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Paradigm
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 06:30 AM
I'm making a new thread for which was on this thread (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=135454&page=12). Thread was derailed from the original topic, which was hell to go through anyway, so now we are here.

I'm standing in the negative, that the government or state cannot enforce morality. Whether it's decisions are for the best interest of the [majority] of people, it's decisions do not take in unforeseen consequences. Even if it was in the best interest of it's people, the individuals who are a part of the government are still regular individuals who's insight is no more powerful than the majority. The majority puts it's will on the minority.

For it to enforce morality, it has to know what's best for all individuals, and by this logic it has the hindsight and insight to know what's best for individuals. This is not possible. It does not know what individuals want, and it cannot correctly predict the best series of actions to help reach people's goals.

The laws themselves are not morality, they are force. Regardless of it's reasoning, a law is a regulation, a prevention of an act. Laws against people smoking in buildings, against hiring someone for less than they allow, against what people can and can't do with their property. These still keep a person from performing A at his own will. The law in itself can be questionable, and the act is seen as minor.

Such laws override private property rights, and once you decide what people can and can't do, you eventually decide what they themselves can and can't do with their own property and body.

The affirmative of this (which Joe McCarthy has), is that the government or state can efficiently enforce morality and pro-family values.

My argument stems on: who's to decide what's moral? who's to decide what's pro-family? do others disconnected from yourself, your family, and your community have the right to decide what's best for you? can the state interfere in your family? can groups of people who feel they are not represented by these laws peacefully nullify or secede from such actions, or in other words completely disregard these laws as void and continue on as before?

Have these laws sought the consent of everyone it reaches? Is this contract legal and mutual amongst everyone? Regardless of the reasons behind such legal measures.

How far does morality go for the state? At what point would you say the state is stepping outside of it's own boundaries? A lot of what our own government does is immoral for a lot of people's standards. It seems that the state only works when a certain group of people are running it (those who feel they know the best interest). If such a case is to occur how would you decide who's the one with higher knowledge?

If we are to blame the decay of culture and society on an unregulated market (that still has provided the people with what they want, regardless if it be some bad literature, bad music, bad movies, and bad tastes in general, has still provided everyone en masse with everything good), then we shouldn't look the other way to atrocities the government has committed in the name of morality. Useless and failed wars, the seizure of property and killing of it's own citizens, and running the lives of it's own citizens.

At what point do you feel the laws have step beyond it's bounds, and even for morality's sake, have no connection to yourself? Are you willing to say, "Hey, I don't need the government telling me what to do!".

Is it moral to have an agency compete with the state on the market, is it moral to have peaceful political dissent, is it moral to live peacefully in another region with like minded individuals who, even though they do not partake in such cultural decay, do not want to live under such laws?

I'll also add from an interview I've read with Michael Moynihan, he has mentioned that such things as national-socialism are completely the opposite of what the tribal community and traditionalism has to offer. I'll further this by saying the state enforcing morality is disconnected from the tribal community and traditionalism. Would you agree that government interference in life is not what would be pro-family values and ethics are about? (This could be another thread in itself - traditionalism vs the state - which could be made depending how this thread turn's out).

I'll end with this article:

The Nature and Morality of Government (http://mises.org/daily/4078)

Joe McCarthy
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 06:02 PM
Good thread. The only problem is that it may require that I write the equivalent of a small sized book to address the underlying logic and ethics in your arguments. Hopefully I can get to it later.

wittwer
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010, 06:43 PM
Are we discussing Ethics or using Ethics as a cover for a given Socio-Politico-Economic Ideology? The two seem to be merged here. From you third paragraph it is apparent that your defintion has a clear Utilitarian base. Something, many others may object to.

As for "Ethics & Morality", it is simply a study in "Good & Evil", "Rights & Wrongs", "Virtue & Vice". The Utilitarian School is just one approach...

Paradigm
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010, 12:46 AM
Are we discussing Ethics or using Ethics as a cover for a given Socio-Politico-Economic Ideology? The two seem to be merged here. From you third paragraph it is apparent that your definition has a clear Utilitarian base. Something, many others may object to.

As for "Ethics & Morality", it is simply a study in "Good & Evil", "Rights & Wrongs", "Virtue & Vice". The Utilitarian School is just one approach...


For it to enforce morality, it has to know what's best for all individuals, and by this logic it has the hindsight and insight to know what's best for individuals. This is not possible. It does not know what individuals want, and it cannot correctly predict the best series of actions to help reach people's goals.

The use of ethics and morality to support certain government actions. I won't deny that the paragraph above has a utilitarian base to it. One of the themes I propose is that the government does not have the knowledge to know what people want, nor do they know their value-scales, or preferences. What works for one individual may not work for the other. Just because Tom likes X, doesn't mean it's preferred or superior to Y, which is preferred by Joe.

We all have choices to reach various ends. These ends are not indefinite. Let's say Tom wants X, and uses various means to reach X, but he only thinks he wants X, when he really wants Y. After X he realizes that he should have chose Y.

Tom chooses various means to reach Y. Maybe he could have chosen a quicker more efficient route, but he did not have this foreknowledge. Maybe no one really knew.

What's to say the government does? The government is just made up of the same individuals. All of them trying to maximize their uneasiness. Choosing various means to these ends. There's no authority with perfect knowledge of what to choose. It does not already know what people actually want and what would remove uneasiness that they have, nor does it know what set of actions is required to achieve such uneasiness.

I must return to a statement I made in the Capitalism: A Discussion Piece thread that value is subjective. There is no objective value for individuals, that all individuals prefer X to Y and it's scientifically proven and universal. Value varies among individuals. An example is that some enjoy and find pleasure in smoking, and some don't.

Is it morally correct to ban an act that some finding pleasurable for the sake of the majority?

Morality itself can have a subjective base. Do some find smoking morally bad, compared to those who find no vice in it at all?

Government itself is made up of individuals, these individuals are the ones setting rules and regulations on behalf of the majority, or for what they believe is morally correct. How do their preferences vary from the rest of society? The government is not omnipotent. It can be as corrupt and at fault like any individual. Who's to say that this set of individuals working as a collective knows the best routes for people's preferences better than the people themselves?

Caledonian
Saturday, September 25th, 2010, 06:14 PM
Morality and ethics are fabrications. They don't really exist.

Morals or ethics is somthing that somebody else invented and imagined as a way of maintaining control more specifically control of you along with all other individuals.

[ Here comes my inserted moral nihilism and skepticism.]

All there ever has been is the use of physical force which tries to hide itself under morals or ethics in society and history. If you want to understand society or the world around you the study of power and physical force is all you need to know in that often enough this world is absent and void of all so called morals and ethics which are pretended to exist.

[ There is no universal morality or ethics. Beyond human beings the universe does not recognize any morals or ethics in it's indifference of what happens in daily existence.]

Also, how does one come to have ethical or moral knowledge in the first place?

Is it even possible to have specialized moral or ethical knowledge to tell others what they should do? I don't think it is because that's like saying that you have some sort of special revelation to which you are somehow specially privileged to dictate others because of such a hindsight.

Joe McCarthy
Saturday, September 25th, 2010, 10:37 PM
Okay, Paradigm. This will be by no means as exhaustive as it should be as I simply lack the time, but I'll make some effort to address at least one of your statements, and essentially it is the crux of your argument as most of the rest of your commentary is just a restatement of its principles.


Government itself is made up of individuals, these individuals are the ones setting rules and regulations on behalf of the majority, or for what they believe is morally correct

You seem to assume that Western jurisprudence is essentially utilitarian in outlook when it is mostly based on the natural law tradition. As such, law is not made because a majority deems it to be just, but because some transcendent power, traditionally a sacral, supernatural power, deemed it just. It's hardly a matter of policy makers just arbitarily imposing rules on people for the greater good of the greatest number of people. It's based, at least originally, on the understanding that the state is the representative of God on Earth, and is thus superior to the flighty 'choices' of individuals and their whims.

Moreover, I'd argue that some kind of arbiter of this sort is essential, even if nowadays we rarely hearken to God. It is for the good of society that some rules not be questioned, for to do so is to undermine the basis of society itself. If government is nothing more than a contractual apparatus to better enable individuals to gratify their pleasure zones, then it loses its moral force. When we begin asking questions like 'who is to say..' the old conceptual framework by which the state promotes virtue, is overthrown.

You may have perceived my arguments on the other thread as utalitarian based. While I am basically a consequentialist, my view of virtue and the state is much more conservative, understanding that the option to engage in vices is not just a personal choice void of any responsibility to one's self or one's polity. As stated on the other thread, if the state can act as a functional deterrent against unwholesome practices, it should, and the arbiter for what is a vice is the sacral, or its secular offshoot. To simply say there can be no arbiter for what is moral is an invitation to moral anarchy, and the reduction of our culture to the lowest common denominator of red light districts, non-stop porn, endless obscenity, and all of the real world pathologies including abortion, STDs, broken marriages, and unwanted pregnancies that come with it.

Caledonian
Friday, October 1st, 2010, 03:30 AM
Okay, Paradigm. This will be by no means as exhaustive as it should be as I simply lack the time, but I'll make some effort to address at least one of your statements, and essentially it is the crux of your argument as most of the rest of your commentary is just a restatement of its principles.



You seem to assume that Western jurisprudence is essentially utilitarian in outlook when it is mostly based on the natural law tradition. As such, law is not made because a majority deems it to be just, but because some transcendent power, traditionally a sacral, supernatural power, deemed it just. It's hardly a matter of policy makers just arbitarily imposing rules on people for the greater good of the greatest number of people. It's based, at least originally, on the understanding that the state is the representative of God on Earth, and is thus superior to the flighty 'choices' of individuals and their whims.

Moreover, I'd argue that some kind of arbiter of this sort is essential, even if nowadays we rarely hearken to God. It is for the good of society that some rules not be questioned, for to do so is to undermine the basis of society itself. If government is nothing more than a contractual apparatus to better enable individuals to gratify their pleasure zones, then it loses its moral force. When we begin asking questions like 'who is to say..' the old conceptual framework by which the state promotes virtue, is overthrown.

You may have perceived my arguments on the other thread as utalitarian based. While I am basically a consequentialist, my view of virtue and the state is much more conservative, understanding that the option to engage in vices is not just a personal choice void of any responsibility to one's self or one's polity. As stated on the other thread, if the state can act as a functional deterrent against unwholesome practices, it should, and the arbiter for what is a vice is the sacral, or its secular offshoot. To simply say there can be no arbiter for what is moral is an invitation to moral anarchy, and the reduction of our culture to the lowest common denominator of red light districts, non-stop porn, endless obscenity, and all of the real world pathologies including abortion, STDs, broken marriages, and unwanted pregnancies that come with it.



It's based, at least originally, on the understanding that the state is the representative of God on Earth, and is thus superior to the flighty 'choices' of individuals and their whims.


That's a outrageous ridiculous claim. I'm sorry if this comment offends you but I must speak my mind freely.


Law is created by the ruling elite and the ruling aristocracy being that every government is authoritarian or oligarchic in that laws reflect the attitudes of the ruling party of any nation.

Morality, ethics, and 'god' have nothing to do with law as they are at best fables used to lull the public to sleep in submission in order to make them not question what is being dictated to them at the end of a barrel of a rifle pointed towards their face if they do not obey or conform with the standards dictated to them.

Law revolves around power and those able to wield such power to command others. It's that simple.

Justice too is dictated by the ruling party for it is they who decides what is just and what isn't as it is they who define it's concepts.

To quote many the system is fixed and rigged.

As for social interaction I find that everything revolves around what a person can do and what they can't do.

There is only what a person can get away with and what they can't get away with. [ No fictional morals and ethics involved or needed.]



If government is nothing more than a contractual apparatus to better enable individuals to gratify their pleasure zones, then it loses its moral force.

You assume human nature is a moral and ethical one yet without evidence or a foundation to build such a premise on in the first place.

It is a common inconsistent and contradictive assumption of moral and ethics supporters.

The fact that human history has been nothing but inequality and conflict should tell you how void human beings are of both morals or ethics entirely when it concerns their competitive interaction.

In this world all there is are those seeking global domination as they come to use and exploit others on their ride to power as lives are sacrificed by those who wish to control them.

Human history is often enough one of cruelty and deceit.

Those in power of a government are no different.

Joe McCarthy
Friday, October 1st, 2010, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by AlaricLachlan
Law is created by the ruling elite and the ruling aristocracy being that every government is authoritarian or oligarchic in that laws reflect the attitudes of the ruling party of any nation.

First, it should be understood that we are discussing the origins of law, or more specifically, the divine origins of jurisprudence theory which in its natural law tradition extends at least as far back as St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was obviously heavily influence by the Bible in formulating his theorems, not some amorphous collection of 'elites'. To believe he was in the pay of a collection of power brokers is to reduce history to conspiracy theory, which in slightly intellectualized form, these sorts of Marxian flavored platitudes inevitably do.


You assume human nature is a moral and ethical one yet without evidence or a foundation to build such a premise on in the first place.

It seems you missed the point. The premise that law is essentially divinely based holds that the state is a moral arbiter to restrain fallen human nature. Whether human nature is moral or ethical itself is beside the point, and if anything your view just plays into the need for the state to act as the moral arbiter.

Caledonian
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, 06:56 PM
First, it should be understood that we are discussing the origins of law, or more specifically, the divine origins of jurisprudence theory which in its natural law tradition extends at least as far back as St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was obviously heavily influence by the Bible in formulating his theorems, not some amorphous collection of 'elites'. To believe he was in the pay of a collection of power brokers is to reduce history to conspiracy theory, which in slightly intellectualized form, these sorts of Marxian flavored platitudes inevitably do.



It seems you missed the point. The premise that law is essentially divinely based holds that the state is a moral arbiter to restrain fallen human nature. Whether human nature is moral or ethical itself is beside the point, and if anything your view just plays into the need for the state to act as the moral arbiter.



First, it should be understood that we are discussing the origins of law, or more specifically, the divine origins of jurisprudence theory which in its natural law tradition extends at least as far back as St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was obviously heavily influence by the Bible in formulating his theorems, not some amorphous collection of 'elites'. To believe he was in the pay of a collection of power brokers is to reduce history to conspiracy theory, which in slightly intellectualized form, these sorts of Marxian flavored platitudes inevitably do.

I agree that if one was to follow the route of historicity that one would discover that religion is the mold and instrumental creator of all laws even when one sees Hammurabi's reference to the gods in being instrumental in creating his code of social laws.

The first societies, civilizations, and nations when they concerned creating social laws of conduct were unable to do so without referencing the divine aid of otherworldy beings in collective superstition.

However being that modern science and philosophy has dismissed religion it should be noted how ridiculous not only religion is but the laws which originated from religion are as well with the ongoing accumulated cynicism revolving around the subject of social law with the greatest heresies of this century both moral nihilism or moral skepticism are refrained from being spoken about in the public sphere of society that does not wish for any public debate to take place on the subject since to do so would threaten the traditional hegemony of power and control.

Today's philosophy of the absurd has found it far more useful to pretend and fake that moral or ethical facts exist seperate of humanity who merely just discovered them in order to continue the whole sickly charade in order that the current people in authority remain so with their power and control kept intacted.


To believe he was in the pay of a collection of power brokers is to reduce history to conspiracy theory,

History often enough is filled with many ongoing conspiracies.


these sorts of Marxian flavored platitudes inevitably do.

There is nothing Marxist in what I speak of.

It's somthing plainly anybody can see if they take a look at history and the world around them.


It seems you missed the point. The premise that law is essentially divinely based

Your assertion not mine.


holds that the state is a moral arbiter to restrain fallen human nature.

Which is funny considering the state is the biggest endorser of inequality, suffering, and oppression for somthing that supposedly is a moral arbiter.



Whether human nature is moral or ethical itself is beside the point,

It's a valid point.


and if anything your view just plays into the need for the state to act as the moral arbiter.

Not really.

Joe McCarthy
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, 09:51 PM
Originally Posted by AlaricLachlan
However being that modern science and philosophy has dismissed religion it should be noted how ridiculous not only religion is but the laws which originated from religion are as well

That the law has lost its transcendent force due to the death of God is a tragedy. God is useful for social cohesion and harmony. What you attack as religion's weakness is what is regarded as its greatest strength even by many that don't believe in it.


There is nothing Marxist in what I speak of.


The state, and its followup, law, as a product of class antagonism and ideology being that which is the dominant worldview as its held by the ruling class is a Marxist concept. It could be you are using it unwittingly, but people often recite nostrums whose origins they are unaware of.

Caledonian
Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, 11:25 PM
That the law has lost its transcendent force due to the death of God is a tragedy. God is useful for social cohesion and harmony. What you attack as religion's weakness is what is regarded as its greatest strength even by many that don't believe in it.



The state, and its followup, law, as a product of class antagonism and ideology being that which is the dominant worldview as its held by the ruling class is a Marxist concept. It could be you are using it unwittingly, but people often recite nostrums whose origins they are unaware of.



That the law has lost its transcendent force due to the death of God is a tragedy.

For you it is tragedy but for somebody like me it's open season because with the death of god it makes it that much more easier to show the baseless assertions of most would be authorities in the intricate design of lies and deceptions that most power is based off of when it concerns law.


God is useful for social cohesion and harmony.

No doubt it was for those with power who could command hundreds of faithful to do their bidding.

However you moral and ethical supporters still have utilitarianism the last bastion of both morality and ethics but there are ways of eroding that too considering society as a whole is a concept where the happiness of the majority is a bit of erroneous position to build a arguement upon as well.



What you attack as religion's weakness is what is regarded as its greatest strength even by many that don't believe in it.

Well that's them not me.


The state, and its followup, law, as a product of class antagonism and ideology being that which is the dominant worldview as its held by the ruling class is a Marxist concept. It could be you are using it unwittingly, but people often recite nostrums whose origins they are unaware of.

Plenty of writers have been saying the same thing way before Karl Marx was even born. Were they Marxists?