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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Ask the Libertarian Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 155, 156, 157  Next
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aflanigan
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Posted: Nov 10, 2016 - 12:06pm

 miamizsun wrote:

or i could have been responding to your original comment

 
Let me try again by paraphrasing what you said below:

"am I angling for a perceived moral edge in a conversation with folks who are ignorant?

informed thoughts and actions are almost always going to cause reaction when compared to uninformed thoughts and actions"


miamizsun

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Posted: Nov 9, 2016 - 4:01am

 aflanigan wrote:

You seem to be saying or implying that people who don't agree with you regarding political issues are unprincipled.

 
or i could have been responding to your original comment



aflanigan
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Posted: Nov 8, 2016 - 11:19am

 miamizsun wrote:

I don't have a lot of time and i'm on a mobile device so forgive the fat fingering

 but let's look

in this election I have priorities that are guided by principled thought

i'm not perfect but currently I believe having principled standards and guide lines both socially and personally are better than not

obviously I can't expect one candidate to immediately implement them all but I can focus on the most important issues

if I could influence one issue what would that be?

simply put I think the president, regardless of party, should stop murdering innocent men women and children

stop initiating wars and military aggression

clinton and trump are hawks and I believe they will continue with the current playbook

so I voted for johnson, who I believe has a dislike for war and will reel in/restrain the military industrial complex 

deliberately extinguishing innocent humans is never ok in my book

and it destroys good will, credibility and makes it practically impossible to negotiate future efforts at peace

I've heard all of the excuses (especially "it's complicated") and the personal insults (self righteous assh0le, etc.)

so if I really believe what i'm saying above am I trying to take some sort of moral high ground or am I trying to save innocent people from being slaughtered?

if I really believe our leaders need credibility in order to negotiate peaceful non-violent agreements am I angling for a perceived moral edge in a conversation with folks who aren't principled?

principled thoughts and actions are almost always going to cause reaction when compared to unprincipled thoughts and actions

peace

 
You seem to be saying or implying that people who don't agree with you regarding political issues are unprincipled.
black321
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Posted: Nov 8, 2016 - 10:33am

 islander wrote:

I'm down with this as well. I care about a lot of other issues as well (as I'm sure you do too), but this one can have broad influence on all the others. Economy, jobs, freeing up money for infrastructure projects that fuel R&D and technology and improve the environment as a side benefit too. And then there is that whole moral, feel good , stop droping bombs on poor and impoverished people thing, that should have broad support too right?

 
Me as well.  It's great we have such a long election cycle to thoroughly vet these type of issues, rather than get caught up in scandals and candidate personalities.
ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Nov 8, 2016 - 10:04am

 islander wrote:

I'm down with this as well. I care about a lot of other issues as well (as I'm sure you do too), but this one can have broad influence on all the others. Economy, jobs, freeing up money for infrastructure projects that fuel R&D and technology and improve the environment as a side benefit too. And then there is that whole moral, feel good , stop droping bombs on poor and impoverished people thing, that should have broad support too right?

 
Right. Bloody well right.
islander
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Posted: Nov 8, 2016 - 10:02am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

 
 
I'm a one-issue voter and people say "Wahh the Libertarians want this or they want that" but all of those things have to go through congress. Reining in the military is the one thing any president can do on day one. 

 
I'm down with this as well. I care about a lot of other issues as well (as I'm sure you do too), but this one can have broad influence on all the others. Economy, jobs, freeing up money for infrastructure projects that fuel R&D and technology and improve the environment as a side benefit too. And then there is that whole moral, feel good , stop droping bombs on poor and impoverished people thing, that should have broad support too right?
sirdroseph
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Posted: Nov 8, 2016 - 8:32am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

 
 
I'm a one-issue voter and people say "Wahh the Libertarians want this or they want that" but all of those things have to go through congress. Reining in the military is the one thing any president can do on day one. 

 




I'm with both of you guys.
ScottFromWyoming
I eat pints
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Location: Powell
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Posted: Nov 8, 2016 - 8:28am

 miamizsun wrote:
if I could influence one issue what would that be?
peace

 
 
 
I'm a one-issue voter and people say "Wahh the Libertarians want this or they want that" but all of those things have to go through congress. Reining in the military is the one thing any president can do on day one. 
miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 8, 2016 - 7:31am

 aflanigan wrote:
Isn't this attempt to frame the discussion as "principles" vs. "politics" a rather lame and transparent attempt to seize the moral high ground on behalf of those on the "principled" side?
 
I don't have a lot of time and i'm on a mobile device so forgive the fat fingering

 but let's look

in this election I have priorities that are guided by principled thought

i'm not perfect but currently I believe having principled standards and guide lines both socially and personally are better than not

obviously I can't expect one candidate to immediately implement them all but I can focus on the most important issues

if I could influence one issue what would that be?

simply put I think the president, regardless of party, should stop murdering innocent men women and children

stop initiating wars and military aggression

clinton and trump are hawks and I believe they will continue with the current playbook

so I voted for johnson, who I believe has a dislike for war and will reel in/restrain the military industrial complex 

deliberately extinguishing innocent humans is never ok in my book

and it destroys good will, credibility and makes it practically impossible to negotiate future efforts at peace

I've heard all of the excuses (especially "it's complicated") and the personal insults (self righteous assh0le, etc.)

so if I really believe what i'm saying above am I trying to take some sort of moral high ground or am I trying to save innocent people from being slaughtered?

if I really believe our leaders need credibility in order to negotiate peaceful non-violent agreements am I angling for a perceived moral edge in a conversation with folks who aren't principled?

principled thoughts and actions are almost always going to cause reaction when compared to unprincipled thoughts and actions

peace
kcar

kcar Avatar



Posted: Nov 7, 2016 - 10:39pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
So here it is on the eve of the election and I still haven't responded to this as ordered. So many targets, so little time! Forgive me for not responding in mind-numbing detail to the mind-numbingly detailed posts up to now, I have an actual life and it occasionally interferes with editing massive piles of HTML to get to the point.

In that spirit I shall try to resume where I left off.

kcar wrote:
Lazy8, I know this a longish response and I know you like to avoid my longish responses by writing “Oh, can’t respond to it all!” You then just repeat your vague notions about the bully state and we should only have good laws. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details and you provide so very few of them. 

You should focus your response on the sentences in boldface.

You should write more succinctly. And I'll respond as I see fit; if you don't want it responded to don't post it.

For the rest of you: enjoy John Oliver commenting on Gary Johnson and his inability to handle details and much of reality. Oliver starts on Johnson and his positions at around 10:10 into the video The section on Johnson’s tax policy, starting around 13:37 and lasting about 2 minutes, is funny and shocking. Johnson’s proposal for handling global warming shows up around 16:00 and leaves you wondering, “Who is this schmuck?” 
.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3O01EfM5fU

How hard would it be for me to edit a series of videos out of context to make your candidate look silly?

Gary Johnson has probably done hundreds of interviews, given hundreds of campaign speeches. You won't see any of those, you'll see the few minutes of him falling into an ambush, caught off guard; you'll see him giving a flip answer to a question asked by someone who wasn't planted in the audience by the campaign. John Oliver is a terrific comedian but he's quite partisan, and he's not trying to accurately cover politics, he's entertaining his audience and pitching to their prejudices.

Jon Stewart was much better at this; you would occasionally see him fail to land a punch because he wasn't railing against a video clip that couldn't answer back, he was doing a live interview. But I digress.

When someone you support says something dumb it's called a gaffe. When someone you oppose says something dumb it's a telling moment that illuminates the entire campaign and obliterates every other utterance by that person.

Or was there some other way you convinced yourself to vote for Joe Biden—twice?

Societies have the right to determine their own morals and whether to base its laws (and laws about laws e.g. Constitution, Bill of Rights) on a particular set of morals. The US government has with consent of the governed expanded rights and contracted them, occasionally with apparent contradictions. As of ’71, 18 year-olds can vote but as of ’84 they can longer buy alcohol. The rationale behind the latter action was that society had a greater right to decreased drunk-driving accidents (disproportionately caused by under-21 drivers) than under-21s had a right to drink. That law was explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court in South Dakota v. Dole, btw. 

This will probably never sink in, but it does speak to your opening tirade. My apologies to anyone else still reading this:
  • Societies don't have rights, individual people do.
  • Government is not society.
  • Governments don't create, expand, or contract rights—they recognize them (or fail to).
See, there I go not diving into the weeds of a supreme court case, woefully short on details!

If the details were relevant I could argue them, but they aren't—the premises are bogus. The details in this case are fog, not substance. I'm not going to add to that.

The rights of individuals and minorities are only one consideration that a state needs to consider when trying to act. Not all decreases in individual rights have the same degree of damage to individuals because not all individual rights are equal in priority.

Collective action led by a state almost necessarily will create winners and losers (and often does so unintentionally). 
States can and should compensate harmed individuals but states cannot operate effectively if all individual rights are always held inviolable and superior to the rights of groups, including the group of voting individuals as represented by the state.

Just laws do not create winners and losers.

A law against murder favors no one; a law creating a licensing board for taxi companies made up of taxi companies favors the existing taxi companies. Laws heaping regulations on the operation of a taxi favor taxi companies large enough to spread the regulatory overhead over a large number of operating units and disadvantages an independent operator.

I think that addresses the rest of your points as well; at least I can't see responding further without repeating myself.

 
I don't know who's more irrelevant at this point, you or Gary Johnson. I realized weeks ago that your understanding of Libertarian thought was limited to something like a quick read of chapter 1 to an intro book on the philosophy. I learned more about Libertarianism by watching a 13-minute introductory video from the Cato Institute than by reading your written wanderings ("The state is a bully!" {#Roflol} )

I'm going to finish your feeble attempt to defend Gary Johnson in this paragraph. Gary Johnson is running as the Libertarian candidate for President in 2016 and he's had more than his fair share of "Aleppo moments." But apparently you've forgotten that Johnson ran as the Libertarian candidate for President in 2012. He should have risen above Amateur Hour status during his second campaign. This guy is not and never will be a serious presidential candidate, even during a 23rd campaign.


"How hard would it be for me to edit a series of videos out of context to make your candidate look silly?" 

There was no significant editing going on in those Gary Johnson clips. Johnson almost ran away when the CNN interviewer tried to drill into the details of Johnson's tax policy ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3O01EfM5fU ; start at 13:35 in for background info leading up to Gary's appearance on CNN). And in the video clip dealing with Johnson's take on global warming (it's the same John Oliver show clip; start at 16:01 into the video)  Gary said that hey, the death of the sun billions of years from now will cause global warming so we shouldn't worry about it today.

Gary doesn't need anyone's help when it comes to making himself look like an idiot. People didn't vote for Biden as President in '08 and '12, btw. I'd spot you $10 so you can stock up at the clue store, but I don't believe in throwing money away.
 

"Governments don't create, expand, or contract rights—they recognize them (or fail to)."

 
Maybe in your Dungeons and Dragons world they don't but in this constitutional republic, why yes they do. You struggled in vain for weeks on end to articulate and defend the notion that individuals have rights independent of and superior to the power of governments and documents like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That Libertarian idea is a nice theory without much of a credible backstory or practical relevance. 

"Just laws do not create winners and losers." 

Stop embarrassing yourself.  Go take an introductory course on public policy and/or economics. It's no wonder that Gary Johnson has your vote. Neither one of you knows what the f—k is going on. 




Lazy8
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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 7, 2016 - 9:32pm

So here it is on the eve of the election and I still haven't responded to this as ordered. So many targets, so little time! Forgive me for not responding in mind-numbing detail to the mind-numbingly detailed posts up to now, I have an actual life and it occasionally interferes with editing massive piles of HTML to get to the point.

In that spirit I shall try to resume where I left off.

kcar wrote:
Lazy8, I know this a longish response and I know you like to avoid my longish responses by writing “Oh, can’t respond to it all!” You then just repeat your vague notions about the bully state and we should only have good laws. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details and you provide so very few of them. 

You should focus your response on the sentences in boldface.

You should write more succinctly. And I'll respond as I see fit; if you don't want it responded to don't post it.

For the rest of you: enjoy John Oliver commenting on Gary Johnson and his inability to handle details and much of reality. Oliver starts on Johnson and his positions at around 10:10 into the video The section on Johnson’s tax policy, starting around 13:37 and lasting about 2 minutes, is funny and shocking. Johnson’s proposal for handling global warming shows up around 16:00 and leaves you wondering, “Who is this schmuck?” 
.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3O01EfM5fU

How hard would it be for me to edit a series of videos out of context to make your candidate look silly?

Gary Johnson has probably done hundreds of interviews, given hundreds of campaign speeches. You won't see any of those, you'll see the few minutes of him falling into an ambush, caught off guard; you'll see him giving a flip answer to a question asked by someone who wasn't planted in the audience by the campaign. John Oliver is a terrific comedian but he's quite partisan, and he's not trying to accurately cover politics, he's entertaining his audience and pitching to their prejudices.

Jon Stewart was much better at this; you would occasionally see him fail to land a punch because he wasn't railing against a video clip that couldn't answer back, he was doing a live interview. But I digress.

When someone you support says something dumb it's called a gaffe. When someone you oppose says something dumb it's a telling moment that illuminates the entire campaign and obliterates every other utterance by that person.

Or was there some other way you convinced yourself to vote for Joe Biden—twice?

Societies have the right to determine their own morals and whether to base its laws (and laws about laws e.g. Constitution, Bill of Rights) on a particular set of morals. The US government has with consent of the governed expanded rights and contracted them, occasionally with apparent contradictions. As of ’71, 18 year-olds can vote but as of ’84 they can longer buy alcohol. The rationale behind the latter action was that society had a greater right to decreased drunk-driving accidents (disproportionately caused by under-21 drivers) than under-21s had a right to drink. That law was explicitly upheld by the Supreme Court in South Dakota v. Dole, btw. 

This will probably never sink in, but it does speak to your opening tirade. My apologies to anyone else still reading this:
  • Societies don't have rights, individual people do.
  • Government is not society.
  • Governments don't create, expand, or contract rights—they recognize them (or fail to).
See, there I go not diving into the weeds of a supreme court case, woefully short on details!

If the details were relevant I could argue them, but they aren't—the premises are bogus. The details in this case are fog, not substance. I'm not going to add to that.

The rights of individuals and minorities are only one consideration that a state needs to consider when trying to act. Not all decreases in individual rights have the same degree of damage to individuals because not all individual rights are equal in priority.

Collective action led by a state almost necessarily will create winners and losers (and often does so unintentionally). 
States can and should compensate harmed individuals but states cannot operate effectively if all individual rights are always held inviolable and superior to the rights of groups, including the group of voting individuals as represented by the state.

Just laws do not create winners and losers.

A law against murder favors no one; a law creating a licensing board for taxi companies made up of taxi companies favors the existing taxi companies. Laws heaping regulations on the operation of a taxi favor taxi companies large enough to spread the regulatory overhead over a large number of operating units and disadvantages an independent operator.

I think that addresses the rest of your points as well; at least I can't see responding further without repeating myself.
Lazy8
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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 24, 2016 - 10:34am

 miamizsun wrote:
getting weird msg when trying to respond to certain peeps (connection reset?)

anyway, i'm a small business owner and i've been working long hours every day for a while (project deadline stuff)

i'll post replies when time allows

peace {#Cheers}

It's what happens when the post you're responding to is too long. The only way around is to edit the HTML.

I'm in a similar situation (don't own a business, but nonprofit stuff and critters taking up lots of time) so I'll respond when I can as well. As always a target-rich environment, so don't be offended if your personal screed/cut&paste/snide comment doesn't get the snarky shredding it deserves.

OK, be offended, whatever. Just wait your turn.
miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Oct 24, 2016 - 5:37am

getting weird msg when trying to respond to certain peeps (connection reset?)

anyway, i'm a small business owner and i've been working long hours every day for a while (project deadline stuff)

i'll post replies when time allows

peace {#Cheers}


rexi

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Zodiac: Sagittarius
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Posted: Oct 22, 2016 - 4:59am

Update to the series by John Quiggin:

 

Locke + Nozick = Locke


NoEnzLefttoSplit
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Posted: Oct 21, 2016 - 3:23am

 rexi wrote:

I read this blog a lot. He's a philosopher of science and a reformed microfoundationalist. More blog entries on the subject e.g.:

Microfoundations and causal powers



 
bookmarked
rexi

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Zodiac: Sagittarius
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Posted: Oct 21, 2016 - 3:20am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Wow, that's some physics department!!  It is kind of fitting that I have been reading the Selfish Gene over the last month. Given that Lazy8 is a great Dawkins fan I was getting kind of confused as to where he was coming from. 

You're right with the above comment though, in my view. I don't think seeing morals, or more correctly, moral codes, as an emergent property and a more atomised individual expression of moral reactions (my position) are mutually exclusive at all. In fact I think they are just two aspects of the same thing. The code is merely the flock of starlings, the moral reaction is the flight path of the individual bird. When the word property is used, it has to be a property of something and ultimately it will be a property of our genes which, each individually and in combination are exploring the various avenues of expression open to them. What is not currently agreed on at present is the level at which natural selection works, which is basically what the paper is about.

here for the benefit of the others is a short abstract of the paper  Text in brackets is from me:

Intro:
..why would the intensely competitive process of natural selection favor individuals who helped their genetic rivals, occasionally disadvantaging themselves in the process? 
For many years, the prevailing answer in the scientific community was that altruism somehow directly benefited the altruist; Recently, however, a view based on a different level of description has been gaining acceptance. One of the most interesting implications of these experiments is that the morality underlying cooperation and non-kin altruism may be a result of group-level natural selection.  When applied to questions of morality, these ‘Multi-Level Selection Theories’ imply that morality arises from interactions between humans within a group; that is, morality is emergent in collective human behavior. 

and the relevant passage from Darwin:
“a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an increase in the number of well-endowed men and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another ...and this would be natural selection”  

Body of the paper:
..A telling criticism levelled against both reciprocal altruism and kin selection theories is that they require genetic similarity to explain behavioral similiarity. While this is not a particularly unreaonable claim for the eusocial insects, humans and other organisms with more complex social interactions have correspondingly complex and variable behavior, even in situations with a high degree of genetic similarity. Alternatively, genetically diverse populations can exhibit similar behavior. 

Inclusive Fitness Theory (IFT) (is) one of the two currently competing theories in evolutionary biology. In IFT, altruism is still considered from a genetic level of description, however the fitness of a particular gene is expanded to include both a classical component (how many offspring share the gene) and a component that corresponds to the effects of the gene on copies of itself in other organisms. This second component is broadly interpreted to include non-descendent kin selection, reciprocal altruism, and other cooperative behavior effects. IFT shows cooperation emerging in simulations where only individual-level selection effects are explicitly included. 

(OTOH,) ...Moral Foundations Theory emphasizes the intuitive primacy of moral judgements. According to the theory, moral judgements stem from emotion reactions, and the explicit reasons given for such judgements are post hoc rationalizations. (i.e. the emotions are base-level reactions to situations involving a threat or reward (fear, love, anger, etc) and have, over time, been translated to higher more complex situations)

(The other main theory currently discussed in evolutionary biology is) .. Multi-Level Selection Theory (MLST).  In contrast with IFT, MLST claims that selective pressure may be applied at the group level, and in such cases groups can be considered units of selection. 

Conclusion (the author's position):
Combining the perspectives of social psychology and evolutionary biology, the story that emerges is as follows: morality evolved by repurposing existing emotional triggers to promote cooperative and prosocial behaviors. The selective pressure of inter-group competition favored those groups whose intra-group interactions were modified by such intuitive moral reactions. Thus morality emerged from human interaction.

Human morality does not stem from an intrinsic moral faculty, the intuitive bases of moral judgements notwithstanding. It is interactions with other humans, and human culture, that shape raw emotional responses into moral codes; therefore only by considering group-level effects can the evolutionary adaptivity of morality be accurately assessed. 

 

 


 
I read this blog a lot. He's a philosopher of science and a reformed microfoundationalist. More blog entries on the subject e.g.:

Microfoundations and causal powers


NoEnzLefttoSplit
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Posted: Oct 21, 2016 - 12:16am

while we are at it (if, like me, you don't want to hear Pachelbel's canon one more time, turn the sound off):
 
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Posted: Oct 20, 2016 - 11:58pm

 rexi wrote:
... and emergence is of course a story about causation. That the arrow of social causation does not point from the individual to the emergent property concerned. That it ain't individuals what cause morals but rather morals that occur as an emergent phenomenon wherever individuals do stuff together. I.e always. You were saying the same thing, of course.

 
Wow, that's some physics department!!  It is kind of fitting that I have been reading the Selfish Gene over the last month. Given that Lazy8 is a great Dawkins fan I was getting kind of confused as to where he was coming from. 

You're right with the above comment though, in my view. I don't think seeing morals, or more correctly, moral codes, as an emergent property and a more atomised individual expression of moral reactions (my position) are mutually exclusive at all. In fact I think they are just two aspects of the same thing. The code is merely the flock of starlings, the moral reaction is the flight path of the individual bird. When the word property is used, it has to be a property of something and ultimately it will be a property of our genes which, each individually and in combination are exploring the various avenues of expression open to them. What is not currently agreed on at present is the level at which natural selection works, which is basically what the paper is about.

here for the benefit of the others is a short abstract of the paper  Text in brackets is from me:

Intro:
..why would the intensely competitive process of natural selection favor individuals who helped their genetic rivals, occasionally disadvantaging themselves in the process? 
For many years, the prevailing answer in the scientific community was that altruism somehow directly benefited the altruist; Recently, however, a view based on a different level of description has been gaining acceptance. One of the most interesting implications of these experiments is that the morality underlying cooperation and non-kin altruism may be a result of group-level natural selection.  When applied to questions of morality, these ‘Multi-Level Selection Theories’ imply that morality arises from interactions between humans within a group; that is, morality is emergent in collective human behavior. 

and the relevant passage from Darwin:
“a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an increase in the number of well-endowed men and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another ...and this would be natural selection”  

Body of the paper:
..A telling criticism levelled against both reciprocal altruism and kin selection theories is that they require genetic similarity to explain behavioral similiarity. While this is not a particularly unreaonable claim for the eusocial insects, humans and other organisms with more complex social interactions have correspondingly complex and variable behavior, even in situations with a high degree of genetic similarity. Alternatively, genetically diverse populations can exhibit similar behavior. 

Inclusive Fitness Theory (IFT) (is) one of the two currently competing theories in evolutionary biology. In IFT, altruism is still considered from a genetic level of description, however the fitness of a particular gene is expanded to include both a classical component (how many offspring share the gene) and a component that corresponds to the effects of the gene on copies of itself in other organisms. This second component is broadly interpreted to include non-descendent kin selection, reciprocal altruism, and other cooperative behavior effects. IFT shows cooperation emerging in simulations where only individual-level selection effects are explicitly included. 

(OTOH,) ...Moral Foundations Theory emphasizes the intuitive primacy of moral judgements. According to the theory, moral judgements stem from emotion reactions, and the explicit reasons given for such judgements are post hoc rationalizations. (i.e. the emotions are base-level reactions to situations involving a threat or reward (fear, love, anger, etc) and have, over time, been translated to higher more complex situations)

(The other main theory currently discussed in evolutionary biology is) .. Multi-Level Selection Theory (MLST).  In contrast with IFT, MLST claims that selective pressure may be applied at the group level, and in such cases groups can be considered units of selection. 

Conclusion (the author's position):
Combining the perspectives of social psychology and evolutionary biology, the story that emerges is as follows: morality evolved by repurposing existing emotional triggers to promote cooperative and prosocial behaviors. The selective pressure of inter-group competition favored those groups whose intra-group interactions were modified by such intuitive moral reactions. Thus morality emerged from human interaction.

Human morality does not stem from an intrinsic moral faculty, the intuitive bases of moral judgements notwithstanding. It is interactions with other humans, and human culture, that shape raw emotional responses into moral codes; therefore only by considering group-level effects can the evolutionary adaptivity of morality be accurately assessed. 

 

 

 

 

 




rexi

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Posted: Oct 20, 2016 - 12:58pm

... and emergence is of course a story about causation. That the arrow of social causation does not point from the individual to the emergent property concerned. That it ain't individuals what cause morals but rather morals that occur as an emergent phenomenon wherever individuals do stuff together. I.e always. You were saying the same thing, of course.
rexi

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Posted: Oct 20, 2016 - 12:44pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

hi ya! 
kind of glad someone has been nodding in agreement rather than wandering off in a fit of somnambulance over the last few weeks.

yeah, I am also tending towards seeing a lot of human behaviour as contextual expressions of something buried deeper in the collective consciousness... I already mentioned seeing rights in this way as well, 

But despite that, I hesitate to view this intersubjective moral universe  as  a separate entity with more weight or authority or significance than the individual's own moral sense. True, morals only have any meaning in an inter-subjective context, but that doesn't mean they have to be shared, although we all share the moral universe in which we live. Sometimes it is the one rogue individual who gets up and shouts "this is wrong" who really contributes to social development. If nobody listens, that doesn't make his stance any more "wrong", rather it just proves that people are often deaf.

When I see a flock of starlings all winging it in harmony, creating a majestic dance on the firmament, my heart always goes out to that one rogue individual, that breaks the pattern and flies off somewhere else. Same with morals.. There is something valuable that outliers or "crazed bods" can teach us and they have a place in my moral universe, even if I don't agree with any single one of their morals per se, it is vital that our moral universe incorporates every individual's expression of what morals could possibly be. This is based on my acknowledgement of individual fallibility. We could all be wrong.

Ok, you are immediately going to counter that everything I just said is an indication that I believe there to be a common thread, a development, that via its inclusiveness, is tantamount to the one moral entity you propose. Well, if that one entity is as fluid as a flock of starlings and allows the occasional outlier, well yes, ok, but it would then be a cloud with a pretty weak resolution. 

 
I'm no expert on emergent properties. It is a buzz word in current scientific discourse. I like the questions of scale and scope that it poses and the fact that complex systems can be better explained in aggregate than by reducing to the components. In that sense, I'm not sure your example of the birds is quite complex enough to warrent such an approach. I'm guessing here, but movements of birds can probably be described with computable algorithms ascribed to the individual birds. A bit like weather phenomena, but much simpler. But the (human) social realm is an order or ten more complex and more fluid. Starlings probably flew in similar formations 1'000 or 1'000'000 years ago. Thinking of the social realm as anything else than a 'low resolution cloud' is wrong. Possibly precisely wrong, but nonetheless wrong. The paper I linked to also speaks of fluidity, of watching science in motion, btw.. And doing qualitative research on morality, say by interviewing individuals, will lead you down a similar path. To see the cloud, you have to zoom out, abstract, etc.. If you don't you just get a portidge of 'one damned fact after another'.
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