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Re: FT

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  • roy_langston
    ... Ugh. ... Nonsense. ... I ve found that apologists for landowner privilege will resort to any sort of claims, including denying that people have equal (or
    Message 1 of 111 , Nov 14, 2012
      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@...> wrote:

      > I actually DO hold linguistic philosophy in very high esteem (Wittgenstein, Quine, and Putnam are all among my faves).


      > As to your main point, I see what you mean. I don't know if Roy intends to consort with that kind of baggage, but it can certainly be inferred from his rhetoric.


      > Leaving the socio-political aspects aside, I take his position to be so highly speculative that it won't do much good for LVTers who are confronted with criticisms coming from non-believers in natural rights.

      I've found that apologists for landowner privilege will resort to any sort of claims, including denying that people have equal (or any) rights to life and liberty. I find it's easier just to ground everything in empirical fact.

      > His approach is to kind of agree with them re-defining the terms so that they are empirical predicates (which might be OK even if that's not what people generally mean by the term).

      The point is that what people generally mean by the term is itself an artifact of their positions as products of the evolution that gave rise to the term. They experience it subjectively, and are unaware of the objective phenomenon. It's like what people mean by terms like "memory": they mean their own experience of memory, not the electro-biochemical phenomenon that their memory actually IS. Similarly, when people talk of rights, they are thinking about their own internal experience and understanding of rights, not the objective empirical phenomenon of rights.

      > But, what makes a right "natural" on his view is not only something that has to be determined by some sort of teleological evolutionary speculations, but also (as you point out) are things that everyone might agree aren't "right" but "wrong".

      "Everyone" meaning "people who agree with me"...

      > That is, if, e.g., we knew that killing all undersized babies would help our society survive, that wouldn't (and at seems to me ought not) suggest that it was appropriate behavior--that such babies had a duty to die for their societies.

      But in fact, some ancient societies DID expose sickly newborns on hillsides to die, and thought it was perfectly reasonable. The Inuit abandoned their elderly and disabled to die when they could no longer keep up with the group's seasonal migrations. It is presumptuous for us to assume that we must be right about those practices, and they must have been wrong. They didn't do it for no reason, or out of perversity. People in our culture have been effectively unanimous in moral judgments that posterity will no doubt consider equally grotesque, such as the evil and insane "War on Drugs," which IMO is an atrocity fully comparable to, if not worse than, exposing sickly infants on hillsides.

      > It doesn't really matter what the particular chosen quality is, its evolutionary success can't alone make it "right" from a more general point of view.

      Why not? What else could the concept of "right" possibly be based on, and how else could it persist but by evolutionary success?

      > That's the point about the difficulty in deriving 'ought' from 'is'.

      If, unable to find a willingness to accept facts, you assume it IS a difficulty.

      > Anyhow, his position seems to me old-fashioned, somewhat Hegelian and (as you again point out) Germanic, since it makes individual rights derivative of societal goals.

      No. Reproductive success may or may not be a societal goal, and it ultimately doesn't matter: reproductive success will prevail by definition. Individual rights are derivative of human nature, which is a product of evolution, and I HYPOTHESIZE that the mechanism of its emergence was inter-society competition, especially in the form of lethal conflict. Like most of the old moral theorists, Hegel died before "The Origin of Species" was published, and thus understood almost nothing about human nature, the mind, morality, rights, etc.

      -- Roy Langston
    • Harry Pollard
      JDK, Those who survive are presumably the fittest to survive for the fittest just describes those who have survived. With regard to your last sentence –
      Message 111 of 111 , Nov 23, 2012

        Those who survive are presumably the fittest to survive for the "fittest" just describes those who have survived.

        With regard to your last sentence – Stalin got there first.


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        On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 9:54 AM, JDKromkowski <jdkromkowski@...> wrote:

        Evolution is not really: the survival of the "fittest" It is just survival of that which survives. Evolution is a way of describing the process of how variation within a population will lead to variation eventually of species.  There are plenty of genes along for the ride which are not particularly "the fittest".  

        Yes the survival of the two apostolic lungs of Christianity (Catholics and the Eastern church) despite its massive weakness and in fact embracement of weakness of the god who becomes human and is rejected and put to death is a puzzle and crazy on its face. It drove Nietzsche crazy (well that and syphillus drove him crazy).  It also drove the communists crazy too.   Massive defense? How many tanks does the church have?


        Sent from my iPad

        On Nov 16, 2012, at 11:26 PM, "mattbieker" <agrarian.justice@...> wrote:


        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, John David Kromkowski <jdkromkowski@...> wrote:
        > On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM, mattbieker <agrarian.justice@...
        > > wrote:
        > >
        > > The catholic church has one real function: serving the clergy. When it
        > > was able to, it dominated a large swath of the earth in an imperial form.
        > > It can't now, so it fills out whatever niches it can; but the main thing is
        > > ensuring that members of clergy don't have to go and get real jobs.
        > >
        > Thanks for sharing this one too. I'm getting better picture of Land Cafe.
        > It really is best if we get it all out in the open. It's for the same
        > reason I won't hide my background.
        > This isn't a cocktail party, where we need to avoid the topic for
        > charitable purposes - or at least for the purposes of not interfering with
        > mutual love of beer or gin or your choice. I'd still have a beer in
        > Baltimore (once), with any of you clowns.
        > JDK

        *shrugs* Whatever one thinks of Roy's evolutionary basis for morals, I think there's fairly clearly a pseudo-evolutionary basis for ideas and institutions. Dawkins made this case in his "The Selfish Gene." Basically, ideas are duplicated, with variation, in the minds of individuals; from there, it's survival of the fittest. The conceptual equivalent to a gene being a "meme." Why do religious institutions survive despite being a load of crap that generally act as a drain on society? They're very advanced critters in the world of memes; they've evolved a whole host of defenses to offset their massive weaknesses, such as the notion that it's not polite or even acceptable to question a man's faith, or that without beliefs in these memes, we have no basis for social behavior.

        Catholicism isn't necessarily the most egregious case of this sort of memetic virus (that has to go to Scientology, don't you think?), but that's what it is, and all the bottom line of them all is the same: enrichment (both financial as well as emotional) of clergy. Still and all, its senseless and generally ad-hoc opposition to contraception, even in the light of AIDS epidemics, is horrible enough in and of itself to give me a fairly thoroughgoing distaste for it in particular, and I'd pretty much rather not see any meme I deem useful or good to be mixed up with it.

        Personally, I think one of the best parts of online discussion is that there's less tendency to hold back one's beliefs; many lament this, saying that the internet just makes everyone rude because they don't fear social repercussions, but I believe there's inherent value there, as it allows for a more rapid evolution of memes. The noise and nastiness comes with the territory, and I think people will just eventually find a new normal.

        One common Christian meme is certainly right though: hate the sin, and not the sinner. I agree, I'd have a beer with any of you. It's worth making a conscious effort not to take attacks against our beliefs too personally, because it turns out everyone tends to be wrong quite often.

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