Human Nature not a constant ?

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Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

Maybe your right, maybe the one that uses the most bombs to kill the most people is the most evil..

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Nanos wrote:Maybe your right, maybe the one that uses the most bombs to kill the most people is the most evil..
In the war against Japan it was thought that ending the war with atomic weapons saved at least a million lives.

Moral calculations are difficult.

I'm reminded of the anti-nuclear protester who had a sign:

"Two Too Many"

Edward Teller was supposed to have remarked:

"One not enough"
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

Nanos wrote:Maybe your right, maybe the one that uses the most bombs to kill the most people is the most evil..
As opposed to people who kill with bullets, starvation, gas chambers, etc. ?


If you measure evil in body counts, than the left\liberal\socialists\communists, are the most evil groups of people in history.

Stalin,Hitler and Mao tse tung have killed over 100 million people between them.

Socialists all.


David

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

MirariNefas wrote:
Even for yourself, were you to face fear from people, (such as a jury) would you prefer them to be similar to you, or different ?
Well, if they were all white, it would make me uncomfortable. I'd feel that any system that selects monoethnic groups can't possibly represent my views.

And would I want them all to be from California, or all have the same level of education as I? Not really. I'd hope they have better education, frankly. I'm barely out of undergrad. And I don't care if they're from the East Coast or Canada or England, but I would draw the line at a place with fundamentally, radically different ethical and political values, like, say, Iran.
Yeah, unless you're in THEIR group ! Thats the whole point. They are naturally and instinctively scary because you aren't sure they will treat you fairly should they ever get in a position of power over you.
Agreed, but I think the point isn't just that they're scary because they look different, but they're scary because of what that means. I think that my upbringing has allowed me to base my sense of a tribe more on ethical philosophy than on appearances or customs. I assert that this is superior and a good goal for the whole world, because of course my tribe knows best.

But those people from those darn ethnically homogenous tribes... their values are just too different from my tribal values of tolerance and multiculturalism.


I'm thinking that your point is not what their design plan is (DNA) but rather how they are programed.

Well I agree. People who do not get programed correctly are dangerous, because the bootstrap default for humans is dangerous to other humans.


David

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

Oh indeed, there are many other ways than bombs, so it can be hard to figure out how many degrees more evil one approach is to another..

Its just the UK seems to spend an awful lot of time shipping bombs from its airfields and naturally that seemed to be the first thing that came to mind..

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

Nanos wrote:Maybe your right, maybe the one that uses the most bombs to kill the most people is the most evil..
Oh indeed, there are many other ways than bombs, so it can be hard to figure out how many degrees more evil one approach is to another..
Maybe so. I know these sorts of ethical calculations are difficult and vague, and people won't always agree. Maybe some people will think that Americans are the biggest evil, and some people will think that they're a darn sight better than certain other evils.

But trying to work out things like "most evil", and how that reflects in the programming of the people who support or effect those evils, is worthwhile. If you don't, you end up endorsing nazism, the legal murder of gay people and other "deviants" in Iran, female genital mutilation, so on and so forth. Looking at everyone and saying, "We're all pretty much alike," just removes any imperative for improvement.
ravingdave wrote: I'm thinking that your point is not what their design plan is (DNA) but rather how they are programed.
Exactly. My education is in a biological field, and it's really sunk in for me that genetically, all the different peoples of the world are basically the same, a few minor trait clusterings notwithstanding. But that doesn't make us all one big happy family. Our programming makes a huge difference in how well we can, or should, get along. Though it can be natural, racism is not necessary - but some form of discriminatory impulse is natural and necessary, and in my view, can even be useful. People from across the world can easily bridge cultural and racial divides, but only if they're programmed correctly.

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

I'm for improvement, but when you single out specific countries like for example Iran, and say its much worse there than here, yet here was probably suffer more gay people being killed and the authorities doing nothing about it, sure its less legal, but its happening.

I don't mind the finger of blame being pointed, but I don't like it when we try and prove we have the higher ground because our god is so much better than their god.

Its like the debate about a little bit of torture is ok because we are doing it in the best interests of our country, when as I see it, any amount of torture is evil no matter how you dress it up.

I suppose it comes down to double standards, and also the way that some countries (The US for example.) try and worm their way out of being responsible by having justifiable excuses for what they do, rather than just admiting that yes they supply bombs to allies to drop how they see fit, and somehow this is not as bad as other countries suppling arms to people to stop those allies trying to drop bombs on them..

Hence the, they are all just as bad as each other on the whole.

But, I would say, invading other peoples countries is the worst, whether you do it by military force, or economic shenanigans where the people starve to sell us cheap food..

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

MirariNefas wrote:
ravingdave wrote: I'm thinking that your point is not what their design plan is (DNA) but rather how they are programed.
Exactly. My education is in a biological field, and it's really sunk in for me that genetically, all the different peoples of the world are basically the same, a few minor trait clusterings notwithstanding. But that doesn't make us all one big happy family. Our programming makes a huge difference in how well we can, or should, get along. Though it can be natural, racism is not necessary - but some form of discriminatory impulse is natural and necessary, and in my view, can even be useful. People from across the world can easily bridge cultural and racial divides, but only if they're programmed correctly.

I've been saying for years that morality (social interaction programing) is important, and teaching kids one way is certainly better than teaching them another way, or letting them grow up with the default.

However we must keep in mind how these morals relate to the environment which surrounds us.

Modern ideas of morality can only survive in the environment which allowed them to develop. Take some of these notions to parts of the world that have very different Ideas, and evolution will sort you out as unfit to reproduce. :)




David

ravingdave
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Post by ravingdave »

Nanos wrote:I'm for improvement, but when you single out specific countries like for example Iran, and say its much worse there than here, yet here was probably suffer more gay people being killed and the authorities doing nothing about it, sure its less legal, but its happening.

I don't mind the finger of blame being pointed, but I don't like it when we try and prove we have the higher ground because our god is so much better than their god.

Its like the debate about a little bit of torture is ok because we are doing it in the best interests of our country, when as I see it, any amount of torture is evil no matter how you dress it up.

I suppose it comes down to double standards, and also the way that some countries (The US for example.) try and worm their way out of being responsible by having justifiable excuses for what they do, rather than just admiting that yes they supply bombs to allies to drop how they see fit, and somehow this is not as bad as other countries suppling arms to people to stop those allies trying to drop bombs on them..

Hence the, they are all just as bad as each other on the whole.

But, I would say, invading other peoples countries is the worst, whether you do it by military force, or economic shenanigans where the people starve to sell us cheap food..


I am completely in favor of torture for the right reasons and using the right methods. I recently read an account of a case in Germany where a man kidnapped a young boy and demanded ransom. When the man picked up the ransom, the police arrested him. The man refused to cooperate, and the police realizing that the young boy (who might be locked up somewhere with only his captor to insure he gets food or water) might die unless this man told them what he knew.
They proceeded to pound on him a bit, while threatening him that a "special agent" was comming to REALLY hurt him. The man decided to cooperate. The young boy was located and reunited with his father.

Of course the boy was dead, but police didn't know that until the man told them where to find the body. The argument still holds none the less.


Do you think torture was inappropriate in this case ?


David

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

Nanos wrote:I'm for improvement, but when you single out specific countries like for example Iran, and say its much worse there than here, yet here was probably suffer more gay people being killed and the authorities doing nothing about it, sure its less legal, but its happening.
Do you have any data to back this up, or do you just randomly think that all crimes are evenly distributed across the world?
Nanos wrote: I suppose it comes down to double standards, and also the way that some countries (The US for example.) try and worm their way out of being responsible by having justifiable excuses for what they do, rather than just admiting that yes they supply bombs to allies to drop how they see fit, and somehow this is not as bad as other countries suppling arms to people to stop those allies trying to drop bombs on them..

Hence the, they are all just as bad as each other on the whole.

But, I would say, invading other peoples countries is the worst, whether you do it by military force, or economic shenanigans where the people starve to sell us cheap food..
You seem to be a bit of a hypocrite, Nanos. You say you don't like singling out countries, obviously riled up when I dared to mention Iran, yet you do the same thing by singling out the US. You seem to think in black and white about evil actions, with everything being equal everywhere and there being no such thing as justification, yet somehow you think that invading a country is worse than any other evil action, for some reason. This makes me think don't really believe that we're all equally bad, but rather, we're all equally bad except for the US, who would have to be worse.
Nanos wrote:I don't mind the finger of blame being pointed, but I don't like it when we try and prove we have the higher ground because our god is so much better than their god.
Then stop trying to prove that you have a better god than me. Either you think this kind of moral debate has merit, or you don't.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Winston Churchill. ... "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."

==

The English are not the people they used to be. Morality of the better sort was their stock in trade. The places they colonized were better off than the places they didn't.

And now tyranny is just as good as self government as far as they are concerned. How sad. And how bad for the world.

Fortunately the USA has not lost its nerve yet. And in four years we will be back to our old tricks. Invading countries and helping the locals get reasonably good government.

Given the current climate in geopolitics there are days when I wish we had left you guys to the tender mercies of the Austrian Corporal. Now that wouldn't have been so bad would it?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

I am completely in favor of torture for the right reasons and using the right methods.
I agree, but I'm going to come out critical and say that the torture debate is rather tired. How often does it really come up anyway, outside of TV? That's a nice example you brought up, but the ultimate futility of the situation you mentioned suggests to me that there aren't a whole lot of situations where torture really was useful for you to draw from, or you'd have done so. So we're left with a debate being waged across years about something which might help one or two children in the next few decades.

I think it may be more useful to boil out the specifics, to the final question: is it okay to do bad things to bad people if it helps other people (presumably good ones)? And the answer that we as a society has always embraced is yes. We do this every time we restrict somebody's freedom of movement by imprisoning murderers. If this principle was ever under attack, I hope we'd see just as vigourous a defense, because there'd be a lot more at stake. But arguing about whether or not we can do slightly worse things to bad people seems like a lot of talk about very little.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

There was a Marine Colonel in Iraq who had a guy who wouldn't talk. He fired his pistol near the guy's head to make him give up information. He did and lives were saved.

The Marines cashiered the Colonel. He said he would do it again.

Now there was a stand up guy.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Nanos
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Post by Nanos »

> Do you have any data to back this up, or do you just randomly think
> that all crimes are evenly distributed across the world?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/1 ... .gayrights

Seems to suggest that crimes against gays are pretty common in the UK, and having lived myself in those sort of areas I can tell you they quickly target you if they think you are gay. (I'm not, but because I was single at the time and my neighbour heard I was watching Channel 4 TV, the channel that shows gay stuff sometimes, then I must be gay and spread the word locally..)

Just because we live in a nice democracy doesn't mean its probably that much different to anywhere else when it comes to crime. (Though I'm much in favour of guns, as US stats show where people are allowed guns to protect themselves, crime is lower.. and in the UK as we make it harder to get guns for honest folk, gun crime still goes up..)


> You seem to be a bit of a hypocrite, Nanos.

Sure, isn't one allowed to argue both sides of the fence..


> You say you don't like singling out countries, obviously riled up
> when I dared to mention Iran

Its the, whatever the flavour of the month bad country is, last year it was North Korea, but since they got themselves the bomb, suddenly your leaving them alone..

You could mention France for all I know as the next area you just have to invade to save everyone from themselves...


> yet you do the same thing by singling out the US.

Well, it seems only fair if others are going to single out places like Iran :-)


> You seem to think in black and white about evil actions

Well, my concern is do we draw the line according to the law, or do we ignore it for our own benefit, if so, then whats the point of the law if anyone of us can take it into our own hands because we reckon that maybe beating up a drug dealer is going to save some lives, so thats ok, or maybe beat up a suspected pedophile because we heard from someone who knew someone that so and so must be guilty..


And then, if your going to break the law when you feel like it, your suddenly horrified when other countries are doing the same, as if you have some special right over them.

Its like the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, is one side more right than the other, or are both sides wrong for trying to kill each other...


> as justification

Thats a bit tricky that one.

> somehow you think that invading a country is worse than any
> other evil action, for some reason.

Yeah, I dunno what it is, maybe its the total destruction of a peoples way of life, the massive death rate, how the wealth of the country is placed into the hands of the invaders, its pretty high on the evil scale to me.

I'm not sure, whats actually worse ?

Oh wait, I know, economic warfare, that kills far more and puts people into slavery, yes thats worse..


> all equally bad except for the US, who would have to be worse.

Well, someone has to be worse, when it was the Russians invading various countries, it was them, when Germany was doing it, it was them, when the British was doing it, it was us.

Now its your turn, stop trying to avoid responsibility and make out your the good guy when your not.

Unless of course, all those other people before you was also good guys...


> Then stop trying to prove that you have a better god than me.

I'm an athiest, so there is no god for me. But I was trying to point out that the US uses the, we are doing gods work, and other countries like say Iran say the same thing, so I don't see any difference there. Both are postering, its what leaders of countries do, isn't it..


> Either you think this kind of moral debate has merit, or you don't.

I think it has merit on the basis that evil when done in the name of a good deed, by those who think they are doing the right thing, can actually be the wrong thing, and unless someone stands up and points it out, no ones really going to think about it much and just continue doing it..

Like during Hitlers time, I'm sure many of the people doing wrong things then actually thought they was doing the right thing..

Who can tell, where do we draw the line ?

And once we have drawn the line, then why step over it ?


> I wish we had left you guys to the tender mercies of the Austrian
> Corporal. Now that wouldn't have been so bad would it?

Well, when you compare Germany industry with the UK, it probably wouldn't have been a made move for us in the end..

But in all honesty, I don't see a difference to what Hitler did, and what the US is doing now, they invaded, your invading, they killed people, your killing people. Didn't they ignore the Geneva Convention like the US is doing now... ?

http://larouchepub.com/other/2004/3126t ... memos.html


What next, the UK deciding that they should invade the US because its people need saving...

But that would be ok, wouldn't it, because we think its the right thing to do..

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

I may or may not decide to make a detailed response to that, but I'm noticing that you aren't thinking of me as me. You're arguing against some vague mass of people and opinions and using me as the spokesman. That isn't appropriate, and I'd like you to stop.

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