Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Belindi wrote: January 23rd, 2022, 3:33 pm
You misunderstand what I intend by "nature". Nature includes everything that naturally is the case . Nature is not to be conflated with what is not man-made but includes what is man-made. Nature is to be contrasted with supernature or God, and is that which is explained by a deterministic causal system.
Well, that contradicts what you said above, namely, "The ultimate producer of the wine is not GEM or me it's either nature or God." There, you're contrasting "GEM or me" with "nature."
Wine and all other products of human labour are either natural or miraculous. I presume that you too think of production as natural not miraculous. All human labour has to harmonise with seasons, terrain, level of civilisation, weather, and available technology and it's constraints such as those that cause the gross production of a man or a society to be finite.
Ok. So how does that bear on the question regarding who has "shares" in the wine?
Economic growth is limited by what's sustainable.
That meme, though currently popular and endlessly (and thoughtlessly) recited, is false. There are no limits to economic growth, other than the (current) limits on human populations and thus the human talents and imagination that produce it. There may be limits on how much of a particular product can be produced with the currently available resources and technology, but does not limit economic growth. Human talents and imagination will just replace those resources and that technology with newer (and usually better) ones, and growth will continue.
You are too optimistc about human nature.The playing field has never been level and never will be.
If by a "level playing field" you mean equal talents, strengths, ambitions, interests, motivations, etc., you're quite right. That is not the case with any species of plants or animals. Some tadpoles swim faster than others, some fir trees grow taller than others, some leopards are better hunters than others. That is just a fact of nature, and as with all other natural phenomena it has no moral significance. What does have moral significance is that, despite those differences, all humans, except young children and persons with certain disabilities, are equally moral agents, and not the masters or slaves of anyone else. They all have equal moral status.
Ecurb
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Ecurb »

Belindi wrote: January 23rd, 2022, 6:08 am

The ultimate producer of the wine is not GEM or me it's either nature or God.
Great point. That's why the myth of the Wedding at Cana resonates. If you remember, Jesus turns the water into wine. I think one of the (many) meanings of the story is that God turns water into wine all the time. The rain waters the grapes, and they ripen, then ferment. Jesus was doing miraculously only what God was doing naturally.
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: January 23rd, 2022, 6:42 pm
In the fairly recent past, the Christian community (in the West) didn't make a "futile effort" to preserve familiarity and unity; it made an effective (although imperfect) effort to do so.
That effort began to falter with the Protestant Reformation, which (interestingly enough) was soon followed by the Enlightenment.
We don't benefit, I think, from a philosophy that lauds self-interest and promotes it.
No doubt that depends upon what you count as a benefit. But it was only after people became free to pursue self-interest that the foundations of modernity were laid: the development of the steam engine, the telegraph and telephone, electricity, radio, the discoveries of X-rays and radioactivity, vaccines against communicable diseases, airplanes and automobiles, etc. etc., all of which were developed by private entrepreneurs pursuing their self-interest. And, of course, the political theory of liberalism and the science of economics.
But promoting the notion that since empathy and love are dead (with the death of kinship based societies and the Christian culture that taught us to emulate them), we should abandon the hope based on love and empathy, and simply accept, and even laud, private ambition, lust and greed is to abandon hope altogether. Love and empathy are not the means to an end for us humans; they are an end in themselves (as the Christians correctly preach).
Love and empathy as unifiers of society have been dead since the dawn of civilization. The real unifiers in the pre-enlightenment era were force and fear. But they are very much alive in private circles, i.e., among families and friendship groups --- which what tribal societies were. Those emotional bonds never extended beyond a few hundred people (at most), still don't, and never will. Those who entertain that hope --- that fantasy --- are doomed to disappointment (which often leads them into cults, in order to isolate themselves from the "society of strangers," or into some totalitarian movement, in order to impose an artificial unity and conformity upon it).
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

Ecurb wrote: January 23rd, 2022, 10:11 pm
Belindi wrote: January 23rd, 2022, 6:08 am

The ultimate producer of the wine is not GEM or me it's either nature or God.
Great point. That's why the myth of the Wedding at Cana resonates. If you remember, Jesus turns the water into wine. I think one of the (many) meanings of the story is that God turns water into wine all the time. The rain waters the grapes, and they ripen, then ferment. Jesus was doing miraculously only what God was doing naturally.
Trust in God's unfailing providence does not conduce to us working as hard as we can to avert climate disaster. This is why people who believe in God's unfailing providence are usually politically conservative; they are unrealistic optimists who think the status quo is fine and dandy because God will provide.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

GEMorton wrote:
If by a "level playing field" you mean equal talents, strengths, ambitions, interests, motivations, etc., you're quite right. That is not the case with any species of plants or animals. Some tadpoles swim faster than others, some fir trees grow taller than others, some leopards are better hunters than others. That is just a fact of nature, and as with all other natural phenomena it has no moral significance. What does have moral significance is that, despite those differences, all humans, except young children and persons with certain disabilities, are equally moral agents, and not the masters or slaves of anyone else. They all have equal moral status.
The playing field is not level . "Certain disabilities" may be social otherness such as dyslexia, homosexuality, minority culture, femaleness in some societies is a social disadvantage, autism and its variants, lack of education, lack of access to justice, loneliness, and lack of medical care. All of the latter mitigate moral shortcomings, and in the case of civilised justice they mitigate crimes.

It's comparatively easy to act within the law and to be a moral winner when you are rich and popular. Moral status is good intentions. Remember the parable of the widow's mite.
Ecurb
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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GE Morton wrote: January 24th, 2022, 12:54 am

No doubt that depends upon what you count as a benefit. But it was only after people became free to pursue self-interest that the foundations of modernity were laid: the development of the steam engine, the telegraph and telephone, electricity, radio, the discoveries of X-rays and radioactivity, vaccines against communicable diseases, airplanes and automobiles, etc. etc., all of which were developed by private entrepreneurs pursuing their self-interest. And, of course, the political theory of liberalism and the science of economics.
The problem with this is that people come to self-interest naturally. So "lauding and promoting self interest" is unnecessary. We don't need to badger children to get them to eat ice cream; we laud and promote eating vegetables. And I disagree that liberalism lauds self-interest -- it promotes individual rights -- which involve duties to avoid self interest in the interest of other people's rights. It involves political involvement -- which opposes certain self-interests in favor of the interests of the majority.
Love and empathy as unifiers of society have been dead since the dawn of civilization. The real unifiers in the pre-enlightenment era were force and fear. But they are very much alive in private circles, i.e., among families and friendship groups --- which what tribal societies were. Those emotional bonds never extended beyond a few hundred people (at most), still don't, and never will. Those who entertain that hope --- that fantasy --- are doomed to disappointment (which often leads them into cults, in order to isolate themselves from the "society of strangers," or into some totalitarian movement, in order to impose an artificial unity and conformity upon it).
There's some (but not complete) truth in this. That's why it's important to promote love and empathy (as Christianity did). We come to self-interest naturally. We may come to love and empathy for our kin and friends naturally. To love relative strangers comes hard to us -- although it is not impossible. Still, the saints (secular and religious) rose to the challenge. For the rest of us, we must find philosophic value in love and empathy for encouragement. We don't need to be encouraged to follow self-interest any more than children need to be encouraged to eat ice cream. .
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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Belindi wrote: January 24th, 2022, 6:03 am GEMorton wrote:
If by a "level playing field" you mean equal talents, strengths, ambitions, interests, motivations, etc., you're quite right. That is not the case with any species of plants or animals. Some tadpoles swim faster than others, some fir trees grow taller than others, some leopards are better hunters than others. That is just a fact of nature, and as with all other natural phenomena it has no moral significance. What does have moral significance is that, despite those differences, all humans, except young children and persons with certain disabilities, are equally moral agents, and not the masters or slaves of anyone else. They all have equal moral status.
The playing field is not level . "Certain disabilities" may be social otherness such as dyslexia, homosexuality, minority culture, femaleness in some societies is a social disadvantage, autism and its variants, lack of education, lack of access to justice, loneliness, and lack of medical care.
None of those are disabilities which disqualify one as a moral agent. Moral agency requires only that one:

a) has interests and some capacity for pursuing them, and
b) is capable of recognizing other qualifying creatures as moral agents who likewise have interests, which may differ from his own, and
c) is capable of understanding and formulating moral principles and rules and acknowledges the need for them in a moral field.

Any creature who satisfies those criteria is a moral agent.

You now seem to be saying that the "playing field" is not level unless everyone loves everyone else and considers them "brothers" and "sisters." That, again, is an atavistic expectation deriving from the organic fallacy. It is wholly unrealistic and unworkable in civilized societies.
It's comparatively easy to act within the law and to be a moral winner when you are rich and popular. Moral status is good intentions. Remember the parable of the widow's mite.
The widow donated her mites voluntarily, as did the wealthy their donations. They were not seized from them by the State. Generosity is commendable; forced "generosity" is simply theft.
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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Ecurb wrote: January 24th, 2022, 11:22 am
The problem with this is that people come to self-interest naturally. So "lauding and promoting self interest" is unnecessary.
Oh, I agree. There is no need to promote self-interest. We only need to refrain from impeding or thwarting or frustrating it.
And I disagree that liberalism lauds self-interest -- it promotes individual rights -- which involve duties to avoid self interest in the interest of other people's rights.
Er, individual rights are defined and invoked precisely to protect self-interest, i.e., they are rights to act as you wish in pursuit of your interests as long as you inflict no harms or losses on others. Protecting the diverse interests of individuals is the raison d'etre of individual rights.
There's some (but not complete) truth in this. That's why it's important to promote love and empathy (as Christianity did).
Promoting a goal that is impossible to attain is foolishness. But in a free society everyone is free to pursue and promote any goal they wish, even foolish ones. They're just not free to force others to pursue that goal.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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GE Morton wrote: January 24th, 2022, 2:33 pm
Promoting a goal that is impossible to attain is foolishness. But in a free society everyone is free to pursue and promote any goal they wish, even foolish ones. They're just not free to force others to pursue that goal.
Yes, GE, every poet admits that love is foolish. It is a fantasy, a delusion. But (as the poets also tell us) that does not imply it is wrong to pursue and promote it. Look for heaven, and you won't find it. But at least you'll be looking up.
Ecurb
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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Nietzsche:
There is always some madness in love. But there is always some reason in madness.
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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Ecurb wrote: January 24th, 2022, 10:06 pm
Yes, GE, every poet admits that love is foolish.
Now, now. I didn't say that love is foolish. Far from it. What is foolish (because it is impossible) is agape, as that word is understood by Christians.
Look for heaven, and you won't find it. But at least you'll be looking up.
The trouble with looking up is that you run into lamp posts. You're wiser to look where you're going.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

GEMorton wrote:
It's comparatively easy to act within the law and to be a moral winner when you are rich and popular. Moral status is good intentions. Remember the parable of the widow's mite.
(Belindi)
The widow donated her mites voluntarily, as did the wealthy their donations. They were not seized from them by the State. Generosity is commendable; forced "generosity" is simply theft.
(GEM)

The State is the political authority and it makes and imposes laws. In a Christian or post-Christian society secular law is founded upon Christian morality. It has been found necessary for states to impose laws as we would wait forever for most people to give enough voluntarily. That is not going to happen.

The imposition of laws is not theft. Theft is a recognisable crime.
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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Belindi wrote: January 23rd, 2022, 3:33 pm The invasion and colonisation Britain by Rome ultimately benefitted the native British many of whom became Romanised and all the more able to resist raiding Picts and Anglo Saxons. Insofar as the Romans were cruel and greedy the Roman invasion did not benefit the native Britons.
I suggest that any benefit we Celts received was in the eye of the Romans only. The indigenous Celts perceived no benefits; they saw only a rapacious and imperial invader. Just like the Native Americans did when the Europeans invaded. These "benefits" are what the British used to 'justify' their (rapacious and imperial) invasions of lands across the world - the British Empire. Those who benefit from invasions are the invaders. Everyone else loses, I think.
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Ecurb
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

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GE Morton wrote: January 25th, 2022, 1:53 am
Ecurb wrote: January 24th, 2022, 10:06 pm
Yes, GE, every poet admits that love is foolish.
Now, now. I didn't say that love is foolish. Far from it. What is foolish (because it is impossible) is agape, as that word is understood by Christians.
Once again you defy common knowledge and every poet who ever rhymed. Everyone knows eros is "blind" -- "be still my foolish heart";storge is foolish too -- what mother isn't deluded about how wonderful her children are? ; philia may not be quite as foolish, but we all stand by our friends even when they don't deserve it.

Agape is the one love that is willed, rational and, although difficult to learn, powerful to practice.
Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains and have not love (agape, in the Greek), I am nothing.
GE Morton
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Re: Rich countries are the Predators and Poor countries are the Prey, Do you agree?

Post by GE Morton »

Ecurb wrote: January 25th, 2022, 11:13 am
Once again you defy common knowledge and every poet who ever rhymed. Everyone knows eros is "blind" -- "be still my foolish heart";storge is foolish too -- what mother isn't deluded about how wonderful her children are? ; philia may not be quite as foolish, but we all stand by our friends even when they don't deserve it.
Point taken. Love can indeed be foolish (and often is). But not always.

Agape is the one love that is willed, rational and, although difficult to learn, powerful to practice.
Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains and have not love (agape, in the Greek), I am nothing.
Love cannot be willed. The human limbic system doesn't work that way; emotional responses are generated sub-consciously and are involuntary and non-rational. Agape is not not love; it is a consciously adopted, irrational and unworkable moral principle.
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