Friday, March 16, 2018

Limit our Exposure

It is practical and necessary for each of us to limit our involvement in life to those things that we value and consider important. Each of us do these things, but some people do not seem to be able to mind only there own affairs. Those who keep sticking there nose in where it does not belong can find that there time goes, and they miss out on other things because they were minding others affairs, not there own. It is a bad habit of some people, and a bad ethical concept for others. They seem to think it is a virtue to be concerned with others, and what is going on in the lives of others, all while ignoring there own life. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.

[Aside.  "Sticking your nose in where it does not belong" was/is a archery fault, a bit of bad form, of struggling to aim, where one is using arrow aiming methods. The archers head is turned into the string, and the result is a the string brushes the nose. The expression has found other uses elsewhere in the modern lexicon.] 

In the Christian Mythology there is a "ethical principal" that says something like "Do not judge lest you be judged." That is likely bullshit or out of context, for judging is an essential of rational thinking and or rational living. Every action, though, contemplated action, and concept need to be evaluated and judged. Some thing are wrong but necessary to do, as defense of our country, jailing people for bad or unsocial behavior, but there is little choice. The world is overpopulated when we look at the Co2 curve as a measurement of the earth's carrying capacity, but such judgement are necessary in a rational life. If you wish to live and die "as the lilies of field", that is another matter. Judging is one of the cardinal virtues, and deserves much more attention as a skill than it typically gets.

[ Aside: I use the term bullshit in its formal definition here, the author does not know or even care it the fact expressed is true of false, fact or fiction.]

Altruism is another bullshit christian principal. We have no duty or obligation toward support of others in this mixed society. We have a duty to allow others to work and do legal things to support themselves within our planned society, and not harm or abuse them, but if they choose to not work, they have the right to starve or to be shot, if they choose to rob. We have a duty to help support our family, and to help them along, provided they are trying. We have no duty to help along an alcoholic, drug addict, gambler, the abusive or those of other deviant or foolish behaviors. They are on there own, but we may have a duty to provide guidance, if they wish to change.

[ Aside: without the right to protect the property that we have obtained by our efforts, our human rights, our individual right to our property is undermined. Without identity, we have no human rights. I think the Canadian government is not correct in this matter. ]

Growing up in a christian community is not a good thing, if you wish to live in a ethical atheist community as an adult. Sound atheist ethics requires a lot of study to develop, much more that the sloppy christian concepts that one is to "just take on faith". Christians are not much for explaining, likely because there is not logic to support many of there claims. Atheist ethics requires that we understand that "truth must have evidence, logic and reason", not just be written in some old book. Knowledge and truth requires evidence, and religions are judged to be short on evidence and truth. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.  

Monday, February 26, 2018

Philosophy of Life

We all have a philosophy of life whether we know it or not. It can be conscious or unconscious, subconscious. Parts may have been conscious when we learned them, and go quickly into the subconscious. Either way, we are still responsible for what we believe. If we have any free will at all, it must include the decision to accept what we are told to believe, at least once we are financially free of those who forced wrong concepts into our minds in our youth. Yes, some of what we were taught was wrong.

Bringing our philosophy of life to the conscious is really what developing a philosophy is really all about. 

So the foundation or metaphysics and epistemology of the philosophy, include our identity, existence, existence of what we see and assumed reliability of our physical perceptions, our conscious, reason and reasoning. My physiology does not include anything from the mystics, or religion anymore.

Our ethics can be based on anything from the mystics, religion, parents or reason and logic. Cleaning of my ethics of all some non-logical bullshit has been and is an process, which may still be ongoing. It is the process of identifying an underlying premise, and applying reason, one line at a time. It is an ongoing process. Often it is seeing something that is not right, and applying a rational look at the situation. Some acts are not illegal, but are just foolish. Sexting, drinking, drugs, sex in any form outside of a committed relationship, hitchhiking, and the like are just plain foolish, hoping nothing bad happens. This places a whole bunch of things on the do not do list.

What do we base our ethics on? Justice. Do not make a slave out of anyone, nor allow yourself to become a slave. I escaped from being raised a agricultural family slave in my youth. I escaped from the religious slavery of altruism like thinking, where I allowed others to take advantage of me, without proper compensation, and I used junk equipment that requires a floating ax+b calibration factor, that is not much better than estimating from experience. We did testing as directed by the client, not necessarily as it should be done. Not something that is good ethically, but we got paid, it generated revenue, that was the only reason to keep on doing it. For the money. There was much of the engineering done for that reason, little more, according to the client. Some understood the value of what we did, and looked for values provided. To others, it was just necessary. Oh well, I survived and retired.

Justice is the act of fairness in all our trading, buying and or selling. It is the foundation of our ethics, along with our hierarchy of values. We need to place ourselves higher on the list than others, self-interest above altruism. Objectives makes this point, but Ayn grew up under Stalin, but religions also have this others first view, that is often taken to far, and self-interest must come before altruism to avoid self-sacrifice. Doing for others after we are taken care of, and without risk to ourselves is proper to do, but do not let others take advantage of us is important, essential for self esteem and confidence necessary for the good life. Oh well.       

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Reality vs Objectivism

As with any developed philosophy of life, until one has made the error often, one does not see the error. Ayn Rand plagiarized the core, built on it but failed to live it completely. In the end she took social assistance, she took legal speed for thirty years, smoked and died of lung cancer. If our life is the highest ideal, and one should not do anything that damages that, like drugs, what was she doing? Preaching, but not living the philosophy. Her ability to stay on a high horse is less than ideal.

When we go dissecting her philosophy, one line at a time, it contains some good concepts, and some lesser ones. Her take on altruism being lower on the hierarchy of values than self interest is useful and more proper than "doing for others" at considerable personal cost to ourselves is good. It represents the same behavior but without the guilt. After taking care of ourselves we are still free to do for others. The effect is the same but without the guilt. The Churches and Buddhist get around this by providing a join to grave support for the members of their clergy or monks, but not for the people.  

Moving reason, rational process, perception, evidence based decisions and thinking into the foundational layers of the process of a life well lived reorders our thinking a bit. Placing equality in our interactions, and production as the primary virtue modernizes the approach, matching more closely with what I observe as reality.

I struggle with taking the better of short and long term decisions, as short term may be all we have, but that also has drawbacks. Long term is more important, but habit is hard to give up. I would eat the marshmallows. Too many years of being letdown by parents will train that into a person at a young age. The promise would not be fulfilled, when it came time for delivery of the prize, it would be gone. Such is life, oh well, get over it. It was more about lack of trust than putting off reward. Too often the reward never comes, and we end up feeling just used.

But what do I know.  

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Virtue of Selfishness

What a title? Gets the dander of any altruistic person right up. Piques the interest.  Yet the philosophy of Ayn Rand, when we come to understand it, is more truthful and realistic that any other that I have read about. It provides a rational basis for values that they (we) hold. The stoics say that virtue is the highest value, which to Rand is further down the list. Reality, rationality, selfishness, that is the primacy of our existence, come first.

Well, are we not supposed to altruistic, that is doing for others? Well, even when we do something for others, we are doing it for how we feel after, the warm glow of doing something for others, even when they did not want what you did. Well, do not expect to be thanked to much, you were/are forcing the potentially unwanted onto others. That is not just. that is not fair, unless they wanted it. How many of you have old aunts, grandparents, etc. Push food much?

Selfishness actually means, in this case, concern with one's own interests. What else should we be concerned with? We need to learn to mind our own business, rationally know what is in our best interests, our own purpose, which should be, first, take care of ourselves. There is no moral judgement in this statement, it does not state what is in mans interests either, that is for ethics. We humans are equal, and that is the foundation for justice, not privilege of others over us, nor for us to enslave others. That is the danger to both sides. Being both a atheists and into objectivism is difficult; being an objectivist is automatically atheist and supernatural or god shit is not rational. There is nothing in those things to be objective about. So perhaps I have moved from an atheist to being one of the collective.

The collective is what Ayn called here group, or followers, or cult...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ethics... for the good times

Ethics for the good time do not require as many hard decisions. The decisions usually do not hurt much, so as a result, they are easier to make. Problems arise when there are no good choices, as in the case of Saskatchewan Stanley. 

Consider the coming problem of derivative of climate change, the rise in Co2 level. Ultimately the correct answer is that the earth cannot handle more than about 4 billion people, and we are approaching 8 billion. Perhaps that 4 billion can be increased if we start some organic form of carbon capture, shallow unpreserved burial or sky burial, or a mound burial culture, may be one of the many partial solutions. A whole lot less children. Perhaps less active medical care. Perhaps allow the sick to die naturally. Allow natural death, as opposed to do not resuscitate. AND DNR.

So who will have the political will to actively consider such public policy? Consider the Co2 rise problem. We humans and our plants and animals now produce something like 98 percent of all the organic carbon dioxide production, and almost all of the non-organic Co2 production. Our plants also use Co2 some of the time, and that can be increased considerably in some areas. Farm land capture of Co2 may be the most effective means of reducing Co2, but conservation is still required. This will require on land water capture as well.

If equality and justice is taken as the foundation of ethics, then big changes in lifestyle must also occur for the rich, with their big well heated houses with nobody living in it, or one or two people in five or six thousand square feet. This suggests that there should be rationing of carbon products, rationed by need, not our ability to buy.

There is always the possibility of new technology, which must be considered, but that also cannot be counted on.

So when things are going wrong, and we are being violated, what is the right action? Should we shoot in self defense, property defense or let them steal? It is noted that in the original native cultures, it was not wrong to take from others when you were in need.

The philosophers cannot agree on what the foundation of ethics is. It is not the choice of bad verses good, not as MacQuirrie suggests right and wrong, but the shotgun clause. One sets the price, the other chooses buy or sell, usually for share prices of business in dissolution or the value of common assets in divorce. There is nothing better for selecting ethics. It must be agreeable to both sides.

So what am I saying? we must be both willing to do and be done to, and not do and not being done to. The golden law in reverse and in the negative, and all must be enlightened and equal else all is failure.

The Saskatchewan natives are getting uppity, and that will need to be addressed. Europe is being taken over with Muslim hoards, Canada is not far behind. Expect unrest in countries of two diverse cultures. I am glad that I am old, and lived at the peak of civilization. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.


Monday, February 12, 2018

social ethics / social responsiblity

There was a group discussion which this is the proposed topic.
Social Responsibility
  • Secular ethics: personal responsibility for maintaining a healthy society; rational, secure, cooperative, productive educated society; helping the defenseless; volunteering; enrichment; financial support
One of this group tried to write what he planned to be a secular ethics code that the whole earth could adopt. Say ego much.

So now that we know the topic, we need to consider some of the group assertions of the lead person:
there is one that is not obvious to me, that we can tell the difference between right and wrong by rational thought and individual consciences. The problem is that individual conscience is developed mainly from the nurture side, not nature side. It is trained in. That makes right and wrong at the same level as good and bad. Muslims think it is right to remove male temptation by putting a bag over the women. Somewhere in the middle is likely correct; women should dress modestly, without there nipples sticking out, and no cleavage, when working in mixed population. It is "just wrong" to adverse unavailable merchandise, in my opinion. Others do not think so. Oh well, it is not my problem anymore, I am beyond caring.
There is no defined social contract, no definition of what a healthy society is, or what is required.

Rational thinking is not a part of much of society, neither is rational decision making. Most is made at an emotional level.

I worked, and pay and paid taxes. As the taxes include a social safety net, for those who choose to use it, it is my contention that any moral responsible has been met. Our social contract is adequate, if not excessive in many areas. The government chooses to waste money many ways, like support of enviable fetuses, where a 32? weeks would be a more reasonable point to start. The government starts new programs, without consideration of what has been spent on alternatives, without allowing aging out to occur, or gold plating and abandoning, high cost temporary construction, and numerous goofy plans.  

Beyond that I also am an volunteer archery coach, for those who choose to try CRAC, so I  feel that I met my social obligations. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.   

Sunday, February 11, 2018

depends on what we believe

Shape Climate Change Beliefs

by Alicia Capetillo

While scientists and environmentalists scratch their heads at the incredulity of climate change skeptics, it turns out that one's willingness to believe in climate change hinges on that person's world view. According to social scientists, people's beliefs are more strongly shaped and influenced by cultural values than concrete evidence.A story on NPR details the findings of the Cultural Cognition Project, which studies how people's perception of the world affects their beliefs about matters of fact. According to Don Braman, a social scientist and lawyer who works with the project, participants in experiments split into two groups: individualists, who accept new technology, authority, and free enterprise; and communitarians, who are apprehensive of authority or commerce and industry. Braman says that when given the same set of facts for a range of topics, the two groups "start to polarize as soon as you start to describe the potential benefits and harms."In the end, people are more willing to be open-minded if the potential benefits are consistent with their already established point of view. Thus, if you tell an individualist that global warming can be solved by regulating industrial pollution, he or she will reject its existence; but tell that same individualist that the solution is nuclear power and he or she will suddenly see the problem as a real one.Another mitigating factor at play is the "messenger effect," meaning people are more likely to listen and accept facts if they come from people with similar worldviews. When data comes from a mouthpiece people can relate to, the protective walls come down and any perceived threat to their values decreases.In an article in Nature, Dan Kahan, another scholar involved with the project, explains that there are a few potential solutions to combat what they call "protective cognition," but the best technique is simply in the presentation. He writes, "We need to learn more about how to present information in forms that are agreeable to culturally diverse groups, and how to structure debate so that it avoids cultural polarization." Until news networks and scientists manage to somehow expunge people's rooted beliefs, you can continue to share pages of facts and figures, but if the issue proves a threat to social relationships with close peers, you might as well be reading to the wall.Photo via iStockphoto
So we are that easy to be influenced, not by truth but by what we believe,