Victim Culture

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  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Russ: If you'd said that the pit in question halved wages as a response to the only other mine for fifty miles around closing down, then I might agree that this sounds like an abuse of monopoly power.

    Just a Footnote: It's more likely in these circumstances that the remaining pit owner would increase the price of his coal and the miners pressure him to increase their wages. The losers would be the consumers.

    Wages and profits are much more likely to be depressed by the construction of other pits and a greater availability of coal giving the consumer a stronger position in the market, assuming that demand increased at a lesser rate than supply.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Russ: If you'd said that the pit in question halved wages as a response to the only other mine for fifty miles around closing down, then I might agree that this sounds like an abuse of monopoly power.

    Just a Footnote: It's more likely in these circumstances that the remaining pit owner would increase the price of his coal and the miners pressure him to increase their wages. The losers would be the consumers.

    Wages and profits are much more likely to be depressed by the construction of other pits and a greater availability of coal giving the consumer a stronger position in the market, assuming that demand increased at a lesser rate than supply.

    That assumes the miners have realistic alternative options.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    edited June 15
    Crœsos wrote: »
    This is what I mean by semantic morality.

    I understand you to mean by this something like "a distinction without a difference". Another issue to do with use of language. That it is possible to describe the same action in two different ways. And hold an ethic in which one of those descriptions refers to a morally wrong action and one to a morally permissible action.

    Another form of that human corruptibility whereby we tend to judge the same action more favourably when committed by those we like or sympathize with.
    How is the wage paid by a monopoly not "the going rate"? "The going rate" would seem to be any wage that actually exists, regardless of whether it was the product of competitive conditions or a labor monopsony.

    If monopoly power is not being abused, then the going rate under a monopoly is not very different from what the going rate was before the monopoly arose. Is it not the case that what you'd want an ethical monopolist employer to intend is to carry on paying that pre-monopoly going rate ? Rather than seize the opportunity to reduce rates of pay ?

    Do we actually disagree on self-defence ?

    Or is it just that you describe it as a conditional right (which you want to use as a precedent for "conditional rights" that apply to everyone when they happen to find themselves in circumstances that elicit your sympathy. As part of your corrupted ethic.)

    Whereas I describe it as an instance of conflict -between your duty not to assault others and your right not to be assaulted by others, both of which are essentially universal. But not absolute. As part of my striving after an uncorrupted ethic.

    Tidied quoting code. BroJames Purg Host
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    As part of your corrupted ethic.
    As part of my striving after an uncorrupted ethic.
    I think we've sufficiently established that you are far from striving after an "uncorrupted" ethic.
    As evidenced by your continued insistence on your initial premise that points of view opposed to yours must be "corrupted" despite your repeated failure to get any substantive argument to that effect to stick.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    I wrote "Zeroth law" to indicate it is only one component of a complete system...

    ...Utilitarianism is actually pretty common in real life. There's that old saying about cracking eggs to make omelets, for example.)

    Your objection to "victim culture" and "narratives" seems to be that you believe it is necessary to exclude empathy / sympathy to make truly "moral" decisions...

    ...Real people in the real world weigh all sorts of considerations in making decisions...

    Yes, people do in practice weigh multiple considerations when making decisions.

    Nothing wrong with that as a process when decisions have no moral element.

    And where rights/duties conflict, some sort of weighing up of the pros and cons seems like the way to resolve that conflict.

    Unless you have a strictly hierarchical set of moral rules, in which case no weighing-up is needed - the duty under the First Law always overrides the duty under the Second Law, etc.

    So to my way of thinking describing any principle as a Zeroth Law is to deny that that principle can ever be over-ridden by other considerations. Which may not be what you meant to say.

    Utilitarianism is almost the opposite of that. To the strict utilitarian, every consideration can be over-ridden by a sufficient weight of other factors. Even to the extent of intentionally killing an innocent man. If that's what you believe right conduct consists of, just be honest and say so.

    Lots of people would make that choice if the gains were great enough. Some days I'd make that choice.

    Real people in the real world do things that are morally wrong. (Probably less often than you'd think from reading the newspapers, but that's a tangent).

    Empathy for individuals is a good thing. Bias is what I'm saying needs to be excluded in order to make truly moral decisions. Victim culture is a particular case - bias to those groups with whom one has political sympathy because one sees them as victims.









  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Russ: Victim culture is a particular case - bias to those groups with whom one has political sympathy because one sees them as victims.

    ISTM, Russ, your beef can be summarised as follows:

    " Victim culture is just another way of stating a general case that one is biased towards those groups with whom one has political sympathy because we unquestingly see them as having justified claims against third parties."

    This is a very fair point, and one should always be aware of it when making value judgements in socio-political contexts.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    ............correction: not " unquestingly see", but "unquestioningly see."
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    This is what I mean by semantic morality.

    I understand you to mean by this something like "a distinction without a difference". Another issue to do with use of language. That it is possible to describe the same action in two different ways. And hold an ethic in which one of those descriptions refers to a morally wrong action and one to a morally permissible action.

    No, not describing the same action but the pretense of advocating a supposedly "universal" moral code, in contrast with a dispised and "corrupt" conditional morality. That supposed distinction depends entirely on semantic flim-flam.
    Russ wrote: »
    Do we actually disagree on self-defence ?

    That's what I'm trying to figure out. You claim that the right to "self-defense" is unconditional. On the other hand if we de-euphemize "self-defense" to spell out exactly that it means "applying potentially lethal force to another human being" then you start to add in all kinds of conditional reasoning while maintaining the pretense that you're not.
    Russ wrote: »
    Or is it just that you describe it as a conditional right (which you want to use as a precedent for "conditional rights" that apply to everyone when they happen to find themselves in circumstances that elicit your sympathy. As part of your corrupted ethic.)

    Whereas I describe it as an instance of conflict -between your duty not to assault others and your right not to be assaulted by others, both of which are essentially universal. But not absolute. As part of my striving after an uncorrupted ethic.

    So the right to self-defense (i.e. whether or not it's morally acceptable to apply potentially lethal force to another person) depends on the conditions involved (i.e. is there a reasonable physical threat to you from another person), not some kind of universal rule. Under a truly universal morality this would not be the case. Applying potentially lethal force to another person would always be right or always be wrong regardless of the conditions involved, such as physical danger.

    And by the way you mis-defined "the going rate" too. Not sure exactly who you were trying to fool with that one.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    So the right to self-defense depends on the conditions involved (i.e. is there a reasonable physical threat to you from another person), not some kind of universal rule. Under a truly universal morality this would not be the case.
    I think that's only true if we accept Russ' definitions of 'universal'. What Russ means by 'universal', that is treating all factors variable between people as irrelevant, is not what is normally meant, which would mean treating only a subset of factors as irrelevant. In fact, Russ' definition is unworkable: but that actually suits his argument as he can get any result he likes by applying a self-contradictory criterion while persuading himself that he's just applying his rule.
    In a related way, he has a universal rule against abusing monopolies, but he concedes that whether he counts something as a monopoly or not depends upon how small he draws the circle around the enterprise, presumably in response to his personal bias.

  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Dafyd: I think that's only true if we accept Russ' definitions of 'universal'.

    My problem is less the 'universality' of Russ' moral maxims as his apparent belief that they can be simply defined, rather like Mrs May's mantra that 'Brexit means Brexit'. As the history of the US Supreme Court demonstrates, generalities expressed in the Bill of Rights require a mountain of case law and judgements to give them operational meaning.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    he has a universal rule against abusing monopolies, but he concedes that whether he counts something as a monopoly or not depends upon how small he draws the circle around the enterprise

    Which proposition do you deny ? That there is a moral wrong in abusing monopoly power ? Or that any enterprise is a monopoly if you consider a small enough circle around it ?

    Or is this a backhanded way of agreeing with me ?
    Crœsos wrote: »
    you start to add in all kinds of conditional reasoning while maintaining the pretense that you're not.

    I have allowed exactly one kind of conditional reasoning, which is that rights may conflict. So that whether a right prevails can be conditional on whether it conflicts with other rights.

    Seems like what you want to do is to argue from that to rights being conditional in general to rights being conditional on what you'd like to make them conditional on, which is your degree of sympathy for the people involved.
    Kwesi wrote: »
    My problem is less the 'universality' of Russ' moral maxims as his apparent belief that they can be simply defined,

    Have I said that anything is simple ?



  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    Dafyd wrote: »
    he has a universal rule against abusing monopolies, but he concedes that whether he counts something as a monopoly or not depends upon how small he draws the circle around the enterprise
    Which proposition do you deny ? That there is a moral wrong in abusing monopoly power ? Or that any enterprise is a monopoly if you consider a small enough circle around it ?
    You think there's a moral wrong in abusing monopoly power. An agent can abuse monopoly power only if their enterprise is a monopoly. Whether their enterprise is a monopoly depends on how you based on your political sympathies for those involved draw the circle around it?
    Whether you think a particular case is a moral wrong of 'abusing monopoly power' depends entirely upon your political sympathies.

  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Dafyd - you've not answered the question of whether you agree with these propositions.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited June 22
    There's no point in answering your questions while you persist in corruptly attributing to people views that are convenient to you.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    edited June 23
    If I've misattributed any view to you, then first I apologise - this was not my intention. And second, the remedy is greater forthcomingness and clarity on your part rather than a coyness that necessarily leaves me guessing...
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    If I've misattributed any view to you, then first I apologise - this was not my intention. And second, the remedy is greater forthcomingness and clarity on your part rather than a coyness that necessarily leaves me guessing...
    What is 'coy' about saying I see no point in answering your questions?

    Greater clarity is only a remedy if you're reading in good faith; and the evidence is against that. You made it clear you're not reading in good faith on June 3rd when you admitted that I hadn't expressed the utilitarianism you were attributing to me (a view that I've repeatedly criticised in fact), and then carried on attributing it to me.

    Genuine apology requires firm amendment of purpose.
    So if you're genuinely apologising you can admit you were wrong. And you can stop making claims like:
    what you want to do is to argue from that to rights being conditional in general to rights being conditional on what you'd like to make them conditional on, which is your degree of sympathy for the people involved
    and retract those claims, unless people actually express those views.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    You claim that the right to "self-defense" is unconditional. On the other hand if we de-euphemize "self-defense" to spell out exactly that it means "applying potentially lethal force to another human being" then you start to add in all kinds of conditional reasoning while maintaining the pretense that you're not.

    I have allowed exactly one kind of conditional reasoning, which is that rights may conflict. So that whether a right prevails can be conditional on whether it conflicts with other rights.

    And yet you can't seem to consistently stick with this standard. Take the example of Alice and Bob. Both of them, according to you, have the right to inflict potentially lethal violence on each other (i.e. the right of self defense) but this right is held in abeyance by the right not to suffer deliberate bodily harm at the hands of another person. You also claim that these rights are unconditional, they don't vary with circumstances. Now let's say Alice starts strangling Bob. According to your analysis Bob still doesn't have the right to inflict potentially lethal violence on Alice because rights, according to you, aren't conditional. The fact that Bob is being throttled by Alice has no effect on Alice's right not to suffer deliberate bodily harm from Bob. In the past you've claimed that Alice has "waived" her right to not suffer deliberate bodily harm by attacking Bob, but this makes no sense in light of your claim that rights do not vary by circumstance. If Alice has a right to not suffer deliberate bodily harm at Bob's hands that right should exist, according to your reasoning, regardless of whether or not Alice's fingers are around Bob's throat. Certainly you'd be opposed to the claim that Bob suddenly acquires a right he previously did not possess simply because he's Alice's so-called "victim".

    All of which begs the question of whether you really believe that a "right to self-defense" actually exists. After all, is a right you can't exercise under any circumstance really a right at all?
  • MoyessaMoyessa Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Russ: Victim culture is a particular case - bias to those groups with whom one has political sympathy because one sees them as victims.

    ISTM, Russ, your beef can be summarised as follows:

    " Victim culture is just another way of stating a general case that one is biased towards those groups with whom one has political sympathy because we unquestingly see them as having justified claims against third parties."

    This is a very fair point, and one should always be aware of it when making value judgements in socio-political contexts.
    Who doesn't have "justified claims against third parties"? And, if you include my ancestors, the mind boggles. I won't get into my own racial heritage & long list of very serious grievances, if I wanted to live in that place in my head. I choose to focus on the present, and the fact that we are all sinners, and are not appointed judge of the Universe.

  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Kwesi: " Victim culture is just another way of stating a general case that one is biased towards those groups with whom one has political sympathy because we unquestingly see them as having justified claims against third parties."

    This is a very fair point, and one should always be aware of it when making value judgements in socio-political contexts.

    Moyessa: Who doesn't have "justified claims against third parties"? And, if you include my ancestors, the mind boggles. I won't get into my own racial heritage & long list of very serious grievances, if I wanted to live in that place in my head. I choose to focus on the present, and the fact that we are all sinners, and are not appointed judge of the Universe.

    I'm not sure, Moyessa, what your point is in relation to my comments. I certainly have no reason to question your observations.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    Moyessa wrote: »
    Who doesn't have "justified claims against third parties"?

    I'd question what universal principle you think justifies claims against third parties. On the understanding that you the victim are the first party and anyone who wrongs you is the second party...
    I choose to focus on the present, and the fact that we are all sinners, and are not appointed judge of the Universe.

    Who could argue with that ?
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