Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

Post by RCSaunders »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:18 pm ... you yourself said...namely, that "right" means only efficient as a means for... , without any reference to, or further information on the end-in-view.
Do a search. I never used the word, "efficient," in any form on this entire thread because is not what I think and not what I mean. (I used it once sarcastically in describing your God's eternal death camp.) That idea is entirely your own. As Eddy Murphy said in, San Francisco Cop, "you're lying you ass off."
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:18 pm
The reason we cannot agree on values is because you have no explanation for why anything is right or wrong beyond, "God said so," and I know exactly why what is wrong is wrong, and why what is right is right, and that what is right would be right even if God said is wasn't.
Then say why that is. ...
No. You'll just lie about it. If you were really interested I could point to many older posts where I explained exacty what determines right and wrong with regard to human life, but I don't think you really are. Life principles are not paradigms or aphorisms or any of "Miss Libertarian's Pets." The principles by which a human being must live to live successfully as a human being, like all important principles, require some study and rigorous honest thinking. If you're serious, begin with my article here on PN, "The Moral Nature."
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:45 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:18 pm ... you yourself said...namely, that "right" means only efficient as a means for... , without any reference to, or further information on the end-in-view.
Do a search. I never used the word, "efficient," in any form on this entire thread because is not what I think and not what I mean.
You wrote: "If your objective is to work faster and method A will accomplish the objective faster than method B and those two methods are the only ones avaialble to you, which is the right method for working faster? If you want to go to Rightville and there are two roads, highway W, which goes to Wrongville and highway R, which goes to Rightville, which road is the right road to take to go to Rightville. Which is the wrong road to take to go to Rightville."

So you don't mean "efficient" when you say "accomplish faster"? And in your claim, "wrong" isn't your equivalent of "inefficient "or "slower for purpose"? You prefer to work with methods that do not achieve the required ends "faster"? And you're not equating "working fast" with being "right"?
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:18 pm
The reason we cannot agree on values is because you have no explanation for why anything is right or wrong beyond, "God said so," and I know exactly why what is wrong is wrong, and why what is right is right, and that what is right would be right even if God said is wasn't.
Then say why that is. ...
No. You'll just lie about it.
As above, I've done no such thing. You equated "right" with "fast." I didn't. And your objection that by "fast" you didn't mean "efficient" seems to me quite disingenuous...that's exactly what you seem to have meant.

That it's clearly a flawed view, lacking any means to judge the moral quality of the ends, isn't my fault either. That's just a flaw of the view.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:45 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:18 pm ... you yourself said...namely, that "right" means only efficient as a means for... , without any reference to, or further information on the end-in-view.
Do a search. I never used the word, "efficient," in any form on this entire thread because is not what I think and not what I mean.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm You wrote: "If your objective is to work faster and method A will accomplish the objective faster than method B and those two methods are the only ones avaialble to you, which is the right method for working faster? If you want to go to Rightville and there are two roads, highway W, which goes to Wrongville and highway R, which goes to Rightville, which road is the right road to take to go to Rightville. Which is the wrong road to take to go to Rightville."
So you don't mean "efficient" when you say "accomplish faster"?
Right! I mean accomplish faster, not, less expensively. The faster way might very well be a less efficient (more costly and difficult) way. Even then, it wasn't right just because it was faster, it was right because faster, "in that case," achieved the objective.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm You equated "right" with "fast."
No I did not equate "right" with "fast." I equated, "right," to, "the correct answer to the question," of, "which is the best method?" If the correct leg for a doctor to amputate is the left one, saying the "right" leg to lop off is the left leg does not equate, "right," with, "left legs?" It's the syntax. To say, "method A is right," does not mean, "method A equals right." Right is a modifier, a predicate adjective that modifies the subject noun, " method A." A noun does not equal its modifier.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm I didn't. And your objection that by "fast" you didn't mean "efficient" seems to me quite disingenuous...that's exactly what you seem to have meant.
You do that a lot. I say something and instead of addressing what I say, exactly as I said it, you twist it around to some meaning you attribute to what I said (which isn't there at all), and then address that. Then, when I point it out, you call me disingenuous. I don't care if you call me that (I'm frequently called worse to my own entertainment), but I don't know how to honestly reply to it.

I provided a link to what I base my principles of right and wrong on. I have no idea of you are interested in that or not. I would be interested in how you know what right and wrong are, since it's the thing you claim no one without your views can know. Perhaps you could explain how you know, "feeding orphans is right, and molesting them is wrong," since that was one of you example/illustrations.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:46 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:45 pm
Do a search. I never used the word, "efficient," in any form on this entire thread because is not what I think and not what I mean.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:35 pm You wrote: "If your objective is to work faster and method A will accomplish the objective faster than method B and those two methods are the only ones avaialble to you, which is the right method for working faster? If you want to go to Rightville and there are two roads, highway W, which goes to Wrongville and highway R, which goes to Rightville, which road is the right road to take to go to Rightville. Which is the wrong road to take to go to Rightville."
So you don't mean "efficient" when you say "accomplish faster"?
Right! I mean accomplish faster, not, less expensively.
Whoa. Now you're misquoting. I said "efficiently," not "less expensively." You just made that bit up. And "more efficient" is also at least one possible synonym for "faster."

But I think you do know what I'm pointing to. And I think these niggles about word choice are just trivial...red herrings, really, to avoid addressing the central problem, which is this:

Your theory does not distinguish between morally good ends and morally wicked ones, because it makes "faster" its only value, and the equivalent of "right".
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RCSaunders
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:01 am Your theory does not distinguish between morally good ends and morally wicked ones, because it makes "faster" its only value, and the equivalent of "right".
It's obvious you have no idea what my theory is, which is OK. But then, I have no idea what you mean by, "morally good," or, "morally wicked?" When I asked you to say what that is, you ignored the question, which is your prerogative.

If you think there is something wrong with my theory, it is not necessary for you to have a counter theory to be convinced mine is wrong (although I do not think you know what mine is), just as I do not swallow the evolutionary hypothesis but do not have my own theory of origins.

So, you may not have a theory of right and wrong, moral or otherwise. If you don't have such a theory, I think you should say so, but you don't have to. And if you do, why would you be ashamed to say what it is?
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Gary Childress
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Is it safe to say that there are morally good projects, morally bad projects, and (perhaps) projects that are neither morally good nor morally bad but relatively neutral? And that getting something done "efficiently" is good, bad, or of no moral consequence depending upon the moral characteristics of the project in question?
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:06 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:01 am Your theory does not distinguish between morally good ends and morally wicked ones, because it makes "faster" its only value, and the equivalent of "right".
It's obvious you have no idea what my theory is, which is OK.
I'm just going with exactly what you said. If you want to reword, RC, go ahead.
But then, I have no idea what you mean by, "morally good," or, "morally wicked?" When I asked you to say what that is, you ignored the question, which is your prerogative.
Sure, you know what they are.

You said that indoctrinating children is "wrong." Well, it's not "wrong" from an efficiency standpoint, and it's not "wrong" from a point of view of getting a particular end, such as a compliant child...it will work for that. In fact, it may well be the "fastest" way to make children compliant. So in what sense did you mean it was "wrong" to indoctrinate children, except that you find it morally reprehensible or wicked?
If you think there is something wrong with my theory, it is not necessary for you to have a counter theory to be convinced mine is wrong (although I do not think you know what mine is),
Well, that's true, but I don't need that caveat. I have my own moral standpoint, and am always quite plain spoken about what it is.

And in regard to critiquing your view, I'm being very blunt. In fact, I hardly know how one could be more blunt than this: as I understand it, your ethical system offers no means of judging ends. Can I make it more simple than that?
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:50 pm I have my own moral standpoint, and am always quite plain spoken about what it is.
Then why haven't you said what it is? This is the third time I've asked.
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Gary Childress wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:34 pm Is it safe to say that there are morally good projects, morally bad projects, and (perhaps) projects that are neither morally good nor morally bad but relatively neutral? And that getting something done "efficiently" is good, bad, or of no moral consequence depending upon the moral characteristics of the project in question?
I'm not sure who you are addressing your question to.

I do not use the terms morally good or morally bad because I disagree with what everyone on this site means by moral. The only values I recognize are those related to some end, purpose, objective, or goal. For human beings the ultimate objective is the success of their own individual lives as human beings in this world. Success means living (not dying) and enjoying (not suffering) that life. Efficiency would hardly be a primary value in that case.

IC's view will be quite different, if you can get him to tell you what it is. Good luck with that.
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:45 am
Gary Childress wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:34 pm Is it safe to say that there are morally good projects, morally bad projects, and (perhaps) projects that are neither morally good nor morally bad but relatively neutral? And that getting something done "efficiently" is good, bad, or of no moral consequence depending upon the moral characteristics of the project in question?
I'm not sure who you are addressing your question to.

I do not use the terms morally good or morally bad because I disagree with what everyone on this site means by moral. The only values I recognize are those related to some end, purpose, objective, or goal. For human beings the ultimate objective is the success of their own individual lives as human beings in this world. Success means living (not dying) and enjoying (not suffering) that life. Efficiency would hardly be a primary value in that case
Maybe so but I think we all have a sense of what is morally good and what is morally bad, and though we may disagree on particulars, most of us probably share at least some common ground. I assume you still think that some actions are morally good and others morally bad. I think many of us will agree that murder is morally bad, wouldn't you agree? I assume most of us would think that living peacefully and not doing unjust harm to others is morally good. Would you not agree?

When you say that you only recognize values that are related to a goal and that a human being's ultimate objective is the success of his or her own individual life, I assume you don't approve of stealing or murder in the name of advancing one's particular life or being more successful.

To be clear, I'm defining murder in the most generic sense as "unjust killing" and stealing as taking something that rightfully belongs to someone else against their will. Again, people may disagree over particulars but general definitions seem to at least exist.
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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I appreciate the good questions, Gary, and very much like the way you put them. I want to begin with what I consider the heart of the question, then come back to your other questions.
Gary Childress wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:16 am When you say that you only recognize values that are related to a goal and that a human being's ultimate objective is the success of his or her own individual life, I assume you don't approve of stealing or murder in the name of advancing one's particular life or being more successful.
It's not a matter of what I or anyone else approves. You have put your finger on the issue without identifying it. Stealing and murder cannot possibly be good for an individual, because nothing can be of real value to a human being at the expense of another human being. But the issue is not social. Stealing and murder are not wrong because of the harm they might do to others, but the harm they do to the perpetrator. If one could steal or murder without harming anyone else, they would still be wrong.

To live, a human being must produce, by his own effort, what his nature requires, from food to knowledge, and to evade that requirement is a defiance of one's own nature. A human being, by nature, is a producer, not a parasite and not a predator. It is impossible to violate one's own nature without incurring psychological damage, especially the consciousness that one has failed to be what his nature requires him to be, and that the life he is living is as something less than a human being.

Now I'll address your other questions.
Gary Childress wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:16 am Maybe so but I think we all have a sense of what is morally good and what is morally bad, and though we may disagree on particulars, most of us probably share at least some common ground. I assume you still think that some actions are morally good and others morally bad. I think many of us will agree that murder is morally bad, wouldn't you agree? I assume most of us would think that living peacefully and not doing unjust harm to others is morally good. Would you not agree?
Human beings are conscious of right and wrong. It is not, "moral," right and wrong, but what is appropriate to the life of a rational human being, (right), and what is inappropriate for that kind of being (wrong). That right and wrong does not depend at all on what most people agree or disagree with. Human nature is what it is, and the kind of behavior that is right for that kind of being is determined by reality, not anyone's opinion.

I disagree that, "most of us would think that living peacefully and not doing unjust harm to others is ... good." Most Americans like to believe that, but will happily send their young people off to kill people and destroy their property and die and destroy themselves doing it and then pride themselves on their patriotism, as though it were a virtue. Look at the news, the riots, the destruction of property, the intentional fomenting of irrational violence. Look at the world and the violence and oppression everywhere.
Gary Childress wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:16 am To be clear, I'm defining murder in the most generic sense as "unjust killing" and stealing as taking something that rightfully belongs to someone else against their will. Again, people may disagree over particulars but general definitions seem to at least exist.
I knew what you meant by murder and stealing, of course. The only "just" killing would be in self-defense or defense of one's loved ones and one's property. All other killing is always wrong, and all stealing is wrong, because it is always the attempt to have what one has not earned and does not deserve and at someone else's expense.
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:35 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:50 pm I have my own moral standpoint, and am always quite plain spoken about what it is.
Then why haven't you said what it is? This is the third time I've asked.
I'm a Christian. Does this come as news to you?
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:50 pm And in regard to critiquing your view, I'm being very blunt. In fact, I hardly know how one could be more blunt than this: as I understand it, your ethical system offers no means of judging ends. Can I make it more simple than that?
Perhaps you have not understood my question. I'm not questioning your criticism of my views of values, I'm asking you what yours is. If your criticism is, " your ethical system offers no means of judging ends, I must assume you believe your "ethical system," is capable of making that judgement. What I'm asking is:

What is your ethical system that is capable of judging ends?
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:14 pm
RCSaunders wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:35 am
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 11:50 pm I have my own moral standpoint, and am always quite plain spoken about what it is.
Then why haven't you said what it is? This is the third time I've asked.
I'm a Christian. Does this come as news to you?
Not at all, and typically an evasion of a direct answer to the question. Is everyone supposed to know your particular theology? See my previous post:

What is your ethical system that is capable of judging ends?

I'm not asking you what the name of your ethical system is, but what it's principles are.
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Re: Portrait of an American Hero

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RCSaunders wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:24 pm If your criticism is, " your ethical system offers no means of judging ends, I must assume you believe your "ethical system," is capable of making that judgement.
It is; but that doesn't follow logically.

Even if I were to believe in a totally implausible ethical framework (such as, say, Emotivism, or Nietzschean Nihilism) if I were to point out that your system has no means of judging ends, that would remain true if it is true. A critique of somebody else's theory does not presuppose one has a better one, only that the theory in question is flawed.
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