• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

Jokes about prison rape on men? Not a fan.

Bomb#20

Contributor
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
6,423
Location
California
Gender
It's a free country.
Basic Beliefs
Rationalism
Yes. You have a "revenge boner". A lot of people do. In this case "revenge boner" is a pejorative description of the desire to consummate revenge and experience a drive relief. It is a pejorative for any aroused emotional drive. You get "horny" but instead of that horniness to rub your dick, it's horniness to see someone else suffer during an act of revenge.
What have you got against boners? "You no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules, Your Eminence." In what way is you trying to shame somebody out of revenge substantively different from a priest trying to shame somebody out of masturbation?

It is a base instinct and one that rational humans should learn to either overcome or redirect.
Let me translate that piety into plain English for you: "Your moral judgments are emotional; my moral judgments are unemotional because I feel they are."

It doesn't matter where in the brain this conceptual revenge penis lives. It is an evolved drive. It is an evolved drive to serve a purpose, perhaps badly, but "good enough for the Paleolithic". Lots of things were good enough for the Paleolithic. They just aren't good enough for now. No amount of hand waving and wishing will get you past is-/>ought.
Let me translate that piety into plain English for you too: "Your moral judgments mistake is for ought; my moral judgments are immune to the is/ought problem, because reasons."

You need a goal to get there, and then select the path from (situation) to (goal) that has the best outcome.
How do you imagine you are forming your opinions as to what "rational humans should" do, and what things "aren't good enough", and which is "the best outcome", other than by "aroused emotional drive"? You throw Hume at others, you're going to get Hume thrown at you. "Reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions".

As Rhea stated, "rehab instead of punishment, and in cases when rehab is not possible, simply removal from public of the dangerous," is a much better model.
"Better", you say. Better by what criterion?

The only question is, do you think you can be more reasonable and rational than cave men. I joined these boards when it was still "freethought and rationalism discussion boards". "Letting my revenge boner steer me into revenge" is not a rational process, it is an emotional one.
Let's first see you show your hostility to boners is not an emotional process but a rational one; then we'll see if those you accuse of irrationality can meet whatever standard you hold yourself to.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
Beating the rapist up for raping would be just retribution.

Naturalistic fallacy.
Do you have any argument to back up that claim? I mean, it is obvious to me that it is false, but without any argument to back it up, I do not know why you might believe it. But I will hope that you are interested in a serious discussion, so let me show you why your claim is false. In fact, while my claim is true, even if my claim were false, it would not be an instance of the naturalistic fallacy.

My claim is based on an intuitive moral assessment. I use my own sense of right and wrong. It can also be based on evidence regarding what the human moral sense normally says, by looking at other monkeys. So, I can add that as evidence as well, though it is not necessary.

Now let us take a look at the naturalistic fallacy, which of course is not a fallacy, as those committing the fallacy do not need to be making any sort of logical error.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-non-naturalism/#NatFal

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/53430/53430-h/53430-h.htm#Sec_14

Moore said:
‘Good,’ then, if we mean by it that quality which we assert to belong to a thing, when we say that the thing is good, is incapable of any definition, in the most important sense of that word. The most important sense of ‘definition’ is that in which a definition states what are the parts which invariably compose a certain whole; and in this sense ‘good’ has no definition because it is simple and has no parts. It is one of[p. 10] those innumerable objects of thought which are themselves incapable of definition, because they are the ultimate terms by reference to which whatever is capable of definition must be defined. That there must be an indefinite number of such terms is obvious, on reflection; since we cannot define anything except by an analysis, which, when carried as far as it will go, refers us to something, which is simply different from anything else, and which by that ultimate difference explains the peculiarity of the whole which we are defining: for every whole contains some parts which are common to other wholes also. There is, therefore, no intrinsic difficulty in the contention that ‘good’ denotes a simple and indefinable quality. There are many other instances of such qualities.

Consider yellow, for example. We may try to define it, by describing its physical equivalent; we may state what kind of light-vibrations must stimulate the normal eye, in order that we may perceive it. But a moment’s reflection is sufficient to shew that those light-vibrations are not themselves what we mean by yellow. They are not what we perceive. Indeed we should never have been able to discover their existence, unless we had first been struck by the patent difference of quality between the different colours. The most we can be entitled to say of those vibrations is that they are what corresponds in space to the yellow which we actually perceive.

Yet a mistake of this simple kind has commonly been made about ‘good.’ It may be true that all things which are good are also something else, just as it is true that all things which are yellow produce a certain kind of vibration in the light. And it is a fact, that Ethics aims at discovering what are those other properties belonging to all things which are good. But far too many philosophers have thought that when they named those other properties they were actually defining good; that these properties, in fact, were simply not ‘other,’ but absolutely and entirely the same with goodness. This view I propose to call the ‘naturalistic fallacy’ and of it I shall now endeavour to dispose.


and

Moore said:
Suppose a man says ‘I am pleased’; and suppose that is not a lie or a mistake but the truth. Well, if it is true, what does that mean? It means that his mind, a certain definite mind, distinguished by certain definite marks from all others, has at this moment a certain definite feeling called pleasure. ‘Pleased’ means nothing but having pleasure, and though we may be more pleased or less pleased, and even, we may admit for the present, have one or another kind of pleasure; yet in so far as it is pleasure we have, whether there be more or less of it, and whether it be of one kind or another, what we have is[p. 13] one definite thing, absolutely indefinable, some one thing that is the same in all the various degrees and in all the various kinds of it that there may be. We may be able to say how it is related to other things: that, for example, it is in the mind, that it causes desire, that we are conscious of it, etc., etc. We can, I say, describe its relations to other things, but define it we can not. And if anybody tried to define pleasure for us as being any other natural object; if anybody were to say, for instance, that pleasure means the sensation of red, and were to proceed to deduce from that that pleasure is a colour, we should be entitled to laugh at him and to distrust his future statements about pleasure. Well, that would be the same fallacy which I have called the naturalistic fallacy. That ‘pleased’ does not mean ‘having the sensation of red,’ or anything else whatever, does not prevent us from understanding what it does mean. It is enough for us to know that ‘pleased’ does mean ‘having the sensation of pleasure,’ and though pleasure is absolutely indefinable, though pleasure is pleasure and nothing else whatever, yet we feel no difficulty in saying that we are pleased. The reason is, of course, that when I say ‘I am pleased,’ I do not mean that ‘I’ am the same thing as ‘having pleasure.’ And similarly no difficulty need be found in my saying that ‘pleasure is good’ and yet not meaning that ‘pleasure’ is the same thing as ‘good,’ that pleasure means good, and that good means pleasure. If I were to imagine that when I said ‘I am pleased,’ I meant that I was exactly the same thing as ‘pleased,’ I should not indeed call that a naturalistic fallacy, although it would be the same fallacy as I have called naturalistic with reference to Ethics. The reason of this is obvious enough. When a man confuses two natural objects with one another, defining the one, by the other, if for instance, he confuses himself, who is one natural object, with ‘pleased’ or with ‘pleasure’ which are others, then there is no reason to call the fallacy naturalistic. But if he confuses ‘good,’ which is not in the same sense a natural object, with any natural object whatever, then there is a reason for calling that a naturalistic fallacy; its being made with regard to ‘good’ marks it as something quite specific, and this specific mistake deserves a name because it is so common.[p. 14] As for the reasons why good is not to be considered a natural object, they may be reserved for discussion in another place. But, for the present, it is sufficient to notice this: Even if it were a natural object, that would not alter the nature of the fallacy nor diminish its importance one whit. All that I have said about it would remain quite equally true: only the name which I have called it would not be so appropriate as I think it is. And I do not care about the name: what I do care about is the fallacy. It does not matter what we call it, provided we recognise it when we meet with it. It is to be met with in almost every book on Ethics; and yet it is not recognised: and that is why it is necessary to multiply illustrations of it, and convenient to give it a name. It is a very simple fallacy indeed. When we say that an orange is yellow, we do not think our statement binds us to hold that ‘orange’ means nothing else than ‘yellow,’ or that nothing can be yellow but an orange. Supposing the orange is also sweet! Does that bind us to say that ‘sweet’ is exactly the same thing as ‘yellow,’ that ‘sweet’ must be defined as ‘yellow’? And supposing it be recognised that ‘yellow’ just means ‘yellow’ and nothing else whatever, does that make it any more difficult to hold that oranges are yellow? Most certainly it does not: on the contrary, it would be absolutely meaningless to say that oranges were yellow, unless yellow did in the end mean just ‘yellow’ and nothing else whatever—unless it was absolutely indefinable. We should not get any very clear notion about things, which are yellow—we should not get very far with our science, if we were bound to hold that everything which was yellow, meant exactly the same thing as yellow. We should find we had to hold that an orange was exactly the same thing as a stool, a piece of paper, a lemon, anything you like. We could prove any number of absurdities; but should we be the nearer to the truth? Why, then, should it be different with ‘good’? Why, if good is good and indefinable, should I be held to deny that pleasure is good? Is there any difficulty in holding both to be true at once? On the contrary, there is no meaning in saying that pleasure is good, unless good is something different from pleasure. It is absolutely useless, so far as Ethics is concerned, to prove, as Mr Spencer[p. 15] tries to do, that increase of pleasure coincides with increase of life, unless good means something different from either life or pleasure. He might just as well try to prove that an orange is yellow by shewing that it always is wrapped up in paper.
I recommend reading the whole thing if you're interested, but despite Moore's lack of clarity in some passages, this so-called "fallacy" would consist in holding that by "good" (or some other moral term) we mean the same as "pleasure", or some other so-called "natural" property. Now, perhaps the natural/non-natural classification Moore is trying to make is just meaningless. Or maybe not. But either way, the "fallacy" - whether called "naturalistic" or not - is about identifying the meaning of moral terms with that of something that can be described in non-moral terms (where "moral" terms wold be defined by ostension, e.g., 'immoral', 'unethical', 'morally permissible', but not 'cat', 'green', etc. )

Obviously, I made no such claims at all in this thread. If you think I did, quote me.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
Jarhyn said:
At this point, I think I'm fairly well justified writing AM off with the rest? I hate building such a collection. Like, what is it about conservatives assuming their premises?
People committed to an ideology/religion tend to see me as a member of the group they hate.
For example, most right-wingers I have debated believed I am a left-winger. Without justification, they attributed to me beliefs and intentions that left-wingers usually have but I do not, as well as beliefs that left-wingers usually do not have and I do not have but right-wingers usually accuse left-wingers of having.
For example, most left-wingers I have debated believed I am a right-winger. Without justification, they attributed to me beliefs and intentions that right-wingers usually have but I do not, as well as beliefs that right-wingers usually do not have and I do not have but left-wingers usually accuse right-wingers of having.

Here is an example of rape victims demanding that the perpetrators be punished. By your criteria, these victims are acting on their revenge boners, and being unreasonable, it seems.


Jarhyn said:
It's like they have fallacy blindness. Which makes some sense, to me.
Of course, you have no reason to remotely suspect that I committed a fallacy. Of course, the naturalistic fallacy is not at all a fallacy. Of course, I did not commit the naturalistic fallacy. Of course, you will almost certainly never realize any of that. You will double down, trible down, cuadruple down. But I speak for readers, not for you, or just (hopefully) stop.


Jarhyn said:
Like they claim all through this that it's tilting against windmills to expect people to be better when there are clear examples of people shifting to restorative justice rather than retributive justice functionally.
Obviously, that is not remotely what I claimed. My position is that you are trying to destroy an important part of human morality, which would make people worse, blind to justice, etc., though you mistakenly believe that that would make people better. And I also say that you're going up against human nature on this one, so even Woke power will not suffice.


Jarhyn said:
Like, this person, with their idiotic posts, doesn't seem to understand that we use our reason to overcome our emotions all the time.
Like, you believe you remotely understand my posts, but you just go with ideology to condemn me. Of course we can use reason. But reason does not tell us what to do without goals. Reason does not give us ultimate goals, but only means to ends once we have our ends. And one of the things that gives us ends is our moral sense, which includes a sense of just retribution.



Jarhyn said:
They don't seem to understand that we are not talking about how eyes or particular moral machinery works but rather about how math and systems of axioms work.
Of course, math and axioms will provide no guide to moral knowledge on their own. You need a human moral sense for that, or at least a sufficiently close one to some extent (as found in other species, some extinct).
Jarhyn said:
Regardless, there's clearly nothing there beyond excuses. It's sad.
It is sad that you are intelligent enough to understand why you are so wrong, but you almost certainly never will. How do I make that assessment? I have already encountered a gazillion people - both leftists and rightists - who, like you, follow their ideology, grossly misconstrue what their opponents say (though, I grant, they believe what they say of their opponents), and remain in error for the rest of their lives. Some of their biggest errors is about what their opponents believe, intend, or generally are about. They attack caricatures.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WAB

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
Keith&Co said:
Beating the rapist up for raping would be just retribution.
how much justice is just, though?
If i rape one person, then i get raped, that seems just.
But if i rape three people, what's just? Each of my victims suffered one rape, one unit of mental and physical harm. Would my being raped once equal the harm i have inflicted on each victim? Or is it not just until i have been raped three times?
Or if i rape five people seven times? Where's the sweet spot for justice counter-rape?

And assuming that there are answers to these questions, how do the justice rapists know when they have achieved justice with justified rapes? When do they stop? Or do they just continue raping after justice us served?

Because that would be unjust, a justice raper throwing the scales to the rapist's favor, but they're both still in prison.

Or justice beaters.
Or justice bullies.
Or justice whatever we do

Let us go through your points in detail.

Keith&Co said:
If i rape one person, then i get raped, that seems just.
No, that seems unjust. The reasons are several, but mostly the person who rapes you does not rape you as a means of retribution for the rape you committed. Rather, he rapes you mostly for fun, or to show his power, or some such reason. Moreover, even if a person intended to punish you for the rape, he should realize that raping you is not an adequate means, as it is very difficult to control his own emotions and not make it for some reason other than retribution.

Fortunately, there is more than one punishment that is fitting for a crime, usually. For example, beatings would be okay, but so is imprisonment. In the past, there was no possibility of imprisonment due to a lack of resources, so beatings were the way to go. Nowadays, more than one just punishment is available. Of course, whether it is morally acceptable to inflict a just punishment depends on different variables, including consequences. But that is a different matter.

Keith&Co said:
But if i rape three people, what's just? Each of my victims suffered one rape, one unit of mental and physical harm. Would my being raped once equal the harm i have inflicted on each victim? Or is it not just until i have been raped three times?
As I mentioned, there is more than one available punishment. In this case, more prison time and more beatings would do. But how do we assess that?
As is normally the case with ethical questions, we contemplate a scenario and use our own sense of right and wrong. We do this to assess, on a case by case basis, what is morally permissible, or impermissible, or what is just or unjust. Our sense of morality is not infallible, but normally and usually it is good enough. We can of course also get some evidence by looking at the judgments made, in that particular case, by other people.

Alas, finding general principles is extremely difficult. But it is not more so for what is just and what is not just than it is for what is ethical or what is unethical, reasonable or unreasonable, and so on. Fortunately, in normal and usual cases we manage to figure things out.

Keith&Co said:
Or if i rape five people seven times? Where's the sweet spot for justice counter-rape?
It would not be counter-rape (see above), but apart from that, if you are looking for a general principle, you will likely not find it. It's extremely difficult. What we have is a system that works on a case by case basis.


Still, for your particular scenario, I would go with more prison and/or beatings.


Keith&Co said:
And assuming that there are answers to these questions, how do the justice rapists know when they have achieved justice with justified rapes? When do they stop? Or do they just continue raping after justice us served?
Well, it would not be with rape. But other than that, as usual with ethical questions, we decide on a case by case basis using our sense of right and wrong. That goes for assessments of justice, or of moral obligation, etc. .


Keith&Co said:
Or justice beaters.
Or justice bullies.
Or justice whatever we do
Or imprisoners. Or executioners. It applies to all of it. But the argument you give fails. An interesting point is that you are making a moral argument. You are trying to appeal to the readers moral senses. Your argument is not good, but the idea of appealing to another person's moral sense is the right one. That is how you argue morality, in principle. And that is so because we humans do have a built-in moral sense with which we can usually tell right from wrong, good from evil, just from unjust.

As for rape, when actual victims of rape demand that the perpetrators be punished, they are not acting on unreasonable revenge boners. They want revenge. But it is just. Those who raped them for fun or to make them suffer or both, deserve to be punished and suffer for what they did.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
Rhea said:
English Speaking People said:
While they're closely related concepts, morals refer mainly to guiding principles, and ethics refer to specific rules and actions, or behaviors. A moralprecept is an idea or opinion that's driven by a desire to be good. An ethical code is a set of rules that defines allowable actions or correct behavior.
You may want to develop your vocabulary in this area.
I used the word "unethical" meaning the same as "immoral". That is correct English usage. Jarhyn decided to attack me for that. If you do realize that "unethical" and "immoral" mean the same in what is by far the most common usage in English, then you should realize that your charge is unwarranted. If you do not realize that "unethical" and "immoral" mean the same in what is by far the most common usage in English, then you should realize that.

I will get to the rest of your points later.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Do you have any argument to back up that claim? I mean, it is obvious to me that it is false, but without any argument to back it up, I do not know why you might believe it. But I will hope that you are interested in a serious discussion, so let me show you why your claim is false. In fact, while my claim is true, even if my claim were false, it would not be an instance of the naturalistic fallacy.

My claim is based on an intuitive moral assessment. I use my own sense of right and wrong. It can also be based on evidence regarding what the human moral sense normally says, by looking at other monkeys. So, I can add that as evidence as well, though it is not necessary.

Now let us take a look at the naturalistic fallacy, which of course is not a fallacy, as those committing the fallacy do not need to be making any sort of logical error.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-non-naturalism/#NatFal

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/53430/53430-h/53430-h.htm#Sec_14

Moore said:
‘Good,’ then, if we mean by it that quality which we assert to belong to a thing, when we say that the thing is good, is incapable of any definition, in the most important sense of that word. The most important sense of ‘definition’ is that in which a definition states what are the parts which invariably compose a certain whole; and in this sense ‘good’ has no definition because it is simple and has no parts. It is one of[p. 10] those innumerable objects of thought which are themselves incapable of definition, because they are the ultimate terms by reference to which whatever is capable of definition must be defined. That there must be an indefinite number of such terms is obvious, on reflection; since we cannot define anything except by an analysis, which, when carried as far as it will go, refers us to something, which is simply different from anything else, and which by that ultimate difference explains the peculiarity of the whole which we are defining: for every whole contains some parts which are common to other wholes also. There is, therefore, no intrinsic difficulty in the contention that ‘good’ denotes a simple and indefinable quality. There are many other instances of such qualities.

Consider yellow, for example. We may try to define it, by describing its physical equivalent; we may state what kind of light-vibrations must stimulate the normal eye, in order that we may perceive it. But a moment’s reflection is sufficient to shew that those light-vibrations are not themselves what we mean by yellow. They are not what we perceive. Indeed we should never have been able to discover their existence, unless we had first been struck by the patent difference of quality between the different colours. The most we can be entitled to say of those vibrations is that they are what corresponds in space to the yellow which we actually perceive.

Yet a mistake of this simple kind has commonly been made about ‘good.’ It may be true that all things which are good are also something else, just as it is true that all things which are yellow produce a certain kind of vibration in the light. And it is a fact, that Ethics aims at discovering what are those other properties belonging to all things which are good. But far too many philosophers have thought that when they named those other properties they were actually defining good; that these properties, in fact, were simply not ‘other,’ but absolutely and entirely the same with goodness. This view I propose to call the ‘naturalistic fallacy’ and of it I shall now endeavour to dispose.


and

Moore said:
Suppose a man says ‘I am pleased’; and suppose that is not a lie or a mistake but the truth. Well, if it is true, what does that mean? It means that his mind, a certain definite mind, distinguished by certain definite marks from all others, has at this moment a certain definite feeling called pleasure. ‘Pleased’ means nothing but having pleasure, and though we may be more pleased or less pleased, and even, we may admit for the present, have one or another kind of pleasure; yet in so far as it is pleasure we have, whether there be more or less of it, and whether it be of one kind or another, what we have is[p. 13] one definite thing, absolutely indefinable, some one thing that is the same in all the various degrees and in all the various kinds of it that there may be. We may be able to say how it is related to other things: that, for example, it is in the mind, that it causes desire, that we are conscious of it, etc., etc. We can, I say, describe its relations to other things, but define it we can not. And if anybody tried to define pleasure for us as being any other natural object; if anybody were to say, for instance, that pleasure means the sensation of red, and were to proceed to deduce from that that pleasure is a colour, we should be entitled to laugh at him and to distrust his future statements about pleasure. Well, that would be the same fallacy which I have called the naturalistic fallacy. That ‘pleased’ does not mean ‘having the sensation of red,’ or anything else whatever, does not prevent us from understanding what it does mean. It is enough for us to know that ‘pleased’ does mean ‘having the sensation of pleasure,’ and though pleasure is absolutely indefinable, though pleasure is pleasure and nothing else whatever, yet we feel no difficulty in saying that we are pleased. The reason is, of course, that when I say ‘I am pleased,’ I do not mean that ‘I’ am the same thing as ‘having pleasure.’ And similarly no difficulty need be found in my saying that ‘pleasure is good’ and yet not meaning that ‘pleasure’ is the same thing as ‘good,’ that pleasure means good, and that good means pleasure. If I were to imagine that when I said ‘I am pleased,’ I meant that I was exactly the same thing as ‘pleased,’ I should not indeed call that a naturalistic fallacy, although it would be the same fallacy as I have called naturalistic with reference to Ethics. The reason of this is obvious enough. When a man confuses two natural objects with one another, defining the one, by the other, if for instance, he confuses himself, who is one natural object, with ‘pleased’ or with ‘pleasure’ which are others, then there is no reason to call the fallacy naturalistic. But if he confuses ‘good,’ which is not in the same sense a natural object, with any natural object whatever, then there is a reason for calling that a naturalistic fallacy; its being made with regard to ‘good’ marks it as something quite specific, and this specific mistake deserves a name because it is so common.[p. 14] As for the reasons why good is not to be considered a natural object, they may be reserved for discussion in another place. But, for the present, it is sufficient to notice this: Even if it were a natural object, that would not alter the nature of the fallacy nor diminish its importance one whit. All that I have said about it would remain quite equally true: only the name which I have called it would not be so appropriate as I think it is. And I do not care about the name: what I do care about is the fallacy. It does not matter what we call it, provided we recognise it when we meet with it. It is to be met with in almost every book on Ethics; and yet it is not recognised: and that is why it is necessary to multiply illustrations of it, and convenient to give it a name. It is a very simple fallacy indeed. When we say that an orange is yellow, we do not think our statement binds us to hold that ‘orange’ means nothing else than ‘yellow,’ or that nothing can be yellow but an orange. Supposing the orange is also sweet! Does that bind us to say that ‘sweet’ is exactly the same thing as ‘yellow,’ that ‘sweet’ must be defined as ‘yellow’? And supposing it be recognised that ‘yellow’ just means ‘yellow’ and nothing else whatever, does that make it any more difficult to hold that oranges are yellow? Most certainly it does not: on the contrary, it would be absolutely meaningless to say that oranges were yellow, unless yellow did in the end mean just ‘yellow’ and nothing else whatever—unless it was absolutely indefinable. We should not get any very clear notion about things, which are yellow—we should not get very far with our science, if we were bound to hold that everything which was yellow, meant exactly the same thing as yellow. We should find we had to hold that an orange was exactly the same thing as a stool, a piece of paper, a lemon, anything you like. We could prove any number of absurdities; but should we be the nearer to the truth? Why, then, should it be different with ‘good’? Why, if good is good and indefinable, should I be held to deny that pleasure is good? Is there any difficulty in holding both to be true at once? On the contrary, there is no meaning in saying that pleasure is good, unless good is something different from pleasure. It is absolutely useless, so far as Ethics is concerned, to prove, as Mr Spencer[p. 15] tries to do, that increase of pleasure coincides with increase of life, unless good means something different from either life or pleasure. He might just as well try to prove that an orange is yellow by shewing that it always is wrapped up in paper.
I recommend reading the whole thing if you're interested, but despite Moore's lack of clarity in some passages, this so-called "fallacy" would consist in holding that by "good" (or some other moral term) we mean the same as "pleasure", or some other so-called "natural" property. Now, perhaps the natural/non-natural classification Moore is trying to make is just meaningless. Or maybe not. But either way, the "fallacy" - whether called "naturalistic" or not - is about identifying the meaning of moral terms with that of something that can be described in non-moral terms (where "moral" terms wold be defined by ostension, e.g., 'immoral', 'unethical', 'morally permissible', but not 'cat', 'green', etc. )

Obviously, I made no such claims at all in this thread. If you think I did, quote me.

I got my definition here:

"The naturalistic fallacy is an informal logical fallacy which argues that if something is ‘natural’ it must be good. It is closely related to the is/ought fallacy – when someone tries to infer what ‘ought’ to be done from what ‘is’".

Ethics Explainer: Naturalistic Fallacy
https://ethics.org.au/ethics-explai...naturalistic fallacy is an,done from what 'is'.

Now, maybe that's not the naturalistic fallacy, maybe the writer of that piece got it wrong. Maybe it's just not Moore's naturalistic fallacy. Maybe it's more like the is-ought problem. Whatever. It's what you're doing, and it's flawed. To go from 'it's natural' to 'it's right' is unwarranted. Save yourself another wall of text because I'm not especially interested in discussing it at length with you. Plus we've done it before, and I didn't buy it then. Not even slightly. Because it's very flawed indeed, imo.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
Rhea said:
I don’t think you really provided any evidence here, and I do not accept your claim that it is widespread. If revenge punishment was widespread, society would look very different than it does. Road rage is the exception that proves the rule: The fact that it’s an exception demonstrates that lack of widespread retribution is the rule.
I did provide evidence just by pointing to how people usually behave. But if you disagree, I suggest you take a look at how people behave.

That aside, let us take a look at your substantive claims.

For the vast majority of time humans have been around, there were no prisons, nor the capability to build them. What do you think was done to those who rape people for fun? To serial killers?
Well, survivors or friends, family members, etc. (depending on the case) wanted of course revenge. But so did others. There is a very strong punitive sentiment. There is a feeling of moral outrage at what someone did, and the desire that they suffer the consequences. Those including beatings, shunning, or execution.

Of course, those were small proportion of cases. Punishments for wrongdoings happened all the time, at a much lower scale, as those were much smaller wrongdoings.

What about the present?
Well, in the present time, there are prisons. But the vast majority of retributive punishments still happen, at a much lower scale, involving much smaller wrongdoings.

Now, when it comes to behaviors that deserve bigger punishments, of course beatings, executions, etc. are still deserved. But then, alternatively, imprisonment is also deserved. There are more possibilities. And a person should weigh whether the good that comes from doing justice (e.g., beating up a perpetrator) justifies the bad that comes out of breaking the law, potentially undermining social peace. That depends on the circumstances.

In present-day society, nearly all of the just retribution still happens at the hands of individuals and does not involve law-breaking (minor punishment for minor wrongdoings, like telling people they should not behave that way in a way that shames them in front of others, etc.), but most of the "big" punishments seem to happen at the hands of the judiciary. They are just as long as the judges remember they are doing it for the purpose of giving the perpetrators what they deserve, if not only at least as one of the purposes (and the main one). It becomes unjust when the retributive motivation goes away.


Rhea said:
This claim assumes that the conditions of paleolithic life are still present. They are not. There is significantly more security in life. There are many more ethical rules than then, No, you do not show that we are still compelled by the same reactions. Our urges are dulled by safety, no longer automatic, no longer unrestrained. Our moral sense is not the same due to the lack of stress and trauma - they simply do not express themselves, they are biologically not present, just like the domestication of dogs.
No, it does not assume so. Our moral sense allows us to tell right from wrong, just from unjust, good from evil, and also motivates us. If the motivation to to good, justice, the right thing, etc., is weakened - I do not think it is -, well that is too bad, as morality has been undermined. But I see no evidence of that.

But let me try in a different way: when we have to assess what is just or unjust, what means do we have?
You can say we have reason. Sure, but that's not enough. Reason tells you what follows from what, or what consequences are probable given certain events. But it does not tell you what is just or unjust. You can only use reason to, say, predict consequences. But then, you have to use other means. The usual way is the human moral sense. If you think you have another, what is it?

Now, you say the moral sense is not the same. But what do you mean by that? Has the moral sense become less accurate at ascertaining whether some behavior is unethical, for example? If so, that is too bad. But why would I think it is so?

Maybe you think it has become more accurate. But how is it that it did? Further evolution? Let's go with that. Great! So, we have a more accurate moral sense. But the fact remains that the means that we have to assess what is good or evil, ethical or unethical, just or unjust, is our moral sense, and secondarily observations of judgments made by others using their own moral sense.

Otherwise, how did our moral sense get to work better (assuming it did)? Better living conditions? So, we are better at telling right from wrong, just from unjust, etc., than people who live in tribes in the Amazon for instance? Well, then good for us (I'm not saying that's the case, just considering options given your claim). But again, it is our moral sense the tool that it is proper to use.


Rhea said:
Angra Mainyu said:
I, on the other hand, do not use your terminology. I use "immoral" and "unethical" to mean the same thing,
I thought it was weird that you’d say you don’t use those words the same way, so to double check I looked up how the rest of the english speaking world uses them...
But I do use the words 'immoral' and 'unethical' the same way, so nothing weird.


Rhea said:
English Speaking People said:
While they're closely related concepts, morals refer mainly to guiding principles, and ethics refer to specific rules and actions, or behaviors. A moralprecept is an idea or opinion that's driven by a desire to be good. An ethical code is a set of rules that defines allowable actions or correct behavior.

You may want to develop your vocabulary in this area.
I do not know who these "English Speaking People" are. It is rather obvious to me that in a very common English usage (the most common one by far, at least in the cases I've encountered), "immoral" and "unethical" mean the same.

But regardless, let's say that I'm mistaken. Maybe I have encountered unusual cases. Then I what I meant is "immoral", "morally wrong", "morally impermissible", etc., and my substantive points go through.


Rhea said:
For you, perhaps. But not for vast swaths of humanity.
No, for nearly no one. Many believe so due to their ideology/religion. But look at what monkeys do, not at what religious monkeys say.

Rhea said:
It’s a little chilling to have you express that you find this obvious and universal, indicating that you behave this way on a regular basis, while the rest of us do not. Do you have to fight with yourself daily to avoid punishing those around you in road rage or anti-mask abuse or workplae violence?
First, obviously, the vast majority of wrongdoings are minor wrongdoings that do not justify the use of violence.
Second, I have no interest whatsoever in doing violence against anyone at my work place. They do not do unjust violence against me (or any violence, really), so it would obviously be unjust and immoral on my part.

Rhea said:
We simply do not feel the need to punish.. There is no urge, we do not have to fight it.
You got it really wrong. There is abundant evidence all over all of these threads. You will see people attacking each other all the time. Despite their religion/ideology, they are often acting - and you should be able to see it - on punitive sentiments, even if often misplaced. But imagine instead what happens when people commit much more serious offenses than insults, mirepresentations, demonization, etc. in an online forum. Or better yet: do not imagine it, but take a look. Instead of looking for counterexamples to make your case, try to look at the evidence as a whole, at what usually happens.



Rhea said:
This response again assumes that your outlook is the norm. That your outlook is “ordinary,” and the rest of us are saying that grass is blue. Which, #1, can you tell me where you live so that I can never stumble across you? And #2, is shown to be false by how many people do not walk around in a rage of unrequited punishment.

#1: It's already below my name: Buenos Aires. But beyond that, what you are doing is an unjust assault against me. What motivated you? Anger perhaps? Moral indignation? Are you punishing me? If not, then why would you ask something like "can you tell me where you live so that I can never stumble across you? "?

#2: Of course that is not remotely true.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
My position is that you are trying to destroy an important part of human morality, which would make people worse, blind to justice, etc., though you mistakenly believe that that would make people better. And I also say that you're going up against human nature on this one, so even Woke power will not suffice.

They used to have public hangings, and crowds would come. Now they don't have public hangings. I suppose you would say that's not a good thing, that it's made people worse, because people have been deprived of a natural behaviour.

You yourself are inclined towards retribution. Many people are, probably by far the most, to at least some extent. That doesn't make it right. Yes, it's probably part of our evolved nature, but our nature is neither static nor simple. It's made up of a lot of different things and is often situational, and can be nuanced. There are alternatives. Forgiveness for example. That's another functional component of our contradictory nature. You could not show that retribution is more right than forgiveness before, and you can't do it now, no matter how many examples of humans and other apes being retributive you cite. Forgiveness is always one of the flies in the ointment of your simplistic theory.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
ruby sparks said:
I got my definition here:

"The naturalistic fallacy is an informal logical fallacy which argues that if something is ‘natural’ it must be good. It is closely related to the is/ought fallacy – when someone tries to infer what ‘ought’ to be done from what ‘is’".

Ethics Explainer: Naturalistic Fallacy
https://ethics.org.au/ethics-explai...naturalistic fallacy is an,done from what 'is'.

Now, maybe that's not the naturalistic fallacy, maybe the writer of that piece got it wrong. Maybe it's just not Moore's naturalistic fallacy. Maybe it's more like the is-ought problem. Whatever. It's what you're doing, and it's flawed. To go from 'it's natural' to 'it's right' is unwarranted. Save yourself another wall of text because I'm not that interested in discussing at length with you what is already obviously the case. Plus we've done it before, and I didn't buy it then. Not even slightly. Because it's very flawed indeed. Maybe someone else will discuss it with you.
It is not the naturalistic fallacy (that is a technical term), which I explained and provided links to. But regardless of terminology, your accusation is both false and unwarranted. Let me point out that I do not claim that anything is "natural". The term "natural" seems to vague to be useful in these contexts. In particular, I do not argue that just because something is natural, it must be good. You really do not understand what I am saying. Which is okay. But it's not okay to misrepresent my words.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
My position is that you are trying to destroy an important part of human morality, which would make people worse, blind to justice, etc., though you mistakenly believe that that would make people better. And I also say that you're going up against human nature on this one, so even Woke power will not suffice.

They used to have public hangings, and crowds would come. Now they don't have public hangings. I suppose you would say that's not a good thing, that it's made people worse, because people have been deprived of a natural behaviour.

Of course I do not say that. It's not even close. You just make something up about me.
But regardless, let us take a look at the public hangings in question. Were they just? Sometimes, they were. Sometimes, they were not. Very often, people who did not deserve to be punished - or deserved a much lesser punishment - were being hanged in unjust revenge. So, it is better overall that they do not have them anymore.
But there is more: during public hangings, many people wanted to hang others while not having sufficient reasons to believe the hanging was deserved. That's pretty bad. So, good thing it's not there anymore.
 

Rhea

Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
Joined
Feb 1, 2001
Messages
13,341
Location
Recluse
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
Rhea said:
This response again assumes that your outlook is the norm. That your outlook is “ordinary,” and the rest of us are saying that grass is blue. Which, #1, can you tell me where you live so that I can never stumble across you? And #2, is shown to be false by how many people do not walk around in a rage of unrequited punishment.

#1: It's already below my name: Buenos Aires. But beyond that, what you are doing is an unjust assault against me. What motivated you? Anger perhaps? Moral indignation? Are you punishing me? If not, then why would you ask something like "can you tell me where you live so that I can never stumble across you? "?


Anger? No. I am quite sanguine at the moment.
Moral inignation? Nope.
Punishing? Only if you feel your life is less wonderful without ever having met me. (Some people think that, but I don’t expect you’re one of them)
Nay, it is merely caution. You have stated that you think it is right to inflict punishment when you think people have wronged you. I feel it’s prudent to stay away from people who think like that.
#2: Of course that is not remotely true.
I feel the evidence is easy to see in my society. Including the tearful pleas of a murder victim’s family that the murderer NOT be put to death that we saw in the news just this week. More commonly, as I have said, all of the cases where people are wronged and do NOT seek to punish. I find that looking around at people and the news stories that bring me events from beyond my tiny town, that I do not see any evidence that large numbers of people find retribution a necessaary part of their moral character.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
Rhea said:
Anger? No. I am quite sanguine at the moment.
Great.
Rhea said:
Moral inignation? Nope.
Oh, so you do not believe I did something that deserves punishment. That's good because I did not. Then why such an attack?

Rhea said:
Punishing? Only if you feel your life is less wonderful without ever having met me. (Some people think that, but I don’t expect you’re one of them)
Obviously, the punishment would not be not to meet you. The punishment consists in the accusation that is implicit in the question, that it would be reasonable for you to avoid even traveling to where I live out of fear that I would physically attack you. In other words, why the attack?

Rhea said:
Nay, it is merely caution. You have stated that you think it is right to inflict punishment when you think people have wronged you. I feel it’s prudent to stay away from people who think like that.
Of course, I said it depends on the circumstances whether it is acceptable. I said some people deserve to be punished. Whether it's okay to punish them is another matter. But true, it often is, and it does not take the form of breaking the law, but - for example - it takes the form of pointing out that they have engaged in wrongful behavior, more or less publicly - how publicly also depends on the case.

But just think, for a moment, what you are saying. You are implying it is rational on your part to avoid being around me because I might assault you - and even without having the slightest idea of who you are. And you think that that is a rational assessment on the basis of what you read here. Could you read my posts again, and try to make an assessment again?

Rhea said:
I feel the evidence is easy to see in my society. Including the tearful pleas of a murder victim’s family that the murderer NOT be put to death that we saw in the news just this week.
Yes, you can find a minuscule proportion of people who do that. That's not how you look for evidence of ordinary human behavior, though.

Rhea said:
More commonly, as I have said, all of the cases where people are wronged and do NOT seek to punish. I find that looking around at people and the news stories that bring me events from beyond my tiny town, that I do not see any evidence that large numbers of people find retribution a necessaary part of their moral character.
That is hard to believe, given what I actually see and human history. But just take a look at some of these threads, at how people react to each other. How they attack each other. They are often morally outraged, and exacting retribution - even if often misguided due to their ideologies.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
You really do not understand what I am saying. Which is okay. But it's not okay to misrepresent my words.

We did this at great length before and you explained yourself many times, with many examples and in a lot of detail. I understand it, but I don't buy it, partly (a) because you go from is to ought, but also partly (b) because you are only looking at one instinct, instead of the more complicated overall picture.

Regarding (a), you yourself are inclined towards retribution. Many people are, probably by far the most, to at least some extent, including me. That doesn't make it right, ever. At best, it's intuitive or instinctual, universally (ie throughout the human race, more or less).

On (b), while it's part of our evolved nature, our nature is neither static nor simple. It's made up of a lot of different things and the balance of emphasis on this or that one to whatever degree, is often to do with situation, culture and zeitgeist. Most importantly though, even if retribution exists to some extent in every culture, there are also non-retributive alternatives in every culture. Forgiveness for example. That's another functional component of our contradictory (in some ways dual) nature. You could not show that retribution is of itself better than forgiveness before, and you can't do it now, no matter how many examples of humans and other apes being retributive you cite (even bonobos), because you're only looking at one side of the multi-faceted coin. Forgiveness is a fly in the ointment of your retribution theory. If I recall correctly, you had a bit of trouble accepting that people also actually do genuinely forgive, but they do, it happens regularly. It's a different tool in our toolkit. In some ways, the contrast between retribution & forgiveness is like the contrast between competition and co-operation. We do either when it's in our interests (one can be cynical and still see the function). The key consideration is that we are a very social species indeed. As such, continued relationships (particularly with ingroup members) are extremely valuable for survival, and that's where non-retribution, reconciliation, forgiveness and co-operation can be very effective alternatives, and probably the reason they have evolved.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
10,610
Gender
Androgyne; they/them
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
[post removed for insult]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
As someone pointed out, their name means "avenger"...

I wondered what the name meant. 'Avenger' may be being generous, according to wiki at least, which says it's a "destructive spirit/mentality":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahriman#:~:text=Angra Mainyu (/ˈæŋ,Ahura Mazda, the highest deity

Just for a sanity check, I don't suppose you could double-check my work where I pointed out the fallacies in their thinking? Tell me if I'm off base there?

I'm not especially good at fallacies, and I might have to trace back to untangle. But I can't say as I've seen anything much wrong with your posts. In general (in other threads I mean) you're possibly more keen than me on enacting change and possibly a bit harder on the status quo than I am, but that's slightly separate.

It hadn't occurred to me to think that Angra Mainyu might have the motivation you wonder about, and I suppose I'd discount it. I think they want to find human moral bedrock and have settled on human nature, well, one very common aspect of it. To me it seemed as if the attraction was in finding the bedrock. Moral bedrocks are hard to come by.

Tangentally, the saying, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" keeps popping into my head.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
10,610
Gender
Androgyne; they/them
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
As someone pointed out, their name means "avenger"...

I wondered what the name meant. 'Avenger' may be being generous, according to wiki at least, which says it's a "destructive spirit/mentality":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahriman#:~:text=Angra Mainyu (/ˈæŋ,Ahura Mazda, the highest deity

Just for a sanity check, I don't suppose you could double-check my work where I pointed out the fallacies in their thinking? Tell me if I'm off base there?

I'm not especially good at fallacies, and I might have to trace back to untangle. But I can't say as I've seen anything much wrong with your posts. In general (in other threads I mean) you're possibly more keen than me on enacting change and possibly a bit harder on the status quo than I am, but that's slightly separate.

It hadn't occurred to me to think that Angra Mainyu might have the motivation you wonder about, and I suppose I'd discount it. I think they want to find human moral bedrock and have settled on human nature, well, one very common aspect of it. To me it seemed as if the attraction was in finding the bedrock. Moral bedrocks are hard to come by.

Tangentally, the saying, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" keeps popping into my head.

In my experience, the quest for a moral bedrock (an ethical framework) often involves a quest for personal forgiveness.

I have a very different bedrock, based around symmetry of justification (I am free to do X, as you are free to do X, and we ought compromise to find out between us symmetrically what the limits are on the set of X based on mutually agreed terms, to form a society among anyone who can accept those terms and the means to arrange for them).

Of course, I don't want someone killing or hurting me, pretty much ever. Nor do most others. I don't want people punishing me either. Nobody wants to be punished or hurt or assaulted or revenged, so it goes to reason that hurting, assaulting, punishing, or revenging is probably not the best way to go. Even when I have fucked up, I'd much rather be corrected and discuss what happened, and undergo whatever series of actions would make me a better person than be "punished".

The past cannot be changed, after all. Hurting me won't un-hurt someone else. All it will do is make someone feel satisfied for a split second before they themselves are left to wonder whether that was really necessary (and if they do not wonder, I have some serious misgivings about such a person).

So if given the choices between "punishing" a person for hurting me and sitting down and talking with them until they understand why hurting me was bad (or at least foolish), and demonstrate an ability to apply that understanding in their future, I will go with the later and have another ally; it's rather expensive to create an adult human ally, especially one with the perspective of accepting that they did something bad and how to change for the better! I would rather not write them off if I can help it.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
6,423
Location
California
Gender
It's a free country.
Basic Beliefs
Rationalism
[removed]
Hmm, yes, who better to check your work than somebody who already agrees with you?

Because for someone to be that blind to their own fallacious thinking, there needs to be some motivation.
Physician, heal thyself.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
ruby sparks said:
We did this at great length before and you explained yourself many times, with many examples and in a lot of detail. I understand it, but I don't buy it, partly (a) because you go from is to ought, but also partly (b) because you are only looking at one instinct, instead of the more complicated overall picture.
You badly misrepresent what I said. And you tell me that you understand what I said. From that it follows that you are deliberately misrepresenting what I said. But I do not believe that you are. I believe that you are not lying. Rather, you mistakenly believe that you understand what I said.

As to your substantive claims:


(a)

First, there is nothing wrong with going from 'is' to 'ought' in some cases. For example, from 'It is immoral for humans to rape people for fun' one can derive 'Humans ought not to rape people for fun', in the moral sense of 'ought', and using logic and the meaning of the words.

Second, in this thread, I have not done the above, except in examples of that sort. If you believe that I have attempted to logically derive a moral statement from non-moral ones, then you are mistaken about what I said, and I would ask you to quote me on the part or parts were you believe that I have done that, so that I can show in detail that I have not.

Third, I have used empirical evidence as evidence of some of the content of morality - so, yes, moral statements -, but that usage of empirical evidence as evidence supporting a moral claim is not at all a fallacy.

(b) That is false. I am looking at the overall picture. So, again, you are mistaken about what I am doing. That provides further evidence that you are not deliberately misrepresenting my words. You are mistaken about them.

Now, I do focus on the retributive instinct because the motivation for just retribution is one of moral outrage. In other words, this particular part of our evolved psychology is actually a part of the moral human faculty. Sure, humans also may well have some immoral evolutionary drives. Evolution is messy. But this particular one is part of our sense of morality. So, it makes perfect sense to use that as evidence that retribution is often just. It is what our human moral sense says. The people on the other side are committed to a partial moral error theory (even if some of them do not realize that), as they would have it that human ordinary talk about just retribution is always false (that would result probably in a substantive moral error theory, but at least an epistemic one).

The burden is on the people trying to bring down part of our moral sense (i.e., without good arguments to back up their claims, they are on their face extremely improbable). But their arguments miss the mark completely - they do not even seem to understand what the mark is (for details, you can read my replies to them, or B20's posts, or both).


ruby sparks said:
Regarding (a), you yourself are inclined towards retribution. Many people are, probably by far the most, to at least some extent, including me. That doesn't make it right, ever. At best, it's intuitive or instinctual, universally (ie throughout the human race, more or less).

Okay, so let's focus on this part. Humans have many propensities. And of course, the fact that humans have a propensity to X does not logically entail that it is morally obligatory or even acceptable for humans to X. However, there are cases - it depends on the X - in which the fact that humans have a propensity to X provides very good evidence that it is morally acceptable or even obligatory to X, even though it does not logically entail it (yes, it would be an error to try to derive the moral conclusion from the non-moral premises in the sense of logical entailment; no, it is not an error to use non-moral information as evidence supporting moral conclusions).

What I am saying is: empirical evidence shows that humans have a propensity to mete out retribution when they reckon that the target deserve that retribution. That is a moral judgment combined with a moral motivation - in this case, a motivation to take revenge on those who deserve it. Of course, the strength of the motivation of a person varies a lot depending on whether she was targeted or someone else was targeted. But that's not the issue. The point is that it is a case in which the very human moral sense is saying it is just, and that they do deserve punishment.

Whether it is right is another matter, because there might be superseding considerations (e.g., if A knows that punishing a perpetrator will result millions of innocent fatalities, it is not acceptable to punish him in order to do justice, even though he still deserves it), but at any rate, we use our own human moral sense to assess what is right.

So, those who claim that it is wrong to engage in retributory punishment need to use something to make that assessment, but what is that something? Their own human moral sense? Well, if so, well it's their moral sense vs. mine...and that of the vast majority of humans. Why would anyone believe theirs is right? But it is worse than that, because the obvious errors in their argumentation shows in a different manner (i.e., different from just counting the number of people on each side, which is evidence but far from conclusive) that something is wrong with their assessments.

ruby sparks said:
On (b), while it's part of our evolved nature, our nature is neither static nor simple. It's made up of a lot of different things and the balance of emphasis on this or that one to whatever degree, is often to do with situation, culture and zeitgeist. Most importantly though, even if retribution exists to some extent in every culture, there are also non-retributive alternatives in every culture. Forgiveness for example.
That is not it. Sure, people can choose to forgive those who deserve punishment. Sometimes that is acceptable. Sometimes, it is not. As always, one has to assess the matter on a case by case basis. But that is not what is happening here. Here, people are not just saying that it is better for some reason or another (which of course also would have to be assessed using our human moral sense) to let perpetrators who deserve punishment to get away with it. They are saying or implying that they do not deserve the punishment in the first place.

ruby sparks said:
That's another functional component of our contradictory (in some ways dual) nature. You could not show that retribution is of itself better than forgiveness before, and you can't do it now, no matter how many examples of humans and other apes being retributive you cite (even bonobos), because you're only looking at one side of the multi-faceted coin.
You are missing the point. The question is not just whether retribution is better than forgiveness (which of course depends on the case). Rather, they deny that retribution is ever just.

ruby sparks said:
Forgiveness is a fly in the ointment of your retribution theory. If I recall correctly, you had a bit of trouble accepting that people also actually do genuinely forgive, but they do, it happens regularly.
No, you do not recall correctly. Or rather, you do remember correctly what you believed was happening, but that was not happening.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
ruby sparks said:
I wondered what the name meant. 'Avenger' may be being generous, according to wiki at least, which says it's a "destructive spirit/mentality":
It means the uncreated (in some versions), really tough to destroy Zoroastrian original evil. I was thinking "Lucifer", but I thought I'd go for a less puny Evil God. At that time, my sights were on Christianity and theism. What I never suspected is that many years later, the Risen Woke would use even my user name to add "evidence" to their "case" against me.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
6,423
Location
California
Gender
It's a free country.
Basic Beliefs
Rationalism
As someone pointed out, their name means "avenger"...

I wondered what the name meant. 'Avenger' may be being generous, according to wiki at least, which says it's a "destructive spirit/mentality":
Generous, yes, that's the word. If someone here called himself "Satan", I'm sure we'd all assume it meant he had a soft spot in his heart for evil. It's an atheist board.

I think they want to find human moral bedrock and have settled on human nature, well, one very common aspect of it.
A.M. is male, by the way.

Tangentally, the saying, "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" keeps popping into my head.
You know, he hasn't actually advocated an eye for an eye, or raping rapists. The retribution he's proposed is, well, you know, imprisonment.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
But that is not what is happening here. Here, people are not just saying that it is better for some reason or another (which of course also would have to be assessed using our human moral sense) to let perpetrators who deserve punishment to get away with it. They are saying or implying that they do not deserve the punishment in the first place.

I can't say I've seen anyone here suggesting a system with no retributive punishment. In any case, it's not me, so it's confusing if you are discussing with me but actually countering a 'they'.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
The retribution he's proposed is, well, you know, imprisonment.

No, that's incorrect.
Sorry if I was not clear enough on that particular point.

I mentioned two punishments that would be just for rapists: imprisonment and beating them up. As I said, fortunately there is more than one punishment that would be fitting for a crime. In this case (rapists), for most of the time humans have been around, imprisonment was not an option, so beatings were the way to go. And they were just. But then, now imprisonment is available. And it is also just. So, which one is better? I didn't get into the details, but it's not going to be distinguish by its justice - as they are both so, at least some prison time and some amount of beating.

There are other differences, though. For example, imprisonment keeps the rapist out of the streets. Of course, there is still a risk of prison rape - by or against the imprisoned rapist -, or other crimes. Nevertheless, it is pretty that as long as some violent criminals are kept in prison, controlling them is easier than on the streets. That speaks in favor of imprisonment, when available.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
But that is not what is happening here. Here, people are not just saying that it is better for some reason or another (which of course also would have to be assessed using our human moral sense) to let perpetrators who deserve punishment to get away with it. They are saying or implying that they do not deserve the punishment in the first place.

I can't say I've seen anyone here suggesting a system with no punishments.

They are advocating no punishments in retribution for the immoral behavior they commited, so they do get away with it. If they are put in prison, say, to protect the general public, they are not being punished for what they did. They are being punished, well, in order to protect the public. If they're being punished to deter others, then again, the goal is not to punish them for what they did. What they did is only used as evidence of their dangerousness, or evidence that punishment would be good for deterrence (well, that the public believe they did it is what is being used, not that they did it).

This is not the central issue in the lines you quote above, though. The central issue isthat they are saying or implying that they do not deserve the punishment in the first place. That flies on the face of the human moral faculty. The burden is on them.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
First, there is nothing wrong with going from 'is' to 'ought' in some cases. For example, from 'It is immoral for humans to rape people for fun' one can derive 'Humans ought not to rape people for fun', in the moral sense of 'ought', and using logic and the meaning of the words.
That particular 'is' (your go-to favourite) already has an 'ought' in it.
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
First, there is nothing wrong with going from 'is' to 'ought' in some cases. For example, from 'It is immoral for humans to rape people for fun' one can derive 'Humans ought not to rape people for fun', in the moral sense of 'ought', and using logic and the meaning of the words.
That 'is' already has an 'ought' in it.

It does not have an 'ought'. But the meaning is the same or at least implies it, which is why I pointed that out. But I also addressed the charge of deriving moral conclusions from nonmoral premises. I am not doing that, in the sense of deductive derivation. I am using all sorts of information - including, of course, empirical evidence - to make probabilistic assessments involving, among others, moral statements. But there is nothing logically or semantically flawed about that.

By the way, some of my opponents here are clearly making moral assessments as well. They are making assessments about what is good, or better, or what is worse, etc. How do you think they go about making them? Do they use premises containing moral terms? If not, are they deriving 'oughts's from 'is's? Something else?
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
6,423
Location
California
Gender
It's a free country.
Basic Beliefs
Rationalism
[removed]

You have stated that you think it is right to inflict punishment when you think people have wronged you. I feel it’s prudent to stay away from people who think like that.

You two keep treating A.M. as if his views mean he's some sort of alien or extremist. But he's expressing the opinion of the majority of the human race. A.M. is a statistical outlier only in that he's at least three standard deviations above average intelligence. You're the ones whose moral views make you outliers.

If you don't know that, it's a testament to the degree you've self-quarantined your minds in your own ideological echo-chamber. And if you feel it’s prudent to stay away from people who think like him, well then, it would be prudent for you to carefully stay inside your bubble and avoid discussion with ordinary people -- else you'd spend your lives paralyzed with fear, due to your endless unavoidable need to interact with the hoi polloi. Even if you lock yourselves in your rooms and live by mail-order so as to prudently stay away from all the shoppers who think like A.M., odds are the UPS delivery guy keeping you alive agrees with A.M., not with you.

I feel the evidence is easy to see in my society. Including the tearful pleas of a murder victim’s family that the murderer NOT be put to death that we saw in the news just this week.
Let me draw your attention to two details of that event:

1. They were tearful pleas of a murder victim’s family that the murderer not be put to death. They were not tearful pleas that the murderer be set free.

Those people are evidently capital punishment opponents; it does not follow that they are retribution opponents. Why would you suppose such a thing? Heck, I voted to abolish capital punishment in my state*; it doesn't mean I'd vote to abolish punishment. Life imprisonment is a pretty severe punishment.

2. "Dog Bites Man" is not news. "Man Bites Dog" is news.

(* The referendum lost, 53% to 47%.)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
Jarhyn said:
Yes. You have a "revenge boner". A lot of people do. In this case "revenge boner" is a pejorative description of the desire to consummate revenge and experience a drive relief. It is a pejorative for any aroused emotional drive. You get "horny" but instead of that horniness to rub your dick, it's horniness to see someone else suffer during an act of revenge. It is a base instinct and one that rational humans should learn to either overcome or redirect.

It is a pejorative description of a significant portion of human morality, and since you do that deliberately, it is unethical on your part to do that. It is also epistemically irrational on your part to fail to realize that this is part of human morality. Humans who are being epistemically rational will realize just retribution is, well, just.

I feel like I just heard you say that Jarhyn was unethical for saying that people who want retribution in the form of prison rape have a boner.

We’re talking about people who want to hurt other people in serious ways and the person who is mocking it is the bad guy in that equaltion?

I did not see that coming...
Yes, you "feel" like you just heard me you say that Jarhyn was unethical for saying that people who want retribution in the form of prison rape have a boner. But you have no good reason to "feel" that way. You are just attacking me. If this is not your attempt at retribution (grossly misplaced, but still), what is it? You are attacking me (obviously; what else would the "I did not see that coming..." rhetoric do, other than attack? )
Of course, you vastly misconstrue my words, and have no good reason for the attack. As many of my opponents, you attack a caricature. But leaving that aside, even if you were right about me saying that, you would still be attacking me. Again, why the attack, if not instinctive retribution for a perceived offense (even if in this case non-existent)?
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
The central issue is that they are saying or implying that they do not deserve the punishment in the first place.

Who here is saying that?

I said they're saying or implying it, so it does not need to be explicit. And it is implicit in what they are saying, given context. But if you haven't realized yet, let us begin with the OP.

Rhea said:
My personal philosophy is that retribution never helps. It only legitimizes the idea that violence and degradation is okay when you feel “justified.” All criminals feel “justified.” All bullies feel “justified” all of those school shooters and all of those rapists feel “justified.”
She says she is always against retribution. When I read that - or her other posts - I take a look at the context in which it is said. And of course the context includes her posting history (unlike most of my opponents, I do try to understand what my opponents actually believe and want). And she's been absolutely clear about it in several posts, usually implicitly but also explicitly so. Take a look:

https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...ive-Dissonance&p=525216&viewfull=1#post525216

Rhea said:
I don’t believe in punishment. I don’t believe that anyone ever “deserves” it. It doesn’t work and it makes the punisher into the worst kind of hypocrite: I’m going to hurt you because you hurt someone. We don’t hurt people! Now I’ll show you hurt!” Nope, no punishment from me. Rehab, yes. Education, yes. Separation if no rehab is possible. But not punishment, not ever.

It does not get any more clear that that. Her advocacy and arguments in this thread are not disconnected from the rest of her posting history, and it is in light of that context that they should be interpreted, at least if one is familiar enough with that context and/or has the time to take a look (else, one should be more cautious when interpreting).


Let us now consider Jarhyn. Take a look at this post. It is pretty obvious to me that he's going against retribution, implying it is not deserved. And look at the rest of his posts in this thread. Perhaps, it's not obvious to you?
Look at another one. If it's not yet clear to you that he is saying that people do not deserve to be punished for their actions, then let us take a look at some more context from his posting history, to better interpret his words.

For example:

https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...risons-Anymore&p=325806&viewfull=1#post325806

Justice is restitution to the victim for the crime committed. Yes they can't be un-raped but the punishment for that is a form of restitution for the person who the crime was committed upon. And you ask, why. The other women who aren't raped because of the punishment is a reason why. We can't stop all of the crime, but we certainly do try and control the amounts.

So in other words, his rape of her justifies her incarceration of him. One bad turn deserves another. That his suffering is justified by the happy drugs her body gives her when he suffers, in addition to the drugs your body gives you in seeing her make him suffer. That sounds an awful lot like rape to me, namely the justifications rapists give for it. Your argument is telling in that her abuse of her rapist is entirely aside from your goal of segregating the rapist, which could be accomplished without his having to suffer; hell, it could be accomplished perhaps without having to permanently segregate him, let alone denying him an education and a future

He is crystal clear that he sees incarceration of a rapist as punishment for what he did as something akin to rape. And surely, he is implying it is not deserved.
 

J842P

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
4,137
Location
USA, California
Basic Beliefs
godless heathen
I think we need to separate what can be considered ethical with potentially heuristic solutions to people living in large societies together.

I can understand the feeling that retribution is justified. Let's say someone kills your close family member, you see them do it. I wouldn't say you are unjustified in killing that person. However, as a society, this sort of vengeance, however justified, cannot be allowed on the grounds that it leads to things like blood fueds, where the violence continues often for generations, long after the original parties are dead and buried.

No doubt, the solution in our ancient past was simply to kill the person and everyone in their family. Which is no longer justified, but again, just a "heuristic". I think I prefer the one where no one is allowed to take part in the retribution, and the state doles out the punishment.

Indeed, this is sort of a trope, where someone kills a kid's father or mother, and even if it is justified, the killer tells the child "I'll be expecting you when you are older".

A scene from Kill Bill I:

[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mk_f75TS1A[/YOUTUBE]
 

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
4,069
Location
Buenos Aires
Basic Beliefs
non-theist
I think we need to separate what can be considered ethical with potentially heuristic solutions to people living in large societies together.

I can understand the feeling that retribution is justified. Let's say someone kills your close family member, you see them do it. I wouldn't say you are unjustified in killing that person. However, as a society, this sort of vengeance, however justified, cannot be allowed on the grounds that it leads to things like blood fueds, where the violence continues often for generations, long after the original parties are dead and buried.

No doubt, the solution in our ancient past was simply to kill the person and everyone in their family. Which is no longer justified, but again, just a "heuristic". I think I prefer the one where no one is allowed to take part in the retribution, and the state doles out the punishment.

Indeed, this is sort of a trope, where someone kills a kid's father or mother, and even if it is justified, the killer tells the child "I'll be expecting you when you are older".
I agree that for big wrongdoings that deserve big retributions, it is generally justified not to permit private retribution.
However, just retribution - or unjust one - in nearly all cases is small and for small wrongdoings or perceived wrongdoings. For example, if someone grossly misrepresents my posts, engages in character assassination against me and on top of that mocks me, I may decide to exact retribution by mocking them back (apart from tearing apart their arguments in self-defense, but that's another matter). Or I might choose not to, depending on different considerations. Many people seem to just go for retribution instinctively, perhaps without even realizing they're engaging in retributive behavior.

That sort of retribution happens around here all the time. It's sometimes misplaced due to ideology/religion, and sometimes it's just. I think in some cases it does lead to online virtual... 'bits feuds'? , so one needs to consider that too, but it's definitely within the realm of manageability for at least some societies, and it's fortunately not banned at least in part of the world.

I agree about 'big' retributions, as I mentioned. But I argue that the perpetrators still deserve the punishment, and it's generally better that the government inflicts it in accordance to some known rules. One of the reasons is to prevent private vengeance on a scale that results in more suffering for innocent people.
 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I think they want to find human moral bedrock and have settled on human nature, well, one very common aspect of it.
A.M. is male, by the way.

Jarhyn knows that, but Jarhyn's a moral hypocrite who believes people deserve to be called by their preferred pronouns, except when Jarhyn doesn't want to, in which case he is allowed to use 'they' and it's not misgendering and he isn't violating anybody's preferred pronoun usage. He's done it several times--to his opposition.
 

J842P

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
4,137
Location
USA, California
Basic Beliefs
godless heathen
They used to have public hangings, and crowds would come. Now they don't have public hangings. I suppose you would say that's not a good thing, that it's made people worse, because people have been deprived of a natural behaviour.

I would actually argue that if you are going to have hangings then they should be public.
 

J842P

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
4,137
Location
USA, California
Basic Beliefs
godless heathen
I think we need to separate what can be considered ethical with potentially heuristic solutions to people living in large societies together.

I can understand the feeling that retribution is justified. Let's say someone kills your close family member, you see them do it. I wouldn't say you are unjustified in killing that person. However, as a society, this sort of vengeance, however justified, cannot be allowed on the grounds that it leads to things like blood fueds, where the violence continues often for generations, long after the original parties are dead and buried.

No doubt, the solution in our ancient past was simply to kill the person and everyone in their family. Which is no longer justified, but again, just a "heuristic". I think I prefer the one where no one is allowed to take part in the retribution, and the state doles out the punishment.

Indeed, this is sort of a trope, where someone kills a kid's father or mother, and even if it is justified, the killer tells the child "I'll be expecting you when you are older".
I agree that for big wrongdoings that deserve big retributions, it is generally justified not to permit private retribution.
However, just retribution - or unjust one - in nearly all cases is small and for small wrongdoings or perceived wrongdoings. For example, if someone grossly misrepresents my posts, engages in character assassination against me and on top of that mocks me, I may decide to exact retribution by mocking them back (apart from tearing apart their arguments in self-defense, but that's another matter). Or I might choose not to, depending on different considerations. Many people seem to just go for retribution instinctively, perhaps without even realizing they're engaging in retributive behavior.

That sort of retribution happens around here all the time. It's sometimes misplaced due to ideology/religion, and sometimes it's just. I think in some cases it does lead to online virtual... 'bits feuds'? , so one needs to consider that too, but it's definitely within the realm of manageability for at least some societies, and it's fortunately not banned at least in part of the world.

I agree about 'big' retributions, as I mentioned. But I argue that the perpetrators still deserve the punishment, and it's generally better that the government inflicts it in accordance to some known rules. One of the reasons is to prevent private vengeance on a scale that results in more suffering for innocent people.

Yes, I think a big disconnect in this discussion is exactly what is meant by retribution.

For example, say someone throws coffee on you. It sounds like you would consider yelling at that person retribution, whereas others seem to think retribution means killing or maiming them or something.

Or say, someone insults you, and you decide to shun them for some time. That would also be retribution.

I think you have to understand, "retribution" is sort of bad word for the North American left-wing, in the face of restorative, as in restorative justice versus retributive justice. Of course, I think what you are talking about is potentially in line with either.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,809
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
They used to have public hangings, and crowds would come. Now they don't have public hangings. I suppose you would say that's not a good thing, that it's made people worse, because people have been deprived of a natural behaviour.

I would actually argue that if you are going to have hangings then they should be public.

Why not take it another step and institute Taliban-style executions; bury the offenders up to their necks and invite everyone to throw rocks at them. Not only would that provide an enhanced disincentivizing horror factor for some, it would provide outlets for the others who have revenge boners or just plain sadistic tendencies.
 

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Joined
Nov 29, 2007
Messages
10,309
Location
Copenhagen
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Some folks opine that bad people will get what’s coming to them by ending up in prison, victimized by rape. It’s usually delivered as a laugh line.

But I’d like to suggest it’s harmful and wrong to make a laugh out of extra-judicial violence, particularly in the case of the traumatizing and degrading violence of rape.

My personal philosophy is that retribution never helps. It only legitimizes the idea that violence and degradation is okay when you feel “justified.” All criminals feel “justified.” All bullies feel “justified” all of those school shooters and all of those rapists feel “justified.”

I think it is a bad turn for society to give them any indication in any way that all you have to feel is “justified” and you can rape, assault, brutalize, murder.

No, it doesn't legitimise shit. The more horrible the act the more important to joke about it. There are acts that are so vile that the only way we can communicate honestly about it is through humour. Becuase it hurts too much.

This whole woke idea where some things are too awful to joke about is a backward view of humour. Humour isn't minimising a trauma. It's an acknowledgement. Jokes skirt around on the edge of taboos. It's things we're not allowed to talk about but we're all thinking. Humour is better than wearing a serious face, because humour makes us open up emotionally. It makes us more capable of emotionally acknoledging truly awful things.

I hate the idea that awful human acts stop happening because we stop talking about it and shame the people who do. Which is the result of what you are saying. I don't understand the common belief that this is a good thing.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
I said they're saying or implying it, so it does not need to be explicit. And it is implicit in what they are saying, given context. But if you haven't realized yet, let us begin with the OP.

Rhea said:
My personal philosophy is that retribution never helps. It only legitimizes the idea that violence and degradation is okay when you feel “justified.” All criminals feel “justified.” All bullies feel “justified” all of those school shooters and all of those rapists feel “justified.”
She says she is always against retribution. When I read that - or her other posts - I take a look at the context in which it is said. And of course the context includes her posting history (unlike most of my opponents, I do try to understand what my opponents actually believe and want). And she's been absolutely clear about it in several posts, usually implicitly but also explicitly so. Take a look:

https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...ive-Dissonance&p=525216&viewfull=1#post525216

Rhea said:
I don’t believe in punishment. I don’t believe that anyone ever “deserves” it. It doesn’t work and it makes the punisher into the worst kind of hypocrite: I’m going to hurt you because you hurt someone. We don’t hurt people! Now I’ll show you hurt!” Nope, no punishment from me. Rehab, yes. Education, yes. Separation if no rehab is possible. But not punishment, not ever.

It does not get any more clear that that. Her advocacy and arguments in this thread are not disconnected from the rest of her posting history, and it is in light of that context that they should be interpreted, at least if one is familiar enough with that context and/or has the time to take a look (else, one should be more cautious when interpreting).


Let us now consider Jarhyn. Take a look at this post. It is pretty obvious to me that he's going against retribution, implying it is not deserved. And look at the rest of his posts in this thread. Perhaps, it's not obvious to you?
Look at another one. If it's not yet clear to you that he is saying that people do not deserve to be punished for their actions, then let us take a look at some more context from his posting history, to better interpret his words.

For example:

https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...risons-Anymore&p=325806&viewfull=1#post325806

Justice is restitution to the victim for the crime committed. Yes they can't be un-raped but the punishment for that is a form of restitution for the person who the crime was committed upon. And you ask, why. The other women who aren't raped because of the punishment is a reason why. We can't stop all of the crime, but we certainly do try and control the amounts.

So in other words, his rape of her justifies her incarceration of him. One bad turn deserves another. That his suffering is justified by the happy drugs her body gives her when he suffers, in addition to the drugs your body gives you in seeing her make him suffer. That sounds an awful lot like rape to me, namely the justifications rapists give for it. Your argument is telling in that her abuse of her rapist is entirely aside from your goal of segregating the rapist, which could be accomplished without his having to suffer; hell, it could be accomplished perhaps without having to permanently segregate him, let alone denying him an education and a future

He is crystal clear that he sees incarceration of a rapist as punishment for what he did as something akin to rape. And surely, he is implying it is not deserved.

Ok, perhaps others here have views that are quite anti-retribution. I'm not sure they actually extend to saying offenders do not deserve punishment (I'd be surprised if they do), but in any case I'm not Rhea, Jarhyn, or a hypothetical woke person who has those views.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
They used to have public hangings, and crowds would come. Now they don't have public hangings. I suppose you would say that's not a good thing, that it's made people worse, because people have been deprived of a natural behaviour.

I would actually argue that if you are going to have hangings then they should be public.

You might make a case for that, yes. Off the top of my head I'd personally start by disagreeing, but I accept it's debatable.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
That 'is' already has an 'ought' in it.

It does not have an 'ought'. But the meaning is the same or at least implies it, which is why I pointed that out.

Thank you. So it effectively has the equivalent of or something very similar to an ought in it, in that it declares something is immoral as a premise.

But I also addressed the charge of deriving moral conclusions from nonmoral premises. I am not doing that, in the sense of deductive derivation. I am using all sorts of information - including, of course, empirical evidence - to make probabilistic assessments involving, among others, moral statements. But there is nothing logically or semantically flawed about that.

It's essentially getting an ought from an is, which is at least questionable.

By the way, some of my opponents here are clearly making moral assessments as well. They are making assessments about what is good, or better, or what is worse, etc. How do you think they go about making them? Do they use premises containing moral terms? If not, are they deriving 'oughts's from 'is's? Something else?

I don't know the answer to that.
 

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Yes, I think a big disconnect in this discussion is exactly what is meant by retribution.

For example, say someone throws coffee on you. It sounds like you would consider yelling at that person retribution, whereas others seem to think retribution means killing or maiming them or something.

Or say, someone insults you, and you decide to shun them for some time. That would also be retribution.

I think you have to understand, "retribution" is sort of bad word for the North American left-wing, in the face of restorative, as in restorative justice versus retributive justice. Of course, I think what you are talking about is potentially in line with either.

In my previous experience, there is a little bit more involved in AM's views than seems at first. I have found him to be vague and possibly even avoiding coming straight out with some of the real world implications at times.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
You two keep treating A.M. as if his views mean he's some sort of alien or extremist. But he's expressing the opinion of the majority of the human race. A.M. is a statistical outlier only in that he's at least three standard deviations above average intelligence...
That is a real howler.
Those people are evidently capital punishment opponents; it does not follow that they are retribution opponents. Why would you suppose such a thing? Heck, I voted to abolish capital punishment in my state*; it doesn't mean I'd vote to abolish punishment. Life imprisonment is a pretty severe punishment.
It is pretty severe punishment. It is also a method to keep people outside of prison safe from murders. One can be against punishment but in favor of incarceration to keep others safe and perhaps to insure rehabilitation. Of course, our current prison system is not very successful at the rehabilitation part, but that is a problem with our current prison philosophies and operations, not necessarily with the notion of incarceration.
 

Don2 (Don1 Revised)

Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
11,672
Location
USA
Basic Beliefs
Nonpracticing agnostic
"I didn't see that coming." -- "that" is in reference to a thing, such as words written, not a person.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
10,610
Gender
Androgyne; they/them
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
So, there's been a lot of discussion about is/ought. There is, in my estimation one way to get there: adding goals.

If I AM on one side of a wall, AND it IS my goal to use the least energy to reach the other side, and it IS the case that the wall contains a locked door, and it IS the case that I have a paperclip in my pocket and it IS the case I know how to pick a lock, and it IS the case that I cannot walk around the wall, then it IS the case that the easiest way to get to the other side of the door IS to pick the lock, open the door, and walk through, and thus given my goal, I ought do that thing (it is the solution to the problem).

So, it all comes down to goals and the analysis of the strategies we use to accomplish/achieve those goals. If the goal is "achieving personal goals", this creates a metagoal: survive long enough, in a state capable of achieving those goals. It is a goal we must accept for everyone to the extent we accept it for ourselves.

Really, you have to ask, is it a valid goal to pursue the least negative outcome for yourself that makes your own behavior non-destructive with respect to the necessary meta-goals for general goal seeking? If this is true, then it cannot possibly be true that you have a right to impose more harm than is absolutely necessary (punishment, infliction of suffering, etc), because of the requirement for non-contradiction.
 

J842P

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Messages
4,137
Location
USA, California
Basic Beliefs
godless heathen
Yes, I think a big disconnect in this discussion is exactly what is meant by retribution.

For example, say someone throws coffee on you. It sounds like you would consider yelling at that person retribution, whereas others seem to think retribution means killing or maiming them or something.

Or say, someone insults you, and you decide to shun them for some time. That would also be retribution.

I think you have to understand, "retribution" is sort of bad word for the North American left-wing, in the face of restorative, as in restorative justice versus retributive justice. Of course, I think what you are talking about is potentially in line with either.

In my previous experience, there is a little bit more involved in AM's views than seems at first. I have found him to be vague and possibly even avoiding coming straight out with some of the real world implications at times.

I find A.M. is one of the most meticulous people on this board about being precise in his language and going out of his way to not equivocate. Almost tedious, in fact. But of course, English is not his first language, I'm pretty sure, so maybe things get lost in translation.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
6,423
Location
California
Gender
It's a free country.
Basic Beliefs
Rationalism

ruby sparks

Contributor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
9,167
Location
Northern Ireland
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Yes, I think a big disconnect in this discussion is exactly what is meant by retribution.

For example, say someone throws coffee on you. It sounds like you would consider yelling at that person retribution, whereas others seem to think retribution means killing or maiming them or something.

Or say, someone insults you, and you decide to shun them for some time. That would also be retribution.

I think you have to understand, "retribution" is sort of bad word for the North American left-wing, in the face of restorative, as in restorative justice versus retributive justice. Of course, I think what you are talking about is potentially in line with either.

In my previous experience, there is a little bit more involved in AM's views than seems at first. I have found him to be vague and possibly even avoiding coming straight out with some of the real world implications at times.

I find A.M. is one of the most meticulous people on this board about being precise in his language and going out of his way to not equivocate. Almost tedious, in fact. But of course, English is not his first language, I'm pretty sure, so maybe things get lost in translation.

I agree. But I'd still say what I said.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
6,423
Location
California
Gender
It's a free country.
Basic Beliefs
Rationalism
A.M. is a statistical outlier only in that he's at least three standard deviations above average intelligence...
That is a real howler.
You're right, four is more likely. Sorry Angra, didn't mean to damn you with faint praise.

Those people are evidently capital punishment opponents; it does not follow that they are retribution opponents. Why would you suppose such a thing? ... Life imprisonment is a pretty severe punishment.
It is pretty severe punishment. It is also a method to keep people outside of prison safe from murders. One can be against punishment but in favor of incarceration to keep others safe and perhaps to insure rehabilitation. ...
Did you mean to express disagreement with me? What you wrote doesn't conflict with what I wrote. I was pointing out that Rhea's observation doesn't support the claim she offered it in support of. Of course the family in question may well agree with Rhea's views and only support imprisonment for non-retributive reasons; but then again they may not; there's simply no way to tell from the mere fact that they don't want the killer executed. Moreover, the fact that their not wanting the killer executed is newsworthy is evidence against Rhea's contention that punishing the guilty as an end in itself isn't a goal of vast swaths of humanity.
 
Top Bottom