reasons aside from socialisation...

- External subjective morals are not guaranteed to be beneficial to the individual.

Contradiction. You said socialization is a reason for an individual to perform objectively non-beneficial actions. Yet, you also say that people look out for their best objective interests 100% of the time, and that external subjective morals are not guaranteed to provide this. So, by your reasoning, socialization would be mostly ineffective as nobody would perform a non-beneficial act, correct?


...or personal benefit...

- The most individually-beneficial subjective moral standard arises from the individual.

How is "personal benefit" logical--especially when dealing with huge blanket statements like yours--when you've clearly said yourself that it defies logic and prefers subjectivity? Unless you're saying logic is subjective. And then I'd be like, "Uhhwhoaaa~"


- However, that there is no objective moral standard is objectively true.

...I believe every last one of those hypothetical 1,000,000 people gave to charity for an egoistic reason...

Isn't what your imposing, in itself, an objective moral code of egoism? Lol.


Delphinus, you went from arguing the absoluteness of logic to saying your argument...can be supported by some magical metascience...

...I'm writing about meta-ethics.

Yep, that's what I said. Anyway, this is the last post I'm writing to you. You contradict yourself in a million ways and are constantly flip-flopping between values for the sake of argument. I'm done here.

Delphinus
05-23-2011, 04:10 PM
Contradiction. You said socialization is a reason for an individual to perform objectively non-beneficial actions. Yet, you also say that people look out for their best objective interests 100% of the time, and that external subjective morals are not guaranteed to provide this. So, by your reasoning, socialization would be mostly ineffective as nobody would perform a non-beneficial act, correct?

...no, I'm saying that people are deceived by their socialisation into performing rationally non-beneficial acts. I'm saying that people are motivated by egoism but can be conditioned/socialised over time to accept non-egoistic motivations: and that these conditioned motivations are alien and not conducive to the individual's true happiness. If I were conditioned by a cult to praise the leader and to give him my possessions, would it benefit me to do so? No: I'm harming myself both objectively (through giving him my stuff) and subjectively (through cutting off ties with my family).


How is "personal benefit" logical--especially when dealing with huge blanket statements like yours--when you've clearly said yourself that it defies logic and prefers subjectivity?

...how is personal benefit logical? It makes me happy. Happiness is something I enjoy feeling. I want more happiness. Personal benefit is simply "what I enjoy". Are you about to claim that pursuing personal happiness is illogical? Are you about to deny the pleasure principle? In other words: Subjective, yes. But pursuit of a subjective value can bring objective pleasure. Derpy derp derp.


Isn't what your imposing, in itself, an objective moral code of egoism? Lol.
Egoism is not a moral code. It's a meta-ethical one. Egoism is the determination of one's own values: it does not require that I enforce anything recognisable as a moral code, if we go by the "Thou shalt..." theory of morals. Put it this way:

"Thou shalt not kill."
"Thou shalt not steal."
"Thou shalt not adulterate."

These are qualitatively different to the argument I'm making. They are specific and precise. They are not considerations on the basis of morals.


Yep, that's what I said.

If you think meta-ethics is some sort of 'magical meta-science' (that is, basically religion), then you're pretty much not qualified to discuss morals at any level beyond "STEALING IS BAD MMKAY".

----------------------------------------

It really pisses me off when you finish with some smug comment and then run away from a debate. Really, could you be any more obvious in your attempts to make me look bad?

CypressDahlia
05-23-2011, 04:32 PM
I know I said the last one was my last, but this is just too priceless.


I'm saying that people...can be conditioned/socialised over time to accept non-egoistic motivations...

So...you basically admit that altruism exists and that I'm right.


If I were conditioned by a cult to praise the leader and to give him my possessions, would it benefit me to do so? No: I'm harming myself both objectively...and subjectively.

Admittance of the fact that selflessness exists.


...how is personal benefit logical? It makes me happy.

...if all moral codes are based on delusions...or...preferences (basic things like 'life has value' and 'happiness is good'), then they cannot be logically justified in any real sense.

Thanks for proving my point.


Egoism is the determination of one's own values.

...every last one of those hypothetical 1,000,000 people gave to charity for an egoistic reason.

Not really giving Egoism a chance then, are you?


If you think meta-ethics is some sort of 'magical meta-science'...

You haven't really been representing it well.


...run away from a debate.

I am agreeing to disagree with you.

Delphinus
05-23-2011, 04:48 PM
I know I said the last one was my last, but this is just too priceless.
Quit calling my posts 'contradictory' and 'pointless'. It makes you look like a smarmy gitwizard with a superiority complex. And you should be worried when the guy who's declared himself God numerous times is accusing you of having a superiority complex.


So...you basically admit that altruism exists and that I'm right.

...as a socialised impulse. Not as something that is a fundamental part of humanity. Is the distinction too fine for you?


Admittance of the fact that selflessness exists.

...as a socialised, synthetic impulse.


Thanks for proving my point.
Happiness as an abstract entity and external to the self. As in the 'maximisation of happiness'. Denying that people seek their personal happiness would be retarded.


Not really giving Egoism a chance then, are you?

What the fuck are you talking about? Those statements are not contradictory. If you're giving to charity for personal pleasure (to satisfy one of your values) - that's egoistic. If you're doing it because you've been socialised to do so - you've been brainwashed into it through exploitation of your egoistic impulses. The root is still egoism, even if you're abiding by the ghostly shell of socialisation, some "fixed idea" as Stirner would put it.


You haven't really been representing it well.
You cannot distinguish subtle points. This is why it looks like you've never done a critical thinking or philosophy course.


I am agreeing to disagree with you.
[redacted]

CypressDahlia
05-23-2011, 05:17 PM
Quit calling my posts 'contradictory' and 'pointless'.

Then stop being self-contradictory? Lol.


...as a socialised impulse...Is the distinction too fine for you?

There was never a distinction. My original argument was simply that altruism exists. Your original argument was that altruism does not exist because everything is done for emotional or objective gain. I disagreed. According to your last post, I was right.


...as a socialised, synthetic impulse.

Just like every other value we have beyond basic instinct. What's your point?


Denying that people seek their personal happiness would be retarded.

So happiness is "good", right? Isn't that "illogical"? Or have you duly amended your views again?

Furthermore, you think it's retarded to deny personal happiness yet you also think moral codes, which ensures the personal happiness of the greatest number of people, are also retarded.


Those statements are not contradictory.

They're entirely contradictory. You say Egoism endorses the freedom to decide your own values, yet you declare that everyone follows the same Egoistic principles unerringly. So a belief system that allows everyone to decide their values also decides their values for them. Ingenious.


This is why it looks like you've never done a critical thinking or philosophy course.

Ya srry. u so smrt it cunfuze m3 sumtimz,

Bacon_Barbarian
05-23-2011, 07:24 PM
I think you mean that we evolved altruism as a survival mechanism, which I can dig, but if altruism is basically only there to ensure individuals survive...

Then yeah, still egoism.

Yeah ... poor wording on my part.

Delphinus
05-23-2011, 07:28 PM
There was never a distinction. My original argument was simply that altruism exists. Your original argument was that altruism does not exist because everything is done for emotional or objective gain. I disagreed. According to your last post, I was right.

Fine, have it your way. You win on that particular point - with the concession that 'impulsive' altruism isn't genuine but a product of socialisation. It has no reason to exist beyond cultural solidarity. As I've argued before - being forced by one's socialisation to help others is mental bondage. This impulse towards altruism is a fetter. It has no use in helping me do anything genuinely useful; indeed, in these pursuits it limits me. If a few deaths are necessary for utopia so be it, but the altruistic impulse will prevent me from doing so with its slavish conformity to conventional morality. This 'virtue' that you've proven the existence of is a cold, robotic ideal, and all you've proven is the power of socialisation and coercion, which anyone with half a brain cell knew about already.


Just like every other value we have beyond basic instinct. What's your point?

So you're a functionalist, hmm? Man is determined by his social upbringing, is that it? Except - oh dear - the individual has capacity for free will, so social engineering doesn't work as well as you'd like to think. The individuals make society; society does not mould the individuals. There is no such thing as society.


So happiness is "good", right? Isn't that "illogical"? Or have you duly amended your views again?
My happiness is good for me. I care not about other peoples' happiness unless I have an interest in them; if 4,000 strangers die in some tragedy or another, at most I, like anyone else, will raise one eyebrow. If I have no vested interest in their destinies, what should I care about their deaths? Happiness in general I am indifferent to except insofar as my empathy makes me experience it too: my happiness I care about.


Furthermore, you think it's retarded to deny personal happiness yet you also think moral codes, which ensures the personal happiness of the greatest number of people, are also retarded.

The pursuit of personal happiness does not entail the necessity of respecting other people's happiness. They are only of use as far as they satisfy my happiness and my goals. I have no obligation to seek happiness for others, only for myself: I am not them.


They're entirely contradictory. You say Egoism endorses the freedom to decide your own values, yet you declare that everyone follows the same Egoistic principles unerringly. So a belief system that allows everyone to decide their values also decides their values for them. Ingenious.

The true pursuance of egoism, without self-deception, I believe can lead to greater happiness than following the aforementioned synthetic moral codes. Following these moral codes is self-deception: I become the slave to my principles when my principles should be enslaved to me. Things like altruism, I believe, are mere fetters created by society that should be cast off in favour of personal freedom. When I give to charity, it is because I deign to and because I want to see the end result carried out, not because I feel that in doing so I fulfil some empty code. My will is my morality. Mein will ist mein kraft.


Ya srry. u so smrt it cunfuze m3 sumtimz,

Good. Glad you acknowledge it. Your sarcasm has been noted, and a phrase involving the words 'first', 'wall', and 'revolution' comes to mind.

CypressDahlia
05-24-2011, 06:23 AM
...social engineering doesn't work as well as you'd like to think...

And this pertains to me because I'm the one that believes socialization results in 100% of people sharing the same basic values, right?


My happiness is good for me.

Denying that people seek their personal happiness would be retarded...

I care not about other peoples' happiness...

Yeah, so what? Why should I care if you're happy or not?

If Egoism states that the happiness of others is irrelevant, why //shouldn't// we stop you from pursuing happiness? Why is that "retarded" or wrong? Lol. Your happiness is not relevant to us, therefore whether or not you're allowed to pursue it is equally irrelevant. You are forcing a moral double standard where we have to respect your entitlement to happiness, yet the ideology you're promoting states that we simply shouldn't give a fuck.


Following moral codes is only "bondage" to those who lack faith in their own ability to think. I follow moral codes knowing well that I'm the one who decides my values. Nobody decided these things for me. These things are not oppressive because I welcomed them and embraced them. /shrug

Fenn
05-24-2011, 09:47 AM
So guys I...




:cat_sweat:




...Ill come back later.

CypressDahlia
05-24-2011, 01:46 PM
Well, essentially I've already proven my point, so I'm really just posting for kicks now. I want to see Delphinus squirm. And we could keep talking if you like, Fenn, lol. I still have things I could say to convince you, but I'm convinced that they won't convince you. xD

BozeSG
05-24-2011, 02:52 PM
*just scrolls through the posts without reading them*

I always think that there shouldn't be any rights for poor people, because they're poorness is mainly their own fault. it's not fair to say people who worked hard in their life to get what they want are equal to people who didn't, so unless they've been held back because of issues that they don't have any solutions for, i find no pleasure to give them a hand. the rule of of "stronger lives and weak dies" is partly true, you have to work hard by yourself to get somewhere, someone doing it for you out of pity wont serve any purposes.

i've got more things to say, but i'm too lazy to write them....

Delphinus
05-24-2011, 03:06 PM
^ Oh my god, a right-winger that tows the party line. I'm not even going to touch this.

Delphinus
05-24-2011, 03:21 PM
Aside from this quote, the rest of Cypress's post was based on deliberately misinterpreting my point, so I'm going to ignore it.


Following moral codes is only "bondage" to those who lack faith in their own ability to think. I follow moral codes knowing well that I'm the one who decides my values. Nobody decided these things for me. These things are not oppressive because I welcomed them and embraced them.

You know what, fuck it. Most of my argument comes from this book, anyway, so you may as well go to the source itself. (http://www.lsr-projekt.de/poly/enee.html) Maybe a huge TL;DR essay will be sufficient for you to understand the bloody point: that all moral codes are bondage, no matter whether entered into voluntarily. Selling yourself to a master still results in your enslavement.

Scroll down to "Wheels In The Head" here. Though reading the whole chapter would be of benefit. (http://www.lsr-projekt.de/poly/enee.html#firstii22)

To wit:


Do not think that I am jesting or speaking figuratively when I regard those persons who cling to the Higher, and (because the vast majority belongs under this head) almost the whole world of men, as veritable fools, fools in a madhouse. What is it, then, that is called a "fixed idea"? An idea that has subjected the man to itself. When you recognize, with regard to such a fixed idea, that it is a folly, you shut its slave up in an asylum. And is the truth of the faith, say, which we are not to doubt; the majesty of the people, which we are not to strike at (he who does is guilty of - lese-majesty); virtue, against which the censor is not to let a word pass, that morality may be kept pure; - are these not "fixed ideas"? Is not all the stupid chatter of most of our newspapers the babble of fools who suffer from the fixed idea of morality, legality, Christianity, and so forth, and only seem to go about free because the madhouse in which they walk takes in so broad a space?

EDIT: And really? See me squirm? Don't pretend you've won the argument.

Bacon_Barbarian
05-24-2011, 04:38 PM
I always think that there shouldn't be any rights for poor people, because they're poorness is mainly their own fault.
People like you make me sick. Let's say you and your sister live home alone because your mother's a worthless piece of shit and your father's dead. Does this give the right to rob you and rape your sister? Huh?


it's not fair to say people who worked hard in their life to get what they want are equal to people who didn't, so unless they've been held back because of issues that they don't have any solutions for, i find no pleasure to give them a hand.
That IS why most people are poor. You think the unemployed in America don't want to be working? You're an idiot.


the rule of of "stronger lives and weak dies" is partly true, you have to work hard by yourself to get somewhere, someone doing it for you out of pity wont serve any purposes.
People who are alcoholics, druggies, whatever, NEED help. Yeah, they've fucked up a long the line, but people are genetically prone to these sort of things. You never know what hidden talents are being wasted.

Leave.

CypressDahlia
05-24-2011, 07:24 PM
You know what, fuck it. Most of my argument comes from this book, anyway...

Lol. You read your values off the pages of a single book and accuse the majority of humanity of being deluded? Beautiful.


...all moral codes are bondage, no matter whether entered into voluntarily.

Bondage that one enters voluntarily is not "enslavement", it's a mutual contract. In this case, I willfully contracted myself to respect the happiness of others. I'm not so ideologically insecure that I feel "pressured" or "oppressed" by society into believing these things. I choose to believe these things out of strong conviction that happiness should be preserved.


Don't pretend you've won the argument.

You already conceded to the point I've been arguing for 12 pages. I didn't realize I still had things to prove.

Delphinus
05-24-2011, 07:43 PM
Fine, fine. You 'won' the debate: the further questions raised by exactly how I conceded the point are totally irrelevant. If you say so. Passive-aggressiveness ftw.

I don't read my values off the pages of a single book: that book reflects many of my viewpoints. I only discovered that book because I was looking for philosophers who'd taken their ideas the same way as me. Rand was insane, Sartre was too light-hearted, Camus was an awful logician, Sade was too enraptured with enlightenment ideals (given he lived through the French Revolution, unsurprising), and Nietzsche didn't quite fit. Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment was fairly close, but I had the same problem with him as with Nietzsche: he used Hegel's master-slave dialectic to construct a belief system focused on 'great individuals', as Nietzsche did with the ubermensch, which presupposes some sort of magical quality that these 'masters' have. Although I haven't read Schopenhauer, a brief synopsis of his work made it obvious he was both too nihilistic and too focused on the annihilation of the ego to be close to my heart. Kierkegaarde was a Christian, so although I enjoyed his 'Knight of Faith' considerably, it rang hollow on my atheist ears. Stirner, on the other hand, was very close to me; on picking up his main work The Ego and His Own for the first time, it was as though I was reading my own thoughts echoed by a 150-year-old piece of minor Prussian philosophy. I still disagree with Stirner on minor points, but in general his thoughts are aligned with my own almost perfectly. Interestingly, Stirner is becoming increasingly popular with modern anarchist intellectuals, so apparently I'm not alone.

I hope that's enough to convince you that I haven't based my values 'off a single book'.

CypressDahlia
05-24-2011, 09:13 PM
You missed the "subtle implications" of my statement.

You assume that the moralist adopts the values of society. I assumed that you adopted the values of your authors. On the contrary, you claim that these authors merely share your beliefs and that you realized them yourself. Then why is it hard for you to believe that the moralist realizes his own values as well? Just because they coincide with society? By that logic, you are equally deluded.

Besides, according to yourself: "The individuals make society; society does not mould the individuals." So, even if altruism is merely a product of society, it is because we made it so. Ultimately, we decide what we value, and it precedes mere social pressure.

BozeSG
05-25-2011, 02:03 AM
People like you make me sick. Let's say you and your sister live home alone because your mother's a worthless piece of shit and your father's dead. Does this give the right to rob you and rape your sister? Huh?
Rape? Rob? wtf?!! i never thought talked about anything like that. i'm only talking about the people who are in the same place and conditions as me but are poor (i'm talking about the rights of "getting help", like i said:

...unless they've been held back because of issues that they don't have any solutions for...

Now, it might because of my english but what i meant was basically "You reap what you sow", don't get me wrong, i enjoy helping people but i do it as "help", not because it's their "rights"... does it make me such a bad person to think people should be rewarded according to their deeds?


That IS why most people are poor. You think the unemployed in America don't want to be working? You're an idiot.
Now that's just bullshit, there's always money if you work hard enough... those are just excuses for their laziness, and you're an idiot for being so simple-minded.


People who are alcoholics, druggies, whatever, NEED help. Yeah, they've fucked up a long the line, but people are genetically prone to these sort of things. You never know what hidden talents are being wasted.
So you're saying that other people should fund their miserable life so it could continue? no, man, no, i won't help anyone walk unless they try walking themselves...


^ Oh my god, a right-winger that tows the party line. I'm not even going to touch this.I'm neither a right wing nor a left wing, i'm actually quite fund of peace and harmony between different people, and i think they should have equal rights when they are born no matter what... but i also believe that at the end, non of them should be in the same position in life.

In summary: i don't like the idea of helping someone who has sitted on his ass all his life nagging about life being hard and continues to do so...

Delphinus
05-25-2011, 03:57 AM
In response to BozeSG's post, I present Delphinus's illustrated picto-ethics! Spoilers beneath each picture.


Now, it might because of my english but what i meant was basically "You reap what you sow", don't get me wrong, i enjoy helping people but i do it as "help", not because it's their "rights"...

:cat_see:

And so you should. :D


...does it make me such a bad person to think people should be rewarded according to their deeds?

http://static.learning-english-online.net/img/health-care/disabled-person_big.jpg

http://www.bmbx.org/wp-content/gallery/moontig/front.jpg

Some people are incapable of performing equal 'deeds' due to a lack of skill/intelligence/mobility. These aren't necessarily their fault: for example, it could be a disadvantage of birth. To claim that they 'deserve' their current position due to problems that aren't their fault is a bit callous.


Now that's just bullshit, there's always money if you work hard enough... those are just excuses for their laziness, and you're an idiot for being so simple-minded.

http://freedomuptime.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/imacorporate-wage-slave.jpg

Not everyone is in the position to earn a decent amount of money, no matter how hard they work. Did you miss the American Dream's funeral?


So you're saying that other people should fund their miserable life so it could continue? no, man, no, i won't help anyone walk unless they try walking themselves...

http://scm-l3.technorati.com/glosslip/2008/05/mariawaits.jpg

Double amputees can't walk; do the incapable deserve to die?


I'm neither a right wing nor a left wing, i'm actually quite fund of peace and harmony between different people, and i think they should have equal rights when they are born no matter what... but i also believe that at the end, non of them should be in the same position in life.

http://nastyish.com/Nasty%20pieces/poor%20people%20deserve%20to%20die/Poor-people-deserve-to-die-banner.png

You have right-wing economic ideas by saying poor people deserve to be poor and rich people deserve to be rich. Not necessarily conservative ideas, but libertarian at the very least.

CypressDahlia
05-25-2011, 05:30 AM
BozeSG, your criticism is against lazy people, not poor people. There is a difference between poverty and laziness.

BozeSG
05-25-2011, 05:51 AM
For gods sake, my argument is about "people who are in the same condition and place as me, but are poor"

Im not talking about anyone in other countries or the disabled, not every poor person lives in Africa or is disabled you know. Those people are the ones I take pride in helping them.....

EDIT: i can't believe how much criticism i got for a post i only meant to casually make...:cat_teardrop:

CypressDahlia
05-25-2011, 01:39 PM
Probably would've helped your case to make that distinction in your first post.

BozeSG
05-25-2011, 02:15 PM
... so unless they've been held back because of issues that they don't have any solutions for...

Rape? Rob? wtf?!! i never thought talked about anything like that.

I'm neither a right wing nor a left wing, i'm actually quite fund of peace and harmony between different people, and i think they should have equal rights when they are born no matter what... but i also believe that at the end, non of them should be in the same position in life.

i don't like the idea of helping someone who has sitted on his ass all his life nagging about life being hard and continues to do so...
i tried a few times, it might have been vague because of my engrish...

Bacon_Barbarian
05-25-2011, 03:15 PM
Rape? Rob? wtf?!! i never thought talked about anything like that. i'm only talking about the people who are in the same place and conditions as me but are poor (i'm talking about the rights of "getting help", like i said:
That's now what you said.
You said, "I always think that there shouldn't be any rights for poor people, because they're poorness is mainly their own fault." Now, maybe you don't understand the English definitions of right.


Now, it might because of my english but what i meant was basically "You reap what you sow", don't get me wrong, i enjoy helping people but i do it as "help", not because it's their "rights"... does it make me such a bad person to think people should be rewarded according to their deeds?
No. But that's not the message you originally put out.



Now that's just bullshit, there's always money if you work hard enough... those are just excuses for their laziness, and you're an idiot for being so simple-minded.
Some, sure, but it's not enough for people to live on. Most crappy, low paying jobs go to immigrants anyway, especially since rich Americans don't care who they pay when immigrants work for lower then minimum wages.


So you're saying that other people should fund their miserable life so it could continue? no, man, no, i won't help anyone walk unless they try walking themselves...
I'll play along with your walking metaphor. What you're suggesting is not helping the handicapped walk because they can't. Is it not our duty as citizens of the world to help create solutions to these problems?

EDIT: Delph, this one of those times we agree. Woo.

BozeSG
05-25-2011, 04:54 PM
Some, sure, but it's not enough for people to live on. Most crappy, low paying jobs go to immigrants anyway, especially since rich Americans don't care who they pay when immigrants work for lower then minimum wages.

I'll play along with your walking metaphor. What you're suggesting is not helping the handicapped walk because they can't. Is it not our duty as citizens of the world to help create solutions to these problems?
for the hundredth time:

my argument is about "people who are in the same condition and place as me, but are poor"
i agree with watch you say so just ignore this retarded argument...

Sylux
05-25-2011, 06:11 PM
Lazy people can be very rich.

neogenstru
05-29-2011, 08:34 PM
I believe there is no good or evil just difficult choices with multiple outcomes and that not all people should be judged not necessarily by their actions, but by the motive for those actions. however there are some obvious exceptions(Rape, Murder, Abuse, etc..).

Delphinus
05-30-2011, 07:29 AM
I believe there is no good or evil just difficult choices with multiple outcomes and that not all people should be judged not necessarily by their actions, but by the motive for those actions. however there are some obvious exceptions(Rape, Murder, Abuse, etc..).

If you believe there's no good or evil, how do you propose to judge people? In addition, what makes rape and/or murder less justifiable than anything else if you deny the existence of good or evil?

neogenstru
05-30-2011, 12:20 PM
Like I said based on the motive of their actions and not so much of the actions themselves, humans don't make decisions based on that decision simply being good or evil. For example a poor stealing money can be justifiable if the motive was for the cause of lets say helping to save the life of an ill loved one, but at the same time that was someone else's hard earned cash that got stolen, so how would you judge the person who stole money? I wouldn't necessarily agree with something extreme like say a Death Penalty or Life Imprisonment, but a reasonable punishment based on the circumstances of the situation.

And since there is no justifiable cause for extremes like Rape and Murder then that person would deserve the extreme punishments( Lethal Injection, Life Imprisonment, etc..)

Delphinus
05-30-2011, 12:27 PM
No, I mean on what basis do you say that actions like rape and murder should be punished if you deny the existence of good and evil? If there's no good and no evil then when you punish someone you're punishing them arbitrarily.

Did you mean to say that there's no objective good or evil?

neogenstru
05-30-2011, 01:01 PM
I'm saying that life is not so much Black and White, but more so different shades of gray. Rape and murder are the darkest shades of gray, borderline black even, and are punishable crimes because they have no benefit to society or life.

Delphinus
05-30-2011, 01:24 PM
That's still asserting the existence of a good and evil, though.

BozeSG
05-30-2011, 05:29 PM
Good and Evil exist, but nothing's objectively good or evil and it won't have meaning if it's not deducted in different points of views... that doesn't make any sense, so i'll just go with a metaphor:
The way i see it, every deed is like a dice, after it is thrown (the deed is done), different sides of it face different people and each side shows whether ugly or beautiful portraits, every person who the ugly side faces will be punished thus revealing the dice to be evil and every person who the beautiful side faces will be rewarded thus revealing the dice to be good... in some cases, the dice might be broken (the deed is done half heartedly) so it won't show some of it's sides to anybody, or the dice might just have more ugly faces than beautiful ones so less people benefit from it (and no one might not benefit at all in some cases like rape).

Delphinus
05-30-2011, 06:27 PM
...that metaphor confused me far more than your initial statement. And I still have no idea what you're trying to say.

Sylux
05-30-2011, 08:56 PM
Good and evil exist because there is law. It's the same concept as good and evil were there a god of some sort. Also Boze what the hell does all that mean. People can benefit from rape.

Delphinus
05-31-2011, 06:43 AM
So he's claiming that the source of morality is the law? That's obscene.

Sylux
05-31-2011, 11:23 AM
Abominable a claim as it is, that's essentially how semi-religious simpletons see it.

Delphinus
05-31-2011, 11:41 AM
I wouldn't say 'simpletons'. That's the most common perspective, as shown here (http://www.vtaide.com/blessing/Kohl2.htm). (Stage 4)

If you've gone all cool and post-conventional (http://www.vtaide.com/blessing/Kohl3.htm) it looks stupid, but from below post-conventional morality looks like selfishness.

BozeSG
05-31-2011, 12:30 PM
:cat_what:I generally get misunderstood a lot because i tend to say things in a more complicated way than normal but.... wtf is this shit i don't even. i've never been misunderstood this much in my whole life, just what kind of person do you think i am? i love peace and kindness. actually, the funny thing is, no matter how much i try to be evil in rpg games, i always end up like some kind of freaking saint...

Where the hell did law come from? come on guys, you're artists, use your imagination a bit... what i wanted to say in that metaphor (which apparently i failed, again) is that no deed can be generally categorized as evil or good, whenever someone does something, there are consequences and those consequences can be evil or good for you based on your luck and standing in the situation, if we compare a deed with a dice and the consequences with the numbers, then you know that the dice(deed) itself is neither good nor evil, it's the number(consequence) facing up that can ruin your life... now if you understand what i just said read that metaphor again, and if you didn't then i guess it's because my mind (or maybe your's) doesn't follow a normal process in thinking...

Sylux
05-31-2011, 12:38 PM
My life motto is: KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid). Keep your words plain and get your point across swiftly and with good, easily understable analogy.

BozeSG
05-31-2011, 12:47 PM
Well, what i said looked really simple to me, it came to me as a shock that no one understood it! i mean, it's a metaphor and metaphors are not easy to understand, but this is a debate thread, people should understand that much complication. anyway, did you get what i said or not?:monkey_umm:

i ought to clear my name here or else everybody will interpret whatever i say as an evil, freakish and outrageous statement...:cat_sad:

Sylux
05-31-2011, 12:57 PM
Sure we're (read: they're) well-educated intelligent people, but that doesn't mean that we can understand elaborate metaphor without metaphor in the metaphor you dig, Cobb?

CypressDahlia
05-31-2011, 04:02 PM
Actually, Boze never said there is good and evil because there is law...Sylux said that. This is like a giant thread of misunderstandings now.

Delphinus
05-31-2011, 04:45 PM
Misunderstandings and poorly-worded arguments...

neogenstru
05-31-2011, 05:50 PM
That's still asserting the existence of a good and evil, though.

Not necessarily I'm saying different decisions have their own set of consequences and advantages. I suppose some decisions such as Murder or Charity could be categorized as "Evil" or "Good", but those are ideas based on whats acceptable by societies. For example in ancient times the Mayans would sacrifice their children to please the gods which during those times were considered "Good", however if this were to occur in todays society the acts would be considered "Evil". Now obviously sacrificing children isn't a very wise decision not because it's "Good" or "Evil", but simply because it's IRRRATIONAL what good(no pun intended) would it do for you or your family to kill your own kid?

Delphinus
05-31-2011, 07:05 PM
Dunno. You might be a sadist and derive pleasure from tying up and executing children.

So you're basically arguing for culturally-based moral relativism. Fair enough. There's one problem, though: if we assume that what's considered 'good' by a particular society is, in fact, good, then any rebellion against those values is automatically 'evil' by the standards of that society. This doesn't allow for individuals to have differing moral views: if what society says is good is good, then anyone who holds an 'abnormal' morality is necessarily 'evil'. That means that if a modern man were to go back to Aztec times and attempt to stop human sacrifices, he'd be evil. Except - would he? I'd argue not, because I don't believe morality is based on what society thinks is correct.

The most obvious argument against moral relativism is that it's based on a logical fallacy, namely the argument from popularity: "If most people think something is good, it's good!" Of course, if you argue the more logical counterpart "If most people in a society think something is good, then it's considered good by their society!" then you have to consider this: a society is comprised of people. It doesn't exist separately from them, as some exterior object: the people are the society. Switch this into your moral statement and you're saying: "If most people in a society think something is good, most people in a society think it's good!" No shit, Sherlock. In philosophical terms - moral relativism is either a fallacy or a tautology, and it's of no practical use to us either way.

I would argue that it's not what a society decides is 'right' or 'wrong' for an actor to performs that makes those actions correct: it's the actor's own will. All morality derives from what I want. If I decide that child sacrifice pleases me (for some logically justified reason, such as, as I said above, that I'm a sadist and derive pleasure from it) and child sacrifice fits with my other beliefs, then so be it. Child sacrifice is good for me and me alone. However, others may disagree with me. There is no standard for morality outside of my skull.

EDIT: Pretty good battlecry for my perspective on morals and politics and everything else that's important. "Let's stop praying for someone to save us and start saving ourselves."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGEQT48Ghzs

Fenn
06-01-2011, 10:41 PM
I believe that in most cases, values are relative. For example, values like politeness/rudeness or honor/cheating are what I call "secondary" values; the person doing the action is not in the wrong for acting either way, and niether is the response, either positive or negative, of anyone to this act.

However, I have a few key "rules" that I believe should apply to all of society regarding individual actions:
1. If it harms or risks harming the basic welfare of another human (i.e. health, essential food and shelter, employment), either directly or indirectly, it should be illegal and punishable by law.
2. If it harms or risks harming no one or only the doer, it should be legal.
3. A private organization, business, club, social gathering, etc. can enact and enforce other rules so long as they do not infringe upon rule 1.
4. If a person commits an act breaking rule 1, that person may be subject to surrendering their right to protection from the law by rule 1.

Outside of that, anyone can hold any values they please. If you want to be rude and deceitful, fine. Miserable, thrifty, selfish? Fine--and others are free to shun you socially and treat you as low as you treat them. Furthermore, if you want to place secondary values on yourself such as honor or charity, do so. Everything is relative.

Delphinus
06-02-2011, 06:21 AM
^ Justify the existence of the primary values.

Fenn
06-02-2011, 11:13 AM
^ Justify the existence of the primary values.

As objective values, the primary values do not exist. They are artificial and require a consensus between the majority of society. However, they would benefit the greatest amount of people, as everyone would be happy under these rules except for those who require the harm of others to be happy, who are generally labeled mentally challenged. The values strike a balance; as they allow the freedom for every individual to do what they wish with their own body, while controlling acts which favor one person over the other.

In the end, the values are my preference. As an individual I:
1. want to prevent others from denying me survival.
2. see no reason to deny survival to anyone else.
3. believe that once basic needs are met, no other "rights" must be given save the right to strive for what is desired.

Sylux
06-02-2011, 12:49 PM
What if what they desire is to not be raped, and your desire is to rape? Do you respect or value their will for denial, or follow rational egoism?

Fenn
06-02-2011, 06:00 PM
What if what they desire is to not be raped, and your desire is to rape? Do you respect or value their will for denial, or follow rational egoism?

Rape violates rule #1, if we're still talking about my value system.

Sylux
06-02-2011, 08:53 PM
"I want to prevent others from denying me my survival."
How will raping someone deny you survival, unless you raped someone's daughter or girlfriend without first eliminating all who care with power to end you?

Fenn
06-02-2011, 10:13 PM
"I want to prevent others from denying me my survival."
How will raping someone deny you survival, unless you raped someone's daughter or girlfriend without first eliminating all who care with power to end you?

No, not rule one of my justification, rule 1 as in "If it hurts someone else's basic welfare, it is illegal." Although it also goes against my second justification as well, if survival is extended to basic welfare.

Delphinus
06-03-2011, 08:20 AM
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.

Premise 1: All human beings are driven to seek pleasure directly (instant gratification) or indirectly (deferred gratification).
Premise 2: Different humans obtain pleasure through different activities.
Premise 3: A moral code defines certain activities as prohibited and lauds others.
Premise 4: A prohibited activity may bring pleasure to someone. Conversely a lauded activity may make someone unhappy.
Conclusion: No single moral code can bring pleasure to all human beings.

Premise 1: No single moral code can bring pleasure to all human beings.
Premise 2: The state universalises and legitimises a single moral code through law.
Conclusion 1a: The state and its rigid codes of morals will forever be unable to satisfy everyone.
Conclusion 1b (1a reworded): Universal law cannot bring pleasure to all its subjects.

Premise 1: Different humans obtain pleasure through different activities.
Premise 2: No single moral code can bring pleasure to all human beings.
Premise 3: Universal law cannot bring pleasure to all its subjects.
Conclusion: The only way a human can obtain maximum pleasure is by regarding only their own will to pleasure regardless of the morals of others and social norms.

Premise 1: The only way a human can obtain maximum pleasure is by regarding only their own will to pleasure regardless of the morals of others and social norms.
Premise 2: All human beings are driven to seek pleasure directly (instant gratification) or indirectly (deferred gratification).

CONCLUSION: It makes most sense for humans to disregard morals of others and social norms in pursuit of their own desires. This might include constructing their own moral codes, but those moral codes ought to be personal. Forcing the moral code on others would only lead to the displeasure of those others; it would not benefit the Other, and thus the Other ought reject it in favour of their own moral code.

EDIT: Or rather, everyone should just live their life according to this song.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E2hYDIFDIU

Fenn
06-03-2011, 10:09 AM
I can write premises too!

Premise 1: Our actions affect the people and things around us (our environment).
Premise 2: Our environment, in return, affects us in our search for pleasure.
Conclusion: Our actions towards our environment affect our search for pleasure.

Premise 1: All human beings are driven to seek pleasure directly (instant gratification) or indirectly (deferred gratification).
Premise 2: Different humans obtain pleasure through different activities.
Premise 3: Regard or disregard for others and social norms affects our environment.
Premise 4: Our actions towards our environment affect our ability to seek pleasure.
Conclusion: To maximize pleasure, we should balance steadfast adherence to our own moral code (or lack thereof) with awareness towards the moral codes of others and social norms.

Premise 1: A universal moral code will never please everyone.
Premise 2: Having no universal moral code will not please everyone.
Premise 3: Different people seek pleasure in different ways.
Conclusion: The moral code of society should seek to allow as many people to seek pleasure in their own way, so long as those people do not deny the pleasure of others.

Sylux
06-03-2011, 08:05 PM
What if you can derive no pleasure from anything but denial of others' happiness?

neogenstru
06-03-2011, 09:26 PM
Dunno. You might be a sadist and derive pleasure from tying up and executing children.

So you're basically arguing for culturally-based moral relativism. Fair enough. There's one problem, though: if we assume that what's considered 'good' by a particular society is, in fact, good, then any rebellion against those values is automatically 'evil' by the standards of that society. This doesn't allow for individuals to have differing moral views: if what society says is good is good, then anyone who holds an 'abnormal' morality is necessarily 'evil'. That means that if a modern man were to go back to Aztec times and attempt to stop human sacrifices, he'd be evil. Except - would he? I'd argue not, because I don't believe morality is based on what society thinks is correct.

The most obvious argument against moral relativism is that it's based on a logical fallacy, namely the argument from popularity: "If most people think something is good, it's good!" Of course, if you argue the more logical counterpart "If most people in a society think something is good, then it's considered good by their society!" then you have to consider this: a society is comprised of people. It doesn't exist separately from them, as some exterior object: the people are the society. Switch this into your moral statement and you're saying: "If most people in a society think something is good, most people in a society think it's good!" No shit, Sherlock. In philosophical terms - moral relativism is either a fallacy or a tautology, and it's of no practical use to us either way.

I would argue that it's not what a society decides is 'right' or 'wrong' for an actor to performs that makes those actions correct: it's the actor's own will. All morality derives from what I want. If I decide that child sacrifice pleases me (for some logically justified reason, such as, as I said above, that I'm a sadist and derive pleasure from it) and child sacrifice fits with my other beliefs, then so be it. Child sacrifice is good for me and me alone. However, others may disagree with me. There is no standard for morality outside of my skull.

EDIT: Pretty good battlecry for my perspective on morals and politics and everything else that's important. "Let's stop praying for someone to save us and start saving ourselves."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGEQT48Ghzs

Actually quite the opposite, I was saying good and evil don't exist because they are ideas based on societies, but for the most yea I agree with ya.


What if you can derive no pleasure from anything but denial of others' happiness?

Or what if you get pleasure from other people denying your happiness 0_o?

Fenn
06-03-2011, 09:40 PM
What if you can derive no pleasure from anything but denial of others' happiness?

Then you are a product of either a severe mental disorder or a horrendous childhood. You have three options:

1. Seek pleasure and face the rath of those you harm.
2. Attempt to find safe outlets for your pleasure. Video games may help, or you could write dark, tragic literature (in a personal journal or possibly for a living).
3. Attempt to alter your desires. This IS possible; a person does not derive pleasure from the exact same things there entire life. A genuine effort (not forced, but attempted) to appreciate other forms of pleasure is possible. You just need an open mind. If it doesn't work, try something else.

Delphinus
06-05-2011, 05:51 PM
Hey Sylux, Fenn's ideas are just silly, I have a better idea based on an interesting thing I've been considering recently. As follows:

Consider a social interaction where you and another party want opposite things or you're competing with someone else for a finite resource. There are three 'common-sense' outcomes to this, and each corresponds to an option in the Prisoner's Dilemma.

(a) You take the resource and fuck the other guy. (+2 to you, 0 to him)
(b) You share the resource with the other guy. (+1 to you, +1 to him)
(c) He takes the resource and says 'fuck you'. (0 to you, +2 to him)

Obviously (b) is best for both of you, but (a) is better for you as an individual. They're in order of preference for YOU, so yes, (a) is best - go ahead and hurt others as much as you like, Sylux. :D

However, there's another option which is even better than (a).

(d) Co-operation; both get what you want (+2, +2)

In theory for YOU it's equally beneficial as (a). However outside of pure game theory it's better than (a) in a number of ways. One, if an action benefits the other actor as well as you, it's more likely to be legal and thus cause fewer long-term problems. Two, you gain social benefit from (d) that you don't obtain from (a), which gives you an intangible but useful resource in solving future problems. Three, if you're not a psychopath you gain the intangible benefit of happiness from helping the other party.

This also defies the prisoner's dilemma and justifies free-market capitalism, option (d), over authoritarianism, options (a) and (c), or ideal communism, option (b).

Or, in your specific case (causing pain), find a masochist and team up with them. BDSM clubs are a likely place but there are others too.

Fenn
06-05-2011, 06:02 PM
Hey Sylux, Fenn's ideas are just silly...[better idea]
But he wasn't talking about resources...was he?

You allso conveniently ignored my reply to your premises/conclusions post. I was quite eager to hear your reply.

Delphinus
06-05-2011, 06:24 PM
Social interactions can be modelled like that, though. You both get what you want - (d). One wins out - (a) or (c). You compromise - (b).

EDIT: "our environment" is a bit woolly.

Fenn
06-05-2011, 07:39 PM
Social interactions can be modelled like that, though. You both get what you want - (d). One wins out - (a) or (c). You compromise - (b).

EDIT: "our environment" is a bit woolly.

I looked up "woolly" and can't get any definition other than "covered in wool." Either way, our environment can be replaced with "other people"

CypressDahlia
06-10-2011, 06:55 AM
It's pointless to try to put point values on things, as even money has a varying degree of importance to people.

Sylux
06-10-2011, 11:43 AM
Post counts have large universal value. O_o

CypressDahlia
06-10-2011, 02:26 PM
o_o No they don't. I don't even know what a post is worth...

I'd argue that the only things on this planet with objective value are those with fixed values likes money. And, even then, their degree of importance varies, so how much it MATTERS to people is different. Of course, this doesn't affect their //actual// value, but it makes it so you can't define every scenario in which money is involved with its worth. So, in other words: money only defines itself, not the circumstances under which it's gained, exchanged or lost.

If I gained 5 dollars from a good deal at the market, then I would say +$5.00. Objectively speaking, +n amount of dollars is always desirable because that is just +n amount of objective worth. Its like gaining trading chips. I can always exchange that 5 dollars for something of equal worth. But to say every situation where you gain $5.00 is = to a certain number of points doesn't make sense because of the multitudes of other factors that play into it. One person may not need the $5.00; another person might need it desperately. Though the objective benefit of saving 5 dollars persists, the situation itself does not yield overall objective benefit. It could be a 1 for the prior and, say, a 5 for the latter.

Delphinus
06-11-2011, 05:30 AM
^ Problem; money doesn't have an objective or fixed worth. It's only worth what people say it's worth, like any other resource. Which is part of the basis of neoclassical economics and the entire reason forex trading is possible.

Saying $5 is worth $5 is a tautology and tells us nothing about what that actually means. $5 could be worth a loaf of bread to one person or two loafs of bread to another person; the economy of a free market is based on adjusting the prices of goods to suit what the average person believes those goods are worth. Money has value in society. Gaining money is equivalent to gaining social value.

If you don't care about social value, then surely rejecting the notion of an 'objective' gain through wealth is the logical conclusion. Money is only the socially-acceptable expression of worth, and thus we have laws against fraud (taking worth through trickery), mugging (taking worth through force), and burglary (taking worth through stealth). These are seen as unacceptable ways of acquiring worth, represented by money, while work and skill, as expressed through the modern wage labour system, are seen as acceptable ways to accrue wealth. Money has gone beyond its original purpose - to serve as an abstract resource and facilitate trading - and is now yet another way for the herd* to enforce its morality on the individual.

* I mean herd in the Nietzschean sense; while normally referring to the proletariat or the plebeians, the term can equally apply to the classes Marxism calls the bourgeoisie and the petit-bourgeoisie; the essential meaning is "the majority; those who follow social pressures in preference to their own will". A similarity can be found between these and the principle of 'poor faith' in Sartre's existentialism: for an example of herd morality in action, I recommend you read Sartre's Nausea and consider the similarities to the lives of people you know, and probably yourself.

Related: Do you believe force (through conquest, robbery, etc.) is an acceptable way to acquire possessions? If so, why; if not, why not?

M3S1H
06-11-2011, 10:19 AM
(I feel like popping in out of nowhere.)
Force? Well, it depends on the situation at hand for me. I believe that if the force is for a greater cause, then yes, in my mind it is acceptable. Vice versa is also true. However, I believe that society, as a whole, will always say no. This is ridiculous. If we think force is unacceptable, why do we create wars? War is an excellent example of human hypocrisy: when we can't reach a mutual agreement, we create wars - we oppose someone - and this collides with us saying force is wrong, which makes us hypocrites. People need to get their crap together - this is insane. In these days, you can't trust almost anything you hear. This drags us down as a whole. However, I think I should jump on to the topic of our resources. I'm not afraid of us wasting our resources as much as I am of us wasting fresh water. I mean think about it - only 1% of the entire water on Earth can be drunk. This is crazy. Every single force in the world needs to give aid in helping this become less of a problem. I mean, one day we will run out of fresh water. Sure, we can "cleanse" water, but that takes too long, and it's not too efficient if we want to supply a planet with water. I still need to research this a bit more, but I sincerely see this as a good reason as to why we should just shut up about the differences in countries and join forces to help solve this problem.

Sylux
06-11-2011, 10:28 AM
Force? Yes. I do not care for humans I do not know well, so why act as though I do to acquire things from them? That being said, I hate competition. I believe it is cool for me to take things by force, but I become angry when other strangers do it.

CypressDahlia
06-11-2011, 10:38 AM
Money doesn't have an objective or fixed worth. It's only worth what people say it's worth...

Yes, that's true. But this unanimously affects everyone using that type of currency, so it's still objective as there are no exceptions. Even if we said the number 2 now = the number 3, it would still be objective given that the new theory is consistently practiced by everyone.

Also, it's weird to assume people who are part of a majority are pressured to be part of that majority. They could very well be part of that majority entirely of their own will.

Fenn
06-11-2011, 10:57 PM
Related: Do you believe force (through conquest, robbery, etc.) is an acceptable way to acquire possessions? If so, why; if not, why not?

I need a clarification. Do you mean based on my personal values or universally? Personally I think it is acceptable so long as the possesion is not essential to the survival of another. I don't find taking someone's basic needs worth it.

Universally I believe even more so that it is ACCEPTABLE, but that is far different than ADVISABLE. If someone takes a game/gadget/possession from me by force, and there's nothing I can do to stop them, I accept it. I also make a mental reminder that this person is not a friend but a foe and that I will never help them unless they prove through strenuous means that they have changed. In most cases, acts of possession by force have adverse side affects.

I generally find force isn't worth it. Theft and conquest create enemies, and I place a high price on trust and alliance. I believe in a sort of unwritten "human insurance" concept where a web of people, be it friends, family, or coworkers, agree to help each other with the expectation that when they need help, the other person will come to their aid. This may sound dangerous, but it is often easier than it appears to see who has your back. First of all, the person must NEED help, not want it. Simply being polite and friendly doesn't cut it. Second, the first or second time someone refuses to aid you, all bets are off, and they don't get anymore help.

Forcibly taking things breaks this trust and creates nothing but opposition for me.


(I feel like popping in out of nowhere.)
Force? Well, it depends on the situation at hand for me. I believe that if the force is for a greater cause, then yes, in my mind it is acceptable. Vice versa is also true. However, I believe that society, as a whole, will always say no. This is ridiculous. If we think force is unacceptable, why do we create wars? War is an excellent example of human hypocrisy: when we can't reach a mutual agreement, we create wars - we oppose someone - and this collides with us saying force is wrong, which makes us hypocrites. People need to get their crap together - this is insane. In these days, you can't trust almost anything you hear. This drags us down as a whole. However, I think I should jump on to the topic of our resources. I'm not afraid of us wasting our resources as much as I am of us wasting fresh water. I mean think about it - only 1% of the entire water on Earth can be drunk. This is crazy. Every single force in the world needs to give aid in helping this become less of a problem. I mean, one day we will run out of fresh water. Sure, we can "cleanse" water, but that takes too long, and it's not too efficient if we want to supply a planet with water. I still need to research this a bit more, but I sincerely see this as a good reason as to why we should just shut up about the differences in countries and join forces to help solve this problem.

This is the fault of the masses and their ignorance towards anything beyond their job, kids, ESPN Sportscenter, and People Magazine. Not sure how this relates for forcibly taking stuff but whatever.


Force? Yes. I do not care for humans I do not know well, so why act as though I do to acquire things from them? That being said, I hate competition. I believe it is cool for me to take things by force, but I become angry when other strangers do it.

Have you ever considered how these tiny actions add up? How much dissent the cumulative effect of these little selfish deeds causes, and how much of that could be reciprocated back to you?

Sylux
06-17-2011, 11:03 AM
I said it's okay - I never said I do it, and I never specified whether or not it would be secretive.

Delphinus
06-17-2011, 05:30 PM
Universally I believe even more so that it is ACCEPTABLE, but that is far different than ADVISABLE. If someone takes a game/gadget/possession from me by force, and there's nothing I can do to stop them, I accept it. I also make a mental reminder that this person is not a friend but a foe and that I will never help them unless they prove through strenuous means that they have changed. In most cases, acts of possession by force have adverse side affects.

Wrong. Quoth Machiavelli: "It is safer to be feared than to be loved if one cannot be both." Every successful government in history has attempted either to be feared and loved (as in democracy) or just to be feared (as in tyranny). Governments based on love, like neutral pacifist countries, have tended to be annexed by more warlike nations. Why shouldn't this apply to personal relationships? If one is both feared and loved, one is likely to be the leader of a group.


I generally find force isn't worth it.

Only if that force is (a) obvious, (b) resistible, and (c) disagreeable. If your actions are seen as righteous by the person they won't challenge your authority. If they have insufficient force to fight back they won't challenge your authority. And if they don't know you're using force against them, they have no grounds for challenging your authority.

That is, you can use deception (non-obvious force), intimidation (non-resistible force), and persuasion (non-disagreeable force) to control people in a far more effective way than the benefits of pacifism. The difference being - you rely on others if you have a mutual trust relationship with them, while you only rely on yourself if you have a position of authority over them. Why, then, would I voluntarily make a bond of trust with someone when dominating them would be more effective and produce greater results for me? (fyi, I prefer deception and persuasion irl; intimidation is mostly illegal and I'm a skinny prick)


Forcibly taking things breaks this trust and creates nothing but opposition for me.

See above.


Have you ever considered how these tiny actions add up? How much dissent the cumulative effect of these little selfish deeds causes, and how much of that could be reciprocated back to you?

Not if you have 1337 domination skills. See above.

TL;DR: Why not this?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z-hEyVQDRA

EDIT: Oh god this is worrying. Read this wikipedia section (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_manipulation#Basic_manipulative_stra tegy_of_a_psychopath). wtf

Fenn
06-18-2011, 10:36 AM
Wrong. Quoth Machiavelli: "It is safer to be feared than to be loved if one cannot be both." Every successful government in history has attempted either to be feared and loved (as in democracy) or just to be feared (as in tyranny). Governments based on love, like neutral pacifist countries, have tended to be annexed by more warlike nations. Why shouldn't this apply to personal relationships? If one is both feared and loved, one is likely to be the leader of a group.

Sure! Maybe I am just bad at making myself clear, but it seems that whenever I try to explain my philosophy, I convince everyone I'm a pacifist. I'm not. I do think force is required in some personal relationships. I also think "force" is a very vague term.

Furthermore, it looks to me as though you are only looking at the immedeate effects. But I'll get to that below.


Only if that force is (a) obvious, (b) resistible, and (c) disagreeable. If your actions are seen as righteous by the person they won't challenge your authority. If they have insufficient force to fight back they won't challenge your authority. And if they don't know you're using force against them, they have no grounds for challenging your authority.

That is, you can use deception (non-obvious force), intimidation (non-resistible force), and persuasion (non-disagreeable force) to control people in a far more effective way than the benefits of pacifism. The difference being - you rely on others if you have a mutual trust relationship with them, while you only rely on yourself if you have a position of authority over them. Why, then, would I voluntarily make a bond of trust with someone when dominating them would be more effective and produce greater results for me? (fyi, I prefer deception and persuasion irl; intimidation is mostly illegal and I'm a skinny prick)

If they view your force as righteous it can hardly be clarified as a force against them.

If they have insufficient force to stop you they won't do anything until they can. Power is not static. If a person you stepped on manages to gain more power than you, not only will you fall, but you could suffer heavy retribution/revenge.

If they don't realize the force, they won't do anything until they find out. If a person you stepped on discovers the truth and has the power to punish you, you could suffer heavy retribution/revenge.

Suddeny, this whole force thing sounds just as risky as mutual trust. I'd like to propose then, a new argument:

Both force and mutual trust are risk/reward systems, and are only as effective as the person using them.

Also, it is possible to use a balanced philosophy which integrates both force and trust, as you suggested.

This balanced approach seems most logical because it provides you the greatest number of options. In my personal experience, force is more effective in the working world and in politics, economics, and large-scale human networks where getting to know every individual on an intimate, personal basis is arguably impossible. On the other hand, building mutual trust with family, friends, and other select individuals you meet and become intimate with can grant you power and options not accessable to the person who restricts themselves to their own person.


TL;DR: Why not this?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z-hEyVQDRA

EDIT: Oh god this is worrying. Read this wikipedia section (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_manipulation#Basic_manipulative_stra tegy_of_a_psychopath). wtf

DAMN! This certainly reveals the potential dangers of trust! It also, in my mind, unveals the importance of communication's networks between people. This situation is probably best countered via "references." Obviously I'm nnot refering to work references, but to other people who know a person and can vouch or warn against that person.

I'll have to find something to show you about the dangers of manipulation...

Sunny
06-21-2011, 02:52 AM
Phhft, I have too many to list.

How about meat is fucking awesome? That is all I have to say. (In other words, I am totally loving eating meat and I don't think it should be shunned.:P)

Sylux
06-21-2011, 12:11 PM
http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=1307996
Also: Human is a good, kosher alternative to pork.