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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    No, it's a key aspect of the Christian faith, but its roots go further back.
    Something can go further back and still be part of the same root. For example, if one posits that C is rooted in B, and B is rooted in A, then it follows that C is rooted in A. Now, if we go back far enough we might find the origins in Cro-Magnon man, but this argument depends on limited artifacts, circumstantial evidence, and a lot of speculation. My purpose was not to propound the absolute origins, as an anthropologist is predisposed to doing, but merely to claim that the Golden Rule can be traced back to the book of dogma and Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    It's one of those spiritual tenets that appears in most ethical philosophies.
    ?


    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Logic isn't as useful as you make it out to be. There are far too many situations in real life in which the logical approach is nonsensical. There are far too many people who simply do not operate logically, and your attempts to apply logic will simply backfire.
    It does not follow from the fact that some people do not operate logically that my attempts to apply logic will backfire. Even if humans do not always reason in a logically valid manner, they nevertheless follow rules; and nowhere is there to be found any irregularity. If it should seem as though there is irregularity, this is really a function of human ignorance. For example, a ten year old may speak in grammatically correct sentences and yet not know the rules of grammar. We conclude, therefore, that the ten year old, like all animate and inanimate things in the universe, follows rules. Similarly, should one try to run as fast as the speed of light one will find one is unable, and should one try to jump as high as the empire state building one finds one is unable. As such, it follows even when humans do not reason validly, they nevertheless follow rules. If one is highly equipped with the tools of logic and pattern recognition, one may be able to sort out situations in a logical manner even when humans themselves are not logical. Thus, given what has been stated hitherto it is not clear how you have deduced that logic will backfire from the fact that some humans are not logical.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    The Golden Rule...It's a fundamental teaching tool, such as when telling a child, "Would you like someone to do that to you? ... [child meekly answers no] ... Well, then you shouldn't do it to others."
    The problem, however, is when asked, "would you like someone to do that to you? And the person says yes." In other words, this is a notion based on experience rather than the application of reason. Accordingly, different experiences will inevitably be different, and thus a moral system predicated on differing experiences will lead to different notions of what is right and wrong. A person, for instance, could take someone's $5 dollar bill off of the table after making the supposition that if someone did that to them they wouldn't mind. Maybe $5 is insignificant to them. But the person likely does not know any better and uses their limited experience to induce a "universal maxim," based in highly dubious inductive reasoning. Now do you see the problem with an ethical system that uses experience to establish what is right and wrong?

  2. #52
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    The issue of personal preference is why the ethic of reciprocity is a default rule for society, as opposed to every relationship a person has. It's what you do when you know nothing about the other person, in order to maintain social harmony.

    For example: if you were suicidal, would it make any sense by the Golden Rule to save the injured man in the Good Samaritan parable? On the one hand, you might say no - you want to die, and if you're granting to the other person what you wish to yourself, you'd let the person die.

    However, this is missing the point - it isn't about wishes, it's about actions. Even if you yourself would want to die, it's likely that you still wouldn't want someone to kill you without your consent, nor would you want someone to refuse aid to a non-consensually inflicted injury. Not to mention, there may be a future situation where you're not suicidal, so you'd definitely want the help then.

    As for its origins? Hardwired in our DNA as how we engage with others recognized as part of an extended ingroup. The great innovation of the modern religions was to universalize this ethic to all humanity.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Provoker View Post
    Something can go further back and still be part of the same root. For example, if one posits that C is rooted in B, and B is rooted in A, then it follows that C is rooted in A. Now, if we go back far enough we might find the origins in Cro-Magnon man, but this argument depends on limited artifacts, circumstantial evidence, and a lot of speculation. My purpose was not to propound the absolute origins, as an anthropologist is predisposed to doing, but merely to claim that the Golden Rule can be traced back to the book of dogma and Christianity.
    You didn't click on the link, didya?



    ?
    Nope, didn't click on the link.


    It does not follow from the fact that some people do not operate logically that my attempts to apply logic will backfire.
    Actually, it just backfired on you. You don't realize it, because it all fits in your logical framework.

    However, I shall attempt to answer the following in your terms:
    Even if humans do not always reason in a logically valid manner, they nevertheless follow rules; and nowhere is there to be found any irregularity. If it should seem as though there is irregularity, this is really a function of human ignorance. For example, a ten year old may speak in grammatically correct sentences and yet not know the rules of grammar. We conclude, therefore, that the ten year old, like all animate and inanimate things in the universe, follows rules. Similarly, should one try to run as fast as the speed of light one will find one is unable, and should one try to jump as high as the empire state building one finds one is unable. As such, it follows even when humans do not reason validly, they nevertheless follow rules. If one is highly equipped with the tools of logic and pattern recognition, one may be able to sort out situations in a logical manner even when humans themselves are not logical. Thus, given what has been stated hitherto it is not clear how you have deduced that logic will backfire from the fact that some humans are not logical.
    My interpretation of what you just said: "Humans need not reason logically in order to behave logically, and in fact do behave logically in ways of which they are often unaware. Therefore logic does apply to analyzing human behavior. The conclusion, therefore, that logic will always backfire when applied to human behavior is false."

    Assuming my interpretation is correct, I will admit that your logical analysis is pretty much correct, with the exception that it rests on the assumption that I implied that logic always backfires.

    You are missing the point of my message by insisting that it be phrased in a precise logical manner. In general, I go for "clarity of message" over "technical precision" in my posts. This is a conscious choice on my part. It also happens to provide in this case a demonstration of how logic can backfire.

    My message was, "Logic doesn't always work." Then, without irony, you used logic to prove that logic does work. Yes, logic will give you an analysis of a situation, from a rational/objective/logical perspective. It doesn't necessarily give you a useful analysis, and can easily result in a crappy analysis (even if the logic is "100% correct"). With respect to "the Golden Rule," it results in some really sophomoric ramblings that have no real meaning beyond demonstrating one's own ignorance.

    Let me finish quoting you, in order to complete my point:
    The problem, however, is when asked, "would you like someone to do that to you? And the person says yes." In other words, this is a notion based on experience rather than the application of reason. Accordingly, different experiences will inevitably be different, and thus a moral system predicated on differing experiences will lead to different notions of what is right and wrong. A person, for instance, could take someone's $5 dollar bill off of the table after making the supposition that if someone did that to them they wouldn't mind. Maybe $5 is insignificant to them. But the person likely does not know any better and uses their limited experience to induce a "universal maxim," based in highly dubious inductive reasoning. Now do you see the problem with an ethical system that uses experience to establish what is right and wrong?
    Yes, this is where the spiritual lesson, collapsed into something comprehensible to most people, has flaws when interpreted absolutely literally.

    For most people, the Golden Rule is completely clear. It's not a computer program, it's a lesson for human beings. Human beings learn and train, and develop their own understanding: you don't just plug in logical modules.

    If you were trying to teach a child how to add numbers, you wouldn't bring up negative numbers, fractions, irrational numbers, imaginary numbers, set theory, calculus, and tensor notation. You wouldn't even start off like a textbook, and formally define addition, discussing commutative and associative properties of addition.

    No. You'd take rocks or sticks or paperclips or apples (without attempting to clarify that it doesn't matter what kind of thing it is), and put down one, ask how many, put down another, and ask how many, and then say "one and one is two." You would teach the child how to do addition.

    You are precisely correct when you say, "this is a notion based on experience rather than the application of reason."

    The Golden Rule is not an statement of pure reason, which is why logical analysis is inapplicable. It's "one and one is two" said in such a way as to give the overarching idea, to give a beginning of understanding, so that one may use that as a bridge to better understanding as one becomes more familiar with the subject.

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