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L&FP 44a: What is 2 + 2, Mr Smith? (1984 as demonstration of how first duties and first truths are inextricably intertwined)

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1984 is a classic satirical novel on the nature of tyranny in the mass media driven, information age, totalitarian surveillance state. Accordingly, it is vital to appreciate the force of the Winston Smith on the Rack scene — yes, taken from the related movie — where the issue of the self-evident truth 2 + 2 = 4 comes up:

First truths, in short, are inextricably intertwined with first duties, and both are equally self-evident. As one clear manifestation, gross injustice is always rooted in false, unreasonable, unwarranted, dishonest thinking.

In case one is tempted to imagine that this is a dismissible satirical exaggeration, kindly ponder the sickening judicial torture-murder of Czech national hero and martyr, Milada Horakova and others on trumped up treason charges, only two years after 1984 was published:

When traitors are in power, patriots are deemed traitors and are judicially murdered. (See more details at Wikipedia.)

In defence of civilisation, we must never allow clever rhetoric or confused thinking to obfuscate lessons written in blood and tears regarding self-evident first truths and duties of reason, the first steps of honest, sound reason highlighted by Cicero and many others across the ages. Even to object (much less to misguidedly attempt to prove), one is forced to appeal to the legitimate, pervasive, first principle authority of duties

  • to truth,
  • to right reason,
  • to prudence [including, warrant],
  • to sound conscience,
  • to neighbour, so too
  • to fairness and justice, etc.

The attempted denial becomes self-defeatingly absurd and the evasion (often, without realising it) becomes an enabling of injustice.

Those who neglect, ignore, dismiss or despise the hard bought lessons of sound history (paid for in blood and tears), doom themselves to pay the same coin over and over and over again. END

F/N Jun 15, a reminder on the challenge of a slide back into lawless oligarchy, what overtook formerly constitutionally democratic Czeckoslovakia, once the Nazi German State, then Stalin’s Communists took over:

It helps, to also ponder dirty-form, McFaul Colour Revolution, as compared to the SOCOM state subversion model, which I have termed the insurgency escalator:

176 Replies to “L&FP 44a: What is 2 + 2, Mr Smith? (1984 as demonstration of how first duties and first truths are inextricably intertwined)

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP 44a: What is 2 + 2, Mr Smith? (1984 as demonstration of how first duties and first truths are inextricably intertwined)

  2. 2
    mahuna says:

    OK, I’m still not seeing ANY “self-evident” truth here. I’m also not seeing the value of declaring and enforcing some set of statements as “self-evident truth”. Even Arithmetic isn’t “self-evident” to grammar school kids. Or even adults who have never learned Arithmetic.

    I read somewhere, many decades ago now, about an African tribe who mathematics was based on counting parts of the human body (e.g., fingers, toes, elbows, knees, the head? ,,,) and so there were EXACTLY 23 named numbers with NO logical relation between “10” and “12”, etc. If you needed to count a herd of sheep, the number after 12 was (and undoubtedly still is) “many”. And the number after many was “many many”. There simply IS no number larger than “many many”. So both what we call “20” and what we call “1 billion” are “many many”. This works just fine for sheep herders who have never traveled more than 50 miles (many many) from where they were born.

    I read a WHOLE lotta History and political theory, and in most cases where some guy’s new “truth” (e.g., Socialism) is trying to establish it’s place in the world, the New Truthers have to wind up building an army, knocking over the existing government, and killing everybody who doesn’t accept the new “Chief Honcho What’s in Charge”.
    In the history of the world there is only 1 country that converted to Christianity without producing a SINGLE martyr (a person killed by the locals for espousing the new “heresy”). And the reason this was possible in Ireland was because the Irish Shamanists weren’t EVER going to kill a man (or woman) for what they believed about God. That is, the EXISTENCE of God was considered “self-evident”, but the PROPERTIES of the thing called God were open to conjecture. God Himself (Herself?) didn’t care. For people more close minded than Shamanists, murdering a heretic was natural and “self-evident”.

    Amongst one or the other of the Black tribes in the south of Africa, there is the FACT that the desert can only supply a limited amount of food. And so there is a strict rule (custom) about children that goes “1 walks and 1 is carried”. In practice, “walk” here means “walk by yourself for 10 miles without assistance”. The unstated piece of the “self-evident fact” is that any THIRD baby DIES. Ya wanna name ANY Western society where this is “self-evidently true”?
    The closest I’ve heard of is in traditional Chinese society where a wife MUST produce a MALE child before she can stop strangling her FEMALE babies. It is of course Self-Evident that female babies grow into female adults who themselves naturally become mothers. I think the Eskimos recognized this same Self-Evident Truth before Europeans showed up and explained how to GROW food instead of hunting it. Then Truth changed.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Mahuna, pardon but || + || –> |||| is self evident, but truth independent of party agenda was anathema, so Winston Smith, already laid out on the rack, was subjected to its power, in order to enslave him to absurdity. Self-evident does not mean obvious to one and all, nor does it mean that one does not have to build up the education, habits of honest, inquiring mind, clarity of vision and of insight to see it. The lurking, subtler self-evidence is duty to honesty and to that freedom and independence of thought we call right reason. Gross injustice is always built up from dishonest thinking and it always enslaves to absurdity. The yet subtler self-evident point is, the vital importance of sound memory, which in the face of a horror of totalitarianism, may have to stand against seemingly authoritative record. Winston Smith worked for the ministry of truth, to edit and lie with seemingly authoritative record. Unfortunately, the satire then became horrific facts of judicial torture-murder just two years after George Orwell wrote. We have lessons written in blood and tears here, we must not forget or allow deceptive distortion. KF

  4. 4
    William J Murray says:

    Lots of cool and interesting things to discuss here.

    First, KF said:

    In defence of civilisation, we must never allow clever rhetoric or confused thinking to obfuscate lessons written in blood and tears …

    The other side of this coin is that it can also be a problem if we let bloody or extreme events lead us into irrational thinking out of the urge to prevent such events in the future. This is really why extreme, emotionally charged events and examples should be avoided when making a logical case about something. If one must refer to an extreme, emotionally charged event to make their case, I have found it to be usually because they do not have a sound logical case to begin with.

    Cicero’s and other arguments about “first duties, justice, warrant, etc.” are all, from my perspective, just a bunch of assertions about the “nature” of humans, that may or may not represent common perspectives and psychologies across the world. It is all certainly rooted in and derived from fundamental, unexamined ontological assumptions.

    But, more than that, the language and points are extremely vague and ill-defined. Honestly, I find it so vague and full of unexamined assumptions that it reads more like rhetoric than an a actual sound, deeply examined rational argument. I’m going to make a list of things found here and in other statements about Ciceronian first duties and KF’s related points that require deeper thought and examination.

    1. duty – we’ve covered that exhaustively, no need to rehash it here.
    2. true belief
    3. knowledge
    4. warrant
    5. justice
    6. truth
    7. “plumb lines”
    8. “self-evident” – again, exhaustively examined, no reason to rehash here
    9. human nature
    10. natural law
    11. “the good”

    I’m going to begin with “human nature” because I think that, by addressing this commodity that is central to all the other points, we can best understand the paucity, the unexamined vagueness of the other parts of the arguments by Cicero, KF, et al.

    First, of course, is what are we calling “a human?” I assume we’re talking about all those that meet the biological, physical requirements, or members of what is referred to as the human race on Earth. If that is our criteria, from what does one make a claim about “the nature of all humans?”

    There are only two sources of information for Cicero; himself, of which he has direct experiential knowledge of “his nature” from the inside; and his observation of those humans he came into contact with. This begs the question, how many different kinds of humans did Cicero come into contact with? How well did he get to know them? How deeply did he question them about their internal experience? For example, did Cicero know any sociopaths? Were all the people around him like-minded, raised in the same culture, share the same basic ontology?

    That raises the question about how well-qualified anyone is to make any statement about “human nature.” One of the biggest difficulties is that our inner nature, our own subconscious and our own psychology affects (perhaps even determines) how we interpret the behavior of others. We might interview them, but the problem with that is: can we trust them to tell us the truth about their inner experience, what it is like for them to be a human being?

    Human behavior appears to run across an enormous spectrum; if one is going to talk about “human nature,” does that phrase not require that the entire spectrum be taken into account when making a statement about human nature?

    Furthermore, what does it mean to say that some humans are “faulty” in some way, such as a sociopath or a psychopath? The idea of a “faulty human” depends on an ontological premise that identifies what a “properly functioning” human is in the first place. If we’re going to define humans biologically, sociopaths and psychopaths are human beings, and the way they behave must be included as part of the full scope of human nature.

    It is thus an aspect of the full range of human nature to lack empathy and conscience; to murder, cheat, steal and lie, as it is to have empathy and conscience and avoid murder, cheating and stealing, and to tell the truth. Any statement about “human nature” must include all human behaviors and regard them equally. A true statement about human nature would apply to both Mother Teresa and Hitler, Gandhi and Dahmer, just to represent the extremes, but would even that represent all humans? Probably not.

    So, IMO, if one is going to try and make a statement about “human nature,” the safest bet is to make a statement that would apply to all possible sentient beings, human or not. It’s the only way to ensure that a statement of “human nature” encompasses all possible humans, known or unknown in our personal, limited knowledge.

    More to come. Exciting and interesting!!!

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, kindly read the story of the concocted state coup attempt used to murder patriots after a show trial. Further to all this, the attempt to subject switch is duly noted and gavelled. No, the issue is not who or what is a human, that is a matter of a going concern world, we live in a world of neighbours of like nature, whether this fits your preferred worldview or not. The issue, demonstrated through the rack, is, that first self-evident truths of fact and of duty are inseparable. We have here prophetic satire on the point . . . 1948 seemed to be a year of prophecies . . . that came to life in the form of judicial torture-murder just two years later. That is sound, not to be set aside at whim on your selectively hyperskeptical say-so; on pain of the curse of repeating horrific chapters of history. KF

    PS: Even in this latest dismissive objection you cannot but appeal to the legitimate authority of first duties of reason. That inescapability remains, a signature of first, pervasive principles in action. The things we must take as first givens to then proceed to reason soundly and honestly.

  6. 6
    William J Murray says:

    Since we cannot canvas every single human being alive and who has ever lived about their inner experience as a human being, the only rational way to go forward in making statements about “human nature” is to find statements that would apply to all individual, sentient beings (assuming we agree that everyone defined as a human would, at the minimum, necessarily have those qualities.)

    I’ve listed a few of those before, but the point is that we can can find necessarily true statements that follow from that premised condition or state, “individual sentient being.” The question is, are Cicero’s statements about “human nature” necessarily true given the premise of an individual, sentient being? Do they necessarily apply to all possible individual, sentient beings?

    One of Cicero’s claims is that humans are “naturally social.” This is a commonly accepted maxim. But, does it apply to all humans, much less all possible sentient beings? What does “social” mean in this context? Does it mean that sentient beings are “naturally social” beyond what is existentially unavoidable? There are individuals that deliberately seek to completely isolate themselves from all social contact. Is Cicero making an appeal to common human behavior and proclivities here, or is he actually making a statement that includes the full, broad range of all possible sentient beings, and thus, all human beings, known and unknown to Cicero?

    BTW, the more I read about and from Cicero, it becomes obvious that his entire philosophy was derived from a pre-existing set of ontological premises, including a specific kind of God, humans being “divinely favored” by God, and an embedded concept of moral duty. I have yet to see where Cicero really examined the concept of duty; so far, it appears “duties” are just an a priori assumption related to a pre-existing ontology and philosophical perspective.

  7. 7
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, kindly read the story of the concocted state coup attempt used to murder patriots after a show trial.

    I read it. But, your point about the subject of the thread is taken; I’ll move on to the subject of justice.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, this thread is not a debate about human nature, that is in fact a readily observed phenomenon in our going concern world. The matter on the table, I repeat, is the issue focussed by the rack scene, the link between first facts and first duties, surely injustice can readily bee seen as violation of duty. The real world case makes that shockingly plain, probably on orders from Stalin. I have already gavelled such a discussion for this thread; the blood and tears on the table speak for themselves. If you want to take it over to the previous ones, that is another matter, but it will not change the result. Our nature is to be responsibly, rationally free, conscience guided and morally governed, with moral first duties as self evident truths fully as certain and relevant as SETs of say elementary Arithmetic, with the mutual entanglement of the two brought out by the exposed structure of gross injustice, it is built on dishonest thinking, speaking, deciding and acting. Martyrs’ blood is here on the table, respect it. KF

    PS: Justice has long since been drawn out in brief, the civil peace of justice is the due balance of rights, freedoms and duties. We here see gross injustice violating all three, ending in judicial torture-murder.

  9. 9
    William J Murray says:

    So, “justice” is at least a big part of the subject of this thread. Let’s get to it, then!

    What is “justice?” One definition: “just behavior or treatment.”
    Okay, what is “just”? One definition: “based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.”
    But, aren’t “morally right” and “just” conceptually synonymous?
    Let’s try “fair”: “just or appropriate in the circumstances.”
    Oh, for Pete’s sake! Nothing quite like using the same words to describe each other! This is an entirely circular set of definitions that apparently only refer to each other. Can anyone provide a definition of “justice” that doesn’t circle back on itself?

    Who decide what is fair? Who decides what is “just?” Who decides what is “morally right?”

    It appears that without the premised ontology of an existing, objective, universal “plumb line” of justice/morality/fairness, the concept of “justice” is subjective and, because of that, a rhetorical device that depends on an unexamined agreement that such a “thing” actually exists.

    Anyone want to try to actually identify what it is we’re talking about when we talk about “justice?” Can it be defined in a way that doesn’t circle back on itself? Or, do we agree that absent a universal, objective “plumb line,” the concept of “justice” is just subjective rhetoric?

  10. 10
    William J Murray says:

    Let’s see if we can get a clarifying general example related to KF’s example.

    A prosecutor, judge and the police conspire to fabricate evidence, accuse and convict an innocent man (well, innocent wrt to the crime he is accused) of murder, and the man is executed as a result. I think everyone would agree that this was “unjust.” I mean, how could anyone say it was anything other than “unjust?” To make KF’s argument for him, proper justice could only be served if everyone told the truth as they saw and experienced it. KF would argue (I think) that this makes it obvious that truth is a necessary ingredient for even an attempt at delivering justice, even though it might ultimately fail in doing so. Also, that this reveals a duty to truth in the pursuit of avoiding injustices such as this – the authorities being the judge and/or jury; the consequence (in this case) acquittal, a finding of not guilty, or death for the accused.

    In court, you swear to the authority to tell the truth under penalty of perjury. There are clear consequences for not doing your duty. Nobody can deny that what is being pursued in this arrangement is justice for the accused. Even if “justice” is a complicated (I’ll not use “vague” here) concept, and we can’t say whether the death penalty represents “plumb line,” objective justice for the act, we can at least be confident the consequence for a finding of guilt or innocence is at least directionally intended towards justice and away from injustice. Also, that by observing the duty to tell the truth, we have “done our best,” so to speak, to arrive at an outcome that is more likely towards what is just than not.

    KF, would you agree that this is a good representation of your argument/position?

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, justice is due balance of rights, freedoms and duties. We here learn a lot on what it is from examples of what it is not. Which is a key part of the OP. I add, for cause I am a strong believer in real life cases as basis for drawing insights. 1984 was the literary prophecy, based on Stalin and Hitler. Only two years later, we saw the awful reality on the ground. From this, we learn much on how injustice frustrates justice thus the requisites of justice, and honest thinking is central, just as the first duties identify. KF

    PS: The Horakova case pivots on creation of a false narrative of treason, with false evidence and torture to elicit confessions of guilt in show trials. Full-on Stalinism.

  12. 12
    Sandy says:

    I read a WHOLE lotta History and political theory…

    🙂 A clown, two clowns,…

  13. 13
    polistra says:

    You’re missing Orwell’s point. True vs false was NOT the point. Constant random change was the point. O’Brien kept switching things around and punishing at random until Winston’s brain lost its ability to function. At that point Winston was an empty vessel, a wire leading to a controllable motor. O’Brien connected the Party to the wire.

    This is how all psychopaths work. Demand obedience, change the rules, demand obedience, change again, over and over with no pattern, so the victim loses all of his own mental RHYTHMS AND PATTERNS. He becomes a remote-control robot without its own CPU.

  14. 14
    William J Murray says:

    KF @11,

    I’ll just go on under the assumption that, conditionally, with rights to object, you agree somewhat with my attempt to correctly characterize your position/argument.

    Here’s the problem: all of that is a perspective derived from ontological commitments. In my experience, these ontological presuppositions are so deep they are rarely, if ever, recognized as such, much less examined critically.

    I’m not saying or arguing that it’s not the correct or best available ontology, so I’m BEGGING you to understand you don’t have to make that same “comparable worldviews” argument for the hundredth time. I’m not arguing here that other worldviews “do not fail” under incoherence, self-defeating assertions or perspective, etc. I’M NOT MAKING THAT ARGUMENT!!!

    My only point here is that the idea that justice is an actual thing, existentially speaking, depends on ontology. Let me explain by asking the following question:

    But before I do, again, I’m not arguing here that the following is the actual world we live in, or is the world that God created (whatever that ultimately means.) Also, I understand your objections to such a world for various reasons, including the meaningful capacity of free will to choose right or wrong. I understand those arguments. They are good arguments. I’m just proposing a pure thought experiment with the following questions:

    Is it possible that God could have created a world where an injustice could not occur?

    If so, would the concept of “justice” have any significant or existential value in such a world?

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    Is it possible that God could have created a world where an injustice could not occur?

    Yes, that is possible. But it would be a sterile meaningless world of automatons.

    Immediately the troll wants to dominate with nonsense and as usual the troll is then rewarded and fed so that more nonsense can be used for a further feeding.

  16. 16
    Sandy says:

    Yes, that is possible. But it would be a sterile meaningless world of automatons.

    🙂 Yep. In which trolls don’t exist.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    Polistra, yes, the point is once authority of duty to truth is trashed, then the ever changing rules of imposed narratives have free play backed by the rack. Injustice pivots on discarding truth. KF

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I have given a literary prophecy and a real world case two years later, there is nothing more to debate, it is clear that injustice pivots on untruth setting up breach of duty and breach of duty leading to ruthless force to terrorise and induce compliance with corrupt power; as a matter of fact predicted by a man with far deeper experience than you or I have. The first duties all stand together with the first truths. KF

  19. 19
    mahuna says:

    Oh, so we were NEVER talking about any specific case in the real world. We were ALWAYS talking about some insane logic in a MOVIE?!!! I ain’t seen the movie and don’t plan to. That isn’t “Self-Evident”. I had to TELL you. So I’m not seeing any GENERAL application of logic here. If you want a LONG discussion of insane logic in the real world, read Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago.” All 3 volumes. Millions of REAL people died because they failed to understand and ACCEPT Bolshevik “truth”. And then of course a few decades later Mao killed a couple million MORE people for failing to accept what MAO said about “Truth”. Again, there ain’t any generally applicable Idea here. There’s just puppies and babies and really terrible individuals who do naughty things to other people. I’m hoping to stick with the Puppies and Babies crowd.

  20. 20

    Again, KF fails to accept the logic of subjectivity. So really what this comes down to, is that the logic of things being forced and fact is accepted, while the logic of choice and subjective opinion is rejected.

    The 1984 example just wrongly presents a matter of fact, of how many fingers are held up, as it being a matter of chosen opinion. It is just a category error. KF abuses this example to throw out subjectivity entirely, just because someone wrongly usese the logic of subjectivity, in what is an objective matter of fact.

    It is bleedingly obvious that logic in general must be accepted, both logic of subjectivity and objectivity, each in their own right.

    Someone innocently getting their sums wrong, is now accused of being immoral. Although supposedly there can be no innocense in getting a sum wrong, according to KF’s conceptual scheme.

    All who reject subjectivity are obviously enemies of the inherently subjective spirit. That goes for the atheists, materialists, just as well as the intelligent design theorists who reject it. They are enemies of the ordinary human spirit, as well as enemies of God the holy spirit.

    It is a total outrage, totally unacceptable.

  21. 21
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    Here’s the problem: all of that is a perspective derived from ontological commitments. In my experience, these ontological presuppositions are so deep they are rarely, if ever, recognized as such, much less examined critically.

    Absolutely not. The existence of an objective truth, such as justice, depends on (not “derives from”) ontological REALITIES as they exist, not on our ontological COMMITMENTS to those realities.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Mahuna, kindly examine the OP. The book, 1984 has in effect a literary prophecy, made 1948. The movie, easier for this generation to deal with comes 1956. The real world, horrific event, is 1950. As in, the judicial torture-murder of Milada Horakova and over a hundred others on faked charges and evidence — part of the Communist coup in Czechosolvakia. KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, no, the key matter is to force by rack, denial of known truth to construct whatever narrative suits the overlords of the Party. In the events in Czechoslovakia two years later, people were unjustly framed, tortured into confessions in a show trial, sentenced and put to death to advance a Communist coup. Dr Milada Horakova, courageously publicly denounced the process during her trial and was hanged by a deliberately dragged out strangulation execution process — details are sickening — despite worldwide protest and pleas, including that of Einstein. Her family were never allowed to even receive her ashes. We see here how injustice builds on dishonest reasoning and action, culminating in judicial torture-murder to advance the power agenda of a ruthless Party. Orwell’s literary prophecy built on his experiences in Spain and the track records of Hitler and Stalin. KF

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Just for record, Wiki’s summary:

    Wartime resistance

    After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, Horáková became active in the underground resistance movement. Together with her husband, she was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo in 1940, in her case because of her pre-war political activity. She was sent to the concentration camp at Terezín and then to various prisons in Germany.

    In the summer of 1944, Horáková appeared before a court in Dresden. Although the prosecution demanded the death penalty, she was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment. She was released from detention in Bavaria in April 1945 by advancing United States forces in the closing stages of the Second World War.[9]
    Political activity

    Following the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, Horáková returned to Prague and joined the leadership of the re-constituted Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. She became a member of the Provisional National Assembly. In 1946, she won a seat in the elected National Assembly representing the region of ?eské Bud?jovice in southern Bohemia.

    Her political activities again focused on enhancing the role of women in society and preserving Czechoslovakia’s democratic institutions. Shortly after the Communist coup in February 1948, she resigned from the parliament in protest. Unlike many of her political associates, Horáková chose not to leave Czechoslovakia for the West, and continued to be politically active in Prague. On 27 September 1949, she was arrested and accused of being the leader of an alleged plot to overthrow the Communist regime.[3][8]
    Trial and execution

    Before facing trial, Horáková and her co-defendants were subjected to intensive interrogation by the StB, the Czechoslovak state security organ, using both physical and psychological torture. She was accused of leading a conspiracy to commit treason and espionage at the behest of the United States, Great Britain, France and Yugoslavia. Evidence of the alleged conspiracy included Horáková’s presence at a meeting of political figures from the National Socialist, Social Democrat, and People’s parties, in September 1948, held to discuss their response to the new political situation in Czechoslovakia. She was also accused of maintaining contacts with Czechoslovak political figures in exile in the West.[3]

    The trial of Horáková and twelve of her colleagues began on 31 May 1950. It was intended to be a show trial, like those in the Soviet Great Purges of the 1930s. It was supervised by Soviet advisors and accompanied by a public campaign, organised by the Communist authorities, demanding the death penalty for the accused. The State’s prosecutors were led by Dr. Josef Urválek and included Ludmila Brožová-Polednová.[10][11] The trial proceedings were carefully orchestrated with confessions of guilt secured from the accused.

    A recording of the event, discovered in 2005, revealed Horáková’s courageous defence of her political ideals. Invoking the values of Czechoslovakia’s democratic presidents, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš, she declared that “no-one in this country should be put to death or be imprisoned for their beliefs.”[12]

    Milada Horáková was sentenced to death on 8 June 1950, along with three co-defendants (Jan Buchal, Old?ich Pecl, and Záviš Kalandra). Many prominent figures in the West, notably scientist Albert Einstein, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, petitioned for her life, but the sentences were confirmed. Horáková was hanged in Prague’s Pankrác Prison on 27 June 1950 at the age of 48.[3] Her reported last words were (in translation): “I have lost this fight but I leave with honour. I love this country, I love this nation, strive for their wellbeing. I depart without rancour towards you. I wish you, I wish you…”[13]

    Following the execution, Horáková’s body was cremated at Strašnice Crematorium, but her ashes were not returned to her family. Their whereabouts are unknown.[14]

    KF

    PS: We see here above, proof that links are usually skipped, even short vid clips are typically skipped, and more. That should tell us a bit on the dilemmas we face. It takes about a dozen exposures to break through filter psychology in normal cases. I believe cognitive dissonance and linked denial, projection etc are much harder to break through.

  25. 25
    Sandy says:

    Kairosfocus have you heard about “Pitesti Experiment”? There are things worse than death.
    https://youtu.be/KSLt35E4Qr4

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, I know the Wurmbrand story. KF

  27. 27
    Blastus says:

    John 11:49-50 KJV
    And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

  28. 28
    Blastus says:

    John 18:38 KJV
    Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

  29. 29

    Not good enough. Nowhere do you acknowledge the ordinary human spirit, on a properly subjective basis. And your acknowledgement of God, is only on the basis of a neccessary being, not on a subjective basis.

    In socialism, the socialistic formula replaces ordinary common sense subjective judgement.

    As like critical race theory. It replaces the common sense subjective judgement, with some obscure calculations about race. And then all the socialists have their own formula’s. They do not support common personal opinion. In fact free speech, personal opinion, is generally outlawed in socialist countries.

    So for you to pretend that subjectivity is the evil of socialism, is a total lie. Socialism is the political application of materialism, and in materialism there is no validation for subjectivity whatsoever.

    You always make snide remarks about subjectivism, and emotivism. The obvious solution is to accept both subjectivity and objectivity, each in their own right. Everything in it’s proper place, matters of personal opinion, and matters of fact.

    And your solution of making objectivity superior to subjectivity, is anti-human and anti-God.

  30. 30
    Karen McMannus says:

    WJM: Here’s the problem: all of that is a perspective derived from ontological commitments. In my experience, these ontological presuppositions are so deep they are rarely, if ever, recognized as such, much less examined critically.

    SB: Absolutely not. The existence of an objective truth, such as justice, depends on (not “derives from”) ontological REALITIES as they exist, not on our ontological COMMITMENTS to those realities.

    And right before your very eyes, folks, SB shifts the subject and confirms what WJM is arguing. SB is so locked into his ontology (some version of Christian theology, I assume) that he conflates his opinions of justice (which are necessarily derived from the ontology he holds) with justice itself, whatever that might be. Does he realize what he is doing? Fascinating to watch.

    WJM scores again.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, more bait and switch. From many long previous exchanges you know or should know that in a going concern world, epistemic issues come first for us to have confidence in knowledge claims. World source and world constituents questions come later; when we have confident reason for warranted knowledge. The rhetorical pattern becomes plain, you resort to cart before horse fallacies despite repeated correction in order to try to reduce the impact of epistemological considerations. Fair comment, that betrays cognitive dissonance reflecting want of good warrant for preferred views on your part. KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Blastus, yes, issues of judicial murder for expedience and cynicism about truth and right to sustain injustice are as old as the hills. These considerations should be a commonplace with every educated person. They are not and this points to calculatedly dumbed down education systems serving the interests of Stalin’s heirs. They are not quite at the level of tortured confession show trials leading to judicial murder yet, but that is the foot of the crumbling cliff we are dancing on. KF

    PS: more from Wiki:

    On 11 September 2008, aged 86, Ludmila Brožová-Polednová, the sole surviving member of the prosecution in the Horáková trial, was sentenced to six years in prison for assisting in the judicial murder of Milada Horáková. Brožová-Polednová was released from detention in December 2010, due to her age and health, and died on 15 January 2015.[11][16]

    The trial documents from that case would make interesting reading. And, tell us why this case isn’t a major Hollywood blockbuster? [Yes, there is a Czech movie, but who speaks that language? There is an English trailer, just maybe there is a dubbed version out there? We really need this movie, today.] Or, is it that it doesn’t fit the favoured narrative? We really need to ask some very pointed questions and demand answers.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Would it surprise you to learn that according to historical hints, Pilate ended as a suicide?

  34. 34
    Belfast says:

    “What is truth?” said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/23

    In the events in Czechoslovakia two years later, people were unjustly framed, tortured into confessions in a show trial, sentenced and put to death to advance a Communist coup. Dr Milada Horakova, courageously publicly denounced the process during her trial and was hanged by a deliberately dragged out strangulation execution process — details are sickening — despite worldwide protest and pleas, including that of Einstein. Her family were never allowed to even receive her ashes. We see here how injustice builds on dishonest reasoning and action, culminating in judicial torture-murder to advance the power agenda of a ruthless Party. Orwell’s literary prophecy built on his experiences in Spain and the track records of Hitler and Stalin. KF

    Yes, what happened to Dr Horakova was a terrible injustice but you are missing the lesson from history that is staring you in the face.

    The atrocities committed under the Communist regimes of Russia, China or right-wing regimes such Nazi Germany are just the most prominent. Look at the history of massacres and lynchings against blacks in the US and, if you think they were bad, they occurred mostly after the North had won. Just imagine what would have happened if the South had won. And you can find similar atrocities in the histories of most countries around the world albeit not on the same scale.

    Nor is this just an issue of political ideologies. Religious conflicts have been equally if not more bloody and ruthless and they have been happening over a far longer timescale than just the twentieth-century.

    No, the real problem is summed up in the maxim that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. People are unsettled by doubt and insecurity and crave certainty. When they are offered some sort of Absolute Truth, be it political ideology or religion, they will be drawn to it, especially in times of heightened instability. And if it’s espoused by some glib and charismatic demagogue then the lure is even stronger. Then, once they are convinced that they are in possession of this Absolute Truth, it’s but a short step to believing that it justifies almost anything to bring its benefits to others, whether they want it or not.

    In my view, when you try to establish your version of Christianity as the Absolute Truth you obviously believe it to be you are falling into the same trap as before. I know you don’t intend it to lead to gulags or concentration camps or killing fields any more than the authors of communism or socialism but, if it gains real traction, I believe it could eventually fall into the hands of people much more ruthless and violent than you because, as WJM has rightly pointed out, the ‘bad guys’ are just as much a part of human nature as the ‘good guys’. Until we find a way of coming to terms with that reality, we are going to continue making the same old mistake, time after time. And we know that’s a definition of insanity.

    As Oliver Cromwell wrote, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.?”

  37. 37
    Sandy says:

    if it gains real traction, I believe it could eventually fall into the hands of people much more ruthless and violent than you because

    :)) oh no …the moral atheist…hahaha!

  38. 38
    Karen McMannus says:

    KF @31,

    Do you even bother to read what I write? Or are you employing a bot that makes random comments?

    The only switch that occur was on SB’s side.

    I beseech you in the bowels of the Big Lebowski to carefully re-read what I wrote @30.

    All the best.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, first you know better than to try to slip in the “Right Wing” national socialist german workers’ party fallacy; right of Stalin, yes; left of just about anything else you care to name, it is time for that piece of agit prop to be permanently laid to rest. As for oh the structurally racist USA etc, my comment is simple, distractive, these matters are antecedent to such and allow us to see the point emphasised in say Ac 17, we are of one common blood, one common ancestry, one common race and that is a race that is rationally, responsibly free and en-conscienced, morally governed; until that is firmly acknowledged, sound reform is not going to happen, we end up in some newspeak word magic, agit prop narrative, lawfare driven tyranny, of which we here have a capital example. As for the snide suggestion, you fundy absolutist Chrisytofascist theocrat — we can read subtext and invidious associations, thank you — you will kindly note that worldviews are addressed on comparative difficulties so inference to best explanation, which is not a deductive system on certain universally agreed axioms, you are setting up a loaded, utterly inappropriate strawman. Especially as self evident issues on reason and government of reason are trans worldview questions. Did you notice, Cicero was a pagan Stoic? Next, the point I have emphasised is independent of such debates, it is about the inextricable intertwining of first principles and duties to truth, honest reasoning and justice at foundation of rational life and community. These are inseparable and pervasive, we need to face them. And that is the precise lesson of history I have emphasised, for cause. KF

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, keep spinning furiously, we were all present to see the switcheroo rhetoric that tried to sideline sound epistemology. The fact remains, in a going concern world with fallible human beings, epistemology and logic are first tier philosophical issues in their own right, and further to such, we need solid acknowledgement on epistemology and reasoning towards warrant before we can build a serious responsible discussion of comparative difficulties across worldviews. That is SB’s key point and mine. For cause. KF

  41. 41
    StephenB says:

    Karen:

    SB is so locked into his ontology (some version of Christian theology, I assume) that he conflates his opinions of justice (which are necessarily derived from the ontology he holds) with justice itself, whatever that might be. Does he realize what he is doing? Fascinating to watch.

    Every claim that you just made is either false or irrelevant. I was simply pointing out that only ontological realities can ground justice. Ontological commitments cannot do that. So there is no question that I refuted WJM’s claims to the contrary. Clearly, you have no counter argument or else you would have made it by now.

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    This is an utter disgrace and an outright slander:

    In my view, when you try to establish your version of Christianity as the Absolute Truth you obviously believe it to be you are falling into the same trap as before. I know you don’t intend it to lead to gulags or concentration camps or killing fields any more than the authors of communism or socialism but, if it gains real traction, I believe it could eventually fall into the hands of people much more ruthless and violent than you

    This, for cause, is unacceptable and is blatantly slanderous, take it back.

    If that is what your obvious cognitive dissonance leads you to project, you have some serious ‘splainin to do.

    The issue on the table is the inextricable intertwining of duties to truth, honest reason and justice, in context of highlighting a case from the second worst crime against humanity of the past century, the still ongoing slaughter of living posterity in the womb being first at 800+ to 100+ million victims. That case shows that the structure of injustice is based on untruth and dishonest thinking — underscoring the priority of first principles and duties of reason as antidote. You dragged a red herring across to a strawman soaked in slanderous ad hominems and set alight. That rhetorically works to cloud, poison and polarise atmosphere, frustrating serious discussion.

    Why are you so desperate as to make such invidious associations and projections?

    KF

  43. 43

    A merciless, unemotional, judgement of immorality, for anyone who get’s their sums wrong.

    Obviously swapping the feelings of certitude in matters of fact, to feelings of selfconfidence in matters of personal judgement.

    And no regard for the logic of subjectivity, the logic of personal opinion, the logic of choice.

    The whole of intelligent design theory hinges on choice. Only choice can deal with a zillion DNA configurations in one go, by having them all as possiblities in a decision on them. That’s how intelligent design can surmount the mathematical improbabilities of obtaining a viable organism.

    Oh but you threw out choice, and threw out chosen opinions. For the sake of morality… Not really for morality, for the sake of feelings of certitude about what is moral.

  44. 44
    Karen McMannus says:

    SB: I was simply pointing out that only ontological realities can ground justice.

    Not controversial in this thread or the other. But that’s not the point WJM was making. Read it again and see if you can figure it out. Hehe. Wow.

  45. 45
    EDTA says:

    Sev,

    >”Religious conflicts have been equally if not more bloody and ruthless and they have been happening over a far longer timescale than just the twentieth-century.”

    If we confine the window to the more recent past, Communism takes the cake for murder/democide. If we use the perspective of total deaths, Communism again steals the show. Yes, humanity has a murderous streak, across all belief systems.

    >”the real problem is summed up in the maxim that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

    Minor quibble: power does not necessarily corrupt. The corruption is already present in those who seek the top spots. I.e., they’re already corrupt when they get there.

    You are correct that in times of instability, people seek security, and make bad decisions. I agree completely.

    >”In my view, when you try to establish your version of Christianity as the Absolute Truth you obviously believe it to be you are falling into the same trap as before. I know you don’t intend it to lead to gulags or concentration camps or killing fields…it could eventually fall into the hands of people much more ruthless and violent than you.”

    Possible. But I am aware of that, and prepared to oppose it strenuously if that happens. I won’t be enough to stop it myself, of course. But I will oppose it.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    EDTA, fair enough as a comment, however, Sev chose to resort to uncalled for associations, insinuations and distractions, which probably reflect intent to derail. He has some ‘splain to do and we should not allow derailment. KF

    PS: He has also of course failed to recognise the significant contribution to modern liberty, civil rights and Constitutional democracy coming from Christians acting through gospel ethics and scriptural teachings. The tendency to make raillery at the real and imagined sins of Christendom through one sided litanies that ignore or suppress its blessings, is a saddening sign of our times.

    PPPS: That said, Christianity in general has nothing to do with the substance of this thread or the OP. This is a toxic distraction which we should not allow to draw us away from how the OP shows us the way untruth and dishonest reasoning backed by wicked intent are foundational to injustice. In that light, we see how the first principles and duties of responsible reason are inseparably intertwined. Which is a critical insight.

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    KM,

    there is no valid point in distracting from addressing our epistemological challenge as a first issue in its own right, where we need not tie key epistemological considerations to the beings and world-history etc of any given worldview. That is for example part of why I freely recognise the historical priority of Cicero, a pagan Roman statesman and Stoic philosopher.

    In this part of a now fairly lengthy series, I have laid out the reality of self-evident truth (a reality that is often derided by those who should know better, c’mon, 2 + 3 = 5 counts!), have pointed out that these are too rare to frame a worldview — Sev, I am looking at you here — but that these serve as plumblines to test yardsticks and walls alike, and have drawn out that these establish truth, knowable truth and truth knowable to certainty, not merely highly plausible and reliable claims.

    Thus, objective, knowable truth, with cases of certainty exists, devastating entire worldviews that pivot on relativism, subjectivism and emotivism.

    Reidian common sense answers to hyperskepticism’s attempt to privilege dismissive doubt and the associated fallacies of grand delusion, opening the door to building credible, open-ended confidence in objective knowledge.

    Further to such, once we see that truths about oughtness or duty are the heart of moral truth, the denial of the possibility or actuality of moral truth falls to self-referential incoherence, it claims to be known moral truth but so if true it is false. Knowable moral truth exists, including self-evident yardstick cases such as the judicial torture-murder of Milada Horakova.

    Those who deny, evade, distract from or try to obfuscate such cases only manage to show their error, they do not break our recognition of yardstick cases.

    This particular case, joined to the literary prophecy in 1984, also shows that first truths, first principles and first duties of right reason as captured in the Ciceronian first duties list are in real life inextricably intertwined. Thus, those who would evade their pervasive legitimate authority . . . manifest even in their objections . . . fail.

    We must take heed to such premises as we move forward to the rescue and reformation of a civilisation recklessly dancing on a crumbling cliff edge.

    KF

  48. 48

    It’s all a total lie. KF you are just illegitemately moralising logic, so that you can have feelings of certitude about what is right and wrong. That 2+3 = 5 = moral, and 2+3=4 = immoral.

    A similar way as to how a nazi refers to the scientific law of natural selection theory, to get certitude about what is right and wrong. Similar to how communists refer to the laws of societal evolution, to get certitude about what is right and wrong.

    All the bad guys throw out subjectivity. The nazi’s the communists, they throw out ordinary personal opinion, and replace it with the scientific socialist formula. You cannot express your own subjective opinions in nazi or communist countries, yet KF would have you believe that nazi’s and communism, are based on subjectivism. A total and utter lie. They are based on science, on objectivism, making morality objective.

    Again, total outrage, total rewriting of history, totally wrong, totally evil.

    People are just inclined to be total morons. They cannot see emotions or God as objects, so therefore they do not exist. And if emotions do exist, well then they must be objective. Then it must be a fact whether someone is good, loving, and beautiful. It must be some kind of fact of genetics, some fact of environment, some fact of nature, some fact of logic, whatever it is, it must be a fact.

    It is always, always, subjectivity which is the loser. Always subjectivity which is mangled, and thrown out. And that obviously leads to personal and societal catastrophy.

  49. 49
    Sandy says:

    Mohammadnursyamsu
    It’s all a total lie. KF you are just illegitemately moralising logic, so that you can have feelings of certitude about what is right and wrong. That 2+3 = 5 = moral, and 2+3=4 = immoral….

    Who taught you the ideas you wrote here? If you are serious (and not a troll like others here) you should throw away whatever book you’ve read about this subject or distance yourself from people who taught you this garbage.

    This is a good teacher for start with.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5RCmu-HuTg

  50. 50
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, again, for record the laws of logic and arithmetic [a subset, strictly] are inert, it is duties of right reason that teach us to use them aright. The OP documents how untruth and dishonest reasoning are part of the structure of injustice. KF

  51. 51
    William J Murray says:

    Well, I guess I can’t even buy a straight answer from you, KF. Are you a politician? You answer every direct, simple question by reiterating talking points. It’s something I’ve noticed politicians almost always do when they don’t want to answer a question.

    Again, the question about whether or not God could have created a world where injustice cannot occur was largely rhetorical; the answer is yes, of course God could have done that. At least Jerry answered the question directly:

    Yes, that is possible. But it would be a sterile meaningless world of automatons.

    Kind of a side question to Jerry, considering his response: Do injustices occur in heaven?

    KM, there are indeed some very interesting phenomena going on here.

    So, of course a world where injustices cannot occur could exist. In other words, it is an available ontology that is not self-contradictory or impossible. The objection would be, “That is not the world we live in. There are obvious injustices, as described and shown.”

    Are there?

    One of the interesting phenomena that is occurring is KF’s and SB’s insistence that emotional reactions represent self-evident truths. KF even gave it its own category: “moral absurdity.” He believes that an extreme example demonstrates the self-evident nature of morality; in the case of this thread, he points to an example that everyone (well, pretty much) would agree represents an injustice, therefore, he believes, he has demonstrated the self-evident truth that universal justice and injustice actually exist. IOW, the evidence KF has presented leads him to the conclusion “the debate is over” because of the evidence he has provided, which ties duty, truth, honesty, and justice seamlessly together in a case (almost) everyone would agree on. (Or, when he refers to Cicero’s argument, which he believes makes an irrefutable case.)

    What KF and SB apparently refuse to allow into their equation is the fact that there are people that simply do not see the world that way. They don’t operate from any sense of duty, morality, or justice. They exclude those people (of which I am one) from their “self-evident” equation by conveniently labeling them as either defective or deceptive. IOW, there is either something wrong with them or they are lying (which are characterizations we see happening here.)

    They must do this because accepting those people into the equation reveals that he and Cicero cannot be talking about anything that is “self-evident” in “human nature.” This is also revealed when KF makes his argument by referring to “common human behavior,” he cannot make his argument if he refers to all human behavior. When you exclude all of the evidence to the contrary of a proposition, then of course all the evidence (that remains) supports your proposition.

    So does justice and injustice exist or not? Let me answer it this way, from my perspective, by asking another question: do photonic particles and waves exist or not? In a particular case, is the thing we are looking at either a photon or a wave? Apparently, the answer is that what we are observing is neither a particle or a wave, but rather information potential that can be factually interpreted either way depending on the perspective of the observer. But, what is “actually” there is neither an energetic particle or an energetic wave; it’s just abstract information.

    “Justice” is an interpretation of information. How one interprets any information entirely depends on one’s perspective unless one interpretation represents the only possible interpretation to avoid logical absurdity across all possible interpretations. This is why A=A and 2+2=4 might be called non-interpretable informational absolutes. They are not open to variant, alternative interpretations or experiences from different perspectives; they are what they are in every possible situation.

    Morality, justice and duty are not immune to variant interpretations or experiences. They cannot be said to even necessarily exist in every possible world. There is no such thing as a self-evident “moral” truth. There is no such thing as “self-evident” justice or injustice: they are entirely dependent on perspective, conditions and interpretations relating to ontological commitments. They do not necessarily apply to all possible sentient beings in all possible worlds; they thus cannot be self-evidently true statements. Good grief, they don’t even apply to all known human beings.

    The fault in Cicero’s argument is his cherry-picking of certain qualities in a subset of humans and excluding all other qualities of “human nature” via an a priori ontological commitment. When I argued that KF’s epistemology flowed from his ontology, he bristled, telling me that I did not know his life or how he came to hold his views.

    I don’t need to know his or anyone’s life to know we all began thinking of these things with an a priori ontology. You cannot grow up in this world or function as a child without at least a subconscious or unconscious ontology of “what things are” and how those things relate to each other. By the time we even begin to question these things, we are asking these things from that ontological perspective.

    We might, at some point, find and question that deeply-rooted ontology; my experience is that this rarely ever happens. It usually takes a very profound, identity-shaking event. People usually spend their lives trying to make sense out of their original ontology, maybe shifting a few minor things around, or adding to it from a spiritual, mystical, supernatural or religious experience. They cobble together what is usually a Rube Goldberg epistemology that holds their ontology-with-modifications together.

    “Justice” cannot be revealed self-evidently true via even via large-scale emotional reaction. As at least Jerry would admit, a world where “justice” is an irrelevant concept could exist: the world where injustices cannot occur. This means that there is no “self-evident” justice or injustice; it depends on ontological conditions that do not necessarily exist in all possible worlds.

    You can make an argument from evidence that “justice” exists in this particular world, but as I said before, you don’t get your ontological basis for free.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, please. Very reluctantly, after much insistence on your part, I did a point by point comment on some of your worldviews claims, only to see an ever increasing spiral of rhetorical exchanges that frankly have very little profit. In the past few weeks, there are over a thousand comments in one exchange where there was an attrition, at the end of which it was clear that the fundamental point that pervasive thus self evident first duties of reason govern our rational behaviour stands; that should never have been in doubt but there is a tendency to privilege hyperskepticism. I will not go back there, the record is there. To clarify the link between first duties and first truths, I took time yesterday to show from literary prophecy and horrific history, how the structure of manifest injustice is built up from untruth and dishonest thinking, multiplied of course by ill willed behaviour. Mr Smith, what is 2+2 — Winston already being on the rack — aptly sums up the matter for those willing to heed. That suffices as telling demonstration of the basic point that self-evident, inescapably pervasive first truths, first principles AND first duties govern our rational behaviour. In that context it is also manifest that in a going concern world, as error prone, rational creatures needing knowledge, issues of epistemology are therefore first issues and they are trans-worldview in key relevant aspects. So no there will be no entertaining of undermining comparative difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and balanced explanatory power. There have been enough toxic, needless tangents and they have failed to change the core issues one whit. KF

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: For record,

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable . . .

    first duties of reason:

    “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding. Namely, Ciceronian first duties,

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc
    .

    Likewise, we observe again, that objectors to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed.

    Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature.

    Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

    Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc.

    Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

  54. 54
    William J Murray says:

    The shorter summary: if your proposition is not necessarily true in all possible worlds, or for all possible sentient beings, it cannot be a self-evidently true proposition. If particular conditions are necessary for your proposition to be true, then if you can show the conditions to be self-evidently true (they must exist in all possible worlds,) then the case has been made that the proposition is necessarily true. If the conditions are not self-evidently true (must exist in all possible worlds,) then one must make the case that those conditions (ontology) exist in or are properties of this world and that the proposition is necessary from those conditions.

    Justice requires conditions that are not necessary in all possible worlds. Morality requires conditions that are not necessary in all possible worlds. Therefore, they cannot be “self-evidently” true.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    You insist on raising long since thoroughly answered matters (self evidence as a substantial matter was addressed here at UD in 2013 IIRC):

    The shorter summary: if your proposition is not necessarily true in all possible worlds, or for all possible sentient beings, it cannot be a self-evidently true proposition.

    False, and misdirected, see OP here for details. SETs in general are not necessary being entities though in some cases they are. For those too unwilling to click, a SET is a truth, it is intelligible to persons of adequate background to understand correctly, a constraint as some SETs are only accessible as such to experienced, educated persons of significant intellectual virtues and habits of thought. Yes, being warped and benumbed in conscience, hard hearted and darkened in mind as a result is an issue. I can never forget walking behind two young men, conversing, ah nuh nutten, ‘im just cut a gal throat.

    Further, such persons will recognise that they are necessarily true . . . note, the going concern, actual world context . . . on pain of patent absurdity. As opposed to say, upon proof by reductio etc. Where, absurdities can be of several types, including obvious incoherence, self-referential destruction of intellectual credibility, and even self-referential destruction of moral credibility, etc. (Failure to recognise the gross injustice against Milada Horokova and how it was built up from disregard to duties to truth and honest fair mindedness in reasoning are a good enough example. A test, her judicial murderers failed.)

    More can be said, that’s enough.

    What a SET is is sufficiently shown, the focus here is that the link between duties to truth and to honest reasoning thence to justice is plain.

    KF

    PS, giving yardstick examples as Cicero did is not fallacious cherry-picking. That level of rhetorical twisting speaks volumes.

  56. 56
    William J Murray says:

    KF:
    Until you answer the following questions directly, there is no more to be said between us about “duties:”

    1. Can a duty be said to exist absent the following conditions: (1)an authority that holds you responsible for the fulfillment of a duty, and (2) consequences for whether or not you fulfill said duty?

    2. If your answer is yes, please give an example, even if hypothetical. If your answer is no, do such conditions necessarily exist in all possible worlds?

    If I was a betting man, I would bet my home, property and truck that you will not directly answer those questions.

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, no, you are not re-setting the agenda by a train of toxic tangents. The OP has set the issue and our responsiveness or lack thereof speaks for itself. Injustice is built up from untruth and from dishonest ill willed thinking and action as is crystal clear from both the literary prophecy and the horrific judicial murder. This shows by case the pervasive significance of first truths, first principles and first duties. KF

  58. 58
    William J Murray says:

    I guess I should have made that bet 🙂

  59. 59
    jerry says:

    1. Can a duty be said to exist absent the following conditions: (1)an authority that holds you responsible for the fulfillment of a duty, and (2) consequences for whether or not you fulfill said duty?

    Most definitely yes!

    Do you ever eat or drink? They are required for staying alive. No one is monitoring you or ensuring you comply.

    There are hundreds of similar examples that require one to stay alive and their family’s survival as well.

    If I was a betting man, I would bet my home, property and truck that you will not directly answer those questions.

    Because they have been answered several times.

    Can we agree that the external world is alive and well and all your nonsense about mental world being paramount is just that, nonsense.

    The real question is anything you have proposed not nonsense?

  60. 60
    William J Murray says:

    Ah, Jerry. Okay. If we’re going to extend the concept of a “duties” to include physical conditions and commodities, I’m happy to play your game.

    In your example, the authoritative entity holding us responsible to a duty to eat and drink is our body. The consequence for not doing our duty? Death.

    Let’s use another example. The “duty” of not throwing myself off a cliff. The authority? Gravity. The consequence? Smashing against the rocks below.

    In every single case, if we are talking about intelligent-agency commodities or physical condition commodities, there are in-kind authority/consequence conditions that must exist in order for it to be said that any “duty” exists.

  61. 61
    William J Murray says:

    BTW, Jerry, as before, I respect the fact that you are willing to give direct answers to direct questions. Not that I expect that means much if anything to you, but still.

  62. 62
    jerry says:

    In your example, the authoritative entity holding us responsible to a duty to eat and drink is our body

    That called human nature. It’s built into humans. Every species has something similar built into it.

    Kf wrote an OP on this. I didn’t see you agreeing with him. The duties flow from our nature just as you are now saying

    You do realize you are posting gobbledygook in defense of what you say.

    The authority? Gravity. The consequence? Smashing against the rocks below.

    There was a recent joke photograph with caption

    Man: you are being charged with killing your husband

    Woman: it was a natural death

    Man: you pushed him off the cliff

    Woman: gravity is natural

    Man: we will list the death as due to COVID

  63. 63
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry @62 said

    That called human nature. It’s built into humans. Every species has something similar built into it.

    Yes, they are the physical conditions that require consuming some sort of physically compatible energy source to sustain life. What difference does that make?

    Any kind of duty requires the in-kind conditions I have listed. An existential, inescapable duty requires and existential, inescapable authority and consequence, whether categorized as “physical commodities and conditions” or “intelligent-agent supplied commodities and conditions.”

    Is the argument for moral duties one of physical commodities and conditions? That’s not a rhetorical question. In some ontologies, “morality” is regarded as a kind of higher-physics, cause-and-effect commodity (a version of karma), and has nothing to do with the authority of any intelligent judging agency, like a god.

  64. 64

    If the logic is inert, and the logical errors are inert, then how did you get to objective morality? What is the duty to reason logically based on then?

    And all that other stuff that you proved that error is real, and then went to talk about what ought. And your rejection of subjectivism, emotivism.

    Morality is in regards to the human spirit, and God the holy spirit, who are both inherently subjective. That is why it is called faith, which is subjective. Not because we just momentarily haven’t got all the objective evidence yet, but because logic dictates that it is inherently subjective.

    Basically I’m just banging my fist on the table that there has got to be straightforward and unequivocal acceptance of the validity of subjectivity. And everything that goes against that, whether it be materialism, atheism, natural selection theory, or objectified God, it must all be destroyed.

    And there must be acceptance of objectivity also, but in my opinion that isn’t really much of a problem. Because people are inclined to objectivity, people see the objective things.

    2 separate categories, 1 for subjectivity, and 1 for objectivity. The perfect solution.

    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,again, no, you are not re-setting the agenda by a train of toxic tangents. The OP has set the issue and our responsiveness or lack thereof speaks for itself. Injustice is built up from untruth and from dishonest ill willed thinking and action as is crystal clear from both the literary prophecy and the horrific judicial murder. This shows by case the pervasive significance of first truths, first principles and first duties. You have not in any way managed to alter that balance on merits, no, what a SET is was hammered out centuries before you were born and you do not get to conveniently redefine it.It is still the case that logic and epistemology are first tier issues and so are the key principles, some of which [e.g. LOI-LNC-LEM, need for regard to truth and honesty etc] are self-evident, are not fatally biased by any one particular worldview. In particular, it still remains that every one of your objections, e.g. by wanting to suggest failure to warrant by right use of reason resting on representative true facts, is implicitly appealing to first duties of reason, and more. KF

  66. 66
    William J Murray says:

    Mohammadnursyamsu said:

    Basically I’m just banging my fist on the table that there has got to be straightforward and unequivocal acceptance of the validity of subjectivity.

    I think the problem is that “objectivists” have intellectually disqualified subjective experience as “not real,” or as you said, not valid.

    Keep in mind that when I argue about morality being an emotional reaction, I’m arguing from KF’s worldview where emotion is not considered valid or real in the objective sense. From my perspective, emotions, thoughts, and imagination are as real as any objective thing, they just are not objective.

    Some time ago I pointed out that all experience – even of objective things – is subjective in nature; that’s all any of us have to work with. Subjective experiences, subjective feelings, subjective thoughts, etc. If one is going to dismiss subjective experience as “not real” or “not valid,” then nothing can be called real.

    What we call “the objective” and “the subjective” are two entirely real things. I do not doubt that KF and SB and others personally, subjectively experience the things they say they are experiencing – such as, moral duty – but to claim I experience the same thing is just nonsense. KF’s attempt to objectify morality, the sense of right and wrong, moral duty ,etc. logically by objective conditions that require similar emotional, subjective reactions is, to say the least, highly problematic, if not impossible.

  67. 67
    Karen McMannus says:

    WJM: This is also revealed when KF makes his argument by referring to “common human behavior,” he cannot make his argument if he refers to all human behavior… There is no such thing as a self-evident “moral” truth… They do not necessarily apply to all possible sentient beings in all possible worlds; they thus cannot be self-evidently true statements. Good grief, they don’t even apply to all known human beings.

    Psychologist academics estimate that about 4% of the population are “sociopaths.” In the USA the number is about 14 million people. Worldwide that number is a staggering 280 million. Those numbers represent no mere anomaly.

    (Sidebar: One wonders why the creator made so many of them from the ontological/theological perspective of KF et al. To borrow a quip from P.T. Barnum, “God must have loved sociopaths- he made so darn many of them.” One purpose may be that they make effective warriors: they can kill a village, sleep like babies, get up and do it again the next day without batting a proverbial eyelash. Of course, that leaves the question as to why war is necessary in this world in the first place. I’m sure these questions are “toxic distractions.” I suspect anything that challenges KF’s ontology/theology is a toxic distraction. The cog-dis is palpable.)

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, attn MNY, we are subjects, everything is experienced as such. For the particular purpose of reliable knowledge, we need warrant adequate to provide objectivity, as we are error prone. Without being self aware responsible significantly free agents we could not be rational. Which is precious, but as we are finite, bounded, error prone, we need such warrant. None of this is hard to understand, none of it is false or a lie or a denigration of our ensoulment — i.e. that we are self-moved agents that are not simply mechanically, dynamically-stochastically determined. Which would make us into GIGO-constrained, non-rational computational substrates, at best. KF

  69. 69
    Sandy says:

    Because people are inclined to objectivity, people see the objective things.

    🙂 You don’t know what you are talking about. That’s why you have a dialogue with clowns like WJM.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, irrelevant. That one may have a badly damaged conscience does not change that we are duty-bound to sound conscience or to truth or to right and honest reason or to justice. Ask the ghosts of those who judicially murdered Milada Horakova. KF

  71. 71
    Karen McMannus says:

    KF: That one may have a badly damaged conscience

    Anything contrafactual to your worldview is “damaged” apparently.

    P.S. Scientific research does not support the claim that most sociopaths are “damaged” or became such though trauma.

  72. 72
    StephenB says:

    William J. Murray to Kairosfocus:

    Here’s the problem: all of that (the idea that justice exists as a thing) is a perspective derived from ontological commitments. In my experience, these ontological presuppositions are so deep they are rarely, if ever, recognized as such, much less examined critically.

    If justice exists as an abstract thing it is because there are ontological realities that ground it, not because KF or I have made an ontological commitment to those realities. One has nothing to do with the other.

    Let’s take a specific example: Do human rights really exist as (things)? If they do, it is NOT because I believe that God grants rights to humans who were made in the Divine image.” Such a commitment cannot in any way explain how a right could be an abstract reality. On the contrary, human rights can exist as things only if God really does grant them and only if humans are entitled to them because they have been made special in some way. Only on the ontological grounds that humans have “inherent dignity” can a case be made that they deserve to be treated fairly or that such a thing as justice actually exists. It is the ontological grounding that explains the existence of justice as a thing, not the epistemological process by which KF and I arrive at our ontological commitments.

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    KM,

    Kindly note:

    https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/sociopath-psychopath-difference

    A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong, says L. Michael Tompkins, EdD. He’s a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center.

    A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.

    A sociopath typically has a conscience, but it’s weak. They may know that taking your money is wrong, and they might feel some guilt or remorse, but that won’t stop their behavior.

    Both lack empathy, the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. But a psychopath has less regard for others, says Aaron Kipnis, PhD, author of The Midas Complex. Someone with this personality type sees others as objects he can use for his own benefit.

    See why I noted, damaged conscience?

    KF

  74. 74
    StephenB says:

    Karen McMannus on June 13

    :

    There is no such thing as a self-evident “moral” truth…

    Let’s check the record:

    On May 14, 2021 at 11:15 pm, BA77 says, “If WJM can’t bring himself to honestly admit that ***it is self evidently true that it is wrong to torture babies…”***

    To which Karen responds,

    He does. You do. *I DO.* We all do.

    So on May 14, Karen says that it is self evidently true that we should not torture babies for fun, but on June 13, she says there is no such thing as a self-evident moral truth. Will the real Karen McMannus please stand up.

  75. 75
    StephenB says:

    Karen McMannus:

    There is no such thing as a self-evident “moral” truth… They do not necessarily apply to all possible sentient beings in all possible worlds; they thus cannot be self-evidently true statements.

    That doesn’t follow at all.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, KM is trying to follow WJM’s attempt to redefine self-evidence to things that are necessary, trans-world entities. This is of course flawed. For instance, distinct identity is self-evident by inescapability, but its extension across possible, distinct worlds is not self-evident, being a fairly complex argument. Similarly, from this and von Neuman’s construction then various operations we can construct N,Z,Q,R,C,R* and ground that they are framework to any possible world, supporting wide applicability of Math. Further, C is isomorphic to the Cartesian Plane, thus defining an abstract Euclidean space in any world, leading to say Pythagoras’ Theorem, the Appolonius Theorem and incommensurateness of sides and diagonals of squares etc, but these are by no means seen as true on understanding the statement. By contrast, to be self-aware, aware of error-proneness and to experience as part of that conscience are directly self-evident and unconnected to whether such obtain in any possible world. Such was not so in ours until we came along. Then of course, kidnapping, sexually torturing and murdering a child for one’s pleasure or torturing or murdering someone under false colour of law are both self-evidently unjust on pain of absurdity on attempted denial. By contrast, catching, killing, cooking and eating a fish for dinner is not self-evidently unjust and most would find it a reasonable thing to do. One key error leads to many others, in short. KF

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, I should add that justice can be understood as a state off affairs in which there is civil peace manifesting due balance of rights, freedoms and duties. In which context the officers who tortured, subjected to show trial then horrifically executed Milada Horakova on trumped up evidence and a false charge of treason were guilty of a chain of breaches of the civil peace amounting to judicial murder. By contrast, had they had regard even just to her defence statement that came out in 2005, in which freedom of opinion and political views are rights not treason, there would not have been judicial murder. Actual justice would have respected the rights and freedoms as expressing being a human being, an end in oneself. We could say more but the analysis on states of affairs speaks for itself. A Stoic could have said this, a responsible secularist, etc; I say it and NOWHERE is there a question-begging ontological commitment that reduces this to empty ideological noise; much less . . . looking at you Sev, reckless statements likely to invite Christofascist tyranny as seems to be an imagined bogeyman threat. KF

  78. 78
    StephenB says:

    KF, their philosophy of life (WJM and KM) would change quickly if it was they who had to endure the evil slave labor camps of the past or the cruel “re-education” centers that exist even to this day in the Communist world. If they were beaten, starved, and tortured on a routine basis, they would cry out for justice like anyone else. But they probably live a sheltered life, protected by people who often give their own lives to keep everyone else safe. Meanwhile, WJM and KM have been spared from all the major horrors and that is all that matters to them. They have no compassion for their fellow humans or they would not trivialize their plight by saying that evil and injustice do not exist. It really is an outrage.

  79. 79

    It doesn’t add up. It’s all objectivity up front, and then oh yeah subjectivity somewhat. It sounds the same as socialist appeasement of subjectivity.

    The marxists have some acknowledgement of subjectivity that people are to go for personal subjective pursuits, after marxism won. The nazi’s have some acknowledgement of subjectivity mentioning the spirit, soul, God. But up front the socialists have all facts based on materialism.

    It is not rule based validation of subjectivity what you do. It feels like just throwing a bone.

    Chemistry, physics, mathematics, logic, they all fall under the header objectivity. Now you want to put morality under objectivity too. Doesn’t make any sense, it is obviously a category error. Morality belongs in the subjective box, case closed

    But as I said, I have no room to move, because the creationist conceptual scheme is tightly logically defined. Basically it’s like 2+2=4, I have no room for any alternative views. If you don’t pretty much 100 percent agree with the creationist conceptual scheme, then your views are wrong.

    So from where I am sitting you are the one saying 2+2=5, because you don’t follow the logic that categorizes between matters of opinion and matters of fact.

    Subjectivity also has a logic of it’s own. The rules are that a personal opinion must be chosen, and must express what it is that makes a choice.

    And therefore any statement of fact about something that is on the side of what makes a choice, is a category error, because that’s where subjectivity applies.

    You see, I follow rules. While you just assume subjectivity, without apparent rules.

    There’s lots of things to do with subjectivity, just as there is with objectivity. For instance, how to organize the decisionmaking, in choosing a personal opinion.

    You can choose from the heart, which is choosing in a way that the emotions are unified. Or choose as a whimsy, which is more choosing from a partial interest. Lots of different ways to decide, lots and lots of things to do with subjectivity.

    While you seem to just assume subjectivity, as if it would take care of itself, as if it is all the same.

  80. 80
    Karen McMannus says:

    SB: KF, their philosophy of life (WJM and KM)

    You really are a dimwit. (Well, I already knew that. Sorry, this old bird calls as she see’s ’em.)

    You don’t even know what my philosophy of life is.

    Let us be clear: this idiotic thread, and the last one, is not about that.

    It’s about “self-evident duties” (as KF sees them, and others, I assume you.)

    Hehe. Gawd you people are dumb.

    We already got you to admit that your version of Christianity is what’s ground this, and what you’re really promoting.

    Again, why don’t you just say, “we want you to accept our version of Christianity.”

    That would at least be honest. The rest is just a thin coat of sophomoric pseudo-philosophy.

    At any rate, thanks for the entertainment.

  81. 81
    Karen McMannus says:

    KF: Then, once they are convinced that they are in possession of this Absolute Truth, it’s but a short step to believing that it justifies almost anything to bring its benefits to others, whether they want it or not.

    What about justifying the murder of innocent babies?

    Just like the Jews who killed innocent Cannanite babies. YOU assent to that. And you and SB have said it is “justified.”

    Oh. The hypocracy.

    Anything in the name of what you think is Higher Truth is okay when it justifies murder of babies.

    Hitler thought he was justified in killing innocents for Higher Truth.

    Stalin thought he was justified in killing innocents for Higher Truth.

    Mao thought he was justified in killing innocents for Higher Truth.

    The imaginary god you worship was justified (as you say) in killing innocents for Higher Truth.

    (But at least that is fiction.)

    This is not a “toxic diversion.” This is the poison is baked into the core of your worldview. Without compunction you assent that killing innocent babies is justified in the name of a Higher Purpose!

    And then turn around without the slightest bit of self-awareness, cast blame on others for doing the same thing.

    Your naked hypocritical butt stands out for all to see.

    Nobody is fooled except the other weirdos that agree with you.

    P.S. the real Creator has never demanded the murder of innocent babies. That’s your twisted, unsupported delusion. And you’re a sociopath for worshiping such a sociopathic character. You’re no better than a Nazi goose-stepper.

    My new term for you, SB, and lesser nincompoops here:

    Goosesteppers

    Yep, that’s what you are.

    Assenters to child killing in the name of….. Higher Truth!

    (P.P.S Barry and BA77 have been oh so quiet on these threads. Barry popped in for a second, only because he hasn’t really been paying close attention, I suspect. Then popped out when I corrected his misunderstanding. It’s been interesting.)

    Ban me if you want, but everyone except your psychopathic toadies can see the psychopathic core of your worldview. And abject hypocracy.

    Shame on you.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, you just put words in my mouth. It is Seversky who wrote what you attributed to me and I called him on some of it that especially caught my attention. You make onward ill-considered projections, accusations and invidious associations that are, again, telling. Lets just say that my first personal conflict with real live totalitarians was 35 years ago, Marxists. You have continued to assert a train of ill-advised things you have been counselled about, and it is sadly significant to see your agenda of claims. Indeed, diagnostic, on cognitive dissonance. KF

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Onlookers seeking a 101 may find here on helpful. KF

  84. 84
    Karen McMannus says:

    KF, you have utterly discredited yourself in any moral judgements whatsoever…

    You believe killing innocent babies is okay in the service of a (so-called) Higher Truth

    It’s over, weirdo.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, you are doubling down on setting up and knocking over a toxic, false accusation laced strawman caricature, in obvious hope to derail the thread; a strong sign that you have no cogent answer on merits. It is enough in response to note that you have evidently refused to take back words you tried to put in my mouth that do not belong there and have continued to try to drag discussion off track by raising accusations and issues that you have long since been advised are not reasonably within UD’s remit and which are in fact ably addressed elsewhere. You have been given summary counsel and links for balancing information but have chosen to double down instead. That is sadly revealing. That said, nothing in your derailing attempt changes how the OP documents that first truths and first duties of reason are inextricably intertwined, not least through showing how the structure of injustice is built up from untruth, dishonest reasoning and worse behaviour, in the key case ending in judicial torture-murder at hands of Marxist totalitarians; probably on instruction from Stalin or his minions. Thus, we see from actual cases how significant first duties to truth, honest reason and justice are. Those, stand established. KF

  86. 86
    StephenB says:

    Karen McMannus, who says that killing-babies for fun is self evidently wrong, also says that there are no self-evident moral truths (yes, she said both of those things). When I called her out on it, she descended into a name calling rant.

    To me, she says:

    You really are a dimwit.

    Nobody is fooled except the other weirdos that agree with you.

    And you’re a sociopath for worshiping such a sociopathic character (The God of the Old Testament)

    You’re no better than a Nazi goose-stepper.

    My new term for you, SB, and lesser nincompoops here:

    Goosesteppers

    Yep, that’s what you are.

    To KF, she is a little kinder

    It’s over, weirdo.

    Why couldn’t she just say something like this: “You know, you have a point. I did contradict myself. Here is the way I would try to resolve this apparent inconsistency.”

  87. 87
    Karen McMannus says:

    SB thinks that killing babies in the service of a Higher Truth is okay.

    No matter what you say about anyone else or any thing…

    SB thinks that killing babies in the service of a Higher Truth is okay.

    SB thinks that killing babies in the service of a Higher Truth is okay.

    SB thinks that killing babies in the service of a Higher Truth is okay.

    SB thinks that killing babies in the service of a Higher Truth is okay.

    Etc….

  88. 88
    Karen McMannus says:

    An interesting thing is you that nincompoops/trolls try to tell people to look into their (subjective) souls and what-not for empathy for the evils of the world, but when I do I see you nincompoops as the trollish moral deviants that you are, who (really) think the murder of innocent babies is perfectly okay in the service of a “higher truth.”

    Gawd, the pants are down and you’re naked butts are out there for all to see.

    Psychopaths.

  89. 89
    Sandy says:

    Karen McClownnus
    An interesting thing is you that nincompoops/trolls try to tell people to look into their (subjective) souls and what-not for empathy for the evils of the world, but when I do I see you nincompoops as the trollish moral deviants that you are, who (really) think the murder of innocent babies is perfectly okay in the service of a “higher truth.”

    Gawd, the pants are down and you’re naked butts are out there for all to see.
    Psychopaths.

    Well Karen …you showed your real face that we had known about .
    Your messages about others actually say about you.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    KM, on fair comment your current behaviour is classic cognitive dissonance manifesting projection to the despised other. I am inclined to give you an opportunity to pull back to a more civil tone, so I am giving you this plea by way of a caution on behaviour. KF

    PS-F/N: You have already been notified on a 101 that sets out a more balanced addressing of the still lingering Internet Atheist push to try to taint and discredit the heritage of Christendom [which, like any civilisation, dating back to Nimrod’s hydraulic empire in the river valleys of Mesopotamia, is decidedly a mixed blessing] and of course the ethics of the scriptures. Craig’s discussion with Harris here may also help.

    As for the baby murderers tainted strawman accusation you have been making, I note there were indeed gods and priestcraft associated with that as normalised cultural practice, the Canaanite and similar ANE cultures, cf OT responses to Moloch. Unsurprisingly, that is part of the indictment of a culture become a plague upon the earth; a verdict uncannily similar to Rome’s assessment of Carthage, essentially an evolved form of the same culture, and note what Rome found itself forced to do in response to blood feud generational warfare. When an Israelite king led war against a city and the king publicly sacrificed his IIRC 12 yo son, the Israelites withdrew in horror, so the cultural indictment fails. Then, when an apostate Israelite king did succumb to said practices, the site of his atrocities was turned into a notorious dump, Ge Hinnon, as was already mentioned in balancing accusatory views on Gehenna. Israelite culture was not a culture that normalised or rationalised deliberate specifically targetted killing of babies etc.

    Slander, corrected.

    So, the accusation you have repeated rings utterly hollow, it is an Internet Atheist atrocity story meant to be used as shut up rhetoric, it is not a reasonable discussion or an on topic response to an OP that demonstrates how self-evident first truths and self-evidently true first duties are inextricably interwoven in the fabric of justice.

    That such a resort is made is actually an implicit concession of the force of the point in the OP and of its relevance to sound reform of constitutional democracy towards restoration of sounder footing for law, governance and government.

    I add, the first linked speaks more broadly to such issues at 101 level, including helping us understand how great and good statesmen are forced to use means of fighting in which many are sent to meatgrinder battles of attrition [think, Petain and Verdun in 1916, Haig forced to start the Somme before he was ready, and forced to carry the burden with French armies in mutiny and Russia in collapse in 1917 or Eisenhower at Normandy as they fought through the hedgerow bocage country, MacArthur et al contemplating invasion of Japan proper and having enough Purple Hearts made for dead and wounded that the stock has been used in onward wars for nearly eighty years], and how justified military actions cause many innocents to die in the hellish fires of wars [think of bombing campaigns in WW2 where Churchill, Roosevelt and Truman knew that it was a nuke threshold war and that Nazi Germany, leading sci-tech power of the day, was researching nukes, where they could not say anything about it but had to act with urgency before Hitler got his hands on nukes to tip missiles or to load bombers etc], thence, what it means to find oneself fighting war with eternal blood feud cultures across the literal span of 1,000 years. (Resemblance to the current resurgence of jihad, global subjugation wars in the nuke and potential pandemic bioweapon age, is not coincidental, sadly.)

    Such has to be reckoned with, but again, that is in linked materials and for cause it is not within UD’s remit; you who are concerned are again directed to other sites with the people with advanced qualifications on the relevant topics who have done serious research. (The very fact that Internet Atheists and fellow travellers so typically avoid serious discussion of the matter and try instead to drag layperson discussions into fights by using toxic ad hom laced strawmen set alight to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere tells us we are dealing with ruthless ideological agit prop not serious discussion.)

    Just to restore saner balance, here is the counsel of the principal ethical teacher of the Christian faith, in unmistakably counter-cultural, healing, transformational words:

    Lk 6: 27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic2 either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

    32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

    This short footnote is therefore offered for record for the potentially perplexed as start points for thoughts best dealt with at other fora.

    I trust that this thread can now return to more reasonable and more productive discussion.

  91. 91
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: To the end of refocussed serious discussion, I again highlight the outline argument that has stirred such ire:

    We can readily identify at least seven inescapable . . .

    first duties of reason:

    “Inescapable,” as they are so antecedent to reasoning that even the objector implicitly appeals to their legitimate authority; inescapable, so first truths of reason, i.e. they are self-evidently true and binding. Namely, Ciceronian first duties,

    1st – to truth,
    2nd – to right reason,
    3rd – to prudence [including warrant],
    4th – to sound conscience,
    5th – to neighbour; so also,
    6th – to fairness and
    7th – to justice
    [ . . .]
    xth – etc
    .

    Likewise, we observe again, that objectors to such duties cannot but appeal to them to give their objections rhetorical traction (i.e. s/he must imply or acknowledge what we are, morally governed, duty-bound creatures to gain any persuasive effect). While also those who try to prove such cannot but appeal to the said principles too. So, these principles are a branch on which we all must sit, including objectors and those who imagine they are to be proved and try. That is, these are manifestly first principles of rational, responsible, honest, conscience guided liberty and so too a built-in framework of law; yes, core natural law of human nature. Reason, inescapably, is morally governed.

    Of course, there is a linked but not equivalent pattern: bounded, error-prone rationality often tied to ill will and stubbornness or even closed mindedness; that’s why the study of right reason has a sub-study on fallacies and errors. That we sometimes seek to evade duties or may make inadvertent errors does not overthrow such first duties of reason, which instead help us to detect and correct errors, as well as to expose our follies.

    Perhaps, a negative form will help to clarify, for cause we find to be at best hopelessly error-riddled, those who are habitually untruthful, fallacious and/or irrational, imprudent, fail to soundly warrant claims, show a benumbed or dead conscience [i.e. sociopathy and/or highly machiavellian tendencies], dehumanise and abuse others, are unfair and unjust. At worst, such are utterly dangerous, destructive,or even ruthlessly, demonically lawless.

    Such built-in . . . thus, universal . . . law, then, is not invented by parliaments, kings or courts, nor can these principles and duties be abolished by such; they are recognised, often implicitly as an indelible part of our evident nature. Hence, “natural law,” coeval with our humanity, famously phrased in terms of “self-evident . . . rights . . . endowed by our Creator” in the US Declaration of Independence, 1776. (Cf. Cicero in De Legibus, c. 50 BC.) Indeed, it is on this framework that we can set out to soundly understand and duly balance rights, freedoms and duties; which is justice, the pivot of law. The legitimate main task of government, then, is to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice through sound community order reflecting the built in, intelligible law of our nature.

    Where, as my right implies your duty a true right is a binding moral claim to be respected in life, liberty, honestly aquired property, innocent reputation etc. To so justly claim a right, one must therefore demonstrably be in the right.

    Likewise, Aristotle long since anticipated Pilate’s cynical “what is truth?”: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not. [Metaphysics, 1011b, C4 BC.] Simple in concept, but hard to establish on the ground; hence — in key part — the duties to right reason, prudence, fairness etc.

    Thus, too, we may compose sound civil law informed by that built-in law of our responsibly, rationally free morally governed nature; from such, we may identify what is unsound or false thus to be reformed or replaced even though enacted under the colour and solemn ceremonies of law.

    The first duties, also, are a framework for understanding and articulating the corpus of built-in law of our morally governed nature, antecedent to civil laws and manifest our roots in the Supreme Law-giver, the inherently good, utterly wise and just creator-God, the necessary (so, eternal), maximally great being at the root of reality.

    In that context, this OP has used a real world case to help us better understand how first truths and first duties are interwoven in the fabric of justice, through a contrast that exposes how horrific injustice is woven from untruth, dishonest reasoning, falsified evidence, refusal to be reasonable, cruel abuse etc. ending in judicial torture-murder.

    Let us learn from this grim history.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: To help us better understand the political dynamics behind the case and in face of accusations, I have put up U/Ds to OP, showing how the slide from constitutional democracy into lawless ideological oligarchy happens — context for events in 1950 in Czechoslovakia, and the McFaul dirty colour revolution model.

  93. 93
    William J Murray says:

    SB @78:

    So, you’re not just a mind reader, you can also peer into alternate realities to see what I would be thinking had my experiences been different? Wowzers!

    Here’s one of the differences between how you (apparently) and I approach this discussion: I respect and even honor your perspective, and do not think there must be either something defective or deceptive about your testimony and views. This is how I maintain my civility and charitability. I’m also not wedded to any particular perspective because I’m always seeking to improve the useful effectiveness of my intentional agency. I explore these concepts not in an effort to talk people out of their views or even to promote my own; I do so out of the potential for finding more effective ways of thinking about the experiences I have and how to generate better (as I see it) experiences in the future.

    I have personal experience with what you would call egregious “injustice.” The example I gave before of a judge, prosecutor and police conspiring to fabricate evidence and charges against an innocent person is a real-world, personal experience of mine. You want to talk about a “horrific” injustice? You have no idea. How about the willful murder of scores of people, including children, by government officials? How about government officials and other powerful people running child sex camps?

    I have a friend near 80 yrs old who was raised by members of a Satanic cult where she was abused horrifically the first 17 years of her life. Does she consider it an “injustice?” Nope. She understands her life and this world in basically the same kind of terms I do mine.

    I have experienced and know stuff that most people would reject out of hand because it would be too much for them to contemplate. KF knows some of what I’m talking about. We used to speak of it rather obliquely in a prior political thread.

    Don’t even try to read my mind, SB. I don’t think you would want to even visit it, much less live in it, knowing what I know, seeing what I’ve seen and having experienced what I have experienced. Do you think you’ve experienced pain? I’ve experienced such pain to the point of complete despair and such agony I bought a gun so I could end it when I reached the end of my capacity to endure it. You let me know when you’ve been tossed into a black abyss of overwhelming, inescapable soul-destroying sheer agony and come out the other side, Perhaps you have, I don’t know.

    I would rather live in such a camp my whole life as you have described than to have had some of the experiences I have had, and knowledge I have had to endure and find a way to deal with. If I were to explain it to you, you would completely agree with me.

    I don’t judge you negatively for your views and beliefs, SB, because I understand I cannot know what you are experiencing or have experienced. I’m also confident that you will achieve the ends you believe you are striving for, which I assume is Heaven. I’m happy for you and KF and others here in that thought. IMO, we’re all brothers and sisters doing the best we can as we see it in what can be a a very baffling and challenging experience.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, yes, I have seen 4th gen civil war and a generation later I am an exile from my homeland as keeper of a document of testimony that would blow up the dominant narrative, with the explicit warning from security experts that retaliatory murders targetting family would happen within 48 hours of publication; I begged that its existence not be publicised, only to see it announced during my Dad’s funeral by someone who just could not understand that there would be watchers there, all too ready to report to malevolent, utterly ruthless masters. Yes, I have personally locked horns with Communist radicals now in positions of power and influence, so I know that the Milada Horakova case is not an exception, it is baked in to Marxist ideology and activism. Yes, I know that those who have not walked under such a valley of the shadow of death can hardly bring themselves to believe that such is real, is possible, is the consistent result of radical Jacobin Revolution, and more. All of that brings back to focus the hope for reformation in the power of Ciceronian first principles and duties of reason, law, governance and government. First truths and first duties cannot be torn apart. KF

  95. 95
    William J Murray says:

    KF, I both respect and honor your experiences and views. This is why I always try very hard to respect and understand other people and their perspectives, and be as charitable as possible in every interaction. I completely believe that both you and I have seen, endured and have personal knowledge of some things that other people would have to just deny to maintain their sanity – which is, IMO, what the powerful people bank on. It’s just too much, too disorienting, too “horrific” to contemplate, much less accept.

    I don’t know what SB or anyone else has personally experienced. Also, my logic may be in error. My knowledge of pertinent facts is certainly far from complete. I certainly haven’t thought of everything that would be possible to consider, every possible line of reasoning, every possible premise. I’m just a guy doing the best he can to make sense of his existence. I don’t expect it to make sense to most other people, because they are not me and have not lived my life. I try to keep that in mind about other people, as well.

  96. 96
    ET says:

    I see that Karen also likes to argue from ignorance. Strange, that.

  97. 97
    StephenB says:

    WJM :

    Here’s one of the differences between how you (apparently) and I approach this discussion: I respect and even honor your perspective, and do not think there must be either something defective or deceptive about your testimony and views.

    I approach each interaction with a focus on what was just said and evaluate it on that basis. Such was the case in my latest correspondences. However, if a certain behavior pattern becomes evident, I call attention to it, albeit in a gradual way. A good example would be your proclivity to change definitions on the fly or to say you don’t know what certain words mean.

    Still, I am a great believer in new beginnings and I am ready to start fresh at any time if you are. Why not begin by addressing these two points?

    @21
    WJM

    Here’s the problem: all of that (Justice as a thing) is a perspective derived from ontological commitments. In my experience, these ontological presuppositions are so deep they are rarely, if ever, recognized as such, much less examined critically.

    SB: Absolutely not. The existence of an objective truth, such as justice, depends on (not “derives from”) ontological REALITIES as they exist, not on our ontological COMMITMENTS to those realities.

    and @72, which is related.

    Here’s the problem: all of that (the idea that justice exists as a thing) is a perspective derived from ontological commitments. In my experience, these ontological presuppositions are so deep they are rarely, if ever, recognized as such, much less examined critically.

    SB: If justice exists as an abstract thing it is because there are ontological realities that ground it, not because KF or I have made an ontological commitment to those realities. One has nothing to do with the other.

    Let’s take a specific example: Do human rights really exist as (things)? If they do, it is NOT because I believe that God grants rights to humans who were made in the Divine image.” Such a commitment cannot in any way explain how a right could be an abstract reality. On the contrary, human rights can exist as things only if God really does grant them and only if humans are entitled to them because they have been made special in some way. Only on the ontological grounds that humans have “inherent dignity” can a case be made that they deserve to be treated fairly or that such a thing as justice actually exists. It is the ontological grounding that explains the existence of justice as a thing, not the epistemological process by which KF and I arrive at our ontological commitments.

    (Notice that I am not presenting a “religious” or “theological” perspective. I am simply describing the ontological conditions necessary for the existence of justice or human rights as abstract things).

  98. 98
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    It is the ontological grounding that explains the existence of justice as a thing, not the epistemological process by which KF and I arrive at our ontological commitments.

    Perhaps you directly experience “justice” and therefore (and rightfully) understand (which I agree with from that perspective) the ontological requirements for justice, rights, morality and duties. I agree that if you experience those things directly, you have identified the required ontological cause.

    The problem is, I do not experience those things. Maybe that makes me defective in some way. In that case, you might as well be trying to explain color to a man born blind. The only references I have to what you are trying to explain to me would be what other people claim to experience, or representations of such things in media, movies, TV shows, etc. I understand these things solely as abstract concepts, not as personal experiences.

    That may explain the main difficulty here.

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, did you eat breakfast?Have you ever had a digestive upset? Does that count as experience? When it comes to experiences of justice, we usually take the civil peace for granted, as a fish takes water for granted. It is when there is chaotic, destructive breakdown, that we experience injustice. Milada Horakova is an extreme but sadly relevant case in point. KF

  100. 100
    StephenB says:

    SB: It is the ontological grounding that explains the existence of justice as a thing, not the epistemological process by which KF and I arrive at our ontological commitments.

    WJM

    Perhaps you directly experience “justice” and therefore (and rightfully) understand (which I agree with from that perspective) the ontological requirements for justice, rights, morality and duties

    I am describing what must be the case whether I experience it or not. If such things as justice or human rights exist as abstract realities they can only be explained by the existence of a creator. They cannot be explained by my ontological commitments.

    The problem is, I do not experience those things.

    Irrelevant. We are discussing the necessary conditions for justice and human rights to exist as real things. Your experience or my ontological commitments have nothing to do with it.

    But what about your latest claim? You say that you have never experienced these things. Perhaps you did experience them without recognizing them for what they were. Why have you not made allowances for that possibility?

    Let’s define justice as giving everyone what they deserve or what they are “due.” (I know, I know, it is my definition, but you have provided no definition and we have to start from somewhere). Did anyone ever apologize to you for treating you badly? (I know, I know, you don’t believe there is any such thing as bad behavior, but put that aside for the moment). If an apology was “due” (or at least seemed appropriate to you) and if you received one, didn’t you experience justice in that context even if you didn’t know what you were experiencing? .

  101. 101

    I don’t get any satisfactory responses to my point of view. My very simple point of view.

    The problem is very obviously, rejection of subjectivity.

    All over facebook there are these people arguing like; if there is no evidence for it, then it must be thrown out. So then they throw out God. But implicitly, they also throw out everything else that is inherently subjective, including human emotions, and personal character.

    They are genuinely clueless about how subjectivity functions, on the intellectual level. They only accept and understand objectivity intellectually. They only have instinctive understanding of how subjectivity works, not intellectual understanding of it.

    So then subjectivity dysfunctions, meaning bad personal relationships, bad personal opinions, bad political opinions, bad religious opinions, bad emotional wellbeing, bad mental health.

    It’s the obvious straightforward explanation for these kind of systemic failures like communism and nazism.

    Subjectivity is an exclusively creationist concept. A subjective opinion is formed by choice, and expresses what it is that makes a choice. That is the logic underlying every subjective opinion, whether it is saying that a painting is beautiful, or saying that it is wrong to kill someone.

    The creationist conceptual scheme:
    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objectivity / fact

    The concept of subjective opinion is validated in category number 1, the concept of objective fact is validated in category number 2.

    Creationism has been thrown out from academics, and with it the whole concept of subjectivity has in fact been thrown out. And that is why mental illness in universities is skyrocketing, for years now already. That is why we have all these crazy “professors” in the media, who have such bad judgement. And the crazy critical race theory.

    So really KF your complaining about failing the duties of right reasoning, it’s besides the point. Subjectivity is where the problem is at, a failure to acknowledge it intellectually.

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, already addressed, we are subjects which gives us freedom to be rational. As we are error-prone, we need to address warrant using right reason. Warranted, credibly true (so, too, reliable) belief is knowledge, generally used weak sense eg for science. This does not denigrate our self-moved, self-aware self-hood, it recognises strength . . . we can reason, also limitation . . . error proneness, then gives tools and standards, right reason leading to warrant. KF

  103. 103
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm, was someone railing as they walked away? Or, had nothing to say in answer to exposed self-contradiction? KF

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    SB, yes, we are very after the fact as self-aware persons in a going concern world, our views are those of finite, error-prone minds, so our duties to seek truth, reason rightly and provide warrant come first and found our ability to make due diligence knowledge claims about reality including its contents, roots and history, outlook, etc. I don’t know if speaking of doing due diligence — not negligence, disregard or worse — in regard to the Ciceronian principles might help those seeking to understand. KF

  105. 105
    William J Murray says:

    SB,
    I agree that if these things actually exist, it means the required conditions that provide for them must exist, such as God. That’s the point I’ve been making for a while now. Duties, rights, etc. require that certain actual conditions exist.

    Let’s define justice as giving everyone what they deserve or what they are “due.”

    Well, we could define justice in a way where my calling the bank about an error on their part concerning my money a case of me seeking justice, Or we could call that an expectation of the “duty” of others to do the “right thing” and “truthfully” go through the books to and treat me “fairly.” I can completely understand that this would be how many if not most other people interpret that behavior if I were to engage in it.

    However, from my perspective, it has nothing to do with any of that; my behavior is entirely, 100% about managing my enjoyment as I have explained more thoroughly in prior comments in various threads. What I and others deserve, or what I think I and others are “due,” isn’t even a variable in my considerations. I don’t think I, or other people, are “due” anything. I don’t think I, or other people, “deserve” anything. I don’t think about “rights” (other than to engage in enjoyable debates about these kinds of things.) What is “right” and what is “wrong” isn’t even a thing in my life.

    This is because, under my ontology, those kinds of things are only experiences people have because of their conscious, subconscious, or unconscious ontological commitments. What I mean by that is that it is a kind of computer program that selects and processes information a certain way. I’m not operating through the same computer program as you. Justice, duty, human rights, right and wrong, etc. are not part of the WJM ontology/epistemology experiential program.

    So, in that sense, I am like at least a color- blind man in your world; I don’t see the “colors” you see. I don’t experience them. I do not, cannot navigate my world in consideration of the colors you see because I do not see them. I’m not denying that you and KF see those colors, or that they are real colors.

    But, to make the color analogy more relevant, let’s say I see an entirely different set of colors. Let’s call your colors the “duty & rights” set, and my colors the “enjoyment” set. I experience my life and world in terms of the enjoyment set of colors. My reactions and motivations are entirely, 100% about managing my enjoyments.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The farewell letters of judicially murdered Czech patriot, Milada Horakova https://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/p/230.html

    It is said, that if it succeed, none dare call it treason.

    To that we may add, when traitors and misanthropes are in charge, patriots will be falsely accused of treason.

    KF

  107. 107
    jerry says:

    I experience my life and world in terms of the enjoyment set of colors. My reactions and motivations are entirely, 100% about managing my enjoyments.

    This has been covered several times. It’s the attitude of a parasite. The parasite cannot exist in a world of limited resources.

    If it is wide spread, it will lead to self destruction. For example, just 90 years ago anyone with this attitude would have been crushed.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, for things like justice to exist, states of affairs involving relationships of morally governed creatures have to exist. In particular, justice is, expanding SB, due balance of rights, freedoms and duties. Where these imply relationships of mutual respect, support and obligation informed by neighbourliness. Moral government is massively evident from both conscience and quarrelling. Rights are mutually consistent binding moral claims that we be respected in certain ways tracing to our dignity and quasi infinite worth; this means A cannot have a right to compel B to do wrongs or parrot lies [a particularly important case of doing wrong] to support A’s claims. Duties are the due diligence and acts of care that we owe ourselves, one another, the collective community, civilisation and world in support of the civil peace of justice and human thriving towards our proper ends, many of which are naturally evident. And yes, I am not elaborating a broad detailed argument of precise definition, I describe a pattern familiar from experience — including from what is required to repair breaches — but never perfect in this age. The Milada Horokova case is particularly instructive as a real world case. KF

  109. 109
    William J Murray says:

    KF @ 108,

    In order to have the set of experiences you refer to as a “conscience,” I’d have to believe that it is possible for me or other people to commit a “wrong.” That is not a possibility in my perspective. In my perspective, what you call an injustice cannot actually occur – to me or anyone else. IOW, that’s not the way what we call “reality” works. Yes, errors exist; but “errors” are not the same category as a “wrong” in the manner we are using the word “wrong.”

    Now, people can interpret sets of information so that they experience what feels like “injustice,” or “duty,” etc., In that sense, those experiences are 100% real. IOW, from my perspective, that’s like some person saying they experience the Earth as being stationary and celestial objects moving through the sky, or saying that the Earth is in motion and is moving relative to other celestial objects. Those are perspectives that represent different interpretations of the information.

    Your arguments about “real world” particular cases, or arguments about the state of the world and the consequences of certain kinds of behavior are entirely dependent on how one interprets the information, on what I call the “reality program” they are using and operating. Such considerations (“real world” examples or consequences) are entirely irrelevant in my ontology, so they make zero difference to me. You can reiterate them as you wish, but they make absolutely no difference under my ontological perspective.

  110. 110
    William J Murray says:

    To further explain this statement:

    Such considerations (“real world” examples or consequences) are entirely irrelevant in my ontology, so they make zero difference to me. You can reiterate them as you wish, but they make absolutely no difference under my ontological perspective.

    Under my ontology, the “real world” is my experience. “My experience” is generated by a combination of selected sets of information processed into the full range of my experience – thoughts, feelings, physical world, etc. What other people experience is not a concern of mine unless what they experience, or at least say they are experiencing, affects my experience in some way that makes a difference to my enjoyment.

  111. 111
    jerry says:

    What other people experience is not a concern of mine unless what they experience, or at least say they are experiencing, affects my experience in some way that makes a difference to my enjoyment.

    Again this attitude cannot exist in a world of limited resources. It would not have existed in any world up to the 1950’s.

    Kf describes what was necessary behaviors to get to the post 1940’s world in the West. It still currently does not exist in large parts of the world.

    Your enjoyments would have been severely truncated is such past worlds and today in much of the current world. My guess is that you would have been eliminated/marginalized somehow or else you would have changed your behaviors.

    Do you enjoy espousing nonsense?

    My guess is that you don’t believe any of your nonsense but are solely being a troll. That is acting like a spoiled adolescence because you want to frustrate people you don’t like. You cannot be as stupid as your comments make out.

    And the sad part is they continue to feed you. But that too often is what adults do with irresponsible teenagers.

  112. 112
    William J Murray says:

    Jerry said:

    Again this attitude cannot exist in a world of limited resources. It would not have existed in any world up to the 1950’s.

    Well, if you believe we live in a world of limited resources, your claim here is necessarily false, because I factually have that attitude in the world you believe exists.

    However, even if that was a valid logical position, I don’t believe that I live in a world of limited resources. Under my worldview, actual resources (information) are infinite. Infinite information exists eternally.

  113. 113
    jerry says:

    The troll doubles down with more incoherence.

    And by the way infinity does not exist. Not even in your dreams.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, conscience is such a commonplace of humanity that those who do not experience its pangs are understood to be seriously defective, psychopaths. Even psychopaths are typically aware that others have consciences; some look to such as guides [“you are my conscience . . .”], others seek to manipulate; hence the dark triad personality, full psychyopath form. KF

    PS: Dark Triad test https://www.idrlabs.com/dark-triad/test.php

  115. 115

    KF, you addressed nothing. You are supposed to actually do reasoning about an issue, not just say that you have a duty to reason.

    The evidence shows that rejection of subjectivity is the problem in society / academics, the problem is not a lack of recognition of first duties, and first truths.

    Still no communication here.

  116. 116

    Lots of dfferent infinities exist. Come on, doing mathematics without infinities, is like doing mathematics without the zero.

  117. 117
    William J Murray says:

    KF @114,

    I understand that is your perspective. It is not mine. I’m explaining my perspective. I’m not debating you about yours or advancing mine as the correct perspective everyone should have.

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, did you notice your words, “You are supposed to actually do reasoning about an issue”? That’s an example of the inescapability of first duties of reason. Yes, we are made to reason and should do so through right approaches. That is part of the framework that governs reasoning. And this is an illustration. KF

    PS: I full well agree there is a huge and indeed itself transfinite span of transfinites. R* captures that.

  119. 119
    jerry says:

    It is not mine.

    your’s is incoherent.

  120. 120
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    I agree that if these things (justice and human rights) actually exist, it means the required conditions that provide for them must exist, such as God. That’s the point I’ve been making for a while now. Duties, rights, etc. require that certain actual conditions exist.

    No, you have not been arguing that duties, rights, etc. require that certain actual conditions exist, which is self evident. You have been arguing that duties and rights require YOUR unique set of circumstances (an authority that holds you responsible for the fulfillment of a duty, and consequences for whether or not you fulfill said duty). That is incorrect and I explained why in an earlier post.

    In any case, you are still evading my point. The existence of justice or human rights as “things” is NOT the product of KF’s (or my) “ontological COMMITMENTS or PERCEPTIONS, as you have falsely stated dozens of times. If justice and human rights do exist, they are the product of ontological REALITIES that elevate humans over animals – such as the ontological capacity of human intelligence, conscience, and free will, which are necessary for making moral judgments, or the ontological status of being endowed by one/s Creator with certain unalienable rights, which is based on the principle of “inherent human dignity.” If there is no God, and if His creatures are not made in His image, then there is no such thing as justice or human rights. It’s as simple as that. Contrary to your claim, my (or Kf’s) ontological perceptions or commitments play no role whatsoever in establishing justice or human rights as “things.” Only ontological realities can do that. Please stop making false statements to the contrary.

  121. 121

    Again KF, not the point. You are supposed to actually evaluate which is the better explanation of the problems in society. Either it is rejection of subjectivity, or it is not paying attention to duties of reasoning.

    I have the evidence, I am right, it is obvious. There is widespread rejection of subjectivity in society / academics. That is the main problem.

  122. 122
    Karen McMannus says:

    Poll:

    It’s okay to murder innocent babies in the service of “higher truth.”

    [ ] Yes
    [ ] No

    [KM, as you know murder is wrong, war is hell, you have already had sufficient engagement on misunderstandings and issues [cf 90 above and previous responses you obviously ignored the better to use Internet Atheist tactics] with references to where such are more thoroughly dealt with. Within this thread, you went well out of the zone of civility and an apology is due. However, I elect to let this comment stand with an editorial note. KF, owner.]

  123. 123
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, one cannot reasonably, responsibly reject our subjectivity, which is directly self evident through self awareness, as well as because without agent freedom to be selfmoved, we cannot be rational. At the same time we are prone to error and need to use that freedom to be rational to provide adequate warrant for knowledge. More can be said. KF

  124. 124
    William J Murray says:

    No, you have not been arguing that duties, rights, etc. require that certain actual conditions exist, which is self evident.

    That’s exactly what I’ve been arguing. I’ve stated it flat out several times. I’ve asked the question flat out several times, challenging people to respond as to whether or not a duty can be said to exist absent the conditions I listed.

    Thank you for agreeing with me that conditions are necessary, even if we disagree on what those conditions are.

    That is incorrect and I explained why in an earlier post.

    You explained your objection. You and I differ on whether or not it showed my argument about the necessary conditions “wrong.”

    In any case, you are still evading my point.

    Why are you using using the pejorative “evading?” I’m doing my best to understand you and answer you as directly as possible.

    The existence of justice or human rights as “things” is NOT the product of KF’s (or my) “ontological COMMITMENTS or PERCEPTIONS, as you have falsely stated dozens of times.

    I think I can safely say I’ve never argued or said that justice and human rights (as premised ontological things) are the existentially existent product of commitments or perceptions (unless we were discussing things under my IRT worldview, which we were not at the time.)

    I’ve argued that the idea or concept of those things necessarily refers to, or is derived from, ontological commitments, whether conscious, subconscious or unconscious. I think I’ve said that several times. IOW, to believe that moral duties actually exist, whether one accepts or is aware of it or not, those moral duties logically require ontological conditions.

    IOW, as you have agreed, justice, duties etc. rely on ontologically existent conditions (even if you do not agree with the conditions I’ve listed.) You can walk around believing in those universal justice or moral duties without ever really considering the necessary ontological conditions, but they still necessarily refer to those necessary conditions, whether you are aware of it or not.

    It’s what happens when you ask someone if they agree that extreme behavior X example is wrong. If they say yes, they have committed themselves to the ontological conditions necessary to make that statement, whether they know it or not. It’s why it’s such a useful rhetorical device in an argument about morality. People will say “yes, that is wrong behavior in every case, in every culture” and never even realize they’ve just committed themselves to the ontologically conditions necessary to be able to say such behavior is “wrong” in every case.

    Please stop making false statements to the contrary.

    You might want to stop thinking you can mind-read me, It seems to be a repeating problem for you and KF.

  125. 125
    Karen McMannus says:

    APOLOGY DUE

  126. 126
    Karen McMannus says:

    APOLOGY DUE

    (Above, 90, there is a first outline response to the God is a murderer accusation, for any who are perplexed. KM has been directed to sources where more substantial engagement is in the remit.)

  127. 127

    KF, we are still not really communicating. So you are saying, it is not true that people reject subjectivity?

    Reason it out, look at the evidence.

    What about communism, as it is based on materialism? Materialism validates objectivity, facts, it does not validate subjectivity. How is that not rejection of subjectivity, on the intellectual level?

    Or what about nazi’s, who assert personal character of people can be established as a matter of fact of biology. Personal character is properly a subjective issue. So then the nazi’s replaced what is subjective, with objectivity. How is that not throwing out subjectivity?

    The actual cause of what happened to Horakova is by and large the rejection of subjectivity in communism, as it is based on materialism. It was not the case of some individual mean rotten apples, but a whole rotten culture in which subjectivity was sidelined intellectually. Personal opinion, is obviously thrown out in communism, it’s not allowed.

    In the present, creationism is generally thrown out from academics. Subjectivity is an exclusively creationist concept. Therefore, if you throw creationism out, you have defacto thrown out subjectivity. The creationist conceptual scheme proves that subjectivity is an exclusively creationist concept.

    On facebook, all the atheists say, if there is no evidence for it, then it must be thrown out. Which means implicitly, all subjective things must be thrown out, because there is no evidence for them.

    etc. etc.

    Widespread rejection of subjectivity everywhere. So your statement that subjectivity cannot be thrown out, is wrong.

  128. 128
    Karen McMannus says:

    KF: APOLOGY DUE

    Annnnnd, here we have brazen censorship.

    For those watching, there was no profanity in the post that KF censored. It’s simply criticism of his hypocrisy.

    Stalin would be proud of you, KF.

    Evil in the service of “higher truth.”

    Doubling down, wrong move. Especially given what was done above, esp 80 ff. KF, Thread owner

  129. 129
    Karen McMannus says:

    FURTHER DOUBLING DOWN.

  130. 130
    StephenB says:

    WJM:

    Thank you for agreeing with me that conditions are necessary, even if we disagree on what those conditions are.

    We need to aim for a little more precision here. Certain ontological conditions are necessary for the existence of justice and human rights, not the idea of justice and rights. One can have an idea about justice even if it doesn’t exist.

    You explained your objection. You and I differ on whether or not it showed my argument about the necessary conditions “wrong.” (requirements that involve authority and consequences)

    Feel free to respond to those objections. As I recall, you have not yet done that.

    Why are you using using the pejorative “evading?” I’m doing my best to understand you and answer you as directly as possible.

    OK. Consider the word withdrawn.

    I’ve argued that the idea or concept of those things necessarily refers to, or is derived from, ontological commitments, whether conscious, subconscious or unconscious.

    Yes, and that is an error. These ideas or concepts are not “necessarily” derived from ontological commitments if those same ontological commitments were derived from a prior observation (of a self evident truth). If our apprehension (KF and I) of a self evident truth precedes, defines, and shapes our ontological commitments, then the ontological commitments were derived from the self evident truths and not the other way around.

    I know, as a self-evident truth, for example, that there are some things that are “good” for humans, such as life, procreation, knowledge, society, and reasonable conduct and that the corresponding evils, death, sterility, ignorance, isolation, and unreasonable conduct are bad for humans. I don’t suspect or guess about these things; I know that they are true (even if you claim not to know it). Again, in this case, my apprehension of a self evident truth preceded my ontological commitment.

    You can deny the substance of my observation all day long, but that doesn’t change anything. If my apprehension of a self evident truth precedes, defines, and shapes my ontological commitments, then the ontological commitments were derived from my observations and not the other way around. Even if you don’t believe me, you have to allow for the possibility that I am being accurate and truthful, which means that my idea about the existence of goodness could have preceded my ontological commitment to it, which also means that it was not, as you falsely claim, *necessarily* derived from a previous ontological commitment. I know that you are offended when I say you are making a false statement, but if your statement isn’t true, which it isn’t, then it must be false. That is not the same as accusing you of being dishonest. Anyone can make a false statement without meaning to do so.

  131. 131
    William J Murray says:

    SB,

    I know, as a self-evident truth, for example, that there are some things that are “good” for humans, such as life, procreation, knowledge, society, and reasonable conduct and that the corresponding evils, death, sterility, ignorance, isolation, and unreasonable conduct are bad for humans.

    Calling something a self-evident truth doesn’t make the case that it is one.

    Even if you don’t believe me, you have to allow for the possibility that I am being accurate and truthful, which means that my idea about the existence of goodness could have preceded my ontological commitment to it, which also means that it was not, as you falsely claim, *necessarily* derived from a previous ontological commitment.

    I think we can both agree that even if we have previous ontological commitments, from new information or experiences we can change our ontological commitments or views.

    SB said:

    I know that you are offended when I say …

    Please stop trying to read my mind.

  132. 132
    William J Murray says:

    Let me put it this way: There’s no way to “apprehend” any actual duty by anyone with zero thought about, ideas about, knowledge of or belief in (1)some sort of authority that holds you accountable for doing your duty, and (2) consequences for both doing and not doing your duty.

    The authority might be gravity, and the consequences might be rocks at the bottom of the cliff; the authority might be your boss, and the consequences keeping or losing your job; the authority might be evidence about “what happens in most peoples lives” and the consequences are “what generally happens if people do this set of things or that set of things; the authority may be your conscience and the consequences guilt; the authority may be God and the consequences heaven vs hell.

    You might apprehend something; you might call it a “duty,” but unless you have also apprehended the authority & consequence conditions that define your duty, you have mislabeled what your apprehension is about. A thing cannot be correctly identified as an actual duty without providing, knowing, thinking about or believing those two conditions. There’s no way or reason to identify anything as a duty without those conditions present that define that thing as a duty.

    I stand by that.

  133. 133
    William J Murray says:

    IOW, a duty, a right, “good,” justice, etc, are not things that can be directly apprehended; they are identified and defined by the conditions necessary for their identification. Rights are not self-evident. Justice is not self-evident. What is “good” is not self-evident. And “duties” are certainly not self-evident.

  134. 134
    StephenB says:

    SB: Even if you don’t believe me, you have to allow for the possibility that I am being accurate and truthful, which means that my idea about the existence of goodness could have preceded my ontological commitment to it, which also means that it was not, as you falsely claim, *necessarily* derived from a previous ontological commitment.

    WJM:

    I think we can both agree that even if we have previous ontological commitments, from new information or experiences we can change our ontological commitments or views.

    That is hardly the point. I was hoping that you would acknowledge a simple fact. My convictions about the existence of goodness or justice are not, as you claimed, “necessarily” derived from an ontological commitment since they might, as a logical possibility, have been derived from a prior observation of a self-evident truth. Pay close attention to your word “necessarily,” which is inappropriate in this case because it rules out all other logical possibilities.

    IOW, a duty, a right, “good,” justice, etc, are not things that can be directly apprehended; they are identified and defined by the conditions necessary for their identification.

    Your claim that goodness, justice etc, are not things that can be directly apprehended does not make it so.

    You might apprehend something; you might call it a “duty,” but unless you have also apprehended the authority & consequence conditions that define your duty, you have mislabeled what your apprehension is about. A thing cannot be correctly identified as an actual duty without providing, knowing, thinking about or believing those two conditions.

    This is yet another example of an unsupported claim. I have explained why I think that those two conditions are not required. So far, you have not provided any semblance of a counter argument.

  135. 135
    StephenB says:

    There’s no way or reason to identify anything as a duty without those conditions present that define that thing as a duty.

    I stand by that.

    You can stand by it all you like, but you have not made a case for it.

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    For cause, sadly, KM is no longer with us. KF, thread owner

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM,

    There’s no way to “apprehend” any actual duty by anyone with zero thought about, ideas about, knowledge of or belief in (1)some sort of authority that holds you accountable for doing your duty, and (2) consequences for both doing and not doing your duty.

    First, the vast majority of us are in no position to work through details of worldview commitments. But we recognise duties, routinely; as we are rational, responsible, significantly free and conscience-guided creatures. So, immediately, we are in self-referentiality. Conscience is a major, pervasive aspect of our interior life. While, as with any other faculty, it can become defective or err, we cannot view it as delusional without facing grand delusion and undermining rationality. Which is self-defeating.

    Indeed, we find it a generally useful witness, as opposed to authority. So, we trust it, both when it accuses and when it vindicates. We also can readily recognise that it attests the first duties, especially when we see how we cannot but appeal to same, even to object. (Your objections are consistently pivoting on appeal to our duties to truth, right reason, warrant, etc. You clearly hold that we are duty bound, which by reciprocity of equals extends to you.)

    So, by inescapable, pervasive first principles and on pain of grand delusion, self-evident. This is the branch on which we all sit and to try to saw it off undermines rationality, rendering every discussion including this one moot.

    The pivot is to recognise that moral government by built in oughtness or duty coeval with our humanity. In the OP above, demonstrated in action through a literary prophecy and sadly real world case that happened only two years after 1984 was written. The case shows how injustice is built up from untruth, dishonest reasoning, faked false evidence, ill-will and intimidation etc, corrupting the courts. The span of first duties cannot be truncated, as we see through studying injustice in action.

    Notice, all of this is on the base of a going-concern world we inhabit together.

    We may then address the onward question, what worldview explanation best accounts for, best explains such a world with such creatures. That onward question does point to the roots of reality and a world founded by the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty and of the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good that accords with our evident nature, is the explanation to beat.

    We thus see that the going concern world is enough to establish that we are duty-governed creatures, i.e. that we are responsibly, rationally, significantly free and conscience guided. Of course, this is a discussion on in common facts, it is not an appeal to any particular religious tradition or its traditions, teachings and texts. Though of course, it is obviously and understandably a part of such traditions.

    For example, from the New Testament Ep Rom, we readily see:

    Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse or justification, everyone of you who [hypocritically] [a]judges and condemns others; for in passing judgment on another person, you condemn yourself, because you who judge [from a position of arrogance or self-righteousness] are habitually practicing the very same things [which you denounce]. 2 And we know that the judgment of God falls justly and in accordance with truth on those who practice such things . . .

    14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do [c]instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the [d]essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them . . . .

    13:8 [b]Owe nothing to anyone except to [c]love and seek the best for one another; for he who [unselfishly] loves his neighbor has fulfilled the [essence of the] law [relating to one’s fellowman]. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,” and any other commandment are summed up in this statement: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor [it never hurts anyone]. Therefore [unselfish] love is the fulfillment of the Law.

    Similarly, Ep Eph counsels:

    Eph 4:17 17 So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls], 18 for their [moral] understanding is darkened and their reasoning is clouded; [they are] alienated and self-banished from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the [willful] ignorance and spiritual blindness that is [deep-seated] within them, because of the hardness and insensitivity of their heart. 19 And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand].

    20 But you did not learn Christ in this way!

    21 If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], 22 that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].

    We see here, reciprocity, that our finger-pointing implies that we too are under the weight of the duties we exact of others. Similarly, we find built-in law testified to by conscience which leads to that inner voice we term conscience. Thus, there is an endorsement of core longstanding thought and general observations that we are morally guided, duty-bound creatures, with duties to self, to neighbour, to civilisation as collective neighbourhood.

    At the same time, we are seen as too often crumbling into sociopath ways, with benumbed conscience and endarkened minds, precisely because minds are morally regulated so if we harden hearts in defence of or as consequence of habituation in wrongful conduct, we will undermine our ability to see, hear, think and understand straight. The sort of injustice in the OP is a natural extension.

    In that context, gospel truth with its integral ethics pivoting on the truth in Jesus, is envisioned as means of building a reformed counter-culture. That counter-culture then has potential to positively impact the wider community. Of which, albeit the story is sadly mixed, there is clear historical and contemporary record.

    So, we see that the relevant religious tradition endorses the reasoning on our experiences of ourselves, while warning on how it can be warped and subverted. In that context the fact of Jesus is seen as pivotal, transformational truth.

    Does this mean that the arguments made are thinly veiled Bible Study?

    No, the actual facts regarding my own developing views have been shared. Cicero sparked thought and this connected to policy issues to be engaged, having to deal with dangers of legal positivism. The natural law tradition began to stand out in powerful ways, and it was clear that while Aquinas is a key expositor, the rich roots are far deeper. Cicero provoked deeper and deeper thought as moral prudence is a law, conscience is a law and law is the highest reason [applied to judging conduct] began to bite home with inexorable force. Nor was it just striking eloquence (Cicero is a master of style) but sheer power and profundity.

    The upshot is as noted, we are inescapably, pervasively governed by the Ciceronian first duties and these lay out the core of law coeval with our humanity. Such also draws out that this law governs our reasoning, especially highest reasoning on the biggest issues. Thus, duty to truth and to right reason are integral. Duty to warrant and wider prudence are obvious as we are readily misguided. Duty to neighbour governs conduct and instantly entails fairness and justice. The etc points to onward articulation and elaboration of law, government, principles, disciplines and so forth.

    Coherence, with each key point as a facet interacting with and contributing to the whole. We see here not mere accidental compatibility but the deep integration pointed to by the microcosm- holographic- facets principle. Which is a strong sign we are dealing with first principles of rationality.

    KF

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Let me note another endorsement, here from 1 Cor 14, in addressing confusion in the church at Corinth:

    1 Cor 14: 7 Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played?

    8 And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?

    9 So it is with you, if you speak words [in an unknown tongue] that are not intelligible and clear, how will anyone understand what you are saying? You will be talking into the air [wasting your breath]!

    10 There are, I suppose, a great many kinds of languages in the world [unknown to us], and none is lacking in meaning. 11 But if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will [appear to] be a [c]foreigner to the one who is speaking [since he knows exactly what he is saying], and the one who is speaking will [appear to] be a foreigner to me.

    Here, we see St Paul using what was likely a Logic 101 example, illustrating distinct identity and extending to non contradiction and excluded middle.

    Does the fact that he uses this, and in the next chapter addresses a chain of hypothetical if then inferences then upends the lot by contrasting a fact with the conclusion of the chain, make these ideas automatically suspect of worldview level question-begging when stated by a Christian? That would be abusive and stigmatising.

    Instead, we see here common ground, self-evident, pervasive first principles that by their inescapable legitimate authority are self-evident, antecedent to proofs, start points for reasoning. (And you cannot get more pervasive than something embedded in the structure of rational communication itself, intelligibility in music, much less speech, depends on distinction of states and patterns.)

    We are in a going concern world, there are observable, intelligible, pervasive first principles, we have a birthright right to point to them and use them freely.

    So it is with first principles regarding the first duties of reason, which of course embeds LOI, LNC and LEM under “highest reason,” as core to right reason.

    We therefore freely point to the pervasive, legitimate authority of Ciceronian first duties of reason [thus by the highest reason standard, first law], and hold them undeniably self-evident on pain of having to implicitly appeal to said duties that one would try to deny.

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    Try, I have no rights. What was done to Ms Horakova violated no rights regarding justice, life, liberty, dignity of the person, as long as powers decided it was automatically “right.” Then, extend to the community at large; community collapses. Absurd by inspection. Rights inhere in our dignity as humans and are foundational to justice. I have no freedoms includes failure of freedom to reason, collapse. And of course, a key rights pattern is demand to recognise freedoms. Then, duties, you owe me no duties collapses community again. More can be said; no, self-evidence engages things that can be abstract, e.g. deny knowledge exists, implies directly a knowledge claim, Self-refuting instantly. But knowledge is a state of affairs, an abstract intangible relationship, often regarding abstracta such as in mathematics, ask, what are 2, 3, +, =, 5? Warranted, credibly true, reliable belief. Where, don’t get us started on the self-refuting verificationist frame. Tangibility does not become a requisite for self-evidence. And all of this is manifest. KF

  140. 140
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    You can stand by it all you like, but you have not made a case for it.

    Sure I did. I made the challenge for someone to provide a duty without including a reference to the necessary conditions. Jerry tried, but included the very conditions he claimed were not necessary to identify a duty.

    You can directly apprehend a thing, but it’s nature as a duty cannot be understood absent conditions. It can be a very strong urge, and that urge or direction of consciousness might feel to you like other duties you know by the conditions present, but there’s simply no way to identify a feeling or a sensation as “a duty” absent information about the conditions that make for a duty.

    But, you and KF have given me some very interesting things to consider going forward.

  141. 141
    William J Murray says:

    Upon thinking about it for a couple of days now, I realize that both KF and SB (and those who make these kinds of arguments for the kinds of things they are arguing about) are applying certain terms rhetorically, even though they are probably unaware of it. I’ve identified some of these terms: duty, rights, justice, right & wrong, good & evil.

    By rhetorical, I mean they are (probably unconsciously) banking on the fact that people will agree to the use of those terms where they cannot apply by removing them from necessary contextual conditions that identify the presence of those things, or give them their recognizable value. They succeed in doing this by comparing sensations or appealing to widespread sensations that people agree to identify with those words absent the required context.

    IOW, yes, error exists, but any particular error is identified by the context (conditions.) Duties exist, but they are identified by the context. Etc. This is why these things are not “self-evidently” true; such as the statement “I have a duty to not lie.” That cannot be a self-evidently true statement by itself because the conditions that make thing a duty have not been identified.

    These terms are being applied by KF and SB et al rhetorically by removing them from necessary contextual identifiers and asserting them as being something that can be directly “experienced” or “apprehended” on their own. I don’t doubt that they are feeling or experiencing something, but whatever they are feeling or experiencing cannot be said non-rhetorically to be a “duty” without providing the necessary conditions. They may be labeling whatever they are experiencing or apprehending with the term “duty,” but until the conditions are shown, it is an entirely rhetorical label and use of that term.

  142. 142
    William J Murray says:

    Let’s examine what SB said @130:

    I know, as a self-evident truth, for example, that there are some things that are “good” for humans, such as life, procreation, knowledge, society, and reasonable conduct and that the corresponding evils, death, sterility, ignorance, isolation, and unreasonable conduct are bad for humans. I don’t suspect or guess about these things; I know that they are true (even if you claim not to know it).

    “Good” or “evil” in what sense? From what perspective? According to what criteria or who’s judgement? In every case? In every situation, regardless of the conditions? Good grief, this statement is incredibly vague and general.

    Let’s look at one example: SB said death is an “evil.” That entirely depends on the conditions that the person experiences after they die, not to mention that the criteria that identifies what evil means in the first place is left entirely out. If I die and it releases me from of life of intense suffering into a glorious, enjoyable experience afterwards, in what sense is “death” an “evil,” much self-evidently true that death is an evil?

    KF’s and SB’s use of the terms “self-evident” and “morally absurd” up to this point are rhetorical devices when they extend beyond that which is either necessarily true in all possible worlds, or in other words present a self-negating, inescapable logical contradiction where one cannot make their case against that truth without employing or referring to it.

    When KF says that I am operating under a duty to truth by the way I argue (beyond what is inescapably necessary,) he is making another error that is revealed by how he consistently characterizes other people’s comments: he is projecting his own perspective onto the behavior of others.

    This comes across as what I call attempts to read minds. He and SB characterize what others are doing “evading, avoiding, ignoring, rejecting, being deceptive, being in denial,” etc. IOW, they think they know what others must be thinking or feeling, or know what their intent or motivations are.

    I can only be aware of actual duties I actually have by knowing the conditions required for any duty to either be apprehended or to be said to exist. I can only be operating out of “duty” if I know what the conditions are that make certain behaviors dutiful in nature.

  143. 143
    William J Murray says:

    Saying that you can directly know a duty absent information about the conditions that make a thing a duty is like saying you can directly know someone you just met is the long-lost sibling your parents gave up for adoption before you were born absent any information that identifies that person as such. You might have a strong intuitive feeling; they may look just like one of your parents, but you cannot identify that person as your actual sibling absent knowledge of the conditions or contextual information.

  144. 144
    William J Murray says:

    This is why a moral “should” (duty, in the universal and objective sense) is not and cannot be “self-evidently true:” duties cannot be identified or apprehended absent the conditions that are necessary to identify an actual duty as actually being in effect.

    If one has not identified those conditions, then all we can be talking about is strong, common emotions, personal intuition, subjective or relative conscience, or some other subjective “sense of duty.”

    Whatever KF and SB personal experience, it is rhetoric to label that experience “of a duty” absent identifying the necessary conditions.

  145. 145
    StephenB says:

    SB: You can stand by it all you like, but you have not made a case for it.
    WJM:

    I made the challenge for someone to provide a duty without including a reference to the necessary conditions.

    I have already dealt with that by explaining that the moral law, BY DEFINITION, is binding. The binding element is part of its essence, which means that the duty to follow it is built into the moral framework. If the moral code against murder (unjustified killing) )really exists, then we are again, by definition, morally obliged to follow it. To say that the moral code exists is the same as saying that it ought to be followed. This is what the moral code says about its own essence. It has nothing to do with authority or consequences and your claims to the contrary do not make it so. You have not made your case.

  146. 146
    William J Murray says:

    Bolded insertions into some of KF’s commentary above:

    Try, I have no rights. What was done to Ms Horakova violated no rights regarding justice, life, liberty, dignity of the person, as long as powers decided it was automatically “right.” Then, extend to the community at large; community collapses. [No, the community is just based on and operates under different assumptions.] Absurd by inspection. [Because you do not prefer that kind of community does not make it “absurd.”] Rights [a rhetorical use of the term] inhere [rhetorical use] in our dignity as humans [vague, unspecific, unaccounted-for, thus rhetorical] and are foundational to justice.[what specifically determines when justice has been served or not? What specific, non-arbitrary, universal criteria establish that “justice” has occurred at all wrt the consequences of a verdict? Absent this information, “justice” here is pure rhetoric built up from prior rhetoric.] I have no freedoms includes failure of freedom to reason, collapse.[conflation of a existentially necessary condition for a being to be considered sentient with a “right” to be free beyond what is existentially required to be sentient] And of course, a key rights pattern is demand to recognise freedoms. [pure rhetoric] Then, duties, you owe me no duties collapses community again.[no, it changes the nature of the community. “Collapsing” here is rhetoric.] More can be said; no, self-evidence engages things that can be abstract, e.g. deny knowledge exists, implies directly a knowledge claim, Self-refuting instantly. But knowledge is a state of affairs, an abstract intangible relationship, often regarding abstracta such as in mathematics, ask, what are 2, 3, +, =, 5?[Nobody is arguing otherwise about these self-evident truths. ]

  147. 147
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    SB: You can stand by it all you like, but you have not made a case for it.

    Of course I have. Just because you don’t find my case compelling or convincing doesn’t mean I haven’t made a case for it.

    I have already dealt with that by explaining that the moral law, BY DEFINITION, is binding.

    If there is such a thing as a moral law, this means that the conditions necessary for it to be identified as a law must exist (authority, consequences) And yes, if those conditions are met, the law is by definition “binding.” “Binding,” in this sense, means you will be held accountable and there will be consequences

    The binding element is part of its essence, which means that the duty to follow it is built into the moral framework.

    “Binding” has no meaning absent the conditions.

    If the moral code against murder (unjustified killing) )really exists, then we are again, by definition, morally obliged to follow it.

    I’m not “obliged” to do anything absent the conditions that make me obliged.

    To say that the moral code exists is the same as saying that it ought to be followed.

    Anyone can write or establish a “code of behavior” and it would exist. I am only obliged to obey the code if the conditions I have listed exist. Otherwise, it’s just a list of suggestions.

    This is what the moral code says about its own essence. It has nothing to do with authority or consequences and your claims to the contrary do not make it so. You have not made your case.

    If your moral code has no supervising authority that holds me accountable or consequences for disobeying it, it is pure sophistry with nothing that holds me accountable to it and I can completely ignore it with zero consequence.

  148. 148
    StephenB says:

    This is why a moral “should” (duty, in the universal and objective sense) is not and cannot be “self-evidently true:” duties cannot be identified or apprehended absent the conditions that are necessary to identify an actual duty as actually being in effect.

    The same standards for absurdity that apply to logic also apply to natural law. It is absurd to deny the law of contradiction and it is equally absurd to deny the moral code. To say that it is not wrong to murder is to utter an absurdity on the same level as A is not A.

    The real problem is your hyperskepticism.

    How would you approach the process philosophers, such as Hegel, who denied the law of contradiction on the grounds that everything, including identity, is in flux. How would you respond when they say to you about the Laws of identity and non-contradiction the same thing that you say to KF and I about the law of morality, namely that contradictions are not absurdities.

    You would be dealing with the same kind of nonsense that KF and I have to deal with every day.. Each time you tried to make a rational statement about logic, they would offer a WJM-type of response (that may be true in your world, but not in mine). Indeed, I personally could assume a hyperskeptic posture and challenge any argument you make about the integrity of logic.

    Among other things, I could use your own rhetorical devices and insist that my world is different from your world in the sense that it doesn’t require rationality. Or, I could appeal to the ever changing theory of evolution or some kooky interpretation of quantum mechanics.. I could change the definition of logic or claim that it means something different for me than it does for you. Under those circumstances, any attempt on your part to defend logic would be like chasing after the wind., which is what KF and I experience whenever we try to reason with you.

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, duty is not equal to judgement and penalty. Though, ever, folly, evil, wickedness have chaotic consequences. There is such a thing as doing the right and honourable thing just because it is that. That is enough for a first point. KF

  150. 150
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    The same standards for absurdity that apply to logic also apply to natural law. It is absurd to deny the law of contradiction and it is equally absurd to deny the moral code.

    No, it isn’t.

    To say that it is not wrong to murder is to utter an absurdity on the same level as A is not A.

    I assume you’re not talking about the legal sense of the word “murder” which comes with the conditions I’ve listed. The term “wrong” here necessarily imports or implies those conditions, in some way, fashion or sense, or else there is no way to identify that killing other people, say for your own personal gain, is actually wrong. It might feel bad to most people; such feelings do not identify it as actually wrong. Again, “wrongness” without the conditions I listed is pure sophistry and an appeal to how you or even most people subjectively feel about it.

    The real problem is your hyperskepticism.

    More mind-reading.

    I’d remind him that the law of identity means that A=A refers to a particular, instantaneous state, not a range of states as described by something going trough a “flux” process.

    How would you respond when they say to you about the Laws of identity and non-contradiction the same thing that you say to KF and I about the law of morality, namely that contradictions are not absurdities.

    I’d be happy to leave the word “absurdity” out of the conversation because it is often employed ambiguously or rhetorically.

    Indeed, I personally could assume a hyperskeptic posture and challenge any argument you make about the integrity of logic.

    Sure you could, but that is not what I do or have done. I have always agreed with the fundamental principles of logic as being absolute. You and KF are attempting to make the case that “moral duties” are equally self-evident; I’m countering that with a logical argument (using those logical principles) that to identify your “A” as the “A” you claim it to be, you must, logically, identify the conditions necessary for that identification. Like the example in the adopted sibling I offered above, an “A” cannot be identified as an actual duty that one actually has without providing the conditions that make that behavior dutiful in nature.

    Among other things, I could use your own rhetorical devices and insist that my world is different from your world in the sense that it doesn’t require rationality.

    I’m not in control of your behavior, SB. Do as you wish 🙂

  151. 151
    StephenB says:

    SB: I have already dealt with that by explaining that the moral law, BY DEFINITION, is binding.

    WJM

    If there is such a thing as a moral law, this means that the conditions necessary for it to be identified as a law must exist (authority, consequences)

    No, it doesn’t. This is a mere claim on your part. By definition, the moral law is binding, which means that you are morally obliged to follow it. Duty is part of (built into) the codes moral structure.

    And yes, if those conditions are met, the law is by definition “binding.” “Binding,” in this sense, means you will be held accountable and there will be consequences

    There you go again, making up new definitions. Binding in that sense means morally obliged and nothing more. You are just plugging in your biases and prejudices into the definition.

    ”Binding” has no meaning absent the conditions.

    Binding means binding regardless of conditions. You don’t get to arbitrarily change the definitions of words in my world.

    If your moral code has no supervising authority that holds me accountable or consequences for disobeying it, it is pure sophistry with nothing that holds me accountable to it and I can completely ignore it with zero consequence.

    So you keep saying, but saying it doesn’t make it so. You need to make your case.

  152. 152
    William J Murray says:

    SB, let’s put some more of your “self evident truths” about good an evil things to the test. You say knowledge is a good, and ignorance an evil.

    One of the roots of my happiness and enjoyment is the belief that my wife is faithful to me. Let’s say that is a lie; what i don’t have knowledge of is (hypothetically speaking) that she has been unfaithful to me since the day we met and had no intention or ever being faithful. If I acquired that knowledge, I would be miserable and in despair for as long as I exist and have any memory of her and that knowledge.

    In what way would acquiring that knowledge be a good thing? My ability to enjoy life or be happy at all would be utterly, inescapably ruined. You might say that my happiness and enjoyment was all based on a lie; so what? The experience of happiness and joy is what it is whether it is based on ignorance or not. The experience of misery and despair is what it is whether it is from knowledge or not. In what possible context is the gaining of that knowledge a “good” thing, much less “self-evidently” good, considering the consequences?

  153. 153
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    So you keep saying, but saying it doesn’t make it so. You need to make your case.

    I’ve made my case whether or not you find it convincing.

    If all you have to offer in your “moral law” is something without any authority that holds me responsible and without any consequences, you are arguing for something that is completely irrelevant to me, and there’s no reason for me to even consider your argument in the first place. I don’t find discussing inconsequential sophistry enjoyable – largely because I’m a pragmatist, I suppose. I’m sure others find such inconsequential arguments enjoyable, so I’ll leave it to them to talk about it with you.

  154. 154
    StephenB says:

    WJM

    If all you have to offer in your “moral law” is something without any authority that holds me responsible and without any consequences, you are arguing for something that is completely irrelevant to me, …..

    You have everything completely backwards. The whole point of the moral code is to prompt individuals and societies to do the right thing, regardless of what those in authority might think and regardless of what the consequences might be. Only someone who can be bound by a noble principle can act morally. Anyone who cannot be bound by principle is a worthless human being. That is why Thomas More was a great patriot and Pontius Pilate was a craven bureaucrat.

    Meanwhile, my point that duty is part of the natural law structure persists. You offered no credible response, so your claim that authority and consequences are required has been refuted.

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, duty is not force though in community it may be advisable to back certain duties by force. Duty is built into the structure of freedom, one is to use freedom aright by free choice; to build, to move towards or express due ends etc. There are consequences to neglecting or flouting duty but such are separate from tribunals, penalties and the like. In cases such as Milada Horakova, tribunals and other officials failed in their duty and robbed her of freedom, dignity and life itself through cruelly calculated judicial murder. The officials held offices with duties to justice, their legitimate authority was duty-bound but was obviously perverted by wicked tyrants and henchmen, likely Stalin. The sheer duty carried a different authority than office, it was right, and sound conscience would affirm. Your attempted redefinition fails. KF

  156. 156
    William J Murray says:

    You have everything completely backwards. The whole point of the moral code is to prompt individuals and societies to do the right thing, regardless of what those in authority might think and regardless of what the consequences might be.
    Inconsequential sophistry.

    Only someone who can be bound by a noble principle can act morally. Anyone who cannot be bound by principle is a worthless human being.

    Inconsequential sophistry and rhetoric.

    That is why Thomas More was a great patriot and Pontius Pilate was a craven bureaucrat.

    Careful, SB. You don’t want to start trotting out consequences, such as how peers think about you or how history paints you, to try to support a moral law you claim is independent of any consequences.

    KF said

    WJM, duty is not force …

    Duties that are not enforced is inconsequential sophistry.

    When either of you have something other than inconsequential sophistry made to appear important via use of rhetoric, let me know.

    SB said:

    Meanwhile, my point that duty is part of the natural law structure persists. You offered no credible response, so your claim that authority and consequences are required has been refuted.

    Show me a natural law that doesn’t entail a natural authority and natural consequences, and I’ll show you more inconsequential sophistry.

  157. 157
    William J Murray says:

    Kf said:

    In cases such as Milada Horakova, ..

    Yep. Look what her “natural rights” prevented from happening to her: absolutely nothing. Look at what the supposed moral duties of the officials stopped them from doing: absolutely nothing.

  158. 158
    jerry says:

    Yep. Look what her “natural rights” prevented from happening to her: absolutely nothing. Look at what the supposed moral duties of the officials stopped them from doing: absolutely nothing.

    Are you being willfully stupid? No sane person could possibly make this comment.

    So I assume it’s done for perverse reasons.

  159. 159
    Sandy says:

    Jerry
    So I assume it’s done for perverse reasons.

    Looks like when you read WJM messages you enter in an peaceful state of mind. He got in your mind.
    🙂

  160. 160
    StephenB says:

    SB to WJM:: You have everything completely backwards. The whole point of the moral code is to prompt individuals and societies to do the right thing, regardless of what those in authority might think and regardless of what the consequences might be.

    Inconsequential sophistry.

    It is a lot easier to make cheap comments like that than to address the issue.

    SB: Only someone who can be bound by a noble principle can act morally. Anyone who cannot be bound by principle is a worthless human being.

    Inconsequential sophistry and rhetoric.

    This is yet another failure to engage the issue. If you have something of substance to say, then say it.

    SB: That is why Thomas More was a great patriot and Pontius Pilate was a craven bureaucrat.

    Careful, SB. You don’t want to start trotting out consequences, such as how peers think about you or how history paints you, to try to support a moral law you claim is independent of any consequences.

    Sometimes your confusion is hard to fathom. It’s all about principle, not consequences. Thomas More died a noble death because he ignored your nonsensical standard, refusing to cower to the authorities or allowing the prospect of a death sentence to deter him from his mission. Pontius Pilate, on the other hand, died in disgrace because he, like you, had no objective moral code to live by, so when the heat was on, he allowed his “personal preferences” and his excessive “love of enjoyment” to determine his behavior.

  161. 161

    KF. You refer to evil people as the problem. Wicked tyrants, wicked judges, etc.

    Obviously the case of communism is not a case of straightforward evil, like lust, greed, whatever. It’s a systemic evil, caused by the rejection of subjectivity, in materialist communism.

    And your ideas of rejecting subjectivism and emotivism, communists love such ideas. Communists love the idea of objective scientific pretense for their personal judgements. So then they surpress all other personal judgements, as being just emotivist, subjectivist, [snip], and glory in the certitude of their objective judgement. Communists call their theory, “scientific socialism”, it’s all objectivity.

    Same with nazi’s. Nazi’s refer to the objective law of natural selection, which is then extended to “socialist selection”. It is all full of pretense of objective, scientific, judgement.

    You are still not meaningfully evaluating how much of a problem you think rejection of subjectivity is. You are not communicating with me.

  162. 162
    William J Murray says:

    SB said:

    If you have something of substance to say, then say it.

    I’m finished talking about inconsequential matters.

  163. 163
    EDTA says:

    To everyone except WJM, 😎

    I went over WJM’s comments from the purgatorial thread of a few weeks ago (the one with over 1300 comments), and studied his argument there that everyone is motivated to seek experiential enjoyment. It seems to me that if that is what motivates people, and in particular WJM, then it undercuts any ethical or philosophical import that his statements might have otherwise had: Rather than trying to make objectively true statements or seeking to arrive at truth, WJM is, by his own admission, making statements that provide enjoyment for him. But if that is his chief and/or only goal, then regardless of how logical his arguments may have sounded, we can safely reject them as mere attempts at more experiential enjoyment. They have no further significance.

    In other words, he has sawed off the limb he was enjoying sitting on.

    (I, of course, don’t share that view that we’re only getting enjoyment, so my statements are not thusly affected.)

  164. 164
    jerry says:

    I’m finished talking about inconsequential matters.

    Everything you say is inconsequential

            We have lift off!

  165. 165
    TimR says:

    Hi KF, I didn’t read the whole conversation with KM, but I think she was pointing out that in the bible god commands his people kill all Amalekite children? I’d be interested in the answer to that. Wouldn’t self-evidently wrong mean that it was always wrong no exceptions? So if its permitted in the bible, it can’t be self evidently wrong can it?

  166. 166
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, nope, duty comes first and has authority resting on principle; note the first duties I have highlighted; and which your objection yet again appeals to in trying to dismiss by “sophistry.” KF

  167. 167
    kairosfocus says:

    TimR, it has already been pointed out that the matter is first not germane to the focal topic. It is possible for the Bible to be wrong etc while the focal topic that self-evident first truths and first duties are intelligible, pervasive and inextricably intertwined stands. Second, KM was given first responses in this and previous threads and links to where those better qualified to take time to go through Bible difficulties etc can take or have taken time to address the matter, in some cases at book length, I just saw vids such as here. A 101 balancing remark is here. She chose, instead, to become abusive and accusatory, cf 80 on above (shortly after an inconsistency in her views was highlighted by another commenter, I add see 90 above for a summary reponse, about as much as is reasonable here); then, to double down. This thread and this blog are not the right venue for any drawn out contentious debate on Bible topics and related difficulties, especially given the hostile intent of those who have put forward the notion that ID is a stalking horse for right-wing, Christofascist theocracy and the like. On this last, kindly see the UD Weak Argument Correctives under the Resources tab. KF

    PS: I believe I should add that if people obviously struggle with self-evident truth in general, find it difficult to acknowledge that there are first principles and first duties of right reason that pervade our rational life, etc, then it is clear that our problems are far deeper than Bible difficulties topics. Our civilisation has been brought to a point where we literally cannot find agreement on the whole regarding first principles and manifest first facts. That is how deeply the acid of hyperskepticism has eroded away our framework — hence importance of Reidian common sense realism. That is not a good sign but it is an achievement of this UD series to draw it out. In that light it is not unexpected that no degree of warrant will satisfy a significant proportion of people on ANY topic of consequence, and that many will be manipulated by those who exploit this breakdown. So, we literally need to put first things first. Absent willingness of a critical mass to come to terms on first principles, no progress is possible and the outlook for our civilisation is grim. I fear, we are going to have to relearn fundamentals through pain, dislocation, needless strife and horrific loss. Including, geostrategic losses that the world can ill afford. We are playing with hellfire — and I hope to God it does not come to nuclear exchanges in the ME and Eastern Asia where China is obviously going for a blue ocean breakout.

  168. 168
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, relativism, subjectivism, emotivism are particular views on ethics or wider philosophy that seek to reduce ethical knowledge to lacking objectivity. As I have repeatedly had occasion to cite, they fail. By contrast, it is our rational, responsible freedom reflected in our being subjects that allows us to be able to be free enough to warrant knowledge. Say, a GIGO-limited computational substrate, is not free enough to actually make rational inferences and judgements. So, a computer has no independent knowledge. KF

    PS: Again, for reference:

    Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis Vaughn, W W Norton, 2012. [Also see here and here.] Clipping:

    . . . Subjective relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one approves of it. A person’s approval makes the action right. This doctrine (as well as cultural relativism) is in stark contrast to moral objectivism, the view that some moral principles are valid for everyone.. Subjective relativism, though, has some troubling implications. It implies that each person is morally infallible and that individuals can never have a genuine moral disagreement

    Cultural relativism is the view that an action is morally right if one’s culture approves of it. The argument for this doctrine is based on the diversity of moral judgments among cultures: because people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, right and wrong must be relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles. This argument is defective, however, because the diversity of moral views does not imply that morality is relative to cultures. In addition, the alleged diversity of basic moral standards among cultures may be only apparent, not real. Societies whose moral judgments conflict may be differing not over moral principles but over nonmoral facts.

    Some think that tolerance is entailed by cultural relativism. But there is no necessary connection between tolerance and the doctrine. Indeed, the cultural relativist cannot consistently advocate tolerance while maintaining his relativist standpoint. To advocate tolerance is to advocate an objective moral value. But if tolerance is an objective moral value, then cultural relativism must be false, because it says that there are no objective moral values.

    Like subjective relativism, cultural relativism has some disturbing consequences. It implies that cultures are morally infallible, that social reformers can never be morally right, that moral disagreements between individuals in the same culture amount to arguments over whether they disagree with their culture, that other cultures cannot be legitimately criticized, and that moral progress is impossible.

    Emotivism is the view that moral utterances are neither true nor false but are expressions of emotions or attitudes. It leads to the conclusion that people can disagree only in attitude, not in beliefs. People cannot disagree over the moral facts, because there are no moral facts. Emotivism also implies that presenting reasons in support of a moral utterance is a matter of offering nonmoral facts that can influence someone’s attitude. It seems that any nonmoral facts will do, as long as they affect attitudes. Perhaps the most far-reaching implication of emotivism is that nothing is actually good or bad. There simply are no properties of goodness and badness. There is only the expression of favorable or unfavorable emotions or attitudes toward something.

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, laws against murder as chief example, have not stopped people from doing murder, including those acting as officials under solemn ceremonies and colours of law. That does not change the fact that life is the first right, and that there is an associated first, self evident duty to do justice. Czechoslovakia, c 1948 – 50, was falling into lawlessness in service to Communist tyranny, having first been seized by Nazi Germany in 1938 – 39. Milada Horakova was in fact taken by the Nazis and was being tried under equally false colours of law when she was liberated in Germany by Allied forces. The sad events of 1950 are after she returned home to her country then under Soviet occupation, and again sought to stand up for basic liberties. This case is a strong lesson on the vital importance of lawfulness in the state. KF

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: From L&FP40, an excerpt:

    I find Michael Davidson helpful as he discusses what he terms Reid’s Razor, in effect a manifesto of defeasible but heuristically generally effective common good sense reasoning:

    [Reidian Common good sense as definition and razor, 1785:] “that degree of judgement which is common to men with whom we can converse and transact business”

    Davidson shrewdly points out, how the Razor shaves:

    Take a philosophical or scientific principle that is being applied to a particular situation: ask yourself whether you would be able to converse rationally and transact business with that person assuming that principle governed the situation or persons involved. If not dismiss the principle as erroneous or at least deeply suspicious. For example, suppose someone proposes that things-as-they-appear-to-be are not things-as-they-really-are. I do not think I would buy a used car from this man.

    That seems a fair enough test of habitual adherence to first duties of reason — or otherwise. Y’know: to truth, right reason, prudence, sound conscience, neighbour, fairness and justice, etc.

    I suggest, going forward the would I buy a used car from this person test.

    One issue is that once our perceptions, faculties or minds are deemed delusional or are deemed likely to be so, there are no firewalls and one looks at grand delusion self-referential collapse of mind. Plato’s cave world is absurd, and it is safer to accept local peculiarities, errors and error proneness but draw the line at anything that invites a grand delusion inference.

    And yes, that means I will not take the Kantian ugly gulch or simulation world or world is all mental views as having even initial credibility. Failing the common sense test.

    KF

  171. 171
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, I see your communists as objective claims and raise you one case of planted evidence and false accusation based judicial murder. Do you see why I anchor to a literary prophecy by someone who knew communists at close hand and horrifying historical reality. As in big lies on steroids? Do I need to point to the Reichstag fire and echoes since then starting with 1976 in my homeland and coming down to today quite literally? KF

  172. 172
    Sandy says:

    @Kairosfocus
    You should ask WJM why he banned opinions of people (regarding his article published on UD about his MRT joke) that were against his theory ?
    Why would do such a thing him who talk against duty? : ))))

  173. 173
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, civilisation is currently going over the cliff actually as its edge crumbles underfoot. KF

  174. 174
  175. 175

    KF, it’s still true that the people who espouse objectivity for their views on morality, are the same people who are the problem.

    That the objectivists are well, liars, and so not really objective, is besides the point.

    Ofcourse when one is an objectivist, then one’s emotional life will suffer because of that, because of not paying attention to subjective issues. So these people would have a dark emotional life, and from that they turn to lying, killing etc.

    It was supposedly objectively true that the communists had the right on their side, so then they did what was neccessary for the objectively right side to prevail, which was lying in trial and killing her. As like in war, people kill each other. It was just war.

    Basically you are arguing you are the true objectivist, and these are fake objectivists. Which sounds a lot like socialists criticizing each other for not being true socialists.

    Now would communism and nazism be defeated by promoting subjectivity? Is objectivity the key error of nazism and communism? The answer is ofcourse yes. Freedom of personal opinions does defeat both communism and nazism. A freedom which you seek to deny by making morality objective.

    It is clearly shown that all the errors in nazism and communism come from encroaching on the proper domain of subjectivity, and replacing it with objectivity.

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, the errors of Marxism and its daughter ideologies stemmed from amorality, lawlessness and nihilism joined to the idolatrous ideology of political messianism, something as old as Nimrod. Warped minds, debased minds, reprobate minds cannot think straight due to systematic disregard for first duties tied to broken consciences. The significance of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow travellers in this should not be underestimated. KF

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