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Socialism and also ethics discussion thread

harsh.ag

Hall of Fame Member
Am with hendrix on this one.

At the same time, the rights framework is better from a practical pov and leads to better results imo.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
I actually felt like going and lying down after reading Hendrix's posts about rights. And not to masturbate.
 

Ausage

Cricketer Of The Year
It doesn't, but in this context if an ethical rule isn't written into the laws of the universe then you need to fall back on some form of consequentialism to justify it. It's sort of the difference between "stealing bread to feed starving children is wrong because stealing is always wrong" and "stealing bread to feed starving children is wrong because in the long run undermining property rights will only lead to more poverty".
To be further consequentialist, both justifications are important to embed a fundamental, society wide code of behaviour like "don't steal". There are people for whom the theoretical explanation will be to complex and others for whom the tautology will be too simple. There are some who will need a spiritual justification, there are some who will need an economic justification and there are some that will need to fear retribution (be that social, spiritual or corporeal). The more of the factors point in the same direction the better the idea will be upheld. These ideas aren't just verbal flourishes either, they're the philosophical bedrock upon which civilisations capable of eliminating the starving child are built upon.

The point for me is that you need a multi faceted system of reasoning to enforce some of the most fundamental moral frameworks. For some "the right thing to do" will be too murky to stop them from rationalising away their own self serving behaviour. Codifying "the right thing to do" from the lens of the "rights" that extend to all individuals, removes some (not all) of the capacity for people to rationalise behaviour we'd almost all agree is immoral and is thus a thing of value. It reinforces the moral framework, not the other way around and it certainly doesn't undermine it.

Large scale social contracts are both vital to a functional society and vulnerable to being eroded by nihilistic deconstructions. I don't see the problem with enshrining them using devices like rights and I think undermining them is extremely dangerous.
 

Uppercut

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To be further consequentialist, both justifications are important to embed a fundamental, society wide code of behaviour like "don't steal". There are people for whom the theoretical explanation will be to complex and others for whom the tautology will be too simple. There are some who will need a spiritual justification, there are some who will need an economic justification and there are some that will need to fear retribution (be that social, spiritual or corporeal). The more of the factors point in the same direction the better the idea will be upheld. These ideas aren't just verbal flourishes either, they're the philosophical bedrock upon which civilisations capable of eliminating the starving child are built upon.

The point for me is that you need a multi faceted system of reasoning to enforce some of the most fundamental moral frameworks. For some "the right thing to do" will be too murky to stop them from rationalising away their own self serving behaviour. Codifying "the right thing to do" from the lens of the "rights" that extend to all individuals, removes some (not all) of the capacity for people to rationalise behaviour we'd almost all agree is immoral and is thus a thing of value. It reinforces the moral framework, not the other way around and it certainly doesn't undermine it.

Large scale social contracts are both vital to a functional society and vulnerable to being eroded by nihilistic deconstructions. I don't see the problem with enshrining them using devices like rights and I think undermining them is extremely dangerous.
This post is a bit of a nihilistic deconstruction. Not coincidentally, I agree with a lot of it.
 

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
There is some semantics here. I do understand what you are getting at but just to point out the the word 'right' as a noun is defined as the morally correct, honourable or just. The other side, is the word in legal context which comes out to an entitlement of those 'rights' . Rights don't directly protect people, but they contextualise and describe the playing field on which people get granted those freedom, safety etc. Because unfortunately people are still people and what is morally acceptable to one is morally unacceptable to another, so these rights have to be defined; without which you end up with societal chaos.

I agree when you say that the ultimate test of society is how it behaves, but without the rules determined by that society there is no measure.That is why I describe the rights as the test of society because that is the measure by which we hold ourselves accountable.
If rights are the measure, what evidence is there that the application of them reduces amoral behaviour?

This post is a bit of a nihilistic deconstruction. Not coincidentally, I agree with a lot of it.
No, the nihilistic approach would be the question I just asked.
 

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
Codifying "the right thing to do" from the lens of the "rights" that extend to all individuals, removes some (not all) of the capacity for people to rationalise behaviour we'd almost all agree is immoral and is thus a thing of value. It reinforces the moral framework, not the other way around and it certainly doesn't undermine it.
No it doesn't! It gives people MORE rationising tools at their disposal!
 

Flem274*

123/5
Heh, this is why I find Hendrix's posts so interesting despite him sometimes holding wildly opposing views to me. You never know what view he'll express next, but in a good way.

A mostly libertarian who doesn't believe in property rights wasn't expected.

Hendrix this question will be clunkily worded but are you saying you believe in winning and losing not rights, or that effectiveness is better than agreeing upon human rights?
 

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
The children have a right to life and only they get to extinguish that as they own their bodies. Someone else doing that via coercion is doing a morally bad act. That's the value of recognising these rights otherwise there would be no "unlawful laws" as the state could justify everything simply because they have the power to make a law and decide what is right.

So we are protecting them because of their rights and not just who they are. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years (and even today frankly) we created sovereign people merely because of their identity - monarchies for instance - and civilisation only proceeded when laws were put forth as more important than individuals (the rule of law). It's much broader and more important than just abortion rights.
No, I'm not going to respect a child's rights if he's mutilating himself, I'm gonna stop him from mutilating himself. Sorry not sorry.

I don't think you've understood what I'm saying.
 
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StephenZA

International Coach
If rights are the measure, what evidence is there that the application of them reduces amoral behaviour?
These rights are the basis on which we obtain our laws. Enforcement of laws have clearly been shown to deter poor behaviour, or what is considered by that society to be amoral behaviour, of course enforcement of said laws can then start stepping on people's rights. Just to be clear though, rights written into law are what can be considered minimum morale behaviour required to function in that society. This in no way means the rights and laws are equivalent things, laws are used to try implement basic rights. But not all laws are based on rights.

Not everybody has the same moral compass, it is a very subjective. Morals themselves are not some sort of universal truth. There is extremes on which people can mostly agree on, but middle ground causes argument. So I go back to the initial point, the rights given and extended to people show the type of society that is being constructed and then to be enforced. Successful construction and enforcement, along with dynamic and social change is where issues continue to pop up. The success of and extent of rights given to people in that society is for me a measure of how we hold ourselves accountable.
 
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hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
These rights are the basis on which we obtain our laws.
That's never been the case except for maybe the last 60 years.

Enforcement of laws have clearly been shown to deter poor behaviour, or what is considered by that society to be amoral behaviour, of course enforcement of said laws can then start stepping on people's rights. Just to be clear though, rights written into law are what can be considered minimum morale behaviour required to function in that society. This in no way means the rights and laws are equivalent things, laws are used to try implement basic rights. But not all laws are based on rights.

Not everybody has the same moral compass, it is a very subjective. Morals themselves are not some sort of universal truth. There is extremes on which people can mostly agree on, but middle ground causes argument. So I go back to the initial point, the rights given and extended to people show the type of society that is being constructed and then to be enforced. Successful construction and enforcement, along with dynamic and social change is where issues continue to pop up. The success of and extent of rights given to people in that society is for me a measure of how we hold ourselves accountable.
Lot's of things deter poor behavior! What's your point?

Rights are NOT minimum moral behaviour. Even the most supposedly fundamental rights are not minimum moral behaviour. Seriously, take a critical examination of rights and try to reconcile them with this world.
 

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
Look this is just devolving into a game of "gotcha" on my part which is not my intention at all. I don't want to go reductio ad absurdum to convey my point, and really it has nothing to do with the original post.

StephenZa's point was that in the best case scenario a union ensures its constituents' rights. I disagree with that.
 

StephenZA

International Coach
That's never been the case except for maybe the last 60 years.
I disagree with this statement... it was not in the form we have today, but it did exist. You could argue it based in the ten commandments and the rules then determined by the religions.


Lot's of things deter poor behavior! What's your point?

Rights are NOT minimum moral behaviour. Even the most supposedly fundamental rights are not minimum moral behaviour. Seriously, take a critical examination of rights and try to reconcile them with this world.
The very word right is defined as 'moral' acceptable behaviour... that fact it has now been couched in legal, more clearly defined terms does not change from where it came. Rights are the written idea of how people should be treated, thus how we interact with eachother in a morally acceptable manner. That is how I look at it anyway.

StephenZa's point was that in the best case scenario a union ensures its constituents' rights. I disagree with that.
Fair enough, I said that what a union should be doing is fighting for its individual to create the best outcome for those individuals, ideally without resorting to threats... but that is not necessarily just their rights though, it can be much more than that.
 
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hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
I disagree with this statement... it was not in the form we have today, but it did exist. You could argue it based in the ten commandments and the rules then determined by the religions.


The very word right is defined as 'moral' acceptable behaviour... that fact it has now been couched in legal, more clearly defined terms does not change from where it came. Rights are the written idea of how people should be treated, thus how we interact with eachother in a morally acceptable manner. That is how I look at it anyway.
Sorry but this is just not true. I don't know what else to say except that it's incorrect. Rights are not how we interact with each other - that's not even true as a linguistic sentence let alone as a description of the world.
 

sledger

Spanish_Vicente
Sorry but this is just not true. I don't know what else to say except that it's incorrect. Rights are not how we interact with each other - that's not even true as a linguistic sentence let alone as a description of the world.
Not to you perhaps.
 

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