Wednesday, August 31, 2011

[Mind's Eye] Re: "Confessions of an Ex-Moralist"

Yes I agree with much of what you say here Neil, heheh even if you are
sorta cross posting, meh!

The thing though is this is obviously your own moral stance, when you

'...there isn't much moral in the form of thinking that doesn't
consider what is happening to all people and that moral
thinking should be by social animals who recognise that is what they
are and that we all start with entrenched views that can merely seek
conversion in others without needed reciprocity. I believe strongly
in humility - yet this cannot be a one way process.'

You are clearly stateing what you belive to moraly correct. The
problem and it is a huge one is that morality is wholey subjective.

Rightwing Christian Conservatives may disagree with much that we
lefties have to say but one thing is for sure, they fell just as
strongly that their position is morraly correct as we do ours.

Myself, I have not the energy to give to change the world, nor do I
think such change is likely in my life time. I appluad those who try,
but I really do think that we as individuals have very little power to
change sociaty at large. Nope we must wait until the majority are
ready for the change, and of course, as our history shows us, when
society is ready for the change it is not always for the better.

I can only trot out the old line about education. I think perhaps
that we should make the teaching of philosophy as important to our
children as maths , science and whatever native languge it is we
happen to speak.

Ohhh and of course tax the rich at a bigger rate than the poor.

On Aug 31, 12:50 pm, archytas <> wrote:
> Getting out of the mess we're in is perhaps a forlorn hope, but the
> odd one of hem came off! History as taught is useless other than in
> creating factional madness.  Biology might help us overcome our
> failure to recognise how animal we are and history could show us the
> repeated blunders we keep falling for.  My thesis is that argument
> hasn't helped us much - my guess being we are broadly ineducable
> through schooling and need a more technological form.  I think we have
> the hard technology but have failed to make this socio-technical to
> date.
> I see some of this as 'moral' in that we can clearly challenge all
> morality - this leading to something rigsy said on the hapless ego
> state of making this mean 'other people are wrong' - surely (the ego
> state - not rigsy) childish.  Most of us still live and die very
> parochially and one lesson is that the apparent differences in moral-
> religious thinking are just cultural.  I would be more like Vam and he
> more like me if our birth places and families been exchanged. Born in
> Islamic families we would both likely be Muslim.  This was recognised
> before Descartes (Maupassant I think).  Some of my Muslim students
> think this is not the case because they are chosen.
> The question is less one of the nihilist rejection of morality and
> more one of a global morality we can sensibly adhere to.  The term
> 'global morality' is scary as is any totalising solution.  And many of
> the issues we need to grip and grok are scary too - population control
> is one - not least because we presumably want people to be able to
> live in comfort and plenty - something likely to raise breeding
> potential.  If we think of the Earth as a commons, then we should
> expect the issue of the tragedy of the commons to arise.  How do we
> tell the people who want then 'no more big families'?  How do we
> justify issues on disability that would arise?  If we want power to be
> democratic, How do we prevent power through wealth, whether through
> capitalist accumulation to a few individuals or the State =both of
> which have a history of either war or oppression or both?  Some will
> say we are better off not addressing such matters as human planning is
> always a mess and we are better off leaving things to the chance of
> evolution, war being part of this - the purpose of man is to be a
> warrior and women's to be recreation for the warrior and such rot.
> Others are more fatalist in that none of this mat matter much as the
> overall plan goes on whatever human trivia makes some believe.
> My view is that religion and various other myths of origin, all
> containing perverse views amongst their elites that ordinary people
> can't cope with the recognition they are myths (Plato is the classic)
> and only the priests or guardians can, are rationalist fantasies - but
> what bigger such fantasy as the very idea of anything global that
> would ask all to take on a 'morality'!
> We leave out a major 'purpose' in economics in much of our moral
> thinking - that of the West (still currently the major military power)
> being on top and staying on top.  The idea in this is that to prevent
> a "backward change" the West needs to dominate economically in order
> to attract the innovation needed to stay on top.  What, for instance,
> would the current situation be now if Muslim states had equivalent
> military power, or a dominant one?  It is also clear that the same
> economics is profoundly anti-democratic in that our own ability to
> manage through it is severely restricted, probably by the accumulation
> of capital in very few hands.  Capital that has invested in such a way
> as to hand over manufacturing (the essential means of war) outside the
> West - something that is treason in some thinking.  This form of
> capital has remained imperialist and one can make a good case that it
> is a form of organised crime.
> The key 'moral' issue in all this - which needs book length
> elaboration - is that there isn't much moral in the form of thinking
> that doesn't consider what is happening to all people and that moral
> thinking should be by social animals who recognise that is what they
> are and that we all start with entrenched views that can merely seek
> conversion in others without needed reciprocity.  I believe strongly
> in humility - yet this cannot be a one way process.
> I don't believe we can change much through argument and that
> technology is the way forward - even such technology as agrarian
> living alongside 'hot fusion' energy.  I live in a country about to
> evict 'travelers' from their homes and the frustrations on all sides
> is clear.  I wouldn't want them at the end of my garden, yet the law
> seems inadequate.  We have around 8 million people unemployed (real as
> opposed to government figures) and yet continue to be a country with
> net immigration.  It becomes more and more obvious that we can't
> educate our way out of this - indeed, one wonders what effect
> education, after some basics such as women having fewer babies =
> actually has - rather like milk yields in cows and genetics/
> environment equations.  50% of our kids hardly pass go in schooling
> terms and we seem content to 'replace' them in our workforce with
> "better genetic specimens" because this is how economics works.
> Despite the blarney on only bringing in these highly skilled people
> (itself morally dubious as this means taking doctors from elsewhere),
> our taxi drivers are becoming exclusively 'brown' just as jobs are in
> short supply.
> Given the practical mess I'm not surprised the moral flight is into
> the subjective where an individual can experience control.  My guess
> is this is a flight from the social, much as the wealthy move
> practically away from the problems, to areas where their kids can go
> to the schools without the problems or in private schooling and so
> on.  Even Plato, especially Plato, wanted his Guardians free of the
> normal, corrupting social. My own view is that this may be simply the
> first step to the immoral.
> On Aug 31, 12:34 pm, Lee Douglas <> wrote:
> > Indeed OM indeed.
> > I asked once or perhaps twice or even thrice what is it about human
> > life that many see as sacrosanct, I don't see life that way at all and
> > so it confussed me why again the majority of us would view the takeing
> > of a human life by another human as immoral.
> > I guess I'm just in a strange place at the mo, beliving in a creator
> > God without beliving that life is somehow sacred.
> > I can see both sides though, I think most would thank their parents
> > for the 'gift' of life, but I can certianly understand why some would
> > not.
> > Myself I'm a little differant.  I had no choice about my birth and so
> > I neither thank nor revile my parents for their choice in makeing me.
> > I mean I, Lee, the human and the soul and the mind that makes up the
> > indivudual we call Lee, had nowt to do with my birth.
> > It was my parents choice, and their desire to have kids, I know this
> > desire, I think most of us humans do at some point or other in our
> > lives.
> > Now of course I have two teenage boys, I don't ask them for their
> > thanks, not for mine and my wifes desires, our choice.  We did not
> > gift them with life, we simply followed our own wills.
> > No I'm more intersted in arming them for their own lifes, so that they
> > can make their own choices independant of me and their mum.  They are
> > not really my kids but humans that own their own lifes.
> > On Aug 31, 11:53 am, ornamentalmind <>
> > wrote:
> > > "…Those born into abject poverty or under the rule of a despot may
> > > not
> > > see their life as agift at all. " – Lee
> > > Conversely, those born into affluence or under the rule of an
> > > enlightened and benevolent leader may not see their life as a gift
> > > either.
> > > On Aug 31, 3:50 am, Lee Douglas <> wrote:
> > > > Indeed that is the way I see it, but of course others may not.
> > > > Those born into abject poverty or under the rule of a despot may not
> > > > see their life as agift at all.
> > > > On Aug 31, 5:29 am, rigsy03 <> wrote:
> > > > > Yes- but there are so many ironies and surprises and turn-abouts in
> > > > > life that it offers possibilities, as well. It still is a chance
> > > > > given.
> > > > > On Aug 30, 9:47 am, Lee Douglas <> wrote:
> > > > > > Heh and of course there is an argument to be made that life is no gift
> > > > > > at all!
> > > > > > On Aug 30, 2:59 pm, rigsy03 <> wrote:
> > > > > > > Yes- a lively topic! The whole matter rests upon the spirit in which
> > > > > > > the gift is given or received and it can get tangled up in some pretty
> > > > > > > strange emotions!
> > > > > > > We can never repay parents for the gift of life.
> > > > > > > I have sometimes given a gift to get rid of a person! And it
> > > > > > > works! :-)
> > > > > > > "The moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are
> > > > > > > free" (song)
> > > > > > > On Aug 30, 4:46 am, Lee Douglas <> wrote:
> > > > > > > > Hey Neil,
> > > > > > > > The word debt is a good one to bring to the convo.  It is ridden with
> > > > > > > > subjective morality.  I think it true to say that nobody likes to be
> > > > > > > > indebted to anybody, and that payment of debt whether that be fiscal
> > > > > > > > or favours owed, is paramont for the individual to feel free from debt
> > > > > > > > agian.
> > > > > > > > Of course the corraspanding thought is that the individual can also
> > > > > > > > feel empowerd by the depts owed to that person.  It is like a slavery
> > > > > > > > light.  If a man buys you a beer you remember it and do not rest untll
> > > > > > > > you have returned the favour.  If a freind helps you to move it is
> > > > > > > > perfectly exceptable to ask of him the same favour when you in
> ...
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