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rights revisited

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Fooloso4
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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 7th, 2018, 11:41 am

Steve3007:
I think that, in actual fact, natural rights are also given by humans - by the act of humans claiming that they're given by Nature.
I think there must be some form of acknowledgement or agreement or consent that people deserve to be treated in a certain way. I have some reservations about describing this as giving people rights, but I think we are in agreement.
I don't have in-depth knowledge of Hobbes. But I think it was this general notion of putting politics on the same footing as (classical "Newtonian") science that I was talking about before.
Both Hobbes and Newton were part of the “scientific revolution”. Hobbes described a “mechanical philosophy” in Leviathan (1651). Newton’s Principia was published in (1687).
I've read that some scholars dispute the traditional view that Locke's emphasis on the right to life, liberty and property is the basis for the US Constitution. What do you think?
I think it was an influence, but the claim that it was the basis is overstating the point. Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and the Bible also influenced the founders, as did others. Adams and others thought the Bible was necessary not for the framing of the law but as a source of morality, a free people must behave.

As I understand it, one of the objections to moral and cultural relativism is that it supposedly reduces people's ability to claim that their view is the right one.

We are in agreement on this as well. What all forms of relativism have in common is a rejection of eternal, absolute, universal, invariant, apodictic moral standards. This does not mean we have to abandon notions of right and wrong, good and bad, but simply that we have no way of determining them objectively.

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Hereandnow
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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 7th, 2018, 1:11 pm

Dachshund:
It is very easy to pigeon-hole Trump, to reduce him to a crude stereotype - a two-dimensional cartoon caricature like Wall Street's "Gordon Geko" or the Simpson's "Mr Burns" i.e.... "Trump the greedy, obscenely wealthy, New York venture capitalist" ; "Trump: the vulgar materialist; the soulless philistine; the arrogant narcissist; the nasty, mean-spirited reactionary; the school- yard bully" and so on. I mean yes, its true, he is certainly no angel:- boisterous, boastful, obnoxious, rude, conceited, Trump is, in many ways, the archtypal "Ugly American". But I think one of the big mistakes that Trump's critics make is to automatically presume that because he is an offensive, rough-edged "Ugly American" Donald Trump is therefore necessarily a wicked ( i.e. morally bad) man.
It dawns on me: you don't actually live in the US. I can tell, because if you did, you would not think that the torrents of outrage that is waged against him daily, hourly,is grounded in a stereotype. Do you pay any attention at all to the things he says, the policies he endorses; are you aware he called for torturing the families of suspected terrorists? Carpet bombing the Middle East? Muzzling the press? Are you at all aware of anything that this man is about beyond the suspicion of some clownish image, undeserved because you haven't taken the time to see for yourself? It is not a BLOODY @#$%%#$#"AUTOMATIC PRESUMPTION".......sorry; I have to calm down. No Dachshund, it is not a storybook vilification and Donald Trump is as abominable as a screaming missile on a collision course with Seoul. (Have you not read about this??)
I do not think Trump is a bad man. In fact, I think he is a remarkably virtuous human being,
See the above. I suspect you have had a stroke and have forgotten the meaning of the word 'virtuous'. No other explanation.
because he insists on speaking what he believes to be the Truth, and for a man in his position - the leader of the free world -
And if I believe and speak in full candor that this village that lay before me should either yield to my command or be cut to shreds (think Genghis Khan) every one, I am virtuous?
that demands extraordinary personal integrity and great moral courage. Whenever I listen to Trump I am confident that what I hear coming out of his mouth is what he sincerely and honestly thinks; I think to myself: "This guy "rings true", he is a "straight-shooter"; I may not like of what he has to say about "X" or "Y" , but I always respect him for being upfront and forthright - for having the guts to stand up and "call 'em as he sees 'em" - on the big issues that really matter. By doing this he demonstrates, IMO, a very genuine respect for the American people, and I would far rather have a plain-spoken, brutally honest man like Trump in the White House than an eloquent, though inherently suspect "Creeping Jesus" like Barak Obama.
This thinking is insane! You approve of Trump because calls them as he sees them?Regardless of what the call actually is? Being in power is ALL about policy, it's all about on what documents the signature is put. But the galling irony is that Trump is a liar, a cheat, knock down drag out stupid, a liar; did I mention he lies? An opportunist, a misogynist, a hypocrite, a racist and white supremacist (ironic, given those who believe in the purity of the race are among least intelligent. Just go to one of their rallies, or Trump's). He is immoral, or ammoral, the latter sounds apt because the prefix 'a' suggests too ignorant to know the difference between one and the other (recall his response to the disaster in Puerto Rico where he tossed a roll of paper towels into the crowd...oh wait: you can't recall, because you don't pay attention); childlike, unread, addicted to TV, cruel, altogether lacking in any grace in manner or speech, rude, as in the way he shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of his way' pushing his way to the front, lacking all ability to manage affairs with competence....I mean, Read Bob Woodward's bloody book!

Dachshund: It's as if you don't know anything at all about what is happening in the US
"... people have always asked me if I'll ever be involved in politics. It seems every so often there's some unfounded rumor that I'm considering seeking office - sometimes even the Presidency ! The problem is, I think I'm too honest, and perhaps too controversial, to be a politician. I always say it like it is, and I not sure a politician can do that... honesty causes controversy (so) I probably would not be a very good politician".
Who cares.
"I have a reputation for being tough and I like to think its justified. Toughness, as I see it is a quality made up of equal parts of (moral) strength, intelligence and self-respect....The opposite of toughness - weakness - makes me mad and sometimes turns my stomach. I'm not referring here to the kind of weakness that comes from being poor, sick or disadvantaged ( nb: HAN). I talking about those people who CAN take a strong stand, but [/b]just don't... Toughness is pride, drive, commitment, and the courage to follow through on things you believe in, even when they are under attack. It's solving problems instead of letting them fester. It's being who you really are even when society wants you to be something else. Toughness is walking away from the things you want, because for one reason or another acquiring them doesn't make sense...Toughness means playing by the rules, but also putting those rules to work for you...It is looking at an adversary across the desk and saying, simply, No."

I think in these few passages - in this little handful of words - we find, condensed and crystallised, one of the most profound and truthful understandings of what it means for a human being to act in a manner which is morally good/right, that has ever been uttered.

What do you think, HAN ?
I think you need to read Mein Kamp. Very, very sincere. Tough! A strong stand, he takes, does he not? You cannot be that naive. I am not being combative, here Dachshund. You don't know anything about this man. Everything you admire in a human being is absent in Donald Trump.

People who take a strong stand? We all admire leadership qualities, and if that were the criterion set before us exclusively, then I would have to say that Trump is totally, unequivocally, unreservedly without merit. If we include general virtues, then he is off the charts deplorable.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Dachshund » September 7th, 2018, 1:33 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
September 7th, 2018, 11:41 am


We are in agreement on this as well. What all forms of relativism have in common is a rejection of eternal, absolute, universal, invariant, apodictic moral standards. This does not mean we have to abandon notions of right and wrong, good and bad, but simply that we have no way of determining them objectively.
I t seems to me that moral evil is very real, that is, the intentional perpetration by human beings of actions that are absolutely, eternally, objectively and apodictically wrong is a reality.

To give an example, during the second world war, Jewish prisoners incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps, like Auschwitz suffered terribly at the hands of SS guards. In many cases extreme forms of physical and psychological torture were intentionally inflicted upon them not merely to have them experience unspeakable degrees of suffering for its own sake , but indeed for the amusement/entertainment of their tormentors.

The way I see it, the position of a moral relativist like yourself ultimately boils down to arguing that it is perfectly conceivable - that it is reasonable to believe -; that it is eminently plausible certain circumstances could actually exist on this planet,...that certain states of affairs could really obtain in this world within which the kind of diabolical behaviour of the Nazi camp guards I have referred to above could be properly justified. Or, to put it in other words, there could - in your opinion - indeed exit in reality, certain social/cultural/political contexts within which the conduct of the SS guards I refer to ( the majority of whom, BTW, were rational, adult individuals,i.e; ordinary, "normal" German men who were not afflicted with any severe psychiatric disorder that could be said to have rendered them legally insane) could be deemed permissible and that it would , moreover, be incorrect, as a matter of fact, to state that the way they treated their Jewish captives in places like Auschwitz was appallingly and genuinely horrifically wicked and ought never have been allowed to occur.

I totally and emphatically disagree. The moral evil that was untethered in Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz was all too REAL. What happened in these places was absolutely, eternally, objectively,and apodictically WRONG. A real obligation, a real duty existed NOT to treat human beings in the way the SS did in these camps. This moral obligation - this unconditional duty - was something , I believe, that was divinely-ordained, and it was in Hell-holes like Auschwitz knowingly, deliberately and willfully breached.

Regards

Dachshund

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Eduk » September 7th, 2018, 1:52 pm

Daschund do you ever tire of trolling?
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Dachshund » September 7th, 2018, 2:07 pm

What exactly do you mean, Eduk?

Fooloso4
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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 7th, 2018, 3:47 pm

Dachshund:
The way I see it, the position of a moral relativist like yourself ultimately boils down to arguing that it is perfectly conceivable - that it is reasonable to believe -; that it is eminently plausible certain circumstances could actually exist on this planet,...that certain states of affairs could really obtain in this world within which the kind of diabolical behaviour of the Nazi camp guards I have referred to above could be properly justified.
It is not only conceivable it actually happened. Do you think that those who perpetrated these atrocities did not think they were justified? By what demonstration could you prove to them that they were wrong? Many if not most believed that they were good Christians.

You have missed the point of the form of relativism I hold. As I explained in an earlier post, justification is based on a system or collection of standards that are not justified but are the standard by which something is justified. If one holds that Jews are an inferior race, one that poses a danger to the “master race”, then one may think it not only justified but necessary to exterminate them. It is not a big step from talk of the master race to your own talk of “the broader culture of Christian Europe”. And we already have some idea of what you think is morally permissible in accord with this standard. Just how far you will go remains to be seen.
A real obligation, a real duty existed NOT to treat human beings in the way the SS did in these camps. This moral obligation - this unconditional duty - was something , I believe, that was divinely-ordained, and it was in Hell-holes like Auschwitz knowingly, deliberately and willfully breached.
But as I said, many if not most were Christians. They may well have believed that what they were doing was divinely-ordained just as Christians have done to Jews for much of its history, believing that the Jews are responsible for killing Christ and were the devil incarnate.

It is evident that you do not understand what apodictic means. When you assert that you believe moral obligations are divinely-ordained you are not demonstrating a truth that is logically necessary. I agree with you that what the Nazis did was wrong, but this in an assertoric rather than apodictic claim. It is obviously not based on an eternal, absolute, universal, or invariant moral standard. If it were then the Holocaust would not have happened because, as you acknowledged, the guards were “normal” rational adults. A normal rational adult recognizes what is apodictically true. I do not think they put their morality aside, although it is hard to imagine that at least a few of them were troubled by what they were doing, just as someone working in a slaughterhouse may be troubled but not conclude it is immoral. It may be that future generations think we are all complicit in what they see as the immorality of killing animals for food and clothing and furniture.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 7th, 2018, 4:06 pm

Dachshund:What exactly do you mean, Eduk?
Eduk no doubt detects something rotten in the state of in Denmark: Nobody both reasons as superfluously and off point as you do and remains genuine.
And Eduk is right. I've been, what is the expression? "Punked".

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Steve3007 » September 7th, 2018, 4:57 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:If one holds that Jews are an inferior race, one that poses a danger to the “master race”, then one may think it not only justified but necessary to exterminate them. It is not a big step from talk of the master race to your own talk of “the broader culture of Christian Europe”. And we already have some idea of what you think is morally permissible in accord with this standard. Just how far you will go remains to be seen.
Indeed we do have some idea. And it only just remains to be seen. Fairly little is left to the imagination.

viewtopic.php?p=313950#p313950

This, I think, is the tragedy of Dachshund: that he apparently really can't see the similarity between his own blanket vitriol against entire groups of people (and the things he consequently endorses doing to those entire groups of people) and the collective demonizing that drives the actions of people as diverse as suicide bombers killing kids at rock concerts and Nazi concentration camp guards. The banality of evil, indeed.

Hereandnow wrote:Nobody both reasons as superfluously and off point as you do and remains genuine. And Eduk is right. I've been, what is the expression? "Punked".
The idea that it's an elaborate joke - that he is playing a part - is something that occurred to me not long after he first came here.

viewtopic.php?p=301604#p301604

But after several months I've come to the conclusion that he is no troll. I think he genuinely believes what he says, possibly including the things that contradict the other things he says.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 7th, 2018, 6:34 pm

Steve3007:
Indeed we do have some idea.
I actually had less of an idea prior to the links you have been providing. I now see I had given him far too much credit. The veneer of rational thought is even thinner than I suspected. This helps explain why when it is pointed out that his claims are contradictory or at odds with his own sources he skips over it. The problem is compounded when one is convinced that his xenophobia is ordained by God.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Dachshund » September 8th, 2018, 1:29 am

[quote=Dachshund post_id=319173 time=1536341582 user_id=47763


We are in agreement on this as well. What all forms of relativism have in common is a rejection of eternal, absolute, universal, invariant, apodictic moral standards. This does not mean we have to abandon notions of right and wrong, good and bad, but simply that we have no way of determining them objectively.
[/quote]






Fooloso4,

I am still not happy with your claim that objective moral categories do not exist- that they are not bone fide components of reality.

Let me put an objection I have to your claim as follows...

To begin with, I believe that we live in a moral universe, and I define the term "moral universe" as being a universe in which absolute,objective moral categories do exist.

You deny this. Your position is that we live in an amoral universe, that is one where absolute, objective moral categories do NOT exist.

If you said to me, " Look Dachshund, I tell you that there are no such things as absolute, objective moral values and duties in our universe ! (And) there is, - moreover -, nothing logically incoherent in what I have just stated. My concept of an amoral universe is not logically self-refuting - you can't deny it."

I would say to you , "Yes, I agree, Fooloso4, the concept of an amoral universe is not logically self-refuting, HOWEVER, is it existentially self-refuting !"

FOOLOSO4 : What do you mean by existentially self-refuting ? (!)

DACHSHUND: What I mean, young man, is that if it is true we live in an amoral universe, one that is entirely devoid of any absolute, objective moral values and duties, then we have a big problem on our hands !"

FOOLOSO4: What big problem ? !

DACHSHUND: The big problem that arises when one attempts to describe how one should live in such a universe ! For the instant one makes makes such an attempt, they have invalidated the entire concept. In an amoral universe, "how one should live - i.e. how one should act out one's life" is meaningless ! No standard exists to describe how one should live ! As you have pointed out, we human beings are social animals ?

FOOLOSO4: True.

DACHSHUND: Well, because we are social animals, we must interact with others right ? (And) living in your amoral universe we would find ourselves in the dilemma of having to act, but, not knowing how to act, because ,as I just explained to you (above), in an amoral universe, "how one should live - i.e. how one should act out their lives is meaningless !"

FOOLOSO4: "Good Heavens - you're right, Dachshund !" I stand corrected - well done, old man !

DACHSHUND: Elenentary, by dear Fool, elementary... :wink: :wink: :wink:



Kindest Regards


Dachshund

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Re: rights revisited

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 8th, 2018, 5:58 am

"DACHSHUND: The big problem that arises when one attempts to describe how one should live in such a universe ! For the instant one makes makes such an attempt, they have invalidated the entire concept. In an amoral universe, "how one should live - i.e. how one should act out one's life" is meaningless ! No standard exists to describe how one should live ! As you have pointed out, we human beings are social animals ?"

Well duh. This is where you go wrong.
The existence of humanly defined, reproduced, and codified morals does in no way invalidate a claim that the universe is amoral.
It simply means that humans create and impose morality on their fellow humans.
In a amoral universe humans simply generate and invent their own answers in how to live. And it is empirically obvious that different groups have decided upon their own answers since time immemorial.
And in an amoral universe we are 'free' to figure this all out without help from megalomaniacs, be they divine or otherwise.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 8th, 2018, 5:59 am

There is only a problem for dictators and idiots.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 8th, 2018, 8:44 am

Dachshund, read what you quoted instead of making up an inane dialogue and you will have your answer.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 8th, 2018, 9:57 am

Dachshund:
Or, to put it in other words, there could - in your opinion - indeed exit in reality, certain social/cultural/political contexts within which the conduct of the SS guards I refer to ( the majority of whom, BTW, were rational, adult individuals,i.e; ordinary, "normal" German men who were not afflicted with any severe psychiatric disorder that could be said to have rendered them legally insane) could be deemed permissible and that it would , moreover, be incorrect, as a matter of fact, to state that the way they treated their Jewish captives in places like Auschwitz was appallingly and genuinely horrifically wicked and ought never have been allowed to occur.
No. It means that any moral conditions you could lay down have no grounding absolutely. That is all it means. It does not mean that there could be such a place where the bad behavior you describe is fine and dandy absolutely. It says that if such a judgment of fine and dandy issues from anywhere, it would come from some contingent set of finite and nonapodictic standards of judgment.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Steve3007 » September 11th, 2018, 9:20 am

Hereandnow wrote:But the galling irony is that Trump is a liar, a cheat, knock down drag out stupid, a liar; did I mention he lies?
I know the list of lies that Trump tells is huge and growing by the day, so I won't labour this point. But I did find one of the recent ones particularly funny. In a tweet yesterday he said:
Donald Trump wrote:“President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,” stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! We have just begun."
Obama never said that and the funny thing is that Trump then tweeted a video which was presumably supposed to demonstrate it, but actually demonstrated that it wasn't true. Since US GDP growth actually did go above 4.2% under Obama, it's doubly funny.

Even giving him a massive, massive amount of benefit of the doubt it does seem, from the things he says, that Trump is absolutely economically illiterate and gets confused over basics like whether a strong dollar is generally good or bad for exports. (I think his minders have got him to remember that one now). If the "adults in the room" (as the administration insider who wrote the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed called them) ever fail to keep him in check the US economy might be in for some interesting times. But for now it's on a sugar high.

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