Are Humans Equal?
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25-03-2013, 06:34 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(25-03-2013 09:40 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  
(24-03-2013 06:47 PM)Chas Wrote:  Well, you assumed wrong. Your response was illogical.

My response wasn't illogical, simple because you are too incompetent to understand it and/or incapable of explaining your position.

Quote:Your response to my statement of one inherent right is completely illogical - nothing you said follows from my statement.

I asked you about your statement.

You failed to provide that you actually had one inherent right; that was the only thing I was questioning.

Like I said, you being incompetent and/or not able to provide an explanation for your irrational and arbitrary claim to an inherent right, doesn't make me questioning it, illogical.

However, if you want to claim that god exists and then leave, that is fine with me.

Just don't involve me in your 'right' to be a dumbass.

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Drinking Beverage

I stated that each of us has a right to our persons and you went off on an illogical leap to say that meant any rights could be assumed.

The assumption that each autonomous being has the right to its own existence implies that no one else does, making your assumption not only incorrect but just plain stupid.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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25-03-2013, 09:38 PM (This post was last modified: 25-03-2013 09:41 PM by fat cat.)
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Quote:But then you go into abilities and entitlements and I just have no idea what the hell you're talking about. Then you say rights can be taken away, therefore we don't have them to begin with and that makes zero sense to me.
In short, I said something, and you two seem to be rebutting my statement by saying, "NOUH)&FH)&Yf038uf0294u29whf." So I neither
know what your rebuttal is nor what your position is.

Mentioning abilities and entitlements was Truly's approach to explaining his view, and I attempted to mediate between you and him at that point, because my own observations in life fell along similar lines, so I thought I could maybe help clear things up. I apologize that I only further confused because I didn't comprehensively express my perspective.

When you say we're born with full rights, I take that as you saying those rights are inherent to our existence. If they can be taken away, then are they truly inherent, and if they're not, do they even exist? So do you think "rights can be taken away" makes no sense, or do you think "[inherent] rights being taken away means [inherent] rights don't exist" makes no sense?

(25-03-2013 07:44 AM)Ghost Wrote:  You two seem to be of the position that we don't have rights. Period. Which is a position that, while I disagree with it, I can understand.

I am of the position that we have rights, but legal rights are the only rights we have and which exist, and that anything else you label "rights" are simply projected possibilities relevant to human beings which you also designate as something we deserve. That might not make sense, but I'll try to explain.

Quote:I believe that humans are born with full rights and freedoms.
If I'm born with a birth mark, one can see the birth mark and know I have it. However, if I'm born with full rights and freedoms, can one see those rights and freedoms and know I have them? I would say no, thinking that "rights" and "freedoms" are abstractions referencing things broader than our sight, but other people and perhaps yourself have different ideas of what "freedoms" and "rights" are.

My understanding is that "freedom" in its most comprehensive form represents a state of existence without any restriction against carrying out any possible behavior. The term "freedom" does not only represent the individual's state, but instead represents the state of the individual and his/her environment as a whole. For someone to have "full freedom", he/she must exist in an environment without restriction.

Because we exist as objects in an objective universe, restrictions are inherent in our environment, so when you say we are born with "full freedoms", I assume you are not talking about us being born into an environment without restrictions. I assume you take natural restrictions as a given, and by "full freedoms" you instead reference part(s) of us humans while not referencing our environment, or you reference part(s) of us humans and part(s) of our environment. That's what I disagree with, because I see that as a subjective labeling possibly indicative of a delusion.

What are the "freedoms" you refer to? I know we are born with kidneys and hearts and lungs and whatnot, but what objects constitute our "freedoms"? Could it be that by "full freedoms" you reference our ability to make any choice we want and carry out any subsequent behavior? Could it be you reference that, but also an absence of intentional restriction carried out by other people? And what objects constitute our "full rights". Could it be that by "full rights" you only refer to the same thing(s) that you call "full freedoms"? Or could it be that by "full rights" you reference some objective reason that our "full freedoms" should not be restricted?

So consider legal rights. The only legal rights we have are those the legal system designates for us. Those rights are "entitlements", because the government chooses we have them. Our legal system is the source and proof and therefore justification of our legal rights. People have various reasons for creating the rights, but ultimately those reasons being reason to create the rights is arbitrary choice. Would we have need for legal rights if nobody ever intentionally restricted anyone's freedom? I think not, and I think humans created and create legal rights to counteract particular potential oppression.

Similarly, I think the notion we are born with full rights is a notion unconsciously/subconsciously/whatever used to counteract any potential oppression. What is the source of our natural rights? What's the proof they exist? Simply saying we have natural rights answers neither question, so I rest on my assumption that "rights" are merely human constructs.

Does that clarify my perspective for you?

Quote: I believe that humans have evolved to be social animals.

Could you clarify this? By "to be", do you mean humans evolved with the intent of becoming social animals, or do you just mean humans have become social animals?

Quote:I believe that humans sacrifice part of their rights and freedoms to fulfill their societal obligations.

What are our "societal obligations"? Can you expound on the act of "sacrifice"? Maybe you didn't mean them this way, but those terms appear dramatic to me.

Quote:I believe that Our culture tells us that we all have rights.

Hmmm...our culture such as yourself proclaiming we are born with full rights and freedoms?

Quote:I believe that in practice, we do not.

Since you first said "all have rights", and then said "do not", are you saying in practice we do not have any rights? Or did you mean "have all rights" before "do not", meaning we have some rights?

Quote:I believe that the reason why is because the system is backwards.
I believe that the way it should work is that we begin with full rights and then some are restricted.
I believe that in practice, we begin with zero rights and are given the few that we have.
I believe that this system benefits the elite because by default, we don't have any rights.

A system being forward or backward is a matter of your orientation in relation to it. Objectively speaking, every system only goes whatever direction it goes, neither forward nor backward, because forward/backward is a comparative, subjective characterization. You say it "should be" one way, while others say it "should be" another way, so maybe there is actually no way "it should be".

You say it's backwards, because it gives us rights rather than assumes we have full rights, but I disagree with that, because the system both gives rights and creates restrictions, so it's working from the direction you say it should, and from the opposite direction. I therefore think the system not assuming we have full rights results less from "being backwards", and more from those who created it not having a comprehensive approach to begin with, because that has allowed intricate, subjective opinion to direct it.

You're generalizing when you say the system benefits the elite. Even the non-elite benefit from our system, though the system benefits each in different ways.

Also, how can you say we by default have no rights? Is that perhaps hyperbolic?

Quote:So for me, because the way the system is set up, the consequence is that
we don't actually have rights. We are given them. This is the illusion:
you naturally have X, you think you have X, but you actually have Y.

How is that "illusion", though? "Illusion" involves someone deceiving another. Does anybody actually claim we have complete freedom while giving us less? Perhaps its your own perception leading you to believe anybody claims that, while they're actually just under their own delusion.

Quote:Things can be treated however one desires without remourse.

I disagree with the implication here. Many people have attachments to inanimate things that create potential for remorse relative to those things. Also, I realize I am only a thing, and I perceive other people as things, but the term with which I label us is not the source of my feelings about us. I think you've oversimplified our brains.

(25-03-2013 09:51 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  I think I should add: I'm simply here to learn and share ideas.

I provided an explanation for my position, and I am just simply expecting the same in return, in order to build off of ideas and gain further understanding.

If you're only here to learn and share ideas, why are you insulting people? That might not be the approach most conducive to them sharing their ideas.

Quote:I stated that each of us has a right to our persons and you went off on an illogical leap to say that meant any rights could be assumed.

The assumption that each autonomous being has the right to its own existence implies that no one else does, making your assumption not only
incorrect but just plain stupid.

How does the assumption that you have a right to your person imply nobody else has a right to your person? Can you expound on that?

Also, that "illogical leap" you mentioned was him questioning the basis for the assumption you have the right to your person and an implication that you
don't have any basis for the assumption. What makes that illogical?
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26-03-2013, 10:17 AM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(25-03-2013 06:34 PM)Chas Wrote:  Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Drinking Beverage

I stated that each of us has a right to our persons and you went off on an illogical leap to say that meant any rights could be assumed.

The assumption that each autonomous being has the right to its own existence implies that no one else does, making your assumption not only incorrect but just plain stupid.

I didn't make any assumption: I pointed out, already, that you must have missed the question mark(s). I asked you-- you never answered reasonably. I might have inferred, as to what you were getting at but ultimately only did that in questioning your stance.

So, I'm stupid for questioning a position, I see as being baseless and nonsensical? Well, I guess that puts me in a pretty good category of stupid.

If you want to make a claim, you have to back that up with logical reasoning, or just simply decline to defend the view. That is all I was getting at. There either is or is not any logical reasoning to back up your position.

I personally don't see, by how I view rights, that you have what you claim as an inherent right. I do see how you could make a claim to that right arbitrarily, however. I also can see how, by the a different view of what rights are, which I explained, you could reach a similar conclusion, but at that point, by that definition, rights would be basically unlimited.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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26-03-2013, 10:40 AM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(25-03-2013 09:38 PM)fat cat Wrote:  If you're only here to learn and share ideas, why are you insulting people? That might not be the approach most conducive to them sharing their ideas.

I guess I just view insults differently. I personally view it as productive to let others know how you feel.

I like someone writing 'fuck you' a lot more than a Rolleyes.

If I'm being stupid, I'd like to know. If some person thinks I'm full of shit, an asshole, a dumbass, etc., it's good to clear the air about those feelings.

A person doesn't have to take it personal, if insulted during a discussion or a debate, especially by me--I wasn't trying to be demeaning or be genuinely insulting--it is more like 'tough love'.

Quote:Also, that "illogical leap" you mentioned was him questioning the basis for the assumption you have the right to your person and an implication that you don't have any basis for the assumption.

That was it.

Didn't notice that previously. Could have saved me, and that was a lot more concise.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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26-03-2013, 12:07 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Hey, Fat.

Thanks for taking the time. I really appreciate it.

The 'if they can be taken away' argument makes no sense so me. In order to be taken away, does something not have to be there in the first place?

I follow that you think we don't have rights.

I've never said anything about 'deserving' rights. We don't deserve lungs, we have them. We don't deserve rights, we have them.

You (and everyone) are born with the ability to act; to behave in the manner you see fit. That seems irrefutable to me. It's demonstrable. Rights and freedoms are meaningless unless they are EXERCISED (meaning fanciful things like solo flight under our own power, eating 50 000 cakes in one sitting, or throwing the moon at Saturn are not included in the definition of full rights and freedoms). So yes, you can see it because the behaviours are observable. But when you exist in a human system, you forfeit the ability to exercise some of those rights and freedoms in return for social cohesion. That too is demonstrable. Which of those rights and freedms one forfeits is contingent on their culture, again demonstrable.

What you call entitlements are exactly what I've been talking about when I say rights, IN PRACTICE, are GIVEN. And we have the right/freedom to exercise ONLY those rights given otherwise we are PUNISHED.

This is the illusion. We're born with them, we're told we have them, but in practice, the system operates under the conceit that we begin with none and only enjoy those given to us.

In effect, ALL of our rights are removed and then some are returned.

I agree, recognising inherent rights IS a counter to oppression. It recognises that the system of given rights is bass ackwards.

To answer your question, humans ARE social animals as a result of millions of years of evolution.

As for societal obligations, you are a contributing/benefiting member of your human system. That's not free. You have obligations as a member of that group. By virtue of that, there are some things you can no longer do.

Also, I haven't simplified our brains regarding empathy, I have simply put forward psychological fact backed by decades of inquiry and reams of data. What I said about the development of empathy, Buber's work in his seminal work I and Thou, the dysfunction of being unable to recognise the individuality of others and the impact of dehumanisation on the ability to treat humans as objects and/or kill them can be found in any credible psychology text on the matter. In short, that's how it works.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-03-2013, 04:43 AM (This post was last modified: 27-03-2013 05:01 AM by fat cat.)
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(26-03-2013 10:40 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  I guess I just view insults differently. I personally view it as productive to let others know how you feel.
I like someone writing 'fuck you' a lot more than a Rolleyes.
If I'm being stupid, I'd like to know. If some person thinks I'm full of shit, an asshole, a dumbass, etc., it's good to clear the air about those feelings.
A person doesn't have to take it personal, if insulted during a discussion or a debate, especially by me--I wasn't trying to be demeaning or be genuinely insulting--it is more like 'tough love'.

Okay, I had no indication this position was behind your insults, so I appreciate you clearing that up, but I still have my disagreement with the approach. If our goal in discussion is to be logical, and then we use arbitrary terms like "stupid", "asshole", "dumbass", etc, we get off that logical course. Granted, we often do, but insults are a deliberate case.

So instead of labeling you "stupid", I'd rather tell you what I think you misunderstand and explain why, similar to how you'd rather not use pronouns. And if I want someone to know how I feel, I'd prefer to tell them how I feel rather than use my feelings as basis for characterizing them by labeling them something like "dumbass", because even if I don't mean that personally, "dumbass" and similar words give no explicit indication I don't intend them personally, but they are explicit personal characterizations.

My primary reason for wanting to avoid such characterizations is that "subconscious"/"unconscious" activity we practice and perceive can be difficult to rid ourselves of (just look at political discussions and debates). If we disagree with people being illogical, why allow ourselves to accept our illogical labeling?

But as long as everyone understands your approach for what you say it is, I have no gripe.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Thanks for taking the time. I really appreciate it.

You're welcome. Smile

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  In order to be taken away, does something not have to be there in the first place?

When you say we're born with full rights, I take it you imply our rights are independent of circumstance, aka inherent to our entire existence. If they are independent of circumstance, then they cannot be taken away, but you mentioned them being taken away, so I questioned their inherent presence. The argument is entirely irrelevant if you didn't actually think the rights you proposed are inherent to our entire existence.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I've never said anything about 'deserving' rights. We don't deserve lungs, we have them. We don't deserve rights, we have them.

I knew you didn't say anything about "deserving" rights, but your saying things "should be" certain ways made me consider the possibility you might have felt we are "deserving" of being able to do certain things. I'm glad to see you don't have any such perspective, though.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  You (and everyone) are born with the ability to act; to behave in the manner you see fit. That seems irrefutable to me. It's demonstrable.

Yes, I agree we are born with that ability. I was not disagreeing with that. What I was/am questioning is your basis for calling that ability "full rights", "full freedoms", "natural rights" or anything like that.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Rights and freedoms are meaningless unless they are EXERCISED [...].

What do you refer to by "meaningless"? That's unclear to me, because "meaning" is a relative term in this context.

Are you saying the existence/nonexistence of "rights" and "freedoms" depends on our exercising them?

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  So yes, you can see it because the behaviours are observable. But when you exist in a human system, you forfeit the ability to exercise some of those rights and freedoms in return for social cohesion. That too is demonstrable. Which of those rights and freedms one forfeits is contingent on their culture, again demonstrable.

I don't think I would say we "forfeit" the ability, but instead that we abstain from carrying out the particular "rights" and "freedoms", because we still have the ability to carry them out after we've "forfeited" it.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  What you call entitlements are exactly what I've been talking about when I say rights, IN PRACTICE, are GIVEN.

Yes, I knew you were saying this, I understood it, and I never disagreed with you on this part. I only mentioned our legal rights being entitlements to point out what thinking could have brought entitlements into the discussion in the first place, and to reinforce the comparison between legal rights and "natural rights".

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  And we have the right/freedom to exercise ONLY those rights given otherwise we are PUNISHED.This is the illusion. We're born with them, we're told we have them, but in practice, the system operates under the conceit that we begin with none and only enjoy those given to us.

I think you're generalizing or under a delusion by saying all this.

To murder somebody is a "natural right" by your (apparent to me) definition, but who tells you that you have the right to murder somebody? I don't think anybody or anything tells us we have the right to do anything we're born with the ability to do.

Also, how specifically does the system operate under the conceit that we begin with no rights and only enjoy the rights given to us? Our system doesn't say we can't do all things not deemed rights. Instead our system says we can't do restricted things. All the while rights and restrictions are proposed, considered, adopted, repealed, etc. I'm under the impression the system operates without even making a conceit of how many "natural rights" we have.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost
' Wrote:  
In effect, ALL of our rights are removed and then some are returned.

This gets to the root of my disagreement, and I'll explain why.

Like you said above, what we can observe is that we're born into this world with only physical constraints on our behavior. They range from rocks, trees, and
atmosphere to mothers, policeman, and murderers to our own thoughts to everything else in existence. Throughout our existence, we have "complete freedom" within physical constraints.

While that "complete freedom" refers to our environment and us collectively, we can specifically label our part in that, and you've labeled our part "full freedoms"/"full rights"/"the ability to act"/"inherent rights". We can also name it "capabilities", "liberties", "autonomy", "choices", "free will", "options", etc, but the object(s) our terms refer to (which are what actually exist as part of us, aka what we have) are independent of what we name them. They objectively exist no matter how we label them.

The legal system makes no presumption about us having or not having those things you refer to as our "full freedoms"/"full rights"/"ability to act"/"inherent rights". Instead, the legal system acknowledges everybody can do anything physically possible, and then on a case-by-case basis decides to protect some behavior by designating it a right, and prohibit other behavior by designating it unlawful.

If somebody prevents us from practicing our legal right, we still have the right. We only lose the right when law abolishes it. The legal right is not a part of us, but is a designation by an external entity of something being explicitly justified for us to practice. The right objectively exists and is independent of our ability to practice that which it designates justified.

The converse to legal rights would be legal restrictions, of course. They designate certain behavior unjustified for us to practice, but they still exist even if we carry out that behavior. The restriction only stops existing when law abolishes it. Like legal rights, legal restrictions objectively exist, and are independent of our ability to practice that which they designate unjustified.

Both legal rights and restrictions are independent of those "rights" you say the system takes away and partially returns. Legal rights and restrictions are in addition to those "rights". Rather than take away what you call our "inherent rights", the system creates its own rights, and the system's rights are only rights because the people who first created them named them rights. They're just written and digital information, but the system's rights objectively exist separately from the objects you call "inherent rights".

So if by "inherent rights" you only refer to what is physically possible for us to do at all times, then I agree that we have "inherent rights", but I just disagree with naming them that, and you'll see why in the next paragraph.

If by "inherent rights" you imply a similarity to legal rights, then I disagree that we have "inherent rights", because I know of no entity which intentionally created those "inherent rights" the way legal rights were/are intentionally created by people. Because many people assume "inherent rights" were intentionally created for us ("my God-given right!"), I prefer that we don't use the term "rights" if we're simply referring to observable potential ability to act as we see fit.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  As for societal obligations, you are a contributing/benefiting member of your human system. That's not free. You have obligations as a member of that group. By virtue of that, there are some things you can no longer do.

Just as legal rights are determined by people, these societal obligations are determined by us human beings. We can change them, so I think their connection to things we can/can't do isn't as fixed as your words make them out to be.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Also, I haven't simplified our brains regarding empathy, I have simply put forward psychological fact backed by decades of inquiry and reams of data. What I said about the development of empathy, Buber's work in his seminal work I and Thou, the dysfunction of being unable to recognise the individuality of others and the impact of dehumanisation on the ability to treat humans as objects and/or kill them can be found in any credible psychology text on the matter. In short, that's how it works.

I understood you were putting forward conclusions made by others who have studied these things, but I simply disagree with how those conclusions are worded, so it would have been more accurate for me to say, "I think that description oversimplifies 'empathy'". Sorry I hastily made my statement. I'll go back to your original post to explain.

(25-03-2013 07:44 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The psychopath is incapable of making this connection; therefore, the Other is viewed not as an individual like the psychopath, but as a thing.

What exactly is a "thing"? We can call anything a "thing", because "thing" is an abstraction. "Thing" can logically apply to human beings, even. Everybody perceives everything differently, so saying the psychopath "views the other as a thing" doesn't explicitly say anything, though what I assume it was intended to imply is that the psychopath "does not view the other as an individual". But then that brings into question our so-called "empathy".

(25-03-2013 07:44 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The core of empathy, a skill we develop in childhood, is the ability to recognise that you yourself are an individual, ergo, so is everyone else. You have likes and dislikes, ergo, so does everyone else. I don't like being stabbed, ergo, you must not like being stabbed. I have full value as a human being, ergo, you must have full value as a human being.

People often assume things along the lines of the statement about being stabbed. When people base their beliefs about others on evidence in themselves, they overlook that whole idea of individuality. People's "empathy" often leads them to make assumptions for which they have no direct evidence about other people. If our basis for saying a person "lacks empathy" and labeling them a "psychopath" is their inability to consider one's individuality, I assume we've all practiced "psychopathy" at one point or another.

(25-03-2013 07:44 AM)Ghost Wrote:  In order to, like the psychopath, treat the Other like a thing, we must short circuit our ability to empathise, in short, artificially create psychopathy within ourselves. This can be done in a number of ways, one of which is to simply deny the full value of the Other; to dehumanise them.

Perhaps "dehumanize" gets to why I think we all practiced and/or practice "psychopathy". I think "dehumanize" is a vague and potentially misleading way to explain "deny[ing] the full value of the other". If "empathizing" is the act of seeing the "full value" of people, what do we base that "value" on in order to avoid "dehumanizing" them?

Our only objective value is our physical constitution, and that objective value is not objective reason to treat anybody any way. Therefore denying the full objective value of a person does not inherently create any reason to treat that person "like a thing".

The only way a person's value has any bearing on how we treat that person is if we arbitrarily decide certain (objective or subjective) values of a person are reason to treat that person certain ways.

So if "dehumanize" implies negative regard due to inaccurately perceiving a person's value, I would say it's misleading, because that would imply "humanizing" involves positive regard due to accurate perception of a person's value, and I don't think anybody bases their regard for others purely on others' objective value.

I just don't agree with the notion that somebody is a psychopath if they don't perceive positive subjective values in others, but anyone who does perceive them is just a sane person who empathizes. Whether someone is a psychopath or not, they can choose to treat anybody any way. Thinking of everyone as equals is not a requisite to treat everyone positively.


Thank you for having the patience to read all this.
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27-03-2013, 04:06 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Hey, Fat.

I need to preface this. I'm finding some level of enjoyment from our exchange. Clearly you're investing time, and that means something to me. But I'll say this once and once only and I'm not interested in debating the issue. Don't ever fucking call me deluded again. Period. If you're cool with that, marvelous. If you have some issue with that, then the conversation ends with the period at the end of this sentence.

Quote:When you say we're born with full rights, I take it you imply our rights are independent of circumstance, aka inherent to our entire existence. If they are independent of circumstance, then they cannot be taken away, but you mentioned them being taken away, so I questioned their inherent presence. The argument is entirely irrelevant if you didn't actually think the rights you proposed are inherent to our entire existence.

You didn't actually answer the question. So I'll try with something more obvious.

If I take your lungs away, do you not have to have lungs in the first place?

In response to what you wrote, yes, the ability to exercise our rights and freedoms is inherent to our entire existence. In short, we are born with the ability to behave.

Quote:What do you refer to by "meaningless"? That's unclear to me, because "meaning" is a relative term in this context.

Are you saying the existence/nonexistence of "rights" and "freedoms" depends on our exercising them?

Rights, like power, like flight, are meaningless unless exercised.

Rights, power and flight are THERE, but they are meaningless unless exercised.

One of the things that I was addressing was idiotic notions (not your own) like "If I have the right to do anything, why can't I fly into the Sun or break the speed of light?"

Quote:To murder somebody is a "natural right" by your (apparent to me) definition, but who tells you that you have the right to murder somebody? I don't think anybody or anything tells us we have the right to do anything we're born with the ability to do.

Yes. If I so choose, I am free to take life. That is irrefutable and independent of moral judgement.

That is a freedom, however, that I give up if I want to enjoy the benefits of living in society; unless I'm a soldier or a police officer in certain situations.

Quote:The legal system makes no presumption about us having or not having those things you refer to as our "full freedoms"/"full rights"/"ability to act"/"inherent rights". Instead, the legal system acknowledges everybody can do anything physically possible, and then on a case-by-case basis decides to protect some behavior by designating it a right, and prohibit other behavior by designating it unlawful.

If somebody prevents us from practicing our legal right, we still have the right. We only lose the right when law abolishes it. The legal right is not a part of us, but is a designation by an external entity of something being explicitly justified for us to practice. The right objectively exists and is independent of our ability to practice that which it designates justified.

What I said was, the proletariat (if you will) has to fight to have rights added to the list while the elites fight to remove them. When you speak about OUR system, to which system do you refer?

The system we have in Canada and the US is one in which a number of rights have been added to the system. One of them being the right to not be surveiled by the state or subjected to cruel or unusual punishment or the protection of being innocent until proven guilty.

Are these things guaranteed to be there forever? No. They are simply what we enjoy... today... and for only a small fraction of the life of civilisation, and in only a fraction of the existing civilisations on Earth.

Remove them from the list, and poof, they are gone.

These things can be reversed quite easily and the fact that they are currently of benefit to us is an ANOMALY.

Anyhoo, I know what it is you're trying to say. I just disagree.

Quote:If by "inherent rights" you imply a similarity to legal rights, then I disagree that we have "inherent rights", because I know of no entity which intentionally created those "inherent rights" the way legal rights were/are intentionally created by people.

I have never said anything remotely similar and if this is what you think, then I question if you understand the point I am making.

By that I mean, if my argument was "birds are not cars" you just asked "are you saying that birds are cars?"

Quote:Just as legal rights are determined by people, these societal obligations are determined by us human beings. We can change them, so I think their connection to things we can/can't do isn't as fixed as your words make them out to be.

Not only did I not suggest that they are fixed, I explicitly said that they are contingent upon the culture of your particular human system. Culture evolves. So do your obligations.

Quote:I understood you were putting forward conclusions made by others who have studied these things, but I simply disagree with how those conclusions are worded, so it would have been more accurate for me to say, "I think that description oversimplifies 'empathy'". Sorry I hastily made my statement. I'll go back to your original post to explain.

Think what you will. The evidence is clear. The conclusions are verified.

Quote:What exactly is a "thing"? We can call anything a "thing", because "thing" is an abstraction. "Thing" can logically apply to human beings, even. Everybody perceives everything differently, so saying the psychopath "views the other as a thing" doesn't explicitly say anything, though what I assume it was intended to imply is that the psychopath "does not view the other as an individual". But then that brings into question our so-called "empathy".

Sophistry.

The theories are clear. Humans develop the ability to view others as individuals in early childhood development. Other humans are NOT things. They are individuals. To view the Other as a thing is to strip it of it's individuality and, as a result, it's humanity. A rock has no humanity. Neither does a human viewed as a thing. I can smash a rock with a sledgehammer and not feel ANY REMOURSE whatsoever. I cannot do that to a person. But if that person is a thing, I have as much remourse for it as I do for a rock.

As Aaron, one of Shakespeare's great psychopaths once said:
Quote:Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.

Quote:Perhaps "dehumanize" gets to why I think we all practiced and/or practice "psychopathy". I think "dehumanize" is a vague and potentially misleading way to explain "deny[ing] the full value of the other". If "empathizing" is the act of seeing the "full value" of people, what do we base that "value" on in order to avoid "dehumanizing" them?

Think what you will, you won't find a textbook anywhere that disagrees.

To answer your question, I already have answered it. We develop the ability to empathise in early childhood. First, we gain the ability to perceive OURSELVES as individuals. Then, we recognise that OTHERS are as well. On what do we base their value? ON OURSELVES. It's simple logic. IF I am an individual and have hopes and desires and don't want to be hurt or killed and IF you are also an individual THEN you must have hopes and desires and not want to be hurt or killed.

Quote:Whether someone is a psychopath or not, they can choose to treat anybody any way.

No.

They cannot.

That is WHY IT'S A DISORDER.

If they could, they'd be normal, not suffering from a disorder.

Anyhoo, I really don't want to debate the empathy issue further. Not because I can't, but because it holds no interest to me. In the same way that debating evolution is of no interest to me. If you choose not to accept it, that's your prerogative. But the facts are clear.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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30-03-2013, 06:00 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I'm finding some level of enjoyment from our exchange. Clearly you're investing time, and that means something to me.

I'm glad your experience has been positive, and I appreciate you expressing that sentiment. I've been spending most my free time between birthing lambs writing this stuff, and most my overall time thinking about it. I value putting much effort into contemplation and communication, believing that with enough effort, anybody can reach consensus, so your words are encouraging. Thanks.

That said, I hope my response being this late hasn't given way to more confusion.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  But I'll say this once and once only and I'm not interested in debating the issue. Don't ever fucking call me deluded again. Period.

Based on your use of "fucking", I assume you were offended. Please trust that I prefer nobody ever feel offended, and that I don't seek to provoke you now when I say I won't apologize, because if you felt offended, I think your own assumptions about me are partially and more primarily to blame than anything I've done.

Because if you didn't notice, I didn't call you deluded. I said, "I think you're generalizing or under a delusion by saying all this." By "all this" I was only referring to the quote above my statement containing the phrase, so there's a difference between saying what I said and saying you're deluded. I'll explain my reasoning in case you disagree there is a difference.

(26-03-2013 12:07 PM)Ghost Wrote:  And we have the right/freedom to exercise ONLY those rights given otherwise we are PUNISHED.

As I pointed out in my last post, I believe we can without punishment carry out much behavior ("rights/freedoms") that is not outlined in the rights given us by our government. Your words in the above quote explicitly contradicts that belief of mine, though.

So I considered what could have brought you to make a statement I believed false. I perceived two possibilities. The first was that you could have believed the false statement was true. The second was that you could have known at least one "right/freedom" which we are punished for exercising because it isn't a right given us by our government, and then applied punishment's presence to all such "rights/freedoms", including those we aren't punished for.

The second possibility I called "generalizing", and the first I called "under a delusion". I expressed those two possibilities as thoughts, but did not say I assumed either one was true, and therefore was not calling you deluded. I expressed only those two possibilities, because they were all I perceived, but I was open to the possibility that other possibilities existed, including my own misunderstanding.

I was not implying anything negative with the word "delusion", and I was only applying its possibility specifically to your one stated belief. I don't think anything negative of people for their believing false things, nor do I assume I am without delusion. I didn't think negative of what I perceived as your potential delusion, nor did I think negative of you as a whole, nor did I intend anything negative toward you.

So because there is no explicit negative connotation inherent to the word "delusion", if you felt negative in response to my using the word, that's due to your own beliefs about me and/or associations with the word.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  If you're cool with that, marvelous. If you have some issue with that, then the conversation ends with the period at the end of this sentence.

If by "that" you only mean your preference that I not call you deluded, I am cool with that, but I hope you wouldn't mind being called deluded if you actually were deluded. By that I only mean I hope you are willing to question your own beliefs and self perceptions, even down to the most fundamental ones. But I have that hope for everybody, including myself, so please don't take that negatively.

If by "that" you also imply a preference that I not insult you, then I am again cool with that, which I think is evident in my last posts' response to Truly. But if by "that" you imply a preference for me to know what words will affect you in certain ways and avoid certain ones, then I am not cool with that, because that's an egocentric preference I want no part in pandering to.

But regardless of whether I'm cool or uncool with "that", I'm overall at this time completely cool with what I can perceive of you, and I don't expect that will change, because I prioritize practicing forgiveness, tolerance, and (perhaps most critical) humility.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  You didn't actually answer the question. So I'll try with something more obvious.
If I take your lungs away, do you not have to have lungs in the first place?

I didn't directly answer the question, because I took it as rhetorical and considered the answer a given. I'm sorry for assuming you didn't care about an answer.

So yes, I believe we have to have something before somebody can take it away from us, and at no time did I believe or imply otherwise. I'm going to go back to an earlier stage of the "if they can be taken away" argument where I think I could have made my perspective much more clear.

(24-03-2013 10:30 AM)Ghost Wrote:  If I can be smothered to death, why assume the ability to breathe?

"Smothered to death" conveys life supported by the ability to breathe coming to an end through the act of diminishing the ability to breathe. We therefore can assume the ability to breathe if you can be smothered to death, because that ability is a given in the concept of "smothered to death".

But what givens have you provided us? You provided us with the claim we have "inherent rights", and you provided us with the claim our "inherent rights" are completely removed by the system before being partially returned. So the argument I was trying to make was specifically as follows.

If you can lose a right, why assume it's inherent? If it's not inherent, why assume we're born with it just because we have it later in life? Just as the ability to breathe being present now is not logical reason to conclude somebody was born with the ability to breathe, observing people exercising a right is not logical reason to conclude they were born with that right.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  In response to what you wrote, yes, the ability to exercise our rights and freedoms is inherent to our entire existence. In short, we are born with the ability to behave.

More than once I have explicitly stated that I agree we are born with the ability to behave, as you put it, though I put it into different words each time I stated it. I have never disagreed we are born with that ability, and if you thought I did, then I misstated my perspective or you misinterpreted my words.

But I have disagreed this whole time with what has appeared to me as your conflation of that ability with what you call our "full rights". I'll give a specific example to show why I think you're conflating the two. Please have patience with me as I try to keep this from being confusing (mostly to myself. haha):


If we have the ability to throw a ball, but no ball exists, we can not throw a ball.
If we have the right to throw a ball and the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball, but no ball exists, we can not throw a ball, and thus can not exercise our right to throw a ball.
You said the ability to exercise our rights and freedoms is inherent to our entire existence.
If the ability to exercise our rights and freedoms is inherent to our entire existence, we have the inherent ability to exercise the right to throw a ball.
If we have the inherent ability to exercise the right to throw a ball, we have the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball even if no ball exists.
If we have the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball even if no ball exists, then that ability can't require throwing a ball.
If the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball doesn't require throwing a ball, then it only requires the ability to throw a ball.
If the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball only requires the ability to throw a ball, then exercising the right to throw a ball equals exercising the ability to throw a ball.
If exercising the right to throw a ball equals exercising the ability to throw a ball, then the right to throw a ball equals the ability to throw a ball.


So what I have been getting at this whole time (though not as specifically) is if the "right" to throw a ball equals the ability to throw a ball, why call it a "right" and act like it's something in addition to itself? Why observe our inherent ability and cite that as basis we have "inherent rights"? We aren't born with the ability to throw a ball, so if our ability to behave is why we have the inherent right to throw a ball, I think you need to define what is a "right" as you mentioned in our "full rights" before I can understand you.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Rights, like power, like flight, are meaningless unless exercised.

If rights are "meaningless" unless exercised, then rights have "meaning" when exercised, so the "meaning" of rights is just their being exercised. Is that indeed all you meant "meaningless" to mean?

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Rights, power and flight are THERE, but they are meaningless unless exercised.

Flight is only where it's exercised, because flight doesn't exist unless it's occurring. "Flight" is an abstraction of objects moving in certain relative ways. If flight stops occurring, flight will no longer exist, and will therefore not be anywhere, though potential for its future existence will exist if the abstracted objects still exist with potential to move in those certain relative ways. All this holds for "power" if you aren't referring to "power" in the context of physics.

Rights, like flight and power, exist wherever they exist whenever they exist and only wherever and whenever they exist, so if by "THERE" you mean they just exist, then I'm again going to need you to define just what a "right" is, because you haven't made that clear.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  One of the things that I was addressing was idiotic notions (not your own) like "If I have the right to do anything, why can't I fly into the Sun or break the speed of light?"

Yeah, I definitely am not of a position anything like what's found in that question. I acknowledge that us having the legal right to do something doesn't imply we have the ability to do it, and I would extend that to any other type of right if I believed any other type existed.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Yes. If I so choose, I am free to take life. That is irrefutable and independent of moral judgement.
That is a freedom, however, that I give up if I want to enjoy the benefits of living in society; unless I'm a soldier or a police officer in certain situations.

It appears to me you missed what I was getting at in the section this quote responded to, because by these statements you didn't address the point I was making.

You had said we're born with them (full rights), and we're told we have them (full rights), so I pointed out I don't think anybody tells us we have the right to murder anybody, which is part of them (full rights), so if the illusion is that we're told we have something we don't, I think you're generalizing by saying "We're born with them, we're told we have them".

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  What I said was, the proletariat (if you will) has to fight to have rights added to the list while the elites fight to remove them.

I knew you said this, I understood it, and I didn't disagree with it, but I didn't think it was a comprehensive description of our system, so I said I thought you were generalizing.

The proletariat also fights to remove rights the elite have and impose restrictions on the elite. The system itself isn't inherently for or against either, but when it must consider the two against each other, the system has to go one way or the other due to how it's structured, so any bias the system has results from prior decisions made by the people executing it and/or bias found in the people currently executing it.

Do you disagree with that? If so, why?

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  When you speak about OUR system, to which system do you refer?

I've been referring to the United States government. Because that's what first came up in this thread, and because I for some reason was under the impression that's where you're also from, I assumed that was what you were talking about, too. I apologize if my assumption was wrong.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  The system we have in Canada and the US is one in which a number of rights have been added to the system. [...]
Are these things guaranteed to be there forever? No. They are simply what we enjoy... today... and for only a small fraction of the life of civilisation, and in only a fraction of the existing civilisations on Earth.
Remove them from the list, and poof, they are gone.
These things can be reversed quite easily and the fact that they are currently of benefit to us is an ANOMALY.

Compare the bold points above to what I said below in my last post:

(27-03-2013 04:43 AM)fat cat Wrote:  the legal system [...] on a case-by-case basis decides to protect some behavior by designating it a right

All the while rights and restrictions are proposed, considered, adopted, repealed, etc.

Then consider what you followed those bold points with:

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Anyhoo, I know what it is you're trying to say. I just disagree.

And understand I'm not trying to provoke you when I ask: what did you think I was trying to say?

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  the fact that they are currently of benefit to us is an ANOMALY.

What makes it an anomaly? I would say comparison of our rights to those found in past systems and past instances of our own system make it an anomaly. You can call it an anomaly, but that doesn't define the system's concept. Instead anomaly only subjectively characterizes the current state of its variables.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I have never said anything remotely similar and if this is what you think, then I question if you understand the point I am making.

I did not assume that was your point, which is why I prefaced it with "If".

I actually thought the proposal prior to that was more in line with my perception of your perspective, but I wanted to include that last "if" to show you why I want us to avoid calling things "rights" if they're not legal rights.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Not only did I not suggest that they are fixed, I explicitly said that they are contingent upon the culture of your particular human system. Culture evolves. So do your obligations.

I did not say or imply you suggested our societal obligations are fixed.

I said, "I think their [societal obligations'] connection to things we can/can't do ["rights and freedoms"] isn't as fixed as your words make them out to be."

I was vaguely suggesting it's possible for a society to exist without societal obligations, which was something I didn't think you had ever suggested, and something I wondered if you had even considered when you assumed I have societal obligations. I thought you might have been under the impression societal obligations are a given in the concept of a society.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Think what you will. The evidence is clear. The conclusions are verified.

I was only giving my interpretation of the evidence and conclusions as you stated them. My point was that the claim and evidence are both vague. If we have vague claims upheld by vague evidence, we have a vague understanding, so I say let's get more specific. That's one way human understanding and communication evolve, of course. So my rhetorical question now is: why rest on the vague?

If you're not interested, you're not interested, but I would have appreciated you stating how you disagree with me rather than just telling me to think what I will. The latter just seems carelessly dismissive to me.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Sophistry.

How did my writing constitute "sophistry"? For you to say that and not explain is something I personally would feel very rude doing. I can respect you taking that approach, but I want you to know I very much dislike it, because it seems antagonistically dismissive to me.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  The theories are clear. Humans develop the ability to view others as individuals in early childhood development.

Yes, maybe the theories are clear. I don't remember if I've read what you refer to, so I don't know. But my point is that if the theories are worded only as in that second statement in the above quote, then they are not worded clearly.

I say that, because the word "individual" only inherently refers to something that is distinct from everything else, so "the ability to view others as individuals" doesn't explicitly convey an ability to "empathize" if "empathize" equals perceiving somebody's thoughts, feelings, wishes, morals, ethics, preferences, potential, etc, because if "empathizing" refers to projecting states of consciousness on an individual like that, then a person can perceive someone as an individual and still not empathize - though, of course, not according to certain definitions of "individual".

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Other humans are NOT things. They are individuals.

Please interpret the following statement explicitly/objectively.

Individuals are things.

If you believe that statement can not be explicitly true, I request you reference a dictionary for the various definitions of "thing" and "individual". If you think I've been implying more than that explicit statement, you are wrong.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  To view the Other as a thing is to strip it of it's individuality and, as a result, it's humanity.


Okay, "view as a thing" equals "strip of individuality". I understand you were saying that, and I understood you were saying that before I first chimed in on the matter. I would just like humanity to find a more specific way of describing that concept for a few reasons. One, as I've already pointed out, we can develop attachments to things. Two, all our perception is of things (both actual and abstract). Three, saying someone "strips" a person of "individuality" implies that "individuality" is an objective aspect of that person, but it's a matter of perception of the person's objective aspects.

"View as a thing" equals "strip of individuality" because that's what Buber or whoever wrote, but they're just words. We can change the description to make the concept more specific to the actuall process they're supposed to describe. And we can change the description to make the concept stand out more from other usage of the same words. That's what I would like to see happen.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  A rock has no humanity. Neither does a human viewed as a thing.

And why is it that rocks have no humanity? Because rocks are not humans is why. Both rocks and humans are, however, things.

Of course, rocks have no humanity for other reasons by certain definitions of humanity, such as "the quality of being humane". And of course, humans are not things by certain definitions of things. I have not been thinking according to such definitions, though, and if you find that troublesome and/or stupid, perhaps you can see why I say let's get more specific with our descriptions.

For example, if we teach our children that they lack empathy when they treat others like a thing, but they recognize that even in punching a person they aren't treating that person like they would treat a rock and thus think themselves empathizing, might we want to be more specific? Yes, such confusion can't occur if the children know Buber's definition of "like a thing", but does every child want to read Buber's work? And for that matter, do all the adults reading your posts want to read Buber's work? Might our teachings be more effective if the "earworms" they contain are more than vague statements which need clarifying via relatively esoteric book to make much sense?

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I can smash a rock with a sledgehammer and not feel ANY REMOURSE whatsoever. I cannot do that to a person. But if that person is a thing, I have as much remourse for it as I do for a rock.

That person is a thing, but you have more remorse for it than for other things, such as rocks...and maybe even other people. But sometimes (often, I'd guess) people develop remorse for inanimate things and even pure abstractions. If "psychopaths" have a "disorder" because they have no remorse for people, that would imply people who empathize with inanimate objects also have a "disorder".

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Think what you will, you won't find a textbook anywhere that disagrees.

I take that as a patronizing comment. Did you intend it as such?

Either way, don't you think "truth" is independent of who or what expresses it? I encourage you to consider beyond what text books have to say, and even consider what unlearned folks have to say.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  To answer your question, I already have answered it.

I asked the question, because I thought your already-given answer to it was inaccurate, and I wanted to lead into why I thought so. I wasn't actually expecting an answer from you, though I would have also appreciated an answer more specific than the one I questioned. Sorry if that was confusing.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  On what do we base their value? ON OURSELVES. It's simple logic.

By calling it "simple" logic, were you commenting on my ability to comprehend your words? In short, were you patronizing me?

I ask, because I thought I made it clear that I understood your already-given answer to my question of what we base others' value on:

(27-03-2013 04:43 AM)fat cat Wrote:  People often assume things along the lines of the statement about being stabbed. When people base their beliefs about others on evidence in themselves, they overlook that whole idea of individuality. People's "empathy" often leads them to make assumptions for which they have no direct evidence about other people.

My implied point was that I don't think the recognition of ourself in others is a comprehensive description of "empathy", and that if it is, we can do "better". I'll explain.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  IF I am an individual and have hopes and desires and don't want to be hurt or killed and IF you are also an individual THEN you must have hopes and desires and not want to be hurt or killed.

This is an example of logic failing to give us an accurate understanding of our world, because you being an individual with hopes and desires who doesn't want to be hurt or killed is entirely independent of every other individual. What's true of you is true even if you come across an individual who wants to die and is open to being killed, but because you base your "empathy" on them being the same as you, you assume they must not want to die (provided you follow the logic you stated).

So to me, the "ultimate expression of empathy", is the act of perceiving somebody as themselves independent of our self perceptions (including recognizing there are things about them we just can't know), and treating them positively regardless of what we think or feel of them.

And I really don't think you entirely disagree with that. You said "equality is the ultimate expression of empathy", and then gave the example of someone being Bangladeshi unlike yourself, but still your equal. That example involves you recognizing how you're the same as and different from(equal and unequal) that person, rather than only assuming that person is like you.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  No.
They cannot.
That is WHY IT'S A DISORDER.
If they could, they'd be normal, not suffering from a disorder.

I said anybody "can choose to treat anybody any way", as in choose to hug, speak with, hit, kill, dance with, look at, smile to, etc. You've defined "psychopath" as one who is incapable of perceiving the individuality of another, and I say that even if they don't perceive the individuality of another, they can still choose to treat that other in any way that the "laws of physics" allows/forces them to choose.

"Normal" is a subjective characterization. You could have just said "they wouldn't have a disorder", because that's all one can explicitly conclude "normal" means in what you wrote. If people with disorders can only treat others in certain ways, is anyone keeping track of all the behavior that distinguishes "normal" people from those with a disorder?

Whether somebody is "normal" or has a disorder, that somebody is still just a person. Every person has what we call "free will", and that leads to unique behavior in every single one of us, though we can categorize all behavior with our concepts. Objectively, there is no such thing as "normal", so our predictions based on the idea of a "normal" person are fallacious.

(27-03-2013 04:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Anyhoo, I really don't want to debate the empathy issue further. Not because I can't, but because it holds no interest to me. In the same way that debating evolution is of no interest to me. If you choose not to accept it, that's your prerogative. But the facts are clear.

I never said I didn't accept "it". This has been more about building on "it".

"Evolution" is both fact and theory, so I don't know if that's the most effective example to support your claim that the facts are clear. But I have no qualms with you not continuing the discussion.


Thanks again for your patience. Cheers!
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31-03-2013, 09:59 AM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Hey, fat.

Like I said, there will be no discussion on the matter.

Quote:"Smothered to death" conveys life supported by the ability to breathe coming to an end through the act of diminishing the ability to breathe. We therefore can assume the ability to breathe if you can be smothered to death, because that ability is a given in the concept of "smothered to death".

But what givens have you provided us? You provided us with the claim we have "inherent rights", and you provided us with the claim our "inherent rights" are completely removed by the system before being partially returned. So the argument I was trying to make was specifically as follows.

If you can lose a right, why assume it's inherent? If it's not inherent, why assume we're born with it just because we have it later in life? Just as the ability to breathe being present now is not logical reason to conclude somebody was born with the ability to breathe, observing people exercising a right is not logical reason to conclude they were born with that right.

That's contradictory nonsense.

We are born with the ability to behave. Do you care to refute that fact? THAT is the given. I have already provided it.

You open by saying that yes, to take away there must be something present. Then you contradict that by saying it's illogical to assume that breathing doesn't mean the person was born able to breathe. That's just nonsensical.

My ability to behave is inherent. Unless you care to refute that.

Quote:If we have the ability to throw a ball, but no ball exists, we can not throw a ball.
If we have the right to throw a ball and the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball, but no ball exists, we can not throw a ball, and thus can not exercise our right to throw a ball.
You said the ability to exercise our rights and freedoms is inherent to our entire existence.
If the ability to exercise our rights and freedoms is inherent to our entire existence, we have the inherent ability to exercise the right to throw a ball.
If we have the inherent ability to exercise the right to throw a ball, we have the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball even if no ball exists.
If we have the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball even if no ball exists, then that ability can't require throwing a ball.
If the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball doesn't require throwing a ball, then it only requires the ability to throw a ball.
If the ability to exercise the right to throw a ball only requires the ability to throw a ball, then exercising the right to throw a ball equals exercising the ability to throw a ball.
If exercising the right to throw a ball equals exercising the ability to throw a ball, then the right to throw a ball equals the ability to throw a ball.


So what I have been getting at this whole time (though not as specifically) is if the "right" to throw a ball equals the ability to throw a ball, why call it a "right" and act like it's something in addition to itself? Why observe our inherent ability and cite that as basis we have "inherent rights"? We aren't born with the ability to throw a ball, so if our ability to behave is why we have the inherent right to throw a ball, I think you need to define what is a "right" as you mentioned in our "full rights" before I can understand you.

I already answered this. Rights and freedoms are meaningless unless we can exercise them.

I also said that our rights end at the limits of the possible. I neither have the right nor freedom to catapult myself to Alpha Centauri because it's impossible. If there is no ball, then that's beyond the limits of the possible.

Quote:You had said we're born with them (full rights), and we're told we have them (full rights), so I pointed out I don't think anybody tells us we have the right to murder anybody, which is part of them (full rights), so if the illusion is that we're told we have something we don't, I think you're generalizing by saying "We're born with them, we're told we have them".

Your post is full of strawmen.

I have said multiple times that restrictions are an inherent part of social living. We all accept restrictions. I said that explicitly in the quote you quoted. I have never said that we are told we have the right to do absolutely anything we want or to do the impossible.

Quote:The proletariat also fights to remove rights the elite have and impose restrictions on the elite. The system itself isn't inherently for or against either, but when it must consider the two against each other, the system has to go one way or the other due to how it's structured, so any bias the system has results from prior decisions made by the people executing it and/or bias found in the people currently executing it.

Do you disagree with that? If so, why?

I have no idea what you're talking about.

It sounds like you're paraphrasing things I have already said. But there's something about the frame that isn't sitting well.

Quote:What makes it an anomaly?

The degree of freedom we enjoy here is not just anomalous historically, but it is anomalous in comparison to the rest of the world today.

Quote:I was vaguely suggesting it's possible for a society to exist without societal obligations...

No, it is not possible.

Quote:My point was that the claim and evidence are both vague.

No. They are not. There are comprehensive studies with reams of data. One of the biggest studies was conducted by the armed forces of the United States. The way that training is structured today is based on those findings. There is nothing vague.

Quote:Yes, maybe the theories are clear. I don't remember if I've read what you refer to, so I don't know. But my point is that if the theories are worded only as in that second statement in the above quote, then they are not worded clearly.

I say that, because the word "individual" only inherently refers to something that is distinct from everything else, so "the ability to view others as individuals" doesn't explicitly convey an ability to "empathize" if "empathize" equals perceiving somebody's thoughts, feelings, wishes, morals, ethics, preferences, potential, etc, because if "empathizing" refers to projecting states of consciousness on an individual like that, then a person can perceive someone as an individual and still not empathize - though, of course, not according to certain definitions of "individual".

My argument is not invalidated because I didn't reprint an entire chapter of a textbook. This is a conversation and I'm speaking in broad strokes. I already suggested that you can find all of this in any textbook. I don't even have to direct you to any one book in particular because I know with 100% certainty that they all agree in the same way that I know with 100% certainty that all math books will agree that 2+2=4.

Quote:Please interpret the following statement explicitly/objectively.

Individuals are things.

If you believe that statement can not be explicitly true, I request you reference a dictionary for the various definitions of "thing" and "individual". If you think I've been implying more than that explicit statement, you are wrong.

You cannot win an argument by decontextualising things.

The word thing can be used, strictly speaking, to describe anything with mass. A planet is a thing. A sun is a thing. My penis is a thing. Urine is a thing. A human being is a thing.

But NOBODY uses that term in that way in this context. Nobody.

An individual is not a synonym for a human organism. The idea of individuality is far more complex and, to understand it, requires a very specific, measured and documented development in the human brain. It is an ability that we KNOW humans develop, we know when and we know which other organisms CANNOT do this.

Individuality ELEVATES both the self and the Other from an object with mass to a higher level of complexity. The self can recognise itself as an individual and recognise the Other as an individual. Individuals can empathise with other individuals, not with things. The only way we can empathise with things is if we anthropormorphise them.





The psychopathy DISORDER is an INABILITY to regognise the individuality of the Other, meaning that they simply view them as an object with mass. No different than a rock or a glass of water. This allows them to treat them as they wish, without remourse.

The ability to artificially strip the Other of their individuality is well documented; both in terms of the various processes involved and in the ramafications of those processes.

So if you're just having a conversation about "things with mass" by all means, use thing to your hearts content. But if we're having a conversation about individuality, humanity, empathy, psychopathy, the Other and dehumanisation, then it has a very specific meaning.

Quote:That person is a thing, but you have more remorse for it than for other things, such as rocks...

You are attempting to rewrite an established and well-proven theory. You cannot do that any more than a creationist can rewrite evolution. The theory stands on it's evidence.

Quote:Yes, such confusion can't occur if the children know Buber's definition of "like a thing", but does every child want to read Buber's work?

Buber's work is not a suggestion. It is an observation. He said, "I investigated and this is how it works." People do not have to read his work for the process to unfold as he described any more than someone has to read Newton in order to fall off a cliff.

Quote: By calling it "simple" logic, were you commenting on my ability to comprehend your words? In short, were you patronizing me?

No.

Ghost Wrote:On what do we base their value? ON OURSELVES. It's simple logic. IF I am an individual and have hopes and desires and don't want to be hurt or killed and IF you are also an individual THEN you must have hopes and desires and not want to be hurt or killed.

When you re-contextualise my quote, it's clear that I followed that statement with an IF/THEN statement; IF/THEN statements being the simple logic I referred to.

Quote:This is an example of logic failing to give us an accurate understanding of our world, because you being an individual with hopes and desires who doesn't want to be hurt or killed is entirely independent of every other individual. What's true of you is true even if you come across an individual who wants to die and is open to being killed, but because you base your "empathy" on them being the same as you, you assume they must not want to die (provided you follow the logic you stated).

So to me, the "ultimate expression of empathy", is the act of perceiving somebody as themselves independent of our self perceptions (including recognizing there are things about them we just can't know), and treating them positively regardless of what we think or feel of them.

OK. I'm done discussing this empathy issue with you.

You are trying to convince me that your opinion is equal to demonstrated truths. It is not. You can have whatever opinion you want and I'm more than willing to recognise that those are your beliefs, but you don't have a shred of evidence to back up your claims and all the the evidence that we do have points to a much different process than you describe.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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31-03-2013, 01:49 PM
RE: Are Humans Equal?
Coming late to the discussion, a few observations about defining one's terms, Thomas Jefferson style.

1) About the Declaration of Independence -- "Nature and Nature's God" -- The appeal is to "nature" so even atheists can play.

2) "Natural rights" == rights you have just because you are human. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But not say the right to vote, because that depends on some organized polity being in existence.

A debatable premise certainly, but so far I'm just trying to pin down what was meant.

3) "Self evident" != obvious. Rather more like self-existent or axiomatic. This could be a matter of faith or a philosophical position. Jefferson was possibly being deliberately ambiguous here.

4) And finally "All men are created equal". We have to face that there was either some mental reservation about this, if not outright hypocrisy. But that said, let's pin down what was meant.

It didn't mean equally smart, or strong, or moral. It also didn't apply to the right to vote (even only considering white men) because of the property requirements.

So what did it mean?

It only makes sense in the context of natural rights. Equally endowed by (creator, nature) with unalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

When Lincoln explicitly stated that equality included "the negro" it was in this sense and not the sense of entitled to an equal share of power. This is seen in the debates with Douglas when Lincoln was explicitly questioned about it.

Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is a very important science.
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