Human Worth
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05-04-2012, 04:07 PM
RE: Human Worth
Your world revolves around you primarily....... we all have different views on life and the things contained within it..... some people are more open to challenge these views whilst some people defend them to the death...... so in that regards we are all bigots wether we like to admit it or not.

My bigoted view from my life and its experiences (its the only thing I can draw from) is that when we begin to try to step outside of the safety of our own views and attempt to use empathy to appreciate other peoples views we are then more open to learning and seeing things from a bigger picture.

I can appreciate a persons views but I dont have to agree with them..... however with some openess I may be able to find some common ground.

There is a scene in a film called "187" which stars Samuel L Jackson and it goes something like this.....

Samuel: "Your gangster views are bullshit, your way of life is bullshit, the things you do are bullshit"
Seyzar: (upset) "ITS ALL I KNOW"
Samuel: "oh..... so now YOUR the victim"

My bigoted view is that we are ALL victims of our beliefs...... looking at it from a wider angle there is allways caus and effect to what makes us...... us/unique..... we all walk different paths and they shape us into who we are.

When you can appreciate that and bring that into your life..... when you can try to walk a mile in someone elses shoes then I believe that you may shed some of your bigotry.

Right and wrong.......... Just human concepts in a universe that doesnt need to give us answers to why it could very easily wipe us out.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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06-04-2012, 06:40 AM
RE: Human Worth
Hey, Quisdane.

I don't make a habit of perusing or posting outside of the Atheism and Theism forum, but for obvious reasons, I shall partake (just don't be surprised if I don't notice that people have responded).

Decades of science points clearly and incontrovertibly to one thing. Human beings cannot kill other human beings UNLESS they dehumanise them in some way. Empathy for the other and recognition of their individuality and personhood develops in children by about age 7. We are then capable of this simple realisation: I am an individual; therefore, they are an individual; therefore, if I don't want to be hurt/maimed/killed then this other person must not want to be hurt/maimed/killed. The difference between viewing the other as a person or as a thing is explored in detail by Martin Buber. He calls the difference I and Thou vs I and It. Psychopathy is a mental disorder in which people are incapable of this and therefore have no remourse for killing others. Psychopathy also demontrates the power of dehumanising others. As I said, the science has spoken loud and clear, bigotry, murder, war and genocide are impossible without the dehumanisation of the other.

So when I see someone trying to make an end run around a statement like "everyone is a human first and foremost" I know that they're just trying to find some justification for their discrimination. "Yeah but X aren't REALLY human, BECAUSE..."

For me, the most important thing is this. The view that other groups are not human for whatever reason has cost, literally, and this cannot be downplayed at all, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THEIR LIVES in the last 100 years alone. I recently met the Armenian ambassador to Canada and he reminded me that in 1915, there were 2 million Armenians. 1.5 million of them were butchered. That genocide was pretty much the starter pistol shot for the genocides of the last 100 years.

The idea that people are less than human is likely the single most destructive idea that exists in the world today.

---Is this true?
Beyond doubt.


---Is all human life worth something?
Beyond doubt.

---Are some human lives worth nothing?
All human lives are worthy of the recognition of their humanity. We cannot be confused by the workings of our justice system. Our justice system is punitive and is an outgrowth of salvationist tradition. The idea is that some people are flawed. There's just something wrong with a murderer. So they need to be punished for what they did because clearly, everyone else is incapable of that act. Horseshit. But it sets up a mentality that some people are simply broken and not fully human. It's nonsense.


---Do all human beings have some intrinsic value, irrespective of their position?
All humans are humans. Period.


---If yes, does this apply to pedophiles?
Nobody views someone with tuberculosis as less than human, and yet somehow people with mental disorders are always to blame for their conditions. Pedophilia, schizophrenia, sociopathy, psychopathy: these are all mental health disorders. These people are ill. So why is it exactly that an illness robs someone of their humanity? It does not. It is lazyness of the highest order and an utter bastardisation of scientific understanding to say that the reason these people do these things is because they're not human. It is laughably and demonstrably false. It is also a dangerous idea that has lead to hundreds of years of stigmatisation and persecution. And why are they stigmatised and persecuted? Bcause they're not viewed as fully human.

---How about sociopaths?
See above.


---What about christians or muslims?
They are human beings. The suggestion is that their belief (the beliefs shared by billions of people) somehow MAKES them less than human. That is the dehumanisation mechanism at work. "Your quality, the one shared by the group we are associating you with (and since you're associated with this group then you MUST possess this quality regardless of who you are as a person), makes you less than human."
-Age
-Race
-Sex
-Gender
-Socio-economic class
-Religion
The list is extensive, but there is but a single mechanism at work.

---Is "religious bigotry" acceptable?
NO bigotry is acceptable.



---Is any form of bigotry acceptable?
NO bigotry is acceptable.



---Bigotry against ideas?
An idea is not a human being; therefore it is impossible to be bigoted towards an idea. Disapprove of all the ideas you want. As long as you don't use your hatred of an idea to lead you to the hatred of a group or of a person. This is the ad hominem logical fallacy. And it's a fine line. For someone who hates homosexuality, how easy is it to make the jump to hating homosexuals? But even the hatred of other ideas stems from a crooked worldview that believes there is only one right way to live. Cultures are relative. There is a huge difference between 'someone else's cultural practice differs from my own is vile' and 'someone else's cultural practice is different from my own'.

---Ideologies?
Bigotry is ideological. Discourse produces knowledge (not to be confused with fact). When that knowledge is viewed as the truth, further discourse is suspended and that knowledge becomes ideological. Ideology is inescapable. We are all always acted upon by and the agents of ideology. Blacks are inferior, cross the street if you see a black guy late at night, blacks are criminals, are all ideological positions. So we cannot, or at least should not, hate ideology because none of us can escape it. What we can do is deconstruct it so that we can return to discourse so that we can produce different knowledge. That being said, we need to know that when we try, we will encounter hegemony and that the ideology will attempt to reassert itself. So if you don't like something like Sharia Law, you'll get nowhere attacking the ideology. You'll only accomplish something if you begin a discourse. But hegemony will be your chief obstacle. This mechanism, hegemony, is frequently confused with obtuseness or blind devotion. We often give up when we encounter it and dub the person 'hopeless'. I'll just cut this one off here.

---The practitioners of those ideologies?
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. Nothing in the universe can rob a person of their humanity. We can only deny it. By denying the humanity of the practitioner of an ideology you disagree with, you create a condition in which this person can be harmed.

---When diversity meets political correctness, does it/can it lean toward the ridiculous?
I don't really understand what this sentence could mean, but I don't give a fuck about political correctness. Sometimes it is silly. But the silliness of a movement like political correctness does not take away from this simple mechanism: all humans have humanity and the denial of that humanity is the cause of suffering and death.


---In other words, can tall people be critical of what a short person thinks?

---Can a brown-eyed person be critical of what a blue-eyed person thinks?
There's nothing wrong with being critical of anything. Critical thinking is an invaluable skill. But there's a vast gulf between criticism and hatred.

---Are all human ideas sacred and therefore beyond criticism?
No one has said anything of the like (to the therefore conclusion). Diversity is of utmost importance. Darwin tells us this. Biological diversity and cultural diversity are essential to the health of any environment because of the principle of PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM. Environments (like the biosphere and the ethnosphere) enjoy periods of extended stability that are punctuated by periods of rapid change. The conditions that make species and cultures fit can change suddenly and too rapidly for them to adjust. If there is only one species or only one culture during one of these episodes and they are no longer fit as a result, the damage is catastrophic. Diversity also keeps gene pools and meme pools robust, deep and healthy. So yes, all human ideas are sacred in the same sense that all biological traits are sacred. Beaks are no less sacred than proboscises or mouths; they've all been selected for and are a part of the great tapestry that is the evolution of this planet. Are some ideas maladaptive? Yes. They are and they are therefore self-eliminating. Are ideas above criticism. Of course not.

---How about human feelings?
Feelings are the subjective experiencing of emotion. It's not-applicable.

So, to sum up, I cannot stress enough how important this is and how destructive this is. The stakes are too high and the evidence is too clear. So to answer the question, "They are human beings first and
foremost and deserve to be treated as such, regardless of how vile you
might think their position is," is absolutely true. This is not a debate. It is simply something that people need to be aware of.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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06-04-2012, 07:46 AM
RE: Human Worth
Wall o' text? Imma not gonna read it.

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06-04-2012, 07:50 AM
RE: Human Worth
(06-04-2012 07:46 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Wall o' text? Imma not gonna read it.
It holds an incredible amount of insight.... tis worth it (unless you were being sarcastic)

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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06-04-2012, 07:54 AM
RE: Human Worth
(06-04-2012 07:50 AM)bemore Wrote:  
(06-04-2012 07:46 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Wall o' text? Imma not gonna read it.
It holds an incredible amount of insight.... tis worth it (unless you were being sarcastic)

That's not the problem. It's Ghost's wall of text. That's the problem. Big Grin

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06-04-2012, 09:26 AM
RE: Human Worth
(05-04-2012 04:05 PM)Dom Wrote:  I think all life is worth something.
I am of the same opinion.

A man's greatest pitfall is none other than himself. For only he can dig himself a hole he cannot get out of.
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06-04-2012, 09:34 AM
RE: Human Worth
Thank you, Ghost for your eloquent post. It is important to remind people that if we are to advance as a society then we cannot claim, on one hand, to value life yet turn around and invent ways to dehumanize others just so we don't feel guilty or regret for the things we do to them...all in the name of "justice" of course.

Either everyone has "worth" or no one has. However, as the very word implies, "worth" is a value judgement placed on us by others in order to determine just how much we can be exploited by others so the next question that comes to my mind is..WHO determines ones worth? Who decides the monetary value of another?

When we say "worth" or "value" what exactly are we really saying? Are we just rehearsing these words because it sounds nice or because we wish it to be true? Do we really feel that someone has "worth" beyond the labor they can render?

What do we actually mean then by "worth"?

Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return.
To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.
That is Alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange.
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06-04-2012, 09:47 AM
RE: Human Worth
That's what I was hinting at in my original post.

No one can objectively decide someones worth.
I believe everyone has worth of some sort, but how do I personally decide what that worth is? Subjectively.

Here's the thing, I do believe that some people have less worth than others, but that it becomes entirely dependent upon the situation.

I mean if we were all on a deserted island with no food and we had to eat each other it would I'm sure start out with us deciding worth of one another. It would end with whoever is the strongest or most cunning surviving till the end, but it would start with worth.

But in normal society deciding someones worth is in itself a bigoted way of doing things as it is entirely subjective. It becomes your point of view, and what you find valuable. Then it devolves into the bad stuff that Ghost was talking about in his lengthy post.

I have to assume Ghost has severe tendinitis. Or maybe he uses a voice assistant program.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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06-04-2012, 11:06 AM
RE: Human Worth
(06-04-2012 07:54 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(06-04-2012 07:50 AM)bemore Wrote:  It holds an incredible amount of insight.... tis worth it (unless you were being sarcastic)

That's not the problem. It's Ghost's wall of text. That's the problem. Big Grin
The only thing I read was "without a doubt", and began to doubt that he had any clue wtf he was talking about.
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06-04-2012, 02:06 PM
RE: Human Worth
Apologies to those who hate long posts,
but one sure-fire way to never be accused of taking things out of context
is to use the ENTIRE context, haha.
Thumbsup
MY comments are in BLUE.


Human beings cannot kill other human beings UNLESS they dehumanise them in some way. Total bullshit. Guy runs over my 8-year-old in the street in front of my house because he's speeding through a residential neighborhood. As I'm choking him to death, I am well aware that this a full-fledged human being, complete with family, friends, and empathetic feelings, who chose his course of action and is now paying for it with his life. That's just ONE example.

Empathy for the other and recognition of their individuality and personhood develops in children by about age 7. We are then capable of this simple realisation: I am an individual; therefore, they are an individual; therefore, if I don't want to be hurt/maimed/killed then this other person must not want to be hurt/maimed/killed. The difference between viewing the other as a person or as a thing is explored in detail by Martin Buber. He calls the difference I and Thou vs I and It. While Martin Buber might make some valid points in Ich und Du (1923), a major theme is belief in god. All of our relationships, Buber contends, bring us ultimately into relationship with God, who is the "Eternal Thou". VERY HEAVY emphasis on God being the worldwide relation to all relations. I'm sorry, but I call bullshit. This is not a book which one gleans morality from. Why don't we start quoting the bible next? Jesus Christ. Psychopathy is a mental disorder in which people are incapable of this and therefore have no remourse for killing others. Psychopathy also demontrates the power of dehumanising others. (This underlined section is important and will be referred to later on.) As I said, the science has spoken loud and clear, bigotry, murder, war and genocide are impossible without the dehumanisation of the other.

So when I see someone trying to make an end run around a statement like "everyone is a human first and foremost" I know that they're just trying to find some justification for their discrimination. "Yeah but X aren't REALLY human, BECAUSE..."

For me, the most important thing is this. The view that other groups are not human for whatever reason has cost, literally, and this cannot be downplayed at all, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE THEIR LIVES in the last 100 years alone. I recently met the Armenian ambassador to Canada and he reminded me that in 1915, there were 2 million Armenians. 1.5 million of them were butchered. That genocide was pretty much the starter pistol shot for the genocides of the last 100 years.

The idea that people are less than human is likely the single most destructive idea that exists in the world today.
No, that would be climate-change denial.


---Is this true?

Beyond doubt.

---Is all human life worth something?
Beyond doubt.

---Are some human lives worth nothing?
All human lives are worthy of the recognition of their humanity. We cannot be confused by the workings of our justice system. Our justice system is punitive and is an outgrowth of salvationist tradition. The idea is that some people are flawed. There's just something wrong with a murderer. So they need to be punished for what they did because clearly, everyone else is incapable of that act. Horseshit. But it sets up a mentality that some people are simply broken and not fully human. It's nonsense. Bullshit. See the underlined section above.

---Do all human beings have some intrinsic value, irrespective of their position?
All humans are humans. Period.

---If yes, does this apply to pedophiles?
Nobody views someone with tuberculosis as less than human, and yet somehow people with mental disorders are always to blame for their conditions. Pedophilia, schizophrenia, sociopathy, psychopathy: these are all mental health disorders. These people are ill. I would disagree with the notion that a sociopath is ill. So why is it exactly that an illness robs someone of their humanity? It does not. Bullshit. See the underlined section above. It is lazyness of the highest order and an utter bastardisation of scientific understanding to say that the reason these people do these things is because they're not human. Bullshit. See the underlined section above. It is laughably and demonstrably false. Bullshit. See the underlined section above. It is also a dangerous idea that has lead to hundreds of years of stigmatisation and persecution. And why are they stigmatised and persecuted? Bcause they're not viewed as fully human.

---How about sociopaths?
See above. Bullshit. See the underlined section above.

---What about christians or muslims?
They are human beings. The suggestion is that their belief (the beliefs shared by billions of people) somehow MAKES them less than human. That is the dehumanisation mechanism at work. "Your quality, the one shared by the group we are associating you with (and since you're associated with this group then you MUST possess this quality regardless of who you are as a person), makes you less than human."
My mother, the most liberal woman on earth, used to say, "You are who you surround yourself with."
I think there's truth in that statement.
Her meaning was If you hang out with assholes and idiots, what does that make you?

Only distantly and comically related to your point, but it seemed like as good a time as any to share.

-Age
-Race
-Sex
-Gender
-Socio-economic class
-Religion
The list is extensive, but there is but a single mechanism at work.

---Is "religious bigotry" acceptable?
NO bigotry is acceptable.

---Is any form of bigotry acceptable?
NO bigotry is acceptable.

---Bigotry against ideas?
An idea is not a human being; therefore it is impossible to be bigoted towards an idea. Disapprove of all the ideas you want. As long as you don't use your hatred of an idea to lead you to the hatred of a group or of a person. This is the ad hominem logical fallacy. And it's a fine line. For someone who hates homosexuality, how easy is it to make the jump to hating homosexuals? Say what? Homosexuality is not an IDEA. You have revealed yourself, sir. But even the hatred of other ideas stems from a crooked worldview that believes there is only one right way to live. Cultures are relative. There is a huge difference between 'someone else's cultural practice differs from my own is vile' and 'someone else's cultural practice is different from my own'.

---Ideologies?
Bigotry is ideological. Discourse produces knowledge (not to be confused with fact). When that knowledge is viewed as the truth, further discourse is suspended and that knowledge becomes ideological. Ideology is inescapable. We are all always acted upon by and the agents of ideology. Blacks are inferior, cross the street if you see a black guy late at night, blacks are criminals, are all ideological positions. So we cannot, or at least should not, hate ideology because none of us can escape it. What we can do is deconstruct it so that we can return to discourse so that we can produce different knowledge. That being said, we need to know that when we try, we will encounter hegemony and that the ideology will attempt to reassert itself. So if you don't like something like Sharia Law, you'll get nowhere attacking the ideology. You'll only accomplish something if you begin a discourse. But hegemony will be your chief obstacle. This mechanism, hegemony, is frequently confused with obtuseness or blind devotion. We often give up when we encounter it and dub the person 'hopeless'. I'll just cut this one off here.

---The practitioners of those ideologies?
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. Nothing in the universe can rob a person of their humanity. Bullshit. See the underlined section above. We can only deny it. By denying the humanity of the practitioner of an ideology you disagree with, you create a condition in which this person can be harmed.

---When diversity meets political correctness, does it/can it lean toward the ridiculous?
I don't really understand what this sentence could mean, but I don't give a fuck about political correctness. Sometimes it is silly. But the silliness of a movement like political correctness does not take away from this simple mechanism: all humans have humanity Bullshit. See the underlined section above. and the denial of that humanity is the cause of suffering and death.

---In other words, can tall people be critical of what a short person thinks?

---Can a brown-eyed person be critical of what a blue-eyed person thinks?
There's nothing wrong with being critical of anything. Critical thinking is an invaluable skill. But there's a vast gulf between criticism and hatred.

---Are all human ideas sacred and therefore beyond criticism?
No one has said anything of the like (to the therefore conclusion). No one claimed anyone said anything of the like. It was merely a follow-up question. Diversity is of utmost importance. Darwin tells us this. Biological diversity and cultural diversity are essential to the health of any environment because of the principle of PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIUM. Environments (like the biosphere and the ethnosphere) enjoy periods of extended stability that are punctuated by periods of rapid change. The conditions that make species and cultures fit can change suddenly and too rapidly for them to adjust. If there is only one species or only one culture during one of these episodes and they are no longer fit as a result, the damage is catastrophic. Diversity also keeps gene pools and meme pools robust, deep and healthy. So yes, all human ideas are sacred in the same sense that all biological traits are sacred. Beaks are no less sacred than proboscises or mouths; they've all been selected for and are a part of the great tapestry that is the evolution of this planet. Are some ideas maladaptive? Yes. They are and they are therefore self-eliminating. ...or capable of eliminating self. The idea of nuclear weapons and mutually-assured destruction comes to mind. Are ideas above criticism. Of course not.

---How about human feelings?
Feelings are the subjective experiencing of emotion. It's not-applicable.
REALLY? Feelings are not applicable to human worth? Again: Bullshit. See the underlined section above.


So, to sum up, I cannot stress enough how important this is and how destructive this is. The stakes are too high and the evidence is too clear. So to answer the question, "They are human beings first and foremost and deserve to be treated as such, regardless of how vile you might think their position is," is absolutely true. This is not a debate. It is simply something that people need to be aware of.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I simply do not agree that ALL human life is sacred or of some value.
For instance, I cannot see any value in the life of a serial-rapist, or sociopath, or pedophile, or any combination thereof.
They harm innocent people. They harm society. They cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be cured.
I certainly don't think precious resources should be wasted keeping these creatures alive.
What would be the point of that? Even if their crimes were something they couldn't help because of mental illness,
recessive gene, etc., my response would be "That's unfortunate. You still have to die."
The life of a human monster has no worth. If one of these THINGS brought harm to your child,
I would bet you'd be singing a different tune. There'd be no more of this "all human life is sacred" business.
Perhaps the distinction that needs to be made here is in the definition of humanity.
In other words, there is a marked difference between humanity = compassion vs. humanity = DNA.
Just a thought.
Big Grin (I was given the advice that if I end these things with a smiley face...)

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