• Can people change other people's extremely rooted beliefs?
    What if there is a matter in which the truth is not demonstrable? Eg religious vs atheistEugen

    You tell me. Should I try to convince others of things I have no evidence for?
  • Can people change other people's extremely rooted beliefs?
    Of course. Provide them with proof that they are wrong and that you are right.

    If one cannot provide such proof, perhaps it is time to rethink one's own standpoints.
  • If women had been equals
    Yes, I am sexist and you assume that is wrong?Athena

    Ignorant is the word I would use to describe a sexist.


    Because a sexist worldview is inevitably based on generalizations and simplifications that have little connection to reality. To be content with such a worldview or even posit it as truth is what I consider ignorant.

    What if it is based on scienceAthena

    Show me this science.

    and an appreciation of yin and yang?Athena

    Yin and yang aren't about sex differences. Nor is it a binary concept. The two parts make a whole. They are not opposites but they complement and give rise to each other, as symbolized by the two opposite color dots. It's a symbol of unity, not of division.

    Why should there be a leader and submission to the leadership? Because I ship, an industry or a nation without strong leadership is in big trouble.Athena

    People should submit to leadership? What if I don't need or want to be led? What if I don't care about the ship or even consider myself to be on it?

    This 'dominance and submission' concept sounds to me like an non-consensual exercise based on coercion rather than mutual agreement. It seems to me as the polar opposite of what good leadership is, and it should be no surprise when systems that base themselves on such a concept sooner or later start running into problems. Coincidentally, that seems to be the power dynamic that is pervasive throughout most of human history.
  • If women had been equals
    Is it possible that women may think fundamentally different from men, unless they are pressured to think like men, and that that difference is important to humanity? What if it is our potential to be more like bonobo (female domination) and less like chimpanzees (male domination)?Athena

    I think such generalizations as "female mind" / "male mind" are not very useful. Individuals think. Assuming an individual thinks a certain way because of their sex is foolish, and sexist.

    The mirroring of human societies to animal societies is something I steer away from, unless one desires to be an animal rather than a human. I desire the opposite.

    When answering the question "who should dominate?", perhaps the question that first needs to be answered is, why should anyone ever be dominated in the first place?
  • Self love as the highest good.
    Self-love, or maybe self-acceptance?

    If we are able to accept and understand the flaws in ourselves, we will be able to accept and understand the flaws in others.

    1. Is self-love possible without negative and highly selfish traits arising?
    2. If so how does one go about doing this?

    Accepting oneself as who they are, is markedly different from thinking highly of oneself. If one starts to rank themselves above others out of 'self-love', is when it turns into arrogance or narcissism.

    One thing that I believe to be crucial in accepting oneself, is complete honesty with oneself. This includes confronting and accepting one's flaws, and not ignoring them to create a false sense of self-esteem.

    Great topic, by the way.
  • Science genius says the governments are slowly killing us with stress.
    If your people's ideas of success is to have a government that imposes poverty, then your country is not living in in best moral way. Neither would mine.Gnostic Christian Bishop

    I don't think you understand what I'm getting at.

    Where I live, it is practically unthinkable that people would starve to death or freeze, or not be treated during an emergency. Yet, people are still stressed out about so called 'poverty'.

    Why is that?

    Because it is not really poverty most people are worried about. It is losing the wealth they currently own, or not being able to acquire the wealth that they would like to own, or living up to society's/their environment's expectations of them.
  • Regulating procreation
    Again, you raise interesting questions. I wouldn't answer them with a definitive 'yes' or 'no'. I am still on the fence. On the one hand I fully appreciate the massive responsibility one takes by choosing to put another human being on this world. On the other, I don't share your account of what life is like and I find it rather gloomy and negative. The negative aspects of life seem to create reasons to not have children, while the good aspects of life are ignored. I am not convinced of the soundness of that.
  • Regulating procreation
    So you're suggesting to swap one immoral policy for another, which is possibly even worse? I think I've already made clear that I'm not in favor of that.
  • Regulating procreation
    Those are very interesting questions, and exactly the type of questions that should be asked when educating people on procreation. However, one must appreciate that people may come to different answers than you.
  • Regulating procreation
    Yes, I am well-aware of that tragedy. Doesn't this confirm my suggestion that attempts at forceful control give rise to even worse situations?
  • Regulating procreation
    I would be surprised? How?
  • Regulating procreation
    You accept that there is no way to deal with the problem. Period.
  • Regulating procreation
    I think there's only one way to regulate population that doesn't risk jeopardizing the moral integrity of a society, and that is to make people refrain from procreation out of their own volition.

    The talk in the comments of forced sterilization and selective abortion should show you where the other path leads to: straight down into the rabbit hole

    How to make people refrain from procreation voluntarily?

    First, stop promoting the idea that everybody should have children, or that children are a fundamental part of leading a fulfilling life. Instead, present them as equally valid choices, and let people figure out what suits them best. Currently, I think the societal norm is heavily skewed towards having children. Not having children is sometimes seen as sad or weird. That's a problem, because it creates external pressures in people who perhaps otherwise would not have chosen to have children.

    Second, educate people thoroughly on the responsibilities of a parent and the implications of putting another human being on this Earth. This should bring people to the realization that simply "because I want to" is not a sufficient basis for having children and that they should heavily weigh the interest of their (future) child. Furthermore, it should discourage people with a history of substance abuse, crime, mental disorder or genetic deficiencies from having children by confronting them with the possible consequences of such a choice.

    Bad parenting is the cause of much grief in this world. However, two wrongs don't (and can never) make a right. Draconian laws can never be the answer.
  • Science genius says the governments are slowly killing us with stress.
    I think this issue has more to do with people adopting government's/nation's ideas of success, than governments trying to make their citizens miserable.

    I can't speak for other countries, but where I live it's inconceivable that someone starves or has to sleep outside when it's freezing, etc. Even those who have nothing will be given some care, albeit quite minimal.

    So what is this stress based on, then, if not the desire to hold onto things or acquire more things? And why should people not have to take responsibility for those desires?
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Let's look at my question again: "what makes a woman's pregnancy any one else's business but hers and her doctor's?" If you can find a mention of law in that, please point it out to me so that I may acknowledge my error and repent in sackcloth and ashes.tim wood

    Besides the paragraph above it specifically mentioning a legal case?

    But lets move on.

    But I shall take a non-answer as your acknowledgement that nothing in your thinking supports any notion of any third persons controlling as to whether a woman may elect to have an abortion.tim wood

    You won't have to take my "non-answer" for it, because it's in the reply itself:

    ...nor am I interested in telling people what they can and can't do.Tzeentch

    And it's a position I have repeated several times in this thread already.

    Nowhere did I state that people shouldn't be allowed to make immoral decisions, so I don't think I am doing any harm to anyone's autonomy.Tzeentch

    What people can and cannot do is not a part of my argument.Tzeentch

    .... Moving on.

    Indeed, as so far you claim for yourself only opinion and non-interest, I infer you don't think it's anyone else's business but a woman and her doctor's - which I read as strongly pro-choice.tim wood

    I don't belong to any camp. I won't carry a label that implies I'm in favor of killing unborn children. I think it's a horrible thing. At the same time, I am not for any kind of "control", governmental or otherwise, because it would create a situation that is possibly even worse.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    I do think a lot of anger at women for having sex type issues underly some or perhaps many anti-abortionist positions.Coben

    That's a bit simple, isn't it?

    People say words I don't like, so there must be something wrong with them.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    And before you started going on a rant, all those things were taking place just fine. Why are you so angry that I'm not interested in discussing law?

    It doesn't interest me. I think it has little to add to discussions of morality. If you're that adamant about it, give me a reason to reconsider.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Considering the amount of your questions I have answered, this strikes me more as a tantrum than anything else.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    No need to frame yourself as a victim. All your posts in this thread have been in response to mine, and I am having trouble seeing how they relate to the positions I have shared.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    So what is the point you're trying to make?
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    There's no simplifying: women and men are different.tim wood

    I never implied they weren't.

    It comes down to cases and considerations. On that, Roe v. Wade is pretty good. Those who want to overturn Roe labor in the grip of irrational want and not reason. As a test, consider their grounds or axioms for their arguments.

    Or start simple: how is the issue of an abortion anyone else's business than the woman's and her doctor's?
    tim wood

    I'm not interested in what laws have to say, nor am I interested in telling people what they can and can't do.

    With that said, I have an opinion about what I, under the circumstances I have specified, perceive as immoral behavior and why.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    It seems to me that you are saying men and women have different responsibilities, not that men cannot take responsibility. That men can and should take responsibility for sex, the pregnancies they may cause, and the children they may sire seems obvious to me.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    That's good, though of coure they can't.Coben

    How so?
  • On Fear
    The problem I see with this line of thinking is that you’re essentially saying that instinct is not needed, which isn’t true. In order to make rational decisions, you must have prior experience of that particular object.Pinprick

    Or we infer it from other things. Most people don't need to first encounter a tiger to realize it is dangerous. Maybe instinct has some part in that process, but I think parenting and rational inference have a much larger role.

    Ultimately the instincts we are supposedly born with aren't enough to keep a child from playing with sharp objects, or hitting its head when it is crawling around. Come to think of it, would a young child find a tiger scary, based on its instincts alone? I'm not so sure.

    Maybe you could provide an example that shows the necessity of instincts.

    The issue with it governing people’s lives has more to do with people exploiting our innate fear response than fear itself. Wouldn’t you agree?Pinprick

    I'd say it's about a 50/50 split. It takes a twisted mind to exploit people's misery to get what they want, but it takes a lazy and ignorant mind to never question its own emotional responses. Shame on the exploiter for exploiting people. Shame on the exploitee for letting themselves be exploited.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Those are all very interesting topics. I'd happily discuss them with you in another thread. I don't see how the existence of other issues should stop us from discussing abortion, though.

    By the way, I am in favor of men taking responsibility for sex just as much as women.
  • On Fear
    Not if there is a tiger behind you, then it is perfectly rational.Pinprick

    You're suggesting fear has a function. Maybe. Though, I'm not so sure.

    Would a fearful mind make better decisions in such a situation than a rational one? Doesn't a rational mind already know that a tiger is dangerous?

    Fear, to me, seems an altogether unpleasant thing. It has a way of governing people's lives, consciously and subconsciously. Aren't reason and rationality all that we need to establish what is a threat and what isn't? Why do we need fear to control us so, and keep us from happiness?
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    But the question as to imposing my morality on others either by law/reason or law/force is open. In my very limited experience and exposure to abortion, most women are much affected by it, but that not grounds to prohibit or even limit it. As to the biology of it, there's no morality there, and what can be made from it seems to support the notion that it's ultimately a woman's choice, and hers alone.tim wood

    I agree. One can only introduce people to a different point of view and hope they come to the same conclusions as you do.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    What exactly do you mean by "tragic," and especially when applied to that which is inevitable and that may be, for those who've lived long enough, a gift and no tragedy at all.tim wood

    I've touched upon this question when talking with . All living beings seem to have a desire to continue living, and death causes grief.

    I considered that perhaps it would be better to say 'All premature death is tragic,' since death can also be natural and is, like you say, inevitable. However, even natural deaths may cause grief, and as such I still see it as something tragic. Tragic in its classic sense would meaning something along the lines of 'sad, but inevitable.'

    As to life being valuable, that appears to be an axiom of your thinking. But it's not for some other people, nor for most animals. You're left, then, with argument as appeal - which can be adequate grounds, imo, if used with care.tim wood

    Just to give you some insight in where I am coming from; I think valuing life leads to moral behavior, and I think moral behavior leads to happiness (of both oneself and others). I am fully aware that there is no way to provide proof of that to someone who is skeptical, so instead I appeal to an intuition that seems to be shared by almost all living things. People can disregard that at their own peril and insist that life has no value to them. I think that will lead them to unhappiness.

    I keep animals out of a discussion of morality, though, since I don't see animals as moral agents.

    You may care to think about just exactly what it is that makes life valuable, and what "valuable" means.tim wood

    These are interesting questions, for sure. But also extremely hard to answer. It would deserve its own thread.

    I'm not sure life has any value whatsoever beyond what the life itself grants itself in the exercise of its abilities and capacities. For people, I think that lies in reflection and reason. As these latter can lead to differing conclusions I suppose the valuations can differ.tim wood

    Maybe. Consciousness definitely seems like it has some unique qualities found nowhere else, as far as we know. However, I'm not sure if I would consider it is what makes life valuable, unless we broaden our idea of what consciousness is.
  • Joe Biden
    Pretty sad that the man gets framed as a weirdo at the slightest physical contact with a child.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Two points. I'm interested in your grounds for this argument, and I'd like to see you shed the moral appeal. The latter is a form of should-argument. I'm not such much opposed to such as I think they're problematic and need to be made explicit.. For example, if for you abortion is just plain wrong, then your argument becomes "it's wrong, therefore it's wrong," which is of course no argument at all.tim wood

    In my discussion with I have discussed why I believe life is valuable and death is tragic. Obviously, I cannot give you a line of reasoning to prove life has objective value, so I don't pretend to have one.

    If you require one, or are not interested in discussing morality, then I am afraid you are better off finding another conversational partner.

    As to voluntary intercourse, I'd agree that this occasion or that occasion may be voluntary, but in itself I do not think that sex is voluntary. That's just not how Mother Nature made living things (most of the things that are living, that is). Nor is awareness all its supposed to be: we need a more precise understanding, here.tim wood

    I disagree. There may be a desire, but I don't believe there to be a compulsion. At least, not in healthy individuals. A rational agent can and should temper their desires through reason.
    I also think an appeal to instincts is a slippery slope argument.

    And then there's "living being."

    And killing a living being?
    tim wood

    I consider all life to be valuable. That includes plants, insects, even microbes.

    Are you a Jain?tim wood


    Did you kill a fly today?tim wood


    Have a hamburger or a fish-and-chips?tim wood


    We all kill things directly or indirectly every day.tim wood

    A tragic fact. Is the suggested follow up "So why not kill another?"

    Some nearby woods were turned into a mini-mall recently, but no one protests the killing of the millions of "beings" that lived in that woods.tim wood


    Let's try this: a pregnant woman wants to terminate her pregnancy. Why cannot she?tim wood

    What people can and cannot do is not a part of my argument.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    I see. So your morality is intuition based?DingoJones

    The idea that life is valuable is based on my intuition and the observation of living things.

    My concept of morality takes that idea as a starting point, but utilizes reason from that point onward.

    I should have asked are you using “tragedy” here? If death and tragedy are both natural, how can an abortion be morally wrong on the basis of a tragic loss of life?DingoJones

    Abortion is not immoral based on the tragic loss of life. What may make abortion immoral in this context is the willful and conscious decision to cause this tragedy.

    If you're asking "why is death tragic?", it is as I said before. It is because life is valuable. I can make that plausible, but I (obviously) can't prove that. I don't think it is an unreasonable starting point, though.

    Thats the really tough bit, what reasons count as good ones?DingoJones

    This ties into the willful/voluntary part of my definition. Here are some ideas: Death of another being may be an unwanted side-effect of preserving one's own life, i.e. self-defense or survival.
    Sometimes, one may be forced to choose between two tragic decisions, in which case one will choose the 'lesser of the two evils'.
    For some people, death is a preferable alternative to life, but they are no longer able to make this decision themselves, i.e. euthanasia.
    Roughly the categories:
    - Preservation of one's own life
    - 'Force majeure'
    - Considerations for the well-being of the other.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    I can't give you a conclusive answer to that. In myself, and almost every living thing I meet, I observe a strong affinity with life. Any attempts to quantify that objectively would be futile. It is an intuition.

    Life and death are natural, and on their own neither moral nor immoral. Perhaps it would be better to say all premature death is tragic. But then again, when an elder dies naturally of old age it may cause grief in their relatives, and is that not tragic?

    The matter of morality, at least, becomes more clear when a human decides to voluntarily end life prematurely, whether that be by stomping on a bug that did them no harm, or chopping down a tree for no reason, or killing an unwanted fetus.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    I might just be biased towards human tragedy. If someone were to advocate planting saplings and cutting them down because their leaves may fall onto their lawn I'd be focused on that too. I can't perceive microbial life, though, so focusing too much on that seems unproductive.

    You implied it has to do with them not being eligible for moral judgement while in the case of abortion you can do so with the mother at least. Is that right?DingoJones

    I may have implied this?

    Humans possess a unique reasoning faculty, which I think is required for something to be considered a moral agent.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Of course, yes, and by participating in the abortion thread you are showing where your focus is, or is that not the case?DingoJones

  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    I am focusing on abortion because it is the topic of this thread.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Why arent you advocating the all the tragic loss of plant life? Bugs? Bacteria? Many magnitudes more bacteria die that all other life combined, so you are ignoring the greatest tragic loss of life in favour of focusing on the many magnitudes less tragic loss of life that are the abortion numbers. Why is that?DingoJones

    Tragedy is a fact of life.

    However, humans have the unique ability to act in ways that cause it, or avoid it as much as possible. That is why my own actions, and human action in general, interest me.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    I don't think Tzeentch is depreciating the value of fetuses, but rather the autonomy of women.Aleph Numbers

    Nowhere did I state that people shouldn't be allowed to make immoral decisions, so I don't think I am doing any harm to anyone's autonomy.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Argue semantics with someone else.
  • Abortion and Preference Utilitarianism
    Yes, I believe it is tragic to kill something that's alive. I would consider it tragic to have to cut down a tree, so it stands to reason I would feel the same way about a carrot.