Resolving conflicting loyalties
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15-02-2013, 04:22 AM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
(14-02-2013 09:24 PM)nach_in Wrote:  But then you're asking something that goes far beyond than just hierarchies of tribes, you're asking how can we distinguish good from evil.
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The two go hand in hand. Without knowing good from evil, in the context of tribe loyalties, we do not have a compass by which conflicts can be resolved.

Quote:It's not as simple as having a couple of rules I'm afraid Sad
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I wasn't talking about rules -- they are only guidelines, helping us to sort out our loyalties in case of conflict.
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15-02-2013, 05:58 AM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
(14-02-2013 09:16 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(14-02-2013 09:00 PM)nach_in Wrote:  so you're saying that a lion eating a zebra is immoral because it's dishonouring its loyalty to life? or it only applies to humans? and if it does, why?
Lions don't have a choice.

We do.

See my poem: "Wild Dogs" on the "Predation" thread at: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ign?page=3 Post#26. Smile
If the number of Zebras is finite, and if Zebras are the only food, and if lions multiply like rats and soon will populate every corner of the world, then the lions are destined for extinction because they ate all the Zebras.
However, lions are not cognizant of this, and hence they cannot prevent extinction.
Humans on the other hand are fully cognizant of what overpopulation means, and they have to create other means of sustenance to support the ever growing number of individuals.
My prediction is that, barring the end of the world in some fashion, the human race will eventually reduce its numbers drastically with badly produced food stuffs and the depletion of resources.
I am glad I was born into this era, I still have the opportunity to eat real food and enjoy all the flavors without any fear of slowly being poisoned. If I stay away from processed foods, that is.
When you introduce new ingredients and packaging into the food supply, you do not know the long term effects on physical evolution. Other factors figure in, such as pollution. Such as skin cancer caused merely from being in the sun. Cancers are proven to be caused by food packaging, heart disease from chemical ingredients, purposely added or not.
What will eventually cause chaos is not the difference between rich and poor, it is the food supply.

Rich and poor have existed for eons, and it hasn't held the proliferation of human life back at all. In an evolutionary sense, the human race is thriving and growing exponentially by the day.
With your support of "life" you are looking at the wrong things to fix.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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15-02-2013, 06:36 AM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
Random fact: While draft dodgers were fleeing to Canada, there were Canadians doing just the opposite: Coming to the U.S. to join the military, hoping to go to Vietnam to get some action. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but it seems to be roughly 1 for 1. Many of them then stayed and became citizens.

And now a random question: Without getting all religulous, what is the basis for defining war as something not inherent to typical human behavior?

I personally love being in the military. It feels more natural to me than anything modern civilian life has to offer ever will. But I'm probably part of that 2% defined in books like "On Killing" by Dave Grossman as having been born with a predisposition to seek out conflict, a fairly significant portion of society that is, again, difficult to simply label as wrong or immoral without getting religulous.

But to answer the question, I don't necessarily rank my loyalties. Taking care of my family is high on the list, but a large portion of that involves providing a paycheck and doing what I can to make sure I don't get depressed and start hating life in the process, which a typical job would likely cause me to do, so the way I see it my loyalty to my unit goes hand in hand with my loyalty to my family.

'Murican Canadian
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15-02-2013, 12:35 PM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
(14-02-2013 06:03 PM)Zat Wrote:  ...
Conflict between your own interests and the needs of the family, job, church, state, country, humanity?

I guess it would be interesting to know, why you feel the need to make the question revolve around loyalties, and fixing the conflicts, when the loyalties, in themselves, are the problem? It's good to pose questions, as part of going through situational, ethical, hypothetical, scenarios, but you seem to be making hypothetical scenarios so that they are toward loyalties, while excluding the ability to say that the actually loyalties are bullshit.

I'll just write it again: The loyalties are bullshit.

They are just coming as byproducts of the evolutionary process. The process we went through to evolve, or successfully survive, have left natural tendencies. People then try to rationalize these tendencies, but ultimately, most of the loyalties formed, though people might accept them as if they were morally binding truths of the natural world, are based on fundamentally flawed reasoning and are irrational. It's just pure egoism, a lot of the time.

You do form relationships, or just have certain innate relationships, however, that become important. We do live in a world that feels closer together, with all of our mass communication technologies, but it's not. You can just become better connected to more people and farther away, but you still have a father, mother, siblings, wife, kids, classmates, co-workers, etc., that all make up a range of people that, due to daily interactions, by that default, will become extremely important, and have the most relevance to your live, and that is mutual toward their lives. That, however, doesn't make a loyalty, especially in an ethical sense, that puts those people, in any order, at a higher importance than others. It's just convenience of location, interactions and immediate dependance, that makes them more relevant to you personally.

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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15-02-2013, 12:38 PM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
We only should only only act out of a moral duty--if you want to call that loyalty fine-- the moral part has already been solved.

There aren't really even that many different ethical/moral theories, unless you want to count every asshole with an idea. If you weed out all of the bullshit, there are only really three: Utilitarianism, Kantianism and Social Contract.

Pick Kantianism if you actually want an answer to right and wrong, good and bad, descriptions about rationality and moral duty; and if you want a practical guideline, which can, possibly, also, be available in Kant's views, but for a different way to look at things: Pick Utilitarianism for a way at looking at a goal and ethical purpose toward an end, and Social Contract for another way at looking at the reasons behind establishing laws and/or following moral guidelines.

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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15-02-2013, 12:46 PM (This post was last modified: 15-02-2013 01:46 PM by Zat.)
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
(15-02-2013 12:35 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  I guess it would be interesting to know, why you feel the need to make the question revolve around loyalties,...
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OK, forget the word 'loyalty'.

How about 'obligation' instead?

Like owing something for services rendered?

I guess, there are two fundamentally different attitudes to take (and both are taken by billions on the planet.)

Attitude #1: I will take from the world whatever I can get and return to the world the absolute minimum I must

Attitude #2: If I accept help from the world, I owe the helper and must return the favor when it is needed.

(And of course the whole range between the two extremes).

If I depend on a group for my survival, then the interest of the group is my interest as well.

If my group depends for the group's survival on a larger group it is part of, then the interest of the larger group is also the interest of the smaller one.

Finally, we all depend on this planet for our survival, so the interest of the planet is also our interest.

I hope this helps to clarify what I had in mind (I may have used too many words to state my case, but I really wanted to make sure that I would not be misunderstood).

PS. The examples I brought up are real 'conflicts' real people faced in real situations. There are many, many more examples of that kind. This thread was trying to sketch out some guidelines we could use to resolve conflicts of this kind.
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15-02-2013, 07:16 PM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
Well, then it would still be the same.

You only have what is moral and what is immoral and an obligation to behave a certain way in order to be moral; however, you don't have an obligation to actually be moral. You don't have an obligation to anyone or anything. If someone gives you something, or does something for you, there isn't an obligation to reciprocate, and we should not look at things like we actually should do so anyway. You want to look at it like behaving morally out of moral obligation and duty to yourself and society.

The natural societal structure, that I explained as being the cause for most irrational loyalties, is what it is, which I also already described. You still have a family, and a responsibility to them, but that is a result of nature and convenience off of that. It's just a lot easier, as a species, to take care of what is closer and immediately relevant to us. Having a partner, having children together, living together, being a part of a community, etc., is just natural, and it works; but, and a big but, that does not give you a bigger obligation to them, or some sort of bigger loyalty to them, in an ethical sense. Immediate responsibility and relevance are probably better terms to use.

It's just easier for you to take care of yourself and your family. It's the same concept of decentralization that works in governmental systems. You want to have a network of nations (e.g. UN), a network of states (e.g. EU, USA), then likely a network of counties, with cities, communities, families, and individuals, working collectively together toward common goals, but decentralized for convenience, stabilization, communication and specialization. If that is a hierarchy, similar to what you are looking for, then there you go. It's just irrational and destructive to society, to think as having some sort of larger moral obligation and loyalty to groups closer to you, over other groups. The dilemmas should always be solved by rationality, toward what is morally, rationally, right and wrong, and not resolved in terms of a hierarchical system of loyalties or obligations to certain phenomenal (for lack of a better term) things or people.

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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15-02-2013, 07:34 PM (This post was last modified: 15-02-2013 08:02 PM by Zat.)
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
That's a very interesting theory.

I would like to see you apply it to the concrete examples I mentioned earlier.

The people in the examples had a real situation, with a real conflict in their minds that they had to solve one real way or another.

Philosophy aside, we all know what I was talking about, so there is no need to repeat any of it.

My first two posts on page 3 of the thread still make perfect sense to me and you have not said anything yet that would change my mind. Smile
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15-02-2013, 07:39 PM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
(14-02-2013 09:07 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(14-02-2013 08:58 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Only when the other needs have been mostly met can we discuss what is moral and good.
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That would be an improvement for the world:

1./ define what your absolute minimum real needs are (survival, health, safety for you and your family) without which you can't exist (not including the Rolex and the country club membership)

2./ Then, consider your moral obligations to the rest of the hierarchy you belong to.

Unfortunately, most people never get to point 2./ and do not exclude the Rolex, etc., from 1./


You make a very good point, everybody is going to set the bar differently and the safety/survival level can vary immensely in each person's psyche.

Outside influence from family, friends and peers can help direct individuals to set minimum needs and from there make the jump of thinking what is good for society.

"The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Mark Twain in Eruption
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15-02-2013, 10:10 PM
RE: Resolving conflicting loyalties
(15-02-2013 07:34 PM)Zat Wrote:  That's a very interesting theory.

I would like to see you apply it to the concrete examples I mentioned earlier.

The people in the examples had a real situation, with a real conflict in their minds that they had to solve one real way or another.

Philosophy aside, we all know what I was talking about, so there is no need to repeat any of it.

My first two posts on page 3 of the thread still make perfect sense to me and you have not said anything yet that would change my mind. Smile

For the war example: War in general, consists of things that are immoral, with the only argument being that behaving immorally is justified, as result of the immoral actions of others, which is basically justice in general. If the war was a war of choice (how I hear some describe it), or you just disagree with the war, and you don't want to commit immoral actions because the president is a dumbass, then you just don't go, and whatever that requires of you, it requires. You do what is moral, simply.

For the example of work: It would only be immoral if you were doing something, knowingly and purposefully, with the intention, or reasonable belief, that it would result in the harm of others. That would be a hypothetical where you were dumping waste in water, as an example, that you knew people drink or use, which is usually protected by most laws, I'd assume. In that case, you would just, not do it, if you personally were asked to do it, or if it was someone else part of the company, just speak up/out against it or not. If that got you fired, fuck it. In any other type of situation, it would be just you doing your job. Like if the company was doing something that you thought, could potentially have dangerous effects in the near or distant future, but might not currently be known and/or regulated. You would just be honest about what you believed, and why, and if that got you fired, fuck it.

I didn't read all the way through those posts on page three, but my first post about the Plato dialog applies: If a situation arises, requiring a moral decision, forget the loyalty, what is right or wrong takes it. If you father murders someone, your relationship with or feelings toward your father don't matter. I think in the story it is manslaughter, and it was used more toward Socrates being able to use irony, to bring about conversation on ethics, but kind of does make a small point about doing what is moral.

If in any situation, you just want to bypass what is moral, to do what is in your interest or the interests of what you care about, because it makes you happy or comfortable, etc., that's fine. Psychological egoism/hedonism, ethical egoism. It's the same type of irrational ideas of basing things off of consequentialism and assuming you can accuratly pick out the results.

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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