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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The point is that it's a moral[/b] conviction. We humans can all be live-and-let-live about each other's different customs. But when we perceive those customs to be morally wrong (e.g. so-called "honour-killings") we feel that something should be done to prevent this wrong.

On the Dead Horse's Thread you were using 'moral' to mean 'in accordance with a set of public procedural rules that everyone agrees upon'. Which is precisely not what you're using it to mean here.
Now it's possible that you've changed your mind after reflecting upon that thread. Or it's possible that on that thread you were using a purely tactical definition.

The silence in answer to this question is deafening.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The point is that it's a moral[/b] conviction. We humans can all be live-and-let-live about each other's different customs. But when we perceive those customs to be morally wrong (e.g. so-called "honour-killings") we feel that something should be done to prevent this wrong.

On the Dead Horse's Thread you were using 'moral' to mean 'in accordance with a set of public procedural rules that everyone agrees upon'. Which is precisely not what you're using it to mean here.
Maybe you'd better expand on the contradiction you perceive, because I see none.

IIRC, I was saying on That Other Thread that the public rules - the law of the land - should "track" objective morality, conceived as a system of basic rights that apply equally to everyone (or perhaps basic wrongs that we should all refrain from). Rather than being the means for imposing one group's vision of the good life on other people.

The quote above says that when we perceive something as a moral issue we tend to think it belongs in that framework of public rules, rather than being up for negotiation between people with different visions.

No contradiction.

Are you suggesting that this view is compatible or incompatible with progressivism ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

The quote above says that when we perceive something as a moral issue we tend to think it belongs in that framework of public rules, rather than being up for negotiation between people with different visions.

I can only speak for myself, but "we" do not think that.

I think adultery is immoral. I don't think it should be illegal.

More generally, I think lying is immoral, but shouldn't be illegal in general.

If you want to be a promiscuous liar, I will consider you an immoral piece of shit and choose to have nothing to do with you, but I have no interest in the government punishing you for it.

My desire for so-called "honor killings" to be prosecuted has nothing to do with the fact that I think they are immoral, and everything to do with the fact that they involve killing someone.

[ 15. August 2017, 20:26: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
it's somewhat problematic to use secular law as a tool to enforce one's own moral convictions. The thing about harm is that it involves objective demonstration of harm. The thing about morals without harm is that it boils down to a form of "because I said so".

If you don't want people to do something you think is morally wrong, by all means persuade them. But if you don't persuade them, or can't, I'm not sure the law of the land should be invoked to do your moral persuading for you.

I agree that there's something problematic here.

Who, for example, are the "them" you think have to be persuaded ?

Everybody ? Every individual has to be persuaded that something is morally wrong before it's OK to enforce a legal prohibition on them ? Don't think you mean that.

A majority ? You can believe in vox populi , that anything the majority choose to enforce is OK. But until relatively recently in historical terms the majority believed in the criminalisation of homosexuality. I don't think the progressive position is that gay sex became OK at the point where 50% of the population agreed...

What's the alternative ? The consensus of people who think like you do (and everybody else doesn't matter) ? I'm not convinced that's what you mean either...

What's problematic is your understanding of what I said. I did NOT advocate using the law at all, so how many people you persuade is not a step towards "okay, we can make it a law now". You've started talking about "enforcement" when my entire point was to not have enforcement.

We're specifically talking about things that are merely against some people's morals, not objectively harmful. So my response is it's simply not appropriate to have a law against whatever it is. If people don't like the thing, then they're free to not do it themselves.

And you're bringing back an idea of "objective morality" again I see... sorry, but this started with a comment from you about contraception. What do you think is the "objectively moral" position on contraception, and what exactly do you think of all the people with the opposite view?

[ 16. August 2017, 01:44: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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PS And please don't come back claiming that a law that allows something to happen (use of contraception, same-sex marriage, whatever) is "enforcing" a liberal view over a conservative one. It simply isn't.

Laws that permit things and laws that forbid things are not interchangeable and equivalent. The opposite of a law that forbids something is a law that mandates it. No-one is mandating the use of contraception. No-one is being required to enter a homosexual marriage.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

We're specifically talking about things that are merely against some people's morals, not objectively harmful. So my response is it's simply not appropriate to have a law against whatever it is.

If people don't like the thing, then they're free to not do it themselves.

Seems like we're using language differently here ?

You're identifying wrongdoing with causing harm, and using "morals" to refer to people's preferences amongst non-wrong actions ?

Which I might describe as "customs" and agree with you that people should be free to not do it themselves but not free to make that decision for their neighbours.

Whereas in Russ-speak, "immoral" is synonymous with "wrong", the things we shouldn't do (in the absolute rather than the prudential sense of "should").

For want of a better way of distinguishing morally wrong from the sort of wrong that is factually incorrect.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:

If you want to be a promiscuous liar, I will consider you an immoral piece of shit and choose to have nothing to do with you, but I have no interest in the government punishing you for it.

But you might want the government to enforce a system whereby the victims of my lies and adultery can claim recompense from me ? And make me pay the costs of such a private prosecution ?

Which is a different way of managing the process, but still part of the public framework of rules ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
But you might want the government to enforce a system whereby the victims of my lies and adultery can claim recompense from me ?

Possibly, but not simply because of your feelings of pain over the event and everything to do with the fact that we don't want to live in a society where people abuse each other.

It kinda depends on the circumstance, doesn't it? A spurned lover might feel great emotional pain, but I don't suppose we'd say that the state had a general role just because he/she feels awful.

If that spurning was associated with (for example) stealing lots of money, deceit, physical abuse etc then that's a different thing because we don't want people doing that shit to other people.

quote:
And make me pay the costs of such a private prosecution ?
I can't think of a situation whereby the law takes into primary account someone's hurt feelings other than maybe - at a stretch - defamation. Even there it isn't about hurt feelings as much as some material hurt that is caused by the lies.

Someone might launch a civil case for defamation and win but be awarded £1 if it is determined that there hasn't been any measurable impact.

quote:
Which is a different way of managing the process, but still part of the public framework of rules ?
I'm not really understanding why you keep generating all these "what-if" examples. They don't seem to have much relationship to real life.

[ 16. August 2017, 13:51: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
IIRC, I was saying on That Other Thread that the public rules - the law of the land - should "track" objective morality, conceived as a system of basic rights that apply equally to everyone (or perhaps basic wrongs that we should all refrain from). Rather than being the means for imposing one group's vision of the good life on other people.

The quote above says that when we perceive something as a moral issue we tend to think it belongs in that framework of public rules, rather than being up for negotiation between people with different visions.

This would be an irregular verb:
Conservatives have moral issues that belong in the framework of public rules.
Progressives have visions of the good life that they want to impose upon other people.

One might think that, 'Do not withhold services from people because you disapprove of their vision of the good life or because somebody else disapproves of their vision of the good life' was a contribution to the framework of public rules. But you wanted to insist that it wasn't a candidate for morality.

Now you're saying that, 'Don't use contraception' is a contribution to public rules and not a means for imposing one person's vision of the good life.

You're rejecting the liberal paradigm in which people with irreconcilable visions of the good life negotiate rules that enable them as far as possible to live together in accordance with their respective visions of the good life. Negotiated rules are not as far as you're concerned not backed up with objective morality. But if someone thinks their vision of the good life gives rise to moral issues then they're allowed to set that up as a rule for everyone else.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

We're specifically talking about things that are merely against some people's morals, not objectively harmful. So my response is it's simply not appropriate to have a law against whatever it is.

If people don't like the thing, then they're free to not do it themselves.

Seems like we're using language differently here ?

You're identifying wrongdoing with causing harm, and using "morals" to refer to people's preferences amongst non-wrong actions ?

Which I might describe as "customs" and agree with you that people should be free to not do it themselves but not free to make that decision for their neighbours.

Whereas in Russ-speak, "immoral" is synonymous with "wrong", the things we shouldn't do (in the absolute rather than the prudential sense of "should").

For want of a better way of distinguishing morally wrong from the sort of wrong that is factually incorrect.

No, that is not how I'm using "morals". And I'm struggling to understand how you reached that conclusion.

I honestly no longer know what you mean by "morals", and that's not just because of our dialogue, other people are clearly having difficulty with you on this subject as well.

The problem being that you keep veering into a proposition that everyone shares the same morality. The same view of what is wrong. And this is simply untrue. A person's morals describe what they consider right and wrong, but it is just impossible to assert that everyone agrees on that.

We simply wouldn't be having this conversation if that were so. Laws wouldn't be debated or changed.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

We're specifically talking about things that are merely against some people's morals, not objectively harmful. So my response is it's simply not appropriate to have a law against whatever it is.

Seems like we're using language differently here ?

You're identifying wrongdoing with causing harm, and using "morals" to refer to people's preferences amongst non-wrong actions ?

No, that is not how I'm using "morals". And I'm struggling to understand how you reached that conclusion.

I honestly no longer know what you mean by "morals", and that's not just because of our dialogue, other people are clearly having difficulty with you on this subject as well.

The problem being that you keep veering into a proposition that everyone shares the same morality. The same view of what is wrong. And this is simply untrue. A person's morals describe what they consider right and wrong, but it is just impossible to assert that everyone agrees on that.

I agree that people don't agree. Don't think I've ever said otherwise. But clearly my choice of words is making you think that's what I mean.

But they also don't agree that "harm" is well-defined or that "harm" forms the basis of Real Morality.

So either some people are wrong about morality. Or there's actually nothing there to be right about.

I think some people are wrong. And that doesn't make them non-people or wicked. Just mistaken.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

Now you're saying that, 'Don't use contraception' is a contribution to public rules and not a means for imposing one person's vision of the good life.

No I'm not saying that.

I'm saying that there are people who believe that contraception is a moral right/wrong issue and not a personal choice issue.

I'm not one of them.

And those people are no more inherently wicked than anyone else.

It might seem like society has a binary choice - to go along with or reject the proposition that contraception is a personal choice issue.

But there's an intermediate position, which is for the wider society to recognise that people disagree and therefore to allow families or communities to make their own choices, insofar as that is possible.

quote:

You're rejecting the liberal paradigm in which people with irreconcilable visions of the good life negotiate rules that enable them as far as possible to live together in accordance with their respective visions of the good life.

I'm not rejecting that outright. I'm asking who negotiates with whom. And wanting that negotiated position to track objective morality. Despite recognising that we perceive this imperfectly.

quote:

But if someone thinks their vision of the good life gives rise to moral issues then they're allowed to set that up as a rule for everyone else.

That seems to be what those whose vision involves a morality based on harm are simultaneously doing and criticising others for.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm saying that there are people who believe that contraception is a moral right/wrong issue and not a personal choice issue.

I'm not one of them.

And those people are no more inherently wicked than anyone else.

It might seem like society has a binary choice - to go along with or reject the proposition that contraception is a personal choice issue.

But there's an intermediate position, which is for the wider society to recognise that people disagree and therefore to allow families or communities to make their own choices, insofar as that is possible.

How is that an "intermediate" position? All you're doing is shifting between different entities interfering with individual, personal choices. Is there a huge distinction between "you're not allowed to decide this for yourself, the decision rests with wider society" and "you're not allowed to decide this for yourself, the decision rests with your family and/or community"? Yes, there are a wide variety of outside entities other than individuals who could theoretically be vested with decision-making authority on all sorts of questions, but if you're going to frame the question in terms of personal choice versus not personal choice, anything other than letting individuals decide for themselves counts as "not personal choice".

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
But you might want the government to enforce a system whereby the victims of my lies and adultery can claim recompense from me ? And make me pay the costs of such a private prosecution ?

Which is a different way of managing the process, but still part of the public framework of rules ?

Is it possible that this is a clumsy attempt to equate a government-supported civil court system wherein people can claim damages for contractual breaches with a morality police?

Because that would be a really stupid comparison to make.

Contract law is not about morality at all - it is an entirely practical construction to facilitate trade. Trade requires trust - I have to trust that you are giving me what you say you're giving me, and you have to trust that I'm giving you what I say I have. If we have a long-standing relationship, we might have built up trust, but if you're a random stranger, I have no particular reason to trust you. Our legal system creates a framework that allows strangers to trust each other, and so facilitates commerce. That's a good thing - but it's not about morality.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Russ, i don't know where that remark about people being non-people or wicked came from. It certainly didn't come out of anything I said.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

Now you're saying that, 'Don't use contraception' is a contribution to public rules and not a means for imposing one person's vision of the good life.

I'm saying that there are people who believe that contraception is a moral right/wrong issue and not a personal choice issue.

I'm not one of them.

You are however willing to allow that describing contraception as a moral/right wrong issue is not an error of meaning. You think that 'morality' means a system of basic rights, so that 'moral wrong' is defined as a violation of a right. The use of contraception is not a violation of a right.
Either 'morality' does not mean a system of basic rights or 'contraception is wrong' is not even a candidate for a moral belief.

quote:
And those people are no more inherently wicked than anyone else.
Nobody else on this thread has been talking in these terms. Why are you thinking about people being inherently wicked?

quote:
It might seem like society has a binary choice - to go along with or reject the proposition that contraception is a personal choice issue.

But there's an intermediate position, which is for the wider society to recognise that people disagree and therefore to allow families or communities to make their own choices, insofar as that is possible.

There's something problematic about saying that people disagree and therefore communities make their own choices. What happens if the people within the families or communities disagree?

quote:
quote:

You're rejecting the liberal paradigm in which people with irreconcilable visions of the good life negotiate rules that enable them as far as possible to live together in accordance with their respective visions of the good life.

I'm not rejecting that outright. I'm asking who negotiates with whom. And wanting that negotiated position to track objective morality. Despite recognising that we perceive this imperfectly.
That's interesting. Presumably you think that negotiations might not track objective morality. Now if there is a possibility of tracking objective morality then a process of debate and discussion ought to converge upon it. So you think that depending on who is negotiating there is a possibility of the negotiating process being thrown off, presumably because some of the participants have the power to throw the process off. If some participants are able to throw off the process by irrelevant inducements (argument by threats or argument by bribes) then negotiations won't track objective morality. Is that what you're arguing?

quote:
quote:

But if someone thinks their vision of the good life gives rise to moral issues then they're allowed to set that up as a rule for everyone else.

That seems to be what those whose vision involves a morality based on harm are simultaneously doing and criticising others for.
So you're recognising that morality is included within visions of the good life and derives from visions of the good life? But you don't think imposing morality is the same as imposing a vision of the good life?

Almost every vision of the good life thinks that involuntary harm is a bad thing. Any procedural set of rules settled upon by negotiation is going to include prohibitions upon causing harm because nobody, whatever their vision of the good life, is going to want to have to accept other people inflicting harm upon them.
Any system of rights is a harm-based morality since a violation of a natural right is a harm.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Russ, i don't know where that remark about people being non-people or wicked came from. It certainly didn't come out of anything I said.

I had the impression some people were trying to paint conservatives as nasty oppressive people imposing their ideas on others and progressives as nice freedom-loving people who don't.

Having carefully framed the issue as lying outside of any areas where they believed there to be moral duties which other people ought to comply with.

Probably wasn't you...

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Russ, i don't know where that remark about people being non-people or wicked came from. It certainly didn't come out of anything I said.

I had the impression some people were trying to paint conservatives as nasty oppressive people imposing their ideas on others and progressives as nice freedom-loving people who don't.

Having carefully framed the issue as lying outside of any areas where they believed there to be moral duties which other people ought to comply with.

Probably wasn't you...

I queried why people wish to make others live in accordance with their own views, yes.

Because that's one of the fundamental issues here: accepting that some people think contraception is morally wrong, does that mean the law should ban contraception FOR EVERYBODY ELSE?

Because those people who believe contraception is morally wrong won't be using it. A ban has no effect on them. The people it affects are all the other people who would willingly use contraception.

Many of your comments seem to veer to the notion that the mere knowledge that OTHER people are using contraception is of such distress to those who think contraception is wrong, that we must ban it for everyone. Which to me is putting their "rights" far too highly.

[ 18. August 2017, 23:41: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
...
I'm saying that there are people who believe that contraception is a moral right/wrong issue and not a personal choice issue.

I'm not one of them.

And those people are no more inherently wicked than anyone else.

It might seem like society has a binary choice - to go along with or reject the proposition that contraception is a personal choice issue.

But there's an intermediate position, which is for the wider society to recognise that people disagree and therefore to allow families or communities to make their own choices, insofar as that is possible....

Which sounds reasonable until the townsfolk show up at the door insisting the parents use birth control from now on ... please ... we've seen your other kids ... it's the community's choice.

Either people can make their own choices about the most intimate and personal aspects of their lives or they can't. There's no intermediate position.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I queried why people wish to make others live in accordance with their own views, yes.

And the answer is because they think their views are both true/correct and refer to morals (i.e. what is right or wrong) rather than custom & culture.

Just the same as you do.

quote:
those people who believe contraception is morally wrong won't be using it. A ban has no effect on them. The people it affects are all the other people who would willingly use contraception.
Interesting argument. Does criminalising murder have no effect on those who believe murder is wrong ? So the only people it affects are those who don't ?

quote:

Many of your comments seem to veer to the notion that the mere knowledge that OTHER people are using contraception is of such distress to those who think contraception is wrong, that we must ban it for everyone. Which to me is putting their "rights" far too highly.

I don't think we must ban it for everyone.

I'm saying we should not estimate that distress at zero. Not kid ourselves that we follow an ethic of "cause no distress".

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And the answer is because they think their views are both true/correct and refer to morals (i.e. what is right or wrong) rather than custom & culture.

Just the same as you do.

No, not just the same as I do.

Because here's the thing about me: I don't have such blinding confidence in the rightness of all my views that I believe other people ought to live by them.

And that, Sir, is the whole point.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Dafyd talking about
the liberal paradigm in which people with irreconcilable visions of the good life negotiate rules that enable them as far as possible to live together in accordance with their respective visions of the good life.

Said
quote:

Presumably you think that negotiations might not track objective morality. Now if there is a possibility of tracking objective morality then a process of debate and discussion ought to converge upon it.

If some participants are able to throw off the process by irrelevant inducements (argument by threats or argument by bribes) then negotiations won't track objective morality. Is that what you're arguing?

Seems to me that negotiation implies each side conceding something in order to secure some corresponding concession from the other side.

I don't see why such a process should converge on the right answer. Because it's not a conversation between disinterested parties.

Isn't it in the interests of community A to concede for example community B's right to practice "honour killings" on community B's members, as a trade-off for accepting some less-morally-serious point which more directly affects community A ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

Because here's the thing about me: I don't have such blinding confidence in the rightness of all my views that I believe other people ought to live by them.

And that, Sir, is the whole point.

I apologise if I have mischaracterised your position. My impression was that you were one of several people arguing that other people ought to both live by your motto "do no harm" and abide by your judgment as to what constitutes harm.

And then fooling yourselves that you're not trying to impose anything on anyone.

I'm really not wanting to single you out. Just to make the point that all of us humans are in the same boat.

Sorry if I've not appreciated what you're saying.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Seems to me that negotiation implies each side conceding something in order to secure some corresponding concession from the other side.

Really? You don't think it might imply trying to find a position of mutual gain?

quote:
I don't see why such a process should converge on the right answer. Because it's not a conversation between disinterested parties.
There is no such thing as a disinterested party when it comes to ethics. So if only a conversation between disinterested parties can track objective morality tracking objective morality becomes impossible.

quote:
Isn't it in the interests of community A to concede for example community B's right to practice "honour killings" on community B's members, as a trade-off for accepting some less-morally-serious point which more directly affects community A ?
Would a situation in which community B practices honour killings on both community A and community B not be even further from morality?
However, which community do the women and girls who are potentially subject to honour killings belong to? Because if they're members of community B then it seems that community B doesn't speak with one voice on this. If they constitute community A then it's in community A's interests not to concede the right to community B. If they form a third community C then community C are also party to the negotiations and unwilling to concede the point.
And what happens if the cause for the proposed honour-killing is a woman from community B marrying a woman from community A?
Shifting from negotiations between people to negotiations between communities means treating communities as monolithic blocks with no overlap or intermingling.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

Because here's the thing about me: I don't have such blinding confidence in the rightness of all my views that I believe other people ought to live by them.

And that, Sir, is the whole point.

I apologise if I have mischaracterised your position. My impression was that you were one of several people arguing that other people ought to both live by your motto "do no harm" and abide by your judgment as to what constitutes harm.

And then fooling yourselves that you're not trying to impose anything on anyone.

I'm really not wanting to single you out. Just to make the point that all of us humans are in the same boat.

Sorry if I've not appreciated what you're saying.

No, we are NOT all in the same boat, because once again (aside from the whole mischaracterisation thing) you are utterly failing to grasp that granting permission for things to happen is not imposing.

Say it with me: the opposite of banning something is not simply permitting it. The opposite of banning something is making it compulsory.

If people believe that allowing things to happen is "imposing" that thing on those who would prefer it not happen - whether that thing is contraception, gay marriage, whatever - then my goodness no wonder they walk around feeling persecuted all the time. It must be hell living in a world where billions of people are not clones of oneself.

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Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

If people believe that allowing things to happen is "imposing" that thing on those who would prefer it not happen - whether that thing is contraception, gay marriage, whatever - then my goodness no wonder they walk around feeling persecuted all the time. It must be hell living in a world where billions of people are not clones of oneself.

I'm waiting for Abp Glenn to say that if the plebiscite passes, SSM will become compulsory. His missive on the topic, handed out on Sunday in obedience to his request, was just plain silly. Not what you'd expect from someone with his academic qualifications.

[ 21. August 2017, 03:02: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm saying we should not estimate that distress at zero. Not kid ourselves that we follow an ethic of "cause no distress".

The ethic I advocated was "cause no harm", not "cause no distress". If someone is distressed that other people want to live their lives in a different way than them (when that distress is the only negative consequence for them) then that's their problem.

To put it another way, hell yes we should estimate that distress as zero when considering what society should allow or not. Nobody should get to impose harm on someone else simply because it would upset them to do otherwise.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

Isn't it in the interests of community A to concede for example community B's right to practice "honour killings" on community B's members, as a trade-off for accepting some less-morally-serious point which more directly affects community A ?

And how, precisely, are you assigning people to community membership here? Is this "I don't care what brown people do to each other as long as they keep it in their own areas?"

Because I'm going to have just the teensiest suspicion that the victim of an "honour killing" would quite like to have benefitted from the rest of our society's prohibition on killing people.

If you're really wedded to your bullshit community private law nonsense, perhaps I could offer as a suggestion that by doing some act to "provoke" an honour killing, the woman in question (because it's always women, isn't it) has actively removed herself from the rules of the community that would like to kill her. In which case, having removed herself from that community, you can no longer expect her to be subject to its internal rules.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
You don't think it might imply trying to find a position of mutual gain?

That too. But if there are no concessions and no tradeoffs required then that suggests an absence of underlying conflict. Which is the opposite of what Chesterton is saying...

quote:
There is no such thing as a disinterested party when it comes to ethics. So if only a conversation between disinterested parties can track objective morality tracking objective morality becomes impossible.
I'm not saying it's impossible; I'm saying it's not a guaranteed outcome of a negotiation process. Because people can talk from their disinterested moral intuition or they can talk from their perceived self-interest and their partisan sympathies and their attachment to their own culture's way of doing things.

I don't disagree with anything you say about homour killings, which was just an example.

Feels like we've drifted from the topic of what progressivism is...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

And then fooling yourselves that you're not trying to impose anything on anyone.

you are utterly failing to grasp that granting permission for things to happen is not imposing.

You're right - granting permission is not imposing.

So when progressive feminism compels gentlemen's clubs to admit women as members, that's imposing not permitting.

When courts compel religiously-minded bakers not to distinguish between a sacrament and a blasphemy (as they see it), that's imposing not permitting.

When organisations start getting prosecuted for having single-gender washrooms, that's imposing not permitting.

Say after me - progressivism is not libertarian. It's not about increasing freedom of choice.

It's about thinking that the act of excluding people is (morally) wrong and should therefore be prohibited.

And progressives in general, ISTM, do have the blinding confidence you claim to lack that this is right and should be imposed on all who disagree.

Unless you can suggest a more accurate way of putting it ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Say after me - progressivism is not libertarian. It's not about increasing freedom of choice.

You forgot your other favorite example, using the power of the state to limit parent's "right" to send their kids to racially segregated public schools. Sort of like the "freedom of choice" of not being able to find a hotel room or restaurant that will serve 'your kind', "freedom" is being considered only from one side. In a lot of cases the 'libertarian' case for freedom of choice is just a euphemism for siding with the powerful.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
You don't think it might imply trying to find a position of mutual gain?

That too. But if there are no concessions and no tradeoffs required then that suggests an absence of underlying conflict. Which is the opposite of what Chesterton is saying...
Chesterton is talking about a different situation and answering a different question.

quote:
quote:
There is no such thing as a disinterested party when it comes to ethics. So if only a conversation between disinterested parties can track objective morality tracking objective morality becomes impossible.
I'm not saying it's impossible; I'm saying it's not a guaranteed outcome of a negotiation process. Because people can talk from their disinterested moral intuition or they can talk from their perceived self-interest and their partisan sympathies and their attachment to their own culture's way of doing things.
What you call our 'disinterested moral intuition' is nothing but the unacknowledged sediment of what you are pleased to call 'our perceived self-interest our partisan sympathies and attachment to our culture's way of doing things'. There isn't any other route to objective truth here.
The more you think you're speaking from moral intuition the more you're the prisoner of your own assumptions.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Say after me - progressivism is not libertarian. It's not about increasing freedom of choice.

Yes we know libertarianism isn't about increasing freedom of choice. We know libertarianism is about keeping freedom of choice in the hands of the people who already have choices. What's your point in raising such a banal observation?

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There isn't any other route to objective truth here. The more you think you're speaking from moral intuition the more you're the prisoner of your own assumptions.

Are you arguing that there's no route to objective truth? Or that there is a route and it doesn't involve an effort to be more objective by setting aside one's own partisan sympathies ?

Not sure where you're coming from here. Or what an unacknowledged sediment looks like...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Because I'm going to have just the teensiest suspicion that the victim of an "honour killing" would quite like to have benefitted from the rest of our society's prohibition on killing people.

At the point where she first felt her life was in danger, certainly. From the outset, from before she was first tempted to the deed that incurred the wrath of her extended family ? ?

I don't know the answer. I oscillate between the cynical view that we humans tend to be in favour of tight-knit communities with their own distinctive customs until what we want to do falls foul of the "social rules" of such a community.

And the cultural-imperialist view that we should be more conscious of the Western cultural tradition of individual liberty and more willing to impose it on immigrants as a condition of residence in Western countries.

quote:

If you're really wedded to your bullshit community private law nonsense...

Don't think I'm wedded to it. I see it as a possible compromise between irreconcilable views. Something that might result from a genuine negotiation.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

I don't know the answer. I oscillate between the cynical view that we humans tend to be in favour of tight-knit communities with their own distinctive customs until what we want to do falls foul of the "social rules" of such a community.

You might be interested in this piece of news (a group of Muslim women in India successfully fight against Muslim cultural practice in Indian civil court).
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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
When courts compel religiously-minded bakers not to distinguish between a sacrament and a blasphemy (as they see it), that's imposing not permitting.

The conservative's favourite example relies on an unstated assumption that the role of "baker" and the role of "moral guardian" are readily interchangeable.

They're not. And yeah, the law imposes that. The law says that if you choose to open a bakery to the public (usually without a sign that says "RELIGIOUS bakery"), then you've got to follow through with that choice.

Choices have consequences. The choice of opening a bakery has consequences. Among the other things that are imposed on bakers are laws about food preparation, laws about displaying prices, laws about paying employees, laws about advertising, laws about opening hours, laws about seating capacity if it's a place you can sit and eat, laws about paying taxes.

That's a hell of a lot of imposing that goes on. So I have to ask, why focus so much on the imposition that says "don't treat your gay customers like shit"?

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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I mean, the whole notion that bakers are in the business of distinguishing between PURPOSES for cakes is absurd. They're not. Their job requires distinguishing between cakes.

Cakes don't have sexual preferences or political leanings. They have or don't have eggs, sugar, butter, fruit. There's no such thing as a sacramental cake or a blasphemous cake. There's just a bunch of human beings who are imposing intentions onto ingredients.

The only relevant "purpose" of a cake is to be suitable for eating.

Bakers who think they are in the business of determining the suitability of the eater of the cake have misunderstood their function.

[ 23. August 2017, 14:16: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Are you arguing that there's no route to objective truth? Or that there is a route and it doesn't involve an effort to be more objective by setting aside one's own partisan sympathies ?

It involves increasing and widening one's sympathies rather than setting them aside.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Martin60
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# 368

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Is the social-progressive mindset winning? Or has it peaked, delivered all it possibly can in terms of plural equity and in fact is failing? It's failed, lost the most recent battles, in the US with Trump and the UK with Brexit. Has it lost the war? Is its last redoubt the EU? It has no meaningful traction in China, Russia and other large developing economies: Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria. I suspect that Turkey, being Muslim, will have less extremes of poverty, for Turks; is more economically socially effective, but it isn't progressive, plural, it's going Islamic nationalist. Hispanic America won't be egalitarian for centuries anymore than the US will be, just libertarian. You can be poor and gay in a favela. Africa will lag even that while its population explodes.

India looks nearly hopeful. A fifth of humanity. Half a millennium of 'moderate' Islam Nusantara is under threat in Indonesia, could go the way of Pakistan in a generation.

My early adolescent sci-fi/speculative fiction reading comes to mind. The great dystopias of Heinlein (Starship Troopers, Farnham's Freehold), Brunner (Stand On Zanzibar), Vonnegut (Player Piano), all where libertarianism rules. There is no universal social justice. And where there is, there is none: Le Guin's The Dispossessed.

I'm astounded that there is no MLK, nor a Jimmy Carter or an LBJ in the US. No Mandela in the global South. Not even a Saladin. The day of such MEN is over. Liberal minded European and Indian faceless technocrats and institutions are the only hope? There is no hope for England, the institutions of local government, the NHS, education are being hollowed out behind their faces by low tax financed 'free' enterprise.

Carry on.

In this dying backwater of endangered species.

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mdijon
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# 8520

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Shifting from negotiations between people to negotiations between communities means treating communities as monolithic blocks with no overlap or intermingling.

Which is what we have nation states for.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Russ--

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Isn't it in the interests of community A to concede for example community B's right to practice "honour killings" on community B's members, as a trade-off for accepting some less-morally-serious point which more directly affects community A ?

I may be understanding-impaired tonight, or sarcasm impaired. But are you saying the answer to this is "yes"???

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Are you arguing that there's no route to objective truth? Or that there is a route and it doesn't involve an effort to be more objective by setting aside one's own partisan sympathies ?

It involves increasing and widening one's sympathies rather than setting them aside.
So what's the difference between the impartiality of setting aside one's own greater sympathy for one side and the impartiality of widening one's sympathies to include both sides equally ?

I think it's the same as the point we had a short while ago about the negotiated answer not necessarily being the right answer.

Seems like there's something unprincipled about your approach.

I think you're denying that there is a right answer that someone without sympathies - a robot judge - could reach on the basis of principles or rules.

And asserting that the right answer is based on the balance of sympathy that a right-feeling person would feel for each side, within the historical and cultural context.

Or am I misreading you ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
So what's the difference between the impartiality of setting aside one's own greater sympathy for one side and the impartiality of widening one's sympathies to include both sides equally ?


Because some will use any sympathy you show them to bolster their power - and are very likely to use it to beat you later.

You are either with the Nazis or against them. You can't say "oh I think they have a point, because there are two sides in the argument of whether black people are fully human and endowed with human rights" - because that's saying that you support their concepts of racial superiority.

These are not questions where the answer is to give both sides equal sympathy.

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arse

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
It involves increasing and widening one's sympathies rather than setting them aside.

So what's the difference between the impartiality of setting aside one's own greater sympathy for one side and the impartiality of widening one's sympathies to include both sides equally ?
What's the difference between making a judgment after listening to both sides and making a judgement after listening to neither side?

quote:
I think it's the same as the point we had a short while ago about the negotiated answer not necessarily being the right answer.
You had that point. I pointed out you didn't have any other way of tracking the right answer.

quote:
Seems like there's something unprincipled about your approach.
I don't think 'unprincipled' means what you're ostensibly claiming to mean by it.

quote:
I think you're denying that there is a right answer that someone without sympathies - a robot judge - could reach on the basis of principles or rules.
As a conservative believer in objective morality of course I deny that.
('Principles' incidentally are not the same as 'rules'. Principles are general statements that one follows more or less closely. Rules are specific statements that one either follows or not. Seems to me that by 'objective morality' you're looking for a framework of rules that if ticked off allow you then to be as much of a moral jobsworth as you like.)

I'm an Aristotelian. An Aristotelian argues that the application of moral principles is not a matter of rule-following that a robot could do, but requires wisdom ('phronesis' in Greek). Wisdom is a virtue acquired by habit and participation in a human form of life. In order to successfully apply a moral principle one must understand the point of the principle, a point that can't itself be fully grasped without training in the virtue behind the principle. So courage for example isn't merely disregarding danger, which would be recklessness, but responding to danger in a way proportional to the threat and the goal to be achieved.
As humans are social animals there are few goods, not even the most self-interested, that a human being can achieve well without the cooperation of other humans. (No goods at all if you think that humans start out life as babies.) Therefore, sympathy for the other humans with which one interacts is a fundamental requirement for understanding human society and the human form of life, and thus a fundamental part of wisdom.

As a robot without sympathies neither has a human form of life nor is capable of coming to understand a human form of life it cannot develop wisdom and therefore cannot successfully apply moral principles. All it can do is churn through logical tautologies.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

You are either with the Nazis or against them. You can't say "oh I think they have a point, because there are two sides in the argument of whether black people are fully human and endowed with human rights" - because that's saying that you support their concepts of racial superiority.

These are not questions where the answer is to give both sides equal sympathy.

I'm not asking you to have equal sympathy with Nazis. I'm saying that Nazis have the same moral rights as any other human being. And that judging justly requires you to set aside your anti-Nazi sympathies and decide on the basis of a framework of moral rights and duties which is applicable to everyone.

If you believe in rights such as free speech and a fair trial but would deny those rights to Nazis, how are you any better than they are ?

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

If you believe in rights such as free speech and a fair trial but would deny those rights to Nazis, how are you any better than they are ?

I don't believe in free speech as an absolute, I believe it should always be weighed against the damage it does and the circumstances in which things are said.

I've never said anything about a fair trial, not sure why you are bringing that up.

Basically Nazis have rights as people, but given that they want to use those rights to inflict damage onto other people - that they consider to be lesser beings and unworthy of the stuff that they, the master race, deserve - then those who are the subject of the bile deserve to be protected from them.

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arse

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Russ--

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Isn't it in the interests of community A to concede for example community B's right to practice "honour killings" on community B's members, as a trade-off for accepting some less-morally-serious point which more directly affects community A ?

I may be understanding-impaired tonight, or sarcasm impaired. But are you saying the answer to this is "yes"???
Yes. Not because I believe this would be a good outcome. But to make the point that a negotiated morality wouldn't necessarily resemble morality as we understand it.

It also serves as a point against the ridiculous notion that progressives are nice people who don't want to impose their moral convictions on others.

I do try not to employ sarcasm. This was just a rhetorical question.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3032 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
Shipmate
# 368

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And therefore deserves the appropriate response.

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Love wins

Posts: 16899 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
hatless

Shipmate
# 3365

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What makes someone a Nazi or a fascist is not only opinions about racial superiority and inferiority, but their willingness or eagerness to use violence alongside their arguments. They lie, intimidate, use force and ultimately kill on behalf of their opinions; their angrily asserted claims to dominance. What starts with the denial of full humanity to a person or group of people ends, if there is no check along the way, with death camps.

Nazi style views are not interestingly different opinions to set alongside other ones in a polite and respectful debate. Nazis believe those who they regard as less human have no place in the debate. Their aim is not to have an open minded discussion, but to win the argument by any means, ultimately by eliminating those who disagree.

Goering sometimes said things that were true, but he deserves no credit for this. He said whatever served his purpose, whether it was true, inaccurate or the invented. As Bonhoeffer encapsulated it, 'a truth told by a liar is worse than a lie told by a truthful man'.

We always twist arguments to serve our secret agendas, but there comes a point when one side wishes to exclude the other from the debate, when debate is no longer the appropriate way forwards. When people actually dehumanise others, justify injustice, and sympathise with physical violence then we need to oppose them not just in debate but by rallying support and wider opinion against them.

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4497 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged



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