Tag Archive: Scanlon_What We Owe To Each Other

But no one can ever say I didn’t sing

Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
“People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.” (A line from the 2016 film, Florence Foster Jenkins)


A democracy made up entirely of aristoi

Saturday, July 22, 2017.
The practices and habits of the majority are not always healthy or correct — though, I’ll certainly allow that they could be. On my view, the “majority” could only have healthy practices if that group is made up of sovereign individuals who each have sufficient respect for the truth that is within each individual; and so each member of the group would have cultivated a sensitivity to it, and would be responsive to it. This is the only way that the “wisdom of the masses” can work correctly.

Vengeance is mine, I will repay

Thursday, July 20. 2017
If guilt is a way to “destroy a house utterly,” and if being destroyed utterly in this way is a kind of “harm” — then to intentionally cause or inflict guilt on another person (eg, a “guilt trip”) is to intend harm on another person.

How mighty and awesome and terrible is my God!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017.
But without philosophy, how can I live? How can I get by the day to day without this fundamental joy? Philosophy is the single thread that binds my life-story into a unified and comprehensive whole. It explains my past, gives meaning and joy to my present, and gives me hope for the future.

Courage is: Love that is greater than Fear

Thursday, July 13, 2017.
The first memory I have of deliberately and consciously lying was when I was 5 years old. My mother had asked me a question, and I responded with a lie knowing that it was a lie. I knew that I had an option before me. I knew that if I told her the truth, her feelings would be hurt. But if I lied, she would be spared of hurt feelings. Other than this, I wasn’t consciously aware of whether lying was “morally right” or “morally wrong.” But with what I did know — just my knowledge of “good” and “bad,” and of pleasures and pains — I chose to lie and spare her of hurt feelings. I lied to protect my mother.

Black Lives Matter

Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
“…if you do believe it then the truth of this belief will matter to you…” (Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other, p.307)

Creating something out of nothing

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 🔥
As humans, we’re biologically programmed to find it pleasurable to connect with the world and each other. It’s this deep pleasure from intimacy that we’ve come to develop languages, customs, and objects filled with symbolic meaning. In light of these facts about us, it’s easy to see that keeping promises is a way for humans to connect with one another, and thereby come to share a world together. Whenever a promise is made, there is suddenly the possibility of a new world. And each time the promise is kept, the new world becomes a realization. This is the significance of the promise. The pleasure and joy of realizing a new world is what motivates us to want to keep our promises.

Manufactured People: The sum of manufactured choices

Monday, July 9, 2017.
The problem with this is that society is a system made up of mostly arbitrarily generated mental-constructs (eg, invented for the sake of convenience). The choices that people think that they’re making in such an artificial reality aren’t genuinely free choices at all. They are manufactured choices. And if people are the sum of these manufactured choices, then the people themselves are manufactured. They are as much choices as when the Spartan elders offered the Spartiates two pre-decided options to “choose” from. But, being better than something else worse, doesn’t make it good — it’s just less bad. And if something isn’t good, it’s not a choice in the proper sense of the word.

Judging others

Saturday. July 8, 2017.
This must be why Herodotus tells us that Solon thought that a person cannot be judged as being “happy” or not until after they have died, and one is able to look upon the entire life-story (ie, the person’s soul) as a comprehensive whole from start to finish. To judge a soul before it is done, is to judge it in an unfinished/incomplete state.

Guilty, judgmental, vengeful cats

Friday. July 7, 2017.
But more specifically, guilt is itself simply the visible symptom of a culture that promotes harsh and strong sentiments of disapproval and disgust. One can learn to feel less guilty when one judges and morally condemns others with less severe and hateful force. On my view, guilt is simply the projection of one’s own strong disapproving sentiment towards others that has been redirected inward back towards the self.

The value of choice

Thursday. July 6, 2017.
Conversely, the same that is said for penalties must also be said for benefits and rewards. If the attainment and ownership of benefits are to be justified, then the institution which permits the ownership of such benefits must also be justified. However, I think that such a world must make life itself a voluntary choice at every moment.

When numbers feature in morality

Wednesday, July 5, 2017.🌊
In the spirit of Plato’s helmsman example, I think that one could travel a thousand miles in ignorance, and it would not be better than if one traveled only but a step in full knowledge.

The perfect, absolute, and incomparable Kendi

Tuesday, July 4, 2017.🎆
[Independence Day, US]
When we act out of self-ignorance, we harm our selves. On the other hand, when we act out of self-knowledge, then we help ourselves.

Hope, captain of the ever-twisting Mind of mortal men

Monday, June 3, 2017 🌜
This belief could be strengthened into something like “faith (ie, a firm-belief) if we have proof of there being at least one true and actual case of the existence of good-will (not just situations that benefit us) — but the only way that we can have such firm proof of there being at least one case of good-will is when it exists in our own world and when we are the actuators of that good-will.

Racial categorizations

Sunday, July 2. 2017
It is now my conclusion that racial categories are not very useful or descriptive categories at all; there is absolutely nothing consistent or common about being “white.” You cannot make plans or build worlds upon such inconsistent and false categorizations. To do so is itself a folly and a self-deception. The racial categorizations seem to cause more confusion and problems, than they do produce clarity, insight, and solutions. It is as useful and truthful as a square circle.
Racial categorizations are immoral because the label is inaccurate; and this makes it bad. For someone who is a self-proclaimed seeker of the truth (like me), the fact that the label is inaccurate means that it is also wrong. It is a label that lacks integrity. It’s basically a nonsense word.

An inalienable right

Saturday, July 1. 2017
So basically, the Declaration only provides me with the protection of a certain kind of self-knowledge — that basically I have the good-faith of others (well, at least those who signed the Declaration, anyways) to act in accordance with the truth in my heart. In other words, no self-respecting American may disapprove of me or pass moral judgment on my free-will (ie, the truth in my heart), my choice to live, or my choices in pursuing happiness. Since it is not the life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness themselves that are being protected — but rather, the individual’s right to such things…

To speak on behalf of those who cannot

Tuesday, June 27. 2017 🔥
I think the conclusion is more like this: if I treat nonhuman animals and nature with respect and gentleness, it is because I am (at times) an emotional and sensitive being who empathizes deeply with the world and the beings that I encounter, and I am reminded of my own pleasures and pains by encountering others and the world. It is for the sake of my own self then, that I treat nonhuman animals and nature with respect and gentleness, even though I have no certain proof of their inner-world. But let this writing be proof of my own inner-world for the doubters to witness for themselves.

A just society

Monday, June 26, 2017.
The point that defeats Thomson is that while it’s correct that justification is not prior to morality, and that it also does not determine moral status, we can only expect justified-actions from one another, and so justified-actions are the fabric that holds civil society together — and a civil society is a moral necessity for [most] human well-being because it is a biological fact about us that we are social beings. But, this necessity doesn’t rule out other factors that may necessitate breaking up this or that particular civil society — and it is these exceptional and rare factors that tends to cause the disagreements; ethical theories are fine in times of peace, but morality is needed in order to establish a just society.