• luckswallowsall
    We don't have any choices:

    (1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

    (2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

    (3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.

    Reductionism makes sense because everything ultimately reduces to fundamental elements. This applies to ethics as much as anything else.

    Some values are invalid because they cause more harm than good.
  • RW Standing
    Populism: A basic dictionary meaning of Populism is that of promoting the interests of ordinary people. But it might be related to the way referenda and elections work, in taking a crude majority opinion as a democratic choice. Or accepting an aggregate of public opinion and then governing so as to cater for the broadest width of this opinion. This is rather like governing according to fashion. It may contain some or no intelligence or logic, or consistent use of values.
    In fact it is a method that would seem to be consistent with Anarchistic individualism and social randomness.
    Against that there is an authoritarian form of decision making or government. This is rather theocratic with a ‘church’ that sets an agenda which future members of the church must accept. Creating a self-perpetuating authority that uses logic to justify its bigotry. Or we have a technological form of authority in which everything in life and living is designed for the general public by the academic hierarchy.
    Thirdly, there is a more organic form of social rule and consensus. Not unlike what we have in Britain. But one on which the producers at all levels are working for the public benefit, and not for self-aggrandisement. Government is representative and public opinion or referenda are for advisement. Salaries and other ‘earnings’ are not let loose in globalised competition to create stratospheric unbridled rewards. The epitome of public service is the scientists and others we have long had, who work for the intrinsic rewards of knowledge with a secure income.
  • RW Standing
    Social Choice: It may be asked how We and the World can or should choose the form of society we have. Either Anarchistic, Authoritarian, or Altruistic.
    The plain answer is that the question is false.
    If individuals have a choice about their lives, independent of others, then they are already in a degree of anarchistic society.
    If they have adopted a bigoted form of religion-philosophy then they are already on course to tyranny.
    If they have mutual concern for any form of welfare then they are already on course to altruism.
    Or plain confused!
    It may take very little to knock the boat of course. An individual or group with increasing power in anarchistic society may well take control. The rigidity of authoritarian rule may come up against the foibles of Nature, and collapse. Altruist society may adopt pragmatic measures to ensure security that warps into authoritarianism.
    At the purely individual level it may be stated that an Altruist is an Altruist by the fact of his global history, in nature and nurture. Why would he contradict his own innate ethos, other than by outer forces working on him that cannot be withstood.
    Such are the limits of freewill.
  • SophistiCat
    Have you heard of "blogs"? It's a hot new thing on the Internet - you should check it out!
  • RW Standing
    Someone appears to think reductionism makes sense. If this is simply analysing the parts and how they work, then that is true. But my meaning is that all the parts must be considered together in the process of analysing the parts.
    What I have said about freewill is slightly confused. But I am inclined to think we are the products of our history, but at some point we may reach a metaphorical crossroads with both ways of similar moral force and the question is whether random throw of the dice exists for us.
  • RW Standing
    If we are dealing with ethical values. The idea that there is anything self-evidently true, as in virtuous, is probably absurd. Except that it is self-evident that if a person wants something or has a particular feeling then it is true that he has that feeling. If that involves empathy then he is inclined to those acts that involve empathy. He may simply see the logic of acting as if he has empathy. But that means he has a predilection for social intercourse. If he merely wishes to eat and breathe then his ethics will be little other than that of nature and the animal world at large. If we are altruistic then what is right or wrong or virtuous will be evident within that, and against end-values that contradict altruism. That almost makes sense.
  • RW Standing
    Tyranny: If not already mentioned. Authoritarian-Tyranny is not a system that many people espouse openly. We are used to liberal protest, as in China and Russia today amongst many other places. A tyrant is a person that most people would condemn and remove by almost any means. But the perfect society may be such as was found in ancient Egypt, with a universal system of cosmology and belief. It may be assumed there were those who dissented privately but the reform of religion required the authority of one particular pharaoh, and that did not last.
    We today may revel in the fact that we have AI and genetic therapy. A place such as China may soon have a virtually perfect tyranny, in which everyone glories in their service to the system. And indeed, they may all be well fed and housed. As they well might be since a starveling can barely serve anything.
    The only question is whether the established hierarchy would have such logic as may throw up doubts. The only way out of such a system would be if the populace had the freedom to discuss all and anything. The term discuss set against a more anarchistic freedom of rancid speech. If this were so then it would not be a perfect tyranny.
    In point of fact, after much discussion, much of the system that existed may be agreed to continue. The point about altruism being that alternative, or variant systems, may be devised that cooperate overall. This leaves the possibility of evolution for ethical and other practical purposes. Altruists are not in favour of enslaved minds.
  • RW Standing
    Positive – Negative: These are excellent terms with various uses. Antonyms are central to my observations. The most useful form of positive-negative is to indicate a presence or absence of some quality, or a scale from zero. Use of the terms to indicate approval or disapproval is also relevant. Thus tyranny is positive but generally disapproved, while its antonym freedom is a negation of tyranny and generally approved. Freedom is rather like a question: In the absence of tyranny or absolutism what then do we do with our freedom?
    Anarchism is a positive state of society as opposed to law and order which is a question about how it is used.
    Altruism is a positive as opposed to ego which is a question about how it is used.
    Most people would prefer to reverse the use of these values. Tyranny is an absence of freedom. Altruism is an absence of ego. Anarchism is an absence of law and order.
    As combined:
    Altruism is a combination of freedom with law and order – with minimal ego.
    Anarchism is a combination of freedom with ego – with minimal law and order.
    Tyranny is a combination of ego with law and order – with minimal freedom.
    All of which together are opposed to social chaos with minimal values.
  • RW Standing
    Equality: Words are defined by the Oxford Dictionary according to current usage. This will often be technical meanings coined by science and philosophers, but also by common man in everyday speech. For the present purpose a set of words have been related together in a pattern of antonyms. It may well be an unusually strong sets of terms, but other sets of ‘values’ may be similarly associated in sets. The random way in which words are coined does not directly lend itself to this, and terms may be coined that signify some compromise or median state of society and ethical value. Democracy may be employed in this way as simply any state opposed to tyranny. But there are terms that are not so political.
    Terms which are consonant with Freedom are such as Tolerance and Equality.
    These are in same dimension between altruism and anarchism and opposed to tyranny. Two sets of values may be constructed for those terms. Bigotry and Elitism are the antonyms that may be employed as values consonant with tyranny.
    But in all of these sets there is no simple contrast of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ forms of society.
    Anarchistic self-indulgence and social apathy is always in the third place.
    And in the fourth place, pure chaos and lack of any social nexus.
    Nor are the values simply related to individuals in the mass, or globally, they also relate to communities and nations as they fit together regionally and globally.
  • RW Standing
    Perfect Society: Despite using ancient Egypt as an example of a ‘perfect’ society, it was in fact qualified. It may be doubted that any comprehensive system can be defined at all accurately, and even the anti-society of Chaos is a state pending a return to the laws of nature, based on doing what is possible to survive.
    A perfect society may be conceived on a narrow base, such perhaps as the following:
    Tyranny: The divine right of kings.
    Anarchism. Every man for himself.
    Altruism: Unconditional amity.
    The feature of each of these is that society is not actually defined except very generally.
    Religion-philosophy has been with us for ten thousand years and it is still in conflict about basics such as marriage and the family.
  • RW Standing
    Stereotyping: Advertising is to be subject to new rules on gender stereotyping. It may be wondered when this will be extended to television and stage plays, novels and more. Barely any comedy series will survive.
    In fact the concept is fundamentally flawed, because whatever adverts and other form of communication or illustration, it will be for the purpose of changing society. The stereotype of the man and woman will be replaced by the stereotype of sexual ambivalence.
    It also treats people as if they are quite stupid and do not realize what is being portrayed.
    Tyranny: It may find it necessary to portray women as providers of servants and labour.
    Anarchism: Such a society would be largely ambivalent leaving the family to itself.
    Altruism: This would certainly consider the place of men, women, children, marriage, in society. That men and women should help each other in their respective tasks may be considered a no-brainer.
    Examples quoted:
    Are aimed at new mothers portraying that keeping a home tidy or looking good has more importance than having emotional wellbeing.
    Disparage a man for carrying out something considered as being a 'stereotypical' role for a female.
    Show a male person resting with his feet up while a female cleans the house.
    Show either of the genders failing to perform a task due to their gender (e.g. a woman failing to park a vehicle or a man failing to change a baby's nappy).
  • RW Standing
    Anarchism and Tyranny versus Altruism: The current Hong Kong situation illustrates how tyranny and feckless freedom may have the same effect. Hong Kong has a Cantonese speaking population it seems, but opened up to the mainland it may have Mandarin Chinese thrust onto it, or allowed to simply filter in and become a dominant force in the region. A good example of how across the world the powerful and most populace peoples can undermine diversity. Altruist society at the global scale has diversity as one of its mantras and values. Society can be free to do as suits individual egos, or society can be free to do as serves and is responsible to all humanity. Neither is absolute freedom, which is an absurdity.
    Pragmatically, society in whatever way it best can must create conditions, such as in building and development it does so through building regulations and planning.
  • RW Standing
    Environmental Externalities:
    If any individual has consideration for his children and future generations then he is not an outright individualist believing in personal autonomy and nothing more. Future generations effectively signifies all future humanity and the world, and that is all but altruism. A tyranny or extreme authoritarians society will have a practical view of the world that embraces environmental concerns, and with any luck it will be one that fits with nature. But an overtly altruist society is the most likely to discuss and decide on a philosophy and course that works.
    The point of the matter is that all forms of society must at least believe in a working community and world. Very few people are likely to want social chaos and destruction of humanity. Therefore environmental stability is the one thing that should unite all forms of society. Tyranny, Anarchism, and Altruism.
    There is however the certainty of different attitudes to commerce and the economy. These are what define the three forms of society in those terms. A tyranny will treat the economy as an organ of the state for its purpose. Anarchistic autonomy will treat the economy as for the immediate benefit of its individual owners, with minimal planning beyond that. Altruist society will treat commerce as a social good for the benefit of all people into the future.
    Those differences affect the way environmental externalities are deal with. At least in theory a tyranny may need no artificial means of exchange in money. Anarchistic society will tend to price everything, including nature and the environment generally. Altruist society has the difficult task of valuing everything that is done, and manufactured, in terms of an environmental debit or credit. That means mere economic activity and the making of money may be a folly. An aeroplane may provide little human benefit other than taking people on holiday to spend their resources. Against that there will be CO2 emissions. The use of material resources in making the aircraft. And diversion of labour away from more useful social work into the airline industry. The cost of anything must be calculated in terms of resources exchanged or squandered.
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