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   Author  Topic: What to do?  (Read 1556 times)
Eduard
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What to do?
« on: 2005-11-21 16:51:26 »
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Hey all,

I came to think what we -- each other -- could do to lessen the amount of cruelty in the world of ours...? There are wars, struggles and hunger and thirst; and when I think those things I feel myself somehow empty and could not invent anything to lessen these, other than trying to get people to be more aware - mostly in general as in philosophy, philosophers are doing... Is that enough? I guess no, but that's what I am supposed to do; and that is that what I could do (and probably can)... I hope that there is enough love and caring, but I'm aware that there should be more.

What do you think? What could we do? Those are real questions to which I hope that there would be some answers or suggestions... Thanks...
« Last Edit: 2005-11-21 16:59:54 by Eduard » Report to moderator   Logged

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David Lucifer
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #1 on: 2005-11-22 11:45:02 »
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Why lessen the amount of cruelty in the world? Would that make you feel better?
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Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #2 on: 2005-11-22 12:13:26 »
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I don't know; maybe. But it could make this world bit less painful place to live. Though, I'm thinking is there any other justification than utilitarian way to do that (give a justification); I mean non-theistic justification.
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Nyktoo
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #3 on: 2005-11-22 14:24:51 »
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Um, I don't see how utilitarianism is theistic, or am I missing something?

Personally I think a satisfying life necessarily includes some sense of being benevolent & valuable to someone other than yourself, unless you're a psychopath. I spend a lot of time anguishing over those kinds of questions myself and I think they're too big, and perhaps too personal, to expect much of an answer here. For example, I could tell you what I think you could to do to help the causes I see as important but that's no good.
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Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #4 on: 2005-11-22 15:04:14 »
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Heheh Nyktoo,

I won't and didn't claim that utilitarianism is theistic, it's pleasure oriented.

And though it's been said before, I think that rather than trying to maximize pleasure, we should try to minimize pain, unjust and suffering, in the world... I think that Popper proposed something similar (leaving the means of acquiring pleasure much to the individual intimity and preferences; of course, as long as those are not harming others).
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Hermit
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #5 on: 2005-11-22 15:35:49 »
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Try Virian Ethics: The End of God Referenced Ethics and Virian Ethics: The Soul in the Machine and the Question of Virian Ethics.

The former tries to show why "the god" fails as "a good" while the second is an attempt at an ethical system which makes sufficient sense to be able to describe "the good" consistently. A useful capability when attempting to minimize harm.

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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #6 on: 2005-11-22 16:09:46 »
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Thanks Hermit,

I should get better into these when time just allows that. Great!


Quote:
Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear - Bertrand Russell
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Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #7 on: 2005-11-23 16:53:13 »
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How about: act according to a maxim which could be willed - without contradiction - to be a law, such as the laws of nature are...?


Hey Hermit,

I noted that we have the most probably been reading quite much the same sort of literature... By the way, I started to read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason with the help of A. C. Ewing's short commentary.
« Last Edit: 2005-11-23 16:54:16 by Eduard » Report to moderator   Logged

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David Lucifer
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #8 on: 2005-11-23 17:38:39 »
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Quote from: Eduard on 2005-11-23 16:53:13   

How about: act according to a maxim which could be willed - without contradiction - to be a law, such as the laws of nature are...?

I'm not sure what this means. What sorts of maxims fit that description?
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Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #9 on: 2005-11-23 17:40:58 »
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Written by Hermit:

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It is crucial to keep in mind that “a wholly good being exists who is worthy of worship” is not analytic, is not a truth of language, even though “God is wholly good” might be. The former is rather a substantive moral statement (expressing a moral judgment) and a very fundamental one indeed, for the believer's whole faith rests on it. Drop this and everything goes.


That is brilliant; I have never read an argument based on this observation...
« Last Edit: 2005-11-23 17:42:28 by Eduard » Report to moderator   Logged

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Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #10 on: 2005-11-23 17:55:27 »
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Lucifer:
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What sorts of maxims fit that description?
Those which could be universalized. The point is in that that those maxims are or should supposedly be ethical (ie. life supporting and belevolent), though rigorous.
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David Lucifer
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #11 on: 2005-11-24 11:46:41 »
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Quote from: Eduard on 2005-11-23 17:55:27   

Those which could be universalized. The point is in that that those maxims are or should supposedly be ethical (ie. life supporting and belevolent), though rigorous.

OK, I see why that would be desirable, but is it possible? Do you have any examples?
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Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #12 on: 2005-11-24 15:34:54 »
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but is it possible? Do you have any examples?


I try to live following that; but it's true that the practical examples are but few. All I could do is to do philosophy and try to get people thinking. 
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David Lucifer
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #13 on: 2005-11-24 15:42:56 »
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Quote from: Eduard on 2005-11-24 15:34:54   
I try to live following that; but it's true that the practical examples are but few. All I could do is to do philosophy and try to get people thinking. 


If there "are but few" there must be at least one. I'd be happy seeing just one universal law of ethics. (Actually I have one in mind but I'd like to see your suggestions first.)
« Last Edit: 2005-11-24 15:44:31 by David Lucifer » Report to moderator   Logged
Eduard
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Re:What to do?
« Reply #14 on: 2005-11-25 07:03:54 »
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It's Kantian catagorical imperative in freely expressed; motivated with good will and that universalisation (results). The golden rule of many religions is fairly near that, but there is not that universalisation principle, other that in that that do the same to your fellows as you wish they'll do to you; but that's not indeed universalisation... One could wish whatever, or do whatever one wants that would be done to oneself; no matter how destructive that might be, in general.
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