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Thread: legislating morality

  1. #101
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post

    That's my take. I see morality as an evolved code of behavior which maximizes our survival potential as a species and there are a good number of scientific studies which appear to back this up. Its the primary reason we cannot come up with a workable logic based morality, because our moral concepts are based off the same sort of cognitive mechanisms which tell us when its time to eat or sleep.
    ^^^ This
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have felt pain when I was in the womb. So when you say they are incapable of feeling pain, that is based on junk science.
    Quote Originally Posted by applejuicefool View Post
    A murderer putting a bullet through someone's brain is a medical procedure too.

  2. #102
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post
    So these supposed rights don't actually exist any more than a mythical perfect red balloon. It never goes beyond the imagination then. Thus is not real as there is no actual manifestation.

    I just don't buy your argument. I can believe any social convention or any idea I want but it's just an idea as it has no effect on my life unless I take action.

    Natural rights are not verifiable by science, not testable, and cannot be found in nature by any known method of discovery or data gathering.

    To be fair thus is true for any social construct. I will never get why people insist that these things are real when they are beyond verification. It's irrational
    I think it's important to many people to set humans very high and apart from the other animals. (More for the religious). For others, it's very hard to understand how or why humans are here unless we have some higher purpose. I've never understood that, I think each person creates their own person and influences things around them and that is enough, it doesnt need to 'mean' anything to anyone anymore than it does to me.

    But I think the purpose thing gives humans a nobility that people want to believe in. (To men, we are not noble at all...individuals are, but not the species). I've had this discussion with folks before and to believe humanity has no purpose (aside from genetically programmed reproduction) really leaves some people uncomfortable and rudderless.

    I'm not being dismissive of the idea....great minds and regular folks have sought to find that purpose for thousands of years.

    Edit: not specifically directed at Zyphillin. DIdnt really get much of that vibe there.
    Last edited by Lursa; 04-25-14 at 01:52 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    I have felt pain when I was in the womb. So when you say they are incapable of feeling pain, that is based on junk science.
    Quote Originally Posted by applejuicefool View Post
    A murderer putting a bullet through someone's brain is a medical procedure too.

  3. #103
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    I think it's important to many people to set humans very high and apart from the other animals. (More for the religious). For others, it's very hard to understand how or why humans are here unless we have some higher purpose. I've never understood that, I think each person creates their own person and influences things around them and that is enough, it doesnt need to 'mean' anything to anyone anymore than it does to me.

    But I think the purpose thing gives humans a nobility that people want to believe in. (To men, we are not noble at all...individuals are, but not the species). I've had this discussion with folks before and to believe humanity has no purpose (aside from genetically programmed reproduction) really leaves some people uncomfortable and rudderless.

    I'm not being dismissive of the idea....great minds and regular folks have sought to find that purpose for thousands of years.

    Edit: not specifically directed at Zyphillin. DIdnt really get much of that vibe there.
    I know. I am really playing devil's advocate with him. I have my reasons for discounting the idea of natural rights (mostly because its an unfounded and unverifiable claim, with the right logic, one can make up reasons for believing in anything, logic alone without verification is insufficient and becomes akin to a faith.)

    But you are right, there are mountains of evidence to show that human is an animal and something special beyond a more highly evolved set of abilities.

  4. #104
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Lursa View Post
    Edit: not specifically directed at Zyphillin. DIdnt really get much of that vibe there.
    Understand completely, and glad I wasn't given that vibe. I was hoping when I busted out the "brutish and short" Hobbes quote that it should've indicated pretty well that as a whole, I don't have some noble notion of humanity within the state of nature

    Though I do think a human, even in the state of nature, is a tad bit above that of an animal. I think the high cognative ability of humans does make that a bit different then generic animal one. The entire fact that we are able to come together under some sort of advanced social contract is a sign of that imho. But in a state of nature, I do think a human is far closer to an animal than what we think of people today...where the focus is primarily on survival and is largely self focused above and beyond anything else, with little care for anything else (especially things that aren't the continuation of your lineage).

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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Not at all.

    They clearly exist. In a state of nature, abscent any external forces, said red balloon would not exist.

    But a persons ability to speak and express themselves would.

    This is absolutely testable and verifiable...albiet not a test that would be likely to occur.

    Take a person and find a way to instill memory loss. Put them in nature....say the appalachian mountains. Can that person express himself? Yes. Could that person start to believe the sun is a god? Absolutely. Is he able to eat anything he's able to procure? Sure thing. Can he travel wherever he wants. Yes. Those are his natural rights based on his simple existance...he has the natural rights, the ability, to do anything he's physically capable of doing in order to survive and/or please himself.

    No society is needed to allow him to do those things. No social construct is needed to allow him to do those things. If he finds fruit on a tree and is able to pull it down, then he can eat it. There is nothing, at all, that says he can't. It's his natural right to do such.

    If you put down a second person into the same situation and he also saw that fruit and he killed the first person and took the fruit, that's perfectly within his rights as well because they both have the right to survive and to food...it just happens that one person was able to exercise that right successfully, and the other wasn't.

    A natural right is anything an individual can attempt to do within the state of nature. People have a natural right to eat, to travel, to speak, to believe as they wish, to survive. These things are ingrain. Nothing short of death or something akin to it (ie: brain dead) can permanently take them away from you. There is no conceivable way to PERMANENTLY remove a persons ability to express themselves short of what I just stated. It's literally impossible. You can restrict it to SIGNIFICANT degrees, you can make it almost impossible...but no matter what you did, if you put them back into a state of nature abscent any external forces they'd still be able to express themselves. This is an innate, natural right that is present and available to people simply by the nature of existing.
    I don't know that I would call those natural rights (I don't like the term and don't think it is usually a relevant idea), but I mostly agree with you. A person alone in the wild can do almost anything without restriction. Once that person joins a society they give up some of those rights in order to have other people recognize some of their rights (assuming they join society voluntarily and are accepted as an equal).

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    legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    I don't know that I would call those natural rights (I don't like the term and don't think it is usually a relevant idea), but I mostly agree with you. A person alone in the wild can do almost anything without restriction. Once that person joins a society they give up some of those rights in order to have other people recognize some of their rights (assuming they join society voluntarily and are accepted as an equal).
    I can do many things in society never dreamed of in the wild. For example I can travel at amazing speeds ad can be hundreds if miles away in a short time span. I have all sorts of entertainment options beyond campfire stories.

    I question the assertion that the natural man could do more or almost anything. I have been miles in the air without dying. They couldn't do that. I have talked with people thousands of miles away. They couldn't do that. I have the opportunity to understand the world much better than they could possibly imagine.

    Natural man was quite limited.

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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post
    For example I can travel at amazing speeds ad can be hundreds if miles away in a short time span.
    Except what you just described isn't some NEW notion compared to what you could do in the state of nature, it's just a BETTER form of doing it.

    Whether it's walking on your two legs in the state of nature or riding in a bullet train within a social contract society....in both cases you're simply exercising your freedom of movement or of travel.

    All that's changing is your means of doing it.

    As I've been saying, repeatedly. A natural right doesn't provide you the MEANS in which to do something. It doesn't even suggest you will be successful in whatever thing you're trying to do. It simply means that, abscent some exterior force, you can do/feel/think the basic action.

    I question the assertion that the natural man could do more or almost anything.
    This, I have to imagine, goes back to you playing devil's advocate as this seems a little obtuse, taking his comment and isolating it on it's own for your response rather than using some common sense relating to the context of all he's saying.

    A person alone in the wild can attempt to do pretty much anything. Whether or not they'll succeed is not guaranteed. Whether or not they'd ever think to try something is not guaranteed. Whether or not they'd actually WANT to do it is a whole different story.

    If you as a man within the state of nature determined how to construct something that would allow you to sail through the air without dying then you absolutely could attempt to do so. There would be no external force stopping you from attempting to do that. But really all that really is is a massive drilling down from the overall concept....the natural right to movement/travel.

    Again, you're just speaking of a different method of doing so.

    A man in the state of nature is quite limited in the means to do various things. Absolutely. But he has the ability to TRY and do ANYTHING he could conceivably figure a way to try to do.

    Once again...being able to do something, and being successful at it, are two different things.

  8. #108
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    Re: legislating morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Except what you just described isn't some NEW notion compared to what you could do in the state of nature, it's just a BETTER form of doing it.

    Whether it's walking on your two legs in the state of nature or riding in a bullet train within a social contract society....in both cases you're simply exercising your freedom of movement or of travel.

    All that's changing is your means of doing it.

    As I've been saying, repeatedly. A natural right doesn't provide you the MEANS in which to do something. It doesn't even suggest you will be successful in whatever thing you're trying to do. It simply means that, abscent some exterior force, you can do/feel/think the basic action.
    That specific response was to the idea that the natural man was not limited. Because we are made of physical matter, we are very limited. I can't survive in a vacuum for instance unless I have special protective equipment. This represents an expansion of my natural abilities, which is what technology is for and in that way I can do more than the natural man (and I am highly thankful for that!). I feel the sting of my limitations constantly, even if that limitation is money or resource based rather than me not having the natural or augmented ability to do this or that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    This, I have to imagine, goes back to you playing devil's advocate and now extending it to the point where you're just being transparently obtuse.

    A person alone in the wild can attempt to do pretty much anything. Whether or not they'll succeed is not guaranteed. Whether or not they'd actually WANT to do it is a whole different story.

    If you as a man within the state of nature determined how to construct something that would allow you to sail through the air without dying then you absolutely could attempt to do so. There would be no external force stopping you from attempting to do that. But really all that really is is a massive drilling down from the overall concept....the natural right to movement/travel.

    Again, you're just speaking of a different method of doing so.

    A man in the state of nature is quite limited in the means to do various things. Absolutely. But he has the ability to TRY and do ANYTHING he could conceivably figure a way to try to do.

    Once again...being able to do something, and being successful at it, are two different things.
    No, this is honestly how I see things. As we progress technologically and eventually if we get to the point where we even surpass the need for own bodies, our abilities will expand.

    But to your point, attempting to do something and doing something are entirely different things. In terms of actual real limitations that a person must deal with on their daily existence is where things actually matter and where rights are placed. I have specific legal rights. I have certain de-facto rights due to cultural and societal arrangements that are extra legal. I have rights that I have won for myself due to battles (such as having full custody of my children) that I have fought. Hell even my parental rights were effectively created for me when my ex wife conceived (now that I think about it). Before that they didn't exist because there was nothing to apply them to.

    But going back to natural man. Natural man can try do all sorts of things, not because he has a right, but because the environment is open. He is not doing things because he has a right, but because he can, rights don't enter into the equation at all, only force, he can force his will on his environment because he was born with that ability. Once this lonely natural person meets up with someone else, then rights matter and begin to exist because arrangements have to be negotiated, therefore rights are created at that point (and stem from social contract), this is because rights are simply codified agreements made by society or a large enough portion of society to enforce their will.

    Don't get me wrong, natural rights is a cool concept as I find it a useful thoughtful exercise and a way to frame an argument in a way that is convincing for someone, but if I am perfectly honest, the only uses it ever had were cynical as it is no more or less special than the conception of rights from any other origin (what matters is if we like the results or not, this is how human morally behaves), even if the person at the time did not realize it. I will support any natural right so long as I prefer the results that argument produces over alternatives. This is all anyone does, but some people are very locked into that preference and have therefore been able to convince themselves that there is some sort of truth to this whole thing.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 04-25-14 at 04:06 PM.

  9. #109
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    Re: legislating morality

    And see, this is where you and I seem to simply disagree.

    You seem to think a Right can only exist if there is some manner of force involved...in either getting it, or performing it, or protecting it, or however.

    Force has nothing to do with a natural right in my opinion. It's an entirely irrelevant concept to the notion of a natural right.

    You talk about "natural man" doing things because he can....absolutely, and because he can do that, in nature, abscent any exterior force being exerted upon him, makes it a "natural right" in my definition.

    That which man is free to do in the state of nature are natural rights.

    The difference to me between Natural Rights and something like Legal Rights, or Societal Rights, or "paternal" rights is a simple in my mind....

    Natural Rights exist within the state of nature, abscent any other external force or external entity. They are inherently present and can never be permanently, fully removed save via death or some extreme forms of bodily harm. They are simply what man is free to do within the state of nature.

    Societal Rights, Paternal Rights, Legal Rights...these are all constructs of a social contract in some fashion. Within the state of nature they would not exist. They can be protected, they can be widely given, they can be broad in their purpose, but they can never be permanent. Place the individual back into the state of nature, absent external influences once again, and he'd no longer have those "rights".

    At times, a Societal or Legal Right can build upon, limit, or run parrelel with a natural right.

    Natural Rights are not inherently better or worse than Societal or Legal Rights, and vise versa. They're simply different. What is "better" or "worse", or more or less "important", is a judgement call on the part of an individual.

  10. #110
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    Re: legislating morality

    Objective vs. subjective morality is one of my favorite topics, but it isn't what I had in mind when I created this thread. I feel that objective morality exists, but that's my subjective opinion. Anyone who thinks that they can prove or disprove the existence of objective morality, doesn't understand the difference between fact and opinion.
    If you expect people to be rational, you aren't being rational.

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