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Old 4th March 2019, 11:48 PM   #601
HansMustermann
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That is true. However what me and the other Hans were calling trivial were not the notions or premises he uses, but his examples of what his superior morals say, like that he doesn't call his boss an idiot to his face. He refused to show how it works on anything else than such stuff that is absolutely trivial.

(And frankly, stuff that isn't even clear if it's even morals or just being meek and not rocking the boat.)

And then he comes and says it can't be trivial because HansMustermann can't address it. Derp.
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Old 5th March 2019, 01:13 AM   #602
David Mo
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Do you think there's a moral solution to this case? If so, what is it?

Of course, it might be helpful if you officially narrowed down which version of moral that you think is in play here. For example, to invoke a set of options from Mirriam-Webster...

After all, problems may well be occurring because of a distinct failure to actually be talking about the same thing because of fundamental underlying misunderstandings. Maybe.

Other than that, he had just directly answered your questions, in reasonable depth, in post #574, about an hour before your post. You simply ignoring that is a strong indicator that you're not paying attention to what he's actually said, which means that you are failing your side when it comes to having a rational discussion.
The term moral (noun) and morality are quite confused according to the languages and the authors. I use them in the following way:

Morality [moral; noun]: an informal public system applying to all rational persons, governing behaviour that affects others, having the lessening of evil or harm as its goal, and including what are commonly known as the moral rules, moral ideals, and moral virtues. (From Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy).

Moral is also and adjective in the above sense.

I already responded in two of my following comments to the Hans comment you point out (#574). Take a look, please. Perhaps you don't like my answer and have forgotten it. In any case, Hans' main mistake is that he confuses the moral law -which man gives to himself-with the law in the legal sense -which is the fruit of social powers, like public opinion or traditions. They are different things, as I mentioned above.

In any case, the fact that there is no answer to a single case that is not even presented in a clear manner and that he modifies when he likes, is not enough to rule out the convenience of a moral system. His system of confusing moral law with social laws has many more flaws, as we have seen with the cases I proposed.
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Old 5th March 2019, 01:34 AM   #603
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

And I mean, it's not even like you have to read it all, since it's defined in the first sentence in that link: "Social contract theory [...] is the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live."

Your concept of morality is based on illusory:

There is no general agreement on the laws of a country. They are complex enough that citizens cannot understand them and are unaware of all the technical subtleties they contain. And there can be no agreement about something that is not known or not understood.
Now it introduces public opinion (ideas and customs). But there is no public agreement on this point because in a society there is a diversity of opinions that cannot (fortunately) be reduced to a public opinion. And if there is a contradiction, there can be no agreement, as I demonstrated with several cases previously.

Your idea of morality is illusory because he does not grasp that social or legal norms are the outcome of power relations and reflect not the most just opinion, but the dominant one. For this reason, in many cases - and not only in dictatorships - dissent is fully justified and based on a concept of superior morality. Or that it has superior strength for certain individuals or groups. According to your moral system, any dissent of principle from dominant morality or the law should be condemned in the name of an agreement that exists only in the propaganda of the powerful.

By denying the right to one's own morals you leave individuals under the pressure of power. Yours is not conformism - as you said - it is the totalitarianism of majority, at best. You should read Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and see what your "conformism" is for.

What underlies this totalitarianism of the social norm is the fear of freedom and difference. It is a fear that powers exploit skillfully to get the repression to pass by the will of the majority or of "ours. And it works quite well. But it's immoral.

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Old 5th March 2019, 01:38 AM   #604
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Certainly all that you repeat about morality is not objective and there is no God does not refer to me. I don't think morality is objective and I'm reasonably sure that God doesn't exist. Find someone else to stick with.
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Old 5th March 2019, 02:08 AM   #605
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Your concept of morality is based on illusory:

There is no general agreement on the laws of a country.
And that is relevant... how? OF COURSE that when you get a ton of people to agree on something, you get a compromise, not something that everyone is totally in agreement with. So?

Plus, how is it better than everyone doing what their own "morals" say? Ted Bundy's morals obviously didn't have a problem with killing women. Some recent berks' morals said it's ok to fly an airplane full of passengers into a skyscraper full of people to make a political point. A lot of rapists' morals say women need to be punished for not putting out. (No, really, turns out that rape is a lot less about sex, and more about power or vengeance.) Hell, even Critias since you brough him up, was just doing what his own moral code told him to. Etc.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
They are complex enough
Because they had to be, to fully define the kind of behaviours that we want or don't want. More than one idiot started with the idea that if they just give the basics, like "don't kill", "don't steal", etc, that's all you need. The OT is such an example. Turns out they had to give about 600 more rules after the 10 commandments to even scratch the surface of what they actually need to make a society work.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
that citizens cannot understand them and are unaware of all the technical subtleties they contain. And there can be no agreement about something that is not known or not understood.
There are lawyers who can explain it to you, if you think something is wrong. If you can't be assed to even inform yourself, that means it's working pretty well, or it would become quite worth the bother.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
By denying the right to one's own morals you leave individuals under the pressure of power. Yours is not conformism - as you said - it is the totalitarianism of majority, at best. You should read Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and see what your "conformism" is for.

What underlies this totalitarianism of the social norm is the fear of freedom and difference. It is a fear that powers exploit skillfully to get the repression to pass by the will of the majority or of "ours. And it works quite well. But it's immoral.
Right. I'm sure the women that got to live because we stopped Ted Bundy, or the people who didn't blow up because we stopped the Unabomber, are LIVID at how totalitarian and immoral we are to stop those from doing WTH they wanted
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Old 5th March 2019, 02:42 AM   #606
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The term moral (noun) and morality are quite confused according to the languages and the authors. I use them in the following way:

Morality [moral; noun]: an informal public system applying to all rational persons, governing behaviour that affects others, having the lessening of evil or harm as its goal, and including what are commonly known as the moral rules, moral ideals, and moral virtues. (From Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy).

Moral is also and adjective in the above sense.
If you're using that definition, that makes a number of your prior posts simply not work very well. Still, thank you for clarifying.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I already responded in two of my following comments to the Hans comment you point out (#574). Take a look, please.
I'm well aware that you "responded." You still seem not to grasp that he directly answered exactly what you had asked there, though. He pointed out specific principles that are shared in multiple settings, including a legal setting, but not limited to it. You seized upon the fact that such can count in a legal setting and then proceeded to ignore that they don't only apply to and were not only being applied to a legal setting.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Perhaps you don't like my answer and have forgotten it.
As wrongheaded as it was, it was well worth forgetting, but wasn't forgotten.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In any case, Hans' main mistake is that he confuses the moral law -which man gives to himself-with the law in the legal sense -which is the fruit of social powers, like public opinion or traditions. They are different things, as I mentioned above.
"governing behavior that affects others"

Again, your main mistake is trying to ignore that there's significant overlap and that society tends to play a significant role in shaping what one considers to be moral via a variety of methods (including codifying some of what are viewed as moral rules into law to lend distinctly more weight to them). They are indeed not "the same," yes, but to pretend that addressing one excludes addressing another is simply inviting error.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
In any case, the fact that there is no answer to a single case that is not even presented in a clear manner and that he modifies when he likes, is not enough to rule out the convenience of a moral system. His system of confusing moral law with social laws has many more flaws, as we have seen with the cases I proposed.
"including what are commonly known as the moral rules, moral ideals, and moral virtues"

Your stance is that there is not one. He obviously disagrees and cited moral rules to back up his stance. Moral rules that he considers to be reflected by, but not dependent upon, the legal settings that he's familiar with.
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Old 5th March 2019, 03:10 AM   #607
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TBH, even if ad absurdum they were only legal, so what? As I was saying, philosophy is defined as nothing more than thinking hard and critically about some issues, and as I've pointed out before, that's what legislators, lawyers and judges DO. In fact, I'd say pick any one western country (mostly because those are what I'm familiar with), say, England, and it's pretty clear that they put more thought into what is or isn't moral than all the philosophy departments in the world COMBINED put into everything COMBINED. And based it on real cases, not just generalities.

And all those criteria and doctrines I've mentioned are based on quite philosophical issues such as exactly what consequences of your actions are you responsible for, what constitutes self defense, etc. It seems to me like even if we abolished all laws and went some anarchistic utopia, those would still be quite valid questions to consider. And, sure enough, ancient philosophers did consider. E.g., Carneades which I mentioned tackled exactly the idea of what are the limits of self defense.

The other mentioned doctrines, same idea. E.g., let's say I bonk someone on the head, just to knock them out like movies showed me it works, no murder intended, but it turns out they had osteoporosis and thus a fragile skull, and I crack their skull, cause bleeding inside it, and (quite literally, that's what can happen) their brain ends up squeezed out of their skull like toothpaste. And they die. (Obviously.) Am I responsible for that consequence? That's what the eggshell skull doctrine is about.

Some people just spent a lot of time thinking about that important issue, and debating it with other people who spent time thinking about it. Seems to me like even if they weren't lawyers, it's quite an important concept to figure out.

So even if ad absurdum it were only lawyers who thought long and hard about it, I'm not sure what David's point is. I should be excluding them because... they're more qualified?

Hell, even the philosophical idea of social contracts that we've been debating was born out of parliamentary disputes. Hobbes, who wrote about that idea long before Rousseau, albeit didn't coin that term for it, got into it to address a constitutional dispute between royalists and proponents of democracy in Cromwell's time. Based on actual events and an actual problem society was facing, not just some fuzzy generalities.
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Old 5th March 2019, 04:03 AM   #608
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
If you're using that definition, that makes a number of your prior posts simply not work very well. Still, thank you for clarifying.
Trully? Can you explain this?
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Old 5th March 2019, 04:22 AM   #609
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And that is relevant... how? OF COURSE that when you get a ton of people to agree on something, you get a compromise, not something that everyone is totally in agreement with. So?

Plus, how is it better than everyone doing what their own "morals" say? Ted Bundy's morals obviously didn't have a problem with killing women. Some recent berks' morals said it's ok to fly an airplane full of passengers into a skyscraper full of people to make a political point. A lot of rapists' morals say women need to be punished for not putting out. (No, really, turns out that rape is a lot less about sex, and more about power or vengeance.) Hell, even Critias since you brough him up, was just doing what his own moral code told him to. Etc.
I think I have already explained this to you on another occasion, but as it seems that you do not remember, I will repeat it to you.

Moral reasoning has its limits: it needs common starting points, without which the discussion is useless. I have already told you that the objective of moral discussion is not to convince Critias, but those who enter into the moral debate. Against murderers, rapists and tyrants, morality can do nothing. It is a matter of justice, which has its laws.
Therefore, you can speak of a general consensus regarding the prevention of some basic crimes. But, even when such a consensus exists, on the laws to be applied, disagreements begin, which often include moral positions. Here the debate is essential and is prior to any criminal law. The final result can be so harmful to a minority or to a particular individual that he decides to practice conscientious objection or dissent. As long as it is on moral grounds, I believe that pursuing dissent on grounds that he doesn’t respect the ideas of the majority or minority in power is morally and politically perverse. It is simply totalitarian.

And the important thing is that you can't hide behind criminal laws, public opinion or any other entity that tries to hide moral dissent. You must take sides between some options and others and this can only be done through your freedom, your personal responsibility and your personal rationality. Pretending that the laws are given beforehand and that you should do nothing but follow them, is a very typical "objectivism" of those who do not want to assume responsibility for the continuous use of the freedom they are actually doing.
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Old 5th March 2019, 05:07 AM   #610
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I think I have already explained this to you on another occasion, but as it seems that you do not remember, I will repeat it to you.

Moral reasoning has its limits: it needs common starting points, without which the discussion is useless. I have already told you that the objective of moral discussion is not to convince Critias, but those who enter into the moral debate.
Bingo. And that was my point all along. You have to do SOMETHING about those.

At some point you have to say that Critias is wrong, and base it on more than your opinion vs his. At some point you have to say it's 100,000 of us who like democracy, vs 3000 of you who like being the oligarchy. Well, I guess we win.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is a matter of justice, which has its laws.
And where the heck do you think those laws originated, if not in morality? Do you think that when Ur-Nammu gave the first known code of laws, it was just some randomness for the lulz, or what? Do you think that when he gave those laws against kidnapping (law 3 in the Code Of Ur-Nammu) or perjury (law 28), it was totally unrelated to what that society thought is moral? Or what?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Therefore, you can speak of a general consensus regarding the prevention of some basic crimes. But, even when such a consensus exists, on the laws to be applied, disagreements begin, which often include moral positions. Here the debate is essential and is prior to any criminal law. The final result can be so harmful to a minority or to a particular individual that he decides to practice conscientious objection or dissent. As long as it is on moral grounds, I believe that pursuing dissent on grounds that he doesn’t respect the ideas of the majority or minority in power is morally and politically perverse. It is simply totalitarian.
Nobody proposed to prosecute you for having an opinion or dissenting. But when you start breaking the rules, it's idiotic to expect freedom from consequences just because you say some magic words. "It's against my morals" included.

Some people -- e.g., the early 20'th century anarchists and for that matter communists -- thought they're protesting an immoral regime by... blowing up innocents. Some people think they're protesting what they think is some kind of oppression of men by women, by raping a few women. Some people think they're fighting for proper morals by lynching gays. Some people think it's morally wrong to pay taxes. Etc.

If there were a magic phrase you can say to get scot-free out of breaking the laws, society would quite quickly degenerate into anarchy. Because one would have to be an idiot NOT to use the magic words, then, no matter what they did.


But the deeper issue seems to be that you have this idiotic good-vs-evil notion, where the world is divided between those who have any morals, and some cartoonish mustache-twirling villains who don't. So only the former would invoke morals, while the latter would cheerfully admit that they only believe in might making right. That's not how reality works. Plato's Critias is a strawman sockpuppet, not a case study in what an actual wrongdoer thinks.

And frankly, basing your ideas of how morality should work on what a fictive character says is just as stupid when it's Critias as when it's Darth Vader or The Joker. Every time I see you drop the name of Critias as actually meaning anything, I can replace it in my head with Darth Vader and it will be exactly as relevant to a talk about how the real world works.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And the important thing is that you can't hide behind criminal laws, public opinion or any other entity that tries to hide moral dissent. You must take sides between some options and others and this can only be done through your freedom, your personal responsibility and your personal rationality. Pretending that the laws are given beforehand and that you should do nothing but follow them, is a very typical "objectivism" of those who do not want to assume responsibility for the continuous use of the freedom they are actually doing.
Psst? Comprehension problems again? Nobody said that they're immutable. That's your having a talk with your own imagination again.
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Old 5th March 2019, 06:20 AM   #611
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
At some point you have to say it's 100,000 of us who like democracy, vs 3000 of you who like being the oligarchy. Well, I guess we win.
I guess you're not familiar with oligarchy.

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Old 5th March 2019, 07:54 AM   #612
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It was a reference to the real Critias and how his government got deposed, since David keeps bringing up Critias.

Though, duly noted, he also insists on using Plato's strawman sockpuppet instead, not the real Critias. Because obviously if you want to learn about RL morals, the ultimate source has got to be a fictive character presenting a strawman argument. You know, kinda like Darth Bane reciting the Sith Code. You just know that's what real dictators and lawbreakers believe, right? I mean, Darth Bane said it
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Old 5th March 2019, 08:43 AM   #613
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It was a reference to the real Critias and how his government got deposed, since David keeps bringing up Critias.

Though, duly noted, he also insists on using Plato's strawman sockpuppet instead, not the real Critias. Because obviously if you want to learn about RL morals, the ultimate source has got to be a fictive character presenting a strawman argument. You know, kinda like Darth Bane reciting the Sith Code. You just know that's what real dictators and lawbreakers believe, right? I mean, Darth Bane said it
Oh my God! I warned long time ago that "Critias" was a conventional name to symbolize a typical tyrant. I remember my own words: "let us call him "Critias""! Personification is a classical rhetorical and literary resource. The same that Caligula for Camus o Goetz for Sartre. What's your problem?

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Old 5th March 2019, 08:52 AM   #614
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
(...)And that was my point all along. You have to do SOMETHING about those.
I wrote some days ago:

“Convincing Critias is a rhetorical image. I don't think a ruthless tyrant like Critias could be convinced with rational arguments. I am sorry for Plato. (...)

(Normally in a discussion with an opponent one does not convince him, but the listeners who have a certain predisposition in the best of cases. But this is another matter).” (21st February 2019, 10:01 AM)

What am I to blame if you go with a fixed idea and don't read things?

Elsewhere I said that morality has its limits.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I said elsewhere that convincing tyrants like Critias is impossible. They have totally renounced their own freedom and that of others, or they are governed by a concept of absolute freedom that is illusory.
I can appeal to two sources: the consciousness of my freedom and the conditions in which it is really exercised. If someone wants to deceive himself, my ethics cannot respond to this. It is rather a matter of political struggle.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
At some point you have to say that Critias is wrong, and base it on more than your opinion vs his. At some point you have to say it's 100,000 of us who like democracy, vs 3000 of you who like being the oligarchy. Well, I guess we win.
And what if those who want tyranny are 100,000 against 3,000? Do you think that's not the case sometimes/many times?


Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And where the heck do you think those laws originated, if not in morality?
Holy naivety. Laws are sometimes dictated with good intentions sometimes to reinforce the power of a few against many. Unfortunately, the second option is the most common and that is why opinions and attitudes contrary to power are often pursued through laws. And this happens even in the best democracies.
That is why the fight against laws often has a moral content and laws are often unjust.



Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But the deeper issue seems to be that you have this (...) good-vs-evil notion, where the world is divided between those who have any morals, and some (...) who don't. So only the former would invoke morals, while the latter would cheerfully admit that they only believe in might making right. That's not how reality works.
The world is divided in many ways. One of them is between people who have a moral concern and cynics who have none. That third category that you introduce, those who want to do things "right", is the same as those who have a moral law --or it doesn't mean anything. As far as I know, right and wrong are typical moral concepts.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Psst? Comprehension problems again? Nobody said that they're immutable. That's your having a talk with your own imagination again.
And who said anything about immutability? Do you see how you read what is in your head instead of what is written?
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Old 5th March 2019, 10:49 AM   #615
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Oh my God! I warned long time ago that "Critias" was a conventional name to symbolize a typical tyrant. I remember my own words: "let us call him "Critias""! Personification is a classical rhetorical and literary resource. The same that Caligula for Camus o Goetz for Sartre. What's your problem?
Or Darth Vader, or Davros (leader of the Daleks in Doctor Who), or Cobra Commander (from GI Joe,) or Dick Dastardly (of Wacky Races fame,) no?

The point is still that you're using a fictive character as if it's evidence of anything in the real world. There's a reason why that's on the crackpot index.

Whether it's actually Plato's fictive character, or your own by the same name, or whatever, at the end of the day this is what remains: you repeatedly refuse to talk about REAL people, and insist on using a fictive strawman sockpuppet character instead as if that's somehow better evidence of anything.

THAT is my problem.
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Old 5th March 2019, 11:11 AM   #616
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I wrote some days ago:

“Convincing Critias is a rhetorical image. I don't think a ruthless tyrant like Critias could be convinced with rational arguments. I am sorry for Plato. (...)
Yet you seem to think that it's immoral and tyrannical to do anything about them, if they only say the magic words, "I did it in the name of my morals." Which most of them actually probably did.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
(Normally in a discussion with an opponent one does not convince him, but the listeners who have a certain predisposition in the best of cases. But this is another matter).” (21st February 2019, 10:01 AM)
And I'm still not interested in sophistry, which is what focusing on convincing listeners is all about. Philosophy and logic appeared as a response against sophistry.

But I guess it would explain your long string of strawmen, appeals to consequences, etc.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What am I to blame if you go with a fixed idea and don't read things?
I'm pretty sure I was only blaming you for not making any sense. Just the fact that you wrote some idiocies that don't even add up, doesn't mean I just have to accept them because I read them.

Newsflash: writing stopped being considered magical about 3000 years ago. Just that you wrote it, doesn't make it gospel

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Elsewhere I said that morality has its limits.
Yet you reject doing anything about it when it reaches those limits, because OMG, that would apparently be tyrannical.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And what if those who want tyranny are 100,000 against 3,000? Do you think that's not the case sometimes/many times?
I'm pretty sure that if any society actually managed to represent the interests of 98% of its members it's a pretty darned good one. If the oligarchy in the case of the real Critias feel it's tyrannical that they can't have things their way, well, cry me a river

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Holy naivety. Laws are sometimes dictated with good intentions sometimes to reinforce the power of a few against many. Unfortunately, the second option is the most common and that is why opinions and attitudes contrary to power are often pursued through laws. And this happens even in the best democracies.
So, ipse dixit postulates again?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
That is why the fight against laws often has a moral content and laws are often unjust.
Maybe. But in the end all you have is an idea about how to make the social contract better. If you can convince others that, yeah, that would work better, it becomes the new social contract, and the new morality.

As long as it's only your own idea that you should be able to do X, I fail to see why I'd even automatically call it "moral".

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The world is divided in many ways. One of them is between people who have a moral concern and cynics who have none. That third category that you introduce, those who want to do things "right", is the same as those who have a moral law --or it doesn't mean anything. As far as I know, right and wrong are typical moral concepts.
Right. Well, that was the whole point, actually. Tyrants and lawbreakers tend not to be cartoonish straman sockpuppets like Critias. Most have their own moral code too. They too think they're doing the right thing. Even when the underlying principle is "might is right", you'd be surprised how much justifying goes into how it's really some kind of fighting for freedom and against the tyranny of the majority (who forbids them to, say, screw a kid or execute an opponent.)

So to pretend that you should allow any deviation as long as it's objecting in the name of some morals, is just about as retarded an idea as you can get.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And who said anything about immutability? Do you see how you read what is in your head instead of what is written?
What you said -- and, as usual, then pretend to be too dumb to even remember -- is: "Pretending that the laws are given beforehand and that you should do nothing but follow them, is a very typical "objectivism" of those who do not want to assume responsibility for the continuous use of the freedom they are actually doing." I.e., you accuse me of treating them as something immutable, at least as far as I'm concerned.

Except nobody did that pretending. That's just a case of you lying about what the others said. Again.
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Old 5th March 2019, 12:17 PM   #617
IanS
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Holy naivety. Laws are sometimes dictated with good intentions sometimes to reinforce the power of a few against many. Unfortunately, the second option is the most common and that is why opinions and attitudes contrary to power are often pursued through laws. And this happens even in the best democracies.
That is why the fight against laws often has a moral content and laws are often unjust.


If we are not talking about ancient history, but talking as we should be about the 21st century in western democracies (you told us that you are in the EU in Spain?) then it's not "holy naivety" to accept that the laws are always intended as being fair and in the best interests of what is good vs what is bad for society in the long run.

Of course there will always be some people who feel sure that "the law is an ass" or that the courts and lawyers are corrupt, or that the law-makers are just trying to preserve their own self interests etc. Any of us may feel like that about some specific issue at some particular time. But what those people want to see as changes in those particular laws, would almost certainly be (it's legally judged to be) even more unfair and more problematic for wide sections of the society over the longer term.

The courts, judges, government lawmakers & legal advisors do not create laws either just for amusement or for their own corrupt purposes.

As far as morality & immorality are concerned, and what any individuals may view as either moral or immoral, afaik the disputes & disagreements are rarely serious enough for the courts to be involved. However, if such cases do end up in the courts, then the bottom line on what is decided to be either moral or immoral behaviour, is determined according to prevailing laws. It's not determined by what any of us as individuals might prefer.
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Old 5th March 2019, 12:47 PM   #618
Aridas
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Trully? Can you explain this?
I could. Of more concern, though, why would I fulfill your request? You consistently have chosen to ignore or thoroughly misrepresent the large majority of the things that I've pointed out. That's not behavior that gives me any reason to fulfill your requests, because it gives me plenty of reason to believe that any effort I put into it will be utterly wasted. Much like one could say that the effort put into the rest of that post was wasted, given how you've thoroughly ignored it.
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Old 5th March 2019, 12:50 PM   #619
MRC_Hans
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Your concept of morality is based on illusory:

There is no general agreement on the laws of a country. They are complex enough that citizens cannot understand them and are unaware of all the technical subtleties they contain. And there can be no agreement about something that is not known or not understood.
Now it introduces public opinion (ideas and customs). But there is no public agreement on this point because in a society there is a diversity of opinions that cannot (fortunately) be reduced to a public opinion. And if there is a contradiction, there can be no agreement, as I demonstrated with several cases previously.

Your idea of morality is illusory because he does not grasp that social or legal norms are the outcome of power relations and reflect not the most just opinion, but the dominant one. For this reason, in many cases - and not only in dictatorships - dissent is fully justified and based on a concept of superior morality. Or that it has superior strength for certain individuals or groups. According to your moral system, any dissent of principle from dominant morality or the law should be condemned in the name of an agreement that exists only in the propaganda of the powerful.

By denying the right to one's own morals you leave individuals under the pressure of power. Yours is not conformism - as you said - it is the totalitarianism of majority, at best. You should read Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People and see what your "conformism" is for.

What underlies this totalitarianism of the social norm is the fear of freedom and difference. It is a fear that powers exploit skillfully to get the repression to pass by the will of the majority or of "ours. And it works quite well. But it's immoral.
This is a nice complex of straw-men. You paint a false picture of the opponent's position and refute that. Worse, in fact, because you pretend to refute it, but .... actually fail.

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Old 5th March 2019, 10:56 PM   #620
Aridas
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
If we are not talking about ancient history, but talking as we should be about the 21st century in western democracies (you told us that you are in the EU in Spain?) then it's not "holy naivety" to accept that the laws are always intended as being fair and in the best interests of what is good vs what is bad for society in the long run.

Of course there will always be some people who feel sure that "the law is an ass" or that the courts and lawyers are corrupt, or that the law-makers are just trying to preserve their own self interests etc. Any of us may feel like that about some specific issue at some particular time. But what those people want to see as changes in those particular laws, would almost certainly be (it's legally judged to be) even more unfair and more problematic for wide sections of the society over the longer term.
As a resident of the USA, I can say that this isn't especially accurate with great certainty. For example, one of the main reasons for the Separation of Powers in the first place is to help guard against some kinds of abuse, and even that limited guard is dealing with one thing or another all the time. Some laws or parts of laws truly are arbitrary, only there because of corruption, pointedly only benefit a very few short term interests at overwhelmingly greater cost to society, current and future, etc.

A far more defensible counterargument that could be raised is that citing particular moral rules that have been reinforced by being set into law renders the trivially true objection that the legal system isn't always based on morality worthless. An objection that the legal system is entirely separate from morality, of course, fails horrendously from the start.
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Old 6th March 2019, 12:27 AM   #621
HansMustermann
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What I argue, though, is that even the unfair laws are based on, or at least argued based on SOME moral reasoning. They are argued as the moral thing to enforce.

I mean, let's take the most blatant example of inequality: slavery. There was a lot of philosophical thought put into arguing why that's the moral thing to do.

Aristotle for example -- to pick a dead famous philosopher, so maybe it will register for David too -- argued at length that:

A) slaves are basically not just inferior, but to the point where basically they need someone to tell them what to do. Basically he argues in the same way you would argue that some incapable person needs a caretaker.

B) slavery is integral to the structure of society. A family, according to him, is composed of a man, a woman and (at least) a slave. That quite trivially means that accepting and enforcing slavery is, in fact, for the good of everyone in that society. And in fact he does argue just that.

Basically, even that kind of laws don't come about as someone saying "might is right, I have the might, so suck it". They reflect the morality of the group that passed them.

Hence, what I'm trying to tell David is basically that one can't go, laws are that-a-way, morality is that-a-way, my own morality trumps laws. At the end of the day that means my ideas (of what's best for society) vs the ideas of a whole group. A group who dedicated literally millions of man-hours to figuring it out. There are no magic words, "morality" included, that automatically make one guy's ideas trump the ideas of a million other guys.

Now I might try to convince an even larger group that my version would work better. If I manage that, it might become the new social contract. But not when it's just one guy thinking he should jolly well be able to do X, and screw the law if it says otherwise.
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Old 6th March 2019, 12:30 AM   #622
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Yet you seem to think that it's immoral and tyrannical to do anything about them, if they only say the magic words, "I did it in the name of my morals." Which most of them actually probably did.

(...)

I'm pretty sure that if any society actually managed to represent the interests of 98% of its members it's a pretty darned good one. If the oligarchy in the case of the real Critias feel it's tyrannical that they can't have things their way, well, cry me a river

(...)
Maybe. But in the end all you have is an idea about how to make the social contract better. If you can convince others that, yeah, that would work better, it becomes the new social contract, and the new morality.

As long as it's only your own idea that you should be able to do X, I fail to see why I'd even automatically call it "moral".
(...)
Right. Well, that was the whole point, actually. Tyrants and lawbreakers tend not to be cartoonish straman sockpuppets like Critias. Most have their own moral code too. They too think they're doing the right thing. Even when the underlying principle is "might is right", you'd be surprised how much justifying goes into how it's really some kind of fighting for freedom and against the tyranny of the majority (who forbids them to, say, screw a kid or execute an opponent.)

So to pretend that you should allow any deviation as long as it's objecting in the name of some morals, is just about as retarded an idea as you can get.

What you said -- and, as usual, then pretend to be too dumb to even remember -- is: "Pretending that the laws are given beforehand and that you should do nothing but follow them, is a very typical "objectivism" of those who do not want to assume responsibility for the continuous use of the freedom they are actually doing." I.e., you accuse me of treating them as something immutable, at least as far as I'm concerned.
I have said several times that there is something to do with tyrants: to fight them politically. But to pretend that morality can convince them is absurd. Do you know of any method to persuade a tyrant -let's call him Critias or Pinochet- to stop being one? You don't have to defend a libertarian-anarchist morality to realize that. Any normal person will say the same thing.

On the other hand, I don't understand morality as the subjective belief of doing good. According that subjectivism Hitler or Stalin were probably good people. My moral model is based on empathy and the defense of freedom.

If you discover the system according to which people reaching free agreements without interference of public and private powers, you can write a book. It will be a revelation. In real situations, not those in which you invent illusorily, decisions are not made between absolutely free and equal individuals. There are ideologies, pressures, coercions and manipulations of public opinion. The figure of 98% that you propose is usually considered to be just the opposite: typical of dictatorships.

That said, nothing prevents that 98% from agreeing to crush or annihilate a minority. Jews or Christians or whatever. I don't know if that would seem fair or moral to you. I don't think so. I would fight that majority with all my might. That means that in politics the majorities are decisive. Not in morality. There is one thing called conscience. In case you hadn't noticed. By the way, this situation is not fictitious at all. Often the majorities are in favour of dictatorships, sometimes very cruel, such as Hitler's dictatorship. In these cases, your appeal to the majority, laws or social norms does not make sense. Only you have the moral conscience to make a decision. And this is what happens in other cases where majorities are less unanimous. Now you can rage: this is what you do constantly, whether you want it or not. Naturally, if you have moral principles. If you don't have them, it's going to be difficult for you to acquire them through dialogue.

And morality, I insist, is not to do anything because I want to, arbitrarily; it is to conform to the principles of freedom and empathy. Other things would be immoral and I think they should be combated. With word or sword, according situations.

Finally: to say that something is objective is not to say that it is immutable, but that it is out of your mind. Do not confuse words.

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Old 6th March 2019, 12:41 AM   #623
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
If we are not talking about ancient history, but talking as we should be about the 21st century in western democracies (you told us that you are in the EU in Spain?) then it's not "holy naivety" to accept that the laws are always intended as being fair and in the best interests of what is good vs what is bad for society in the long run.
It's a very naive and conformist opinion. It would have to be analyzed case by case, but, in general, there are laws that are made to favor the big corporations. And many people believe that. Ask in Spain what the Supreme Court's decisions and contradictions on the collection of additional mortgage costs meant. Or the fact that there is a specific law to get a banker out of jail. Or the so-called Gag Law. These are examples. I can expand on that. But I don't think I can change your belief in be living in the best of possible worlds. This is a common "religious" myth.
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Old 6th March 2019, 12:58 AM   #624
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I have said several times that there is something to do with tyrants: to fight them politically. But to pretend that morality can convince them is absurd. Do you know of any method to persuade a tyrant -let's call him Critias or Pinochet- to stop being one?
*shrug* Exactly where did I say I wanted to CONVINCE Pinochet?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
On the other hand, I don't understand morality as the subjective belief of doing good. According that subjectivism Hitler or Stalin were probably good people.
They believed that what they do is for the good of society and avoid greater harm. It seems to me like it fits the definition of morals you posted, doesn't it?

More importantly, then what does it makes it special when YOU raise whatever ideas you have to a golden standard of morality? Doesn't whatever applies to you also apply to those two?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
My moral model is based on empathy and the defense of freedom.
Nowhere did the definition YOU posted mention that it's morals if it's based on X, but not morals if it's based on Z. It can be based on my consulting my psychic to determine what harm is coming and how to avoid it, and it still would count as morals in that definition. It can be based on rolling a twelve-sided die.

What you're doing at this point is special pleading.


Besides, colour me unimpressed. Oooh, it's so great because it's based on the defense of freedom. Some of the most horrible stuff was argued as defense of freedom. E.g

- slavery in the USA: according to its defenders, trying to outlaw it would have apparently violated the states' freedom to have their own "peculiar institution." (Actual euphemism for slavery.) It would have been tyrannical, even.

- sexual harrassment in the workplace: routinely argued as that the laws against it are just limiting people's freedom to pursue romance wherever they can find it. (And you could argue that it's against the victim's freedom to not have sexual suggestions lobbed at them by the boss, but to the kind of idiot where that's a freedom argument, that doesn't seem to even register as a possibility. Psssh, of course all women want me. They're just playing hard to get.)

- paedophilia: NAMBLA argued that basically it's empowering teens, if you give them the freedom to get an adult's dick up the ass.

Etc.

As special pleading and magical words go, "but it's based on FREEDOM" are the least convincing. At this point, what that argument is more commonly associated with, is the adult version of "but I really want a lollipop."
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Old 6th March 2019, 12:59 AM   #625
IanS
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Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
As a resident of the USA, I can say that this isn't especially accurate with great certainty. For example, one of the main reasons for the Separation of Powers in the first place is to help guard against some kinds of abuse, and even that limited guard is dealing with one thing or another all the time. Some laws or parts of laws truly are arbitrary, only there because of corruption, pointedly only benefit a very few short term interests at overwhelmingly greater cost to society, current and future, etc.

A far more defensible counterargument that could be raised is that citing particular moral rules that have been reinforced by being set into law renders the trivially true objection that the legal system isn't always based on morality worthless. An objection that the legal system is entirely separate from morality, of course, fails horrendously from the start.

That's one of the reasons why I mentioned democracies and courts of law in Europe. I'm not so familiar with legal cases in the US, and I don't know what validity people in the US may have if they say that courts there are deliberately unfair and unjust. One obvious difference compared to the EU, is that parts of the US do of course still have a death penalty, which no doubt many would regard as “immoral” and unjust/unfair.

Although again, I think it's obvious that all sorts of people will think that in certain individual legal cases the courts have been unfair, unjust, or even corrupt in some way … but equally, others in that society will take a different view of legal rulings in those same cases. If there is clear reason to claim that a trial has been unfair, unjust or illegal, then afaik the US (like the EU) has an appeal process where the court decisions can be re-tested.

But in Europe, in the EU countries, I don't think there is any real evidence that the courts are deliberately unfair, unjust, corrupt, or “immoral” in their decisions, even if sometimes the decisions may seem surprising (because as members of the general public we rarely know all of the details and all of the evidence that has gone into each individual case).
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Old 6th March 2019, 01:08 AM   #626
HansMustermann
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What I would argue though, AGAIN, is that even those "unfair" laws seemed like the moral thing to do to SOMEONE, in the sense that they're avoiding greater harm to society. And not just "someone" as in the members of the parliament that proposed it, but also to the millions of voters they had to convince to stay in power.

E.g., bailing out banks was supposed to prevent the greater harm of having another great depression if enough of them fail. E.g., keeping corporate taxes low was argued here as something you have to do to have them create jobs here, so basically it's avoiding the greater harm of increasing unemployment.

NOBODY argues a law based on "might is right" or "I really like the campaign contributions of my billionaire buddies." Anyone who did wouldn't even get elected, and those laws would get stricken in the next legislation.

To get them to pass they had to be argued as being a benefit for society.
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Old 6th March 2019, 01:30 AM   #627
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It's a very naive and conformist opinion. It would have to be analyzed case by case, but, in general, there are laws that are made to favor the big corporations. And many people believe that. Ask in Spain what the Supreme Court's decisions and contradictions on the collection of additional mortgage costs meant. Or the fact that there is a specific law to get a banker out of jail. Or the so-called Gag Law. These are examples. I can expand on that. But I don't think I can change your belief in be living in the best of possible worlds. This is a common "religious" myth.

I did not suggest anything about any "religious myths". Nor anything about "living in the best of possible worlds". That seems to be a complete invention on your part, and it looks very much like what others above were desribing as "strawman" accusations complaining about things that were never even mentioned in any way at all.

You are probably more suspicious of the European courts and the legal system than I am. But if individuals in the EU accuse the courts of deliberate self-interested corruption and malpractice etc., then they can take their evidence to an appeal court and show that lawyers and judges have been deliberately proceeding in ways that are themselves illegal, corrupt, or "immoral".

As I said in the first post – there will always be people who think that in certain particular cases the court rulings have been unfair or unjust, or even corrupt. They may think the laws themselves are unfair, unjust or corrupt. But, in my experience of what happens in UK courts and with laws in the UK (which is still part of the EU), I don't think there is any genuine evidence of deliberate injustice or self-interested corruption in the UK legal system. In fact, if anything, it would be far easier to argue that UK laws and UK courts have been historically lenient and generous to very many defendants who were clearly guilty.
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Old 6th March 2019, 02:07 AM   #628
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
What I would argue though, AGAIN, is that even those "unfair" laws seemed like the moral thing to do to SOMEONE, in the sense that they're avoiding greater harm to society. And not just "someone" as in the members of the parliament that proposed it, but also to the millions of voters they had to convince to stay in power.

E.g., bailing out banks was supposed to prevent the greater harm of having another great depression if enough of them fail. E.g., keeping corporate taxes low was argued here as something you have to do to have them create jobs here, so basically it's avoiding the greater harm of increasing unemployment.

NOBODY argues a law based on "might is right" or "I really like the campaign contributions of my billionaire buddies." Anyone who did wouldn't even get elected, and those laws would get stricken in the next legislation.

To get them to pass they had to be argued as being a benefit for society.


Yes. Precisely.

So for example, just re the highlighted part - whilst the immediate reaction from any of us (certainly those of us who have more left-wing socialist leanings, as in fact I do) might be to suspect too much favouritism towards big business & towards the rich & powerful people in society, I think the truth is that when governments & their legal advisors, high court judges and panels of lawyers etc. are faced with framing such laws, they quickly find that the situations are far more complicated than we might superficially imagine, and they end up having to make all sorts of compromises.
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Old 6th March 2019, 03:31 AM   #629
David Mo
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
*shrug* Exactly where did I say I wanted to CONVINCE Pinochet?



They believed that what they do is for the good of society and avoid greater harm. It seems to me like it fits the definition of morals you posted, doesn't it?

More importantly, then what does it makes it special when YOU raise whatever ideas you have to a golden standard of morality? Doesn't whatever applies to you also apply to those two?



Nowhere did the definition YOU posted mention that it's morals if it's based on X, but not morals if it's based on Z. It can be based on my consulting my psychic to determine what harm is coming and how to avoid it, and it still would count as morals in that definition. It can be based on rolling a twelve-sided die.

What you're doing at this point is special pleading.


Besides, colour me unimpressed. Oooh, it's so great because it's based on the defense of freedom. Some of the most horrible stuff was argued as defense of freedom. E.g

- slavery in the USA: according to its defenders, trying to outlaw it would have apparently violated the states' freedom to have their own "peculiar institution." (Actual euphemism for slavery.) It would have been tyrannical, even.

- sexual harrassment in the workplace: routinely argued as that the laws against it are just limiting people's freedom to pursue romance wherever they can find it. (And you could argue that it's against the victim's freedom to not have sexual suggestions lobbed at them by the boss, but to the kind of idiot where that's a freedom argument, that doesn't seem to even register as a possibility. Psssh, of course all women want me. They're just playing hard to get.)

- paedophilia: NAMBLA argued that basically it's empowering teens, if you give them the freedom to get an adult's dick up the ass.

Etc.

As special pleading and magical words go, "but it's based on FREEDOM" are the least convincing. At this point, what that argument is more commonly associated with, is the adult version of "but I really want a lollipop."
I wrote:

Quote:
Morality [moral; noun]: an informal public system applying to all rational persons, governing behaviour that affects others, having the lessening of evil or harm as its goal, and including what are commonly known as the moral rules, moral ideals, and moral virtues. (From Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy).
One thing is the definition of a concept and another the theories about the thing referred by that concept.

The definition I have given fits what I am saying. Morality refers to diminishing the harm that can be done to others, among other characteristics. It is written above.
I don't think anyone rational (another characteristic) can pretend that the Lagers or the Gulag are not ways of doing harm.

My theory (now comes the theory) is that doing less harm is substantiated by fighting for freedom and empathy. Of course, there may be other moral theories that do not take these principles into account. I am willing to discuss them. Would you accept these principles as the basis of morality? I get the impression that you don't even want to discuss this, but look for dissadvantages in the most forced ways. I repeat: Would you accept these principles as the basis of morality? Would you add others?

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Old 6th March 2019, 03:43 AM   #630
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
I did not suggest anything about any "religious myths". Nor anything about "living in the best of possible worlds". That seems to be a complete invention on your part, and it looks very much like what others above were desribing as "strawman" accusations complaining about things that were never even mentioned in any way at all.

You are probably more suspicious of the European courts and the legal system than I am. But if individuals in the EU accuse the courts of deliberate self-interested corruption and malpractice etc., then they can take their evidence to an appeal court and show that lawyers and judges have been deliberately proceeding in ways that are themselves illegal, corrupt, or "immoral".

As I said in the first post – there will always be people who think that in certain particular cases the court rulings have been unfair or unjust, or even corrupt. They may think the laws themselves are unfair, unjust or corrupt. But, in my experience of what happens in UK courts and with laws in the UK (which is still part of the EU), I don't think there is any genuine evidence of deliberate injustice or self-interested corruption in the UK legal system. In fact, if anything, it would be far easier to argue that UK laws and UK courts have been historically lenient and generous to very many defendants who were clearly guilty.
When I said that your position was naive I was not making a straw man, but describing what your position really is.

If I challenge the courts of my country for being corrupt, arbitrary and partisan it is absurd for you to believe that the courts themselves are the judges of themselves.

The only one who can judge if the situation is so unsustainable that it demands civil disobedience is my own conscience. I must gauge whether disobedience will do more harm than the impunity of judges. And that is a moral decision.

The same goes for parliaments, the crown or the police. That is to say, those state bodies supposedly in charge of justice in a parliamentary regime.

Last edited by David Mo; 6th March 2019 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 6th March 2019, 04:41 AM   #631
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't think anyone rational (another characteristic) can pretend that the Lagers or the Gulag are not ways of doing harm.
And yet they were argued as ways to limit harm to the larger society.
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Old 6th March 2019, 05:06 AM   #632
HansMustermann
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And now let me tell you about empathy. The problem is that out of sight IS out of mind for most people, so keeping the bad stuff out of sight is just as good a solution as doing something about it, as far as empathy is concened.

Enter the wonderful world of HOSTILE DESIGN. As in, hostile to a group of people we don't want to see around. It's a real thing. E.g.,

- the city of Seattle put a buttload of bicycle racks under a bridge scheduled to be demolished in less than a year, and where nobody had much of a reason to leave their bike anyway. Well, when someone filed a request for information, it turned out they were there just to fill the space so the homeless can't sleep there. You know, in one of the few dry places when it rains.

- you know those super-narrow and sloped metal benches in bus shelters all around the world? Yep, so the homeless can't sleep on them.

- benches everywhere being replaced with metal or stone ones? And you know what those small perforations are actually for? Yeah, they help convection, so the metal bench gets colder than Norse Hel on a cold winter night. Yeah, so people don't sleep on them.

Etc.

Empathy makes us waste MILLIONS each year on making life Hell for the homeless -- well, more of a Hell than it already is -- just so we don't actually see them too often and risk having an empathy attack. A fraction of that cost could operate an extra homeless shelter or two, but then the conservatives would be hopping mad -- well, madder than they already are -- about wasting taxpayer money on the "takers". But a bigger waste on keeping them out of sight the inhumane way is ok, apparently.

Edit: note that hostile design isn't restricted to homeless. It's a much broader topic. But I'd say the homeless get the crappiest end of that stick, at least currently.
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Old 6th March 2019, 05:43 AM   #633
Beelzebuddy
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It was a reference to the real Critias and how his government got deposed, since David keeps bringing up Critias.
I was just making a joke, I don't actually care about your fight here. Let me summarize this thread from my perspective:

Ynot: Theists, give me a reason to believe
Theists: it can make you feel good

Followed by twenty pages of text about whether it's justified to feel good if it harshes someone else's buzz, as argued by someone who feels good and someone whose buzz has been harshed.
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Old 6th March 2019, 06:54 AM   #634
HansMustermann
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That train of thought kinda ran off those tracks and through a local mental hospital a long time ago
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Old 6th March 2019, 07:04 AM   #635
IanS
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
When I said that your position was naive I was not making a straw man, but describing what your position really is.

If I challenge the courts of my country for being corrupt, arbitrary and partisan it is absurd for you to believe that the courts themselves are the judges of themselves.

The only one who can judge if the situation is so unsustainable that it demands civil disobedience is my own conscience. I must gauge whether disobedience will do more harm than the impunity of judges. And that is a moral decision.

The same goes for parliaments, the crown or the police. That is to say, those state bodies supposedly in charge of justice in a parliamentary regime.

You are inventing even more strawmen now! I did not comment at all on your accusation of me being "naive". I actually quoted what words I was commenting about, which were your accusation of me presenting "religious myths" and “living the best of possible worlds” (whatever that was supposed to mean). You seem to be doing that constantly whenever you want to disagree with others here (which appears to almost all of the time).

When you list state bodies of "parliament, the crown, or the police" (you should have included the courts) saying they are “supposedly” in charge of justice, there is nothing “supposedly” about it – in the EU, laws are not made by you! They are made by democratically elected or appointed bodies such as (in the UK) the government and the judiciary, with a lot of input and advice from all sorts of other bodies such as social services, health-care professionals, security services etc.

As for your claim that "it is absurd for you to believe that the courts themselves are the judges of themselves" - it is not at all absurd to have higher courts of "Appeal" where a separate group of judges decides appeals against proceedings in a previous trial. What would be absurd is for angry protestors such as you, engaging as you suggest in civil disobedience, and claiming what amounts to a conspiracy theory that says all of the courts and governments across the EU are engaged in some conspiracy of law-making against the mass of the population.

If you want to personally engage in civil disobedience in an attempt (apparently) to get laws changed and to change who it is that determines what is, or is not, lawful, then that's a matter for you to choose. But that's probably not the most efficient, reasonable or effective way to argue a case for changes in the law.

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Old 6th March 2019, 08:52 AM   #636
David Mo
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
(...)in the EU, laws are not made by you! They are made by democratically elected or appointed bodies such as (in the UK) the government and the judiciary, with a lot of input and advice from all sorts of other bodies such as social services, health-care professionals, security services etc.

As for your claim that "it is absurd for you to believe that the courts themselves are the judges of themselves" - it is not at all absurd to have higher courts of "Appeal" where a separate group of judges decides appeals against proceedings in a previous trial. What would be absurd is for angry protestors such as you, engaging as you suggest in civil disobedience, and claiming what amounts to a conspiracy theory that says all of the courts and governments across the EU are engaged in some conspiracy of law-making against the mass of the population.

If you want to personally engage in civil disobedience in an attempt (apparently) to get laws changed and to change who it is that determines what is, or is not, lawful, then that's a matter for you to choose. But that's probably not the most efficient, reasonable or effective way to argue a case for changes in the law.
Your vision of how laws are formed and how justice is administered is angelic. We are governed by angels who know what is good for us and take care that we are not dangerous rebels. I can go to bed and sleep peacefully because there is no god, but there are our wonderful protective states. I am not going to discuss this Panglossian vision with you. I don't argue with believers if I can help it.

A clarification: for a state to be controlled by economic big corporations, no dark conspiracy is necessary; it is enough for there to be a common ideology, shared interests, personal benefits and lobbies that act for the rulers to dictate ad hoc laws and the organs of justice to enforce them. It is enough that the press is inside this complex and the critical voices are practically reduced to zero. Of course, in a democratic state it is necessary to form public opinion so that it only believe in an only thought. But that's not so difficult either. Have you heard of McCarthysm in the 1950s?

But I will put to you a hypothetical case: supposing there is a State that is controlled by the economic-military complex and legislates to favor that domination, supposing that perverted State provokes a war that only benefits the economic and military powers, would you admit the right to civil resistance against that war? Note that it is not a question of changing laws here. Not every civil disobedience refers to unjust laws. Sometimes it's about invoking a superior law against noncompliance of superior laws.

I'm glad we agree on one thing: it's our conscience that has to decide if we go down a path of rebellion against laws we think are unjust. I suppose on the grounds that such resistance is morally justified. Isn't that so?

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Old 6th March 2019, 09:36 AM   #637
IanS
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Your vision of how laws are formed and how justice is administered is angelic. We are governed by angels who know what is good for us and take care that we are not dangerous rebels. I can go to bed and sleep peacefully because there is no god, but there are our wonderful protective states. I am not going to discuss this Panglossian vision with you. I don't argue with believers if I can help it.

A clarification: for a state to be controlled by economic big corporations, no dark conspiracy is necessary; it is enough for there to be a common ideology, shared interests, personal benefits and lobbies that act for the rulers to dictate ad hoc laws and the organs of justice to enforce them. It is enough that the press is inside this complex and the critical voices are practically reduced to zero. Of course, in a democratic state it is necessary to form public opinion so that it only believe in an only thought. But that's not so difficult either. Have you heard of McCarthysm in the 1950s?

But I will put to you a hypothetical case: supposing there is a State that is controlled by the economic-military complex and legislates to favor that domination, supposing that perverted State provokes a war that only benefits the economic and military powers, would you admit the right to civil resistance against that war? Note that it is not a question of changing laws here. Not every civil disobedience refers to unjust laws. Sometimes it's about invoking a superior law against noncompliance of superior laws.

I'm glad we agree on one thing: it's our conscience that has to decide if we go down a path of rebellion against laws we think are unjust. I suppose on the grounds that such resistance is morally justified. Isn't that so?

My "vision of how laws are formed" is that in democracies of the EU they are formed by elected governments and the judiciary amongst others. And that is simply the fact of the matter. You may wish it was different, but you are not in charge as a dictator here.
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Old 6th March 2019, 09:41 AM   #638
HansMustermann
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@David Mo
Mate, that still boils down to whether you can convince the others -- or at least ENOUGH others -- that a different social contract is better. Otherwise you're not even going to make ANY difference.

And even in that aspect, be happy that democracy did make a difference over time. Nowadays, yeah, you can be a conscientious objector. Hell, depending on the country, you may not even go to any war unless you actually volunteer. A century ago you'd have been just shot at dawn for "cowardice".

No, seriously, they even shot soldiers with severe PTSD for "cowardice" when they just couldn't fight any more. And it didn't even occur to anyone that some of those were highly decorated for valour, so "cowardice" kinda sorta didn't fit the picture.

So, yeah, that's how democracy did change the social contract in one concrete case.
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Old 6th March 2019, 09:46 AM   #639
HansMustermann
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As for whether that's morally justified... is it that clearly? There are plenty of people who weren't a part of the military-industrial complex who thought that being a pacifist means being a coward. And in fact the kind of parasite who benefits from others doing the fighting for you, but refuse to carry your own weight there. They most certainly wouldn't have thought it's moral, much less objectively so.

So if it's just your opinion vs theirs, what gives you the idea that yours is automatically the moral high ground?

Again, it seems to me like unless you can get it backed by enough people, it's not really clear at all. Just because it's yours and it's based on TEH FREEDUMZ, doesn't automatically mean jack.
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:26 AM   #640
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There is, and can be, no natural cause for believing in supernatural things. Proof that wild claims were made by Mr. Somebody Somewhere is what it is, no more. I'm afraid theists have entirely nothing to go on.
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