How Bad Philosophy ruined the World

65


Discussion by: realthinktank

There is only one set of morals that all humans should live by, and that set of morals can be decided upon by humans.  If that statement made you pause or cringe, it is because of bad philosophy. Perhaps your mind is already filled with counter arguments like, "Who are you to say that you know how everyone should live?" or "There are many different cultures and we should respect their morals as unique to their culture.  In the end it's subjective" or even "Morals have no meaning if it is man made. It has to exist outside of man, created by god, for it to be objective and true" If you have these objections or some form of them, then once again, I blame bad philosophy.  While early bad philosophy can be attributed to the unchallenged widespread belief in the supernatural and the general lack of knowledge in all aspects of reality from the natural world to human experience, philosophy today has no excuse for not clearing up the intellectual confusion left behind by ancient philosophy. (And really, this is the last frontier for philosophy)  The trepidation and fear that bad philosophy has instilled in modern educated people when asked to define what is good and what is evil, is keeping us from creating a better society, and that is why it is important to have a rational discussion on morals and not surrender it to the assumptions of bad philosophy.

65 COMMENTS

  1. @realthinktank

    You are talking about bad philosophy as if the aspect of diversity in philosophy is your enemy. You seem to ignore that first of all you talk about a set of morals. That shows that you understand that humanity equals diversity. There are not two exact similar humans so we are diverse. By saying that we should live under this imaginary set of rules that you see as unique and correct you implement the fact that this is hypothetically idealistic by saying should.

    Bad philosophy is a term that should be used for incorrect conclusions in the field of philosophy. But the only thing you show is fear of diversity. You want one guideline that not only is your path through life but everyone else’s too! Even if I wish more homogeneity in what people take as rules to live their lives I am enough of a realist to see that philosophy tries to cope with the factual heterogeneity in our society. And it is not the cause but used correctly a scientific method to understand humans. It derived from the first attempts to explain the unexplicable but now belongs to what we call sciences!

    You say that you can decide what is good and what is evil!
    So here you are. The number of people on this planet is way too high so that our existence causes problems that could end our existence on earth. We now know a lot about the human part in the environmental changes occurring over the last 50 years.

    But the number of people on the planet is not the cause of the problems but one of the symptoms. We are doing things we better shouldn’t do because we lack of the ability to think in really long terms. Knowing this the question is what can we do about this? The moment you start trying to change something you start causing an enormous social collateral damage by shutting down industries and other facilities. Just make the proposal to the US to shout down their ridiculous military. What do you think will happen to the American economy?

    Saying we should all follow one set of morals is very narrow minded and blaming so called “bad philosophy” for it, is even more narrow minded. It seems that you have never thought about dilemma problems so you don’t understand the meaning of philosophy at all! Clean unified theories of how to live have already killed millions. Your unique set of morals is an ideology just the same like political or religious ideologies.

  2. @realthinktank

    You are talking about bad philosophy as if the aspect of diversity in philosophy is your enemy. You seem to ignore that first of all you talk about a set of morals. That shows that you understand that humanity equals diversity. There are not two exact similar humans so we are diverse. By saying that we should live under this imaginary set of rules that you see as unique and correct you implement the fact that this is hypothetically idealistic by saying should.

    Bad philosophy is a term that should be used for incorrect conclusions in the field of philosophy. But the only thing you show is fear of diversity. You want one guideline that not only is your path through life but everyone else’s too! Even if I wish more homogeneity in what people take as rules to live their lives I am enough of a realist to see that philosophy tries to cope with the factual heterogeneity in our society. And it is not the cause but used correctly a scientific method to understand humans. It derived from the first attempts to explain the unexplicable but now belongs to what we call sciences!

    You say that you can decide what is good and what is evil!
    So here you are. The number of people on this planet is way too high so that our existence causes problems that could end our existence on earth. We now know a lot about the human part in the environmental changes occurring over the last 50 years.

    But the number of people on the planet is not the cause of the problems but one of the symptoms. We are doing things we better shouldn’t do because we lack of the ability to think in really long terms. Knowing this the question is what can we do about this? The moment you start trying to change something you start causing an enormous social collateral damage by shutting down industries and other facilities. Just make the proposal to the US to shout down their ridiculous military. What do you think will happen to the American economy?

    Saying we should all follow one set of morals is very narrow minded and blaming so called “bad philosophy” for it, is even more narrow minded. It seems that you have never thought about dilemma problems so you don’t understand the meaning of philosophy at all! Clean unified theories of how to live have already killed millions. Your unique set of morals is an ideology just the same like political or religious ideologies.

  3. The simple answer to all questions regarding origins of morality, or other concepts such as justice or beauty is the same answer as to why so many educated people today believe in the supernatural and question science. They have been brainwashed by bad philosophy. The bad philosophy boils down to the statement “there are things that science cannot explain” or “there is a lot we don’t know”. The trick of this statement is that these statements are not made to actually acknowledge how much we have yet to learn, but rather to open the uncritical mind to the existence of the world of the supernatural. The supernatural realm is where morality, beauty, the soul, love, gods, and other unexplained human experiences are kept hidden from rational investigation. A rational approach to understanding morality could begin by asking “who does the morality pertain to?”. Morality exists only when discussing the intention of humans towards other beings that can experience suffering. For example, if a person kills another person it could be seen as “evil” unless done in self defense. Or if we harm animals or even plants, the moral question comes up. But how would morality show itself in another planet where only rocks and gases exist? The concept of good and evil is born in a world where lifeforms can experience suffering and death which is an axiom for altruism which itself is a natural result of evolved brains that are able to connect the suffering of others to the welfare of the host or of group solidarity. The ability to label acts as good and evil and define morality within a complex social setting arrives once brains evolve to be able to make those connections . Inevitably, humans, who have the brain power to practice altruism within a complex social structure, further solidify the role of morals in group survival by adding accountability, which is the beginnings of justice.
    Basically, the point is that those who believe in the supernatural due to bad philosophy or wishful thinking, have created a world that is really just a scapegoat for their ego and a smokescreen for their ignorance. It is not the result of rational thinking, thus when people try to define morality or anything else as being part of this “other world” or being created by a god (there are a lot of different ways rebranding the concept, but it all comes down to the lack of understanding and respect for the scientific enterprise coupled with the logical fallacy that the things we do not know are potentially unknowable because they are locked away in a supernatural realm which, due to our brain’s ability to create and manipulate definitions of explanatory concepts, such as gods, is endowed the axiomatic property of having, by definition, the power to explain everything and anything without the oversight of rational thought or investigation of evidence.

  4. speaking of bad philosophy you seem to be posting a massive example.

    There is only one set of morals that all humans should live by, and that set of morals can be decided upon by humans.

    what is it?

    If that statement made you pause or cringe, it is because of bad philosophy.

    you keep saying this but give no argument. It sounds like freudism. “everyone is repressed” “I’m not” ” saying that shows you are repressed”.

    So I argue that moral codes have some basis in human nature and “natural law” (The Golden Rule, broad agreement on rape, theft and murder) but also there is a arbitary culturally dependent element (are these immoral? taking bribes, stealing to feed your children, drinking alcohol). You say I have “bad philosophy”. Why? In what sense?

    Perhaps your mind is already filled with counter arguments like, “Who are you to say that you know how everyone should live?” or “There are many different cultures and we should respect their morals as unique to their culture. In the end it’s subjective”

    yep. and you make no attempt to refute them

    or even “Morals have no meaning if it is man made. It has to exist outside of man, created by god, for it to be objective and true”

    as an atheist I’m not going to give that argument!

    If you have these objections or some form of them, then once again, I blame bad philosophy.

    boring…

    While early bad philosophy can be attributed to the unchallenged widespread belief in the supernatural and the general lack of knowledge in all aspects of reality from the natural world to human experience, philosophy today has no excuse for not clearing up the intellectual confusion left behind by ancient philosophy. (And really, this is the last frontier for philosophy)

    you really don’t know much about philosophy do you?

    The trepidation and fear that bad philosophy has instilled in modern educated people when asked to define what is good and what is evil,

    evil is doing unnecessary harm to others.

    is keeping us from creating a better society, and that is why it is important to have a rational discussion on morals and not surrender it to the assumptions of bad philosophy.

    you first need to define Bad Philosophy

    personally I think bad morals are caused by strawberry kipper doogles

  5. So “bad philosophy” is philosophy that you don’t agree with? What you seem to be saying is that the whole philosophical discipline of ethical philosophy is a waste of time. I think that is more or less what Sam Harris thinks as well although he doesn’t put it that bluntly but he essentially says that our common sense view of morality is just fine thank you and no need to worry about things like the “Is Ought problem”.

    I agree that a lot of philosophy is “bad philosophy” in the sense that it’s pointless wrangling over things like the meaning of words and or it’s just pseudoscience (e.g. just about anything that goes by the label post modern philosophy). But I don’t at all agree that all ethical philosophy is pointless nor that all the ethical issues such as the “is ought problem” are solved.

    I’ve been listening to Chomsky on philosophy on Youtube and one of the things that I love in one of his talks is the way he relates back to Galileo. Chomsky says that the beginning of good science (and good philosophy) is the willingness to be surprised and ask questions. For example before Galileo and Newton intellectuals thought that there was nothing more to say about why steam rises and apples fall, they are just seeking their “natural place” in the universe and that is all we need to or can say. It was people like Galileo and Newton who were willing to go beyond the accepted answer that people took for granted that put us on the path of developing calculus and the laws of motion.

    In the same way, there are legitimate questions in ethical philosophy even if some people don’t care about or understand them.

    • In reply to #4 by Red Dog:

      I think that is more or less what Sam Harris thinks as well although he doesn’t put it that bluntly but he essentially says that our common sense view of morality is just fine thank you and no need to worry about things like the “Is Ought problem”.

      Sam Harris does dismiss the “Is Ought Problem,” and for good reasons (if you can’t get an “ought” from an “is,” then where DO you get it from?), but he never said anything about “our common sense view of morality” being “just fine.”

      • In reply to #7 by secularjew:

        In reply to #4 by Red Dog:
        Sam Harris does dismiss the “Is Ought Problem,” and for good reasons (if you can’t get an “ought” from an “is,” then where DO you get it from?),

        I think there is an answer to your question but it would take some time to go into it. But the simple answer to your question is this: just saying “well there is no other answer I can think of so it must be X” is not a rational argument. That is the same type of argument from incredulity that creationists use. As Mr Spock says in one of the original Star Trek episodes the starting point for scientific inquiry is to say “I don’t know”

        but he never said anything about “our common sense view of morality” being “just fine.”

        Well no he didn’t use those exact words but if you read The Moral Landscape that is IMO essentially what he is saying. “We all know terrorists are evil people so there is no need to worry about philosophical questions like the is ought problem” is essentially what I heard him say.

        • In reply to #8 by Red Dog:

          …the simple answer to your question is this: just saying “well there is no other answer I can think of so it must be X” is not a rational argument.

          That’s not the case here, though. “Ought” is a term that implies a desired goal and a way of achieving it in a given physical reality, both of which are a type of “is.” To drive a car, you “ought” to turn on the ignition, put the car in drive, and press the gas pedal. Your desire or need to drive the car and the way the car is constructed make up the “is,” and the “ought” comes out of that. In fact, an “ought” that does not come out of any type of “is” becomes meaningless. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we can illogically get any “ought” from any “is.” Harris argues that the wellbeing of conscious creatures is rooted in a physical reality (“is”) and if we are concerned with morality (“is”), then the “ought” must be determined from that.

        • In reply to #8 by Red Dog:

          In reply to #7 by secularjew:

          In reply to #4 by Red Dog:
          Sam Harris does dismiss the “Is Ought Problem,” and for good reasons (if you can’t get an “ought” from an “is,” then where DO you get it from?),

          I think there is an answer to your question but it would take some time to go into it. But the s…

          But Sam Harris is much too smart not to know that ones terrorist is the other ones hero. And that this is the best sign for a kind of development in our moral thinking. This changes througout time and societies and Sam Harris knows that!

          • In reply to #48 by Joseph Wolsing:

            ones terrorist is the other ones hero

            That makes the Israel/Palestine situation a perfect illustration of tribalism and why universal moral standards, that are logically necessary, are not applied , or even thought of, in the current politically divided state of the world.

  6. ” If that statement made you pause or cringe”, well it shouldn´t as some rights are intended to function as “natural law”.
    If you don´t recognize naturally your own rights, don´t worry, perhaps someone just had figured it out for you, but what a pity that you seem not to recognize it with no”artificialism”.

  7. @OP – While early bad philosophy can be attributed to the unchallenged widespread belief in the supernatural and the general lack of knowledge in all aspects of reality from the natural world to human experience, philosophy today has no excuse for not clearing up the intellectual confusion left behind by ancient philosophy. (And really, this is the last frontier for philosophy)

    In modern times earlier forms of philosophy have evolved (and if you like “speciated”).

    Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature (from Latin philosophia naturalis) was the philosophical study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science. It is considered to be the precursor of natural sciences such as physics.

    Natural science historically developed out of philosophy or, more specifically, natural philosophy.

    At older universities, long-established Chairs of Natural Philosophy are nowadays occupied mainly by physics professors.

    Modern meanings of the terms science and scientists date only to the 19th century. The naturalist-theologian William Whewell was the one who coined the term “scientist”. The Oxford English Dictionary dates the origin of the word to 1834.

    Before then, the word “science” meant any kind of well-established knowledge and the label of scientist did not exist.

    200 years ago philosophy was a jumbled mixture of knowledge, fact and fiction, – science, history, mental perambulations, and woo, – but in the 19th. century scientific philosophy, mathematics, scientific knowledge, logical reasoning, and scientific methodology, started separating from what is now left as the rump-end of theosophy! – The pseudo-science, and pseudo-explanations, of supernatural gods, and their demands on humans – with the associated fallacies and semantic mental contortions, – to square the circular triangles of thought, these beliefs require.

    Theosophy – Wikipedia,

    Theosophy (from Greek θεοσοφία theosophia, from θεός theos, divine + σοφία sophia, wisdom; literally “divine wisdom”), refers to systems of esoteric philosophy concerning, or investigation seeking direct knowledge of, presumed mysteries of being and nature, particularly concerning the nature of divinity.

    Theosophy is considered a part of the broader field of esotericism, referring to hidden knowledge or wisdom that offers the individual enlightenment and salvation. The word esoteric dates back to the 2nd century CE.[1] The theosophist seeks to understand the mysteries of the universe and the bonds that unite the universe, humanity, and the divine. The goal of theosophy is to explore the origin of divinity and humanity, and the world. From investigation of those topics, theosophists try to discover a coherent description of the purpose and origin of the universe.

    @- realthinktank – I think this is the division and historical split of philosophy, and university philosophy/theology departments, you are looking for in the OP.

  8. The “ought is” problem is another example of bad philosophy. Good and evil do not exist independently of human brains as philosophy might insinuate, they are defined by how our nervous systems reacts to stimuli. Our brains rationalize that pain and suffering is to be avoided, thus bad or evil, yes evil. We mix in human intentions and are our brains create a more narrowly defined “bad”, but it all originates from our evolution as a species. Ofcourse we get our ought from is. To philosophical problem is only difficult if you insert a supernatural realm outside of reality that houses such essences as good and evil.

    • In reply to #10 by Realthinker:

      The “ought is” problem is another example of bad philosophy. Good and evil do not exist independently of human brains as philosophy might insinuate, they are defined by how our nervous systems reacts to stimuli.

      I agree that good and evil are strictly human inventions but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a logical problem there.

      Our brains rationalize that pain and suffering is to be avoided, thus bad or evil, yes evil.

      And if all humans in the world thought that utilitarianism was the only rational ethical system I agree there wouldn’t be much of a problem. Actually even in that case there could still be a logical inconsistency but I agree it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if humans all agreed about ethical values. The point is that not all ethical systems agree that suffering is the most important thing or the only thing that matters in ethics. For some systems (e.g. Rawls) suffering or well being are not the most important issue it is justice or fairness. For other moral systems it is neither it is just doing the will of God. And there are many others besides that. Just waiving your hands and saying those people are wrong because they are “faith heads” is not a rational argument.

      We mix in human intentions and are our brains create a more narrowly defined “bad”, but it all originates from our evolution as a species. Ofcourse we get our ought from is. To philosophical problem is only difficult if you insert a supernatural realm outside of reality that houses such essences as good and evil.

      It is really a simple question that you haven’t answered. I agree btw going from Ought to Is, that is trivial. Once you have some value statement such as “the ultimate goal of morality is to maximize well being” THEN going from that to understanding ways to measure well being, to increase it, etc. that all makes sense but how you get that initial foundation is the problem and Harris never gives an answer except to say “well it’s obvious we all want more well being” even though it isn’t obvious at all and lots of people don’t consider that the foundation for morality.

      • In reply to #11 by Red Dog:

        If morality is not concerned with questions of wellbeing, then what is it concerned with? Divorced from “wellbeing”, the concept of morality becomes meaningless. You mentioned justice and fairness as an example of an alternate system, but they too have to do with wellbeing. We wouldn’t be concerned with them if they weren’t.

        • In reply to #12 by secularjew:

          If morality is not concerned with questions of wellbeing, then what is it concerned with? Divorced from “wellbeing”, the concept of morality becomes meaningless. You mentioned justice and fairness as an example of an alternate system, but they too have to do with wellbeing. We wouldn’t be concerned with them if they weren’t.

          Is well-being akin to any positive or negative sentient experience? If so, then isn’t this a form of ethical hedonism?

          • In reply to #14 by Zeuglodon:

            Wellbeing is more complex than just mere pleasure and encompasses all conscious experiences. To use an analogy, pleasure to wellbeing is as an orgasm is to health.

          • In reply to #16 by secularjew:

            In reply to #14 by Zeuglodon:

            Wellbeing is more complex than just mere pleasure and encompasses all conscious experiences. To use an analogy, pleasure to wellbeing is as an orgasm is to health.

            I’m not sure that analogy makes sense. Are you saying that pleasure is just a subset of positive conscious experiences? If so, then it doesn’t seem to be too much trouble to point out that pleasure can be a broad category containing all positive conscious experiences, not just stereotypical “hedonistic” pleasures like sex, food, and partying, but also things like spiritual ecstasy, awe, wonder, familial love, feelings of honour, and so on. It has to be set in a context, granted – pleasure doesn’t occur in a vacuum, and has a timespan – but it seems to me that well-being is rooted in such psychological valence in (at least) human consciousness. If you disagree, I’d like to know what you’d consider a counterexample, if you don’t mind.

          • In reply to #17 by Zeuglodon:

            Wellbeing is more general. Being happy or healthy or content is all part of wellbeing, but it’s not necessarily what we would refer to as pleasure. Of course, if you define pleasure to mean any conscious experience that isn’t negative, it could fit, but I think that would be taking liberties with the language. Pleasure is a specific thing and it involves a conscious experience of enjoyment. It would be incorrect or unusual to refer to any state of not-suffering, for example, as pleasure.

          • In reply to #18 by secularjew:

            In reply to #17 by Zeuglodon:

            Wellbeing is more general. Being happy or healthy or content is all part of wellbeing, but it’s not necessarily what we would refer to as pleasure. Of course, if you define pleasure to mean any conscious experience that isn’t negative, it could fit, but I think that wo…

            Fair enough, but there is a kind of “inverse” ethical hedonism that also puts priority on the avoidance of suffering and distress, if that could be considered an improvement on my saying that well-being consists of making people happy. I still think, though, that well-being is basically a more comprehensive form of ethical hedonism, in the sense that it focuses on the entirety of the conscious experience of all sentient organisms throughout their lifespans, in being willing to make short-term or minor sacrifices for long-term gains, and in balancing priorities to produce a well-adjusted individual or community. Would you consider this a good way of thinking about it?

          • In reply to #19 by Zeuglodon:

            Yes, I suppose (I’m not that familiar with ethical hedonism). However, well-being is a state and not a philosophy.

          • In reply to #22 by secularjew:

            In reply to #19 by Zeuglodon:

            However, well-being is a state and not a philosophy.

            Hmm… shall we call it well-being ethics, then? At least for the time being.

            In reply to #23 by Red Dog:

            If they make a movie out of that, it should be a goddamn horror movie. That’s disturbing just to read, much less to imagine.

      • In reply to #11 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #10 by Realthinker:

        The “ought is” problem is another example of bad philosophy. Good and evil do not exist independently of human brains as philosophy might insinuate, they are defined by how our nervous systems reacts to stimuli.

        I agree that good and evil are strictly human inventio…

        I suspect, though I wouldn’t bet too much on it at this stage, that the core problem with creating a science of ethics is an as-yet unresolved paradox between ignoring personal perspectives to get an objective account on the one hand, and getting a full account of those perspectives on the other. The most obvious obstacle to turning ethics into a mature science is resolving the question of subjective consciousness/sentience, which lies at the basis of “human” agency and thus personal perspective.

  9. In my book ‘bad philosophy’ comprises ill-founded or poorly constructed arguments. There are philosophical positions which can be well argued but which I still do not agree with (solipsism for example).

    Concerning ethics, perhaps inherently an controversial area, I tend to agree that post-modernist relativism has proved to be problematic and am increasingly drawn (back) to deontic approaches as set out by Kant.

    • In reply to #15 by steve_hopker:

      In my book ‘bad philosophy’ comprises ill-founded or poorly constructed arguments. There are philosophical positions which can be well argued but which I still do not agree with (solipsism for example).

      Concerning ethics, perhaps inherently an controversial area, I tend to agree that post-modernist…

      But it is one of the achievements of philosophy to have brought up the idea of relativism. Absolute philosophical ideas made up before now are realized as incomplete because they are ignorant!

  10. I think he is asking if morality is absolute or relative.

    I strongly think morality is absolute. Right and wrong don’t change from culture to culture. When people think trivial things are evil they are wrong. When people think evil things are good, they are wrong. Getting what is right or wrong from old books has proved to be a very poor way to get your morality. Basing morality on irrational beliefs of any kind generally leads to injustice.

    So how do you decide what is moral? A good start is to not directly harm other people. If you have the resources then actually actively helping others is good. How do you decide what is harm, and what is helping? Science to the rescue. We can study various societies, their laws, rules, and customs, and see what works and what doesn’t work. Generally it has been found you should not allow people to physical harm each other. It is best to have unbiased third parties (courts, police) deal with law breakers. Laws should not interfere with harmless activities. Laws should promote fair dealing: contract enforcement etc…

    There is a great deal of room to argue about what is right and wrong, various grey areas, and special circumstances, but all of this can be dealt with rationally.

    • In reply to #20 by canadian_right:

      I think he is asking if morality is absolute or relative.

      I strongly think morality is absolute. Right and wrong don’t change from culture to culture.

      If morality is absolute then why is it wrong to drink alcohol in Saudi Arabia, and not wrong to drink in Italy? Have we got a global definition on whether or not drinking alcohol is right or wrong?

      So how do you decide what is moral? A good start is to not directly harm other people. If you have the resources then actually actively helping others is good. How do you decide what is harm, and what is helping? Science to the rescue. We can study various societies, their laws, rules, and customs, and see what works and what doesn’t work.

      “In just over 10 years time from its arrival into this country, the United States was plagued with a major morphine epidemic. Even though no actual statistics were kept on addiction at this time, the problem had grown to large enough proportions to raise serious concerns from the medical profession. Doctors became perplexed and were completely in the dark as to how to treat this new epidemic.

      By 1874 the answer to this increasing problem (of morphine addiction) was thought to be found in the invention of a new drug in Germany. This new wonder drug was called Heroin, after its German trademarked name. Heroin was imported into the United States shortly after it was invented. The sales pitch that created an instant market to American doctors and their morphine addicted patients was that Heroin was a “safe, non-addictive” substitute for morphine.”

      http://www.narconon.org/drug-information/heroin-history.html

      Heroin was introduced as a safe and non-addictive substitute for morphine. They obviously had good intentions behind it, and perhaps wanted only to help people. How did they perform? They ended up introducing a far more addictive drug in the world, which has since become a top and highly sough after illegal drug. The drug it was going to replace, morphine, is still legal and is still being used in hospitals. LSD and MDMA also came into existence in more or less similar manners.

      I think science is not a wonder cure for all of our problems, because when you look into the situation objectively and without bias, it is easy enough to see that science has created as many problems as it has solved.

      • In reply to #21 by rizvoid:

        The drug it was going to replace, morphine, is still legal and is still being used in hospitals. LSD and MDMA also came into existence in more or less similar manners.

        A minor point but to my knowledge LSD was never meant to replace any other drug. It was recognized very quickly as being a powerful hallucinogenic which doesn’t give it much therapeutic use. You are correct that many psychologists and psychiatrists did experiments with it to see about possible uses in therapy, to get over substance abuse (I always thought that was amusing myself), etc. But I don’t think it’s accurate to say LSD was ever meant to be a substitute for some other drugs.

        The way it got into the US population is a really interesting story, I’m surprised no one has made a movie out of it yet. For example two guys working for the CIA (this is going to sound a bit out there but it’s well documented) with the blessing of the agency rented “safe houses”, I think in San Francisco and would try various “experiments” where they would give people LSD without their knowledge and watch the “fun”. These “experiments” also included prostitutes.

        A more sinister example was a government chemist working on chemical weapons who was having second thoughts about the classified work he was doing. The CIA gave him a huge dose of LSD without his knowledge. Also, keep in mind at this point in history most people had no idea what LSD was or that drugs like it could mimic psychotic behavior and cause extreme hallucinations. If you’ve ever done LSD imagine getting a huge dose without knowing you had even been given a drug. The risks of a “bad trip” are exaggerated in most discussions about LSD but in that case it was a virtual certainty. The guy thought he was losing his mind. It didn’t help that he was surrounded by his government colleagues whom he was already slightly paranoid about. He jumped out of a window to his death.

        • In reply to #23 by Red Dog:

          You are correct that many psychologists and psychiatrists did experiments with it to see about possible uses in therapy, to get over substance abuse (I always thought that was amusing myself), etc.

          I was interested to read the following snippet…

          In one study in the late 1950s, Dr Humphry Osmond gave LSD to alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous who had failed to quit drinking. After one year, around 50% of the study group had not had a drink — a success rate that has never been duplicated by any other means.

          Who would’ve thought such a thing?

          With regard to the intentions and discovery of acid…perhaps not a replacement for an existing drug, but certainly it would seem to have been honourable gone wrong.

          The main intention of the synthesis was to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant (an analeptic). It was set aside for five years, until April 16, 1943, when Hofmann decided to take a second look at it. While re-synthesizing LSD, he accidentally absorbed a small amount of the drug through his fingertips and discovered its powerful effects.

          • In reply to #25 by Ignorant Amos:

            In one study in the late 1950s, Dr Humphry Osmond gave LSD to alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous who had failed to quit drinking. After one year, around 50% of the study group had not had a drink — a success rate that has never been duplicated by any other means.

            I’ve always been kind of intrigued by these results on alcoholics. I have to say I’m very skeptical. I have a hard time accepting the idea that dosing people with LSD is a responsible treatment if they are diagnosed as substance abusers to begin with. But I’ve heard people claim, as your snippet says, that it gets results so who knows.

          • In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

            Indeed…hence the surprise and even astonishment I felt at reading about said study. Having been a partaker of both drugs at one time or another, it fascinates me.

        • In reply to #23 by Red Dog:

          In reply to #21 by rizvoid:

          A minor point but to my knowledge LSD was never meant to replace any other drug. It was recognized very quickly as being a powerful hallucinogenic which doesn’t give it much therapeutic use. You are correct that many psychologists and psychiatrists did experiments with it to see about possible uses in therapy, to get over substance abuse (I always thought that was amusing myself), etc. But I don’t think it’s accurate to say LSD was ever meant to be a substitute for some other drugs.

          No, LSD wasn’t meant to be a substitute for some other drugs. You are right. Same with MDMA.

          The point I was making was more about that some of our illegals drugs today were originally made by scientists/chemists, who were working for well-known pharmaceutical companies.

          LSD was introduced by Sandoz:
          “Introduced by Sandoz Laboratories, with trade-name Delysid, as a drug with various psychiatric uses in 1947, LSD quickly became a therapeutic agent that appeared to show great promise”

          MDMA was created by Merck.

          The deeper point was, if we want to analyze, study and observe the universe, science is obviously the best possible way to do so. Science can be used for both good and evil purposes: Creating life saving drugs, and vaccines through science; or, creating atom bombs and chemical weapons through science. But in some cases, science can produce and has produced undesirable results even when it was being used for good purposes and with good intentions. Such as, when Heroin was accidentally introduced as a less addictive substitute for morphine; or, when LSD was introduced as a drug for psychiatric uses, but was later banned when it was recognized how powerfully it could affect the mind in forceful negative ways.

          One possible reason why these setbacks happened, and continue to happen, could be because the mind analyzes and observes the universe in parts, while the universe in actuality does not exists in parts?

          Like, in basic science, we study the universe as biology, chemistry, and physics, and we do so only because the universe being so complex can only be studied in such a manner. But in the end, chemistry, biology and physics are only states of mind, and have no real existence outside the mind. Outside the mind, the universe is one big whole, and there is only one universe. Ask a doctor to explain the big bang, or ask a physicist to explain the human anatomy, or ask a chemist to explain evolution by natural selection…. Every specialist works within a very narrow field, ignoring everything outside of his field. But whatever is outside of hid field of specialization, does it really have no affect on what he is working on inside his field?

          The outside/inside division has obviously been created by the mind for the sake of convenience and simplicity. The universe has no such divisions. As Bohm implied, with our mind, we can only glimpse partial or relative truths, and never the absolute truth or the essence. In other words, no matter what we do, the universe will always have the upper hand, and we will always be in a state of ignorance.

          Bad philosophy, if there is even such a thing, can hardly be blamed for this. Blame the mind. The workings of the mind.

          • In reply to #29 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #23 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #21 by rizvoid:

            A minor point but to my knowledge LSD was never meant to replace any other drug. It was recognized very quickly as being a powerful hallucinogenic which doesn’t give it much therapeutic use. You are correct that many psychologists and psychia…

            I don’t understand why you would be surprised that science doesn’t lead to an inevitable paradise on earth. To me it would be surprising if our understanding more about the universe didn’t have all kinds of risks and potential harm. Not too long ago we were going on raiding parties and our manly idea of courtship wasn’t all that far from the cartoonish cave man knocking out his future wife with a club.

            Give any animal the power to dominate the biosphere and it seems to me inevitable that problems will result. Both because we still have all our primal drives that we barely understand or control and also because we are taking an ecosystem that has evolved into a pretty stable form after billions of years and suddenly introducing all sorts of radical changes at a speed much faster than typical geological time.

            None of this indicates that humans are inherently flawed and certainly not that science is inherently flawed. Science is neutral, it provides us with more knowledge and it’s up to us to figure out how use that in ways that are sustainable and good for the planet not just for the short term interests of a few humans.

            To me the real question is: what is the alternative? Should we just stop learning? I doubt we could and in any case I think the problems of trying to do that would be far worse than the alternative.

            Not that we are helpless either. Pinker’s last book was I thought a real step in the right direction in educating the intellectuals of the west that progress is possible and that to get it doesn’t take spiritual mumbo jumbo but adherence to reason and basic concepts such as justice and human rights. As in a lot of things I think the Enlightenment thinkers got it mostly right, we just need to return to those values (minus things like slavery and deism).

          • In reply to #30 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #29 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #23 by Red Dog:

            None of this indicates that humans are inherently flawed and certainly not that science is inherently flawed. Science is neutral, it provides us with more knowledge and it’s up to us to figure out how use that in ways that are sustainable and good for the planet not just for the short term interests of a few humans.

            Yeah, but the knowledge that science provides us depends on how our mind can use science, because science is ultimately a product of our mind. What if our minds were not capable of obtaining knowledge in a meaningful manner? Science in that case wouldn’t be much of a help, would it?

            Take the example of LSD. When Sandoz introduced LSD, it couldn’t possibly have conceived how this drug could be used and misused in the real world, or else chances are they wouldn’t have introduced it as a therapeutic drug. Their knowledge of LSD was partial, because it was only when LSD was introduced in the real world we all knew how it would affect the real world. Prior to that, lab results only gave us partial data, or some relative truth about LSD. And the same problem awaits us no matter what we do, where we do it, and how we do it.

            Now when I say this I am certainly not implying humans are inherently flawed. I am implying maybe we humans have limitations as in how much we can learn, and what we can learn. If this is true, no matter what we do, we will always be struggling to understand the true nature of the universe. Plus, what seems now as progress may turn out to be the cause of our suffering in the future. This is because, again, we can see the universe only in small parts, and looking at the universe in this manner is like looking at a human cell and then trying to understand the whole human body through that cell. Is it possible? Isn’t it going to kill the human?

            To me the real question is: what is the alternative? Should we just stop learning? I doubt we could and in any case I think the problems of trying to do that would be far worse than the alternative.

            Of course, we can’t stop learning, and why should we? Maybe there is an alternative. But if there is indeed an alternative, then I think we haven’t found it yet. I am just implying if we continue on the path we are on now, chances are the problems and human suffering will keep increasing, and will eventually cross the point where it can’t be reversed. This is because our understanding of the universe is partial and will always remain partial.

          • I am just implying if we continue on the path we are on now, chances are the problems and human suffering will keep increasing, and will eventually cross the point where it can’t be reversed.

            Can you explain again how you implied that? Life seems to have generally improved for us humans. I’m sure most would prefer to be living in today’s world than in the days before modern science. The tricky thing is ensuring the knowledge and benefits are spread as widely as possible.

            In reply to #31 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #30 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #29 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #23 by Red Dog:

            None of this indicates that humans are inherently flawed and certainly not that science is inherently flawed. Science is neutral, it provides us with more knowledge and it’s up to us to figure out how use that in…

          • In reply to #32 by Marktony:

            Can you explain again how you implied that? Life seems to have generally improved for us humans.

            Life seems to have improved for us humans … but only when seen from a certain viewpoint. It’s a relative truth.

            For example, we say we live longer than those who lived in the past, and we say this is an achievement humans made through medical science. Right. That’s one way to see it. The other way to see it is, living longer is not really an achievement when life is full of struggles and worries and anxieties, which is life what precisely is for most humans today? Some of us live a comfortable lifestyle today, but there are still billions of those who don’t even have access to clean water. Now, things like heating and air conditioning and cars and jet travel provide comfort to those who can use them, but at the same time they provide just the opposite of comfort to those who can’t afford them. Those who can’t afford these luxuries live in a constant state of envy and malice. Surely, this wasn’t the case when these things hadn’t been invented?

            I’m sure most would prefer to be living in today’s world than in the days before modern science. The tricky thing is ensuring the knowledge and benefits are spread as widely as possible.

            Yes, I agree. We can’t imagine living without cars, laptops, and air conditioners and heaters and TV and the Internet and all that. People 300 years ago couldn’t cool their houses in summer, or drink sodas from vending machines, and drive cars… but with that, they also didn’t have to worry about finding the right job, getting the right education, achieving a great social standing, … Life was simple. Less luxuries, and also less worries. Less suicides, less drug addicts, less criminals… We can’t imagine living in the past because we are used to the present moment. But we don’t miss the future. I think the same rules should apply to every generation.

            The tricky thing to me is, as I said before, what kind of knowledge are we gaining and spreading in the world? Partial or complete?

          • In reply to #33 by rizvoid:

            People 300 years ago couldn’t cool their houses in summer, or drink sodas from vending machines, and drive cars… but with that, they also didn’t have to worry about finding the right job, getting the right education, achieving a great social standing

            LOL. I mean seriously that really made me laugh out loud. 300 years ago would be the 1700′s. So to start with we still had slavery. Your average person spent most of their short miserable lives working doing back breaking work on farms or in cities. Women couldn’t own property and were essentially nothing more than property of their husbands and fathers. You could be sentenced to death for minor crimes and torture was still an accepted form of punishment.

            And the idea that people weren’t conscious of status and social class at that time is just nonsensical. Have you read any of the the novels from around that time? Balzac, Flaubert, Dickens? Of course they were very conscious of those things.

            what kind of knowledge are we gaining and spreading in the world? Partial or complete?

            Partial of course. To think that humans get “complete knowledge” whatever that even means is just absurd. There are so many areas where we can barely even form coherent questions let alone give complete answers.

          • In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

            LOL. I mean seriously that really made me laugh out loud. 300 years ago would be the 1700′s. So to start with we still had slavery. Your average person spent most of their short miserable lives working doing back breaking work on farms or in cities. Women couldn’t own property and were essentially nothing more than property of their husbands and fathers. You could be sentenced to death for minor crimes and torture was still an accepted form of punishment.

            Not to mention most of the major European nations were fighting each other in The Great Northern War and the War of the Spanish Succession round about that time, and then there was the business with the Jacobites, so I imagine quite a few families would have lost fathers, brothers, and sons in such events on top of everything else.

          • Now, things like heating and air conditioning and cars and jet travel provide comfort to those who can use them, but at the same time they provide just the opposite of comfort to those who can’t afford them. Those who can’t afford these luxuries live in a constant state of envy and malice. Surely, this wasn’t the case when these things hadn’t been invented?

            You are kidding right. You think envy and malice didn’t exist in the past? You think pre-modern societies had no crime?

            People 300 years ago couldn’t cool their houses in summer, or drink sodas from vending machines, and drive cars… but with that, they also didn’t have to worry about finding the right job, getting the right education, achieving a great social standing, … Life was simple.

            No, there probably was little choice of a job. Probably for most it was long hard farm work. And if you became ill there would be no heath care system. You would probably have to leave school early to start work and bring money into the household. No indoor plumbing, no electricity, light by candles, heating by fires, unsafe drinking water – sounds very relaxing. Girls would be married off asap or become servants.

            Less luxuries, and also less worries. Less suicides, less drug addicts, less criminals…

            I very much doubt that. I suspect more worries and more suicide. Certainly more violence.

            In reply to #33 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #32 by Marktony:

            Can you explain again how you implied that? Life seems to have generally improved for us humans.

            Life seems to have improved for us humans … but only when seen from a certain viewpoint. It’s a relative truth.

            For example, we say we live longer than those who lived…

          • In reply to #33 by rizvoid:

            Right. That’s one way to see it. The other way to see it is, living longer is not really an achievement when life is full of struggles and worries and anxieties, which is life what precisely is for most humans today? >

            Try telling this to people in the last third of their life ( people like me)! I can assure you that I’m not about to give up all those extra years willingly.

            There are certain types with a rather romantic notion about what things were actually like in the past. I have another book suggestion for you ( after you’ve finished reading Steven Pinker). The latest winner of the Mann Booker Prize is a shortish novel called ‘Harvest’. It’s set in England in about 1500′s, I guess. The author gives a very clear picture of the sights and smells that would have assailed one’s senses at that time. If this doesn’t convince you of the improvements in our life, perhaps the realities of the social structures at the time will do the trick. The villagers were quick to blame any newcomers for misfortunes that may have occurred in the locality. Mostly the people lived narrow, ignorant and physically harsh lives. They were at the mercy of their overlords. When you got sick, you stayed sick because there was little to relieve your suffering.

            I was lucky to have parents who were only too willing to inform me of conditions in the recent past. They were able to paint a clear picture of the war years and the post war period of austerity. As a consequence I was able to imagine the life of the times. No one in their right mind would want to go back to those years.

          • In reply to #37 by Nitya:

            In reply to #33 by rizvoid:
            There are certain types with a rather romantic notion about what things were actually like in the past. I have another book suggestion for you ( after you’ve finished reading Steven Pinker). The latest winner of the Mann Booker Prize is a shortish novel called ‘Harvest’. It’s set in England in about 1500′s, I guess.

            A novel? I am now supposed to read novels to improve my history? Is it fiction? Non fiction?

            But really, if you want to argue the point, why can’t we make a comparison of our time with a given time period of the past, say like the time this novel’s story took place? Then, compare the problems we are facing today with the problems they were facing back then.

            They didn’t have the internet back then.. We do. But did parents back then worry about their children being exposed to inappropriate material and people through the internet? How about children going to raves and popping pills?

          • In reply to #38 by rizvoid:

            In reply to #37 by Nitya:

            In reply to #33 by rizvoid:
            There are certain types with a rather romantic notion about what things were actually like in the past. I have another book suggestion for you ( after you’ve finished reading Steven Pinker). The latest winner of the Mann Booker Prize is a shorti…

            Of course it was fiction, but it was extremely well researched fiction. These suggestions are made with your best interests at heart because I feel that you are young(?) or perhaps a student? Sometimes fiction contains a greater truth than non-fiction…at least it’s easier to digest ( only 270 pages/ large print).

            There is no disputing that there are many problems facing people today, however compared to the problems faced by people a few centuries ago, even those of last century, our problems pale into insignificance.

          • In reply to #39 by Nitya:

            In reply to #38 by rizvoid:

            Of course it was fiction, but it was extremely well researched fiction. These suggestions are made with your best interests at heart because I feel that you are young(?) or perhaps a student? Sometimes fiction contains a greater truth than non-fiction…at least it’s easier to digest ( only 270 pages/ large print).

            Ok. One more book in the queue.

  11. Bad philosophy? My view is that it is part of trial and error process in the adventure of human ideas and their evolution through times. I agree, ideas should be challenged in the light of the latest developments to test them. However, it is not that simple as we have our biases, preferences, beliefs which make it difficult to look at the reality. I am a student of human self in relation to emotional and rational thinking and their influences on self’s development. There are values which have not changed over the centuries and these need to be analysed in detail e.g. equality as a human being at self’s level, free will with freedom to make choices, reward should be for the work and not the capital, etc.

  12. In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #33 by rizvoid:

    LOL. I mean seriously that really made me laugh out loud. 300 years ago would be the 1700′s. So to start with we still had slavery. Your average person spent most of their short miserable lives working doing back breaking work on farms or in cities. Women couldn’t own property and were essentially nothing more than property of their husbands and fathers. You could be sentenced to death for minor crimes and torture was still an accepted form of punishment.

    I am not saying they were living in paradise. They had their problems, and we have our problems. And our problems, it seems, are far more complex and big, and only getting bigger. Problems like drug addictions and related issues, problems like global warming and pollution, problems like mass murdering through weapons of mass destruction, and countless social problems as the population increases. Life was simple back then as compared to what life is now. It is far more complex now. The problems too are far more complex.

  13. polygamy teachings of demons. because polygamy is only making the perpetrators get the curse multiply exponentially. ha … 7x
    Book : There is evidence evil curse in polygamy. http://allahswtadalahiblis.blogspot.com/2013/09/book-there-is-evidence-evil-curse-in.html
    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM CHRISTIAN N ISLAM .
    1 . THERE REALLY IS THE NAME CURSE descent ?
    2 . WHO IS THE SONS OF GOD GENESIS 6:2 ?
    GENESIS 6:1-8
    {6:1} And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
    {6:2} That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
    {6:3} And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
    {6:4} There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of
    God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.
    {6:5} And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.
    {6:6} And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
    {6:7} And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the
    earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
    {6:8} But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
    Now let us investigate , who is the “sons of God ” is ?
    Most of the commentators prefer the interpretation of the children of God = the angels of the Lord who fall into sin . So many books and movies made ​​that tells about it .
    Is this true? This interpretation WRONG TURN . HA … 7X
    3. DID YOU KNOW THAT POLYGAMY IS THE SINS OF THE SIXTH STATED IN THE BIBLE? WHAT FIRST TO FIFTH SINS?
    4. WHY KEEP GOD IN HUMAN EXTERMINATE THE AGE BY NOAH Flood?
    5. POLYGAMY TURNED AWAY SINS OF THE WICKED SINS homosexuals. IS IT? What is the evidence?
    6. If Abraham did not practice polygamy, it will not be born Ishmael. When Ismael is not there then do not be born Muhammad ibn Abd Allah. If Muhammad was never born then there would be no Islam and no Antichrist. ha … 7x
    7. If Solomon did not polygamy then the kingdom of Israel did not break into the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. If it is not broke then there will never be war between the kingdoms of Israel and the kingdom of Judah. If Solomon did not polygamy then he will not fall into idolatry and Solomon will get into heaven.
    8. The question now is what Muhammad ibn Abd Allah, who claims to be a prophet of the of all the prophets of the Lord. Muhammad legalize polygamy, whether it is also affected by the curse of polygamy?
    IF YOU WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS IN, THEN BUY N READ BOOK “There is evidence evil curse in polygamy”.
    Lord Jesus Bless you.
    AMEN

      • In reply to #46 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #42 by Markovich:

        Can “good” philosophy also derive a single set of morals by which dogs should live? I’m just trying to get a handle on where moral verities come from.

        Dog packs and wolf packs definitely have rules which are enforced within the pack.

        http://www.wattpad.com/21969706

        I fail to see the relevance of that fact, which I do not dispute. The question was, given the assertion that “good philosophy” can derive rules by which humans should live, can it also derive rules by which dogs should live? What is it about “good philosophy” that implies rules for humans, and not for digs, fish, worms and slime mold?

        • In reply to #55 by Markovich:

          In reply to #46 by Alan4discussion:

          I fail to see the relevance of that fact, which I do not dispute. The question was, given the assertion that “good philosophy” can derive rules by which humans should live, can it also derive rules by which dogs should live?

          There is considerable evidence that social codes are evolved in social animals.
          “Good ” is a judgemental term, which implies preconceived objectives.

          What is it about “good philosophy” that implies rules for humans, and not for dogs, fish,

          You could describe social interactions as “philosophy” for social animals with brains, which co-operate with each other in structured groups. There are certainly parallels in societal structures between wolf or dog packs, and tribal peoples.

          worms and slime mold?

          As far as I am aware these are not co-operating intelligent social animals.

          • In reply to #56 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #55 by Markovich:

            In reply to #46 by Alan4discussion:

            I fail to see the relevance of that fact, which I do not dispute. The question was, given the assertion that “good philosophy” can derive rules by which humans should live, can it also derive rules by which dogs should live?

            There…

            You may say that “good” is a judgemental term that implies preconceived objectives, and I might agree, but this would not address the OP, who positied that a “good philosophy,” whatever he meant by that, would be able to derive a single set of rules to govern human behavior. (Actually, I notice now that he does not use the term “good philosophy,” but since he asserts that “bad philosophy” is responsible for preventing the derivation of an ideal set of rules of human behavior, that “good philosophy” could develop such a set of rules would seem to be implicit.)

            You may say that, as social creatures, we cooperate in certain ways, and I might agree, but that does not answer the question of whether Philosophy permits the deduction of an ideal or somehow “true” or “most correct” set of rules according to which people should interract. You and I probably agree that “morality” is entirely a social construct, but the OP clearly does not.

            Since the OP asserts that it is possible to derive an “objective” or “best” morality for human beings, I asked whether it was also possible to do so for dogs. The point of my question was to try to learn just how the morality that “good philosophy” would produce could come about. If it can produce good rules for people, why should it not be able to produce good rules for any other species? So far he has not answered.

            I do not think that anyone conversant with the term “Philosophy” would agree that it could be equated with mere social interractions, whether of our own species or any other. So I think you are off in conceptual never-land there. I am quite certain that that was not what the OP meant by “philosophy.” Also I see no obvious reason why, if “good philosophy” could derive an objective set of rules applicable to human behavior and another set for canine behavior, it could not do so for slime mold behavior. It is you, not I, who claims that society is logically necessary for morality. Perhaps in the Great Beyond somewhere, graven on a mystical tablet, there is a set of rules of good slime mold behavior which, if disobeyed by this or that individual slime mold, would deeply anger some deity. And if the OP is right, perhaps “good philosophy” can detect what is written there.

          • In reply to #57 by Markovich:

            In reply to #56 by Alan4discussion:

            I fail to see the relevance of that fact, which I do not dispute. The question was, given the assertion that “good philosophy” can derive rules by which humans should live, can it also derive rul… and I might agree, but this would not address the OP, who positied that a “good philosophy,” whatever he meant by that, would be able to derive a single set of rules to govern human behavior.

            Without a clear definition of the objectives implied in “good”, the claim is meaningless.

            You may say that “good” is a judgemental term that implies preconceived objectives, and I might agree, but this would not address the OP, who positied that a “good philosophy,” whatever he meant by that, would be able to derive a single set of rules to govern human behavior.

            It clearly doesn’t, as the diversity of rules in human and animal societies show. As with “good” there is a lack of definition as to what exactly the term “philosophy” is supposed to cover.

            Since the OP asserts that it is possible to derive an “objective” or “best” morality for human beings,

            This is clearly wrong, and without the necessary definitions, is meaningless.

            I asked whether it was also possible to do so for dogs.

            If the terms are taken to mean “evolved thinking processes” which preserve the cultural group and their descendents, in some sort of cooperative culture, Then dogs and some other pack animals, have these thought processes and inherent or learned thought habits.

            The point of my question was to try to learn just how the morality that “good philosophy” would produce could come about.

            Behavioural psychology would indicate that it is a combination of inherited instincts, and learned behaviours, copied from parents, the group, or learned by interacting with the environment.

            If it can produce good rules for people, why should it not be able to produce good rules for any other species? So far he has not answered.

            “Good” begs the question, but working rules undoubtedly exist in social groups of humans and some animals.

            I do not think that anyone conversant with the term “Philosophy” would agree that it could be equated with mere social interractions, whether of our own species or any other.

            “Mere?” – Philosophical discussions ARE social interactions – but again, definitions are lacking.

            So I think you are off in conceptual never-land there. I am quite certain that that was not what the OP meant by “philosophy.”

            Philosophers often wander of into never-land, whereas scientific discussions remain anchored to clear definitions, objectivity and empirical testing – even after venturing into speculation. .

            Also I see no obvious reason why, if “good philosophy” could derive an objective set of rules applicable to human behavior and another set for canine behavior,

            This would again hinge on the definition of “philosophy”! However, if we take it that “philosophy” involves some brain activity and abstract thought processes, this would exclude organisms without brains, and without the capacity for abstract thought or social communication.

            it could not do so for slime mold behavior.

            Slime-moulds have evolved very efficient feeding behaviours, but do not have brains.

            It is you, not I, who claims that society is logically necessary for morality.

            Morality is about interactions between individuals and groups, which implies some sort of societal structure, either within species, or between species within ecosystems. Without access to other individuals, there is no basis for moral or immoral interactions.

            While it should be clear, that “bad” or flawed thinking processes, can damage the survival and happiness prospects of individuals or societies, the converse that some singular “good philosophy” must exist, does not follow.

            Perhaps in the Great Beyond somewhere, graven on a mystical tablet, there is a set of rules of good slime mold behavior which, if disobeyed by this or that individual slime mold, would deeply anger some deity. And if the OP is right, perhaps “good philosophy” can detect what is written there.

            I have heard, that following the flying-pig-squadron to the pot of gold at foot of a rainbow, will lead to this mystical tablet!

    • In reply to #42 by Markovich:

      Can “good” philosophy also derive a single set of morals by which dogs should live? I’m just trying to get a handle on where moral verities come from.

      No answer yet, I see. So I thought.

  14. @realthinktank @Rationalminder
    this is the first OP that challenged my thinking and u guys actually taught me something. i have been hungup on the philisophical pitfalls u mentioned and others here are still clinging to. anyways thanks for the enlightenment. u guys should write a book, unless u already have.

  15. There has been no universally applied morality so far because of tribalism. Inherent to being a member of a tribe/nation/ethnic group is that there is always the distinction between us and them. The fundamental principle arising from this division among people is that what is bad when done to us, is good when done to them, when the choice has to be made. A good illustration of this is the Israel/Palestine situation. It’s true that this double standard can be set aside in theory. However, when it comes to practice we need a sufficient degree of political unity and social cohesion to have an operating universal morality. So, world government and an orderly global society are the framework for morality.

  16. Sometimes even bourgeois journalists can say clever things…

    A few years ago, erstwhile-writer-for-The-Independent, Johann Hari wrote, “Should you shut up about human rights abuses because they are happening far away, to people you don’t know, who have a different culture or colour or creed? There is now a growing movement across the world saying that, yes, empathy should be cauterized at national borders. The world is carved into cultures, and they should not try to comment critically on each other. Instead, they should be ‘respectful.’ You can criticize Your Own Kind, but not Foreigners, because they are unbridgeably different to [sic] you.”

    It seems to me that, after 1992, much of the Left – even (surprisingly) the academic ‘Trots’ who loudly trumpeted their ‘anti-Stalinist’ credentials to cosy up to their own bourgeoisies – was paralysed by a sort of “death-of-communism-PTSD.” Abandoning their positive commitments to freedom, equality and economic justice for all, many groups and individuals fastened like drowning swimmers to the lifebuoy of post-modernist cultural relativism. Add to this the holy cause of anti-imperialism (including an antipathy to a mythical concept known as “left-wing imperialism”) and a fair serving of European post-colonial guilt, and we have a situation where burqas and FGM, honour killings and child marriage – and presumably even suttee and Aztec heart surgery – can be defended as “precious cultural usages,” the practising of which is to be unconditionally defended as a ‘right,’ and where we must hold our tongues or sit on our hands and excuse barbarities because “we’re not allowed to preach to ‘the Natives’ and tell them how to live their lives.” No wonder this ‘Left’ is something of a joke in most of the world.

    Meanwhile the political right – at least those parts of it that don’t hew to various styles of outright fascism – waves its acceptance of “cultural diversity” as a banner that proclaims the ‘tolerance’ of British / Australian /American / Whatever ‘democracy.’ But they’re hypocrites – they (and we) know they’re only in it for the money.

  17. I don’t think morals are man’s invention, rather his selection or choice. In my view, man isn’t even capable of inventing things. We just discover them through the processes that are already set there. Only God (you may call nature superficially, mystically it is One) through His play of time and space is the actual Creator. I would like to point out the fact here man has never been able imagine anything outside experience. You may protest the point on grounds of great inventions we have made. To this my answer would be simple. Our creativity great as it seems is a mere manipulation of phenomenon we see, a reconstruction of ideas in our mind. I can imagine creatures of various but only when I have the concept of life. I can imagine worlds but so analogous are these worlds to the one I live in. I can create music but only after listening to basic notes and sequencing them. I can imagine shapes but not without first having seen some shape and then manipulating this idea. Thus creativity of human mind is an infinite reordering of what is witnessed. All our inventions came from observation. Science drives technology. We made planes but didn’t we see birds? Ships were made only after seeing logs of wood sail over water. Frankly speaking, we can’t create out of nothing. You have to have a memory.

    I return to morals now to explain how they were created by God. I assume you immediately think that I am coming to revelation sort of thingie…God proclaiming certain things right for human and it being so..

    No. I am going to explain it at your material level. First what do we mean by morals, it is those sorts of things or principles that govern our everyday life, or behavior. What governs our behavior is our environment and the factors set in the human being, or in the human mind. We feel pity when we see a suffering being, this is the precursor to many of the morals we have. Whether these feelings always were, or have come into existence, they have been set in human nature. So nature is the source of morals. Or I may say in my language God is the source. . The behavior is already there, the feelings are already there, we just discover them and seem to choose what fits best. No doubt morality changes with age, but the ground foundations are laid by God. We may well witness an era where murder is permitted, and considered good just as we look at animals fighting each other. It depends on how strong the genes of morality remain inside human kind, and inside human society. There thus seems to be no universal good or evil, in this game of elements. There are certain behaviors man will choose on the basis on his circumstances and which genes in the pool best click, at a given moment. Religions discovered this quite early, that human is unreliable. It takes no time for our inner nature to show its other face. Therefore the need arises in wake of religious degradation, and Scientific ascendancy to stamp down the definitions of good (at least outline them) in a way that provides for sustainable progress.

    “It is after all a play of God”

    • In reply to #52 by fshamas5:

      I don’t think morals are man’s invention, rather his selection or choice.

      Many of them are evolved behaviour patterns from surviving as related groups. Others are socially evolved underlying patterns. Morals are the codes of conduct of individuals or social groups.

      In my view, man isn’t even capable of inventing things. We just discover them through the processes that are already set there.

      I think this is just a confused way of saying that objective observations are needed as a basis for building mechanisms which work in the real world. The laws of Nature are indeed there.

      I would like to point out the fact here man has never been able imagine anything outside experience.

      This is simply wrong. All sorts of weird fantasies arise in some minds, – especially if neurological mechanisms are corrupted by drugs or trauma.

      You may protest the point on grounds of great inventions we have made. To this my answer would be simple. Our creativity great as it seems is a mere manipulation of phenomenon we see, a reconstruction of ideas in our mind.

      Why “mere”? That is the nature of creativity. – the ability to reason and deduce outcomes from objective observations.

      Frankly speaking, we can’t create out of nothing. You have to have a memory.

      This is the nature of scientific methodology. Brains – like computers need inputs before deductions relvant to the real world can be formulated. – Anything else is just whimsical “castles in the air”!

      We feel pity when we see a suffering being, this is the precursor to many of the morals we have.

      It is easy to see sympathy for others in groups of social animals as well as in humans

      Whether these feelings always were, or have come into existence, they have been set in human nature.

      These patterns of conduct have been built into social animals over millions of years of evolution.

      So nature is the source of morals.

      Richard Dawkins explains this in some of his books, as to why social co-operation and self sacrifice can benefit gene and individual survival within related groups.

      Or I may say in my language God is the source. .

      Why? “God-did-it-by-magic”, is a very poor way of expressing your lack of understanding of the psychology, social behaviour, or the biology.

      The behavior is already there, the feelings are already there, we just discover them and seem to choose what fits best.

      “Best” without defined objectives, begs the question!
      Best for what?? – Survival? Empire-building? Reducing conflicts?? Motivating armies??

      No doubt morality changes with age, but the ground foundations are laid by God.

      Strange claim!
      By the way, which god, and which of the multitudes of moral requirements, did you have in mind? A few human sacrifices perhaps??

  18. @Alan4discussion:

    If you don’t want to address the OP and confront the issues that he raised, I fully understand. Also if you wish to argue that the issues raised in the OP are trivial or meaningless or anything else, I would fully understand your saying that in a separate post. What I do not understand is why my particular post, which was an attempt to engage with the OP, has attracted your interest or why it requires your contradiction.

    It certainly is true that the terms “philosophy,” “good” and “bad” require definition, but in forums such as this, and in many academic and less serious settings across this planet, these things are discussed between reasonable people without their first having set forth a full set of definitions and axioms that perhaps are necessary to the complete understanding of these terms. In this particular context, I was trying to ascertain what the OP meant by “bad philosophy” and its implicit opposite, “good philosophy,” insofar as these carried any implications for rules of human or canine conduct. So it is hardly constructive for you to keep saying that “good” requires a definition. Repeatedly doing so would seem to embody all of the sophomoric facility of a dorm-room B.S. session.

    You say that the OP is wrong that it is possible to derive on the basis of philosophy a set of rules applicable to human beings, and I might agree, but you should not regard your certainty as to that as a vaIid basis for challenging someone who merely wants to explore with the OP the contrary possibility. It should be possible to raise hypotheticals for the sake of argument and not be interrupted with anyone’s heavy-handed insistence that such things cannot be discussed here.

    Merely as a hypothetical, I asked the OP if it were possible for philosophy to derive a set of rules applicable to the behavior of dogs. Your latest rejoinder on this subject is:

    If the terms are taken to mean “evolved thinking processes” which preserve the cultural group and their descendents, in some sort of cooperative culture, Then dogs and some other pack animals, have these thought processes and inherent or learned thought habits.

    But the actual thinking processes of dogs is irrelvant to the question that I directed to the OP. Dogs do not have philosophy so far as I am aware, and I think it rather strange to equate whatever intellection dogs do have with anything that any reasonable person would call philosophy. Your remark just quoted looks reasonable enough to me, but I assert its irrelevance to the question of whether philosophy (“good philosophy” as seen by the OP) could develop a set of rules for canine behavior. I’m not saying that it can, mind you. But the relevance of the quoted remark to the question is quite obscure to me.

    Behavioural psychology would indicate that it is a combination of inherited instincts, and learned behaviours, copied from parents, the group, or learned by interacting with the environment.

    You are talking about the ACTUAL behavior of dogs. As an atheist and a materialist, I join fully in your apparent assertion that this behavior does not and can not arise in philosophy. But I am talking about a set of rules that might govern the IDEAL behavior of dogs such as might be derived by a philosophy — just as the OP is talking about the analogous for humans. You and I mght agree that this is a useless pursuit, but to some people the question of how morality might arise from philosophy is interesting. Statements of fact such as that just quoted have absolutely no bearing on it.

    “Mere?” – Philosophical discussions ARE social interactions – but again, definitions are lacking.

    This again has all the vacuity of a dormitory B.S. session, with a large dollop of sophistry on top. Certainly philosophical discussions are one form of social interraction (not all philosophy arises from social interraction, but let us leave that aside). But social interraction in general, “mere” social interraction, is not philosophy. Definitions certainly are lacking, but I do not think it incumbent upon me to define what I mean by such a widely understood term as “philosophy” before I use it in this forum. If you wish to argue that social interraction implies doing philosophy, i think it is you more than I who needs to specify his definitions.

    Philosophers often wander of into never-land, whereas scientific discussions remain anchored to clear definitions, objectivity and empirical testing – even after venturing into speculation.

    So what? The OP is about philosophy. Does it violate the norms of this forum to discus philosophy? Further I do not know why you would imagine that this observation would in any way address anything I have said. I said that you were off in conceptual never-land with your claim that mere social interraction is the same thing as philosophy. I continue to say so.

    As for any possible rules that philosophy might derive for slime mold behavior, I did not say that these rules would be derived by slime mold doing philosophy. So far as I know, slime molds have no intellect, and hence are incapable of philosophy. The question was whether philosophy AS SUCH, as praticed by the OP, me, the supposed God, the supposed Devil, you or anyone else who cared to engage in it, could derive an ideal set of rules for slime mold behavior.

    I absolutely agree that these ideas do not flow from SCIENCE. No one ever said that ethics derives from science. But though you and I might agree that only the actual social origin of behavioral norms is worth discussing, this claim is not necessarily true. The OP, for one, does not seem to agree with it.

    • In reply to #59 by Markovich:

      @Alan4discussion:

      If you don’t want to address the OP and confront the issues that he raised, I fully understand.

      I am addressing the the OP, but you still miss the point and shuffle around the lack of definitions.

      Also if you wish to argue that the issues raised in the OP are trivial or meaningless or anything else, I would fully understand your saying that in a separate post. What I do not understand is why my particular post, which was an attempt to engage with the OP, has attracted your interest or why it requires your contradiction.

      You asked a question about dogs. I answered with reference to social behaviour in dogs and related species which you don’t seem to understand. It has many parallels with human social behaviours, human law enforcement, and codes of conduct.

      It certainly is true that the terms “philosophy,” “good” and “bad” require definition, but in forums such as this, and in many academic and less serious settings across this planet, these things are discussed between reasonable people without their first having set forth a full set of definitions and axioms that perhaps are necessary to the complete understanding of these terms.

      A lack of definitions just leads to pointless misunderstandings and semantic arguments.

      But the actual thinking processes of dogs is irrelvant to the question that I directed to the OP. Dogs do not have philosophy so far as I am aware,

      Really?? Dog thinking processes are irrelevant to dog behaviour??? You seem to have some undefined preconceptions of the boundaries of “philosophy”. Hunting dogs have very considerable capabilities in operating planned teamwork.

      and I think it rather strange to equate whatever intellection dogs do have with anything that any reasonable person would call philosophy.

      More undefined pre-conceptions.

      Your remark just quoted looks reasonable enough to me, but I assert its irrelevance to the question of whether philosophy (“good philosophy” as seen by the OP) could develop a set of rules for canine behavior. I’m not saying that it can, mind you. But the relevance of the quoted remark to the question is quite obscure to me.

      It is not obscure to behavioural psychologists who study animal behaviour. Human claims to a monopoly on intellectual activity are very much unevidenced assumptions passed on from the theistic ages of ignorance.

      Behavioural psychology would indicate that it is a combination of inherited instincts, and learned behaviours, copied from parents, the group, or learned by interacting with the environment.

      You are talking about the ACTUAL behavior of dogs. As an atheist and a materialist, I join fully in your apparent assertion that this behavior does not and can not arise in philosophy.

      No, I do not make such an assertion. What I am saying is the behaviour arises from the philosophy/world-view of the dogs – which it must do, unless you define “philosophy” as something detached from reality!

      But I am talking about a set of rules that might govern the IDEAL behavior of dogs such as might be derived by a philosophy.

      The absence of definition of your preconceptions of “IDEAL”, “philosophy”, “good” and “bad”. means that all these claims are simply assumptions of undefined objectives, set as targets to be achieved, with semantic labels stuck on them.

      What on Earth is “IDEAL” dog behaviour divorced from actual dog behaviour?

      http://www.richarddawkins.net/news-articles/2014/2/22/dogs-brain-scans-reveal-vocal-responses#

  19. Well, our discussion has obviously become unproductive. I’m not going to rejoin substantively. The correctness of our opposing arguments is something that others reading this will have to decide.

  20. Everyone in the discussion seems to be exhibiting the signs of intellectual confusion that the OP is talking about. The OP is asking the reader to exam why he or she finds it difficult to accept that we can come up with our own set of morals. Why the immediate reluctance? And are those reasons justified?
    Allow me to define what being moral means. I will also add that the definition of morality I am going to give is the only definition worth talking about.
    First the groundwork.
    Everyone needs to accept that not every person on earth has to agree with what is defined as good or bad. That is not a prerequisite. It is impossible for everyone to agree on anything. However, since the definition of morality is based on the bodily response to stimuli combined with the inherent goal of continuing on the species, most have to agree. Why is that goal inherent? It is the basis of our evolutionary history as a species.
    Here it is. The definition of morality, or rather the test.
    Ask yourself, does the action or intention in question, if accepted and practiced universally, benefit our species or the opposite. Murder, lying, cheating, these are undoubtedly harmful to our harmony as a species.
    Any moral confusion based on diversity of culture and ideas, does not have to do with any meaningful understanding of morality.
    If you are stuck on examples like, “country X thinks a certain action (drinking) is good while others bad”, then I invite you to rethink what morality is. Use a different word if you there’s too much baggage with the word “moral” I am asking you to relearn what is considered good and bad by examining the rational bases of both conditions.
    I ask anyone to bring up a moral confusion or add to the list of what most humans inherently (due to our common evolutionary history) find good or bad.

  21. In reply to #8 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #7 by secularjew:

    In reply to #4 by Red Dog:
    Sam Harris does dismiss the “Is Ought Problem,” and for good reasons (if you can’t get an “ought” from an “is,” then where DO you get it from?),

    I think there is an answer to your question but it would take some time to go into it. But the s…

    But Sam Harris is much too smart not to know that ones terrorist is the other ones hero. And that this is the best sign for a kind of development in our moral thinking. This changes througout time and societies and Sam Harris knows that!

  22. In reply to #15 by steve_hopker:

    In my book ‘bad philosophy’ comprises ill-founded or poorly constructed arguments. There are philosophical positions which can be well argued but which I still do not agree with (solipsism for example).

    Concerning ethics, perhaps inherently an controversial area, I tend to agree that post-modernist…

    But it is one of the achievements of philosophy to have brought up the idea of relativism. Absolute philosophical ideas made up before now are realized as incomplete because they are ignorant!

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