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RE: [LandCafe] Re: FT

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  • David Reed
    @WaltoSee you re still trying to reason with the irrational.As Langston sets so much store by Wikipedia which he thinks is the very last word in academic
    Message 1 of 111 , Nov 18, 2012
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      See you're still trying to reason with the irrational.As Langston sets so much store by Wikipedia which he thinks is the very last word in academic repectability, he might also be persuaded to look up the Yahoo group for evolutionary psychology on the Net.This is a group of mainly, it appears,professors and associate professors and in one significant exchange Googleable under: evolutionary psychology Yahoo group Konrad Lorentz they get down to real professional issues:they can't get grants for research if they mention evolutionary psychology.Apparently they get denounced for "fascist science".!!!
      New para.Lorentz is the starting point for the thread as a philosopher asks "Is n't it high time to rehabilitate Lorentz and acknowledge the role he played in the development of Evolutionary Psychology?"It is has to be broken to him that Lorentz had "presented a distorted version of his concept of innate schemata....as scientific support for Nazi race laws and their importance in preventing the mongrelisation of the species"It turns out KL re-visited his Nazi-friendly texts and cleaned them up post war.He had been a card carrying member of the Nazi Party, of course.  
      New para Professor Irwin Silverman of Toronto Univ makes a sensible point towards the end of the thread about such people "allowing their science to be guided by their social and political views " (Can it be science if it is guided by social and political views?).But in the light of the highly controversial nature and disputed status of Evolutionary Psychology, I think people on land cafe should be wary of Evolutionary Psychology per se and have no truck with arguments which seeks to distort LVT into a system for rewarding "reproductive success" by giving the use of the best land to the largest families.This sounds very much like re-tread eugenics  (also mentioned in the above Yahoo thread)  

      To: LandCafe@yahoogroups.com
      From: calhorn@...
      Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 22:28:25 +0000
      Subject: [LandCafe] Re: FT

      I'm going to snip all the errant and repetitive nonsense and bragging about what only you will "consent to know" your post and just respond to the substance. (There isn't much.)

      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@...> wrote:
      > > >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.


      This is reminiscent of Holmes' "Laws are what courts decide." It's what has been called a categorial claim. I take it that what you're trying to say is this:

      * Rights are just those claims to freedom from interference that are protected by some society.

      * Protection by a society is a type of societal undertaking.

      * Therefore rights are a type of societal undertaking.

      It could be called a constructivist approach, since by its lights rights aren't discovered, but made. I don't have a huge problem with this, except that I think it's slightly misleading. If you look at the argument closely, you can see that it isn't quite valid: the conclusion doesn't actually follow. I don't take that to mean that rights are God-given or otherwise "discoverable," however. I'd say that it's a weird translation of a position according to which there really aren't any such things as natural rights or laws at all. I think that putting your view that way is more consonant with correct usage.

      > > > > 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]."

      What do you take follows from the fact that the term "HUMAN RIGHTS" [empahsis yours] appears in that sentence? Again, I take the main question not to be how or when these concepts were derived (though those are also interesting and may be helpful in determining the answer to the main question), but rather whether there is anything in the world to which these concepts (new or old) actually correspond.

      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theoretical_foundations_of_evolutionary_psychology#Inclusive_fitness
      > > > > 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.

      Sometimes the meanings of terms morph so that it still makes sense to say we are talking about the same thing, sometimes there is a Kuhnian paradigm shift so that the words don't mean anything like the same thing. In the case of mass and weight, that the qualities are, as you say, "intuitively indistinguishable" actually cuts against the argument you are trying to make here. What you are calling a right and what JDK calls a right are quite easily distinguishable. If I can put words in his mouth for a second, he would say that just as there's a difference between the call an umpire makes and whether the runner was "really out"--"the societal undertakings" can also be wrong, and will be if they don't ferret out the REAL natural rights.

      And now, if I can put words in YOUR mouth for a second, I think the reply to this is that societies may indeed be wrong: they are when they construct rights that are not "success enhancing." And, I'd continue, that there are no reasonable criteria for getting rights RIGHT that can be relied upon other than such "success enhancement." (I myself prefer to demur from both views: I am not persuaded either that one can suss out "natural laws" from intuitions/revelation or from anthropology/evolutionary psychology. The whole search seems sightly cuckoo to me.)


    • 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.


        The Alumni Group 
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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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