The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Discuss morality and ethics in this message board.
Featured Article: Philosophical Analysis of Abortion, The Right to Life, and Murder
User avatar
ktz
Posts: 166
Joined: November 9th, 2018, 12:21 am
Favorite Philosopher: Habermas

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by ktz » November 29th, 2018, 11:23 pm

Alias wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 8:01 pm
It is. And yet every society manages it somehow. When the numbers are small enough for everyone to be familiar with everyone else, it's as easy - as instinctive, i guess - as it is for a pack of coyotes or mob of meerkats. When a society is stable for a long time, it can rely on tradition, which changes so gradually as not to cause conflict. When a society is large and diverse, we have to rely on law and common sense, which causes a lot of problems.
Law, common sense, and cultural brainwashing via media channels for now. But the mechanisms to tackle this problem of societal management are getting more and more frightening, in my view. For example, did you hear about China's 2020 initiative for social credit score?

https://www.businessinsider.com/china-s ... ned-2018-4

Orwell comes a little closer each passing day, I suppose.
You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.

Alias
Posts: 2704
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Alias » November 29th, 2018, 11:34 pm

Common sense is taking quite a beating lately.
I suppose we're simply too many, too crowded and too crazy to manage anymore.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Eduk » November 30th, 2018, 4:50 am

Well conflict in the face of bad practice is better than conformity to bad practice. Overall.
Unknown means unknown.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Eduk » November 30th, 2018, 4:52 am

Ktz Orwell was never writing about the future. 1984 was written in 1948, the title is a suggestion of how easy it is to change 'facts'.
I seriously don't believe people are really any more insane than they have ever been. Probably the opposite honestly.
Unknown means unknown.

Alias
Posts: 2704
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Alias » November 30th, 2018, 1:35 pm

Eduk wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 4:52 am
I seriously don't believe people are really any more insane than they have ever been. Probably the opposite honestly.
Probably true, on the individual level. If they survive the negative cycle, people tend (not without conflict and strife) to create a better social organization than the one they supplant.
"If" is the troubling component.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Eduk » November 30th, 2018, 1:37 pm

"If" is the troubling component.
Troubling but necessary?
Unknown means unknown.

Alias
Posts: 2704
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Alias » November 30th, 2018, 10:17 pm

Eduk wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 1:37 pm
Troubling but necessary?
Well, every spiral staircase has to end at some top floor. I can imagine humanity going another turn or two - and then, just possibly, finding or building a sustainable plateau. I have a good imagination, but it's being stretched to the limit.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Eduk » December 1st, 2018, 4:29 am

Lol. Yes it certainly requires a good imagination
Unknown means unknown.

User avatar
chewybrian
Posts: 387
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 7:17 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Epictetus
Location: Florida man

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by chewybrian » December 1st, 2018, 10:21 am

ktz wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 11:23 pm

https://www.businessinsider.com/china-s ... ned-2018-4

Orwell comes a little closer each passing day, I suppose.
It's funny, sad maybe, how often someone posts a link and how infrequently anyone responds to the content in it. The link may prove or disprove a point being made, or offer up something deep, shocking or just interesting. Yet they seldom get any notice. This one makes me very angry and sad, especially concerning the "I've got nothing to hide" mentality which takes over at one point.
"It seems to be making everyone behave much better", said one citizen...who perhaps (my words now) could not speak his mind without losing some of the meager rights he had left. He's already lost, or is in danger of losing: free speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement, and, a biggie, I think, the right to be foolish in the eyes of others!
If I don't retain the right to be foolish, I scarcely have rights. I don't mean foolish in the sense of driving with a blindfold, thereby endangering innocent people. I mean the right to spend my time in almost any non-violent way which does not harm others or their property or the environment. My 'foolishness' in your eyes may be the reason I get up in the morning, or vice versa. Who is either of us to judge what the other should be doing with their time until we reach a point where our activities damage others? If I don't hold out for your right to be an idiot in my view, then how can I expect it of you when my so-called foolish activities come up for review?

I certainly don't mean a useful idiot, like (maybe) the man I was quoting. I mean a regular idiot, 'wasting' valuable time and resources by boating, playing golf, playing video games, or posting on a philosophy forum.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), Lutheran Minister and early Nazi
supporter who was later imprisoned for opposing Hitler's regime."
http://www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/mar ... 47gWeb.pdf

It doesn't seem to have the same power if you begin with:
They came for the gamers, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a gamer.
Then they came for the bloggers, and I did not speak out...
"
Perhaps this is only because it has not yet played out. It may sound silly, but it is nevertheless frightening if you think it through.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

User avatar
ktz
Posts: 166
Joined: November 9th, 2018, 12:21 am
Favorite Philosopher: Habermas

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by ktz » December 1st, 2018, 12:05 pm

chewybrian wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 10:21 am
They came for the gamers, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a gamer.
Then they came for the bloggers, and I did not speak out...
"
Perhaps this is only because it has not yet played out. It may sound silly, but it is nevertheless frightening if you think it through.
I wholly agree. We are less than three generations removed from the holocaust, less than one from the Rwandan genocide, and China's treatment of the Uighur population and Falun Gong is happening right before our eyes. I'm also reminded of some the thoughts that occurred to me in the other thread about moral duty. Perhaps moral complicity can be another "pure" wrong which doesn't actually involve the commission of harm.
You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.

User avatar
ktz
Posts: 166
Joined: November 9th, 2018, 12:21 am
Favorite Philosopher: Habermas

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by ktz » December 1st, 2018, 12:29 pm

Eduk wrote:
November 30th, 2018, 4:52 am
Ktz Orwell was never writing about the future. 1984 was written in 1948, the title is a suggestion of how easy it is to change 'facts'.
I seriously don't believe people are really any more insane than they have ever been. Probably the opposite honestly.
Maybe, maybe not. If the stoics were right, for example, then as we continue to commit to "progress" and consumption at any ecological cost, we render ourselves further and further away from the realm of sanity.

Whether or not the premise of 1984 was about the future or not, I urge you to consider this quote from 1984:
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.

Alias
Posts: 2704
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Alias » December 1st, 2018, 5:15 pm

ktz wrote:
December 1st, 2018, 12:29 pm
Whether or not the premise of 1984 was about the future or not, I urge you to consider this quote from 1984:
" “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
But if you really do consider that, for more than a minute, you'll see that it's also the the picture of the past and present. Not everywhere at once, but somewhere, at any given moment. And if you want to extrapolate that boot on a moose or a seal or a lion, then it's certainly been quite literally true since before boots were the standard footwear of the apex predator. Or watch any documentary clip of fishermen or shrimpers, how they stomp about, knee deep in writhing, gasping, suffering living things as if they simply didn't matter.
I doubt present or future human insanity is any more intense - and there may even be more frequent occurrences of relative sanity - but there are ever more people to be affected by it, in closer proximity for its transmission and ever more complex ways for it manifest.

Alias
Posts: 2704
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Alias » December 1st, 2018, 5:40 pm

Perhaps moral complicity can be another "pure" wrong which doesn't actually involve the commission of harm.
Certainly worth considering. All it takes for evil to triumph... That's only one level down from the man in the boat watching a child drown: he's not legally required to help and you can't legally force him to.
Actually, there is a quite good car commercial much on TV these days. Family is preparing for a paddle on the river, tossing supplies into their canoe. The dog hops in and accidentally casts off alone. Family piles into their car to head him off, and the father adroitly catches the canoe. Nice save! But about half-way, as the the dog is drifting downstream, he passes a fisherman in motor-boat... and the bastard just sits there! I don't know about you, but I'd happily dunk him. Yes, for doing nothing.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
Favorite Philosopher: Socrates

Re: Are there "pure" wrongs, which involve no harm?

Post by Eduk » December 1st, 2018, 8:24 pm

I often think of the boot stamping on the face. Something about it is extremely authoritative and nasty but also directionless and uncaring.
Alias makes the point very well that it is anytime.
Unknown means unknown.

Post Reply