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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:55 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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My little mouse head is beginning to hurt.

We've all had our opinions heard so shall we agree to disagree? Smile
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:22 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Reepicheep wrote:

This is a great example of relativism being made by "equality". Either life is precious or it isn't. Also keep in mind that people's moral compass can be supressed by their cultural indoctrination (think Nazi Germany). I hate to make this comparison between the two, but the Nazis belived it was just and noble to purify the human race because they were blinded by indoctrination. Couldn't the same be said for the Samurai?


Ok I'm going to leave the rest alone as Cerrena has a good handle on that and I'm in total agreement with her analysis of your other points. So I'm going to focus on this point.

I would argue that your comparison is totally off base. You are comparing a case of an individual killing themselves to redeem their honor to a sociopathic policy of racism that justified killing others.

For one thing the Samurai considered honor very very important and thus resulted in suicide for the sake of honor. They were not suppressing some sort of moral compass, rather they were expressing their moral compass according to their cultural beliefs which defined honor as integral to morality. For a Samurai to loose their honor disgraced themselves and their family and thus it wouldn't really be possible to be a moral person by continuing to live in shame. Arguably honor is an underlying theme of all cultural concepts of morality since it would be very difficult for a moral person to lack honor (or a dishonorable person to be moral) however each culture expresses this theme differently.

The Nazis on the other hand killed others (not themselves as in the case of the Samurai) and had no honorable intentions in it. I would argue that racism and bigotry cannot ever be used for an honorable purpose however hard one might try to say it is by attaching the word "honor" to the actions. Additionally, I would argue that simply tacking a word onto an act does not mean that word has anything to do with those actions. For example, if a guy decided to kidnap a child and slowly cut their arm off they could tack the word "surgery" onto it but that doesn't mean it was surgery and not torture plain and simple.

Now what you also raise argues that Western culture is superior to all others and Western definitions of morals/ethics are superior to all others. In the Samurai example your wording clearly indicates that the Samurai did not have a concept of "life is sacred" equal, albeit different to, the Western concept of life as sacred. Because of the difference you clearly define the Western view on life as superior to that of the Samurai's. In essence your argument is for assimilation and strives for a homogeneous world culture defined by Western values.

I might point out that during the colonization of the New World that is exactly what Europeans thought and it was used to justify forced assimilation (among other things). The boarding schools of the 19th century in the USA are a perfect example of this where Western beliefs were placed as superior to Native ones and all children were forced to assimilate and beaten and punished if they spoke in their Native language much less attempted to hold on to their cultural identity. This is exactly what the result is when you argue cultural context is not relevant to understanding whether a behavior is good or evil and that rather it is evil if it does not conform to the Western ideas.

EDIT: I should note that I was working on this post before you posted Reep. I can't very well force you to continue debating and in the interest of keeping the peace and being a good moderator I won't. So in that regard I can agree to not force you to continue debating.

That being said I can't in good faith agree to disagree as from my point of view that concedes that I'm willing to accept your definitions as equally valid to mine despite the lack of empirical proof supporting your point of view (as posted in the thread thus far). We aren't debating an intangible such as ghosts where no empirical proof can exist but are debating an issue that has real world consequences that can be empirically observed. If this was a debate where empirical proof did not exist I would be happy to just agree to disagree as it would be impossible to prove one side's belief or the other (ghosts for example). Or if you had presented strong empirical proof to back up your side I would be willing to agree to disagree as both of us would have presented strong evidence producing a deadlock.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:39 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I disagre that we can't agree to disagree. Razz

We have a difference of opinions right now. I think that a suicide attack is a perversion of courage and is thus courage used for evil. You and Cerrinea think that because a suicide attack is so messed up it can't possibly be courage- even perverted courage.

You think that the Samurai's cultural suicide is honourable becasue the Samurai "considered honor very very important" but I don't because I think that life is too precious for a suicide to save your honour (pride anyone?) to be acceptable.

I think the Nazi leaders brain-washed their followers (I should have clarified that by the way) into thinking the Nazi way was the just way and that the same can be said for the Samurai. You don't.

Your arguments haven't trumped mine, I just disagree with them. I could continue but it would just be restate after restate. We've come to a solid disagreement and I don't see any point in continuing.

Anyway, The TCW crew seems to agree with me. Wink
"Without humility, courage is a dangerous game."

EDIT: Actually one more thing. You said that I placed Western morals above others which is most likely not true. I think that the Bible's morality is above the others because I believe it to be the Word of God. The Bible wasn't even written in the West. There are also things in Western culture that I am in disagreement with. I believe in one partner for life and I still view homosexuality as an evil (though I don't agree with the treatment they suffer). I am also in disagreement with glorification of Self in Western culture. The Samurai might well be more honourable than the average (Western) person, but cultural suicide is one area where I think they are mistaken.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:06 pm Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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Salaris Vorn wrote:

Now what you also raise argues that Western culture is superior to all others and Western definitions of morals/ethics are superior to all others.

I might point out that during the colonization of the New World that is exactly what Europeans thought and it was used to justify forced assimilation (among other things).


Some western morals/ethics really are better then that of others. Take just one example: equality. While were not perfect, we certainly are much farther along then many other societies around the world. Look at India and its Caste system. Do you really want to argue that their take on the subject is equal to or better then western society? And if you don't like that example, there are plenty others. This does not mean western culture on a whole is better then all others, just that some (arguably many) parts of it are.

The idea, as you brought up, that morality needs to be dependent on culture, is a faulty one. If for example murder is wrong, does it matter what culture we are talking about? If you go to China and someone is trying to steal your wallet, do you just let it happen? After all, your not an expert on their culture, maybe stealing isn't as taboo... no!

Of course you would not behave this way. You would immediately act to stop this wrong. You, nor any other person, would care about respecting the "culture." You hold a standard for right and wrong that doesn't depend on culture.

Now of course there are things about culture like food, language, etc. that have little to no moral relevancy. Not everything is a right or wrong! And in this manner, different cultures should be equally respected. But in the issues of culture where morals are applied, then no, not all cultures are equal. Some cultures experienced/experience racism, and that was wrong! Cultures that were not racist were better in that area. So yes. Some views on morals are better then others. In turn, some cultures (in areas morally relevant) are better as a whole, then others.


Last edited by Autobon on Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:33 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Autobahn! Were have you benn all my life? Razz
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:47 pm Reply with quote  
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  Cerrinea
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Obviously attending the same school of faulty logic and reason as you, Reep. Very Happy
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:18 pm Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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Cerrinea wrote:
Obviously attending the same school of faulty logic and reason as you, Reep. Very Happy


how so?


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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:32 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Quote:
The idea, as you brought up, that morality needs to be dependent on culture, is a faulty one. If for example murder is wrong, does it matter what culture we are talking about? If you go to China and someone is trying to steal your wallet, do you just let it happen? After all, your not an expert on their culture, maybe stealing isn't as taboo... no!


Morality {conformity to ideals of right human conduct} should not be dependent on culture alone, but to completely ignore the role culture plays is just as wrong.

With examples such as murder and theft, if we are defining these things as right and wrong, you are unlikely to find a society that will establish either of those acts as right (ie. where theft and murder is an acceptable practice with no social or legal consequences).

Of course all of these things that are being discussed need to be put into context. It is nearly impossible to make a statement that is absolute truth because it is very easy to think of exceptions. That is why statements have to be taken in context.

For example, the samurai committing suicide. Is this right or wrong? This is a very good example of where relativism comes into play. People who embrace a religion where suicide is a sin will see this as wrong. A society that believes honor is so important that it is better to commit suicide than to live in shame, would see it as right. (Assuming that's why the samurai killed himself)

Yet I can think of an example of suicide that is very tempting for those religious individuals (those believing suicide is a sin) to accept as not wrong, or at least entirely wrong. Let's go back to World War II, and in this case, the Eastern Front. Now in this example it could be equally valid for either side, the Russians or the Germans, as both committed atrocities.

So a family knows that the enemy is upon them and soon enemy forces will occupy their village. There have been reports of the enemy in there area looting, raping, and murdering villagers. When the day comes, they go to their front door to see a large group of soldiers they cannot possibly overcome. They can tell what their intent is. The father has a beautiful daughter, and his wife is still young in years. He on the other hand is not as young as he used to be, and he does not have a rifle to defend himself. One man against many, he knows he doesn't have a chance. In order to avoid the pain and suffering that will soon follow, the family commits suicide.

Is it right or wrong? Does culture have any impact on the morality of this situation? The culture during this period was one where Germans routinely committed suicide or went well out of their way to avoid capture by the Russians. In turn, the Germans at this same time were wiping out entire villages on Hitler's orders. The type of people who actually carried out these orders were very bestial in their methods.

As I said, both sides committed atrocities. It was a time were and a culture were very vicious things were being done. A time when suicide didn't seem like such a bad idea when the wolves were at the door.
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:00 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Cerrinea wrote:
Obviously attending the same school of faulty logic and reason as you, Reep. Very Happy

So says you. Wink

The thing with the Samurai is that, althopugh they take honour seriously, they weren't perfect individuals. Why couldn't they be mistaken about (at the very least) one issue?

I would also say that the family commiting suicide is a bad thing. There may not be a pefect solution, but it seems to be the worse of two evils. I don't consider mercy killings honourable.
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:38 am Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
Yet I can think of an example of suicide that is very tempting for those religious individuals (those believing suicide is a sin) to accept as not wrong, or at least entirely wrong.


Darth Skuldren, your entire argument seems to rest on the idea that certain wrongs can be made justifiable if they are done for a seemingly good reason. In other words, morals are dependent upon the motive.

In that case, I can also come up with extreme examples. What if someone's family was kidnapped, and to get them back they had to kill person X. They thus killed person X, not because of some hatred they had, but with the goal of protecting their family. Of course, what they did was still wrong. They still murdered someone, regardless of what was going on in their head. So morality cannot be based on motive alone.

Its actually a much more simple debate then your making it though. The question you must ask is this: Is moral objectivity true? Because if it is, and suicide is proven to be wrong, then there is no room for relativism. It is simply wrong.

And if thats the case, then its better to suffer evil rather than inflict it, to answer your earlier example.


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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:14 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Well here are my opinions. If someone kidnapped my family, and it were in my power, I would take them out. In that scenario right is freeing my family. That is my personal belief. We all have our beliefs. My beliefs are not necessarily right depending on what definition you use, but this is a thread on the discussion of relativism.

In fact, when it first started, I wasn't sure where I stood. I think I'm now more fond of the idea of relativism.
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:49 pm Reply with quote  
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  Autobon
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By the way, you misunderstood my example, due to me not being very clear. Person X is not the kidnapper, just someone the kidnapper wants you to kill in exchange for your family back.

For example say someone wanted you to become a suicide bomber and threatened your family to try to force you. Think that type of a situation.

Darth Skuldren wrote:
In fact, when it first started, I wasn't sure where I stood. I think I'm now more fond of the idea of relativism.


Its good you know where you stand. Many people hold that moral objectivity AND relativism are true, which is illogical. To be extra clear, we are talking specifically about moral choices. You could argue that relativism is true in the sense that the choice between favorite colors is equal, but that is not moral relativism.

That said, I think moral relativism is false. It is by its very nature a contradictory statement. How can you say there is no objective truth, and then state that relativism is true? I will expand on that later, but I am curious as to your answer.


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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:27 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Reepicheep wrote:

Your arguments haven't trumped mine, I just disagree with them. I could continue but it would just be restate after restate. We've come to a solid disagreement and I don't see any point in continuing.


Honestly I don't think you produced a strong defense of your position (defended it yes, but not strongly). Be that as it may I agree that you are unwilling to accept any other opinion other than your own on this matter.

I do however have some final things I wish to say regarding your last post in response to my and Cerrinea's position.

Quote:

You think that the Samurai's cultural suicide is honourable becasue the Samurai "considered honor very very important" but I don't because I think that life is too precious for a suicide to save your honour (pride anyone?) to be acceptable.


I didn't say I thought it was honorable, I said that's what the Samurai believe. Don't twist my words. What I did say was that using an approach of Relativism I could understand this and realize that in the cultural context this wasn't seen as evil behavior even though my inclination as a Westerner would be to have this initial interpretation. Importantly I could conclude (but don't have to under the "Methodological (Descriptive) Relativism" approach) that while this cultural behavior was different from mine it was not necessarily evil and thus not behavior I needed to change to be in conformity with my own.

Quote:
I think the Nazi leaders brain-washed their followers (I should have clarified that by the way) into thinking the Nazi way was the just way and that the same can be said for the Samurai.


Ok then basically that means any behavior you disagree with is not a product of cultural values (in the case of Samurai) but is malicious brain-washing like the Nazis. So now I can argue that your disagreement with gays is a result of you being brainwashed. Your beliefs result in behavior I find objectionable therefore it is brainwashing (malicious) and not simply a product of how you were raised. You believe your way is just, I think your way is not just. By your own standard that means I can validly say you have been brainwashed because you have been and I know you have been because I find your behavior objectionable. This is the standard you apply to the Samurai so all I’m doing is applying it to you.

I’m not examining your position through Relativism, I’m approaching it according to my opinion where anything different from my view which I find objectionable therefore is wrong. Your view is not equal to mine, should not be treated as equal to mine and should be treated as inferior to mine because it is not in agreement with mine. The logical end is that I have the right to suppress or engage in efforts to change your view (whichever happens to be more effective) because it does not deserve equal voice to my own view. Why should I treat you as an equal when clearly your opinions are inferior to my own and I know this to be so because I am using inequality instead of Relativism.

Quote:
Anyway, The TCW crew seems to agree with me.
"Without humility, courage is a dangerous game."


I argue that it simply means that without being humble you're liable to do something stupid that gets you or others killed unintentionally because you are courageous but too overconfident in yourself to fully appreciate the danger of a situation.

Humble = not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive;

Now let us take the definition apart: Proud = feeling or showing pride, having or displaying excessive self-esteem; (Haughty is blatantly or disdainfully proud); Arrogant = exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one's own worth or importance; Assertive = disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior

So someone who is not humble will have an overinflated impression of themselves, will likely have an exaggerated opinion of their abilities in relation to anothers abilities, will act with great confidence and will inflate their own worth when interacting with others.

Now having done this lets reexamine the quote:
Without humility, courage...

Ok now we establish two things here: the individual referred to is not humble but is acting with courage. Importantly this means that some danger is already present or imminent that results in the individual needing courage.

is a dangerous game

Ok now we establish that non-humble courage results in danger. Worth noting this danger must be different from the initial thing requiring courage and the danger is the result of acts of courage. (it would be illogical to argue that you can act with courage when there is no threat and that courage then produces a threat).

(Game is clearly being used here as “a procedure or strategy for gaining an end” rather than “activity engaged in for diversion or amusement.” The latter has nothing to do with courage as one doesn’t act with courage with the purpose of diversion or amusement but one does act with courage as part of a strategy or procedure to gain an end).

Now then who does this danger created by courage threaten? Well we can rule out the initial thing causing danger as otherwise this is a statement of the obvious that contributes nothing. Therefore that leaves us with two groups: the courageous individual and any allies or unaffiliated bystanders. Critically here we can assume that this means the danger caused by courage is unintentional. One can assume logically that acts of courage are done with the intention of getting oneself or others out of danger not creating even more danger. The deliberate intention of creating even more danger for yourself and/or others would come under the heading of “suicidal” or “masochism” as you are not mastering your fear of pain or death but are rather seeking it out because of some desire for it, most likely to to some sort of psychological problem/condition.

Let us just revisit the definition of courage to illustrate this: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty (taken from Merriam-Webster online dictionary). To help clarify: Venture = to expose to hazard; Persevere = to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement ; Withstand = to stand up against : oppose with firm determination; especially : to resist successfully . Now critically “persevere” and “withstand” convey that the outcome desired is survival (you cannot persevere if you are dead and you cannot oppose or resist danger, fear or difficultly if you are dead). Therefore someone seeking death (or pain), while not having fear of death, is also not acting with courage because the desired outcome is death not survival.

Continuing on let us put the quote back into the context it came from: the plot synopsis for the episode reads as follows “Ahsoka finds herself trapped on a Trandoshan moon, prey in an elaborate and cruel hunt.”

This further indicates that what is intended in the quote is to convey that a lack of humility will result in courageous actions that expose the individual, their allies or innocent bystanders to further danger because of an overestimation of the individuals abilities or an underestimation of the abilities of the enemies.

Given this there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the quote is being used to indicate that a non-humble person will be more disposed to commit atrocities through courage. However, it is quite likely that a non-humble person will be more likely to act courageously but get themselves or others killed unintentionally due to overconfidence in their abilities or a lack of value in someone else's ability to perform as well under identical circumstances. I fail to see how the quote supports your point.

Quote:
You said that I placed Western morals above others which is most likely not true. I think that the Bible's morality is above the others because I believe it to be the Word of God. The Bible wasn't even written in the West.


Ok to clear up the reason I am referred to your Christian view as Western culture is because Christianity was a founding part of Western cultures (Western morals are based on the Christian tradition) and not the cultures of some other geographic location. Where it was actually written doesn't really matter as it doesn't change the fact that the cultures it took hold in and defined were European (what is known as "the West"). Simply it is a Western religion because it took hold in the West and was a primary foundation stone to modern Western cultures and not another culture such as China. Ergo to put your religion as superior to all others is to say that the basics of Western cultures are superior to all others.

To illustrate this point: in New York there are the Native American nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Now there are some who are racially Indian but are Christians, culturally they are Western, not Iroquois. To be Iroquois means embracing their traditional religion as you cannot detach the culture of their ancestors from the religion. They cannot be Christian and still part of the traditional Iroquois cultures because they will have abandoned the world view that is essential to their traditional culture. This is not to say that a Christian Indian cannot appreciate the past or put value on it, but culturally they are Westerners who are a minority racial population they are not a separate cultural group by virtue of their genealogy. This also does not mean that they could not be members of the Indian nations recognized by the American or Canadian government but again that doesn't mean that they are a part of their traditional culture and not a Western based one.

So by placing your religion as totally superior to all others (and therefore the basics of Western cultures) it argues for a homogeneous religion and associated Western based world culture. Even if we detach Christianity from Western culture for the sake of argument your still encouraging a situation that leads to exactly what happened at the time of colonization (it was ok to slaughter Indians and take their land because they were not Christian).

I would ask you this in closing: are you willing to accept that your religion and culture is superior to all others and that ultimately everyone must change to be like you and that means that all non-conformists will be relegated to being second class citizens? Whether that is personally what you want to have happen doesn't matter as that is exactly what WILL happen because that position you support is the one taken during the colonization of the New World and was used as the justification for all the evils done to Native Americans that have only begun to be redressed in the last fifty years or so. Worth noting the reason that things are now being redressed is because we are not accepting that Native American religions/cultures are inferior to our own and are instead treating them as equal albeit different.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Salaris Vorn wrote:


I didn't say I thought it was honorable, I said that's what the Samurai believe. Don't twist my words. What I did say was that using an approach of Relativism I could understand this and realize that in the cultural context this wasn't seen as evil behavior even though my inclination as a Westerner would be to have this initial interpretation. Importantly I could conclude (but don't have to under the "Methodological (Descriptive) Relativism" approach) that while this cultural behavior was different from mine it was not necessarily evil and thus not behavior I needed to change to be in conformity with my own.

Actually you kind of are saying it's honourable or at least that it's not unhonourable (is that better? Wink ). Where we differ is that while you can understand where they're coming from and, thus deem ritual suicide acceptable, I see where they're coming from but I also don't think its acceptable. If morality is objective, the same rules apply whether you are an ancient Japanese Samurai or a modern American fry cook.



Salaris Vorn wrote:


Ok then basically that means any behavior you disagree with is not a product of cultural values (in the case of Samurai) but is malicious brain-washing like the Nazis. So now I can argue that your disagreement with gays is a result of you being brainwashed. Your beliefs result in behavior I find objectionable therefore it is brainwashing (malicious) and not simply a product of how you were raised. You believe your way is just, I think your way is not just. By your own standard that means I can validly say you have been brainwashed because you have been and I know you have been because I find your behavior objectionable. This is the standard you apply to the Samurai so all I’m doing is applying it to you.

I never said the Samurai were malicious brain-washers, but hey are fully capable of indoctrination. Indoctrination doesn't have to come from an evil mastermind, it can come from someone who honestly believes the subject of the indoctrination to be a good thing.

And I believe what I believe because they are sourced from a, I believe, God-given source. That's a pretty legitimate reason to follow a morality. I wasn't just brain-washed with random morality picked by yours truly because it feels good to me. I'm not asking you to believe what I believe, just that thereotically, if the Bible is truly God-inspired, it would be best followed.


Salaris Vorn wrote:

I argue that it simply means that without being humble you're liable to do something stupid that gets you or others killed unintentionally because you are courageous but too overconfident in yourself to fully appreciate the danger of a situation.

Humble = not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive;

Now let us take the definition apart: Proud = feeling or showing pride, having or displaying excessive self-esteem; (Haughty is blatantly or disdainfully proud); Arrogant = exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one's own worth or importance; Assertive = disposed to or characterized by bold or confident statements and behavior

So someone who is not humble will have an overinflated impression of themselves, will likely have an exaggerated opinion of their abilities in relation to anothers abilities, will act with great confidence and will inflate their own worth when interacting with others.

Now having done this lets reexamine the quote:
Without humility, courage...

Ok now we establish two things here: the individual referred to is not humble but is acting with courage. Importantly this means that some danger is already present or imminent that results in the individual needing courage.

is a dangerous game

Ok now we establish that non-humble courage results in danger. Worth noting this danger must be different from the initial thing requiring courage and the danger is the result of acts of courage. (it would be illogical to argue that you can act with courage when there is no threat and that courage then produces a threat).

(Game is clearly being used here as “a procedure or strategy for gaining an end” rather than “activity engaged in for diversion or amusement.” The latter has nothing to do with courage as one doesn’t act with courage with the purpose of diversion or amusement but one does act with courage as part of a strategy or procedure to gain an end).

Now then who does this danger created by courage threaten? Well we can rule out the initial thing causing danger as otherwise this is a statement of the obvious that contributes nothing. Therefore that leaves us with two groups: the courageous individual and any allies or unaffiliated bystanders. Critically here we can assume that this means the danger caused by courage is unintentional. One can assume logically that acts of courage are done with the intention of getting oneself or others out of danger not creating even more danger. The deliberate intention of creating even more danger for yourself and/or others would come under the heading of “suicidal” or “masochism” as you are not mastering your fear of pain or death but are rather seeking it out because of some desire for it, most likely to to some sort of psychological problem/condition.

Let us just revisit the definition of courage to illustrate this: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty (taken from Merriam-Webster online dictionary). To help clarify: Venture = to expose to hazard; Persevere = to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement ; Withstand = to stand up against : oppose with firm determination; especially : to resist successfully . Now critically “persevere” and “withstand” convey that the outcome desired is survival (you cannot persevere if you are dead and you cannot oppose or resist danger, fear or difficultly if you are dead). Therefore someone seeking death (or pain), while not having fear of death, is also not acting with courage because the desired outcome is death not survival.

Continuing on let us put the quote back into the context it came from: the plot synopsis for the episode reads as follows “Ahsoka finds herself trapped on a Trandoshan moon, prey in an elaborate and cruel hunt.”

This further indicates that what is intended in the quote is to convey that a lack of humility will result in courageous actions that expose the individual, their allies or innocent bystanders to further danger because of an overestimation of the individuals abilities or an underestimation of the abilities of the enemies.

Given this there doesn't seem to be any evidence that the quote is being used to indicate that a non-humble person will be more disposed to commit atrocities through courage. However, it is quite likely that a non-humble person will be more likely to act courageously but get themselves or others killed unintentionally due to overconfidence in their abilities or a lack of value in someone else's ability to perform as well under identical circumstances. I fail to see how the quote supports your point.

Haha. I think you got me here. The phrase could support my position if it was given a different context.

Salaris Vorn wrote:

Ok to clear up the reason I am referred to your Christian view as Western culture is because Christianity was a founding part of Western cultures (Western morals are based on the Christian tradition) and not the cultures of some other geographic location. Where it was actually written doesn't really matter as it doesn't change the fact that the cultures it took hold in and defined were European (what is known as "the West"). Simply it is a Western religion because it took hold in the West and was a primary foundation stone to modern Western cultures and not another culture such as China. Ergo to put your religion as superior to all others is to say that the basics of Western cultures are superior to all others.

To illustrate this point: in New York there are the Native American nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Now there are some who are racially Indian but are Christians, culturally they are Western, not Iroquois. To be Iroquois means embracing their traditional religion as you cannot detach the culture of their ancestors from the religion. They cannot be Christian and still part of the traditional Iroquois cultures because they will have abandoned the world view that is essential to their traditional culture. This is not to say that a Christian Indian cannot appreciate the past or put value on it, but culturally they are Westerners who are a minority racial population they are not a separate cultural group by virtue of their genealogy. This also does not mean that they could not be members of the Indian nations recognized by the American or Canadian government but again that doesn't mean that they are a part of their traditional culture and not a Western based one.

So by placing your religion as totally superior to all others (and therefore the basics of Western cultures) it argues for a homogeneous religion and associated Western based world culture. Even if we detach Christianity from Western culture for the sake of argument your still encouraging a situation that leads to exactly what happened at the time of colonization (it was ok to slaughter Indians and take their land because they were not Christian).

I would ask you this in closing: are you willing to accept that your religion and culture is superior to all others and that ultimately everyone must change to be like you and that means that all non-conformists will be relegated to being second class citizens? Whether that is personally what you want to have happen doesn't matter as that is exactly what WILL happen because that position you support is the one taken during the colonization of the New World and was used as the justification for all the evils done to Native Americans that have only begun to be redressed in the last fifty years or so. Worth noting the reason that things are now being redressed is because we are not accepting that Native American religions/cultures are inferior to our own and are instead treating them as equal albeit different.


I have never said, and never will, that my culture is superior to all others. But of course I believe my religion is superior to all others. I'd be a pretty bad Christian if I thought Buddhism held the same amount of truth as Christianity. Just as if, if I was a Buddhist, I would be a bad Buddhist if I believed Christianity held as much truth. Do I want everyone to be like me? Heck no! Or even do I want all Christians to be the same? Also heck no! Christianity teaches unity through diversity. As in everyone should have their own interests skills and gifts. It draws the line at morality though, stating that morality is objective. I disagree with the bad treatment of Native Americans simply because it isn't Christian behaviour (Christian not Churchian fyi). I may disagree with Native American philosophy but, and I have Scripture backing me up here, I should still treat a Native American with respect and grace. I don't think the Church should control the state either so...
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Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


Last edited by Reepicheep on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:37 pm; edited 2 times in total


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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:35 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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There are so many types of relativism that this topic is a very messy one to discuss. In response to Autobon, the moral relativism you're talking about seems to match wikipedia's description of Meta-ethical Relativism (which more or less holds that there is no good/evil, right/wrong, only different perspectives/sides; no universal truth).

I don't like extremes, so meta-ethical relativism is not something I would support. I believe there is a universal truth sometimes, but that there are also cases where no one is right or wrong. In your example, which is very Darth Caedus/Jacen like, I would say its wrong to kill some innocent person just because some kidnapper says they'll free your family if you do.

In order to argue this any further, I think we would need an example that is not bound to religious concepts, because basically that's where the arguments end up: my religion is right, thus universal truth, thus relativism is false. Remove religion from the equation and you have to change your defense. But right now, I can't think of an example that would work.

Regardless, I'm going to take a stab at a different scenario. According to your stance Autobon, there is a universal truth in all things. So going back to World War II, let's say you have German fighter pilot going up against an American fighter pilot. Neither one of them is politically motivated or a member of a political party. They engage in a dogfight. Would one of these pilots be right under universal truth? And if so, what would be the determining factor?

To make the scenario even murkier, let's say they are both of the same religion and are good people. Both of them are in this situation because they were drafted. To get to this point, both of them have made the same life decisions. I can't say for certain such a thing ever happened, but it's possible. With your line of thinking, would it mean that such occurrences never happen, thus good people never oppose each other?

And what happens if two evil men get into a fight and try to kill each other? If there is a universal truth, does one of them have to be right and the other wrong? Can both of them be wrong? I don't know.
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