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.
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)
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Friday, June 23. 2017 🏆
Perhaps this is what Eros is after: not only to have the object of one’s desire, but to be consciously aware of it in real-time. And this conscious awareness in real-time, is what it is to possess something forever since once the moment is captured into a memory, the moment has the potential to last as long as the mind lasts. This awareness must be what causes the emotion or sentiment which people commonly call “gratitude.” But more importantly, I think that it might also be what genuine “happiness” actually is — to possess “the good,” and to be consciously aware of it while still in possession of it.
Thursday, June 22, 2017.
Mature persons are necessarily “self-conscious” beings; not merely rational or social. And if the mature person doesn’t have a clear definition of what well-being itself is, then she cannot fully appreciate what she has or does not have, for she will not even know what belongs to her. Furthermore, his language would seem to reduce the mature individual to the status of a dependent child or beneficiary — little more than a slave, really. It makes no difference whether the slave is well-cared for or not.