Chinese Sleep Chant

So. Apparently, at some point during that shimmering life of his, William Shakespeare said that;

“Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

I don’t happen to know whether that was coming from one of the plays he worked on, or rather a direct quotation, but indeed the witty aphorism has made its long way in the realms of quotations. Nowadays we may have disgraced this piece of Shakespeare’s philosophy, however, because no matter how artful it may have been, it is now a hackneyed cliché. One among many.

Fortunately that is irrelevant.

Personally, I recall to have encountered that saying somewhere within a Zen-esque writing that I studied last year. Back then it was rather enlightening; mainly because it makes quite some sense, and partially because it has some scent of rebellion against the more objective sense morality— that is incidentally being held by the vast majority of human beings. In summary, that was one hell of a quote. And I get to quote Shakespeare too. That’s like, intellectually sexy. Nowhere as sexy as quoting Camus or Feuerbach, but what the hell.

Well that was sexy, until the aphorism’s shortcomings of being clichéd started to kick in. Reportedly, as Mr. McDuck revealed to me some time ago, the said aphorism was quoted in a Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer. In case you’ve been living under a rock somewhere for the last decade, that is the name of one upcoming installment for the Final Fantasy video game series. While I have no problems with Final Fantasy in general, this version of Final Fantasy (the one with the Shakespeare bit) will predominantly feature this guy: [picture]

No way I’m going to relate to that kind of ‘tough warrior’ with such a shampoo-commercial pretty boy quality. That’s just not happening.

In summary, the disposition of the quote shifted from a classy, scholarly quote one can find in either Renaissance plays or Zen literatures— to a quote a deranged weeaboo can pick up after oozing over the coolness of an emo kid’s antics. That is calamitous! Now whenever I were to don the quote, I’d be mistaken of stealing it from a Final Fantasy trailer!

So, that’s just not happening. I never used the quote again. There are plenty others I can use, so.

* * *

Time passed after the quote-abandoning incident, and I found myself not feeling pretty good. I dawked and flunked. So there are stress; emotional strain, suspense, and stuff. I tried to analyze the problems, and determine what to do afterwards. What to do? Is it good if were to take this decision? Or would that one be better?

I noticed that there is something that’s wrong— and it somewhat follows from the Shakespearean adage we were talking about.

That being; my analysis tends to be more optimistic when I was walking in the midst of an evening rain, alone striding in the streets, in between the cars that rip the highway in lightning speed, whilst bathing in the awe of raindrops and the faint glitters of the streetlights. Whispering in my ears were epic wails like that of Sabbath‘s Planet Caravan, Metallica‘s Orion, or Coldplay‘s Chinese Sleep Chant.

Reciprocally, my analysis would be gloomier whenever I think of it in a dirt cheap Indian restaurant that reeks with curry stench and annoying street Singlish— all while chowing down a layer of sweet canai that’s just too terribly sweet to the point that you just can’t possibly eat them without worrying about the future of your dental health. The joint was showing cricket, a game whose rules I simply don’t comprehend, in television and at the same time I’ve got worries about my laundry, my portable music player (she’s busted), and my unhealthy diet. I was one sorry fellow, and so were the analysis of my problems.

So I wonder— was Shakespeare right? That implies that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ were all simply (in a Zen layman term) illusions. That also implies that all of the whole horde of ‘inspirational’ bollocks, ranging from motivational books to religious approaches, are right after all: Life sucks, so when you’re unhappy, lower your standards, i.e. be a slightly more pathetic human being, and therefore you’d be content.

Or was he wrong and this was some kind of ‘unconscious fallacy’?

Someone please kindly exhume Billy from his grave so we can do consultation.

56 thoughts on “Chinese Sleep Chant

  1. Why not try to create your own quote.

    Like my “One geek is nothing, but one geek with Internet is a whole army”. My friend ask me, where you get that quote. I said, I don’t know, I just modified other quote, and Voila.

    Maybe… someday, your quote become famous, and maybe you can collect royalty.

  2. I fear absurdity. It is something that I actually fear the most in life. It always pulls me back to the question of God. It’s perhaps the main reason why I decided to return to theism after savoring the romantic idea of “rebellion” offered by Camus to overcome the void of values once we realized that “nothing is either (inherently) good or bad.” I assume that this “psychological” post of yours is the product of your evidence-based thinking that somehow — pardon my intrusive commentary — weakens your ability to comprehend the paradoxes of lives, things that are extremely existentially (not scientifically) incomprehensible, the meaninglessness of “a dirt cheap Indian restaurant that reeks with curry stench and annoying street Singlish.” This is the greatest challenge atheists and agnostics must tackle before they can wipe out the so-called “memes of religion.”

    Life sucks, so when you’re unhappy, lower your standards, i.e. be a slightly more pathetic human being, and therefore you’d be content.

    This is indeed a pathetic advice. And it works! Damn.

    Btw, nice to see this post.

    Kapan pindah sih?

  3. @ Suluh

    Tidak wajib dibaca.🙂

    @ dnial

    But a witty saying proves nothing! :O
    😆

    @ gentole

    Ah, the absurd… So hollow and soulless.🙂

    But on the contrary, the whole thing (that’s now currently leaning towards being, well, absurd) just fall into place. The explanation provided by the naturalists satisfies everything; that truth is independent from consciousness, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are interpretations of an innately neutral events, and ultimately happiness can be obtained from manipulating your mind somehow.

    And yes, given that naturalism is what most agnostics and atheists today embrace, that leaves a big gap for human beings’ spiritual needs. I tend to agree with Sam Harris that a theological stance, like agnosticism and atheism, is not a philosophy nor a worldview: it’s just a condition. It carries no moral, epistemological, or aesthetic codes. This is something the freethinkers must find for themselves, and one that they failed to give religion credits for.

    This is indeed a pathetic advice. And it works! Damn.

    It’s absurd!:mrgreen:

    Btw, nice to see this post.

    Kapan pindah sih?

    Mungkin Agustus-September.🙂

  4. Silakan saja kalo mo pindah dan menghapus blog ini. Saya sudah tak peduli.

    *soalnya sudah tak sedot pake winHTTrack barusan😀 *

  5. Pingback: Antara Jubing Kristianto dan Ananda Sukarlan « Catatan Gentole

  6. I really have to think much more about this.
    about this good or bad, related to some other people’s stand of believe, sometimes bother me. But, I have to fix my self first. Trying to be better person. Especially, when reading about Religion’s issue *sigh*

    I really feel much sorry for what I have done before in your previous Post.

    BTW, do you mind in getting me know ’bout your new address later on? after you get it one?

    I’m getting like to visit yours. And I also learn much thing from you. Included, make me force my self to improve my english in other to understand much better ’bout something in your reference😛

  7. Do you know why people buy expensive goods rather than like-products which cheaper? Because expensive goods made people believe that the goods is good as the price while it’s not always happen in all cases. That’s why we have term overrated and underrated.

    Nowadays we may have disgraced this piece of Shakespeare’s philosophy, however, because no matter how artful it may have been, it is now a hackneyed cliché.

    Just like a friend once told me (modified though), you can pimp your Avanza to be like an Alphard but you still feel it’s an Avanza not Alphard.

    It’s all matter of human psychology especially cognition one.

  8. No way I’m going to relate to that kind of ‘tough warrior’ with such a shampoo-commercial pretty boy quality. That’s just not happening.

    In summary, the disposition of the quote shifted from a classy, scholarly quote one can find in either Renaissance plays or Zen literatures— to a quote a deranged weeaboo can pick up after oozing over the coolness of an emo kid’s antics. That is calamitous! Now whenever I were to don the quote, I’d be mistaken from stealing it from a Final Fantasy trailer!

    So, that’s just not happening. I never used the quote again. There are plenty others I can use, so.

    Ini apa bukannya ad hominem…?:mrgreen:

    Omongan Shakespeare, biarpun yang ngomong pejabat istana atau bishonen model sampo, tetap saja mutunya sama. IMHO, ente cuma gengsi — karena kalimat yang tadinya precious kini diucapkan sama cowok cantik nggak jelas.😆

    So I wonder— was Shakespeare right? That implies that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ were all simply (in a Zen layman term) illusions.

    *switch english*

    IMHO, the question is categorically classic. Humans — by nature — define “good” variously one another. That’s why there are utilitarians (“good when satisfying many people’s needs”), religionists (“good to adhere to religious teaching”), etc., etc.

    The key to answer what’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’ relates to one’s philosophy and way of life — or, basically, on how people put meanings on, and see things in, their life. There may be some “goodness” people agree in common — but I believe that there will always be grey area, where not everyone agree whether it is “good” or “bad”. ^^

    CMIIW.

    That also implies that all of the whole horde of ‘inspirational’ bollocks, ranging from motivational books to religious approaches, are right after all: Life sucks, so when you’re unhappy, lower your standards, i.e. be a slightly more pathetic human being, and therefore you’d be content.

    I think this is more about acceptance and happiness, rather than about defining “good” and “bad” ? ^^;;

    That being; my analysis tends to be more optimistic when I was walking in the midst of an evening rain, alone striding in the streets, in between the cars that rip the highway in lightning speed, whilst bathing in the awe of raindrops and the faint glitters of the streetlights. Whispering in my ears were epic wails like that of Sabbath’s Planet Caravan, Metallica’s Orion, or Coldplay’s Chinese Sleep Chant.

    Reciprocally, my analysis would be gloomier whenever I think of it in a dirt cheap Indian restaurant that reeks with curry stench and annoying street Singlish— all while chowing down a layer of sweet canai that’s just too terribly sweet to the point that you just can’t possibly eat them without worrying about the future of your dental health.

    Talking about psychology, IMO it’s not that strange. It’s like feedback system — you don’t talk about “love and compassion” so easily to those living on the street… or penitentiary. It’s something like that.

    Environment and culture matter? CMIIW.😛

  9. @ gentole

    Indeed, but I just need to reply. Irresistible urge.🙂

    @ Snowie

    Existential questions? Each and every thinking person would have their fair share of those.

    My new blog’s address would be http://www.baksosuper.com🙂

    @ Nenda Fadhilah

    I belive it’s called bias.

    @ sora9n

    Omongan Shakespeare, biarpun yang ngomong pejabat istana atau bishonen model sampo, tetap saja mutunya sama. IMHO, ente cuma gengsi — karena kalimat yang tadinya precious kini diucapkan sama cowok cantik nggak jelas.😆

    Lha iya, ‘kan itu yang saya bilang.:mrgreen: Ga ada hubungannya sama quote-nya sendiri, kok.😆

    I believe that there will always be grey area, where not everyone agree whether it is “good” or “bad”. ^^

    An easy example would be a soccer match. The same game, in the same stadium; yet one team and one supporting crowd would go home in joy, and the other in disdain. Presuming that it’s not a tie, of course.

    I think this is more about acceptance and happiness, rather than about defining “good” and “bad” ? ^^;;

    I beg to differ. “Acceptance” is, by definition, lowering one’s standard. Using soccer yet again as an instance, assume that you’re initially hoping for Arsenal to win the silverware in a particular season. But then they didn’t.

    To “accept” that “it is okay” for Arsenal to not winning a silverware is, generally, if not universally, lowering the standards of your expectations.😕

    Contentment in life is basically compromising one’s standards and expectations with the surrounding situations. Sad but true.

    Talking about psychology, IMO it’s not that strange. It’s like feedback system — you don’t talk about “love and compassion” so easily to those living on the street… or penitentiary. It’s something like that.

    Environment and culture matter? CMIIW.😛

    But that is troublesome; I believe that reality is independent from one’s consciousness, and biases such as this has made me skeptical of my own judgement.

  10. @ K. geddoe

    An easy example would be a soccer match. The same game, in the same stadium; yet one team and one supporting crowd would go home in joy, and the other in disdain. Presuming that it’s not a tie, of course.

    Well, applies in transfer market. Some club finds it good to purchase CR7 and Adebayor with their price overly skyrocketed — yet, on the other hand, some people wants them to leave already.😈

    To “accept” that “it is okay” for Arsenal to not winning a silverware is, generally, if not universally, lowering the standards of your expectations.😕

    But accepting that they don’t win the silverware doesn’t mean I think that it’s good. Well, I can accept it, but I don’t find it good, but it happens anyway — so then, what can I do? ^^;

    Accepting life as is doesn’t necessarily mean I take them as “good”, IMO. Except, of course, if we see that reducing stress in mind is good in itself.😀

    But that is troublesome; I believe that reality is independent from one’s consciousness, and biases such as this has made me skeptical of my own judgement.

    About this, you may want to read: Value (personal and cultural) and Moral skepticism. ^^

    ***

    IMHO, we need some course of definition here, before stepping into deeper talks about this “good” and “bad” things. The gist is like this:

     
    —–
    *disclaimer: I’m not a philosophy major, so I’m open if anyone mind to correct the explanation above*😉
    —–
     

    Definition of “good” and “bad” relates to value. Value is divided into two subset: economics and moral value.

    Economics value defines “good” or “bad” based on relative worth between objects and/or conditions. For example, “sate kambing” is good for me (it’s delicious and healthy) — but it wouldn’t be as “good” to my stroke-ridden granpa (though delicious, it may result in worse condition or even death). Same goes when some Man-U fans wants CR7 to leave next season, because he would disrupt the dressing room harmony in Old Trafford — but Real Madrid sees otherwise, because they consider him to be promising marketing element and talent in their squad.

    Moral value, on the other hand, tries to define what’s good/bad in people’s conduct. Discourse about ethics enters here.

    While economic value is more-or-less rather objective, moral value tends to be subjective. A quick glance about this: many football fan will agree that Emmanuel Adebayor is far overrated in transfer market this season — but not many will have agreement upon whether there should be open tavern for LGBT club in New York.😉

    “Good” and “Bad” in ethics (and morality) is rather hard to define in common, due to its weighing subjectivity. This mostly due to personal and cultural value. IMHO, this contributes to our usual left-and-conservative frictions.

    Well, that’s it. I think we need to have it down here — because many of us tend to mix the the economics and ethics “good” and “bad” unwittingly. ^^

    Back to the Shakespearean notion mentioned above. IMHO, it’s not like that “nothing is good or bad”. Rather, it is like:

    Principle of “good” or “bad” occurs because we perceive things and judge them thenceforth.

    This is rather anthropocentric. But, actually, every “good” and “bad” occurs because humans tend to judge things!😀

    You stated that reality is independent despite our consciousness; IMHO that’s true. Reality stands despite no matter what we think. But to state that something is “good” (or “bad”) is not about interfering reality — it’s about judging things that, ultimately, is always bound to consciousness and valuation.🙂

    Of course there’s possibility that there will be some uniform definition about “good” and “bad” — but I’m afraid that it will only happen when everybody thinks exactly the same way in their mind. ^^;

  11. ^

    *disclaimer: I’m not a philosophy major, so I’m open if anyone mind to correct the explanation above*😉

    I meant “below”. Sorry for typo.😛

  12. @Sora9n, Geddoe

    You two actually have similar views on morality. You guys do not believe — or have some doubts — in the externality of moral values, of what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Geddoe might just misunderstand what Sora was saying about acceptance and happiness.

    I have questions for you guys. If you are conditioned to be agnostics, in a way that you don’t actually intend to be one and you just have to accept the fact that perhaps reality, being independent from our consciousness as you said, has no “ultimate good” or “universal moral standards”, is it possible for us to create our own values? I mean, will those values have meaning or strong metaphysical grounds? If they are meaningless, what do we need to subscribe to such values?

  13. @ gentole

    I have questions for you guys. If you are conditioned to be agnostics, in a way that you don’t actually intend to be one and you just have to accept the fact that perhaps reality, being independent from our consciousness as you said, has no “ultimate good” or “universal moral standards”, is it possible for us to create our own values?

    First of all, there’s something I need to convey concerning the statement above: I don’t deny the possibility of a universal moral standards’ existence. Rather, I think we humans may find — or invent — it as our philosophy and wisdom evolve. That doesn’t necessarily means through religion(s), though; however I’m open to that possibility.🙂

    Up to the question. Well, I’m personally a utilitarian in this case. That said, my point of view in making valuation tends to be influenced by its overall utility. This doesn’t require me to rely on metaphysical or external source of morality (e.g. holy scripture and religious teaching — though I do find some of it useful and fascinating). When deciding “good” and “bad” of things, I don’t see them per se; rather I try to see the usefulness of it.

    Perhaps I’d better illustrate with example. For instance about morality, I don’t support same-sex marriage. Why? Simple. Marriage is intended to protect children’s rights; they are born penniless and powerless. An ideal marriage not only protect the children’s finance until they’re ready to work by themselves: it also proved acknowledgement to the infants, provide legal status, and — in addition — assuring inheritance from their parents. There’s a legal certainty about who’s whose father, who must be held responsible financially, etc, etc. This is for different-sex marriage (DSM).

    In same-sex marriage (SSM), there’s no benefit out of it. They don’t have children whose legal and financial needs to be protected. Some ruling may enable them to adopt child, but that’s just making new problem out of nothing! It’ll just become an inefficient system with bulky mechanism.🙂

    That’s why, I prefer DSM and disregard SSM. In term of usefulness and efficiency, it doesn’t comply with my standard.

     

    The same goes about other moral conducts. I see golden rule effective and useful, so I apply it in my life. I’m against war because I’m aware modern warfare may lead to nuclear annihilation; I respect religious-moderates because I support their effort to bridge fundamentalism and modern world; etc., etc.

    Simply said, something is valued “good” by me if they are being — or considered — useful in short and long term. Not perfect, maybe, but at least it works and is efficient (IMO).🙂

    I mean, will those values have meaning or strong metaphysical grounds? If they are meaningless, what do we need to subscribe to such values?

    Actually, no — that doesn’t necessarily have strong metaphysical grounds. However I do think that metaphysical grounds (in this case, religions) may prove its usefulness — I do find some religious teachings fits well to help us developing as mankind. Among them golden rule, Christianity’s idea of love and compassion, and Gandhi’s ahimsa. There are also some hadith that (IMO) conduct some good morality… They provided me some leaps of understanding of morality, which in turn helped me in developing those personal values.

    About the meaning behind: well, I don’t know about others — but I do think that the only way we can manage to live our best is by considering (and realizing) what we truly need in short and long run. I’ll be happy if the world works for the best interest of mankind; hence the utilitarianism.🙂

  14. @Sora9n
    The last question should be a “why”, not “what”. Pardon me for the error. Interesting views, mas bro. Utilitarianism has its flaws, IMO. I’d like to comment on your answers, but let’s wait for Geddoe’s response — in case you two do have similar views.

  15. I belive it’s called bias.

    Or more precise, Cognitive Bias

    @Gentole

    You guys do not believe — or have some doubts — in the externality of moral values, of what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Geddoe might just misunderstand what Sora was saying about acceptance and happiness.

    You mean Natural law value? If it’s indeed a Natural Law, it must be something that more universal than any religion and cultural values. Something that any human has no doubt to accept. However it will takes us to the concept Banality of Evil coined by Hannah Arendt that said a person can do something evil but he is nor fanatic or sociopath.

    Utilitarianism has its flaws, IMO.

    Yep, utilitarianism has its flaws; I am an aretaic utilitarianism myself and it often hard to me to find what is more useful than another. Sometimes what useful in a short term is not useful in a long term.

  16. For me, the perception about good and bad are depend on our genetic and memetic program in our body and mind… which both of them are selfish.

    But the world itself is ignorant… the world (or life) is not kind or evil, it’s just ignorant and don’t care about your happiness and suffering…. maybe it’s hard for some of us to admit that (and it’s easier to give reason/purpose behind all the disasters and blessings in life)..

    *sorry for my bad grammar*

  17. @ sora9n

    Well, applies in transfer market. Some club finds it good to purchase CR7 and Adebayor with their price overly skyrocketed — yet, on the other hand, some people wants them to leave already.😈

    Worry not, apparently it is now Kaka that would potentially be breaking the transfer record.😈

    But accepting that they don’t win the silverware doesn’t mean I think that it’s good. Well, I can accept it, but I don’t find it good, but it happens anyway — so then, what can I do? ^^;

    “What can I do?” is a verily potent rhetoric. I’ve used it to get over anything.😆

    Accepting life as is doesn’t necessarily mean I take them as “good”, IMO. Except, of course, if we see that reducing stress in mind is good in itself.😀

    Let’s look at it this way. Initially you’d think of Arsenal losing pace in the latter half of the season as “unpleasant”. But then you (I could’ve said ‘we’, but I flirted with Chelsea as the lesser of the two evils:mrgreen: ) “get over it” and “let it be”. I interpret the fact that you (or we) once thought that the slip was “disturbing” and then went on to think that it’s “just okay”, is a lowering of standards.

    I wish I was wrong, though.

    About this, you may want to read: Value (personal and cultural) and Moral skepticism. ^^

    Reading…😛

    […] *philosophy lecture* […]

    Ah, enlightening. What I do is, I measure the two subsets and weigh them both; hence I am skeptical about the necessity of splitting them into two.

    It’s indeed a pretty anthropocentric pattern of thinking, but hey, what are we, squirrels?

    @ gentole | sora9n (2)

    You two actually have similar views on morality.

    I tend to agree.

    …is it possible for us to create our own values? I mean, will those values have meaning or strong metaphysical grounds? If they are meaningless, what do we need to subscribe to such values?

    My answer would be, yes we can (no US election puns intended), and we all have our own values. Everyone has their own personal values.

    I do not know whether universal values exist. But we, as a being, a “consciousness”, do create our own values. Each and every one of us.

    In some cases, people share the same outline of such values. When it became widely accepted, it became the “norm”. The “common sense” values.

    And maybe, in some other cases, people can successfully match their self-created values with the universal values (assuming it exists).:mrgreen:

    So that’s my two cents.🙂

    * * *

    But let me rant on my “values” a bit.

    I hereby proclaim that I have yet to formulate my own codes of morality. Or at least yet to formulate it proper. I am too skeptical to rely on religions and I think to rely solely on the Golden Rule is naïve at best.🙂

    Well indeed I find the Golden Rule, as well as Evolutionary biology-based morality theories, can be potently useful. It can, as an instance, tolerate LGBTs. But it gets tricky when it comes to tougher morality lemmas such as whether it is moral for blood siblings to make love in secrecy on a purely recreational grounds.

    Religion’s answers can be precise and concise; it’s prohibited. But I see no reason to believe in it solely because it’s precise and concise. The Aztecs had a precise and concise answer to the question; “Should we sacrifice the heart of our brethren each and every day to keep the sun at its course?”. The answer is yes in a precise and concise manner.

    As for now, all I can say is I am a Libertarian. I believe in maximizing individual rights (and providing others the same right) while compromising as efficiently as possible to collective demands. It’s anthropocentric, so the main goal is to preserve our species.😀

    Too weak of an outline and lack details, but formulating on secular morality is in no way a walk in the park. Ask Kant for that.🙂

    @ Nenda Fadhilah

    Cognitive bias, yes.

    @ Tito

    Yes. As I previously stated, we all craft our own values.🙂 Human mind is fictile and can be easily molded, so.😛

  18. Ah, missed something.

    @ gentole

    If they are meaningless, what do we need to subscribe to such values?

    If a value (self-crafted values) made its way far enough to survive humanity’s rises and falls, then chances are it’s a value that benefits the species as a whole.

    Example; You may be a nihilist who doesn’t believe in the sanctity of human life, but to murder, and therefore straying from the people’s values, is likely not to be beneficial. You’d get imprisoned, and hence lost a portion of your life, you’d be scorned by society, making it hard to create a relationship, get a work, etc…

  19. @ gentole

    Utilitarianism has its flaws, IMO.

    Well, talking about it; but there isn’t any perfect -ism yet invented by mankind.😉

    [inglish]

    Nothing is perfect, it’s name is also effort…😆

    (nggak ada yang sempurna, namanya juga usaha…😆 )

    [/inglish]

    I’d like to comment on your answers, but let’s wait for Geddoe’s response — in case you two do have similar views.

    *waiting*

    :::::

    @ K. geddoe

    Let’s look at it this way. Initially you’d think of Arsenal losing pace in the latter half of the season as “unpleasant”. But then you (I could’ve said ‘we’, but I flirted with Chelsea as the lesser of the two evils:mrgreen: ) “get over it” and “let it be”. I interpret the fact that you (or we) once thought that the slip was “disturbing” and then went on to think that it’s “just okay”, is a lowering of standards.

    Of course that is a mean of lowering standards. But the concept – IMHO – is more like this…

    “I want Gunners to champion EPL this season” (defining “good”)

    “Ohshi- Gunners got slipped” (shit happens, disturbed)

    “Well, okay. Nothing can be undone anyways…” (lowering standards + acceptance)

    IMO, acceptance is a mechanism of “making bad things look better” in our mind. In other words, Gunners lost from Chelski and Man-U may feel like shit; acceptance makes us feel better (or perhaps, claims “things like this always happen”). Things feel better, but it wouldn’t be the same as the idealistically defined “good” — that is, if the Gunners actually won the championship.🙂

    Analogically, if the fall behind Man-U and Chelski tastes like shit, acceptance makes it tastes likes wax — but it won’t go as far as tasteful if Gunners win, which is the taste of pancake. ^^

    The Aztecs had a precise and concise answer to the question; “Should we sacrifice the heart of our brethren each and every day to keep the sun at its course?”. The answer is yes in a precise and concise manner.

    This is — surprisingly — almost similar to Raskolnikov’s idea in Dostoyevski’s Crime and Punishment.😕 If Newton or Kepler need to kill (or massacre) people in order to invent their law, it can be justified because it is done for greater good. ^^;

    Controversial as it may be, but that makes him a killer who slew a despicable pawnbroker in the story…🙄

    I believe in maximizing individual rights (and providing others the same right) while compromising as efficiently as possible to collective demands.

    Ha, I’m in agreement with this.😀

  20. Of course that is a mean of lowering standards. But the concept – IMHO – is more like this…

    “I want Gunners to champion EPL this season” (defining “good”😉

    “Ohshi- Gunners got slipped” (shit happens, disturbed)

    “Well, okay. Nothing can be undone anyways…” (lowering standards + acceptance)

    IMO, acceptance is a mechanism of “making bad things look better” in our mind. In other words, Gunners lost from Chelski and Man-U may feel like shit; acceptance makes us feel better (or perhaps, claims “things like this always happen”). Things feel better, but it wouldn’t be the same as the idealistically defined “good” — that is, if the Gunners actually won the championship.🙂

    Analogically, if the fall behind Man-U and Chelski tastes like shit, acceptance makes it tastes likes wax — but it won’t go as far as tasteful if Gunners win, which is the taste of pancake. ^^

    Agreed. But let me elaborate on that. My personal opinions, of course.

    Essentially, human, as a conscious being, wishes. To “wish” would lead to happiness when the said wish is fulfilled (I shall call this the wish’ “positive potential”), and sorrow when it’s not (“negative potential”)— though the impact of each emotion differs.

    The thing is this: the stronger the wish, the greater the sorrow when it goes wrong. I.e. the strength of the positive potential is directly proportional to the negative.

    1. The strongest of wishes are crushing when it goes unfulfilled; like, to wish of a baby’s safe delivery, or a soldier’s safe return.
    2. Wishes that are harmless when they’re done unfulfilled are trivial wishes; lotteries, or maybe blind dates,😆 in short, things that are not so vital to begin with.

    We can see that the wish’ positive potential is relative to its negative potential, and one thing we can conclude from there is that:

    When we try to “get over it” (“acceptance”), which minimizes the negative potential we were talking about, we automatically reduces the wish’ positive potential. Because both sides must be proportional.😕 Essentially, when we get over it, we indirectly lowers our past standards.

    This is — surprisingly — almost similar to Raskolnikov’s idea in Dostoyevski’s Crime and Punishment.😕 If Newton or Kepler need to kill (or massacre) people in order to invent their law, it can be justified because it is done for greater good. ^^;

    Controversial as it may be, but that makes him a killer who slew a despicable pawnbroker in the story…🙄

    That’s not my point, actually.😕

    My point was, the fact that religion can provide a precise and concise answers to morally intriguing questions (while secular schools of thought cannot) does not mean they’re sound answers at all.

    Some people find that because religions can give them concise answers, they should believe. This is non-sequitur. As I said, the Aztecs believed that to keep the Sun at its course, there must be a human sacrifice, DAILY. So the Aztecs had a concise answer to whether it’s right to kill on such silly reason, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right answer.🙂

    A real-life example would be that of the late Ahmed Deedat on his biggest work, “The Choice”. There he wrote that he was present in a hectic dialogue somewhere to decide how long should a widow wait until she can remarry (I think it’s about a royal family somewhere). The Christian and Jewish scholars were debating hard on this matter, and can’t find a decisive answer.

    And there stood Deedat, dramatically brandishing the Koran with all his might; “Four months and ten days!” (QS 2:234). Well that is impressive and all that, but then he went on to justify the truth of Islam by using this detail, and I can’t see any relations to that at all.🙂

    (And surely you’ve heard of how the Shariagoers propagate their version of Sharia because “it’s perfect, as it governs everything, even to which shoe you should put on first”? I do think this fallacy of “details means credibility” needs to be highlighted.)

  21. My comment will sound preachy and apologetic, as usual.😀

    Agnostics, bear with me.:mrgreen:

    Sora

    When deciding “good” and “bad” of things, I don’t see them per se; rather I try to see the usefulness of it.

    You do not answer my question. Sora, do you know that this ‘usefulness’ you’re talking about is applicable only after you define the idea of ‘good’ itself? When you’re saying that marital bond is ‘good’ because it protects the rights of children, one can argue whether protecting the rights of children is “useful” or not. Say, one is condemned to live in extreme poverty and severe illness that he is incapable of sustaining his live, let alone his family, is it justifiable for that poor man to commit suicide and kill his children to end their sufferings? The man probably thinks it is more ‘useful’ if he commit suicide so that some ‘good’ people could adopt his children, and he might as well think that killing them is better than letting them suffer in this world, that we know too well it’s horrible!, for there is no guarantee that people like you, Sora, will be around to help.😀 This ambiguity leads to moral confusion, hence unpractical to mankind. Untilitarianistic, but unpractical. An irony, indeed.

    Utilitarianism sees ethics in terms of quantity. Ethics is thus rationally “measurable”. You know, I believe that in a strange situation you would kill an innocent baby in order to save their two parents who can produce more babies. No?

    About the meaning behind: well, I don’t know about others — but I do think that the only way we can manage to live our best is by considering (and realizing) what we truly need in short and long run.

    Why do we need to save the future generation? Is it because it’s ‘good’ to sustain our species? If our actions have no meaning at all, why is it necessary for us to retain our existence on earth? Why don’t we just commit suicide? This ‘short and long run’ idea of yours presupposes an idea of good that you unfortunately fail to provide, IMHO.

    I’ll be happy if the world works for the best interest of mankind; hence the utilitarianism.

    Why mankind? What’s wrong with the other species? Was the Nazi wrong for killing the Jews if they believed the world would be better without them? Is it possible that you unwittingly believe that catering the interest of mankind is imperatively good? Ethics is, IMO, imperative. You ‘ought’ to do good because it is essentially and inherently ‘good’.

    @Nenda

    You mean Natural law value?

    God’s law? The Law that Governs the Universe?😀

    Ah, Geddoe, I’m sorry for the strong exposure of my theism.:mrgreen:

    @Geddoe

    My answer would be, yes we can (no US election puns intended), and we all have our own values.

    No, you can’t. If there’s no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, what’s the use of valuation? There is no such thing as “justification” if you believe that things are basically neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. Actions are just actions. No? We have this idea of ‘darkness’ because we are already familiar with the idea of ‘lights’. We strive for meaning because we know how bad life is if there is none. Without the essences of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, valuation is nothing, illusion. See?

    …maximizing individual rights (and providing others the same right) while compromising as efficiently as possible to collective demands.

    Ha! Yes, ethics is about I-and-thou. Why do we have to care about the Other and the “collective demand”? To prolong our existence? That’s a terrible idea, you know. Absurd!

    We must the see the thing-in-itself in order to decide whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Things are bad not because we value them as “bad”, but because they are essentially “bad”. Things, of course, are not always black and white. We cannot always escape ambiguities but we can take religious prescriptions as a source of inspiration.😀

    Tapi saya tidak dogmatik loh. Ini hanya pandangan saja.

  22. @ gentole

    You do not answer my question. Sora, do you know that this ‘usefulness’ you’re talking about is applicable only after you define the idea of ‘good’ itself?

    Yes, that leads to infinite regress. The point is eventually we need to terminate the progress (on a side note, the very same reasoning chucked ID out of science🙂 ). In short, in the end we have to formulate the universal good values as axioms to do weigh whether it’s “useful”.

    And since something as basic as “life” itself is not universally accepted as “good” (people like Schopenhauer, Camus were skeptical of it), this gets even more complex.😆

    Well. But however, I think we can explain this using the quasi-nihilistic proposition I proposed earlier.🙂 “Good” is what one perceives as good. When a horde of people agreed upon considering that one thing is “good”, it became “common sense”. The rest of Sora’s proposition can be explained by compromising the “usefulness” to the participating entities’ values of “good”.

    This works, but well, it’s “empty” and surely is not something of your liking.😛

    * * *

    No, you can’t. If there’s no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, what’s the use of valuation? There is no such thing as “justification” if you believe that things are basically neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. Actions are just actions. No? We have this idea of ‘darkness’ because we are already familiar with the idea of ‘lights’. We strive for meaning because we know how bad life is if there is none. Without the essences of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, valuation is nothing, illusion. See?

    I am not proposing that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad”. Your impressions of these values are too fixed on this “universal values” idea.

    So far, my idea of “good” is simple. For me, batagor is good. Bawang bombay is bad. Jengkol is awesome. Putih telur is evil. It is subjective. And because all that are conscious are made (by God or otherwise) within the same “pattern”, thus our sense of “good” and “bad” is, though fragile, subjective, and easily moldable, is pretty similar when it comes to the “common good”. That includes, for example, survival. I perceive survival as “good”, and most of the rest of humanity does the same thing. Why? Maybe it’s the selfish gene, maybe it’s basic instict, maybe God, I do not know.

    My idea of “collective sense of good” at this point may be frighteningly fragile for you; it’s just a collective survey over people’s subjective preferences.😛

    Ha! Yes, ethics is about I-and-thou. Why do we have to care about the Other and the “collective demand”? To prolong our existence? That’s a terrible idea, you know. Absurd!

    One; like I said, because it’s socially beneficial. That being said, yes, a man living on his own in the farthest corner of a remote island may never mind the case of morality altogether.

    Two; because of the values that are instilled to us. Why else did the Mesoamericans sacrifice people to their gods in a daily basis? If the notion “sacrificing people is good” can be forced down children’s throat, why can’t the notion of “altruism is good”? I myself find this remark of mine terribly disturbing, but I can’t disprove it yet. Maybe you can do me the favor.🙂

    Yes, it’s terrible and absurd (in an existential sense). I thought you never asked me to provide an opinion that’s not terrible nor absurd?🙂

    We must the see the thing-in-itself in order to decide whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Things are bad not because we value them as “bad”, but because they are essentially “bad”.

    That is the problem; while I am skeptical whether bad or good can be an innate value, you seem to take it as an axiom that it can be, and it is.😀

  23. thanks info link nya🙂

    BTW, protes gambarnya sekarang aja ya.

    Geddoe….!!! yang gambar no 3 dari kiri atas itu!👿
    (tapi, seperti yang tertulis, bakal di remove. ya khan? )

    somoga secepatnya *amin*

  24. @ K. geddoe

    That’s not my point, actually.😕

    Well, I didn’t mean it for direct reply, actually. Spontaneously reminded of that, hence the comment.😛

    (And surely you’ve heard of how the Shariagoers propagate their version of Sharia because “it’s perfect, as it governs everything, even to which shoe you should put on first”? I do think this fallacy of “details means credibility” needs to be highlighted.)

    At the very least, IMHO, it gives an idea of detailed divine instruction. Noting that there’s an idea “if God would do something, He won’t do it half-heartedly”; perhaps that’s also some of their justification. ^^

    But talking about that, many Islamic resources — both here in Indonesia and globally — seems to possess hobby to do justification. In whatsoever means. I think you also remember about “complementary dakwah with hoax” cases (Cut Zahara Fonna, “suara dari dalam bumi”, etc.); then oh-so-how-many-claims that “Bible and Torah proves Qur’an!”; past remembrance of Andalus Golden Age; Mecca as the center of the Earth; and so on, and so on. I don’t know if this aply in other religion as well — but I think this tendency feels so frequent inside Islam?😕

    CMIIW.

    :::::

    @ gentole

    You do not answer my question. Sora, do you know that this ‘usefulness’ you’re talking about is applicable only after you define the idea of ‘good’ itself? When you’re saying that marital bond is ‘good’ because it protects the rights of children, one can argue whether protecting the rights of children is “useful” or not.

    Actually, about measuring “good” itself, my guideline is quite like what Geddoe has said earlier. I.e.,

    I believe in maximizing individual rights (and providing others the same right) while compromising as efficiently as possible to collective demands.

    That said, about your question concerning “whether protecting children’s rights is good” will be answered “yes”. What I think is that there are “children” who possesses individual rights (thus need to be maximized). The action in order to maximize their own rights — while compromising in the best way possible to the collective rights in environment — will be on top priority.

    The definition of “good” here, IMHO, is anything which may lead to the prosperity and happiness of everyone already born. The more people to be happy, prospered, and have their rights preserved, the better it is. ^^

    The man probably thinks it is more ‘useful’ if he commit suicide so that some ‘good’ people could adopt his children, and he might as well think that killing them is better than letting them suffer in this world, that we know too well it’s horrible!

    IMHO, in your scenario #1 in which the man wants to commit suicide to let adoption to his children: there are few considerations need to be made.

    First he has to make sure that his children will be on the really better hand. That is, who will be their surrogate family has been decided. Second, he has to assure that his children will be happy with the new family, and — third — the children will not be feeling deprived from their father; won’t be saddened nor frustrated by any means. At the very base, the prosperity, happiness, and their rights needs to be assured first.

    I know that this seems cold and too much rationale — but it’s actually not that cruel. The father isn’t allowed to do suicide if his children don’t want him to, if the children aren’t happy with it, or if he can’t provide them surrogate family with better nurturing environment. So, IMO, that’s quite a fair play.🙂

    In your scenario #2, in which the man wants to kill them all: no, it’s not right. He’s surely breaching his children’s basic right to live, and there’s no justifying means in your scenario.😀 Perhaps if he knows that his children is going to do some massacre in the near future, then he might have justification for killing (i.e. “for the greater good”) — but to prevent them to live their life, based on his fear, is not tolerable. Who knows if their lives wouldn’t be that gloom in the future? World is subject to change.😉

    I think it’s like that. There may be some details left unwritten (due to space and time to write😛 ); but the idea is mostly like that IMO. ^^

    Utilitarianism sees ethics in terms of quantity. Ethics is thus rationally “measurable”. You know, I believe that in a strange situation you would kill an innocent baby in order to save their two parents who can produce more babies. No?

    Not really. My focus is on how to make the best of prosperity, happiness, and rights preservation of everyone already born.

    For me, sending child to this ever-corrupted world isn’t necessarily “good” per se. You have to consider about his/her future prospect, prosperity, and happiness first. Carelessly-planned born is almost the same as preparing lifelong torment for the child.

    I’m sure you remember why we in Indonesia have “Keliarga Berencana” contraception programme. Because we don’t want newborn children to suffer physically or psychologically due to economics and society matters. So, no — producing more babies isn’t automatically guaranteed “good”. Unless some counter-measurement is immediately applied.😉

    Why do we need to save the future generation? Is it because it’s ‘good’ to sustain our species? If our actions have no meaning at all, why is it necessary for us to retain our existence on earth? Why don’t we just commit suicide? This ‘short and long run’ idea of yours presupposes an idea of good that you unfortunately fail to provide, IMHO.

    Why do we need to sustain our species? Because… humans (including me) may yield happiness in life through society.😀 Happiness in life is what we’re all about, if there’s no afterlife to be pursued.

    It is like this: I don’t care if, after my death, human species ceases to exist. But as long as I live, I want them around. Well, we usually perceive that “this world is corrupt, this world is evil”, etc, etc. — but actually, much of our happiness is made because of others’ existence.

    I’m happy with my life because people at Good Day made good vanilla coffee mix; I’m glad that people made games for PlayStation 3; I’m happy to watch football match every weekend. I’m also happy to do blogwalking and write comments and posts. Realized it or not, much of our happiness is provided by others’ existence.

    Happiness in life is important. My happiness is like I described up there. You may ask: “if happiness in life is that important to you, then you don’t need to care for ethics! You can do evil for your prosperity, and live hedonistically.” But no…

    If I (and many people) do that, the happiness won’t be sustainable. Economics will fall, peace will be scarce, world fall apart — I won’t be able to drink my vanilla coffee and watch football match every weekend. So, in order to preserve sustainability of my happiness…

    …I need people around me.:mrgreen: And to keep them, I should make them satisfied, safe, sound, and happy. And to do that, we need things like “ethics”.😉

     

    About the idea of suicide: if we have very-very bad life on earth, then it may help us to flee from it. But as an agnostic I’m compelled to ask: what lies beyond death? Is it afterlife, reincarnation, or emptiness? Will there be possible happiness after committing suicide?

    If not, how unfortunate we are! Today miserable in this world, and not being happy after life!:mrgreen:

    BTW, some religious teaching says that suicide may lead into torture in hell. Or reincarnation into lesser being like animals, which of both I don’t see as happiness. More atheistic view suggests emptiness, which isn’t categorically happy at all.

    So, based on religious scripture and contemporary view, I don’t see suicide as a good mean to flee from this world. ^^

    Why mankind? What’s wrong with the other species? Was the Nazi wrong for killing the Jews if they believed the world would be better without them?

    Why mankind? What’s wrong with other species?

    If only I can communicate with plant and animals, I’ll ask and consider their best interest! So that we can coexist peacefully on earth.😆

    No, seriously. How do you define the best for plants and animals?

    Their level of intelligence is different. Their mechanism of live is also different. Let me give some example:

    We humans heed that nobody should kill others without proper justification(s). Also not impaling and damaging others. Let’s say we have defined a system of human rights.

    And then we want to apply this to plant and animals: no killing, no damaging, etc. What will happen? Simple: every animals die. Because carnivore can’t eat herbivore, herbivore can’t eat plants; plants stay intact. Aren’t we unwittingly forcing human rules to the place it doesn’t belong here?

    What is the best interest for them, do we know? Or, owing from your own quote in the post from some time back then,

    How can we know the “intention” or the “minds” of the animals by experimenting? I know it sounds stupid, but can scientists interview animals? “Hey, monkey, which do you like the most, banana or apple?”

    Like I said, if only I can communicate with them, I’d like to hear their view. Compromising it if possible. Your comparison with NAZIs and Jew doesn’t really fit, because Jews and NAZIs are both capable of thinking and communicating, making it possible to learn the best interest of each other.

    Is it possible that you unwittingly believe that catering the interest of mankind is imperatively good? Ethics is, IMO, imperative. You ‘ought’ to do good because it is essentially and inherently ‘good’.

    I’ll answer this on two part, being ethically and economically.

    Ethically, yes — catering to mankind’s interest is imperatively good. Why? Because every single ethics we define is to conduct humans’ deeds. It’s anthropocentric by nature. Moral, laws, etc. is inherent part of mankind, and mankind only.

    Economically, probably no — we see some unwitting actions which lead to collateral damage in nature. Minamata, Chernobyl, global warming, and Teluk Buyat — it is possible that the earth is significantly deteriorating by humans’ presence.

    That said, catering to mankind’s interest is imperatively good in nature of defining ethics. But economically, it may be otherwise… as we have seen thus far. I guess this is due to our insensitivity in understanding nature; but that’s yet another story for this time.😉

  25. ^

    Something missed. About the best interest of other species other than mankind (i.e. animals & plants):

    I tend to let it go for natural mechanism. Before the rise of man in this earth, they have been sustaining a natural system, i.e. the food pyramid. I am, as yet, still not knowing the best thing for their sake — but, seeing them to be able to survive and coexist naturally, even for millions years before we could interfere at all, I think it is safe to bet on such natural mechanism for their interest.

    At least, they have evolved through it for ages. This is merely opinion and still has possibility to be wrong, though.

  26. @ Snowie

    Kenapa? ^^;;

    @ sora9n

    Ah, worry not! Apologetics like those are commonplace in all religions, I think. Particularly Abrahamic and New Age religions.🙂

    * * *

    And about your response to Gentole, I think what Gentole was pointing out is that you seemingly took for granted that to live and prosper is good. That can cause an infinite regress…😕

    Basically what you’re proposing is;

    + Why is x good?
    – No such thing as good, but it can be measured based on its usefulness. Like, x causes y and z, which are good things. Therefore x is good.

    This can create an infinite regress;

    + Okay, x is good because it causes y, which is good. But why is y good?
    – Because it causes p and q, which are good things. Therefore y is good.
    + Yeah, but why is p good, then?
    – Because it causes m and n, which are good things. Therefore p is good.

    *ad infinitum*

    A simple instance. Consider the notion “Is family planning a good thing?”. You may say it is, because it makes economical difficulties less likely. But then why is preventing economical difficulties a good thing? You then may propose that it’s to ensure the children’s education. But then, why is it a good thing? See, eventually we’d need to terminate the process.

    And when you do, that’s somehow an axiom, a “universal moral code”! You just contradicted yourself.😕 And these moral codes would be too weak and abstracted to be of much use at all.

    On the other hand, if you opt not to terminate, then the whole comparison thing is meaningless, because you’re comparing something with nothing.

    So, I wait for the explanations of you two.🙂

  27. Sorry for the late response.

    For millennia, human beings — saints, philosophers, politicians, emperors, men of letters, knights, farmers, laymen, etc. – have discussed this problem, ethics, but it appears that, like many other philosophical issues, it will never be incontrovertibly conclusive. I acknowledge that we all love stealing ideas, but I have to admit that I am still amazed by the clarity of your arguments, both of you. This is of course a good exercise for me.🙂

    I was mistaken; you two have different views on morality. It seems that Sora’s position is less nihilistic than Geddoe’s. Apart from his arguments, which I shall happily comment on, I think Sora has this peculiar inclination to believe that something must be imperatively good – which is good to me.😀 Ah, how can I forget, you both cannot be put in the same basket with regard to the question of God either.

    @Geddoe

    Yes, that leads to infinite regress. The point is eventually we need to terminate the progress (on a side note, the very same reasoning chucked ID out of science)

    Thanks for making my points clear to Sora.

    In short, in the end we have to formulate the universal good values as axioms to do weigh whether it’s “useful”… I think we can explain this using the quasi-nihilistic proposition I proposed earlier.🙂 “Good” is what one perceives as good. When a horde of people agreed upon considering that one thing is “good”, it became “common sense”. The rest of Sora’s proposition can be explained by compromising the “usefulness” to the participating entities’ values of “good”.

    IMO, creating a set of universal good values — the “common sense” or the zeitgeist as you might call it — to judge the usefulness of human actions is hard to attain, if not virtually impossible, if we have to rely entirely on subjective perceptions. If the Muslims in Saudi Arabia perceive the notion that women should be domesticated as ‘good’, what’s the basis for human rights activists and feminists to condemn such perception? Reason? I don’t think so. What happens is that the majority of people (or the minority but powerful people) in the world impose their values on the minority or the weak.

    This quasi-nihilistic proposition you offer me apparently does not settle the problem of vicious (or divine?) regression, because I may argue whether imposing your values on others is “good’. You see, the way you terminate the chain of “good” definition is far different from the way evolution ends the regress on the question of who’s the creator of the creator. You simply and, I need to highlight this, arbitrarily, ends your judgment on ‘collectivity’.

    As a reminder, I ask you in the first place if it is possible for us to create our own values once we realize that nothing is an sich either good or bad. You said we can by making something like a universal convention, which sounds like a wishful thinking, as wishful as religions do. We need something to fill the void of values; something imperative, independent from subjective consideration and beyond the majority. I’ll elaborate this later.

    I perceive survival as “good”, and most of the rest of humanity does the same thing. Why? Maybe it’s the selfish gene, maybe it’s basic instict, maybe God, I do not know.

    The problem I have with naturalism, especially the idea of survival, is that it overlooks and ignorantly ignores the ‘human’ sides of human beings. Survival is comprehensible only when it concerns individuals, IMO. Compassion for other beings or the responsibility to protect the group have nothing to do with survival; if I have to let myself die in order to save an innocent child, am I driven by the will to survive? No. My action is the manifestation of that ‘compassion’. I don’t really get what Ridley and Dawkins say about animal altruism…the origin of virtue…and so on. I have tried to read, at least. Maybe you can help me on this.

    This works, but well, it’s “empty” and surely is not something of your liking.😛

    No, it has not been proven, yet. Like it or not, morality today is what Yahweh said to Moses a few thousand years a go that thou, my friend, shall not kill.

    I am not proposing that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad”. Your impressions of these values are too fixed on this “universal values” idea.

    You concurred with Shakespeare, saying that there is no such thing as ‘good’. If we stop here, life becomes nihilistic. You then said we can formulate our own values to live – to avoid nihilism; well, I’m challenging the ontological basis for these crafted values whether it makes sense or not. I’m quite skeptical as well whether they are ‘useful’ in certain matters. Let me elaborate my propositions while commenting on Sora’s answers.

    Sora9n

    My focus is on how to make the best of prosperity, happiness, and rights preservation of everyone already born.

    Aha! I think you have taken for granted about few things, you presuppose that:

    Happiness is good – thus we must pursue it.
    Human right is good – thus we must maximize it.

    The reason why Camus sees life’s as absurd is that he dismisses all kinds of presupposition. I feel a great consolation when I do good and am painfully haunted by guilt when I do evil because I presuppose that God exists and he will judge my actions later in the afterlife; with or without heaven-hell.😀 The point is that you have to presuppose something as imperatively good before you can tell whether one thing is “useful”. No? That’s it, actually. Pardon me for giving you examples that seem to distract you. I guess you were in hurry when you wrote your comments.

    Infinite regress? Yes.

    But, as I said above, I don’t find Geddoe’s proposition viable. It does not end the problem as evolution does with the God question. This is why atheism is so not attractive. And this is where naturalism fails to satisfy reason, IMO.

    I’m not saying that we should take for granted that all that is written in the Bible and the Koran is good and imperative. I believe in the capacity of our conscience and reason, of course, to determine whether one thing is good – btw, Geddoe, I don’t think we can say jengkol is morally good, it only tastes good (bad!).😀

    However, those faculties work best, if not can only work, if we have in hand a set of ethics like religion prescribes. Killing is evil. Stealing is evil. Sleeping with your neighbor’s wife is evil. In certain situations, we may kill or steal, of course. But the notion that killing is evil remains unchanged. This ‘precise and concise’ prescriptions – the Mosaic Law and the Sharia — are not to be implemented without considering other determining aspects of morality; compassion, forgiveness, justice etc., all the good things about Allah SWT.

    In Islamic tradition, good is called ma’ruf, which literally means something is recognized (by your conscience, reason and perhaps culture), while evil is called munkar, which literally means what is denied by the things I said in brackets above. Life is perhaps a game set up by God, you know. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I believe that the problem of ethics is the sign of God.😀 So, I choose to end the regress — infinite, vicious and absurd — with God. This is where my theism interferes the discussion.

  28. @ gentole

    For millennia, human beings — saints, philosophers, politicians, emperors, men of letters, knights, farmers, laymen, etc. – have discussed this problem, ethics, but it appears that, like many other philosophical issues, it will never be incontrovertibly conclusive.

    Indeed. I tend to think that rather than to “discover” these codes, we should “formulate” (“invent” ) them instead.🙂

    I was mistaken; you two have different views on morality. It seems that Sora’s position is less nihilistic than Geddoe’s.

    I take it that while I (for now) tend to view good and evil as a matter of everchanging convention, and you think there should be some innate values, Sora lingers in between; somehow viscerally believe there is something “more” than governs the values, but can’t really describe what and how.😛

    IMO, creating a set of universal good values — the “common sense” or the zeitgeist as you might call it — to judge the usefulness of human actions is hard to attain, if not virtually impossible, if we have to rely entirely on subjective perceptions. If the Muslims in Saudi Arabia perceive the notion that women should be domesticated as ‘good’, what’s the basis for human rights activists and feminists to condemn such perception?

    Like I previously stated, it is a workable system to judge good and evil based upon subjective values AND compromise it in the most efficient manner with our fellow beings. In this case, the Saudis should compromise their judgement of women with the rest of the civilized world. Peer pressure, if you will.

    And what about using ‘pain’ as a starting point to formulate these codes? It could justify the said opressive treatments.

    You might suggest that some of these women are used to the said treatment in the first place, but that’s the whole thing’s all about, right? “You are free to go if you will, but if you like the pain, carry on.”

    This quasi-nihilistic proposition you offer me apparently does not settle the problem of vicious (or divine?) regression, because I may argue whether imposing your values on others is “good’.

    Yes, approaching quasi-nihilism means, of course, approaching nihilism. That is why I stated that rather than to “discover”, it is better to “formulate/invent”. Why? Because the holy grail might not be there after all.

    It’s somehow an anarchist view, I think. No rules, but people would end up organizing themselves somehow.

    As a reminder, I ask you in the first place if it is possible for us to create our own values once we realize that nothing is an sich either good or bad.

    Remember, I support the act of “formulating”. If there are no such values, it is necessary to invent them. Because most of us are in favor of such basics.

    The problem I have with naturalism, especially the idea of survival, is that it overlooks and ignorantly ignores the ‘human’ sides of human beings.

    I don’t really get what Ridley and Dawkins say about animal altruism…the origin of virtue…and so on. I have tried to read, at least. Maybe you can help me on this.

    I can’t comment much, sorry. Still studying that point of view.

    But you know, it’s disturbing to study that ‘human’ side by using a purely scientific perspective.😆 It’s terrifying that they can explain morality questions (like “why would a woman feel empty after a one-night stand” ) purely on evolutionary grounds. They explain things like “this side of the brain is responsible mainly of this emotion…” or “if you mess with your brain with lobotomies and stuff, you’d be another person…”.

    It makes us humans like programmable machines. And the scariest thing is that they make sense. My existential self wishes no more than for it to be proven wrong.😆

    Like it or not, morality today is what Yahweh said to Moses a few thousand years a go that thou, my friend, shall not kill.

    Well secular historians propose that that commandment basically said; thou shall not kill a fellow Jew, but that’s another story.

    You concurred with Shakespeare, saying that there is no such thing as ‘good’. If we stop here, life becomes nihilistic.

    Ah, but my interpretation on Shakespeare is that nothing is innately good. I (and IMO, Shakespeare) am not dismissing the idea of “good”, I opted to redefine it.🙂

    You then said we can formulate our own values to live – to avoid nihilism; well, I’m challenging the ontological basis for these crafted values whether it makes sense or not.

    Again I stress here that I’d rather to “invent” such governing values rather than to philosophically find the universal ones in nature.

    A pragmatic approach. It’s like the positive law. Do you need ontological evidences to formulate state laws? Do you gather existential thinkers, playwrights and novelists to formulate them? You don’t. You formulate what’s seemingly useful today, and change it if necessary tomorrow.

    The irony is that I am not all that law-abiding.:mrgreen:

  29. Ah. To summarize:

    I am skeptical to claims of universal morality that is based in supernatural causes other than evolutionary and anthropology means. Not that I say they don’t exist, but I still can’t find any good signs of them. They may and may not existing, and meanwhile we should formulate such values pragmatically and progressively.

    That doesn’t solve any problems, but if it were, humanity’s problems should be over since centuries ago.

    That’s, what, pragmatism?

  30. The irony is that I am not all that law-abiding.

    Neither am I.

    That doesn’t solve any problems, but if it were, humanity’s problems should be over since centuries ago.

    I guess they should.

    That’s, what, pragmatism?

    I guess it is.

    This is also a matter of faith, just like love, God, etc.

    I don’t know when I’m going to stop thinking about those things. I don’t like your view on this matter, but I don’t know how to prove it wrong. I just think it is wrong; yes, a blatant, outrageous fallacy to freethinkers. I don’t know…

  31. Well secular historians propose that that commandment basically said; thou shall not kill a fellow Jew, but that’s another story.

    I am seeing the commandment within a context. The Koran and Jesus reiterated that commandment a few hundred years later. It is prohibited to kill fellow being.

  32. @Gentole

    God’s law? The Law that Governs the Universe?😀

    Ah, Geddoe, I’m sorry for the strong exposure of my theism.:mrgreen:

    Well, I think we need to ask Douglas Adams :))
    On a more serious note, in philosophy law itself there are two main philosophy of law branches. The first is natural law that believe that there is a law that known by everyone in this universe and thus valid everywhere. A person by nature know this law. However this is had been challenged by positivist who feels that Natural law is often ambiguous and lack of clarity of what is constitute law.
    Natural law itself is a concept that give birth to Human Rights Law.

    @K. Geddoe

    I am skeptical to claims of universal morality that is based in supernatural causes other than evolutionary and anthropology means. Not that I say they don’t exist, but I still can’t find any good signs of them. They may and may not existing, and meanwhile we should formulate such values pragmatically and progressively.

    That doesn’t solve any problems, but if it were, humanity’s problems should be over since centuries ago.

    That’s, what, pragmatism?

    There is a concept in international law namely jus cogens. Jus cogens is a set of customary norm that embodied fundamentally until there is no such treaty can deter the effect of jus cogens (i.e any treaty that contrary to jus cogens has no effect). A norm can be considered as jus cogens when everyone in this world disagree to derogate the effect of such norm. Jus cogens norm might changed however it depends on all humans’ consensus. One thing that is fun regarding to argue with jus cogens norm is to decide whether the norm we argue about considered as jus cogens.
    Ah, yeah the example of jus cogens norms are: piracy, torture, genocide, etc.

  33. First of all; sorry for the late reply. Wasn’t online yesterday.😛

     

    @ K. geddoe

    [OOT first]

    Ah, worry not! Apologetics like those are commonplace in all religions, I think. Particularly Abrahamic and New Age religions.🙂

    …that reminds me of Bible Code book I saw in my town’s bookstore earlier this evening.😛

    [/OOT]

    This can create an infinite regress;

    + Okay, x is good because it causes y, which is good. But why is y good?
    – Because it causes p and q, which are good things. Therefore y is good.
    + Yeah, but why is p good, then?
    – Because it causes m and n, which are good things. Therefore p is good.

    *ad infinitum*

    Aparently, if you read my last answer before this one, you’ll find that everything roots in — no other than — my own happiness.🙂

    Strange as it may be, but that’s how I think it is. As for your point: is the family planning good? I said: yes. Why?

    Because it prevents baby boom, then prevents food shortage, then prevents economics difficulties, and in the end, I don’t need to face food shortage — and economic recession — at the latter stage of my life. That, is my happiness. ^^

    I support nature preservation. Because I don’t want to live in spoiled earth, drink contaminated water, and I want the coffee beans to stay on its highest quality. Therefore, I can continue (or even maintain) this happiness I already have upon living on this earth.

    Eventually, everything goes back to my own happiness. I always commented upon this myself, that this is some kind of selfishness. What differs it from hedonism is, I am considering things in the long run. ^^

    A bit self-oriented, perhaps. But hey, why are we living on earth if not to have a gulp of happiness in it?😛

    :::::

    @ gentole

    Sorry for the late response.

    No worry; I wasn’t online yesterday, either.😛

    I feel a great consolation when I do good and am painfully haunted by guilt when I do evil because I presuppose that God exists and he will judge my actions later in the afterlife; with or without heaven-hell.😀

    Well, I wouldn’t know about God’s judgment, because you know my view upon it. But for me, there are two factors:

    First, there is this feeling (subconsciousness? natural goodness?) that reminds me of bad/good things I committed. I have never been able to understand it; it is almost natural feeling by itself. I am feeling guilty to have to sweep an ant colony’s nest in my room (don’t ask why!); I feel uneasy to have angered my friend due to my carelessness or irresponsibility; I’m happy to please my parents; and so on. At this point, the definition of “God” almost never passed on my mind — simply said, like there is an emotional dam inside me to remind me of deeds/misdeed I have done.

    But then there’s this second factor, which tends to do things for its “usefulness”. Which, eventually, ends up to satisfy my own happiness — you may want to read my reply for Geddoe up there. This kind of thought is more economics-oriented, though.

    I don’t really know about God-related things, because I’m only feeling theistic once in a while — but there’s those two factors for you.😉

    Infinite regress? Yes.

    I don’t think so. I have explained in my reply to Geddoe before this, though. ^^

    However, those faculties work best, if not can only work, if we have in hand a set of ethics like religion prescribes. Killing is evil. Stealing is evil. Sleeping with your neighbor’s wife is evil. In certain situations, we may kill or steal, of course. But the notion that killing is evil remains unchanged. This ‘precise and concise’ prescriptions – the Mosaic Law and the Sharia — are not to be implemented without considering other determining aspects of morality; compassion, forgiveness, justice etc., all the good things about Allah SWT.

    Like I said, mas Gentole. I claimed that some religious teachings provide their usefulness to conduct our morality, no?😀

    Regardless of God-or-not discussions, there are possibly still gems to unearth in it, IMHO.

    Life is perhaps a game set up by God, you know. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I believe that the problem of ethics is the sign of God.😀

    Problem of ethics, sign of God? How comes?😕

    So, I choose to end the regress — infinite, vicious and absurd — with God. This is where my theism interferes the discussion.

    I know that. Well, it’s actually usable to end my own utilitarianistic regression, aside of what I have conceived up there.

    Case is, I’m not so theistic a person… ^^;;

    :::::

    @ K. geddoe (again)

    I take it that while I (for now) tend to view good and evil as a matter of everchanging convention, and you think there should be some innate values, Sora lingers in between; somehow viscerally believe there is something “more” than governs the values, but can’t really describe what and how.😛

    Well, I see that there is some more objectivity in defining “good” than you do — but I don’t really consider the intrinsic value of things, though there may actually be. So yeah, I guess there it goes. ^^

    But you know, it’s disturbing to study that ‘human’ side by using a purely scientific perspective.😆 It’s terrifying that they can explain morality questions (like “why would a woman feel empty after a one-night stand” ) purely on evolutionary grounds. They explain things like “this side of the brain is responsible mainly of this emotion…” or “if you mess with your brain with lobotomies and stuff, you’d be another person…”.

    Nay, nay. IMHO there’s a possibility you can’t talk about mind, soul, and biology so integratedly.

    Try to analog “mind” with “OS software”, and “brain” with “memory storage”. A damaged brain hinders our ability to think, as well as damaged harddisk hinders an OS work. However, in fact, the OS software is independent from the hardware!😀

    Saying that “have brain means have soul” is, to some degree, equivalent as saying “have HDD means have OS”. Mind and soul may be some coded script inserted by something else… either it be God *or* Annunaki *or* anything your imagination may supply.😉

    I am skeptical to claims of universal morality that is based in supernatural causes other than evolutionary and anthropology means. Not that I say they don’t exist, but I still can’t find any good signs of them. They may and may not existing, and meanwhile we should formulate such values pragmatically and progressively.

    I agree with this; though for a note… I rather see that anything humanity has had until now as possible building blocks for our evolutionary ethics.

    Considering some purportedly supernatural (in this case God/religion)-based ethics as building blocks, along with evolutionary and anthropology means, may in some cases be helpful; though not always. My two cents.😉

     

    BTW, there’s something I want to ask. Do we have — yet — anything to complain to our current universal law of human rights? That’s considerably a definition accepted universally by people; and still useful.😕

    So why do we run through all this hassle about defining “that ultimate universal moral conduct” ? We already have a satisfying form of it!😆

  34. ^

    Something missed – again.😐 To reply on mas gentole’s quote,

    Aha! I think you have taken for granted about few things, you presuppose that:

    Happiness is good – thus we must pursue it.
    Human right is good – thus we must maximize it.

    Yup, right. Human right is good for people’s happiness, which in turn lead to more peace, which in turn lead to my own peace as well. It also guarantee my right and happiness, so there I see it as “good”.

    Apparently, everything goes back to maintain my own happiness. Maybe I’m an egocentric person after all.😛

  35. And this is another one. Long discussion made points slipped from my view. =_=!

    @ K. geddoe

    And when you do, that’s somehow an axiom, a “universal moral code”! You just contradicted yourself.😕 And these moral codes would be too weak and abstracted to be of much use at all.

    On the other hand, if you opt not to terminate, then the whole comparison thing is meaningless, because you’re comparing something with nothing.

    Universal moral code? I stated that I have taken for granted that happiness is good in itself. That said, my favorite moral conduct is, anything that yield happiness to as many people as possible. ^^

    So there you have me to agree “no killing”, “no war”, “no damaging nature”, “yes to family planning”, etc.😉 As a bonus: their happiness may also lead to mine (nobody *supposedly* kills me, everybody’s in peace, etc).

    Actually, there are still many aspects that I need to convey about my view. A bit too many to write down here, so I decide that I’ll better write it as a post in my blog later in this day — but I’ll provide the gist right here.

    1. I take for granted that happiness is the most important thing in this life, if afterlife not to be considered. So, maximizing the sum of happiness for everybody, along with my own, is on top priority,

    2. There may be confusion about how my utilitarianistic view, my personal happiness (that “egocentric” idea😛 ), definition of “more objective good”, and my concept of “universal moral conduct” can relate to each other. Well, this is what may be cluttering discussion, hence I chose to write it in that stand-alone post later on.😉

    3. Also about things I don’t support but indirectly related to (or contrasting with) “happiness” per se, i.e. the SSM and LGBT matters.

    4. Well, there may be other things to add, so the content may get inflated: but for the gist, I guess there it goes.😛

     

    So there you have it. I expect to finish writing it soon, though; likely posted tomorrow or, at the very least, the day after tomorrow.😉

  36. @ sora9n

    Willkommen.

    Aparently, if you read my last answer before this one, you’ll find that everything roots in — no other than — my own happiness.

    “Happiness” then. Not a bad axiom. Okay.

    So, your sense of “good” would be “maximizing the chances of one’s pursuit of happiness while compromising it as efficiently with the pursuit of others”?

    That’s more nihilistic than I thought, but it may be working.😀

    First, there is this feeling (subconsciousness? natural goodness?) that reminds me of bad/good things I committed. I have never been able to understand it; it is almost natural feeling by itself.

    What is that feeling? There is a workable, terrifying answer: it’s the remnant of our ancestors’ legacy on us. I say terrifying because it suggests that we are all programmable machines after all.😛

    This is so very evolution-centric, but do you know that, apparently humanity’s (mostly kids’ ) seemingly “innate” fondness of sweetness has its roots not in sweetness’ “innate deliciousness”? Instead, it can be found in the history of the pre-Stone Age era, whereas people eat mainly tree barks. Occasionally, there would be this big thing: they would see a bee hovering around. Then they would spend the entire day chasing for it to the depths of forests, find the hive, climb the tree, and steal it while having to withstand the hundreds of stings. Then they would return to their caves with glory and share their royal feast; honey. We have been indoctrinated by nature for 2.5 million years to believe that sweet things are the best things in the Universe. They’re royal feasts (compared to tree barks, at least) that are supposedly only to be savored a couple of times a year.

    That also goes by conscience. Since we (by “we” I mean we as a species) were taught by experience that stealing and killing are not so socially beneficial…

    *I can’t help being a bit Pantheistic now😆 *

    Nay, nay. IMHO there’s a possibility you can’t talk about mind, soul, and biology so integratedly.

    Try to analog “mind” with “OS software”, and “brain” with “memory storage”. A damaged brain hinders our ability to think, as well as damaged harddisk hinders an OS work. However, in fact, the OS software is independent from the hardware! 😀

    Saying that “have brain means have soul” is, to some degree, equivalent as saying “have HDD means have OS”. Mind and soul may be some coded script inserted by something else… either it be God *or* Annunaki *or* anything your imagination may supply.😉

    No, I’m not sure that analogy works…😕

    While I do hope this “soul” thing exists (and immortal; afterlife, reincarnation, whatever), the premise is clear. A brain develops. When its growth is finally endowed with a high encephalization, you’d be able to feel higher functions like consciousness, emotion, and language.

    Considering some purportedly supernatural (in this case God/religion)-based ethics as building blocks, along with evolutionary and anthropology means, may in some cases be helpful

    Pragmatic approach. I agree wholeheartedly.

    BTW, there’s something I want to ask. Do we have — yet — anything to complain to our current universal law of human rights? That’s considerably a definition accepted universally by people; and still useful.😕

    So why do we run through all this hassle about defining “that ultimate universal moral conduct” ? We already have a satisfying form of it!😆

    Again, pragmatic approach. You da man.😆

    Still, positive laws can’t reach too far yet. For some instances, they give us dilemmas with taboo, victimless crimes and matters of numbers, remember.

    But yes, one must learn to live with uncertainty.🙂

    * * *

    *two long comments*

    I get your point, so you seemingly do the “maximizing the chances of one’s pursuit of happiness while compromising it as efficiently with the pursuit of others” thing.

    Litmus test. Pop quiz.

    1) Based on that principle, do you agree that if a man lives remotely from his kin, he is free from all kinds of morality problems?

    2) What if he lives with other species (with voluntary movements i.e. animals)?

    As for me, maybe it’s “yes” for the first and “apply the same principle as far as possible for the animals” for the second. That’s quite a nontheistic approach, see if you agree.

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect Gentole to agree with me (that remotely living man is never “alone” in a theistic perspective), but that’s just my two cents.

  37. @Sora9n, Geddoe

    Oke, then. Sora9n chooses happiness, while Geddoe “invents” the notion that the primary purpose of human actions, perhaps also existence, is the survival of living organism. Great, that’s fine. I’m staying with the old ideas, with some modifications here and there.😀

    1) Based on that principle, do you agree that if a man lives remotely from his kin, he is free from all kinds of morality problems?

    No. Killing yourself is evil.:mrgreen:

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect Gentole to agree with me (that remotely living man is never “alone” in a theistic perspective)

    Indeed.

    It’s not always about God, though. It’s just about you feeling bad after doing bad. Btw, Sora9n, a confession to make, I’m not happy. I guess I’m immoral.😀 Your happiness

    @Nenda

    Douglas Adams> The 42 guy?

  38. Pingback: A Bit on My Personal World-view: Concerning Ethics and Economics Means of Value « sora-kun.weblog()

  39. @ K. geddoe

    What is that feeling? There is a workable, terrifying answer: it’s the remnant of our ancestors’ legacy on us. I say terrifying because it suggests that we are all programmable machines after all.😛

    Well, I’m open to that possibility anyways…😆

    No, I’m not sure that analogy works…😕

    While I do hope this “soul” thing exists (and immortal; afterlife, reincarnation, whatever), the premise is clear. A brain develops. When its growth is finally endowed with a high encephalization, you’d be able to feel higher functions like consciousness, emotion, and language.

    You emphasize that on the fact that brain evolved, while HDD doesn’t. Actually, what do you think if harddisk can evolve? Will they develop a new unique feature too?:mrgreen:

    Moreover, about enchepalization. Someone who suffered brain damage on certain parts tends to lose his/her corresponding capability. E.g. right brain damage leads to decremented ability in making artwork.

    But this also happens in HDD. I used to have a HDD with a WinXP installed + running on it. Few years later, I accidentally broke two of its IDE pins…

    …and guess what? The XP started crashing many times. I decided to reinstall the XP… and it can’t be installed. The setup says “damaged media storage”.

    So, damaged storage relates to OS’ inability to work after all!😀

    Pragmatic approach. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Again, pragmatic approach. You da man.😆

    In the jungle, or mountain, of which trekker are faced with uncertain danger, their only means of survive is through pragmatic means. Use your knife, use your kit — if you don’t have it, do some MacGyvering to cope.😎

    Don’t complain about anything. Even if you’re out of ration, try to obtain natural food! Mushrooms, leaves, or even sate kadal may be good enough in dire conditions.👿

    In the jungle where uncertainty rate is enormous, our only means to survive is through PRAGMATICITYYYYY…!!!😈

    *well… aren’t philosophy and life also full of uncertainty, BTW?*😛

    Litmus test. Pop quiz.

    1) Based on that principle, do you agree that if a man lives remotely from his kin, he is free from all kinds of morality problems?

    2) What if he lives with other species (with voluntary movements i.e. animals)?

    1) What kind of morality-offending task can he do, BTW?😕

    No killing, no raping, no swindling — question is, to whom he’ll do all those crime?😆

    2) Just see the degree of short and long term usefulness, IMHO. He may want to use the animals to help him doing this-and-that to survive in the jungle… but actually there is no moral conduct he is obliged to follow. It’s also alright if he wants to follow what he animal wants.😕

    Like I ever said a while back, ethics and morality are only for mankind or intelligent enough being to comprehend. Forcing those codes to animal isn’t a guaranteed good, IMHO. It may result in awkward condition, if not totally miserable at all. (o_0)”\

    Of course, I wouldn’t expect Gentole to agree with me (that remotely living man is never “alone” in a theistic perspective), but that’s just my two cents.

    Case is, agnostics like me never know whether they’re actually being watched or not.😛

    BTW, I have released the post I mentioned last night. The pingback should have readily come down there, though.😛

  40. Oh…unfinished sentence up there.

    Well, I was thinking about “conflicting happiness” and I hope you can elaborate more about it in your blog later on, Sora. I’d be happy to read it. And, Ged, I still can’t relate the idea of survival and taking care of other beings. My two cents.🙂

  41. @ gentole | K. geddoe

    I have posted a more detailed post about my view on this matter. Both of you may want to give it a check though; because I feel the big picture of my arguments is conveyed more clearly there.🙂

    Some parts of my comments may be confusing to understand, due to the factors I mentioned in my comments I sent before — so there I wrote it as an independent post. ^^

  42. @ gentole

    Yes, I kind of predicted your responses.🙂

    And, Ged, I still can’t relate the idea of survival and taking care of other beings. My two cents.

    Taking care of other beings in itself is hardly connected with the species’ survival as a whole. Thing is, it is collectively vital. Thus, we were built by Nature with built-in “altruism”.:mrgreen:

    @ sora9n

    Of course HDD ‘evolved’. They can and they did.

    I do not know why did you chose to base your arguments on the HDD-OS/Brain-Mind analogy. Using analogies in discussions is discouraged, and for good reasons, too.😕

    1) What kind of morality-offending task can he do, BTW?

    No killing, no raping, no swindling — question is, to whom he’ll do all those crime?😆

    Well while we may be having no problems, there’s always suicide, masturbation, godless life, blasphemy…:mrgreen:

    Like I ever said a while back, ethics and morality are only for mankind or intelligent enough being to comprehend.

    Good point, but that depends. There is always “pain”. And I take it you haven’t been to [this site]?:mrgreen:

    @ Nazieb

    He?😕

  43. @ K. geddoe

    Of course HDD ‘evolved’. They can and they did.

    Ah, I unwittingly mixed up the micro and macroevolution definitions up there. Sorry.😐

    (I referred to brain part adaptation through learning course; something that HDD can’t do — but that’s another story) ^^;

    I do not know why did you chose to base your arguments on the HDD-OS/Brain-Mind analogy. Using analogies in discussions is discouraged, and for good reasons, too.😕

    Well, pardon me for that.😛 It was interesting to do comparison of these two ‘thinking machines’ — while one’s artificial and man-made, the other is supposedly of different offspring, i.e. natural means. Hence the idea. ^^

    Well while we may be having no problems, there’s always suicide, masturbation, godless life, blasphemy…:mrgreen:

    Indonesians use to say: “tanya hati nurani”. I guess that ends it, no? ^^

    *ngeles*😛

    Good point, but that depends. There is always “pain”.

    So, you want to consider a pain-based moral conduct to apply to animals?

    If every animals (and plants) heed to that, our food pyramid structure shall be collapsed — or, if not that, get affected greatly.

    Almost every case of eating-and-feeding deals with pain. Most visibly between carnivores… and that’s not considering the possibility if plants are actually sentient to pain.😕

    And I take it you haven’t been to [this site]?:mrgreen:

    Well, actually not.😛

    *browsing*

  44. Long and exhaustive discussion based on Chinese Sleep Chant.

    Liberalism has it flaws, religion has it flaws, and pursuing happiness, well has it flaws. So all has flaws, all fucked up!

    Well, that’s one point of view, thats no need to discuss.

    In the other hand, this discussion leads nowhere, for the debaters of course, we tend to agree to disagree. But for people outside the debate, they can choose, they have an exhaustive opinion in different point of view.

    But I’m have more interest on the main article :

    Life sucks, so when you’re unhappy, lower your standards, i.e. be a slightly more pathetic human being, and therefore you’d be content.

    There is, however, a different way to achieve happiness. You can either lower your standar, or work harder to achieve your goals. That’s IMHO, defines the quality of life. Either you surrender for the will of the world, or you try to dominate the world and gear up your standards and efforts. It is about choice.

    That’s lead to follow flow with the world, or control flow of the world, or do something between.

    I offer something different, neither religion, liberalism or pursuing happiness. It’s harmony. The goal is to achieve harmony with others, with nature, with society, with friends. There’s where Avatar take place, wups… wrong story😀

    But either way, we die anyway. But that’s a nihilistic approach.

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