Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,477
(Continued from previous post)


I think we have established that.
I dont. I am still given the impression that you would place others before yourself. The concept of saving 1000 people for your own life would be an example. Or that you would die to make however many people happy. This is altruisitic type thinking. I misunderstood as pertains to the overall approach to the messageboard, but I still think that I havent messed up when assessing what seems to be your worldview.
I think you may be wrong.

Perhaps. No, what about destruction of that which has been built?
What has been built is not progress. What has been built has been built. Progress moves forward. It revolves around progress of ideas. You cant blow up ideas. There are only two avenues to progress, on the level of what Richard Dawkins would call mems, or ideas, and on the level of individual progress that a person makes in their lives. Progress has nothing to do with structures that are already here. Its not like the knowledge went away. The knowledge that is contained in how to create a building is still here. New knowledge is progress on an individual level, innovative thinking is progress on a national level. It has nothing to do with structures.
Linguistics again. I think your use of “progress” is atypical. According to it, there could be no progress, because as soon as something is accomplished it cannot be considered progress, if I am understanding you correctly.

They learn how to act on it, and usually learn from others.
Yes they do. Other individuals. Groups are given no credit.
Linguistics.

Can’t agree, for reasons given.
I dont see how. Describe for me how it is that a group creates progress. Groups enact but they are not causes.
Linguistics.

Maybe it was a kind of studying. But I understand. And the dialogue has been helpful to me, also. Maybe with further dialogue you will come to appreciate how I view people in general. Or maybe you will show me how I am in error. The worms will be interesting. Good luck on your studies. (The exams, I mean.) BTW, what are you studying?
Officially I'm going to school for nursing. Unofficially I am studying politics, neurology, dreams, and woman. I have by far the least amount of hope in understanding the woman.
Hmm. You’ve noticed that too? And what is really puzzling is that they don’t understand men.
I would like to try and get at specifically what makes me uncomfortable about the REUPE.
Yes! I think that would be helpful.

We are speaking of spheres of influence. The world species is used. I dont think that anyone can do anything to promote the survival of the species except perhaps make discoveries and provide innovations.
Okay.
I see no reason to promote the suvival of the species because like I said the species is doomed and so is everything else ultimately.
I would like to prevent the early death of our species, that is, to do whatever I can to help.
We have no way of knowing how our new innovations will be used by the majority of people and the species will either survive or it wont. Take the atom bomb. There is nothing wrong with the atom bomb as a piece of techology. When dropped on peoples heads it really sucks.
Humanian.
No technology is bad in and of itself, but it can be used in awful ways.
Humanian.
So really even progress does not promote the suvival of the species. We are not capable of promoting the survival of the species. The species is doomed to someday expire.
By promoting the survival of the species I mean keeping it alive as long as possible.
Then it says we want to take away as much PSDED as possible for everyone. How could we do anything for everyone?
What this part is referring to is that we do not want to benefit some people at the expense of causing suffering of others.
Like I said how do my actions today effect someone in California, and no matter what I did how could I get my actions to have any desired effect on someone over in China?
This is covered by the concept of the “sphere of influence.”
Then it says now and in the future. There is no rational reason for me to care about people in the future.
Our founding fathers were trying to help those to come in the future.
When I'm dead everything will be their problem. I have to fix current problems and hopefully that will fix the future anyway.
Yes, but some judgment should be made regarding the implications for the future, I believe, as a Humanian.
When looked at this REUPE phrase uses the broadest of all possible words that have absolutely no ability to be applied. We cant effect the species or everyone in any forseeable way. Then theres JCA. I cant cause another person to be joyous, they have to decide or find a way to be joyous. Its out of my hands. That also goes for contentment and appreciation. That is an individual choice to be those things. You could deside yourself to project those emotions out to others, but you cant make others be that way yourself. I understand that you used the word promote of course, but who is promoting the opposite of these things. Who is going around and promoting depression, discontent, and rudeness?
Criminals and suicide bombers, for example.
Arent we all already walking around and promoting what makes us happiest?
Lord no! Watch the news.
According to Martin Seligman, the current leader of the psychological association and founder of positive psychology there are three main ways for a person to achieve happiness. One is through pleasure, which is of course decided on by the individual. Another is through entering the flow state, again this is decided by the individual. The third is by having great meaning in your life, which is about finding the ethical system which works for you, which is again on the head of the individual. On you tube Martin Seligman made an excellent point on one of his speeches. He said that in all the years of psychology that he had been practicing in that therapy could only bring a person up to zero. It could not cause happiness but only take away neurosis. It could aid in preventing problems causing depression, but it couldnt really make a person thrive but only to arrive at a normal neutral level.
Okay, so a Humanian would feel good about that.
After doing research in what makes people happy the three things he found were all things that a person has to find for themselves in their lives.
Humanians should, according to the REUEP, take care of themselves and use good physical and mental hygiene.
As far as PSDED goes, how do you promote that?
Embezzlement, stealing, rape, murder, unhealthy eating, etc., etc. Many ways. Wouldn’t it be great if we stopped?

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,478
(Continued from previous post)

How do you overall stop people from having pain (and once again who is it thats promoting pain), how do you stop suffering (and who isnt who wouldnt want to stop suffering other then serial killers and terrorists), disabilities just happen, and early death is again something that is the responsibility of a person because it is due to the lifestyle that they opt to partake in.
If you get killed by a drunk driver, that is your responsibility?
Your health is due to how healthy you decide to be. So I dont quite understand what is trying to be achieved here. I dont see anyway of promoting these types of things and I dont understand w…[cut off, too many characters]
Heard of second-hand smoke?

fighting against them. There isnt a person alive who doesnt want to promote the survival of the species. Even suicide bombers arent trying to take away the survival of the species, but only the survival of certain people. The species is just the human animal. I think that we disagree on the sphere of influence a person has and on where it stops.
I think we probably agree, but that it appears to you that we don’t. Part of the problem is linguistic, I think, i.e., how we are using words.
I think that the only real thing in this world that you can control ultimately is your own body.
My body can put a bullet in someone else’s.
Its the source of all property and its the end of your certainy as pertains to a sphere of influence, at least as pertains to human beings and other living things, because they have free will.
Who talked of certainty? I certainly have not. Life is always a matter of playing the odds.
Even on the inside of our bodies we dont control or have a sphere of influence as pertains to our own bodily processes. We decide things for ourself such as bodily death (provided we arent murdered or killed off by disease), or contentment joy and appreciation. If you were to simply advocate that we should project these emotions out to the world, then yes I would agree that that is probably best (at least as pertains to most circumstances) I dont understand what you mean by promote, I dont understand how it is who is not promoting these things, and I dont understand how you plan on enacting actions which will benefit the species. These are my concerns with the concept and this is what bothers me. When you present an idea like we should promote the species, I think that that is completely unattainable and even if it were it would be a waste of a precious life to try.
The REUEP is an ethical principle that applies to individuals and groups. It is what I should do, what you should do, what we should do, and what they should do. It is a principle with which to legitimate lower level ethical principles, such as “I should not steal” or “you should not steal.” But remember that such ethical rules of conduct are just guidelines, and in a particular case following that rule might actually be inconsistent with the REUEP. The ideas are complex, but not real complex, and are understandable. I hope that you will continue to try to understand. And thank you very much for this dialogue. I hope it will be of help also to others.
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 55
*You mean by 4 years of 4 times a week lying on the couch and free associating while having your unconscious defenses interpreted by a psychoanalyst? Or by praying and being transformed? Or by ingesting certain prescribed substances? Or by joining a twelve-step program? Or by snapping your fingers?
By whatever means neccessary depending on the context. By "whatever works". Works meaning whatever gives the sought after outcome wished for by the person acting.
*I think that is half of the truth.
This is vague. Which half? People make decision to act, decisions concerning a persons action cannot be made outside of their body, unless force is used.
*Yes, I see now that we are indeed dealing with the “free will vs. determinism” problem, an extremely important philosophical problem. I could give you my solution, but it would take too long here, and it is not complete.
Yes, that is the problem, but it shouldnt be a problem. We have free will, we are not slaves to our influences.
*Temperament and non-human-produced sickness.
Temperament is about the individual. Any sickness is as well, once you have a sickness it becomes a part of your identity.
*We need each other.
Why? Based off of what evidence. I'll concede that children need people, with adults things change. Alexander Selkirk survived four years on his own on a desert island with no one. He took some things with him to get by, and I'm sure you would argue that society gave him those things, but he was not living 'in society". The unabomber was not residing "in society", and Henry David Thoreau didnt have to have his mother wash his clothes. Are we honestly going to argue that with all he accomplished in self sefficiency that he really had to have his mother wash his clothes?
*That knowledge comes from others.
Of course it does. What I said verbatim was "They are not the result of influences." Who they become is not dependent on the upbringing or knowledge that they were given during childhood. During childhood people really are the products of society to a large degree because they dont critically think for themselves. The RESULT of who a full fledged adult person is is due to what THEY THEMSELVES do with any knowledge that they have. When we are children we are given knowledge in our environment. When we are adults were free to seek knowledge on our own. Society does not give this knowledge, it is given by other individuals.
*To some extent. And he will make use of knowledge made attainable by others (teachers, authors, scientists, etc.).
To some extent? What does that mean? He is able to select the types of knowledge that he would like to study and focus on. Childhood knowledge is not really an issue because as a critical thinker he could use it or abandon it.
*partly.
\I mean the outcome of who he is, provided that there are a few limitations on him set by genetics and some disability sometimes from birth and sometimes not.
*If they have been shown how to be critical thinkers.
NO!! Not if they have been shown to be critical thinkers. That simply is not true. A person could be a critical thinker without ever having to be shown how. Another person could be shown all the critical thinking skills in the world and then opt not to use them. It depends on what they themselves decide. You personally have the option to either think about things or to drift. Man is not a computer which follows a program set witihin it. Critical thinking is innate. If it were not we would never have anything.
*Don’t know what “owes” means in this context.
That supposed to be covered by "innitiative" "free will" and "volition". All these words overlap and shouldnt be that hard to understand. What does it mean to own something. It means that you decide the usage of the product. You are your own product. You decide how your body will be used.
*I don’t agree, though I do know that we never have complete answers.
I know you dont. You have no counterevidence however, and neither has psychiatry provided any solid evidence either. If you relegate people down to nothing but influences you can mold them into how you feel they ought to be. Psychiatry has been doing that type of thing for many many years, but the really convenient thing about being able to say that people are the results of influences is that there is absolutely no way that that assertion can be invalidated. Since no one could ever possibly be able to disprove it, it leaves the advocate of it free to make up any theory he wants and stand behind without having to worry about counterevidence. Freud loved ascribing behavior to the influences of childhood and supressed drives. With no evidence forthcoming whatsoever. Its the game of I'll pick my favorite disorder and revolve whatever I want to believe around it.
*Depends on what “powerful” means.
Capable of deciding outcomes and molding their environment to their wishes.
*But still with great difficulty.
True.
-You think that the laws which apply to child rearing should be applicable to governmental law. Isnt that what you stated?-
*No.
*What I am talking about is that to understand correctly what we as a species need in the area of government, for example, is intertwined with what we as a species need in the area of child rearing.
You wrote that on page seven of this discussion.
*We will have to become a species that does not punish its children before not punishing adults will work. We need to be a whole different way.
Children who are not punished for anything do whatever they want. Children are taught punishment because they do not have critical thinking. They dont understand that there are consequences for actions yet. They cant yet critically see that their actions often effect others around them. That is why they need punishment. I shudder to think how children would behave if no one ever punished their children in any way. It would be a monstrous inconvenience to everyone around. That means that if a child screams in public you just let it scream? That you just try to convence a mind with not judgement that it should be quiet? What about the idea that you believe that critical thinking is learned? If it is only learned how do you convince a child who wont be quiet that he should if he has no innate critical thinking skills outside of whats learned? What if he hasnt been taught to think critically yet? You let the child break anything it wants to break? If the child doesnt do what you tell it to you just let it have its way? You cant send him to his room, that would be punishment. You cant hit him, because that you be punishment. You cant yell, that would be punishment and abuse. So you just let the child have his way? You allow him to just follow through on whatever his emotions and whims decide?
*Please clarify what you mean by “responsible for.” I am thinking you mean “punishable.”
Praise or punishment. To what are we able to ascribe to him? What can he be given credit for? What can he proudly or shamefully be able to say, "I did that"? What in your eyes is a person able to be given credit for? What actions are done because an individual decided to do them? What are they responsible for? What can he engage in whereby you could say about that person "that was done solely because he decided on his own to do it and he is burdened or rewarded the results of his actions." How specific can I get?
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 56
I really want you to specify an instance whereby you think an action taken by an individual is completely done because the individual decided to do it without any outside influence leading him to do it. Is that scenario possible in your eyes and in what case would it happen in?
*Yes, but what brings about that change?
They do. They decide to change. It MUST be them who decides to change. No one can reach inside another person in any occasion whatever and make them change. The decision rests with them alone.
*That is a mistaken idea of what they said. They believed in psychotherapy, to bring about change.
I dont believe that it is mistaken in the least. Everything to Freud, Jung, and Skinner based off of what I have read was centered on the idea that an individual was the result of their childhoods or their environment. Skinner was especially famous for thinking that way. Believing that a person was a series of influences and that you could change those influences by counteracting them with new influences. There is nothing in that which contradicts buy only validates what I am saying about them. They didnt think that a person decided their own actions, but that all their actions were decided by either society, their upbringing, or their subconcious. No one had any responsibility in their eyes.
-How do we define defective in this instance? Who exactly is this we?-
*The bad guys.
Are we going to get this vague? Defective is more specific of a word then bad. Bad as in how? By whos standards? Who is this enemy exactly? How can you ask me to be specific about words like "responsible", "owes", "owns" and "end" and then replace the word defective with bad?
* All of those that help to bring about punishment.
Alright, what is your definition of punishment? As far as I'm concerned people arent the main culprits of punishment. To my mind life as it is brings about more punishment in and of itself then people could ever dream of. Punishment is a condition of existence. When I make poor decisions I am punished with awful outcomes. When I dont study for a test I make bad grades. When I drink I'm punished with a headach. If I have unprotected and promiscuous sex I could be punished with an STD. Punishment is a condition of just being alive. Without punishement there is no learning, no "critical thinking", for bad behavior. If someone tries to steal my wallet and I hurt him in defense, was that not punishment for an unjust action? Self defense is a form of punishment for actions against your freedom. If people didnt suffer punishment at all they would do whatever made them feel good regardless of how it effected anyone. So there would be no punishment for serial killers and rapists? We dont lock up violent criminals? Or in your mind are people criminals in the first place because they were raised with punishment? In your mind if we got rid of punishment would everyone get what they wanted and the world turn into a free for all? I need some specifics on these ideas because they dont seem very logical to me.
*In this case, bad.
Very very very vague.
*Try convincing victims and their families that a perpetrator should not be punished, because the perpetrator had changed.
Try proving that a perpetraitor had changed. But this statement evades the question. The question that I asked was who is seeking revenge against whom exactly and is the revenge a subconcious need. This statement is a circumvention away from my originial question.
*So they did not become completely independent of others.
No but they could have. People are self sufficient. A man needs his basics for survival. He doesnt need more then that, if he can provide himself with them he can be self sufficient. He would be stupid for wanting to not take advantage of technology, but the point is that he doesnt have to.
*When he needed food?
He grew his own.
*An illusion.
A fact.
*Okay, but that environment is one created by other people.
No the environment simply exists. Individuals mold the environment to their wishes. A persons environment when changed by individuals is the result of the actions of individuals.
*The point was that you can’t have a single thing, or do a single thing other than the very trivial, without others having done their part.
You can survive, and survival is never a trivial thing. A persons ability to survive on their own is far less trivial then a helpless urbanite playing with the latest toys. Nothing is less able to be called trivial then survival.
*No one, if I understand “ascribe” correctly.
You said the word others. That I would learn from others. You took the emphasis off of the action and placed it onto other people.
*Do you mean “punishable” or do you mean “influential”?
Here we go again. I feel that you are circumventing and avoiding the responsibility issue. You dont want anyone to be responsible for their actions but you instead want determinism to reign supreme. Everytime I use the word responsibel you try and replace it with some other word. Responsible: Being a primary cause or agent of some event or action; capable of being credited for something, or of being held liable for something. That is what I mean. I dont mean punishable. I dont mean influential. I dont mean any other word. I mean the word RESPONSIBLE.
*They play a great part, usually.
Only if I myself allow them to.
*And the point I am trying to make is that every individual is embedded in an influential web or matrix of individuals that all have effects on each other, obvious and subtle. And those effects are both good and bad.
I am talking about responsibility and free will. This statement doesnt get around to saying anything.
*”On his own” I suspect implies that you are taking the “free will” stand with regard to the “free will vs. determinism” problem. I think each of those “positions” is a model that is useful under some circumstances. If a person believes that people should be punished, he or she is likely to espouse the “free will” model. If a person wishes to understand human behavior and why we do certain things, the “determinism” model works better. But this does raise the issue as to whether punishment is a good thing. Almost everyone believes it is; almost everyone except me, that is.
Free will isnt a position taken because its useful under some circumstance. Either we have it or we dont. Either we are shaped by our society, subconcious, childhood or were not. THe truth of the mattter isnt something that is pick and choose. I do however think that determinism is very "useful" for gaining control over others and taking away responsibilities and its really cute how it cant be disproven. Everyone espousing it has something to gain. The person stating it on one end is able to get control over molding someone else into what they think they should be, and the person on the other end is completely alleviated of any responsibility for their actions.
*Society exerts much control over behavior. This is through formal means, such as “laws,” or informal means, such as “non-verbal communication,” persuasion, threat, etc.
Society doesnt do not one of these things. Laws are strictly done by governments. Non-verbal communication, persuasion, and threats are carried out by individuals. How in the world would a whole society get together to engage in non-verbal communication?
*But using skills they have acquired how?
Through other in
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 57
*Out of the people who participate in them.
Who for instance? How are they given more credit then anyone else?
*Are you not going to advocate for a healthier way of living?
No. I'm going to personally partake in a healthier way of living.
*Each of us has a sphere of influence. For some of us it is large, for others, small.
Absolutely no one has a sphere of influence so large that it could puposively guide the survival of everyone or the species.
*Okay, this is where some of the discomfort comes from, namely, a misinterpretation. I think we agree much more than is apparent from our discussion.
*We need quotes of sentences that cause that discomfort. I think the discomfort is coming from things you are adding in.
I did not misunderstand the words species or everyone.
I need for you to specifiy what you mean by help. I am refering here to a quote that you just wrote where you were talking about helping others. Helping how?
*All we can do is play the odds and do the best we can to make the world a better place. And whatever has led to your not being the kind of person who would consider attacking and killing me is something I am very grateful for.
Your not being specific. How do you know whats best for someone else?
*We can rear children to be ethical or unethical.
Based off of whos ethics? Based off of your ethics? Why should your ethics be placed above anothers ethics.
*You make the assumption that these adults were not formed by their child rearing environment in addition to their temperament. I agree that how they have become as adults presents a monumental task to help them to change. That does not mean that their childhood experiences had nothing to do with what they became.
Not the assumption, the stringent assertion. There is absolutely no evidence to show for certain that the childhood experiences of narcissists lead to their narcissism.
*You are making certain assumptions that I believe are not above questioning.
Nothing is above questioning.
*”Works” needs definition.
Provides the desired outcome sought by the individual.
Alright. I need to get to class. I will finish this up in a couple of hours.


vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 58
*I did not say that there was no “selfish” motivation in art. Actually, the word “selfish” is highly problematic. We do things in order to accomplish things that we want to happen, so that could be considered “selfish,” namely doing something to get something that we want.
Selfish is not selfish if actions are done whereby the results of other people take predominance for the results of yourself.
*Linguistics again. I think your use of “progress” is atypical. According to it, there could be no progress, because as soon as something is accomplished it cannot be considered progress, if I am understanding you correctly.
You are, but you arent correct that according to that definition there could be no progress. I dont understand a link there at all. Progress is the movement forward into new territory. What is your definition of progress if it isnt this? I couldnt see it conforming to how the vast majority of other people are using this word.
*Linguistics.
Circumvention
*Linguistics.
Circumvention. Describe how groups create progress or explain how my definition of groups is wrong.
*I would like to prevent the early death of our species, that is, to do whatever I can to help.
Like I tried to explain earlier, there is nothing your capable of doing which will help or ensure the survival of the species because you dont know in what ways future advancements are going to be used. The species will either survive or it will not.
*By promoting the survival of the species I mean keeping it alive as long as possible.
That isnt possible. There is no human alive capable of making an impact in this area.
*What this part is referring to is that we do not want to benefit some people at the expense of causing suffering of others.
Thats a nice thing to want, but I see no way in which anyone is going to stop that from happening. Like I said earlier, I dont think that your neighbors success keeps you from having any of your own. I dont neccessarily think that both things are related, but there will always be situations wereby some people will benefit by causing suffering in others.
*This is covered by the concept of the “sphere of influence.”
The concept sphere of influence talks about the amount of a difference a person can make on the people around them. That is not very large at all. People could hold some pull over material things, but you cant control another persons decision making. That is why words like species and everyone are used all out of context. My illustration does deal with what your calling a sphere of influence but it is saying that our sphere of influence is very very small. I think that its arguable that we dont hold any certain influence over any living thing except ourselves.
*Our founding fathers were trying to help those to come in the future.
Yes they were, and I'm grateful that they did. However, what exactly do you have in mind? The prinicipals of the founders will hopefully still be around in the future if we follow even a little bit the constitution. They already provided for future generations in the largest way possible by advocating rights and freedoms. So what is it that you are specifically advocating providing people in the future with?
*Yes, but some judgment should be made regarding the implications for the future, I believe, as a Humanian.
I understand what you mean, but I dont specifically know what it is your talking about preparing for people in the future. Is this the environment were looking after? Is it the repercussions of our laws. I would think that if good, rational principals were laid down now and if they worked they would work as well in the future.
*Criminals and suicide bombers, for example.
Criminals could be criminals for different reasons. What if they are criminals for doing drugs? That isnt promoting any of those things. Or what if they are illegal immigrants? They arent promoting discontent, depression or rudeness. A lot of criminals are criminals because the laws are unjust in the first place. As far as suicide bombers, they arent promoting any of these things as overall concepts. They are promoting them for a certain group of people, but not their own people, not everyone overall. They have goals behind their actions which dont revolve around simply promoting depression or discontent. I personally feel they probably want us out of their areas of the world.
*Lord no! Watch the news.
I do. Who in the news are you referring to?
*Humanians should, according to the REUEP, take care of themselves and use good physical and mental hygiene.
I understand that, but then it goes on to say that other people should be the further focus of all good intent. The concept I'm critisizing is this concept, that it is even possible to do this. I think that if someone asks for help then perhaps yes, but I'm highly skeptical of cases where we are supposed to just make everyone happy because I dont see how anyone would do that.
*Embezzlement, stealing, rape, murder, unhealthy eating, etc., etc. Many ways. Wouldn’t it be great if we stopped?
But people have always done these things. How is this religion going to get them to stop? Isnt almost every religion against almost all of the above?
*If you get killed by a drunk driver, that is your responsibility?
No of course not. Your right, there are instances where people die through no fault of their own. I was not careful in what I typed, I should have been. In cases where people die from causes other then unfortunate accidents, or rare diseases, when they die from "natural causes" as people call them, that is due to unhealthy living.
*Heard of second-hand smoke?
I dont consider it to be much of a health hazard at all. Dont hang around people that smoke.
*My body can put a bullet in someone else’s.
What has that got to do with what I'm saying? I'm not advocating shooting people. I'm saying you control your actions. What are you talking about here?
*Who talked of certainty? I certainly have not. Life is always a matter of playing the odds.
I know you didnt, I did. I'm talking about certainty. Your actions have nothing to do with playing the odds. Your actions dont involve what your environment tells you you ought to do. They involve your free will and your thoughts. What actions lead to, those are the odds. Actions in and of themselves are not about playing odds. It has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. I really think that you arent getting my point.
*The REUEP is an ethical principle that applies to individuals and groups. It is what I should do, what you should do, what we should do, and what they should do. It is a principle with which to legitimate lower level ethical principles, such as “I should not steal” or “you should not steal.” But remember that such ethical rules of conduct are just guidelines, and in a particular case following that rule might actually be inconsistent with the REUEP. The ideas are complex, but not real complex, and are understandable. I hope that you will continue to try to understand. And thank you very much for this dialogue. I hope it will be of help also to others.
The REUEP is an ethical principle that applies to individuals and GROUPS!! That is what I'm saying. The end result is to focus actions onto other groups. You have avoided the questions. What exactly do you mean when you say promote? What ACTIONS are the right actions in achieving everyones fulfillment? What about my statements about being unable to change...
vincent
user 8236565
Kannapolis, NC
Post #: 59
a persons level of happieness? How do you avoid the appearance of pain or the results of disabilities in someone else? These statements are vague to me, it seems they are painting with a very broad stroke. It talks about species and everyone which is as unspecific as it could possibly be and then it talks about emotions which no one is working against anyway. I am trying to understand, but I dont see exactly what you are advocating people to do. There are already many many religions which want people to do exactly what your advising. The vast majority of people arent promoting early death or disabilities, and the others who are promoting happiness and contentment do so because they simply are happy and content. In what ways do you suggest people promote these things? Answering that question would clear up a lot for me. How does one promote such things, and how does one take people away from PSDED? Remember the words species and everyone are used. How does one promote such things for the species and how does one take away PSDED for the species and for everyone. What about just another person close to you in your sphere of influence? What if it is a situation whereby the only way to promote JCA in someone else is to cause PSDED in yourself? What happens then? Who is the priority? What if the opposite is the case. What if the only way to promote JCA in yourself is to violate a part of PSDED? Who wins out? Who is the higher priority? Is it the self or is it the other person or persons?
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,481
Vincent,
You mean by 4 years of 4 times a week lying on the couch and free associating while having your unconscious defenses interpreted by a psychoanalyst? Or by praying and being transformed? Or by ingesting certain prescribed substances? Or by joining a twelve-step program? Or by snapping your fingers?
By whatever means neccessary depending on the context. By "whatever works". Works meaning whatever gives the sought after outcome wished for by the person acting.
The point is, what ways work that do not involve in some way the contributions (cooperation, service, creativity, productivity, etc.) of other people?

I think that is half of the truth.
This is vague. Which half? People make decision to act, decisions concerning a persons action cannot be made outside of their body, unless force is used.
Decisions are made by the brain. The brain is programmed by experience. The most important experience is that provided by other people.

Yes, I see now that we are indeed dealing with the “free will vs. determinism” problem, an extremely important philosophical problem. I could give you my solution, but it would take too long here, and it is not complete.
Yes, that is the problem, but it shouldnt be a problem. We have free will, we are not slaves to our influences.
Assuming what you are attempting to demonstrate.

Temperament and non-human-produced sickness.
Temperament is about the individual. Any sickness is as well, once you have a sickness it becomes a part of your identity.
Temperament is greatly determined by genes, that you got from other people. Much illness is contagious or due to lifestyle highly influenced by culture.

We need each other.
Why? Based off of what evidence. I'll concede that children need people, with adults things change. Alexander Selkirk survived four years on his own on a desert island with no one. He took some things with him to get by, and I'm sure you would argue that society gave him those things, but he was not living 'in society".
You are right. He got those things from others.
The unabomber was not residing "in society", and Henry David Thoreau didnt have to have his mother wash his clothes. Are we honestly going to argue that with all he accomplished in self sefficiency that he really had to have his mother wash his clothes?
Where did he get the clothes? Who made them? Out of what? Where did that come from? How. Where does soap come from?

That knowledge comes from others.
Of course it does. What I said verbatim was "They are not the result of influences." Who they become is not dependent on the upbringing or knowledge that they were given during childhood. During childhood people really are the products of society to a large degree because they dont critically think for themselves.
Well we agree on that!
The RESULT of who a full fledged adult person is is due to what THEY THEMSELVES do with any knowledge that they have. When we are children we are given knowledge in our environment. When we are adults were free to seek knowledge on our own. Society does not give this knowledge, it is given by other individuals.
Okay, and the collection of those individuals is what we mean by “society.” The word “society” is just shorthand for a collection of individuals. This appears to be only a linguistic problem.

To some extent. And he will make use of knowledge made attainable by others (teachers, authors, scientists, etc.).
To some extent? What does that mean? He is able to select the types of knowledge that he would like to study and focus on. Childhood knowledge is not really an issue because as a critical thinker he could use it or abandon it.
But how does he do that without making use of the ideas that he has obtained from others?

partly.
I mean the outcome of who he is, provided that there are a few limitations on him set by genetics and some disability sometimes from birth and sometimes not.
If they have been shown how to be critical thinkers.
NO!! Not if they have been shown to be critical thinkers. That simply is not true. A person could be a critical thinker without ever having to be shown how. Another person could be shown all the critical thinking skills in the world and then opt not to use them. It depends on what they themselves decide. You personally have the option to either think about things or to drift. Man is not a computer which follows a program set witihin it. Critical thinking is innate. If it were not we would never have anything.
Then I don’t know what you mean by “critical thinking.”

Don’t know what “owes” means in this context.
That supposed to be covered by "innitiative" "free will" and "volition". All these words overlap and shouldnt be that hard to understand.
Except that highly intelligent people have struggled with them for hundreds of years.
What does it mean to own something. It means that you decide the usage of the product. You are your own product. You decide how your body will be used.
You can decide how to use your rental car.

I don’t agree, though I do know that we never have complete answers.
I know you dont. You have no counterevidence however, and neither has psychiatry provided any solid evidence either. If you relegate people down to nothing but influences you can mold them into how you feel they ought to be.
I don’t recall having said that people can be relegated down to nothing but influences. I don’t even know what that means.
Psychiatry has been doing that type of thing for many many years, but the really convenient thing about being able to say that people are the results of influences is that there is absolutely no way that that assertion can be invalidated. Since no one could ever possibly be able to disprove it, it leaves the advocate of it free to make up any theory he wants and stand behind without having to worry about counterevidence. Freud loved ascribing behavior to the influences of childhood and suppressed drives. With no evidence forthcoming whatsoever. Its the game of I'll pick my favorite disorder and revolve whatever I want to believe around it.
I think it is rather obvious that we are influenced by others. There are very, very few people who would say otherwise, you apparently being a noteworthy exception. But I am having trouble understanding how you can believe as you do. Perhaps that will become clearer with time.

Depends on what “powerful” means.
Capable of deciding outcomes and molding their environment to their wishes.
Context missing. (When I say this, I mean that I would have to go back and find the original discussion. I can’t devote the time to that, even though it might be helpful. I feel like it takes me too long anyway to respond to your posts, but it’s the best I can do currently.)

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,482
(Continued from previous post)


But still with great difficulty.
True.
-You think that the laws which apply to child rearing should be applicable to governmental law. Isnt that what you stated?
No.

What I am talking about is that to understand correctly what we as a species need in the area of government, for example, is intertwined with what we as a species need in the area of child rearing.
You wrote that on page seven of this discussion.
We will have to become a species that does not punish its children before not punishing adults will work. We need to be a whole different way.
Right. That’s not saying the same thing. I don’t know what it would mean to talk of applying laws to child rearing, other than requiring training and certification.

Children who are not punished for anything do whatever they want.
I understand that you believe that, as does probably almost everyone else. But that is because we still are rather primitive in our child rearing. For instance, we believe that no training is needed for this enormously complex and extremely important activity. So very simplistic ideas persist, and we suffer enormously because of it. You might want to read the chapter on Rational-Ethical Child Rearing to get a beginning idea about non-punitive child rearing.
Children are taught punishment because they do not have critical thinking. They dont understand that there are consequences for actions yet. They cant yet critically see that their actions often effect others around them. That is why they need punishment. I shudder to think how children would behave if no one ever punished their children in any way. It would be a monstrous inconvenience to everyone around. That means that if a child screams in public you just let it scream?
This totally ignores that the screaming is indicative of a problem that is already developing and needs to be worked on, on a daily basis, within the home.
That you just try to convence a mind with not judgement that it should be quiet? What about the idea that you believe that critical thinking is learned? If it is only learned how do you convince a child who wont be quiet that he should if he has no innate critical thinking skills outside of whats learned?
Forcing the child into submission by making the child feel overwhelmingly bad does not foster critical thinking. It fosters fear, anger, rebellion, low self-esteem, demoralization, etc., and teaches that human relationship is basically about domination/submission, rather than cooperation and benevolence.
What if he hasnt been taught to think critically yet? You let the child break anything it wants to break?
If the child is wanting to break things, there is already a severe problem that has developed, and making the child even angrier will not be the answer.
If the child doesnt do what you tell it to you just let it have its way? You cant send him to his room, that would be punishment. You cant hit him, because that you be punishment. You cant yell, that would be punishment and abuse. So you just let the child have his way? You allow him to just follow through on whatever his emotions and whims decide?
No, your conclusions regarding your options are wrong. You can read that chapter. You are talking about something extremely complex. That is why there should be intensive training in child rearing. (And there is essentially none.)

Please clarify what you mean by “responsible for.” I am thinking you mean “punishable.”
Praise or punishment. To what are we able to ascribe to him? What can he be given credit for? What can he proudly or shamefully be able to say, "I did that"? What in your eyes is a person able to be given credit for? What actions are done because an individual decided to do them? What are they responsible for? What can he engage in whereby you could say about that person "that was done solely because he decided on his own to do it and he is burdened or rewarded the results of his actions." I dont really know how much more specific I can be about this.
So “held responsible for” does usually mean “punishable.” But it can at times mean “praiseworthy.”

I really want you to specify an instance whereby you think an action taken by an individual is completely done because the individual decided to do it without any outside influence leading him to do it. Is that scenario possible in your eyes and in what case would it happen in?
Not possible. The influence would have taken place over the individual’s whole past life.

Yes, but what brings about that change?
They do. They decide to change. It MUST be them who decides to change. No one can reach inside another person in any occasion whatever and make them change. The decision rests with them alone.
No, but people can be, and are, influenced.

That is a mistaken idea of what they said. They believed in psychotherapy, to bring about change.
[missing]…ther I dont believe that it is mistaken in the least. Everything to Freud, Jung, and Skinner based off of what I have read was centered on the idea that an individual was the result of their childhoods or their environment. Skinner was especially famous for thinking that way. Believing that a person was a series of influences and that you could change those influences by counteracting them with new influences. There is nothing in that which contradicts buy only validates what I am saying about them. They didnt think that a person decided their own actions, but that all their actions were decided by either society, their upbringing, or their subconcious. No one had any responsibility in their eyes.
Do you mean “punishable”? But it is true that scientific models are deterministic. That is the only way they can be. Science tries to determine how things work. That means determining what rules they go by. The free will model is one that does not use determinism. Both models are useful, but under different circumstances.

-How do we define defective in this instance? Who exactly is this we?-
The bad guys.
Are we going to get this vague? Defective is more specific of a word then bad. Bad as in how? By whos standards? Who is this enemy exactly? How can you ask me to be specific about words like "responsible", "owes", "owns" and "end" and then replace the word defective with bad?
Those who cause unnecessary PSDED, especially to the extent that the government would intervene.

(Continued in next post)
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,483
(Continued from previous post)


All of those that help to bring about punishment.
Alright, what is your definition of punishment?
Deliberately causing an individual to have otherwise unnecessary PSDED, because of undesired behavior.
As far as I'm concerned people arent the main culprits of punishment. To my mind life as it is brings about more punishment in and of itself then people could ever dream of. Punishment is a condition of existence. When I make poor decisions I am punished with awful outcomes. When I dont study for a test I make bad grades. When I drink I'm punished with a headach. If I have unprotected and promiscuous sex I could be punished with an STD. Punishment is a condition of just being alive.
This is a metaphoric use of “punishment.” Not all PSDED is punishment or revenge, as the words are usually used. Of course you can indeed speak as if existence is an entity that has gotten mad at you and is punishing you or trying to correct you, but that is just a metaphor.
Without punishement there is no learning, no "critical thinking", for bad behavior. If someone tries to steal my wallet and I hurt him in defense, was that not punishment for an unjust action? Self defense is a form of punishment for actions against your freedom. If people didnt suffer punishment at all they would do whatever made them feel good regardless of how it effected anyone.
I know you believe this. But I don’t. We have other motivations than just fear of punishment and revenge.
So there would be no punishment for serial killers and rapists? We dont lock up violent criminals?
Some people need to be quarantined because of being a danger. That is not the same thing as punishment. When people are quarantined because of highly dangerous communicable disease, they are not being punished, even though being quarantined causes them some degree of suffering. This is an important distinction.
Or in your mind are people criminals in the first place because they were raised with punishment?
To a very great extent--a very, very great extent!
In your mind if we got rid of punishment would everyone get what they wanted and the world turn into a free for all? I need some specifics on these ideas because they dont seem very logical to me.
You need to read that chapter. Not punishing does not mean not doing anything.

In this case, bad.
Very very very vague.
Context missing.

Try convincing victims and their families that a perpetrator should not be punished, because the perpetrator had changed.
Try proving that a perpetraitor had changed. But this statement evades the question. The question that I asked was who is seeking revenge against whom exactly and is the revenge a subconcious need.
I don’t think it’s very subconscious. Sometimes euphemisms are used. [Context missing]
This statement is a circumvention away from my originial question.
So they did not become completely independent of others.
No but they could have. People are self sufficient. A man needs his basics for survival. He doesnt need more then that, if he can provide himself with them he can be self sufficient. He would be stupid for wanting to not take advantage of technology, but the point is that he doesnt have to.
When he needed food?
He grew his own.
An illusion.
A fact.
[Context missing.]

Okay, but that environment is one created by other people.
No the environment simply exists. Individuals mold the environment to their wishes. A persons environment when changed by individuals is the result of the actions of individuals.
Linguistics. What are you meaning by environment?

The point was that you can’t have a single thing, or do a single thing other than the very trivial, without others having done their part.
You can survive,
I don’t agree.
and survival is never a trivial thing. A persons ability to survive on their own is far less trivial then a helpless urbanite playing with the latest toys. Nothing is less able to be called trivial then survival.
But my point is that we cannot survive without some degree of coordinated, cooperative behavior.

No one, if I understand “ascribe” correctly.
You said the word others. That I would learn from others. You took the emphasis off of the action and placed it onto other people.
Context missing.

Do you mean “punishable” or do you mean “influential”?
Here we go again. I feel that you are circumventing and avoiding the responsibility issue. You dont want anyone to be responsible for their actions but you instead want determinism to reign supreme.
Not actually so, but I understand how it seems that way. This has to do with the "mind-body problem" and the "free will versus determinism problem". I believe that we are simply dealing with different models, that have different degrees of usefulness in different situations. Science is based upon the deterministic model. But everything that you do from moment to moment is based upon the free will model. The problem is that there is still the question as to how we should treat someone who has done something inappropriate. This is tied together with the question as to whether one should be judgmental or understanding.
Everytime I use the word responsibel you try and replace it with some other word. Responsible: Being a primary cause or agent of some event or action;
We get into the question as to what "causation" means, and especially the question as to what "a primary cause" is.
capable of being credited for something, or of being held liable for something.
See, here we are talking again about reward and punishment.
That is what I mean. I dont mean punishable.
Then what do you mean by "being held liable."
I dont mean influential. I dont mean any other word. I mean the word RESPONSIBLE.
I know this seems clear to you, but I believe there are complex philosophical issues involved.

They play a great part, usually.
Only if I myself allow them to.
Context missing.

And the point I am trying to make is that every individual is embedded in an influential web or matrix of individuals that all have effects on each other, obvious and subtle. And those effects are both good and bad (regarding JCA and PSDED).
I am talking about responsibility and free will. This statement doesnt get around to saying anything.
Context missing.

(Continued in next post)
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