The UN Declaration on Slavery is an Absolute Moral Law

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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Scott Mayers
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Re: The UN Declaration on Slavery is an Absolute Moral Law

Post by Scott Mayers » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:32 pm

I am saying that "Slavery", however you define it, is counterproductive to use as a term when discussing morality because nature itself 'enslaves' us by necessity. It is not even POSSIBLE in principle for such an ideal exist. Rather, it is a rhetorical device when or where used by those who believe they uniquely know something as better than others and who cannot see their own bias. It is why those countries who don't agree with such a rule refuse to participate. It comes across as an insult to those who behave in some way that those within the U.N. might deem as "anti-humane" when the concept is relative. If ANY humans behave in some way, it is 'humane', not matter WHAT that behavior is. If some organization declares something anywhere as 'inhumane' by other human behavior, they are JUDGING other sub-class of humans as 'bad' with some selfish interpretation of what is merely 'good' for themselves without realizing it.

Here is a rational 'universal' law that doesn't insult AND would be agreeable: "Let us not behave in some way that we do not want others to behave towards us." This rule is logical and doesn't need any dictating what IS or IS NOT 'morally' valid about any specific beliefs. It is just an 'agreement' that potential members may approve of. It is inviting and doesn't assure us that those who don't sign in are 'evil' in some absolute way, but just indicates they don't approve of collective bargaining between countries and prefer to go it on their own, however selfishly.

The U.N. should only assure that for those who DO agree to participate, they have to agree to this respect of EACH other. As to penalties of those who opt out or get kicked out for going against this universal rule, they can only be pressured by those who DO sign up BY FORCE of the collective. This is then not about what is or is not universally 'true' about humanity but a means of FORCING the ideal of those agreeing to BECOME a universally AGREED-TO behavior.

If you keep the rule about 'slavery', it irrationally implies that those members who are not in sync with the majority are 'absolutely wrong' rather than relatively. And this is hypocritical to the nature of the idea against 'slavery' because you would be forcing those who don't agree to the identical meaning of "slavery" to conform regardless, an ACT of enslaving outsiders to conform or risk retaliation.

It is NOT a 'natural' thing to NOT enslave anyone or anything, as undesirable as it may seem. If that was the case in an absolute way, we'd all lose meaning to moral distinctions about 'good' and 'not-good' for all agreeing to each others behavior by default. The FACT that we require eating other living beings, which I mentioned above, assures us that living things are only living because of this contradictory absolute to be MORE true than not. Should we be permitted to EXCLUDE other beings for being irrelevant to 'morality', then you are just dictating a CONDITIONAL statement that is CONTINGENT of those agreeing only, not something that is ABSOLUTE beyond those agreeing.

It's frustrating, I understand. But it doesn't mean you CAN'T approach this ideal. You just can't expect to assert this as 'universally agreeable' by all without it presuming you can simply DISCLUDE those who don't 'agree' as being "inhumane", even if they are other humans.

It is NOT a natural law for one to kill or abuse their own or others. It is just counterproductive of the idea of negotiating by some convention that respects each other in an optimal way that permits 'civility' without chaos.

Exchanging this declaration about slavery for words expressing freedom is more productive or it acts to 'enslave' those who freely disagrees.

Veritas Aequitas
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Re: The UN Declaration on Slavery is an Absolute Moral Law

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:43 am

I am saying that "Slavery", however you define it, is counterproductive to use as a term when discussing morality because nature itself 'enslaves' us by necessity.
Without a guide on slavery [as in chattel and other forms] then you are implying humans can capture other humans, therefrom own them and trade them in a market [black or otherwise]. This is an evil intent.

"nature itself 'enslaves' us by necessity."
I believe it is not difficult to exclude the above [whatever it mean] in our definition of slavery.
I believe ALL humans are embedded with a potential of neural function for morality. Note the presence of Mirror Neurons in humans and primates. The Mirror Neurons are not full active in most humans and they can be triggered and activated. There is also room for more mirror neurons to grow and added within humans as we evolve further.

As stated, whatever is adopted as an absolute moral law, in this case, 'chattel and other forms [as defined] are not permitted' by default are never enforced by an means but merely to act as a guide.

At present the UN tries to influence members to comply as much as possible to the Declaration on Slavery by issuing reports of the current status by each country.

As such a variance report is useful [via peer pressure] but it still up to the respective nation to comply at their discretion.
Such an approach is at least something better than nothing but it is not effective to achieve the necessary targets.

The variance report at least show a gap on how much humanity need to close as possible to the ideal.
Therefore it show humanity must strive hard to close the moral gap re slavery.

The question is how to induce the minds of ALL [if not majority or a critical mass of] humans to be spontaneously good moral agents.
I am optimistic there are possibilities to this given the current trend of the exponential expansion of knowledge and technology, e.g. in Genomics, Neurosciences, Information Technology, Physics, etc.

Are you familiar with the
http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/
which is attempting to map all the pathways of neurons in the human brain.

The possibility here is the mapping of the neural moral pathways within the human brain and this will enable humanity to elevate the moral quotient [MQ] of the average person to align spontaneously and effortlessly with the anti-slavery moral laws.

Scott Mayers
Posts: 1628
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: The UN Declaration on Slavery is an Absolute Moral Law

Post by Scott Mayers » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:37 am

Veritas,

I see that you support Michael Shermer's ideas of this with respect to being an atheist himself. While I understand I disagree that it is necessary to encourage people to believe that there is some genetic factor of morality. That was the reason that I pointed out other species of living things as requiring to take notice too, not merely humans. If there is any dividing line of those beings who should be considered morally sound, then that suffices to me to tell us that morality is just a relative feature or artificial construct where assumed universal.

Being an atheist myself, I used to wonder how you can have a world that behaves civil without at least lying to ourselves that some moral law exists along side the physical laws. I'm a "nihilist" in this way but add that this is just a logical position, not an expression of hopelessness. One could actually argue that we should create religion, even if it is understood as unreal, if only to provide a means to beg that values are as 'natural' as physics. I still can't be sure what is optimal but still don't feel comfortable myself for lying just for the practical reasons other than to one's own interpersonal relations where it isn't something written in stone. [like responding to a loved one's question about how they look, for instance, or to one's internal emotional self reflection, etc.]

For me, the tentative and artificial construct of making laws with consequences through government is how we create an ethics that work without presuming an absolute. What would matter for 'constitutional' concerns then would only need to express members as agreeing to a means of free expression of ideas with the right to be heard and be able to compete through argument in order to determine laws, with the added statement that such conventions (as a 'government') should not permit specific religious or cultural beliefs to act as a foundation to argue from. This has to include presuming any assumption about 'absolute morals' because that automatically turns such beliefs into a religious belief.

At present, the U.N. tends to constitutionalize specific cultural and religious precedence above logical considerations which biases favor always to the irrational emotional beliefs as a priority. For that reason, I think the declaration is a religious document and can never completely favor all of society. Rather, it CONSERVES specific interests of the wealthy and powerful as a priority OF the member countries, regardless of its apparent pretence of compassion. While it is better than NO organization to some extent, it is still a fraud to me because of all that I am saying here.

"Slavery" in its most generic meaning is actually conserved by such declarations but cleverly hides this by falsely presenting a 'special' meaning as a 'general' one. It is NOT possible to stop the generic meaning of slavery that includes 'chattel' because it begs a line exists to demarcate what is or is not 'slavery' by an elite subset of the whole. That is, those in power will always find a means to justify why they should keep their power and why others shoud support it by using clever tactics to manipulate others into thinking they are an institute of 'compassion'.

So, for instance, one who is born without any beneficial inheritance is as likely to be 'chattel' slaves that just appear 'free'. So you might have to argue that the only such convention that would be 'legitimately' inclusive of all individuals on Earth to be one that is "Communistic". But the opposite end of the spectra is favored, ...collective National Socialism [favoring only one's own genetic nationality socially but ignoring all others].

The "United Nations" act as united nationalists exclusively because it doesn't argue to care for individuals independent of one's country borders or to some genetically defined class (some 'ethnicity'). As such, the declaration lacks validity and soundness to speak about what is or is not universal beyond EXCLUSIVE definitions of people based on religious biases of these GROUPS of people defined 'culturally'.

For instance, the West believes that the Eastern Communist countries are abusers of human rights when they have child limitation policies. To me this is an arrogant religious position because the very freedoms of those to have children without communal considerations is used as a means to compete for power by those disenfranchized. The poor will always have more offspring and is the foundation of Darwin's Evolutionary theory. The wealthy prefer this 'freedom' upon the poor because it creates the demand from a supply of more people to compete to work harder for less, a means for the wealthy to profit from. Can you not see how such a trivial presumption of 'slavery' as a universal disgust can be turned around to demonstrate it cannot NOT exist? If the individuals, rather than "nations" were to be respected, then the present fortunate inheritors of power (be it genetic or environmental) would be thought of as being 'enslaved'. And at present the U.N. is actually made up OF the latter who get to design the meaning of 'slavery' to NOT refer to themselves.

Veritas Aequitas
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: The UN Declaration on Slavery is an Absolute Moral Law

Post by Veritas Aequitas » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:05 am

For me, the tentative and artificial construct of making laws with consequences through government is how we create an ethics that work without presuming an absolute.
I believe you are not into 'What is Morality-proper?"

In Philosophy-proper, Morality-proper must not be conflated and mixed with Politics-proper.
Morality-proper must be separated from politics and its legislature, judiciary and policing.

Morality and Ethics proper [Philosophy] is solely confined to the development and establishment of an efficient moral-ethical function within the brain/mind of the individual[s] which gel into a collective.

If is only because Morality-Ethics is not efficient at present that there is a need for political laws, the legislature, judiciary and police to manage evil human behaviors.

Note we are discussing Philosophy here not Politics.

Philosophically, for a Framework and System of Morality and Ethics to be efficient, it must be driven by an absolute moral law and its subsidiary moral laws which are not to be enforced but merely to act as guide.
This is where we need to define what is 'slavery' in an optimal way. If we nit-picked like you do, nothing will get started.

The focus of this is how to manage and train the human brain to be perform at the optimal moral function as close as possible to the ideal absolute moral law.
I have given a clue on how we do it above.

Once humanity has achieved a critical mass or sufficient levels of progress, humans will spontaneously [naturally] act good, then there will be no need to rely on political laws and its legislature, judiciary and policing to manage evil human acts.

Note I am not focusing on the present state of morality [infancy] but rather explore how we can make it efficient in the future.
I am using the UHDR [re slavery] as a clue of what is an absolute moral law to how morality-proper is feasible in the future where a lot still need to be done.

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