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Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 11:53amSanction this postReply
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From an Objectivist's perspective, Haidt's thinking is muddled. To be fair, it is about as clear as thinking can get (his points are crystal clear), but it is nonetheless missing something. Haidt differentiates like the very best of us, but he doesn't integrate very well. This is the mark of a pragmatist, of someone who accepts a bunch of things as a given, and then proceeds -- very carefully and cautiously -- to take highly-defensible baby steps from that original, undefended position.

Of course, you can't get good fruit from a bad tree, so it doesn't really matter in the long run how shiny your apples are.

:-)

Ed




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Post 1

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 11:33amSanction this postReply
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O yes my favorite hobbyy is driving over little old ladies trying to cross the street on Sunday when they are trying to go to church.

That is the best these losers can come up with?



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Post 2

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 3:56pmSanction this postReply
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Oh, c'mon now, Jules!

I mean, I just ran down 37 churchgoers last Sunday! Sheesh, gimme' a break, man. It really was one of my more productive weeks, though. Usually it's only 3 or 4 churchgoers, because most of them are able to move out of the way before impact. You have to learn to spot the folks who walk with a limp. I have to admit to you, though, the 37 number was kind of an unexpected anomaly, because I lucked out by spotting a large group of handicapped folks getting off of a bus in the church parking lot (the poor suckers never saw me coming). Anyway, an achievement like that probably only comes around once in a lifetime. But I'm not going to let it get me down or to hurt my self-esteem. I mean, heck, 3-4 churchgoers a week -- every week -- adds up after a while.

You certainly can't dismiss that kind of stable productivity.

:-)

Ed




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Post 3

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 4:34pmSanction this postReply
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Demmit Ed you must be on commission..over achiever!



Post 4

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 5:17pmSanction this postReply
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ET (not the alien): From an Objectivist's perspective, Haidt's thinking is muddled. ...   but it is nonetheless missing something.

I cannot find it now (there are too many similar) but in my university library, reading all the books on Ethics, I found one (just one) that dealt with "egoism."  However, it did so by asking, "Can Egoism be Moral?"  Clearly, the assumption was that altruism is the standard.  Deontology, pragmatism,  and utilitarianism all were measured against the standard of altruism.  But altruism is just one theory among many.  Maybe, paradoxically, the greatest good for the greatest number requires doing something to others that they do not want done unto themselves.  ... Just saying that only an objective standard can yield a non-contradictory results. 

We Objectivists call it "benevolence" the willingness to help others who are willing to help themselves.  When Hurrican Katrina hit, I posted "The Big Apple vs. The Big Easy" here.  One of our readers was a businessman with a construction company and he emailed me saying that he was sending his own trucks and crews down there.  I offered to send him $100. He told me to send it to the Red Cross, which I did.




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Post 5

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 5:39pmSanction this postReply
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Yes that is one of the biggest fallacies foisted upon our shoulders these scum sucking leeches mistake benevolence and altruism as being the same thing.

Many objectivists donate their time and money to causes that they deem worthy.
I have donated money to the diabetes foundation, the heart and stroke foundation as well as the cross cancer institute.
My wife cut off her hair which was down to her waist and donated it to be made into wigs for people that lose their hair due to the ravages of chemo. Why? Because her best friend was diagnosed with cancer and was dead 6 months later.
I resent greatly these asshats lumping athiests and objectivists as being uncaring brutes that would step over the corpse of their own mother to gain something in their "selfish interests".

We do these things despite being maligned, despite being taxed until we bleed and despite what the tribe thinks of us and demands of us on their moral high horse.



Post 6

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 6:30pmSanction this postReply
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Mike,
Clearly, the assumption was that altruism is the standard.  Deontology, pragmatism,  and utilitarianism all were measured against the standard of altruism. 
I cannot help but to think that what you are saying is that my denunciation of Haidt as an altruism-accepting pragmatist is ill-founded, because deontology -- a totally different kind of ethic -- also suffers from the same basic and popular 'altruism-is-good' misconception.


Now, you normally write in a half-cryptic manner, utilizing metaphor, innuendo, sarcasm, literary license, etc. ad infinitum (ooops, I just noticed that that is a pun!). So I am going to go ahead and just assume that you are saying that -- that my denunciation of Haidt as an altruism-accepting pragmatist is ill-founded, and that it is ill founded because others believe in altruism, too.

Let me be more clear. It may help you understand better, and it may help me understand better. I understand something best when I find myself trying to explain it to someone else. When I philosophically "diagnosed" Haidt as being stricken with a case of pragmatism, I was using the medical method of diagnosis of exclusion. It runs like this:
Q: Is Haidt a metaphysical realist?
A: No, he uses at least some social-metaphysics, where objectivity rests 'inside-of-Gallup-polls' -- i.e., by adopting altruism as ethical via an appeal to nothing other than its social popularity.

Q: Well, if he is not a realist, then what kind of a non-realist is he (idealist, pragmatist, or existentialist)? For instance, is he an idealist?
A: No, he uses empiricism (he looks at the world) to get to his conclusions.

Q: Is he an existentialist?
A: No, he strives for impartiality, explicitly shunning one's personal emotions and motives from both the analysis of the topic in question, and the consequent argument about the topic in question.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Therefore, he's a pragmatist.
So being an altruist doesn't automatically make him a pragmatist. As you've shown, even folks adopting opposite views accept altruism. But being an altruist for the precise reason that he is an altruist -- and then arguing in the manner he does -- makes him a pragmatist (according to my calculations). Only pragmatists simultaneously use an admixture of social metaphysics, empiricism, and impartiality like that.


Ed

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 1/25, 6:33pm)




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Post 7

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 7:42pmSanction this postReply
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Ed, how dare you accuse Michael of using such an under-handed tactic!

It is unlikely he would use such a round-a-bout maneuver to discredit your examination of Mr. Haidt's quote and personal philosophy.

You're imagining things, man, swinging at shadows, there is little in MEM's past that would suggest he would sink to such a level.

Furthermore, your examination of Michael's behavior should be condemned as being ill-founded and malicious. I have never seen such hypocrisy in all my days.

Good day, Ed.

;)



Post 8

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 8:18pmSanction this postReply
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I don't see anything in eds observations as being malicious towards michael in any way kyle, since when does a simple disagreement between two peoples conclusions warrant labeling ed in that way.

Ed is a very observant and rational individual who happens to have a very straight forward and scientific approach to everything. Indeed a true follower of the principle that A is A. Anyway I don't need to defend him he can do that himself quiet eloquently.

As to your post kyle ill just cover my nose with some kleenex and sneeze (bullsh*t!!)
(Edited by Jules Troy on 1/25, 8:19pm)




Post 9

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 3:42amSanction this postReply
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Ed, you are imaging an argument where none exists.  I was agreeing with you.   But I am happy that arguing with me helped you understand your own opinion.

Kyle, it is not a big thing, really.  If we were sitting in a coffee shop once a week for an hour and a half having to discuss the same topics, we have have far fewer misunderstandings; but less would be said.  No one listens to the volume of words in a typical post.  But we understand each other better when we speak in person. 




Post 10

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 6:13amSanction this postReply
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Kyle,

You are funny! When I first saw your pen name, it looked fake -- kind of like Roger Prometheus Biodome III, or something -- but I couldn't figure out the code (your real name) until now, until now when you offered up a picture of yourself when you were just a teenager.

Thanks for visiting our boards here, Keanu. I absolutely loved the Matrix movies, and it's a pleasure to have celebrities around.

Ed

:-)

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 1/26, 6:16am)




Post 11

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 6:26amSanction this postReply
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Cool I just gave a celeb the finger! Lol lol lol



Post 12

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 7:29amSanction this postReply
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Hey Kean ... er ... well ... I mean ... uh ... Hey K-y-l-e, can I ask you a question?

Please forgive me if I seem a little starstruck and nervous (I suppose you get that a lot). Anyway, my question is:

Is there any relation between you and that guy who first played Superman (Steve Reeves)? I've always wondered about that, but I never in a million lifetimes thought that I would get a chance to actually ask you about it.

:-)

Ed

p.s. I really loved you as the cop-surfer in Point Break, the soul-splitter in Constantine, and the too-curious-for-his-own-good guy in that movie -- sorry, I forget the name (gosh, how dumb do I feel now?!) -- in that movie where cold fusion was discovered and there was going to be a chain reaction or something -- and then Morgan Freeman told you that cold fusion is possible, but no one could live to tell about it.




Post 13

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 7:38amSanction this postReply
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Hey "Kyle",

I have just one more question for you, and then I promise to leave you alone for a while (for at least a few days). When you were surfing all of the various internet discussion forums, never happy with the level of discourse that you were seeing, and then when you first found Rebirth of Reason and starting interacting with the participants and contributors here -- did you quietly say to yourself:

"Hmm, upgrades."

[?]

Ed




Post 14

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 7:49amSanction this postReply
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I loved constantine! Especially when you gave satan the ole finger at the end.




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Post 15

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:30amSanction this postReply
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Finally, someone recognizes me, and by a profile picture no less. That's impressive, Ed, now I'm not so sure that I am The One.

Can you believe that even some of my so-called fans have mistaken me for Brad Pitt when I wear my sun glasses? I mean, I'm not that handsome (but I am more talented).

At least I have some true fans on this forum, people who actually appreciate the movies I'm in.

Jules, did you really like Constantine? I thought the religious overtones were too heavy, and my character was too cynical for my tastes.

Ed, I'm glad you loved The Matrix movies. When I was first offered the role of Thomas A. Anderson (Neo), I hesitated because the movie had such a low budget (well relatively low). But, thanks to the financially savvy, Joel Silver, the budget covered the entire cost of making the movie.

Anyway, thanks for the warm welcome Ed, perhaps this is the beginning of an influx of celebrities onto the site.



Post 16

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 3:19pmSanction this postReply
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For perspective:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwIXhzGUWwk

Ed




Post 17

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 5:50pmSanction this postReply
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I do agree with your assessment as well kyle but what's not to like about gabriel getting fryed and having his wings torn off!





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Post 18

Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 8:29amSanction this postReply
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Here's a quote from a scientific abstract co-authored by Graham J, Haidt J, and Nosek BA:
These findings help to illuminate the nature and intractability of moral disagreements in the American "culture war."

Liberals and conservatives rely on different sets of moral foundations.

Intractability? What these guys get wrong is that they're stuck in a moral dichotomy between liberals and conservatives. Liberals have a morality-of-feelings and conservatives have a morality-of-faith. But neither one of these options is a morality-of-reason -- as Ayn Rand championed. They start their investigative enterprise midstream, wholeheartedly accepting that whatever dominates culture automatically has great validity -- and only things dominant in current culture have such validity. This is social metaphysics on steroids -- the mark of a pragmatist. When JS Mill wanted to discover what it is that ought to be held as a human value, he looked at people and what they valued.

This is the same, tired process all over again -- brought out and repackaged with fancy new terms and whatnot. The right answer isn't found by following JS Mill or CS Peirce into rampant empiricism built on the shaky foundation of public mood, it's found by going back and reading about the nature of man, from Aristotle and Rand (and a few others).

Ed

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 1/29, 8:33am)




Post 19

Sunday, July 28 - 9:56pmSanction this postReply
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More pragmatic Haidt
If morality really does vary by culture, class, politics, and era, then psychologists need a definition of the moral domain that is not based on a list of specific content areas (e.g., justice, rights, and welfare). To meet this need, Haidt and Kesebir (2010, p. 800) proposed an alternative approach that defines moral systems by their function:
Moral systems are interlocking sets of values, virtues, norms, practices, identities, institutions, technologies, and evolved psychological mechanisms that work together to suppress or regulate selfishness and make social life possible
This functionalist approach has at least two advantages over content-based approaches. First, in its emphasis on moral systems it encourages psychologists to look outward, beyond individual minds and psychological mechanisms. Moralities emerge as large numbers of people interact with each other, constrained and enabled by culturally and historically specific sets of institutions and technologies. A second advantage is that this definition makes it possible to recognize a wide variety of societies as constituting moral systems, at least descriptively, even if those societies are structured in ways that many researchers believe to be normatively immoral (e.g., patriarchies and theocracies).
Source:
Mapping the Moral Domain

Recap:
There's no particular reason that man needs such a thing as morality. Instead, it's just a process that you can enter and start debating about mid-stream (if you want to).

Ed

p.s., A bonus quote (from the same article):
Clearly, many values are moral values, even if morality is defined only in terms of welfare and fairness concerns (e.g., benevolence and universalism). However, in seeking to identify a list of the most important values, there is a risk that some common moral concerns or intuitions will be missed. For example, reciprocity, loyalty to one’s team or tribe, and concerns about bodily and spiritual purity are ubiquitous in anthropological accounts of morality, yet they do not appear among Schwartz’s ten values. This may be because Schwartz began with an atheoretical exploratory factor-analytic approach, using Western populations. Even if Westerners care quite a bit about reciprocity (see Cialdini, 2001, ch. 2), they might not list it when asked about their most important trans-situational goals. Individuals are often unable to access the causes of their moral judgments (Haidt & Kesebir, 2010; Wilson, 2002). Furthermore, atheoretical descriptive approaches are limited in their ability to explain why people hold the values they do.
Recap:
Individuals are often unable to access the causes of their moral judgments, but that shouldn't lead us to go back and to check our premises about whether morality is indispensable or not. No, we shouldn't worry about basic or fundamental issues like that. It is perfectly fine that people do not know why they judge things the way they do. I mean, that kind of post-modern, institutionalized ignorance couldn't possibly lead to any kind of societal or worldwide disaster or anything.

:-}




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