Do the republicans or 1% or astro turf tea baggers have any "morality"??

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What morality do they base austerity on,after they bankrupt the economy? What morality they base "drill baby drill" on after destroying the climate? Are these people from this planet?? Or from "beep"?

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tayl44
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Does it matter?

When is "morality" allowed to determine public policy in a Secular Society ?

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Calperson
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Dec. 11, 2010 10:21 am

It doesn't matter to conservatives. It doesn't matter to you. Your kind will eventually be the cause of the destruction of this entire planet. Morality has nothing to do with religion by the way.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am
Quote Bush_Wacker:

It doesn't matter to conservatives........ Morality has nothing to do with religion by the way.

I'm sorry I thought leftists were eternally complaining about how the right was always trying to force its version of "morality" onto other people. I am fascinated by the liberal physche and am truly wondering when it is applicable to inject "morality" into a political discussion.

The question remains, while a persons morality is indeed personal and may be derived from various sources including religious and personal solo introspection, is "morality" per se allowed into a debate about public policy?

If so, does it matter how that person decided upon or arrived at a particular "moral"? What if a non religious person thinks long and hard about an issue and then arrives independently at a conclusion that also happens to be in some religious text? Is that conclusion then to be determined out of bounds?

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Calperson
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Quote Calperson:
Quote Bush_Wacker:

It doesn't matter to conservatives........ Morality has nothing to do with religion by the way.

I'm sorry I thought leftists were eternally complaining about how the right was always trying to force its version of "morality" onto other people. I am fascinated by the liberal physche and am truly wondering when it is applicable to inject "morality" into a political discussion.

The question remains, while a persons morality is indeed personal and may be derived from various sources including religious and personal solo introspection, is "morality" per se allowed into a debate about public policy?

If so, does it matter how that person decided upon or arrived at a particular "moral"? What if a non religious person thinks long and hard about an issue and then arrives independently at a conclusion that also happens to be in some religious text? Is that conclusion then to be determined out of bounds?

Is there a law against commiting murder?

Is there a law against extortion?

Is there a law against stealing?

Are these laws written by our government?

These are all MORAL questions, are they not? Morality has nothing to do with religious belief. If it did then our Constitution would be worthless. If you can't see the difference then you are more dense than I thought.

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Bush_Wacker
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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

Short of a sociopath, doesn't everyone believe they are noble? Even the Nazis believed History would absolve them for trying to exterminate the Jews.

On a lesser scale, the Orwellian Right has crafted a careful narrative that has convinced Tea Baggers the reason the Bush Junta was an absolute disaster, wasn't because he was stupid. He had noble ideas, but his right wing lunacy just wasn't extreme enough.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Neocons lack ethics as well as morals.
Ends justify means for the greater good.
Hard to reason with denialists,
especially those determined by the will of god,
who never shows up to testify...

Quote Calperson:Does it matter? When is "morality" allowed to determine public policy in a Secular Society ?
Quote John Ashcroft:"They say you can't legislate morality. Well, you certainly can."
Chicago Tribune May 25, 1998

Bush. Religious drug treatment in Texas
The new laws exempted faith-based drug treatment programs from all state health and safety regulations followed by their secular counterparts, a list contained in a rule book as thick as a Russian novel that covers every detail from fire detectors to frayed carpets. Counselors in religious treatment programs now may skip the criminal background checks and hundreds of hours of training required of their state-licensed peers.

Faith-based groups that provide child care or operate homes for troubled youths can opt out of state inspections and choose to be regulated by a Christian child care agency approved by the state.

Since their inception, the new rules have been criticized by traditional caretakers, who worry that Bush has placed too little emphasis on holding religious groups accountable, and too much on the notion that faith alone can heal addiction and delinquency--despite decades of research to the contrary.

Ancient Temple Hashish Incense! Did Jesus Inhale?

Blasphemy and The Tree of Life

Quote Paul: 1 Timothy 1-4:"In the later times, some shall speak lies in hypocrisy commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

Drug Czar Seeks To Ban All Hemp Products
Arguments Against Hemp And Why They Are Wrong

Starving Babies and Illegal Food
Even more important to building a strong immune system, hemp seeds are the highest source in the plant kingdom of essential fatty acids. These essential oils, linoleic and linolenic acids, are responsible for the luster in your skin, hair, eyes, and even your thought processes. They lubricate (clear) the arteries and are vital to the immune system.

Quote Cohen and Stillman:Cannabis seed protein even allows a body with nutrition-blocking tuberculosis, or almost any other nutrition-blocking ailment, to get maximum nourishment.*
Czech. Tubercular Nutritional Study, 1955.
Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana,
Plenum Press, NY, 1976;
Quote Genesis 1:29-31:"God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth. To you it will be for meat.' And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."
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DdC
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Mar. 22, 2012 1:39 am

Is it moral to lock someone into a cycle of government dependance?

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WorkerBee
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Quote DdC:
Quote Paul: 1 Timothy 1-4:"In the later times, some shall speak lies in hypocrisy commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."
Quote Genesis 1:29-31:"God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth. To you it will be for meat.' And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

I'm just trying to find out what the boundaries in the Thom Hartmann community are for political discussion. I for one, believe that a mans morals are intrinsically wrapped up in who is, it doesn't matter how he arrived at his morals, but he is allowed to discuss and vote according to his personal beliefs.

It seems like Ddc here believes arguing political points via scripture is AOK for the Thom Hartmann community.

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Calperson
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Dec. 11, 2010 10:21 am
Quote WorkerBee:

Is it moral to lock someone into a cycle of government dependance?

No, so help us break the for profit prison system, and the Military Industrial Complex, and the Big Oil govt dependence by throwing them from the teat. After that, those poor CEO's can learn how to earn their daily bread in an honest fashion.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 8:21 pm
Quote Caliper:I'm just trying to find out what the boundaries in the Thom Hartmann community are for political discussion.

You mean boundaries as in censorship? For you telling the truth would be a nice change. Discussion has never been censored here as far as I have experienced. Ad hominem probably depends on how accurate or how far out it gets. Trolls trashing is more censorship than actually removing them in mho. You just seem a typical denialist diverting and using a means to an end type argument. Most fascist did the same, the only difference is they did it for personal gain while Teabog dittos do it for Neocon gain they pay for in taxes and never experience first hand. Chumps.

Quote Caliper:I for one, believe that a mans morals are intrinsically wrapped up in who is, it doesn't matter how he arrived at his morals, but he is allowed to discuss and vote according to his personal beliefs.

I believe you mean ethics, in how a person conducts himself. Morals come from how a person feels about themselves after doing something others have determined wrong. Ethically you may be legally permitted to defend yourself from attack using deadly force. Morals make you feel bad about it even if it's legal. Or in reverse when I smoke pot I feel no remorse or immorality and speaking out against the injustice of prohibition is ethical. Defending corruption is not and the results of defending that corruption perpetuates immoral acts. I think the human invention of religion co-opted morality but it's actually just guilt. If it is from truth it is good, if it is out of lies taught then it is not so good. If you're ok with sick people going to cages for relieving symptoms or even for relieving stress then you have no morals or ethics. Just greed or ignorance or both.

Quote Caliper:It seems like Ddc here believes arguing political points via scripture is AOK for the Thom Hartmann community.

DdC believes whatever the fuck he wants Caliper, regardless of Thom Hartmann. All he can do is kick me out. I choose to follow decorum as i choose what links to post or what I'm having for lunch. You want adults to say it's ok and would never go against the grain to help someone no matter the consequences of your lack of actions. That tells me you are only repeating what you're told and an original thought would probably cause you great torment. Hey it's the Neocon's bible quotes I throw in your face. If you think its all BS, that is your opinion. I have no objections to people living in the surreality of religion as long as they don't try to make me live there, especially by legislating their warped versions of morality. Hitler thought he was Catholic and the Pope agreed signing a concordance. By your actions ye will be judged. Neocons are the third party pretty much in control since Nixon. They stay in power by diverting, shunning and lies. Pitting dems against reps with trolls barking interference. Hedging their bets backing both horses. Blue collar racists hating Obama to the point of wrecking the country over it. Bidding for their Wall St masters praying for tinkledown that never gets there. Pitiful. So junior, do you ever have something to actually say that has a point? Or is it just hate for anything not what you think you believe?

Conservative Addiction Good, Liberal Addiction Bad!

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DdC
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Mar. 22, 2012 1:39 am

I think most of us normal people think the 1% and representatives have no morals.Anybody with no morals,don`t respect right from wrong.Good people we need moral leadership,without it,we`re "doom"!

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tayl44
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Quote WorkerBee:

Is it moral to lock someone into a cycle of government dependance?

Are you talking about Lockheed and Exon? No, you probably forgot about those wellfare queens. You were thinking of black people, right? Do you long for the day when they were free to be three fifths of a human?

It's ridiculous to talk in terms of government dependence when we ALL depend upon the government for something. Only the most ignorant tea bagger thinks the government serving the people is immoral.

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D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Just like mafia dons, the 1% justify their excesses and greed by saying they are providing for their family. Their problem is that they do it at the expense of most every one else.

lovecraft
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May. 8, 2012 12:06 pm
Quote lovecraft:

Just like mafia dons, the 1% justify their excesses and greed by saying they are providing for their family. Their problem is that they do it at the expense of most every one else.

Great point. When repuplicans talk about family values, you know they mean only a certain kind of family. They have a picture in their little minds of a white man and a white woman and two or three white children in a single family, christian home.All of the families with two moms or two dads or unmarried parents or mixed-race marriages don't apply. Those families have to be marginalized, at all costs, in support of the "superior" tradition.

Just like with every political decision, there are winners and loosers. The family values of the conservatives accepts willingly that certain undesireable people will be harmed by their policies. Yet, they are the first to cry out that higher taxes will decrease their ability to "care" for their own children. To that I say, what about the families with chidren who don't earn enough to be taxed? Isn't poverty and ignorance and sickness a bigger tax than your 15% tax is valued. Would you trade places with such a family? I'm sure the poor people wouldn't mind. The repulicons merely regret that their taxed earnings are spent on charity for the poor instead of prisons for them. Boo hoo.

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D_NATURED
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“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

I like this quote because it speaks to the appeal of liberalism. For every problem there must be a government program to address it and at first glance this thought process makes sense. You know the old "Give me a fish and I will eat for a day, teach me to fish and I will eat for a lifetime"?

What happens if you keep giving me fish each day? Is it unreasonable to think that a reasonable percentage of the folks receiving fish will be simply content with that? That they will not work to improve their lot in life? That their children will "learn" by example?

Does me having such thoughts mean I am a racist, immoral person?

As far a crony capitalism I would submit to you that this is a inherent result of liberalism. If you are advocating that the government should play an ever growing role in capital allocation does it surprise you that some of the spoils will be directed to the powerful?

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Quote WorkerBee:

“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

I like this quote because it speaks to the appeal of liberalism. For every problem there must be a government program to address it and at first glance this thought process makes sense. You know the old "Give me a fish and I will eat for a day, teach me to fish and I will eat for a lifetime"?

What happens if you keep giving me fish each day? Is it unreasonable to think that a reasonable percentage of the folks receiving fish will be simply content with that? That they will not work to improve their lot in life? That their children will "learn" by example?

Does me having such thoughts mean I am a racist, immoral person?

As far a crony capitalism I would submit to you that this is a inherent result of liberalism. If you are advocating that the government should play an ever growing role in capital allocation does it surprise you that some of the spoils will be directed to the powerful?

Would the spoils be more evenly distributed with no government in place and the world left to divvy out things as they see fit? If someone gives me a fish every day there is no way in hell I'll be content with that when I see successful people eating lobster. It is inherant in most everyone to want to be successful. Just because you help people who are in need of help does not mean they want to be treated like "pets" the rest of their lives. Given a chance and the time, everyone will look for a means to better their life. I don't know anyone who is content with a monthly welfare check and foodstamps. Most of them are embarassed and can't wait to pull themselves up given the opportunity. That's all they want is an opportunity. When you have 1 job opening for every 4 people who need a job then that opportunity is not there. You have to live long enough to wait for that to change so that you can have a chance to make your own living.

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Quote Bush_Wacker:Would the spoils be more evenly distributed with no government in place and the world left to divvy out things as they see fit?

No

Quote Bush_Wacker:

If someone gives me a fish every day there is no way in hell I'll be content with that when I see successful people eating lobster. It is inherant in most everyone to want to be successful. Just because you help people who are in need of help does not mean they want to be treated like "pets" the rest of their lives. Given a chance and the time, everyone will look for a means to better their life. I don't know anyone who is content with a monthly welfare check and foodstamps. Most of them are embarassed and can't wait to pull themselves up given the opportunity. That's all they want is an opportunity. When you have 1 job opening for every 4 people who need a job then that opportunity is not there. You have to live long enough to wait for that to change so that you can have a chance to make your own living.

I would not be content with it either but to deny that some are is disingenuous.

If you ask I am sure they will tell you they are not content and want a better life and they absolutely believe it. But, of course, wanting a better life is not the same as doing what is necessary to work towards a better life.

I have a little brother like that unfortunately. He has had about 4 jobs over the last years, for some reason he never has trouble finding one but can't seem to hold it.

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Apr. 28, 2012 12:22 pm

I know many people like your little brother. That's not a handout addiction, that could be one of many things. Some people need change and will always jump from job to job. Some people have problems with authority and are always finding themselves in some kind of trouble at work. Some people refuse to kiss ass and if you are at the wrong job that won't get you far.

I also realize that there are some people who would just as soon have you and I pay for their living for all time if they could get away with it but I don't think it's right to punish the many for the actions of the few. There are lots of people who with a little push and a little encouragement go onto great careers. There's no easy and explicit answer to these kinds of problems but we always seems to seek the easy way to address them.

A long time ago it was much easier for a man or woman to show their worth through their actions but now there are so many variables and influences outside of one's control to be able to show what you are really made of. It's always going to be easy for some and very difficult for others and everything in between. I have no problem supporting my fellow Americans on the difficult road with the little I contribute in tax money. As long as it is never required of me to pay out more for others than I need for my own.

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Jun. 25, 2011 7:53 am

The implication of Tayl's question about the morality of the 1% boils down to inequality, and whether such inequality should be scrutinized from a moral perspective. It should. And it's a good question.

When I use the word moral in this context, I do not mean moral from a religious perspective, or ideas of good and evil. I mean moral in the sense of our innate capacity as human beings for empathy, care, responsibility toward others, fairness and a feeling of community with others. The Golden Rule is about morality, for example: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

So, you cannot scrutinize inequality from a moral perspective, without looking at the effects of inequality on whole human populations, on societies. Today I've been reading The Spirit Level, Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. I'm thinking they could have written the subtitle to say, "...How Inequality Makes People Sick..." but, of course, they had to put it positively, so I'm not complaining. It's just that in reading this book, one has to come away with the realization of the intense immorality of all forces that make for inequality. Check out this page, for starters, if you don't know what I'm talking about: http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why

Inequality harms. And it damages on the micro level of the family, just like it does on the macro level of society as a whole. That's why I would caution WorkerBee against being too hard on his "little brother" (who probably isn't all that little.) Being a "big brother" grants you a built-in status and head start that many younger siblings never quite get over. Being able to keep a job and be successful requires self-esteem, and if you're often on the losing end in a competitive family, experiencing your lower status in the family for years on end, it's awfully hard to be the person you could have been, if only you'd been the first one born. It can be done, but the moral thing for a big brother to do, it would seem to me, would be, first, to stop thinking of him as the "little brother." ;-)

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Worker,if your mind cannot expand to understand the reasons for giving,the only logical reasons can be, you`re a "racist,immoral person"!

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tayl44
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Zenzoe,thanks for your post,i will add something you made me think of with this post.Is there a difference between the genders view of morality? Just look at Workers view of his brother and your view? I would have a view of, the brother can be happy with his life? Whose to say different? God?

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It depends on who you're talking about. Some of them are simply psychopaths, but even Dick Cheney has some morality.

You might want to do a little reading about moral psychology....and we'll see that Zenzoe addressed one of five values as described by Johanathan Haidt: care for others, fairness, loyalty, authority and purity......or maybe the equality is a blend of fairness and care, whatever.

I think Kohlberg's stages of moral development must be considered and I think the Spiral Dynamics model can be useful too (here's a cool chart). They reveal that conservatism is simply an earlier stage of development.

Conservatives and republicans favor traditional values, older values, less inclusive values. The worst of them are archaic Old Testament barbarians. Those outdated values need to be revised and purified from the poisons of the psychokleptocrats.

Here's the big bald map maker... crazy brilliant egomaniac

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MEJ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote tayl44:

Zenzoe,thanks for your post,i will add something you made me think of with this post.Is there a difference between the genders view of morality? Just look at Workers view of his brother and your view? I would have a view of, the brother can be happy with his life? Whose to say different? God?

I don't know the answers to your questions, Tayl. And I don't know if gender/sex has anything to do with differences in our views of morality. But, as far as your suggestion that perhaps the younger brother could be happy with his life, even while the older brother has disdain for it, that could be true. We shouldn't be self-defined by how others define us. Perhaps the younger brother is well-grounded enough to ignore the put-downs (If there are any to his face; though often as not a dim view gets expressed unintentionally, regardless.).

MEJ, you've brought up some very interesting stuff there at #23. I'd never heard of Kohlberg's stages of moral development, or of Haidt, for that matter. As for Haidt, I have to wonder what is meant by "purity." Seems like a strange inclusion. It reminds me of Dr. Strangelove's Jack D. Ripper's "precious bodily fluids." Remember that? Anyway, it seems like an old-fashioned word, or a word derived from a too-intense preoccupation with religion.

I read portions of Wikipedia's take on Kohlberg's theory. It's interesting, however, I don't see how some of those listed as early stages of moral development could be considered a moral orientation. For example, "Obedience and punishment orientation —(How can I avoid punishment?)." That seems more like an authoritarian orientation, which, to my mind is not a moral one. And so forth with the next. Also, his theory, from only a brief scanning of it, seems based on a hierarchy of values —steps— and I'm not sure that's how morality actually works. If one's moral education involves punishment for bad behavior solely, one has not had a moral education at all. Moral education can be gained via moral guidance; for example, a loving teacher explaining how we are to treat each other, based on moral principles. One doesn't need to go through "stages," from low to high.

Zenzoe
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote WorkerBee:

“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

I like this quote because it speaks to the appeal of liberalism. For every problem there must be a government program to address it and at first glance this thought process makes sense. You know the old "Give me a fish and I will eat for a day, teach me to fish and I will eat for a lifetime"?

That is a mischaracterization of the "appeal of liberalism". Liberals aren't about a government solution for every problem, just for the ones that government is uniquely qualified to remedy. Furthermore, liberal governments around the world are serving their citizens much better than conservative/libertarian ones.

So, the saying should be: If you're not a liberal by twenty, you have no heart. If you become conservative later because you are worried that someone will take your money and feed a poor person with it, you're a douche bag.

What happens if you keep giving me fish each day? Is it unreasonable to think that a reasonable percentage of the folks receiving fish will be simply content with that? That they will not work to improve their lot in life? That their children will "learn" by example?

That's true, though I don't know what a reasonable percentage is. I don't think that most of the people on wellfare want to be there. So, while that is potentially true, it's also true that allowing people with money to destroy the fish populations with industrial polution will make us all fishless. Giving a needy person a fish is not spoiling them. Taking taxes from the rich is not punishing them. These are two sides of the social morality coin that our country is founded upon.

Your words are consistent with the conservative notion that wellfare spending hurts our economy and encourages laziness. It doesn't. What hurts our economy and encourages laziness is the way we let the rich keep more and more of their profits while the country flounders. That is insane!

Does me having such thoughts mean I am a racist, immoral person?

Probably. Most of the people who benefit from wellfare are children who didn't choose to beg for your fish. They were merely the unwitting recipients of a sub-par lifestyle that you and those like you would have them exist within perpetually through cuts to their nutrition, healthcare and, most importantly, education. But, yeah, go ahead and blame the victims.

As far a crony capitalism I would submit to you that this is a inherent result of liberalism. If you are advocating that the government should play an ever growing role in capital allocation does it surprise you that some of the spoils will be directed to the powerful?

LOL. I love it when conservatives theorize that reducing govenment power will take the money out of politics. It's true but only because the capitalists won't have to answer to or bribe anyone becaue the government regulators will be toothless. That is the real goal of American conservatives. They desire the money to speak for itself without any moral obligations placed upon those who possess the most of it. Conservatives live in a fantasy where corporations are inherently moral and are corrupted by the pay-to-play atmosphere in Washington. It is a brilliant re-imagining of the empirical facts. Bravo!

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D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 8:47 pm

Zenzoe, making theories where people are supposed to "go through stages" even when the reality is quite different, is one of the main problems of stage theories. However, we might be able to ignore the idea that people are supposed to advance through these stages of Kohlberg's theory, and talk about how people who are motivated by fear of punishment -- regardless of their age -- have an authoritarian orientation, while those who are motivated only by the rewards they can achieve regardless of who gets hurt in the process, are basically capitalists and other exploiters who lack a sense of ethics. I have made the point to my classes several times, that any system which rewards people for being at the lowest level of moral development (the selfish motivation of rewards) as our economic system basically does, is royally screwed up.

Stages 3 and 4 are fine and dandy, if people's norms are prosocial, but they run the risk of following the crowd in blind conformity, even when it means committing atrocities. This is how we get people blindly following their government's desires to go to war, etc.

Stages 5 and 6 are based on a personal, fully internalized sense of ethics, and thus do not follow the crowd, but rather, take the greater good and more universal ethical principles into account based on one's own reasoning.

That is a very condensed summary of how I see Kohlberg's theory, but I have found his theory to be very important and useful in my blogging. I am surprised you say that you had never heard of Kohlberg, Zenzoe. I must have written of his theory in about 5 different blog posts by now. Another theory of moral development that I like, and I think you will too, is Carol Gilligan's (the smart Gilligan, not the one from the island). She critiques Kohlberg's theory as being too masculine oriented and cognitively oriented, then suggests that for women, morality is more about emotions such as empathy and compassion. Actually, I more or less agree with her theory for both men and women. In other words, I think Kohlberg underestimated the importance of moral feelings as opposed to moral reasoning, and Gilligan underestimated the importance of moral feelings for men. At least, in an ideal world, both moral reasoning and moral feelings should be integrated and fully compatible, regardless of one's gender.

I saw the link by MEJ, and saw that Haidt is listed as a psychologist, but I have never heard of this person. I did find the theory interesting, and it seems to parallel Hofstede's 5 Cultural Dimensions to an extent. At least there is some overlap. I found it distressing that Haidt didn't seem to believe in a "science of morality," though. Why would a psychologist not endorse a scientific approach? Perhaps it is because this theory is sort of barking up the wrong tree in its attempt to find differences in morality between cultures. There are many differences between cultures, but very little difference between cultures in terms of basic moral ideas.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Thanks, NL, for your generous summary at #26. It reminds me that sometimes comments here on this forum stem from the spirit of giving, as much as anything else. And your gift was special, because I know you weren't feeling well yesterday.

I had to chuckle at this: "I am surprised you say that you had never heard of Kohlberg, Zenzoe. I must have written of his theory in about 5 different blog posts by now." I mean, I do hang on your every word, that is, every word that I see; but you have to realize it's not as though I catch your every blog post. I do miss some of them, and, honestly, I don't remember reading any of these:

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/natural-lefty/blog/2010/08/moral-basis...

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/natural-lefty/blog/2011/10/social-cont...

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/natural-lefty/blog/2010/09/highest-com...

http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/natural-lefty/blog/2010/04/capital-ide...

Also, you have to realize that I don't memorize stuff I don't agree with, or that doesn't resonate with veracity, that is (let's be real), doesn't seem true ("resonate with veracity." Oye), or doesn't serve me somehow. I see why Kohlberg's theories might be useful for you as a teacher, but, for me, they're flawed in the ways you and I have mentioned. And then there's the fact that I'm not taking notes here like a student, or memorizing facts laid out by a teacher. I didn't know there would be a test! ;-) So, sorry. You have talked about this stuff, and somehow I missed it.

I do remember, though, Einstein advised not to memorize anything that you can look up.

Anyway, I stand by my opinion that behavior motivated by fear of punishment or by self-centered rewards does not represent lower stages of moral development; it represents no moral development at all. It's not a stage; it's a way of life. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that the majority who live by such immoral, or amoral, standards never change and never evolve into better people.

I just want to add that the Kohlberg theory assumes that humans are born without the innate characteristic of empathy, which is not true. Empathy is innate; all babies have it. And empathy is the basis of morality. Thus, the so-called "lower stages of moral development," actually must be learned; that is, if any process of stages exists, it is the process that teaches individuals to deny their own empathetic natures. Think of military training. That's what happens there.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

My nose is hot, red and runny at this moment, kind of like a pet's.

I got tired of scoring final exams though, so I logged on.

It doesn't seem too many other people are paying attention to this thread anymore. That might be an example of what I mean when I told Robindell I seemed to be a conversation stopper on the message boards. Maybe this one sounded too knowledgeable.

So I guess it was only 4 times, not 5 -- not that I was counting. That was just a rough estimate. If you add Thom's old site, I think the total would be 6 or 7 times that I had mentioned Kohlberg's theory -- not that I am testing anyone. We have enough memory testing going on around here with my mother being tested for Alzheimer's. I have a lousy memory myself, so I would probably be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment if tested. The thing is, I was born that way.

As I mentioned, I don't especially agree with Kohlberg's theory, either, but I find the gist of it very useful and important. I agree with you on 2 important points: 1. When adults spend a lifetime acting a certain way, it's a lifestyle, not a developmental stage. This is another way of saying what I was trying to impart last time about authortitarian types stuck on Kohlberg's second stage and rip-off artists stuck on Kohlberg's first stage. 2. Kohlberg's theory was cognitive, not emotional, so he did not consider empathy at all. Thus, I included Gilligan's more recent theory as most likely the superior theory of moral development to Kohlberg's. I should add that there is also a behavioral approach to moral development. It's not so much a theory, though, as a line of research about the moral socialization of children, and it has revealed some interesting correlates of moral socialization, such as having siblings who are good moral role models, having parents who explain things reasonably with children rather than giving them orders, etc.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Sorry 'bout your cold, Natural Lefty.

You wrote: "It doesn't seem too many other people are paying attention to this thread anymore. That might be an example of what I mean when I told Robindell I seemed to be a conversation stopper on the message boards. Maybe this one sounded too knowledgeable." I kinda doubt a knowledgeable comment will kill a discussion, NL. I've seen lots of knowledgeable comments on this forum, and they haven't tended to end the discussions. I think maybe people just go on to something else, or maybe, in this case, the cons went away, so there's not so much to bounce off of anymore. More and more, the threads seem to be propelled by disagreement. It's really more like bickering than discussing, not that I don't enjoy that too. Some short retorts I've seen have worked brilliantly. Brevity...soul...wit... you know.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zenzoe,it`s no fault of our if men & women have a different view of morality.Blame it on God. I see the posts are spitting moraity like the atom,i`m going to keep the view of the atom/morality. One post say even bad people have morality,i guess that make "morality in the eye of the beholder"? But we all want the morality in eyes of God/nature,right? The moral greed is good was ok as long as it didn`t effect other things negatively.As we evolve,our morals evolve with us.We learn right from wrong from pain.It`s a real problem when the pain is pass on by the 1% to 99%,so it take a little longer for the 1% to change. But this is the idea behind the thread,attack the 1% with morality,they have no defense.It may not be no law against greed is good,you don`t need no law to stop pain! It`s no law against austerity,that`s because austerity only hurt the 99%,where the justice or equality or morality? No respect for us,no respect for them.Time to focus on getting our act together,the 1% have none. Natural Lefty,hope the best for your mom and feeling better with cold. With all the wisdom you have,you can never be a stopper,the only thing that stop threads is "close minds"or nothing else to add.

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I have even more mucous today than yesterday, but less sore throat. Did I mention that my illness is clearly a result of stress in my opinion? Following too much prolonged stress is about the only time I get sick, normally. The stress is primarily about my parents (both of them) and secondarily, my teaching.

Perhaps I am a "closer," Tay, the relief pitcher who finishes off the game and gets the save.

As you said Zenzoe, these message boards seem to be driven by disagreement. I spend most of my effort trying to reconcile things rather than foment more disagreement, although sometimes I let somebody have it. I guess being a reconciler is part of my personality.

I agree with you Tay, that what we need to do is make the moral argument on behalf of the 99%. Furthermore, I believe that our moral argument will ultimately win this war of ideas for our side, the sooner the better of course.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I stay out of these threads much for the same reasons you do, Lefty. And then I realized it's probably inevitable that what you say will end discussions. If you want to go deep when you discuss things, you end up turning off most of the people who are here for other reasons. And I don't mean that in an insulting way to those who don't want to read these multi paragraphed posts. After all, most could use a fair amount of editing. I understand it, I think... or is that really intuit? Generally I go by the latter first and then try to explain it, pretending all the while to be objective.

Carol Gilligan popped into my head when I read MEJ's post last time I looked at this thread, but I didn't, for at least some of the above reasons. Not to mention the tensions that came up maybe six years ago now when I tried to include her with a discussion on hierarchy that included a few Kohler advocates pushing stages of development. Not surprisingly they weren't women. When I read Gilligan's unique perspective years ago I was immediately impressed with her intuitive rebellion against the male-oriented hierarchical embeddedness in Kohler's work. And I applauded her. Her own feminist perspective resounding against the deep impositions of patriarchy rings true in her research. Then I happened to read this thread this morning and saw Zenzoe's and your interchange.

Coming from an anthropological, cross-cultural perspective I am also inclined to add that a lot of what we see and intuit about these behavioral expressions is culturally based (and unintentionally biased because, after all, it's what we know), and systemic in that regard. What's difficult is to find ways to measure issues like empathy, emotional intelligence, morality and ethics cross culturally by attempting to look at behavior as an outsider to events. What's often more difficult is to genuinely express them, especially with our culturally patterned language.

Sometimes I'm able to have flickers of awareness as if as an outsider to our society, and I see our own adaptions to our shared culture as so excruciatingly machine-oriented it makes me hurt. Traditional culture's child rearing will of course be geared to their cultures, but as a whole I've seen that they tend to have huge differences from our individualisitic, learn to stand on your own in a crib away from your mother from birth orientation. That impulse from as far back as the enlightenment with well-intentioned attitudes about promoting individual freedom was designed to produce individualistic free thinking human beings -- especially with the males at that time. But if you look at the behaviors in our modern societies as if looking at an ant colony, it's hard not to wonder just what degree of free thinking individualism has been achieved here.

The results of that well intentioned transition intent upon developing free thinking may have helped to create the industrial hierarchy techniques of specialization that make the entire society now something of a giant, systemic machine that can't adjust to the environment we are systematically destroying on this planet. We know we are destroying the biosphere of this planet, despite the very vocal presence of an easily identifiable group that has a well-programmed following of denialists. What seems to be harder to get at is the denialism in those who also can envision the destruction taking place. What's even harder is to get at the culture itself that supports this ongoing process.

I was a TA for an anthropology class once that looked at issues of gender and a sexuality cross culturally. From that perspective I would be inclined to say that something like patriarchy is a gender issue, or phenotypic issue as we might also describe it in cultural anthropology. Thus it would appear that, cross culturally, men are not naturally patriarchal at birth. And yet. in our own culture, both men and women have great difficulty separating it from their sense of sexual identification. And I suspect Kohler with his mappings of linear progressions toward maturity, even the more humanistic Maslow with his hierarchy of needs, had some difficulties unhinging from their deep cultural training.

Difficulties of that sort make writing more exploratory posts on these message boards pretty much inhibitive. I could dwell on feeling bad about it but there's no point.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Tayl, not that I'm perfect either, but sometimes I get frustrated and confused by your comments, because you don't put a space after periods and commas, and you change subjects without paragraph breaks, but then I get a sense of your overall compassion, passion for solutions and simple love and respect, and I decide none of that grammar stuff really matters to me, after all. For example:

Quote tayl44:

Natural Lefty,hope the best for your mom and feeling better with cold. With all the wisdom you have,you can never be a stopper,the only thing that stop threads is "close minds"or nothing else to add.

And isn't that the truth—Natural Lefty does have a great deal of wisdom, partly because of his preference for informing and sharing over fighting. Good on you to mention it. He and Ren count here as among the finest contributors, as teachers in the best sense. I, for one, receive their posts as gifts, or as elements of my continuing education. How valuable to me is that!

See, I'd never heard of Carol Gilligan, and apparently I'd forgotten, or hadn't noticed references to Kohlberg. So, there you are—now I want to go read something by Gilligan.

I hope the wise, deep and knowledgeable ones on this forum will stay. Don't abandon us. If you go away, who will stand for wisdom, depth and knowledge here? So what, if your comment ends a discussion? Sometimes having the last word is a good thing.

Quote Charlotte Bronte:

Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms. The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Mucky T. Mudskipper, having awakened from one of his many recent illness-induced naps, logged onto his computer to witness this display of flattery, and said, "As, shucks" and covered his goggle eyes with his left pectoral fin.

Nobody said anything about quitting this forum, but I suppose you were just being melodramatic, Zenzoe. Heck, I cannot even hear Thom's show these days due to its having been removed from KTLK, but I am still part of this community. I have been explaining where my priorities are, basically. Sometimes, in these message board threads it seems like there is not much to be said that hasn't already been said, and I don't like to be redundant. Other times, the conversation seems to be dominated by whackos with strange viewpoints, and yet other times, dominated by irreconcilable differences in disagreement-driven threads. Sometimes, posters seem a bit naive or ignorant, but when it's something I know more about and relate that on the thread, it gets ignored. Thus, I might as well continue being a blogger, and contribute to the message boards from time to time when I have something unique to add to the conversation.

Tay, I am not saying your writing is technically correct, but I have some students who write like you, so I am used to it.

Zenzoe, I suggest that you check Carol Gilligan's work even though, as I stated, I find that she attributed to the feminine perspective, ways of dealing with moral issues that cross gender boundaries.

Yeah, sometimes having the last word is a good thing, but it depends on what the last word is.

Ren, I am not familiar with the theory by Kohler that you mention. Could this possibly be the same Kohler who is known in psychology for his genius chimp, Sultan, and his assertion that insight learning can occur even in animals? That is the only Kohler I can think of. Could you please summarize his theory?

Ren wrote: "When I read Gilligan's unique perspective years ago I was immediately impressed with her intuitive rebellion against the male-oriented hierarchical embeddedness in Kohler's work. And I applauded her. Her own feminist perspective resounding against the deep impositions of patriarchy rings true in her research."

Bingo, Ren. This is why we need to consider Gilligan's perspective, not merely as a way of describing women's morality, but as a potential template for understanding morality on the whole. Patriarchy is clearly trained, a cultural phenotype as you say. After all, we men all have mothers; we share our genetic codes with women, other than that one little male gene, the testosterone gene.

Ren wrote: "What's difficult is to find ways to measure issues like empathy, emotional intelligence, morality and ethics cross culturally by attempting to look at behavior as an outsider to events. What's often more difficult is to genuinely express them, especially with our culturally patterned language."

It's sort of like the physics principle that one cannot measure anything without influencing what one is trying to measure. Accurate measurement is even more difficult in the social sciences, I think, due to our cultural biases. In other words, as an outsider, we are never really being completely objective. I am reminded of some of the swill that used to pass for social science back in the day, you know, stuff like: "These primitive people are naturally happy since they have naive, child-like minds incapable of higher thought. That's why they dance and sing so much." I think there was a study of the "Japenese mind" done by Americans just after WWII which concluded that they were naturally deceitful and morally inferior to Americans (or something to that effect). Yet, as I mentioned before, basic moral principles hardly differ around the world -- lying, cheating, stealing, killing -- all cultures find these actions morally objectionable, and find altruism and prosocial behavior in its various forms, worthy of praise. Sadly, organized religion has managed to claim that it invented basic morality, despite all evidence to the contrary.

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Mucky T. Mudskipper:

Mucky T. Mudskipper, having awakened from one of his many recent illness-induced naps, logged onto his computer to witness this display of flattery, and said, "As, shucks" and covered his goggle eyes with his left pectoral fin.

Nobody said anything about quitting this forum, but I suppose you were just being melodramatic, Zenzoe.

'Twasn't flattery, Mucky. 'Twas just some overdue credit given where credit was due, and compensation for having poked you in the eye a number of times in the past. And I had the feeling you didn't feel properly appreciated, which you should be—appreciated, that is. Don't let it go to your head, though. It doesn't mean I'm going to fall down prostrate before you in celebration of your existence any time soon. ;-) Anyway, you know me: I'll let you know if I think you're talking poppycock, which you rarely do.

Do you think I'm into flattering people?

I thought you'd seemed to be fading from this scene, somehow. I suppose it was just the message boards, but not the blog section.

Tayl, I hope you didn't take my comment about your writing style too much to heart. It's just that I have this pesky attention to such details, and I can't help noticing. The rest of what I said was sincere, so I hope you don't doubt me too.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Natural Lefty:

Ren, I am not familiar with the theory by Kohler that you mention. Could this possibly be the same Kohler who is known in psychology for his genius chimp, Sultan, and his assertion that insight learning can occur even in animals? That is the only Kohler I can think of. Could you please summarize his theory?

Don't know if you are trying to be funny or if you misread something. I'm talking about the same Kohler you are.

If you are referring to my "linear" developmental reference, that's a dry pun on the feminist take on male left brained logic which I like to poke fun at. My own painfully convoluted expressions in my above post were attempts to show agreement with you when you say:

Quote Natural Lefty:

This is why we need to consider Gilligan's perspective, not merely as a way of describing women's morality, but as a potential template for understanding morality on the whole.

While I may have difficulties taking things into consideration, when I used the term "measurement" in reference to those cross cultural human characteristics I value (where my fellow conservative-oriented males often dismiss them), I am also referring, as I believe you are, to the awakening in 20th Century science from the preconceptual belief that emerged as a kind of 19th to early 20th centuries' positivist faith in the potential for "objectivity" in observation. (See how hard it is for me to say something in simple declarative sentences? Jeesh!) One of the more horrendous results of that in your field was my all time favorite in taking humanity beyond freedom and dignity, our dear B.F. Skinner.

Physics was one of the more significant midwives for the birthing of that awakening, while physicists-turned philosophers of science, like Thomas Kuhn, wrote birthing manuals like The Structure of Scientific Revolutions which revealed the mind sets (paradigms) involved in that process. Ultimately it reveals the uncertainty of all this we exhort with such naive certainty, not to mention a cultural need for certainty that some cultures require more than others. I suspect that may apply in greater degree to complex societies, such as our own, which tend to rely heavily on experts in hierarchy slots, thereby creating a culture of expertise and pseudo-certainty.

Only an Expert - Laurie Anderson

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am
Quote .ren:

Only an Expert - Laurie Anderson

She's great! And I love that song.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Zenzoe:
Quote .ren:

Only an Expert - Laurie Anderson

She's great! And I love that song.

She's my all time favorite. That one says so much more than I can blather on about.

.ren's picture
.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am
Quote .ren:
Quote Zenzoe:
Quote .ren:

Only an Expert - Laurie Anderson

She's great! And I love that song.

She's my all time favorite. That one says so much more than I can blather on about.

Me too—my all time favorite. In fact, I bragged on her here awhile back. Goose bumps!

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Lefty,it goes without saying,stay positive,even when you`re negative.That should be a natural for a relief pitcher closer to get a save. Zenzoe,you don`t have to be perfect to see the limits of my posts and you speak of yourself too when you understand my posts.Out of respect to you and some others i`ll try to do better in future.Zenzoe,i never have doubts about you wanting to do the right thing. Ren,in respect to you,you cover everything thing from Big -Bang theory to spitting atoms. If wisdom could rule the world,now that`s a problem to work on? How can we translate wisdom into power? Having morality can be key in a transformation,lack of morality is reason the ruling class/system is losing power.

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tayl44
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

(I apologize for this further derailment, but, you know, if we had some way of messaging each other...)

Zenzoe, I've included Laurie in many of my bloggings on some of my still going non Hartmann-related blogs (I have about three left out of once five). Here's a sample. (I'm still trying to rebuild that site after they decimated my site design and my intricate HTML formatting of my posts by switching to Wordpress awhile back.)

I visited your blog site and I see we share the same honor as lefties who've been banned from Thom's once upon a time. My big banning occurred during the original Obama run for the presidency four years ago. It took me awhile to get back. At first I didn't want to. But friends called on me to come help fend off the trolls, who always come back.

Then there was a time two years before that when the board went through a major disruption I won't go into, nearly all of my friends, nearly all related to Thom through his Salem work, left the board, and I went toe to toe with a now long-gone moderator who'd suddenly been given too much moderating power, including the power to ban. We'd never been what you could call pals. He decided to give his new powers a spin around the block by banning me, but I was reinstated so quickly it was hardly noticed. I think maybe they revoked the moderator's powers to ban after that, but it's hard to know for sure. The administration of this board has become increasingly inscrutable over the years. Perhaps that's a sign of wisdom and maturity.

I too had a page of mourning started for me, not unlike yours but on different Hartmann board software in an internet galaxy far far away now. Like Thom and his various boards, I have transcended many of my former selves. I am a far less critical, much more distant and careful poster now.

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.ren
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Ren, the only thing I knew about Kohler is that he had a genius chimp named Sultan who seemed to solve problems by insight. This was around the 1920s, I think. I didn't know he had any theory involving "linear progressions toward maturity."

It's interesting that you mention the cultural need for certainty. As I recall, that is one of Hofstede's 5 cultural dimensions that I wrote about some time ago, so there is empirical evidence that this varies considerably from one culture to another. I wonder whether religion and philosophy are the driving forces behind these cultural differences.

B.F. Skinner certainly turned his life into a monument to "objectivity," didn't he? If it couldn't be directly observed and objectively measured, he didn't want to study it. He ultimately put himself into a situational influence box where free will played no role.

I guess they ought to start playing Laurie Anderson's music on my radio station; I had never heard of her.

Tay, how can we translate wisdom into power? That reminds me of the thread that Ren started entitled "Is Sharing the Key to an Advanced Society?" The wisdom that we need to translate into power needs to be a sort of shared wisdom, a product of the people.

It's difficult for me to stay very positive after dealing with my parents these days. My mom is sick (probably got it from me) and discouraged, and my dad is very weak and discouraged in his rehab center. I am beginning to wonder if he will ever go back home again. On the positive side, I have recovered rather suddenly this afternoon, so that now I feel pretty normal, although I am still taking the medications my wife has put me on.

Zenzoe, I have noticed you weren't into flattery in the past, but perhaps you have learned to be a champion groveller from me. ;-) (Is that how it goes?) I think I learned to be a careful poster from Ren several years ago after he came back from banishment on Thom's site at the time, although I still let opponents know the full extent of my wrath from time to time. ;-)

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Natural Lefty
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Sorry, Lefty, I mistyped, I meant Kohlberg. I'm getting more prone to that, lately. It used to be just when I talked. Guess I'm going to have to amp up the vigilance again. Apparently I can't trust my visual word recognition like I used to.

Kohler is a reasonably good quality name in kitchen and bath fixtures. I've done too much remodeling, I fear.

Can't believe you aren't familiar with Laurie Anderson. I don't know if they play her much anymore. Don't listen to radio any more than I watch television. I guess that's called cable now. Lots has changed since I threw the baseball bat through Nixon's face. Amazing when I know anything that's happening these days. No television, no radio, living in the boon docks...

Sorry to hear about all the downers around you. It's hard to lift everyone up when you're under yourself. Glad to hear you're getting better.

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.ren
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Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Looks like you have some homework to do Zenzoe. I'm afraid that you're operating from wishful thinking stage rather than a well informed stage. Punishment or the threat thereof is always necessary because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

A common theme through many threads here is the role of regulation. Mis- and under-informed Libertarians always argue for less or no regulation. Well informed liberals argues for proper regulation. Perhaps you're committing a pre/trans fallacy (scroll down, it's in there about half-way...and I see that it is poorly explained...pre- and trans- are both non-, hence the confusion). I like to include Wilber because he offers one of the most comprehensive views (maps) of creation and consciousness available. Stages, states, lines, levels, waves, and types of consciousness are all represented. I find the language and over-all model very useful although I strongly disagree with the interpetations and conclusions of the big bald guy.Wilber seems to have a grudge or bias and antagonism against liberalism. I'm not the only one to call the Mean Green Meme theory a bunch of bunk.....but I digress...

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MEJ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Getting back to moral pathologies utilizing the spiral dynamics model....

Republicans are generally part of the blue meme. If that is a result of a stage of development then the cure is a simple matter of education - they just need more rational scientific (orange meme, the next stage) information. The success of this kind of therapy can be found in a new organization of former clergy who have lost their faith, the clergy project. It's another matter if it is a type of personality. The perscription for this group is to get them to properly target the real enemy which is the corrupt authoritarians. To get this done is a bigger job of reforming institutions.

The main orange meme pathology is that of material reductionism, Ayn Rand type of stuff. Again, the perscription depends on stage or type. Some people just don't have the type of brain that is capable of empathy, like autistic people. The threat of punishment is absolutely necessary for these people to function within society. If it's just a stage then sensitivity training should do the trick. It is also helpful to teach a secular science of morality and there is a recent growing body of knowledge of this approach.

The green meme pathology is relative pluralism without grounding. Deeper truths transcend and preceed pluralism. The golden rule worked before and will work after this stage, if it is a stage. I'm not sure about this as a type...

These three memes represent the mass of developed society. I don't bother with the lower stages because the prescriptions are well established for their pathologies because all people pass through them as children.

Also note that there are phases within stages. The initial phase into each stage will be marked with a fanaticism or fundamentalism as the person (and perhaps institution) struggles to learn the rules and doctrines of said stage. One must learn the material of a stage before one can transcend it.

One must understand Newtonian physics prior to learning relativity. Ya gotta learn algebra before you can learn calculus. Gotta learn calculus before differential equations...stages...

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MEJ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Natural Lefty, you've "never heard of" Laurie Anderson? Funny, that's what you said here, one of the other times she was mentioned on this forum. Consider yourself drubbed. Ha! Maybe it's time you went to your nearest high-speed internet connection and played Ren's link? Maybe then you'll remember next time her name comes up. :-)

Well, lots of people haven't heard of Laurie Anderson. It's too bad. Even though she's a performance artist, in the fine arts sense of it, her material does have mass-appeal, if only she cared. I doubt she does. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurie_Anderson

Tayl, thanks for all of that good stuff at #40. And I noticed you're starting to put space between sentences, which keeps the headache in my left eye from turning into a full, self-induced cranial implosion. (It could be an ugly sight. But now I'm being overly dramatic.) Come to think of it, I have a headache right now, for real.

Ren, yeah, getting banned can be fun. I think mine was at the hand of a female moderator, though I can't be sure. I never did find out what I'd said that earned my being ostracized from the clan. It might have been my saying that Obama might be one of those charming sociopaths. I was pretty mad at him over his telecom immunity betrayal. But I don't know. I also dared to disagree with the moderator.

I've been furious lately with Blogger for what they did to my blog and how they've changed the interface so drastically. I find it hugely difficult to manipulate things the way I want them. Oh well. And I went to your website too and found myself drawn in...doesn't seem "distant" at all. I'm sure I'll visit again.

I have transcended some of my old selves too, but as far as transcending my critical self, that'll have to come later. In the meantime, I just noticed MEJ's comment to me, where he condescends to me saying, "Looks like you have some homework to do Zenzoe. I'm afraid that you're operating from wishful thinking stage rather than a well informed stage. Punishment or the threat thereof is always necessary because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." And now my headache throbs worse than before.

It is not "wishful thinking" to point out that, while corrupt power must be held responsible, i.e., "punished," such regulation does not teach morality necessarily. To think it does teach morality is in itself wishful thinking. Jack Abramoff learned the hard way, it's true, but he has to be the exception. As we have seen, the threat of punishment may suppress immoral behavior, but it doesn't cure it. This does not mean that I am in favor of deregulation. Quite the opposite.

And now I have to go take an aspirin.

Zenzoe
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Sorry about the headache, Zenzoe. I'm afraid that I might have to add to it so you might want to take an extra asprin.....

You are either wrong or you aren't properly communicating your concept of "teaching morality" and contradict yourself with, "Abramoff learned the hard way"...huh?

What, didn't you ever have kids or a dog? Were you not a child once? Weren't you taught and conditioned into higher moral conduct through negative reinforcement? Punishment is part of the moral fabric, not seperate from it.

There is no cure for the human condition, but the are things we can do to influence behaviors.

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MEJ
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Zen, my blogs are much more me than the way I express myself here at Thom's these days. I try to make them inviting.

I don't know what they did at your blog server (Blogger?). I have a site on a Blogger of some kind but they haven't screwed that one up yet. Not like they did when the other one changed over to awkward and minimized Wordpress. Like you, none of my hard earned programming innovations for look and style are possible. I have to go with a very minimal "free" template they offer with very few options, and if I want more I get to start paying a monthly fee for each one. So the font, font color, font size and everything else is what it is. I discovered yesterday I can add a slide show, and I may do that. Bottom line is they want to make money off it.

The zen of being ren is I'm learning every day not to take affront at what people write. It's a work in progress. But I'm truly enjoying it. My ex used to say I am too diplomatic. She likes her guys to be armed and aggressive I guess. I finally understood her point that we weren't compatible and we parted on reasonably good terms. Anyway, once again, many years later, I'm working on what she thinks I'm naturally good at.

If you look into it, you'll discover Carol Gilligan was Kohlberg's research assistant at one point. But things he saw about stages of development didn't ring true to her own experience (nor mine, nor probably Lefty's, nor many others I can think of), so she developed her own moral development theory and an importantly different philosophy. Here's an overview of her emergent debate with Kohlberg. I was not surprised to run across some rigidity in those who value the Kohlberg developmental thesis. I agree very much with Lefty when he says that empathy is an inherent human trait, not something that has necessarily to be learned from scratch. Either that or I'm living here again and I've brought what someone imprinted on my original blank slate from past lives with me.

My position with that is more along Plato's line of thought with his theory of innate ideas, where we have to awaken what we already know, rather than somehow imprint it into the mind through thing like schedules of reinforcement -- which of course calls to mind the opposite notion in behaviorism and its theories of learning.

My discovery of these things back in the early seventies immediately put me comfortably at home in a school of thought with people like Noam Chomsky and the cognitive psychologists his work brought to the forefront. That would include George Lakoff and his conservative/liberal family theory of politics, which involve two very different styles of awakening what lies within at birth. Chomsky helped elevate cognitive psychology when he thoroughly embarrassed B.F.Skinner after reviewing Skinner's, Verbal Behavior, a uncomplimentary review which prompted a devastating (for Skinner) debate. That debate took place around 1959. Naturally I don't find myself welcomed in the halls of Behaviorist schools, nor do I much care. I think they tend to be rather empty, lonely places devised to support an empty, lonely robotic industrial society.

Which brings my thoughts to the need for regulating non moral, sociopathic institutions considered to be the equal of and essentially the same as persons.

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

Boy-did this topic run off the tracks!

lovecraft
Joined:
May. 8, 2012 12:06 pm

Morality? Moral development? The 1% involved with corporations, corporatocracy, corporate personhood, regulate or deregulate, money is speech for the corporate person and all that? I don't think that's off track. How can we properly talk about morality if we don't have a clue about what it is?

.ren's picture
.ren
Joined:
Apr. 1, 2010 7:50 am

" I agree very much with Lefty when he says that empathy is an inherent human trait, not something that has necessarily to be learned from scratch. "- ren

Good lord people, haven't we graduated from the nature vs nurture debates? Dont ya think that people are born within a range of empathic capacities? Are there not conditions (practices, occupations, philosophies, institutions, etc) that nurture or discourage the capacity for empathy?

Do you think that the average Buddhist monk has more or less empathy than the average vulture capitalist? Why?

and the egg came first....fish and amphibians and reptiles all laid eggs long before there were chickens, so don't play causation confusion games...

MEJ's picture
MEJ
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Currently Chatting

Our kids are counting on us to reverse austerity.

According to UNICEF, even in the world's richest countires, children remain “the most enduring victims” of the recession. In the last six years, 2.6 million more kids have fallen below the poverty line, and more than half of them live right here in the United States.

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