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Good and Evil

 
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I see these two points as incongruous. We establish, as most societies do, protections to our citizens against harm, among other things. Among those is the protection against sexual coercion. We could infer that rape is wrong, based on a collective "moral compass" that speaks to the majority, but what other objective authority would you cite?
Personally, I don't think legality has a one-to-one relationship with morality or Right. I think it's quite possible to do something both illegal and Moral, or even Right, and vice versa. So I would hesitate to base my morality on the United States Penal Code.
And also, I don't think the fact that a law exists is what causes a moral stance to come into being; rather the reverse. Laws are created in response to society's need to see Right protected.
In short, I don't think rape is wrong because there's a law against it. I think there's a law against rape because it's Wrong.
Joe
 
Joe Pluta
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DR: talk of the opposite position (that there is some subset (at least) of our mores which are absolute for all times and all possible situations, that exist without reference to Homo Sapiens Sapiens) discomfits me
And I'm discomfited by any mindset that allows that perhaps sometime rape might be acceptable. If you can see a situation where rape is acceptable, then great, let us know. Otherwise rape is not acceptable; this becomes an absolute Wrong, by fiat if not by definition.
Joe
 
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JP:
Otherwise rape is not acceptable; this becomes an absolute Wrong, by fiat if not by definition


I think we could go around in circles for ever over semantics here. If rape is wrong by fiat (and it is; by humans collectively agreeing that it's not right to rape each other) then it is not an absolute wrong, but a relative one, in my understanding of the terms. We weren't given the axiom "rape is wrong" by an external adjudicator, we arrived as a species at the conclusion that it was not acceptable behaviour. We have no right to observe the behaviour of other species and classify it as "rape" because they ARE NOT HUMAN and so NOT SUBJECT TO HUMAN MORES. Note: human mores. Not absolute mores.
For example, is it sexual assault when a farmer sticks an electircal probe into the rectum of a male pig to make it ejaculate? Or when he inseminates a sow with the ejaculate so acquired, given that neither boar nor sow provided informed consent to the intimate acts? Some people might argue that it is. But they're in a relatively small minority I would guess. Because the rest of us don't apply rules of right and wrong to other species that we would apply to fellow humans. If sexual assault (a precursor to rape and an element of paedophilia) were an absolute, universal moral wrong then we would consider it just as wrong to assault a pig, a flower, or a bacterium sexually as a human being, if my understanding of your explanation of an asbolute wrong is not awry. Similarly, unless we fall prey to the mistake of anthropomorphization, we don't condemn member of other species when they kill each other, eat each other or have sex with first degree relatives.
That is what I mean by absolute and relative.
Now, what is your response to my point about fundamentalism? You come up with (what seem to me to be snide) asides about rape or defaecating on doorstops then murdering me, but where is your specific answer to my point? Or would you like to just turn around something I've said in this post and ask me another question withour answering any yourself, Joe?
[ September 17, 2003: Message edited by: Damian Ryan ]
 
Joe Pluta
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If sexual assault (a precursor to rape and an element of paedophilia) were an absolute, universal moral wrong then we would consider it just as wrong to assault a pig, a flower, or a bacterium sexually as a human being, if my understanding of your explanation of an asbolute wrong is not awry.
It's awry.
Joe
 
Joe Pluta
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DR: I think we could go around in circles for ever over semantics here
Nope. You can, because you won't address the point. Either rape is always wrong or it isn't. If it is always wrong, it is an absolute Wrong. Why? Because that's what I defined an absolute Wrong to be! I said on numerous occasions in numerous places that an absolute Wrong is something that will always be wrong, regardless of societal or individual mores.
So, do you consider rape to always be wrong, regardless of societal or individual mores? If you do, then you consider it an absolute Wrong. There is no room for waffling or semantic evasion. Either it is always wrong or it is not. Which is it?
(And if you bring up pigs again, you're only trying to muddy the water. Everybody else on the thread has decided to limit the issues to humans. If you don't want to do that, then leave me out of your discussions.)

DR: Now, what is your response to my point about fundamentalism? You come up with (what seem to me to be snide) asides about rape or defaecating on doorstops then murdering me, but where is your specific answer to my point?
It's easier for me to address an issue if you ask a question. And as I explained, my comments were anything but snide. They were meant to bring focus to a specific issue, and you answered in a typical but not very "relative" way. If I crap, you punch and its okay. I perform non-violent protest, which you escalate to physical assualt. However, if you punch and I shoot, evidently that's not okay. Evidently my escalating physical assault to deadly force is not acceptable. How do you justify that?
Anyway, on your point about fundamentalism:

DR: I just worry when I see the espousal of absolutism in any arena, because it seems uncomfortably close to fundamentalism. And, in my opinion, fundamentalism makes it very easy to pass judgment on others who are different, often with horrendous consequences. The position of absolute conviction that one is right (and someother individual or group is wrong) sounds like a good first step justifying anything (extermination, dismissal, etc) against the party that differs, and it seems to me that moral absolutism goes hand in hand with such dangerous arrogance. You may not agree.
I'm sorry my positing the existence of absolute values makes you uncomfortable. But I'm not suggesting any form of fundamentalism, and as I've said in other posts, I am also not a moral absolutist. I am simply saying that SOME things are wrong, and will always be wrong. Moral absolutism implies that there is an intrinsic answer for all moral questions, while I am only proposing that this is the case for a very few issuesm, such as rape.
So what is your point? Are you saying that declaring that rape is wrong will automatically lead to fundamentalism? How? Again, it's much easier to address an issue when a question has been posed.
Joe
 
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

I already gave the definition of Evil, in the very first post of this thread. Do you want to punish me for speaking my mind?


I was unable to discern a specific definition of Evil from your ramblings in the first post. I gathered that whatever you thought Evil was, it did not exist, and that you thought other people believed it to be coupled with a Deity or Devil in some way. Still, this does not constitute a real definition of Evil per se.
I can believe in Evil without invoking any Deities or Devils (no, this is not one of my special super-powers).
[ September 17, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Damian Ryan:
[QB]
I notice you make no reply to my point about the frothers smashing the windows and vandalizing the house of an innocent member of the community because they were too fired up with a sense of what was wrong and evil (and too stupid to spell) to know that a paediatrician is substantially not the same thing as a paedophile.
[QB]


You missed the key word "balance". The group you describe seemed to consist of too many frothing at the mouth absolutists. Such a group is unbalanced at the other extreme. There is probably some optimum balance as I suggested previously, where the ratio of absolutists to Ying/Yang contemplatives is achieved so that a given society remains flexiable and resilient to stress/change, yet able to quickly take decisive action when prompted by the motivating and moral prodding of the absolutists. Absolutism, in its clear cut black/white distinctions, is able to communicate its message very emotionally/effectively; in times of crises especially.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Damian Ryan:
[QB]
You seem to go on to say (correct me if I misinterpret again) that someone with the courage of their convictions that rape or assault is ABSOLUTELY wrong (as opposed, presumably, to wishy-washy liberals who only think it's wrong in some intellectual, relative fashion) are more likely to overcome their fear of personal injury and wade in to the rescue of the unfortunate victim. I can neither confirm nor deny this, because I don't know the answer. But I can't quite see the logic between the precept and your conclusion in as clear a fashion as you.
[QB]


So, are you denying any correlation at all between strong emotions on particular issues and an absolutist view of those issues?
Or are you denying any correlation between action, the vigor with which an action is taken, or even the propensity to non-action, and the degree to which strong emotion is felt?
Thats my view, its very simple, and if you disagree with it kindly state which statement above you find false.
 
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Herb: I was unable to discern a specific definition of Evil from your ramblings in the first post.
I am willing to state it again. Good and Evil are the qualities that conscious beings assign to the various physical types of motion. Just like velocity characterizes the motion in terms of the speed and direction, the Goodness (and its counterpart Evilness = 1.0/Goodness) characterizes the motion in terms of the type of motion, as perceived by a conscious observer in a given spatio-temporal frame of reference.
 
Joe Pluta
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the Goodness (and its counterpart Evilness = 1.0/Goodness) characterizes the motion in terms of the type of motion, as perceived by a conscious observer in a given spatio-temporal frame of reference
And since this is the focus of Eugene's argument, one which I must admit is beyond my grasp, I felt it made sense to split off a separate thread, Herb. That's currently the Good and Evil Theoretical Thread, and hopefully one more on the practical aspects will be forthhcoming.
Joe
 
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
In short, I don't think rape is wrong because there's a law against it. I think there's a law against rape because it's Wrong.


The fact that you have to think either way only demonstrates my earlier point. It doesn't matter whether the Law asserts what is Right and Wrong, or whether Right and Wrong assert the Law. The relationship is a question of human convention.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
Herb: I was unable to discern a specific definition of Evil from your ramblings in the first post.
I am willing to state it again. Good and Evil are the qualities that conscious beings assign to the various physical types of motion. Just like velocity characterizes the motion in terms of the speed and direction, the Goodness (and its counterpart Evilness = 1.0/Goodness) characterizes the motion in terms of the type of motion, as perceived by a conscious observer in a given spatio-temporal frame of reference.


The crucial, important point lacking from this definition is that there is no reference to any standard by which the evaluation/assignment of the Evilness quality is made. It does NOT have to be a purely random, arbitrary assignment of this quality. There can be a standard, just as there is one for velocity, and therefore the the terms Evil/Good can have meaning in relation to that standard.
Also, the fact that velocity is understood differently today in terms of quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, etc, does not mean that velocity as a concept is meaningless or that the old concepts of velocity have no meaning or application today or that they never had any value. Do you distrust all of Science and pronounce it meaningless because it has modified its theories over time? Once doctors thought it Good to use leeches to cure disease, today they do not. Do you reject modern medicene today because of that?? I can go on with a thousand examples in Science, Technology, Medicene, and Astronomy, etc... Likewise, why would you forbid the evolution of ethics and pronounce it meaningless or worthless as well because it may change over time?
 
Joe Pluta
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JP: In short, I don't think rape is wrong because there's a law against it. I think there's a law against rape because it's Wrong.
ME: The fact that you have to think either way only demonstrates my earlier point. It doesn't matter whether the Law asserts what is Right and Wrong, or whether Right and Wrong assert the Law. The relationship is a question of human convention.
Actually, the difference is crucial, otherwise I wouldn't have stated it. Let's see why:
The question dealt with here is "why is rape Wrong"? This is sort of a corollary of whether rape is Wrong because of society or Wrong because rape is absolutely Wrong.
Now, if the reason rape is Wrong is because there's a law against it, then we've identified the reason why rape is Wrong - because there's a law against it. This is clear, right?
If, however, the law is in place because rape is Wrong, then all we've really identified is that rape is Wrong, we haven't identified a reason why. It could still be because of societal reasons or absolute reasons, we haven't really decided.

So, there really is a difference based on whether rape is Wrong because of a law, or the law exists because rape is Wrong. I believe the latter. In fact I believe all laws aere in place in order to address Wrongs, not the other way around. Thus whether or not something is legal or illegal has nothing to do with the underlying issue of WHY something is Wrong.

Joe
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:

So, there really is a difference based on whether rape is Wrong because of a law, or the law exists because rape is Wrong. I believe the latter. In fact I believe all laws aere in place in order to address Wrongs, not the other way around. Thus whether or not something is legal or illegal has nothing to do with the underlying issue of WHY something is Wrong.


That's a view of law as a prescriptive moral code. But, the more interesting question now seems to be: Why is rape wrong?
I think you're going to have a hell of a time with this one...
 
John Smith
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The crucial, important point lacking from this definition is that there is no reference to any standard by which the evaluation/assignment of the Evilness quality is made.
There is no true standard, that's the whole point. The apparatus to measure the degree of goodness/evilness is the human mind itself. Since everyone sees things in a different light, they would register the degree of evil differently. There is an artificial standard, which is reached by consensus (in a democratic society) and is used in a court of law. So if you insist on a measuring unit, think of the number of years in prison for each unit of Evil commited.

Also, the fact that velocity is understood differently today in terms of quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, etc, does not mean that velocity as a concept is meaningless or that the old concepts of velocity have no meaning or application today or that they never had any value.
Well, I am not arguing that Good and Evil are meaningless, -- they are, indeed, meaningful, but only as the attributes that conscious beings assign to the purely physical processes, which intrinsically don't operate within the good/evil bounds.
 
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Joe: because they're Wrong, folks. It's real simple stuff. You might not like it, but the truth is there, right in that previous paragraph. Look in your heart and see if there's a place where sex with four year olds is okay.
Joe again: Either rape is always wrong or it isn't. If it is always wrong, it is an absolute Wrong. Why? Because that's what I defined an absolute Wrong to be!


If these are your Absolutes, Joe, than I am with you! Register me on your side.
 
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Um, sorry for the last post. It’s easy to take a sentence out of context and pick on it...
That's not good enough. If you won't submit your actions to outside jurisdiction, then you can't expect someone else to. You can't decide that your moral compass is better than mine or anyone else's, including that rapist. This is the individual moral relativism that leads to anarchy that Michael spoke of.
So, what external jurisidiction do you submit your moral compass to, Map?

People around me. I do not know what other external jurisdictions are there... Accidentally, I do not inquire too often whether cannibalism or slavery or rape is Ok, but there are cases when my moral compass doesn't work too well, so I ask people around what they think. This helps.
Joe, you really see a problem where there is no one.
[ September 17, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Damian Ryan
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
You missed the key word "balance". The group you describe seemed to consist of too many frothing at the mouth absolutists.


I didn't miss your point, but perhaps didn't state mine explicitly enough. I meant to imply that in my view, the correct number of frothers for any given situation is a constant: 0.

Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Absolutism, in its clear cut black/white distinctions, is able to communicate its message very emotionally/effectively; in times of crises especially.


Hence my discomfort with it. The whole "black and white" thing leaves no room for mitigation or explanation, and can be subverted by those with an agenda or by those who get so het up that they misapply their indignation to something that wasn't wrong in the first place.

Originally posted by herb slocomb:
So, are you denying any correlation at all between strong emotions on particular issues and an absolutist view of those issues?
Or are you denying any correlation between action...?


No, I said I didn't know the answer, which is not a refutation. I meant that I didn't see that being convinced that something is always wrong (black and white) rather than just believing it was wrong in the given situation (through an intellectual analysis of the situation, vs. an instinctive, reflex "it's just wrong") would have much of an effect on a person's reactive behaviour. But again, I don't know. We may have been talking at crossed purposes.
[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: Damian Ryan ]
 
Damian Ryan
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
It's awry.
Joe


Ok, mea culpa. I think I lost track of your exact position over the course of this lengthy thread. I need a memory upgrade... Looking back, I see I misinterpreted your stance (I think during your exchanges with Tarun I must have phased out and misunderstood your feelings about rape in non-human species; your insistence on calling "non-consensual" intercourse between non-human species "rape" fooled me because the word rape is so loaded with moral judgement in my interpretation. I do see though that you also specifically said that what set humans apart was that we had transcended instinct and constructed social notions of right and wrong. Ok, so no more pigs...)

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
DR: I think we could go around in circles for ever over semantics here
Nope. You can, because you won't address the point. Either rape is always wrong or it isn't. If it is always wrong, it is an absolute Wrong.


I think this is a matter of semantic confusion (say, on my part). We've not been holding the same definition of "absolute wrong" in our heads while we exchange views. I can blithely agree that rape is always wrong. If someone is guilty of rape they should be punished. No problems there. My difficulty is, who is the arbiter, in each case, that decides rape took place? I am NOT trying to present any kind of justification for coercive sex, let me make that clear. I just think one group's definition of rape might differ from another's.
Let me explain what I mean: I know in its simplest terms rape might be defined as "forced, non-consensual sexual penetration of another person". That might not be a legal definition, but I think it's one we can work with? Now, I believe (though I could be wrong) that there's an offence in the US called "statutory rape", which applies to sex where a female is under age (I admit I don't know the exact definition) and so not legally able to provide consent (though perhaps in every other respect able to). A man convicted of this crime must, per se, be a rapist, yes? After all, he committed statutory rape.
Does he deserve the same punishment as a rapist who lurks in a dark alley and accosts a woman with a knife or firearm then brutally has intercourse with her? I don't think so. Because there are different circumstances involved. It's not a case for me of "black and white, absolute wrong, he's a rapist, string him up". Don't say "we're not talking about punishments here" because then I would ask, what is the point of debating rights and wrongs with no reference to their consequences? "Wrongness" isn't a binary variable, it's analogue and some wrongs need more punishement than others, or at least I think that what most of us believe in the 21st century.
(This situation wouldn't arise in the UK because the equivalent offence is called "Illegal sexual intercourse" with no mention of rape. And the age of consent for a female to heterosexual intercourse is 16 (which is I think, younger than in the US?) whereas there is no legal age of consent to heterosexual relations for a male (an it's 18 for male homosexual relations). This brings up the question aready mentioned some time ago of national differences in ages of consent. What constitutes (or might) statutory rape in the US would be perfectly legal in the UK or other countries with even lower or non-existent ages of consent).

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
It's easier for me to address an issue if you ask a question.


Mea culpa again. I thought that merely airing a view in a discussion forum might attract comment if other parties agreed or disagreed strongly enough to be motivated to post. I'll try to make it more explicit in future when I'd like a comment to provoke an answer.

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
Are you saying that declaring that rape is wrong will automatically lead to fundamentalism?


No, and you know it. You mentioned slippery slopes yourself much earlier in this thread when you expressed a preference against accepting grey areas in some moral arguments (though not in those exact words). I was applying the same concern about a slippery slope from conviction in moral absolutes (as I understood the term, see my discussion about our semantic interpretational differences earlier in this post) to fundamentalism or justification of atrocities.
A lot of our disagreements seem to have stemmed from talking at crossed purposes and perhaps this is all my fault. All I meant to say really when I first nailed my colours to the post yesterday is that I think the reason some people felt it necessary to disagree with you is perhaps, like me, that they found your tone to be one of moralising . For instance, after a reasoned argument from Andrew (followed by supporting comments by others) about cannibalism, you said:

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
I heard no end of ludicrously stretched examples of where cannibalism, for example, could be acceptable. Crapola. Even if it was necessary, it was not acceptable


That seems pretty dismissive to me. It sounds like the viewpoint of a man for whom things are black and white. "Those people in the Andes ate human flesh to survive and that is not acceptable". No mitigation allowed.
And to Eugene (who had tried to clarify the original metaphysical intent of his question):

Originally posted by Joue Pluta:
Stay away from my family. Really, I mean that.


I appreciate that you might have been employing a tactic of sensationalism to make a point, but I think others might interpret these words as stating a moral judgement on your part of Eugene (and others not agreeing with you).
And one plea to knock this rape question on the head: you seem to have latched onto this one of late, having previously accepted grey areas surrounding paedophilia (with the age cut-off issue) and cannibalism (which I think I saw you agree was more "wrong" if preceded by a murder for the purposes of procuring the cannibalism) and thus losing them (in my sense, at least) as absolutes. I appreciate that nothing I've said might have convinced you there are grey areas concerning rape, but I don't presume to be the most articulate proponent here. Perhaps someone else might be able to introduce doubt into your mind about that one. And then the next absolute, and the next...
[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: Damian Ryan ]
 
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Wow! big thread. For what its worth here's what I think ...
Good and Evil don't exist - absolute Good and Evil only make sense if you subscribe to a higher power (God, Nature) and you believe these concepts are imposed. If there were naturally Good and Evil deeds, we would "know" them as such and there would be no debate. And without a God, who would judge them?
As such, one man's Good is another man's Evil. Morals are based on consensus only (although it is possible to live by a personalised moral code). It just so happens that alot of cultures find many similar things distasteful, so it is easy to think that there might be some universal Rights, Wrongs, Good and Evil. It could be that we might find some deeds that are morally objectionable in all societies and over all of time, but we'd have to describe those deeds in detail and case by case because words like murder, rape etc. are broad descriptive terms that can hide any number of important details of an event.
That's all I have to say on this. I mean it. Honest. Really I won't be writing any more after this. You don't believe me? look ... see! No more writing. That's it I promise. Enough said. No more. Really. I swear. I'm signing off this thread right now. I'm still signing off ... that's the last. Yep. No more for me on this thread, no wayyyy man. All written up and argued out. Nothing left to say
Sorry Joe, just pulling your leg!
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

There is no true standard, that's the whole point.


Then the whole point is non-sensical since you have it exactly backwards on the function of a standard. A standard is not evaulated in terms of "true" or false, nor can it be described as true/false . A standard is merely a set of criteria by which other events are evaluated.


There is an artificial standard, which is reached by consensus (in a democratic society) and is used in a court of law.


Would it make sense to say the US measuring standard of distance is true/false because it is an artificial standard reached by consensus?
Again, you show you don't understand what a standard is.



Well, I am not arguing that Good and Evil are meaningless, -- they are, indeed, meaningful, but only as the attributes that conscious beings assign to the purely physical processes, which intrinsically don't operate within the good/evil bounds.


I think your definition of Evil is still woefully lacking. The key is your phrase "purely physical processes" (which also admits of processes not purely physical). I think its inaccurate to claim that conscious beings assign Good/Evil characteristics to "purely physical processes". Do we evaluate the movement of inanimate objects in terms of Good/Evil? No, we usually don't and that's why your definition is still lacking. Perhaps we should add something about animate actions, or even go so far as to mention the actions of self conscious beings being evaluated.
But why does it matter that we usually only evaluate the actions of conscious beings? Does motivation matter when we evaluate actions or is it only the end result? Does it matter if the consciousness we are evaluating is defective? Should the fact that we cannot accurately measure motivation or intention or consciousness matter? I think the orignal definition of Evil is woefully lacking and the failure to even recognize any of the subsequent aspects of Evil as further evidence that we got off to wrong start in this thread because this inadequate definition.
 
Joe Pluta
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A man convicted of this crime must, per se, be a rapist, yes? After all, he committed statutory rape.
No. Rape and statutory rape are different. They have different terms. This is argument by obfuscation.
Joe
 
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DR: I appreciate that you might have been employing a tactic of sensationalism to make a point, but I think others might interpret these words as stating a moral judgement on your part of Eugene (and others not agreeing with you).
True. I "attacked" Joe's views because I was irritated when he responded to Eugene's intellectual investigations with "just stay away from my family".
 
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Damn 220 posts already.
Summary of the whole discussion
As long as you do not HURT physically or emotionally in any kind of way your fellow human being (man, woman, boy, girl) you can do whatever the F#$@ that pleases u. for eg: drugs, prostitution, kill animals, suicide, religion etc sure anything.
Everything else is souped up LAW. belief in Morals and Ethics is the same as DNA which you wont find it common between any 2 people in the world. END OF THE FRIGGING STORY.
 
Joe Pluta
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I think the reason some people felt it necessary to disagree with you is perhaps, like me, that they found your tone to be one of moralising.
That's entirely your business. I'm not moralizing, I'm asking a question. However, the fact that the question steps on some pretty difficult moral ground makes people defensive.
I'll note one thing: you went WAY out of your way to take my quotes out of context to justify your position that I am moralizing. I'm glad it was that much work.

JP: "Those people in the Andes ate human flesh to survive and that is not acceptable".
Even though my position on cannibalism changed from an absolute Wrong to a personal Wrong I'm okay with this statement especially in the context, the context being that something can both be Wrong and Moral. It's still Wrong, although in that particular, isolated case, it's morally justified. If I ate someone in the Andes, I'd STILL consider it wrong, but justified.

An even more egregious example:
DR: And to Eugene (who had tried to clarify the original metaphysical intent of his question):
JP: Stay away from my family. Really, I mean that.

Why didn't you quote Eugene's statement, Damian? Eugene had just said in regard to pedophilia, "the distinctions between the child and the adult, (...) are a matter of the question 'Why'".
This clearly states to me that Eugene accepts pedophilia. Remember, there are pedophiles, and those people live on this planet, and they must use logic just like that above to justify their actions. And I don't want someone like that anywhere near my children.
Moralizing? Heck no, that's being a good parent!

Joe
[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: Joe Pluta ]
 
Joe Pluta
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MI: True. I "attacked" Joe's views because I was irritated when he responded to Eugene's intellectual investigations with "just stay away from my family".
I have no problem with my stance on that. You people really floor me. There is no reaonable conversation that even considers the possibility of sex with a little child (I'm not getting into the age debate - a four year old would fit into Eugene's discussion) as being anything but monstrous.
Eugene stated some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that "the only difference between adult and child is 'Why'". What is this other than an attempt to justify sex with little children?
And if a person can contemplate such an action, even metaphysically, then it is my duty as a parent to keep that person away from my children. Is this moralizing? Hell, no, it's being a responsible parent.
It;s just Joe-bashing. For instance, Map is complaining that convicted sex offenders shouldn't be let out of jail, yet she's okay with someone justifying those acts. What happens here is you guys are trying to find ANY REASON TO MAKE ME WRONG, rather than addressing the issues.

Okay, I started the other threads. If they get some action, great, but this one is just beating a dead horse. Now that you can no longer address my arguments, you're simply attacking me.

I'm truly done with this thread, and Map and Damian... oh nevermind.
Joe
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
MI: True. I "attacked" Joe's views because I was irritated when he responded to Eugene's intellectual investigations with "just stay away from my family".
There is no reaonable conversation that even considers the possibility of sex with a little child (I'm not getting into the age debate - a four year old would fit into Eugene's discussion) as being anything but monstrous.
Eugene stated some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that "the only difference between adult and child is 'Why'". What is this other than an attempt to justify sex with little children?
And if a person can contemplate such an action, even metaphysically, then it is my duty as a parent to keep that person away from my children. Is this moralizing? Hell, no, it's being a responsible parent.
Joe


I some how got to agree with Joe, kids they cannot make their own choice, thier mind is not fully grown to understand what the hell is going on. First of all a grown adult person has no F*@#ing business with a kid. Again age is a relative thing depends from race to race. Kids in some race grow faster physically and 'look' more matured than kids in other race. In majority of the countries though the legal age is 18 for women in some countries they are relaxed if the girl of 16 wants to marry with the 'Permission' of her parents. Personally I will stick with the law.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
MI: True. I "attacked" Joe's views because I was irritated when he responded to Eugene's intellectual investigations with "just stay away from my family".
It;s just Joe-bashing. For instance, Map is complaining that convicted sex offenders shouldn't be let out of jail, yet she's okay with someone justifying those acts. What happens here is you guys are trying to find ANY REASON TO MAKE ME WRONG, rather than addressing the issues.

Joe


I think why MAP is irritated is that u are over reacting by telling eugene stay away from your family. Lets us "assume" eugene is a pedophile, would he respect your word and stay away from your family 'JUST' because u said so, hell no he wont if he dont want to. He is trying to make an argument, whether it makes sense to you or not, and you try make argument too if you dont like his comments dont respond. simple as that (I think thats what MAP is trying to say if I am correct)
 
Mapraputa Is
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Joe: Eugene stated some metaphysical mumbo-jumbo that "the only difference between adult and child is 'Why'". What is this other than an attempt to justify sex with little children?
A small detail: Eugene said it after your "stay away from my family". Just wanted to clarify my reaction...
It's just Joe-bashing. For instance, Map is complaining that convicted sex offenders shouldn't be let out of jail,
From what I know the guy has a label "second offense possible" -- this is what pissed me off.
yet she's okay with someone justifying those acts.
Who is it? Who is justifying those acts, Joe?
What happens here is you guys are trying to find ANY REASON TO MAKE ME WRONG, rather than addressing the issues.
Joe, we love you. Honestly! *You* make yourself wrong, we're only trying to point out where you make yourself wrong.
It's fun to watch you in this forum, you are like hurricane (probably a bad joke these days...). Must be our Slavic temperament.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Damian Ryan:

I meant that I didn't see that being convinced that something is always wrong (black and white) rather than just believing it was wrong in the given situation (through an intellectual analysis of the situation, vs. an instinctive, reflex "it's just wrong") would have much of an effect on a person's reactive behaviour. But again, I don't know. We may have been talking at crossed purposes.
[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: Damian Ryan ]


Just seemed to me from an unscientific personal observation that the absolutists tend to get observeably more emotional on issues of Good/Evil
and that this extra emotional charge tends to correlate more with action, even if the "action" is nothing more than speaking out loudly to denounce some issue. I think its good to have a few outspoken members in a group as moral watch dogs ready to alert the rest of the Ying/Yang contemplative crowd. The Ying/Yangs can evaluate to support or not support the Frothings after having been alerted, but at least they have been made aware of a potential issue. Ying/Yangs may not make as effective watch dogs since they may take too long to communicate or the warning may not be communicated as effectively, or they may not believe in Evil and therefore any issues not directly impacting them is of no interest.
On a national scale (The UN did not try to stop the Rwandan genocide and Europe did not denounce the growing anti-Semiticism in pre-war Germany) and on local criminal issues. Sometimes the Yin/Yangs take too long to start barking...
 
John Smith
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Then the whole point is non-sensical since you have it exactly backwards on the function of a standard. A standard is not evaulated in terms of "true" or false, nor can it be described as true/false. A standard is merely a set of criteria by which other events are evaluated.
I am not sure I follow you here, Herb. I have no problem with your definition of a standard, -- it's actually close to the follwing two definitions:
1. An acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative value; a criterion.
2. An object that under specified conditions defines, represents, or records the magnitude of a unit.
Now, as we hopefully established before, the measurement of Evil will invariably yield different results, depending on who is doing the measurement. Therefore, I asserted, there is no standard when it comes to measuring the magnitude of Evil.
Would it make sense to say the US measuring standard of distance is true/false because it is an artificial standard reached by consensus? Again, you show you don't understand what a standard is.
Notice the critical difference: the distance is measured by an unconscious apparatus, the measuring experiment is reproducable and its results are invariant. The magnitude of Evil, on the other hand, is measured by conscious beings, and the results will vary.
Do we evaluate the movement of inanimate objects in terms of Good/Evil? No, we usually don't and that's why your definition is still lacking.
Well, think about the earthquake, the hurricance, the asteroid hitting the Earth and evaporating all life. Most people would indeed characterize these events as Evil.
Should the fact that we cannot accurately measure motivation or intention or consciousness matter?
The question that I posed here is not so much about whether we can accurately measure Evil, but whether the measurement of Evil makes sense at all.
 
Damian Ryan
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
No. Rape and statutory rape are different. They have different terms. This is argument by obfuscation.


No, it's not any kind of argument. It's a question. To you, or anyone else who knows the answer. The question mark should have given it away, I'd have thought. And what does "different terms" mean? If a man is convicted of statutory rape, is he not a rapist then? If not, why is the word rape in the name of the offence? Help me, I'm asking a serious question.

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
I'll note one thing: you went WAY out of your way to take my quotes out of context to justify your position that I am moralizing. I'm glad it was that much work.


You really do like to patronize, don't you? In fact, it took me less than five minutes quickly scanning over the thread to find all the quotes I included last time.

Originally posted by Joe Pluta:
This clearly states to me that Eugene accepts pedophilia.


I give in. I've just realised there's no arguing with you. You're mad.
 
Mapraputa Is
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I give in. I've just realised there's no arguing with you. You're mad.
Perhaps expecting a new baby does it to people.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

Now, as we hopefully established before, the measurement of Evil will invariably yield different results, depending on who is doing the measurement. Therefore, I asserted, there is no standard when it comes to measuring the magnitude of Evil.


1. How can you say it will invariably yield different results, when several sentences later you say, "Most people would indeed characterize these events as Evil." ? Now, even in the social sciences and to some extent in the hard sciences, we accept different results for the same experiments under the same conditions. Sometimes it is a result of instrument or measurment flucuation/calibration issues, and in other cases the deviations are acknowledged as the result of unknown causes but insignificant for the hypothesis being tested. So, once we accept that some deviation is acceptable for proving a hypothesis we need to decide how much deviation is acceptable. In the social sciences, a very much greater deviation of results is perfectly acceptable to prove any number of points. In our issue at hand, I would postulate that the "most people" measurement you gave would be great enough to demonstrate that a standard is being used and applied with some degree of consistently over a period of time regarding the characterization of the action as evil.
2. Secondly, there is the issue of a standard , and then there is the separate issue of whether the standard was being correctly applied. To say that a standard is not applied correctly all of the time does not demonstrate that a standard does not or cannot exist.



Herb: Do we evaluate the movement of inanimate objects in terms of Good/Evil? No, we usually don't and that's why your definition is still lacking.
Well, think about the earthquake, the hurricance, the asteroid hitting the Earth and evaporating all life. Most people would indeed characterize these events as Evil.


Are we evaluating the hurricane as Evil or its effects? If we are looking at effects then your definition needs to change....
[qb]


[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]

 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:


The question that I posed here is not so much about whether we can accurately measure Evil, but whether the measurement of Evil makes sense at all.


I can't go back and re-read all the posts, but I missed where the question became whether we should measure evil or not. I think you meant to say the issue was whether we should apply the characteriztion or quality of Evil to any action. Then it seemed like you were saying it was meaningless to do so due to problems with standards used to evaluate Evil.
Regarding standards, they are by necessity artificial, yet could we not postulate a changing standard designed to serve a natural constant purpose or need. A standard that would perhaps insure social coherence or stability for the greatest number?
Maybe a sense of Right/Wrong is an outgrowth socio-biological Darwinism. Maybe it is not a purely artificial standard. Maybe there are some common features amongst all the major religions/ethical systems (there certainly are!). Maybe even amongst other species!!!
http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/09/17/jealous.monkeys.ap/index.html
Getting closer, even if only conceptually, to a universal standard here....
[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]

 
John Smith
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To say that a standard is not applied correctly all of the time does not demonstrate that a standard does not or cannot exist.
I never accepted that a standard of Evil exists in the first place. In fact, I never deviated from my initial proposition that Evil doesn't exist at all, independently from human consciousness. So while your assertion is valid, it doesn't invalidate my initial hypothesis.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

I never accepted that a standard of Evil exists in the first place. In fact, I never deviated from my initial proposition that Evil doesn't exist at all, independently from human consciousness. So while your assertion is valid, it doesn't invalidate my initial hypothesis.


Of course Evil only exists in a consciousness, do you mean you really started this thread to see if JavaRanchers were idiotic enough to think Evil would exist in a protons/neutrons (as Joe would say)??
Eugene, you are a very Evil man to waste our time like this.
[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
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Herb, nobody makes you waste your time here, if you do not like this way of wasting your time -- choose another.
I thought we are responding in this thread because we prefer this way of wasting our time over any other!
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Herb, nobody makes you waste your time here, if you do not like this way of wasting your time -- choose another.
I thought we are responding in this thread because we prefer this way of wasting our time over any other!



Map you should know by now I'm having great fun (especially with the occasionally intentional inflamatory remarks) despite it being a tremendous waste of time and non-sensical at its very foundations. Still, my greatest joy will be when it is evident Eugene has fled the field of battle running away like a little girl, or when he is reducded to unconsciousness under the weight of the steady barage of my logical blows.
For the moment he appears stunned, perhaps he will throw in the towell
Then I can do my victory dance and me and Pluta can while the Ying/Yangs stew
[ September 18, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
Joe Pluta
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Personally, I had a great time here. It was at least as intellectually challenging as tic-tac-toe with my niece (maybe even Yahtzee!) and not nearly as annoying as dealing with a recalcitrant end user ("yes, I put in the diskette, but it took a LONG time to get it out of that plastic thingie!").
I got a little frothy, but that's because the ideas are important to me. It's also important to realize there are people out there who just don't get it, and frighteningly enough, these people don't all drool in alleyways clutching their belongings in hefty bags. They actually walk, talk and hold jobs. Which means they COULD be teachers, or others whom my children come in contact with. So now I know that I have to teach my children the distinction between rational thought and mystic mumbo-jumbo.
This thread certainly provided ample opportunity to practice that.
Did I learn anything? Yeah, I did. As it turns out, Mumbai's comments both here and on the other thread were razorlike in their insight. I really had one of those fundamental "Ah hah!" insights reading his posts (as opposed to the "Huh, what?" I got over many of the other comments here ). And there were others whose comments I really enjoyed and who got me to think (you know who you are).
Others, well, I got something out of their posts, too, and only time can tell whether I'll be able to get rid of it without therapy .
Finally, Map, I owe you a post on your other thread, which I'll get to when I can. However, it may be a little while - I really spent WAY too much time on this. The CFO had me add up the hours and it's a pretty scary number.
Later!
Joe
 
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