otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not there

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:49 pm

phyllo wrote:
On the contrary, moral judgments embodied by those in power can precipitate all manner of consequences. Women who choose to abort their babies [along with the doctors who abort them] can be charged with murder. They can be thrown in prison. And, if those in power deem abortion to be "first degree murder", they might even end up on death row. Where those in power who embrace capital punishment as a moral judgment will execute them.
Women get abortions even when it's illegal and immoral. People steal. People kill. People commit adultery.

They're willing to take the risk.


Yes, but the focus of this thread is to explore the extent to which folks do what they do because 1] they feel obligated morally to do so or 2] they concern themselves more with the consequences of getting caught by those convinced that particular behaviors are in fact the "wrong thing to do".

Sure, there are those who feel that certain behaviors are immoral but do them anyway. Why? Because for one or another reason they are able to rationalize it. Including aborting their unborn babies. Maybe they feel it is wrong to kill unborn babies but their own unborn baby was as a result of rape; or it will come into the world with some affliction; or they are convinced that if they sincerely repent to God they will be forgiven.

The actual contextual permutations that any one of us might find ourselves in "out in the world" -- out in a particular world viewed from a particular point of view -- are practically endless.


After all, what do we really know of the experiences that others might have -- experiences entirely at odds with our own?

And all because folks like you insist that there really is a way to differentiate moral from immoral behaviors.


phyllo wrote: Yeah, it's because of people like me that there are so many problems in the world. If only there were no values or judgements, then we would be living in paradise. :D

"Anything and everything is okay". That's the solution.


You argue this, but I can scarcely imagine how you could possibly believe this is true given the length and breadth of our exchanges here.

I would never suggest that we are better off living in a world without values and judgments. Note a single instance where I have argued this. Instead, I argue that value judgments are a necessary component in a world where "rules of behavior" are fundamental to sustaining least dysfunctional human interactions. I merely argue that "here and now" I construe any particular individual values as embodied in existential contraptions rooted in the manner in which I in turn construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And ever and always out in a particular world [historically, culturally and experientially] of contingency chance and change.

And that as a result of having "thought" myself into believing that this is true "in my head" "here and now" I am impaled on my dilemma above.

So the question is the extent to which your own moral values are derived from a different set of assumptions. The extent to which my own predicament is not applicable to you. As that pertains to a particular set of behaviors that you have chosen in interacting with others.

You claim to have gone there. But certainly not in the manner in which I construe the meaning of "going there". And that is embedded in my existential trajectory above.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:31 pm

Otto_West wrote:
Basically there are a variety of constantly changing views out there concerning humanity and its evolution were there is no singular right or wrong criteria to them objectively as the universe doesn't hand out objectives in of itself (people create objectives not the other way around), however the survival of a belief, value, or perception often requires power to enforce them where the value of belief can also depend on the beneficial relationship with those that adhere to it. If the belief is unbeneficial in terms of survival it loses value or validity.


Yes, for all practical purposes, given an historical overview of human interactions to date, this is an entirely reasonable frame of mind.

Or so it seems to me. Here and now.

But:

As I interpret it, this "power to enforce" a particular political agenda is best rooted in "democracy and the rule of law" --- in moderation, negotiation and compromise.

As opposed to "might makes right" or "right makes might".

Now, what some folks do is to argue that Nietzsche had it right. Philosopher kings of the liberal "humanistic" school [like religious leaders] are ruled out because basically they become tools of the weak to emasculate the strong. Instead, the ubermen, who are more in sync with the one true understanding of human nature, not only prevail over the weak but ought to prevail over the weak.

And then there are the usual assumptions attached here regarding gender roles, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc.

They key component intertwining them all however is one or another rendition of this:

1] there is a "real me" that transcends contingency, chance and change
2] this "real me" is in sync with one or another understanding of "virtue", "truth", "justice"
3] "virtue", "truth", "justice" as embedded in one or another rendition of God, Humanism, ideology, nature

I call them objectivists. And, from my frame of mind, what makes them embrace that frame of mind is in turn embedded in one or another psychological rendition of this:

1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.

2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.

3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.

4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others...it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.

5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.

6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity....on their very Self.

7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with "logic".

Otto_West wrote:If there was a group of people that thought it was morally justifiable to kill themselves in mass we can say it wasn't of much value in that the adherents of that belief are all dead or in the process of dying. It's not that suicide in mass is wrong but that it negates survival or existential being of the individuals involved. The belief becomes an evolutionary dead end and thereby loses all of its valuation. Once again survival is the metric of all valuations where morality is a residual fictional illusion people delude themselves in. The will to power is the will to survival and vice versa where from it all created valuations stem or revolve from.


Again, I think that this is an entirely reasonable way in which to think about human life and death. My point is only that there are others able to construct conflicting narratives that, given a different set of assumptions, are also reasonable. And that my frame of mind then revolves around the extent to which they argue in turn that their own narrative is [necessarily] most in sync with God and/or Reason and/or Nature.

In other words, that you are either "one of us" in sharing it, or you are wrong.

Otto_West wrote:Objectivism is like this childlike belief that human beings can somehow master and understand all of reality becoming its sole interpreter. The problem with this is that reality or the universe gives us very little to nothing at all to interpret where everything is self created conjecture. We live in a very subjective universe but not all subjective perceptions, valuations, or visualizations are equal in that some are more successful than others.


Where things get tricky here however is that there are any number of components embedded in human interactions that seem entirely objective in nature. Mathematics, the laws of physics, the empirical world around us, the logical rules of language.

In fact things can become rather "spooky" when you consider that the "is/ought" world may well in turn be entirely objective. But only because human moral narratives themselves are embodied in an illusion of autonomy in a wholly determined world.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:59 pm

You argue this, but I can scarcely imagine how you could possibly believe this is true given the length and breadth of our exchanges here.

I would never suggest that we are better off living in a world without values and judgments. Note a single instance where I have argued this. Instead, I argue that value judgments are a necessary component in a world where "rules of behavior" are fundamental to sustaining least dysfunctional human interactions. I merely argue that "here and now" I construe any particular individual values as embodied in existential contraptions rooted in the manner in which I in turn construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And ever and always out in a particular world [historically, culturally and experientially] of contingency chance and change.
Lack of consistency is a recurring problem in your posts. One day you don't know how to figure out what is "good" and the next day you are promoting moderation, democracy and rule of law ... as if those are "good" in some way or "better" than for example extremism, despotism and lawlessness.

It seems that you want to have your cake and eat it. Or you're just wasting time with babble. Or maybe you enjoy the idea that people can't pin you down.
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:14 pm

phyllo wrote:
You argue this, but I can scarcely imagine how you could possibly believe this is true given the length and breadth of our exchanges here.

I would never suggest that we are better off living in a world without values and judgments. Note a single instance where I have argued this. Instead, I argue that value judgments are a necessary component in a world where "rules of behavior" are fundamental to sustaining least dysfunctional human interactions. I merely argue that "here and now" I construe any particular individual values as embodied in existential contraptions rooted in the manner in which I in turn construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy. And ever and always out in a particular world [historically, culturally and experientially] of contingency chance and change.
Lack of consistency is a recurring problem in your posts. One day you don't know how to figure out what is "good" and the next day you are promoting moderation, democracy and rule of law ... as if those are "good" in some way or "better" than for example extremism, despotism and lawlessness.


But I acknowledge that in promoting democracy and the rule of law this is no less an existential contraption rooted in the manner in which over the years "I" came to be predisposed to view these things.

Once I was an objectivist myself regarding these relationships. Embracing either the Bible or the Communist Manifesto. Or the political philosophy of [among others] Leon Trotsky.

Then I happened upon William Barrett's Irrational Man. That introduced me to "rival goods". Richard Rorty then introduced me to "ironism". Then, over still more time, this all became intertwined in the manner in which I came to construe the meaning of Heidegger's Dasein.

And here "I" am. Acknowledging in turn that given new experiences, relationships and sources of information/knowledge "I" may reconfigure again.

Thus my point here is the attempt to pin down those aspects of human interaction that transcend dasein. Things able to be established as in fact true for all of us.

And I would certainly not argue that this includes democracy and the rule of law. Any number of objectivists stil hold it in contempt.

Right?

It's just that "here and now" "I" see it as "the best of all possible worlds".

Yet that doesn't make my dilemma above go away.

phyllo wrote: It seems that you want to have your cake and eat it. Or you're just wasting time with babble. Or maybe you enjoy the idea that people can't pin you down.


Yes, this was more or less Moreno's argument. And it's a good one.

Indeed, I will be the first to admit that "in the moment" [subjunctively] when "I" am making my arguments, it "feels" nothing at all like being predisposed to particular leaps of faith. Leaps of faith embodied in particular political prejudices.

Yet I am no less impaled on my dilemma when I pull back and try to think it all through to The Right Answer.

And what I enjoy is polemics. And yet somehow subjunctively even that seems to be entangled "in my head" in this:

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

I just have no illusion that these enormously complex and convoluted "frames of mind" will ever be pinned down definitively such that "I" will finally grasp once and for all what this is really all about.

You know, in the is/ought world.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:20 pm

But I acknowledge that in promoting democracy and the rule of law this is no less an existential contraption rooted in the manner in which over the years "I" came to be predisposed to view these things.
Not just an existential contraption but a contraption which is incompatible with your other contraption - moral nihilism.

Which one to use when confronted with an issue? And why?

Why have both of them?
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby Magnus Anderson » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 am

Biguous wrote:Thus my point here is the attempt to pin down those aspects of human interaction that transcend dasein. Things able to be established as in fact true for all of us.


Biguous is one of those people, many people, who have an unrealistic, you can also say an idealistic, understanding of how intelligence works.
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby Is_Yde_opN » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:58 am

God is dead they say and then they remain stuck in a vague feeling of what is right and what is wrong but why bother with anything.
Taking a position, having objectives means you might fail or you could be proven wrong.
Much better to hide your aspirations, even from yourself on a certain level, to not face potential failure.

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:16 pm

Magnus Anderson wrote:
Biguous wrote:Thus my point here is the attempt to pin down those aspects of human interaction that transcend dasein. Things able to be established as in fact true for all of us.


Biguous is one of those people, many people, who have an unrealistic, you can also say an idealistic, understanding of how intelligence works.
"human interactions that transcend dasein" - What a bizarre idea. It seems that every aspect of every interaction has to be tied into dasein. How can it not be so?

What is common to the interaction is humans with a particular biology and therefore particular needs and drives. (Even that does not transcend dasein because human biology has evolved and will evolve, so the "time element" of dasein is always there.)

Let do an example how morality might work:

We can come up with a philosophical principle based such as "Life is valuable". Humans and other animals seem to want stay alive.

Let's say there is a planet with two islands. One (Island L) has low reproductive rates due to some chemicals in the local food (but they don't know the reason). The other (Island H) has high reproductive rates to the point that resources are becoming scarce.

What would be the morality of abortion on these islands?

It makes sense to make abortion immoral (and illegal) on Island L in order to prevent complete extinction of life.

It makes sense to make abortion moral on Island H in order to have enough resources to feed the current population.

Both are evaluating their particular situation based on the "transcending" principle that "Life is valuable". They are in sync with "human needs".

Of course, there are other possible moralities of abortion on these islands. How much are they meeting human needs? Does a principle that says "Abortion is always wrong" make sense? Can one reasonably apply such a principle without looking at the specific situation? I don't think so.
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:24 pm

phyllo wrote:
But I acknowledge that in promoting democracy and the rule of law this is no less an existential contraption rooted in the manner in which over the years "I" came to be predisposed to view these things.
Not just an existential contraption but a contraption which is incompatible with your other contraption - moral nihilism.

Which one to use when confronted with an issue? And why?

Why have both of them?


The fact of my grinding ambivalence relating to value judgments and conflicting goods is [here and now] inextricably/ineffably intertwined in the manner in which I connect the dots between the existential contraptions embodied in "I" [in the is/ought world] and moral nihilism.

One begets the other.

How [after all this time] could you not grasp this about my own existential contraption here relating to morality out in a particular world construed from a particular point of view?

Again, choose a conflicting good that we are all likely to be familiar with and we can this discuss this considerably more substantively.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:46 pm

Again, choose a conflicting good that we are all likely to be familiar with and we can this discuss this considerably more substantively.
We're already discussing abortion in this thread.
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:11 pm

phyllo wrote:
Again, choose a conflicting good that we are all likely to be familiar with and we can this discuss this considerably more substantively.
We're already discussing abortion in this thread.


Yes, and substantively, in the OP, I embedded my own moral narrative regarding it in this:

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

Now, you claim to have provided your own facsimile of this. And then I argue that I don't recognize it as resembling my own effort at all.

And then we're stuck.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:27 pm

Now, you claim to have provided your own facsimile of this. And then I argue that I don't recognize it as resembling my own effort at all.
Yes, well there are a number of explanations for that. But since every attempt to get to the explanation seems to be blocked by your filters of everything that is said to you ... "you don't understand" or "it's all in their heads" ... I don't see any way to get around it and to move towards a reasonable explanation. I mean you claim that "a reasonable explanation" is just a construct in my head. Right?

There's really no place to go. Unless I give in and accept your view that "there is no place to go". :wink:

But I don't think that it is true. And I don't feel that it is true. The physical universe "out there" draws me to other conclusions.

Oh well, not important.
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:32 pm

.
Last edited by phyllo on Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:55 pm

Is_Yde_opN wrote:God is dead they say and then they remain stuck in a vague feeling of what is right and what is wrong but why bother with anything.
Taking a position, having objectives means you might fail or you could be proven wrong.
Much better to hide your aspirations, even from yourself on a certain level, to not face potential failure.
Stand for nothing and thus don't expose yourself to any attacks.


Yes, over the years, one or another objectivist [usually a Satyrean Uberman] has noted this distinction between me and them.

In other words, they have the courage to take a stand and embrace one or another political dogma.

And, if only I would grow a pair, I could too.

What's crucial here of course is that in merely asserting this they don't have to actually examine the points I make regarding the relationship [out in the world...a particular world] between a sense of self, a value judgment and the extent to which embracing one or another is embedded/embodied in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

They can just skip all that girly stuff and assume the only thing that matters is that you do "take a stand".

Indeed, they take their own manly, muscular leap to a particular set of political prejudices and, quoting either Nietzsche or Nature, insist that you are then "one of us" or "one of them".

Here I merely suggest that the arrogance behind this manly, muscular bluster is more a psychological rendition of this...

1] there is a "real me" that transcends contingency, chance and change
2] this "real me" is in sync with one or another understanding of "virtue", "truth", "justice"
3] "virtue", "truth", "justice" is embedded in one or another rendition of God, Humanism, ideology, nature

...embedded in one or another unique and personal psychological rendition of this....

1] For one reason or another [rooted largely in dasein], you are taught or come into contact with [through your upbringing, a friend, a book, an experience etc.] a worldview, a philosophy of life.

2] Over time, you become convinced that this perspective expresses and encompasses the most rational and objective truth. This truth then becomes increasingly more vital, more essential to you as a foundation, a justification, a celebration of all that is moral as opposed to immoral, rational as opposed to irrational.

3] Eventually, for some, they begin to bump into others who feel the same way; they may even begin to actively seek out folks similarly inclined to view the world in a particular way.

4] Some begin to share this philosophy with family, friends, colleagues, associates, Internet denizens; increasingly it becomes more and more a part of their life. It becomes, in other words, more intertwined in their personal relationships with others...it begins to bind them emotionally and psychologically.

5] As yet more time passes, they start to feel increasingly compelled not only to share their Truth with others but, in turn, to vigorously defend it against any and all detractors as well.

6] For some, it can reach the point where they are no longer able to realistically construe an argument that disputes their own as merely a difference of opinion; they see it instead as, for all intents and purposes, an attack on their intellectual integrity....on their very Self.

7] Finally, a stage is reached [again for some] where the original philosophical quest for truth, for wisdom has become so profoundly integrated into their self-identity [professionally, socially, psychologically, emotionally] defending it has less and less to do with philosophy at all. And certainly less and less to do with "logic".


...then a demonstration that they are in fact being a man and doing the right thing. Or, rather, that they are doing something instead of nothing at all.

Yet I have noted over and again that, yes, to the extent that one chooses to interact with others, one must do something. And that is embedded in the obvious: that, in any and all human communities, "rules of behavior" are absolutely mandatory.

Again, it only comes down to the extent to which the least dysfunctional combination of democracy, might makes right and right makes might is chosen and/or imposed "here and now" in any particular community. The part revolving around political economy.

All I am suggesting here is that, given the manner in which I construe these relationships, all such interactions [in the is/ought world] are more or less "existential contraptions" rooted in particular historical, cultural and experiential contexts.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:52 pm

phyllo wrote:
Now, you claim to have provided your own facsimile of this. And then I argue that I don't recognize it as resembling my own effort at all.
Yes, well there are a number of explanations for that. But since every attempt to get to the explanation seems to be blocked by your filters of everything that is said to you ... "you don't understand" or "it's all in their heads" ... I don't see any way to get around it and to move towards a reasonable explanation. I mean you claim that "a reasonable explanation" is just a construct in my head. Right?


That's really all we can do here though, isn't it?

We can provide others our own moral narrative and at least make an attempt to intertwine it in the life that we have actually lived. We can grapple with illustrating our philosophical assumptions by noting particular contexts in which they were tested.

I think that I have accomplished this substantively in providing the components of my own existential trajectory above. And, in my own opinion, you have not.

And now all that we can do is to leave it to others to decide for themselves if your own attempts here were in fact equally substantial.

phyllo wrote:[There's really no place to go. Unless I give in and accept your view that "there is no place to go". :wink:

But I don't think that it is true. And I don't feel that it is true. The physical universe "out there" draws me to other conclusions.

Oh well, not important.


Again: What on earth is this familiar "general description" assertion in reference to? In what particular context? What are the options available to us in choosing where to go? And what happens when a conflict breaks out regarding where a rational/virtuous man or women is obligated to go?

With respect to abortion or to any other conflicting good.

The physical universe is "out there" all right. But what does that have to do with a clash of moral narratives out in a particular world where, historically, culturally and experientially, we might bump into any number of conflicting goods?

And what could possibly be more important than discussing this? And [possibly] recognizing the limitations of philosophy in coming to conclusions [resolutions] that may not even be there.

Or were folks like Wittgenstein [and Richard Rorty's ironists] completely off the mark here?
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:12 pm

The physical universe is "out there" all right. But what does that have to do with a clash of moral narratives out in a particular world where, historically, culturally and experientially, we might bump into any number of conflicting goods?
Somehow you manage, in your head, to strip morality of all links to the external world.

There seems to be no way to reattach it for you. C'est la vie.
And what could possibly be more important than discussing this? And [possibly] recognizing the limitations of philosophy in coming to conclusions [resolutions] that may not even be there.
"Discussing it" in this case means repeating the same statements over and over. You, yourself, said that there is no way to measure progress. There is no direction, endpoint or goal that the discussion can move towards. It is talk for the sake of talk.

You can spend your time better by gossiping about Taylor Swift.
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:20 pm

If a man, said Epictetus, opposes evident truths, it is not easy to find arguments by which we shall make him change his opinion. But this does not arise either from the man's strength or the teacher's weakness; for when the man, though he has been confuted, is hardened like a stone, how shall we then be able to deal with him by argument?
Epictetus - Discourses Book 1, Chapter 5
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:38 pm

phyllo wrote:
The physical universe is "out there" all right. But what does that have to do with a clash of moral narratives out in a particular world where, historically, culturally and experientially, we might bump into any number of conflicting goods?
Somehow you manage, in your head, to strip morality of all links to the external world.


How on earth is this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

...not an attempt to demonstrate how my own moral values relating to abortion are deeply embedded in the "external world"?

Note to others:

What important point is he making here that I keep missing? And I'm certainly willing to concede that I may well be missing it.

And what could possibly be more important than discussing this? And [possibly] recognizing the limitations of philosophy in coming to conclusions [resolutions] that may not even be there.


phyllo wrote:"Discussing it" in this case means repeating the same statements over and over. You, yourself, said that there is no way to measure progress. There is no direction, endpoint or goal that the discussion can move towards. It is talk for the sake of talk.


Yes, Zinnat's "groots".

Guilty as charged.

I believe that the manner in which, over the years, I have come to frame the existential relationship between identity, values and political power is succinctly summed up in them.

But I also recognize that if I were to argue that there is no way here in which to "measure progress", I would be contradicting the very thrust of my own narrative: that my own arguments are no less existential contraptions.

Of course there may be ways to measure progress. Of course there may be an objective morality. Of course there may be a God. And, over the years, I had certainly believed this.

I just don't believe it anymore, "here and now". But [ironically] you're the one insisting that you know better.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby phyllo » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:32 pm

How on earth is this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

...not an attempt to demonstrate how my own moral values relating to abortion are deeply embedded in the "external world"?
Those are just a bunch of events that "changed your thinking". Beyond that, you don't describe the consequences of anything that happened for the people involved or the society that they lived in. You don't describe the changes in the "external world" ... the changes outside of your head.

What were the consequences to your family/community because they were conservative?

What was the impact of marrying a feminist beyond uttering some slogans? Good life? Crappy life?

How did the abortion change the lives of Mary and John? Their families?

Your narrative reminds me of the Godfather movies. In the first one, Al Pacino kills two rival mobsters and has to go into hiding in Sicily. He comes to a town and notices that that it's full of old men and women. He asks about it and finds out the young men have been killed in vendettas.
He's supposed the smart one in the family but the penny never drops for him ... he doesn't realize that he is seeing the consequences of the gangster life that he is choosing. People are going be killed, families destroyed, misery piled on misery.
He doesn't spend much time thinking about the morality of anything that is happening or that he is directly doing.

The movies mostly describe events ... somebody was killed, then some other people were killed, then more ...

Maybe in the last scene when he is sitting alone on a bench... his first wife murdered, his second wife left him, his daughter shot dead ... maybe he's thinking about the morality of his decisions. Maybe not.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:08 pm

phyllo wrote:
How on earth is this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

...not an attempt to demonstrate how my own moral values relating to abortion are deeply embedded in the "external world"?
Those are just a bunch of events that "changed your thinking".


Yes, the manner in which I encompass the existential meaning of dasein with respect to value judgments out in a particular world that might be experienced by any particular one of us:

1] "I" believe this.
2] Something happens, something changes.
3] "I" believe that instead.

Now, with respect to God, nature, political ideology and/or a deontolgical philosophical assessment, is there a way to obviate this subjective/subjunctive evolution of values over the years by subsuming the changes themselves in an "objective" understanding of whatever particular conflicting good precipitates in the way of conflicting behaviors?

phyllo wrote: Beyond that, you don't describe the consequences of anything that happened for the people involved or the society that they lived in. You don't describe the changes in the "external world" ... the changes outside of your head.


The actual consequence of these experiential changes for me revolves [here and now] around my dilemma above. And I embedded the evolution of that frame of mind in the changes that unfolded for "I" out in a particular external world. Mine.

phyllo wrote: What were the consequences to your family/community because they were conservative?


Well, by and large, their conservative frame of mind precipitated attitudes and behaviors relating to abortion [and gender, and race, and sexual orientation etc] that, back then, was attendant with what many construed to be a "conservative" political agenda.

phyllo wrote: What was the impact of marrying a feminist beyond uttering some slogans? Good life? Crappy life?

How did the abortion change the lives of Mary and John? Their families?


You would have to ask them this. My point is that we take out of a particular political conflict [like abortion] that which we first bring into it: "I". Then things can change in our lives and we can find our thinking changing along with them.

Then back again to this: Given these clearly existential trajectories is there a way in which we can assess the changes in order to derive a set of essential behaviors that all reasonable [and virtuous] men and women are obligated to choose?

phyllo wrote: Your narrative reminds me of the Godfather movies. In the first one, Al Pacino kills two rival mobsters and has to go into hiding in Sicily. He comes to a town and notices that that it's full of old men and women. He asks about it and finds out the young men have been killed in vendettas.
He's supposed the smart one in the family but the penny never drops for him ... he doesn't realize that he is seeing the consequences of the gangster life that he is choosing. People are going be killed, families destroyed, misery piled on misery.
He doesn't spend much time thinking about the morality of anything that is happening or that he is directly doing.

The movies mostly describe events ... somebody was killed, then some other people were killed, then more ...

Maybe in the last scene when he is sitting alone on a bench... his first wife murdered, his second wife left him, his daughter shot dead ... maybe he's thinking about the morality of his decisions. Maybe not.


Again, my point is this:

When any particular one of us watches these films, our reaction to what we see is clearly existential, rooted in "I". Most will be repulsed by what he does, but others will not be.

And, when we think about what he ought to do instead, the same thing.

Now, is there an "essential" reaction that all rational and ethical men and women are obligated to embrace?

Is being a "gangster" essentially irrational and immoral?

And what of the sociopaths who choose this lifestyle either because they construe "good" and "bad" as revolving entirely around that which [in a Godless universe] gratifies them, or because they somehow are able to rationalize their behavior [reconcile it with God] "in their head".

In the movies, God and religion are ever hovering about these generally Catholic hoods. Both in and out of church. But each of them one by one takes his or her own leap.

But: You'd have to ask them though how it all "works" with respect to their "moral philosophy". And how that is integrated into their understanding of God and the Catholic religion.

Here's one take on it: https://georgiabulletin.org/commentary/ ... rspective/

Though Coppola himself has struggled with his Catholicism, his imagination is so steeped in Catholic practice and atmosphere that he can never fully abandon the faith, any more than his greatest character Michael Corleone can.

What I would bring up however is the extent to which their behaviors either are or are not rooted in the manner in which [existentially] I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

You know, in the manner in which I always bring them up to you.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:56 pm

Yo, where's Otto?!

No, seriously, Wendy.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby Alf » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:13 am

And where is Otto West (seriously)?
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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:46 pm

Alf wrote:And where is Otto West (seriously)?


Sure, that works too.
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

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Re: otto west and iambiguous discuss morality here, not ther

Postby Arminius » Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:49 pm

Alf wrote:And where is Otto West (seriously)?

There are some hints in his thread "Leaving Society, Dropping Out, And The Proverbial Rat Race".
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