A Puzzle.

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Arjen
 
Reply Wed 7 May, 2008 10:25 pm
@Pessimist,
Kant's question has no bearing on the way he formulates his hypothetic and categoric imperatives. It does however imply his opinion. I think what you are doing is a very nasty thing. You are willfully twisting words and intentions because of a wounded ego.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 7 May, 2008 11:24 pm
@Arjen,
Arjen wrote:
Kant's question has no bearing on the way he formulates his hypothetic and categoric imperatives. It does however imply his opinion. I think what you are doing is a very nasty thing. You are willfully twisting words and intentions because of a wounded ego.
2-bit psychoanalysis aside, all I'm doing is relaying my understanding of Kant's Groundings for the Metaphysics of Morals, a work I've both studied academically and read several times. Perhaps you can explain why that's a "very nasty thing". And why are you more concerned with how his opinion is implied than you are with how his philosophy is carefully articulated?
 
Justin
 
Reply Thu 8 May, 2008 12:05 am
@Pessimist,
We really need to start a couple Kant threads in the Kant forum. Aedes and Arjen are ending up on Kant in almost every thread. Maybe there ought to be some sort of formal debate series. This is something that we really need to do. Smile
 
Arjen
 
Reply Thu 8 May, 2008 12:36 am
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
We really need to start a couple Kant threads in the Kant forum. Aedes and Arjen are ending up on Kant in almost every thread. Maybe there ought to be some sort of formal debate series. This is something that we really need to do. Smile

I do not see much point in it. Aedes is reasoning with a "goal" in mind and thereby projects. No debate can get him to another viewpoint as long as he chooses deni-all.
 
de budding
 
Reply Thu 8 May, 2008 08:44 am
@Pessimist,
Arjen,
I only got time for a quick response right now, so I was wondering if you could point me towards were Kant originally speaks about duty. I've only grazed it in existentialist books that quote him; I'd love to read something closer to his original ideas.

Pessimist,
Pessimist wrote:

1# Freedom throughout history has never encompassed everyone or all therefore a statement like this doesn't make much sense to me.



2# Yet there exists no guarantee and often enough people will do unto others as they themselves want to be treated as only to achieve a sharp razor knife in their back.



3# In a controlled environment the pen can indeed be mightier than the sword but once the pen is place in a uncontrolled environment it is cut in half.


for me too answer each one of your cherry picked points I could only adopt a series of similar comments that don't agree with yours (not good for discussion if that's what you after); it will be a needles back and forth that could be easily resolved if I understood what your general rebuttal was. But I'll submit for now

1# Well I've seen the intent a lot of places (existentialism? other social-humanistic IDEAS?) and why does that mean it shouldn't?

2# this point relates more to the first point about a unified freedom of choice- so in that context, some break the 'rules' of freedom and these are criminals who should be- and some are, acknowledged as objectively wrong.

3# In my country the environment is controlled and favors the pen, for reasons rooted in 1# and 2#

Dan.
 
Arjen
 
Reply Thu 8 May, 2008 11:13 am
@Pessimist,
De budding, I think that Kant is a hard philosopher to understand. Apart from that he has a lot to offer. Justin made a nice subforum for Kant which I think is really great. We could discuss Kant there and leave this topic a little more undefined. I will offcourse, answer your questions, but I just think it would server more purposes in the Kant subforum.

de budding wrote:

I only got time for a quick response right now, so I was wondering if you could point me towards were Kant originally speaks about duty. I've only grazed it in existentialist books that quote him; I'd love to read something closer to his original ideas.

Well, I think these two books are the ones you should read. They have a lot to offer and certainly are not easy:
Kritik der reinen Vernunft
Kritik der practischen Vernunft

The first is the most important work of Kant, in which he explains his philosophies. The second is the work on his morals. Perhaps the latter can only be understood by reading the first.

Regarding your three points:
The problem with good intentions is that they pave the road to hell. For when the intent is to "create" a better world there are always people left behind. The problem lies within the judgement "better". This is a value-judgement and does not exist in reality; we can only project it onto reality.

What happens with such a projection is the measuring with double values: right and wrong. In such a measuring lies an acting on the basis of said judgement. That is why people get left out.

So, we see that the "better world" excludes everyone is because of the double values. The double values get started by the judgement, but then what starts the judgment?

The judgement is started by the necessity to judge. Such a necessity can only be started by having definitions; a certain "goal" in mind. The goal is based on those definition and results in a judgement. What we see here is the development of circulatory reasoning. The "goal" mindedness is always an indication for circulatory reasoning. The circle in this case is the "rulebase" for good and bad, creating a "goal" and thereby excluding those who are not part of the "good" in the rulebase because they are not part of the rulebase. The priori assumption of "good" creates the judgement of "good" (and "evil").

The rulebase of "good" and "evil" (just as "right" and "wrong") is a hypothetical one because we have no way of checking what something is because we are a part of it. (<--moral skepticism)

Well, I hope this helps.
 
de budding
 
Reply Thu 8 May, 2008 03:28 pm
@Pessimist,
Helps a lot Smile. Thanks
 
nameless
 
Reply Fri 9 May, 2008 04:07 pm
@Pessimist,
Pessimist wrote:
If a man does not benefit from being moral and ethical, why should he be moral or ethical?

There is no choice. We must be in accord with our nature. It's all a 'done deal' already.
I happen to be free of 'morality' (judgement), though I do seem to be an ethical creature most of the time.
It is not a 'choice' but an expression of my 'inherent nature'.

Quote:

If a man has more benefit being violent and ruthless why shouldn't he act in that way?

See above.
 
krazy kaju
 
Reply Fri 9 May, 2008 04:25 pm
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
There is no choice. We must be in accord with our nature. It's all a 'done deal' already.
I happen to be free of 'morality' (judgement), though I do seem to be an ethical creature most of the time.
It is not a 'choice' but an expression of my 'inherent nature'.


Although it is undeniable that humans have certain evolutionary "morals," you cannot say that morality is in anyone's inherent nature, for multiple reasons:

  1. Human morality is unprincipled. Most individual humans have contradicting morals. For example, some follow a utilitarian line of reasoning when dealing with government, a divine command theory in relation to person-to-person interaction, but a "personal relativist" position on abortion, even though these three can be contradicting ethical systems.
  2. A large part of human morality has to do with nurture, not nature. Most of the morals we have are effectively learned from our parents, the media, and our educators.
  3. Morals are subjective. This point concurs with point 2, but specifies on the fact that morals differ from society to society, culture to culture (i.e. strict Muslim morality vs. Western morality). Ethical views also differ from person to person greatly.
 
Wizzy
 
Reply Sat 10 May, 2008 04:19 am
@Pessimist,
Pessimist wrote:
If a man does not benefit from being moral and ethical, why should he be moral or ethical?

If a man has more benefit being violent and ruthless why shouldn't he act in that way?

It's simple, because the society have to work

If men never would have been socialized (as you say: moral and ethical) how would the world look today you think?

We would be animals, living in small packs with one violent leader who rules with an iron fist and nobody els in the pack dares to stand up to that one leader, alpha male if you wish. We wouldn't have technology because we never could have gotten that peace to make the inventions, we would be nothing but animals, how can you not see that?

Humans have made great efforts to find these immoral, violent, ruthless alphas and kill them or -in modern times- isolate them from the rest of our society.

We need our moral and ethics to functions as a society, otherwise the world wars would be nothing compared to how the world would be..

The reason why you can get benefits from beeing violent and ruthless is because the system is designed for those who isn't, but I've got to say, the system is also designed to remove the ones who are and belive me, in the long run, thing will come back to the person who is violent and ruthless. Escobar got shot, Capone spent a long time in prison, Paul Castellano got assassinated, the only person I can think of right of the bat like this that never got his come-upins is Fidel Castro acctually.. However the point is that ofcourse there is people who have made alot on beeing violent and ruthless but in the end they usually get what they dish out..

Now you might question "So I'm an alpha?" but my guess is: no, because if you where you would be hiding it because you would have allready been aware of this and gotten in situations where it would atleast have been close to society wanting to get rid of you too, which once again I don't belive you have because you would then -once again- probably be hiding that side of your personality. And for another thing, you said in another thread that you only liked the kind of power where you had direct controll of something, an alpha should love all power and all controll in every shape and form, not to mention responsibility which you also said that you didn't like, not to mention that you don't like other people, which an alpha should love because they should love to lead them.. Ofcourse, what do I know?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 10 May, 2008 08:42 am
@Pessimist,
Pessimist wrote:
If a man does not benefit from being moral and ethical, why should he be moral or ethical?

If a man has more benefit being violent and ruthless why shouldn't he act in that way?


That is the central question of Plato's, Republic, "Why should I be moral?". Plato's answer was that no man can benefit from being immoral, since immorality is ultimately self-destructive, so that it is always in an individual's self-interest to me moral. But, I am not telling you to buy that answer.
 
nameless
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:09 pm
@krazy kaju,
krazy kaju wrote:

nameless wrote:
There is no 'choice'. We must be in accord with our nature. It's all a 'done deal' already. I happen to be free of 'morality' (judgement), though I do seem to be an ethical creature most of the time. It is not a 'choice' but an expression of my 'inherent nature'.

Although it is undeniable that humans have certain evolutionary "morals," you cannot say that morality is in anyone's inherent nature, for multiple reasons:...

Stop right there!
If you read my post carefully, you'll see that I said that our 'actions' are in accordance with out nature.
That there is no 'choice/free-will'.
Morality (vanity/pride/sin.. depending on your 'orientation/perspective') is merely an egoic fantasy. We do not 'choose' to act in any particular way (though we can certainly 'feel' as if we do). With no 'choice', where does 'morality' enter? We certainly cannot deliberately act on 'our' moral notions, unless there is a coincidence where our (your, as I am amoral) moral notions just happen to coincide with (y)our behavior, which we happily 'interpret' as egoic justification..
 
Doobah47
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:19 pm
@nameless,
Morality is immoral. This statement is not true.

We must choose one way from a central paradox - the way that does not cause pain is most attractive to a human being. Whether to oneself or to another, the causing of pain is likely to result in more pain being dealt to the original perpetrator (anguish/guilt/retribution); we tend not to like pain, pain is suffering, so surely the path toward peace is of more benefit and more attractive than the path of violence. That is logic.

Hence logic and morality agree with each other - so only a careless fool would engage in violence as a means of expressing or collecting that which he desires.

Of course we are all violent from time to time - I suppose that we have multiple core personalities, we are fickle in this sense, so occasionally (or for others more frequently) our foolish, careless 'disorders' are revealed (I say 'disorder' for our consciousness is usually quite an orderly mechanism, for somebody to become violent - I assume - would require a disordering of the care and logic to which we usually adhere).
 
boagie
 
Reply Sun 18 May, 2008 02:29 pm
@Pessimist,
Pessimist wrote:
If a man does not benefit from being moral and ethical, why should he be moral or ethical?

If a man has more benefit being violent and ruthless why shouldn't he act in that way?


Pessimist,Smile

There are more forms of individual weaknesses than there are examples of individual strengths, physically we are strong only for a period of our life, after which, we then must depend upon the compassion and protection of a common humanity. It is in the interest of all individuals to encourage a common humanity, investment in compassion is investment in living a human life.
 
Calia
 
Reply Wed 4 Jun, 2008 07:51 pm
@Pessimist,
Pessimist wrote:
If a man does not benefit from being moral and ethical, why should he be moral or ethical?

If a man has more benefit being violent and ruthless why shouldn't he act in that way?


There is no quick answer because the question itself rests on too many axioms.

#1 - man seeks for his own greatest benefit
#2 - man will derive his greatest benefit through ruthlessness/ violence.

Assuming those two variables are true, and locking out the introduction of any other new variables makes this question a 'no brainer' because the answer was built into the question.

The first axiom would almost be universally granted. As much as possible, Man desires his maximum benefit.

Axiom 2 is universally countered that man achieves his maximum benefit when in a state of harmony. His next greatest benefit could arguably be achieved through ruthless violence when he decides harmony is unreachable and seeks then not his maximum benefit but percieved second greatest benefit. So the scenario breaks immediately on the first obstacle: "maximum benefit".

But the real fault in the question is the idea that man consciously knows what the maximum benefit is.

Man is capable of thought, therefore surmises the possibility of religion or planes of existance beyond 1. For the purposes of our example the 2 are interchangeable because either introduced the possibility that maximum benefit here (plane 1) is not maximum benefit at all. Behavior then skewed according to beliefs designed, imagined, etc. Man seeks his maximum benefit by eschewing violence in the hopes that a logical Plane 1 harmony based maximum benefit will be attained, failing that that they personally will be in the running for MB plane 2+. (Ergo they are seeking MB they just reject your axiom 2)

Recap: So why doesn't everyone behave selfishlessly (max benefit to self):

-Because we can't decide even for ourselves what that is.
-Because, on some level, we recognize that we don't know much about the universe and are individually yet collectively hedging our bets.

Which is why no ones a saint, because there may be nothing else, but few of us are absolute sinners either. Logically coupled with psychologically this behavior makes perfect sense. Those true saints and sinners among us are those who determined they "know" the answer to further planes sufficiently to place their bet "all in" if you'll forgive the coloquialism. Either by forsaking pleasure here or forsaking it 'there'.
 
 

 
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