Poll: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
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26-02-2016, 02:40 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(26-02-2016 02:34 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 12:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  Only if you think in absolute terms. A workable society balances individual rights with societal needs.

I'm going to respond to all of your points separately because I only have small snatches of time to post.

When it comes to principles, yes I do think in terms of absolutes. That's what a principle is, an absolute which doesn't allow any concessions to its antithesis. I'm not interested in having a workable society. I want a proper society, one that holds individual rights as an absolute. **by rights I mean principles which identify and define the proper actions of man in a social setting**. In any compromise on principle, what you end up with is a slow slide to eventually a total capitulation to its opposite. That is what we see throughout history, and it is always the good which gives ground, never the bad. In my own country, United States, for all of my life we have been moving steadily away from individualism towards collectivism. The pace has only gotten faster, especially in the last 20 years. We never move towards individualism and away from collectivism. Always toward further erosion of rights of the individual in favor of rights of some nebulous group. Society is nothing more than a collection of individuals. The "state" or the "people" or some other group is an abstraction. Placing the standard of the good with the collective relegates the individual to the status of a sacrificial animal. There's no way around this. A mixture of freedom and controls, individualism and socialism, can not last. It will always move in the direction of more and more controls and more and more socialism.

I don't think there can be such a thing as a conflict of interests among people who hold individual rights as an absolute and do not desire the unearned. But under any amount of socialism, such conflict is guaranteed. It divides people into two camps: the sacrificers and the acrificees, the eaters and the eaten, the producers and the takers. That's exactly what religious ethics do, divide people into the chosen and the damned, the faithful and the infidel. That's exactly what Nazism did, divide people into the Aryan and the non-Aryan. That's what communism did, divide the people into the proletariat and bourgeois. All these species of collectivism have the same basic principle in common: that man has no right to live for his own sake, that he exists to live for the sake of others, whether it be a god, some abstract notion such as "the people" or "the motherland" or the "proletariat" or the environment.

It never leads to a peaceful, workable society, only one on its way to disaster and destruction. Compromise on basic principles always does. History shows this. We've never yet had a society totally dedicated to individual rights without compromise. We've never seen a society based solely on the ethics of rational self interest. We've never seen a society which practiced full, laissez faire capitalism, but we've come close in United States and a few other places and we see the results. We've never seen a society which was fully collectivist but we've come close, in North Korea and we see the results.

Too simplistic by far. Ideals are fine, but they are not realizable. All actions will be less than the ideal.

Are an individual's rights unbounded?
If not, what are the limitations?
Why those particular limitations?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-02-2016, 01:38 AM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(26-02-2016 02:40 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 02:34 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I'm going to respond to all of your points separately because I only have small snatches of time to post.

When it comes to principles, yes I do think in terms of absolutes. That's what a principle is, an absolute which doesn't allow any concessions to its antithesis. I'm not interested in having a workable society. I want a proper society, one that holds individual rights as an absolute. **by rights I mean principles which identify and define the proper actions of man in a social setting**. In any compromise on principle, what you end up with is a slow slide to eventually a total capitulation to its opposite. That is what we see throughout history, and it is always the good which gives ground, never the bad. In my own country, United States, for all of my life we have been moving steadily away from individualism towards collectivism. The pace has only gotten faster, especially in the last 20 years. We never move towards individualism and away from collectivism. Always toward further erosion of rights of the individual in favor of rights of some nebulous group. Society is nothing more than a collection of individuals. The "state" or the "people" or some other group is an abstraction. Placing the standard of the good with the collective relegates the individual to the status of a sacrificial animal. There's no way around this. A mixture of freedom and controls, individualism and socialism, can not last. It will always move in the direction of more and more controls and more and more socialism.

I don't think there can be such a thing as a conflict of interests among people who hold individual rights as an absolute and do not desire the unearned. But under any amount of socialism, such conflict is guaranteed. It divides people into two camps: the sacrificers and the acrificees, the eaters and the eaten, the producers and the takers. That's exactly what religious ethics do, divide people into the chosen and the damned, the faithful and the infidel. That's exactly what Nazism did, divide people into the Aryan and the non-Aryan. That's what communism did, divide the people into the proletariat and bourgeois. All these species of collectivism have the same basic principle in common: that man has no right to live for his own sake, that he exists to live for the sake of others, whether it be a god, some abstract notion such as "the people" or "the motherland" or the "proletariat" or the environment.

It never leads to a peaceful, workable society, only one on its way to disaster and destruction. Compromise on basic principles always does. History shows this. We've never yet had a society totally dedicated to individual rights without compromise. We've never seen a society based solely on the ethics of rational self interest. We've never seen a society which practiced full, laissez faire capitalism, but we've come close in United States and a few other places and we see the results. We've never seen a society which was fully collectivist but we've come close, in North Korea and we see the results.

Too simplistic by far. Ideals are fine, but they are not realizable. All actions will be less than the ideal.

Are an individual's rights unbounded?
If not, what are the limitations?
Why those particular limitations?

laughing. Fundamental principles are simple, Chas. What I think you mean is that it is too black and white. It's too absolute and their are no absolutes, right? That's what we've been told all of our lives since we were wee lads and lasses. Well whether you are alive or dead is an absolute. Whether your life belongs to you or not is an absolute and whether the things you produce belong to you or not is an absolute. You want to be a socialist go be a socialist. You want to sacrifice some of your rights for the good of the collective, go right ahead. You want to live for the sake of others, I won't try to stop you. You see, I believe that individual rights are an absolute. Your life belongs to you and you can do anything you want to with your life. Just leave me out. Don't come to me and say look at what a mess the world is and cry that man is incapable of doing right. It's your moral code of greyness that is destroying it.

Are rights unbounded? Of course not!

What are they limited by? The principle that every man is the owner of his life, his mind, his property. That every man has the same rights and they aren't to be compromised, ever.

Why those particular limitation? Because those are the limitations required by man's nature as man in order to live and prosper.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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28-02-2016, 01:46 AM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2016 02:08 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(26-02-2016 12:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 11:40 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  One is based on the principle that man has a right to live for his own sake and the other is based on the premise that man has a duty do live for the sake of others.

Again, only in the simplest of terms. An individual's rights are limited by others' rights.
Yes, I agree totally.

(26-02-2016 12:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  And social ethics are simply based on empathy.

Yes they are based on feelings. That's been the problem. They should be based on reason.

(26-02-2016 12:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 11:40 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  It is this very mixed ethics which is destroying America and the West right now. It's destroying the world. I want no part of it.

That seems quite a stretch. Consider

Does it? Why? Don't you think that most everything that happens among men is the result of the basic ideas that they hold.

(26-02-2016 12:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 11:40 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Objectivism holds that man has the right to live for his own sake. This however is not at all incompatible with compassion or caring for others.

Then Objectivism sucks.

I see. Do you think that the Declaration of Independence sucks then, because that is the basic premise which informs it? That's what United States was founded on, that each man owns his own life and that governments are there to protect each man's right to his life, his liberty and the pursuit of his own happiness. That's Objectivism right there. Perhaps it is too simplistic. Perhaps it is too black and white. I don't think it is. I think it is the greatest document ever written in the history of the world. It's a shame that the founders didn't have a proper moral code to go along with these splendid political ideas.

If you think Objectivism sucks then you think that the Idea that there is a reality sucks, and you think that reason sucks, and you think that the abolition of force in Human affairs sucks, and you think that because unlike other philosophies, Objectivism is completely integrated. You deny one part of it you deny the whole thing, its metaphysics its epistemology, its ethics, its politics all cohere.

(26-02-2016 12:00 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 11:40 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  There is no inconsistency in the Objectivist ethics unlike the Secular Human ethics. I saw other areas of incompatibility such as its endorsemente of Democracy but I don't have the time to go into them. But the one glaring contradiction I've already pointed out is enough reason to reject Secular Humanism.

No, it is an excellent reason to reject Objectivism. Drinking Beverage

I see, you prefer a self contradictory ethics.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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28-02-2016, 07:39 AM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(28-02-2016 01:38 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(26-02-2016 02:40 PM)Chas Wrote:  Too simplistic by far. Ideals are fine, but they are not realizable. All actions will be less than the ideal.

Are an individual's rights unbounded?
If not, what are the limitations?
Why those particular limitations?

laughing. Fundamental principles are simple, Chas. What I think you mean is that it is too black and white. It's too absolute and their are no absolutes, right?

Your statements are too black and white, too simply stated. I did not say there are no absolutes, I said that individual rights are not unlimited, and that ideals not not realizable. If they were realizable, they would be goals, not ideals.

Quote:That's what we've been told all of our lives since we were wee lads and lasses. Well whether you are alive or dead is an absolute. Whether your life belongs to you or not is an absolute and whether the things you produce belong to you or not is an absolute.

Well, then, it is a good thing I never said that.

Quote:You want to be a socialist go be a socialist.

Again, too simplistic.

Quote:You want to sacrifice some of your rights for the good of the collective, go right ahead.

We all do, every day. All rights are limited by the interaction with others' rights.

Quote:You want to live for the sake of others, I won't try to stop you.

Well, then, it is a good thing I never said that one should.

Quote:You see, I believe that individual rights are an absolute.

Only as ideals, not in actual practice.

Quote:Your life belongs to you and you can do anything you want to with your life.

Not when the 'anything' negatively affects others.

Quote:Just leave me out. Don't come to me and say look at what a mess the world is and cry that man is incapable of doing right.

Where did that come from?

Quote:It's your moral code of greyness that is destroying it.

My moral code is not grey. It is, however, not naively simplistic.

Quote:Are rights unbounded? Of course not!

What are they limited by? The principle that every man is the owner of his life, his mind, his property. That every man has the same rights

Yes.

Quote:and they aren't to be compromised, ever.

No - that is not possible.

Quote:Why those particular limitation? Because those are the limitations required by man's nature as man in order to live and prosper.

No, that limitation is required to live with other people, i.e. in a society.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-03-2016, 09:26 AM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2016 09:40 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(28-02-2016 07:39 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(28-02-2016 01:38 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  laughing. Fundamental principles are simple, Chas. What I think you mean is that it is too black and white. It's too absolute and their are no absolutes, right?

Your statements are too black and white, too simply stated. I did not say there are no absolutes, I said that individual rights are not unlimited, and that ideals not not realizable. If they were realizable, they would be goals, not ideals.

Sorry to be so long in responding. I'm extremely busy with work so I'll answer your point separately, as I find time.

Truth is black and white. I don't see what simplicity has to do with anything. Knowledge is hierarchical. All ideas, no matter how complex, can be reduced down through the hierarchy to a single, very simple idea. That idea is the idea that existence exists, otherwise known as the axiom of existence. All true propositions can be reduced to this simple proposition, call it A and all false propositions reduce ultimately to not A or a denial of the axiom of existence. That's all I've done here is to reduce the idea of socialism to its basic premises to check to see if they are true or not. If they are false then socialism is a false doctrine when it comes to how men should live together. Socialism reduces to not A. If socialism is based on a false premise, that man has no right to live for his own sake but must live for the sake of others, then I see no rational reason to base a government's policies or an ethical system on it. You seem to be saying, like the Christians, that man is incapable of acting properly, so why try. I'll be glad to show how socialism reduces ultimately to a denial of the axiom of existence if you're interested, but right now I have to get to work.

Incidentally, Christianity also reduces to not A so it's no wonder that it teaches the idea that man has no right to live for his own sake, which is why I'm also not a Christian.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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05-03-2016, 10:45 AM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(05-03-2016 09:26 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(28-02-2016 07:39 AM)Chas Wrote:  Your statements are too black and white, too simply stated. I did not say there are no absolutes, I said that individual rights are not unlimited, and that ideals not not realizable. If they were realizable, they would be goals, not ideals.

Sorry to be so long in responding. I'm extremely busy with work so I'll answer your point separately, as I find time.

Truth is black and white. I don't see what simplicity has to do with anything. Knowledge is hierarchical. All ideas, no matter how complex, can be reduced down through the hierarchy to a single, very simple idea. That idea is the idea that existence exists, otherwise known as the axiom of existence. All true propositions can be reduced to this simple proposition, call it A and all false propositions reduce ultimately to not A or a denial of the axiom of existence. That's all I've done here is to reduce the idea of socialism to its basic premises to check to see if they are true or not. If they are false then socialism is a false doctrine when it comes to how men should live together. Socialism reduces to not A. If socialism is based on a false premise, that man has no right to live for his own sake but must live for the sake of others, then I see no rational reason to base a government's policies or an ethical system on it. You seem to be saying, like the Christians, that man is incapable of acting properly, so why try. I'll be glad to show how socialism reduces ultimately to a denial of the axiom of existence if you're interested, but right now I have to get to work.

Incidentally, Christianity also reduces to not A so it's no wonder that it teaches the idea that man has no right to live for his own sake, which is why I'm also not a Christian.

If you want just black and white truth man has no right to live for his own sake... there is no principle or guiding that is dictating this that rings true. Your thoughts of individual rights being absolute is just as false.

It's all meaningless, but these ideas are just a desire for people to justify actions for themselves based on their evolutionary nature to keep going on.

To say man has the right to live for his own sake is no more/less a rational idea for ethics/governments.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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05-03-2016, 12:14 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(05-03-2016 10:45 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(05-03-2016 09:26 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Sorry to be so long in responding. I'm extremely busy with work so I'll answer your point separately, as I find time.

Truth is black and white. I don't see what simplicity has to do with anything. Knowledge is hierarchical. All ideas, no matter how complex, can be reduced down through the hierarchy to a single, very simple idea. That idea is the idea that existence exists, otherwise known as the axiom of existence. All true propositions can be reduced to this simple proposition, call it A and all false propositions reduce ultimately to not A or a denial of the axiom of existence. That's all I've done here is to reduce the idea of socialism to its basic premises to check to see if they are true or not. If they are false then socialism is a false doctrine when it comes to how men should live together. Socialism reduces to not A. If socialism is based on a false premise, that man has no right to live for his own sake but must live for the sake of others, then I see no rational reason to base a government's policies or an ethical system on it. You seem to be saying, like the Christians, that man is incapable of acting properly, so why try. I'll be glad to show how socialism reduces ultimately to a denial of the axiom of existence if you're interested, but right now I have to get to work.

Incidentally, Christianity also reduces to not A so it's no wonder that it teaches the idea that man has no right to live for his own sake, which is why I'm also not a Christian.

If you want just black and white truth man has no right to live for his own sake... there is no principle or guiding that is dictating this that rings true. Your thoughts of individual rights being absolute is just as false.

It's all meaningless, but these ideas are just a desire for people to justify actions for themselves based on their evolutionary nature to keep going on.

To say man has the right to live for his own sake is no more/less a rational idea for ethics/governments.

Hi Clydelee,

Thanks for chiming in. I definitely have some things to say in response to what you posted but I won't be able to do it until probably late tonight. So hang in there and I'll get back tonight when I can.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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05-03-2016, 12:22 PM
RE: Do you consider yourself a secular humanist?
(05-03-2016 10:45 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Your thoughts of individual rights being absolute is just as false.

I think there is one and only one absolute inalienable individual right. The right to off yourself. But even that can be taken away if you are incapacitated to the point where you are unable. I knew a guy who had a stroke and clearly did not want to be here anymore. His only recourse was to starve himself to death by refusing to be force fed. Someone's who's locked in wouldn't even be able to do that.

#sigh
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