Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quote of the week, 2014-02-18

Today I'm quoting from a post on ~"Passage...Messenger...Passenger..."~, a blog by an interesting young writer named Benny Liew.

Let's just say...

"Every morning we all wake up and make our own routine...working perhaps for us adults nor studying at school and gain knowledge...but is it a routine we all wanted anyway?"

Not really necessary to take it as a routine.In many cases I've learn about bored is not we are bored,its because we can't fulfill anything and there is nothing to do about it since we are already bored.

~"To Catch the Wind..."~

The equivalence of routine to boredom is a curious one. Routines can be boring, but they can also be comforting while providing a great deal of stimulation.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Quote of the Week, 2015-02-11

It is inevitable for human nature that man a should wish and seek for happiness, that is, satisfaction with his condition, with certainty of the continuance of this satisfaction. But for this very reason it is not an end that is also a duty. ... It is not directly a duty to seek a competence for one's self; but indirectly it may be so; namely, in order to guard against poverty which is a great temptation to vice. But then it is not my happiness but my morality, to maintain which in its integrity is at once my end and my duty

B. HAPPINESS OF OTHERS, V. Explanation of these two Notions, The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics, by Immanuel Kant

Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

Retrieved from Project Gutenberg

Kant comes from a time that, to my understanding, had no appreciation of psychological addiction. I don't know that he personally ever had the experience of following a routine that you hated, and hating yourself for following that routine, while you are following it. As a person who has had that experience, I can assure you that there is nothing in human nature that makes a search for happiness inevitable. Sometimes humans seek out respite, comfort, or even just fall into routines that we know are injurious to our happiness, but whose allure is overpowering for other reasons.

Kant does make a reasonable argument that seeking personal happiness is not an end which is also a duty in and of itself, but rather, an end which is in service to other ends, and I agree this still holds for things like reducing addictions and altering the behaviors that lead to them. We don't cut back on the metaphorical drinking because the drinking is evil, but because it prevents us from achieving more important things in our life and from having a fuller life.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Quote of the Week, 2015-02-04

I'm not making light of what happened to Trayvon by any means, but after you read this, count how many people you personally know who has murdered or been murdered via Black on Black. If Zimmerman was black, would most of us know about this? Exactly. God have mercy on all of us.

Black on Black crimes "Cultral Bias?", 1 Husband's Advice, by C. L. Chabert

I though I would take break from looking at Kant this week. I have a grad total of 13 followers, so I am thinking about looking at one of their blogs every other week or so, alternating with Kant.

I don't know why Mr. Chabert would be following me. He follows three other blogs, all religious, and is quite religious himself. I don't recall him ever posting a comment. I'm not sure if it is a compliment or an accident.

In this case, Mr. Chabert is raising the old bugaboo of black-on-black crime. There is no mention of the comparable white-on-white crime rate; when you adjust for social status, whites victimize each other just about as frequently. Yet, you don't find people worrying about these crime rates. Is there a good reason for this discrepancy? I can only come up with plain racism.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Quote of the Week, 2015-01-28

Consequently, it can be nothing else than the cultivation of one's power (or natural capacity) and also of one's will (moral disposition) to satisfy the requirement of duty in general. The supreme element in the former (the power) is the understanding, it being the faculty of concepts, and, therefore, also of those concepts which refer to duty. First it is his duty to labour to raise himself out of the rudeness of his nature, out of his animal nature more and more to humanity, by which alone he is capable of setting before him ends to supply the defects of his ignorance by instruction, and to correct his errors; he is not merely counselled to do this by reason as technically practical, with a view to his purposes of other kinds (as art), but reason, as morally practical, absolutely commands him to do it, and makes this end his duty, in order that he may be worthy of the humanity that dwells in him.

A. OUR OWN PERFECTION, V. Explanation of these two Notions, The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics, by Immanuel Kant

Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

Retrieved from Project Gutenberg

This notion of some distinction between our animal (presumably, this refers to properties we seen in many animals that are not human, as well as humans) nature and our humanity (presumably, this refers to we seen in humans, but not at all or to a limited degree in other animals) does a disservice to both concepts. Our humanity is bound into our animal nature, part and parcel, not truly distinguishable, and both types of properties benefit from this relationship.

Our love of our fellow human (admittedly not universally present) and our social nature is a direct result of our animal nature, since we are social animals. Our ability to organize in large groups is the primary reason we dominate other large predators, and we would not organize into such groups were we not social.

Our ability to create and communicate abstract notions is a direct result of this social need. Every social animal uses social signaling. With our animal nature, our intelligence would lay fallow, having neither exercise nor purpose.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Quote of the Week, 2015-01-21

It is likewise a contradiction to make the perfection of another my end, and to regard myself as in duty bound to promote it. For it is just in this that the perfection of another man as a person consists, namely, that he is able of himself to set before him his own end according to his own notions of duty; and it is a contradiction to require (to make it a duty for me) that I should do something which no other but himself can do.

IV. What are the Ends which are also Duties?, The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics, by Immanuel Kant

Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

Retrieved from Project Gutenberg

So long as another person can set his goals before himself according to what he believes is his duty, he will be perfected? I can think of a few ways that this is insufficient, and in many of these ways, people can be assisted to their own perfection, and it is quite reasonable to make assisting such people a duty.

First, some notions of duty are harmful. Feeling duty to an evil government is harmful. Feeling duty to social conventions that degrade people are harmful. Feeling duty to purely toxic family members is harmful. There is no contradiction in taking, as one of our own ends, the convincing of another person that they have chosen duties that are harmful, and to assist them in the ability to discriminate between harmful and helpful duties. This would be a duty we had toward the perfection of other people.

Second, people can not rationally choose duties to follow without learning to think rationally. It's not enough to say have a duty that is helpful, we need to understand how to advance such a duty in our lives, and which of our behaviors tends to support that duty. This instruction would also be a valid duty to undertake to support the perfection of another.

Thirdly, parents have a duty to raise their children in a fashion to help their children to their own perfection.

I could go on, but I think these examples suffice to point out that the perfection of others can be, and often is, a duty of ours.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Quote of the Week, 2015-01-14

We cannot invert these and make on one side our own happiness, and on the other the perfection of others, ends which should be in themselves duties for the same person.

For one's own happiness is, no doubt, an end that all men have (by virtue of the impulse of their nature), but this end cannot without contradiction be regarded as a duty. What a man of himself inevitably wills does not come under the notion of duty, for this is a constraint to an end reluctantly adopted. It is, therefore, a contradiction to say that a man is in duty bound to advance his own happiness with all his power.

IV. What are the Ends which are also Duties?, The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics, by Immanuel Kant

Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

Retrieved from Project Gutenberg

People don't inevitably will happiness of themself. Some seem determined to undermine their happiness; others pursue lives through habits that bring them no pleasure. At the very least, each person has a duty to themself to determine what will bring happiness, and allow themself the habit of acting in such a fashion from time to time. This quote seems to positively disregard human behavior.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Quote of the Week, 2015-01-07

Here, therefore, we treat not of ends which man actually makes to himself in accordance with the sensible impulses of his nature, but of objects of the free elective will under its own laws- objects which he ought to make his end. We may call the former technical (subjective), properly pragmatical, including the rules of prudence in the choice of its ends; but the latter we must call the moral (objective) doctrine of ends. This distinction is, however, superfluous here, since moral philosophy already by its very notion is clearly separated from the doctrine of physical nature (in the present instance, anthropology). The latter resting on empirical principles, whereas the moral doctrine of ends which treats of duties rests on principles given a priori in pure practical reason.

III. Of the Reason for conceiving an End which is also a Duty, The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics, by Immanuel Kant

Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott

Retrieved from Project Gutenberg

There is no such thing as "pure practical reason", unless we include reasoning whose beginning is based in empirical knowledge. By itself, reasoning is manipulating hypotheses into conclusions. It offers no guarantee of the truth of these hypotheses, just the occasional ability to possibly discover that certain combination of hypotheses can't be true at the same time. Even that is not a reliable occurrence.

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