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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:31 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
The concept of this thing we call "society" is just that, a concept. It is an abstraction. "Society" isn't out there somewhere. Each individual makes up this thing we call society and society is made up of individuals. You and I are society.


Society CANNOT be an abstraction if you and I are a part of it unless we too are abstractions. The possible subdivisions may be based on an arbitrary division, but the people are solid and their views can be quantified. This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract. Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not.

Quote:
Quote:
This is partially correct. Society is out there right now because, as you say, you and I are part of society.


Only if you hold it as a belief. In the end, you are an individual in spite of the belief in society which remains a concept for individuals such as yourself. Your individuality is not different from the individuality of others.


The combined indivuduality creates the society. If it not a belief that others exist or they hold their own ideas.

Quote:
This thing we call "society" is an abstraction and only true or real as we have imagined it.


We have imagined there are other people besides us who also hold ideas and the concensus of those ideas do not form the belief of that society? How do those imagined people work exactly?


Quote:
It is a concept and is therefore 'real' but not true. It is a fact, but only because we have placed meaning upon it. Is not reality. It is like nation states. They are a fact ... borders are a fact, but they are not real. We made them up. They are a concept. In actual terms, there are no such thing as borders.


Actually, there are borders. They may be arbitrary but they do exist. Just try to cross one without the proper paperwork and you will se quickly how real they are.

Quote:
Quote:
No, society is a reality unless we are an abstract. You claim we are part of society so unless we are not real society is a reality.


No. Nature is not a concept and as human beings are part of nature, we are real too. Society is a concept but mammals are not.


Mammals are a division, which could be considered somewhat arbitrary by some, but a real division. Society is just as real including the divisions contained therein.

Quote:
Animals are real as are humans. We are real. Trees are real. Flowers are real. The earth is real. Ideas are not real. Ideas make up ideologies which are just that ... ideologies. Capitalism and communism are not real. They are ideologies. We also made up religion and the economic structure. Borders are real because we have made them factual. It is a fact that borders exist, but they cannot generally be seen from space. So they are a fact because we have made them so, but they are not true or real. Just as we have also made nationalities factual, but they are not true or real. There are no such thing as nationalities, except that we have made them a fact ..... for us. There are no such things as nationalities. We made it up. Nationalities are conceptual as are borders.


Borders are real but not real? You are going in circles with this logic. People are real. People are grouped to make up societial divisions, but all people form the overall society. Thus, the society is real. Just as a wolf is real and a grouping of wolves creates a pack a group of people create a society.

Quote:
There is no language, English or otherwise, that can make ideology reality. Language itself is not reality; it is just language which is made up of letters which are symbols in themselves. Symbols only attempt to represent that which is. But we tend to get lost in them.


You seem to confuse abstract with arbitrary. Language has a physical existence adn as such is not abstract. It may be an arbitrary creation but it is a real creation.

Quote:
Quote:
I do not believe that is an assumption which can be supported by any factual reference



There you go again .......

Quote:
One could posit the slaves probably disagreed, but that would only be the period during which they were slaves themselves.


Of course. I could have been a slave. You could have been one. We would have both disagreed to being abused.


We could have disagreed or we could have agreed that was the was things were in the society at that time. We may not have liked the treatment but we may not have disliked the societal view either. In some societies it was possible to become a free person who could in turn own their own slaves.

Quote:
Quote:
So you now agree on the subjective nature of cruelty since slavery is now considered cruel but was not then?


There is no subjectivity in cruelty, only in the manipulation of language. If I were the subject, and you the object.... There is no subject/object .... just us.


Perhaps you should review the definition of the term subjective as you seem to have strayed significantly from it in this "example" if that is what it is supposed to be.



Quote:
Quote:
".... since even the religious works of the earlier years supported it .... "


Which is why one should not depend on religious authority, or any other .....


Because the subjective nature of definitions allow for them to change depending on the group and time period. Odd how you now give support to my position after claiming it was incorrect. O:)[/quote]

Quote:
Are you dependent on the authority of religion?


No, but it does indicate the perspecitve of the society at the time. The concept of religion is to quantify a moral code based on diety creation.

Quote:
Will you simply ride the tides of whatever everyone else is saying?


That is how morals are determined for a society. Since morals are an abstract they do not exist other than in the minds of people and it is the combined view of those people that the morals for the society are created. Just as you create the morals you believe should exist. They only exist for you unless you can convince others to accept them and make them part of their beliefs too. In the case of a society and morals the super majority rules.


Quote:
Seems so. would you have done so 300 hundred years ago? If not, please express yourself. I'm not interested in positions, either yours nor mine. Not interested in scoring points.


It is possible. Growing up with the societal norms my views may have been very different as could yours and anyone else. Our views are based on peer pressure and experience, all of which would have been significantly different 300 years ago. The significance can be condensed into one saying ... Free, white, male, and over 21 that was the major decision maker definition 300 years ago. Since then society has tried to make everyone free, remove racial barriers, become more gender equal, and lower the age of majority to 18.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:46 am 
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http://www.livingwellfeelinggood.com/20 ... e-reality/

Social constructionism is the process through which subjective reality (a.k.a., second-order reality) is created. Subjective reality can be contrasted with objective reality (a.k.a., first-order reality) in that it exists in the minds of people and in a social context. Examples of objective reality would include the position of objects in space, the chemical structure of molecules, the force of gravity, and planetary orbits. Examples of subjective reality include all our opinions, ideas, and words for molecules and planets, whether things are good or bad or right or wrong, all thoughts and emotions, political ideologies, religions, and any social phenomenon. In other words, most of what we call reality is actually subjective reality, and we often confuse subjective reality with objective reality, mainly because it seems so real that it seems impossible to us that it actually exists only within the human mind.

Subjective reality can also seem like objective reality when many people agree on and share the subjective reality. For example, there was a time and a place when slavery was considered right and good by the majority, and so it seemed to the people alive then that slavery being right was both real and objective. The same could be said of the belief that the world was flat and the center of the universe, Nazi-ism, and Greek mythology. It is somewhat easy to look back in retrospect and see that these were subjective realities that existed only in people’s minds. It is much more difficult to see that virtually all ideas (yes, even present ideas) are essentially socially constructed within and among human systems.

Social constructionism takes place at all social levels: the intrapsychic (individual), dyad (couples, spouses, partners, siblings), family, societal, and global. In counseling, we mainly work with socially constructed ideas that cause people suffering at levels ranging from the individual to the family and extended family. Here are just a few examples of socially constructed ideas that cause human suffering at these levels.

Problematic “realities” at the level of the individual:

it’s not okay for me to want things
nobody will love me if they really know who I am
I’m not capable of thriving in this life or world
if I’m not constantly vigilant, I will be hurt or taken advantage of
Problematic “realities” at the level of the family:

having to ask for what you want means no one cares about you
people should be able to know how to treat each other without communication
expressing anger or discontent leads to dire consequences or abandonment
change causes more problems than it solves
keeping track of how much everyone contributes prevents being taken advantage of
All of these ideas are socially constructed beliefs that people learn through social context (namely, their family of origin). In collaborative language systems, the aim is to deconstruct these “realities” and construct new “realities” that lead to healthier living and relationships.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:47 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
The concept of this thing we call "society" is just that, a concept. It is an abstraction. "Society" isn't out there somewhere. Each individual makes up this thing we call society and society is made up of individuals. You and I are society.


Society CANNOT be an abstraction if you and I are a part of it unless we too are abstractions.

Are we abstractions? As Wei Wu Wei asked, .... "Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 percent of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself—and there isn’t one.”

And the initial conversation I was having was with Coby, who said:

"
Quote:
And please read again, sows are NOT kept in stalls for three years; only for farrowing."


Quote:
Yes, for farrowing. What else are they there for? Their purpose is to reproduce. When are they not farrowing? They are schlepped from farrowing crate to farrowing crate. Endlessly until they die. And this is their life! How can you justify it? I am asking you Cobie. Do you hide behind the 'broad shoulders' of so called abstract principles and 'solid people' as Wayne puts it? Are morals and cruelty abstract principles? You seem to have dropped out of the conversation.

Quote:
Wayne says:" The possible subdivisions may be based on an arbitrary division, but the people are solid and their views can be quantified. This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract. Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not."


"The people are solid"? What do you mean by that?

Quote:
"This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract."

Okay. What do you mean by that?

"Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not."

Uhm ... morals and cruelty are abstract, but society is not?

Did we make this up or didn't we. Did we make slavery okay? Was it okay then?







No luv. No. Society decides on morality and cruelty. Society is abstract, but we are not. We are individuals and it is individuals who make up society.


Or is it an abstract principle?

out there right now because, as you say, you and I are part of society.


Only if you hold it as a belief. In the end, you are an individual in spite of the belief in society which remains a concept for individuals such as yourself. Your individuality is not different from the individuality of others.[/quote]

The combined indivuduality creates the society. If it not a belief that others exist or they hold their own ideas.

Quote:
This thing we call "society" is an abstraction and only true or real as we have imagined it.


We have imagined there are other people besides us who also hold ideas and the concensus of those ideas do not form the belief of that society? How do those imagined people work exactly?


Quote:
It is a concept and is therefore 'real' but not true. It is a fact, but only because we have placed meaning upon it. Is not reality. It is like nation states. They are a fact ... borders are a fact, but they are not real. We made them up. They are a concept. In actual terms, there are no such thing as borders.


Actually, there are borders. They may be arbitrary but they do exist. Just try to cross one without the proper paperwork and you will se quickly how real they are.

Quote:
Quote:
No, society is a reality unless we are an abstract. You claim we are part of society so unless we are not real society is a reality.


No. Nature is not a concept and as human beings are part of nature, we are real too. Society is a concept but mammals are not.


Mammals are a division, which could be considered somewhat arbitrary by some, but a real division. Society is just as real including the divisions contained therein.

Quote:
Animals are real as are humans. We are real. Trees are real. Flowers are real. The earth is real. Ideas are not real. Ideas make up ideologies which are just that ... ideologies. Capitalism and communism are not real. They are ideologies. We also made up religion and the economic structure. Borders are real because we have made them factual. It is a fact that borders exist, but they cannot generally be seen from space. So they are a fact because we have made them so, but they are not true or real. Just as we have also made nationalities factual, but they are not true or real. There are no such thing as nationalities, except that we have made them a fact ..... for us. There are no such things as nationalities. We made it up. Nationalities are conceptual as are borders.


Borders are real but not real? You are going in circles with this logic. People are real. People are grouped to make up societial divisions, but all people form the overall society. Thus, the society is real. Just as a wolf is real and a grouping of wolves creates a pack a group of people create a society.

Quote:
There is no language, English or otherwise, that can make ideology reality. Language itself is not reality; it is just language which is made up of letters which are symbols in themselves. Symbols only attempt to represent that which is. But we tend to get lost in them.


You seem to confuse abstract with arbitrary. Language has a physical existence adn as such is not abstract. It may be an arbitrary creation but it is a real creation.

Quote:
Quote:
I do not believe that is an assumption which can be supported by any factual reference



There you go again .......

Quote:
One could posit the slaves probably disagreed, but that would only be the period during which they were slaves themselves.


Of course. I could have been a slave. You could have been one. We would have both disagreed to being abused.


We could have disagreed or we could have agreed that was the was things were in the society at that time. We may not have liked the treatment but we may not have disliked the societal view either. In some societies it was possible to become a free person who could in turn own their own slaves.

Quote:
Quote:
So you now agree on the subjective nature of cruelty since slavery is now considered cruel but was not then?


There is no subjectivity in cruelty, only in the manipulation of language. If I were the subject, and you the object.... There is no subject/object .... just us.


Perhaps you should review the definition of the term subjective as you seem to have strayed significantly from it in this "example" if that is what it is supposed to be.



Quote:
Quote:
".... since even the religious works of the earlier years supported it .... "


Which is why one should not depend on religious authority, or any other .....


Because the subjective nature of definitions allow for them to change depending on the group and time period. Odd how you now give support to my position after claiming it was incorrect. O:)[/quote]

Quote:
Are you dependent on the authority of religion?


No, but it does indicate the perspecitve of the society at the time. The concept of religion is to quantify a moral code based on diety creation.

Quote:
Will you simply ride the tides of whatever everyone else is saying?


That is how morals are determined for a society. Since morals are an abstract they do not exist other than in the minds of people and it is the combined view of those people that the morals for the society are created. Just as you create the morals you believe should exist. They only exist for you unless you can convince others to accept them and make them part of their beliefs too. In the case of a society and morals the super majority rules.


Quote:
Seems so. would you have done so 300 hundred years ago? If not, please express yourself. I'm not interested in positions, either yours nor mine. Not interested in scoring points.


It is possible. Growing up with the societal norms my views may have been very different as could yours and anyone else. Our views are based on peer pressure and experience, all of which would have been significantly different 300 years ago. The significance can be condensed into one saying ... Free, white, male, and over 21 that was the major decision maker definition 300 years ago. Since then society has tried to make everyone free, remove racial barriers, become more gender equal, and lower the age of majority to 18.[/quote]


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:04 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
The concept of this thing we call "society" is just that, a concept. It is an abstraction. "Society" isn't out there somewhere. Each individual makes up this thing we call society and society is made up of individuals. You and I are society.


Society CANNOT be an abstraction if you and I are a part of it unless we too are abstractions.

Are we abstractions? As Wei Wu Wei asked, .... "Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 percent of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself—and there isn’t one.”

And the initial conversation I was having was with Coby, who said:

"
Quote:
And please read again, sows are NOT kept in stalls for three years; only for farrowing."


Quote:
Yes, for farrowing. What else are they there for? Their purpose is to reproduce. When are they not farrowing? They are schlepped from farrowing crate to farrowing crate. Endlessly until they die. And this is their life! How can you justify it? I am asking you Cobie. Do you hide behind the 'broad shoulders' of so called abstract principles and 'solid people' as Wayne puts it? Are morals and cruelty abstract principles? You seem to have dropped out of the conversation.

Quote:
Wayne says:" The possible subdivisions may be based on an arbitrary division, but the people are solid and their views can be quantified. This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract. Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not."


"The people are solid"? What do you mean by that?

Quote:
"This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract."

Okay. What do you mean by that?

"Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not."

Uhm ... morals and cruelty are abstract, but society is not?

Did we make this up or didn't we. Did we make slavery okay? Was it okay then?







No luv. No. Society decides on morality and cruelty. Society is abstract, but we are not. We are individuals and it is individuals who make up society.


Or is it an abstract principle?

out there right now because, as you say, you and I are part of society.


Only if you hold it as a belief. In the end, you are an individual in spite of the belief in society which remains a concept for individuals such as yourself. Your individuality is not different from the individuality of others.


The combined indivuduality creates the society. If it not a belief that others exist or they hold their own ideas.

Quote:
This thing we call "society" is an abstraction and only true or real as we have imagined it.


We have imagined there are other people besides us who also hold ideas and the concensus of those ideas do not form the belief of that society? How do those imagined people work exactly?


Quote:
It is a concept and is therefore 'real' but not true. It is a fact, but only because we have placed meaning upon it. Is not reality. It is like nation states. They are a fact ... borders are a fact, but they are not real. We made them up. They are a concept. In actual terms, there are no such thing as borders.


Actually, there are borders. They may be arbitrary but they do exist. Just try to cross one without the proper paperwork and you will se quickly how real they are.

Quote:
Quote:
No, society is a reality unless we are an abstract. You claim we are part of society so unless we are not real society is a reality.


No. Nature is not a concept and as human beings are part of nature, we are real too. Society is a concept but mammals are not.


Mammals are a division, which could be considered somewhat arbitrary by some, but a real division. Society is just as real including the divisions contained therein.

Quote:
Animals are real as are humans. We are real. Trees are real. Flowers are real. The earth is real. Ideas are not real. Ideas make up ideologies which are just that ... ideologies. Capitalism and communism are not real. They are ideologies. We also made up religion and the economic structure. Borders are real because we have made them factual. It is a fact that borders exist, but they cannot generally be seen from space. So they are a fact because we have made them so, but they are not true or real. Just as we have also made nationalities factual, but they are not true or real. There are no such thing as nationalities, except that we have made them a fact ..... for us. There are no such things as nationalities. We made it up. Nationalities are conceptual as are borders.


Borders are real but not real? You are going in circles with this logic. People are real. People are grouped to make up societial divisions, but all people form the overall society. Thus, the society is real. Just as a wolf is real and a grouping of wolves creates a pack a group of people create a society.

Quote:
There is no language, English or otherwise, that can make ideology reality. Language itself is not reality; it is just language which is made up of letters which are symbols in themselves. Symbols only attempt to represent that which is. But we tend to get lost in them.


You seem to confuse abstract with arbitrary. Language has a physical existence adn as such is not abstract. It may be an arbitrary creation but it is a real creation.

Quote:
Quote:
I do not believe that is an assumption which can be supported by any factual reference



There you go again .......

Quote:
One could posit the slaves probably disagreed, but that would only be the period during which they were slaves themselves.


Of course. I could have been a slave. You could have been one. We would have both disagreed to being abused.


We could have disagreed or we could have agreed that was the was things were in the society at that time. We may not have liked the treatment but we may not have disliked the societal view either. In some societies it was possible to become a free person who could in turn own their own slaves.

Quote:
Quote:
So you now agree on the subjective nature of cruelty since slavery is now considered cruel but was not then?


There is no subjectivity in cruelty, only in the manipulation of language. If I were the subject, and you the object.... There is no subject/object .... just us.


Perhaps you should review the definition of the term subjective as you seem to have strayed significantly from it in this "example" if that is what it is supposed to be.



Quote:
Quote:
".... since even the religious works of the earlier years supported it .... "


Which is why one should not depend on religious authority, or any other .....


Because the subjective nature of definitions allow for them to change depending on the group and time period. Odd how you now give support to my position after claiming it was incorrect. O:)[/quote]

Quote:
Are you dependent on the authority of religion?


No, but it does indicate the perspecitve of the society at the time. The concept of religion is to quantify a moral code based on diety creation.

Quote:
Will you simply ride the tides of whatever everyone else is saying?


That is how morals are determined for a society. Since morals are an abstract they do not exist other than in the minds of people and it is the combined view of those people that the morals for the society are created. Just as you create the morals you believe should exist. They only exist for you unless you can convince others to accept them and make them part of their beliefs too. In the case of a society and morals the super majority rules.


Quote:
Seems so. would you have done so 300 hundred years ago? If not, please express yourself. I'm not interested in positions, either yours nor mine. Not interested in scoring points.


It is possible. Growing up with the societal norms my views may have been very different as could yours and anyone else. Our views are based on peer pressure and experience, all of which would have been significantly different 300 years ago. The significance can be condensed into one saying ... Free, white, male, and over 21 that was the major decision maker definition 300 years ago. Since then society has tried to make everyone free, remove racial barriers, become more gender equal, and lower the age of majority to 18.[/quote][/quote]


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:41 am 
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"
Quote:
That is how morals are determined for a society. Since morals are an abstract they do not exist other than in the minds of people and it is the combined view of those people that the morals for the society are created. Just as you create the morals you believe should exist. They only exist for you unless you can convince others to accept them and make them part of their beliefs too. In the case of a society and morals the super majority rules."


The "super majority" rules? Wow. Everything is settled then.
The "super majority" rules.
No need for anyone to post anything ever again.
It has been decided.
The "super majority" rules.
Done.

Everyone else can just shut the f##k up now.


Mind if I talk to Cobie now? Or anyone else who cares to speak in relative terms?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:02 am 
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Quote:
Wayne said: That is how morals are determined for a society. Since morals are an abstract they do not exist other than in the minds of people and it is the combined view of those people that the morals for the society are created. Just as you create the morals you believe should exist. They only exist for you unless you can convince others to accept them and make them part of their beliefs too. In the case of a society and morals the super majority rules."



No Wayne, I absolutely disagree. And so did Aristotle.
it is possible to think beyond the confines you seem to insist on.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:03 am 
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Quote:
Mammals are a division, which could be considered somewhat arbitrary by some, but a real division. Society is just as real including the divisions contained therein.


Mammals are not our creation. We did not create mammals. We can not take responsibility or credit for the fact that there are mammals. We have classified mammals into distinct groups. We are mammals, but we cannot take credit for being mammals even though we have classified ourselves into a certain group of mammals.

Nature is nature and mammals are a part of nature, as are we. We can classify al we want and since we can, we do. It'd fun, so why not?

Society is a mental construct. We are part of nature but the concept or idea of society is something that we made up. It is not real in the same sense that nature is real.

So no, society is not "just as real" nor are the divisions contained therein. Whatever divisions contained within society are divisions we made up.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:25 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
The concept of this thing we call "society" is just that, a concept. It is an abstraction. "Society" isn't out there somewhere. Each individual makes up this thing we call society and society is made up of individuals. You and I are society.


Society CANNOT be an abstraction if you and I are a part of it unless we too are abstractions.


Are we abstractions? As Wei Wu Wei asked, .... "Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 percent of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself—and there isn’t one.”


We are not abstractions.


Quote:
Quote:
Wayne says:" The possible subdivisions may be based on an arbitrary division, but the people are solid and their views can be quantified. This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract. Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not."


"The people are solid"? What do you mean by that?


They have physical form so cannot be abstractions.

Quote:
Quote:
"This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract."

Okay. What do you mean by that?


Just what I said. If there is a phyical form then by definition that form cannot be an abstraction.

Quote:
"Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not."

Uhm ... morals and cruelty are abstract, but society is not?


Yes, society is made up of physical beings and thus cannot be an abstraction.

Quote:
Did we make this up or didn't we. Did we make slavery okay? Was it okay then?


We made arbitrary decisions, which said it was ok then and not ok now.



Quote:
No luv. No. Society decides on morality and cruelty. Society is abstract, but we are not. We are individuals and it is individuals who make up society.


You really do not understand the meaning of "abstract" do you? A flock of chickens is not an abstract is it? It is made up of the physical forms of an number of chickens. Society is made up of the physical forms of a number of humans. Society is the flock for humans.


Quote:
Or is it an abstract principle?


Morals and cruelty are abstracts because they have no physical form and also no permanent definition.



Quote:
Quote:
Only if you hold it as a belief. In the end, you are an individual in spite of the belief in society which remains a concept for individuals such as yourself. Your individuality is not different from the individuality of others.


The combined indivuduality creates the society. If it not a belief that others exist or they hold their own ideas.


It is not a belief that others exist, that they hold their own ideas, or that the consensus of those ideas will create the moral code for the society they form.

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“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
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"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:36 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
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Wayne said: That is how morals are determined for a society. Since morals are an abstract they do not exist other than in the minds of people and it is the combined view of those people that the morals for the society are created. Just as you create the morals you believe should exist. They only exist for you unless you can convince others to accept them and make them part of their beliefs too. In the case of a society and morals the super majority rules."



No Wayne, I absolutely disagree. And so did Aristotle.
it is possible to think beyond the confines you seem to insist on.


Really? His views on slavery seem to be different than what you have presented, which indicates an error in this line of reasoning you have given us. If he is wrong on slavery in relation to morals then what else is he in error? Or if he is not in error then you must be, right?

http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/ ... avery.html


Slavery -- natural or conventional?
Aristole's theory of slavery is found in Book I, Chapters iii through vii of the Politics. and in Book VII of the Nicomachean Ethics

Aristotle raises the question of whether slavery is natural or conventional. He asserts that the former is the case. So, Aristotle's theory of slavery holds that some people are naturally slaves and others are naturally masters. Thus he says:

But is there any one thus intended by nature to be a slave, and for whom such a condition is expedient and right, or rather is not all slavery a violation of nature?

There is no difficulty in answering this question, on grounds both of reason and of fact. For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.

This suggests that anyone who is ruled must be a slave, which does not seem at all right. Still, given that this is so he must state what characteristics a natural slave must have -- so that he or she can be recognized as such a being. Who is marked out for subjugation, and who for rule? This is where the concept of "barbarian" shows up in Aristotle's account. Aristotle says:

But among barbarians no distinction is made between women and slaves, because there is no natural ruler among them: they are a community of slaves, male and female. Wherefore the poets say,
It is meet that Hellenes should rule over barbarians;
as if they thought that the barbarian and the slave were by nature one.
So men rule naturally over women, and Greeks over barbarians! But what is it which makes a barbarian a slave? Here is what Aristotle says:

Where then there is such a difference as that between soul and body, or between men and animals (as in the case of those whose business is to use their body, and who can do nothing better), the lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master. For he who can be, and therefore is, another's and he who participates in rational principle enough to apprehend, but not to have, such a principle, is a slave by nature. Whereas the lower animals cannot even apprehend a principle; they obey their instincts. And indeed the use made of slaves and of tame animals is not very different; for both with their bodies minister to the needs of life. Nature would like to distinguish between the bodies of freemen and slaves, making the one strong for servile labor, the other upright, and although useless for such services, useful for political life in the arts both of war and peace. But the opposite often happens--that some have the souls and others have the bodies of freemen. And doubtless if men differed from one another in the mere forms of their bodies as much as the statues of the Gods do from men, all would acknowledge that the inferior class should be slaves of the superior. And if this is true of the body, how much more just that a similar distinction should exist in the soul? but the beauty of the body is seen, whereas the beauty of the soul is not seen. It is clear, then, that some men are by nature free, and others slaves, and that for these latter slavery is both expedient and right.
So the theory is that natural slaves should have powerful bodies but be unable to rule themselves. Thus, they become very much like beasts of burden, except that unlike these beasts human slaves recognize that they need to be ruled. The trouble with this theory, as Aristotle quite explicitly states, is that the right kind of souls and bodies do not always go together! So, one could have the soul of a slave and the body of a freeman, and vice versa! Nonetheless, apparently because there are some in whom the body and soul are appropriate to natural slavery, that is a strong body and a weak soul, Aristotle holds that there are people who should naturally be slaves. It also seems that men naturally rule women and that bararians are naturally more servile than Greeks! This seems like an odd, indeed arbitrary, way for the virtues of the soul to be distributed! Las Casas deals with a similar problem in regard to the native peoples of the Americas.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Mammals are a division, which could be considered somewhat arbitrary by some, but a real division. Society is just as real including the divisions contained therein.


Mammals are not our creation. We did not create mammals. We can not take responsibility or credit for the fact that there are mammals. We have classified mammals into distinct groups. We are mammals, but we cannot take credit for being mammals even though we have classified ourselves into a certain group of mammals.

Nature is nature and mammals are a part of nature, as are we. We can classify al we want and since we can, we do. It'd fun, so why not?

Society is a mental construct. We are part of nature but the concept or idea of society is something that we made up. It is not real in the same sense that nature is real.

So no, society is not "just as real" nor are the divisions contained therein. Whatever divisions contained within society are divisions we made up.


You clearly have confused arbitrary with abstract and then lost connection with reality in relation to society. How is that herd of elephants a mental construct? That is the same as the determination of a society being a mental construct when it is made up of individual humans.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:13 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
Quote:
Mammals are a division, which could be considered somewhat arbitrary by some, but a real division. Society is just as real including the divisions contained therein.


Mammals are not our creation. We did not create mammals. We can not take responsibility or credit for the fact that there are mammals. We have classified mammals into distinct groups. We are mammals, but we cannot take credit for being mammals even though we have classified ourselves into a certain group of mammals.

Nature is nature and mammals are a part of nature, as are we. We can classify al we want and since we can, we do. It'd fun, so why not?

Society is a mental construct. We are part of nature but the concept or idea of society is something that we made up. It is not real in the same sense that nature is real.

So no, society is not "just as real" nor are the divisions contained therein. Whatever divisions contained within society are divisions we made up.


You clearly have confused arbitrary with abstract and then lost connection with reality in relation to society. How is that herd of elephants a mental construct? That is the same as the determination of a society being a mental construct when it is made up of individual humans.


A herd of elephants is not a mental construct nor is a herd of humans. Nor is nature.

What is the relationship of the individual to society? Does society exists for the individual, or does the individual exist for society? Society exists for the fruition of man; it exists to give freedom to the individual so that he may have the opportunity to awaken the highest intelligence. Intelligence is never static. The individual is not static, while society tends to be.

Society is made up, put together for the convenience of man and has no independent mechanism of its own. Humans may capture society, guide it, shape it, tyrannize over it, depending upon their psychological states; but society is not the master of humans.

We are social entities as well as individuals; we are citizens as well as humans. If there is to be peace, we have to understand the right relationship between the man and the citizen. Of course, the State would prefer us to be entirely citizens; but that is the stupidity of government. To be a citizen is easier than to be an individual. To be a good citizen is to function efficiently within the pattern of a given society. Efficiency and conformity are demanded of the citizen but a "good citizen" is not necessarily a good individual. A good individual is bound to be a right citizen, not of any particular society or country. The citizen attempts to sacrifice the individual; but the individual who is thinking for himself will naturally shun the stupidities of the citizen. So the State will be against the individual, the person of intelligence while an individual is free from all governments and countries. He's not crying beer tears into his Budweiser when he hears the national anthem.

The State, the present society, is not concerned with the individual as much as it is concerned with the citizen. We are individuals before we are "citizens" or "Americans", etc., etc.

So I am asking you, as an individual, who is capable of standing apart from society, whether it was the society of 300 years ago or present day society ..... to come around for a cup of tea!

You seem to be unable, thus far, from having a simple conversation with me without bringing in the abstractions of concepts. You are not a concept. You are solid.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:04 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
Mammals are a division, which could be considered somewhat arbitrary by some, but a real division. Society is just as real including the divisions contained therein.


Mammals are not our creation. We did not create mammals. We can not take responsibility or credit for the fact that there are mammals. We have classified mammals into distinct groups. We are mammals, but we cannot take credit for being mammals even though we have classified ourselves into a certain group of mammals.

Nature is nature and mammals are a part of nature, as are we. We can classify al we want and since we can, we do. It'd fun, so why not?

Society is a mental construct. We are part of nature but the concept or idea of society is something that we made up. It is not real in the same sense that nature is real.

animal-friendly wrote:
So no, society is not "just as real" nor are the divisions contained therein. Whatever divisions contained within society are divisions we made up.


You clearly have confused arbitrary with abstract and then lost connection with reality in relation to society. How is that herd of elephants a mental construct? That is the same as the determination of a society being a mental construct when it is made up of individual humans.


animal-friendly wrote:
A herd of elephants is not a mental construct nor is a herd of humans. Nor is nature.



A herd of humans is a society thus the society is not a mental construct.

Quote:
What is the relationship of the individual to society?


The indivisula is a part of the society.

Quote:
Does society exists for the individual, or does the individual exist for society?


Neither. The society exists because of the individuals though.


Quote:
Society exists for the fruition of man; it exists to give freedom to the individual so that he may have the opportunity to awaken the highest intelligence. Intelligence is never static. The individual is not static, while society tends to be.


Now you have gone off into the abstract again. Society does not exist for the benefit or the harm of man, it merely exists and what man does with the interaction within the society can be helpful or harmful.

Quote:
Society is made up, put together for the convenience of man and has no independent mechanism of its own. Humans may capture society, guide it, shape it, tyrannize over it, depending upon their psychological states; but society is not the master of humans.


So when humans dictate that slavery is good for the society then slavery is good for that society.

Quote:
We are social entities as well as individuals; we are citizens as well as humans. If there is to be peace, we have to understand the right relationship between the man and the citizen. Of course, the State would prefer us to be entirely citizens; but that is the stupidity of government. To be a citizen is easier than to be an individual. To be a good citizen is to function efficiently within the pattern of a given society. Efficiency and conformity are demanded of the citizen but a "good citizen" is not necessarily a good individual. A good individual is bound to be a right citizen, not of any particular society or country. The citizen attempts to sacrifice the individual; but the individual who is thinking for himself will naturally shun the stupidities of the citizen. So the State will be against the individual, the person of intelligence while an individual is free from all governments and countries. He's not crying beer tears into his Budweiser when he hears the national anthem.

The State, the present society, is not concerned with the individual as much as it is concerned with the citizen. We are individuals before we are "citizens" or "Americans", etc., etc.


Now you are confusing government with society.

Quote:
So I am asking you, as an individual, who is capable of standing apart from society, whether it was the society of 300 years ago or present day society ..... to come around for a cup of tea!


Preferably Earl Grey.

Quote:
You seem to be unable, thus far, from having a simple conversation with me without bringing in the abstractions of concepts. You are not a concept. You are solid.


I am solid, but what you have tired to present as "solid" is not and thus the presentation is flawed.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:35 am 
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The concept of this thing we call "society" is just that, a concept. It is an abstraction. "Society" isn't out there somewhere. Each individual makes up this thing we call society and society is made up of individuals. You and I are society.


Quote:
Society CANNOT be an abstraction if you and I are a part of it unless we too are abstractions. The possible subdivisions may be based on an arbitrary division, but the people are solid and their views can be quantified. This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract. Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not.


And you and I are part of this thing we call society. Yet when you hide behind it, it becomes an abstraction. You and I must be able to take responsibility, as individuals. So please do come for a cup of Earl Grey. But if you do come for a cuppa, please come as an individual.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:32 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
The concept of this thing we call "society" is just that, a concept. It is an abstraction. "Society" isn't out there somewhere. Each individual makes up this thing we call society and society is made up of individuals. You and I are society.


Quote:
Society CANNOT be an abstraction if you and I are a part of it unless we too are abstractions. The possible subdivisions may be based on an arbitrary division, but the people are solid and their views can be quantified. This is a physical existence and as such cannot be abstract. Morals and cruelty are indeed abstract principles, but the society which decides which they believe is not.


And you and I are part of this thing we call society. Yet when you hide behind it, it becomes an abstraction.


No, that makes no sense at all. If you hide behind a wall it does not become an abstraction. The reference to something with phyiscal form does not change that form.

Quote:
You and I must be able to take responsibility, as individuals.


Yes, and that responsibility for the individual can be based on the individuals views, but also based on the views of the collective of individuals we call society. You believe crates are cruel. Farmers who have raised hogs for decades do not. How do you conclude your view is the "correct" one and the farmer's views are not? The number of people which agree with you? No, that would be the majority view you have been claiming is invalid. The natural laws written down for the universe to follow? No, as you have no such laws available. What then? Your view that you and your views are somehow more important than anyone else's views? That would seem to be the most rational explanation as to how your views become the right views throughout all of history and into the future as you also believe there can be no change to "right" and "wrong" based on the views of the society.

So we now know your references to Aristotle cannot be trusted because he did not understand that slavery was wrong and thus his views of any other "right" or "wrong" decision must be suspect. The problem is that most of the references you can find outside of our modern society will have the same variations in the view of right and wrong, which either means the moral code changes with the society as I have claimed or only you and possibly a very few others are the ones who "know" what none have known throughout all of recorded history. Think of the odds of either of these two cases being the correct one, buy a lottery ticket, with better odds of winning than your position being correct, and use your winnings to buy up the hogs and keep them out of the hands of farmers.

Quote:
So please do come for a cup of Earl Grey. But if you do come for a cuppa, please come as an individual.


It is hard to come as anything else unless one has a multiple personality disorder. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:31 am 
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Wayne: Borders are real but not real? You are going in circles with this logic. People are real. People are grouped to make up societial divisions, but all people form the overall society. Thus, the society is real. Just as a wolf is real and a grouping of wolves creates a pack a group of people create a society.


Its not that I am going in circles as much as it is that you do not understand. But that you do not understand is okay.

Borders are very real. And they are real because we said so. We have organized them in an even more complex and divisive way so that, depending on which border one aims to cross, one might either be harassed, searched, raped, or even killed. So yes, I know about borders. They are real.

Yet borders are still abstract. God does not say they are real. Aliens do not say they are real. The Big Bang and the evolution of the universe and all the species within it did not say they are real. There is actually no scientific evidence to say that borders are real. Borders are social constructs. We made them up. But we did not make up any form of nature, including ourselves.

In fact, borders have such an impact on the lives of people yet are not even as real as a blade of grass. They are not part of the natural world, but are definitely part of the conceptual world which we are perfectly capable of having created. And we did. So there is real and there is true. Borders are real but not true. No need for confusion in this understanding.

So you talk about how slavery was fine and good ...... and that even the slaves agreed to it because it was what was happening at the time ..... but the slave songs, the lamenting, the suffering that has been recorded from that time would disagree with you. Your view seems to be that of a moral nihilist, or maybe a kid in 4th grade who got caught pulling a pig tail and when caught said, ..... but everyone is doing it so it must be okay .... You would not have been that child who stood apart from it and said, wait a minute .... that is wrong and i will not do it.

I also do not misunderstand the subject-object view. Again, its understandable that you have misunderstood, but when you do not have the meaning, you can always ask for clarification.

After all, we ARE having a discussion because what would be the point of arguing.


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