Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

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Leontiskos
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Leontiskos »

GE Morton wrote: July 16th, 2022, 12:00 pm...So there is no conflict between entitlements and responsibilities --- since there are no "responsibilities" as Stawrorski (and the early Hegel) conceive them.
I suppose it is also worth pointing out that this is a non sequitur. "We have no communal responsibilities therefore there can be no conflict between entitlements and responsibilities." Prescinding from the falsity of your antecedent, your conditional is also false. Such conflicts can still arise in a "moral" society of the "ethically minimum". This is because citizens can be more prone to claim their own rights or to respect others' rights. I might be more interested in claiming my own right to assemble, or I might be more interested in respecting others' rights to assemble. Similarly someone who is more focused on entitlements than responsibilities will be more prone to, say, claim their own right to privacy or being left alone over and against another's right to assemble, or to speak freely. The OP does not need recourse to Stawrowski's points. Even in the Libertarian State there will be a contrast and possible conflict between entitlements and responsibilities.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by GE Morton »

Leontiskos wrote: July 22nd, 2022, 6:31 pm
GE Morton wrote: July 16th, 2022, 12:00 pm
Leontiskos wrote: July 15th, 2022, 11:12 pmStawrowski of course sees rights and responsibilities as being present in each conceptual political state. The OP is asking about what hinders a turn from entitlements to responsibilities and how such a thing might be accomplished. That both exist does not mean that they are indistinguishable or unable to come into conflict. If we use Stawrowski's models then the state of ethical minimum will be more concerned with individual rights and entitlements, whereas the homogenous state (along with the 'thicker' states which imitate it) will be more concerned with group responsibilities and solidarity.
Yes, I understand the OP's question. I'm claiming that question is misconceived, and relies upon a false premise, namely, the "organic fallacy." Civilized societies are not homogeneous states, and never can be.
You are mistaking a definition for a syllogism. Beyond that, you seem to be afflicted by more factual errors. Do you really believe that no societies throughout history have enjoyed ethical homogeneity?
Oh, no. On the contrary, human societies have been homogenous (more or less) throughout the lion's share of human history. That began to change with the advent of civilization (BTW, I take a "civilized" society to be one characterized by cities --- civitas being the Latin for "city" --- and a city to be a community so large that most of its inhabitants don't know most of the others). That's why I specified civilized societies above. Civilized societies tend to be pluralistic and cosmopolitan, and to become more so as they grow and mature.
Of course we have responsibilities to groups. Taxes are a responsibility to the state and to the society. Military service, civic involvement, and voting are other examples. That the individual citizen has responsibilities to the commonwealth (and vice versa) is political philosophy 101.
Any political philosophy instructor who peddles those platitudes is unqualified for the position. Societies, nor any other human groups, are not moral agents; they have no obligations to anyone and no one has any to them. The only obligations to be found in any society are those of individuals to other individuals. "Society" is nothing more than a group term for a number of interacting individuals. It has no properties (other than statistical ones) not reducible to those of its members. You can generalize about societies (or any other group) of course, but those generalizations are true only if they are true of at least some members of that group. Speaking of societies as though they were moral agents is a category mistake.

The "State" refers to a subset of the individuals in a society (assuming the society is not an anarchy); the subset of lawgivers and the bureaucrats they hire to implement and enforce the laws they enact. One may have legal obligations to the State per decrees those worthies have promulgated, but those per se have no moral significance. They have moral significance only if they codify some duty or constraint having an independent moral justification.
...It is also false to claim that your conception of rights is objective or empirical. Such a notion is based on your equivocation between two different senses of "right," which goes hand in hand with a fudging of the fact-value distinction. The criteria which you deem sufficient for establishing a right are indeed objective, but the value-right does not follow objectively from these criteria.
Huh? What is "value-right"? Is that a term of your own invention? No values are involved in adjudicating rights claims, although there is usually a presumption that a person claiming a right to something places some value on it (if he didn't he probably wouldn't care that his right to it was violated).
Your general strategy is to point to empirical events, call them "rights," and hope that no one notices the equivocation between empirical-"right" and moral-right. Thus even your libertarian conception of rights is premised on "ethical" claims rather than purely "moral" or logical claims.
There is no distinction between an "empirical right" and a "moral right." A "right" denotes an empirical fact with moral significance. If Alfie is the first possessor of a spear, due to his having made it, then he has a right to it. That historical fact (that he made the spear) is empirical. By making it he inflicted no loss or injury on any other moral agent, which endows that empirical fact with moral significance. The term "right" reflects the fact that Alfie acquired the spear righteously, i.e., without inflicting losses or injuries on others.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Leontiskos »

GE Morton wrote: July 22nd, 2022, 7:46 pmSocieties, nor any other human groups, are not moral agents; they have no obligations to anyone and no one has any to them. The only obligations to be found in any society are those of individuals to other individuals. "Society" is nothing more than a group term for a number of interacting individuals.
That is historical, philosophical, and linguistic nonsense all rolled into one. :roll:

The delusional, dogmatic nature of your positions is difficult to fathom. Presumably you have never managed to read anything written prior to the 16th century, nor have you engaged with the thinkers who disagree with your Libertarian Dogmas in any depth. You are apparently an intellectual solipsist, unable to engage with or even conceive of thoughts different from your own (which are pretty much all thoughts, by the way, given that Libertarianism has never been considered a legitimate political philosophy. It is a purely American phenomenon and yet does not even rise to the level of American academia).

So yeah, enjoy your one-man echo chamber. I'm not at all convinced that it is penetrable.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by GE Morton »

Leontiskos wrote: July 22nd, 2022, 6:42 pm "We have no communal responsibilities therefore there can be no conflict between entitlements and responsibilities." Prescinding from the falsity of your antecedent, your conditional is also false. Such conflicts can still arise in a "moral" society of the "ethically minimum". This is because citizens can be more prone to claim their own rights or to respect others' rights. I might be more interested in claiming my own right to assemble, or I might be more interested in respecting others' rights to assemble.
Oh, sure. But preferences and differing interests are not conflicts. There is only a conflict if my right to assemble prevents you from assembling. Your right to assemble doesn't impose any positive duties on me; it only imposes a constraint --- that I not interfere with you.
Similarly someone who is more focused on entitlements than responsibilities will be more prone to, say, claim their own right to privacy or being left alone over and against another's right to assemble, or to speak freely.
That statement makes no sense. You use a comparative, "more prone to claim . . ." then fail to state the other term for comparison. You can't compare Alfie's propensity to claim X with someone else's right to Y. Are you suggesting Alfie's right to privacy may conflict with Bruno's right to speak freely?
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by GE Morton »

Leontiskos wrote: July 22nd, 2022, 8:13 pm
The delusional, dogmatic nature of your positions is difficult to fathom. Presumably you have never managed to read anything written prior to the 16th century, nor have you engaged with the thinkers who disagree with your Libertarian Dogmas in any depth. You are apparently an intellectual solipsist, unable to engage with or even conceive of thoughts different from your own (which are pretty much all thoughts, by the way, given that Libertarianism has never been considered a legitimate political philosophy. It is a purely American phenomenon and yet does not even rise to the level of American academia).
Oh, my. A response consisting of a long string of ad hominems --- a sure sign that cogent rebuttals eluded you, such as pointing out some properties of societies which are not reducible to those of their members, or explaining how one would go about ascertaining the desires, goals, beliefs of a society without determining those of its members. Or explaining what moral significance an alleged "obligation to society" would have that did not entail any obligations to persons (and of course, explaining how such an obligation arose).

You're clearly tightly entangled in the "organic fallacy."
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Leontiskos »

GE Morton wrote: July 22nd, 2022, 8:14 pm
Leontiskos wrote: July 22nd, 2022, 6:42 pm "We have no communal responsibilities therefore there can be no conflict between entitlements and responsibilities." Prescinding from the falsity of your antecedent, your conditional is also false. Such conflicts can still arise in a "moral" society of the "ethically minimum". This is because citizens can be more prone to claim their own rights or to respect others' rights. I might be more interested in claiming my own right to assemble, or I might be more interested in respecting others' rights to assemble.
Oh, sure. But preferences and differing interests are not conflicts. There is only a conflict if my right to assemble prevents you from assembling. Your right to assemble doesn't impose any positive duties on me; it only imposes a constraint --- that I not interfere with you.
You are the one who keeps bringing up this strawman notion of a "conflict." The point of the OP is that there is a distinction between a propensity to claim entitlements and a propensity to consider responsibilities, and that distinction makes a significant societal difference.

Your fixation on "conflict" is a good example of the way that you are an intellectual solipsist, unable to understand and consider ideas and categories other than your own. Thus subtle arguments such as Stawrowski's escape you entirely.
Similarly someone who is more focused on entitlements than responsibilities will be more prone to, say, claim their own right to privacy or being left alone over and against another's right to assemble, or to speak freely.
That statement makes no sense. You use a comparative, "more prone to claim . . ." then fail to state the other term for comparison. You can't compare Alfie's propensity to claim X with someone else's right to Y. Are you suggesting Alfie's right to privacy may conflict with Bruno's right to speak freely?
The English meaning of my statement is, "Similarly someone who is more focused on entitlements than responsibilities is more prone to [x] [than someone who is not more focused on entitlements than responsibilities]." The other term was clearly implied by the first part of the sentence. :roll:
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by GE Morton »

Leontiskos wrote: July 23rd, 2022, 5:14 pm
You are the one who keeps bringing up this strawman notion of a "conflict." The point of the OP is that there is a distinction between a propensity to claim entitlements and a propensity to consider responsibilities, and that distinction makes a significant societal difference.
I think it was you who brought it up: "Again, this is not to the point. Stawrowski of course sees rights and responsibilities as being present in each conceptual political state. The OP is asking about what hinders a turn from entitlements to responsibilities and how such a thing might be accomplished. That both exist does not mean that they are indistinguishable or unable to come into conflict. If we use Stawrowski's models then the state of ethical minimum will be more concerned with individual rights and entitlements, whereas the homogenous state (along with the 'thicker' states which imitate it) will be more concerned with group responsibilities and solidarity."

But I suppose you're right about a differing propensity to assert one own rights vs. respecting others' rights (the latter being the only "responsibilities" agents in a social setting have a priori). A consistently moral person would assert his own rights when necessary, and always respect others' as well.
Your fixation on "conflict" is a good example of the way that you are an intellectual solipsist, unable to understand and consider ideas and categories other than your own. Thus subtle arguments such as Stawrowski's escape you entirely.
Oh, I think we've covered Stawrowski's arguments adequately. There is nothing subtle about them; they're simply misguided, being based on false premises regarding the structure and ontological status of societies. He "reifies" them into moral agents in their own right, with interests, goals, etc., distinct from and superior to those of the individuals comprising them, and proceeds to assume those individuals have "responsibilities" to this superior entity.

A group is any plurality of individuals. It has no properties, other than its cardinality, not reducible to the properties of the individuals who comprise it. A society is a group of animals so situated as to be able to interact, and who do interact, at least occasionally. As with other groups, it has no properties (other than statistical ones) not reducible to properties of its members.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

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It's of course an individual encouragement here, to react a little on the astray here, while individual obligation isn't exclusive traced toward other individuals, which is possible the main problem in times of defusing.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Sy Borg »

Generally, people tend to think more about rights in times of plenty and more about responsibilities when times are hard. When people are doing fine, there is an expectation for the well-to-do not to hoard all the spoils, and when times are hard, people are expected to pitch in and help.

In deeply divided nation like the US, though, there is disagreement as to what constitutes rights or responsibilities. For instance, the terrorists who took over the Capitol on the 6th of January, like all other terrorists, thought it was their responsibility to take extreme action. They would see themselves having the right to break and steal, smear poop or, in some cases, attack.

In less divided nations, the argument tends to be more about levels of contribution or freeloading.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Samana Johann »

It's exactly because the notion of "I have a right" that what ever wrong deeds is conducted, while in no case, wrong (harmful toward others, oneself) is done when in the sphere of gratitude, and recognizing dependency and being given, at first place, good householder.

Wrong view is always the cause of wrong deeds.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by GE Morton »

Sy Borg wrote: August 17th, 2022, 12:33 am
In deeply divided nation like the US, though, there is disagreement as to what constitutes rights or responsibilities. For instance, the terrorists who took over the Capitol on the 6th of January, like all other terrorists, thought it was their responsibility to take extreme action. They would see themselves having the right to break and steal, smear poop or, in some cases, attack.
That is why it is incumbent upon philosophers to elucidate just what a "right" is and is not.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Samana Johann wrote: August 17th, 2022, 12:44 am Wrong view is always the cause of wrong deeds.
I suppose it is, sort of. The problem is:
  • What views would you consider wrong, and what standards would you use to judge them so?
  • What deeds would you consider wrong, and what standards would you use to judge them so?
Unfortunately, this isn't pedantry. Once we try to analyse such things as 'right' and 'wrong', we need to know what it is we're talking about, and what standards we are applying to them...
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Samana Johann »

Pattern-chaser wrote: August 17th, 2022, 1:08 pm
Samana Johann wrote: August 17th, 2022, 12:44 am Wrong view is always the cause of wrong deeds.
I suppose it is, sort of. The problem is:
  • What views would you consider wrong, and what standards would you use to judge them so?
  • What deeds would you consider wrong, and what standards would you use to judge them so?
Unfortunately, this isn't pedantry. Once we try to analyse such things as 'right' and 'wrong', we need to know what it is we're talking about, and what standards we are applying to them...
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There is right view, conductive for welfare and prosperty, as the base of harmlessness in deeds by words and speech, recognizing goodness, dependency and sublimity:
'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.'
leading to good resolve
He does not covet the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears no ill will and is not corrupt in the resolves of his heart.
and avoids the 3 wrong actions by body and 4 wrong actions by
There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man.

There is the case where a certain person, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech. When he has been called to a town meeting, a group meeting, a gathering of his relatives, his guild, or of the royalty, if he is asked as a witness, 'Come & tell, good man, what you know': If he doesn't know, he says, 'I don't know.' If he does know, he says, 'I know.' If he hasn't seen, he says, 'I haven't seen.' If he has seen, he says, 'I have seen.' Thus he doesn't consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward. Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord. Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large. Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, & the Vinaya (teaching&conduct). He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal (peace).
And as for wrong, such is based on wrong view
'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.'
giving base for thinking in ways of demand and rights:
There is the case where a certain person is covetous. He covets the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears ill will, corrupt in the resolves of his heart: 'May these beings be killed or cut apart or crushed or destroyed, or may they not exist at all!'
And acting opposite to avoiding wrong 3 bodily, 4 deeds by speech.
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Re: Turning from 'rights' to 'duties': What hinders to think so?

Post by Sy Borg »

GE Morton wrote: August 17th, 2022, 12:22 pm
Sy Borg wrote: August 17th, 2022, 12:33 am
In deeply divided nation like the US, though, there is disagreement as to what constitutes rights or responsibilities. For instance, the terrorists who took over the Capitol on the 6th of January, like all other terrorists, thought it was their responsibility to take extreme action. They would see themselves having the right to break and steal, smear poop or, in some cases, attack.
That is why it is incumbent upon philosophers to elucidate just what a "right" is and is not.
Do you think anyone will listen? After all, philosophers are seen as "elites", like scientists, and are therefore widely distrusted. Many would also describe philosophy as pure bovine excrement. It would be nice if it wasn't so but, to use everyone's favourite phrase (haha), it is what it is.
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