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View Diary: Where did "god" come from? (183 comments)

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  •  How about what you ate today? (1+ / 0-)
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    don mikulecky

    Was any of that rational?  And that trip to the doctor - rational or irrational?

    Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

    by dov12348 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:14:26 PM PDT

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    •  The definition of "rational" here... (3+ / 0-)

      ....tends to be a shade absolutist. It means "always and consistently rational," if such a thing were even possible.

      All of us are partially rational, some more than others. Even the fundie nutcase will probably be making rational decisions about when to change the oil in his/her car. Except for the insane, rationality has a bridgehead in every human being. The problem is how to expand that bridgehead.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:35:32 PM PDT

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      •  And there is the rub! (0+ / 0-)
        All of us are partially rational, some more than others.
         And we determine WHEN we are rational how?

        An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

        by don mikulecky on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 04:41:17 PM PDT

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        •  I'd say a good rule of thumb for a rational.... (2+ / 0-)
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          don mikulecky, Persiflage

          ..action is when we do something that works towards our good or the good of others we care about and we analyze the sacrifice required - that's pretty close.

          Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

          by dov12348 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:19:14 PM PDT

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          •  I like it but why is doing good rational? (1+ / 0-)
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            dov12348

            A real can of worms you have opened.

            An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

            by don mikulecky on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:21:10 PM PDT

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            •  First you have to... (0+ / 0-)

              ...go to the root of your ethics.  What is the good - why is it good - who should be the beneficiary of your actions, and more.

              If you want to survive and flourish, the root of the good has to be you - that is, anything that works to help you achieve your values.  And that includes others, if others are a value to you.

              As people in order to even survive we have to do things that are of value to us.  I call each striving to meet a value a rational choice - or an attempt at a rational choice.

              This is just the slightest touch on a complex secular ethics.

              Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

              by dov12348 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:54:08 PM PDT

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          •  That's a good way to think about "rational" (2+ / 0-)
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            don mikulecky, dov12348

            I like it.  Sometimes the sacrifice is large and the payback, so to speak, is simply the peace of mind of knowing you tried your best.   The "our good or the good of others" can be a rub when those in power are feeble-minded zealots.  See North Carolina for evidence ;-)

            The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri

            by Persiflage on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:31:57 PM PDT

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          •  You could make a rational decsion to steal from (1+ / 0-)
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            don mikulecky

            someone.  Good-bad doesn't play with rationality.  

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

            by accumbens on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:35:32 PM PDT

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            •  No, that's always irrational. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dopetron

              Because a rational ethics - if it works to your values, has to be adopted by all in a society.  Thus recognition of individual rights are crucial or the society cannot survive except through dictatorship.

              So if you want to live in a society that allows you to act and keep your values (your ethics) you have to allow others to do the same.  That's where ethics becomes socio-political.  And that's why violating someone else's rights (eg, stealing) is irrational; in a sense you're implying you don't have those rights either.

              Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

              by dov12348 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:59:20 PM PDT

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              •  Your talking ethics, not rationality per se. (0+ / 0-)

                The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                by accumbens on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:20:33 AM PDT

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                •  The same thing. Ethics has to be rational. (0+ / 0-)

                  Give me an example of an ethical act that is irrational.

                  Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

                  by dov12348 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:54:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Perhaps, but rational decisions do not need to be (0+ / 0-)

                    ethical.  

                    As to your example, one could argue that altruistic acts - for example, giving up your life to save a pet hamster - are not rational.  But then, altruism may not fall under the purview of ethics.

                    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                    by accumbens on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:35:04 AM PDT

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                    •  Altruism can be an alternative ethics. (0+ / 0-)

                      One where others excluding yourself are the primary beneficiaries.  But to practice it consistently I don't think you'd live very long.

                      Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

                      by dov12348 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:40:04 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Which isn't very rational. (0+ / 0-)

                        In any case, calling altruism an "alternative ethics" does not refute my example.  According to Popper, re-defining ethics  is tantamount to changing your definition of swans if your theory is that all swans are white and someone shows you a black swan.

                        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                        by accumbens on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:01:31 AM PDT

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                        •  Maybe I'm not understanding you. (0+ / 0-)

                          If Popper says you can't re-define ethics, then he must see only one possible ethics in the first place.  What is that and how does he support it?

                          You said rational decisions do not need to be ethical.  Give me an example of a rational act that is not ethical.  Your hamster example is, to my ethics, irrational, because my ethics is pro-human life and that act is anti-human life.

                          I'm not sure what else you're saying here.

                          Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

                          by dov12348 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:40:07 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Or the economist's definition: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dov12348

            The assumption that people are rational means that, given the available information, people do not deliberately make decisions that make them worse off.

            •  That's pretty good. (0+ / 0-)

              Another way of saying rationality is to make them better off.

              The economist's statement is weak because an act where the actor deliberately leaves everything the same makes no sense; it would be amoral.

              Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

              by dov12348 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:57:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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