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Re: FT

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  • roy_langston
    ... Do you also need arguments before you will consent to know the fact that grass is green? ... I identify facts. Dismissing those facts as assertions
    Message 1 of 111 , Nov 17, 2012
      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@...> wrote:

      > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@> wrote:
      > >
      > > > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "mattbieker" <agrarian.justice@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > I don't think he's really trying to redefine "rights," so much as he is trying to present an alternate hypothesis for their basis. To follow his "memory" analogy, we all know what memories are, but science has provided a better understanding of their basis, and what they are in actual reality.
      > > >
      > > > That analogy is problematic for a number of reasons.
      > >
      > > The principal one being that you don't want to talk about rights as an empirical phenomenon susceptible of scientific analysis.
      > I'd love to. I'm still waiting for a single argument that that's what they are.

      Do you also need "arguments" before you will consent to know the fact that grass is green?

      > All one gets from you (besides the bragging, of course) are unsupported assertions.

      I identify facts. Dismissing those facts as "assertions" cuts no ice because it is only by asserting a fact that one CAN identify it.

      > > > For the sake of argument, I'll assume that your memory of a cow in a meadow a couple of miles from the house you grew up in is simply identical to something in your brain, in spite of the fact that, leaving out politics, religion, and other valuative fields, it's hard to come up with any claims that are as controversial. The literature on it is absolutely humongous and there's nothing like a growing consensus on the matter.
      > >
      > > Because many people can't grasp the difference between their subjective experience and its objective nature.
      > More bragging. Naturally, you're smarter than anybody you've ever encountered, read, seen, heard about, etc. It's a wonder the Nobel Committee hasn't gotten wind of your fantasticness.


      > > > just IS some sort of evolutionary success (or success story or something else--the claim has never been made very clearly here).
      > >
      > > Rights are not reproductive success; they are societal undertakings that have ENABLED reproductive success.
      > That is a redefinition, nothing more.

      No, it is an observation and a correction of your false claim of redefinition.

      > >Natural rights are a hypothetical ideal of those undertakings that societies would adopt if people had all the relevant facts, and the wisdom and honesty to apply them.
      > First, rights would have to be societal undertakings, and no basis whatever has been given for that claim. Then you can start arguing for what the "hypothetical ideal" might be.

      "right, n. a recognized claim or title; 'a right to free speech'"

      What makes such a claim or title "recognized" but society's undertaking to recognize it by securing it to its possessor against adverse influences? No undertaking, no recognition.

      > > > What will be the analogous research program that will produce evidence of this theory?
      > >
      > > It's one of the hypotheses that the methods of evolutionary psychology can be employed to examine.
      > Go for it, then. Use a finding of evolutionary psychology to support any one of your claims. I'm still waiting.

      See, e.g., Gintis 2000 and 2003, and others for applications of the concept of inclusive fitness outside kin groups. This is far beyond LandCafe's purview, but Wikipedia gives a succinct summary of what aspects of human nature are involved:

      "Capacity for generalized altruism, acting like a 'good Samaritan,' cognitive concepts of justice, ethics and HUMAN RIGHTS [emphasis mine -- RL]."


      > > > The first and foremost obstacle to their being any such program is that, unlike in the case of memories, there is a reasonable doubt that there are any such things as natural rights to be shown to be identical to ANYTHING. Nobody doubts that there are memories of cows, but lots of people doubt that there are natural rights.
      > > Not when they are correctly defined.
      > Redefined, you mean. Let's call those "hammer-rights" so we can distinguish them from whatever everybody else means by the term.

      What "everybody" else means is just a different aspect of the same thing. Establishing the correct definitions of terms is crucial to empirical science, and often not intuitive. It took Newton to correctly distinguish between "mass" and "weight," two qualities that are intuitively indistinguishable, but in reality are very, very different.

      > > See above. It is indisputable that societies have undertaken to restrain their members' behavior wrt one another.
      > Correct.
      > > So rights exist.
      > Incorrect. It only follows from that that hammer-rights exist.

      See above: "recognized claim or title." Such claims and titles are only recognized to the extent that society undertakes to restrain its members' behavior wrt one another. You are again just refusing to talk about rights as empirical phenomena susceptible of scientific analysis.

      > > It is also indisputable that they have affected people's and societies' differential reproductive success.
      > Correct.

      And you don't even notice that you have just agreed they exist.

      > > Natural rights are just the ideal rights that would enable optimum reproductive success.
      > Incorrect. "Natural hammer-rights" are just defined by you as the ideal hammer-rights that would enable optimum reproductive success. (And I have no problem with you defining "natural hammer-rights" any way you like.)

      Unresponsive. You agreed above that rights exist, so there is no point in coining stupid and dishonest terms to avoid talking about them in the hypothetical.

      > > The only disputable part is my hypothesis that the relationship between rights and reproductive success is not a coincidence.
      > There is more that is disputable on heaven an earth that is dreamed of in a philosophy based mostly on your own strongly held beliefs that whatever you happen to believe at each moment must be correct because of the size of your hammer.


      > > > So before any research program can be developed to show that what these thingies are can reasonably be asserted to be identical to some other things (or events, or values, or stories, or whatever it is exactly that Roy or anybody else is claiming that they are identical to) there must first be some demonstration that there's anything there at all? What is there identity criteria. When do we have one natural right, and when two?
      > >
      > > See above.
      > I have. Nothing there about what anybody except you means by "rights."

      False. See above: "recognized claim or title."

      > >Evolutionary psychology has proceeded whether you consider its research program possible or not.
      > It has indeed. It hasn't done you any good, though.


      > > > Of course, there are BELIEFS in natural rights, but we're not here interested in a theory of where those came from (that's the genetic fallacy at work)
      > >
      > > Huh?? So any sort of inquiry into the origins of human moral beliefs, behaviors, etc. is "the genetic fallacy at work"?
      > Of course, if one thinks that a cause of belief X is the same as a reason for belief X.

      You are conflating belief X with the capacity to believe X and both of them with the effect of believing X. Three quite different things, which you appear unable or unwilling to allow me to disentangle for you.

      So answer the question: Is ANY sort of inquiry into the origins of human moral beliefs, behaviors, etc. "the genetic fallacy at work"?

      > Reasons provide evidence; causes provide origins: maybe you'll get straight on that when you go back to school (though I have my doubts).

      I await your willingness to get straight on the difference between belief X, the capacity to believe X, and the effect of believing X.

      > > Thus you refute evolutionary psychology?
      > I haven't discussed evolutionary psychology at all.

      Or anything else.

      > I've discussed your misuse of its findings.

      Which findings would those be?

      > There's a difference.

      See above re "difference."

      > > > or what those mental events may be identical to. Presumably the similar sort of program that we used for memories may be engaged to push the identity of beliefs with neurological processes. But our claim is not about the beliefs. Beliefs in unicorns and lollipop fairies may also succumb to that research program: but that wouldn't show that the entities to which such beliefs refer are actually in the world.
      > >
      > > Rights are indisputably in the real world.
      > Hammer-rights maybe.

      Oh, get a dictionary, for pity's sake.

      > > > Anyhow, that's enough for now. The point is, even granting the memory/memory trace identity (and that's generous),
      > >
      > > No, it is not, because the alternative is effectively belief in the supernatural, in "the ghost in the machine."
      > You really are off the wall.


      > > > it doesn't take any claims about natural rights very far.
      > >
      > > See above.
      > Sigh.


      -- 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.


        The Alumni Group 
        The Henry George School
        of Los Angeles
        Tujunga   CA   90243
               (818) 352-4141

        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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