This is topic Morality in Society in forum Rants, Raves, Rumors! at The Geek Culture Forums.


To visit this topic, use this URL:
http://www.geekculture.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=19;t=000618

Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 18, 2004, 11:10:
 
Morality as It Relates to Law:

a. "Perfect" Morality: Individuals hold the interests of society in high regard.
Law: None required. Everyone "does the right thing" without the external influence.

b. Very Strong Morality: Individuals want to "do the right thing" but may disagree among one another.
Law: Laws apply some external influence on the individual. Solutions to conflicts are achieved in less time through established convention.

c. Selfish: Individuals have a sense of morality, but often seek to profit at the expense of society.
Law: Required to maintain order in society. Individuals will use excuses such as "Technically It's Not Stealing" while causing intentional harm to others; however, the laws are "obeyed."

d. Criminal: Individuals put self-interests before all interests of society.
Law: Required, but is insufficient to prevent antisocial behavior. Individuals live by the rule of "Don't Get Caught." Hypocrisy and corruption become the standard as those entrusted with maintaining law and order subvert it for their own gain.

e. Nihilism: Individuals consider themselves supreme and do not hesitate to cause destruction with little or no reason.
Law: Meaningless. Any laws that exist will be perverted from good intent, or used to rationalize destructive behavior.

It's disappointing to see how eager people are to pass laws to solve the ills of society, and yet ignore that an amoral society is a problem.

Laws do not magically change reality: Making heroin illegal does not cause it to disappear from the streets. Reducing the demand for it is a far more effective control measure.

If the members of society do not respect a law, and it conflicts with their personal values, only one kind of government can enforce such laws: a Totalitarian State.

Is it ironic?: Under Saddam Hussein there was no Death Penalty in the judicial system, but over 300,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam's regime.

The message of the popular media seems to be that the absence of personal responsibility and the willingness to ignore brutality against one's fellow man are just aspects of freedom and respect for people with different values.
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 18, 2004, 11:39:
 
 -
 
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on September 18, 2004, 13:35:
 
What is this- your own personal philosphy? A brief introduction like: "These are some thoughts I had" or "This is an interesting thing I read". Personally I would merge selfish and criminal together, and rename the nihilists as criminals.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 18, 2004, 16:31:
 
My attempted points are:

* People have to care enough about others help the rest of society, even if only a small amount. The alternative is only looking out for one's self, which is no better than animals.

* In a thoroughly corrupt society, no amount of laws will change the society. Hypocrisy simply grows along with the laws.

* (In my opinion) Lack of ethics is becoming more acceptable in society.

I thought that the "War on Drugs" made it clear that just passing laws doesn't solve problems.

Is the common opinion that more laws and more government control over people's lives is the best solution?
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 18, 2004, 17:34:
 
Legislating morality is a hard problem. It's not easy to codify moral standards, and sometimes one has to choose between "the lesser of two evils", so to speak.

The typical example of this is a German hiding Jews in their basement during WWII. The Gestapo rock up to the door, and ask "Are there any Jews here?". You say "Well, yes, actually", and those Jews will most likely end up dead. You say no, and you've lied, which most people consider morally wrong, too.

An even better example is Jesus vs the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a religious group that decided that the best way to live a moral life was to develop an incredibly complex moral code that dictated what to do in every situation. When Jesus came along, he verbally hammered them, because they had got so far away from the spirit of the law in their misguided attempts to simplify complex issues.

The other problem is "How do we agree on a moral standard across society?". Previously, society has been built on a Judeo-Christian moral foundation, but there seems to be a move away from that. How do we agree what that foundation should be? If it becomes "Do whatever you like as long as it doesn't hurt others", everyone has a different idea of what hurts others.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 18, 2004, 18:48:
 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
Previously, society has been built on a Judeo-Christian moral foundation, but there seems to be a move away from that. How do we agree what that foundation should be? If it becomes "Do whatever you like as long as it doesn't hurt others", everyone has a different idea of what hurts others.

And Zorro might object .....
 
Posted by Twinkle Toes (Member # 1208) on September 19, 2004, 02:06:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
* People have to care enough about others help the rest of society, even if only a small amount. The alternative is only looking out for one's self, which is no better than animals.

This reminds me of something I read in Walden about philanthropy. Basically Thoreau says that philanthropists are only concerned with helping the homeless type, instead of 'regular people' who also need help (you guys know what I mean by this; people who already have the essentials). This is of great concern to me, because I believe that homeless people require little help compared to 'regular people'. I mean, obtaining essentials for them isn't as nearly as difficult as helping someone who had a house get out of debt or helping someone maintain a failing business or trying to get kids out of gangs. I also think 'regular people' have possibly created much more complex psychological disorders than the homeless, but that's my opinion.

Mm... I don't know how I lost myself so quickly.. Anyway, my point is that 'good-deed doers' are not, in fact, doing anyone any good but are crippling others abilities and are only doing so for their own personal benefit, not soceity's.

quote:
I thought that the "War on Drugs" made it clear that just passing laws doesn't solve problems.

'reducing the demand for it is a far more effective control measure' - So increasing the supply of drugs is a better way of keeping people in line? Isn't that what you're saying?

quote:
* In a thoroughly corrupt society, no amount of laws will change the society. Hypocrisy simply grows along with the laws.

Is the common opinion that more laws and more government control over people's lives is the best solution?

I don't think that's the common opinion, but if we didn't have people making up laws and politicians doing their governmental ...thingies, then there'd be a lot more annoying people out of work. I agree with what csk said about choosing the lesser of two evils. That's about all we can do now in this corrupt world.
 
Posted by Number 2608 (Member # 2608) on September 19, 2004, 03:13:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
My attempted points are:

* People have to care enough about others help the rest of society, even if only a small amount. The alternative is only looking out for one's self, which is no better than animals.

Animals like, say, ants or bees? There must be hundreds of species that survive by living in well structured societies. If society is to be maintained 'only looking out for one's self' ultimately is not going to help the one because the one will eventually need assistance from someone else for whatever reason. If that one has always been selfish, that assistance may not happen. If someone is an arsehole toward me, they can expect me to be an arsehole back. If someone is nice, they can expect me to be nice back. Society works on give and take.

quote:
* In a thoroughly corrupt society, no amount of laws will change the society. Hypocrisy simply grows along with the laws.
Laws only work if they are being enforced and there are the resources to enforce them.

quote:
* (In my opinion) Lack of ethics is becoming more acceptable in society.
Depends on what you mean by ethics here. I have defined it elsewhere on these forums as 'what the individual deems to be right,' as opposed to morality - 'what society deems to be right.' So, by these definitions, lack of ethics may not actually be an acheiveable state; non-conformity to morality is being tolerated to more in society, or there is no backlash against the non-conformity (eg laws are not being enforced).

quote:
I thought that the "War on Drugs" made it clear that just passing laws doesn't solve problems.
As I said, laws only work if they are being enforced and there are the resources to enforce them.

quote:
Is the common opinion that more laws and more government control over people's lives is the best solution?
Rather than just penalising those that are breaking the law, the reasons for laws being broken needs to be addressed. Is it just that breaking the law and getting away with it is easy? Or is committing crime the only way that some people can survive (in 19th century England, the prision regeime was very harsh, but many people prefered to be in prision as it was the only they would get housed and fed)?
 
Posted by Groggle (Member # 2360) on September 19, 2004, 13:02:
 
This is one of those topics that keeps rolling around in the political sphere in both Canada and the United States.

As CSK pointed out, legislated morality is at best difficult. At worst, it can result in the kind of totalitarian regime that has been explored in speculative literature many times - Orwell's 1984; Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale", among others.

The question I like to ask whenever an issue of morality is being raised is that of harm. In other words, if we (as a society) fail to apply legislative sanction against action X, who is harmed?

For example, consider the notion of harm as it might apply in the Gay Marriage debate. On one side, we have two consenting adults that are expressing a wish to formalize their relationship both spiritually and legally. From their perspective, nobody else is fundamentally affected by their decision, therefore why the big fuss.

On the other side of that same conversation, there are those who argue that our legal conventions for marriage are derived from a strong foundation in Judeo-Christian theology, and therefore acknowledging a homosexual union is changing a fundamental presupposition of our society's construct of marriage. In their view, the harm is being done to an abstract entity called society.

Is either side right? Not in any absolute sense. This is one of the tough jobs that we should expect our politicians to grapple with as leaders. There is much to weigh. Is the assumption of a foundation in Judeo-Christian morality valid today? (Or, have we a large enough population from other traditions that render that assumption suspect?) Stepping aside from the theology for a moment, is there any "actual harm" to an identifiable party? (The definition of actual harm becomes quite important here) ... and so on.

Sadly, the current crop of politicians in both countries seem to be so driven by the winds of public opinion polls that they dare not take a clear stance without running off to consult the latest opinion poll. A process that significantly weakens the leadership cycle. (I'm not saying they shouldn't listen to the public, but they should be as much advocates to the public as for the public in many cases)

If a reasonable case can be made that harm is being done, (For example, the issue of harm becomes quite clear when dealing with child porn - children are clearly harmed by these actions.) legislated sanction seems appropriate. Then the issue of boundaries becomes one of discussion - too wide a definition can wind up encompassing a bunch of things that really shouldn't be; too narrow a definition and the undesirables can slip through the net.

I'm always a little worried when a legislator starts to speak of moral issues in absolute terms, for sooner or later, they start writing laws that won't stand up to scrutiny. It's a very difficult, and cautious balancing act. (Also, we do have to recognize that social 'norms' change over time, and in doing so often render old laws obsolete.)
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 19, 2004, 16:05:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Groggle:
For example, the issue of harm becomes quite clear when dealing with child porn - children are clearly harmed by these actions.

This is where it gets tricky, IMHO. Child porn involving actual children is clearly harmful. What about textual descriptions of sexual activity with children? Or virtualised representations of it involving computer generated graphics? I'm betting most people would find this unsavoury, and objectionable. But then to be morally consistent, you'd have to be against being able to commit virtual violence, as well, which most people have no problem with.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on September 20, 2004, 08:22:
 
I just finished reading a great book dealing with these exact issues. It's the second book in The Veritas Project series by Frank Peretti: Nightmare Academy. Granted, it's a novel geared more toward older teens, but it's excellently written and not "preachy." I learn best when concepts are written in stories, so this book's perfect for me. Peretti sets up an experiment with runaways who live in a school without rules, where everyting is both/and instead of either/or. It gets very tricky logically. I'd encourage everyone to read it to at least see one clear view on morality.
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 20, 2004, 12:57:
 
Yeah, Peretti writes some good stuff, although I haven't read that particular one. Another good one of his in the area of morality is "The Oath". Being Christian fiction, it has some obviously completely fictional elements, but presents a compelling argument about morality, IMHO.
 
Posted by Groggle (Member # 2360) on September 20, 2004, 17:05:
 
Writes CSK:
quote:
This is where it gets tricky, IMHO. Child porn involving actual children is clearly harmful. What about textual descriptions of sexual activity with children? Or virtualised representations of it involving computer generated graphics? I'm betting most people would find this unsavoury, and objectionable. But then to be morally consistent, you'd have to be against being able to commit virtual violence, as well, which most people have no problem with.
_EXACTLY_. The problem is that morals are not necessarily consistent. When does the written word become an expression of intent? When does a piece of painting, or a bunch of pixels cross the line from artwork and become "obscene"?

I know what I personally find immoral - but usually when I see it, not before. To define it in legal terms is likely somewhere between difficult and impossible.

Interestingly, it is this very recognition of the limits of codification that many "Conservatives" misconstrue as being "wishy-washy" or 'moral relativism'.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 20, 2004, 17:30:
 
Who was the US judge who's definition of pornography was "If it gives me a hard-on, it's porn" ?

Gee, if that definition holds, they'd have to edit every Liv Tyler scene out of Lord Of The Rings
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 20, 2004, 17:51:
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Who was the US judge who's definition of pornography was "If it gives me a hard-on, it's porn" ?

Gee, if that definition holds, they'd have to edit every Liv Tyler scene out of Lord Of The Rings

Hmm, wonder if they're going to add more of them in ROTKEE when it finally comes out. Mind you, I wouldn't mind seeing more of Miranda Otto (Eowyn), either. I was rather shocked to discover that Miranda Otto was playing a young schoolgirl in a quite old quirky Australian movie, she was almost unrecognisable compared to these days.

Edit: see pic for what I mean, the movie was Love Serenade, more info here
 -
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on September 21, 2004, 17:20:
 
Morality vs ethics, not exactly a new debate but not without merit. Like philosophy it is good to run over the ground every once in a while to check nothing's changed (no sarcasam intended)

As I understand it morals are usually socio/religous based e.g "thou shalt not kill" and ethics more situational e.g. "this person has a painful terminal cancer and has requested help in ending their life - should we help them?" (Correction/enlightenment by those with a better understanding/deeper knowedge welcomed...)

As is usual in any truly interesting problem/debate it's the "grey areas" that elicit both the most violently doctrinal and the most thoughtful/insightful comments.

Child Porn - actual pictures of children being abused = WRONG, talk of actually abusing children = WRONG, peadophiles looking at children on TV and having "bad thoughts" = ?, story/picture/art that concerns itself with the subject of said peadophiles = ?

"Normal" porn - pictures of consenting adults doing what consenting adults tend to do = OK by me as long as you don't shove it in my face or my children's faces, pictures of rather more "esoteric" sexual practices = as above, pictures of people forcing/harming others = wrong. Trouble is where does part two shade into part three?

Aleister Crowley was a big believer in so long as it hurts no one else "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". OK on the surface but who determines "hurt" to someone else - physical? emotional? phsycological?

My (admittedley limited) reading and understanding of most major religious texts seems to boil down to one main thing

"DON'T BE S**TTY"

So nicely coined by Bill and Ted as "Be excellent to one another and party on dude!"

Or as an old associate of mine said "NEVER KICK PEOPLE ON THE WAY UP - BECAUSE YOU WILL SURELY MEET THEM AGAIN ON THE WAY DOWN!"

Serenak
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on September 21, 2004, 17:22:
 
Morality vs ethics, not exactly a new debate but not without merit. Like philosophy it is good to run over the ground every once in a while to check nothing's changed (no sarcasam intended)

As I understand it morals are usually socio/religous based e.g "thou shalt not kill" and ethics more situational e.g. "this person has a painful terminal cancer and has requested help in ending their life - should we help them?" (Correction/enlightenment by those with a better understanding/deeper knowedge welcomed...)

As is usual in any truly interesting problem/debate it's the "grey areas" that elicit both the most violently doctrinal and the most thoughtful/insightful comments.

Child Porn - actual pictures of children being abused = WRONG, talk of actually abusing children = WRONG, peadophiles looking at children on TV and having "bad thoughts" = ?, story/picture/art that concerns itself with the subject of said peadophiles = ?

"Normal" porn - pictures of consenting adults doing what consenting adults tend to do = OK by me as long as you don't shove it in my face or my children's faces, pictures of rather more "esoteric" sexual practices = as above, pictures of people forcing/harming others = wrong. Trouble is where does part two shade into part three?

Aleister Crowley was a big believer in so long as it hurts no one else "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". OK on the surface but who determines "hurt" to someone else - physical? emotional? phsycological?

My (admittedley limited) reading and understanding of most major religious texts seems to boil down to one main thing

"DON'T BE S**TTY"

So nicely coined by Bill and Ted as "Be excellent to one another and party on dude!"

Or as an old associate of mine said "NEVER KICK PEOPLE ON THE WAY UP - BECAUSE YOU WILL SURELY MEET THEM AGAIN ON THE WAY DOWN!"

Serenak
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on September 21, 2004, 17:23:
 
Sorry accidentally posted that twice - my newbie stoopid!

Serenak
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 23, 2004, 17:29:
 
Right or wrong in esoteric matters does not cause me great concern. For example:

  How bad for society are virtual reality abortions of brain-damaged human clone fetuses?

The worst part about such arguments is that people ignore the question of what is best for 99% of society.

The popularity of thug "culture" bothers me. A saying goes: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." If people are dressing like "gangsta's", is this a show of admiration for the use of violence and murder so that one can continue other illegal activities such as theft or marketing sex slaves?

I like to believe that when I was in high school, people had the moral belief that murder was absolutely wrong.

There seems to be an effort to make it socially acceptable to be a criminal if:

a. You have a mental illness.
b. You didn't know any better because of your upbringing.
c. You were in the act of committing a lesser crime, and "didn't have a choice."

Are we taking steps to become a thoroughly corrupt society?

* Step 1: Apathy - "Somebody else will do something. I should mind my own business."
* Step 2: Rationalization - "Sometimes it can't be helped (avoided). It's more like an accident than a crime."
* Step 3: Corruption - "Everyone else gets away with it, I should too."
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 23, 2004, 17:55:
 
The above post is another example of incoherent drivel brought to you by ASM65816.

I’d love to debate or argue with him but I cannot fathom what he is talking about.
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 23, 2004, 18:36:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
Right or wrong in esoteric matters does not cause me great concern. For example:

  How bad for society are virtual reality abortions of brain-damaged human clone fetuses?

Ahh, no, you're not getting away with it that easily. You seemed keen to explore the motivation behind the "gangsta" phenomenon, so lets explore your "esoteric" example.

What's the motivation for virtual reality abortions of brain-damaged human clone fetuses? Is it something people are just doing for the fun of it? Or are they doing it because they want to practise for the real thing ahead of time.

Sounds pretty sketchy, doesn't it. Much the same as arguing that the popularity of gangsta culture is "a show of admiration for the use of violence and murder so that one can continue other illegal activities such as theft or marketing sex slaves"

Now if you'd said something like "The popularity of gangsta culture started in order to give a disenfranchised and marginalised group in society a voice, and, ironically, has now become assimilated into the mainstream", then I would have given you credit.
 
Posted by MTB Babe (Member # 2297) on September 23, 2004, 19:46:
 
Yeesh.
 
Posted by Spiderman (Member # 1609) on September 23, 2004, 19:49:
 
quote:
Originally posted by MTB Babe:
Yeesh.

MTB Babe, Welcome Back!!! [thumbsup] [thumbsup] [Smile]
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 23, 2004, 19:52:
 
Hey, MTB's back! What caused you to fall behind in your posting here? [Wink]
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 23, 2004, 19:55:
 
Gettin' a wee bit cheeky aren't you csk?
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 23, 2004, 20:38:
 
Well, who else would I choose to be the butt of my jokes?
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 23, 2004, 22:07:
 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
Well, who else would I choose to be the butt of my jokes?

Don''t be a smart-arse.
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 23, 2004, 22:39:
 
Somehow I saw that wise crack coming.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 23, 2004, 22:57:
 
I don't believe that rap music was inherently violent or antisocial. Artists from the 1980's included: Run-DMC, L. L. Cool J., DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, and Tone Loc.

However, rap currently has the highest profile for condoning antisocial behavior, but that was not always the case.

As for the disenfranchised with no outlet, I doubt white-trash racists in New York City get to speak their minds freely. Would anybody support Klu Klux Klan rappers with music about burning crosses and hanging ni**ers from the trees?

Today's "reality" shows are unimpressive. The typical goal seems to be "act like a friend, then stab the other guy in the back when the opportunity presents itself."

Violence and antisocial behavior is far more acceptable than it was 20 years ago. I don't think that's a good thing.

When imitation includes having a large number of sexual partners, is it a surprise that AIDS is a problem?

Of course, my opinion is that children should be raised by their parents instead of cable TV and peers in the streets.

Debate or choose arguments to make based on which affects the welfare of society the most:

As far as I'm concerned, there are more important issues than abortion and pornography/obscenity. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and their pensions, while small investors lost millions upon millions of dollars, all because CEO's are doing some "creative accounting" and stuffing their pockets.

What happens when corrupt CEO's cause all Americans to suffer (well, maybe it's only 99%)? The damage to society from the choice made by pregnant, unwed teenagers is insignificant by comparison.

But then again, some will say that the "murder" committed by a scared, pregnant girl is a far greater moral crime than the CEO who steals $200 million and leaves thousands in financial ruin.
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 24, 2004, 00:12:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
I don't believe that rap music was inherently violent or antisocial. Artists from the 1980's included: Run-DMC, L. L. Cool J., DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, and Tone Loc.

Pretty selective mainstream over produced 'artists'.....what about Ice T, NWA and Ice cube?

quote:

However, rap currently has the highest profile for condoning antisocial behavior, but that was not always the case.

All kinds of positve stuff, if you look. Check out the new Ma$e

quote:

As for the disenfranchised with no outlet, I doubt white-trash racists in New York City get to speak their minds freely.

Have you ever been to NYC....it is pretty multicultural and diverse. If your gonna generalize, pick Alabama or somewhere

quote:


Would anybody support Klu Klux Klan rappers with music about burning crosses and hanging ni**ers from the trees?


Check out some 2pak....you'd be surprised what he wrote about.

quote:


Today's "reality" shows are unimpressive. The typical goal seems to be "act like a friend, then stab the other guy in the back when the opportunity presents itself."


Don't watch 'em if you don't like 'em. THere is tons of crap on TV. This stuff is like a car wreck....no one wants to see but every one looks.

quote:


Violence and antisocial behavior is far more acceptable than it was 20 years ago. I don't think that's a good thing.

The lifting of the Assault Ban should help that

quote:


When imitation includes having a large number of sexual partners, is it a surprise that AIDS is a problem?


HIV/AIDS is a new disease. I think people in general are less promiscuous now than ever.

quote:

Of course, my opinion is that children should be raised by their parents instead of cable TV and peers in the streets.

Kids don't need to be sheltered from TV or their peers. The need to socialise and learn about their world and enviornment, but yes, the parents should monitor what their kids are exposed to in general. NOT JUST TV.


quote:
Debate or choose arguments to make based on which affects the welfare of society the most:

As far as I'm concerned, there are more important issues than abortion and pornography/obscenity. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and their pensions, while small investors lost millions upon millions of dollars, all because CEO's are doing some "creative accounting" and stuffing their pockets.


It breaks my heart to see people losing jobs/investments. Why doesn't the gov't help? Oh yeah, they are to busy killing people overseas. [Roll Eyes]

quote:

What happens when corrupt CEO's cause all Americans to suffer (well, maybe it's only 99%)?

They become President [Big Grin]

quote:

The damage to society from the choice made by pregnant, unwed teenagers is insignificant by comparison.

I hate babies too. They ruin everything [Roll Eyes]

quote:

But then again, some will say that the "murder" committed by a scared, pregnant girl is a far greater moral crime than the CEO who steals $200 million and leaves thousands in financial ruin.

Um, so stealing is more of a crime than killing?

ASM65816, you have the attention span of a goldfish. I had to chop my replies to your ramblings into a billion little responses. How about the next time, you pick one topic and we can all debate that......then we can move onto the next....and so on....and so on...
 
Posted by Callipygous (Member # 2071) on September 24, 2004, 00:14:
 
MTB Babe - It's good to see you again!
 
Posted by MTB Babe (Member # 2297) on September 24, 2004, 06:07:
 
Thanks everybody!! Its good to be back! I know I'm the LAST person who you'd think would fall behind on posting butt I'll make up for it [Big Grin]
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 24, 2004, 10:46:
 
If "the media" doesn't really change the morals and habits of society:

Why is there practically a ban on glamorizing tobacco, or portraying smoking as cool?

It looks like a double-standard:
* Tobacco: People will do it if it's glamorized and cool -- that's Bad.
* Antisocial Behavior: People won't do just because it's glamorized and cool -- that makes it OK.

Double-standards are morally and ethically bad.
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on September 24, 2004, 11:16:
 
Hey, Cap'n... what's up with the ad hominem attacks on ASM? So apparently you don't agree with him, but that's no reason to resort to attacking him instead of his arguments.

As far as what you've been saying, ASM, I totally hear you. One of the cases that we discussed in my Ethics in Communication class at university concerned a woman who was raped and murdered (Kitty Someone-or-other, if I recall correctly) in the common courtyard of a gated community. The people who were home heard her cries for help, but they later told the police that they thought someone else would help or they just didn't want to get involved.

It's attitudes like that that have allowed our (USA) society to deteriorate to its current location. People don't want to get their hands dirty; it's easier to rationalize behaviors than to jump in with both feet and fight for morality and absolutes.

In my neck-of-the-woods, we hear a lot about PETA and the ASPCA fighting against the mistreatment of animals, but practically nothing against the mistreatment of human beings. Have we started to disrespect humanity? The ban against assault weapons has been (will be) lifted and people are celebrating. Why? Will they now be able to terminate the life of the neighbor they've always despised? When they're arraigned, will they sue the gun maker in civil court saying "You shouldn't have made such a powerful gun"? Don't laugh; it's been done before with other implements... even food.

As far as rates of promiscuity go, Vic, the Kinsey Institute would disagree with you there. Same with "Sex in America," the largest and most accurate study of sexual attitudes and behaviors in the US. Just step onto your local college campus and ask the students there--or go to the women's/sexuality centers--and ask them about the rate of multiple partners. You'll find that the rates have actually increased, not decreased. The social taboo against multiple partners has disappeared.

Remember the saying "If it feels good, do it"? The converse is true in today's society: If it doesn't feel good, don't do it. That actually may be part of our problem: We're basing our society on changeable feelings, not immutable facts or absolutes. If I don't like sex with guy A, I'll go have sex with guy B, whether I'm married to him or not. If I feel angry at my neighbor, I'll blow off his leg with a shotgun. If I don't feel like going to work today, I won't, even though my employer suffers from loss of productivity and my co-workers have to pick up the slack. True, if it feels good to help someone, I will, but too often, it doesn't feel good to help; it feels messy and difficult and even painful. Case in point: Instead of thoughtfully constructing an argument against ASM's thoughts, Cap'n Vic did what felt good and easiest and thus tore into ASM's character.

I haven't any great conclusion to this post except this: When it all boils down to it, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself" really has a lot of merit.
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 24, 2004, 11:53:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Hey, Cap'n... what's up with the ad hominem attacks on ASM? So apparently you don't agree with him, but that's no reason to resort to attacking him instead of his arguments......Instead of thoughtfully constructing an argument against ASM's thoughts, Cap'n Vic did what felt good and easiest and thus tore into ASM's character.

Well Ronnie, if you actually read my above post you'd see that first I attacked his arguements and then him.

Any-who, he has a bit of a history of being a troll and posting things that will start flame wars. But what seems to get me most about him is that his posts ramble from topic to topic with no connection (that I can see).

As I noted above, I invited him to post 'one topic at a time' for the sake of debate.
 
Posted by Twinkle Toes (Member # 1208) on September 24, 2004, 13:55:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
Why is there practically a ban on glamorizing tobacco, or portraying smoking as cool?

It looks like a double-standard:
* Tobacco: People will do it if it's glamorized and cool -- that's Bad.
* Antisocial Behavior: People won't do just because it's glamorized and cool -- that makes it OK.

All the media can do is their share. They're not saying that it's okay if people smoke for a reason other than media promotion, but that's a really big reason for people accepting it. If they restrict the promotion of tobacco in general, not as many people will take part. But people will smoke and do drugs whether they see commercials for it or not, even if a relative dies (I know [of] a lot of people like that). The media, for the most part, prohibits the advertising of drugs because, while there are a lot of people who are associated with them, it is their choice to destroy their own bodies but NOT their right to do so to others. And since there is scientific evidence that drugs have a negative impact on the body, they must protect the rights of non-smokers and 'non-druggies.'
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on September 25, 2004, 11:54:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Hey, Cap'n... what's up with the ad hominem attacks on ASM? So apparently you don't agree with him, but that's no reason to resort to attacking him instead of his arguments......Instead of thoughtfully constructing an argument against ASM's thoughts, Cap'n Vic did what felt good and easiest and thus tore into ASM's character.

Well Ronnie, if you actually read my above post you'd see that first I attacked his arguements and then him.

Umm, Cap'n. It doesn't matter when you used the ad hominem attack. It matters that you used it at all. That fallacy effectively destroys the credibility associated with prior posts in the debate. I did read your posts, but taking yours at face value as I did ASM's (did not know he had a history of being a troll), he appeared to have views which shed a clear light on today's society, even if they weren't necessarily well-posited or well-written.

</subject, please?>
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 25, 2004, 12:31:
 
And your point is?
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on September 25, 2004, 15:55:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
People don't want to get their hands dirty; it's easier to rationalize behaviors than to jump in with both feet and fight for morality and absolutes.

But where do the absolutes come from? God? Which god? And what if you don't believe god exists at all (please, let's not go into that old debate here!)? Do moral absolutes even exist at all? What is morality anyways? I think we need to define that before we can discuss any perceived decay in our culture. What's moral according to oine religion or culture is not moral according to another. How are we supposed to pick a set of absolutes and then apply them to a nation as diverse as the US?

As far as the glorification of thugs goes, that one's as old as time. Robin Hood anyone? How about some old Greek mythology? As far as sexual mores go, which set are we abiding by and why? A lot of the old rules went out the window when we stopped viewing women as chattel. For my part, I think that mongamy is the healthiest and best plan, but others may disagree and who am I to tell them they're wrong. I've never desired more than one man at a time, but that's not true for everyone.

Finally, morality, whatever that means, is something that comes from within you. It can't be imposed by society. Your morals are soemthing you have to own, otherwise you're just faking, which is about as immoral as it gets in my book.
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 25, 2004, 17:42:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
People don't want to get their hands dirty; it's easier to rationalize behaviors than to jump in with both feet and fight for morality and absolutes.

But where do the absolutes come from? God? Which god? And what if you don't believe god exists at all (please, let's not go into that old debate here!)? Do moral absolutes even exist at all? What is morality anyways? I think we need to define that before we can discuss any perceived decay in our culture. What's moral according to oine religion or culture is not moral according to another. How are we supposed to pick a set of absolutes and then apply them to a nation as diverse as the US?

Yep, this was exactly my point earlier in the thread. How do we integrate a set of individuals each with different moral standards into a society as a whole. Who decides the standards? Those with the most numbers? The wheel that squeaks the loudest? Those with the deepest pockets?

It's not easy, and I don't think anyone has found a successful answer yet. Well, Australia hasn't, and I would assess us as one of the most diverse countries around, certainly in the big cities, anyway.
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on September 26, 2004, 16:18:
 
Now now fellow geeks, let us not get too over heated...

As I posted earlier and others have mentioned, probably the best moral guidance available boils down to "love thy neighbour as thyself/be excellent to one another/kicketh not on the way up..."

I'm a little less clear over where ethics fall - as I see it ethics cut in where moral dilemmas occur and are rather more personal.

Ethical/moral dilemma is of course the worst sort.

Imagine yourself in the following situation:
Your child has a life threatening disease, a convicted (and on death row) murderer has a tissue type match that offers your child a 50/50 chance of a complete cure, unfortunately the procedure that may save your child has a 90% chance of killing the donor (i.e. the murderer) however this murderer has always protested their innocence and now claims new evidence may clear their name but doctors tell you you must act within the next three months...

Where are the absolutes in this? Yes I've deliberately loaded the dice, but if these moral/ethical things were simple we wouldn't be discussing them would we?!?

Not trying to wind anyone up, just trying to focus on the point in hand...

Serenak
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 27, 2004, 09:23:
 
My argument hasn't been about difficult decisions.

My assertion is that the obvious "laws" of morality are being marginalized in society.
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on September 27, 2004, 10:37:
 
Which laws are these and where did they spring from? If I'm going to follow a law I want to know who made it first.
 
Posted by GameMaster (Member # 1173) on September 27, 2004, 13:44:
 
Personally, most differences in "morals" aren't differences in "morals" but differences in beliefs about the natural world. It is accepted that killing another person is wrong under normal circumstances, now what a person is (Are only fully functional members of this soceity with an enough wealth to own a small conutry people? Are only members of a spesific religon people? Are undevloped babies people?) and what normal circumstances are (Is a man suffering in pain with no hope of a cure in his life time in normal circumstances? Is a person who just wants to die normal circumstances? Is a fatal accident normal circumstances? Is self defence normal circumstances?)...

I, personally, think that there are a common group of ideas about morality that are absolute, but other ideas, cultural influences, other moral laws and the like are what make these "universal ideas" such a grey topic.

The issue of Abortion for instance isn't a argument about whether or not it's right to kill, but the questions like "when does a collection of cells become a human life?", "Whose life is more imporant the injured mother's or childs" and so on... I think the general rule isn't what is really being debated.

This stuff is hard for all of us to muddle through, and even with my extream ego, I can't say that I have it all figured out. In general I follow the rUniversal Catagorical set forth by Kant in a number of his writtings: "Follow a maxium such that you could reasonably legislate as the universal legislative." Or put more simply: "And ye harm, none do as ye will." And when I get confused as to what is "right" I manage to do what I think best fits this at the time, and try to ajdust the next time if I screw up this time.

Just my humble 2.0*10^-2
 
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on September 27, 2004, 15:48:
 
quote:
My argument hasn't been about difficult decisions.

My assertion is that the obvious "laws" of morality are being marginalized in society.

I've had a few and am in the mood for an argument, so I feel I should point out your logical flaws. What is obvious to you is not obvious tp the generral public as a whole. Chrisitans believe it is 'obvious' that Jesus is the son of god. Jews feel different, as do muslims pagans, and every other religion. I'm not trying to start a flame war, just pointing out that different people have different views. As it is, I find it 'obvious' that there is no proof for a higher being, and therefore think that religion is rubbish. However, I do not think that religion should be outlawed.

The second point is that laws are absolute, but morals are not. If you can think of one absolute 'law' of society that I can't think of a legitimate reason to ignore, I would be surprised.

for example:

Stealing is wrong, unless you are stealing food from a rich person that won't notice, and you would starve to death otherwise.

Killing is wrong, unless it is in self defense.

Incest is wrong, unless you and your sister are the last people on earth and to not have sex would mean the discontinuation of the human race.
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 27, 2004, 16:05:
 
Fear not fish...You are not gonna get flamed. Our friend ASM65816 has a long history or starting threads or making rambling disjointed posts to start flame wars.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 27, 2004, 16:35:
 
Instead of "exceptions", analyze values by creating a tree. For example:

1. Killing
- 1.A. Humans (that is "Killing humans."
- 1.B. Animals
- 1.C. Plants
2. Making False Statements
...
- - 1.A.1. Innocents
- - 1.A.2. Criminals
...
- - - 1.A.1.a. for Entertainment
- - - 1.A.1.b. to Prevent Loss of Lives to Others (ex. Spread of Deadly Disease)
- - - 1.A.1.c. to End Suffering (Terminally Ill)

I doubt anyone considers 1.A.1.a. "Killing Innocent Humans for Entertainment", or any of its subtrees to be good.

I consider the "effects" of acts as generally being more important than the type of act itself; however, this means morality requires the ability to understand the consequences of one's actions. A common example being the case for lying as good or evil, where falsehood spares the life of an innocent, and truth results in the death of an innocent at the hands of a criminal.

Even with effects as more important than the acts themselves, an act such as "Killing Innocent Humans for Entertainment" is essentially wrong in all cases, so it is simplified to "this act is wrong."
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 27, 2004, 16:43:
 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
I've had a few and am in the mood for an argument

No you're not !
</python>
 
Posted by GameMaster (Member # 1173) on September 27, 2004, 17:02:
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
I've had a few and am in the mood for an argument

No you're not !
</python>

Your not arguing your just saying the oppiste of whatever I say!
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 27, 2004, 17:05:
 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
I've had a few and am in the mood for an argument

No you're not !
</python>

Your not arguing your just saying the oppiste of whatever I say!
No I'm not !
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 27, 2004, 17:25:
 
quote:
Originally posted by GameMaster:
Your not arguing your just saying the oppiste of whatever I say!

Don't you mean "you're"?

Your so gay.
 
Posted by GMx (Member # 1523) on September 27, 2004, 18:05:
 
"I'm sorry, this is abuse." [Wink]
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 27, 2004, 18:08:
 
quote:
Originally posted by GMx:
"I'm sorry, this is abuse." [Wink]

Is this the 5 minute argument, or the full hour?
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 27, 2004, 18:17:
 
ASM's tree is notably missing Gratuitous Use of Capitals. [Wink]
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 27, 2004, 18:48:
 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
ASM's tree is notably missing Gratuitous Use of Capitals. [Wink]

It is also missing a point.

He has been laying off the bold also since is was accused of posting under that other nick. [Wink] [Razz]
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 27, 2004, 19:02:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
He has been laying off the bold also since is was accused of posting under that other nick. [Wink] [Razz]

I don't remember that accusation. Who did we think his alternate personality was again?

Oh, yes I do, now [Big Grin] But the "alternates" posts are much easier to understand and follow, so I don't think they really are one and the same.
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on September 27, 2004, 20:23:
 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
ASM's tree is notably missing Gratuitous Use of Capitals. [Wink]

I must say, I saw these references first, then I Went to the Previous Page, and read through a little, Mostly Ignoring Things, until I got to a Certain Post, and Laughed My F***ing Arse Off. That was Truly Sad to see So Much Effort Spent on something of So Little Value.

I'd Write In Emboldened Text [edit][in Random Places][/edit], but I'm Under The Weather and Too Damn Lazy Right Now.
 
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on September 27, 2004, 20:25:
 
[I really hate UBB some days...]
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on September 27, 2004, 21:06:
 
/me is too tired to even follow

And the sucky thing is my column hasn't even finished loading. Once it does, I've got another 2.5-3 hours of watching things go drip before I can throw it all in a dialysis bag and go home. I *hate* proteins you can't freeze. I also hate it that I'm looking at, when it's all said and done, a 16 hour day with what will most likely be no results. Screw morality. I just want a hot dinner and a warm bed. [cry baby]
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 27, 2004, 21:24:
 
Actually, on further reflection, ASM's latest post isn't that bad. It's easier to follow than some of his others, and I like the fact he's trying to work out some structured system to make sense of ethics and morality.

The fatal flaw of his approach, IMHO, is that it's hard to judge the full consequences of a decision at the time. What if someone starts tormenting animals, and ends up as a serial killer (there's been studies to show that people who were cruel to other people generally started with animal cruelty). What if someone started drinking, became an alcoholic, and thus ruined his relationships with all those close to him? What if someone started reading stories of sexual assault and rape on the 'net, and decided one day to act it out?

In other words, in my view, people don't just progress to "large scale" immoral acts overnight. There's a process of rationalisation and self-deception that occurs over a period of time, and it's difficult to look at distinct points or decisions.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 27, 2004, 22:21:
 
quote:
Originally posted by csk:
The fatal flaw of his approach, IMHO, is that it's hard to judge the full consequences of a decision at the time.


Hence, one reason that philosophers haven't reached a common set of laws that define "good".

quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
But where do the absolutes come from? God? Which god? And what if you don't believe god exists at all (please, let's not go into that old debate here!)? Do moral absolutes even exist at all? What is morality anyways? I think we need to define that before we can discuss any perceived decay in our culture. What's moral according to one religion or culture is not moral according to another. How are we supposed to pick a set of absolutes and then apply them to a nation as diverse as the US?


quote:
Originally posted by Serenak:
My (admittedly limited) reading and understanding of most major religious texts seems to boil down to one main thing:
"DON'T BE S**TTY"
So nicely coined by Bill and Ted as "Be excellent to one another and party on dude!"


Uh ... just a thought. We could try logic and the Scientific Method. (I don't know why a geek wouldn't think of that.)

Most philosophers seemed to argue about what tests should determine good or evil for an action or law.

However, I know of no "great" philosopher which stated anything like: "Killing Innocent Humans for Entertainment is Good." The point being that they all agreed that murder and theft were wrong, and could demonstrate this by logic instead of simply saying "God told me." The ability to prove murder as harmful to society was not unique to Christianity, or "Western Values."

If it can be shown through logic that a given behavior is good, would you choose to routinely do otherwise?
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 27, 2004, 22:46:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
If it can be shown through logic that a given behavior is good, would you choose to routinely do otherwise?

<philosophy-professor>
Sex is more fun than logic.

I cannot prove this, but it IS, just as Mount Everest IS and Almer Kogen ISN'T
</philosophy-professor>
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on September 27, 2004, 22:46:
 
*** WARNING: PERSONAL REBUTTAL ***

Part I

Since Cap'n Vic feels the need to let everyone know that I'm a "troll", I'll make some observations about him.

1. Apparently, Cap'n Vic is the only one that gets drawn into responding to my posts ("trolling") with abusive remarks and personal attacks.

2. Cap'n Vic is the only person I know that goes off topic in a thread, specifically for the purpose of making vindictive remarks against others.

3. Cap'n Vic is an Idiot. When he no relevant points to make in an argument, he will criticize the use of capitalization and bold typeface, and make inane off-topic posts and accusations of flame-baiting.

Part II

Cap'n Vic is arguably antisocial. (As opposed to "no one would call him antisocial.")

1. (Although he may have improved) Cap'n Vic used the F-word without much restraint and made personal attacks when he strongly disagreed with someone. The message thread: "Vulgarity and Ridicule" was started because of my experience with Cap'n Vic.
http://www.geekculture.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=001389

2. My guess is that his favorite movies and music are largely violence, abusive language, and portrayal of government or law enforcement as tyranny. Antisocial behavior is perfectly acceptable as long as it's "only for entertainment."

3. His view on morality is probably that values are relative to culture. That is, two cultures can have opposed values, such as on the rights of women, but both are "right," and as a result, no culture can rightfully insist that another culture follow outside values.

4. He is "religious" in his beliefs. He will commonly dismiss an opposing argument as propaganda, false, or irrelevant, in the same way that the pope would not accept the statement that the Bible is inferior to the Jewish scriptures.

Cap'n Vic's statement that I am a troll is one of several "religious" beliefs that he has.

Part III

quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
Pretty selective mainstream over produced 'artists'.....what about Ice T, NWA and Ice cube?


I've been trying to make a point about declining values (morality) in mainstream society. Therefore, I draw examples from the "mainstream". Metallica was a major metal band, but it was not mainstream and got almost no airplay. I don't remember NWA being Top-40. "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica was Top-40, but it was hardly reflective of most of their albums.

quote:
All kinds of positive stuff, if you look. Check out the new Ma$e.

If I have to spend much time looking for it, it's not mainstream. I get to hear Eminem even when I don't want to.

quote:
Have you ever been to NYC....it is pretty multicultural and diverse. If your gonna generalize, pick Alabama or somewhere.

About my example of "disenfranchised" white-trash racists: I thought most people would make the observation that "Of course they don't get any respect, racism is socially unacceptable." Cap'n Vic, your response makes me wonder: "Do white-trash racists speak freely (about the inferiority of other races, etc) because New York City respects multicultural values and diversity?"

quote:
Check out some 2pak....you'd be surprised what he wrote about.

Surprised about what? Killing cops? Using assault weapons for gang violence? How often some form of the word F_ck can be used?

quote:
Don't watch 'em if you don't like 'em. There is tons of crap on TV. This stuff is like a car wreck....no one wants to see but every one looks.

Once again the subject is mainstream. TV and radio are businesses. Advertising pays the bills. If no one watches a show, the networks don't get money from advertising. Therefore, the explanation for "tons of crap" on TV is that people are actually watching "tons of crap," and that makes it mainstream.

quote:
It breaks my heart to see people losing jobs/investments. Why doesn't the gov't help? Oh yeah, they are too busy killing people overseas. [Roll Eyes]

"It breaks your heart?" I beg your pardon, is your attitude "if I can't be happy, no one else deserves happiness either" (which is a variant of "if I can't have it, no one else will"). Are you trying to say that if we didn't go to Iraq, no one would be hurt by the Enron scandal? Many organizations which offer pensions invest in other corporations through the stock market as a means of providing benefits to ordinary employees. Failed investments hurt "the little guys" most. Do you want to explain how much you hate Americans? I think I know your definition of what a "good American" is, but it might prevent some misunderstanding if you'd explain yourself.

FWIW: I understand that people often find it difficult to follow the intent of my posts. I suppose adding tags such as: "point", "assertion", and "support for assertion" might help, but I probably won't.
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 27, 2004, 22:48:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
However, I know of no "great" philosopher which stated anything like: "Killing Innocent Humans for Entertainment is Good."

Quite right. They'd capitalise quite differently [Wink]

/GC Needs More New Cliches, Right?
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 27, 2004, 23:11:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
Cap'n Vic is arguably antisocial. (As opposed to "no one would call him antisocial.")
...
2. My guess is that his favorite movies and music are largely violence, abusive language, and portrayal of government or law enforcement as tyranny. Antisocial behavior is perfectly acceptable as long as it's "only for entertainment."

quote:

I consider the "effects" of acts as generally being more important than the type of act itself; however, this means morality requires the ability to understand the consequences of one's actions.

Am I the only one who sees these two views as mutually exclusive? Unless you're talking about the fuzzy difficult to quantify long term effects, as opposed to the fairly easy to determine immediate ones?

Or are you arguing "Cap'n Vic doesn't like me because the gangsta rap music he listens to turns him into an antisocial lout"? Cause if you are, that seems like a mighty long bow to be drawing.

Edit: Incidentally, how do you intend to work out a system of ethics using pure logic? Any ethical/moral system must have a set of beliefs, or underlying assumptions at the core. Even if it's simple things like "You can't kill another human being unless you have a good reason" (where "good reason" and "another human being" are suitably well defined elsewhere). That sort of belief is not a logical belief, logic is not built to express this sort of thing.
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on September 27, 2004, 23:21:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
Uh ... just a thought. We could try logic and the Scientific Method. (I don't know why a geek wouldn't think of that.)

Probably because the scientific method is not meant to be and was never designed to be applied to cases like these. The scientific method was developed 300+ years ago as a way to understand how the world works, not why it works the way it does or how it should work. Furthermore, applying the scientific method to human behavior is fraught with trouble (very very difficult to ctonrol for all the variables).

Furthermore, have you ever tried applying logic to something as completely irrational and faith-based as religious belief? You'd have to try - that's where a lot of people get their moral compass from.

quote:
His view on morality is probably that values are relative to culture. That is, two cultures can have opposed values, such as on the rights of women, but both are "right," and as a result, no culture can rightfully insist that another culture follow outside values.
Please explain to me why this is a bad thing.

<offtopic>It's after midnight. I've been here since before 9 this morning. I wanna go home. Where's a fairy godmother when you need one?</offtopic>
 
Posted by littlefish (Member # 966) on September 28, 2004, 01:00:
 
Well Xanthine, the Indian Caste system does not assume that all people are born equal, however it is deeply entrenched in their religious beliefs, and I wouldn't want to go over there and tell them their religion as rubbish and all people are equal.


What ASM doesn't seem to understand is the subjectivity of 'good' and 'evil', 'right' and 'wrong'. He seems to think there are moral absolutes, which can't be defined, instead of a continuum between 'lots of people think this is a good idea' and 'very few people think this is a good idea' .

Anyway, no more arguing for me on this topic, the exchange of ideas seems to be limited to new insults.
 
Posted by Twinkle Toes (Member # 1208) on September 28, 2004, 02:00:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
Instead of "exceptions", analyze values by creating a tree. For example:

1. Killing
- 1.A. Humans (that is "Killing humans."
- 1.B. Animals
- 1.C. Plants
2. Making False Statements
...
- - 1.A.1. Innocents
- - 1.A.2. Criminals
...
- - - 1.A.1.a. for Entertainment
- - - 1.A.1.b. to Prevent Loss of Lives to Others (ex. Spread of Deadly Disease)
- - - 1.A.1.c. to End Suffering (Terminally Ill)

Does this tree represent the classified importance of components concerning their value within societal laws or in life? If life: who says animals and plants aren't just as vital as we, if not more so? If laws: if you're ranking in value, wouldn't 1.A.1. subtrees be classified as such: 1.A.1.c, 1.A.1.b, 1.A.1.a?

On to my point...

You are taking the philosophical approach based on natural law: a universal moral law that, unlike physical laws, can be understood by applying reason/logic. However, philosophy is more deeply-rooted in religion (ex: Erasmus) than scientific method or reason. Many such orderly processes were founded on the basis of religious beliefs, such as American democracy from Puritanism. I think what you're asserting about the "obvious laws" being marginalized in society is that you don't like that the principles of laws are being ignored and manipulated to save, say, a murderer because he pleads insanity. Your logic tells you that, though he may be/might have been insane, he should still have to accept the consequences of his action(s). This sounds a lot like what the Puritans had in mind for their "City Upon A Hill:" they tried to scare everyone straight to assure their way into heaven, which meant killing anyone who didn't follow the rules precisely. Also, in Connecticut Blue Law, it was stated that if a boy - at least sixteen years in age - didn't obey the voice of his father or mother (if he didn't come when they called), he would be put to death. And if a parent chose to, they could also have their children put to death should they happen to curse or smite them. It wasn't an unlikely thing for a parent to do either. If you'll consider the seriousness of upholding societal policies: the parents would live in fear of banishment or possibly execution. I understand your view on consequences, but throughout history it has inevitably proven inhumane. This evidence should satisfy your analytical approach.

quote:
...however, this means morality requires the ability to understand the consequences of one's actions.
This can, in no reasonable way, be incorporated into actual law. Everyone has the ability to understand consequences, but it is their choice to decide whether to apply that knowledge to action or not.

That point aside...

quote:
"I thought that the "War on Drugs" made it clear that just passing laws doesn't solve problems."

[My post]
'reducing the demand for it is a far more effective control measure' - So increasing the supply of drugs is a better way of keeping people in line? Isn't that what you're saying?

I was just trying to squeeze an answer out of you. I actually agree that less restrictions make for a better society... initially, at least. But of course you didn't answer, because no one ever listens to me [Roll Eyes] ... Do people even read these things anymore?

(I'll continue anyways)

BTW, I'm not a religious person, per se. I'm Agnostic and have been for a good while. I would never want to belong to any religious title, but my beliefs kind of lean toward a mix of a supreme being and evolution (-caused by supreme being).

/Sidenote: everytime I try and type ASM65916, I always start out with "Asimov"... HMMMM...
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 28, 2004, 02:35:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:

Uh ... just a thought. We could try logic and the Scientific Method. (I don't know why a geek wouldn't think of that.)

Just out of interest .....

How does "To hell with the evidence, hang-em-high !" fit with your newfound respect for the scientific method?
 
Posted by GameMaster (Member # 1173) on September 28, 2004, 06:27:
 
Quoting TT
Does this tree represent the classified importance of components concerning their value within societal laws or in life? If life: who says animals and plants aren't just as vital as we, if not more so? If laws: if you're ranking in value, wouldn't 1.A.1. subtrees be classified as such: 1.A.1.c, 1.A.1.b, 1.A.1.a?
His tree didn't nessecarily have an order... The real question is it a Red-Black tree, a BTree, etc.

On to my point...

You are taking the philosophical approach based on natural law: a universal moral law that, unlike physical laws, can be understood by applying reason/logic.

Natural law and social contacttheory are the basis for this society. The puritian beliefs, while present in the mores and responsible for why certian laws are past is second to the idea that members of this soceity agreed that we wouldn't break these laws to have the ensurance that others wouldn't break these laws. Social contract theory doesn't argue whether or not there are absolute morals, just how and why legislation by a government makes sense.

However, philosophy is more deeply-rooted in religion (ex: Erasmus) than scientific method or reason.
Yes, and no. The idea of philosphy is to back up your point of veiw with evidence beyond the "the book says so." The early philosphers were heritics in the churches and societys for that very reason. The idea in philosophy is that you build a belief system starting from the most basic parts (elements or axioms) of truth that are self-evident, and work up (much like the laws of math (esp. geomotry)). Which is why symbolic logic is a Phil. course, and logical proofs look like geometry proofs.

All of this doesn't mean that philosphy isn't drastically influenced by religon and that philophers would invoke "God" to solve a problem they haven't another way to get through (read: as in Descartes' "Three Meditations").

I think what you're asserting about the "obvious laws" being marginalized in society is that you don't like that the principles of laws are being ignored and manipulated to save, say, a murderer because he pleads insanity.
hmm.. He said that moral judgement requires the understanding of consquences... So, if this was his point (and I'm not sure it was), then he'd be in a very sticky situation.

This can, in no reasonable way, be incorporated into actual law. Everyone has the ability to understand consequences,
I don't think so. I know people who don't fully understand the implications of their actions. They mean to do good, but never understand how their actions will have an effect on the world.

but it is their choice to decide whether to apply that knowledge to action or not.
That is a different issue... If they understand the consquences and do it anyway then they are acting immorally.

because no one ever listens to me
I do.

Do people even read these things anymore?
yup.
 
Posted by ooby (Member # 2603) on September 28, 2004, 10:19:
 
The belief that simply knowing what your consequences are allows you to determine what you should and should not do is fundamentally unsound if what you are talking about is consequentialism.

The most relavent example is our controversial war in Iraq. On both sides of the controversy, there are folks who believe that Saddam Hussein was a dictator and should not be allowed to be in power. But, there is one side who believes that he should be removed by any force necessary. The opposition to this view disagrees philosphically with the former. They believe that by allowing any force necessary to be used, an opportunity to create a situation worse than what would have happened if the amount of force were limited.

The flaw in consequentialism can be easily seen with this very common equation: %Efficiency = Useful Work/Energy Used * 100%. In this equation, using energy close to the useful amount is more favorable than using an amount much much higher. If one mean is more favorable than another and the end justifies the means, then is one mean more justified than the other?
 
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on September 28, 2004, 10:39:
 
The thing about the Puritans... they followed the letter of the law instead of the spirit of it. In their zeal to do "good," they did evil. Christianity has always been about freedom (John 10:9-11, NIV "I [Jesus] am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."). In their effort to gain approval from He-who-is-fully-God, the Puritans forgot about the part of Jesus that was fully human. Jesus displayed emotion (he cried when his friend Lazarus died) and played with children (even when his disciples frowned on him for doing so). The Puritans frowned upon both. They strike me as being very Augustinian. Augustine lived with a woman before he became a Christian, then when he did, he put her away and denied any kind of sexuality, totally neglecting portions of the Bible where God promotes marriage and sexuality.

I apologize for this being rather disjointed. I think what I've been trying to get at is that we as people sometimes cling to laws that make us comfortable. We are afraid of freedom. The Puritans were afraid that if they relaxed their rules, all hell would break loose: children would disobey their parents, every unwed woman would become pregnant, etc. In their zeal to preserve the orderliness of their society, they squelched the life right out of it. As I quoted before, that's contrary to one of Jesus' goals here on earth.

The question then becomes, if they were well-intentioned, does that negate behaviors that we feel were inherently "wrong"? Whoever heard of punishing a person with death because they didn't listen to their parent on the first call? (Why did the Puritan society become punitive instead of educative? Whatever happened to grace to forgive inevitable mistakes?)
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 28, 2004, 10:53:
 
Well ASM65816, I am sure you have been waiting in your trailer park with baited breath for a response *sigh* So, here we go.

PERSONAL REBUTTAL? In a public forum? You could have pm’d me, but since you wish to air your laundry in public. So be it.

First, let me say I still find it difficult to debate/argue/communicate with someone seeming incapable of holding a thought longer than the time it takes a Whitehouse intern to drop to her knees.

ASM, for a guy who outwardly despises personal attacks I think you have set some sort of record for name calling in a single post. But you know what; it doesn’t bother me in the slightest because of whom it is coming from.

I have posted, in this thread and others, evidence which backs up the fact that you seem to post topics in a deliberate fashion to cause people to be at odds with one and other. Also, it wasn’t long ago that you freely admitted to posting utter shit as ‘a joke’ only after you were painted into a corner and confronted by several folks. I am too lazy to search for this thread, but I think most people here remember it. There is also the belief that around that time you were also posting under an alternate nickname to steer the course of a thread. Call it what you want, but to me, and I am sure others this is the true definition of troll as it relates to forums, BBS and IRC.

I personally don’t think a forum is the ideal place to debate passionate topics to begin with, I envision a place like this where people come to share ideas, jokes and expertise in a light hearted way. I think you may notice a pattern where ‘your’ threads have deteriorated into shit slinging sessions. Much like when someone registers on GC simply to sell something they are met with hostility, the same can be said for your choice of topics: Death penalty, abortion, morality, GWII etc etc. People are going to have strong views….be prepared to deal with the backlash of posting such things.

If you read through my responses to you, I have asked you, for ease of debate to make your posts coherent, possibly to a single topic as opposed to several rambling, disjointed, bolded, capitalized, italicized manifestos. You admit to doing this but make no effort to make it easier for the rest of us to understand what you are going on about.

I won’t even attempt to respond to the rest of your rambling post, because honestly I don’t feel the need to stoop to that level right now nor do I understand what point you are trying so desperately to make. My suggestion to you for the sake of the others, is that, if you so choose to continue this, pm me m’kay?
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 28, 2004, 14:33:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
The thing about the Puritans... they followed the letter of the law instead of the spirit of it.

The thing about the Puritans is that they were fscking psychopaths.

A distinguished British historian, when discussing the dark years of their ascendancy in England, described them as a 'Protestant Taliban'.

These nutters banned singing, dancing, drinking, closed the theatres, and even banned the celebration of Christmas. When some moderate churches gathered for Xmas morning services in defiance of their edict, the army were sent in and worshippers were dragged off to prison.

Their rule was so unbearable that a nation who had just fought a long and bitter civil war to rid itself of the monarchy ended up begging the king to return from exile and save them from those maniacs.

Because they couldn't bear the sight of their neighbors enjoying themselves, they then packed up their gear and sailed across the water, where they entertained themselves by burning witches and hanging teenage native-american newlyweds for the 'crime' of entering a non christian marriage.

</rant>
 
Posted by Serenak (Member # 2950) on September 28, 2004, 17:41:
 
Sad to see this discussion descending (as so many on 'boards) into slanging, namecalling and "off topic" garbage.

I'm happy to follow a thread wherever it may wander... Sometimes the best discussions come from a topic wandering from original topic to a tangential one as the debate/discussion evolves... However, mudslinging/namecalling and abuse don't count as moving the disussion forward in my book.

To be honest this thread is beginnng to grate on me because there is more "trolling" and response to said than "discussion"

Here is a point from TV as I watch/type - a deaf couple wish to abort their unborn feotus because genetic testing shows *it is unlikely to be deaf* [Confused]

Beats me - my daughters are now 4years and 3 weeks old, and my partner's and my biggest concerns during pregnancy were that they hadn't inherited either of our genetic/congenital defects... I have a club foot and Jackie has mild cerebral palsy (previously spasticity) which luckily (in her case) only results in deformity of the feet and severe loss of sensation below the mid thighs. We both also suffer from moderately bad myopia and it's likely our children will too - but my eldest was checked out by the hospital and is currently OK (myopia set in at approx 13 for both of us and my mother so that is the time to watch I guess...)

I joined this group for some form of "adult" discussion (that means grown up, not smutty!) If I want trolls/abuse/ranting/etc. I'll go back to /. and OSNews....

C'mon, surely were here for fun and mutual enjoyment through interaction? Tell me I'm wrong or I guess it'll be time to start searching for *another* forum - fsck, I am so sick of these boards where nothing gets beyond "my hardware/OS/experience/job/life is better than yours". Do I need to add the childhood "Na Nah Na Naah Naah", or perhaps I should just use it as a signature?

Serenak
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on September 28, 2004, 18:16:
 
I'm sorry, Serenak, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. While there have been elements of name calling and "trolling" in the discussion, it's been well and truly overwhelmed by intelligent discussion, particularly in the last few posts. Seriously, if I was to look at every post following the "Personal Rebuttal" one, I'd say there are no less than ten posts all with intelligent argument, and a minimal amount of ad-hominems.

Personally, I haven't taken offence at anything said during this discussion, and any comments about capitalisation etc have just been an attempt to get another running joke going (well, we need something to replace begging MTB Babe for pictures of her butt, don't we? [Wink] ) Let's all try and keep an open mind to other points of view, and see if we can't all get some benefit from them, huh?
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 28, 2004, 18:26:
 
I declare MTB's butt should now be capitalised!

All hail MTB's Butt!*


*The use of bold was simply to make a point.
 
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on September 28, 2004, 18:42:
 
Now here's a good example of a 'grey area' of morality.

Do you deplore this violation of 'parents rights', or do you applaud the state for giving the parents the slapping they so richly deserve?
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on September 28, 2004, 18:50:
 
I don't know which side is more pathetic.

They could name him: [email protected]
 
Posted by Twinkle Toes (Member # 1208) on October 02, 2004, 18:53:
 
Jesus.. What a stupid reason for naming a child 'Superman.' They probably don't even like that as a name. If Superman were actually 'Buttman' or 'Spandex', they'd be a bit more considerate. They could've named him Christopher or Ariel, for crying out loud.
 
Posted by Twinkle Toes (Member # 1208) on October 02, 2004, 22:27:
 
Originally posted by GM:


Natural law and social contact theory are the basis for this society. The puritian beliefs, while present in the mores and responsible for why certian laws are past is second to the idea that members of this soceity agreed that we wouldn't break these laws to have the ensurance that others wouldn't break these laws.

I'm trying to think of how to respond to this but I just can't explain... ah well, I might come back to it.


Social contract theory doesn't argue whether or not there are absolute morals, just how and why legislation by a government makes sense.

Well, I had to read a bit on social contract theory to respond to this. On this website, it says: "We, including all of our actions and choices, are then, according to this view, as explainable in terms of universal laws of nature as are the motions of heavenly bodies." - Does 'heavenly bodies' mean planets, galaxies, etc.? Could the church have connected social contract theory through the this? Maybe? No? I got nothin', I just like nit-picking.

Also, doesn't social contract theory support ASM's point - if that is his point - on what I mentioned here: "Your logic tells you that, though he may be/might have been insane, he should still have to accept the consequences of his action(s)"?

quote:
However, philosophy is more deeply-rooted in religion (ex: Erasmus) than scientific method or reason.

Yes, and no. The idea of philosphy is...[etc].
All of this doesn't mean that philosphy isn't drastically influenced by religon and that philophers would invoke "God" to solve a problem they haven't another way to get through (read: as in Descartes' "Three Meditations").

I know, that's all I was trying to point out. There are many religious people here - more than I thought - and I just wanted to let ASM65816 know that it might be difficult for those people to fully understand a very logical, scientific take on the topic. They might not be able to view philosophy from a scientific perspective because they are restricted by their religious beliefs... but maybe that's getting a little personal. Technically it's true though.

quote:
This can, in no reasonable way, be incorporated into actual law. Everyone has the ability to understand consequences,...

I don't think so. I know people who don't fully understand the implications of their actions. They mean to do good, but never understand how their actions will have an effect on the world.

I think the only people I know of that are like that are little kids and philanthropists (-which I mentioned earlier on). With little kids we know the reason they aren't able to is because they simply haven't developed defined instincts for wrong and right. With philanthropists, the fact that they're doing the greatest good completely overshadows the negative consequence of others not learning how to help themselves and also, the fact that they're only helping the typical homeless bum and not *everyone* (which falls in line with the part of social contract theory that says people are 'self-interested'/egocentric). But besides those two, I think if they sat down and thought about it they'd be able to think of at least some consequence(s) that would repel their action(s).

quote:
because no one ever listens to me
I do.

Well, yeah [Razz] Where have you been anyway? And don't use the excuse of having a life, we know that's not true!

quote:
Do people even read these things anymore?
yup.

I just wrote that because I started thinking of how Cap'n Vic had such trouble over understanding ASM's posts which, although being a bit confusing, were still comprehendable. Then I thought of how much it bugs me when someone posts to a topic they haven't even read, or they just skipped over my post because it's too long or something. They haven't taken notice of any points I've made, so I feel like I'm being silenced, and that REALLY pisses me off. Anywho! Thank you for responding [Smile] .
 
Posted by Twinkle Toes (Member # 1208) on October 02, 2004, 22:52:
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:

I personally don't think a forum is the ideal place to debate passionate topics to begin with, I envision a place like this where people come to share ideas, jokes and expertise in a light hearted way.

That is the reason I came to the forums and have kept coming back. I deal with enough 'comedians' in my life. Don't get me wrong, I love being funny and silly, and I'm not saying we need to rid the boards of funnies. However, this is practically the only place I get intellectual stimulation. What's so hard about containing oneself to continue an intelligent discussion? If you really feel adamant about something, wouldn't you want to share that and all the knowledge you have on it with others? If you really can't stand the heat, then get out the kitchen and PM eachother, like Cap'n suggested (thank you for doing that; I hope ASM agrees to do so if he wishes to continue).

The main thing for us to keep in mind is that we need to respect eachother's opinions and realize that our responses can't be the sole reason for another's change of opinion, should it occur.

quote:
If you read through my responses to you, I have asked you, for ease of debate to make your posts coherent, possibly to a single topic as opposed to several rambling, disjointed, bolded, capitalized, italicized manifestos.
Maybe the bold and italics are his way of expressing himself, like how I make hand gestures when I talk. Personally, I don't see it as a big problem.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on October 07, 2004, 19:53:
 
The Golden Rule - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule
It is also called the ethic of reciprocity.

Does everyone agree that the "Golden Rule" is a good start for determining what is not moral?

Although the intent is clear, it does not make good literal law, and it does not determine the magnitude of what is wrong. For example:

(Steal_a_Car)==(Steal_a_Pencil); Is True because Wrong==Wrong

This is the biggest reason that I consider morality to be "obvious." Although the wording changes, the "Golden Rule" has appeared in many cultures throughout the ages.
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on October 07, 2004, 19:55:
 
For the love of God, man. LET IT GO!
 
Posted by csk (Member # 1941) on October 07, 2004, 20:14:
 
The golden rule is a good start, I'd agree. In fact it's a foundational principle, certainly of Christianity (I'm not familiar with other religions enough to comment).

But we still run into the problem of relativity. Let's use Zorro as an example (nothing personal, but there's a good reason to choose him, as you will soon see). Let's say he's out drinking, and he meets a nice lady at the bar, who he's never seen before. He ends up taking her home, and just as they're getting intimate, he surprises her with some BSDM.

Now I'm sure Zorro would be safe, sane and consensual in real life, but in my example, he isn't. The BDSM more than likely is the same way he would like to be treated, so he's not breaking the golden rule relative to himself. However, he's clearly breaking the golden rule relative to her.

This is a silly example, but it serves to illustrate the point. The "How they would like to be treated" is an individual thing for each person, which makes it pretty hard to generalise. Sure, followers of a given religion will have similarities, but even then there are individual differences.
 
Posted by GameMaster (Member # 1173) on October 07, 2004, 22:19:
 
csk, that is where Kant's Maxiums are better worded. "Follow a maxium such that you can reasonably perscribe as the universal legislative"
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on October 08, 2004, 09:50:
 
Part I

I watched "Cool Hand Luke" (Paul Newman movie) a few days ago.
(Long Synopsis: http://www.filmsite.org/cool.html )

While this may seem unrelated, consider the case of the Mosquito:
  - Crime: Taking an extremely small amount of blood (theft) and causing several days of irritation.

The near-universal response of people is to kill them. This may not be "justice" (a mosquito might not bite two people), but it is certain the behavior of a mosquito will be that of a bloodsucking pest, and for that, people preemptively kill millions of mosquitoes.

Point: Society is synergetic and provides its members with significant benefits; however, someone that does not contribute to the synergy and only takes resources is a parasite and will eventually reach a point where his behavior is intolerable.

An example of "synergy": Given a road with an intersection to a housing development and congested traffic, Person A stops 25 feet away from the car in front of him to allow left turn access to the housing development. Person A doesn't lose any time towards reaching his destination, and there is no cost for stopping 25 feet sooner, but this trivial effort could greatly improve the commute of a dozen other drivers.

Part II

"Economics"

Consider the case of removing a $2 bolt from a car engine. The engine may run for 6 months with no apparent problems, but when it fails, the cost to repair it is $1000.

In the case of shoplifting a $0.50 piece of candy, the individual act is insignificant. However, losing a thousand pieces of candy each month means that the shop owner is losing $500 each month. Therefore, punishment is extreme compared to the individual act, but it is based on the long-term burden (of parasites) on society.

Part III

The Letter of the Law (aka. Why I Hate Lawyers)

quote:
Originally posted by csk:
... The BDSM more than likely is the same way he would like to be treated, so he's not breaking the golden rule relative to himself.

And this is why I feel that it is so important for the Jury to be free to interpret the intent of the law, instead of allowing lawyers to use volumes upon volumes of "legal precedence" to force a verdict (like on how some Enron CEO really wasn't stealing).

Point(s): A jury only works if its members care about individuals in society. The most efficient way to maintain order and progress in society is if the overwhelming majority seeks to do what is morally right. While some people may still do wrong, society will take great effort to see that justice is appropriate.

BTW: I've tried to read Kant ........ Uuuughh. (take aspirin)
 
Posted by ooby (Member # 2603) on October 08, 2004, 10:34:
 
Maybe you should read Minority Report by Philip K. Dick.
 
Posted by GMx (Member # 1523) on October 08, 2004, 10:46:
 
Or The Man In The High Castle.
 
Posted by ASM65816 (Member # 712) on October 15, 2004, 13:23:
 
Why do I get the feeling that the entire world has become like the last days of Rome? The Romans would go to the coliseum to see bloodshed and death, men and animals dying only for the sake of entertainment.

Today there's no need for a coliseum; you can watch the massacres in third world countries on CNN, or see beheadings of truck drivers and aid workers on the Internet.

quote:
Originally posted by Cap'n Vic:
This stuff is like a car wreck....no one wants to see but every one looks.

This is "entertainment;" people want to see it.

Is there another reason that people would say "he may be a murderous tyrant, but by law he has the right to kill his own people"? Is "law" so important that it justifies the death and oppression of the masses? In theory, laws are meant to protect and benefit society, not be a tool that allows one man to enslave a country.

Where is reason? Are lawlessness and anarchy good?
 
Posted by Cap'n Vic (Member # 1477) on October 15, 2004, 13:39:
 
Why do you insist on bring these threads back to life?


Haven't you clued into the fact that no one agrees (or gives a shit) with what you have to say? [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Xanthine (Member # 736) on October 15, 2004, 14:05:
 
quote:
Originally posted by ASM65816:
Where is reason? Are lawlessness and anarchy good?

I'd say the laws of thermodynamics apply to human systems as well as chemical and physical systems...

And I'm still not sure what your point is, especially since I haven't seen anyone around here suggesting that killing is good (except for a few warhawks, that is).
 


© 2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0