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Cone
11-15-2005, 05:32 AM
Tell me, was ****** an evil man or a political genius? Was his killing of millions of Jews unforgivable or rather necessary? Was he brave, being one of those who are not afraid to face human nature unadulterated?

My question is this: what is really the difference between comforting a small child and raping him? Does ethics really matter?

MysticSonic
11-15-2005, 05:47 AM
"My question is this: what is really the difference between comforting a small child and raping him? Does ethics really matter?"

Yes; to support such an action is to degrade the moral fabric of society , thus leading to a decrease in the quality of life.

Catholic Schoolboy
11-15-2005, 05:49 AM
Tell me, was ****** an evil man or a political genius?

He was both. Well, he wasn’t a genius but he did give one hell of a speech.



Was his killing of millions of Jews unforgivable or rather necessary?

No, it was not necessary. He was pissed off because he didn’t get into an art school he thought was run by “rich Jews”. He held on to the theory and other bitter people pretty much developed the NSDAP for him. There is nothing to forgive Hitter for because he really didn’t construct a genocide.


Was he brave, being one of those who are not afraid to face human nature unadulterated?

No, the pussy killed himself.


what is really the difference between comforting a small child and raping him?

Depends on how old the child is.



Does ethics really matter?

Isn't it "do ethics really matter?" I don't know. Yes they do, they shape the world that we live in. We are how we behave.



You seem bitter about something this evening Cone. I sense some anger in that post.

Darklord
11-15-2005, 12:12 PM
****** was a moron whose completely unnecessary two-front, against two parties with both of which he had non-attack treaties, led to the demise of both him as a person and the philosophy he advocated, when waiting with attacking one of the parties might have lead to a complete and crushing victory.

schrödinger's cat
11-15-2005, 12:53 PM
Was he brave, being one of those who are not afraid to face human nature unadulterated?

Whoever gave you that idea!? ****** was a powerful demagogue and knew how to exploit the weaknesses of Germany's first democracy, but otherwise he lived in cloud-cuckoo land. As he got older he withdrew to his lair in the mountains, and he lead a lazy life there (not getting up till late, watching lots of movies, taking walks). His cronies jealously fought for supremacy, and they'd watch him until he said something that could be interpreted as a "plan" or a "theory", and then they'd go and try to put it into practise in order to gain more power. They were the "men of action", not ******. His attempts at military strategy lead to a great superfluous loss of lives. His theories - do I even have to talk about those? The man was a nutter. All that Übermensch bumpf makes you wonder what those guys were smoking. If it were true that ****** was a good judge of human nature, I'd go and jump off a bridge this minute.

...you probably know all that, and I guess your question was just rhetorical (right?).


My question is this: what is really the difference between comforting a small child and raping him? Does ethics really matter?

This question is rhetorical, right? Is your point this:

Ethics are often very intangible and subjective, you can't reduce them to a simple set of rules, and so the difference between "good" and "bad" acts is sometimes hard to tell.

?

What you said has shocked me a lot, but I'm aware that it's probably just a misunderstanding.

schrödinger's cat
11-15-2005, 01:06 PM
****** was a moron whose completely unnecessary two-front, against two parties with both of which he had non-attack treaties led to the demise of both him as a person and the philosophy he advocated, when waiting with attacking one of the parties might have lead to a complete and crushing victory.

I agree. He let his dumbass theories influence his politics. His strategic planning was straight out of the Nibelungen saga. Don't read it, it's godawful. It's about a betrayal of trust, which leads to unnecessary bloodshed, which leads to fearsome and bloodcurdling revenge, and people are loyal to the last drop of blood (their own and/or others'). Making this the basis of your worldview is about as sane as taking Pastafarianism serious.

Artemis
11-15-2005, 01:23 PM
I disagree a bit with schrödinger's cat.

I posted this once before. "Food and a victim. That is all man requires. Food for the belly; a victim for their lust. Hilter knew this. That is why he was successfull. That is why there were no slaves following him blindly but satisfied and exultant monsters who loved him for what he had done for them." TC

In a nut shell: During WWI the Germans gave all for their country. They sacrificed heart and home, sold off their businesses and gave their all to the cause of Germany. The Jews bought up all the land and businessess and refused to fight for a country that wasn't theirs. When WWII rolled around the common man was still destitute and reeling from the blow. It was easy for Hilter to point the finger and say look at the Jews, the raped your land and are living high on the hog while your children starve, etc. So in essence the Jews set themselves up for a fall. ****** ignited the spark. ****** knew what his henchmen were doing and looked the other way. He was ill with what they believe now to be Parkinson's disease which does effect you mentally after a while. Definitely he had either a little-man syndrome quest for power and/or was mentally ill.

As to morality. Don't get me started. You know MY answer to that one. I get myself in enough trouble around here. :shock: The laws of society were made to hide the bestialty of men. Civilization has called these instincts evil because they conflict with ordered society.

schrödinger's cat
11-15-2005, 02:33 PM
I agree, ****** knew how to give people what would keep them quiet and satisfied. That's what I meant when I said he was a powerful demagogue. You're right, he definitely knew what his cronies were up to. There's a common stereotype however that sees ****** as "the" culprit and his cronies as mere ciphers, and that's incorrect. Many times when people say "****** did this" or "****** decided that", it's possible that ****** merely made one grandiose vague statement and someone like that rat Goebbels snapped it up and developed it into a definite plan.

While you're unfortunately right in your judgment of the majority of Germans of that period, I feel sad because there were others who were neither slaves nor exultant monsters. The clearest examples would be the people who were executed by the Nazis because of their resistance and/or attempts to kill ******.


During WWI the Germans gave all for their country. They sacrificed heart and home, sold off their businesses and gave their all to the cause of Germany. The Jews bought up all the land and businessess and refused to fight for a country that wasn't theirs.

Nutshells are meant to be general, so what I'd like to add is probably superfluous... There were Jews who had assimilated totally into German culture. Those were German Jews in the sense that there were also German Catholics or German Protestants. They fought in WWI, and there were many who won an iron cross. That makes what happened later even worse, because many thought that since they were German patriots nothing could happen to them. Or there were others who had both German and Jewish ancestors and never thought of themselves other than Germans until the repressions started. (And during WWI all nations were fervent and patriotic, not just the Germans.)

Catholic Schoolboy
11-15-2005, 05:07 PM
****** wasn’t really that involved in the "finial solution". We give him far to much credit.

Cone
11-15-2005, 05:29 PM
Er, you guys are getting off-base.

Let's imagine that every human being that ever lived, is living, and will ever live is 100% selfish. He does things because they make him feel good. He might help a small child, but he only does this because it makes him feel good inside or he thinks it will make him feel good inside. Likewise, he may murder that same child for the same reasons.

Note: I shouldn't use the phrase "to feel good inside" but rather "to increase the amount of reinforcement upon himself." Feeling good inside is only one facet of reinforcement.

Now what does ethics reduce to? It's a method of heuristics to ensure reinforcement on the part of the agent. There is no such thing as selflessness in any quantity. If a man is being "selfless", he is actually rearranging his pleasure needs to get pleasure from performing an act of "selflessness". If he couldn't get any pleasure from it, he wouldn't do it.

This doesn't change anything, though. It's like determinism; knowing that you have no free will does not alter in any way the way you live your life. However, what happens to our common conception of ethics when we encounter the following problem:

Bob and Mary were brother and sister. One night while camping in a cabin in the mountains, they wondered what it would be like to make love to each other. Mary was already on contraceptives, but Bob used a condom anyway, for double protection. Both of them agreed to not be bothered by the act, and they both promised not to tell anyone about it.

So how exactly is this act unethical? There are no negative repercussions for anybody in or not in the story.

Anyway, that's kind of what I was trying to get across.

Catholic Schoolboy
11-15-2005, 05:36 PM
Bad ethics would become morality. That is how morality is established is it not? By what has become standard. If we started doing everything the wrong unmoral way it would eventually be accepted. Funny how people can let things fall like that.

science as magic
11-15-2005, 05:52 PM
what is really the difference between comforting a small child and raping him?

the reaction of the child. i know that is not what you were getting at but you are ignoring the obvious.

Cone
11-15-2005, 06:07 PM
what is really the difference between comforting a small child and raping him?

the reaction of the child. i know that is not what you were getting at but you are ignoring the obvious.

So if that wasn't what I was getting at, then was I really ignoring the obvious? What I was getting at was is there anything other than the child's reaction?

Minde
11-15-2005, 06:30 PM
So, basically you're asking for the difference between good and evil? The definition of evil? Why something is evil? What is is it that makes something good, good?

Cone
11-15-2005, 06:47 PM
Alot of my questions are purely rhetorical, so rather than me asking you what the difference between good and evil is, I am telling you that there is no difference. In the case of the man raping the child, one man's good is another man's evil.

And for all we know, raping children could be good for the economy.

Transigent
11-15-2005, 06:59 PM
Edited for gayness.

Kim
11-15-2005, 07:56 PM
Raping children produces traumatized adults. Not good.

Darklord
11-15-2005, 08:59 PM
I'd say that the "goodness" of an act can be determined from the net. gain in self-reinforcement (To use the term Cone established) in both the short and long run. Ergo, helping a child produces a small amount of reinforcement for both child and helper in the short run, but not much in the long, while the act of raping the child might possibly confer a minimal amount of reinforcement to the raper, if the raper is seriously mentally damaged, while it produces enormous amounts of both long-term and short-term deprivation of reinforcement for the cihld, with a possible spread in deprivation to other, seemingly unrelated to the act, persons, and might also lead to a deprivation in reinforcement for the raper over the long run.

It must be apparent that the gain-to-loss ratio are vastly different.

MysticSonic
11-15-2005, 10:46 PM
I believe good and evil are only definable when one purports an end: something is good only to the extent that it adequately fulfills the end.

For instance, x is good because it is a good means of obtaining z, whereas z is bad because it is is an ineffecient means.

tcaudilllg
11-15-2005, 10:54 PM
About ******: he was completely consumed by the German mythos. His intuition, both extroverted and introverted, was so completely dominant that it eclipsed everything else. He lived in a fantasy, wholly detatched from reality. What little sense of Se and Si he had transfixed itself about the idea of the German state. He completely assimilated to it, but assimilated it to him, also. He was a narcissist. (like Saddam Hussein, for example) He couldn't distinguish the "object" from the "subject". There was little to disuade him from identifying with the "idea" that people living in the political boundaries of the German state were extensions of his will.

The man talked about nations like they were people. He once said of the partition of Chezchslovakia, "those who want a seat at the table must help in the kitchen." Imagine a nation living as a man--completely self-interested and determined to defeat its bretheren--and you have Adolf ******.

As for evil, it is that which carried on continuously, brings about, directly, a sustained lack of consciousness. Consciousness is the meaning of life because, without it life cannot be experienced. Evil is that which defies the world's ability to experience itself.

schrödinger's cat
11-16-2005, 07:42 AM
About good&evil. Here's my take on things.

A. All of us have a notion of what's good and what's evil. An inner compass. A general idea.

B. But it is not the 100% same thing for everyone. It gets adapted and/or distorted by circumstances (self-interest, culture, education etc).

C. Self-interest as a motive for doing "good works" is a brilliant concept and it explains a lot. People are like that.

D. Our ideals, however, point in another direction. We think in terms of "good and evil" as if the good things were to be done simply because they are good. We see "goodness" as an end in itself...

E. ...but we're acting as if it were a means to an end. We're unable to practise our ideals. When we try to be "good" without a thought of ourselves, we usually fail. Even our best deeds are influenced by self-interest.

Agree/disagree?

schrödinger's cat
11-16-2005, 07:48 AM
That was me.

BTW, Cone, thanks for giving another example.

science as magic
11-16-2005, 06:05 PM
So if that wasn't what I was getting at, then was I really ignoring the obvious? What I was getting at was is there anything other than the child's reaction?

you don't get it. my criticism is that it is as if you were asking something completely idiotic like what if i punched you in the arm but only under the assumption that you and i had no arms? the question is pointless because you potentially eliminate the subject of your questioning from the question. i pointed out a real example so that you could realize that.


I believe good and evil are only definable when one purports an end: something is good only to the extent that it adequately fulfills the end.

end?

Uncle Ave
11-16-2005, 06:14 PM
Well personally, I hate the nihilistic "morals dont exist" attitude derived from the fact that objective morals cant be proven to exist to everyone, I mean, even if there is no god or higher power judging each person's moral standards, why does that imply that there should be no values and that we shouldnt try and contribute to civilisation and culture?

If its a selfish thing, so what? Who said selflessness was a good basis for morality, anyways? Personally I dont beleive that it is, and that doesnt mean Im not making others happy like some RHP philosopher would self righteously imply with circular logic.

Jimbean
11-16-2005, 07:33 PM
Alot of my questions are purely rhetorical, so rather than me asking you what the difference between good and evil is, I am telling you that there is no difference. In the case of the man raping the child, one man's good is another man's evil.

And for all we know, raping children could be good for the economy.

How could you possibly value putting physical force (causing harm) on somebody, assuming that it is not done in self defense?

Jimbean
11-16-2005, 07:40 PM
Well personally, I hate the nihilistic "morals dont exist" attitude derived from the fact that objective morals cant be proven to exist to everyone, I mean, even if there is no god or higher power judging each person's moral standards, why does that imply that there should be no values and that we shouldnt try and contribute to civilisation and culture?

If its a selfish thing, so what? Who said selflessness was a good basis for morality, anyways? Personally I dont beleive that it is, and that doesnt mean Im not making others happy like some RHP philosopher would self righteously imply with circular logic.

If we were not selfish in some way, we would not desire morals in the first place. Many victims start out selfless to begin with anyway.

Olga
11-16-2005, 09:10 PM
I did enjoy reading this topic. There was so many interesting thoughts and info about ******. I didn't like rationalization about the act of raping children. It is disgusting and it is not human. Some people are animals and do not desrve to be called humans.

I am glad that the topic raised questions which are important for me too: selflessness and selfishness. It is a shame I cannot draw a picture but I will try to make it clear one way or the other.

Imagine a cross: at the top is the God and at the bottom - people. The God looks at people and wants to help them. The people don't want really to know the God. All what they want: to be happy (whatever makes them happy). The God sends his son Jesus to show the way to happiness.
Jesus said "I am the Truth and the only way!" That means there is no other way to be happy and to know the God as through Jesus. This is the vertical line of the cross.

The first and the most important commandment was taken from Jewish religion: Do not do things to another person which you would not like this person doing to you. Isn't it simple and clear? If you don't want anybody to rape you as a child or to rape your child - do not do it to other children!

Jesus changed it to even more clear meaning: love another person as you love yourself. The problem with that is that many take it as just learn to love another person. But it is not that simple. Many people suffer because they are too generous and don't know the limit. Both is wrong.
Selflessness and selfishness is a horisontal line of the cross - it teaches you to know what is wisdom and balance in Love - The Truth. The only way to happiness is through knowing what Love really is. Happiness is about feelings - your feelings. Don't know if it makes sense for you, but it does for me.

Cone
11-16-2005, 09:53 PM
you don't get it.
I never do, do I?

Before I make my arguments, I thought I'd point something out:

If I see someone in need, by the rules of morality I am obligated to help him (that is, if it is possible). But let's say I don't help him. Now I am considered bad, evil, immoral, whatever. However, this is just a one-sided blame game. Think about this: can I not say that the injured person is the immoral one? Is he not trying to gain by my (supposed) loss?

Well, this only holds true if our morality is a SELFLESS one. However, our morality only says that I should act selfless in this case, not him. But this leads to contradictions, as our morality is based on selflessness, is it not? How can I be selfless in a case like this? So Cheerio's argument against a selfless morality checks out.


How could you possibly value putting physical force (causing harm) on somebody, assuming that it is not done in self defense?
I don't. Reason and value are two different things.


Well personally, I hate the nihilistic "morals dont exist" attitude derived from the fact that objective morals cant be proven to exist to everyone, I mean, even if there is no god or higher power judging each person's moral standards, why does that imply that there should be no values and that we shouldnt try and contribute to civilisation and culture?


Watch your assumptions about my implications, Cheerio.

What you say is the beauty of Nihilism, that is if you interpret it correctly. Nihilism tells us that we have no meaning, that we are lonely specks in a desolate universe. What it does NOT tell us is that we must live without meaning. No meaning really implies any meaning. It's up to you to define meaning.

Do I personally believe in any of what I say? As true as it may be, no. Why? Because I would have a psychosis if I did. Reason is an illusion. All that really matters is action.

schrödinger's cat
11-17-2005, 08:17 AM
Well, this only holds true if our morality is a SELFLESS one.

IMO selflessness is one of the secondary virtues (like loyalty). They're means to an end, not ends in themselves. Not good things to base one's entire morality on*. Blind selflessness and blind loyalty lead you astray. Perhaps that could be called "malign selflessness".

In a good relationship you often can't separate "selfishness" from love. The clearest example I can think of is this. If you were to see a car drive straight towards your child, you'd push it out of the way even if that meant dying yourself. (That's nothing you decide on - you just know.) Looks like selflessness? It's actually selfish - you love your child so much that you need to care for it. Doing things for it becomes one of your basic motivations. Anything you do for your baby gives you "positive reinforcement". That doesn't really fit the theory that we only love our children because we want to spread our genes. Why should I die for my child? I can always make a new one. It's more efficient to let the child die. But most parents wouldn't choose that way. The death of a child is generally regarded as the worst kind of bereavement. Many bereaved parents wish they'd had the chance to die for their child so the child could live. Urk, that sounds soppy. But it's true.

* ...BTW, the Bible doesn't base its morality on selflessness either. It sometimes asks people to do things in a selfless way, true. At other times it asks them to do things and promises lavish rewards or the fulfillment of certain needs. That is true throughout the Bible, even in the New Testament.

science as magic
11-17-2005, 02:21 PM
I never do, do I?

intentionally?


Is he not trying to gain by my (supposed) loss?

What if your action is seen as a boon to yourself that you do regardless of whether or no the positive effects were felt?


Nihilism tells us that we have no meaning, that we are lonely specks in a desolate universe.

Strictly speaking nihilism doesn't say anything.


What it does NOT tell us is that we must live without meaning. No meaning really implies any meaning. It's up to you to define meaning.

Why? What if it doesn't?

Topaz
11-17-2005, 04:42 PM
Well, this only holds true if our morality is a SELFLESS one.

IMO selflessness is one of the secondary virtues (like loyalty). They're means to an end, not ends in themselves. Not good things to base one's entire morality on*. Blind selflessness and blind loyalty lead you astray. Perhaps that could be called "malign selflessness".

In a good relationship you often can't separate "selfishness" from love. The clearest example I can think of is this. If you were to see a car drive straight towards your child, you'd push it out of the way even if that meant dying yourself. (That's nothing you decide on - you just know.) Looks like selflessness? It's actually selfish - you love your child so much that you need to care for it. Doing things for it becomes one of your basic motivations. Anything you do for your baby gives you "positive reinforcement". That doesn't really fit the theory that we only love our children because we want to spread our genes. Why should I die for my child? I can always make a new one. It's more efficient to let the child die. But most parents wouldn't choose that way. The death of a child is generally regarded as the worst kind of bereavement. Many bereaved parents wish they'd had the chance to die for their child so the child could live. Urk, that sounds soppy. But it's true.

* ...BTW, the Bible doesn't base its morality on selflessness either. It sometimes asks people to do things in a selfless way, true. At other times it asks them to do things and promises lavish rewards or the fulfillment of certain needs. That is true throughout the Bible, even in the New Testament.
This is a good illustration. Just as there are physical laws there are moral laws. Our emotional, intelectual and spiritual aspects are tied together and cannot be seperated and still make sense.
If life were the product of blind chance as some claim then there would be no basis for morality, reason or love. These things are abstract and cannot exist without a mind and body to house them. The mind and body are highly complexed things. Nothing in our human experience tells us that highly complexed things form on their own. If you were to find a house in the desert would you conclude it came about by itself? Of course not. After going inside and seeing running water and refrigeration and couches and chairs you would have to conclude that the house had a purpose, that a person or people live there. Going further we look at our lonely planet in our solar system with its complexed ecosytem, variety of life and wonders what should we conclude? Just an accident? We even see the animals care for their young and shelter and protect them at great expense of energy and time.
If life is the product of blind chance then nothing really matters. Even if you made up your own personal meaning it would mean little. Our existence would just be a quick flash in the pan. If life was the product of design then the Designer no doubt has a purpose. That Designer would be the best one to assign meaning.
Man is different from animal life in that he has the capacity to contemplate his existence, decide his actions and be grateful for his life. I know many people dont like the idea of God for many reasons but to me it makes far more sense that trying to come up with meaning out of meaninglessness. Most of mans problems are caused by man himself.
I believe that man (and when I say man of course I mean women as well) have placed within them a moral compass that basically directs what is good and bad. Its called a consicence. For example in most societies it is well accepted that murder is wrong. But wrong in comparision to what? If mans existence were meaningless then murder, lying, disloyalty ect. would not be seen as good or bad. They would just be conditions that exist. But thats not the case. Almost every society today has laws and mores, either written or generally accepted, to protect people from those who would trample on elevated morals.
Theres more to this but I will conclude by saying that ethics such as love, justice, appreciation, mercy, kindness, loyalty and so on were placed in man by the one who designed them along with the physical aspects.

Olga
11-17-2005, 07:38 PM
That sounds true and beautiful to me.

Olga
11-18-2005, 12:30 PM
Just thinking about what has been said about meaning of life I remembered a story from a book of scandinavian writers. I thought it was a strange story which made me look differently on the whole idea of God and religion. The thing is that people are not happy to accept religion as a blind faith. They want to make sense of things so that they can feel more confident/comfortable and in control of what happens to them.

The story was about afterlife. People who died were sitting somewhere in Heaven and telling each other about their lifes. Then they started to question why did they live and what was the whole idea of getting through different life expereinces which were sometime painful and hard. They decided to come together and find the God so that they could ask Him those questions.

It was a long way to get to the God and while they were walking more and more people joined and some of them were so similar and had very similar life experiences. They got tired to walk for so long and got a bit cross - they needed the answers! Then at last they saw a small wooden house and the light in the window. The God was working, he did some carpenting. The people were waiting when He fifnished and were impatient. Then the God came out and he didn't look any different form them. The people asked: Are you the God? and He answered: Yes.
They asked: Why did we suffer and what was the purpose of our lifes?
The God said: I just wanted that you would have something your own.

Uncle Ave
11-18-2005, 02:55 PM
Reason is an illusion. All that really matters is action.

Can you expand? I think I know what youre getting at, that thinking about right and wrong is an illusion, because the thoughts only exist in your mind, whereas in a true action, you dont 'think' about what your doing while your doing it, you either enjoy it, or you dont.

Is that what you mean?