Fooloso4 wrote: ↑
April 16th, 2018, 2:51 pm
Is there a society without human-imposed constraints? I think it evident that there are not. And so, how can it be, as you say, that humans are naturally social animals if the societies in which they live all have unnatural constraints on its members?
They don't have "unnatural" constraints on members. You're indulging in word play, committing a 4-term fallacy. "Natural" is contrasted with "artificial," and also with "unnatural." The former sense means "not human-caused;" the latter means "contrary to the laws of Nature."
Social constraints are not "unnatural;" but they are non-natural (i.e., artificial).
It is not that everything humans do in society must be natural but if society is natural then some things must be.
That does not follow, but some of the things humans do are, of course, natural (eat, sleep, breathe, etc.). Making laws is not one of those natural things they do.
If nothing they do in society is natural then what does it mean to say that humans are naturally social animals?
It means that they tend to seek out others of their species and form communities with them.
What does “justified by reason and morality” mean?
Yikes. If you don't know what those mean, I don't know how we can discuss these issues!
You object to constraints because they are unnatural . . .
Er, no. I do not object to constraints "because they are unnatural." Nor have I ever said any such thing. I said they are not natural, but that doesn't mean I object to them for that reason. Nor do I object to ALL constraints, even though those I consider acceptable are just as non-natural as those I don't.
What is the standard, nature or reason and morality?
Obviously reason and morality, since no (human-imposed) constraints are natural. They are products of human action, and therefore subject to the standards of reason and morality, which don't apply to natural phenomena.
You begin with a fictitious notion of nature and claim that this is the standard according to which constraints are unnatural and therefore to be rejected . . .
I made no such claims. In what way is my notion of nature "fictitious"?
. . . there is no shortage of examples in nature of dominance. Are alpha males unnatural?
Ah. Are you suggesting that constraints are natural because some people are naturally disposed to dominate others, and because that is natural, it is morally justifiable? Are you arguing for a "natural aristocracy"?
You say that freedom is the means to an end, the end being maximizing welfare for all persons, but you deny that we have obligations to others beyond not interfering with their rights.
We can have other obligations beyond that. E.g., if we have injured someone we have an obligation to make good the damages. If we bring children into the world we have obligations to provide for them. If we enter into a contract with someone we have an obligation to abide by its terms. If we make a promise we have an obligation to keep it. We do not, however, have a priori
obligations to assume responsibility for everyone else's welfare. We do not arrive in the world burdened by an infinite set of unassumed obligations. But if you disagree, please supply an argument showing how such obligations are derived from moral first principles.
So, maximizing the welfare of all persons means leaving them to their own devices no matter what the condition of their lives may be. Maximizing the welfare of all persons means that children living in abject poverty must (for their own welfare?) continue to live in this way unless someone else voluntarily helps them.
That is correct. Either others help them voluntarily, in accordance with their own priorities and assessment of the worthiness of the cause, or some people force others to act in accordance with their own priorities and assessments. I.e., some people assume the role of masters and impose their will on others, making the latter slaves. Which, of course, violates the precept of equality of moral agency and status.
Maximizing the welfare for all persons might then mean that the labor of most people would benefit the few who have property or capital and who need not pay those who do the work more than enough to stay alive or not even that provided there are others who will do it.
Er, no, that is not what would mean. Everyone who works for payment benefits someone else; i.e., the person paying them. And it is not a "few" who have sufficient property or capital or pay for others' services. If you have ordered a burger lately from MacDonalds, bought a movie ticket, bought a six pack at the grocery store, you have paid workers for their services. If a worker has no skills that anyone else is willing to pay for he needs to improve them --- or rely on charity.
The welfare of all persons becomes the welfare of the few, those who have gained and can maintain property and those who have competitive skills that are in high enough demand to be paid more than subsistence wages.
You need to study some economic history, Fooloso. That Malthusian scenario has never occurred. It is a Marxist shibboleth. By 1900 the US became the first country in history a majority of whose people were not poor
. That milestone was reached prior to any implementation of the Welfare State, prior to any labor legislation, or any attempt by the government to "manage" the economy. When the "War on Poverty" was launched in 1966 the US poverty rate had declined to 15%. It has not declined further since.
https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/sites/main/ ... ical_0.jpg