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  #101  
Old 10-03-2019, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Imagine how we feel when one person repeatedly spouts absolute nonsense about the world in the face of every other person telling him that he is wrong in everything he's saying, yet insisting that we're the ones who somehow don't understand the issue?
I can see why LHOD would prefer not to be a part of this kind of conversation.
  #102  
Old 10-03-2019, 12:38 PM
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I honestly can't tell if you're deliberately misrepresenting what I said, or just really really don't understand post 49. Whether it's deliberate or not affects whether I'm irritated or pitying. In any case, "unseen spirit world" is a profoundly misguided misrepresentation of what I've written.
Rights are ideas. I have an idea that people should be able to worship how they want. I have an idea that people should be able to speak their minds without government censorship. These aren't things with a concrete existence, like a planet, or DNA. I can't hand you a bag containing twelve ounces of freedom of conscience. Rights only exist because we think they exist. But you've been insistent that rights existed before anyone could think of them - they exist, apparently, independent of the human species as a whole. So while you've explicitly distanced your position from anything religious, I can't really see any way to make sense of it outside of an essentially supernatural context.
  #103  
Old 10-03-2019, 12:55 PM
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Exapno Mapcase, do you realize that all logic is necessarily rooted in axioms?

You can't have rationalism without logic, and you can't have rational morality without moral axioms.

~Max
  #104  
Old 10-03-2019, 12:56 PM
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Exapno Mapcase, do you realize that all logic is necessarily rooted in axioms?

You can't have rationalism without logic, and you can't have rational morality without moral axioms.

~Max
There are four of us by my count that recognize that in this thread.
  #105  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:09 PM
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You can't have rationalism without logic, and you can't have rational morality without moral axioms.
Yes you can. But your definition of "rational" (and perhaps even "morality") might differ from mine, and others.
  #106  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:12 PM
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So while you've explicitly distanced your position from anything religious, I can't really see any way to make sense of it outside of an essentially supernatural context.
Platonism doesn't necessarily mean things exist in a supernatural context. Think about numbers as they describe the relationship between material objects. Two planets is more than one planet. Before humans ever existed to recognize that two planets is more than one planet, two planets was still more than one planet. The concept of "more than" is still valid and does not depend on human recognition. That is the sense in which an abstract concept is said to "exist" eternally.

As applied to humans and rights, science tells us that there was a time before humans existed to which rights could be applied. Can human rights possibly exist at a time that humans do not exist? This results in two schools of thought: yes or no. To say platonic human rights cease to exist when humans cease to exist is trivial. The other answer is that yes, human rights and all other abstract concepts really do exist in some supernatural realm.

~Max
  #107  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:12 PM
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Yes you can. But your definition of "rational" (and perhaps even "morality") might differ from mine, and others.
No. You have to agree to have a common language with rational morality. Itís like trying to do math where some people choose to interpret 3 as 21.6 and insist that they must be treated equivalently.
  #108  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:14 PM
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Yes you can. But your definition of "rational" (and perhaps even "morality") might differ from mine, and others.
Rational as in rationalism as in logical deduction from premises.

~Max
  #109  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:14 PM
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Platonism doesn't necessarily mean things exist in a supernatural context. Think about numbers as they describe the relationship between material objects. Two planets is more than one planet. Before humans ever existed to recognize that two planets is more than one planet, two planets was still more than one planet. The concept of "more than" is still valid and does not depend on human recognition. That is the sense in which an abstract concept is said to "exist" eternally.

As applied to humans and rights, science tells us that there was a time before humans existed to which rights could be applied. Can human rights possibly exist at a time that humans do not exist? This results in two schools of thought: yes or no. To say platonic human rights cease to exist when humans cease to exist is trivial. The other answer is that yes, human rights and all other abstract concepts really do exist in some supernatural realm.

~Max
What we consider as natural human rights did not and do not exist for most of humanity. You can test your hypothesis by traveling to many parts of the current world and see how powerful the concept actually is. That’s a ridiculous poor standard for something that is universal and transcendent.

Last edited by octopus; 10-03-2019 at 01:16 PM.
  #110  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:19 PM
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No. You have to agree to have a common language with rational morality. Itís like trying to do math where some people choose to interpret 3 as 21.6 and insist that they must be treated equivalently.
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Rational as in rationalism as in logical deduction from premises.

~Max
We may be talking past each other. I'm saying that it's entirely rational to think, say, "hurting people is wrong" because one thinks that this idea, accepted by all, would result in a better life for one's self and others. That doesn't require a "moral axiom", unless "good things are good and bad things are bad" is a moral axiom.
  #111  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:24 PM
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The problem with moral axioms is that they are equivalent to "The right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." Your moral axioms have no right to impinge on my reality. Rights are not found in the ether and then recognized by enlightened mystics. As I said earlier, the origin of what your claim are natural rights is the supreme issue. If that origin has no validity, then neither do the rights.
Reduced enough, there are many arguments that rely on first principles. But here's the thing, you assert that the origin controls the validity - but that's not so. Because natural rights are intertwined in the country's founding, and integrated through much of the legal jurisprudence, the origin of those rights has no impact to their validity. For the purposes of the US, there are natural rights, and they control in some areas. The origin is irrelevant to that.

From a conceptual standpoint, the existence of natural rights is a philosophical question. And like I said, I think it's interesting. But from a legal standpoint, it makes no difference because that is the way our country is setup. Even if we were to agree that there are no natural rights from a philosophical perspective, they would still exist as a matter of law.

One way that I think of it is that if there were no natural rights, or human rights, then there could be no violation of those rights. Then dictators who commit genocide are not actually violating anyone's rights, etc. I don't accept that because it doesn't comport with my view of how human rights work. Do these victims of genocide have enforceable human rights? No, not really since they're dead. But they had those rights, and they were violated. And ultimately, it doesn't make a whit of difference for those people.

Where it does matter is in our system of laws and to that point, the fact that these natural rights are incorporated into our system of laws is sufficient for me, independent of their origin.
  #112  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:25 PM
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What we consider as natural human rights did not and do not exist for most of humanity. You can test your hypothesis by traveling to many parts of the current world and see how powerful the concept actually is. Thatís a ridiculous poor standard for something that is universal and transcendent.
[Max buries his face in his palm.]

Anyways, are we all agreed that Constitutional rights (those natural rights which the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting) apply to all people within the jurisdiction of the United States?

And that armed and uniformed masses of invaders are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States?

~Max
  #113  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:29 PM
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I honestly can't tell if you're deliberately misrepresenting what I said, or just really really don't understand post 49. Whether it's deliberate or not affects whether I'm irritated or pitying. In any case, "unseen spirit world" is a profoundly misguided misrepresentation of what I've written.
Fine, let's look at post #49.

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I know you're saying you're not confused by the definition of natural rights, but I kinda think you are. If a right is inalienable, then it makes no sense to ask whether one class of humans has it and another doesn't. That question makes sense if you're talking legal rights, though.


That's not accurate. Rights may be violated, but still possessed. An inalienable right means that no matter what, the right shouldn't be violated.


They needn't be a product at all. Rather, they may be a dynamic that arises naturally when sentient entities with desires exist around one another, a way of explaining their relationships.

Very crudely:
I have desires. I experience those desires as what I "should" do.
I recognize that other beings have desires. I think they have the same experience of "should" as I have.
While I can think of rational arguments for prioritizing my own desires, my own "shoulds," I can't think of convincing arguments for ignoring the "shoulds" of other entities.
Thus, my behavior becomes informed by the desires of others.
You state explicitly that inalienable rights exist and that they exist for all humans. My direct question to you and others has always been: "where do these inalienable rights" come from? They manifestly do not come from individuals discussing with one another what rights they should possess. Those are legal rights that may or may not exist, change, grow, become obsolete, etc. I say that those legal rights are all that exist. Any larger body of inalienable rights that are universal is simply imaginary, a feel-good tale we tell ourselves, not unlike religion. Nothing in your posts provides any evidence that they are anything else.

This is an absolutely fundamental difference, not merely one of semantics. It is as fundamental as religion vs. atheism.
  #114  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:30 PM
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We may be talking past each other. I'm saying that it's entirely rational to think, say, "hurting people is wrong" because one thinks that this idea, accepted by all, would result in a better life for one's self and others. That doesn't require a "moral axiom", unless "good things are good and bad things are bad" is a moral axiom.
  1. What does not result in a better life for one's self and others is wrong.
  2. (Hurting people does not result in a better life for one's self and others.)
  3. Therefore, hurting people is wrong. Q.E.D.
In strict deductive logic, both of those premises (1 & 2) are axioms until you support them with deductive arguments.

~Max
  #115  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:37 PM
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  1. What does not result in a better life for one's self and others is wrong.
  2. (Hurting people does not result in a better life for one's self and others.)
  3. Therefore, hurting people is wrong. Q.E.D.
In strict deductive logic, both of those premises (1 & 2) are axioms until you support them with deductive arguments.

~Max
Okay, I see what you're saying. But it doesn't need to be a supernatural (or "natural") axiom to be "rational".
  #116  
Old 10-03-2019, 01:46 PM
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Okay, I see what you're saying. But it doesn't need to be a supernatural (or "natural") axiom to be "rational".
A rational argument or conclusion is what you get when you apply logic to axioms. The set of axioms is not provable by definition.
  #117  
Old 10-03-2019, 02:56 PM
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Fine, let's look at post #49.
Did you look at the part beginning with "very crudely"? It was very crude, so if it's not making sense, lemme know--but that's the crux of my argument there, the non-supernatural basis for turning "is" into "should," a system that may be described fairly elegantly with rights, but may also be described with preference utilitarianism or other systems.
  #118  
Old 10-03-2019, 03:02 PM
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Where it does matter is in our system of laws and to that point, the fact that these natural rights are incorporated into our system of laws is sufficient for me, independent of their origin.
This is interesting.

If the US passed an Amendment that said "The right to bear arms is NOT a natural right", you'd then feel "Huh, I guess the right to bear arms is NOT a natural right"?
  #119  
Old 10-03-2019, 03:08 PM
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Did you look at the part beginning with "very crudely"? It was very crude, so if it's not making sense, lemme know--but that's the crux of my argument there, the non-supernatural basis for turning "is" into "should," a system that may be described fairly elegantly with rights, but may also be described with preference utilitarianism or other systems.
The problem is, the part beginning with "very crudely" entirely misses the problem people are expressing with the concept of "natural" rights. There's no part of what you wrote there that I disagree with, except the part where you think its relevant to the discussion.
  #120  
Old 10-03-2019, 03:31 PM
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The problem is, the part beginning with "very crudely" entirely misses the problem people are expressing with the concept of "natural" rights. There's no part of what you wrote there that I disagree with, except the part where you think its relevant to the discussion.
You can declare it's not relevant to the discussion, but that doesn't move the discussion forward.

Rights are statements about what you should or should not do regarding other people. I explained how "should" statements derive from self-reflection, from the definitions of desire, and from logical extrapolation from one's own desires to those of others. Where are you seeing the irrelevancy?
  #121  
Old 10-03-2019, 04:02 PM
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Rights are statements about what you should or should not do regarding other people. I explained how "should" statements derive from self-reflection, from the definitions of desire, and from logical extrapolation from one's own desires to those of others. Where are you seeing the irrelevancy?
We know what rights are. We know how people arrive at decisions about what they think are important rights. These are concepts that did not need to be explained here. Everyone involved in this conversation already understood the thing you tried to explain in post 49, and I venture to say, already agreed with it. That's why it's not relevant - it's neither something that people in this thread misunderstood, nor is it something that anyone materially disagrees with.
  #122  
Old 10-03-2019, 04:29 PM
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You can declare it's not relevant to the discussion, but that doesn't move the discussion forward.

Rights are statements about what you should or should not do regarding other people. I explained how "should" statements derive from self-reflection, from the definitions of desire, and from logical extrapolation from one's own desires to those of others. Where are you seeing the irrelevancy?
To further Miller, your personal opinions about rights are not relevant to an argument about either whether natural rights exist or what makes them natural rights instead of man-made legal rights. You have steadfastly refused to engage in that discussion, which is the discussion that everybody else is trying to have, while insulting us for calling your irrelevancies irrelevant.
  #123  
Old 10-03-2019, 04:45 PM
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For the record, I'm not insulted by anything LHoD has posted.
  #124  
Old 10-03-2019, 04:49 PM
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We know what rights are. We know how people arrive at decisions about what they think are important rights. These are concepts that did not need to be explained here. Everyone involved in this conversation already understood the thing you tried to explain in post 49, and I venture to say, already agreed with it. That's why it's not relevant - it's neither something that people in this thread misunderstood, nor is it something that anyone materially disagrees with.
So I'm not really clear on what you disagree with, then. It seems pretty likely to me that you're ascribing a belief to me, based on how you're defining rights, that I don't actually hold. Do you mind explaining what you think I believe that you don't?
  #125  
Old 10-03-2019, 04:50 PM
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To further Miller, your personal opinions about rights are not relevant to an argument about either whether natural rights exist or what makes them natural rights instead of man-made legal rights. You have steadfastly refused to engage in that discussion, which is the discussion that everybody else is trying to have, while insulting us for calling your irrelevancies irrelevant.
FTR, Hamlet's right. Your version of this conversation doesn't particularly interest me. Miller is engaging in the conversation in a different way, and it's a way that's more interesting.
  #126  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:00 PM
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The problem is, the part beginning with "very crudely" entirely misses the problem people are expressing with the concept of "natural" rights.
You stated that your problem is "And I think the bigger peril is forgetting that the rights we have are incredibly fragile, and can be taken away from us from us very, very easily, which is something the concept of "natural rights" elides." I'd be interested if you have any evidence or examples of this, because I really haven't seen it at all. To me, the world benefits much more by believing in natural rights (it helps expand them to other people and places that are not covered by codified protections), than it is harmed at all.

For the record, I find the entire discussion of whether natural rights exist or not to be extremely tedious anymore (a view I think this thread has more than adequately shown).
  #127  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:04 PM
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You stated that your problem is "And I think the bigger peril is forgetting that the rights we have are incredibly fragile, and can be taken away from us from us very, very easily, which is something the concept of "natural rights" elides." I'd be interested if you have any evidence or examples of this, because I really haven't seen it at all. To me, the world benefits much more by believing in natural rights (it helps expand them to other people and places that are not covered by codified protections), than it is harmed at all.

For the record, I find the entire discussion of whether natural rights exist or not to be extremely tedious anymore (a view I think this thread has more than adequately shown).
You aren't forced to engage.
  #128  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:11 PM
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Rights may be violated, but still possessed. An inalienable right means that no matter what, the right shouldn't be violated.
I think you are misinformed. An inalienable right cannot be dispossessed; it may and sometimes should be violated. Whether a right should be violated is a moral statement, but "inalienable" is not a moral descriptor.

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They needn't be a product at all. Rather, they may be a dynamic that arises naturally when sentient entities with desires exist around one another, a way of explaining their relationships.
On the contrary, if a man lives his entire life in isolation, is he not a man? If he is born by mechanical device, in vitro, in secret, of a long line of isolated men and women who have lived and died in separate rooms of a dungeon, who were themselves born by mechanical device, in vitro, in secret. Our man is the latest of this process, and never has he interacted with any sentient being. Does he have rights?

Let us place the isolated man among cruel and barbarous machines which inflict great pain. Perhaps the torture machines were built by sentient humans, but the inventors are long dead and the machines now conduct themselves. Is our isolated man still devoid of any rights? Can no rights-based moral system protect him from this torture?

But perhaps you will say, the torture machines being without operation and the man being isolated, there is no point in having morality any more as nothing could be done. Now consider if the entire situation occurs right here, right now, beneath a house somewhere in our society. We know it is happening by some accidental discovery of the inventor's journals, but the man knows nothing yet of us, lest we storm the dungeon and dismantle the torture machines that lay there. To do so is extremely costly for society because the machines are well equipped to defend themselves with deadly force, despite not being sentient.

Suppose also that the machines are running low on fuel, and will eventually stop working on their own.

But tell me this: does society have any rational incentive under your supposed rights-based morality to intercede and save this man? Does this man have human rights, and if so, from where did they arise?

~Max
  #129  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:15 PM
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You aren't forced to engage.
Thanks. I had no idea. Whatever would I do without you.

What's weird was, reading the thread, I found myself interested in what you were saying, especially when you posted: "Now, I strongly believe that they are exceedingly important and I think that they should be advocated for even in unpopular cases. It’s in all of our self interests to promote the fiction of strong individual human rights." I agreed with it, and was interested in teasing out a bit more discussion about why there seems to be a ramped up level of animosity in this thead when it seems to me the outcomes of believing or advocating for natural rights has mostly been positive.

But, thank heavens, you resorted to being you. Thanks for saving me time.

Last edited by Hamlet; 10-03-2019 at 05:15 PM.
  #130  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:16 PM
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FTR, Hamlet's right. Your version of this conversation doesn't particularly interest me. Miller is engaging in the conversation in a different way, and it's a way that's more interesting.
Yes, I have noticed that when one asks direct questions in GD they tend to be ignored.
  #131  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:27 PM
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Thanks. I had no idea. Whatever would I do without you.

What's weird was, reading the thread, I found myself interested in what you were saying, especially when you posted: "Now, I strongly believe that they are exceedingly important and I think that they should be advocated for even in unpopular cases. Itís in all of our self interests to promote the fiction of strong individual human rights." I agreed with it, and was interested in teasing out a bit more discussion about why there seems to be a ramped up level of animosity in this thead when it seems to me the outcomes of believing or advocating for natural rights has mostly been positive.

But, thank heavens, you resorted to being you. Thanks for saving me time.
If you are finding a discussion tedious I'm not sure how what I said was problematic. Why engage in needless tedium if you have a finite lifespan? For me, these sort of discussions are in the top 5-6 of interesting topics. If they weren't I wouldn't be in the thread much less be complaining about it.

That said, it is a bit of a digression from the OP's question of Constitutional rights and non-citizens. I'm not sure if I weighed in an the the original question. In my opinion the Constitution being a product and not a guarantor or the originator of rights I don't think we should work to exclude legal protections from inhabitants, legal or otherwise, of this nation unless there is great urgency or necessity.
  #132  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:35 PM
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If you are finding a discussion tedious I'm not sure how what I said was problematic.
"Problematic" isn't the best word. It was much more "Why is he being a dick?"

I asked a question on one part of the discussion that was occurring (which, interestingly enough, was involving you), and find the rest of it tedious. I'm not sure why it's difficult to understand that there are many different facets to a debate, some which I find interesting (the net effect of belief or advocating for natural rights), and some which are re-warmed, re-hashed arguments that apparently carry a high level of anger for how repetitive and talking past each other as they are.

Last edited by Hamlet; 10-03-2019 at 05:36 PM.
  #133  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:36 PM
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For the record, I find the entire discussion of whether natural rights exist or not to be extremely tedious anymore (a view I think this thread has more than adequately shown).
Cool, I won't bother you with a response, then, other than to note that it's a big internet out there, and you should have little trouble finding something that entertains you.
  #134  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:38 PM
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Rights may be violated, but still possessed. An inalienable right means that no matter what, the right shouldn't be violated.
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I think you are misinformed. An inalienable right cannot be dispossessed; it may and sometimes should be violated. Whether a right should be violated is a moral statement, but "inalienable" is not a moral descriptor.
On reread, I see what you're saying. I should say that an inalienable right--or a natural right, or whatever we want to call a right that is observed rather than constructed--should not be, prima facie, violated. Fair correction.
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On the contrary, if a man lives his entire life in isolation, is he not a man? If he is born by mechanical device, in vitro, in secret, of a long line of isolated men and women who have lived and died in separate rooms of a dungeon, who were themselves born by mechanical device, in vitro, in secret. Our man is the latest of this process, and never has he interacted with any sentient being. Does he have rights?

Let us place the isolated man among cruel and barbarous machines which inflict great pain. Perhaps the torture machines were built by sentient humans, but the inventors are long dead and the machines now conduct themselves. Is our isolated man still devoid of any rights? Can no rights-based moral system protect him from this torture?

But perhaps you will say, the torture machines being without operation and the man being isolated, there is no point in having morality any more as nothing could be done. Now consider if the entire situation occurs right here, right now, beneath a house somewhere in our society. We know it is happening by some accidental discovery of the inventor's journals, but the man knows nothing yet of us, lest we storm the dungeon and dismantle the torture machines that lay there. To do so is extremely costly for society because the machines are well equipped to defend themselves with deadly force, despite not being sentient.
Rights only exist as duties on other moral agents, whether those duties are positive or negative. As such, it doesn't make sense to talk about how a person's right to life was violated by a tumor, or how an screaming infant is violating your right to sanity.
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But tell me this: does society have any rational incentive under your supposed rights-based morality to intercede and save this man? Does this man have human rights, and if so, from where did they arise?
Once you introduce society back into the equation, then yes: his human rights become relevant. Those rights are duties imposed on other moral agents.

Stipulate that there's a right to freedom from torture. That doesn't mean that a person dying of incurable bone cancer is having her rights violated. But it does mean that I have a duty not to kick her while she's dying of cancer; and arguably if I can alleviate her pain at little cost to myself, I have a positive duty to do so.
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Yes, I have noticed that when one asks direct questions in GD they tend to be ignored.
And I've noticed that you're super wrong and are confining yourself to making contemptuous declarations devoid of argument. Keen.
  #135  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:45 PM
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Cool, I won't bother you with a response, then, other than to note that it's a big internet out there, and you should have little trouble finding something that entertains you.
Cool, don't bother yourself. As I said, I was just interested in one facet of what you and octopus had said and seeing if there was evidence support for your assertions. Feel free to go back to talking past each other, and I'll have to live the rest of my life suffering in great pain never knowing what support you had for your position. How ever will I go on?

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  #136  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:47 PM
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Once you introduce society back into the equation, then yes: his human rights become relevant. Those rights are duties imposed on other moral agents.

Stipulate that there's a right to freedom from torture. That doesn't mean that a person dying of incurable bone cancer is having her rights violated. But it does mean that I have a duty not to kick her while she's dying of cancer; and arguably if I can alleviate her pain at little cost to myself, I have a positive duty to do so.
Ok, those conclusions you are coming to are the logical outcome of axioms. That's what people in this thread are saying. The axioms you use are not universal truths or natural laws of the universe. They aren't even inevitable in a society of so-called moral agents. Which is almost a hint of a tautology in your argument.

You could make a moral argument that a quick euthanization of someone who is suffering from a painful and debilitating disease is the right thing. You can make a moral argument for infanticide. You can make a moral argument for forcible eugenics. You can make a moral argument for forced conversions to a religion.

It ALL depends on what set of moral axioms are argued from.

Last edited by octopus; 10-03-2019 at 05:49 PM.
  #137  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:56 PM
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Ok, those conclusions you are coming to are the logical outcome of axioms.
You're missing the level of my axioms. Specifically, they include:
-My experience of my own desires is an objective reality.
-Other beings are substantially similar to me in their own experiences of their own desires.

I know what an axiom is, octopus. What I reject is your labeling of my conclusions as axioms. You're not following my argument well enough to refute it or even to label it.
  #138  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:59 PM
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You're missing the level of my axioms. Specifically, they include:
-My experience of my own desires is an objective reality.
-Other beings are substantially similar to me in their own experiences of their own desires.

I know what an axiom is, octopus. What I reject is your labeling of my conclusions as axioms. You're not following my argument well enough to refute it or even to label it.
I am following your argument. The fact that we have different sets of axioms that we are arguing from is refutation of your argument.
  #139  
Old 10-03-2019, 06:14 PM
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And I've noticed that you're super wrong ...
Hey, everybody, I'm not just wrong, I'm super wrong.

I suppose that's appropriate for a forum that calls itself not just Debates but Great Debates.

But the accusation is not just blather. It's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious blather.
  #140  
Old 10-03-2019, 06:15 PM
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I am following your argument. The fact that we have different sets of axioms that we are arguing from is refutation of your argument.
Your second sentence disproves the first .
  #141  
Old 10-03-2019, 06:23 PM
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Your second sentence disproves the first .
I'm beginning to think you don't understand the ramifications of your own argument.

The fact that other beings capable of moral agency don't agree with the basis of your morality is proof that there is a factual contradiction to your stated basis of morality. Now perhaps you will employ some simple tautology and declare that the sentient being(s) who holds such views is/are by definition not a moral agent. Which in that case we are both speaking English, nominally, but we aren't speaking the same language.

I'm not sure what you get from obfuscation though. These sort of discussions are very important for the maintenance of rights and degrading language to score internet debate points is actually damaging.

Last edited by octopus; 10-03-2019 at 06:24 PM.
  #142  
Old 10-03-2019, 06:37 PM
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So I'm not really clear on what you disagree with, then. It seems pretty likely to me that you're ascribing a belief to me, based on how you're defining rights, that I don't actually hold. Do you mind explaining what you think I believe that you don't?
You've said that rights exist independently of any body of law, or indeed, any human, recognizing their existence.

I don't think that they do.

I do get that you're using "exist independently" as a shorthand for, "Everyone should be treated this way, even people in premodern times before anyone thought of these ideas," but I think that's a sloppy shorthand that could be better expressed in different ways.

I do have other problems with the concept of natural rights, but you've mostly explicitly distanced yourself from those aspects of the concept, so they don't apply to my disagreement with you.

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...and I'll have to live the rest of my life suffering in great pain never knowing what support you had for your position. How ever will I go on?
I've heard heavy drinking is good for that.
  #143  
Old 10-03-2019, 06:42 PM
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You've said that rights exist independently of any body of law, or indeed, any human, recognizing their existence.

I don't think that they do.
I've been saying that the disagreement may be semantic. I still think that.

You seem to agree that the calculus I described earlier is accurate, regarding how desires turn "is" into "should." Is that a fair statement?

If so, do you agree that things you "should" do may be fairly described as "duties"?

If so, do you agree that if you have a duty to do something regarding another person, that person has a right to your performance of that duty?

If you agree with every step except the last one, I'm pretty sure we're defining "rights" differently.
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I'm beginning to think you don't understand the ramifications of your own argument.

The fact that other beings capable of moral agency don't agree with the basis of your morality is proof that there is a factual contradiction to your stated basis of morality.
That doesn't follow at all. If you think it does, you'll need to show you understand what my "stated basis of morality" is, and explain how disagreement has anything to do with it.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-03-2019 at 06:45 PM.
  #144  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:01 PM
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I've been saying that the disagreement may be semantic. I still think that.

You seem to agree that the calculus I described earlier is accurate, regarding how desires turn "is" into "should." Is that a fair statement?

If so, do you agree that things you "should" do may be fairly described as "duties"?

If so, do you agree that if you have a duty to do something regarding another person, that person has a right to your performance of that duty?

If you agree with every step except the last one, I'm pretty sure we're defining "rights" differently.

That doesn't follow at all. If you think it does, you'll need to show you understand what my "stated basis of morality" is, and explain how disagreement has anything to do with it.
You explicitly stated a subset of your so-called axioms. They arenít universally shared among so-called moral agents. Iím not sure what else needs to be said.
  #145  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:03 PM
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I've heard heavy drinking is good for that.
Do you have a "friend" who told you that? Is his name Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo? Is your girlfriend from Canada too?
  #146  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:13 PM
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You explicitly stated a subset of your so-called axioms. They arenít universally shared among so-called moral agents. Iím not sure what else needs to be said.
They don't have to share them. Axioms are statements that can't be proven, not statements that hold no objective truth. My axioms may be objectively true but unprovable. If so, those who disagree with them would be wrong.
  #147  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:21 PM
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They don't have to share them. Axioms are statements that can't be proven, not statements that hold no objective truth. My axioms may be objectively true but unprovable. If so, those who disagree with them would be wrong.
Might makes right is the only objective truth with regards to morality. But I see that you are doing your part to maintain the useful fiction of intrinsic rights. I commend you for that.

Last edited by octopus; 10-03-2019 at 07:22 PM.
  #148  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:39 PM
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Everyone involved in this conversation already understood the thing you tried to explain in post 49, and I venture to say, already agreed with it.
except....
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Might makes right is the only objective truth with regards to morality.
You'll forgive me, Miller, if I think you're wrong on that point.
  #149  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:52 PM
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except....

You'll forgive me, Miller, if I think you're wrong on that point.
You can't honestly deny it though. And everyone who is coming at rights and actually understands what morality argued rationally from axiomatic rights means actually agrees that ultimately the only truth in this discussion is that might makes right.

Last edited by octopus; 10-03-2019 at 07:52 PM.
  #150  
Old 10-03-2019, 08:05 PM
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You can't honestly deny it though. And everyone who is coming at rights and actually understands what morality argued rationally from axiomatic rights means actually agrees that ultimately the only truth in this discussion is that might makes right.
I don't even know if it's worth pointing this out to you--but if you persist in thinking that the only way your conversation partners can deny your claim is to be dishonest, you cut off any meaningful discussion. I deny your claim 100%, and I do so sincerely. If you can't wrap your head around what that means, you can't meaningfully talk with me.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-03-2019 at 08:05 PM.
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