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Jokes about prison rape on men? Not a fan.

Angra Mainyu

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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

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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

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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

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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

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[post removed for insult]
 
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ruby sparks

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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

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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

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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.
 
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Angra Mainyu

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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.
 
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