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Re: FT

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  • walto
    ... No question. ... Right. ... Nobody should assume anything. What one should do is consider the activities and see if they comport with what we take to be
    Message 1 of 111 , Nov 14, 2012
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      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@...> wrote:

      > But in fact, some ancient societies DID expose sickly newborns on hillsides to die, and thought it was perfectly reasonable.

      No question.

      >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.

      Nobody should assume anything. What one should do is consider the activities and see if they comport with what we take to be meant by "right." It is a presumption to assume that might (or "success") makes right too. It makes success, but the claim that success makes right is no more than either an unsupported claim or a change in the meaning of the term.

      >They didn't do it for no reason, or out of perversity.

      There are other reasons for doing things than to do what is right. What is the basis for the suggestion that whatever succeeds must be right?

      >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.

      Not really relevant to anything, but an interesting sermon nonetheless.

      > > 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?

      I think the burden is on you to show that right IS based on evolutionary success. That's nothing like what most people mean by the term. Suppose you were to say that what is red is what those who have guns say is red. Does the fact that anybody who denies this gets shot means that you are right?

      > > 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.

      I do love your faith that everything you happen to think at any given moment must correct. Admittedly its very obnoxious, but it's hard to deny that it's also amusing. Reed's denials notwithstanding.

      > > 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.

      True, but the claim that that matters is just begging the question.

      >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.

      It's an interesting suggestion, but I've heard no arguments for it yet.

      >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.

      OTOH, he did think one could deduce the number of planets (7) by a priori reasoning about which he couldn't possibly be wrong. I'd think that you of all people would admire that in him.

    • 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
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        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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