questions without answers

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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:48 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:
pilgrim_tom wrote:To the readers of my posts here ...


My arrogance has revealed it's ugly 'face' ... yet again!

I want people to 'see' what I 'see' and I'm in a hurry to get there.

I apologize ... please forgive me.


We all obviously want people to "see" what we see or we wouldn't be posting in here. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that.


Some of us are more in a hurry to get there and some are less in a hurry to get there. It nice to savor some things. It's nice to allow some things to stew a bit. All kinds of flavors come out that way.

But why are you in a hurry to get there? Is it arrogance or simply impatience to move things along? Can that also be arrogance? :-k Perhaps not. Arrogance might only enter in when one cares little for what the other posts.

You are forgiven. Go in peace and more slowly. :evilfun:


:lol: Very cute Arc. If you dislike the educator aspect of your soul, which was solidified in your above post, what would you rather it be called?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!


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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:52 pm

tom wrote
The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!


Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby pilgrim_tom » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:30 am

WendyDarling wrote:tom wrote
The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?


Not completely true ... my "walking stick" accompanied me ... details about my walking stick are posted here ...

http://pilgrimtom.weebly.com/my-walking-stick.html
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: questions without answers

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:24 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote: iambiguous,


In other words, how on earth is any particular one of us able to untangle it sufficiently enough to speculate on the very nature of Reality and Existence itself?


But we do that as a community, don't we? The world of science, philosophy, psychology - I daresay even religion when it's based on right reason and the search for truth, not fantasy. But maybe I'm wrong insofar as religion goes,.
Haven't scientists always attempted to untangle the nature of reality and existence, bit by bit, each standing on the shoulders of those who came before?
It's a very large task and the way I look at it, there can never be an end to it. But consider the progress we have made.


But what doesn't change here is this:

The gap that still does exist between all of the things that we speculate about on all of the threads created here and the manner in which the conclusions arrived at either do or do not fit into the very ontological nature of existence itself.

Thus someone like James S. Saint can insist that regarding the "physics of psychology", this...

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=192555

...reflects what is true.

My point though is always to make that crucial distinction between what he believes here "in his head" to be true and what he can actually demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe "in their heads" in turn.

So, does he? Or, for that matter, do I myself in regard to my own contributions here?

Arcturus Descending wrote:
We also do this by trying to learn about who we are, exploring our selves individually and our psyches, what makes us "tick" , what our relationships to others consist of and how we relate to others.


Yes, but to what extent is the philosopher then able to transcend the parts rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? In other words, in order to arrive at a frame of mind said to reflect the optimal or the only rational understanding of human interactions that come into conflict over value judgments. And that is the part I zero in on.

With respect to issues like abortion there are any number of questions in which there clearly are answers. And the answers are apllicable to all of us. Again, the world of either/or.

Let alone provide answers to questions that revolve around the existential relationship between identity, value judgments and political economy.


Arcturus Descending wrote: It's all a process. We turn on the light by discussion. How can one size fit all when we all come from different "places" but don't we get closer to the truth when we begin to see shared ethical and moral values, and when we're able to see the validity and right reason when it comes to some ethical and moral decisions - for instance the abortion issue? When it comes to human beings, can there actually be one absolute truth or can there only be a meeting of the minds, mutual agreement on what is considered to be valid and just reasonable?


But when we actually bring speculation like this down to earth and assess its applicibility/relevance to an issue like abortion, we soon bump into all of the conflicting renditions of what it means to "turn on the light", to get "closer to the truth", to share "valid and right reasons".

That's why I always advocate democracy and the rule of law [moderation, negotiation, comnpromise] over might makes right or right makes might. But that doesn't make this...

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

...go away. So I come to places like ILP in order to explore the narratives of those who profess not to be entangled in it.

...once you come to believe that questions of this sort don't have answers that are applicable to all, this increases your own options considerably. Why? Because your behaviors are not tied [re your "conscience"] to "doing the right thing".


Arcturus Descending wrote: I'm not sure I grasp what you're saying here. Can you elaborate a bit more and/or give me an example? Your statement kind of raises a red flag for me but since I'm not really sure what you're speaking about, I'll wait for you to explain.


It should raise a red flag! It basically revolves around the assumption that in a Godless universe human behaviors are "beyond good and evil". Or, as someone once suggested, that, in the absence of God, all things are permitted. Why? Because all things can be rationalized.

And then there is the mentality of the sociopath. He starts with the assumption that in a Godless universe morality revolves solely around self-gratification.

All behaviors are then permitted providing that you don't get caught doing something that others don't approve of. And provided that if you are caught you are willing and able to endure the consequences -- the punishments of those who do not subscribe to this frame of mind.

Or the nihilistic agenda of those who own and operate the global economy today. Doesn't it basically revolve around 1] show me the money 2] what's in it for me and 3] I've got mine, Jack.

What might seem "satisfactory" to me here and now is no less a particular frame of mind entangled existentially in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Most folks however manage to convince themselves that when they feel that their own behaviors are "satisfactory" they are "for all practical purposes" close enough to having done the "right thing".


Arcturus Descending wrote: But isn't it true that we can only take a thing so far? We have taken the time to think things out, to weigh all the pros and cons, to see what consequences may come from going this way or that way, and when that bell goes off in our heads - a "yes", we simply take that best path and then just let go. We are only human and we cannot foresee all the consequences. Random things happen but again we weigh all things conscientiously and then take the plunge.


Yes, but folks all along the political spectrum come to different -- conflicting -- conclusions regarding the part where the bell goes off. And the part where they find the right path.

Then what? Again, the option [as I see it] is generally a very, very complex intertwining of might makes right, right makes might and democracy.

There is an "ought" attached to means and an "ought" attached to ends.


Arcturus Descending wrote: By ought, do you mean what is necessary to do, what you must do, what you see fit to do?


Ought to because it is the right [moral, ethical] thing to do.

Thus:

Once you have managed to convince yourself of a particular end [it's the right thing to do] then you just calulate what you ought to do in order to achieve it. That then precipitates titantic arguments about which particular ends justify which particular means. But at least most are certain of the ends involved.

That's just not an option for me. Well, not "here and now".


Arcturus Descending wrote: You asked the question: "How ought I to live". Are you speaking of ethical questions here? That's what I thought at first but now I'm not sure after having read the above. Are you speaking of anything that a person might desire to do, any path he may take to further his life?
Explain this to me a little further.


Okay, I'll try. On other threads, mr reasonable and I would go back and forth about this very distinction.

He is convinced that playing the stock market is something that he ought to do because in playing the stock market it affords him the opportunity to live a particular lifestyle. Once that is settled "in his head" he can then focus on what he ought to do in order to be successful at it.

But others argue that playing the stock market is something which ethical men and women ought not to do. Why? Because it is linked to the capitalist political economy which they have come to conclude is an exploitative system that must be overthrown and replaced with something else. Socialism for example.

Very different "oughts", right?

But it really comes down to the distinction that I always make between that which we believe to be true [or claim to know as true] "in our heads" and that which we are able in turn to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe.


Arcturus Descending wrote: It's probably just me but I'm having difficulty seeing much of a distinction here. Can you shed more light on the above.


Take capital punishment.

Suppose you believe that Texas has executed more prisoners in recent years than any other state in the union. Is this true? Well, you can google it: https://mic.com/articles/51647/kimberly ... .M4ODSzJ9U

And if you suspect that this is all [or mostly] fabricated there are any number of sources in the criminal justice system that you can go to in order to get the facts. And, given this, I'd suggest that all rational men and women are obligated to believe it.

But suppose you believe that capital punishment is wrong. That it is immoral and not reflective of a civilized people.

How would you go about demonstrating that all rational human beings are obligated to believe that it's true?

Here you bump into this: http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.res ... eID=002000

Both sides accumulate particular political prejudices that, from my point of view, are largely rooted in dasein. They come to embody conflicting goods such that both sets of arguments can be deemed reasonable -- given an initial set of assumptions.

Thus both sides make arguments that the arguments of the other side can't and don't and won't make go away.

Finally, what counts out in the real world is which side has the actual power to enforce a particular moral/political agenda.

What do YOU mean here by "brought down to earth"?


That, with respect to the relationship between personal identity, value judgments and political power, any analysis accummulated by those who probe ethics philosophically must be integrated existentially into the world that we live in -- a world in which conflicts over the relationship between "I" and "evil" and "politics" are everywhere.


Arcturus Descending wrote: I watched a movie the other night which brought home the question to me: "How ought I (or one) to live? It's called Never Let Me Go. It was about children who were created to be genetically-engineered organ donors to serve their Originals, the ones which they were "cloned" after. It reminded me of nazi Germany.


I saw that movie too. In fact, I included my own reaction to it in my film thread:

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=179469&p=2366290&hilit=Mark+Romanek#p2366290

And, yes, most of us will react to it disapprovingly. Just as most of us will react to Nazi Germany disapprovingly. I know that I do. But I also have no illusions that this reaction is anything other than an existential contraption. There are, after all, many, many others who would not react disapprovingly at all.

Thus how would the philosophers go about constructing an argument able to demonstrate that all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to react to either context in The Right Way?

My only point is that one way or the other it all appears to really be "beyond good and evil".


Arcturus Descending wrote: That's how I would sum the movie I saw. At the same time, there has to be some code by which we live, some way in which we could and would see the true horizon beyond good and evil. Peering through that ambiguity to make sense of what would cause the least harm and the greatest amount of good. We all have different answers to that.


My own reaction to "codes of behavior" is, first of all, to note all of the different renditions that have appeared over the centuries. And then to note that "serious philosophers" have yet to actually sink their analytic assessments into these conflicting and contradictory rituals, customs, folkways, mores, laws etc., in order to yank out a frame of mind that is able to be demonstrated as the optimal point of view.

And those that tried [like Kant] ever and always alluded to one or another transcendent moral font. Which most called God. Or "the Gods".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Objectivists: Like shooting turds in a barrel.

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Harbal » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Humpty wrote: get stabbed in the heart, get stabbed in a major organ,

Organs don't come much more major than the heart.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:51 am

pilgrim_tom wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:tom wrote
The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?


Not completely true ... my "walking stick" accompanied me ... details about my walking stick are posted here ...

http://pilgrimtom.weebly.com/my-walking-stick.html


Named God?
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!


Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby pilgrim_tom » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:47 am

WendyDarling wrote:
pilgrim_tom wrote:The most pleasant memories I have of "peace" and "slowly" are the 4,000+ kilometres of the Camino Santiago I walked along ... mostly alone.


Alone?

Not completely true ... my "walking stick" accompanied me ... details about my walking stick are posted here ...

http://pilgrimtom.weebly.com/my-walking-stick.html

Named God?


No ... named walking stick ... some might call it a "staff"

OTH ... different folks have different views on what a walking stick/staff may symbolize ... I'm good with "it's a piece of wood"
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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:05 am

Oh, I thought God was your support throughout your treks.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!


Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby pilgrim_tom » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:48 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Oh, I thought God was your support throughout your treks.


Yes ... God has been my support all my life ... as I mentioned in another OP ... the demarcation line between NO awareness and awareness happened about 25 years ago.

OTH ... perhaps there is some truth in a notion I have often heard and read ... paraphrasing ... God hearkens no competition.

This notion may explain the path chosen by the desert fathers who sought isolation from the world ... the Buddhist monks who sought remote isolated caves to practice their meditation.

Perhaps it is difficult to hear God's soft voice ... His whisper ... in the crowd.

On my treks I had no agenda ... no time table ... no destination ... and most of the walking was "off road" ... goat trails ... away from the crowd.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: questions without answers

Postby WendyDarling » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:18 am

Then you were not alone, ever. Yes, when God chooses to converse, quiet solitude lacks distractions.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!


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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:37 pm

:lol: Very cute Arc. If you dislike the educator aspect of your soul, which was solidified in your above post, what would you rather it be called?


I wrote the below:

I don't consider myself to be a spiritualist or a leader - I don't want to lead or follow. I can kind of understand where the "educator" part came from though I don't like that term either with reference to myself.


I'm just kind of quirky that way. I do prefer some words over others. I believe that an educator educates in ways which I cannot - but I may be wrong.
I don't really see myself as one who is "skilled" in teaching.
I do like to shed some "light" on things though and to try to give another way of thinking. lol
I suppose that one can call that an educator.

See, not much of an educator. But again, I can understand based on my answers how that word would crop up.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:31 pm

Iambiguous,

I'm beginning to work on it. :evilfun: Kind of strapped for time this week.
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Re: questions without answers

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:42 pm

iambiguous,



My point though is always to make that crucial distinction between what he believes here "in his head" to be true and what he can actually demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe "in their heads" in turn.


I may be wrong here but is there actually much of a distinction there when what it appears to come down to is simply "belief" ~~ does it matter who is doing the believing? Of course, we do have to look "to the source.
I may not be understanding your statement though.

We also do this by trying to learn about who we are, exploring our selves individually and our psyches, what makes us "tick" , what our relationships to others consist of and how we relate to others.

Yes, but to what extent is the philosopher then able to transcend the parts rooted in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy? In other words, in order to arrive at a frame of mind said to reflect the optimal or the only rational understanding of human interactions that come into conflict over value judgments. And that is the part I zero in on.


That would necessarily depend on the individual philosopher and on his desire to think objectively as much as possible and not simply subjectively - according to how he himself alone views things.

By attempting to think in a more logical as opposed to a more emotional way when examining all issues thoroughly.


Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking, Fast and Slow said:

“Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.”

He also said:

“Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance.


By being more aware of our biases and how they reflect our thinking and trying to transcend them or plow through them.


With respect to issues like abortion there are any number of questions in which there clearly are answers. And the answers are apllicable to all of us. Again, the world of either/or.


What criteria is used to form an objective viewpoint on these so-called answers?
For instance, insofar as a particular abortion issue goes, what particular answer would apply to all?


Arcturus Descending wrote: It's all a process. We turn on the light by discussion. How can one size fit all when we all come from different "places" but don't we get closer to the truth when we begin to see shared ethical and moral values, and when we're able to see the validity and right reason when it comes to some ethical and moral decisions - for instance the abortion issue? When it comes to human beings, can there actually be one absolute truth or can there only be a meeting of the minds, mutual agreement on what is considered to be valid and just reasonable?

Iam wrote; But when we actually bring speculation like this down to earth and assess its applicibility/relevance to an issue like abortion, we soon bump into all of the conflicting renditions of what it means to "turn on the light", to get "closer to the truth", to share "valid and right reasons".


Why is this? Because when it comes down to life and death and quality of life issues which are close to the heart, we all tend to subjectify things according to our life experiences maybe?

Carl Jung once said something to the effect (paraphrasing) that life gives us problems and it is up to us to find solutions to them.
Can there actually be solutions to some things? Sometimes life is so messy. Where do we start? That's a subjective reaction. lol


That's why I always advocate democracy and the rule of law [moderation, negotiation, comnpromise] over might makes right or right makes might. But that doesn't make this...


I agree with the above. "Might makes right" is simply based on ego and arrogance and a lack of clear thinking ~ at least to me and "right makes might" is not necessarily true either unless one honestly has the courage of his/her convictions and the will and courage to make things happen.


If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and


But is that necessarily a negative thing to keep in mind? Being aware of that may help us transcend subjectivity long enough to focus "outside of ourselves" in a manner of speaking.


that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap,


I wonder just how many we can say there are? If I say that our natural resources are precious and that if we misuse them, we will not have them for long, there will still be others who will turn around and say "so what" - what's the big deal".
If I say, with Carl Jung, that truth is based on the concert of "many voices", than how does that pertain to Nazi Germany, which could, in my eyes, readily refute that saying?


I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction.


Well, then, you might have to ask yourself why it was that you determined to go in this direction and not that? After reflecting on that, you might come to realize that at the time it was the best and only way for you to go. Then you detach from the thought.


Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.


Within reason, we have to have the courage of our convictions and why we did this and not that - unless we eventually come to see that there might have been a better way. After all, we are not perfect and we do not think perfectly and in such a complete, thorough way but we strive to as we go along.


.
... So I come to places like ILP in order to explore the narratives of those who profess not to be entangled in it.


Have you come to any conclusion about WHY they are not entangled in it?


Arcturus Descending: I'm not sure I grasp what you're saying here. Can you elaborate a bit more and/or give me an example? Your statement kind of raises a red flag for me but since I'm not really sure what you're speaking about, I'll wait for you to explain.

Iam: It should raise a red flag! It basically revolves around the assumption that in a Godless universe human behaviors are "beyond good and evil".


But we have evolved into consciousness and conscience. What rational humane being would think that way? It sounds like more of an excuse to me.
Even without a god, there can be a moral and ethical way of behavior even if it may have in part arisen from the instinct for humanity to survive.
Wasn't morality and an ethical way of living already infused in people before the concept of a god or a personal god appeared on Earth?
There are atheists who have more of a positive code of living than that of many christians.


Or, as someone once suggested, that, in the absence of God, all things are permitted. Why? Because all things can be rationalized.


That wouldn't be conducive to our survival. It's a thought not well thought out by barbarians. lol


What might seem "satisfactory" to me here and now is no less a particular frame of mind entangled existentially in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. Most folks however manage to convince themselves that when they feel that their own behaviors are "satisfactory" they are "for all practical purposes" close enough to having done the "right thing".


So, what would YOU yourself use as a yardstick to determine that what you have done is necessarily satisfactory and the "right thing" to have done?
Don't you think that at some point one has to have confidence or trust that what they have done or what they do was/is rooted in and came from the most positive part of them which also seeks no harm? We can live in a degree of uncertainly since we cannot see a whole picture (which is why we use cognitive thinking) without becoming scrupulous - which would only tend to make us paralyzed or frozen, psychically speaking.


Yes, but folks all along the political spectrum come to different -- conflicting -- conclusions regarding the part where the bell goes off. And the part where they find the right path.

Then what? Again, the option [as I see it] is generally a very, very complex intertwining of might makes right, right makes might and democracy.


Perhaps it does all come down to how perception reveals brain differences or how the brain influences individual perception, notwithstanding how we choose to hold to the same patterns which we have developed.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... nt-jan-11/


Arcturus Descending: By ought, do you mean what is necessary to do, what you must do, what you see fit to do?

IaM: Ought to because it is the right [moral, ethical] thing to do.


So, how do we move away from that "ought" when it may be sullied by bias and simply personal opinion since it is not necessarily based on actual truth but on subjective thinking and personal preference ~~ which may be faulty?


Thus:
Once you have managed to convince yourself of a particular end [it's the right thing to do] then you just calulate what you ought to do in order to achieve it. That then precipitates titantic arguments about which particular ends justify which particular means. But at least most are certain of the ends involved.

That's just not an option for me. Well, not "here and now".


I may be wrong here since I don't really know you but you seem to thrive in ambiguity and uncertainty :evilfun: ...like I love the mystery of the unknown and unrevealed and the uncertain, and see beauty in it, you would appear to love the unending unanswered ad continuum questions without answers. Maybe one of the reasons I love this kind of art.

https://www.google.com/search?q=jackson+pollock+paintings&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQ0qrjqs_SAhXIx4MKHXVADJIQ_AUIBigB&biw=1093&bih=530#imgrc=9p1-StNAcAkqnM:


Insofar as the stock market scenario goes, I don't necessarily believe that those "oughts" are so different. They are just the opposites sides of the same coin and are based on personal preferences stemming from belief and so-called necessity issuing from unconscious fear at times. This probably goes back to the brain/perception concept.



But it really comes down to the distinction that I always make between that which we believe to be true [or claim to know as true] "in our heads" and that which we are able in turn to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe.


Yes.
As far as the stock market scenario goes, mr. reasonable at some point might come to change his "ought" thinking insofar as it was not so wise an endeavor or way of thinking but I'm probably wrong there. I would say that mr. has a gambler's spirit. We're all gamblers in some ways or other ways but we pick and choose those ways - some are safer than others and with some, we are robbed of our personal freedoms.

The same goes for the ones opposed to playing the stock market. One cannot fully know the effect of either decision on the economy.
Okay, I'm rambling...


Iam wrote: Take capital punishment.

But suppose you believe that capital punishment is wrong. That it is immoral and not reflective of a civilized people.

How would you go about demonstrating that all rational human beings are obligated to believe that it's true?


No rational human being is obligated to believe that a particular thing IS true but we are obligated to search out what, in actuality, IS objectively true under different circumstances and what would cause the least amount of harm.

Let us suppose that capital punishment is, under certain circumstances, the only reasonable, just, intelligent way to go. How to prove that?

Show the crime photos of the poor child who was raped and then murdered by the predator. Who in their right mind would not opt for capital punishment under those circumstances?

Civilized people are not necessarily sentimental, indulging in empathy and compassion toward those who do not deserve it, when what is necessary is to protect the children and society from predators and psychopaths.

Of course, the only terrible fly in the ointment so to speak would be if an innocent man were to die. But when we know beyond the shadow of a doubt and not just based on some circumstantial evidence that he/she committed a heinous crime - that head has to roll, in a matter of speaking.


What do YOU mean here by "brought down to earth"?

That, with respect to the relationship between personal identity, value judgments and political power, any analysis accummulated by those who probe ethics philosophically must be integrated existentially into the world that we live in -- a world in which conflicts over the relationship between "I" and "evil" and "politics" are everywhere.


Ah, such a difficult task to meet. That is where ambiguity will always "live on" in a sense.


I realize that what I said above about the heinous crimes of predators deserving capital punishment may sound absolutist and it was. But I also do realize that there are extenuating circumstances ~ like insanity and/or other deeply disturbing mental illness issues that need to be brought into account. For me, a predator who loves and lives for what he does does deserve capital punishment though some would say that that itself is a sign of insanity.
But then again - what do we do with cancer cells?


“I do not rest on the broad upland of a system that includes a series of sure statements about the absolutes, but on a narrow, rocky ridge between the gulfs where there is no sureness of expressible knowledge but [only] the certainty of meeting what remains, undisclosed.”
― Martin Buber



Arcturus Descending wrote: I watched a movie the other night which brought home the question to me: "How ought I (or one) to live? It's called Never Let Me Go. It was about children who were created to be genetically-engineered organ donors to serve their Originals, the ones which they were "cloned" after. It reminded me of nazi Germany.



Iam wrote; And, yes, most of us will react to it disapprovingly. Just as most of us will react to Nazi Germany disapprovingly. I know that I do. But I also have no illusions that this reaction is anything other than an existential contraption. There are, after all, many, many others who would not react disapprovingly at all.



Disapprovingly is putting it mildly, Iam.
I wonder about the kind of people who would not react disapprovingly. Would they be the people for whom "anything goes", people who exercise a complete and personal laissez faire attitude? People for whom other children have no deep value or right to happiness? People who have no code at all that they live by?

How could anyone not be enraged over children being brought into this world simply to be slaves, to have their organs harvested and sold until finally their bodies just give way and die. That attitude in itself is a nazi attitude, is it not?
When we've reached the point that something like this becomes blase and normal to us, that's when humanity ought to just pack it in because then we have become far far far less than human.


Director Mark Romanek has said that, as in the film, everyone has to uncover their relationship to our own mortality; we have two options: either go against it, or try to figure out a way around it


...or live and let live.


Keira Knightley feels that the film's story is alarming, but has said that the film is "more about humanity's ability to look the other way". "You know in fact that if your morals can go out the window if you think you can survive in a certain way, whatever your morals may be".


A very good and tragic example of the above is a play called "Good".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_(play)


Good is a play about the causes rather than the consequences of Nazism, about morality and seduction. It explores how a "good" man gets caught up in the intricate web of personal and social reasons why the average person might be seduced in to what we see as abhorrent. The author thus rejects the view that the Nazi atrocities are explained as a result of the simple conspiracy of criminals and psychopaths. Further the lesson of Nazism and the play are not just about the revulsion of six million dead but a warning about popular movements that lead to holocausts. Not judgmental of its protagonist, Good invites to question just what a "good" man is and does and where the bounds of responsibility lie.[2]


How dangerous it can be when we are not aware of how easy it can be to morally detach ourselves from things if we are not vigilant to our flaws and laziness ~~ how easy it is to become something other than what we "think" we are. Why?

Why indeed ~~ when we are nothing but Good!



Thus how would the philosophers go about constructing an argument able to demonstrate that all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to react to either context in The Right Way?


First, I would let go of the word "virtuous". lol Then the phrase "The Right Way" would have to be defined or redefined.


My own reaction to "codes of behavior" is, first of all, to note all of the different renditions that have appeared over the centuries. And then to note that "serious philosophers" have yet to actually sink their analytic assessments into these conflicting and contradictory rituals, customs, folkways, mores, laws etc., in order to yank out a frame of mind that is able to be demonstrated as the optimal point of view.


Do you mean to say that they have not actually barely touched the surface?


I have an intuition that I would not make a very good philosopher of ethics since I am not much of a detached person in some ways. My personal biases might so enter in. lol
SAPERE AUDE!


You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your INFORMED opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
Harlan Ellison

I learn as I write!
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