Who is your favorite criminal from history?

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Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Jesus (executed)
0
No votes
Socrates (executed)
1
17%
William Wallace (executed)
0
No votes
John Brown (executed)
0
No votes
Martin Luther King Jr. (assassinated)
1
17%
Mahatma Gandhi (assassinated)
0
No votes
other (please specify in replies)
4
67%
 
Total votes: 6

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Scott
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Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Scott » February 16th, 2021, 4:17 pm

Who is your favorite criminal from history? Why?

Do you also think that person was the most heroic criminal from history? If not, who do you think was the most heroic criminal from history?

If you were put in the same or very similar circumstances as these criminals, would you hope to make the same choices as some or all of these criminals? Why or why not? What role does bravery play in your answer, meaning in your hypothetical choice about whether or not to follow in the criminal footsteps of these criminals? In other words, if you were hypothetically a much more courageous person how would that change your answer if at all?
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by HJCarden » February 16th, 2021, 4:35 pm

Don't see how this is very philosophy related but I absolutely love DB Cooper. Not only for his reference in the Kid Rock classic Bawitabada, but also for the fact he did a crime that no one else has ever successfully pulled off. Robbery, skydiving, getting away with it all? Top 1 of all time.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 16th, 2021, 4:37 pm

Jesus was just a religious trouble maker, who lived far too long ago to make sense of his role. His words ahve probably caused the deaths of more people than anyone in history.

Socrates is greatly admired by me for his thinking. However interesting his contribution is to philosophy, compared the the others on the list he really offers us nothing to improve the lives of ordinary people

William Wallace was a warrior and nationalist. I can't think why he has been included on this list. He's not what Mel Gibson made him out to be.

John Brown massive contribution, though somewhat wreckless he had the right idea.

Martin Luther King Jr. He gets my vote on balance. A clear thinker, great orator and transformative contributor. The concept that the coulr of a person's skin should be no more important than the colour of their eyes nas been completely forgotten as an aim by a set of ideologies that go under the heading of "identity politics" - which is racism by another name.

Mahatma Gandhi smart enough to use British law against the British rulers. India and Pakistan are not worthy of his life's work, and have rejected his wishes in favour of blatant religious based racism. The current leadership of India is an insult to his memory.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 16th, 2021, 4:39 pm

HJCarden wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 4:35 pm
Don't see how this is very philosophy related but I absolutely love DB Cooper. Not only for his reference in the Kid Rock classic Bawitabada, but also for the fact he did a crime that no one else has ever successfully pulled off. Robbery, skydiving, getting away with it all? Top 1 of all time.
DB Cooper died hanging from a tree. What a tosser. His body washed away in the nearest river.
He was motivated by his own greed.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 16th, 2021, 4:40 pm

THe only one I would add is Spartacus.
Although little is known about him, he did inspire political movements.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by chewybrian » February 16th, 2021, 8:26 pm

Sculptor1 wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 4:37 pm
Socrates is greatly admired by me for his thinking. However interesting his contribution is to philosophy, compared the the others on the list he really offers us nothing to improve the lives of ordinary people
I disagree with this one. Socrates inspired the Stoics, who inspired cognitive behavioral therapy, which has helped a lot of people. He said that people only act immorally out of ignorance, for example. If you think about it, this seems valid. People might think they are doing the right thing, but have the facts wrong. Or, they might think they are gaining some advantage by "getting away" with doing something wrong. But, they simply haven't considered all the possible, or likely, repercussions of their choice. If they did, they would want to do the right thing and see that it was in their own interest to do so. When you look at the world in this way, you have no basis for anger, and your life is better.

If you don't think a nugget like that can make your life better, then maybe you haven't thought it through all the way.
"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."

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 17th, 2021, 6:52 am

chewybrian wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 8:26 pm
Sculptor1 wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 4:37 pm
Socrates is greatly admired by me for his thinking. However interesting his contribution is to philosophy, compared the the others on the list he really offers us nothing to improve the lives of ordinary people
I disagree with this one. Socrates inspired the Stoics, who inspired cognitive behavioral therapy, which has helped a lot of people.
It seems to me that CBT could have existed without S.
What aspects of Plato's work are necessary for the development of CBT?
He said that people only act immorally out of ignorance, for example.
That was pure sophistry on Socrates part, trying to avoid the noose. He knew full well that people act immorally by choice or by disagreeing with moral rules.
If you think about it, this seems valid. People might think they are doing the right thing, but have the facts wrong. Or, they might think they are gaining some advantage by "getting away" with doing something wrong. But, they simply haven't considered all the possible, or likely, repercussions of their choice. If they did, they would want to do the right thing and see that it was in their own interest to do so. When you look at the world in this way, you have no basis for anger, and your life is better.

If you don't think a nugget like that can make your life better, then maybe you haven't thought it through all the way.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Steve3007 » February 17th, 2021, 7:07 am

I'm going to go with Johannes Kepler and his mum. His mum was allegedly a witch (he had to defend her against the accusation) and there are rumours that he poisoned flamboyant gold-nosed astronomer Tycho Brahe. But who can honestly say that at one time or another they haven't poisoned a famous astronomer to nick his astronomical data and succeed him at the court of the king?

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by chewybrian » February 17th, 2021, 8:04 am

Sculptor1 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 6:52 am
chewybrian wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 8:26 pm
I disagree with this one. Socrates inspired the Stoics, who inspired cognitive behavioral therapy, which has helped a lot of people.
It seems to me that CBT could have existed without S.
What aspects of Plato's work are necessary for the development of CBT?
Albert Ellis was the man who came up with rational emotive behavioral therapy, which was the precursor of CBT. He said himself that Epictetus was the inspiration:
“When I started to get disillusioned with psychoanalysis I reread philosophy and was reminded of the constructivist notion that Epictetus had proposed 2,000 years ago: "People are disturbed not by events that happen to them, but by their view of them." I could see how that applied to many of my clients.” Albert Ellis
Who, then, was the inspiration for Epictetus? You could say Rufus or Zeno, yet this line goes directly through Plato to Socrates. The stoics based their philosophy on the pursuit of the four cardinal virtues (wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage) passed down to them by Plato. Further, they revered Socrates as a hero, an ideal of a man who came closer to being a living sage than any other, in their view.

Sculptor1 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 6:52 am
chewybrian wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 8:26 pm

He said that people only act immorally out of ignorance, for example.
That was pure sophistry on Socrates part, trying to avoid the noose. He knew full well that people act immorally by choice or by disagreeing with moral rules.
Well, this opinion explains the anger which so often seems evident in your replies. If you assume that you know the truth, and that others "should" know that what you believe is true and correct, then you are bound to see injustice around every corner. You will be liable to make all sorts of unfounded assumptions about the intentions of others, even though these intentions can never be known to you.

As someone who suffered in the past with anxiety, depression, and anger, I find great comfort in this idea from Socrates. I see it as wisdom, not sophistry. It's very liberating to stop making these assumptions about the intentions of others and suffering as a result. It's quite reasonable to assume instead that finite beings have a very limited understanding of an infinite universe. That includes both me and other people whose actions might upset me if I assume too much about them.

Certainly people do harm others out of raw ignorance of the facts at times. But, if instead, they have an intent to put their selfish interests ahead of the common good, and think they are getting away with something, it is fair and wise to think that this comes from another kind of ignorance. They are missing the wider view. They are chasing some shiny object and missing out on the tranquility and happiness that comes from acting instead with virtue. If they are honest and well-intended, they can form lasting friendship with friends worth having. They can earn self-respect and the respect of people whose opinion really matters. Do you think that people like Donald Trump are happy? What do they 'get away with', in the end? They may get the shiny object but never have a real friend. For the shiny object, they trade their chance at real peace and happiness, the chance to know they did their best to make the world better, and the chance of being able to share that feeling with others of a similar mind.
"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."

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 17th, 2021, 9:44 am

Scott wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 4:17 pm
Who is your favorite criminal from history? Why?

A criminal is someone who has acted (in some way) against the wishes and/or wellbeing of their fellow citizens. Such people do not warrant remembrance, in the way this topic refers to it. I do not recommend 'cancelling' such people, but I do not think we should venerate them. In a simple example, I have always refused to name the man who shot John Lennon. He killed a famous man just so that he could be famous himself. He took a life purely for his own self-aggrandisement. Such a man does not warrant remembrance, does he?

Why would we commemorate criminals?

Having said that, there are some entries in your list of 'criminals' that some of us would remember as freedom-fighters (or some similar title), people who struggled against injustice, in some way, even though it placed them in opposition to the social/cultural powerrs that governed their lands. Perhaps "criminal" is the wrong word to describe such people...?
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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Steve3007 » February 17th, 2021, 11:34 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:A criminal is someone who has acted (in some way) against the wishes and/or wellbeing of their fellow citizens.
An alternative definition (possibly a more standard one) is that a criminal is someone who has broken the laws in place in the society in which they find themselves. Not necessarily the same thing. I assume that's the point of the topic.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Steve3007 » February 17th, 2021, 11:37 am

Aung San Suu Kyi, for example, has allegedly broken the law in Myanmar by owning a walkie talkie. Even if the allegation is true, I'd be surprised if many people outside the military junta in that country consider that to be against the wishes/wellbeing of her fellow citizens.

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Steve3007 » February 17th, 2021, 11:46 am

Sculptor1 wrote:The only one I would add is Spartacus.
Although little is known about him, he did inspire political movements.
Good choice. An emblem of solidarity and speaking truth to power, although you really should declare an interest in that one. :)

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Ecurb » February 17th, 2021, 11:48 am

Other possibilities:

Lucifer: According to Milton he rebelled against God because he was pissed that God was going to make a begotten son (a puny human) the savior, instead of him. Milton's Satan is a great character.

Robin Hood: Rumor has it he looked exactly like Errol Flynn.

Brutus: "This was the noblest Roman of them all...."

Donald Trump: The most famous person in history! (He hasn't been convicted of anything yet, though.)

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Re: Who is your favorite criminal from history?

Post by Sculptor1 » February 17th, 2021, 12:35 pm

chewybrian wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 8:04 am
Sculptor1 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 6:52 am
chewybrian wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 8:26 pm
I disagree with this one. Socrates inspired the Stoics, who inspired cognitive behavioral therapy, which has helped a lot of people.
It seems to me that CBT could have existed without S.
What aspects of Plato's work are necessary for the development of CBT?
Albert Ellis was the man who came up with rational emotive behavioral therapy, which was the precursor of CBT. He said himself that Epictetus was the inspiration:
“When I started to get disillusioned with psychoanalysis I reread philosophy and was reminded of the constructivist notion that Epictetus had proposed 2,000 years ago: "People are disturbed not by events that happen to them, but by their view of them." I could see how that applied to many of my clients.” Albert Ellis
Who, then, was the inspiration for Epictetus? You could say Rufus or Zeno, yet this line goes directly through Plato to Socrates. The stoics based their philosophy on the pursuit of the four cardinal virtues (wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage) passed down to them by Plato. Further, they revered Socrates as a hero, an ideal of a man who came closer to being a living sage than any other, in their view.

Sculptor1 wrote:
February 17th, 2021, 6:52 am
chewybrian wrote:
February 16th, 2021, 8:26 pm

He said that people only act immorally out of ignorance, for example.
That was pure sophistry on Socrates part, trying to avoid the noose. He knew full well that people act immorally by choice or by disagreeing with moral rules.
Well, this opinion explains the anger which so often seems evident in your replies. If you assume that you know the truth, and that others "should" know that what you believe is true and correct, then you are bound to see injustice around every corner. You will be liable to make all sorts of unfounded assumptions about the intentions of others, even though these intentions can never be known to you.

As someone who suffered in the past with anxiety, depression, and anger, I find great comfort in this idea from Socrates. I see it as wisdom, not sophistry. It's very liberating to stop making these assumptions about the intentions of others and suffering as a result. It's quite reasonable to assume instead that finite beings have a very limited understanding of an infinite universe. That includes both me and other people whose actions might upset me if I assume too much about them.

Certainly people do harm others out of raw ignorance of the facts at times. But, if instead, they have an intent to put their selfish interests ahead of the common good, and think they are getting away with something, it is fair and wise to think that this comes from another kind of ignorance. They are missing the wider view. They are chasing some shiny object and missing out on the tranquility and happiness that comes from acting instead with virtue. If they are honest and well-intended, they can form lasting friendship with friends worth having. They can earn self-respect and the respect of people whose opinion really matters. Do you think that people like Donald Trump are happy? What do they 'get away with', in the end? They may get the shiny object but never have a real friend. For the shiny object, they trade their chance at real peace and happiness, the chance to know they did their best to make the world better, and the chance of being able to share that feeling with others of a similar mind.
Seriously?
It's a bit of a stretch. Socrates to CBT via Epictectus, when compared to MLK making himself a target for people's hate and getting shot.

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