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A Duty to Respect Others

dogparktom
Posts: 112
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2/8/2010 6:08:56 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
A thread, Chomsky vs. Buckley, http://www.debate.org... illustrates a difference between the conservative and Catholic Mr. Buckley and two self-proclaimed socialists, Lukas and feveriah.

The difference relates to a belief in the moral equality and inherent dignity of all men and, consequently, in a disposition to be polite and to show respect to all others. Conservatives and Catholics believe in such moral equality and inherent dignity; Lucas and feverish, and most socialists I suspect, do not.

Lukas immediately disrespects Mr. Buckley, referring to him as "the slimy, right-wing, smug bastard that he is." And feverish implicitly agrees by not expressly disagreeing in his response.

In contrast, Mr. Buckley was always polite to others. During his long career, he showed respect to all of his guests, including Mr. Chomsky. http://en.wikipedia.org... It was considered an honor to be an invited guest on Buckley's show.

Next, consider the instance when a great conservative, President Ronald Reagan, awarded a nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to a great, but neglected, socialist philosopher, Professor Sidney Hook. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Hook published a famous essay, "The Ethics of Controversy". This portion is relevant:

"Regarding freedom of thought and speech, academic freedom, and also
defamation, Hook stated:

"The abuses of free discussion are legion. Short of criminal libel and
incitement to, or advocacy of, violence in a situation of clear and present
danger,
they should not be the subject of legal restraints. For, just as soon as legal
restraints are adopted against the various forms of deliberate untruth,
malicious and scurrilous exaggeration, venomous insinuation, and outright
fabrication, they become weapons to curb honest error and to hamper the
spontaneous
expression of free minds. In the last analysis, only self-discipline can prevent
the level of public discussion from sinking below the safety-line of
democratic health. The restraints entailed by good form in discussion are,
therefore,
more than a matter of good manners. They are a matter of good public morals."
PHILOSOPHY AND PUBLIC POLICY, pp. 118-119

Hook also set forth the ground rules of controversy in a democracy:

1. Nothing and no one is immune from criticism.

2. Everyone involved in a controversy has an intellectual responsibility to
inform himself of the available facts.

3. Criticism should be directed first to policies, and against persons only
when they are responsible for policies, and against their motives and purposes
only when there is some independent evidence of their character.

4. Because certain words are legally permissible, they are not therefore
morally permissible.

5. Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be
impugned, answer his arguments.

6. Do not treat an opponent of a policy as if he were therefore a personal
enemy or an enemy of the country or a concealed enemy of democracy.

7. Since a good cause may be defended by bad arguments, after answering the
bad arguments for another's position, present positive evidence for your own.

8. Do not hesitate to admit lack of knowledge or to suspend judgment if the
evidence is not decisive either way.

9. Only in pure logic and mathematics, not in human affairs, can one
demonstrate that something is strictly impossible. Because something is
logically
possible, it is not therefore probable. "It is not impossible" is a preface to
an
irrelevant statement about human affairs. The question is always one of the
balance of probabilities. And the evidence for probabilities must include more
than abstract possibilities.

10. The cardinal sin, when we are looking for truth of fact or wisdom of
policy, is refusal to discuss, or action which blocks discussion." ibid, p. 122
http://groups.yahoo.com...

I contend that the concepts of moral equality, inherent human dignity, and universal human rights entail a belief in a duty to respect to all men and women.


A disposition to name-call and to denigrate others is a disposition to disrespect others.

What do you think of an initial, minimal duty to respect to all men and women?
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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2/8/2010 7:40:01 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I think that it is in your interests to respect another person, their views, and etc., but that doesn't necessarily make it a requirement. Those that choose to be hostile all the time towards others will simply feel the consequences of it, be it a loss of similar respect from others, or being attacked because of such silliness. People choose to reap what they sow.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
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2/8/2010 7:51:52 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Hi Tom.

Firstly, I think it is very admirable that you leap to the defence of a person you admire when you think that their name is being tarnished.

One important thing which you seem to have ignored is that before launching his humorous ad-hominem attacks, my friend Lukas made an explicit point of saying that he respected Buckley's intellect.

I think it is a little bizarre that you assume that if I do not contradict one of Luke's statements that I automatically agree with it and even more bizarre that you assign his comments and opinions not just to me but to "most socialists". Perhaps you consider socialists as being extensions of one single entity?

The obvious response that I think you can expect from most people on this site is that "respect needs to be earned". It may surprise you however that I myself totally agree that everyone should be afforded basic minimum respect until they do something to lose it.

As far as moral equality goes it is a concept I would associate far more with the left than with the right in politics. Socialism prioritises mutual responsibility and is based on principles of equality whereas capitalism promotes the individual above the society and rewards greed and selfishness. (imo)

For the record, I did think Mr Buckley seemed smug and conceited in this video (the first time I've seen him to my knowledge) and his views certainly seemed right-wing compared to Chomsky's. I can of course make no comment on the legitimacy of his parenthood, however I'm sure Lukas wasn't questioning it in a literal sense.

Hook sounds like a cool guy from his book but if that t*sser Reagan liked him then I'm not so sure (jk).

a difference between the conservative and Catholic Mr. Buckley and two self-proclaimed socialists, Lukas and feverish.

Another major difference which you fail to observe is that Mr. Buckley had the platform of a popular television programme to present his views, with all the moral responsibility that entails, whereas we two left wing Brummies are addressing an obscure internet thread which will probably be viewed by between 10 and 50 people. This gives us the flexibility to be more relaxed, humorous and even insulting than Buckley could have been on his show.

We all make judgements about others. Some of us express these judgements more explicitly than others. From what I can recall, your posts have themselves shown varying degrees of lack of respect for the mothers of unwanted pregnancies, for socialists (of course) and in particular for a certain young lady accused of a crime. I don't think publicising an individuals facebook account without their consent is particularly respectful, however appalled by their actions you are.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with you expressing yourself on DDO and I hope you continue to be a regular contributor (I like having guys like you and Roy around so I don't feel so old myself JK!) but you may want to watch out for behaviour that could be perceived as hypocritical.

Peace.
Lukas
Posts: 110
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2/17/2010 3:29:46 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Thank you Feva for your raleigh to my defense and thanks also to Tom for your passionate responses. It is true that maybe I was slightly harsh on Buckley, as I stated before I have always admired his intellect even though at times I find his politics abhorrent. Perhaps I could have phrased this better and not descended to name calling. In truth, I am more of an 'arguer' than debater and my temper can get the better of me at times. I was brought up to see the conservatives, capitalists and right-wingers as the 'enemy', in much the same way I'm sure alot of Americans were brought up to see socialists and communists. The only difference is that people like Feverish and I were very much in the minority and therefore developed a fierce loyalty and determination about our cause.
At the moment I am trying to teach my two step-daughters about socialism and at times it proves hard. I put this down to television in no small part and their schooling doesn't help either. It seems to me that there is a relentless programme of consumer indoctrination droning through the airwaves and the only fail safe method of stopping this is switching off the box. Its got to the point now were my step-daughters believe that there true path to happiness is to become a 'celebrity'. This for me is a direct result of the 'something for nothing' culture of exploitation perpetuated by capitalism and frankly its starting to piss me right off.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/17/2010 10:09:21 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At the moment I am trying to teach my two step-daughters about socialism and at times it proves hard. I put this down to television in no small part and their schooling doesn't help either. It seems to me that there is a relentless programme of consumer indoctrination and the only fail safe method of stopping this is switching off the box.
So you are annoyed that there are people competing with your indoctrination and you are losing the battle? So annoyed you are literally suppressing information?

Wow.

As to the OP, no, I believe in NO positive duties toward another, at least prior to someone voluntarily taking them on.

The closest thing to it is the voluntarily taken on duty specific to this site of abiding by this site's terms of service to the best of one's ability and accepting the consequences should one fail.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Lukas
Posts: 110
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2/18/2010 3:12:49 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 2/17/2010 10:09:21 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At the moment I am trying to teach my two step-daughters about socialism and at times it proves hard. I put this down to television in no small part and their schooling doesn't help either. It seems to me that there is a relentless programme of consumer indoctrination and the only fail safe method of stopping this is switching off the box.
So you are annoyed that there are people competing with your indoctrination and you are losing the battle? So annoyed you are literally suppressing information?

Wow.

No not at all, I'm not trying to indoctrinate anyone, I am trying to teach them. You see, I am not a massive multi-national corporate entity with seemingly bottomless resources at my disposal, I am merely a father who is trying to teach his children that rampant Individualism is likely to churn out individuals like yourself who are void of humanity. If you had children you would know that simply 'turning off the box' is not effective, after all they have free will (something I know your hot on) and can switch it back on again. What I'm trying to achieve is the same as any parent would do in the face of a malignant influence (perceived or not) in their children's lives. If it is inevitable, like drugs or smoking, the best we can do is to warn them of the dangers and provide information on the issue. I don't send them away to a labour camp for re-education. I am trying to level the playing field and teach them with compassion, something you seem to know little about...brother...
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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2/18/2010 3:33:31 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
No not at all, I'm not trying to indoctrinate anyone, I am trying to teach them.
You see, I am not a massive multi-national corporate entity with seemingly bottomless resources at my disposal
Does not follow. Your resource levels are irrelevant to the obvious fact that you are indoctrinating them.

I am merely a father who is trying to teach his children that rampant Individualism is likely to churn out individuals like yourself who are void of humanity.
That's called "indoctrination," i.e., teaching someone else your doctrines. It probably isn't even willing indocrination, considering how you control most aspects of their lives.

If you had children you would know that simply 'turning off the box' is not effective, after all they have free will (something I know your hot on) and can switch it back on again.
I do not have children, but if I did, and if I cared about them, I would hope they came to my views, but I would do NOTHING whatsoever to prevent them from consuming any information that conflicts with them. A person is essentially nothing more and nothing less than their mind, if you hate what their mind does with no information withheld, you hate the person and seek to substitute another in their place. If you're going to hate someone, at least have the courage to look at what they do when left alone long enough to admit it to yourself.

What I'm trying to achieve is the same as any parent would do in the face of a malignant influence (perceived or not) in their children's lives.
The same as any tyrannical parent perhaps. But no, not just any parent would attempt to "turn off a box" for no better reason than that a box disagreed with them.

I don't send them away to a labour camp for re-education.
Why would you need to? The home serves just fine for re-education.

I am trying to level the playing field
You control their lives. They have free will, but they are not free to say no to you and expect to have that respected.

and teach them with compassion, something you seem to know little about
It's an abstract feeling, not a freaking field of study. What's there but a little to know about it?
"Love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores."
"Compassion" consists, in essence, of taking the opposite of the position I quoted above.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.