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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-02 03:35am
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Carinthium wrote:

You cannot, however, infer a moral obligation in any of these matters. If you happen to have some other sort of morality, it obviously overrides these self-interested ideas. As I mentioned, I sentimentally like individual freedom- hence despite a good idea of the consequences I would oppose people driving on the left hand side of the road? (Though after a certain number of regulations I simply throw up my hands in defeat- I would prefer that one abolished alongside a long list that would actually make the government libertarian in practice)


I think I might throw my hands up in exasperation. I argued that is no need for an morality to be based on empathy as a 'maximize my returns at low risk' morality ALSO allows a society to function, and can give rise to identical behavior.
I show this to you, you agree with each point and then say 'But my morality says individual freedom is the highest good, so I'd rather get rid of all of these rules that I agree with for the sake of liberty. ' In other words, 'Na na an na na , I can't hear you.'

as for diplomacy not mimicing the real world becuase it's alwys a fight to the finish - this is perhaps the MOST important concept in game theory (and derived morailty).
In a single game, who wins is the overiding factor and cheating or backstabbing is the sensible option.
In a repeated game of unknown length (office interactions, or living generally) cooperation can rise to be the sensible option. Of course most people aren't taught game theory on their father's knee, just how to behave, and specifically how to behave to be a 'good' person.



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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-04 05:08am
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It's not the only, or even an optimal way, though. I've been criticizing people who seem to think the only viable strategy when you're completely amoral is going all out, grabbing power and then destroying people once you gain it, etc - while this might work in some situations, it won't work in others. Or even most of them. Most of the time, you are most secure when you actually don't ruin people left and right, because there is ALWAYS a bigger fish in the pond, and thus you will always need allies. Thus, even in a world where morality doesn't exist, concepts of virtue, honor etc. were never invented, it pays to foster good relationships with people, for completely rational reasons - or not rock the boat at all, depending on the situation.


Not left and right, maybe, but that's not the same as not ruining people. Particularly if you are up against superior or equal competitors (in terms of effective power), sociopathy may be your only advantage and hence you may be best off ruining people to exploit it.

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A charismatic NON-sociopath has the same potential. Most people in power are not actually sociopaths, though a disproportionate number of them tend to climb the ladder ; In fact, trying to act like a sociopath while not being one is a very suboptimal strategy, because you can't just turn things like empathy on and off. Same thing about being a sociopath in an environment that doesn't tolerate ruthlessnes. You might still go somewhere, but you will step on a lot more toes along the way.


It is possible to reduce the degree of one's own moral feeling by self-training, however. This is made easier by natural human hypocrisy (which thus adapts more easily to doing so).

In addition, all environments tolerate some degree of ruthlessness (to use an extreme case, in board games. To use a more practical one, making the 'hard decisions). There is almost always some way to be immoral that can be gotten away with as well.

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There's people who did it for you:

1.conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.
2.moral quality or character.
3.virtue in sexual matters; chastity.
4.a doctrine or system of morals.
5.moral instruction; a moral lesson, precept, discourse, or utterance.

All of those require sentients to be around to even make sense.


Most people, if confronted with something like the Holocaust, would instinctively agree with the claim "That's just wrong". That, intuitively, is the core idea of morality. I wasn't sure precisely how to define it so I didn't. Options 1, 2, and 3 are also all flawed because they imply an objective good or evil they do not define- how can something be 'moral' without reference to such, how can there be 'right' conduct without reference to such etc? You could be implicitly claiming that whatever society says is moral is moral, but if so you should say so? (If you thought this was a debate about what society SAYS is moral the whole time we've been having this whole argument on a misunderstanding) If we go with 4 than there are different 'moralities' giving us little grounds to argue on, and 5 is the same.

Most importantly, 1, 2, and 3 can exist without sentients as any objective right or wrong exists regardless of how sentients in fact act, let alone whether they exist at all.

Quote:
I think I might throw my hands up in exasperation. I argued that is no need for an morality to be based on empathy as a 'maximize my returns at low risk' morality ALSO allows a society to function, and can give rise to identical behavior.
I show this to you, you agree with each point and then say 'But my morality says individual freedom is the highest good, so I'd rather get rid of all of these rules that I agree with for the sake of liberty. ' In other words, 'Na na an na na , I can't hear you.'


I made peripheral references to my sentimental love of freedom, not primary references. Your argument may convince a person who starts from self-centered premises (and who is poor) to support universial healthcare, but as any starting want is inherently arbitrary cannot convince somebody who starts from different premises (I was just giving an example).

As I mentioned, you cannot infer a moral obligation in such matters. This has implications in some of the argument you haven't adressed. For example, the fact that choosing individually to become a cheat has a statistically insigificant impact on the number of frauds in society and can often be a profitable career. Or the fact that for me and quite possibly for you exploiting knowledge of one's Aspergers Syndrome by others could make plotting against others in the workplace in order to get promoted easier (at least for a carefully planned one-off).

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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-04 05:41am
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Carinthium wrote:
Not left and right, maybe, but that's not the same as not ruining people. Particularly if you are up against superior or equal competitors (in terms of effective power), sociopathy may be your only advantage and hence you may be best off ruining people to exploit it.


The key word being MAY. It is not the optimal way to act in any situation (you know, the position I was criticizing?), and the fact ruining a person makes you a new enemy (more than one, actually ; People usually have friends) means it's a risky move and should only be done when no other way to get the same result exists. The risk becomes less and less the more power you accrue, but the entire problem is that you probably will never be a mayor or CEO or a high ranking military officer, no matter how far you are willing to go to become one.

So, you know...show some rational long-term planning. All the great leaders understood that, as dictators and tyrants tend to lead very short lives, even despite their vast power.

Carinthium wrote:
It is possible to reduce the degree of one's own moral feeling by self-training, however. This is made easier by natural human hypocrisy (which thus adapts more easily to doing so).

In addition, all environments tolerate some degree of ruthlessness (to use an extreme case, in board games. To use a more practical one, making the 'hard decisions). There is almost always some way to be immoral that can be gotten away with as well.


You will never top a sociopath because a sociopath doesn't have to engage in hypocrisy, doublethink and self-delusion to achieve the same or better result and get rid of guilt. It's like getting into a foot race with a horse.

Carinthium wrote:
Most people, if confronted with something like the Holocaust, would instinctively agree with the claim "That's just wrong". That, intuitively, is the core idea of morality. I wasn't sure precisely how to define it so I didn't. Options 1, 2, and 3 are also all flawed because they imply an objective good or evil they do not define- how can something be 'moral' without reference to such, how can there be 'right' conduct without reference to such etc?


How the hell do they imply objective morality exists? They speak about RULES, which are, you know, made up by people and accepted by a given society. If you were the only sentient being in the universe and you habitually masturbated in the open, would it be right or wrong? If you screamed obscenities and racial slurs at the Moon, would it be right or wrong?

You couldn't murder, steal, lie, cheat, either. These concepts become meaningless if you will never, ever interact with sentient beings in your life.

Carinthium wrote:
You could be implicitly claiming that whatever society says is moral is moral, but if so you should say so? (If you thought this was a debate about what society SAYS is moral the whole time we've been having this whole argument on a misunderstanding) If we go with 4 than there are different 'moralities' giving us little grounds to argue on, and 5 is the same.


The entire point of contention is that you are trying to argue that what "ordinary people see as morality" is in fact different from some transcendental objective moral code, the existence of which you have not demonstrated in any way that doesn't involve human instincts, desires and rules of conduct.

Carinthium wrote:
Most importantly, 1, 2, and 3 can exist without sentients as any objective right or wrong exists regardless of how sentients in fact act, let alone whether they exist at all.


Justify that premise.



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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-05 03:21am
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can someone explain to me what Carinthium's arguing? I seem to have lost the thread of the main argument.



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"Welcome to SDN, where we can't see the forest because walking into trees repeatedly feels good, bro." - Mr Coffee

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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-05 07:37am
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madd0ct0r wrote:
can someone explain to me what Carinthium's arguing? I seem to have lost the thread of the main argument.

Carinthium's claim wrote:
Overall, I should point out that NONE OF YOU HAVE JUSTIFIED SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY. How can you prove it better than Moral Individualism, and how can you demonstrate that a social contract exists even when people don't know the theory until taught it?

ie he is arguing Moral Individualism > Social Contract Theory
the rest is just obfuscation.

But in his arguments he is confusing Ethical Egoism and nihilism on one hand. While on the other hand he is confusing utilitarianism, altruism and contractualism.
This because he hasn't really read up on anything of this and misunderstood the rest.

So basically whatever arguments you will use he will argue against it regardless since doesn't understand the common ground of the arguments used.
This because he starts with a forgone conclusion/conviction based on his condition and is trying to reinforce that rather than expand his worldview. ie you have found the moral/political equivalent of a creationist trying to argue science when they are really trying to reinforce their own religious belief.

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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-05 08:37am
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Naturally I deny that explanation of my argument. I'll give a more proper one in the morning.

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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-09 04:09am
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Sorry about this, but I'm kind of ill lately. I'm going to have to pull out of this.

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 Post subject: Re: How The Rich Have Suffered Under Obama PostPosted: 2012-10-10 10:10am
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fair enough. Actually been reading an intresting discussion of classic liberalisim vs british morailty - "Welcome to Everytown' by Julian Bagginni

If i get a wee bit of time i might type up a few pages for a new thread.



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