Friday, December 24, 2010

Human derived Moral codes are inherently Evil -- Ethics

This is a copy of my 10 page argument paper where I try to persuade the reader into one simple fact, that any code of morality derived by humans is inherently evil in some sense, and as such, unfit to be followed. The best Ethical system is an unchanging, static, objective one, where good and evil remain the same from one century to the next and villains do not over time become heroes.

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Claim: Any Human derived moral system will inherently have some parts of its moral code be morally wrong, even if a large percentage of it is acceptable.

Explanation of claim: There are special reasons inherent to every human derived ethical code, that in turn leave room for evil and chaos to emerge. Even if by chance you get all people to agree on a majority of rules, something which is a great feat in itself, you will still have the grey areas near the boundaries and those areas will leave room for murder, death, and destruction. In this paper I will work to show you exactly what ideas each human derived moral code has to contend with, that in turn leaves room for error and evil.

Reasons in Support of the Claim:

1. Objective Morality: I do not believe in moral relativism and the argument of morality itself falls flat when you say that what’s good and what’s evil is simply relative and not grounded in reality. If such a world exists where good and evil sways in the wind, then a morale code to control it becomes impossible. What was once good may become evil and what was once evil may become good. I think all philosophers of great caliber will contend that Morality MUST be objective and that a good action, properly defined, must always remain such in the exact same circumstances defined. If it changed later in the future, with the exact same circumstances, than morality doesn’t matter and good and evil are simply a roll of the dice depending on when you live in the world and what country you were born in. My reasons following this one will come to show that a human ethical code is always subjective, and thus it violates this idea and leads the human morale code to fail as a system to live by. It is noteworthy to mention that Thomas Nagel in his book “The View from Nowhere” believes that an objective world or perspective in everything is not possible; and may not be possible in anything. On that merit alone Human derived moral codes would all be subjective, and they would all violate this first principle of mine which would lead them all to be evil in one way or another, as they would inevitably violate one or more objective morale laws, if they were subjective, as Nagel suggests.

2. Human Bias and Defining Human Rights: Since the laws that we’re creating in our moral systems eventually will lead to laws to live by and courts to enforce them, we as people will inevitably inject our own bias into them in different ways, to give ourselves an advantage. Where does the first point of injection occur? It occurs when defining Human Rights. When the issue of abortion comes up, who has the right to abort the baby and what if the other parent disagrees? Let’s assume the fetus is 4 months old, three situations come up:

1) The father wants an abortion but the mother disagrees.

2) The mother wants an abortion but the father disagrees.

3) The fetus cannot be aborted on either issue because both parents are intruding on it’s right to live.

So what would utilitarianism do to define their rights? How would Kant define their rights? Is it Just to define people’s rights and actions based on the system of what creates the most overall happiness? How does that even solve the issue of rights? Does the person whom has the most good will, control the issue of who has the most rights? Ethics cannot define people’s rights fairly, that is the crux of this argument. Bias shrouds this issue in every direction. Some believe the fetus’ right to live supersedes both parent’s rights. Others say the mother gets more rights in having a child then the father. Who derives these conclusions and how do we derive them fairly? I argue that Utilitarianism and Kant’s Good will cannot give us conclusive answers on these issues and thus they lead to holes in our moral code which leave room for evil.

3. Limited Reasoning Capacity: If we take Utilitarianism and we take Kant’ s good will and we apply their rules with a limited reasoning capacity, then we will always do some amount of evil acts; this is inevitable. Why is this so? Consider that all it takes for a decision to be good in Utilitarianism is to believe in an overall increase in the amount of happiness and thus if you believe your particular decision creates the most happiness but you reason incorrectly, you have just made a mistake and done an evil action. The same goes with Kant and his Good will. If I reason incorrectly that my intention is good but after further examination I find out it was wrong and my intention was evil because I reasoned incorrectly, I again have done an evil action. This is what we call Human Error, it is impossible to remove, and it only attests to our fallibility. We are not perfect creatures and we are bound, inevitably, to reason incorrectly because of our limited knowledge and as a result we are bound to make mistakes. These mistakes not only occur in the application of moral laws but also in the creation of them. If Kant were given one million years of life, I’m sure he would find some flaw somewhere in his reasoning that was left as a remnant in his first philosophical dialogue with the world. That small mistake will cascade into many evil decisions and Kant cannot be blamed for making it because he is as fallible as every other human in the world. Again, to summarize this argument, our reasoning capacity affects how we apply the moral codes we learned, and without perfect reasoning we will inevitably make a mistake somewhere down the line and commit an evil action. Even in the creation of the morale code itself we are sure to make errors that we’d realize existed after one million years of contemplation, thought, and reasoning.

4. Concept of Justice is Lost through Scholarly Ideologue battles: Kant rightly ridicules utilitarianism for relying too much on consequentiality. If a person does a good action with an evil deed, then why should he be rewarded for it? If, for the sake of the king’s money, you help out his son, why should your acts be given any true moral value? Would you like your best friend if you found out he only spoke to you to or liked you because of your wealth? Intention matters but what Kant forgets is that your action matters as well. If actions did not matter then Hitler must be seen as a good person. Hitler acknowledged that his race was under attack and that he needed to protect his people and his race from destruction. He was fighting for survival in his mind and being attacked on all sides so whatever he did was in defense and justified by the aggression of everyone else. He believed his Aryan race was the most superior and gave the most to society and to have it destroyed would be a travesty for all people. As he said in Mein Kampf: “All the human culture, all the results of art, science and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan. This very fact admits of the not unfounded inference that he alone was the founder of all higher humanity, therefore representing the prototype of all that we understand by the word "man." He is the Prometheus of mankind from whose shining brow the divine spark of genius has sprung at all times, forever kindling anew that fire of knowledge which illuminated the night of silent mysteries and thus caused man to climb the path to mastery over the other beings of the earth . . . It was he who laid the foundations and erected the walls of every great structure in human culture.” The vast majority of people agree that waging a war on humanity and being the cause of millions of deaths, along with the systematic genocide of six million Jews, was appalling, unjust, and completely unacceptable. But if we judge him by Kant’s Good will, he comes out clean. Where is the justice in Human Morale systems and why is it so elusive? Hitler is just one case where Kant’s morale system fails and it attests to the quote, “The road to hell is paved by good intentions”. Actions are important, because what are we at the end of the day, if not the very definition of our actions, be they good or bad? Human morale systems lose this basic concept for Justice when they enter the realms of ideology and in the end, basic human justice for life, liberty, and happiness is lost, at least in certain circumstances, as has been documented time and time again in history. Kant’s view is extreme and unjust because he fails to realize that consequences and actions matter. Murdering someone, with good intentions, is still Murder, especially if that person he is about to kill is an innocent by standard of good intentions himself.

Reasons Against the Claim:

I. No other options exist: The argument may be posed that there are no alternative sources for ethics and a standard is being created for it that is unacceptably high. Just as in any venture in the real world, we cannot create buildings that are unshakeable or drugs which make us live forever, so why should ethics be any different? Why is there no room for a small amount of evil here and there; which will add to the debate? If we cannot get a static unchanging objective Morality, but we can get very very close to it, than why can’t that be enough? This is a fair argument because sometimes asking for more than is possible is unfair. I can’t ask my doctor to make me 20 years healthier or younger, so why should I ask my philosopher to perform acts of miracles too? Imagine for a second a moral code that takes care of 90% of my moral choices, in a Just way, and still I must complain for more? Perfection should not be the standard for morality, as may argue my competitors.

II. Human Rights can be defined but not agreed upon: My academic rival may also argue that he may be able to create a set moral code of human rights, based on his fundamental ideas of Morality, but that the trouble that would occur is people would not agree with him. That in order to preserve the most good in the world, a man may be limited to certain rights and a woman may be limited to others. That in order for there to be good will, and respect for the Law, Kant can define our Human rights in a way that allows us to act as proper reasoning creatures, not under the power of a Monarch and under courts of law that respect intention and the difference between manslaughter and murder.

III. Limited Reasoning Capacity: Just because Humans have a limited reasoning capacity does not mean that people will not eventually come to the realizations of a Human Moral system and agree with it. Just because Kant was a human, doesn’t mean he made any mistakes in his reasoning when he created his moral code. After a million years, he still may not change a word in any of his dissertations or works. It also may be unfair to hold a philosopher at fault for the incorrect reasoning of his adherents. If a certain number of people did not take the time to properly apply his Philosophical moral code to their lives, that is their own fault and as a result of their own ignorance. Such people should not tarnish the name and aim of a Human based moral system which expects it’s adherents to be able to reason properly in relation to its construct.

IV Justice is too malleable a word: One man’s justice is another man’s evil. The word Justice, even if it applies as a true idea and a true standard, varies too much to compare to ideological principles which are hard in fast in their definitions. Even if something may seem unjust, it may be possible to, after a period of contemplation, understand the justice in it. So it is unfair to say that some principle of Utilitarianism is wrong simply because it seems unjust. The standard of justice is too freely flown to be allowable as a true defense against the precepts of a human moral code. What may appear unjust may in essence be the very nature of justice itself; but our ignorance may be eluding us from it.

Decision:

At the end of the day, I want a proper, universal, objective moral code. I want the precepts of good and evil to remain so if I practice them in 1,000 years. I do not want a relative world in which I struggle to decide in what is good and what is evil. I do not want to be punished for doing something that innately seemed correct to me and something which many philosophers would praise me for. I want human rights to be based on fundamental principles not founded in self interest and bias. I want my rights to be as fair as anyone else’s so that I do not gain an unfair advantage on them. I don’t want my limited reasoning capacity to affect my choices in life, and to affect what is good and what is evil. I believe in the standard of Justice and I uphold it as a standard to strike down any ideologues that refuse to see the consequences of their theories and their simple written work. If a moral code as this, which is static and unchanging, and upholds the test of time, cannot be fabricated, than no moral code is sufficient to satisfy the many cravings of justice, equitability, and respect that lay within my inner conscience.

Rebuttal:

1. No Other Options exist- Yes they do: If you are like Plato, Socrates, Newton, Einstein, or a number of other great thinkers in the world, than you believe in the existence of God. If you go a step further and then believe God sent down a moral code that is objective, that is untouched and therefore unbiased by us, then you lead to a point where you have found an impartial objective, perfect, moral code. That moral code, should have the answers to all decisions, with exceptions also placed, in certain situations where a rule may need to have limits placed on it’s over reaching power. Do you want to find an objective and perfectly sourced Morale code? If so there is no need to adhere to these human, biased, imperfect, codes of life. We need only look for God’s morale code, if you believe he sent it down, as billions of people through time have believed and adhered to.

2. Human Rights can be defined but not agreed upon – That’s subjectivity: To say that Human rights, as in the issue of abortion that came up earlier, can be defined properly but not agreed upon, is just like saying they are not objective and lead you to a realm of subjectivity. Even among philosophers, there are huge disagreements with issues of the State of Government and its relation and rights to the people. Why is it that there is so much strife and disagreement in the realms of Human rights? It’s because it’s simply too biased a subject for philosophers to face properly. This is a subject solely tainted with the hands of Mankind. No Human morale code ever devised can give me solid and clear answers that we can all agree on. No human morale code has ever come close and it’s why politics is such a heated discussion because it’s central to this issue of human rights. Do we have the right to regulate or take over banks or don’t we? Can they betray us, sell us bad loans, and come out clean, without any morale recompense for their immoral actions; or do they have that right to be greedy and are we to blame for our ignorance? Do celebrities have a right to privacy or don’t they? To what extent can we gossip on our fellow Human Beings? When is slander allowed? Is Free speech the overriding factor in all of the above, and does it take precedence in everything, including slander? Philosophers cannot decipher this code of Human rights and the very problems and arguments we have left unsolved today are proofs of this fact.

3. Limited Reasoning Capacity—Constant evil quandary: If you admit that humans are fallible and you admit that the sole purpose of a moral code is to provide an outlet for defining good and evil, then you must admit that any morale code devised by humans will be wrought with some mistakes. To disagree to this claim means to believe someone created a perfect moral code, and such a belief seems na├»ve. If even one hole or even one exception can be found in any morale code, then you have room for error and in turn evil. So our limited reasoning capacity again shows us that we cannot create nor adhere properly to a human morale code. This problem will not go away by simply wishing it away. We are not perfect beings and we make honest mistakes all the time. To expect perfection from such creatures is to deny the very nature of reality, death, and destruction that has occurred at our hands. Even if we could somehow move passed our bias, which is an argument in itself, there is no evidence to show that a human can create a perfect morale code that would be just in every situation a human may stumble upon. Without that level of quality, we make an inherently evil system that will make mistakes. Such a system should not be a standard for deriving good and evil, even if it be correct 90% of the time.

4. Justice is too malleable a word – Kant Disagrees: There is an innate conscience in all of us that Kant calls out to. It is an innate conscience that, as Kant seems to say, knows good from evil and decides the laws for ourselves, if we wanted others to follow suit in the same way. It’s that golden rule that allows us to make good and evil in Kant’s OWN human based moral code. So if that conscience finds a hole in a Human derived Morale code, and we are appalled at the level of injustice that ensues because of such a rule, than it’s perfectly fair to say such a rule is wrong. Justice can be a standard on which to compare the principles of any Human Morale system, and if such systems are leaking in certain areas of right and wrong, then they should be exposed by the standard of my conscience and in turn the essence of Justice. Kant would fight for this in a similar fashion because remember, if Kant is wrong, and we have no innate conscience of what good or evil is, then we can never decide rules for ourselves or others to follow, and Kant’s whole morale system fails. There is a standard of Justice, it can be applied, and many times, such as in the issue of Hitler, an Ideology and Ideologues in general can be lead astray because they lose sight of the innate justice in all of us. Hitler butchered millions of people, regardless of his good will. He is responsible for those deaths and should be known for all time as an evil person, even if a Kant adherent may disagree for ideological reasons. Justice always trumps Ideology, as Kant would agree to when he devised his morale code and said: “Would I be content that my maxim (principle) should hold as a universal law for myself as well as for others?” To answer is to know Justice.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Naturalistic Fallacy -- Anti Muslim Rhetoric

During this article I'd like to touch upon a specific fallacy and also three specific video case studies of people either not being logical or making logical leaps that are improper or false.

To decode them we will look at their foundations and analyze their assumptions, assuming they bothered to provide any evidence for their arguments in the first place.


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1) An interesting video I stumbled across including a man named Mark Steyn:

http://fora.tv/2010/04/26/Mark_Steyn_The_End_of_the_World_as_We_Know#Mark_Steyn_What_If_the_West_Turned_Muslim


Mark Steyn: "Would you want to raise a family in Cairo? Which currently Muslim city would you live in?"


Philosophical Summary/Breakdown:

"This religion is bad(worrisome to the west) because no city in our natural world in the control of a Muslim is currently good. Therefore, because a large amount of Muslims are ruled by evil people, they themselves must have an evil religion which fosters evil leaders."(It sounds absurd, I know, but that is what he is arguing.)

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Naturalistic Fallacy

Just because nature or the world shows us something, does not necessarily mean that is a proper representation of it.

An easier and nuanced approach would be to use the "is... Ought" method taught by Hume.

Just because something IS a certain way, doesn't mean that is how it OUGHT to be.

So it may be circumstances, outside the control of Muslims(lurking variables), have led to corrupt governments, and that those factors that created these kings have no bearing on the religion itself.

That is why you can't say, this is how it is, and that is how it AUGHT to be, because it might not have to be that way. It might be forced that way by other variables outside your control.

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Judging Religions or Principles by their Followers

At the end of the day you can't judge a religion by a country or a group of people. The group of people may be in stark contrast to what the religion says. It's best to just be critical of the religion on it's own grounds and it's own tenants; that alone is sufficient.

Also, any tendencies we may see in those people, should not lead us to say, "that is what this religion creates, and because it is this way, that is how it ought to be, and therefore I consider all of this wrong and evil."

Those types of arguments are nonsensical, illogical, and are littered with a bigoted and intolerant attitude.

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2) A similar intolerant and hate ridden speech was given by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, promoting Christians to convert Muslims.

She says:
"How can we get the 1.57 billion Muslims to believe in something other than what the radical Muslims are proselytizing because they are winning the argument"


This alone is a baseless fact, and to even say 1% of Muslims are radical equates to:

15.7 MILLION Radical Muslims, WAY above any FBI or CIA estimate. She is simply out of touch and shows no evidence to suggest that the radicals are winning the arguments, EXCEPT for her own word, which is baseless without evidence.

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She continues:

"...and yes there are Christians who are radicals, there are Christians who are.... I wouldn't say... just... they're absolutely not as violent but intolerant and narrow, but that is not the Christianity that I have seen."


So what she's implying is that Christianity is better than Islam, and isn't as radical, because, that's not what she's "seen".

Naturalistic error, once again.


(Nice video trying to stem some of the fanatical hate speech and islamophobia)


She finishes her speech off with:

"The Catholic churches and the Protestant Churches, the moderate ones, are already established and know how to do that(convert people), they're just being intimidated either by the PC people or people like you who think they're all radical. I think that we should stop doing that. I think that they should start competing"


She has made it clear what side she sits on. She wants a competition, and she prefers Christians to Muslims because of what she has "seen", again a naturalistic fallacy because she may not have seen many proper moderate Muslims.

If you notice her speech is all, "My, I think, We should, that's how it is".

She's manipulative, without actually accruing any facts besides saying "1.57". What actual fact based arguments is she making?

This is all sensationalism. It's an attempt to emotionally drive you to believe something without logically informing you as to why; without giving sound evidence to support a proper argument on a firm foundation.

The truth is:

All people that feel conversion is necessary, and that we should convert others, regardless of the rudeness and enmity it entails, are radicals.

It's why MOST churches and Mosques do not proselytize and do not go door to door preaching.

Let each pray and follow whom they will, and account to their Lord. That is the American way. America was founded by people seeking religious asylum. This principle of religious freedom is INGRAINED in our country and in the constitution.

If we want to have a civilized and logical debate between the religions, that's all good and well, and substantive.

Sensationalized drama asking us to come to arms, to convert 1.57 billion people, is nonsense and the fuel for anti-Islamic sentiment and hatred.
(The consequence of not doing so is an army of Radical Muslims and a WWIII military ending....
Again sensationalist propaganda that has absolutely no fact based merit and should be taken on her "word" and what she's "seen")


Shame on her for such sensationalism. She would be shamed by her Alma mater and whatever University named her a Scholar, if she even is one or has any degrees to her name.

She does not act in accordance to the principles of a Scholar. Instead she look more the part of a political pundit, manipulating their audience using scary WWIII undertones; similar to the likes of Glen Beck.

But definitely not a Scholar, which would come forward with coherent arguments, strong supporting facts, and a logical framework.


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3) Last Video, this time by Sam Harris:

He argues:
"So the problem is not Religious extremism, because extremism isn't a problem if your core beliefs are truly non violent."



He makes a lapse in judgment here. Although he's being very methodical in this video and at least using a reasonable argument, he says something which can be disproven easily.

He is basically saying if your core beliefs are non violence than that leads you to never having evil and extreme radical believers; but then what about Christianity?

  • Isn't Christianity the ultimate Peaceful religion?
  • If Jesus is slapped, did he not say turn to thy other cheek?
  • What wars or conquests did Jesus fight?
  • Did Jesus not allow himself, according to christians, to be tortured and killed?
  • What more better a shining example than Jesus himself, the pinnacle, the IDOL of Ghandi, and of pacifists.

  • "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
  • And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
  • And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
  • Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
Source (Athiests for Jesus, an essay by Richard Dawkins praising Jesus)


So I'd say at the CORE of Christianity is peace, and yet there are Christians that bomb abortion clinics and start world wars like Hitler.

What? You say Hitler wasn't a Christian. Have you not seen his Nazi Belts or read his manifesto?



It says Gott mit uns, or God with us. Are not Hitler and Jesus polar opposites?

That fact alone destroys Sam Harris' argument.

It has been shown that a religion with a peaceful core, can still be manipulated into a radical and violent one.

It just takes a number of centuries, a good head on your shoulders, and lots of charisma.

Sooner or later, even Sam Harris' example of Jainism will be shown to be fallible, once 1 follower of Jainism does something evil in the name of his religion, or an evil person joins Jainism with the intent to manipulate the religion to meet his own needs.


The reason why Jainism has been left untouched until now is it's power pales in comparison with that of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Why hijack a hardly known religion, with few followers, when you can spend your energy and manipulate millions of people.

That's why Jainism has been left alone.

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For Sam Harris to argue this is impossible, destroys his argument, rendering it useless.

He cannot argue that Jesus and Christianity, at their core, is not peaceful, because every sign even by atheistic writers like Dawkins have attested to the pacifism of Jesus and his true followers.


So what we are left with is an empty shell of an argument and the ability for peaceful religions to be manipulated.

But isn't that fairly obvious.... that anything can be manipulated. There are no holy untouchable organizations today that do not fear corruption.

Everything can be manipulated.
Why?
Because people are not perfect creatures, and our own inner faults pave the room for manipulation. These are all common sense conclusions to get to with just a bit of time and contemplation.

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For his second point where he says Osama isn't fudging the facts, and is simply painting the truth about Islam, he simply gives no evidence.

  • No Quotes by the Prophet of Islam.
  • No Quranic Verses.
  • No statements by Osama.
  • No lines from books of scholarly analysis.
  • Nothing.
  • He just says it as a fact, paraphrasing him: Obama and Islam are one, and he doesn't fudge the facts.

Sam Harris goes so far as to say:

"He(Osama) is giving a truly straightforward version of Islam and you really have to be an acrobat to figure out how he's distorting the faith"



To make such an amazing claim, that more than a billion Muslims have a religion that encourages Terrorism(or Murder), or that would allow such a thing, REQUIRES evidence to prove.

As the famous scientist Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require Extraordinary evidence". This supposed scholar gave none...

On that point alone, his argument is without foundation, and fails.
It's a point that even seems absurd to think about, that a billion murderers exist in this world, commanded to fight holy wars around the earth. That's 1 in every 6 people...

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Final Thoughts

The authors of these videos grasped the hands of hatred, for their own reasons, be it ignorance or a lack of will to seek out the truth(laziness).
Either way they did a disservice to themselves to not educate themselves properly before spreading false propaganda.

In Sam Harris' case where he actually tried to make a logical argument, he failed to contemplate on his thesis, and allowed a large hole to remain in the heart of his argument, easy to unveil, causing the whole theory to fall apart.

As we saw, even though his original point had some logical reasoning, his second point had no merit and was simply a bigoted slap in the face to every Muslim that prays peacefully on this Earth. Not even did he attempt to support his extraordinary and inflammatory claims.

At it's core, all we got here, from these three videos, was xenophobia, ignorance, a lack of reasoning capability, and hatred.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Philosophy of Linguistics -- Damning with Faint Praise



I recently came upon that video where the commentator mentioned an idiom I hadn't heard before.

He was comparing two people as you saw and mentioned the term:

"Damning with faint praise"

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I instantly looked it up:

Fig. to criticize someone or something indirectly by not praising enthusiastically. The critic did not say that he disliked the play, but he damned it with faint praise. Mrs. Brown is very proud of her son's achievements, but damns her daughter's with faint praise.

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Once I figured out what it meant, it was just such a colorful way to say something, and as someone who enjoys writing, I love the pictures that are invoked when you say you're damning someone with faint praise.

I felt inspiration, and I actually saw one person practicing this faint praise(or really it should be thought of lack of praise) on another.

You really see the powers idioms have on our discussions, when they invoke so much emotion and so much color into our conversation.

They, in essence, bring into existence incarnations of the feelings and meanings deep inside our words.

They are manifestations of our true intentions and beliefs. Maybe that's why we memorize or are familiar with hundreds or thousands of them.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Philosophy of Causation / An eye into Statistics

I was watching this video, and read a comment that I wanted to discuss.

The comment is as follows:

"The three states that had abortion laws three years earlier had crime rates that decreased three years earlier and Ben thinks it's meaningless. lol"


My response:

Statistically it is.(It is meaningless)

If you can't isolate a situation, any number of factors could be the cause of it.

People who don't know statistics can't understand this point.

Try googling Correlation versus causation. The two things are not the same.

Ben went to Columbia university, and although he's annoying at times, it's why he was right and you were wrong.

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I didn't mean to come off as too cruel, but it's true that I think Ben's understanding of statistics easily lead him to his conclusion; again thanks to his upper class education.

Such a conclusion would probably elude a person whom had not taken statistics and would not be able to grasp the reason why they would be wrong.

The reason is simple, a correlation of things is not a causation because there may be hidden causes that you are unaware of.

As the old saying goes, sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence, especially when you're comparing state wide stats; something enormously complicated.

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Example:

You're looking at a graph, and for some reason it seems to show that the more firefighters there are the more damage occurs to a home.

You look at the chart and for homes that had 20 firefighters the damage that occurred was much more than in homes that had 18 19 or 15.

It's a trend and the line beautifully goes up and to the right.

So you automatically assume, more firefighters means more damage, and therefore you want to limit how many firefighters go to homes.

Although you'd be wrong, because you just let correlation become causation.

You missed a simple fact, that the more a home is on fire and the bigger the fire is, the more firefighters will be there. Also since the fire is much bigger it's bound to do more damage than a smaller fire.

It's not the firefighters causing the damage, it's the fire, and the bigger it is, the more firefighters you need to stop it.

By limiting the number of firefighters going to homes, you would actually be increasing the damage and allowing the fire to burn for longer.

That's why correlation, is not causation.
The p-value test is a good safety net, for the problem of lurking variables.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Philosophy of Hate / Immigration / Isolationism -- No Irish Need Apply

(Nowadays that sign would say No Muslims or Hispanics need apply. The cycle of hate continues.)

A few tales from history:
  • Signs once read, No Irish need apply.
  • We once interned thousands of Japanese Americans, simply because of their ethnicity; an act that later we apologized for.
  • We used to deny Human rights to Black people, causing them to struggle through a long and grueling ordeal just to be considered a full human being on paper.
  • There was a time where we kept the Chinese immigrants in California working like slaves. A form of neo-indentured servitude.
  • Anti-semetism was once popular before as well, but who today would dare make fun or demonize someone by calling them Jewish? How bigoted and rude would that be?
My question:

So then why are new labels, used by republicans and based on religion or ethnicity, acceptable today?

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We have this affinity for hate, and distaste for immigration. Regardless of the facts that immigration is actually less today, and people are actually more productive now than they ever were because of technology. We still hate immigrants or any strange people.

People still stoke this fear of the unknown nonsense.

What did it all lead to but more hate?

Why am I even writing about all this; simply because the new label of death has become Muslim.

Listen to Sarah Palin applying it to Barack Obama, ever so skillfully:

(Now keep in mind I regularly call the President, Pocket Change Obama, and I disagree with the majority of what he's done, but I don't demonize him or stoke fear mongering by trying to label him Muslim today, as others would have called him Irish before just to score political points and stoke fear of individuals or ethnicities.)




Who ever bothered to say George Walker Bush?

No one did.

Even though his father shared his name, no one bothered mentioning his middle name on television while he was president. They knew who people meant when they said George Bush.

Actually if you were speaking of his father you'd say George H. W. Bush.

Do you know why Sarah said Hussein?

Philosophers are always asked to look deeper and analyze the substance of what people say and feel. In this situation it's quite obvious why the term Hussein was used.

In this case, Obama is no better than an Irishman, a China-men, a Jap, a Muslim, Black Man, or a Jew. All labels of hatred, and all used for political purposes.

The fact remains, all those people are alike, because all people are alike. We are judged not by the color of our skins, but by the content of our character.

Shame on anyone who uses those terms to try and diminish someone's honesty, credibility, or reputation.

Shame on them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Giving in to your Lower Desires v.s Self Control

(Don't let your lower desires chain you down and ruin your potential. The key to self actualization is patience and self control; with a little bit of contemplation on our own actions.)

I once had an interesting conversation with someone whom at any cost wants to be happy.

My main message was not giving into your lower desires and using self control. Lower desires, after all, has been written about for centuries, and confirmed by famous Philosophers like John Stuart Mill, a champion of utilitarianism.

This is how our conversation went:

(This was an online conversation and the exact log of it is below, with the exception of our names being generalized to them and Me.)

Them: See, taoism says that if you're going to be angry, to be angry.
Them: And if you're going to dislocate your brother's arm and crack two of his ribs ... then that's what you need to do.
Me: Can you then give in to your emotions, however deep they may be?
Me: Or is there self control somewhere in there?
Them: Oh, the entire thing is about self control.
Me: Cracking your brothers ribs doesn't seem very controlling...
Me: more like, lack of control.
Them: See, I'm kicking his a** *because I feel like it* ... not because he's made me angry, not because he did something to deserve it. Just because he's there.
Me: So you do whatever you feel like?
Me: and that is self control?
Them: Sure.
Me: We both agree that's not self control lol
Them: Without explaining a lot of **** I don't feel like explaining, I can't make you understand.
Me: In a court of law, to intend to kill someone separates Murder from Manslaughter. One lacks self control and one does not.
Me: lol anyways my philosophy is probably the exact opposite. Control your lower desires, to actualize ones self
Them: So you're into self-denial, which is contradictory to being happy.
Me: It depends what you mean by being happy. If giving into your lower desires is being happy then rape is moral in your code.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After that the conversation ended and they had to head out.

I can't blame them really. How could you justify a world where rape is acceptable? How could you justify a world with no self control?

It seems morally clear that there is a need, a moral principle, and a value in this idea we've conceived as Self control.

It allows one to reach higher levels of happiness and live a better life in general.

It's something for all of us to contemplate on next time we let our emotions or desires get out of hand.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Philosophy of a Hero


Rosling's World - A documentary about Hans Rosling
(Advisory: Video only for those 18 years or older)

~~~~~~~~~

Truly a great man:

  • 1) A doctor for 20 years in Africa, willing to sacrifice his life to battle a foreign disease.
  • 2) A Professor teaching the best things in the world to his students
  • 3) A lecturer inspiring the world to change through the invisible hand of statistics.
  • 4) A compassion and love for humanity, that it should emanate in all his actions.

What more can we ask of such a man, except that he leads as an example for us all.

Philosophy and Analysis of Climate Change - Global Warming - CO2 Significance on Global Temperatures


This may be just because of ignorance on my side but I can't seem to find any evidence of the significance of CO2 in our atmosphere contributing to Global warming. (Let alone that being from man-made sources or not)

Here is what I did learn that I was unsure about before:

~~~~~

Global Warming Trend
(This section has nothing to do with C02. We're just discussing a trend that the world is warming without discussing it's cause first.)

It seems from all the information in this article, that to deny a trend in rising temperature, seems an assault on science and data itself.

So that means if the data and science is strong, at it appears to be so, then no assault on such data will give you any success, and their opinion that a trend in global warming is occurring would remain victorious.

A review of the data published on the site, that tries to imply a trend in global warming:

So the author says:

"There is simply no room for doubt: the Earth is undergoing a rapid and large warming trend."


I would tend to agree with him on this point because of the data he has presented.

~~~~~~~~~

CO2 level rise

I think at this point it's fairly obvious that 100 years after the Industrial revolution, we have released a lot more CO2 in the air than would have been naturally produced.

So I think just from a common sense perspective, CO2 rising makes sense with the general facts I've observed in the world and learned from history.

Here is a graph to add some evidence to the conversation that CO2 levels have indeed risen:


I am very critical of graphs that have no true zeros for their x-axis, as all people who know statistics should be.

It hides the true significance of the curve upward or downward when you zoom in on a graph like this one does.

You get a much higher trend upward than you would if you had a true zero on the graph.

So to mathematically describe the change better, you could take the highest value, subtract it from the lowest, and divide by the lowest to get a percent change.

So the percent change in carbon dioxide since the 1960's is approximately 19% higher; which is still a significant increase in CO2.

~~~~~~~~~~

Greenhouse Effect - Causation

So the causation between CO2 and Temperature rise is the green house effect.

It seems that CO2 though is much weaker than other influences that warm the earth, historically speaking, and that CO2, historically speaking, has LAGGED temperature.

Meaning in the past first temperature went up, before CO2 went up. That just meant that historically speaking, there always seems to be forces stronger than CO2 that change the earth's temp more.

So what I'm getting at is that even if we accept the common and sound science that CO2 increases temperature, we found it does so weakly, compared to other things that have done it in the past such as large volcanic eruptions.

But that doesn't mean CO2 has no effect, just because it doesn't initiate the change from a cold planet to a hot one. It still helps in the background.

Example:

Imagine you're in a home and that home represents the earth. Now when the sun comes up and the light shines through the windows, the home starts to warm up, but what if during that time, you also had a heater going at 76 degrees?

If the home is 70 degrees, it would take the heater a while to get it to 76, but it's having an effect regardless. At the end of the day the sun is doing most of the hard work, as it'll get it to 76 before the heater does, but again the heater is having a small effect anyways.

So it's wrong to say that the heater has no effect, just like it's wrong to say CO2, even if it's not the initiator of warming cycles, automatically has nothing to do with warming cycles. It still helps.

~~~~~~~~~
Significance

Now here is where my ignorance seems to meet the crux of the argument, or if this was music I'd say here is the crescendo; for the writers we'll say we're getting to the climax :D.

We agree that the world is warming and we also agree CO2, according to current science, through the greenhouse effect contributes to it.

But is the role CO2 plays in our environment significant?
Is it a strong enough force on it's own to cause the types of damage we worry about?

Example:

If I could convince 100 people to all rub their hands together for 10 minutes, at the same time, every day, for 10 years, could we as a group increase the world's temperature?

I think you're probably laughing as you read that, or at least chuckling slightly, because you know that the small amount of heat we create isn't nearly enough to warm the entire earth.

It isn't significant enough.

~~~~~~~

So the question now goes to CO2, is it's power significant enough to rise global temps?

As we admitted before CO2 is hardly the initiator of global temperature changes, historically speaking, but it may have a role in keeping temperatures high and spreading the temperature evenly across the world.

But again, are high CO2 levels, a significant risk to increasing world temperatures?

I can't find any exact proof of that. It may be again because of my own ignorance, but I can't seem to find how significant CO2 specifically is in respect to global temperatures and greenhouse gases.

~~~~~~~

Man Made Greenhouse Gases v.s Naturally Made


So this discussion is about Greenhouse gases, rather than CO2 because as the argument goes, it's their effect that warms the earth, and if they're correct that effect is significant enough to change global temps.

To be exact, here are all greenhouse gases we should worry about according to those that say they're a threat:

Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F).[1]The major greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36–70 percent of the greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 9–26 percent; methane (CH4), which causes 4–9 percent; and ozone (O3), which causes 3–7 percent.[2][3][4] Clouds also affect the radiation balance, but they are composed of liquid water or ice and so have different effects on radiation from water vapor.
Sources:
  1. 1) IPCC (2007). "Chapter 1: Historical Overview of Climate Change Science" (PDF). IPCC WG1 AR4 Report. IPCC. pp. p97 (PDF page 5 of 36). http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter1.pdf. Retrieved 21 April 2009. "To emit 240 W m–2, a surface would have to have a temperature of around −19 °C. This is much colder than the conditions that actually exist at the Earth’s surface (the global mean surface temperature is about 14 °C). Instead, the necessary −19 °C is found at an altitude about 5 km above the surface."
  2. 2) Kiehl, J.T.; Trenberth, K.E. (1997). "Earth's Annual Global Mean Energy Budget" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 78 (2): 197–208. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1997)078>2.0.CO;2. http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/students/courselinks/spring04/atmo451b/pdf/RadiationBudget.pdf. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  3. 3) Schmidt, Gavin (6 Apr 2005). "Water vapour: feedback or forcing?". RealClimate. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=142. Retrieved 21 April 2009.
  4. 4) Russell, Randy (May 16, 2007). "The Greenhouse Effect & Greenhouse Gases". University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Windows to the Universe. http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/climate/greenhouse_effect_gases.html&edu=high. Retrieved Dec 27, 2009.

A simple question comes back to mind when people talk about fighting Climate change:

Is the man-made portion of CO2 WE release significant enough on it's own to cause climate change?

If we only release 1% of all greenhouse gases, then we have no hope in stopping it's effects.
If instead we release 20% or more of all greenhouse gases, we may have some effect if we limit our release of gases.


So how much greenhouse gas do we emit compared to nature? Again this is only an important question if we answer the first one mentioned above, if Greenhouse gases are even a significant factor in Global Warming. If they are the cause of it.

If greenhouse gases are significant, and they're not like my 100 friends that rub their hands in vain, then what percentage of those gases do we contribute?

There is a nice article about this here, which basically states that we only contribute about .28% of the Greenhouse Gases in the air, and that number becomes 5% if we ignore water vapor as climate scientists do because they say it's not a forcing variable. That means if we were to cut all Greenhouse Gas creating processes in half, we'd save only 2.5%.

That fact is unreasonable of course, to cut back by that much, but is a 2.5% savings going to help us much?

Even if it does help us, there's still the other 2.5% that plagues us, so is it worth it?

~~~~~~~

Final Thoughts

So at least we learned some things as we went through this process of analysis.

We learned that warming is occurring and that CO2 levels are rising by about 20% since the 1960's.

But what we learned as far as Greenhouse gases are concerned is that in general, we have a small effect on how much we send into the air.

Only about 5%(ignoring water vapor) of Greenhouse Gases in the air, are up there because of us, and even if we cut all output in half, we'd still have put 2.5% up.

Again that's assuming the 5% we put up there is a significant increase in Global temperatures at all.

So there remains a lot of unanswered questions for me at the end of this.
Maybe that's why this issue isn't definitively decided.

At the end of the day the argument is not about whether the Earth is warming or not, or if we increased levels of CO2.

The argument is about how much of the greenhouse gases we're responsible for and to what extent the amount we put up there affects global temperatures.


If that question was clearly answered I don't think any skeptics would remain.

Until I get a clear answer to that I remain a skeptic of Carbon Taxes, Cap and Trade, and Carbon Regulation.

I'm more concerned with stopping Malaria, Cancer, Poverty, and giving every child a decent Education. I mean even Renewable energy is more important and more dire/urgent a situation than Climate change is now.

Those I think should be our focus and where our priorities stand until the Climatologists can get their argument properly explained.

Free will

(Free will is simply the ability to choose for yourself your own path. Whatever doors or options nature throws at you, at the end of the day, you pick which door you go through and why. Choice; that's the essence of free will.)


Someone had the audacity to claim they had no free will to which I replied:

"Lol :D

In a world where no one has free will, no one should go to jail or be punished for crimes they did, that they had no control over.

In a world where there is no free will, there is no such thing as self control, which means you can't tell people to stop screaming at you, because according to you, they can't control themselves.

To say the world affects me, does not negate free will, it just means "my choices" vary.

Btw I did not choose to write this, so I cannot be blamed for it! :D"


~~~~~~~

Philosophically speaking I mentioned:

  • 1) The injustice of punishment based on the victims necessity to commit evil.
  • 2) The laughable assault on self control, to which any person knows that he or she is in full control of his emotions and reactions.
  • 3) The world constantly giving me new inputs is constantly giving me new options to choose from, and these new inputs that affect me, are still at the mercy of my control when I "choose" the proper output I want generated by the new inputs.

Example:

I am 6 years old and someone shows me I have the power to lie now.

I don't choose to lie a that moment but from then on I have that option and I didn't have that option before that moment.

My epiphany of this act known as lying, has given me a new choice of action.

The environment didn't choose for me to start lying, it only taught me this new possible road I could take, but that if I took it, it would be my choice.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Final Thoughts

I find the best way to remove responsibility for yourself and your actions, is this illusion of believing that you have no free will.

As you saw from my last sentence, the person above can not blame me for my reply, because according to him, I have no control over my actions. :D

To any true philosopher, I feel this concept is amusing to reflect upon, but completely laughable to believe.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Contentment, Fame, and The Human Condition

(Nothing else matters. Our world is complete. Our bliss everlasting. Can we ever feel that way again?)


This won't be the kind of article that tries to propose the answers to a problem, simply because this problem is a part of the human condition. It's a problem that baffles me and takes over a strong majority of my life.

To answer it would quell a lot of secondary and tertiary problems that result because of it but to answer it takes an immense amount of contemplation and forward thought.

~~~~~~~~~~

Contentment

Why am I not content? Why do i want more and why do I not settle for what's obviously amazingly good already?

If you look at my particular situation, I'm in the top 1% of the world's population as a factor of wealth. Most people in the world have significantly less than me, and that fact never escapes my mind, and yet I want more. Why?


Are any people content with what they have or are we all facing this condition together, some facing it better than the rest?

Maybe we can gain clues by looking into the lives of those who live contently. The people that feel they have everything they need to live sufficiently happy.

~~~~

A possible Clue

I saw a great video with philosophers, lawyers, and economists all debating certain issues of the time and one point was raised that really inspired a lot of thought. Go to the 35 minute mark to see the part I'm speaking about.

A reference to the great philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau is made, when he mentions that happiness is the relationship between the gap in what you want and what you're able to get.

So maybe that's it. Maybe I'm so discontented because I know how much greatness awaits out there for the top .001% of the world. Maybe being forced to view such greatness for so many years has skewed my picture of happiness.

In that case, what am I supposed to do? How do I unskew my view of the world and show myself that I'm happy as I am now.

~~~~~~~~~

Fame

This all builds to fame, which can be seen as an outlet to happiness. But most people who have learned anything about fame, know that Fame sucks.

It's hard to be anything but frank about this topic. There is very little upside to the world that is fame because your whole life and privacy is in one quick swoop, annexed and taken over by the world.

Fame is a plague on the life of a person, and one that keeps chipping away at your self esteem and your view of the world.

But I and a lot of others are willing to do certain things to obtain it. Why?

Why isn't our logic strong and clear enough to keep us away from that hole? If given the chance, most people, regardless of how bad they know fame is, do take it. Why?

What is with our human condition that lowers us to these levels and makes us so unsatisfied, and so illogical.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Happiness

At the end of the day, we want fame, and contentment for one simple reason; happiness.

We want that calm bliss, sitting in our boat on the lake, as the water softly ripples beneath us. We want the world to turn endlessly all around us, as we sit, content in our own little world as if nothing can intervene in this sanctified land.

We want felicity. I love that world by the way; it's so poetic and illustrative of the world I'm trying to create.

Felicity, pure pleasure and an endless calm that quells every throb inside us.

So why is that such a hard place to reach, and why can't a member of the top 1% of the world, reach it?

We have more riches than any time before us, and any empire before us, and still we want, desire, and need more?

~~~~~~~

Why are humans so greedy?


Maybe the human condition is simply our inability to look at what we have, and just accept it fully. After all, won't there always be someone who has more?

I can say this fully and with no regrets though: The human condition can not be answered logically and reasoned through. We already have many reasons not to be greedy, yet we still partake in that past time.

To quell my heart in this matter and polish my world view will require an experience or a feeling in this world, that will forever calm me for the rest of my time here.

Whatever experience that is, will make me a better person. It will allow me to enjoy what I have and to stop wanting for more.


If you've found this experience and quelled your desires, than consider yourself the Nobility of the world.


To be without want is to not want to find being; especially through material gains.

May we all reach that felicity some day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Deductive World

(It's our finite truths versus the absolute, but at the end of the day we can't get anywhere without the few finite truths that we have learned. We always start with those assumptions)

There is no real wall between science and philosophy. The only difference between the two is one is a creative and assumed world, while the other is less creative and less open to debate. So first off, you need to put aside this notion that to speak philosophy is not to speak science, that’s not the case.

Philosophy is Math, Logic, and Creativity.
Science is observation, Logic, Math, and preconceived notions that hold credence(Theories/Laws).

ab•so•lute

• free from imperfection; complete; perfect: absolute liberty.
• not mixed or adulterated; pure: absolute alcohol.
• complete; outright: an absolute lie; an absolute denial.
• free from restriction or limitation; not limited in any way: absolute command; absolute freedom.


An Informal Logical argument for living in an inductive, non absolute world
(A world where we know nothing absolutely)


1) Either I my observation and reasoning is limited and imperfect and it will remain that way, or it is perfect and unlimited.

2) Either our observation and reasoning as a species, together, is perfect and absolute, or it’s imperfect and we could all still be incorrect. (The earth being flat, spontaneous generation, etc etc)

3) If my observation and reasoning, and the world’s scientist’s observation and reasoning is imperfect and limited then anything based on that limited observation and reasoning is also imperfect and limited. Therefore it follows that we will never know anything is true or absolute.

4) My reasoning and observations could be faulty. There is no way to prove my reasoning is absolutely correct, or that my observations are completely correct.

5) There will always be doubt and therefore our knowledge will never be Absolute.

That lack of perfection and that inability to prove things absolutely(without any doubt) means anything we try and prove or disprove, or conjecture on (this is 99% likely), is at the end of the day just hearsay. It’s our best guess.

So rather than living my life saying, “It’s more than likely that gravity exists”, I say, “Given the proofs about gravity, I conjecture such and such… ”.
From a scientific standpoint, we haven’t even seen enough observations to make credible theories.

From a scientific perspective, we haven’t even explored enough of our own universe to conjecture about the nature of anything.

But if we use that mentality to color our world, we would never have created the internet, made modern day breakthroughs in medicine, or seen the gigantic feats of engineering that all rely on this faulty inductive science.

I even go so far as to dislike the probability argument. I dislike to hear that something has a more than likely outcome of being true. We all know uncertainty exists, it’s just some of us choose to live our lives knowing it’s there but accepting certain realities.

• The Theory of Gravity
• The Belief in God
• The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy

They are all things I know to be true, even if I can’t deductively prove any of them correct, beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The people thinking it’s my responsibility to prove all those things absolutely are thinking in absurd terms.

Lets accept the doubt that exists in our inductive world, but lets also allow the terms such as “prove, disprove, fact, and fiction”.

To live in a world where we cannot accept the idea of a “fact” is the most absurd idea of all.

Let’s accept our limited, inductive, and imperfect world and stop thinking in terms of probability and uncertainty.

The existence of truth and falsehood cannot be denied.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Philosophy or essence of Law

(The effects of good laws may be enough to change them, even if they're rooted in justice. But what do we do when even those new practical laws become abused or create new effects that give us unforeseen problems?)

I first must pose a situation to define the context of the discussion of law and hopefully make our discussion a bit more practical and down to earth.

A war criminal known for genocide has come to speak at your University. Your friends have decided to go hear him speak and you decide to come along. Unbeknownst (Unknown) to you, they and a group of others are planning to interrupt his speech repeatedly until he stops speaking or they are all taken away.

The speech begins and one by one the chants and screams start. Warnings are issued and the chancellor of the University himself stands to quiet the interruptions. All actions are in vain. Finally police mounted at the entrances start escorting your friends out one by one.

You think in all this commotion, if we should uphold free speech for war criminals and at what point can we silence an individual.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The roots of the argument

A similar situation occurred to me and the first thought that came to my mind was that free speech must be upheld. But then I asked myself why I felt that.

My answer was simple:

"If we deny the right of speech to one person, even justifiably, such a law could be used unjustly to silence us. So to protect us all we exclaim Free speech."

But do you what I did there? I reasoned not on the law itself but it's application. I reasoned unjustly corrupting the application of a good law that might silence evil people who spread discord in the land simply because it's application might be abused.

So that brings up another question.

Should good laws be changed for fear of their application's unjust misuse?

Which poses another question.

Should laws be made on their practicality of application, as it applies to the real world rather than the essence of good and evil?

~~~~~~~~~

Fear

Suddenly I was in murky territory. I was using possible applications or situations of corruptions to make laws. I had forgotten the essence of law itself, which is in my humble opinion, to preserve Good and expel evil for the sake of the citizens of a country, thereby allowing each of them to live safely and justly.

~~~~~~~~~

Back to the example

So some would argue that a war criminal guilty of killing many innocent adults and children does not deserve the right to speak, let alone even live. Most could argue that sincerely I feel.

But most don't argue that simply because they fear for their own right. They fear that a tyrant would abuse and use wide sweeping interpretations of this law to create their own agenda and unjustly silence his opponents.

So I ask myself, Who is correct? How should laws be written? Who's future possible problems with applications of laws should we trust? Do laws have any essence in good and evil whatsoever? Can those laws built on practicality too be abused?

To prove that a law based on the practicality of it's application can be abused and misused, would bring us back to our original problem and now we'd be without the essence of Good and evil.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Arguments of practicality

The drug war as it's called in America is a very good example of this practicality argument. Some say drugs practically can never be removed from society and are the cause of much strife in the land because of their funding of organized crime.

I tend to agree with that position however controversial it may be. I prefer a non organized syndicate any day, over a few thousand more deaths by people who sadly used a substance they shouldn't have. I only make such a distinction, however tough it may be, because I feel the organized crime syndicate would murder equal if not more numbers of people than would members of society whom legally bought and ruined their lives on heroin for instance.

So look what i have done. I have taken away the essence of good and evil in a law, in this case preserving human life and rejection these evil drugs, so that I may make a more practical law that would destroy a good number of organized gangs.

Is the creation of these organized gangs an unforeseen effect of creating laws based on good and evil?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reconciliation

So how can this be reconciled? Am I a walking contradiction? How can the canvas be white and not white at the same time?

If i define something i cannot undefine it at the same time.

Should laws be based on their application, opening a myriad of problems associated with who decides and who is more correct about their future implications; or should they go back to their roots of justice/injustice, good and evil?

Sometimes it's better to pose the question, and contemplate on the answer, rather than grab in the dark for false hope.

In this case I won't grab for the answer, but search for what may be an unending quest for the essence of law.

I will lay one rule down though and that's that the ends will never justify the means and I refuse to use that logic to take a person's right away for a prophecy that may or may not come to fruition.

That is a road filled with death, destruction, evil, corruption, and injustice; something the law can never stand for.

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