French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#61  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 18, 2016 5:37 pm

zoon wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
Just for starters, tell me what's missing from 'comity' that isn't overburdened by your version of 'morality'. Or do words fail you?

Why use an obscure word when a common one does the job better? The word “morality” doesn’t have to be taken to be carrying supernatural baggage.


You're using the same word the religionists use, so yes, it has baggage. It means you take them a little too seriously in your own head, but I've never seen you engage a theist in a serious argument; all I've ever seen you do is argue impotently with non-believers who think you're doling out a load of shite.

zoon wrote:
I do agree that many of those joining ISIS think of their morality as objective and absolute. I’m not so happy with the implication that our side is not doing something similar, the assumption that one’s own mindset is the right one is more or less unavoidable?


Do you know why that is, zoon? It's because the stuff you try to pass off as evidence supporting your (how you say?) mindset is still only a philosophical reinterpretation of human behaviour, just so much psychobabble. What it isn't is science. Because 'mindset' is not a technical term.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#62  Postby Pebble » Apr 18, 2016 10:02 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:

Oh, wait. What you're on about is that everybody has some conception of 'harm'.


Agreed not a rigorous term - but as you say it is a term that is easily understood if poorly defined. But then given that the laws of this country include such meaningless phrases as 'cause offense' I am hardly alone.

How about actions/interventions that when stripped of contextual explanations/justifications, would be regarded by the 'average' person as severely negatively impacting their sense of self or well being, if directed toward themselves?
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#63  Postby Pebble » Apr 18, 2016 10:06 pm

zoon wrote: Two researchers are Paul Bloom, who has looked at proto-moral behaviour in babies, and Joshua Greene, who has written a book “Moral Tribes”, on different moral systems round the world. The link to Joshua Greene is about the trolley problem, which suggests that the wired-in aspects of morality may involve different systems in the brain, not necessarily working together entirely logically.


Thank you will look into that.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#64  Postby tuco » Apr 19, 2016 1:53 am

In words of classic, woman is a g-string tied between supergirl and cow.

In the land of moral landscape science can "inform" on .. and now we are fucked .. moral what? .. landscape. Not to inform moral reasoning or debate but it transforms "ought to" to "is". There is truth somewhere out-there .. out-there indeed.

Morals of babies, morals of apes, morals of ants. Information indeed enriching our understanding of own behaviour. Even Mr.Samsa ;) figured that the ought to question science cannot decide. Open society is always in conflict as there its where "ought to" is transformed to "is".

Landscape but nobody knows what it is yet .. quantum landscape .. dont even think about it.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#65  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 19, 2016 4:22 am

Pebble wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:

Oh, wait. What you're on about is that everybody has some conception of 'harm'.


Agreed not a rigorous term - but as you say it is a term that is easily understood if poorly defined. But then given that the laws of this country include such meaningless phrases as 'cause offense' I am hardly alone.

How about actions/interventions that when stripped of contextual explanations/justifications, would be regarded by the 'average' person as severely negatively impacting their sense of self or well being, if directed toward themselves?


How do you know you're not alone? Or do you just assume it? I know, it's your mates, down the pub.

This is wandering, as expected, toward psychobabble territory. 1) You need an evaluator for 'average person' besides self-definition. So your criterion is abstract, along with the rest of your proposal. 2) No, 'causes offense' is not a useable criterion, either, especially if you merely observe much the behavior of people on this forum who claim someone is 'trolling' them. Some people are sensitive to 'being offended'. They like feeling offended (i.e., judgemental), absent any formal criteria, which is the core of moralistic 'tut-tutting' anyway.

Do you begin to understand why I am skeptical of your pursuit of moral principles in such general, abstract terms? You're after something else than optimizing the state of humanity, whatever that should entail. What you should do, Pebble, if you're hungry for making your mark on intellectual life, is to study something where success can be identified before you start. Simply exploring the concept of 'success' (philosophically) is an interesting hobby, but you can't make it out to be a contribution, because everyone has his or her own opinion about what it denotes, and aimless wibble about 'average folks' is a cop-out. It means you're happy being 'average', all evidence to the contrary.

Lots of folks go into the softer 'sciences' and humanities because they don't like the feeling of failure that comes from a failed experiment. But if you've learned to identify what 'success' means, beforehand, you're already ahead. "Sense of self" gets you nowhere, whereas learning how to identify specific, achievable goals (experimental outcomes) does. That you can't do this with politics and psychobabble should be obvious to you by now.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#66  Postby igorfrankensteen » Apr 19, 2016 4:19 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
igorfrankensteen wrote:If you actually study History in enough depth and breadth to develop a valid point of view about it, the number one thing you will come to recognize, it that any large event is VASTLY complicated.


That's a fair statement, igorfrankensteen. If you line up all the history fanboys who love telling us that large events are complex, a platitude if ever there was, and never have much else to say about history, they won't reach a conclusion.

It's not that history is uninteresting when told with writerly flair; it becomes interesting literature that purports to be rooted in 'actual events' instead of openly admitting grounding in purely fictional ones. The great thing about fiction, as opposed to history, is that it can tell the truth, to which accounts of 'actual events' do not have access:

kiore wrote:I think such similarities will belong to hindsight sometime in the future. Immediate links I can see are beheadings and serious social dislocation in the region. The French revolution was not one thing but many, and can perhaps be broken down into a number of stages with the initial revolt followed by the 'terror' followed by the reaction to it and the early wars both civil and international, with the Directory being a entirely different period. Whether Napoleons consulship and finally dictatorship as Emperor are actually part of the revolution or just a result of will depend on points of view, and it could be argued that it continued in the 1840's and onto the Paris Commune at least.


Another platitude is that revolutions do their best to rewrite history from top to bottom, but only succeed in little ways, and for only a few years. The best way not to lie about history is not to insist on any of its 'truths'. Historical accounts proceed by consensus, which science does not, in the long run, have to do.


Your complaint about my generalization is noted, however you missed why I made it. The thread is based on making a GENERALIZATION error of huge proportions. I used the smallest factor to refute it that was still applicable.

In addition:

" If you line up all the history fanboys who love telling us that large events are complex, a platitude if ever there was, and never have much else to say about history, they won't reach a conclusion."

One of the greatest mistakes made by those who don't understand the disciplines of History, is that they think that the point of it all is to "draw conclusions" such as this thread has tried to do. It's a subtle point, requiring effort and thought to recognize, but it is tremendously important nevertheless...that more mistakes are made when people draw conclusions erroneously, than when they hold off and wait for sufficient information to make such a judgment. ESPECIALLY when trying to apply understandings of past events to present and future ones.

There are also a LOT of false platitudes about History out there. One of them is your notion that " revolutions do their best to rewrite history from top to bottom." They actually don't. revolutionaries might tell their followers and even themselves that that is what they are doing, but if you study the actual EVENTS, most revolutions are designed from the start, to AVOID that much real change. Most of the time, all the revolutionaries really want, is to change who is at the top of the existing power structure. So the fact that they almost never change EVERYTHING, isn't because they failed in their efforts, it's usually because they weren't trying that hard to begin with.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#67  Postby Pebble » Apr 19, 2016 5:24 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:


How do you know you're not alone? Or do you just assume it? I know, it's your mates, down the pub.


Obviously didn't read what I wrote.

Cito di Pense wrote:This is wandering, as expected, toward psychobabble territory. 1) You need an evaluator for 'average person' besides self-definition. So your criterion is abstract, along with the rest of your proposal. 2) No, 'causes offense' is not a useable criterion, either, especially if you merely observe much the behavior of people on this forum who claim someone is 'trolling' them. Some people are sensitive to 'being offended'. They like feeling offended (i.e., judgemental), absent any formal criteria, which is the core of moralistic 'tut-tutting' anyway.


That is what I wrote!

Cito di Pense wrote:Do you begin to understand why I am skeptical of your pursuit of moral principles in such general, abstract terms? You're after something else than optimizing the state of humanity, whatever that should entail. What you should do, Pebble, if you're hungry for making your mark on intellectual life, is to study something where success can be identified before you start. Simply exploring the concept of 'success' (philosophically) is an interesting hobby, but you can't make it out to be a contribution, because everyone has his or her own opinion about what it denotes, and aimless wibble about 'average folks' is a cop-out. It means you're happy being 'average', all evidence to the contrary.


No! if you want to make a mark, it is essential to work on a problem that no one else has a solution to - as Einstein demonstrated. However, for me philosophy is purely a past-time, I save my intellectual energy for areas where I possess expertise.

Cito di Pense wrote:Lots of folks go into the softer 'sciences' and humanities because they don't like the feeling of failure that comes from a failed experiment. But if you've learned to identify what 'success' means, beforehand, you're already ahead. "Sense of self" gets you nowhere, whereas learning how to identify specific, achievable goals (experimental outcomes) does. That you can't do this with politics and psychobabble should be obvious to you by now.


My opinion for what it is worth is that we have not even sketched the landscape in terms of secular morality - the declaration of human rights is a close as we get, and that has not exactly been a success 60 years on. So I think one has to go back to basics - first create a shared language, identify the lowest common denominator of agreed principles, then create a classification system. Only then can you sensibly construct testable hypotheses where a community of interested individuals can agree on the validity of the test and critically analyze the outcomes.
I do not pretend I shall be the 'father' of this venture - I am simply arguing that such a pursuit is worth the effort.
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Re: French Revolution compared to Syrian Revolution?

#68  Postby tuco » Apr 19, 2016 5:44 pm

Indeed, this guy:

Saudi ambassador: "Atheists Are Terrorists" - http://www.rationalskepticism.org/news- ... 52133.html

works there (at the UN) and he sounds like he never heard of it, never was part of his curriculum.

As zoon noted:

zoon wrote:I do agree that many of those joining ISIS think of their morality as objective and absolute. I’m not so happy with the implication that our side is not doing something similar, the assumption that one’s own mindset is the right one is more or less unavoidable?


The difference is that one cannot be questioned while the other can, one cannot be subject to change while the other can, one is dogma while the other consensus.
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