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droneriot
RETIRED

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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:26 am 
 

We have had threads about talking our beliefs before, but the problem with them was that people made long, rambling posts that no one ever read outlined their beliefs on absolutely everything. This thread has a different approach: In this thread, you post a snapshot, your belief on one, or a maximum (!!) of two subjects. Like, if you were christian, and you have two hundred different beliefs on every subject in the world, in this thread you only post for example your belief on how the biblical creation story is compatible with the scientific description of the origions and development of the world. And just to be clear, don't post "I'm christian, so my belief on this is this", but just "My belief on this is this", no revealing the greater picture in any way, just that snapshot. Simple, no? And of course, if you don't have any beliefs, no point posting here, is there?

Please note: You may post another snapshot, but only AT LEAST ONE WEEK after you posted your last one.

-edit- Of course commenting on others' snapshots and discussion is allowed, welcome and encouraged.

---------------------------------

I'll start by posting a snapshot of my belief on one thing, and a closely related one:

I believe there is life on Europa and Enceladus, and I believe evidence of past life will eventually be found on Mars.
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ScratchMyBack
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:43 am 
 

To be clear, is this thread limited to religious belief or this also includes, cultural, political, ideological or philosophical views?

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Against Such Things
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:16 pm
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Location: Southern Maryland
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:12 pm 
 

Do you mean the basis of our worldview?
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:21 pm 
 

ScratchMyBack wrote:
To be clear, is this thread limited to religious belief or this also includes, cultural, political, ideological or philosophical views?

Shouldn't the Europa/Enceladus/Mars example answer that question?
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ScratchMyBack
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:34 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
ScratchMyBack wrote:
To be clear, is this thread limited to religious belief or this also includes, cultural, political, ideological or philosophical views?

Shouldn't the Europa/Enceladus/Mars example answer that question?


:lol: I read it to mean past life as in reincarnation like some Eastern religions. That's why it seemed a bit vague to me.
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Necessitarian
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:20 am
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:47 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
I believe there is life on Europa and Enceladus, and I believe evidence of past life will eventually be found on Mars.

If there really was life on any of those places, it could be terrible news for the long-term continuation of the human species because it would mean that the proposed Great Filter, the thing which precludes the possibility of sustained, long-term existence of intelligent life, was more likely to still be ahead of us than already past us.

http://www.nickbostrom.com/extraterrestrial.pdf

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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:38 pm 
 

cool thread drone. And a challenging one too! Let's give it a crack.

I believe in a moral and divinely ordained rule of the rich feeding & clothing the poor. (Was that way too lame?) I believe in, I dunno. That each human is inherently capable of altruism. :)

Need to have waaaay more bongs before I can do this, but those are two beliefs that I certainly have, so there you go.
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henkkjelle
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:54 pm
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:12 pm 
 

I believe that further significant human evolution will not be of natural origin, but of technological origin. Technological advancement is going a hell of a lot faster than ye olde natural selection, so it would be immensely beneficial to improve ourselves through technology. After all, we are already doing just that with prosthetics, hearing aids, and artificial organs. One could argue that this wouldn't be "real" evolution, and it probably wouldn't be in the biological sense. (maybe it would be if we could find a way to genetically engineer these technological advancements into embryo's.)

Or you know ,treat people like genetically engineered vegetables. :wink:

Cool thread by the way!
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Wyrmbane
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:30 am
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:12 pm 
 

Snapshot 1: I don't believe in the ideological concept / language construct of morality - there is no right and no wrong.
Snapshot 2: I don't believe in the ideological concept / language construct of better - why is rationality "better" than irrationality?
Snapshot 3: Aargh! limit reached.

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Doomed Cowboy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:18 pm 
 

I believe that people are not inherently good, and are in fact selfish just like any other living creature.
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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:24 pm 
 

I believe that Wyrmbane has not thought through his beliefs as any other than hypothetical posits - ones that even remotely followed, are seemingly impossible ideals that are on the same level of those who is trying to rally against - albeit less grounded in any semblance of humanity.

Doomed, interesting you say that, but if indeed animals are inclined to be "selfish" what drives said selfishness? Biological imperatives can hardly be selfish - and have often proved quite the opposite true.

I believe in the inherent power of reasonable thought, deconstruction, the Socratic method and the application of systems of thought. People ought to be as reasonable as possible, reason is the source of goodness, never to worry, and embrace the feelings of fear, loneliness and the immensity of the universe. Call it spirituality.
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henkkjelle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:43 pm 
 

Doomed Cowboy wrote:
I believe that people are not inherently good, and are in fact selfish just like any other living creature.


Frans de Waal would like to have a word with you.
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Wyrmbane
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:30 am
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:04 pm 
 

PhilosophicalFrog wrote:
I believe that Wyrmbane has not thought through his beliefs as any other than hypothetical posits - ones that even remotely followed, are seemingly impossible ideals that are on the same level of those who is trying to rally against - albeit less grounded in any semblance of humanity.

Doomed, interesting you say that, but if indeed animals are inclined to be "selfish" what drives said selfishness? Biological imperatives can hardly be selfish - and have often proved quite the opposite true.

I believe in the inherent power of reasonable thought, deconstruction, the Socratic method and the application of systems of thought. People ought to be as reasonable as possible, reason is the source of goodness, never to worry, and embrace the feelings of fear, loneliness and the immensity of the universe. Call it spirituality.


Of course they are but hypothetical thought experiments - but let me dispel your doubts, I do believe in my non-beliefs. My second "belief" is one which I think will be hard to address or refute.
"People ought to be as reasonable as possible" - I don't think so, what is reasonable for one person might not be so for another: a Jain monk starving himself to death might seem a good idea to him - he thinks he has realized the "truth". The guy from Dissection thought his work was done, mission accomplished - so what's the point in lingering on? Old people in Europe want euthanasia legalised so that they can depart this world in dignity because they think that a coming life that you cannot enjoy is no life at all.

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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:08 pm 
 

I believe that subjective knowledge a priori as postulated by Kant and objective knowledge a posteriori as in empirical knowledge are two intrinsically different epistemical worlds. Neither can be reduced to explanations within the other. Nevertheless they both are aspects of the same material reality.

I believe that man is neither good nor evil but is able to choose between the two. "Good" describes a logical set of categorical imperatives, "evil" describes everything that violates them. There are no objective truths that tell us which to choose or whether to stay consistent in our choices.

As social creatures we choose good, as selfish creatures we choose evil. I believe that by natural instinct we are more social than selfish. It is how the survival and multiplication of genes, which is the driving force of evolution as Dawkins realized (and not the survival and procreation of the individual which is what Darwin thought), manifests itself in human behaviour. Social Darwinism and normative egoism are bullshit.

I believe that man having material power over other people is the root of what is wrong with society (and all the pointless suffering it creates).
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Last edited by inhumanist on Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:20 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Doomed Cowboy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:15 pm 
 

[quote="PhilosophicalFrog"
Doomed, interesting you say that, but if indeed animals are inclined to be "selfish" what drives said selfishness? Biological imperatives can hardly be selfish - and have often proved quite the opposite true.
[/quote]
I see it as just biological pushes to do the only important thing (if one doesn't believe in religion) in life, which is to spread ones genes. Some animals work better and are adapted for hunting or feeding in groups, and as such will only help others because they are dependent on those others for food, rather than because they feel empathy for them. Its all a case of one being able to have offspring, nothing more.
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InnesI
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:13 pm 
 

I believe that the "ultimate reality" is dialectically monist in nature. That means that reality is actually one whole (or "none" as some would have it) but it necessarily manifests itself in dualistic terms. It is a polar relation where there is a way up and a way down but its all the same path. I have been quite influenced by eastern metaphysics, Heraclitus and, to some extent, Nietzsche regarding this.

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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:16 pm 
 

I don't believe there is any valid basis for the concept of human rights.
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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:23 pm 
 

Read Kant.
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CorpseFister wrote:
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:23 pm 
 

I assure you that I have :P
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:37 pm 
 

PhilosophicalFrog wrote:
I believe that Wyrmbane has not thought through his beliefs as any other than hypothetical posits - ones that even remotely followed, are seemingly impossible ideals that are on the same level of those who is trying to rally against - albeit less grounded in any semblance of humanity.

Doomed, interesting you say that, but if indeed animals are inclined to be "selfish" what drives said selfishness? Biological imperatives can hardly be selfish - and have often proved quite the opposite true.

I believe in the inherent power of reasonable thought, deconstruction, the Socratic method and the application of systems of thought. People ought to be as reasonable as possible, reason is the source of goodness, never to worry, and embrace the feelings of fear, loneliness and the immensity of the universe. Call it spirituality.


Good post, man, and I agree in principal, but I think we are always at warr in a sense, between our "reasonable" impulses and our selfish irrationalities. I find the idea that "we are inherently selfish" doesn't answer any important questions and is counterproductive unless some counteracting force is posited from that assumption. I mean, I'm not a religious person, but it seems to be that the reason religion often attempts to impose a sort of morality among people is that a similar conclusion has been reached...I.E., "humans have a propensity for selfishness and for failing to acknowledge the existence of a future beyond the immediate moment. This is a problem; what can we do about it?" I admire these positivistic strattegies even if I can't really embrace the divine concept.

Ok, I'll take a stab at this snapshot thing:

I believe that enigma is the most exciting thing in the universe and that it is a large part of what drives us to make further scientific discoveries. The purpose isn't necessarily to provide more answers exclusively, but to pose ever larger and deeper questions. Related to that, I believe that the journey is almost always more thrilling than the destination and that people who don't take the time to observe and cogitate on what happens on their various paths, but instead run blindly towards specific goals of attainment, are almost always likely to be disappointed. Living in a universe where there are so many questions is what leads us to keep pushing. Also, I believe that it is very important to preserve the artistic works of humanity, and if there are travellers from the stars that visit us after our race is gone, or some beings that are to come, I hope they will remember us by the great works we have achieved and not exclusively by our follies. WHenever I am consumed by hopelessness or despair about the human race and the "Human condition", I only have to turn to a great piece of literature, film or music to remind myself of what awesome feats we can achieve, and that we are in fact worth more than our mere biology.
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Necessitarian
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:09 pm 
 

I believe intelligence and rationality are ultimately at odds with existence. A fully rational being would have no reason to continue its existence. That, to me, means that there's absolutely nothing to strive for. The final outcome of our existence at our full potential is available to us just as well at the present moment.

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Zakillah
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:03 pm 
 

I believe that the human race will die out in the next 2000 years.
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Zakillah
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:16 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
I don't believe there is any valid basis for the concept of human rights.

Human rights, from a general point is very easy. Treat others the same way you want to be treated. no?
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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:17 pm 
 

InnesI wrote:
I believe that the "ultimate reality" is dialectically monist in nature. That means that reality is actually one whole (or "none" as some would have it) but it necessarily manifests itself in dualistic terms. It is a polar relation where there is a way up and a way down but its all the same path. I have been quite influenced by eastern metaphysics, Heraclitus and, to some extent, Nietzsche regarding this.


I completely agree!

I also think that this can and maybe should inform ethics. If the universe is a multiplicity within a singularity, similar to the human body (cells, organs etc), then the multiplicities within the singular universe are all highly interrelated and interconnected, and in a sense "belong to each other." I tend to think of myself in Hindu terms then, as both a fully individual human self and a part of a larger self, Atman-Brahman. And other humans (and things in the universe) are Brahman too, so I should respect them as much as I respect myself, because in some respect there's no difference.
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:52 pm 
 

To counter the previous posts adressing the subject; I believe that humans can't be "inherently" evil, or good, for that matter. We simply have the potential for those things, but not a built in propensity towards them.
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dystopia4
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:03 pm 
 

I believe that religion is an attempt to answer a question that human beings have no means of answering. I don't believe science (as of yet) contains all the answers, what we know now is probably just scratching the iceberg of what there is to know.
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Scorntyrant
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:27 pm 
 

I believe in Nihilism
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:04 pm 
 

dystopia4 wrote:
I don't believe science (as of yet) contains all the answers,

Never will. Every new answer just brings up at least three new questions.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:27 pm 
 

I believe the idea of eternal punishment (hell) is narcissistic. "He'll go to hell where he will burn and scream and cry forever while I ascend to heaven and enjoy the fruits of 70 brown-eyed virgins."
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Foulchrist
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:44 pm 
 

Well yeah, that's how it works. Draw them in with fear, keep them there with grandiose delusions. And insult the rest of humanity in the process.

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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:26 am 
 

Wilytank wrote:
I believe the idea of eternal punishment (hell) is narcissistic. "He'll go to hell where he will burn and scream and cry forever while I ascend to heaven and enjoy the fruits of 70 brown-eyed virgins."

Not only that, but also unfair. Your life is finite, ergo, there are only so many crimes/sins/whatever that you can commit before you die. An eternal punishment for limited offenses? That sounds like highly disproportionate retribution to me.
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InnesI
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:10 am 
 

Nahsil wrote:
InnesI wrote:
I believe that the "ultimate reality" is dialectically monist in nature. That means that reality is actually one whole (or "none" as some would have it) but it necessarily manifests itself in dualistic terms. It is a polar relation where there is a way up and a way down but its all the same path. I have been quite influenced by eastern metaphysics, Heraclitus and, to some extent, Nietzsche regarding this.


I completely agree!

I also think that this can and maybe should inform ethics. If the universe is a multiplicity within a singularity, similar to the human body (cells, organs etc), then the multiplicities within the singular universe are all highly interrelated and interconnected, and in a sense "belong to each other." I tend to think of myself in Hindu terms then, as both a fully individual human self and a part of a larger self, Atman-Brahman. And other humans (and things in the universe) are Brahman too, so I should respect them as much as I respect myself, because in some respect there's no difference.


The whole thing about dialectical monism is that it embraces both unity and diversity. Therefore I do not feel it is necessarily the basis of an ethical standpoint as the one you write about. Metaphysics and the way the world works are so much above general human, animal and other life that I don't think we can take these theories and make a valid claim of an ethics derived from our theory of the basic nature of the universe. Since I do also embrace diversity conflict not only comes natural but it is part of the essence. Because the world is not more one than many or reverse. Heraclitus wrote: “Realize that war is common and justice is strife, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife.” (take this as metaphysics - not that war is common in the history of mankind or such).

There are indeed Hindu schools that are dialectically monist. But Hinduism is not one stream of thought. It includes vastly different views of the world, often very much conflicting with each other. The general thought, or perhaps the most commonly learned about though, of atman and brahman I cannot stand behind. Sicne it is usually part of the advaita vedanta school which I feel is not dialectically monist. It actually regards the universe as fundamentally one and that all particularity is an illusion. This seems to be what you refer to.


Zakillah wrote:
iamntbatman wrote:
I don't believe there is any valid basis for the concept of human rights.

Human rights, from a general point is very easy. Treat others the same way you want to be treated. no?


No, there are several different human rights. The west has its version (and its not static it has been changed through time), Islamic countries have their version(s) and on it goes.

It is based on the individual and has no regard for anything else (no cultural context is taken into regard for example). Its general premise is one of a original naturalness which of course is historically incorrect. I.e. that the individual predates the society or the social community. And also it tends to refer to some kind of universal moral or a "natural law".

In northern Europe it has taken a turn for the worse when people always refer to their rights to do something and no one ever talks or thinks about the duties that should be a requirement to get these rights in the first place. But according to the human rights dogma rights are given by birth - just because you are a human you have earned these rights. Therefore duty is placed in the closet and people in general seem to have forgotten the interrelation between rights and duty that was once part of our cultural context.

And since it does not take in regard cultures it is also part of the globalist new colonialism. Today we do not take geographic land but we do push our values on other peoples who aren't part of our cultural context. The same goes for liberal democracy and capitalism of course since they have become tightly intertwined. We tell everyone that the west are no longer colonizing other countries when in truth we do it more than before. It is a part of the movement to not bring forth the differences of culture but rather to try to streamline people and incorporate them into the same system.

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marktheviktor
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:29 am 
 

I believe that only parents and teachers should be role models to kids not media personalities i.e. rock stars and athletes. Easier said than done but that's what I believe.

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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:29 am 
 

Human rights always come with the duty to grant others the same rights.

Cultural relativism is self-refuting. Besides, human rights aren't cultural values, they abstract from cultural values. They are as compatible or incompatible with western values as they are with eastern values because cultural values are historically arbitrary, human rights are not.
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InnesI
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:34 am 
 

inhumanist wrote:
Human rights always come with the duty to grant others the same rights.

Cultural relativism is self-refuting. Besides, human rights aren't cultural values, they abstract from cultural values. They are as compatible or incompatible with western values as they are with eastern values because cultural values are historically arbitrary, human rights are not.


Cultural relativism is necessary in our relation to other cultures. This does not mean that I cannot value cultures differently. I very much do but I see its of utmost importance to let other cultures be. To not enter their territory and not try to convert them to my values. Its fine to think that western culture is superior but I think its wrong to enter other countries to try to convert them. But the west does so all the time - I'm sure other countries/regions do as well. The best examples lately have been from the so called Arabic spring.

Cultural values are only arbitrary for the person who looks upon them from the outside. For people inside the culture their values are taken seriously and are seen as having a higher meaning and often a divine origin. Of course you are withing the western culture and thus sees our human rights as this special, untouchable thing in itself.

Human rights came up in a strictly western sphere from western cultural values. Well, the version we know of this concept at least. There are, as I said above, several different versions of humans rights (such as the Cairo declaration for example). The western version of human rights have become our religion of sorts - our code coming from the above, supposedly untouchable and which cannot be critiqued (not if you want to keep a position of power at least).

It should be clear that human rights are not compatible with every culture as you try to say, this is why western countries are going through with this cultural imperialism. We try to convert everyone else to our beliefs and values. Sure, "you can believe what you want as long as you agree with us".

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droneriot
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:37 am 
 

InnesI wrote:
Cultural relativism is necessary in our relation to other cultures. This does not mean that I cannot value cultures differently. I very much do but I see its of utmost importance to let other cultures be. To not enter their territory and not try to convert them to my values. Its fine to think that western culture is superior but I think its wrong to enter other countries to try to convert them. But the west does so all the time - I'm sure other countries/regions do as well. The best examples lately have been from the so called Arabic spring.

You can see it this way and that way. Yeah, I kind of support the idea of cultural non-interference, but I make exceptions when it comes to things like female genital mutilation. Does that make me a hypocrite?
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mindshadow
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:01 am 
 

I believe the public have a right to openness and transparency from politicians and the media at all times. Anyone ignoring/name calling/suppressing the truth or distorting (even statistical) evidence/facts should be immediately and permanently relieved of public duties/pension/financial reward.
Because if people don't feel their concerns are at least being listened to, there's a serious danger of some taking the law into their own hands, even the possibility of civil unrest. Extreme political groups often act as magnets for the disillusioned (often the poorer sections) in society who are constantly rode roughshod over by those who are supposed to represent them and act without prejudice on their behalf.

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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:30 am 
 

InnesI wrote:
Cultural relativism is necessary in our relation to other cultures. This does not mean that I cannot value cultures differently. I very much do but I see its of utmost importance to let other cultures be. To not enter their territory and not try to convert them to my values. Its fine to think that western culture is superior but I think its wrong to enter other countries to try to convert them. But the west does so all the time - I'm sure other countries/regions do as well. The best examples lately have been from the so called Arabic spring.

Cultural relativism is the notion that we cannot abstract from cultural values and that all values are in fact cultural. Normative cultural relativism that tells us not to advocate a universal normative position like human rights is self refuting because it is a universal normative position itself. Radical descriptive cultural relativism is factually wrong because categorical imperatives can be logically constructed from basic human wishes and needs that are culture-independent.

Quote:
Cultural values are only arbitrary for the person who looks upon them from the outside. For people inside the culture their values are taken seriously and are seen as having a higher meaning and often a divine origin. Of course you are withing the western culture and thus sees our human rights as this special, untouchable thing in itself.

I said that cultural values are historically arbitrary which means that they are shaped by a number of historical factors instead of, say, ethical reason.

Quote:
Human rights came up in a strictly western sphere from western cultural values. Well, the version we know of this concept at least. There are, as I said above, several different versions of humans rights (such as the Cairo declaration for example). The western version of human rights have become our religion of sorts - our code coming from the above, supposedly untouchable and which cannot be critiqued (not if you want to keep a position of power at least).

It should be clear that human rights are not compatible with every culture as you try to say, this is why western countries are going through with this cultural imperialism. We try to convert everyone else to our beliefs and values. Sure, "you can believe what you want as long as you agree with us".

You speak of cultural imperialism but ignore the fact that economical imperialism constantly leads to abuses of the very same human rights that you claim to be the new western religion? Human rights are fundamentally at odds with western imperial (=western capitalist) interests. But if you are so convinced, why don't you cite a passage of, say, the UDHR that is specifically western in its values?

droneriot wrote:
InnesI wrote:
Cultural relativism is necessary in our relation to other cultures. This does not mean that I cannot value cultures differently. I very much do but I see its of utmost importance to let other cultures be. To not enter their territory and not try to convert them to my values. Its fine to think that western culture is superior but I think its wrong to enter other countries to try to convert them. But the west does so all the time - I'm sure other countries/regions do as well. The best examples lately have been from the so called Arabic spring.

You can see it this way and that way. Yeah, I kind of support the idea of cultural non-interference, but I make exceptions when it comes to things like female genital mutilation. Does that make me a hypocrite?

No. You making exceptions when certain lines are crossed is nothing other than saying that there are certain rights that should be granted to every human regardless of their cultural context. InnesI likes to depict human rights as a bulldozer to all those precious cultural values when in fact they only concern those values that are inacceptable from a reasonable ethical position.
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InnesI
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:10 pm 
 

inhumanist wrote:
Cultural relativism is the notion that we cannot abstract from cultural values and that all values are in fact cultural. Normative cultural relativism that tells us not to advocate a extracultural ethical position like human rights is self refuting because it is a extracultural ethical position itself. Radical descriptive cultural relativism is factually wrong because categorical imperatives can be logically constructed from basic human wishes and needs that are culture-independent.


So what you say does not differ from what I say except that you seem to think of human rights as an "extracultural ethical position" and therefore above "basic human wishes and needs that are culture independent". Would that be correct? I would of course argue human rights being just as culturally independent as any other value system other than it is our western system and we value it higher because of that. And because we value it higher we also tend to see it as an "extracultural ethical position" and therefore we are in the right to force these values onto other cultures.

Quote:
I said that cultural values are historically arbitrary which means that they are shaped by a number of historical factors instead of, say, practical reason.


With this being said I would argue all values are shaped by historical reasons which also relates to practical reason. This is not always how they are seen from within the culture (where they can have divine origin for example) but its probably close to what I believe all values really are.

Quote:
You speak of cultural imperialism but ignore the fact that economical imperialism constantly leads to abuses of the very same human rights that you claim to be the new western religion? Human rights are fundamentally at odds with western imperial (=western capitalist) interests.


We were discussing human rights after all and not economical imperialism which is a natural reason to not discuss that at any depth. Would you not agree?

With that being said capitalism often tends to strive against the values of human rights. But we should also note that even with their conflict they are both part of modern values in western society that are in many cases valued as new untouchable values. Its human rights and liberal democracy. In some way dependent on each other but also in conflict. Before human rights we had other values that we thought the same of. They to were there for the best of man and then to we liked to try to convert others to our values.

Quote:
But if you are so convinced, why don't you cite a passage of, say, the UDHR that is specifically western in its values?


I'll make a twist out of this one and give example of human rights that have obviously come up from different cultural backgrounds and then you can compare for yourself and see their cultural differences:

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen - 1789 (and the difference of this to the constitution of 1791).
UDHR - 1948
The Cairo Declaration - 1990

So one is of a more historical nature, the next is the one we take for granted and the last is an Arabic/Islamic version. All different, all claiming universality all culturally and historically specific. I may add more examples later, I just can't find my book on human rights at the moment.

Quote:
No. You making exceptions when certain lines are crossed is nothing other than saying that there are certain rights that should be granted to every human not matter their cultural context. InnesI likes to make it look like human rights are like a bulldozer to all those precious cultural values when in fact they only concern those values that are inacceptable from a reasonable ethical position.


I argue that human rights are as much a cultural value as any other but they are presented as an "extracultural ethical position" so that we can claim their values of higher worth when we try to convert people from other cultures. Now don't get me wrong, I am definitely against female genital mutilation as was given as an example. The question is where to draw the line or if we are to interfere at all in cultures different from our own. Today the west participates in war to remove leaders that we don't like. Then we try to make these countries adhere to our way of doing things even if there is no organic basis for these ideas to flourish in said culture.

Its in no way an easy question to answer but I think the general rule should be non-intervention and certainly not make war with nations just because their system may not suit ours - unless provoked or threatened of course.

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InnesI
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:05 pm 
 

InnesI wrote:
inhumanist wrote:
But if you are so convinced, why don't you cite a passage of, say, the UDHR that is specifically western in its values?


I'll make a twist out of this one and give example of human rights that have obviously come up from different cultural backgrounds and then you can compare for yourself and see their cultural differences:

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen - 1789 (and the difference of this to the constitution of 1791).
UDHR - 1948
The Cairo Declaration - 1990

So one is of a more historical nature, the next is the one we take for granted and the last is an Arabic/Islamic version. All different, all claiming universality all culturally and historically specific. I may add more examples later, I just can't find my book on human rights at the moment.



Ok so I found my book. A few of the different versions of human rights:

American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man - 1948
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms - 1950
African Charter on Human and People's Rights - 1981
Universal Islamic Declaration on Human Rights - 1981
Arab Charter on Human Rights - 1994
European Charter on Fundamental Rights - 2000

Culture specific, different in nature, claiming universality. Check, check and check!

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