Is it right to ban?!

Discussions that deal with moral issues. Key questions in ethics include: How should one live? What is right (or wrong) to do? What is the best way for humans to live?

Is it right to ban?!

Postby owleye on February 26th, 2012, 12:43 pm 

Olala wrote:Why does the perpetual touch
of a woman's words
scorn you so
the reading of my thoughts
were not meant to upset the remaining
course of your days
yet i see the brute
among the crowd
still wishes to make himself known
see him best his chest
and try to roar
i caution the kitten
in lions armor
who taunts its wounded prey
watch for it soon will turn
to strike with a deadly blow
you say u do not hunger now
yet u attend
the feast
and you gorge till you have devourered
all that i am
and not that i have purged myself
from your belly
you wish to send me into a rage
but u can not anger
that which only has pittie
for thee


I confess I didn't read your poem, despite (or because) that I have the impression that it was probably a lament. I didn't read it as I couldn't help but wonder whether you actually wanted to make a case against the topic question. Perhaps you couldn't make a case because you didn't know how to or because you thought it would be more effective to lay it out obscurely, where we can gain insight into it by merely grasping it and taking it up as our own. Thus, by my not reading, I won't gain that benefit.

Nevertheless it is an important question. As mild-mannered as I think I am about things (or perhaps because of it) I was once banned from a philosophy site on the basis that the site owner excluded any discussion of incest. Perhaps 'ban' was too strong a term, as it was rather the threat to 'ban' if I persisted that brought about my exit. Basically what it amounted to is the site owner laying down rules to which participants are expected to adhere. It becomes an enforceable contract in the sense in which one can be banned (by whatever techniques the site owner has at its disposal), where the site owner explicitly or implicitly establishes a governing body with a legislative, executive and judiciary, having a variety of grievance procedures, etc. and so forth.

Such rules of conduct might be considered contextual, or within the jurisdiction of the site owner, the site owner having discretion within a larger jurisdiction, say one covering all conduct on the internet, or perhaps a subset of which is broadly understood by the term 'site ownership'. And as there is the potential for gate keepers, and the allowance thereto granted by the powers that be that have jurisdiction over them, one might be worried about establishing rights (in the form of liberties) to shut down (ban) traffic -- the right to silence, the right to censor, generally. Where one has the power, one has freedom. As such we should worry.

In the U.S., we are moving rather quickly I think to an authoritarian state, one which is anathema to the notion of it being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, where it is presumed that any power the government has is that which the people (according to its general or common will) grant to it. What seems to have happened is that such power has corrupted the government and it has taken it as its own, setting up a division between the people and its government.

As I turned on the radio the other day I began listening to a debate that has a bearing on this topic, I think. It was a debate on one side of which was the group known as "Anonymous" and on the other side some authoritarian scholar who taught a class on "Ethical Hacking." Unfortunately I only got in late to it and only heard the tail end of an ex-member of the Anonymous group, while I heard the "rebuttal" from this scholar, whose defense seemed to be to belittle the group suggesting that they were a bunch of hoodlums who broke the law (and even if they didn't break the law, what they did was wrong because they didn't have the consent they should have had).

Obviously by the way I cast the debate above, you can tell which side I'm on, politically, but in a practical sense, I do believe that there is merit to an orderly society and so it is necessary to establish rules by which we should conduct ourselves and to have them enforced (on the basis that we, generally, aren't (yet) able to govern ourselves). What's needed, however, is some way to be able to enforce rules on the enforcer such that they also will be held accountable for their misdeeds. Power corrupts, and we need a way, short of revolution, to reign it in.

James
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby Keep_Relentless on March 11th, 2012, 3:03 am 

Are we addressing restrictions generally? For there is much more to the word "ban" than "ban from academic internet forums".

There are many issues raised by the notion of banning, obviously. The all-encompassing points are:
-Does universality exist ethically?
-Consequentialism or deontology?
-How and by whom are the conditions of the above determined?

The conditions being,
1. If consequentialism, what end?
2. If universality, what is universal?
3. If deontology, what is the moral code?

In my opinion, one individual passing judgement is far more presumptuous than on even such topics as religion.
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby Keep_Relentless on March 11th, 2012, 3:06 am 

CanadysPeak wrote:Am I missing the point? What has this to do with ethics?

The question "Is banning okay?" is almost a central question in the field of ethics, because it deals with questions of control, free will, and rights.
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby Keep_Relentless on March 11th, 2012, 3:35 am 

owleye wrote:I confess I didn't read your poem, despite (or because) that I have the impression that it was probably a lament. I didn't read it as I couldn't help but wonder whether you actually wanted to make a case against the topic question. Perhaps you couldn't make a case because you didn't know how to or because you thought it would be more effective to lay it out obscurely, where we can gain insight into it by merely grasping it and taking it up as our own. Thus, by my not reading, I won't gain that benefit.

Nevertheless it is an important question. As mild-mannered as I think I am about things (or perhaps because of it) I was once banned from a philosophy site on the basis that the site owner excluded any discussion of incest. Perhaps 'ban' was too strong a term, as it was rather the threat to 'ban' if I persisted that brought about my exit. Basically what it amounted to is the site owner laying down rules to which participants are expected to adhere. It becomes an enforceable contract in the sense in which one can be banned (by whatever techniques the site owner has at its disposal), where the site owner explicitly or implicitly establishes a governing body with a legislative, executive and judiciary, having a variety of grievance procedures, etc. and so forth.

Such rules of conduct might be considered contextual, or within the jurisdiction of the site owner, the site owner having discretion within a larger jurisdiction, say one covering all conduct on the internet, or perhaps a subset of which is broadly understood by the term 'site ownership'. And as there is the potential for gate keepers, and the allowance thereto granted by the powers that be that have jurisdiction over them, one might be worried about establishing rights (in the form of liberties) to shut down (ban) traffic -- the right to silence, the right to censor, generally. Where one has the power, one has freedom. As such we should worry.

In the U.S., we are moving rather quickly I think to an authoritarian state, one which is anathema to the notion of it being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, where it is presumed that any power the government has is that which the people (according to its general or common will) grant to it. What seems to have happened is that such power has corrupted the government and it has taken it as its own, setting up a division between the people and its government.

As I turned on the radio the other day I began listening to a debate that has a bearing on this topic, I think. It was a debate on one side of which was the group known as "Anonymous" and on the other side some authoritarian scholar who taught a class on "Ethical Hacking." Unfortunately I only got in late to it and only heard the tail end of an ex-member of the Anonymous group, while I heard the "rebuttal" from this scholar, whose defense seemed to be to belittle the group suggesting that they were a bunch of hoodlums who broke the law (and even if they didn't break the law, what they did was wrong because they didn't have the consent they should have had).

Obviously by the way I cast the debate above, you can tell which side I'm on, politically, but in a practical sense, I do believe that there is merit to an orderly society and so it is necessary to establish rules by which we should conduct ourselves and to have them enforced (on the basis that we, generally, aren't (yet) able to govern ourselves). What's needed, however, is some way to be able to enforce rules on the enforcer such that they also will be held accountable for their misdeeds. Power corrupts, and we need a way, short of revolution, to reign it in.

James

Very sensible James.
Incest is perhaps the largest taboo, even including murder, rape and theft. Strongest and most consistently enduring. Even animals avoid it, an evolutionary reinforcement to our prejudice. If you want to test the intellectual limits of a person, one of the best things to mention is incest, in my experience. I have inquired into it very thoroughly and my personal conclusion is that there should be reproductive limits among first cousins and closer for the short term, and nothing further. It has been shown that in the long-term, with consistency, incest is actually beneficial! This was the idea of the Ancient Egyptians among others, though many aristocracies simply wished to "preserve the purity of blood" (though this is close enough).

Though I am no particular fan of Immanuel Kant at all, it is made quite clear in his moral philosophy that, as each individual is their own moral authority, they are capable of doing whatever they please (though he lays down a moral code which attempts to control actions for the better as defined by him). Realise this for everybody, and realise that each individual only knows their own world and their own happiness and so only logically regards their self, and we have total anarchy, which ironically is theoretical perfection.
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby Keep_Relentless on March 11th, 2012, 6:06 am 

So, do we care to chip away at the heart of ethics, one of the largest fields of philosophy, or is this a simple rant thread? :P
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby owleye on March 11th, 2012, 2:09 pm 

Keep_Relentless wrote:
Though I am no particular fan of Immanuel Kant at all, it is made quite clear in his moral philosophy that, as each individual is their own moral authority, they are capable of doing whatever they please (though he lays down a moral code which attempts to control actions for the better as defined by him). Realise this for everybody, and realise that each individual only knows their own world and their own happiness and so only logically regards their self, and we have total anarchy, which ironically is theoretical perfection.


You may want to adjust your ideas on Kant as or when you read the implications of his Foundations, which I assume is the essay where you obtained your opinion, though it might also be derived from the CPR (or possibly CPrR). In his writings on Ethics and Politics you will see how it all plays out in the real world (in practice). (I can be wrong of course in this assumption.) In his paper "What is Enlightenment", for example, or "On Perpetual Peace", you will find how the idea of "self-governance" is rather more of a hope than an actuality. He doesn't express it quite that way, reserving 'hope' or 'legitimate hope' for his understanding of the after life. Nevertheless, these concepts, as understood by Kant, fall in the category of ideals as does all moral conduct, generally.

James
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby Keep_Relentless on March 11th, 2012, 7:33 pm 

owleye wrote:
Keep_Relentless wrote:
Though I am no particular fan of Immanuel Kant at all, it is made quite clear in his moral philosophy that, as each individual is their own moral authority, they are capable of doing whatever they please (though he lays down a moral code which attempts to control actions for the better as defined by him). Realise this for everybody, and realise that each individual only knows their own world and their own happiness and so only logically regards their self, and we have total anarchy, which ironically is theoretical perfection.


You may want to adjust your ideas on Kant as or when you read the implications of his Foundations, which I assume is the essay where you obtained your opinion, though it might also be derived from the CPR (or possibly CPrR). In his writings on Ethics and Politics you will see how it all plays out in the real world (in practice). (I can be wrong of course in this assumption.) In his paper "What is Enlightenment", for example, or "On Perpetual Peace", you will find how the idea of "self-governance" is rather more of a hope than an actuality. He doesn't express it quite that way, reserving 'hope' or 'legitimate hope' for his understanding of the after life. Nevertheless, these concepts, as understood by Kant, fall in the category of ideals as does all moral conduct, generally.

James

Probably... I touched on his CI (Categorical Imperative) chiefly... they wouldn't say that between Kant and Plato all of philosophy is a set of footnotes for nothing, haha, though IMO the most popular ideas barely even correspond to the best, much like music :P
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby Keep_Relentless on March 11th, 2012, 7:37 pm 

Regardless... again, my question: Do we care to chip away at the heart of ethics, one of the largest fields of philosophy, or is this a simple rant thread?

We might as well be productive. The rest is all up also:
-Does universality exist ethically?
-Consequentialism or deontology?
-How and by whom are the conditions of the above determined?
The conditions being,
1. If consequentialism, what end?
2. If universality, what is universal?
3. If deontology, what is the moral code?

Or we can continue a lovely discussion on incest. :P
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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby owleye on March 12th, 2012, 12:32 am 

Keep_Relentless wrote:Probably... I touched on his CI (Categorical Imperative) chiefly... they wouldn't say that between Kant and Plato all of philosophy is a set of footnotes for nothing, haha, though IMO the most popular ideas barely even correspond to the best, much like music :P


If you're going to make use of the philosophy of certain philosophers to make some point, it would help if you actually understood the philosopher's philosophical position with respect to that point. While I'm a mere amateur philosopher, I take seriously that philosophers of note are noteworthy because they have in their genius contributed something to the history of philosophy worthy of our paying attention to. While it may be true that such contributions are dated and can be said to be influenced by the intellectual climate of their day, the best among them stand out because they have wrestled with the very problems you, I, and everyone here has attempted in our own way to come to grips with. And more than likely their ideas are more penetrating than anything we are capable of coming up with. As for me, I'm pretty sure that none of the ideas I claim as my own are the least bit original.

Though I didn't expect anyone to respond in the way you did to a comment of mine that I'd made some months ago, I should add that I was referring to a much earlier time, probably some 20 years ago, a time in which I'd had little education in philosophy, though, of course, I'd had some philosophy way, way back when I first entered college. I'd always had an interest, but found the subject matter way too difficult for me to handle. It was only in my later years that philosophy became easier for me. I count myself as a late bloomer. I re-entered college after the above-mentioned experience expressly to learn as much as I could. It was from this experience that I realized that I was but an infant in the discipline, having much to learn from the masters. I chose one of the most difficult philosophers to understand, namely Immanuel Kant, for my thesis project, picking on one small part of it, namely his philosophy of mathematics, or more specifically, his philosophy of space. Alas, circumstances prevented me from completing the project and I failed to attain my degree, but I gained nevertheless, because that's how one makes gains, through the hard work of really understanding the arguments that someone of Kant's stature is making. True, even as late as Kant, his arguments never reach the standards of rigor that modern philosophers do, but fortunately, most modern philosophers tackle Kant's work in just the way I did, and have clarified those arguments. (Note that the Foundations essay I mentioned in which the C.I. is given -- namely the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals -- is one long argument.) Studying the arguments is the only way I am able to make gains. If I don't know how a particular position is argued for, I'm in no position to challenge it.

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Re: Is it right to ban?!

Postby Keep_Relentless on March 12th, 2012, 12:35 am 

owleye wrote:
Keep_Relentless wrote:Probably... I touched on his CI (Categorical Imperative) chiefly... they wouldn't say that between Kant and Plato all of philosophy is a set of footnotes for nothing, haha, though IMO the most popular ideas barely even correspond to the best, much like music :P


If you're going to make use of the philosophy of certain philosophers to make some point, it would help if you actually understood the philosopher's philosophical position with respect to that point. While I'm a mere amateur philosopher, I take seriously that philosophers of note are noteworthy because they have in their genius contributed something to the history of philosophy worthy of our paying attention to. While it may be true that such contributions are dated and can be said to be influenced by the intellectual climate of their day, the best among them stand out because they have wrestled with the very problems you, I, and everyone here has attempted in our own way to come to grips with. And more than likely their ideas are more penetrating than anything we are capable of coming up with. As for me, I'm pretty sure that none of the ideas I claim as my own are the least bit original.

Though I didn't expect anyone to respond in the way you did to a comment of mine that I'd made some months ago, I should add that I was referring to a much earlier time, probably some 20 years ago, a time in which I'd had little education in philosophy, though, of course, I'd had some philosophy way, way back when I first entered college. I'd always had an interest, but found the subject matter way too difficult for me to handle. It was only in my later years that philosophy became easier for me. I count myself as a late bloomer. I re-entered college after the above-mentioned experience expressly to learn as much as I could. It was from this experience that I realized that I was but an infant in the discipline, having much to learn from the masters. I chose one of the most difficult philosophers to understand, namely Immanuel Kant, for my thesis project, picking on one small part of it, namely his philosophy of mathematics, or more specifically, his philosophy of space. Alas, circumstances prevented me from completing the project and I failed to attain my degree, but I gained nevertheless, because that's how one makes gains, through the hard work of really understanding the arguments that someone of Kant's stature is making. True, even as late as Kant, his arguments never reach the standards of rigor that modern philosophers do, but fortunately, most modern philosophers tackle Kant's work in just the way I did, and have clarified those arguments. (Note that the Foundations essay I mentioned in which the C.I. is given -- namely the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals -- is one long argument.) Studying the arguments is the only way I am able to make gains. If I don't know how a particular position is argued for, I'm in no position to challenge it.

James

Thank you, point taken most graciously. x)
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