How moral is our economy? (According to Sam I risk losing some readers by this post)
Posted: 30 August 2011 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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One of my opinions about economy is that before we even begin to establish its structure we must agree upon the ontological nature of reality. As we have based our current economic system on the implicit premisse of free will without considering that this might not be a true representation of reality.


Our society has made a giant leap forward by moving from the aristocracy of birth to the meritocracy we live in today, which sadly so many people by nature of their short-sightedness perceive as the final improvement. Although this is a major amelioration it is still inherently immoral.


We got a verb in my native language that suits well here: Each bird sings as its beak is mouthed.


We are determined in every way, we are what we are because of our genes ( internal factors) and our surroundings ( external factors). It is the ‘I’ that makes the decision, but do we decide what we decide?


So if we as a society agree upon the determined nature of ourselves, our entire economic system should be revised from the bottom up as it is based on the deeply immoral idea that a person should be rewarded based on his ability to make money , which is not the merit of this person, but simply made possible by chance or fate. Hence our economy is simply the application of the right of the strongest. Which is the fundamental rule that applies to life insofar that it is an unconscious unguided process. The difference is that man IS conscious and CAN guide the course of things (to an extent), this gives us a great responsibility to act and an ethical imperative to control and limit it. The problem is that the people who have the power will very rarely, if at all, have the moral courage and strength to undermine their own power for the good of the collective.


On a side-note, our economic structure is formed in such a way that we don’t even have to make a tangible contribution to society to earn legal money (financial investors and such).


Also, communism or even socialism has such a dogmatic negative connotation in the states, instilled by the government in the minds of her people. It is true that communism as it has been executed in the past and present is almost as far from an ideal society as it can be, but the cause of this lies in a fault in its executors, and not in the ideology itself. Fascism should not per definition accompany communism.


Our economic system, and society as a whole, is inherently immoral on such a myriad of ways that it is hard to conceive that there aren’t countless of people like Sam who criticise it.


It are the people on wall street who are the real thieves, as they have by way of complex financial constructions tumbled the world in an downward spiral. By allowing more and more high-risk loans to be given and insuring themselves against it so that they make even more money when the creditor can’t pay it back. Rating-bureaus who give AAA ratings to even the highest risk loans, raising questions about their integrity. The people whom devised those mechanisms and countless others in the financial system make millions and millions while at the same time dozens of millions of people are left without a job just because of the domino effect that their actions created. Yet they aren’t reprimanded in any way, on the contrary, it are the same people who caused the financial depression who sit in the economic advisory board of Obama. Ensuring from the top that the banking system is deregulated, and aggressively putting down anyone who would suggest that it should be regulated.


Man must be controlled by law ( the state). And it is, among other things, thanks to the refusal of the government of the U.S. to regulate the banking system that we’re all in this mess. Allowing banks to speculate wildly with the money of Average Joe, putting their clients meager life savings on the line to make hundreds of millions themselves. 


So I wonder who those readers whom criticise Sam’s economic ideologies would consider the biggest thief if they were fully informed? The financial investor on Wall Street that makes hundreds of millions a year on the back of Average Joe without contributing a thing to society, or the man that tries to limit their almost diabolical ruthless drive to make money and distribute their excess to the most needy.


I think\hope every rational and foremost ethical person would choose the first!

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Posted: 30 August 2011 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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panthamor - 30 August 2011 04:49 PM

One of my opinions about economy is that before we even begin to establish its structure we must agree upon the ontological nature of reality. As we have based our current economic system on the implicit premisse of free will without considering that this might not be a true representation of reality.


Our society has made a giant leap forward by moving from the aristocracy of birth to the meritocracy we live in today, which sadly so many people by nature of their short-sightedness perceive as the final improvement. Although this is a major amelioration it is still inherently immoral.


We got a verb in my native language that suits well here: Each bird sings as its beak is mouthed.


We are determined in every way, we are what we are because of our genes ( internal factors) and our surroundings ( external factors). It is the ‘I’ that makes the decision, but do we decide what we decide?


So if we as a society agree upon the determined nature of ourselves, our entire economic system should be revised from the bottom up as it is based on the deeply immoral idea that a person should be rewarded based on his ability to make money , which is not the merit of this person, but simply made possible by chance or fate. Hence our economy is simply the application of the right of the strongest. Which is the fundamental rule that applies to life insofar that it is an unconscious unguided process. The difference is that man IS conscious and CAN guide the course of things (to an extent), this gives us a great responsibility to act and an ethical imperative to control and limit it. The problem is that the people who have the power will very rarely, if at all, have the moral courage and strength to undermine their own power for the good of the collective.


On a side-note, our economic structure is formed in such a way that we don’t even have to make a tangible contribution to society to earn legal money (financial investors and such).


Also, communism or even socialism has such a dogmatic negative connotation in the states, instilled by the government in the minds of her people. It is true that communism as it has been executed in the past and present is almost as far from an ideal society as it can be, but the cause of this lies in a fault in its executors, and not in the ideology itself. Fascism should not per definition accompany communism.


Our economic system, and society as a whole, is inherently immoral on such a myriad of ways that it is hard to conceive that there aren’t countless of people like Sam who criticise it.


It are the people on wall street who are the real thieves, as they have by way of complex financial constructions tumbled the world in an downward spiral. By allowing more and more high-risk loans to be given and insuring themselves against it so that they make even more money when the creditor can’t pay it back. Rating-bureaus who give AAA ratings to even the highest risk loans, raising questions about their integrity. The people whom devised those mechanisms and countless others in the financial system make millions and millions while at the same time dozens of millions of people are left without a job just because of the domino effect that their actions created. Yet they aren’t reprimanded in any way, on the contrary, it are the same people who caused the financial depression who sit in the economic advisory board of Obama. Ensuring from the top that the banking system is deregulated, and aggressively putting down anyone who would suggest that it should be regulated.


Man must be controlled by law ( the state). And it is, among other things, thanks to the refusal of the government of the U.S. to regulate the banking system that we’re all in this mess. Allowing banks to speculate wildly with the money of Average Joe, putting their clients meager life savings on the line to make hundreds of millions themselves. 


So I wonder who those readers whom criticise Sam’s economic ideologies would consider the biggest thief if they were fully informed? The financial investor on Wall Street that makes hundreds of millions a year on the back of Average Joe without contributing a thing to society, or the man that tries to limit their almost diabolical ruthless drive to make money and distribute their excess to the most needy.


I think\hope every rational and foremost ethical person would choose the first!


if we have no free will…....(and we don’t)........in what ways do you propose we can alter our perceived circumstances?

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Posted: 31 August 2011 02:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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if we have no free will…....(and we don’t)........in what ways do you propose we can alter our perceived circumstances?


That, my friend, is THE question at hand and not at all easily obtained. In fact, it might be one of the hardest things man as a society will have to deal with in the future.

Because first of all there should be a general consensus in society about the nature of our limited free will. And that point alone seems to be, considering the ignorance of Average Joe, reaching for the stars.
But undeniably there is a positive trend, otherwise you and I wouldn’t be having this discussion. More and more people are benefiting the fruits of higher education, although this does not at all mean that every person who does so will come to the right conclusions but it certainly adds to the probability of it.

 

It is a matter of general awareness and one of the biggest impediments for reaching this is religion. Were every person to embrace science as its one true ” belief ’ then there would be no more dividing schisms. Nobody would be able to say ’ I’m a Jew and you’re a Muslim’ or ’ I’m a creationist and you’re a biologist’, we would simply all be brothers and sisters on a immensely broad family tree. As far as I’m concerned it would even transcend our national identities and we would first and foremost consider ourselves ” dwellers of the universe” who all experience happiness and suffering.
And this is a major unifying principle and binds us together, as we all share the same destiny and cravings.

 

But, again, for this to happen people will have to renounce traditional/ tribal religion and embrace science. Carl Sagan said it best when he said:

 

A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.

 

So as long as there won’t be a shift in our mentality, in our attitude towards each other and the world, society as a whole will never be able to dig out the rusted in foundations on which our economy and the entire structure of our society rests.

 

Or it will be a incremental, gradual and slow process of emerging awareness, or there will be a sudden event that shocks the world awake and enables it to reconsider the values it has for so long accepted blindly.

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“Consider yourself. I want you to imagine a scene from your childhood. Pick something evocative… Something you can remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you WEREN’T there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over… Steve Grand

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Posted: 31 August 2011 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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panthamor - 31 August 2011 06:35 AM

if we have no free will…....(and we don’t)........in what ways do you propose we can alter our perceived circumstances?


That, my friend, is THE question at hand and not at all easily obtained. In fact, it might be one of the hardest things man as a society will have to deal with in the future.

Because first of all there should be a general consensus in society about the nature of our limited free will. And that point alone seems to be, considering the ignorance of Average Joe, reaching for the stars.
But undeniably there is a positive trend, otherwise you and I wouldn’t be having this discussion. More and more people are benefiting the fruits of higher education, although this does not at all mean that every person who does so will come to the right conclusions but it certainly adds to the probability of it.

 

It is a matter of general awareness and one of the biggest impediments for reaching this is religion. Were every person to embrace science as its one true ” belief ’ then there would be no more dividing schisms. Nobody would be able to say ’ I’m a Jew and you’re a Muslim’ or ’ I’m a creationist and you’re a biologist’, we would simply all be brothers and sisters on a immensely broad family tree. As far as I’m concerned it would even transcend our national identities and we would first and foremost consider ourselves ” dwellers of the universe” who all experience happiness and suffering.
And this is a major unifying principle and binds us together, as we all share the same destiny and cravings.

 

But, again, for this to happen people will have to renounce traditional/ tribal religion and embrace science. Carl Sagan said it best when he said:

 

A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.
Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.

 

So as long as there won’t be a shift in our mentality, in our attitude towards each other and the world, society as a whole will never be able to dig out the rusted in foundations on which our economy and the entire structure of our society rests.

 

Or it will be a incremental, gradual and slow process of emerging awareness, or there will be a sudden event that shocks the world awake and enables it to reconsider the values it has for so long accepted blindly.


That is beautiful.
And certainly an improvement on current consensus thought patterns.
But I am wondering if it is merely another expression emerging from the sense of self, seeking its own safety in an idealized world.
Is it perhaps an evolved thinking pattern that visualizes a world of peace and harmony where it and its prodigy can turn the world into its personal Shangra-La?
The Mormons believe that when they die, they will get their very own planet with all new animals in which they will spend eternity.
If he plays his cards right, the male can eventually become God of the planet.
Perhaps this thinking patterns runs through the synapses of the thinking mind.
So far there is no evidence to indicate that evolution extends its influence to include an entire species.

[ Edited: 31 August 2011 09:36 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 01 September 2011 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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That is beautiful.
And certainly an improvement on current consensus thought patterns.
But I am wondering if it is merely another expression emerging from the sense of self, seeking its own safety in an idealized world.
Is it perhaps an evolved thinking pattern that visualizes a world of peace and harmony where it and its prodigy can turn the world into its personal Shangra-La?
The Mormons believe that when they die, they will get their very own planet with all new animals in which they will spend eternity.
If he plays his cards right, the male can eventually become God of the planet.
Perhaps this thinking patterns runs through the synapses of the thinking mind.
So far there is no evidence to indicate that evolution extends its influence to include an entire species.

 

Isn’t it logical and self-evident that mankind is hardwired to be continually thinking of new ways to improve its destiny or standard of living? How else would we’ve gotten this far? In the last 200 years alone we have made more progress, both technological and social, than our entire previous history combined. We did not achieve this by sitting back and going with the flow. If we did so you or I could’ve been a slave toiling the earth for other peoples benefit, or a woman that wasn’t allowed to work or vote.


It is amazing and saddening that we’ve had to go through thousands and thousands of years of cultural evolution before we’ve arrived at this point. And we’re not nearly finished. We’ve still got countless of injustices to get rid off. The only constant in this universe is evolution. Whether it be non-animate, animate or cultural. And evolution does not go and scatter of in all directions, on the contrary, it is aimed to a specific direction. In the sense that it goes from very simple basic entities to increasingly complex structures, that is equally true in the evolution of life as it is true in the evolution of culture. And as our culture becomes more and more complex the justness of it will equally improve.

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“Consider yourself. I want you to imagine a scene from your childhood. Pick something evocative… Something you can remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you WEREN’T there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over… Steve Grand

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Posted: 01 September 2011 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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panthamor - 01 September 2011 12:02 PM

That is beautiful.
And certainly an improvement on current consensus thought patterns.
But I am wondering if it is merely another expression emerging from the sense of self, seeking its own safety in an idealized world.
Is it perhaps an evolved thinking pattern that visualizes a world of peace and harmony where it and its prodigy can turn the world into its personal Shangra-La?
The Mormons believe that when they die, they will get their very own planet with all new animals in which they will spend eternity.
If he plays his cards right, the male can eventually become God of the planet.
Perhaps this thinking patterns runs through the synapses of the thinking mind.
So far there is no evidence to indicate that evolution extends its influence to include an entire species.

 

Isn’t it logical and self-evident that mankind is hardwired to be continually thinking of new ways to improve its destiny or standard of living? How else would we’ve gotten this far? In the last 200 years alone we have made more progress, both technological and social, than our entire previous history combined. We did not achieve this by sitting back and going with the flow. If we did so you or I could’ve been a slave toiling the earth for other peoples benefit, or a woman that wasn’t allowed to work or vote.
It is amazing and saddening that we’ve had to go through thousands and thousands of years of cultural evolution before we’ve arrived at this point. And we’re not nearly finished. We’ve still got countless of injustices to get rid off. The only constant in this universe is evolution. Whether it be non-animate, animate or cultural. And evolution does not go and scatter of in all directions, on the contrary, it is aimed to a specific direction. In the sense that it goes from very simple basic entities to increasingly complex structures, that is equally true in the evolution of life as it is true in the evolution of culture. And as our culture becomes more and more complex the justness of it will equally improve.

 

(t)
There has indeed been vast improvements in the human condition.
But the general consensus among evolutionists is that evolution occurs on the level of individual organisms.
Each individual is programmed to seek its own self interest.
Those individual mandates combine to impact the social trends of a society.
I suppose that that might be termed “second-stage evolution” but as such does not fit the current definition.

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Posted: 01 September 2011 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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But the general consensus among evolutionists is that evolution occurs on the level of individual organisms.
Each individual is programmed to seek its own self interest.

 

Richard Dawkins, a well-known evolutionary biologist would not agree with this. It is true of course that organisms act on motivations originating from self-interest. But there are exceptions: intelligent organisms. One of the characteristics of intelligent organisms is that they live in group. The more complex the hierarchy or structure of the group, the more intelligent the being. One need simply look at dolphins, bonobo’s or chimpanzees. These are all intelligent animals with a complex hierarchy.


So to get to my point, altruism is egoism. When a bonobo is removing the flees with another bonobo he is not directly gaining something from this act, but by doing this frequently with certain bonobo’s of his group his ‘social status’ with those bonobo’s will improve. And they will return the favor, this is called reciprocity. I do something good for you, you do something good for me.

For cottontop tamarin monkeys, the golden rule rules.

Though the tiny creatures look more like gremlins than humans, they do seem to share one trait with us: altruism. Tamarins give their partners a tasty treat even when it doesn’t benefit them, and even when their mate had been stingy with them in the past, according to a study published online July 14 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

If you want the full article here it is

These little monkeys share altruistic trait with humans


So it actually is in our nature to help each other, although we might not seem to profit from it as an individual on the short-term.
So even evolution wants us to tax the wealthy to put it comically

[ Edited: 01 September 2011 12:59 PM by panthamor]
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Posted: 01 September 2011 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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panthamor - 01 September 2011 04:50 PM

But the general consensus among evolutionists is that evolution occurs on the level of individual organisms.
Each individual is programmed to seek its own self interest.

 

Richard Dawkins, a well-known evolutionary biologist would not agree with this. It is true of course that organisms act on motivations originating from self-interest. But there are exceptions: intelligent organisms. One of the characteristics of intelligent organisms is that they live in group. The more complex the hierarchy or structure of the group, the more intelligent the being. One need simply look at dolphins, bonobo’s or chimpanzees. These are all intelligent animals with a complex hierarchy.


So to get to my point, altruism is egoism. When a bonobo is removing the flees with another bonobo he is not directly gaining something from this act, but by doing this frequently with certain bonobo’s of his group his ‘social status’ with those bonobo’s will improve. And they will return the favor, this is called reciprocity. I do something good for you, you do something good for me.

For cottontop tamarin monkeys, the golden rule rules.

Though the tiny creatures look more like gremlins than humans, they do seem to share one trait with us: altruism. Tamarins give their partners a tasty treat even when it doesn’t benefit them, and even when their mate had been stingy with them in the past, according to a study published online July 14 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

If you want the full article here it is

These little monkeys share altruistic trait with humans


So it actually is in our nature to help each other, although we might not seem to profit from it as an individual on the short-term.
So even evolution wants us to tax the wealthy to put it comically

 


Those individuals who are programmed to “help” benefit the gene pool of their biological peers and are likely to pass on those qualities to their prodigy.
The results that filter down to the group are a residual effect of each individual’s “choices”.
“Evolution” works on the level of the individual.
I believe that this is also a belief Dawkins advocates.
The label “altruism” is a misnomer in that the act is not an act of will.
In truth there is no such thing.
There is only the labeling of perceived, self-referential behavior.

 


I like your moustache.


:-(0

[ Edited: 01 September 2011 01:57 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 02 September 2011 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Those individuals who are programmed to “help” benefit the gene pool of their biological peers and are likely to pass on those qualities to their prodigy.
The results that filter down to the group are a residual effect of each individual’s “choices”.
“Evolution” works on the level of the individual.
I believe that this is also a belief Dawkins advocates.


Yes I agree, nicely explained.

The label “altruism” is a misnomer in that the act is not an act of will.
In truth there is no such thing.
There is only the labeling of perceived, self-referential behavior.


I don’t think I fully understand what you mean here. I’ll try to paraphrase it so that you can correct me if I’m wrong.

By saying that altruism is not an act of will you mean that it is not consciously ‘willed’, but that the organism is predetermined to do so? But surely it is an act of will in the sense that every movement or thought of an organism is an act of will, albeit not theirs. And by saying that there is only the labeling of perceived, self-referential behavior you mean that when an organism does something for another it is always done with the aim of getting something out of it for themselves on the long run?


Thanks for the contributions
And by the way thank you for noticing, I had it recently groomed and restylished.

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“Consider yourself. I want you to imagine a scene from your childhood. Pick something evocative… Something you can remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you WEREN’T there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over… Steve Grand

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Posted: 02 September 2011 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Panthamor, I will have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of the “directionality” of evolution.

“And evolution does not go and scatter of in all directions, on the contrary, it is aimed to a specific direction. In the sense that it goes from very simple basic entities to increasingly complex structures, that is equally true in the evolution of life as it is true in the evolution of culture. And as our culture becomes more and more complex the justness of it will equally improve.”

You said you are familiar with Dawkins, and I feel he would best refute this claim in “The Selfish Gene”. Evolution does not have an aim other than the survival of the replicator. Sometimes this might be through the proliferation of increasingly complex organisms (although the notion of complexity can be subjective in some manners), but often many branches of evolution remain rooted in what we would consider “simpler” solutions. Viruses are a great example of this. I apologize if I might be misrepresenting his point, and I am open to correction.

I can’t make as confident of a statement into the nature of cultural evolution, but it strikes me that it is so intertwined with the day-to-day success and survival of our species that I intuitively think that it HAS to be related in some correlation to the process of organism evolution. By this I think that it might be difficult to say that our cultural evolution is necessarily moving towards an increase in justice. An increase in justice might not necessarily lead to an increase in survival advantage within a culture. I know that Dawkins mentions that we can “break the chains” of evolution and determine the path of our civilization, but I remain very skeptical. It is difficult to examine the main process and direction that is driving our species, and although we want to knee-jerk and say that we are self-driven and moving towards an increase in intelligence, complexity, and justice I think that our sampled timescale is absolutely dwarfed compared to the scale upon which evolution often acts. Our species might be “moving forward”, generally speaking, in the short term (~4000-5000 years of most documented human history) but measuring the direction of our species on the whole is like trying to measure the exact velocity of a nearby galaxy. The timescales upon which these processes act tend to increase our confidence intervals beyond the bounds of what we would like. But I digress, this is still a very tangential topic for discussion!

On your statements concerning economics, I agree that it needs re-evaluation as our secular morality continues to emerge!

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Posted: 02 September 2011 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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panthamor - 02 September 2011 06:06 AM

Those individuals who are programmed to “help” benefit the gene pool of their biological peers and are likely to pass on those qualities to their prodigy.
The results that filter down to the group are a residual effect of each individual’s “choices”.
“Evolution” works on the level of the individual.
I believe that this is also a belief Dawkins advocates.


Yes I agree, nicely explained.

The label “altruism” is a misnomer in that the act is not an act of will.
In truth there is no such thing.
There is only the labeling of perceived, self-referential behavior.


I don’t think I fully understand what you mean here. I’ll try to paraphrase it so that you can correct me if I’m wrong.

By saying that altruism is not an act of will you mean that it is not consciously ‘willed’, but that the organism is predetermined to do so?


(t)
Yes.
It has been well documented that the brain “makes the decision” a tenth of a second before the the “person” becomes aware of it.
(Libet et al)
The sense of self emerges downstream from brain’s reaction.
That which has been labeled altruism is merely the brain’s response that has been programmed by the biological advantage of social cooperation.

 

 

But surely it is an act of will in the sense that every movement or thought of an organism is an act of will, albeit not theirs.

 


(t)
In truth there is no such thing as will.
The conceptualizing brain attempts to understand its own perceived reactions by labeling them.
The sense of I am imagines itself to be the geocentric center of the brains conceptual overlay.
The human does not decide on coffee or tea any more than a cockroach decides to flee the light.

 

 

 

 

And by saying that there is only the labeling of perceived, self-referential behavior you mean that when an organism does something for another it is always done with the aim of getting something out of it for themselves on the long run?

 

No.
The person is not consciously aware of making a choice as there is no choice made.
I suppose you could say that all reactions are selfish but again, that is a perception from the perspective of self.
The sense of self and its conceptual overlay is the same phenomenon.
And there is no objective place from which it can perceive its own condition simply because it doesn’t have one.

 


Thanks for the contributions
And by the way thank you for noticing, I had it recently groomed and restylished.

 

 


My self finds it a bit unfair that someone would have more hair on your top lip than it has on its entire head.

 

(:-O

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Posted: 02 September 2011 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Mesthione - 02 September 2011 11:13 AM

Panthamor, I will have to respectfully disagree with your assessment of the “directionality” of evolution.

“And evolution does not go and scatter of in all directions, on the contrary, it is aimed to a specific direction. In the sense that it goes from very simple basic entities to increasingly complex structures, that is equally true in the evolution of life as it is true in the evolution of culture. And as our culture becomes more and more complex the justness of it will equally improve.”


(t)
Could you define “justness”?

 

 

 


You said you are familiar with Dawkins, and I feel he would best refute this claim in “The Selfish Gene”. Evolution does not have an aim other than the survival of the replicator.

 

 

(t)
That is not an aim of evolution.
Evolution is not a thing in itself.
It is a result of the survival of the fittest.

 

Sometimes this might be through the proliferation of increasingly complex organisms (although the notion of complexity can be subjective in some manners), but often many branches of evolution remain rooted in what we would consider “simpler” solutions. Viruses are a great example of this. I apologize if I might be misrepresenting his point, and I am open to correction.

I can’t make as confident of a statement into the nature of cultural evolution, but it strikes me that it is so intertwined with the day-to-day success and survival of our species that I intuitively think that it HAS to be related in some correlation to the process of organism evolution. By this I think that it might be difficult to say that our cultural evolution is necessarily moving towards an increase in justice.

 


(t)
Evolution doesn’t care about what humans call justice.
Is there justice in nature?

 

 

An increase in justice might not necessarily lead to an increase in survival advantage within a culture.

 


(t)
Could you explain what you mean by “justice”.

 

I know that Dawkins mentions that we can “break the chains” of evolution and determine the path of our civilization, but I remain very skeptical.

 


(t)
As well you should.
If Dawkins said that, he is wrong.

 

It is difficult to examine the main process and direction that is driving our species, and although we want to knee-jerk and say that we are self-driven and moving towards an increase in intelligence, complexity, and justice I think that our sampled timescale is absolutely dwarfed compared to the scale upon which evolution often acts. Our species might be “moving forward”, generally speaking, in the short term (~4000-5000 years of most documented human history) but measuring the direction of our species on the whole is like trying to measure the exact velocity of a nearby galaxy. The timescales upon which these processes act tend to increase our confidence intervals beyond the bounds of what we would like. But I digress, this is still a very tangential topic for discussion!

On your statements concerning economics, I agree that it needs re-evaluation as our secular morality continues to emerge!

 


(t)
Could you explain what you mean by secular morality?

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Posted: 06 September 2011 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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toombaru - 02 September 2011 05:01 PM

-Could you define “justness”?

I meant it as an increased well-being for individuals, akin to “climbing” the moral landscape towards its peaks. Perhaps there is a better word, and I hate to be caught up with semantics.“More moral” might be more appropriate, and I apologize for the confusion.

-That is not an aim of evolution.
  Evolution is not a thing in itself.
  It is a result of the survival of the fittest.

True that it does not have an aim, but if he had to anthropomorphize it I would say again that it is the survival and proliferation of the replicator. More importantly than that, it is not aimed to necessarily make more “intelligent” or moral organisms.

-Evolution doesn’t care about what humans call justice.
  Is there justice in nature?

While evolution might not explicitly care, I do think our morality can be influenced by evolution. It is, after all, the proliferation of a meme of sorts…a morality that overall betters the individuals who practice it and spread it versus a morality that somehow disadvantages individuals might have greater success in the meme pool. Then again, we have found that not all memes spread because of their beneficial effects…

-As well you should.
  If Dawkins said that, he is wrong.

The more I think about it, the more I believe I am misrepresenting his point. I’ll have to open up “The Selfish Gene” and check this out.

-Could you explain what you mean by secular morality?

A morality that is not derived from supernatural guidance, pseudoscience or religious dogma.

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