some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

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some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:25 am

I have already speculated about this in my new understanding thread,
but I will review and enlarged it here....

I hold that the greatest question of philosophy lies in its
speculations about ethics and morality.... what is the "MORAL",
the right thing to do? we have stumbled on this problem for over 2,500 years.....
what is the ethical path of human existence?
what is the "right" thing to do?"
"what is good?" and "what is evil?" and can we even tell the difference?

we have what is called senses and those senses tell us what is happening around
us... we can see if it is raining by our sense of sight or hearing or smell, touch or
taste....a dog bites me.. and I can tell by my sense of touch and by seeing the dog
biting me....different events or experiences quite often require us to use different
senses to make sense of those events.... for example, I can't use the sense of touch
or smell in tracking universes in radio telescopes or regular telescopes....
but I can use the sense of vision and perhaps hearing in listening to the
machinery move.......

now think about this.. recall Newton's apple... the one that fell to the ground
and gave him the idea of gravity...whither it is true or not is kinda irrelevant....
today we can picture an apple falling to the ground and we "know" that is gravity
influencing the apple....as gravity influences everything in the universe....

but try this thought experiment.... visualize an apple falling to the ground...
now try to make a connection with that apple falling to the ground to
the entire theory of gravity....

for example try to connect Newton's falling apple to the three theories of
motion... the first law states that an object at rest will stay in rest and an
object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by a external force...

now try to connect up a falling apple with Newtons first law of motion....

the second law states that the rate of change on momentum of an object
is directly proportional to the forces applied, or, for an object with constant
mass, that the net force of an object is equal to the mass of that object
multiplied by the acceleration.....

and the third law states that when an one object exerts a force on the second
object, that second object exerts a force that is equal in magnitude and
opposite in direction on the first object....

Now let us return to our apple.... how do you get from an falling apple to
the three laws of motion?

you see an falling apple, the apple hits the ground... the apple may or may not roll
a few inches... and that is your entire experience with that apple....
what your senses will collect in terms of data about that apple.......

you can tell the size of the apple without touching it, you maybe able to tell the weight,
maybe, you can feel the apple and get a sense of what an apple feels like... but to take it
where Newton took it, you can't just use some data that your senses collected about
that apple...

let us try this... I am holding a round ball, yellow in color, rather fuzzy in texture,
the ball is easily held in one hand..... the ball is not very firm, it is easily squeezed,
now, from this description, get to where we
use that ball.. what is the format for the use of that ball...

Kropotkin
PK IS EVIL.....
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Sculptor » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:43 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:I have already speculated about this in my new understanding thread,
but I will review and enlarged it here....

I hold that the greatest question of philosophy lies in its
speculations about ethics and morality.... what is the "MORAL",
the right thing to do? we have stumbled on this problem for over 2,500 years.....
what is the ethical path of human existence?
what is the "right" thing to do?"
"what is good?" and "what is evil?" and can we even tell the difference?

we have what is called senses and those senses tell us what is happening around
us... we can see if it is raining by our sense of sight or hearing or smell, touch or
taste....a dog bites me.. and I can tell by my sense of touch and by seeing the dog
biting me....different events or experiences quite often require us to use different
senses to make sense of those events.... for example, I can't use the sense of touch
or smell in tracking universes in radio telescopes or regular telescopes....
but I can use the sense of vision and perhaps hearing in listening to the
machinery move.......

now think about this.. recall Newton's apple... the one that fell to the ground
and gave him the idea of gravity...whither it is true or not is kinda irrelevant....
today we can picture an apple falling to the ground and we "know" that is gravity
influencing the apple....as gravity influences everything in the universe....

but try this thought experiment.... visualize an apple falling to the ground...
now try to make a connection with that apple falling to the ground to
the entire theory of gravity....

for example try to connect Newton's falling apple to the three theories of
motion... the first law states that an object at rest will stay in rest and an
object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by a external force...

now try to connect up a falling apple with Newtons first law of motion....

the second law states that the rate of change on momentum of an object
is directly proportional to the forces applied, or, for an object with constant
mass, that the net force of an object is equal to the mass of that object
multiplied by the acceleration.....

and the third law states that when an one object exerts a force on the second
object, that second object exerts a force that is equal in magnitude and
opposite in direction on the first object....

Now let us return to our apple.... how do you get from an falling apple to
the three laws of motion?

you see an falling apple, the apple hits the ground... the apple may or may not roll
a few inches... and that is your entire experience with that apple....
what your senses will collect in terms of data about that apple.......

you can tell the size of the apple without touching it, you maybe able to tell the weight,
maybe, you can feel the apple and get a sense of what an apple feels like... but to take it
where Newton took it, you can't just use some data that your senses collected about
that apple...

let us try this... I am holding a round ball, yellow in color, rather fuzzy in texture,
the ball is easily held in one hand..... the ball is not very firm, it is easily squeezed,
now, from this description, get to where we
use that ball.. what is the format for the use of that ball...

Kropotkin


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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:56 pm

now let us resume...... we have some sort of yellow ball,
that is fuzzy and lightweight and easily squeezed... so what is this?

it is a .....Tennis ball....

Now take that tennis ball and try to work back what that all is used for?

why tennis of course, but and this is the important part, can you, from the
senses of the tennis ball, how it looks, feel, smell, taste and sounds, can
you create the game of tennis from a tennis ball and only the ball?

that is what Newton did...he recreated the laws of the universe from a falling
apple...

to go from a particular item, say tennis ball to the universal, the game of tennis,
takes some doing....

you are spending a whole lot of time filling in the blanks going from a tennis ball to
the game of tennis....with the lines and the scoring and the umpires and the physical
presence of a net dividing the players.... would just having a tennis ball be able to
get one to create the game of tennis? no, in fact, I would suggest that the game
of tennis was created before the ball was created...think about it... a whole lot of
sports that we humans play involved the act of hitting something with a stick...
we have hockey for example, baseball, cricket, field hockey, tennis, are all games
in which a object is hit by a stick or a bat.... so on.....

from a hockey stick, can one come up with the game of hockey?
I doubt it...

so what has this little experiment taught us? that in going from the particular
to the large, the overall, takes a whole lot of imagination, guess work,
filling in the blanks....ideas that are obvious when we look at them, aren't
so obvious when you break them down, going from the small, individual piece
to the large, overall idea....

so what have learned so far? that it is hard to go from the individual piece to
an overall understanding of something...to go from the small to the large in understanding,

so what we are really talking about is inductive reasoning which is bottom up reasoning,
not top down reasoning which is deductive reasoning.....

an example of deductive reasoning is:

1. all men are mortal
2. Socrates is a man
3. therefore Socrates is mortal...

but we know that deductive reasoning can lead us astray...

1. all police officers are instruments of law
2. the piano is an instrument.
3. therefore all police officers are pianos

so we are almost ready to tackle the concept of morality and ethics....

so I leave you with this...... what is a moral action?
think about it.....

Kropotkin
PK IS EVIL.....
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:57 pm

Sculptor wrote:
Peter Kropotkin wrote:I have already speculated about this in my new understanding thread,
but I will review and enlarged it here....

I hold that the greatest question of philosophy lies in its
speculations about ethics and morality.... what is the "MORAL",
the right thing to do? we have stumbled on this problem for over 2,500 years.....
what is the ethical path of human existence?
what is the "right" thing to do?"
"what is good?" and "what is evil?" and can we even tell the difference?

we have what is called senses and those senses tell us what is happening around
us... we can see if it is raining by our sense of sight or hearing or smell, touch or
taste....a dog bites me.. and I can tell by my sense of touch and by seeing the dog
biting me....different events or experiences quite often require us to use different
senses to make sense of those events.... for example, I can't use the sense of touch
or smell in tracking universes in radio telescopes or regular telescopes....
but I can use the sense of vision and perhaps hearing in listening to the
machinery move.......

now think about this.. recall Newton's apple... the one that fell to the ground
and gave him the idea of gravity...whither it is true or not is kinda irrelevant....
today we can picture an apple falling to the ground and we "know" that is gravity
influencing the apple....as gravity influences everything in the universe....

but try this thought experiment.... visualize an apple falling to the ground...
now try to make a connection with that apple falling to the ground to
the entire theory of gravity....

for example try to connect Newton's falling apple to the three theories of
motion... the first law states that an object at rest will stay in rest and an
object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by a external force...

now try to connect up a falling apple with Newtons first law of motion....

the second law states that the rate of change on momentum of an object
is directly proportional to the forces applied, or, for an object with constant
mass, that the net force of an object is equal to the mass of that object
multiplied by the acceleration.....

and the third law states that when an one object exerts a force on the second
object, that second object exerts a force that is equal in magnitude and
opposite in direction on the first object....

Now let us return to our apple.... how do you get from an falling apple to
the three laws of motion?

you see an falling apple, the apple hits the ground... the apple may or may not roll
a few inches... and that is your entire experience with that apple....
what your senses will collect in terms of data about that apple.......

you can tell the size of the apple without touching it, you maybe able to tell the weight,
maybe, you can feel the apple and get a sense of what an apple feels like... but to take it
where Newton took it, you can't just use some data that your senses collected about
that apple...

let us try this... I am holding a round ball, yellow in color, rather fuzzy in texture,
the ball is easily held in one hand..... the ball is not very firm, it is easily squeezed,
now, from this description, get to where we
use that ball.. what is the format for the use of that ball...

Kropotkin


PLONK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11


K: not exactly sure what you mean by this....

Kropotkin
PK IS EVIL.....
Peter Kropotkin
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Posts: 9691
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:59 pm

Ethics defined: a system of moral principles.

2. the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of
human actions or a particular group, culture.
example is medical ethics; or Christian Ethics...

3. moral principles, as of a individual:

4.that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct,
with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the
goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions....

so, we have definitions of ethics and morality....let us try this....

is a boy scout walking a little old lady across the street, ethical, moral?
and more importantly why is or isn't it ethical or moral?

so we look look back at our definitions and see that in this particular case, our
definition of moral, ethical doesn't help us at all....is it moral or ethical to
walk a little old lady across the street? definitions don't help us....
the definition of moral or ethical doesn't seem to give us anything in
regards to any specific action that it is or it isn't moral/ethical.....

so how does walking a little old lady across the street lead us to a large
understanding of ethics/morals? just we have tried to imagine the game of
tennis from a tennis ball, try to imagine morality/ethics from walking a little
old lady across the street.

ummmmmm, that doesn't seem to be possible? we cannot go from the small,
individual events to a large scale understanding of morality/ethics?

we cannot travel from point a to point b...without some creative imagining....
the falling apple to the 3 laws of motion.....

I can give you the start of the chain of events, the falling apple to the final
product of the chain of events, the 3 laws of motion and yet, most people
still couldn't get from point A to point B....

so, is a boy scout walking a little old lady across the street a moral, ethical
action?

Kropotkin
PK IS EVIL.....
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:14 pm

so is a boy scout walking a little old lady across the street, ethical or moral?

so what facts would you use to justify this response?
for example, a fact is the earth is 93 million miles from the sun,
and I am 5'8 tall.... those are facts, but what facts would you use to
say that it is moral or ethical for a boy scout to walk a little old lady across
the street?

by walking the little old lady across the street, the boy scout is making
the world a better place.....

now, I would not that call that a fact, but I would call that a judgment....

it is better that this happens because it does this.... but at no point will
a fact happen...when making a judgement call, facts don't enter into
the equation....I judge it better that the democrats hold congress then
when the TIN FOIL HAT brigade holds congress......

but any facts I may marshal as evidence can be used for and against that judgement....
I hold that the economy is better when the democrats are in power.... but those facts
are certainly in question...for example, we might say, the dow jones average is
higher when the democrats are in power.... but does that really say that the economy
is better under the democrats? it would be hard if not impossible to connect any
given fact to any given circumstance... so once again, what facts would you bring up
that would support the contention that boy scouts walking little old ladies across
the street is moral? I for one, cannot see any such facts that I can point out
that would support the contention that it is moral, ethical to walk little old ladies
across the street....

try as I might, I cannot, cannot make the connection from to
walking a little old lady across the street to morality/ethics ....or the other way around
for that matter......

so let us pause here and ask ourselves, what facts or evidence can we present
that would suggest to us that it is moral/ethical to walk a little old lady across
the street?

Kropotkin
PK IS EVIL.....
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:52 am

so what facts would one bring out to suggest that
a boy scout walking a little old lady across the street is moral or
ethical?

as iam might do, I would suggest that we bring this down to earth....

and the question to do so will be abortion.........

those who claim to be "pro-life" would say that it is illegal and/or immoral
to have an abortion..... now, what facts would they present to back up their
argument? they might say, well, the fetus has a heartbeat and is thus a living creature....
but as I have pointed out, being pro-life is a very limited belief...many people
who hold pro-life beliefs also favor the death penalty.... you can't be pro-life
and favor the death penalty.... pro-life means pro-life, not just when it is convenient
or inconvenient to be pro-life.... so, in the case of the police shooting people..
if you are pro-life, then it doesn't matter what the situation is, you cannot go around
shooting people if, if you are truly pro-life or you cannot support those who shoot
people to death, like the police... the question becomes, what facts are
you bringing to the table to show that abortion or the death of people at the
hands of policemen are ethical or moral....

so, how would one defend the prevention of abortions by argument
and what argument should be used?

we cannot use facts because they aren't any facts that can be used for or
against abortion...for example, the earth is 93 million miles from the sun... that is a fact,
but it doesn't answer the question about abortion.....the arguments against abortion are
what I would call judgement arguments....

like the argument that the economy is better off under democrats
then under the TFH party....but you can amass a great deal of argument which
we can be interpreted in a widely different ways....both for and against....

that there aren't facts to support or oppose any ethical or moral argument.

it is morally wrong to kill someone... and your facts or evidence to show us that?

therein lies the the problem with the discipline or the study of ethics....

you judgements but no facts.... I hold that... is a judgement, not a fact...

and judgements are nothing more then opinions...

and while some judgements/opinions are pretty convincing...
but they are opinions, not facts or evidence....

and the pro-life crowd gives us judgements and opinions, but not facts or
evidence because what facts or evidence will suffice to solve a moral/ethical
question....


Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:10 pm

ok, back again......

so, we note that there is no facts or evidence that we can put forth,
that can be used to defend any type of ethics or morality...
because what facts or evidence can we use to defend morality or ethics?

The earth is 93 million miles away from the sun?
the average height of a man in America is 5'ft 8' inches tall?
we have 205 bones in a human body?

I can't see any type of facts or evidence that we can use to
for or against morals or ethics......

so what is left?

we might use this as a possibility for morals or ethics......

we have Artists, past and present, who create ART, and we can include
in this ART, statues, buildings, books, literature, paintings, sculpture...
as examples of ART...the act of creation... the creation of something out
of nothing.....

and in this Creation, how do we approach it?
what is the point of this creation?

so, I am a writer, and in fact, I have a published book out there,
why did I write that book? what was my motive?

If I wrote my book to make money or to get the Nobel prize or to achieve
fame, those are false values, they don't lead us anywhere outside of the value
being pursued.... money, fame, titles....that is being false to the writing,
I am not writing to seek wisdom or impart knowledge, I am writing to gain something...
and that is being false to the ART in question....

If I am writing something, not to gain money or fame or titles, why am I writing?

I am being honest to the ART.... I am not writing to get something of value,
I am writing to be honest with the words I am writing, I am not seeking something
when I write, I am exploring ideas and values and knowledge.......

I am writing because I have a truth or I am trying to get to the truth...
and that is quite different then writing to get wealth or fame or titles....

in other words, by seeking truth as oppose to seeking something of false value
like money, fame or titles, I am being ethical, I am being moral because my
reasons for writing is clear and honest..... I am not seeking something when I write,
and that makes what I write, moral or ethical.....I am being true to the words I write,
and as an ARTIST, that makes my writings, ethical and moral....

think of great writers, take Tolstoy for example, War and Peace, is a great book...
but why is it a great book? that Tolstoy wrote "War and Peace"
not to seek wealth or to make a name for himself or to gain titles, no,
he wrote it to seek honesty in the novel he was writing....

that makes his book, "War and Peace" an ethical/moral book......
to seek the truth of any given situation makes it an ethical, moral book.....
Tolstoy was honest with his writings, he didn't create false situations that
he then "solved" with some false morals or values.......

he created a world that had moral and ethical possibilities and he solved those
moral/ethical situations with honesty and truth, what does it mean to be
an Patriotic Russian? and he answers that question in a realistic fashion....
by the actions of his characters....what values should we hold to and why those values
can be thought of as the point of "War and Peace"

"War and Peace" can be thought of as a moral/ethical novel because Tolstoy
honestly attempt to answer moral/ethical questions of values.......

ok, that is something ARTIST do, create from ethical/moral standards, but
how does this work for the average person who doesn't create via ART
or some other creative means?

we as human beings are faced with questions of ethics and morality, all the time...
what is right for us to do ethically? what should we do in terms of morality?

we face this question all the time, we just don't put it into those terms,
but we should...what is the moral thing to do in regards to our life?

should I have an affair? is that ethical or moral? should I beat my wife or kid or dog?

is that the moral/ethical thing to do and if not, why not?

we act as if there is no such thing as ethics or morals, but it is there,
we only have to look.... since we cannot, cannot use facts or evidence to
back up an ethical or moral conclusion we might discover, how can we,
as average people, discover what is moral/ethical in our own lives?

If I am trying to gain something from my actions, be it wealth or sex or titles
or fame, then my actions are not being ethical/moral....

but Kropotkin, we are always trying to get something for every single action we do.....

and therein lies the problem.....we have needs as human beings, and those needs
are universal or transcendental, necessary to every human being......

we must eat and drink water and have shelter and education and health care,
those are fundamental, necessary needs every single human has and we
have psychological needs, to love and be loved, to have our safety/security needs met,
and to have esteem and to belong... again, these are universal/transcendental needs...
every single human being must have love and to love....

to be ethical/ moral, means in our daily life, we seek our basic needs,
both physical and psychological....and if we seek these needs in our life, that
is being ethical/moral, as long as we are honest about our needs...

to be ethical/moral, is to be honest with who we are and what we need.....

the ethical/moral is about honesty....to be dishonest is to be unethical, immoral....

Kropotkin, show me your facts or evidence to prove this? remember in
ethical, moral, doesn't require any facts or evidence, because there are no facts
or evidence one can provide to prove or disprove the ethical or moral......

so, can I prove that our engagement with the ethical/moral involves us
in honesty? nope, I can't show any such evidence or facts to support my claim......

but to suggest that the ethical/moral is an engagement with honesty, is one
real possibility of the ethical/moral....

in existentialism, the actions we take, are about this honesty....
if we are untrue to ourselves, this is unethical, immoral.....

part of our estrangement from ourselves lie within this dishonesty we have
within ourselves.... one of the important issues within existentialism is
being authentic to oneself.. and this being authentic to oneself can only occur
within an honesty to oneself.. being dishonest with oneself isn't being
authentic....

"to be who you are" isn't about being dishonest within yourself,
"to be who you are" is about being honest and true with who you are.....

think about it this way, is a discrepancy between your words and your actions,
is that honest? I say I am a peaceful person and yet I get into fights all the time,
that is a discrepancy between my words and my actions.....

my words and my actions don't line up, they are different from each other,
my words say one thing and my actions say another thing.....
is that being honest? am I being truthful when my words and my actions are
two different and distinct things?

if I do separate out my words and my actions, I am not being authentic, I am not
holding myself responsible or accountable for my words or my actions....
I am not being moral or ethical if my words and my actions are different from
each other.....

so the average person can discover what it means to be ethical/moral
by the connection between their words and their actions, by not being
accountable/responsible for their words or their actions....

so does this idea of being ethical/moral have any possible response from
the outside world? I don't really see how.... the ethical/moral comes from
our own connection between what we say and what we do....

so, we have an individual understanding of what is moral and what is ethical?
but do we have a collective/an us, understanding of what is moral and what is
ethical?

that might be the difference between what we say publicly and what we do publicly.......

in other words, what is moral and ethical, is the same individually and collectively.....

the difference between our words and our actions... if the two match, then we
are being ethical/moral... if they are different, then we are being unethical/immoral...

is this the only difference in being ethical or moral?

no, but let us stop here to think about it......

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Mar 08, 2021 7:45 pm

the question of morality and ethical lies within how honest we can
be with ourselves and with others.... If I am dishonest, I am not
being ethical or moral, so as Nietzsche said, how much honesty
can we bear to hold? for many, they aren't strong enough to
be very honest with themselves or with others....
and for some, they can bear and hold many honest thoughts about
themselves.... how much truth can you stand?...

and it is, again as Nietzsche thought, a question of degree's...
there is no absolutes in terms of our honesty, either to ourselves or
to others.... but how much truth we can bear on our souls?

I hold that as one gets older, we can bear more truth, more honesty about
who we are and what it is we are..... I was young once and I lied to myself
as to what was possible for me and that was a lie to make me feel better about
myself.... whereas today, I don't need such dishonesty about who I am and what
is possible....

I don't need to build up my ego anymore... I am who I am and let the truth
be known....to myself and to others.... I have no fear that I will be made fun of,
or thought less of, these are concerns of the young... I no longer give a shit what
people think of me... I can accept the truth of who I am because I am secure in
who I am....I am being moral and ethical when I no longer need to lie to myself.....

to seek the ethical and moral means to seek honesty.............

are you being honest? that is to say, are you being moral/ethical?

for they are one and the same......

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:16 am

I am.......

and I am, means what exactly?

and each of us, has an understanding of who we are, a private understanding...
one we do not share with the world....as for my own private understanding of
Kropotkin is this, when I walk into a room, I automatically believe that I am
the smartest person in the room...true or not is irrelevant, it doesn't matter....
that is my automatic assumption walking into a room...

and most of the time, I am right, I am the smartest person in the room.....
and when I am not the smartest person in the room, does it devastate me?
am I laid low by the knowledge that I am not the smartest person in the room?

not at all..... for I am honest in the fact that quite often, I will not be the smartest
person in the room and that is ok....for it is true and I cannot be harmed by what is true...
I can only learn from what is true...it doesn't rock my world when I find out others are smarter
then me....it is what it is....and I cannot change what I cannot change.... cliche words that
actually mean something...would my world get rocked by the sun coming up in the east
tomorrow? no, because it is something that happens rather regularly and why should I
panic over something that happens quite regularly?

but I don't worry or panic about things I have no control over...

and ethics/morality are things that are within my control, for I can be ethical,
moral if I am honest with myself and honest with others.....or as honest with others
as far as they will let me be honest....for most people don't want to hear honesty...
because it shatters their self image of themselves...I have no problem with people being honest,
as long as it is being honest and not just trying to have another objective which is causing pain
or being a "shitdisturber" one who causes trouble just for the sake of causing trouble... I know
this one, because I can be a "shitdisturber"...... it doesn't matter if I am proud or sorry that
I have been a "shitdisturber" in the past... and it is something that I have done less of over the
years... I am aware of and am working on my occasional need to cause a disturbance
in people's lives and in my life also......I have learned to take responsibility for, accounting
for my occasional acts of being a "shitdisturber"...that doesn't absolve me for my actions,
but at least I take full responsibility for my actions......

and I can be honest with others that I am who I am and sometime that means I cause shit
to happen... sorry..... but I hold that for me to be ethical and moral, I must take
responsibility and accountability for my actions..... I must be honest about who I am...
and that is something I hold to be part of being ethical and moral... honesty.......

and you may hold another view, another value and as long as you hold it honestly,
it is something to hang your hat on.....to be ethical, moral requires us to
be honest... ethical/moral requires honesty... nothing less.....

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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:19 pm

It was Justice Potter Stewart who said this about pornography:

"I shall not attempt today further to define the kind of material I understand
to be embraced within that short hand description {hard core pornography}
and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when
I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that"

and we can say the exact same thing about morals and ethics, we may not be
able to define it, but by god, we know it when we see it....

a man who is true to his values which is the sexual assault of children, is
being true as I have defined it above, and yet that man is acting immorally
even if he follows my standard which is honesty is ethical/moral.....

but that man cannot be honest with society about his need to sexually assault
children for that will get him tossed into jail...and rightfully so.......

for we have to protect our children from sexual predators.... but can we
produce any facts or clear evidence that we can use to allow us to clearly
define why being a sexual predator is immoral or unethical?

as far as I can tell, we are using the "I know it when I see it"
defense against sexual predators....... we don't have any facts or evidence to
justify our position, but we have a feeling that we must protect our children,
and a hatred of sexual predators... deserved or not is irrelevant....

we do not have a single piece of facts or evidence that will allow us to
ban the sexual assault of our children and yet that is something every
single culture does...and all of it based upon the idea of "I know it when I see it"
idea of justice.......in prisons, the person who is most despised is the child rapist
and the one who has abused children.... they get beaten up quite regularly...
and what facts or evidence would those who attack the child rapist use to
defend their position? "I know it when I see it".....

so where would the basis of our belief lie in? In other words,
we have no facts or evidence to support our claims that
abusing children is wrong.... so where does this leave us?

I would suggest that our repugnance against child predators lies in
our distant past... it is part of our evolutionary past..... it lies within
our million years childhood of going from animal to human......

we human beings lived in small tribes of no more then 100 or 150 people,
and quite often much smaller then that numbers, in a tribe for hundreds of thousands of
years..... the unspoken beliefs of ethics and morality that we hold dear despite there
being no facts or evidence supporting it, lays in that long childhood of our past....

our morality and belief systems lie in our genetics...in our instincts that we
have within us, we hold certain things to be right or wrong, based upon what
our instincts tell us......

there are no facts or evidence that we can use to support or disapprove of
in any given action or moral/ethics in general.....

if something happens and our blood boils, that is instinct at work.....

the automatic thought that we must "protect our children" is a million years
of evolution ingrained within us.....

it doesn't require facts or evidence or proof of any kind.... the very statement
"we must protect our children" is proof enough, for most of us anyway....

I have often suggested that the path of going from animal to becoming
human lies in our conscience decision to overcome our instincts, our evolutionary
history.....is this another example where we must learn to overcome our instincts?

I have no facts to depend upon, no evidence I can bring in "pro or con" in this case....

perhaps at best, we can state the obvious that we are not reacting from facts or
evidence in any given case, but we are reacting from our evolutionary past, our
instincts and as long as we admit it, at least to ourselves, then we are at least
being honest with ourselves....

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:32 pm

but Kropotkin, you didn't state any conclusion, you didn't come out
and say, child pornography is immoral or unethical?

No, I didn't say it..... because I am not sure upon which grounds I am going to
denounce child abuse or assault or pornography.......

I cannot bring out any facts or evidence that would clearly and definitely
bring out the immoral or unethical actions of child abuse...
and yet, I concede that such actions are immoral and unethical and flat out wrong
and yet, I have no grounds on which to make such a statement, outside of
"we must protect our children".....

I am left with no definitive reason or facts or evidence to denounce
child whatever, abuse, sexual and otherwise...... I simple don't have
any facts to offer up.....outside of an inborn/evolutionary hatred of
those who take advantage of children...and is that enough?

for the moment, it will have to do......

it will have to do that all our arguments against child whatever, is instinctual
and born of our million years of evolution.. not on facts and not on evidence...

I suppose that will have to do for the moment...

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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:57 am

so what do we do when traditional ethics/morality fail because there
are no facts, no evidence that proves or disproves for that matter,
any held beliefs in ethics/morality........

how do we decide what is ethical/moral behavior?

what standards should we use? on what grounds do we decide
what is ethical/moral?

think back to Newton's apple... from a falling apple, Newton deduced the
physical nature of the universe...created the 3 laws of motion.....

but the question becomes, how is that possible?

I would suggest that we use imagination to cover the gap.....

in other words, we use imagination to think about how we engage
with ethics/morality......I engage with my imagination to decide
what is the moral/ethical thing to do.....I don't have any facts,
I don't have any evidence to decide upon a course of action, so
I use my imagination.... If I did this, then what MIGHT happen?
and this is an engagement with our imagination to work out
what is ethics/morals.....

I can imagine a world where people don't engage with morality/ethics,
and that is a world I don't want to have here, so I engage with "moral" behavior..
to avoid any actions resulting from my actions/behavior....

now some might claim it is fear that prompts us to act ethically/morally,
but fear is the result of thinking of what might happen if I did this...
in other words, fear is the result of imagining what might happen in
the future...fear is from imagination.....

so now we have two instances of the role imagination plays in our lives....

in both fear and in morals/ethics, imagination play a role in our engagement with
them.......

so the ethical/moral behavior comes from the use of imagination...
we think about what is moral/ethical and that comes from imagination...

we cannot find the ethical from our scientific or logical or religious
or political grounds, but from our imagination, we can imagine what it
means to be moral/ethical.......

to discover what is moral and ethical, we must use our imaginations.....

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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:14 am

to continue in this vein, if we hold that to arrive at ethics/morality, we must
use imagination, then it becomes true that literature, ART, poetry, novels,
can light our way to ethics/morality......

and in the best novels, plays, poems, we see the role of ethics and morality being played out
in what is the "right" thing to do.... for example, Antigone, she is faced with doing the right thing
or doing the "legal" thing... which is something we face all the time....Slavery for example,
was legal, as was the Jim Crow laws as was laws making women property of men...
each of them is morally and ethically wrong, but they were legally valid.....

how do we solve the dilemma?

do we do the safe thing and follow the laws, or do we break the laws and do the
ethical, moral thing?

and here it becomes a question of courage.... how brave are you to follow the path
of doing the right/moral thing as oppose to doing the legal but not necessarily moral thing....

so we face a modern instance of doing the right/moral thing or doing the legal thing.....

George Floyd was murder by the police... that much is clear... so do we allow ourselves
to shy away from doing the right thing and protest that murder or do we simply state,
it was legal to murder Floyd and let it go?

to protest a violation of the moral/ethical thing to do is not only acceptable but
is demanded.....to protest the innocent death of a human being whose only crime
was being black...the law is quite clear and just as often, wrong.... it is wrong
to allow policemen the ability to get away with murder.. just because they are the police.....

we should protest that and we did, and we broke the law and that is demanded when
the law is used to deny rights to people.......and until the police is held accountable for
their actions, we should break the law.....but non violently....

here we face Antigone choices.... do we do the right/moral thing or do
we simply accept the law.. which is used to deny people their rights?

this example gives us the complexity of the choices facing us.......

and part of the answer lies within our use of imagination, novels, poems,
plays to explain what is the right/moral thing to do....... we need to free ourselves
from thinking that there is only one way and one way only to do things... we are free
to find our own path.. morally and legally....

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:15 am

as with Newton's apple, can we expand from one single act to create
an entire moral system?

I take a gun and shoot you or if you like, you can shoot me....

from this one action, can we extrapolate an entire ethical/moral system?

take the religious precept, "thou shall not kill"..... this example isn't from a single
instance to the large, no, this example is from the large down to the small......

"thou shall not kill"... is a great idea but we have found exception after
exception after exception for this one general rule of behavior...
thou shall not kill... unless it is in the service of the state, soldier or policeman...

thou shall not kill unless it is in self defense.....thou shall not kill unless it is
the state itself being able to kill to defend itself....

at one time, it was from the religious context that we established our
rules, but then the state came along and usurped the "thou shall not"
from their religious context....in other words, for many years it was from a
religious context that said, "thou shall not" and now we go from a political/state
context that says, "thou shall not" unless, unless, we the state, requires it..

so do we create an entire moral/ethical system from the large, thou shall not,
or do we create an entire moral/ethical system from the small act?

I shoot you or you shoot me... can we create an entire moral/ethical system
from that one action?

do we need an entire ethical/moral system if we are living on an island by
ourselves? no, we do not.... to have an moral/ethical system requires two or
more people.....this ethical/moral system is not a me or a system for one single
individual.... ethics/morals are an engagement with two or more people....

an ethical/moral system requires a we.. it is an collective matter.......

how do we select an ethical/moral system from the wildly different
ethical/moral systems that are possible?

every single culture and state had their own version of ethics/morals...
and some of these ideals were passed from one culture/state to another...

in large part, our moral/ethics were derived from the Greece-Roman
culture/state...with a strong dash of Christian morality/ethics thrown in....

but the question becomes, how do we judge any give action?
what standard are we to use to judge an action?

if I shoot you or you shoot me... how are we to conclude that
was an moral/ethical action or an immoral/unethical action?
and the third question comes from the legal side?

Is that action, of shooting someone, legally right or legally wrong?
but is the state really asking a morality/ethical question or is the state
asking, does that shooting desturbed the order of the state?

in other words, the state asks, does that action cause or threaten to cause
trouble in the state? If we allow this action, then others might be thinking
we can also act in this way...the state acts from other considerations then
just moral or ethics...will others decide to act this way if we don't put
an end to it? punishment is designed to prevent people from thinking about
committing an action.... if you are punished severe enough after shooting me,
then others may not act that way due to the threat of punishment....but that
consideration is not, is not a moral/ethical consideration..... it is a logical
thought carried out to its end.... it has no basis in facts or evidence...
to punish people to prevent others from committing a crime has no basis in
facts or there is no evidence to prove that harsh punishment for crimes
actually have any basis in preventing future crimes... that is more wishful thinking
then anything else....

at every step, moral/ethical considerations bump into legal/state considerations....

as the state usurped the moral/ethical considerations of the religious,
we are left with rules, laws, punishments...... but the entire judicial
system is an ad hoc system of rules/laws/punishments designed to
randomly keep "law and order".....the problem lies with all the exceptions
we give for actions taken......"shall not kill" has all kinds of loopholes,
you can kill if you are a policeman or a soldier or in self defense or if
you have "temporary insanity" or you make a mistake.. killing your wife at night
thinking she was a burglar....we can classify murder as deliberate or accidental
and base the punishment on that....so many exceptions that I can't even list
them all...to the crucial statement of "thou shall not kill" which seems to be simple enough...

"thou shall not kill"

a one line sentence upon which we can then create an entire moral/ethical
system..... or not......

"thou shall not kill" upon which rock shall we base this rule of behavior on?

we shall not kill because of what rule or under what basis shall we decide that
the rule should be "thou shall not kill"...what is the overall standard or
basis for this rule? how are we to judge this matter? and under what overall
ethical/moral system shall we decide that "thou shall not kill"?

are we going from the one example, I shoot you to the larger rules of ethic/morals
or are we going from the large, thou shall not kill, to the small acts of I shoot you?

which way is the ethical/moral behavior and actions supposed to go?

from the large to the small or the small to the large?

if you say, the large to the small, then under what basis do we decide the large
rule under? We say, thou shall not kill, and how would we justify that large scale
law?

for centuries, people were able to justify the rule/law, thou shall not kill,
based on religious context... it was part of the ten commandments sent from god....
we ban murder/shall not kill based upon god's law... ok, god is dead, under
what grounds do we now hold the concept of "thou shall not kill"?

religious? political? self interest? logic?

so are we going from the one action, I shoot you, or do we go from
a large scale general rule, thou shall not kill? and how do we justify such a choice?

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:55 pm

in thinking about it, we realize that philosophers such as Nietzsche and
Wittgenstein and Sartre are all moral/ethical writers.... what is the moral/ethical
thing is what philosophy has been about for the last 120 years..... in other words,
the problem we have been working out in our modern age has been about ethics/morality.....

ours is not a scientific age or a political age but ours is an age engaged with
the proper conduct of human beings........the Holocaust is an moral event,
an ethical event..... and have we learned from it? doesn't seem like it....

if "god is dead" then upon what do we base our ethics/morality on?

the existentialist thought maybe this question of authenticity, bad faith,
some authoritative basis for our action and beliefs......

so we turned to the idea of holding ourselves to good faith...

if we are true to ourselves, hold ourselves accountable and in good faith with
what we believe in... in other words, have our words match our actions....
then we are being moral/ethical.....the entire modern age is a question
about morality/ethics.......

what is the right thing to do? or said differently, what is the ethical/moral thing to do?

the history of the last century, from 1900 to 2000 is a failure of our understanding
what is moral/ethical? over 100 million people died from various wars and instruments
of war, the Holocaust...... that is a massive failure of not knowing what is ethical and moral.....

and our ongoing pandemic is just another example of our failure to do the moral/ethical thing....
we lost over 500,000 Americans because of a failure to grasp morality/ethics....

what we seek today is a firm understanding of what is moral and what is ethical..
and that is what is lacking.... a failure to know what is right/moral/ethical?

the believers of an ism, trumpism are followers of an immoral, unethical human being...
and that they don't care or understand he is immoral and unethical, shows us the
depths of the failure to grasp morals/ethics.....in a moral/ethical society,
IQ45 is in jail/prison...instead he gets elected president and is loved by millions.....

that is a failure of an understanding of morality and ethics.....

so the great question of our time is this, upon what rock shall we
establish our modern ethics/morality? what is the value or values
that we will use to create a modern ethical and moral society?

our society is dead in the water until we work out this problem of what is
the ethical/moral? and how does that impact our lives? what does it mean to
be ethical/moral? and until we know the answer to that question, we shall continue
to flounder as a culture and as a state and a society until we arrive at some
conclusion as to what is moral and what is ethical?

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:09 pm

both Sartre and Heidegger promised a book revealing their solution to
the ethics/moral problem that exists in this modern age and both failed to
deliver their answers to the modern question of "what is the right/moral thing to do?"

are we reduced to the well known phrase about pornography
being the same about ethics/morality?

I know it when I see it? is that the standard we are going to use for ethics/morality?

I know it when I see it?

I hope we can do better, much better in regards to ethics/morality.. what is the
moral, ethical thing to do?

Kant thought about ethics/morality in terms of one's duty....
do we really think that moral/ethics has something to do with duty?
I just don' think so...... it is our duty to act morally, ethically?
duty to whom? to whom do we owe our duty to? and in the end, Kant's answer was
god....just as Descartes did.... but what happens when "god is dead"?

then were does our duty lie to then?

indeed many questions and few if any answers

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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:41 pm

what is ethical/moral is certainly a tricky problem....

perhaps we might have better luck if we remove what it isn't before
we resolve to explain what it is.......

we see two men fighting, no big deal...we might say it is unethical/immoral to fight
but we don't condemn either person... both are morally and ethically wrong....

let us say one guy, who is much bigger then the other guy, is winning, well
of course he is inches taller and outweighs the smaller guy....

we would rather immediately condemn the larger guy as being unethical/immoral....

but what would we judge that on? on what standard would we use?

the bigger guy shouldn't be beating the little guy up.. ok, but what is the exact rule here?

bigger guys shouldn't be beating up little guys because .....?

and there could be a whole range of answers why the bigger guy was beating up
the little guy....let us say, the little guy was cheating with big guys wife? does
that change the indictment? or perhaps the little guy tried to rob the big guy with
a gun and was foiled? trying to rob someone is worthy of being beaten up....

the point is an act, which at first is clearly seen as unethical/moral, suddenly
changes a bit.....we see this act of violence in a different light given different
reasons for the beating....

motive seems to play a role in our evaluation of ethics/morality....

so once again, we try this... a man steals a chart load of food from a
shopping store, and in my grocery store, it happens all the time...

that is clearly wrong and unethical/immoral....

but the man's motive, the man's motive is to feed his family.. without
those groceries, his family starves....

we see this immoral and unethical action changing right before our eyes...

his motive, his stealing is done to feed his family... a man should engage in
whatever it takes to feed his family... whatever it takes... that is right,
and honorable to take care of one's family.....

so I ask you, where does the blame lie? with the man, with the grocery store,
with society that forces a man to steal to feed his family? who actually is guilty here?
who is acting unethical/immoral?

almost by definition, the society seems to be able to escape accountability for
forcing a man to steal to feed his family....the entire book of "Les Miserables" by
Hugo, is a novel about this very point.. one of the longest books I have ever read....
I am not sure I would have the patience to read it now.......

anyway, does a man who steal a loaf of bread to feed his family really deserve
19 years in prison? is that justice? is that equality?

so it that ethical/moral for a man to serve 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread?

so it seems that society can be unjust/immoral/unethical....

but upon what grounds do we accuse society? I accuse you/society of being immoral/unethical
because.........why? what standard would we use? what is the grounds for our accusation?

I accuse society of being immoral and unethical? and society says, so the fuck what?
we are above that sort of thing... we cannot be held for accountable for our actions
because we exists above the individual man....remember in America, if you sue the
state, the state must agree to it.. it can dismiss any and all charges it wants without
giving any reasons....in other words, you have legal standing only if, if the state
agrees.....that doesn't seem to be moral or right or ethical.......

so what do we think? that the state should be held accountable as I am
held accountable for my actions....so what is the rule?

everyone should be held accountable for their actions... is that the moral/ethical
action here?

and yet, people are not being held accountable... depending on their motives,
they can get away with murder, a policemen "defending" himself.... a man declares
himself, mentally unfit, temporary insanity, stand your ground laws... there are any
number of ways to escape accountability for our actions......even in murder.......

then why is a man who has stolen a loaf of bread gets a longer sentence then the
man who commits murder? because we, the state, holds private property
as a higher value then life.... commits a crime of passion and you might get
time, steal a thousand dollars of goods and that becomes a felony.. and you might
get serious jail time....we hold property to being having a higher value then
life....and the jail terms reflect that fact....how much jail time did
George Zimmerman get? and I am not going to help you....

is this fact that we hold property as a higher value then life, is that in and of itself,
immoral/unethical?

at every step into this question of ethical/moral, we step further and further
into a quagmire of unending questions and dubious values.......

how do we find the solid ground of having standards and values which lead
us to an understanding of what is moral/ethical.....

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:07 am

if we attempt to create a "universal" ethics/morality, we run into the problem
that we will be forced to create exceptions after exceptions after exceptions
to cover all the possibilities and by doing so, we lose any possibility of a creation
of a "universal" ethics like Kant or in the bible.....and if we focus on the individual
actions of one person, we can't get to a universal ethics/morality....

what is left?

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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:08 pm

As it seems to be clear that we are unable to create a "universal" ethical
and moral theory that will cover all our actions....
and we are left with the problem of, if this is true and we cannot
create a universal ethical/moral theory, that would suggest that
what we have and what all other societies have done is create
an "Ad hoc" theory of ethics and morality...rules/laws are created
and removed based on what the situation calls for....an "Ad hoc" theory
of ethics and morality is nothing more then Situational ethics...
the situation dictates what the rules are, not the other way, which
is we are driven by the rules and we base our behavior and actions based
upon the rules/laws......and if all ethics/morality is situational ethics,
then there is no possibility for a "universal" ethics/morality....

the interesting thing is that we create more loopholes and exceptions
the more serious the actions... hence we have more exceptions with
the act of murder then we do with stealing or the taking of property...

and that is because we value property more then human life....
the nihilism of our modern age is written directly into our legal system....

the nihilism that makes money and property more valuable then life....

our very values are inverted... property over lives....

this inversion prevents us from being able to even think about a "Universal"
ethical/moral system.... if we rethink our values to be, life before property,
then perhaps we might, might be able to create a more complete system,
rather then the "Ad hoc" system we have today....

the problem with a "universal" ethical system is the number of exceptions
we are forced to create that will allow us to adapt to every situation....

I murder you... and I have several defenses I can use to avoid punishment...
I can claim to have acted in self defense, I can claim the Fl. law of "stand your ground"
I can claim to be temporarily insane, I can claim to have acted justly, I can try to
claim it wasn't really murder, I can say someone else did it, if I were a policeman I
would more then likely to get off just because I was a policeman,
and I am sure if I had money I was far more likely to get off because I had money,
the poor are far more likely to get prison for the exact same crime a wealthy person did
in other words, I can get off for being wealthy.. and I am far more likely to get off
by being white then by being a person of color....there are quite a few ways to
get off in committing a murder... shall shall not kill... unless........

how does one create a "universal" ethical/moral system given the amount of
exceptions one is given like in the case of murder?

IQ45 quite clearly committed treason in office, but he will escape his crimes
because of his title, President of the United States... so depending on the person
and the title, one can get away with treason...

our legal system is riddled with exceptions for acts committed... can we possible
even think about creating a "universal" ethical/moral system?

as I have noted earlier, that there is a disconnect between what is legal and
what is moral/ethical.... as noted, slavery was legal, women being the property
of men was legal, Jim Crow laws were legal, the Holocaust was legal...

but do we consider any of these things to be moral/ethical? nope....

and therein lies the second part of our problem, this divide between
what is legally acceptable and what is morally acceptable... the legal
and the moral/ethical seems to exists in vastly different places...

What Antigone did was was morally right but was legally wrong...
and quite often we are faced with that problem of being morally right
and legally wrong....to shoot someone was was serial rapist and who
raped my mother is legally wrong, but many might consider it to be morally right....

justice is served... but that leads us to this point.... to say justice is served
would suggest that justice is about equality, and justice by definition is
about equality... to be just is to be equal..... but the question also suggests
that we are unclear about several concepts here... justice, morality/ethics,
legal... is justice the same as the legal? is the legal the same as being moral/ethical?
is morality/ethical the same as justice?

we often use them interchangeable, justice, moral, legal.. but are they the
same thing?

Legal: of based on, concerned with the law... permitted by law....

Justice: noun.... the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness,
or moral rightness: to uphold he justice of a cause. Rightfulness or lawfulness,
as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
the moral principle determining just conduct.....

Moral: concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the
goodness or badness of human character: concerned with or derived from
the code of interpersonal behavior that is considered right or acceptable in a
particular society...examining he nature of ethics and the foundations
of good and bad character and conduct.....

so the three things we tend to tie together, are really three distinct
and separate concepts......

so is it possible that we change our understanding of the ethical/moral
depending on what particular word we are thinking about, be it moral/ethical,
be it legal, or be it justice....we run into trouble because we are so
cavalier about what we are talking about.. are we talking about justice
or are we talking about the legal or are we talking about morality/ethics?

if we are talking about, for example, Justice, then we can state that
justice is about the equal treatment of people regardless of their money,
race, titles, fame..... so that would mean we treat everyone in the Judicial
system with justice or equality...or does that mean we no longer make
exceptions for actions done? everyone is treated the same regardless of
their place within society.... that would be considered justice... but is
that the moral/ethical thing to do? because should we treat a man who steals
to feed his family and another man who steals for the fun/thrill of it, should
we treat them equally? Justice would demand that we treat them
equally but morally/ethical I don't see how we can treat them the
same....one man is acting from necessity, from need and the other man
is acting to gain a thrill...... how is that equal?

and Judges are constrained by the law to give both men equal "treatment"
and yet we know, know that depending on either man's wealth or the color
of his skin or his title, one man will escape punishment and the other
sent to jail for years and we can guess which one will be punished
and which one will be set free or given a slap on the wrist....

so is that moral/ethical? and quite often depending on the exact crime committed,
a man who steals will get greater time in jail then a man who kills because
of their wealth, color, status, titles... and once again, is that moral/ethical
or even just? Justice requires equality of punishment or equal treatment
under the law.....

I don't see any way to work out our problem until we have clearly
worked out what is justice, worked out what is moral/ethical
and worked out what is legal?

the three seem to conflict with each other in a very basic way...
and we cannot make any headway into what is moral/ethical
and what is legal and what is justice until we examine all three....

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:10 pm

this question of is there an overall theme to ethics/morality or to
Justice, or to the legal.. requires some thought....or, or is
all three simple working off of "ad hoc" beliefs and actions?

if we make shit up as we go along, then there doesn't seem to
be a plan or goal or a starting point...so what can be
a possible starting point for ethics/morality? what can be
a starting point for justice? what can be a starting point for
the legal? and is there some means and ways of connecting the three?

how do I create a "universal" ethics/moral or a "universal" justice or
a "universal" legal without a connective device or organizing principle?

we don't see to able to start from the "universal" and work our way down
to a single person action being "Universal".... what that means is
how do I turn one action into a "universal" law or rule or theory?

like Newton and his Apple... how do I go from the one to the all?
the only possibility seems to be imagination.... I use imagination to
fill in the blanks in going from the one to the all.......

is an act of say, adultery legally or morally or just, in some
form or another? and how do we get to a "universal" legal, moral
or just system from one act of adultery?

I imagine that adultery is going to damage the family unit,
is going to damage the social structure, is going to damage society
in economic, social, political ways.... so, we ban adultery....
and so what, people will still engage in adultery even given some sort
of harsh punishments, legally, socially or economically.....

and why? because people are invested into achieving their goal
of meeting their needs....and in their minds, their needs outweigh
the social, economic and political costs associated with
adultery....

so this brings up another point, why do we engage in such damaging
behavior to ourselves, our family, the society? Just to meet a need?
so we must also then face the question of the ethical/moral, the justice
and the legal in terms of needs......how can I achieve my needs given society
"need" to contain such behavior because of the damage the pursuit of those
needs create....... Let us say, I need to meet my need of sexually assaulting children....
and this conflicts with the society need to protect the children..... my personal
needs are in conflict with the social, legal, moral and justice needs of the society....

the problem lies within this need I have.... but at no point can I ever really be able
to justify my need for assaulting children.... there is no moral, legal or just reason
to assault children.... that can be considered to be a "universal" standard.. if I am
unable to create any sort of justification for the meeting of my needs.....
but I may be able to justify it in my mind with "my needs outweigh" the needs
of the children or the society.... the one, me, has needs that must be met....
but I can't using any standard I know of to justify it to another individual or group
or society at large....

we can make it a law that allows me to sexually assault children but that doesn't make
it moral/ethical or just.... the legal standard can be created but it doesn't allow
a moral or just standard......

let us try this, what if we create laws that allow just, legal and moral actions only.....

we can act only if the legal, moral and justice is met....

so what is legal, moral and just, all at the same time?

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:10 am

as noted earlier, we are driven by our attempts to met our needs..
now those needs are, apparently unconscious needs, born in the dark days of
childhood and infancy...for we seem to have our needs "set"
by the time we reach young adults years....

so what is a human being? I now think that a human being is one who
engages in their search for fulfilling their needs... we have human beings
who are engaged in a search for the lower needs of bodily needs and
psychological needs of food, water, education, love, esteem, safety/security needs....
and these are transcendental needs, universal and necessary.... but many? most?
often get lost in their pursuit of their biological needs.... and where does the
baubles occur? I hold that the search for baubles is part of the psychological needs,
we want esteem and love and acceptance and the way we are told/trained is to
gain those needs via the baubles.. money, fame, power, titles... the useless baubles
that do nothing for us... they are unneeded and both a threat to our humanity
and our psychological needs...we don't need those baubles to complete us...
as society trains us, teaches us, implores us....

you want to know what a human being is? we are a collection of needs,
psychological and physical needs....and we spend our lives attempting to
fulfill those unmet needs.... but are they necessary?

yes, but we can overcome our bodily and psychological needs to reach the
next level, which is where the higher examples of human beings lie...
the self actualization needs.... where we set our own accomplishments
without reference to the physical or psychological needs because those
have been met or are currently successfully engaged...... our needs are
being met and so we rise to the next level which is to become the setters
of our goals and accomplishments.... we drive the needs and goal to be reached,
not the instinctual needs of the biological and psychological needs of the lower levels
of our needs, food, water, shelter, love, belonging, esteem, safety/security needs...

when we can soar above our biological and psychological needs, we become free
in a way that was never possible before... because we are not driven any longer
to reach those basic drives... these needs, once they are met, no longer
drive us into actions that are often counterproductive...

if we no longer need to reach our basic biological and psychological needs,
we have time to become who we are, we can finally engage in the task of
knowing ourselves and understanding that the "unexamined life isn't worth living"
and so we now have time to engage in that examination.. instead of spending our
days and nights seeking those basic biological and psychological needs...that we
spend 99% of our lives today seeking....let us rise to become creatures that
spend its time examining ourselves and learning to know who we are, outside of
our biological and physical needs that drive our life today....

in other words, what do you spend your energy on? it is examining your life
and making it better or did you spend your days just trying to live, getting
the basic needs we must have just to survive?

ask yourself, what are you spending your energy on? is it trying to gain
and fulfill your needs, both biological and psychological?

or did you spend your day becoming a better person?

and we both know the answer already! you wasted today seeking out
your basic and fundamental needs, both biological and psychological.....

when you could have spent it on becoming who you are and improving yourself
by knowing who you are.......

a day without an self examination of who you are, is a wasted day...

did you waste today?

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:33 pm

let us shift gears a touch.....

let us, as a thought experiment, think about those who are "normal"
and those who are "abnormal" in regards to the field of psychology.....

we note that we can often, often tell the difference between one
who is "Normal" and one who is not... and what is that difference?

it is stated within the word "fetish" and what does that word mean?

Fetishizes: have an excessive and irrational commitment to or
an obsession with something

to make something, in this regards to sexual needs, an excessive
and irrational obsession....but and this is important to note, it is
not just sexual.. to have an obsession with anything to the point of
it being the one thing that a person focuses on.....

a person who is considered to be abnormal is one who makes one or possible
two things as a obsession... that they focus on constantly no matter what else
is going on in their world.. they are obsessed on that one thing...

we see this here at ILP with UR and his total obsession with IQ45 and the election....

he rarely ever writes about anything else... that is an obsession, an unhealthy
obsession I might add...

a more balanced person doesn't make one or two things the center of their lives....

their interest is balanced out among several things.. One may like baseball, reading,
music and watching old movies and if they hold on to this balance, of having several
different interest, that is what we would call normal..... and it it is normal....

but this leads us to an interesting point... what about those who hold that
the only goal of the human being to be achieving the baubles of existence...
isn't that an obsession? for example, those who only seem interested in making money,
that is their obsession, their fetish as it were.. or those who are interested in
getting fame or those who only think about power... that is an fetish....
an abnormal interest in one thing and one thing only, their lives revolve
around that fetish, be it money or fame or in ILP case conspiracy theories..
if that is all they can write about, it is a fetish.. an excessive concentration
on one aspect of life.....

now if a person is concentrated on one aspect of life, that is an fetish...
but what if a person is concentrated on one of the needs of existence?

for example, we see people become concentrated on food, or on booze
or on sex or on finding love? that is an fetish.. or what we might call
an addiction...an addiction is just another form of a fetish.....
whereas the addiction is slightly more of a physical nature,
we are physically addicted whereas a fetish is more of an emotional
addiction to something...it can meet a psychological need of someone....

there are some out there who are making the mistake thinking that
the pursuit of the flesh, a sex addiction is the same as seeking love...
which is a psychological need...

so how does one change a fetish/addiction?

we must, as always, first understand, to know theyself,
understand that we are in the grips of the addiction/fetish...
becoming aware is the first step... if I seek sex before other needs,
then I too, am in the grip of a fetish, but by becoming aware, we
can then begin the quest of breaking free of that addiction/fetish.....

so one step is to have a balance approach to existence....
enjoy many diverse and different things.. going out to a different
place for dinner, or learning to cook or travel or get a new hobby...
having several different interest is one way we can tell if one is "Normal"
or not....

I thought I should bring this up.....

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:02 pm

now to tie up some loose ends....

if you were to state the one unifying theme of the last 200 years, it might be this...

"The universe as being fundamentally without purpose and
without any rational organization save what man puts into it"

so we have isms that have been used to create some rational
organization into the universe... religion for example, this
ism is one such means as to create purpose into the universe...
but we know, from Nietzsche that "god is dead and we have killed him"

and so other attempts have been made to create purpose and organization in
the human being... science is another attempt to create purpose and organization
in our lives...but science failed because it can't answer the important question of
"Why"... science can answer the how, the what, the when, where and who, but
not the "Why"...why is there human beings? why is there being instead of not being?
science cannot answer that...

and we have various isms such as capitalism and communism and Catholicism
and Buddhism, that also try to answer the why.... they are attempts at
creating the purpose of existence and the organization of that existence...

and so what is ethics/morality? just another attempt to create the
organization of existence...and perhaps the why too?

ethics/morality can be thought of as creating an organizing principle
in our lives...the problem with ethics/morality is there can be no
facts or evidence that supports any type of ethical/moral theory that
we might come up with.......

we can create a mystical theory of ethics/morality like in religions
like Catholicism that are basically belief systems held together by
belief and hope.. nothing factual or in the way of any evidence.....

we have had most of the major philosophers in the 19th, 20th century like Kierkegaard
Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Wittgenstein being ethical writers... the attempt
of the 20th century has been to create an ethical system that is at least rational,
if not logical....and provides us with some basis for believing in a purpose of existence....

the events of the 20th century shows us that we do not have an ethical/morality theory
that has prevented the major tragedies of the 20th century... the two world wars,
the Holocaust, the IQ45 concentration camps for children...the belief of many that
IQ45 is the savior despite being completely devoid of any ethics/moral is troubling
to say the least... He said that he could shoot someone on 5th Ave and not lose
a single follower means his followers are completely devoid of any "Moral" compass...
they too lack the ability to understand what is moral/ethical and what isn't....
we have no ethical theory in America today... we just have the mindless pursuit
of wealth and fame and power and titles.. the baubles of existence that lead
nowhere...

the fact that Democrats are more then willing to dump Gov. Cuomo over the accusations
of sexual harassment then republicans willing to dump IQ45 over shooting someone
on 5the Ave, tell us that at least liberals/Demo's still have some sort of ethical/moral
standards in place..........

and that is the point... where we act from ethical/moral perspectives like
the willingness to follow ethical/moral standards that provide us with
some sort of operating principles of living.....

we can use moral/ethical principles to organize our lives and create some
sort of meaning/purpose within that life...and I suspect that one of, one of
the reasons we are so lost in this modern age is that we don't have any sort
of solid moral/ethical principles in which to follow... we don't have a
ethical/moral theory in which we can turn to find meaning/purpose in....

and how does this tie into my prior post about fetishes and addictions like
the pursuit of money, fame, power, titles? In our pursuit of such wealth,
in order to meet our needs of fame, wealth, power, we are willing to
go to any, ANY length to meet our needs.... to become wealthy, a fetish,
many if not most people are willing to kill or steal or swindle others out
of their wealth... morality/ethics go to the wayside in our pursuit of that
particular fetish, be it wealth or fame or titles....

morality/ethics in fact stand in the way of our reaching or meeting our
needs of both the physical and the psychological...... we will do anything,
anything to met our biological and psychological needs and that includes
murder and mayhem and stealing and cheating...so on and so forth...

ethics/morality stands in the way of our meeting our needs and so we
have to dump, discard ethics/morality to achieve our goal of meeting our needs....

what is more important? meeting our needs or becoming ethical/moral?

and modern America has already answered that question with their denial
of ethics/morality by millions idolizing IQ45 who has no ethics/morals of
any kind...... shooting someone on 5th ave and not losing any supporters
is a statement about the complete lack of ethics/morals of both IQ45 and
his supporters.... and speaks to the fact there is no moral/ethical theory in
America......

so how do we solve this problem?

as always, by recognizing we have a problem to not having a moral/ethical theory
in America today...... that has been the problem that philosophy has been working
out for 200 years.. and we have yet to find an answer... and we must soon find
a answer before we find ourselves in real trouble...

Kropotkin
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Re: some thoughts about Ethics and morality....

Postby Mad Man P » Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:33 pm

modern America has already answered that question with their denial
of ethics/morality by millions idolizing IQ45 who has no ethics/morals of
any kind...... shooting someone on 5th ave and not losing any supporters
is a statement about the complete lack of ethics/morals of both IQ45 and
his supporters


Say one kind word about the people in the other tribe... say one kind word about Trump.

It's not that hard to remain critical of ideas, without demonising people.
But if you won't, at least have some perspective...
Morality is founded in solidarity... and you're not championing solidarity, merely claiming superiority.

so how do we solve this problem?


Say one kind word... then another...
Might remind you that you're dealing with fellow human beings, neighbors even... might remind "them" too.
There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
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