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aries1988 : morality   6

Atrocities. Norms. Bicycles. See Where We’re Going With This?
But he didn’t do it alone. An entire team culture enabled Mr. Armstrong and his fellow riders to dope themselves to peak performance. The team’s doctor, its support workers, even riders’ wives were all enlisted to support and cover up the drug regimen. Team members from that time describe doping as a joint effort, something everyone approached with the same dedication and care that they applied to the rest of their training.

The pervasive doping, on that team and others, endangered riders’ health. It ruined lives. But if you read accounts by people who were involved, the most striking thing is that doping didn’t feel bad to them at the time. It felt more like a responsibility; one more thing that the team was doing to reach their ultimate goal of victory — and that everyone needed to help with.

Everyone on Lance Armstrong’s team knew that performance-enhancing drugs were banned in cycling. But those weren’t the rules that mattered. The internal rules, the norms for how people should behave to be a good member of the team, were the ones that held sway. And those norms said: Good members of this team do whatever it takes to win, so take the drugs.

In fact, even if you do know that your group is wrong, independence is still painful. In a 2005 study, fMRI scans of people contradicting their group’s statements showed increased activity in the part of the brain that processes emotional distress and fear, even when the subjects knew they were giving the correct answer to an easy question.

Those incentives, left unchecked, will shape group norms; those norms, in turn, will demand conformity. Participation in horrifying acts can become a condition of membership in good standing.
social  norm  concept  morality  population  example  explained 
11 weeks ago by aries1988
'Game of Thrones' Lost Its Way as a Political Drama - The Atlantic

In its first half, and perhaps even for a season or two after leaving Martin’s books behind, the show trusted its audience enough to avoid allegory and the simplistic morality that comes with it. It trusted that the audience knew right from wrong, and knew that both could coexist within a character. It asked viewers to find their own messages in a series about a faux-medieval world of dragons and ice zombies—and take them or leave them as they saw fit. It would have been better if the show had ended that way.
tv  critic  2019  morality  history  fiction  writing 
may 2019 by aries1988
Two Roads for the New French Right | by Mark Lilla | The New York Review of Books

Unlike her hotheaded grandfather and aunt, Marion is always calm and collected, sounds sincere, and is intellectually inclined.

In countries as diverse as France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and Italy, efforts are underway to develop a coherent ideology that would mobilize Europeans angry about immigration, economic dislocation, the European Union, and social liberalization, and then use that ideology to govern.

a new legal status, dubbed a pacte civil de solidarité (civil solidarity pact, or PACS), for long-term couples who required legal protections regarding inheritance and other end-of-life issues but did not want to get married.

While it’s true that fewer and fewer French people baptize their children and attend mass, nearly two thirds still identify as Catholic, and roughly 40 percent of those declare themselves to be practicing, whatever that means. More importantly, as a Pew study found last year, those French who do identify as Catholic—especially those who attend Mass regularly—are significantly more right-wing in their political views than those who do not.

The National Front is nearly as secular and even less ideologically coherent, having served more as a refuge for history’s detritus—Vichy collaborators, resentful pieds noirs driven out of Algeria, Joan of Arc romantics, Jew- and Muslim-haters, skinheads—than as a party with a positive program for France’s future. A mayor once close to it now aptly calls it the Dien Bien Phu right.

They share two convictions: that a robust conservatism is the only coherent alternative to what they call the neoliberal cosmopolitanism of our time, and that resources for such a conservatism can be found on both sides of the traditional left–right divide. More surprising still, they are all fans of Bernie Sanders.

Three months later her Institute of Social, Economic, and Political Sciences (ISSEP) opened in Lyon, with the aim, Marion said, of displacing the culture that dominates our nomadic, globalized, deracinated liberal system. It is basically a business school but will supposedly offer great books courses in philosophy, literature, history, and rhetoric, as well as practical ones on management and political and cultural combat.
reportage  politics  interview  france  conservatism  culture  ideology  conflict  globalization  crisis  morality  family  value  debate  instapaper_favs 
december 2018 by aries1988
Paul Bloom on Cruelty – Econlib
I think that's one of the biggest mistakes we make about morality. I think that the reality is that fully appreciating someone's humanity opens up so many positive things--you can't be human without it; you can't have a decent relationship. It's the foundation of love, and friendship. But, it carries with it so many terrible risks. Really loving somebody, really knowing somebody opens up the possibility for love; but it also opens up the possibility for hatred.

we need to respect the fact that often we had no bad intentions and we will be right; and yet we can appreciate that our own small acts when accumulated makes people's lives miserable. And so we should stop these small acts.

The first point is that the robots are probably sentient. I mean, it's impossible to know. It's the standard, you know, undergraduate dormitory argument at 2 in the morning, how can I know you're conscious? How can you know that I'm conscious? But, these robots are of such sophistication, complexity, it beggars belief that they don't have feelings.
utilitarianism  human  cruel  thinking  movie  culture  debate  mind  other  love  family  morality  anger  incel  mob  robot 
october 2018 by aries1988
Opinion | Does Religion Make People Moral?

In the past, he noted, moral conservatives like him would argue that “there could be no morality without religion.” But now, he wrote, “there should be no religion without morality.”

My humble answer is: It depends. Religion can work in two fundamentally different ways: It can be a source of self-education, or it can be a source of self-glorification. Self-education can make people more moral, while self-glorification can make them considerably less moral.

Religion can be a source of self-education, because religious texts often have moral teachings with which people can question and instruct themselves.

But trying to nurture moral virtues is one thing; assuming that you are already moral and virtuous simply because you identify with a particular religion is another. The latter turns religion into a tool for self-glorification.
religion  morality  opinion  turkey 
december 2017 by aries1988
邓晓芒:中国人为什么没有信仰?
http://www.instapaper.com/read/375021384

我这里讲的信仰主要是指一种精神性的信仰,是对超越的东西的追求,而不是一般的信念,比如我相信明天会出太阳,或者是简单地相信某人某事。

张载的那种理想看起来好像是气吞山河,其实是十分狭隘的。它只盯着中国几千年不变的传统政治格局和社会制度。那么,这种理想是不是、能不能算一种信仰呢?如果它是一种信仰,是一种理想,那也只是一种政治实用主义的信仰和理想,它的前提是既定的社会政治体制。张载的理想跟现实的世俗生活,跟当时继承的社会政治体制是分不开的,他也是那样理解的。

这是中国传统的理想的最终归宿,即最终是为了现实的人生。

因为现实生活在不断地变化,你讲天人合一,看起来好像很稳固,天和人不分嘛,是一个稳定的结构嘛。但是实际上,你把人世的变化看作就是天道的变化,你必须随着现实生活的不断变化而改变自己的信仰。这种天人合一的思维模式使我们没有一个永恒的东西可以追求,它都是随时代而变、随环境而变的。

很多新儒家的鼓吹者把这种和世俗生活结合在一起的天人合一的理想称之为“内在超越”,就是说我们中国人也有超越,它和西方人的超越不一样。西方是外在超越,超越到上帝那里去了;我们超越在世俗中间,是一种内在超越,就是做圣人,凌驾于世人之上。内在超越实际上就是没有超越了,因为它只不过是要占领世俗道德的至高点。

我认为它不是真正的宗教,而是带有宗教色彩的一种政治教化。

西方的道一一我们把西方的“逻各斯”翻译成“道”,其实这种翻译是不太准确的。西方哲学的逻各斯不是我们讲的这个“道”,我们讲的这个道是从道路引申出来的,而西方哲学的逻各斯是从说话、话语引申出来的。话语是精神上的东西,而且它基本上不是物质性的东西。

基督教的这个灵魂、圣灵这个概念是纯精神性的。那么从这个纯精神性的概念,西方人就形成了人格神的概念,就是犹太教《旧约》里面记录的那个耶和华。耶和华这个神的概念是无形无象,看不见摸不着,你不能用人的形象去形容他。

上帝是不可言说的。上帝无形无象,没有言语。甚至《圣经》里面记载,上帝说这说那,那也只是一种比喻。因为要是上帝真说话了,那就要问,上帝是说的希腊语还是希伯莱语,还是说的汉语?其实那只是一种说法,上帝并没有真正地说话,所以他只是一个人格。对于上帝的人格或者说“位格”,person,所谓“三位一体”的问题,究竟是一个什么样的位格,西方人讨论得非常热烈。上帝是唯一的,他就是人格。

中国的天道和天的并不是人格神的概念,而是自然神的概念。天理是每个人心里面的东西,天有天理,但是每个人都可以知道,都可以说出来,都可以体会到的。每个人一旦体会到天道就可以“替天行道”,直接把它实现出来。所以,天道实际上在每一个人的心中,实现在人的行动中,它是世俗的,而不是超越的。在基督教里面,虽然也说上帝在每个人心中,但是在每个人心中你是不可体会到他的。你所体会到的都是可以怀疑的,都不一定是那个样子。上帝在你心中,确实每一个人心中都有一个上帝,但是是不是就是你体会到的那个样子呢?你不要太自信了,你怎么可能体会到上帝的真意呢?每一个人都有原罪,你是带罪之身,你怎么能体会到上帝的真面目呢?

在上帝面前你不能问为什么,上帝告诉你,你也听不懂。一个人是有限的嘛。

天道既然是非常世俗的东西,所以每个中国人在很多时候都表现出一种自信,甚至于有一种自大狂。就是说,只要我无私,我在内心里面就已经体会到了天道了,那么我就可以替天行道。这个在西方人看来就是骄傲了。你一个非常普通的人,突然有一天就可以替天行道,像洪秀全这样的农民起义的领袖,都是在这种精神支配之下去追求他的理想的。

真正的信仰应该能够提高人的精神层次,这个精神层次特别体现在人的自由的水平、自由的层次。

为什么说基督教是自由的宗教,主要是着眼于这一点,它已经意识到一切人都是自由的,不分种族、民族,不分地域,不分男女,不分出身贫富贵贱。这些都不足以来衡量一个人,衡量一个人最起码的、最根本的就是人是自由的,就是独立的人格。

你个人要独立起来,那当然就是孤独的,而且跟社会脱离某些关系,比如说血缘关系。你只信上帝了,你父母的话都可以不听了,亲情你都可以不顾了,这对个人来说当然是非常痛苦的。当时基督教产生的时候是经历了这样一个过程才产生出来的。所以我们说,真正的信仰,以基督教为例,它是建立在个人独立意志之上的。个人独立,他就需要一个上帝,需要一个超验的、彼岸的精神来支撑自己。

基督教的个人,基督徒,是孤独的,他不能在群体里面得到安慰,不能够在家庭里面,也不能够在国家里由皇帝来标榜、表彰他,基督徒不指望这个东西。他们指望在上帝那里得到安慰,上帝对所有的人一视同仁。你的灵魂有几斤几两,在上帝那里都称得出来。所以他个人独立以后,他只能够把自己的精神的安慰寄托在一个彼岸的上帝身上。这个在中国人这里是没有这个需要的。所以中国人为什么没有真正的信仰,是归结为没有这个需要,他在群体里面可以找到他在精神上的平衡。而之所以可以达到平衡,是因为他个人没有独立出来,个体意识还沉睡在群体意识之中。

我主张在超越教派和具体的某个宗教之上建立起一种信仰,就是所谓的精神性的信仰。我提出这样一种可能性,就是对“真善美”这样一些人类普遍的精神价值要抱有一种信仰。这些价值是绝对的,真善美的价值都是绝对的。正因为是绝对的,所以它是永远也追求不到的。绝对的真,绝对的善,绝对的美,这些是永远也追求不到的。正因为永远追求不到,所以它可以作为信仰。

要树立这种信仰,个人必须独立,要有自己的精神生活和精神追求,这是你个人的。当然这个个人不是封闭的,你可以到人类的历史上所有的精神财富里面去获得自己的营养。你要追求真善美,那么人类几千几万年己经创造出来的精神财富,你都可以去追求。这样的人,他不是封闭的,但是他是独立的。他不受周围人的干扰,可以一个人在内心里面进行一种追求,完善自己的精神生活。所以,要做到这一点,就必须要有自我意识的觉醒,当然还要有一个保障思想自由的体制。
faith  china  Philosophy  question  today  morality  religion  opinion  civil 
april 2013 by aries1988

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