How do we learn who is a good guy with a gun, and a bad guy with a gun?

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jerlands
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Re: How do we learn who is a good guy with a gun, and a bad guy with a gun?

Post by jerlands » April 8th, 2018, 4:21 pm

Alias wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 3:05 pm
jerlands wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 12:05 pm
[Primitive man - ... His priority was to overcome difficulties, not to keep order].

This doesn't ring true with me. Life itself is order so the natural tendency, that is the drive to survive, is based upon order and which requires compartmentalization.
I'm not at all sure that it does require compartmentalization.
Human biology is compartmentalization down to the cellular level. We have specific organelles with specific tasks compartmentalized within the cell and our body has different organs with different functions compartmentalized within itself. Man compartmentalizes because that's how life's natural order is and that's what we know. I'm not saying we do it right or wrong but just that it is in the nature of man to do it.
Alias wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 3:05 pm
It does require a certain kind of order, but a very different style of rule-making in a family or clan, where no-one is surplus and all members are valued, than in a stratified city-state, where the order of worth is assigned by class rather than contribution. (In fact, the "contribution" is redefined according to status, so that a completely unproductive bishop or money-lender is valued above a hundred food-producers or territory-defenders.) A clan structure does not require unquestioning obedience, and rules of conduct do not need to be enforced by armed minions; almost every aspect of life and every transaction, even transgression and rehabilitation, can be negotiated case by case .
Don't take my word for it, ask an Ojibwa or Chimu elder.

I didn't say they favoured disorder; only that keeping social order - everybody in his or her assigned place - was not a priority. It simply doesn't need to be, because places are interchangeable and people are adaptable.
Making people conform in a stratified, specialized society is the first and highest priority. That's why its legal and moral philosophy is laid out in black and white, Thou Shalt / Thou Shalt Not.
First, the notion of social order within hunter gatherer and agrarian cultures is very different and for obvious reasons. Agrarianism opened up specialized fields of employment which lends itself to different needs in communication. Why things developed the way they have may never be truly answered unless western civilization arrives at some purposeful meaning to it's existence. But in large social structures greater laws are required.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

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Greta
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Re: How do we learn who is a good guy with a gun, and a bad guy with a gun?

Post by Greta » April 8th, 2018, 5:13 pm

Alias wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 9:32 am
What is usually referred-to as "the ancients" are the sages of classical civilization, and that's where we get our modern philosophies.

It serves the power structure of civilized society (specialized, stratified, organized, hierarchical society) to couch their moral precepts in terms of good and evil, virtue and vice; reward and punishment: it's a way to keep order in large, disparate populations.
Primitive man - that is, man living in and with nature in small related groups - had the freedom to describe what he observed and felt, and didn't need to make reality fit into a formula for social conduct. His priority was to overcome difficulties, not to keep order.
Industrial man needs everything compressed for him into categories, because he doesn't have time to deal with the particular.
We are not quite on the same page but you raise an interesting point about the relationship of our philosophies with the changing pressures of our increasingly socially controlled environment - well, in some ways, as it's less controlled in others.

As competition increases notions of honesty and authenticity become merely the vain frippery of those not put under enough sustained pressure to throw their values aside ... Lord of the Flies ... nine meals from anarchy etc. The moderns haven't ignored the ancients' wisdom - religion and meditation practices are very common. From a philosophical standpoint, it's interesting to see the seemingly superficial approach to these things - literalist interpretations and use of spiritual practices purely to de-stress. It just goes to show that philosophy needs time, something that modern people unfortunately struggle to find.
Alias wrote:
It's like saying that the ancients were more fit than modern people. Yet top athletes today have abilities far beyond what was seen in the first Olympic games. On the other hand, those ancient audiences were carrying around far less stored fast food in their bodies than their modern counterparts.
It's not about fitness. But those naked Greek athletes were already more specialized and probably having less fun than they should. Nowadays, we carry everything to absurd extremes. What should be games and amusements are arduous - howbeit lucrative - jobs. We've even managed to specialize spectatorship into a chronic illness.
Your last sentence would have been hyperbole before the advent of Gogglebox :lol:

My point was just that people are more specialised today stemming from to productivity innovations by Frederick Taylor, Henry Ford and others. There is no valid direct comparison between ancient and modern societies because the structure is different. Today there are very few polymaths, all-rounders and generalists. Instead there are ever more specialists, and those at the cutting edge have delved deeper than any before, with the advantage of "standing on the shoulders of [the] giants" of the past. Meanwhile, the average person is ever less empowered, ever less independent, but ever more expert at manipulating the levers of society.

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jerlands
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Re: How do we learn who is a good guy with a gun, and a bad guy with a gun?

Post by jerlands » April 8th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Greta wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 5:13 pm
From a philosophical standpoint, it's interesting to see the seemingly superficial approach to these things - literalist interpretations and use of spiritual practices purely to de-stress. It just goes to show that philosophy needs time, something that modern people unfortunately struggle to find.
The notion of de-stressing seems important to me. I don't think this superficial but essential to life and health. We can de-stress through meditation or burying our feet deep into warm sand. Though prayer or picking weeds from the garden. A vacation needn't be distant travel but simply a change from our norm.
Greta wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 5:13 pm
My point was just that people are more specialised today stemming from to productivity innovations by Frederick Taylor, Henry Ford and others. There is no valid direct comparison between ancient and modern societies because the structure is different. Today there are very few polymaths, all-rounders and generalists. Instead there are ever more specialists, and those at the cutting edge have delved deeper than any before, with the advantage of "standing on the shoulders of [the] giants" of the past. Meanwhile, the average person is ever less empowered, ever less independent, but ever more expert at manipulating the levers of society.
The point I had tried to make is "for everything there is a time" and once we reach dry land maybe then we can take a break.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

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Re: How do we learn who is a good guy with a gun, and a bad guy with a gun?

Post by Alias » April 9th, 2018, 12:33 am

Greta wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 5:13 pm
We are not quite on the same page but you raise an interesting point about the relationship of our philosophies with the changing pressures of our increasingly socially controlled environment - well, in some ways, as it's less controlled in others.
No, it's more controlled in every way. There is a pretense, and much protestation, of individuality, and there is a greater variety of entertainments, but all of the entertainments, as well as the political system, education, work ethic, fashion, advertising, the uniformity of consumer goods, all press the citizen into a stackable, replaceable cube. The control is ubiquitous and insidious.
The moderns haven't ignored the ancients' wisdom - religion and meditation practices are very common.
Religion is one of the conforming philosophies. The main source and bulwark of black/white, good/evil, reward/punishment systems.
My point was just that people are more specialised today stemming from to productivity innovations by Frederick Taylor, Henry Ford and others. There is no valid direct comparison between ancient and modern societies because the structure is different.
What are the structural differences between modern New York and Ancient Thebes? Same classes, same identity-by-function, same freeloaders at the top and slaves at the bottom, same threatening deities and pie-in-the-sky.
Today there are very few polymaths, all-rounders and generalists.
They were always pretty thin on the ground. Some of their work survived, so we don't know about the millions whose names were not recorded; the peasants, galley slaves, tin-smiths, navvies, charcoal-burners, olive-pressers, kitchenmaids... The absolute numbers have grown; the ratios stay the same since the first walled city. There have been very few free, original people, ever.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Greta
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Re: How do we learn who is a good guy with a gun, and a bad guy with a gun?

Post by Greta » April 9th, 2018, 1:45 am

Alias wrote:
April 9th, 2018, 12:33 am
Greta wrote:
April 8th, 2018, 5:13 pm
We are not quite on the same page but you raise an interesting point about the relationship of our philosophies with the changing pressures of our increasingly socially controlled environment - well, in some ways, as it's less controlled in others.
No, it's more controlled in every way. There is a pretense, and much protestation, of individuality, and there is a greater variety of entertainments, but all of the entertainments, as well as the political system, education, work ethic, fashion, advertising, the uniformity of consumer goods, all press the citizen into a stackable, replaceable cube. The control is ubiquitous and insidious.
Big brother may be coming but he's not here yet. Women were freed by changes to divorce law and taboos, and by suffrage. Then there was the decriminalisation of homosexuality and transsexualism, plus reduced taboos regarding language, relaxing of dress codes, and limited decriminalisation of weed. Going back a further, musicians are now allowed to play tritones and drum sets, astronomers are allowed to say that the Sun is at the centre of the solar system and children are no longer being sent to sickness and risk in coal mines.

Meanwhile, due to increased populations we have also, as you note, lost numerous freedoms. The more people around you, the less free you can possibly be. Meanwhile, governments and corporations relish the chance to increase controls because it keeps costs down and makes their jobs simpler.

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