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  #51  
Old 10-11-2018, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
The Asch conformity tests seemed to show that there's a strong conformist need for about 37% of people, but at least 75% choose to conform at least once, and that's under a fairly light level of pressure.

It looks like, among those who claim to be Christian, about 25% don't believe in God. I would say that this is an example of people under fairly strong pressure going against the grain.

About 25-30% of people are immune or mostly immune to hypnosis.

I could probably find more things be that could plausibly count as a metric, but it looks like at least 75% of everyone is at least minimally susceptible. And, somewhere between 20-35% is extremely susceptible.
Being susceptible to hypnosis defends the sentence "I am not strongly convinced that even a majority of people are operating at much above pure pack instincts"?

The goalposts just moved out of my light cone.
  #52  
Old 10-11-2018, 06:32 AM
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That is a horrifying conception of "rights" and can be used as a premise to justify all kinds of atrocities.
Accurate, though. What sense does it make to say I have the right to do something if I cannot do it due to outside intervention? It's all well and good to say I have the inalienable right to free assembly, but if I can't exercise that right without men with guns taking me away and killing me, what sense does it make?
  #53  
Old 10-11-2018, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
Accurate, though. What sense does it make to say I have the right to do something if I cannot do it due to outside intervention? It's all well and good to say I have the inalienable right to free assembly, but if I can't exercise that right without men with guns taking me away and killing me, what sense does it make?
I think that I can agree that without an extra-natural explanation, 'rights' aren't anything more than agreed upon standards. If a culture or individual chooses not to agree with them, then we can either go to the trenches or throw up our hands. 'Rights' only exist as much as the powerful permit them to exist. If the powerful choose not to permit them, then we can argue about them rhetorically and try to convince them that they exist, but that's a cold comfort when they hand you the blindfold and cigarette.

We can see this most clearly in the case of controversial 'rights.' Does for instance, a fetus have a 'right' to live? Right now in the US, the answer is 'No.' The reason being is that the people with the guns have said so. People who disagree with this stance have been working really hard to be the people with the guns and maybe one day, they will control enough power that the answer will magically be 'Yes.' Barring an extra-natural arbiter of rights though, neither answer is right or wrong. When the Taliban decided that Hindus had to wear badges and convert or die, then there was no 'right' to freedom of religion or when they said that clapping at soccer games was punishable by beatings, then there was no 'right' to expression and if the Taliban took over the world, then no one would have that right.

One could postulate a variety of extra-natural systems which lend objectivity to rights, but those tend to get into the realm of religion. You can be a 'natural rights' proponent, but those tend to either be Hobbesian in nature ("You have a right to do whatever is in your power to continue living how you want to live.", but I'm not sure that 'a right to shoot back when they come for you.' is what we typically think of when we think of rights.) or they just get vague and say 'Nature demands this.' (Why nature demands this is always slushy though. Nature tends not to give a rip about individual lives. Ants don't have a right to be safe from the anteater.) Erich Fromm probably argued it best when he basically said that some powers over men should only be wielded by God and since there is no God, then no one should wield them. (Of course, this lends itself to the criticism of "Why is that exactly?")

I think that what it really comes down to is that in order to have 'rights' as we generally conceive of them, we need something extra-natural that objectively defines those rights. It doesn't have to be a god, but it probably has to be something. I don't think that reason alone can cut it, despite what Hobbes or Locke might say (although Locke was largely religious in nature and his appeals to nature are really appeals to God. When he talks about the inherent equality of humans as his basis for rights, he explicitly refers to Biblical evidence.)

Last edited by senoy; 10-11-2018 at 08:45 AM.
  #54  
Old 10-11-2018, 09:07 AM
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I think that points to your conception of rights as flawed. If you need something that probably doesn't exist to make the concept coherent, then it's time to go back to the drawing board.

I see rights differently - as codified moral heuristics where we recognize that something is usually good or bad, and go from there. They're the conclusion rather than the premise of our moral arguments.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/22...and_heuristics

Give section 13 there a look.
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  #55  
Old 10-11-2018, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
I think that points to your conception of rights as flawed. If you need something that probably doesn't exist to make the concept coherent, then it's time to go back to the drawing board.

I see rights differently - as codified moral heuristics where we recognize that something is usually good or bad, and go from there. They're the conclusion rather than the premise of our moral arguments.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/22...and_heuristics

Give section 13 there a look.
Of course, if you look at rights simply as maxims, I don't think that most people would recognize those as 'rights' The heuristic model that you're proposing basically means 'rights' are general guidelines that could be violated if there's a reasonable certainty that the consequences would be 'good' in whatever way you define 'good.' I'm not sure that most people would say that what you're proposing are actually 'rights' at all.
  #56  
Old 10-11-2018, 09:24 AM
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Of course, if you look at rights simply as maxims, I don't think that most people would recognize those as 'rights' The heuristic model that you're proposing basically means 'rights' are general guidelines that could be violated if there's a reasonable certainty that the consequences would be 'good' in whatever way you define 'good.' I'm not sure that most people would say that what you're proposing are actually 'rights' at all.
Two things.

First, built into that heuristic (see point 13.2) is the fact that most times when people thought violating those heuristics was a good idea, they were wrong.
So another way to put it is that rights don’t just say “Doing X has been observed to have bad consequences”, but also “Doing X has been observed to have bad consequences, even when smart people are quite certain it will have good consequences.”
Secondly, we do that all the time! (See point 13.3.1 and 13.3.2) Rights are routinely violated or compromised when they butt up against each other, in situations where the greater good firmly outweighs the value of the right (prisons, for example, or taxes).
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  #57  
Old 10-11-2018, 09:35 AM
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Two things.

First, built into that heuristic (see point 13.2) is the fact that most times when people thought violating those heuristics was a good idea, they were wrong.
So another way to put it is that rights don’t just say “Doing X has been observed to have bad consequences”, but also “Doing X has been observed to have bad consequences, even when smart people are quite certain it will have good consequences.”
Secondly, we do that all the time! (See point 13.3.1 and 13.3.2) Rights are routinely violated or compromised when they butt up against each other, in situations where the greater good firmly outweighs the value of the right (prisons, for example, or taxes).
Their 'wrongness' is simply a matter of opinion. Not to Godwin, but the Holocaust worked out pretty well for the Nazis (invading the USSR not so much) So by your heuristic model, the Nazi's would be justified in saying 'Killing minorities is now a 'right' because it has worked so well for us.' Geeze, the Romans built a thousand year empire founded on oppression. The shogun period of Japan was founded on strict class divides where you could kill peasants at will who disrespected you. These workable systems that brought 'good' outcomes I don't think most of us would say are foundational to rights, despite their 'goodness' from a certain subjective view.

As for competing 'rights' those certainly exist, but no one says that those rights are abrogated due to the conflict. We would still say there is an inherent objectively 'correct' way to adjudicate those conflicts and that those rights still exist, but are simply defined in a way that isn't convenient to say. So we would say 'You have a right to practice your religion' we don't say 'providing that your religion does not involve kidnapping and sacrificing your enemies via decapitation at Chichen Itza.' Recognizing a limitation on a right is not the same thing as saying 'The right is really just a generally good idea.'

Last edited by senoy; 10-11-2018 at 09:36 AM.
  #58  
Old 10-11-2018, 10:03 AM
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Their 'wrongness' is simply a matter of opinion. Not to Godwin, but the Holocaust worked out pretty well for the Nazis (invading the USSR not so much) So by your heuristic model, the Nazi's would be justified in saying 'Killing minorities is now a 'right' because it has worked so well for us.'
The ideology of the NSDAP is the most widely-despised in the world. Their nation and national identity were destroyed and rebuilt by those who conquered them, to the point where German nationalism exists almost exclusively on the context of football. The Nazis lasted 12 years. That "worked well"?

Of course, this commits the same fallacy as appealing to how much a rapist enjoys raping without considering the victim's wellbeing. I don't think you really understand my position and I'd implore you to read at least all of subheading 13 in that essay linked above. We don't mean "good" in the sense of "it lead to the goals of a few psychopaths".
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  #59  
Old 10-11-2018, 10:37 AM
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The ideology of the NSDAP is the most widely-despised in the world. Their nation and national identity were destroyed and rebuilt by those who conquered them, to the point where German nationalism exists almost exclusively on the context of football. The Nazis lasted 12 years. That "worked well"?

Of course, this commits the same fallacy as appealing to how much a rapist enjoys raping without considering the victim's wellbeing. I don't think you really understand my position and I'd implore you to read at least all of subheading 13 in that essay linked above. We don't mean "good" in the sense of "it lead to the goals of a few psychopaths".
It did work well. It stabilized the economy and united the German people. If Germany hadn't launched Operation Barbarossa, it's entirely possible that the EU would be the Reich right now. The Holocaust had very little to do with Germany's losing the war. Shoot, the US government was trying to suppress information about concentration camps.

Your second point actually ignores your own link. The author is a consequentialist and in section 12.4.1 and 12.4.2 he specifically argues that the consequences are the prerogative of the individual. Your decisions should be based upon what is best according to you. It's basically moral relativism that he's advocating. When we apply this moral relativism to his theory on rights, then we can say 'Oppressing people who aren't me has traditionally brought good consequences to many cultures over long periods of time. I have a right to oppress people.' It's obviously ludicrous.
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