Toleration is the disposition to fight opinion only with opinion. Not with force and not with arbitrarily declaring opposing opinions to be offensive, insulting, taboo, blasphemy or nonsense etc.
Without freedom of speech there can be no toleration.
For toleration to obtain - everyone's freedom to confront divergence of opinion with open critical reflection is necessary.
Without toleration divergence of opinion is suppressed not by better arguments but instead by force or rhetorical ploys such as ad hominems.
Group A claims to have a package of final answers on some matter. Group B claims that group A's claims have important flaws. The debate should go on rather than either one of the groups forcing the other to go quiet. Doing so has only ever tended to cause majorities to mistakenly hold many false beliefs and so too hold many mistaken ultimate truths all of which were eventually at some time or another overturned as or during revolutions.
Revolutions, and the need for revolutions can be avoided if only the debate is encouraged without one side ever forcing their beliefs on the other while at the same time also suppressing the beliefs of the other.
We all have the right to have absolutely all of our beliefs and claims face the most fervent criticisms at any time and in any place. That is tolerance. At least that is intellectual tolerance regarding the pursuit of truths and moral goodness.
Originally Posted by thermophysics
Don't do to other's, what you do not want other's to do to you.
All what you wrote above can be expressed by that simple sentence/rule. Man likes to overcomplicate matters with long dissertation's to make matters look complicated, and therefore make others believe that we need such entities to regulate our life's, they are called rulers/politicians.
Tthere are two types in this world.
1) Those who live by the golden rule.
2) Those who make up their own rules, to rule those who want to live by the golden rule.
Which are you ???
Confucius, hey!? :)
Originally Posted by royc
"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
But any murderer would not want to be punished - so surely we should not punish them? We should only punish those who would consent to punishment?
What about wilful reckless drivers? They want to drive recklessly. Surely we should then not prevent them?
Personally, I think even a psychopath can follow rules - they would do so out of a rational tendency toward prudence. They would rationally hedge their bets one way or another based on what was prudent.
I would prefer to live amongst people who could tell the difference between right and wrong - not people who act prudently.
There is a famous problem regarding the discoveries of various criteria. It was highlighted by the ancient sceptics. "How can any criterion of reliable moral knowledge be chosen unless we already possess some reliable criterion for making that choice?"
What this means is that if someone possesses a criterion by which to judge which rules should be followed and which not then concomitantly they possess the criterion needed to judge one situation from the next. Judging what to do in this particular moral situation, here or there, is precisely the same in kind as when making judgements regarding rules.
And if we possess such a criterion then we are better off practising use of it than abandoning this inner moral sense for a life lead instead by the prudential fetishising of certain laws.
So, when it comes to moral theories my choice is toward Particularism but perhaps treated with a little Aristotelian virtue ethics, throw in a little non-cognitivism and perhaps a little utilitarianism. The arguments for the likes of a divine command theory or a deontology such as Kant's are bad ones.
In fact here is a copy of a short assignment I did on this topic...
Non-cognitivists believe that when we act morally we must act to satisfy a desire of our own. Can such an action be truly moral?
Kant thought that the morally right thing to do could be determined a priori through reason meaning that the rational person, knowing the situation and the moral laws, could deduce from such a moral law and the particular situation what claims regarding actions would be true and which false. But then psychopaths known to be also highly rational and in full possession of their particular society’s customary moral laws, and any popularly practised calculus regarding the implementation of such laws, still anyway can act most amorally as a result of brain abnormalities which we say have evidently distorted their emotional capacities. They readily calculate what is and is not just but still fail to care either way.
But then countering the above are the discoveries that the likes of mathematical reasoning lights up the same areas of the brain as do moral reasoning with no additional regions being lit up suggesting in turn that all good reasoning requires emotional evaluation. But then why can psychopaths still be such good reasoners? And then still it seems that even if one wanted to be a purely rational person whose reasoning is free of all emotional influence - that itself would surely still be a desire which invokes the concept of emotion.
Our languages, levels of education and cultures all vary around the world but despite this there are some emotions common to all of mankind. Whilst emotions are said not to admit of truth or falsity in the way that beliefs hanging in logical space are we do still see them as intentional being directed at elements of the world and in a manner being representational of those elements. The basic emotions common to all of humanity include at least joy, distress, anger, fear, surprise and disgust while higher cognitive emotions which are still common to all of humanity but manifest more according to local cultural variations are love, guilt, shame, embarrassment, pride, envy and jealousy. We do not consider happiness and sadness as emotions – one reason is that they are not intentional but are more like moods in the way that moods are not said to be directed at anything in particular. The likes of babies grimacing and smiling even when they are blind suggest that all the above basic emotions are innate.
Even if one were to subscribe to a moral law of sorts regarding actions - from where would the requisite motives or desires come from necessary for such a subscription? What is right and wrong is not a property of any act itself but seems instead an emotional experience occurring within us as a secondary property. Experiments with blind persons have revealed that some are still very obviously able to detect the basic human emotions of joy, distress, anger, fear, surprise and disgust on the faces of others even if visually they can see nothing of those same faces standing opposite them. The detection is inferred from the fact that the corresponding facial expressions put on by the experimenters are clearly mirrored by the blind person’s face while the blind person cannot say why those expressions and feelings have come about. Brain scans follow the paths of such signals not to the visual cortex at the rear of the brain but instead to somewhere in the lower central area of the brain. Perhaps answers to the puzzle regarding emotion and ordinary reasoning and the reasoning powers of psychopaths might be found somewhere here.
How could we grant an act done as morally good if the person performing that act had no desire to carry it out but was instead merely following a set of rules? If it even make sense to assume that no desires of any sort at all are required for a person to be caused to follow rules? Sure, emotions themselves, whilst intentional, are not beliefs, so they can’t themselves be true or false, and so if they are to be fruitful they must be receptive to influences of our better judgements associated with the application of reasons concerning beliefs. This suggests a fine interweaving of the two, reason and emotion. In the complexities of our modern world many emotional experiences are now even less reliable as representations of the world out there than they used to be and so are more often revealed by our reason as inappropriate. None the less, it still seems that even those higher level reason-assisted judgements can’t be considered evaluations without recognition of the role played by emotions. Certainly we can’t always rely on our emotions but they are what give us the necessary initial indications that something requires higher order evaluation.
Kant might have thought that to be moral one had to obey the moral law unemotionally but I would view such a person like a child or a robot as merely a cute mimicry of the real thing incapable of feeling remorse or having a sense of injustice. Such a person would appear to me to be a gimmick or even a psychopath and not at all anything of a moral agent.
My shorter assignment on Particularism...
Particularists argue that there is a prior web of criteria by which we choose our particular moral actions, their reasons, based on their moral features each made relevant or irrelevant by context sensitivities.
In response to each particular moral situation we choose those actions which have the most favourable features toward an outcome preferred according to an inner criterion. This approach seems not to encounter the moral dilemmas arising out of the atomists attempts to abstract for application, from observed moral events, general moral rules each thereafter assumed or even asserted to be absolute. The normal response to dilemmas is often to make ad hoc rules for the prioritisation of those competing general rules. But even here again with ad hoc rules the existence of a prior criterion is unwittingly assumed.
Perhaps there are some features of actions that have an invariant relevance such as torturing babies for fun but then these don’t appear to me to be a general principle but rather a judgement made about babies in the same way as is lying to a Nazi about the known whereabouts of particular Jews. The recognition of invariants is of the same in type as the recognition of any particularist’s exemplary morally featured actions. The existence of apparent invariants helps one none with the applications of criteria in the remaining myriad of variant circumstances.
It seems possible that what make a moral belief true are the hard wirings of human emotion and the generalist’s rules might have their use at least during the early years of an agent’s moral development when reasons for acting are based on a still indistinct play of moral features.
Well you answered my question of which you are. Btw there is a lot one can learn from the old Confucius proverbs.
I know you think I'm simplistic, I'm not. If you think I'm going to read all that, I'm not, I used to read stuff like that before the age of 14, and I'm 69 now. I know all about the complications of overthinking what goes on in human beings, it's kind of a curse on western civilization, and has brought us where we are today.
I have a good friend, him and I used to talk about stuff like that, and we came to a conclusion....it's called mental manipulation. That's what you and others like you do, you attempt to manipulate others with lots of words and quotation of other manipulators, to convince us that we have a need for absolution from The Order of Manipulators.
The Edward Bernays of this world are the most evil manipulators this world has ever seen, and he was related to whom???
Humans are very easy to figure out, all one has to do is take an honest look within him/her self, after that you will know all there is to know, it's actually very simple.
The problem is, most are very reluctant to do so, cause they will never want to admit how much evil resides there, so they use others as subjects to dissect, claiming to be above it all, when in actuality they are dissecting themselves.
Damn Roy, that was very well said. I was trying to figure out how to say just that. But you did it so much better.
Originally Posted by royc
Substitute Manipulators with Masturbateres....works too.:grin2:
Originally Posted by jmac00
Originally Posted by thermophysics
This is an affliction that usually affects usually otherwise smart people. They have great theories and conceptual ideals. But unfortunately, nothing applies in the madcap world reality. So it is just bonkers.
I see it this way:
Knowledge, like bricks, knowing stuff.
Wisdom, knowing how to stack the bricks together to make something.
Understanding, like the mortar to fill in the imperfections and cement the blocks.
A great collection of knowledge is as useless as a pile of bricks.
But now you are doing philosophy. When we think about thinking, which is what you are doing here in your making of comments about thinking, then you would want to get it right - getting it rights requires philosophising and so the invocation of the tools of philosophy - we call them philosophical devices.
Originally Posted by Tool-Slinger
If you cannot offer argument in support of your claims here, above, then you are operating from mere intuition.
The philosophical question that follows that philosophical observation is "How reliable is intuition?".
Well, since at least the 17th century, philosophers have accepted that intuition is a most unreliable epistemic tool indeed.
Intuition told us the earth stands still and the sun and other heavenly bodies orbit it.
Intuition told us that the stars were close enough for us to observe a parallax with the naked eye and so if the earth were to be orbiting the sun a parallax would have been observed.
Intuition told us that if the earth were spinning then all the air, animals, water and loose stones would have been thrown off.
Intuition told us that heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects.
What philosophers noticed, like Francis Bacon, was that ultimately experience is the test of all statements about the world - that is of all statements not logically necessary.
But we humans also reason about those experiences - we build systems we imagine are impliedly related to those experiences - and this is where philosophy is necessary - philosophy is the practice of policing all our reasoning about what is experienced out in the world.
Philosophy has established that since intuition is so very unreliable when it comes to matters of knowledge one must instead endeavour to construct arguments valid in form comprised of true propositions so that what is here and there decided to be the case and not the case by everyday reasoning, one matter to another, is founded on either sound arguments, when they are deductive, or rationally persuasive arguments, when they are inductive and that all premisses - as in all propositions - in subject and predicate form - are made explicit for examination.
Usually at least one premiss is a generalisation - Socrates established and mastered the tools used to test generalisations - he came up with the philosophical device call "Counter example".
Knowledge is defined, since Plato, to be Justified True Belief.
Justification is about how our beliefs hang together in logical space.
Truth is a metaphysical term about the necessary or contingent aspects of the world.
Beliefs are object directed states of mind translatable into subject and predicate type declarative statements that can be either true or false.
Wisdom, well, I liked the one shared with me recently which goes like this...
Knowledge is of the likes of understanding that a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is of the likes of the understanding that a tomato should not go into a fruit salad.
If you can't support your position with good argument then I have to assume you are relying on intuition and therefore I am forced to assume that your position has been established by very unreliable means.
For someone who thinks he is so intellectually superior to everyone else here, the OP has to follow up his own posts with two more separate posts because he cannot make one cohesive thought. His only reason for posting here is an attempt to massage his own frail ego because he is so insecure.
I was thinking the same thing. He would make a good politician though. He has the ability to write/talk without really making a point! Actually, I'm guessing that most of his posting is copied and pasted.:angel:
Originally Posted by hearthman
If you can't support your position with good argument then I have to assume you are relying on intuition and therefore I am forced to assume that your position has been established by very unreliable means.[/QUOTE]
And we all know what happens when you assume!