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Are you a good person?

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This is a discussion on Are you a good person? within the General Chat forums, part of the The Cafe Lounge category; Originally Posted by Panorama society skews it to the point of making good, 'good'. put two societies together and show ...

  1. #11

    Quote Originally Posted by Panorama View Post
    society skews it to the point of making good, 'good'. put two societies together and show me the common good and i you will only have people, people trying to survive in system of values. if you have no values then what is good? good: value judgements within conditions that control your survival.
    Values are clearly within emergent from a means of life and is why with radical change in the means of life is not only the advocacy of a particular moral system but objectifies it in an expanded mean of life.
    The common thing to all cultural values is that they're about an idea of what a good life for human beings is.
    https://www3.nd.edu/~jspeaks/courses...m-nihilism.pdf
    When we look at the moral views of various cultures, MacIntyre says, one thing we do not find is the view that these views are only binding on members of the relevant culture. Rather, the moral views of cultures are typically views about how it is best for human beings in general to live, and not just members of that culture.
    It is from a way of life that we can determine what is good which changes as predicaments emerge in the organization of that means of life.
    https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablu...d%20Utopia.pdf
    Participants in a practice are striving for some good which is intrinsic to that practice; they may be motivated to do so by external goods. The distinction between goods internal to a practice and goods external to the practice is crucial. The successful solution of a difficult problem in medical science is an example of an internal good, and the scientist achieving it will feel good about it, whilst winning the Nobel Prize is an external good. In both cases, the participant may experience pleasure, but only in the case of the internal good does the community as a whole receive a benefit. Practices arise in response to some problem (or opportunity) with the formation of a concept of the problematic situation, the realization of which is the end at which the practice aims. This concept undergoes development as people learn from the experience of trying to realize it. The enjoyment (and fame) arising from the successful practice of medicine, (which is the well-being of patients), for example, is not the end at which medicine aims. Rather this enjoyment supervenes upon the successful activity (1981, p. 184), that is, it is a by-product of pursuing the good of the practice. The good at which the practice is directed is definitive of the practice even though both the practice and its aim change over time, the practice maintains a narrative unity as it undergoes historical development and both its ends and its means change.
    Which is why in the modern world, the sort of ethics that is common is actually a morally reductive approach based in utilitarian ethics where what is good is not on any common good, but only satisfaction of individual desires. The way of modern life gives rise to such an ethic and emerged as it was objectified by the emerging ruling capitalist class.
    https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablu...macintyre2.pdf
    Thus, the social bases of liberalism are two-fold: the raising of property to the status of the primary social relation, and the loss of community, the loss of the capacity to appeal to or rely upon shared meaning beyond the satisfaction of individual desire.
    ...
    In each of the historical settings that MacIntyre investigates, he is able to show that the type of justice and the type of rationality which appears to the philosophical spokespeople of the community to be necessary and universal, turns out to be a description of the type of citizens of the community in question. Accordingly, the justice of liberalism and the rationality of liberalism is simply that justice and that rationality of the “citizens of nowhere” (p. 388), the “outsiders,” people lacking in any social obligation or any reason for acting other than to satisfy their desires and to defend the conditions under which they are able to continue satisfying their desires. Their rationality is therefore that of the objects of their desire.
    To the extent people's moral sense is the dominant liberal one as opposed to the values of a particular community (religious, sociopolitical, etc), they tend to affirm this highly abstract reduction of things to their utility in realizing immediate pleasure.
    But because not everyone is an ardent liberal, there are competing notions of what is good such that instead of a focus on what constitutes good behaviour we can ask what constitutes a good person. Because such a question isn't posed by utilitarianism, as it isn't concerned with character or the person at all except the result of their actions in realizing some overall pleasure/satisfaction.
    Money controls the limits of survival in modern life but need not be swallowed whole as being acceptable by people.
    We can challenge such a conception of ethics
    MacIntyre shows convincingly that neither position can be sustained in respect to the traditions of enquiry described in his book. All traditions of life and therefore of philosophy have standards by which they are able to judge the adequacy of their own account; under the impact of criticism from outside or by the disclosure of new problems from within, all traditions of enquiry, all communities, are continually changing, frequently finding that former beliefs have become obsolete and sometimes undergoing ‘epistemological crisis’, perhaps merging with other currents or collapsing. While no tradition can exclude the possibility that its current beliefs and practices may become outmoded, within its own terms; conversely, all traditions have the capacity to subject others to criticism and frequently such criticisms succeed and rival traditions change under the impact of such challenges.\
    ...
    More generally, liberalism may be the dominant ethic today, but it is by no means excluded that other traditions which are able to bring to bear on liberalism a history of practical critique, cannot be sustained and, given the inherent vulnerability of liberalism, successfully challenge its dominance
    Although because the way our means of living is organized we do have to live by such ethical principles as it is actively developed as a way of life with the expansion of capital.
    https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablu...lourishing.pdf
    When Economics builds its science on the assumption of an independent, individual economic agent who makes decisions to maximise their own utility they take as given a society in which the norms of Utilitarianism are universal. In the event that the subjects of a community do not act as individuals maximising their own utility, then the science fails. But perhaps more importantly, governments and firms which make policy on the basis of economic science, and therefore Utilitarian ethics, are acting so as to foster this ethos in the community, with all the consequences in terms of inequality and social disintegration.
    As each culture makes absolute it's own values for the way human beings should live and what they should value and should protect as a way of life, we can meaningfully engage rival traditions by criticism of how they fail by their own standards or are inadequate in some way when advocating a new way of living.
    Such is the nature of ethical politics that new ways of life are advocated.
    Ethical politics is the political terrain in which the right way to live is subject to contest, but there is not necessarily any contest for state power or any attempt to seek office or build organisations.

    Ethical politics was first developed in recent times in the Womens Movement and the Green Movement: people who supported the movement exercised their politics by acting according to certain ethical principles, such as re-cycling their own rubbish, or not wearing make-up or whatever, rather than by being members of an organisation, participating in political actions or attempting to remove people from positions of authority.

    Ethical politics contrasts with identity politics in that it rejects relativism and insists upon the validity of standards against which ethical behaviour can be measured – that is: “it is not just my choice to recycle rubbish, you should as well.” Ethical politics arises out of alliance politics as groups with different theories and different priorities seek unifying principles and ways of expressing their common aims.

    Ethical politics differs from fundamentalism because its aim is to develop principles and imperatives which express new ways of acting and emerging social relations, whereas fundamantalism promotes outmoded ethical principles from the past in order to “turn back the clock” and re-establish old ways of living.
    And the only way we can assert an ethical claim when modern life is so fragmented into individualistic desires is to be part of some shared way of life which impacts ones self and others and make ethical appeals to them within that project as moral equals.
    https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablu...t-position.htm
    So we end up with two universal imperatives:
    (1) Participants in a project decide amongst themselves what they will do. (Participation is decided by opting in opting out, and participation includes conflict and opposition.)

    (2) It is wrong to conduct any project in secrecy from anyone who could be affected, or without reasonable measures to give anyone who could be affected the ability to make relevant judgments about the project.

    Moral discourse which is based around events, dilemmas or relationships in which the participants in the discourse are not participants in a relevant common project, is meaningless. What should the French government do about the hijab? What position should a socialist take in Iraq today? How can there be sensible answers to these questions for someone who is not French or not in Iraq?

    The above ethical obligations arise solely from the dictum: “What we do is decided by us.”
    Sensational thanked this post.

  2. #12

    The diversity of what is considered good being the result of such diverse ways of life can also be clearly shown in the significant contrast between what is good for the average modern person today and someone in the past.
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/vyg...ology/ch12.htm
    Every nationality and every epoch, and likewise every class, possesses its own morality, which is always a product of social psychology. There is the morality of the Hottentot, who, it is said, responds when asked the question, “What do you consider to be good, and what do you consider to be bad?” by declaring, “Good is when I steal a wife; bad is when I'm robbed.”

    Moral concepts and ideas vary depending upon the social environment, and what is considered bad at one time and in one place, elsewhere might be considered the greatest of all virtues. And if there are any common feature in all these different manifestations of moral consciousness that can be identified, this is only because certain common elements shared by every human society were once part of the social order.
    ...
    It is said that in the schools of ancient Sparta, children were forced to wait upon a common table while the adults had their meals. A child had to steal something from the table, and he would be punished only if he couldn’t do this, or only if he were caught red-handed. The moral lesson of this experiment was to steal and not get caught. Such an ideal was entirely conditioned by the Communist order of the closed aristocratic society of Sparta, in which concern for property did not constitute the standard of morality, in which stealing, therefore, was not considered a sin, but where force, craftiness, cunning, and composure constituted the ideal of all citizens of Sparta, and where the greatest sin was the inability to deceive someone else and to control one’s emotions.

  3. #13

    I don't think in terms of whether I'm good or bad. I just am.
    Dalien and AdaptingMotif thanked this post.

  4. #14

    The more I embrace the parts of myself I consider "bad" the better of a person I become... the more I try to deny parts of myself I deem "bad" the more pain and destruction I really cause
    Inveniet, Dalien and AnneM thanked this post.

  5. #15

    Quote Originally Posted by Wellsy View Post
    Values are clearly within emergent from a means of life and is why with radical change in the means of life is not only the advocacy of a particular moral system but objectifies it in an expanded mean of life.
    The common thing to all cultural values is that they're about an idea of what a good life for human beings is.
    https://www3.nd.edu/~jspeaks/courses...m-nihilism.pdf
    what's good about being a human? i'd rather be an elephant, what's good about being an elephant? i see no real sense in justifying human 'goodness' because as a whole humans are horrible. they domesticate and enslave, slaughter and maim, more than happy to wipe out a species if it gets them a shiny pair of shoes, and oh isn't that murderous cat cute (puke). hideously brutal in the third person. yet they still ask themselves is my life good? am i good? i can tell you by any kind of metric the human is not good. the value systems are concocted to justify their sympathetic nerves, power and control, not because they actually care, but because it makes them feel bad. if someone told me they don't feel good, then i'd say: great, because your a human, that's why!
    Last edited by Panorama; 08-15-2019 at 06:30 AM.

  6. #16

    Nah, don't think I am.

    I don't want to be good, I want to be the best.

  7. #17

    I think i'm a good person but clearly flawed.

  8. #18

    Quote Originally Posted by Panorama View Post
    what's good about being a human? i'd rather be an elephant, what's good about being an elephant? i see no real sense in justifying human 'goodness' because as a whole humans are horrible. they domesticate and enslave, slaughter and maim, more than happy to wipe out a species if it gets them a shiny pair of shoes, and oh isn't that murderous cat cute (puke). hideously brutal in the third person. yet they still ask themselves is my life good? am i good? i can tell you by any kind of metric the human is not good. the value systems are concocted to justify their sympathetic nerves, power and control, not because they actually care, but because it makes them feel bad. if someone told me they don't feel good, then i'd say: great, because your a human, that's why!
    Well I take a humanist position that asserts human beings as a central value as opposed to God/Religion, Political ideals or reason and so on. To which why should one value human beings, the straight forward answer is because they're us and because making a good life is a sensible and good thing to do. Even in your pessimistic view it feels implicit that things should be better although you might feel hopeless for such a better life for people.
    http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/...s_ETD_2011.pdf
    I will do my best to motivate the first question, which more bluntly stated, is this: What is so good, anyway, about satisfying human needs and developing human capacities? Why should that be the basis of our moral theory? Why not maximizing happiness? Or instantiating the virtues? Or following divine commands, for that matter?
    ...
    The answer, though some will find it unsatisfying, is that we should care about the full flourishing of human beings because they're us. And we are more than just happinessexperiencing blobs; we are capable of a vast array of activities and experiences and it is only through the full exploration of these that we can realize our human essence as social individuals in a productive engagement with the world around us.

    I think Marx would argue that the question, Why promote human flourishing?, doesn't arise unless a person already has such an alienated and un-human perspective on her own species and on the world that for her, knowing that some path of action is most likely to preserve the continued existence of human beings and to further their full development in the natural world is not enough to answer the question, Ought this path to be taken? And of course, there are people like these. The religious-minded, for instance, may think that the this-worldly orientation of rich individuality is misguided, and that the existence of man as an essentially spiritual being is to be realized through the glorification of God and an eventual assumption into Heaven. Or, in a more mundane spin on skepticism about human flourishing in the natural world as a moral end, there is the tendency among members of the animal rights movement to regard human beings as just another type of animal among many animals, all of (at least) relatively equal moral worth. Marx, after all, is the consummate “speciesist,” insisting that value of any kind only comes onto the scene once human beings start producing in order to satisfy their needs. And this, I believe provides a significant part of Marx's answer to these types of criticisms. The mistake that these sorts of critics make is similar to the mistake made by the person who wants to know the answer to the theological question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” to whom Marx replies:

    "since for the socialist man the entire so-called history of the world is nothing but the creation of man through human labour, nothing but the emergence of nature for man, so he has the visible, irrefutable proof of his birth through himself, of his genesis. Since the real existence of man and nature has become evident in practice, through sense experience, because man has thus become evident for man as the being of nature, and nature for man as the being of man, the question about an alien being, about a being above nature and man--a question which implies the admission of the unreality of nature and of man--has become impossible in practice." (Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, MECW 3:305-306)

    This line of thought can be applied to the question of whether or not “man is the highest being for man,” as Marx says, which expresses the same idea as the statement that the development of rich individuality is the highest moral aim. It is incoherent, and incommensurate with our scientific knowledge, to talk about value in a way that does not assume human beings and their productive activity as the source and ontological basis of all value in the world.
    Do you believe ethics/morality exist or are they only means of control by a ruling class?
    Because it is the sad state of ethics/morality in modern life that one can appeal to nothing than individual desire, such a sad state of affairs for human beings. Morality must be more than a superstitious tick/reflex.
     

    http://banmarchive.org.uk/collections/nr/08_89.pdf
    Consider the following example. If my head nods, it may be a sign of assent to a question or it may be a nervous tick. To explain the nod as a way of saying ' Yes' to a question is to give it a role in the context of human action. To explain the nod as a nervous tick is to assert that the nod was not an action but something that happened to me. To understand the nod as a nervous tick we turn to the neurophysiologist for a causal explanation. To understand it as a sign of assent is to move in a different direction. It is to ask for a statement of the purpose that my saying ' Yes' served; it is to ask for reasons, not for causes and it is to ask for reasons which point | to a recognisable want or need served by my action. This reference to purpose is important. When social anthropologists come across some unintelligible mode of behaviour, obedience to a primitive taboo, for example, they look for some as yet unnoticed purpose, some want or need to which such obedience ministers; and if they find none they look for some past want or need which the practice once served, even though now it is nothing but a useless survival. That is to say, we make both individual deeds and social practices intelligible as human actions by showing how they connect with characteristically human desires, needs and the like. Where we cannot do this, we treat the unintelligible piece of behaviour as a symptom, a survival or superstition.

    One of the root mistakes of the liberal belief in the autonomy of morality now stands out. The believer in the autonomy of morality attempts to treat his fundamental moral principles as without any basis. They are his because he has chosen them. They can have no further vindication. And that is to say among other things that neither moral utterance nor moral action can be vindicated by reference to desires or needs. The ' ought' of morality is utterly divorced from the ' is ' of desire. This divorce is most strikingly presented in the position taken by Kant that it is a defining characteristic of moral actions that they shall not be performed ' from inclination'.. It is repeated in contemporary terms by those writers who deny that one moral judgment can be based on anything except another more fundamental moral judgment, on the grounds that no 'is' can entail an 'ought' and that entailment is the only logically respectable relationship between statements. And this position does not need to be attacked any further for my present purposes, for it is obvious that to represent morality in this light is to make it unintelligible as a form of human action. It is to make our moral judgments appear like primitive taboos, imperatives which we just happen to utter. It is to turn ' ought' into a kind of nervous cough with which we accompany what we hope will be the more impressive of our injunctions.

    Because I can certainly see such moralizing but I think in regards to asking what is the good life for human beings doesn't allow such a simplistic and crude determination of rules on which to beat down on people but opens one up to challenge for competing views of human nature and how such a good life isn't being realized despite the potential for improvement.
    Of course the world contains things far worse than we probably imagine, but such things being the basis of such a pessimism to me suggests an inadequate view of the world that one can be so disheartened by it's brutality.
    It means one hasn't probably contended with the world but still retains courage and hope for what is good in it. The worst things in the world don't negate the good in the same way if you do something bad, it isn't necessarily rectified because you did something nice elsewhere like some sort of balancing one's checkbook.

  9. #19

    Quote Originally Posted by Wellsy View Post
    Well I take a humanist position that asserts human beings as a central value as opposed to God/Religion, Political ideals or reason and so on. To which why should one value human beings, the straight forward answer is because they're us and because making a good life is a sensible and good thing to do.
    Why do you value humans over all other animals?


    Even in your pessimistic view it feels implicit that things should be better although you might feel hopeless for such a better life for people.
    not if it follows the same tact.

    Do you believe ethics/morality exist or are they only means of control by a ruling class?
    Because it is the sad state of ethics/morality in modern life that one can appeal to nothing than individual desire, such a sad state of affairs for human beings. Morality must be more than a superstitious tick/reflex.
    hi-jacked by ivory tower types.

    Because I can certainly see such moralizing but I think in regards to asking what is the good life for human beings doesn't allow such a simplistic and crude determination of rules on which to beat down on people but opens one up to challenge for competing views of human nature and how such a good life isn't being realized despite the potential for improvement.
    Of course the world contains things far worse than we probably imagine, but such things being the basis of such a pessimism to me suggests an inadequate view of the world that one can be so disheartened by it's brutality.
    It means one hasn't probably contended with the world but still retains courage and hope for what is good in it. The worst things in the world don't negate the good in the same way if you do something bad, it isn't necessarily rectified because you did something nice elsewhere like some sort of balancing one's checkbook.
    it's just the kind of navel gazing that perpetuates the same value systems - self justification by a fabricated moral high ground.

    what's needed is an ethical revolution
    Last edited by Panorama; 08-15-2019 at 07:39 AM.

  10. #20

    Quote Originally Posted by Panorama View Post
    Why do you value humans over all other animals?
    Because man is the highest being for man and it seems nonsensical to science or ethics to think otherwise. Where humanity is displaced, one has perverted something integral to human understanding and life.
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/s...en/jordan2.htm
    This conclusion is of considerable significance for the interpretation of Marxian philosophy. As Marx refused to dissociate nature from man and man from nature and conceived man not only as part of nature but also nature in a certain sense as a product of man’s activity and, thus, part of man, Marx’s naturalism has no need of metaphysical foundation. Moreover, since man knows only socially mediated nature, ‘man’, and not natural reality, ‘is the immediate object of natural science’. To use Marx’s terminology, the natural science of man is logically prior to all other knowledge.[59] What Feuerbach said about his anthropological materialism applies even more fittingly to Marx’s naturalism. ‘The new philosophy’, wrote Feuerbach, ‘makes man, including nature as the basis of man, the sole, universal and highest object of philosophy, makes, therefore, of anthropology, including physiology, the universal science.’ [60]

    not if it follows the same tact.
    To be able to assert that there is something wrong requires implicitly a moral absolutism from which to deteremine it's wrongness otherwise we end up with moral relativism that preaches tolerance but in fact makes impossible the ability to make moral claims as they're treated more as sueprstiouns than basis of challenging one another on the good life.

    hi-jacked by ivory tower types.
    This might be true if one accepts post-structuralist/modernist views where only they are able to correctly see the way things are.
    https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablu...dfs/weedon.pdf
    But I reject structuralist anti-humanism according to which persons are powerless and ignorant subjects of structural forces beyond their control (except for educated experts in discourse, with degrees in poststructuralist literary criticism).
    Because in fact such intellectuals are decieving themselves if they think they can get any further than what already is.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owl_of...hical_metaphor
    The 19th-century German idealist philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel famously noted that "the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk"—meaning that philosophy comes to understand a historical condition just as it passes away.[17] Philosophy appears only in the "maturity of reality," because it understands in hindsight.
    [QUOTE]it's just the kind of navel gazing that perpetuates the same value systems - self justification by a fabricated moral high ground.

    what's needed is an ethical revolution
    Indeed, which requires changing the world and this is what I think ethical politics is about, not primarily about securing power but seeking to change the ethical standards of day to day life.
    And building such an ethical life is indeed imperative in time so fragmented where privite property is the basis of whats good rather than any essentially human.
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/s...help/value.htm
    The "labour theory of value" disappears with value itself, as soon as people stop exchanging commodities. We do not need a new theory of value. We will demonstrate our values when we can decide how to spend our time and the sooner we can decide what to do with our own time, the better. So long as we still want something in exchange, so long are we enslaved. So long as we have to spend out time doing one thing in order to get something else in exchange, so long are we enslaved.


     
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