Gaya Ethaniel: Hello :)
Gilles Kuhn: hello Gaya
Gilles Kuhn: yes Dali send me apologise due to rl obligation he cannot make it tonight
Gaya Ethaniel: btw Dali left his response on wiki - Talk:Birric_on_Ethics_by_Birric_Forcella
Birric Forcella: I love wabbits
Gaya Ethaniel: What's wabbits Birric?
Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Satre :)
Sartre Placebo: hey everyone
Melchizedek Blauvelt: hi all
TR Amat: Personally I think robot rabbits are more interesting. :)
Birric Forcella: I thought you was a wabbit
Gilles Kuhn: hello to all incoming
Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Melchizedek and Dali :)
Gaya Ethaniel: :D
Gilles Kuhn: ah Dali I was thinking you were in some kind of commuter nightmare good to see you!
Dali Waverider: glad I could make it.
Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks for your piece on wiki still Dali.
Gilles Kuhn: well is time to start so as it's the first formal session I need to remember to all that all will be logged and post on the web and that you by your presence accept that
Birric Forcella: Everybody have my little essay - if not, you can have it now and read it before we start
Gaya Ethaniel: Birric_on_Ethics_by_Birric_Forcella
Melchizedek Blauvelt: just hope you present the left side of my face Gilles
Gilles Kuhn: for the newcomer that i welcome btw the principle of the seminar is to discuss articles about philosophy (generally quite technical one)
Melchizedek Blauvelt: it's the better looking part
Gilles Kuhn: today however we will let our seminarist Birric present and defend his own text and I let him continue
TR Amat: I assume you are not philosophically opposed to adverts, Birric. :)
Gilles Kuhn: Birric?
Birric Forcella: Yes, if you like, I can say a few intro words
Gilles Kuhn: yes please
Birric Forcella: Sorry, but I can't get my spiffy green text to work (like Simulat's) so it will be just regular pastes
Birric Forcella: I didn't want to rewrite the essay for this discussion, knowing that people don't read things anyway and that one additional piece would only cause confusion.
Birric Forcella: The problem with the essay is that for consumption outside of PH, it starts a bit too strongly and may turn off/sidetrack people before they get to my actual argument. So for the moment, ignore Point I and the beginning of Point II
Birric Forcella: The essay is a small, but integral part of my larger philosophy which comes complete with a cosmology and a utopic social vision, which is actually implied by what is said.
Birric Forcella: It would go too far to discuss the wider philosophy - Just as a quick sketch, it is about a social conception (never before worked out in this way) which would gradually make laws and punishment obsolete by use of the mechanisms outlined in the essay, as well as other considerations beyond it.
Birric Forcella: One mechanism I cannot go into here involves making states conform to people rather than people conform to states, as is the case now. Currently consequences morals are rigged against the individual. I would like to point out that I see this as a pragmatic process and I remain completely agnostic about how far this can be taken and how much state/laws will in the end survive. All I am after is an optimal solution. There are no ideologies behind it, merely observations which can be supported by verifiable facts.
Birric Forcella: While the name Kant is not mentioned, it should be clear that this programme is directed front and center at the prevailing Western ideology of value guided individuals - an ideology which is strongly associated with Kant's ideas, one way or another.
Birric Forcella: In this discussion I will not argue about Kant's writings in detail, since those present a moving target, but I will simply assume a "generic" view of Kant.
Gilles Kuhn: (ahem I totally disagree with this view of Kant)
Birric Forcella: In essence, I am advocating a movement away from the anal sadistic obsessive-compulsive morality of individuals who have to check with their superego for every action if it is in keeping with a universal law. I advocate the vision of a free, self-regulated individual with an unbroken self who owns his actions outright. I realize that people like that are likely formed early and life by escaping the common emotionally damaging influences of our society, and that for most Westerners even the thought of such freedom is terrifying.
Birric Forcella: The more an individual is obsessed with morals and ethics, the more he betrays that inside him is a level at which he does not trust himself and the actions that might spring from his unalloyed wishes. A self-regulated being has not such problems and is characterized by the simple fact that he trusts and owns his body/mind.
Melchizedek Blauvelt: (same here)
Birric Forcella: There are a number of assumptions underlying this essay which, if you should be interested, I would like to reserve for another date. One is a specific solution to the free will question - another is my theory of pleasure/reality.
Gaya Ethaniel: [In some ways, you sound like Kant, Birric]
Gilles Kuhn: (agreed Gaya)
Birric Forcella: As I said, I am assuming a generic view of Kant with which you probably will not agree - and I think you are right. However, Kant did get us saddled with things like duty and the categorical imperative. So there
Gaya Ethaniel: Self-reliant ... not conforming to externally imposed rules etc.
Birric Forcella: Well, yes, though I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Hegelian, I can't deny nor hide my schooling
Gilles Kuhn: indeed if you read Kant correctly Birric your critic of ethics and moral are in fact critic of heteronomics one which Kant methodically destroy
Birric Forcella: Btw, I visited the grave of Hegel during my vacation. If you want, I have a picture of me next to the tombstone.
Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry Birric, please continue.
Birric Forcella: That was it
Birric Forcella: As far as the intro goes
TR Amat: You appear to completely dismiss the idea of society as a net of agreements, starting with "I agree not to try and kill you". You seem to assume that morals and ethics are not just a formalisation of such agreements.
Gilles Kuhn: the difference i see between yours and Kant position are however multiple first you seems to assume that only emotion are the essence of a united self which Kant would contest as i do
Dali Waverider: I'd like the picture, please.
Birric Forcella: TR, there is a difference between agreements and laws.
TR Amat: I agree, laws could be argued to proceed from agreements.
Birric Forcella: I'll bring it up. It will be above my head.
Gilles Kuhn: secondly you have an abhorrence or internal rational coherency rule as Kant imperative which is only a means to assure you to not divide yourself in fact and as I see lot of Freudian theoretical terms in your arguments I am puzzled that you seems to say that we are united and by emotions when Kant indeed naively assumed we are united (as self) by our reason
Gilles Kuhn: or =of*
Birric Forcella: There's the picture over my head
Gaya Ethaniel: :)
TR Amat: For one thing I'm not convinced my self is always unified. :)
TR Amat: And, that is just when I'm awake. :)
Birric Forcella: Well, I'm only partly indebted to Freud - the division thing is actually past him
Birric Forcella: Also, of course, this hasn't even occurred to me - an undivided emotional self of course would mean also an undivided intellectual self
Birric Forcella: It would be hard not to
Gilles Kuhn: mmmh ok agreed on that
TR Amat: Personally, I vary. :)
Birric Forcella: Well, right, TR, 99 percent of the people's selves are divided. That's the point
TR Amat: If I wasn't divided I wouldn't be able to test my ideas against various possible approaches.
Birric Forcella: Did you read the essay? Please don't just react to my intro.
TR Amat: Yes, I read your essay.
Gilles Kuhn: but actually I agree with some of your arguments but indeed I saw them as against what Kant call heteronomic morals morals imposed by an external agent
Gilles Kuhn: which as Kant and you say are the doom of all humanity since a long long time
TR Amat: I thought your essay took and an interesting isolationist viewpoint.
Birric Forcella: Well, I don't see how Kant can sustain that position - since in the end he himself succumbs to the heteronomic morals - see his support of the Prussian state. I think that all morals are ultimately heteronomic in that sense. If Kant believes some are a-priori, he simply deludes himself
Gaya Ethaniel: I agree some part of it incl. not conforming blindly to laws, rules etc. but I'm not entirely sure about having 'pleasure' my guidance in moral matters.
Gilles Kuhn: but indeed as TR just pointed out your point of view go I think way farther than advocating autonomy of ethic
TR Amat: I do agree with what seems to be a requirement on a 'complete' individual to be internally judgemental of their own actions.
Gilles Kuhn: which TR is equivalent to Kant position
Birric Forcella: I have recently read a number of articles pointing out how nicely Kant, after abolishing god, brought back the Christian ethics and morals lock stock and barrel. I mean, that has a reason.
Gilles Kuhn: I don't trust commentators and prefer the originals text Birric not for nothing we worked directly on it
TR Amat: Atheism was not an acceptable state at that date, if I've got my history right.
Gilles Kuhn: actually it was a time when atheism begin to be in fashion
Gaya Ethaniel: Doesn't it feel good to love your neighbours Birric?
Birric Forcella: Anybody want to see some other graves like Fichte - Marcuse - Brothers Grimm - Brecht - ?
Gilles Kuhn: brecht !!!
TR Amat: I thought agnosticism was acceptable, if dubious, atheism was not on?
Melchizedek Blauvelt: an authonomic ethic doesn't necessarily presuppose an auronomic individual understanding that ethic, though
Gaya Ethaniel: I want to see Grimm :)
Gilles Kuhn: even Pascal one hundred years before spoke of atheism (and was one in a perverted way)
Dali Waverider: Birric quite a grave fellow, it would appear.
Gaya Ethaniel giggles.
TR Amat: Philosophically grave...
Birric Forcella: Original or not - I'm just saying I'm not the only one who observed that. I mean, I'm not going to read all of Kant again just to make my point. My essay originally didn't even have Kant in mind - and it can stand perfectly well on its own.
Gilles Kuhn: Melch the autonomic ethic is only possible from an individual point of view by definition
Gilles Kuhn: agreed to that Birric
Gilles Kuhn: but I must point out that your essay is a well ferocious criticism that don't give any kind of solution
TR Amat: What does your position imply about what others can trust, or what expectations can they have, of someone who takes this stance?
Melchizedek Blauvelt: not really, if that ethic doesn't care about individuals
Birric Forcella: My point is that all ethics and morals naturally crave more ethics and morals and will become oppressive - something easily seen in any society.
Gilles Kuhn: Melch autonomic ethics are only about the individual moral agent
Birric Forcella: Ethics will saddle us with a society in which half are in prison and the others jailers.
Gilles Kuhn: point taken and i must say i agreed when you refer to heteronomics one
Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... are we talking about ethics that each of us understands and follow on our own accord or ethical codes imposed by society? Or both?
Dali Waverider: I think if we use robots, we'll be able to do much better than half in prison.
Gilles Kuhn: because if you take the definition of ethics is about to make choice which we are bound to make as even abstaining to choose in any situation is a choice
TR Amat: Ethics isn't intended to give us a society in which we can mostly go about our personal business, in the expectation of reasonableness and fairness from others?
TR Amat: Worry when the robots start getting put in prison too. :)
Gilles Kuhn: is that not a bit constrained by a teleological aim TR?
Melchizedek Blauvelt: Your question pertains to morals TR, not ethics
Birric Forcella: I am saying that no such thing as an ethical or moral code can possibly exist. They are compound things which are caused by various internal states in the individual. Mostly the fact that the individual does not trust his brain/mind and is looking for additional crutches.
TR Amat: Up to a point, but, it depends how much things are keyed to situations, I'd have thought.
Gilles Kuhn: well sadly Birric they can exist the problem is are they wishable and can they work for me if they are not only about the freedom of the individual as in Kant the response is no
TR Amat: Does society issue each one of us with an ethics kit, needed self-assembly? :)
Melchizedek Blauvelt: yeah, morals deals with situations, ethics deals with the human all round
Birric Forcella: Insofar as codes are concerned - like the ones floating around societies - I would challenge you to show me a single one to which your standards of "ethics" or "moral" could be applied.
Gilles Kuhn: Melch actually ethic is about comportment so decision moral is about more the theoretical background of them
TR Amat: How about "If you don't try and kill me, I won't try and kill you"?
Gilles Kuhn: may I ask you what you consider our standards to be ?
Gaya Ethaniel: What is wrong with 'Do not kill.' Birric?
Birric Forcella: No, Gilles, of course ethics can exist in the sense that theology can exist - but it has no content, just as theology cannot possibly have a content because there is no god. If there is no god, then theology, of course, is really about something else -
Gilles Kuhn: well if you are a Jew in Warsaw in 1942 it's a big wrong in that Gaya
TR Amat: I'm glad that you have faith in there being no god. :)
Gilles Kuhn: and agreed Birric
TR Amat: For society to work, you need "do not kill", as a start.
Gaya Ethaniel: Well yes Gilles, it shows killing is unethical. One sees a lasting impact of such unethical behaviour on everyone incl those who did carry out.
Birric Forcella: Gilles, you seem to overlook that all atrocities ever carried out in history - from the Warsaw Ghetto, to Pol Pot, to Columbine, to 911, were carried out because the perpetrator thought they were doing the RIGHT and ETHICAL thing.
Gilles Kuhn: I don't consider any kind of morals or ethics or laws to be ontological
Gaya Ethaniel: That was either ideology or political propaganda not ... ethics Birric.
Birric Forcella: The question is quite simple: Are there arrangements which will cause less pain than morality. And clearly, there are.
TR Amat: Actually, a lot of atrocities started with defining the subjects as 'not us' ('not human') and as morals and ethics apply to humans...
Gaya Ethaniel nods ... divisive thinking.
Gilles Kuhn: actually Birric about the Nazi they were heideggerians and considered that there was no ethics morals or good or bad things only the tragic fate of the deutsch volk and the dasein for his only "authentic preoccupation" i e : his own death
Birric Forcella: Right - it's ETHICAL to get rid of non-humans. That's what I said
TR Amat: "The people on the other side of the hill, they worship demons and eat babies. Therefore they are not human, and we can take their goods and kill them as we like."
Birric Forcella: I don't want to quibble about Nazis now. All I am saying is that Hitler thought he was doing the right thing - by his lights
Gaya Ethaniel: Why? There will be no food to eat, no place to live anymore for you Birric if you get rid of all non-humans.
Melchizedek Blauvelt: Gilles - they just thought they could think poetically without using grammatical thought
Gilles Kuhn: yes and his light was a negation of all morality and ethics and most definitely the negation of the human as ethic subject i e as free btw the idea came from Hegel
Melchizedek Blauvelt: Or like Husserl said a phenomenological mode of thought with an obkective moment
Melchizedek Blauvelt: *objective ofc
Dali Waverider: Birric, are you very sure that Hitler did not take pleasure in his actions?
Birric Forcella: Once you go down the path of finding "what is right" - you will necessarily find more things that are "righter" and more and more. There is no end to it - and it has to be stopped.
TR Amat: Put people under enough pressure of a wide variety and reason goes out the window. And, your internal judgement, Birric. It is a big fight to keep the situation one where reason can be used at all.
Birric Forcella: I give up - are you even trying to follow my argument? - btw, Helgel, also, supported the Prussian state - much like Kant
Gilles Kuhn: agreed so why not consider autonomous Kantian ethic based and promoting only individuals freedom and coherence of own reason?
TR Amat: I think your argument is partly the basis of many legal systems, Birric.
Birric Forcella: Because the nature of ethics is the idea that you "need to guide yourself."
Gilles Kuhn: yes Hegel in fact negated the individuals that was following his ideas a passed part of the evolution toward absolute spirit for him the Prussian state and the state were a step forward and for that reason all totalitarian state are issued from Hegel philosophy of history...
Birric Forcella: Yes, I've heard rumours about Hegel . . .
Gilles Kuhn: well i read things of him that a anarchist like you (or me even if we don't agree in a lot of theme) would consider horrendous
TR Amat: Birric, you are proposing the individual chooses how they behave using what inputs? Consequences? Pleasure?
Birric Forcella: BTW, anybody who influenced me I sharply disagree with. That's why I rarely even drop names. I have very fundamental differences with Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Reich, Rand, only to name a few of the people who are dear to me.
Gilles Kuhn: commendable attitude indeed !
Birric Forcella: I like Hegel mostly for his systematic idealism which fits exactly into my view that "we are the universe." - but that has little to do with the subject at hand.
Birric Forcella: Well, considering the passionate opposition my views usually get, this convo is kinda wimpy
Gaya Ethaniel: :)
Melchizedek Blauvelt: I'm such a sucker for the "we have to reach out to the universe" theme both Aristotle and Kant had, not that it fits into this discussion either
Dali Waverider: well this group is pretty much an anarchist's convention, so that's not surprising.
TR Amat: I could try and be nastier. :)
Gaya Ethaniel: Think I've said enough about what I think re: your essay.
Dali Waverider: may I paste my comments into chat?
Gaya Ethaniel: Well if we are universe, it absolutely makes sense to rely on ourselves for guidance :)
Birric Forcella: Actually, I'm not an anarchist - but anarchists really should hate what I wrote - since it basically is a roadmap to my view of an "ideal society," and I don't think any anarchist I know of would like it
TR Amat: I'd still like to know just how wide a range of inputs an individual has for their behavioural choice.
Gilles Kuhn: well Birric too we are familiar with your views and we put them on a very theoretical ground so we can aknowledge diffeence without killing each other and take champagne when finished (and even during....)
Birric Forcella: You completely misunderstood it, Gaya.
Gaya Ethaniel: Go ahead Dali.
Dali Waverider: While I take most of Birric's criticisms to heart, I'm not led to the same conclusion...or any conclusion at all, for that matter. From my POV, Birric has proposed his own ethical system, which is to act toward one's pleasure. It's a reasonable system, but I can easily imagine a majoritarian pleasure-principled mob persecuting small groups of heretical communitarians. Also, I think of Jeffrey Dahmer's pleasures.
Dali Waverider: Like Birric, I am sickened by the overbearing meddlesomeness of the state and the church, but unlike Birric, I don't blame Holy Wars on Christ, nor Marx for Stalin's "sins". Any system can be maladopted toward contrary goals.
Birric Forcella: I'm not sure what you mean with range of inputs, TR
Dali Waverider: Nature has evolutionarily given us some communitarian instincts; the groups who worked together survived. My own personal ethical system would be to seriously study the history of applied "ethics", learn from the cautionary tales, be much less sure (in general), and attempt from that to develop a personalized empathy to govern interpersonal relations. And then step back, and not take it all too seriously.
Dali Waverider: end.
Gilles Kuhn: and I consider myself as an anarchist politically speaking and well some of Birric view are not so far of stiner but most leftist anarchist would hate him ;-)
Melchizedek Blauvelt: well you got me there Gilles
TR Amat: Is pleasure the only input in an individual's decision making under your scheme?
Birric Forcella: Mine is NOT an ethical system. To act from one's pleasure in my system is actually NOT an imperative but an observation. You really can't BUT act from your pleasure. The only thing is that you can misunderstand and misinterpret your motives - and today's society supports that
TR Amat: Does the lack of pleasure in not being torn apart by your fellows that you have upset too much figure into things?
Birric Forcella: As I said in the intro, discussing the underlying theory of pleasure is a bit much - however, my point is that people will have NO CHOICE but to do the RIGHT thing in a well ordered society - because the right thing and the pleasurable thing are the same
Gilles Kuhn: well Birric but what I deem as ethical choice is when you are confronted to choice when you can act for your egoistical pleasure or act in a manner that at least immediately would be less pleasurable
Gilles Kuhn: sorry Birric but what do you mean by "well ordered society"? because this notion send shiver to my spine.....
TR Amat: Is a well-ordered society a static one, by this definition?
TR Amat: Personally, I like society around me to run smoothly enough I can put a lot of my energies into what concerns me...
Birric Forcella: Well, Gilles, this is the reason why I don't even like to mention Freud. In Freud's terminology, what I am talking about, is actually called "Reality Principle." - The Reality Principle in basically the used of "enlightened self interest" which perfectly allows for postponement of gratification for later greater gratification. However, I really have no choice but to talk about pleasure since most people don't understand the fine points of Freud. What you have in mind - immediate gratification - is what Freud called the "pleasure principle" and it is associated with children.
TR Amat: But, a lot of this presupposes that others are trying to keep their bits of society that they are concerned with working smoothly...
Gilles Kuhn: ok that is clear for me and make more much sense
Gilles Kuhn: but there you can perfectly agreed with Kant again Birric very satisfying to be free and coherent in your choices ....
Birric Forcella: Well, a disordered society is one that creates "right" laws which cause suffering - like a society that thinks that laws against drugs are "right" because it's unethical to do drugs. A well-ordered society would abolish all laws which are unnecessary, pain producing, and counterproductive. That's about 95 percent of our criminal code right there. A well-ordered society would attempt to bring people's pleasure in line with what is considered "good." I do realize that we really need to rework our views of what is good and desirable.
Gilles Kuhn: well Birric that sound quite anarchist for me i can go for that in these terms....
TR Amat: Doesn't "enlightened self interest" imply issues with how much foresight you have?
Birric Forcella: I must be doing something wrong . . . There can't be this much agreement . . .
Gaya Ethaniel: :)
Dali Waverider: well, when you make such good sense, it's hard to disagree with you.
Gilles Kuhn: as for me a legitimate society is one to try to maximise the right (all the rights including economical etc) of all the individuals
TR Amat: I will admit to being opposed to "victim less crimes" like drug use, or suicide. You then need to consider how society handles the consequences of these, in terms of dependencies.
Birric Forcella: Yes, TR, I never said that people can't do stupid things for reasons of being uninformed - neither do I think that suffering will disappear or even should disappear. The question simply is, what is our attitude towards somebody who did/say something stupid?
Gilles Kuhn: and by the rights i mean definitely the freedom of all individuals !
Gilles Kuhn: educate him
Dali Waverider: seed him to reeducation camp. B-)
Gaya Ethaniel giggles ... sounds grim.
Birric Forcella: My attitude is not that he "ought" to be different - my attitude is that there are objective facts which made him/her do/say what he did/said. And that can be changed. As you can easily see, I don't agree with the most fundamental assumptions of Rand and libertarianism - namely the full responsibility of people for their actions
Gilles Kuhn: no try to speak with him i was not for camps lol :-)
TR Amat: A great deal of a 'good' society would be about offering opportunities to individuals. There are some interesting questions about how you offer negative feedback to limit actions destructive to society.
Gilles Kuhn: Birric at this rate you will become socio democrat before the end of the night ;-)
Melchizedek Blauvelt: G forbid
Birric Forcella: Well, Dali, what you overlook is the fact that all of our current society IS a reeducation camp - a reeducation camp that from earliest childhood tries to damage our psyche and force us into the stance of the "dutiful" conformer
Gilles Kuhn: which G me the bearded old one or the masonic one? ;-)
Dali Waverider: Birric, I don't overlook that. I agree with you.
Melchizedek Blauvelt: You have room to choose G(illes)
Gilles Kuhn: again even if I don't go in the Freudian symbolism i quite agree with Birric again
Gaya Ethaniel: :)
TR Amat: One thing I find interesting is the idea of responsibility and self-reliance being paramount, when it is clear that for some of our lives we can be neither. Birric Forcella: Yeah, that is very close to the US "liberal" view - however, socialists and US liberals all take refuge in punishment when it comes down to ti (and lots of it).
Gaya Ethaniel: I hate to leave such an agreeable discussion but it's time for me to go. Someone please add the rest of the log on wiki.
Gilles Kuhn: what's you alternative for punishment for let say a mass murderer Birric?
Dali Waverider: Thanks for the wiki, Gaya.
Gaya Ethaniel: Good night :) Thanks Dali for adding your piece! Gilles Kuhn: bye Gaya I will post it on the Google group and send you a copy
Birric Forcella: I'm going to have to write something a bit more controversial. Where did all the bile go I caused when I introduced this for the first time?
Gaya Ethaniel: ok great