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rights revisited

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Burning ghost
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Re: rights revisited

Post by Burning ghost » September 3rd, 2018, 11:11 am

Eduk wrote:
September 3rd, 2018, 10:23 am
I wasn’t arguing for anything. H&N had a disagreement with Sausage Dog. I was trying to understand what it was because at the base they seemed to be saying the same thing.
Sorry you seemed adamant it wasn't about race. How do you know this? Could it be about race? Could it be about something other than what is being directly said? Perhaps that is why what is being said makes no sense? Could it be to do with not doing all that great at life?
Because we’re talking about human rights, not the rights of different groups of people (however you choose to categorise them - ethnicity, class, religion ...)

If Sausage Dog has some racist agenda I don’t much care for it. I am not going to assume everything he says is based on some such agenda though because I’d rather stick to what he is saying here (I’m not sure what that is until he replies to me, which he might not.)
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Re: rights revisited

Post by Eduk » September 3rd, 2018, 11:17 am

Because we’re talking about human rights, not the rights of different groups of people
However he himself assumes he is in a strong position (which personally I disagree with). So for example if slavery is fine then I imagine he sees himself as the slave owner and not the slave.
I am not going to assume everything he says is based on some such agenda though because I’d rather stick to what he is saying here
I too have repeatedly asked for clarity. But at the same time I have to go on what has been said. Some assumptions (even though they be assumptions) are safer than others. For example I assume you have two eyes, two legs and two arms. Of course I could be wrong.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 3rd, 2018, 2:31 pm

BG:
From the self interest of the strongest. To help yourself you necessarily have to learn to help others. Empathy is the natural disposition of humans. We understand to some degree the plight of those suffering.

Utopian ideals are just that. Too often the path to some ideal leads down darker avenues then expected. Caution is not a terrible remedy.
Regarding the self interest of the strongest: Pls note that, first, the consequences of such foundation for compassionate behavior are what Marx predicted they would be: A minimum regards, at best. Consider what it means to think like this: you are strong, perhaps you inherited great wealth, perhaps you have strong rhetorical skills, a great memory, who knows. If ALL that guides your hand is self interest, where is the motivation pursue any agenda that does not exploit the lesser endowed for the purpose of maximizing your self interest? If you can lie, cheat, undereducate, in short do anything that reduces a human being what is serviceable for you, where will this go? Ingnorance comes to mind: a proper denial of education (should ring a bell. Marco Rubio famously stated that we need more plumbers that philosophers) keeps resistance to your ego megalomania low. Subsistence wages come to mind: Ignorant people settle for less and fall for the most specious reasoning to defend it (what's good for GM is good for America)
Lots more on this.
Empathy is natural???? In some it is, in some it is not. In conservative, there is a decided lack of empathy.
The basic human condition is not a basic human right. What is is. Human rights legislation is a attempt to set a global goal, it’s patronizing, superficial and makes people feel like they are entitled to certain treatment regardless of their behavior.
I don't follow this. the condition is not a right? Do you mean, the basic human endowments when they are brought into the world to family and intellect and talent are not sufficient to produce rights? I don't think so, but needs clarity.

Human rights legislation: patronizing? how so? superficial? Depends on the given case. It can be both, but need not be either at all. Are you referring to failed attempts to perfectly realize human rights? You can't look at the way things turn out in failed real attempts in actual practical complex situations, and infer from this that the idea itself is a bad one, as if any attempt to find your wallet fails and so you conclude people just should try to look for their lost wallets. But perhaps it is just the idea itself. Forget the globalism you mention, You think anyone who tries impose human rights into a system of government "makes people feel they are entitled" when they are not. It can, of course, anything can fail. So what?

The point is missed in all this: it is not about what can go wrong, it is a matter of whether one can successfully argue that there are such things as human rights at all. Keep it a secret if you think things will go badly afterward, if governments' attempts to realize equal rights inevitably make things worse, then the argument to refrain from putting in action is another affair altogether.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 3rd, 2018, 2:48 pm

fooloso4:
This is not a popular idea as long as the majority is able to earn a living wage, pay medical expenses, pay for college, and have some free time. But there is a growing income disparity. It may reach the tipping point
I fear a crisis in in the horizon. The fascists are on the move, and they have some real talent working for them. Fortunately, the overall cultural momentum as well as the numbers of subscribers, is on the side of the progressive and these "deplorable" people will, as it was in the 60's, be brought kicking and screaming to do the right thing.

But then, the worst is yet to come.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 3rd, 2018, 3:39 pm

There is another aspect of the question of rights - positive versus negative rights. Does one, for example, have the right to healthcare or are rights limited to noninterference?


Since I have asked some questions I will answer them.

We are by nature social animals. Not only does our biology make us fit to live in society, it promotes social life. Empathy and care are innate (although there may be some exceptions). but need to be cultivated, to keep the weeds from choking them out. In addition, we are cultural, rational, and deliberative animals. We do not give up freedom and autonomy in order to live in society. The concepts of freedom and autonomy develop within the cultural structures, constraints, concepts, and values of society. We are not first and foremost individuals or social atoms acting out of self-interest who give up a degree of our freedom and autonomy in order to have them protected by the group or society.

What is good for me or you is not distinct from what is good for us. We must strike a balance between freedoms, obligations, and benefits. But this is something that must be done in practice, a kind of social experiment that is prudent, judicious, self-correcting,and never ending. This is not a prescription for what we should do but rather a description of what is being done to varying degrees throughout the world. The founding of the United States is said to have been a social experiment, one which some are quick to pronounce a failed experiment. In any case, the institution of any policy is to a more moderate degree a social experiment, and there are always unseen consequences.

My self-interest, narrowly and myoptically construed, may be in conflict with the interests of society, but when looked at from a higher perspective my interest, to take an issue from current events, in environmental deregulation and the benefits I receive from cheaper operating costs does not balance the costs to the environment and others. But neocon rhetoric has framed it in terms of freedom and rights and has tied it to the elimination of government interference, as if this trumps the rights of others to be protected from my harmful activities. If I live long enough to see the consequences of what from the short view looked like benefits will be seen to have not been in my own self-interest. A self-corrective, even though the route may not be straight or quick.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Burning ghost » September 3rd, 2018, 3:59 pm

H&N -

Empathy is innate. The double edged sword is knowing the pain you feel can be brought to bear on others.

When the UN is the kind of orgaisation that sits idle whilst knowing millions are being slaughtered in Rwanda and doing nothing to prevent this have the audacity to set out Human Rights I do find a little hard to swallow. It is not like it’s a one off ... Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Bosnia spring to mind.

The “Peacekeepers” weren’t brought to trial for the deaths of millions and it is not like they didn’t know what was going to happen, weren’t aware of what was happening, and were unable to step in. They chose not to act, to refuse to back up promises of help and only in some circumstances where soldiers on the ground could see what was happening and refused to obey orders from above were lives saved.

So yeah, I find it patronizing for an organisation like that to speak anout how to act and I find it superficial - looks good, but does little to nothing.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t think the entire enterprise is pointless. I think it’s just going through infancy and given that there is no general cohesion it is hardly surprising that it cannot even act in regard to it’s own set ideals. I don’t think some nations should be allowed in the UN in a full capacity, but at the same time I can understand the possible future value in taking such a risk.

Those who construe all conservative values as havaing “a decided lack fo empathy” are either lying or deranged.

The problems in the western world regarding disparity in income is largely due to the third world rising up (poverty in the west is not a big deal.) Globally this “disparity” has actually reduced. So why the doom and gloom? The over all picture for global income distribution has been increasing, but it started to fall inthe 1980’s and has continued to do so.
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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 3rd, 2018, 4:46 pm

fooloso4
We are by nature social animals. Not only does our biology make us fit to live in society, it promotes social life. Empathy and care are innate (although there may be some exceptions). but need to be cultivated, to keep the weeds from choking them out. In addition, we are cultural, rational, and deliberative animals. We do not give up freedom and autonomy in order to live in society. The concepts of freedom and autonomy develop within the cultural structures, constraints, concepts, and values of society. We are not first and foremost individuals or social atoms acting out of self-interest who give up a degree of our freedom and autonomy in order to have them protected by the group or society.

What is good for me or you is not distinct from what is good for us. We must strike a balance between freedoms, obligations, and benefits. But this is something that must be done in practice, a kind of social experiment that is prudent, judicious, self-correcting,and never ending. This is not a prescription for what we should do but rather a description of what is being done to varying degrees throughout the world. The founding of the United States is said to have been a social experiment, one which some are quick to pronounce a failed experiment. In any case, the institution of any policy is to a more moderate degree a social experiment, and there are always unseen consequences.

My self-interest, narrowly and myoptically construed, may be in conflict with the interests of society, but when looked at from a higher perspective my interest, to take an issue from current events, in environmental deregulation and the benefits I receive from cheaper operating costs does not balance the costs to the environment and others. But neocon rhetoric has framed it in terms of freedom and rights and has tied it to the elimination of government interference, as if this trumps the rights of others to be protected from my harmful activities. If I live long enough to see the consequences of what from the short view looked like benefits will be seen to have not been in my own self-interest. A self-corrective, even though the route may not be straight or quick.
Just a couple of comments to add:
I think there is an inverse proportion between wealth and empathy, generally speaking. We may be social creatures by nature, but what values are front and center varies an awful lot. Go to a meeting of wealthy business types and it becomes clear very soon that the word empathy is not in their vocabulary. They think it is a fiction invented by liberals who resent their wealth. Very Nietzschean. I am sure they have a great deal of empathy for their family and friend, though.
I don't think social contract theory is about reality, but it is a device to help us identify what is essential and valid in a society,w hat justifies its existence.

Striking a balance is in the progressive tense. And that is why it is right, I think. Nothing worse than a dogmatically obsessed conservative OR liberal...but especially a conservative.

Neocon rhetoric sends chills down the spine.Takes greed or ignorance to buy it,which is why I think philosophy should be taught starting in middle school. People need to know HOW to think, they need to be taught how to argue early on. Kant in his What is Enlightenment wrote:

Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet, and so on--then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 3rd, 2018, 5:23 pm

H&N:
I think there is an inverse proportion between wealth and empathy, generally speaking.
I’m not so sure. See, for example, "How Tech Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Philanthropy":

https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/ ... hropy.aspx
I don't think social contract theory is about reality, but it is a device to help us identify what is essential and valid in a society,w hat justifies its existence.
I think that there was an element of rhetoric involved, intended to undermine the then current political and religious authorities and put society on a new footing. The idea of social atomism, however, became so widely accepted that most today do not even think to question it.
Kant in his What is Enlightenment wrote …
Early on in the first iteration of this topic Dachshund identified Kant as the enemy.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 3rd, 2018, 5:51 pm

BG:
mpathy is innate. The double edged sword is knowing the pain you feel can be brought to bear on others.
In most, yes. Then there are those Nazis who enjoyed their work...
When the UN is the kind of orgaisation that sits idle whilst knowing millions are being slaughtered in Rwanda and doing nothing to prevent this have the audacity to set out Human Rights I do find a little hard to swallow. It is not like it’s a one off ... Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Bosnia spring to mind
.

But of course this is infuriating. But it simply doesn't follow that there are no such things as human rights. The truely interesting question is, what IS a right at all? How can we even approach the question? I think the couple of things I threw out there were essentially the way to go. It is not exhaustive, but essentially, right.
The “Peacekeepers” weren’t brought to trial for the deaths of millions and it is not like they didn’t know what was going to happen, weren’t aware of what was happening, and were unable to step in. They chose not to act, to refuse to back up promises of help and only in some circumstances where soldiers on the ground could see what was happening and refused to obey orders from above were lives saved.

So yeah, I find it patronizing for an organisation like that to speak anout how to act and I find it superficial - looks good, but does little to nothing.

I don't disagree with this.


Those who construe all conservative values as havaing “a decided lack fo empathy” are either lying or deranged.
Proof is in the pudding. It's not about conservatives qua parents, qua being human and therefore endowed with some innate empathy; it's about conservatives qua conservatives: what they vote for, will into policy., and the tax cuts they vote for translates directly into diminished spending for programs the help the least advantaged. Conservatives fight tooth and nail annihilate such programs. They salivate at the mere mention.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 4th, 2018, 11:22 am

fooloso4
I’m not so sure. See, for example, "How Tech Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Philanthropy":
The article is heart warming, truly. This makes me think of what it could be like if the Zuckerbergs and Gates of the world realize that it is their best interest to be philanthropic, and this kind of thinking is what is behind the largely unspoken narrative of conservative "altruism", unspoken because i never hear them talk about it. If they did more of this, they could perhaps make a better case for their insistence that government governs best when it governs least. In the long run, I agree with this, but at present, emphatically no. Because, o n the other hand, this kind reasoning gives encouragement to the hyper wealthy that "giving at the office" through the effectiveness of their business' offerings to the world justifies their right to have their wealth. Self interest is not selfishness, but it does become so through rationalization. Just look at the Kushners and what they say. Dreadful people, and they are not at all isolated.
Early on in the first iteration of this topic Dachshund identified Kant as the enemy.
I noticed he ran away. It is not because he didn't have the fortitude to argue through. It was because he was flat out wrong. He's an educated person and he knows this, yet he continues.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Burning ghost » September 4th, 2018, 12:01 pm

H&N -

Bill Gates? Explain.
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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 4th, 2018, 12:16 pm

H&N:
Self interest is not selfishness, but it does become so through rationalization.
Good point.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by MrE » September 4th, 2018, 12:40 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 2:29 pm
MrE
Need you to define what you mean by "natural rights" and "justification".
A natural right is one that is not contrived but part of the conditions handed to us by, if you like, nature. We are all different in our "natural" endowments, for example. Equal rights is what is left when the basis for unequal rights is undone, for all are equal when no one is unequal. Justification: S is justified to have a right to something if S deserves it (otherwise the right is simply pragmatic and arbitrary). How do we measure desert when the only visible evidence is the deeds one does, and these are bound up with given virtues and vices that have no apparent justification at all to the having. The only way would be to resort of metaphysics, and this would be no grounding at all, a fiction.
Still not sure that I understand what you are trying to get across. Rights as I understand them are given or provided by the law of the society you live in, not nature. Nature does not give you rights to anything. Justification for your rights is also provided by the law. Outside of the law justification for anything is purely subjective and a matter of individual opinion.

Maybe a realistic example would better illustrate the point you are trying to make.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Hereandnow » September 4th, 2018, 1:46 pm

It is, BG, simply true that Bill Gates has a lot of money and he made it through investment and business. He does good things, no doubt, but they are not commensurate with his wealth (though I heard he intends to in the future, at which time I will give him credit). Anyway, is it just "good business" to do good things, in terms of public perception and taxes? No matter, the point above is that he mixes success and self interest with altruism. It's a step in the right direction, though self interest is not enough. Wasn't enough for Adam Smith.

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Re: rights revisited

Post by Fooloso4 » September 4th, 2018, 2:58 pm

MrE:
Rights as I understand them are given or provided by the law of the society you live in, not nature.
Suppose a legislature passes a law that some group will not be given any rights, thus they have no right to defend themselves or to be defended by the government against having their property and even their lives taken from them. Since they have no right to defend themselves they could be prosecuted under the law for their defensive actions.
Nature does not give you rights to anything.
I think that most who defend some version of natural rights would agree. Having rights does not mean that they are given. It is not necessary to give someone something he or she already has.
Justification for your rights is also provided by the law.
The problem with this is that whatever is by law is justified because it is the law. In that case, there could be no such thing as an unjust law.
Outside of the law justification for anything is purely subjective and a matter of individual opinion.
Is the making of law purely subjective and a matter of individual opinion?

If all is a matter of what is purely subjective and a matter of individual opinion then what do ethics and justice mean? Are all opinions equal? If so, then even though I can be constrained or prosecuted by the law, whatever I do, no matter what others may think, is morally permissible as long as that is my purely subjective individual opinion.

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