Author Topic: Howdy Y'all  (Read 670 times)

Offline aitm

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2019, 08:49:03 PM »
While it’s nice to think that Conan would be able to say such, the reality, let’s just say he was real, would be he would have no clue about Valhalla and they would have no discussions of “illusions” of life. But the writer did, so there’s that.

There is much to glean from the realm of philosophy, but little practical value. When we are young we sit upon a hillside and ponder great thought of morality and mortality, while the “idiots” plant corn in order that we have food to survive....something we could not do ourselves, we are lucky the idiots have more practicality than we do...less we would all be dead.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2019, 03:55:49 AM »
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While it’s nice to think that Conan would be able to say such, the reality, let’s just say he was real, would be he would have no clue about Valhalla and they would have no discussions of “illusions” of life. But the writer did, so there’s that.

There is much to glean from the realm of philosophy, but little practical value. When we are young we sit upon a hillside and ponder great thought of morality and mortality, while the “idiots” plant corn in order that we have food to survive....something we could not do ourselves, we are lucky the idiots have more practicality than we do...less we would all be dead.

I have found philosophy to be of great practical value, morality is no mere navel gazing, it is a careful weighing of how to live well. And I wouldn't call people like myself who make a living by planting food idiots. I find there is much of philosophy in how and why I plant corn, beans, amaranth, beets, and taters the way I do.

As for Conan, do try the original stories, a successful barbarian warlord is a thoughtful being. It takes a lot of smarts to live through such harrowing dangers, and worldly merchants of violence have often been reflective types. The famous Renee Descartes, whose coordinate system married geometry with arithmetic in a novel way which our own society is practically speaking dependent on, was a soldier of fortune.

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2019, 08:11:15 AM »
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Yeah, keep teasing Colorado, we keep looking down on the 49 lower States.
Mt. McKinley waves back. And down.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline aitm

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2019, 09:37:20 AM »
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I have found philosophy to be of great practical value, morality is no mere navel gazing, it is a careful weighing of how to live well.
Here I disagree, morality is born of pure practical selfishness, one may be able to survive alone, but it is much easier to survive within a group. It doesn't take long to learn that working with and for the collective, even if one needs sacrificing some of ones personal opinions or "philosophies", presents a much better chance of a longer life, safer life and adds the advantage of group protection for your own offspring in return for your own. We see this behavior in children, though we hasten the learning curve by admonishing negative behaviors earlier. As mankind "advanced" philosophy was more of a way to suggest how we should treat those outside our own tribe. Whereas before we may simply kill intruders, now we are learning that there are advantages to learning how to use them to our advantage, and that takes more thought.

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And I wouldn't call people like myself who make a living by planting food idiots.
I was being facetious as in philosophers sitting on a hill pondering bout shit instead of getting in the dirt actually doing the shit.

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a successful barbarian warlord is a thoughtful being.
  maybe. The most successful however, had a very simple philosophy that required little thought. "Mercy is the seed of regret" Ghengis Khan was more akin to Conan than Descartes.

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The famous Renee Descartes..... was a soldier of fortune.
Descartes was born into wealth, hardly comparative to Conan.

I don't discount that many philosophers have had an impact of human civility and culture. I disagree with their attempts to present the human animal as something other than a successful one.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2019, 01:02:34 PM »
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Here I disagree, morality is born of pure practical selfishness, one may be able to survive alone, but it is much easier to survive within a group. It doesn't take long to learn that working with and for the collective, even if one needs sacrificing some of ones personal opinions or "philosophies", presents a much better chance of a longer life, safer life and adds the advantage of group protection for your own offspring in return for your own. We see this behavior in children, though we hasten the learning curve by admonishing negative behaviors earlier. As mankind "advanced" philosophy was more of a way to suggest how we should treat those outside our own tribe. Whereas before we may simply kill intruders, now we are learning that there are advantages to learning how to use them to our advantage, and that takes more thought.
It is true that our niche is one extremely dependent on living with in a group. There are practical concerns about how practically to do that, the art of it. Any given approach is riddled with trade offs. Moral philosophy is precisely the skill of using our capacity to think and reflect to review and inform our decision making in the practice of that art specifically, and the more general practice of applying to our lived life our thoughts on how we must, or should like to live. I am mystified how your just so story about children and tribalism is anything other than an example of the tensions in human life which make moral philosophy so useful. It seems as though there is a particular doctrine of moral philosophy you have in mind, which you reject, and which you have in turn conflated with the more general practice. Like the old joke goes "I am getting John a book for his birthday." "Don't do that, he already got one."

Perhaps the moral history of our own culture, with commandments, and an attempt by some thinkers to reduce morality to an algorithm (Don't do X, If Y do Z, If N And M Then do J Or K) and the evident limitations of that approach is too much a paradigm for morality? Ethics which wallow in simple lists of Good and Evil are but one speices of a diverse genus; they are no more moral philosophy at large than learning how to read a blueprint makes one an architect.

When I say moral philosophy is useful to me, I consider how my thoughts on how I should like to behave have interacted with my lived situation thus far, and try to learn to think and behave in a way that works more inline with my values, including the ways that my values interact with others.

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I was being facetious as in philosophers sitting on a hill pondering bout shit instead of getting in the dirt actually doing the shit.

There is that type in philosophy of course, but very few have been so privileged. And of those who are, how poorly to they actually compare to the other distractions available to the thus privileged?

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  maybe. The most successful however, had a very simple philosophy that required little thought. "Mercy is the seed of regret" Ghengis Khan was more akin to Conan than Descartes.
 Descartes was born into wealth, hardly comparative to Conan.

Ghengis Khan is a closer parallel, but that guy is also one of the most dramatic rags to riches story in human history, and was no dummy. The Great Khan, to explore your example, was actually famous for granting position in his hoard to defeated enemies who he was able to reckon as trust worthy... that tactic depends on a top tier level of judgement. He established systems of learning in his empire, and was successful in conflict by way of analyzing the cultures he sought to absorb and figuring out how to win their loyalty. A few thousand horse archers don't rule a continent with out some cunning PR. One of his main tricks was figuring out that most city folk resented their aristocrats and that they would love an invader who could get rid of those aristocrats, provided the new ruler-ship didn't impost on their lives more than the old. My point simply being that looking at actual historical cases of war lords of the kind Conan was based around you find something much more than an orc, or bar room thug, generally you find a person who can skillfully combine abstract thinking with decisive action; which is all the more terrifying!

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I don't discount that many philosophers have had an impact of human civility and culture. I disagree with their attempts to present the human animal as something other than a successful one.

Right, that is what confuses me so. Because there is nothing I can see to suggest that Philosophers are any more guilty of privileging humanities position that their respective eras and cultures are. Indeed for 300 years philosophy has turned out the avant-garde of pressing back on that view, and your own position seems to me but a regurgitation of cutting edge 19th century philosophy on the matter. Granted, in philosophy defenders of Human Exceptionalism have also made their stands, but they have been on the retreat for centuries; usually giving up ground in that fight generations before the innovators of other disciplines, artistic or technical, catch up.

Offline aitm

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2019, 01:38:31 PM »
My position, or rather, opinion, is that morality is selfish based, rather simple. And I use the word selfish to imply that it is driven by ones desire or want to satisfy oneself by whatever means is needed. There is knowing what is short term versus long term. I don't believe there is such a thing as complete selflessness, as even the desire to feel good by donating with anonymity provides one with the desired effect of feeling good.

We all know morality is subjective and we understand the root of morality is simply to gain what we can at the least expense to our self while gaining as much as we can. That is the individual goal. But as a culture we broaden our understanding of morality to include the goals of others and how that will also effect us.

You and I may agree it is morally right to feed a hungry child, but there are others who would disagree simply because there is no return for them.

Philosophy helps explain how to achieve a selfish goal without appearing to be selfish.

or something like that.....

A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2019, 02:41:53 PM »
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It is true that our niche is one extremely dependent on living with in a group. There are practical concerns about how practically to do that, the art of it. Any given approach is riddled with trade offs. Moral philosophy is precisely the skill of using our capacity to think and reflect to review and inform our decision making in the practice of that art specifically, and the more general practice of applying to our lived life our thoughts on how we must, or should like to live. I am mystified how your just so story about children and tribalism is anything other than an example of the tensions in human life which make moral philosophy so useful. It seems as though there is a particular doctrine of moral philosophy you have in mind, which you reject, and which you have in turn conflated with the more general practice. Like the old joke goes "I am getting John a book for his birthday." "Don't do that, he already got one."

Perhaps the moral history of our own culture, with commandments, and an attempt by some thinkers to reduce morality to an algorithm (Don't do X, If Y do Z, If N And M Then do J Or K) and the evident limitations of that approach is too much a paradigm for morality? Ethics which wallow in simple lists of Good and Evil are but one speices of a diverse genus; they are no more moral philosophy at large than learning how to read a blueprint makes one an architect.

When I say moral philosophy is useful to me, I consider how my thoughts on how I should like to behave have interacted with my lived situation thus far, and try to learn to think and behave in a way that works more inline with my values, including the ways that my values interact with others.

There is that type in philosophy of course, but very few have been so privileged. And of those who are, how poorly to they actually compare to the other distractions available to the thus privileged?

Ghengis Khan is a closer parallel, but that guy is also one of the most dramatic rags to riches story in human history, and was no dummy. The Great Khan, to explore your example, was actually famous for granting position in his hoard to defeated enemies who he was able to reckon as trust worthy... that tactic depends on a top tier level of judgement. He established systems of learning in his empire, and was successful in conflict by way of analyzing the cultures he sought to absorb and figuring out how to win their loyalty. A few thousand horse archers don't rule a continent with out some cunning PR. One of his main tricks was figuring out that most city folk resented their aristocrats and that they would love an invader who could get rid of those aristocrats, provided the new ruler-ship didn't impost on their lives more than the old. My point simply being that looking at actual historical cases of war lords of the kind Conan was based around you find something much more than an orc, or bar room thug, generally you find a person who can skillfully combine abstract thinking with decisive action; which is all the more terrifying!

Right, that is what confuses me so. Because there is nothing I can see to suggest that Philosophers are any more guilty of privileging humanities position that their respective eras and cultures are. Indeed for 300 years philosophy has turned out the avant-garde of pressing back on that view, and your own position seems to me but a regurgitation of cutting edge 19th century philosophy on the matter. Granted, in philosophy defenders of Human Exceptionalism have also made their stands, but they have been on the retreat for centuries; usually giving up ground in that fight generations before the innovators of other disciplines, artistic or technical, catch up.
I'm curious Emp, (Didn't you mean Imp???:) what do you mean by morality and how is it (if it is) different than ethics?  Where do both of those come from?
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2019, 07:20:31 PM »
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Leadership Secrets of Atilla the Hun - Machiavellian business success book?
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2019, 12:15:22 PM »
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Ok, now I'm smelling what you're stepping in. I figure whether an action is done for selfish or selfless reasons isn't something I think about much from a deep perspective. Obviously we can define terms in the abstract such that everything is selfish, similarly we can critique the concept of the self (like Buddhists or the like) realize that the concept is kinda vague and hand wavy in philosophy, and get along fine with out habitually tying every inference back to this concept. There is no self as a separate entity, all that blah. All of this is just training games for philosophy which are to be put away once practiced on.

In the real world when I am interacting with people I know and they bend over backward to help me I call that selfless. Obviously they have something they get out of it, but unless they are working on a back stab it don't matter to the slightest degree. If somebody does me a solid and they get off on it too, all the better! Responding to such lived experience with sophistry of 'technically they are just out for number one' strikes me as cynical naivety. If someone imposes on me, maybe probably I help them out, I take action to keep those close to me well, this is good for me. This is to say that the wellness of my community is integrated in my thinking with my own benefit, my selfishness is big, and those close to me are part of my self, a big self; in latin this virtue is called magnanimous (big self).

Some people are always looking to get one over on some body, tell me you've met the type. What are such people called? Petty. That means small, they are small people. Obsessed with small wins, some people can do no better, so sad. The petty only win in the smallest part of a self, maybe not even all the self of their own body can they serve. Have you never felt sorrow for one whose selfishness can not even serve their own self but is caught by a single appetite, or a single dream that moves and enslaves the whole person?

So yes, selfishness in all cases. and as the movie Tautology Club taught us "The first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club" "the second rule of tautology club... is the second rule of tautology club!" Yes, the self is the self, how insightful. But is the self well? Is it a suffering sickly self? Is it an infecting or a healing self? What use dose the word self add to those questions, except to a grammatical habit?

Maybe Imma step up and give an ethical maxim I learned for myself years back when trying to get disentanged from the confusion of selfishness and selflessness: "Covet the friendship of those whose selflessness and selfishness cannot be distinguished"

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So I basically use morals and ethics interchangeable, depending on what I feel like typing, they are latin and greek respectively for customs, 'the done thing'.

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What works works. Hang with some thugs some time, those rough folk got a wisdom, an ethic, their own. Not for me! But I can respect those creatures that thrive in an ecological niche I would wither in.

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2019, 01:53:09 PM »
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So I basically use morals and ethics interchangeable, depending on what I feel like typing, they are latin and greek respectively for customs, 'the done thing'.


I tend to do the same.  If pressed I usually say ethics are personal or maybe codes of conduct for various organizations.  Morality is group/society norms.  But I usually use them interchangeably. 

I see morality and ethics as subjective, and not as christians love to say, objective.  I operate with my own set of ethics.  I realize my society has formalized what it terms morals--in a code of law.  And my ethics have changed or evolved over time.  I also say that my personal ethics are unique.  I pick and chose from various sources what to consider my ethics are.  (I tend to stay away from using the word 'morals' because it is too churchy)  My bottom line ethic is based upon something like--First do no harm; or a version of the Golden Rule. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline aitm

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2019, 01:59:48 PM »
That's all fine and dandy hand waving self aggrandizing handkerchiefs but it doesn't change that whether one realizes it or not, motives are indeed driven intrinsically by selfish motives...like it or not, deep "thinking" or not.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: Howdy Y'all
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2019, 06:22:58 PM »
"Selfish" is a polarizing term.  The Left hates selfishness.  The Right loves it.  It is weaponized politically.

Unfortunately, ethics/morality cannot be separated from political positions.  Economics also can't be separated from politics.  This is currently reflected in identity politics that considers everything racism etc.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 06:25:13 PM by Baruch »
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

 

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