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Scorpio
Healthy Dose of Reality

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:30 pm
Posts: 3654
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:10 pm 
 

swineeyedlamb wrote:
I mean that civilisation is the root of the problem. It tends to be more humane and pleasant to live amongst one's own ethnicity, but I would argue that this is because of a trick one's mind plays in thinking that ethnic similarity = kinship. Indeed, if one looks at the arc of civilised history, civilisation's way of consolidation has been to manipulate feelings of kinship, at first with ethnicity, then more insidiously with symbols (from the Christian cross to the Nike swoosh).

If I see a man I do not know and have never known him by my familiars' description, I have little basis by which to judge him, save for the impression he makes directly on me. This is, to my mind, an inherently immoral state of affairs.


The point I was getting at is: if I am right and morality is a reflection of the shared values of a people, then a heterogenous society will have difficulty constructing a coherent morality that actually says something. The reason is that the different groups will have wildly divergent understandings of what is valuable for man, so any ethical system that applies to all of the groups will have to be so vague as to lack substantive content. The more heterogenous the people, the harder it will be on morality.
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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:31 pm 
 

Scorpio wrote:
swineeyedlamb wrote:
Scorpio wrote:
Quote:
^By that logic, the fact that virtually all people are connected somehow to the "wider" world means that, ultimately, "we" are all under account to the current miasma of a world order.


I don't think the situation is that dire. It will be muddled around the edges, it's clear to me that the dominant values in Iran are unlike those in Canada in various ways.


But are they, really? A given Iranian may live in greater fear and/or piety, but his life is ruled by the same technologies and civilised values (meaning deference to an abstract authority, which is induced by terror, ideological collusion or both).


To reiterate, yes, it is clear to me. If one society is characterized by the belief that the highest good is adherence to fundamentalist religious dogma and another society values personal freedom above all else, I detect real differences between their evaluative criteria. The fact that they both have governments does not render these differences immaterial. According to my ethical stance, they could scarcely be more important for morality. What a people values means everything when it comes to determining the ethical system that is appropriate for them.


You misunderstand me. Of course there are real differences in the respective moralities of an individual living in Canada vs. Iran, but there are more commonalities between urban civilisations than are commonly recognised. It is a categorically different experience to grow up and live only amongst a handful of individuals, all of whom one knows with varying degrees of intimacy; until very recently, this was the lot of most of our race.

Quote:
Quote:
More to the point, human interconnectedness will continue to grow and merge civilisations relentlessly until any idea of a sovereign society, at least in the Westphalian sense, is obsolete.


I doubt it. There are still genuine conflicts of interest all over the globe. Even if a global superstate officially had the entire world under its jurisdiction, there would still be groups bound by commonality(race, religion, culture, etc.) that would have conflicts with other groups or the state, itself. Such a hypothetical state would be riddled with divergent, incompatible interests more so than any other in history, so we have every reason to believe that it would eventually splinter into many different pieces.


I argue the inverse, that it would homogenise the human race on the global scale (as is happening already), and will literally remove the capacity for most social orders to resist through genetics and neurochemical manipulation. Even if this happens not with a world government, but in blocs, the basic effect will be the same: "morality" will soon have nothing to do with irreducible personal relationships, and everything to do with abstraction.

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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:46 pm 
 

Scorpio wrote:
swineeyedlamb wrote:
I mean that civilisation is the root of the problem. It tends to be more humane and pleasant to live amongst one's own ethnicity, but I would argue that this is because of a trick one's mind plays in thinking that ethnic similarity = kinship. Indeed, if one looks at the arc of civilised history, civilisation's way of consolidation has been to manipulate feelings of kinship, at first with ethnicity, then more insidiously with symbols (from the Christian cross to the Nike swoosh).

If I see a man I do not know and have never known him by my familiars' description, I have little basis by which to judge him, save for the impression he makes directly on me. This is, to my mind, an inherently immoral state of affairs.


The point I was getting at is: if I am right and morality is a reflection of the shared values of a people, then a heterogenous society will have difficulty constructing a coherent morality that actually says something. The reason is that the different groups will have wildly divergent understandings of what is valuable for man, so any ethical system that applies to all of the groups will have to be so vague as to lack substantive content. The more heterogenous the people, the harder it will be on morality.


But I regard a "heterogenous" people as anything larger than a tiny hunter-gatherer society. There seems to me something inherently fraudulent about a morality which extends to people I do not know, or know of, personally. A more ethnically uniform civilised society may, optimally, promote more concord between the values of its individuals, but the root of the problem is civilisation itself. Because larger and more technological societies tend to assimilate or annihilate smaller and more natural ones, I view the historical process of natural -> abstractive societies as pretty much inexorable.


Last edited by swineeyedlamb on Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Scorpio
Healthy Dose of Reality

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:30 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:23 pm 
 

swineeyedlamb wrote:
But I regard a "heterogenous" people as anything larger than a tiny hunter-gatherer society. There seems to me something inherently fraudulent about a morality which extends to people I do not know, or know of, personally.


You are right: the smaller and tighter the social unit, the easier for there to be a comprehensive, coherent moral code such that it advances the interests of the unit. A family would be most ideal out of them all. That said, if you've got a state in which people share their race, religion, and culture,* you are closer to the ideal than if you have one populated by a mishmash of people with entirely different religions, languages, cultural practices, etc. That is the worst situation of them all from a moral standpoint. These peoples will agree on very little, so any moral system that applies to them all in some sense will have be impoverished. They will clash on many basic evaluative issues because different things are important to them.

* Keep in mind that I don't mean to imply that you like these people because their similarity to you is appealing, so you are inclined to treat them well. That might be so, but it is beside the point. Rather, what I mean is that the more you have in common with people, the more shared your interests and goals. This allows the group to weave a relatively rich moral system because there will be relatively few disagreements amongst its members about fundamental values. Specifically, there will be more such disagreements than a family would have and fewer than a modern liberal multicultural state.
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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:45 pm 
 

Scorpio wrote:
swineeyedlamb wrote:
But I regard a "heterogenous" people as anything larger than a tiny hunter-gatherer society. There seems to me something inherently fraudulent about a morality which extends to people I do not know, or know of, personally.


You are right: the smaller and tighter the social unit, the easier for there to be a comprehensive, coherent moral code such that it advances the interests of the unit. A family would be most ideal out of them all. That said, if you've got a state in which people share their race, religion, and culture,* you are closer to the ideal than if you have one populated by a mishmash of people with entirely different religions, languages, cultural practices, etc. That is the worst situation of them all from a moral standpoint. These peoples will agree on very little, so any moral system that applies to them all in some sense will have be impoverished. They will clash on many basic evaluative issues because different things are important to them.

* Keep in mind that I don't mean to imply that you like these people because their similarity to you is appealing, so you are inclined to treat them well. That might be so, but it is beside the point. Rather, what I mean is that the more you have in common with people, the more shared your interests and goals. This allows the group to weave a relatively rich moral system because there will be relatively few disagreements amongst its members about fundamental values. Specifically, there will be more such disagreements than a family would have and fewer than a modern liberal multicultural state.


Yes, but shared interests and goals, if they do not come from directly shared experience, come from abstractions. What do, say, two American Marines have in common, if they do not know each other nor have any shared acquaintances? My answer would be: nothing at all. The fact that they could meet and find commonalities based on the shared (and cultlike) experience of being a Marine does not mean that they have a relationship. Personally, I've had many worthless conversations with boring, nasty people about happenstance symbols we have in common, and only a handful of good conversations when introduced by the same means.

Anyhow, my broad point is, real morality, as I understand it, is based solely on relationships, rather than a code. Indeed, I see a code in itself as the very antithesis of morality (though some codes ape moral reality better than others).

(By the way, I just edited my previous post to add a bit more relevancy vis-a-vis your reply.)

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vondskapens_makt
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:23 pm
Posts: 567
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:29 pm 
 

thomash wrote:
The reality is that most notoriously "evil" people are paragons of weakness and irrationality. They commit their crimes because they either have little self-control or because they are incapable of reasoning well enough to determine the most advantageous course of action.


I disagree with this. Many of those individuals that society would deem evil are not that way due to weakness. It is only because their intentions and acts did not coincide with the popular beliefs or morality at the time would anybody dub them irrational or weak. For instance, the Roman Emperor Nero was notorious for massacring thousands of Christians (an act which many would see as 'evil'), but in no way do I see this as lack of self-control or incapability of reasoning. In his mind he most likely saw this as the 'most advantageous course of action' and any other approach in dealing with Christians would be seen as weakness and irrationality by Nero and other like-minded individuals.
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Scorpio
Healthy Dose of Reality

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:30 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:25 am 
 

swineeyedlamb wrote:
Yes, but shared interests and goals, if they do not come from directly shared experience, come from abstractions. What do, say, two American Marines have in common, if they do not know each other nor have any shared acquaintances? My answer would be: nothing at all. The fact that they could meet and find commonalities based on the shared (and cultlike) experience of being a Marine does not mean that they have a relationship. Personally, I've had many worthless conversations with boring, nasty people about happenstance symbols we have in common, and only a handful of good conversations when introduced by the same means.

Anyhow, my broad point is, real morality, as I understand it, is based solely on relationships, rather than a code. Indeed, I see a code in itself as the very antithesis of morality (though some codes ape moral reality better than others).

(By the way, I just edited my previous post to add a bit more relevancy vis-a-vis your reply.)


I have to say, I simply disagree. Your examples illustrate your point because they're too superficial. Yes, it is true that two Marines do not have much in common, but why would they? They come from a society in which people do not share much in common. So, take a sample of that population and there's a reasonably good chance that those in it will not have a lot in common with one another, although, Marines will have more in common than most people because the Marines self-select. That is, if you sign up for the Marines, you probably have a different psychological profile than the general population, just as a basketball team selects for height. Additionally, you say that you've failed to hit it off with numerous people you shared happenstance symbols with, but once more, I'm not talking about empty symbols or superficial commonalities. I'm talking about deeply similar value systems. Generally, it's easy to get alone with people who esteem the same principles as oneself, although, there can always be clashes of personality. These can occur in families as well, though. It quite nearly follows by definition that if people share common values, they will develop a harmonious ethics. After all, in a hypothetical scenario in which everyone wanted the same things and esteemed the same principles, there would be few disputes about whether or not an action was moral. The only question is: how large can a community be in order for it to have a coherent, richly informative moral perspective and how diverse? If it is too large, it risks breaking off into a bunch of sub-groups with their own moralities and if it is too diverse, it's already fractured into morally incompatible sub-populations.
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Tscherno_Bill
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:02 am
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Location: Switzerland
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:47 am 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
thomash wrote:
The reality is that most notoriously "evil" people are paragons of weakness and irrationality. They commit their crimes because they either have little self-control or because they are incapable of reasoning well enough to determine the most advantageous course of action.


I disagree with this. Many of those individuals that society would deem evil are not that way due to weakness. It is only because their intentions and acts did not coincide with the popular beliefs or morality at the time would anybody dub them irrational or weak. For instance, the Roman Emperor Nero was notorious for massacring thousands of Christians (an act which many would see as 'evil'), but in no way do I see this as lack of self-control or incapability of reasoning. In his mind he most likely saw this as the 'most advantageous course of action' and any other approach in dealing with Christians would be seen as weakness and irrationality by Nero and other like-minded individuals.


Probably he had to compensate something? Even the most intelligent man has troubles in mind that lead him to act weak sometimes. Especially if one has an aggressive Character which Nero definitely had.
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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:29 pm 
 

Scorpio wrote:
I have to say, I simply disagree. Your examples illustrate your point because they're too superficial. Yes, it is true that two Marines do not have much in common, but why would they? They come from a society in which people do not share much in common. So, take a sample of that population and there's a reasonably good chance that those in it will not have a lot in common with one another, although, Marines will have more in common than most people because the Marines self-select. That is, if you sign up for the Marines, you probably have a different psychological profile than the general population, just as a basketball team selects for height. Additionally, you say that you've failed to hit it off with numerous people you shared happenstance symbols with, but once more, I'm not talking about empty symbols or superficial commonalities. I'm talking about deeply similar value systems. Generally, it's easy to get alone with people who esteem the same principles as oneself, although, there can always be clashes of personality. These can occur in families as well, though. It quite nearly follows by definition that if people share common values, they will develop a harmonious ethics. After all, in a hypothetical scenario in which everyone wanted the same things and esteemed the same principles, there would be few disputes about whether or not an action was moral. The only question is: how large can a community be in order for it to have a coherent, richly informative moral perspective and how diverse? If it is too large, it risks breaking off into a bunch of sub-groups with their own moralities and if it is too diverse, it's already fractured into morally incompatible sub-populations.


You're right, but I chose the example of US Marines because much of their esteem is based on their ideal of rigourous self-selection. Even with the tawdriness of American social fabric, the psychology of a given Marine may have a greater chance of compatibility with another Marine than someone in the general populace. I mean that the ideal of the Marines - that each and every Marine is long-lost kin - is patently insane.

The question of "how large" is indeed the pressing one. A smaller, more vigourously selected group will doubtless yield greater potential for moral compatibility. Because I argue that the most moral morality comes from direct relationships, I consider smallest best (each individual personally knows each other, or knows of each other); besides this, smaller is generally better. But there are many reasons why "smaller" is a chimera.

More people + more resources = more power: the formula for civilisations since the first city-states. The best route to this has been conquest and/or assimilation, thus forming a feedback loop until the bureaucratic machinery of a state buckled or was rebuilt to take the strain. Today, bureaucracy has a near-limitless potential to coerce its subjects. The world's most powerful social and political force - the US federal government - is highly polyglot in fact, and totally polyglot in ideal. My argument is that human groupings will relentlessly tend towards the larger and more abstract, and hence less morally meaningful, because that is where greater power lay.

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thomash
Metal Philosopher

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:54 pm 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
thomash wrote:
The reality is that most notoriously "evil" people are paragons of weakness and irrationality. They commit their crimes because they either have little self-control or because they are incapable of reasoning well enough to determine the most advantageous course of action.


I disagree with this. Many of those individuals that society would deem evil are not that way due to weakness. It is only because their intentions and acts did not coincide with the popular beliefs or morality at the time would anybody dub them irrational or weak. For instance, the Roman Emperor Nero was notorious for massacring thousands of Christians (an act which many would see as 'evil'), but in no way do I see this as lack of self-control or incapability of reasoning. In his mind he most likely saw this as the 'most advantageous course of action' and any other approach in dealing with Christians would be seen as weakness and irrationality by Nero and other like-minded individuals.

That's ridiculous. Nero had serious psychological problems that led to his erratic, unnecessarily cruel behavior. He may have thought that he was doing the best or wisest thing but, given the circumstances of his case, it's absurd to claim that he had any sort of justification in believing so. Nero only supports my argument: he wasted all the money in the Roman treasury, alienated everyone in Rome and was eventually killed by one of the most intimate members of his guard. He didn't kill Christians because he had any reason to; he killed them because he didn't like them and because he acted on his impulses, to his own detriment. While I'm sure that he and like-minded individuals think that what he did was rational, I'd argue that it was only because his conceptions of strength, weakness and rationality were in error.

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vondskapens_makt
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:23 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:20 pm 
 

thomash wrote:
vondskapens_makt wrote:
thomash wrote:
The reality is that most notoriously "evil" people are paragons of weakness and irrationality. They commit their crimes because they either have little self-control or because they are incapable of reasoning well enough to determine the most advantageous course of action.


I disagree with this. Many of those individuals that society would deem evil are not that way due to weakness. It is only because their intentions and acts did not coincide with the popular beliefs or morality at the time would anybody dub them irrational or weak. For instance, the Roman Emperor Nero was notorious for massacring thousands of Christians (an act which many would see as 'evil'), but in no way do I see this as lack of self-control or incapability of reasoning. In his mind he most likely saw this as the 'most advantageous course of action' and any other approach in dealing with Christians would be seen as weakness and irrationality by Nero and other like-minded individuals.

That's ridiculous. Nero had serious psychological problems that led to his erratic, unnecessarily cruel behavior. He may have thought that he was doing the best or wisest thing but, given the circumstances of his case, it's absurd to claim that he had any sort of justification in believing so. Nero only supports my argument: he wasted all the money in the Roman treasury, alienated everyone in Rome and was eventually killed by one of the most intimate members of his guard. He didn't kill Christians because he had any reason to; he killed them because he didn't like them and because he acted on his impulses, to his own detriment. While I'm sure that he and like-minded individuals think that what he did was rational, I'd argue that it was only because his conceptions of strength, weakness and rationality were in error.


And exactly what psychological problems led to his behavior? Though he may have been somewhat tyrannical at certain times during his rule, he has had policies and governed in a decent way which I doubt one with any mental problems could go about doing. True, he did greatly drain the money in the Roman treasury, but it did go to particularly useful projects. Nero's reasoning in killing the Christians was rational. Had you been an Emperor in his time and a sect which threatened the unity of your state emerged, I'm sure you too would do what you could to keep it down. How would you say Nero's sense of strength, weakness, and rationality erred?

Edit: I also forgot to mention, Nero was not offed by a member of his guard, or anybody for that matter. He commited suicide.
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DustyFox
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:50 pm 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
thomash wrote:
vondskapens_makt wrote:
thomash wrote:
The reality is that most notoriously "evil" people are paragons of weakness and irrationality. They commit their crimes because they either have little self-control or because they are incapable of reasoning well enough to determine the most advantageous course of action.


I disagree with this. Many of those individuals that society would deem evil are not that way due to weakness. It is only because their intentions and acts did not coincide with the popular beliefs or morality at the time would anybody dub them irrational or weak. For instance, the Roman Emperor Nero was notorious for massacring thousands of Christians (an act which many would see as 'evil'), but in no way do I see this as lack of self-control or incapability of reasoning. In his mind he most likely saw this as the 'most advantageous course of action' and any other approach in dealing with Christians would be seen as weakness and irrationality by Nero and other like-minded individuals.

That's ridiculous. Nero had serious psychological problems that led to his erratic, unnecessarily cruel behavior. He may have thought that he was doing the best or wisest thing but, given the circumstances of his case, it's absurd to claim that he had any sort of justification in believing so. Nero only supports my argument: he wasted all the money in the Roman treasury, alienated everyone in Rome and was eventually killed by one of the most intimate members of his guard. He didn't kill Christians because he had any reason to; he killed them because he didn't like them and because he acted on his impulses, to his own detriment. While I'm sure that he and like-minded individuals think that what he did was rational, I'd argue that it was only because his conceptions of strength, weakness and rationality were in error.


And exactly what psychological problems led to his behavior? Though he may have been somewhat tyrannical at certain times during his rule, he has had policies and governed in a decent way which I doubt one with any mental problems could go about doing. True, he did greatly drain the money in the Roman treasury, but it did go to particularly useful projects. Nero's reasoning in killing the Christians was rational. Had you been an Emperor in his time and a sect which threatened the unity of your state emerged, I'm sure you too would do what you could to keep it down. How would you say Nero's sense of strength, weakness, and rationality erred?

Edit: I also forgot to mention, Nero was not offed by a member of his guard, or anybody for that matter. He commited suicide.


Nero's excessive spending which drained the Roman treasury primarily focused on theatre and art, which while this, at the start of his rule could be considered a virtue, significantly contributed to the decline of the empire during his rule as he became less and less interested in ruling, and more interested in performance. Also, about Nero's persecution of the Christians. You realise that he used them as a scapegoat as he saw that, because of circulating rumours that placed the blame on him for starting the fire, his popularity with his people had sharply declined? It wasn't primarily because he saw them as a threat or even because they were guilty of starting the fire, but because he probably felt it necessary to shift the blame from himself. Sorry if I'm butting in on the argument you two are having, too :)

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WarriorsDawn
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:13 am 
 

vondskapens_makt wrote:
(Inspired by the school shooting just a few minutes ago)

I firmly uphold the belief that there is no moral good or evil. To me, it all rests solely on two things; the exact reason you did something, as well as how other's perceive your actions and interpret them. For instance, it won't be long until people are crying the usual cries of 'what an evil, horrid person, blah blah murderer blah blah spawn of satan'. Though in the perpetrator's mind he is doing no wrong; in fact, he may see himself as pure and just. A quote which relates to this is 'One man's hero is another man's terrorist.'

What are your thoughts on this, MA?


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Scorpio
Healthy Dose of Reality

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:55 am 
 

swineeyedlamb wrote:
You're right, but I chose the example of US Marines because much of their esteem is based on their ideal of rigourous self-selection. Even with the tawdriness of American social fabric, the psychology of a given Marine may have a greater chance of compatibility with another Marine than someone in the general populace. I mean that the ideal of the Marines - that each and every Marine is long-lost kin - is patently insane.


It is ridiculous because what makes a unified moral community is not empty abstractions or mere personality traits(two aggressive people can find themselves with very different moral beliefs), but rather shared beliefs about what is right and what is important for society to pursue. I still think Marines are more harmonious in this way that randomly selected Americans, but it remains a fairly shallow kinship.

Quote:
The question of "how large" is indeed the pressing one. A smaller, more vigourously selected group will doubtless yield greater potential for moral compatibility. Because I argue that the most moral morality comes from direct relationships, I consider smallest best (each individual personally knows each other, or knows of each other); besides this, smaller is generally better. But there are many reasons why "smaller" is a chimera.


I generally agree, but I think we're confusing morality with morality as practiced. If everyone knows one another, they're more likely to practice their moral beliefs. On the other hand, suppose that there is a community in which everyone has basically the same values, but they don't all know one another. They will still have clear ideas about whether or not an action is right or wrong, but they will be more likely to make exceptions in their own cases because it's not a friend or relative on the other side of the interaction. There are a few points that we can infer from these points. First, morality itself depends upon shared moral norms. A society could be as huge and dispersed as the US and yet have a unified, coherent moral system, provided that citizens shared moral attitudes in common. Second, in the hypothetical scenario I have described, people would not behave as morally as they would in a smaller community which was identical morally. People have a tendency to go against their morals when those they're abusing are unknown to them. Third, we all know that the scenario is impossible. People distributed across a huge piece of land will splinter into a variety of sub-groups which diverge from one another in worldview. Hence, it cannot be seen a priori that a thorough ethical construction not afflicted by insurmountable tensions can't arise within a huge country, but it will be realized when we view through an empirical lens.

Furthermore, I think you're focusing too much on sheer size alone, but you should also take diversity into account. Islamic Arabs, Chinese, Congolese, etc. have very different ideas about what is important in society. Over years, they might assimilate, but more traditional ones will immigrate and take their place. There are two possible solutions, from a moral perspective: 1) stop allowing immigrants and homogenize society; 2) become a true multiculturalist society, as opposed to an assimilationist one. I.e., become a loose confederation of groups that each practices morality as it sees fit. Either one of these has advantages over what we have now, since we are lacking in any semblance of cohesion. All we how now are vacuous platitudes that are hammered into our heads about freedom, equality, and other such buzzwords. These are all but meaningless, falling well short of a morality that a person can live by.

I think of morality like the reflection of a people in a mirror. If they are bound by shared moral judgments, the reflection is something intelligible, but if they are not, it is a jumbled mess.

Quote:
More people + more resources = more power: the formula for civilisations since the first city-states. The best route to this has been conquest and/or assimilation, thus forming a feedback loop until the bureaucratic machinery of a state buckled or was rebuilt to take the strain. Today, bureaucracy has a near-limitless potential to coerce its subjects. The world's most powerful social and political force - the US federal government - is highly polyglot in fact, and totally polyglot in ideal. My argument is that human groupings will relentlessly tend towards the larger and more abstract, and hence less morally meaningful, because that is where greater power lay.


This argument is acceptable to me. I agree that it is in the interest of the US government to eradicate difference, yet open its arms to everyone and anyone in the hopes of converting him. Our society's goal is to eliminate its citizens' unique features because this will render them without ties to anything but the state, but at the same time, the gov't keeps bringing in people with strong ties to other powers(such as their ethno-nations) because it needs to keep expanding its workforce and consumer base. Abroad, our goal is to crush anyone who impedes our unlimited expansion in any way. This is a point made by Carl Schmitt years ago; namely, liberalism seeks to smooth the political sphere over, so that no one gets in the way of economic growth. It is internationalist, that is to say, and the 'neocons' are staunch liberals. We think of morality as one of the most distinctly human aspects of our kind, so it is only natural that our anti-human government places no value on it and acts in a way that drains it of all power.
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