Kant vs Nietzsche

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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Orbie » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:57 pm

Here, a comment above comes to mind between persciptive and descriptive uses of language. To understand Kant in terms of a perscription, is notany more inferior to a descriptive use, at all, the idea of Kant is borne by his very literally intended connecting the two! This was i believe Suwellos intention of saying that Prismatic was thought to have proposed an argument desriptively.In my min a prescription is proper lacking in Kant, in as much he fails to forsee the consequences , the oughts,of his Humean disconnect between causes and effects. Since we are;talking about the greates merit attributed to Kant,vis, his morally categorical truths, he has crossed, de-ontoligized morality into pure intuition,
That is why questions as to waht 'good' is came repeatably about, and that isKant's big problem. History did not prove him right, and excepting a few adherents, including Polanyi, the thing fails miserably. Nietzche took advantage of this flaw,and if Kant would have been greater, he SHOULD have forseen this as one casual possibility.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Arminius » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:08 pm

Another example:

If a child has to go to a foreign country, then it will soon be adapted to this country - mainly because of the learned language.

That is not debatable at all, my friend.

Learning a language (the first one, the second one, ... and so on) has always consequences, and this consequences are nearly always positve consequences.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Sauwelios » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:16 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
The Artful Pauper wrote:You say the "increased trend" (of the reductions in the list above) "as backed by the inherent moral impulse is a sign of 'good'", but that doesn't explain how the trend and the "moral impulse" in humanity which you speak of is a sign of 'good'.

How are you defining good? Are you defining good as moral?

If you are then in the context of the quote above you would only be saying "This increasing trend as backed by the inherent moral impulse is a sign of [morality]" which would be saying nothing.

Are you saying that survival is good and so it is on the basis of survival alone you can affirm those trends as good?
What is 'good' is leveraged against the sustaining and preservation of the individual and therefrom the species. This is grounded on the Categorical Imperative [note 1-5] I discussed in the earlier post.
That is the general idea. Note the idea of Good is that which opposed 'evil' in the secular sense is a very complicated issue involving the Summum Bonum, i.e. what is the highest unconditional good. Next you may ask what is 'Evil.' To understand what is 'evil' one need to do extensive research and define what it meant by 'evil.' For example, it is obvious 'genocide' is evil and cannot be good as a universal law. Genocide as a good universal law would imply the extinction of the human specie.


Do you mean it is obvious that genocide is evil and cannot be good as a universal law, or do you mean it is obvious that genocide is evil because it cannot be good as a universal law?

It is obvious that genocide as a good universal law would imply the extinction of the human species. This, however, suggests that the Categorical Imperative rests on examples like the genocide example. Why would the extinction of the human species be a bad thing? Is it because individuals should (according to Kant) always be treated as ends in themselves? Also, does the fact that an act cannot be good as a universal law necessarily mean that it is evil? Can't it be, like, neutral?


The other aspect is to present a taxonomy of evil to encompass all necessary elements of evil.

If so, is survival unconditionally good? In a country like China where there is still some of the trends you indicated as declining elsewhere, is survival still good? Also, if survival continues under these conditions without the trends you indicated, does that mean that there are other factors of survival which are of equal validity and might even supercede the trends you indicated as aiding survival?
Also, would survival be good under all conditions?
It is not that 'survival' is good.
What is 'good' is that which is aligned and support the preservation of the individual and the species [i.e. humanity] in the optimal sense.


I think it's a bit unfortunate to choose the word "optimal" here, considering that it's from the Latin word for "best", so using it means using the defined ("good") in the definition (good < better < best). Also, I don't understand what you mean by it. If you were just talking about the species, then I could understand how the preservation of all individuals could be said to be more optimal than the preservation of only a single individual (or two, a man and a woman, so that the species can in theory be preserved indefinitely). But as you speak of the individual as well as the species, I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that comfortable preservation would be more optimal than uncomfortable preservation? Also, is the preservation of the species good inasmuch as it entails the preservation of individuals, or is the preservation of individuals a means to the preservation of the species? I ask this because the maxim that says individuals should be treated as ends in themselves might itself be a mere means to something else. Please confirm that it is not.


Those trends that I mentioned are not exhaustive, but the relevance is whatever it takes to be 'good' that will contribute the survival of the individual and the specie.

Another question, if someone could survive in a state where the trends you indicated were regularly practiced, but the same individual, nor those he/she cared about, was not subject to them (did not experience them against his person) but even perhaps enacted them on others, but also while enjoying other benefits, such as physical goods, admiration, music, etc. would the situation for this individual be good or bad, and why?
What is good need to be aligned with the Categorical Imperative where one of them is as follows;
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.
Any trend or actions that do support the above is not considered 'good' per se.
According to Kant's Moral system all rational individuals should strive to act in accordance with the above CI.
However within the Kantian System, it is recognized in reality the individual human can never conform to the above and thus humanity must re-align the CI with Maxims [not mathematical sense], Laws and rules to reconcile the empirical with the rational.
In this case, relative to the current conditions, what is 'good' is conditioned upon compliance with the Laws and rules implemented.


But as for absolute goodness, is what is good good because it is aligned with the Categorical Imperative, or is there a good--the highest good, the Summum Bonum--on which even the Categorical Imperative is based?


Nevertheless there should be an awareness of the gap between what is categorical good and legally & ethically good. Humanity must thus take step to increase the Moral Quotient of the individual to narrow this gap. The question is how to narrow the gap and we should towards Science, philosophy and adoption of other advancing knowledge to expedite the manifestation of the moral impulse within.

Finally, I think it would be helpful to know, what is the quality which makes a thing good? What measure can we use to identify what is good?

I have explained above what is the categorical good, i.e. a near absolute good, the highest good, the Summum Bonum.


In that post, you say:

If one has a maxim, e.g. 'Killing is permissible.'
If this maxim is made into a universal law that is WILLed and activated by all rational beings at the SAME TIME, then that will result in the extinction of the human species after the last man dies.

Therefore in alignment with CI [I], the general Maxim should be 'Killing is not permissible.'


I'm not interested in what you call Ethics [Applied], only in what you call Morals [Pure]. Now this example again supposes that the extinction of the human species is a bad thing. I'm inquiring into nothing less than the basis (ground, foundation) of the Categorical Imperative. Why should the fact that I do not want to be killed compel me not to kill others?
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:23 am

Erik_ wrote:All of this talk about how one needs to study Kant for thousands of hours and that one needs to know the German language, if one is to truly understand Kant, kind of reminds me of how Christian and Muslim apologists will say similar things, when they feel threatened. For example: An atheist will point out a contradiction or something unflattering about the Quran, and the Islamic apologist will just resort to, say, " You need to read the Quran in Arabic in order to understand that ".
The thousands of hours is my actual experience. If there is a faster way I would have opted for it.
Btw, many years prior to this current serious effort of a continual studying of Kant, I had already done around 1000 hours studying Kant [doing notes, charts, etc.] but when I meet serious posters in forums specializing in Kant, I could not present the essentials effectively and to the point because I did not understand Kant's work comprehensively.

It is true knowing the original language does matter, but to read Kant in German, one still have to put in the necessary hours.
The good thing is, Kant's work has been translated by many translators and in the process the errors in translation has been corrected. Here is one caution on translating certain terms.
Kant's Concept of an Object is extremely subtle, although its nuances are often lost in the indiscriminate and unsystematic translation of his terms Ding, Gegenstand, and Objekt.
These different Modes of Thinghood may be identified by the different German words Kant uses for them –
1. Ding,
2. Gegenstand,
3. Objekt
- and the contexts in which they appear.
Smith for example use the common term 'object' to represent the three different terms.

The Islamist apologist may also be right, but fortunately there are also many English translations (> 50 that I know of) of the Quran to put its intended points in perspective. In addition we have so many other fields knowledge, .e.g. philosophy of religions, history, Science, etc. that we can rely upon to 'triangulate' what [the illusion, lies, etc.] the Quran and other religious books are driving at.


I haven't read the CPR and I'm sure Kant's philosophy is nuanced, but I'm confident that I understand the gist of his major themes.

1.) Space/time are parts of our ' spectacles ', not things that exists independent of the mind.
In the case of Kant, understanding the gist of such major themes can be very misleading. Such major theme [there are many of such] must be understood as part of a whole.

Thus we should edit the above to;
Space/time as pure intuitions a priori are parts of our ' spectacles ' [fundamental building black of cognitions], not things that exists independent of the mind.

The additional point, space/time are 'pure intuitions' is critical, and there are other critical points relating to space and time that are critical.

2.) There is a phenomenal world, i.e., the world we experience --- and there is a noumenonal world, that is to say, a world we don't/can't experience, as it is beyond our spectacles.
Note the nuance in this,
There is a phenomenal world, i.e., the world we experience --- and there is a noumenal world to be assumed, that is to say, a world we don't/can't experience, as it is beyond our spectacles. If you do not mention 'to be assumed' [or postulated] then there is a serious issue towards philosophical realism versus philosophical idealism or transcendental realism versus transcendental idealism.

3.) Morality is absolute and imperative.
To avoid more controversy, it would be clearer as,
Morality assumed and taken as principles is absolute and imperative but not imperative at the conditional ethical level.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:33 am

Sauwelios wrote:Do you mean it is obvious that genocide is evil and cannot be good as a universal law, or do you mean it is obvious that genocide is evil because it cannot be good as a universal law?
It is obvious to any normal human being that genocide in general is evil.
It is also obvious those who commit genocide will insist their act of genocide is good, but it also obvious any acts of genocide against their own kind will be regarded as evil.
It follows that genocide-in-general is evil.

What I meant is as follows;
Genocide-in-general is evil of the highest degree within its taxonomy.
Therefore it cannot be good [direct contrast to evil] as a universal moral maxim/law.

It is obvious that genocide as a good universal law would imply the extinction of the human species. This, however, suggests that the Categorical Imperative rests on examples like the genocide example.
Why would the extinction of the human species be a bad thing? Is it because individuals should (according to Kant) always be treated as ends in themselves? Also, does the fact that an act cannot be good as a universal law necessarily mean that it is evil? Can't it be, like, neutral?
The categorical imperative is fundamentally a natural inherent moral impulse within humans.
Philosophically, it is abstracted from all 'good' and 'evil' empirical human activities. Genocide is merely one example of evil act of the highest degree.

From induction can you demonstrate in general which individual living thing emerges or is born with the immediate intention to kill itself.
From induction it is observed all normal individual living thing emerges or is born with an immediate instinct to live and produce/assist the next generation till the inevitable. From induction of the general, we can infer this is to facilitate the preservation of the species.
Thus anything [e.g. genocide as a universal maxim] that threatened the preservation of the species and elimination all individual are to be avoided, in other words a bad or evil thing.

There is a continuum from extreme good to extreme evil. There are vague and neutral elements that can be considered good or evil depending on the contexts and situations. These ambiguous element can be dealt within the ethical aspects within its context. For example we cannot have a standard maxim with regards to the act of say jealousy, anger, and the likes, thus a need to take into account the context ethically [not Kantian moral].

It is not that 'survival' is good.
What is 'good' is that which is aligned and support the preservation of the individual and the species [i.e. humanity] in the optimal sense.


I think it's a bit unfortunate to choose the word "optimal" here, considering that it's from the Latin word for "best", so using it means using the defined ("good") in the definition (good < better < best). Also, I don't understand what you mean by it. If you were just talking about the species, then I could understand how the preservation of all individuals could be said to be more optimal than the preservation of only a single individual (or two, a man and a woman, so that the species can in theory be preserved indefinitely). But as you speak of the individual as well as the species, I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that comfortable preservation would be more optimal than uncomfortable preservation? Also, is the preservation of the species good inasmuch as it entails the preservation of individuals, or is the preservation of individuals a means to the preservation of the species? I ask this because the maxim that says individuals should be treated as ends in themselves might itself be a mere means to something else. Please confirm that it is not.
Note the difference between the ideal perfect maximal and the practical optimal.
'Optimal' is achieving the best within given existing constraints.
Thus if we have team-human striving towards the a goal, we do not expect all individual to produce the same results. What is considered 'good' would be that each do their optimal [best] within the constraints/limitation they are facing.


Those trends that I mentioned are not exhaustive, but the relevance is whatever it takes to be 'good' that will contribute the survival of the individual and the specie.

But as for absolute goodness, is what is good good because it is aligned with the Categorical Imperative, or is there a good--the highest good, the Summum Bonum--on which even the Categorical Imperative is based?
What is considered 'good' is because that act is aligned [in the 'flow'] with the Categorical Imperative.
The Categorical Imperative [note 5 fomulations] is not grounded on the highest good, the Summum Bonum.

I'm not interested in what you call Ethics [Applied], only in what you call Morals [Pure]. Now this example again supposes that the extinction of the human species is a bad thing. I'm inquiring into nothing less than the basis (ground, foundation) of the Categorical Imperative. Why should the fact that I do not want to be killed compel me not to kill others?
I have shown above, how via induction the extinction of a the human specie is a bad thing to each individual as team humanity. Unless one is a Martian or alien from outer space, it is conditioned within the human genome that the potential threat of the extinction of the human specie [a bad, evil thing] is to be avoided at all costs [i.e. to the extent of sacrificing some lives].

For Kant, the grounding of the Categorical Imperative does not directly involve the survival of the individual or preservation of the specie but on the philosophical deliberation of other elements. That is a different topic and a very complicated one.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby The Artful Pauper » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:14 am

So, there is much to discuss.

Prismatic567 wrote:Frankly I am only interested in discussing Kant for my own selfish interest as a means of a refresher. I am not interested in convincing anyone when the subject is so complicated, complex and difficult to understand.
If you need coherence and cogency, you yourself will need to do the hard work of understanding [not necessary agree] what Kant is about. This is also to ensure I am presenting an accurate representation of Kant's ideas as I generally one cannot merely to accept the words of the other by faith or even arguments.


Okay, I find this admirable and worthy of the effort. Thanks for the explanation and taking the time to test the ideas here in the forum so that we might all have a chance to learn.

Prismatic567 wrote:The practice aspects of the Kantian system is referred to Ethics [Applied]
If one has a maxim, e.g. 'Killing is permissible.'
If this maxim is made into a universal law that is WILLed and activated by all rational beings at the SAME TIME, then that will result in the extinction of the human species after the last man dies.

Therefore in alignment with CI , the general Maxim should be 'Killing is not permissible.'
But the fact is we must face reality.
Thus we need cater for variations and conditions in real life by codifying Laws and rules that made provision for exceptions where certain killings can be legal.

The point here is CI[1] is universal and will not change, but the Maxims, Laws and Rules can be changed to adapt to changing time and conditions.


I don't see that your logic follows here. You say, if killing is permissible "then that will result in the extinction of the human species after the last man dies."

But just because killing is permissible does not mean that everyone [i]must kill each other. Imagine as a thought experiment that you and I were together in a room and it was decided between us or by some greater governmental authority that killing each other was permitted. Neither of us would have to, or even want to kill each other unless we had a motive.

If we two were out in a field with a forest nearby and a collection tools and other resources (for example seeds) needed which allow for working the field, cutting trees and building, and it was permissible for us to kill each other, it could very well be in our interest not to kill each other but instead to cooperate to work the field, and use our tools to build domiciles. Say another individual came to where we were with some motivation to kill us, and killing was permissible, we could technically, if that individual did not wish to cooperate with us but pursue the agenda of murder, kill that individual, protecting ourselves, and continue with our work and maintenance, all the while killing being "permissible".

You then say, "But the fact is we must face reality.
Thus we need cater for variations and conditions in real life by codifying Laws and rules that made provision for exceptions where certain killings can be legal."

This leads to the conclusions that your use of the categorical imperative is not suitable for generating maxims applicable to reality and that, subsequently, your imperative is not universal and so not categorical. This causes me to call into question the entire value of the 'categorical project'.

Prismatic567 wrote:Btw, I am not claiming there is a total elimination of those practices at present.
I said over the last 100 years, if not try stretching it back to last 1000, 5000, 50,000 years or the time homo-sapiens first emerged.
If you draw a graph of the various traits, there is an increasing and net trend. Btw, I am referring to humanity on a global basis not specific locations or groups.
If you compare China and elsewhere they don't behead anyone as easily as they do 1,000 years or more ago.


You did not claim that the total elimination of those practices you mentioned (as being immoral) had taken place, that is true, but you did state:

Prismatic567 wrote:[...]the progressive trend of development in the related moral and ethics of the average humans facilitate greater efficiency towards humanity's survival within a spiraling perspective.


My example with China was to illustrate that humanity's survival continues despite these trends, and your suggesstion: "try stretching it back to last 1000, 5000, 50,000 years or the time homo-sapiens first emerged." would lead me further to conclude that the practices you stated, like capital punishment, misogyny, even genocide, have indeed been going on for thousands of years, and yet humanity has continued to survive and our yet our population is at a greater height than its ever been.

Prismatic567 wrote:What is 'good' is leveraged against the sustaining and preservation of the individual and therefrom the species. This is grounded on the Categorical Imperative [note 1-5] I discussed in the earlier post.
That is the general idea. Note the idea of Good is that which opposed 'evil' in the secular sense is a very complicated issue involving the Summum Bonum, i.e. what is the highest unconditional good. Next you may ask what is 'Evil.' To understand what is 'evil' one need to do extensive research and define what it meant by 'evil.' For example, it is obvious 'genocide' is evil and cannot be good as a universal law. Genocide as a good universal law would imply the extinction of the human specie. The other aspect is to present a taxonomy of evil to encompass all necessary elements of evil.


What you are saying here leads me to think you would change the structure of your earlier imperative 'it is permissible to...' to something like 'you must...' so that categorically the imperative to genocide would lead to humanity's extinction. I think there would still be problems with the categorical imperative project in certain cases, like killing; as you stated realistically there may(?) be times to kill.

But I have another problem with the statement above. You state: "What is 'good' is leveraged against the sustaining and preservation of the individual and therefrom the species."

There are two options to follow this idea through:

1) Imagine that we accept this and ask, if our concern is with the preservation of the species, does it necessarily follow that a genocide would lead to the extinction of the species? If the answer is no, then we still would ask, is a genocide okay then some of the time under some conditions? What if, for example, the earth had become so extremely overpopulated that the shortage of food was pandemic. In such a case, a controlled genocide may in fact aid in the survival of the species whereas to refrain from a genocide could very well result in the extinction of the species entirely.

2) We do not accept the above definition of the good outright (What is 'good' is that which is aligned and support the preservation of the individual and the species [i.e. humanity] in the optimal sense.) but instead ask, why is the preservation of the individual and the species good? An individual may think it is good, but thinking something merely does not entail that it is good, because by the same right someone could think the extinction of the species was good — if this person, for example, became convinced that humanity was an immoral viruslike species — in their actions despite their words — for killing animals, poluting the environment, and whatever else. I think a deeper investigation needs to take place to discover 'what is the quality which makes a thing good?'. And so in this case I am proposing that a deeper investigation take place as to why it is good that "the individual and the species [i.e. humanity]" by preserved "in the optimal sense".

I will continue in this vein to address the rest of your post:

Prismatic567 wrote:What is good need to be aligned with the Categorical Imperative where one of them is as follows;
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.


There is a two problems with this. The first — You yourself contradicted your initial example:

Prismatic567 wrote:But the fact is we must face reality.
Thus we need cater for variations and conditions in real life by codifying Laws and rules that made provision for exceptions where certain killings can be legal.


And I have posed a problem for you concerning genocide under the 1) above. I think it needs investigating whether an imperative can even be made categorically (that is, universally) without contradiction.

The second problem — You say: "What is good need to be aligned with the Categorical Imperative", and I ask, why does what is good need to be aligned with the categorical imperative? Even if a good is aligned with the imperative, why does that make it good?

Prismatic567 wrote:According to Kant's Moral system all rational individuals should strive to act in accordance with the above CI.


Without a reason why "all rational individuals should strive to act in accordance with the above CI", what you are stating is mere dogmatism, one would be obligated to act in accordance with the imperative merely because someone (in this case Kant) says so.

Prismatic567 wrote:However within the Kantian System, it is recognized in reality the individual human can never conform to the above and thus humanity must re-align the CI with Maxims [not mathematical sense], Laws and rules to reconcile the empirical with the rational. In this case, relative to the current conditions, what is 'good' is conditioned upon compliance with the Laws and rules implemented.


And every time you speak of compliance with the imperative you immediately contradict it by saying "it is recognized in reality the individual human can never conform to the above" and earlier "But the fact is we must face reality." etc. which breaks your own rule for the categorical imperative: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction."

Prismatic567 wrote:The point here is CI[1] is universal and will not change, but the Maxims, Laws and Rules can be changed to adapt to changing time and conditions.


This does not follow. You say that the CI will not change, yet immediately the categorical nature of the imperative changes because in reality we must adopt contradicting "Maxims, Laws and Rules", thus the assertion that the imperatives are categorical (universal) is proven of itself false and logically untenable.

I am inclining at present to see this point of view as dogmatic, not only must we accept the imperative for no other reason than that it is good because it is the categorical imperative, but then we must accept it while simultaneously contradicting it to follow "Maxims, Laws and Rules" which we haven't even yet examined as to their own validity, and surely these "Maxims, Laws and Rules" cannot themselves be categorical if you have already stated that they would contradict other categorical imperatives.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:37 am

The Artful Pauper wrote:I don't see that your logic follows here. You say, if killing is permissible "then that will result in the extinction of the human species after the last man dies."
Note Formulation 1 of the Categorical Imperative is this;
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time WILL that it should become a universal law without contradiction.

Willed as a Universal Law meant it is applicable to all normal rational person.
In principle [note principle] if all [universally] normal rational person applies this [permitted to kill others], then it will lead to the eventual extinction of the human species after the last person is dead.

On this basis, Formulation 1 is rational and acceptable. Note there are 4 other formulations to iron out any kinks in Formulation 1.

But just because killing is permissible does not mean that everyone must kill each other. Imagine as a thought experiment that you and I were together in a room and it was decided between us or by some greater governmental authority that killing each other was permitted. Neither of us would have to, or even want to kill each other unless we had a motive.

If we two were out in a field with a forest nearby and a collection tools and other resources (for example seeds) needed which allow for working the field, cutting trees and building, and it was permissible for us to kill each other, it could very well be in our interest not to kill each other but instead to cooperate to work the field, and use our tools to build domiciles. Say another individual came to where we were with some motivation to kill us, and killing was permissible, we could technically, if that individual did not wish to cooperate with us but pursue the agenda of murder, kill that individual, protecting ourselves, and continue with our work and maintenance, all the while killing being "permissible".
Your examples are not applicable as you are conflating 'Ought' with "IS." What is needed is a reconciliation of 'ought' with "is" not a conflation of them.

As I mentioned, in principle, if killing is permissible to all people, then, the final result is the extinction of the human specie.
In contrast, if killing is not permissible, then there is no threat to the human specie as a far as 'killing' is concerned.

If you test the CI [Formula 1] with all sort of human variables, you will find CI-1 will stand the test.

You then say, "But the fact is we must face reality.
Thus we need cater for variations and conditions in real life by codifying Laws and rules that made provision for exceptions where certain killings can be legal."

This leads to the conclusions that your use of the categorical imperative is not suitable for generating maxims applicable to reality and that, subsequently, your imperative is not universal and so not categorical. This causes me to call into question the entire value of the 'categorical project'.
The categorical imperative is sound within the perspective of pure reason as an ideal. As I mentioned, this ideal is to be merely used as a guide and not to be enforceable.

You need to note [I had mentioned many times] the Kantian Moral/Ethical system comprised the two aspects, i.e. the Pure and Applied.
For example, there is a perfect triangle within Pure Geometry in theory and measurements but there will not be any perfect triangle in empirical reality.
Similarly, we can postulate and assume ideal and perfect absolute moral principles, i.e. the Categorical Imperative, but we do not expect the CI to exist in empirical reality.

To reconcile and align actual practice with the CI we need to introduce Maxims that are aligned as near as possible to the CI.
We may start the maxim with 'No killing is permissible.'
But we know this is not realistic in practice.
So we add a provision to the Maxim with a Law,
'Killing is permissible only with the following exceptions'
It is then up to the judiciary to deal with such exceptions.

The positive direction is the setting of the CI establish a fixed goal post to modulate and improve on actual ethical conditions.
When the Maxim is 'No killing is permissible, ' i.e. Zero,
then there is a benchmark for the executive to manage the variance between zero and the actual number of killings.
Say, the number of actual killings is 100,000 in 2015.
We will analyze the root cause of these killing and find preventive measure to reduce the number to as close as possible to the [quite] impossible ought of zero.

My example with China was to illustrate that humanity's survival continues despite these trends, and your suggestion: "try stretching it back to last 1000, 5000, 50,000 years or the time homo-sapiens first emerged." would lead me further to conclude that the practices you stated, like capital punishment, misogyny, even genocide, have indeed been going on for thousands of years, and yet humanity has continued to survive and our yet our population is at a greater height than its ever been.
Yes, genocides and the other negatives are still in existent and the human population is increasing.
However if you put the reduction of these negative variables in a graph you will find a positive trend.
Note the ratio to total is more critical than the number in this case.
The ratio of the number of human sacrifice per total population 5,000 years ago would have significantly reduce since then to now.
The number of countries with capital punishment over total countries in the world would have reduced significantly over the last 500 to 100 years.
The ratio of the number of slaves over total population would have reduced significantly over the last 5000 years.
You can do the same estimation for the various evil variables and you will note the increasing positive trend.
This I claim is based on the potential inherent moral impulse within the human DNA.

What you are saying here leads me to think you would change the structure of your earlier imperative 'it is permissible to...' to something like 'you must...' so that categorically the imperative to genocide would lead to humanity's extinction. I think there would still be problems with the categorical imperative project in certain cases, like killing; as you stated realistically there may(?) be times to kill.
Note my explanation above.
I started with 'what ought/must be done' in principle as abstracted from empirical evidences, e.g. real life situations, moral impulse [mirror neurons, oxytocin,] in the human DNA, etc. This is the pure moral aspects of the Kantian system.
The Kantian system then bridges and reconcile the 'ought' with the 'is" via its ethical aspects.
There is no issue here.

But I have another problem with the statement above. You state: "What is 'good' is leveraged against the sustaining and preservation of the individual and therefrom the species."

There are two options to follow this idea through:

1) Imagine that we accept this and ask, if our concern is with the preservation of the species, does it necessarily follow that a genocide would lead to the extinction of the species? If the answer is no, then we still would ask, is a genocide okay then some of the time under some conditions? What if, for example, the earth had become so extremely overpopulated that the shortage of food was pandemic. In such a case, a controlled genocide may in fact aid in the survival of the species whereas to refrain from a genocide could very well result in the extinction of the species entirely.

2) We do not accept the above definition of the good outright (What is 'good' is that which is aligned and support the preservation of the individual and the species [i.e. humanity] in the optimal sense.) but instead ask, why is the preservation of the individual and the species good? An individual may think it is good, but thinking something merely does not entail that it is good, because by the same right someone could think the extinction of the species was good — if this person, for example, became convinced that humanity was an immoral viruslike species — in their actions despite their words — for killing animals, polluting the environment, and whatever else. I think a deeper investigation needs to take place to discover 'what is the quality which makes a thing good?'. And so in this case I am proposing that a deeper investigation take place as to why it is good that "the individual and the species [i.e. humanity]" by preserved "in the optimal sense".

Applying the principle of the CI, genocide will lead to eventual human extinction. The CI will stand as a moral principle regardless. Thus the initial maxim is,
No genocide is permissible.
Theoretical: IF [big IF] genocide really necessary, the judiciary will then implement laws to cater for exception where genocide is necessary. In reality I don't think such a provision for genocide will ever be considered. Within the taxonomy of evil, genocide will be categorized as one of those with the highest degree of evil and obviously no compromise will be allowed.

Re why the preservation of the specie is good, I have explained in my earlier post. It is like asking why breathing is good, i.e. a critical universal necessity.
The test of whether something is good can be done by putting it through Formula 1 of the CI. If it lead to the extinction of the specie, then, it is not good. In other cases, the test is that of general reciprocity.
Btw, the formulation of the CI assume humans are normal rational people and thus exclude people who are mentally sick.

There is a two problems with this. The first — You yourself contradicted your initial example:

Prismatic567 wrote:But the fact is we must face reality.
Thus we need cater for variations and conditions in real life by codifying Laws and rules that made provision for exceptions where certain killings can be legal.


And I have posed a problem for you concerning genocide under the 1) above. I think it needs investigating whether an imperative can even be made categorically (that is, universally) without contradiction.
Note the Law of Non-Contradiction imply same time and same sense.
There is no contradiction in my case as it involves two different senses, i.e.
1. the transcendental pure reason and
2. the empirical
I explained we can strive for perfect ideals [via pure reason] as merely a guide but such ideals are not achievable in empirical reality.

The second problem — You say: "What is good need to be aligned with the Categorical Imperative", and I ask, why does what is good need to be aligned with the categorical imperative? Even if a good is aligned with the imperative, why does that make it good?
I have explained this in my earlier post.
viewtopic.php?p=2530250#p2530250
When an action/thought is in alignment with the categorical imperative, it is considered good.
If an action/thought is in misalignment with the categorical imperative [it is considered not so good or bad], it impinges on the survival of the individual, the preservation of the human specie and the progress and well-being of humanity. Note there are degrees [1 -99.99%] of 'good' and 'evil.'

Without a reason why "all rational individuals should strive to act in accordance with the above CI", what you are stating is mere dogmatism, one would be obligated to act in accordance with the imperative merely because someone (in this case Kant) says so.
Note I gave the reasons above, i.e.
the survival of the individual, the preservation of the human specie and the progress and well-being of humanity.
I would not prefer the term obligated.
In general, when one is a member of a NBA team, being professional one will strive to perform optimally in alignment with the rest of the team member and the team's mission [team CI and goals], not because the coach said so.
In the case of Kant, it is not because Kant said so. Kant merely highlighted the natural moral impulse within the individual and humanity and presented it very systematically. It is up to the rational and complete individual to understand the principles involved and strive to rewire his/her brain [this is the critical phase we need to consider now into the future] to align with the CI optimally.
This eventually will drive the individual and collective to uplift the average personal moral quotient based on effective approaches.

And every time you speak of compliance with the imperative you immediately contradict it by saying "it is recognized in reality the individual human can never conform to the above" and earlier "But the fact is we must face reality." etc. which breaks your own rule for the categorical imperative: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction."
I hope by now you have understood there is no contradiction as they are in different senses.

This does not follow. You say that the CI will not change, yet immediately the categorical nature of the imperative changes because in reality we must adopt contradicting "Maxims, Laws and Rules", thus the assertion that the imperatives are categorical (universal) is proven of itself false and logically untenable.
Like the lighthouse that will not change, the CI as a principle will not change but merely will be used as guide. I have explained there is no contradiction.

I am inclining at present to see this point of view as dogmatic, not only must we accept the imperative for no other reason than that it is good because it is the categorical imperative, but then we must accept it while simultaneously contradicting it to follow "Maxims, Laws and Rules" which we haven't even yet examined as to their own validity, and surely these "Maxims, Laws and Rules" cannot themselves be categorical if you have already stated that they would contradict other categorical imperatives.
The impulse of the CI is the same as sex is an inherent universal impulse for humans. There are exceptions but they are irrelevant to the universal expectation of humans to produce the next generation. Other than exceptions, the sexual impulse will manifest in humans, there is no question of whether one must accept or reject it.
Thus just like the sex impulse, there is no question of accepting the CI because it is inherent within humans.

As for contradiction, I hope you understood my explanations above why there is no contradiction.

The CI of Morality is similar to the perfect triangle of Pure Geometry. Meanwhile the Maxims, judiciary laws and rules are the real triangles in practice that we attempt to make perfect but can never achieve perfection, nevertheless we benefit from the continuous improvement towards the ideal in the course of striving to be perfect.
Thus striving for the never achievable perfect as a fixed guide is more effective than chasing after movable goal post like those the non-Kantian moral/ethical systems.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Diekon » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:22 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Diekon wrote:Yes I stand by my statement that no human being actually thinks and acts in this way. The categorical imperative functions as the controller, and i do not know of any person that uses it to check his moral views to. You need to check if you moral principle can be willed a (descriptive) universal law without contradiction... seriously?
I mentioned elsewhere the Kantian System of Morals and Ethics is too far ahead of its and our time. Nevertheless the categorical imperative is manifesting partially in principle in fact and reality, subliminally if not consciously.
I dare say you do not understand [not necessary agree] Kant's Categorical Imperative fully, that is why your views in it fall short and thus are straw-man(s). It is not easy for you to get onto the same boat unless you have put in your fair share of effort to understand Kant's philosophy systematically. [not independently]

Here are some rough points and hopefully you get some ideas of what the CI is really about;
    1. There are 5 formulations of the CI. [policies]
    2. The CIs are not expected to imperative nor enforceable in practice, they are merely guides.
    3. To put the CI in actual action, one need to formulate Maxims, enforceable Laws and rules that are parallel and in alignment with the CI.
    4. The Maxims are then translated into strategies to be executed in practice.
    5. Actual results are compared with the Maxims.
    6. Gaps and variances are to be closed via corrective steps [or punishment if necessary] on the principle of continuous improvement.

For example note the first formulation of the CI [1],
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.

Within Kant's philosophy, the formulation of the CI [1-5] is referred as the Moral [Pure] aspects.

The practice aspects of the Kantian system is referred to Ethics [Applied]
If one has a maxim, e.g. 'Killing is permissible.'
If this maxim is made into a universal law that is WILLed and activated by all rational beings at the SAME TIME, then that will result in the extinction of the human species after the last man dies.

Therefore in alignment with CI [i], the general Maxim should be 'Killing is not permissible.'
But the fact is we must face reality.
Thus we need cater for variations and conditions in real life by codifying Laws and rules that made provision for exceptions where certain killings can be legal.

The point here is CI[1] is universal and will not change, but the Maxims, Laws and Rules can be changed to adapt to changing time and conditions.


Look i understand how the CI works, i just don't think it's very usefull to think about morals in that way.

Yes like i said he is a rationalist, and so he starts from general principles... which is exactly my problem with him. I think anything worth a damn starts from the concrete or empirical, and abstracts from that to arrive at more general principles.
The problem is you did not bother to read and understand Kant's critically philosophy in totality.

Note the Kantian process;
    1. Kant start his Moral and Ethic systems from observations and empirical evidence.
    2. From this empirical sphere he used philosophy to abstract the universal principles.
    3. Then he put these universal principles through the metaphysical tests.
    4. Once the universal principles are derived he retested them within the empirical sphere.

The above is exactly how Science and Mathematic deal with their Pure and Applied aspects.

If you are still not convinced, read up Kant thoroughly to confirm what I had stated above!


I have started reading his work on morals to verify this, and only a few pages in, i came across this :

"As my concern here is with moral philosophy, I limit the question
suggested to this: Whether it is not of the utmost necessity to
construct a pure thing which is only empirical and which belongs to
anthropology? for that such a philosophy must be possible is evident
from the common idea of duty and of the moral laws. Everyone must
admit that if a law is to have moral force, i.e., to be the basis of
an obligation, it must carry with it absolute necessity; that, for
example, the precept, "Thou shalt not lie," is not valid for men
alone, as if other rational beings had no need to observe it; and so
with all the other moral laws properly so called; that, therefore, the
basis of obligation must not be sought in the nature of man, or in the
circumstances in the world in which he is placed, but a priori
simply in the conception of pure reason
; and although any other
precept which is founded on principles of mere experience may be in
certain respects universal, yet in as far as it rests even in the
least degree on an empirical basis, perhaps only as to a motive,
such a precept, while it may be a practical rule, can never be
called a moral law.
Thus not only are moral laws with their principles essentially
distinguished from every other kind of practical knowledge in which
there is anything empirical, but all moral philosophy rests wholly
on its pure part
. When applied to man, it does not borrow the least
thing from the knowledge of man himself (anthropology), but gives laws
a priori to him as a rational being. No doubt these laws require a
judgement sharpened by experience, in order on the one hand to
distinguish in what cases they are applicable, and on the other to
procure for them access to the will of the man and effectual influence
on conduct; since man is acted on by so many inclinations that, though
capable of the idea of a practical pure reason, he is not so easily
able to make it effective in concreto in his life.
A metaphysic of morals is therefore indispensably necessary, not
merely for speculative reasons, in order to investigate the sources of
the practical principles which are to be found a priori in our reason,
but also because morals themselves are liable to all sorts of
corruption, as long as we are without that clue and supreme canon by
which to estimate them correctly. For in order that an action should
be morally good, it is not enough that it conform to the moral law,
but it must also be done for the sake of the law, otherwise that
conformity is only very contingent and uncertain; since a principle
which is not moral, although it may now and then produce actions
conformable to the law, will also often produce actions which
contradict it. Now it is only a pure philosophy that we can look for
the moral law in its purity and genuineness (and, in a practical
matter, this is of the utmost consequence): we must, therefore,
begin with pure philosophy (metaphysic), and without it there cannot
be any moral philosophy at all.
That which mingles these pure
principles with the empirical does not deserve the name of
philosophy (for what distinguishes philosophy from common rational
knowledge is that it treats in separate sciences what the latter
only comprehends confusedly); much less does it deserve that of
moral philosophy, since by this confusion it even spoils the purity of
morals themselves, and counteracts its own end."

He doesn't start his morals from observations and empirical evidence. It is derived from pure reason, and in fact the empirical mustn't be mingled in according to Kant.

Since i don't think much of his metaphysics, no argument starting there will have any value for me, just like referring to god as a justification for certain morals doesn't work if you don't believe in god. The CI could be redeemed if by some other arguments it could be shown to have some practical value, i just have seen any.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby The Artful Pauper » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:52 am

Prismatic567 wrote:Willed as a Universal Law meant it is applicable to all normal rational person. In principle [note principle] if all [universally] normal rational person applies this [permitted to kill others], then it will lead to the eventual extinction of the human species after the last person is dead.


You repeat this without demonstration. I have already shown above it is incorrect. See below:

Prismatic567 wrote:Your examples are not applicable as you are conflating 'Ought' with "IS." What is needed is a reconciliation of 'ought' with "is" not a conflation of them.

As I mentioned, in principle, if killing is permissible to all people, then, the final result is the extinction of the human specie.
In contrast, if killing is not permissible, then there is no threat to the human specie as a far as 'killing' is concerned.


What I am saying is that in the way you have formulated the imperative about killing, there is no ought involved (which is not to conflate ought and is).

You say, if "killing is permissible" is willed by people it will result in the extinction of humanity.

I am saying, in the context of the example you gave, the imperative "killing is permissible" does not imply an ought.

To bring ought into this context would mean framing the imperative as "you should kill". But even that does not imply that one will kill, so in that case I would not be conflating ought and is either, I would be separating them.

The only way for an imperative to necessitate killing (melding the ought of an imperative with an is) would be if it was phrased as something like "Kill" in the sense of a demand, which was then willed as an imperative.

What I had said (which it seems kind of strange to restate it because I thought it was clear) is that, just because it to be permissible does not mean that it is necessary.

So, the imperative that it is permissible to kill does not necessitate the result that people will kill each other. Which is separating the is from the ought, not conflating them.

Saying that killing is permissible is equivalent to saying "You can kill", can is different than ought (should), and will.

I can kill this person — I should kill this person — I will kill this person.

I am separating them. On the contrary, I would assert that you are conflating can and will (They can kill each other with they will kill each other).

Prismatic567 wrote:For example, there is a perfect triangle within Pure Geometry in theory and measurements but there will not be any perfect triangle in empirical reality.
Similarly, we can postulate and assume ideal and perfect absolute moral principles, i.e. the Categorical Imperative, but we do not expect the CI to exist in empirical reality.


You seem to be implying here that the categorical imperative is for use as some kind of measuring or gauging tool, but I don't think these two are comparable in a useful sense.

The application of the concept of triangles in empirical situations is based off other criteria than the model of equilateral triangles. If an equilateral triangle was necessary by application it would be determined in the context of the situation, not by the foreknowledge of its existence as an imperative to use equilateral triangles.

In this sense I question the usefulness of the categorical imperative. You say:

Prismatic567 wrote:To reconcile and align actual practice with the CI we need to introduce Maxims that are aligned as near as possible to the CI.
We may start the maxim with 'No killing is permissible.'
But we know this is not realistic in practice.
So we add a provision to the Maxim with a Law,
'Killing is permissible only with the following exceptions'
It is then up to the judiciary to deal with such exceptions.


and by saying so you mean that we address the empirical reality with reasoning (which in your statement above would be done by whichever parties would formulate exceptions and by the judiciary). If the categorical imperatives are just to be put aside as empirical reality approaches, there is no real reason for creating them in the first place. All one would really need is a goal or conclusion in order to examine the situation and decide on the best course of action to reach that goal or conclusion, and the categorical imperative can be done away with entirely. But it is first up to reason to decide what constitutes a worthwhile goal and consider whether diverse held goals contradict each other.

Prismatic567 wrote:The positive direction is the setting of the CI establish a fixed goal post to modulate and improve on actual ethical conditions.
When the Maxim is 'No killing is permissible, ' i.e. Zero,
then there is a benchmark for the executive to manage the variance between zero and the actual number of killings.
Say, the number of actual killings is 100,000 in 2015.
We will analyze the root cause of these killing and find preventive measure to reduce the number to as close as possible to the [quite] impossible ought of zero.


Here you say something similar to what I've said above, in terms of setting a goal, but what I am saying is that the categorical imperative is not needed for what you have set as your conclusion to the process:

"We will analyze the root cause of these killing and find preventive measure to reduce the number to as close as possible to the [quite] impossible ought of zero."

This is an argument for the analytic process, and my argument is also for the analytic process which is used to decide goals (the what and the why) and figure out how the goals can be acheived in empirical situations. The categorical imperative seems like an extra addition without real use, because the goal has already been set by which the outcome (and by relation to the outcome the modes of action) is measured.

What I am taking issue with is the assertion that there should be some need to create a categorical imperative, which we immediately disregard based on "empirical reality", why not just skip the categoral imperative and simply use the critical and analytic faculties (which to my mind are going to be determined by irrational desires) to decide on a goal, analyze the empirical factors to generate solutions, then measure the solutions based by weighing the outcome against the goal, with consideration of empirical factors?

Prismatic567 wrote:Yes, genocides and the other negatives are still in existent and the human population is increasing.
However if you put the reduction of these negative variables in a graph you will find a positive trend.
Note the ratio to total is more critical than the number in this case.
The ratio of the number of human sacrifice per total population 5,000 years ago would have significantly reduce since then to now.
The number of countries with capital punishment over total countries in the world would have reduced significantly over the last 500 to 100 years.
The ratio of the number of slaves over total population would have reduced significantly over the last 5000 years.
You can do the same estimation for the various evil variables and you will note the increasing positive trend.


What I was pointing out is not that these things haven't reduced, but that despite their occurence humanity has continued to survive, including in the countries where these still take place, and so I see no reason to conclude absolutely that the disappearance of these trends have sustained humanity's survival in a way which their continuance would not have, particularly since China where a lot of these practices still take place has the highest population in the world.

Prismatic567 wrote:Applying the principle of the CI, genocide will lead to eventual human extinction. The CI will stand as a moral principle regardless. Thus the initial maxim is,
No genocide is permissible.
Theoretical: IF [big IF] genocide really necessary, the judiciary will then implement laws to cater for exception where genocide is necessary. In reality I don't think such a provision for genocide will ever be considered. Within the taxonomy of evil, genocide will be categorized as one of those with the highest degree of evil and obviously no compromise will be allowed.


My argument against this is the same as what I have given above against the categorical imperative, which is that if by some human reasoning we would forego the conclusions of the imperative, there is no reason for the imperative to begin with but only for the critical and analytical faculties be applied to empirical circumstances to accomplish an (analytically) chosen goal.

Prismatic567 wrote:Re why the preservation of the specie is good, I have explained in my earlier post. It is like asking why breathing is good, i.e. a critical universal necessity. The test of whether something is good can be done by putting it through Formula 1 of the CI. If it lead to the extinction of the specie, then, it is not good. In other cases, the test is that of general reciprocity.
Btw, the formulation of the CI assume humans are normal rational people and thus exclude people who are mentally sick.


Breathing is a critical necessity for survival, but should we not subject even survival to rational inquiry to understand if and how survival is good?

I would personally maintain that humans are not at the base rational creatures, we are driven by irrational desires and subject to our instincts (survival being one of them). In this sense we can say "I desire life", but it does not follow that because we desire a thing it is good, else by the same reasoning whatever someone desired would be good which I think can be proven false by the fact that some of our desires contradict our own and those of others.

Also, what is a "normal" person? What criteria are you basing that on, is it on something like a majority of the population? If that is the case, if the majority of the population desired genocide or even human's extinction, would that then be normal? If not, could you please describe for me what criteria you are basing the classification "normal" on.

Prismatic567 wrote:Note the Law of Non-Contradiction imply same time and same sense.
There is no contradiction in my case as it involves two different senses, i.e.
1. the transcendental pure reason and
2. the empirical
I explained we can strive for perfect ideals [via pure reason] as merely a guide but such ideals are not achievable in empirical reality.


So now I have above posed a new question, which is, what is the need of what you call "transcendental pure reason" if we can deal analytically with empirical reality?

And I will add two more:

Where do the concepts that inform and compose the judgements of transcendental pure reason come from? (concepts such as normal, good, etc.)?

and,

How can we be sure that the concepts we are using in transcendent rational thought reflect the reality of the world around us in such a way as to make them useful?

Prismatic567 wrote:When an action/thought is in alignment with the categorical imperative, it is considered good.
If an action/thought is in misalignment with the categorical imperative [it is considered not so good or bad], it impinges on the survival of the individual, the preservation of the human specie and the progress and well-being of humanity. Note there are degrees [1 -99.99%] of 'good' and 'evil.'


I don't think this follows. You say that the categorical imperative is put aside in empirical situations and when laws and maxims need to take their place, and presumably the categorical imperative is put aside for the sake of decisions (from a judiciary for example) because they could correct inflexibility of the categorical imperative in such occassions when survival is endangered and the categorical imperative does not cover the situation.

In that case (of overriding the categorical imperative) the reason would presumably for survival or some "greater good" (than would be served by following it). But if this is the case then what is good is not determined by its adherance to the imperative as you imply but by some other reason which determines when it is permissible to deviate from it.

Besides this, we still haven't answered what is good? and why is it good?



Prismatic567 wrote:
The Artful Pauper wrote:Without a reason why "all rational individuals should strive to act in accordance with the above CI", what you are stating is mere dogmatism, one would be obligated to act in accordance with the imperative merely because someone (in this case Kant) says so.
In general, when one is a member of a NBA team, being professional one will strive to perform optimally in alignment with the rest of the team member and the team's mission [team CI and goals], not because the coach said so.


The example of the NBA team implies that the individuals who make up the team have voluntarily chosen to enter the team and strive for its collective goal, whereas the categorical imperative makes general statements about how one should live.

An imperative such as "One should not kill" may not be in the interest of a particular individual who could benefit from killing, so when I asked for a reason why one should comply with the categorical imperative what I was looking for was a reason why an individual, for example, should not give the appearance that he is innocent to his peers (to escape their condemnation) while secretly committing murder, provided he was certain he could get away with it?

Prismatic567 wrote:In the case of Kant, it is not because Kant said so. Kant merely highlighted the natural moral impulse within the individual and humanity and presented it very systematically. It is up to the rational and complete individual to understand the principles involved and strive to rewire his/her brain [this is the critical phase we need to consider now into the future] to align with the CI optimally.


Okay, so you are making a statement here about human nature and asserting that it is moral. I am wondering how you explain 'immorality' and in particular 'immorality' in successful individuals?

And, by what measure do you determine with certainty that humanity is moving toward a state of increased morality? Another empirical example I can bring up is practices of torture used by the US in Guantanamo. The US has had a recent history (so far as the public knows anyway) of not using torture but yet readopted this practice that, if I am not incorrect, your analysis would view as outmoded. So do you see a reason why there would be a reversion to such behaviour, if the moral instinct as you have described it is inbuilt in the human species?

Prismatic567 wrote:there is no question of accepting the CI because it is inherent within humans.


Some of you other following statements such as above refer to human nature so my questions above should cover this for now.

Prismatic567 wrote:As for contradiction, I hope you understood my explanations above why there is no contradiction.


Well, we're not quite there yet. I have no antagonism towards your conclusions, but since they don't align with my own I suppose we will have to see it through with discussion.
Last edited by The Artful Pauper on Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:24 pm

Diekon wrote:He doesn't start his morals from observations and empirical evidence. It is derived from pure reason, and in fact the empirical mustn't be mingled in according to Kant.

I have been presenting all along that the Kantian Moral/Ethical system comprised,
1. the Pure Moral aspects - i.e. independent of the empirical
2. the Applied Ethical aspects, i.e. independent of the pure aspects.

Kant provided reconciliation strategies to reconcile the Pure with the Applied.

It is true that the Pure-Moral principles has to be independent and not mingled with the empirical.

However if you take into context, Kant has to start with actual observations, empirical experience and evidence somehow. Kant relied on casuistry examples like lying, suicide, avarice, gluttony, and the likes.
In contrast to utilitarianism and consequentialism which focus of the empirical and psychological elements, Kant used reason and pure reason and not empirical experiments to formulate the CI which is independent of the empirical.

Kant did start with observations and empirical experience and by the stage the CI is formulated as a moral principle it is then stripped of empirical elements, especially emotional, feelings and other psychological elements.

Otherwise, how do you think Kant can start without any empirical elements. The only possibility is if he is a machine with intelligence.

Diekon wrote:Since i don't think much of his metaphysics, no argument starting there will have any value for me, just like referring to god as a justification for certain morals doesn't work if you don't believe in god. The CI could be redeemed if by some other arguments it could be shown to have some practical value, i just have seen any.

As I had mentioned I am not here to convince you to adopt the CI rather I am here just to discuss and refresh Kant's ideas.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Diekon » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:08 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:
Diekon wrote:He doesn't start his morals from observations and empirical evidence. It is derived from pure reason, and in fact the empirical mustn't be mingled in according to Kant.

I have been presenting all along that the Kantian Moral/Ethical system comprised,
1. the Pure Moral aspects - i.e. independent of the empirical
2. the Applied Ethical aspects, i.e. independent of the pure aspects.

Kant provided reconciliation strategies to reconcile the Pure with the Applied.

It is true that the Pure-Moral principles has to be independent and not mingled with the empirical.

However if you take into context, Kant has to start with actual observations, empirical experience and evidence somehow. Kant relied on casuistry examples like lying, suicide, avarice, gluttony, and the likes.
In contrast to utilitarianism and consequentialism which focus of the empirical and psychological elements, Kant used reason and pure reason and not empirical experiments to formulate the CI which is independent of the empirical.

Kant did start with observations and empirical experience and by the stage the CI is formulated as a moral principle it is then stripped of empirical elements, especially emotional, feelings and other psychological elements.

Otherwise, how do you think Kant can start without any empirical elements. The only possibility is if he is a machine with intelligence.


Right, he claims he starts from pure reason, but offcourse like everybody else he's a only human and a part of the world. I think he is just confused about his own position. In beyond good and evil Nietzsche says that the true seed of most philosophies and metaphyiscs is not some pure dialectic, but the moral convictions of the philosopher. I think something along those line happened with Kant. He was disturbed that Hume and other empirisists/atheists where undermining the absolute character of morality and worried that the whole think would come crashing down. Since by his times god probably wouldn't have done it anymore, he turned to pure reason to found absolute morality... and so he needed a metaphysics to justify that.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:08 am

Diekon wrote:Right, he claims he starts from pure reason, but offcourse like everybody else he's a only human and a part of the world. I think he is just confused about his own position. In beyond good and evil Nietzsche says that the true seed of most philosophies and metaphyiscs is not some pure dialectic, but the moral convictions of the philosopher. I think something along those line happened with Kant. He was disturbed that Hume and other empirisists/atheists where undermining the absolute character of morality and worried that the whole think would come crashing down. Since by his times god probably wouldn't have done it anymore, he turned to pure reason to found absolute morality... and so he needed a metaphysics to justify that.
You are simply putting words into Kant's mouth without full knowledge of what Kant's views are.

It is true Kant started as a pure rationalist, i.e.
In epistemology, rationalism is the view that "regards reason as the chief source and test of knowledge"[1] or "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification".
Rationalists have such a high confidence in reason that proof and physical evidence are unnecessary to ascertain truth – in other words, "there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience".[4] Because of this belief, empiricism is one of rationalism's greatest rivals.

In total contrast Hume was an empiricist.

However if you understand the history of philosophy, Kant abandoned his strictly rationalist position and rationalism after he was awoken from his dogmatic slumber by Hume. Thereafter he reconciled the views of rationalism and empiricism. This turn of Kant was one of the most famous events in the history of philosophy.

Now you are telling me and insisting that Kant reverted to his rationalism and being a rationalist. I say you are wrong on this. If you insist on your view, it is your discretion to stick to it.

Within the history of philosophy, Kant was famous for reconciling the chasm between the serious dichotomy of rationalism and empiricism. His later philosophical views after his 'awoken from dogmatic slumber' reflected this reconciliation. This include his philosophy and system of Moral/Ethics.
When Kant presented the CI, it is supposedly [it is merely assumed] to be totally independent of empirical elements but there is a relation and reconciliation to empirical elements as in the process I mentioned earlier.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Arminius » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:10 pm

Orb wrote: History did not prove him right ....

That has not much to do with the question "who is the greatest philosopher?". It is the influence of a philosopher what counts. "Did history prove him or others right or not?" is also a complicated question because history has not ended yet. Did history prove (for example) Platon right or not? Who decides this? History decides. And history has not ended yet.

Was it right to invernt enginess, especially steam engines? What does history prove in that case? Huh?

- Will machines completely replace all human beings?
- Is it possible that machines completely replace all human?

Orb wrote:Nietzche took advantage of this flaw,and if Kant would have been greater, he SHOULD have forseen this as one casual possibility.

That has also not much to do with the question "who is the greatest philosopher?" It is the influence of a philosopher what counts. Foreseeing is important, yes, but not most important. In addition: Nietzsche had no philosophical system. Kant had a philosophical system, and Hegel was the last philosopher with a philosophical system. It is always easy to follow criticism, especially social criticism, but criticism is no philosophical system, often even not or merely a little bit philosophy.

You are comparing trucks with bicycles.

Again:
Arminius wrote:Referring to the topic of this thread - Kant vs. Nietzsche - I say that Kant belongs to the pre-nihilistic period and in his latest stage also to the nihilistic period whereas Nietzsche belongs merely to the nihilistic period.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche:
1) What did he say about the philosophy of technique / technology / engineering?
- Nothing at all.
2) What did he say about the philosophy of physics / kosmology / astronomy?
- Nearly nothing.
3) What did he say about the philosophy of economy / economics?
- Nearly nothing.
4) What did he say about the philosophy of sociology?
- Not much (his statements about the fact that he was really terrified of socialism have not much to do with sociology).
5) What did he say about the philosophy of law / right?
- Not much (his statements about ethics and moral have not much to do with law / right - but much with his concept "will to power").
6) What did he say about epistemology?
- Not much.
....
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Erik_ » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:55 pm

Nietzsche's critique of Kant's Thing-in-itself

Kant postulated the existence of the 'noumenon', which is the thing-in-itself distinct from human representation.

Nietzsche lambasted Kant on this; N. believed such otherworldly postulations to be 'anti-nature', a nihilistic impulse to degrade the physical world in favor of some beyond, some other-world ( supernatural ).

Perhaps the world of appearances is all there is...
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Orbie » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:03 pm

maybe Nietzche only tried to imply that reality should not be constructed as it were anything else but appearance but isnt that what schopenhaurt tried to do? , failing because of pessimism on that score?
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Arminius » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:43 am

In modern times critique is very fashionable and popular, but it makes a philosopher not necessarily, not automatically better or even greater. In the first place critique is only critique; in the second place it may lead to a philosophical system, and it did in Kant's case, but it did not in all cases after Hegel, thus it also did not in the cases Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

Erik asked: "Who is the better philosopher?" He did not ask: "Who is the better sympathiser?"

Persoanlly I can say (for example): "I am not a Kantian, I am not a Hegelian, I am not a Schopnehauerian / Nietzschean / Sloterdijkian" or the reverse; but as an Occidental human I have to say: "I am a Kantian, and I am a Hegelian", because Kant and Hegel have influenced the Occidental culture vehemently but Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Sloterdijk merely a little bit.

When the German chancellor Helmut Schmidt met the Chinese communistic leader Mao Tsetung (Zedong) in the middle 1970's, Mao Tsetung said to him: "You are a Kantian"; and Helmut Schmidt responded: "Yes, and you are a Konfuzian (Confucian)". Kant is typical Occidental, Konfuzius (Confucius) is typical Chinese - each of both influenced his culture more than anyone else of his culture. And by the way: Mao Tsetung, although he was a communist (thus an ideologist of an Occidental ideology), did not contradict Helmut Schmidt.

Now, please replace Kantian by Nietzschean and Konfuzian by Hanfeizian ...! Do you even know the last one?
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:41 am

Erik_ wrote:Nietzsche's critique of Kant's Thing-in-itself

Kant postulated the existence of the 'noumenon', which is the thing-in-itself distinct from human representation.

Nietzsche lambasted Kant on this; N. believed such otherworldly postulations to be 'anti-nature', a nihilistic impulse to degrade the physical world in favor of some beyond, some other-world ( supernatural ).

Perhaps the world of appearances is all there is...
I am very certain your above view [Nietzsche lambasted] is a straw man. Kant did assume and postulate but not to degrade the physical world in favor of some supernatural. There is nothing wrong is assuming and postulating as long as one qualified that transparently. To Kant, what is wrong is to take the thing-in-itself as real, and that is an illusion and if done persistently, it is delusional [e.g. God and/or soul as real].

Nietzsche criticized Kant on a range of ideas merely based on Schopenhauer's writings and critique of Kant.
It is speculated he read Kant's third Critique of Judgment but no mentions anywhere he read the full range of Kant's work. As such I would not give too much credibility on the soundness N's critique of Kant.

I think N may not even knew Kant assumed or postulated the thing-in-itself.

Here is how Kant assumed and utilized the Noumenon;
The Concept of a Noumenon is thus a MERELY limiting Concept, the Function of which is to curb the pretensions of Sensibility; and it is therefore ONLY of negative employment.B311


Negative employment* meant one can assume or postulate the Noumenon as some thing for some function/purpose, but one CANNOT take it as real.
This principle is applied throughout Kant's work even when he is seemingly deliberating the thing-in-itself as if it is real.

Kant warned there is a very powerful natural inherent unavoidable impulse embedded within all humans to take the thing-in-itself as really real, thus vulnerable to being delusional.
Kant wrote:Even the wisest of men cannot free himself from them. After long effort he perhaps succeeds in guarding himself against actual error; but he will NEVER be able to free himself from the Illusion, which unceasingly mocks and torments him.


Note, in many instances Kant factor in the idea of God and a casual [or a not serious] reader will think Kant is taking God for real without aware of Kant's qualification 'only negative employment.' However, Kant is aware of his above warning not to take God [the potential illusion] as real.

As I mentioned above, there is nothing wrong is assuming and postulating as long as one qualified that transparently.
Science assumed a kind of perfection, i.e. principle of uniformity throughout the universe to ensure the related scientific theory is sound and works.

Note the concept of 'Zero Defects'
Zero defects is a way of thinking and doing that reinforces the notion that defects are not acceptable, and that everyone should "do things right the first time".
The idea here is that with a philosophy of zero defects, you can increase profits both by eliminating the cost of failure and increasing revenues through increased customer satisfaction.

The assumption that such an ideal is achievable and strive for it is merely to increase efficiency and profits. It does not mean one will achieve actual zero defects all the time.

So Kant's concept and idea of the Noumenon aka Thing-in-itself is similar to what Science and others are assuming perfection and the ideals to facilitate greater improvements or understanding of reality.

It is claimed, one can get an enhanced sexual experience by fantasizing [in a way assuming] sex with a perfect woman [of perfect beauty, etc.] or man [some fantasize a perfect God].

Even N himself assumed and postulated the ideal Übermensch to facilitate and consumate his philosophy.

So there is no big issue if one assumes, postulates, fantasize as long as one know what one is doing and do not take them for real.
Note the thread of 'Szchizotypalism' which is the various degrees of taking the unreal for real.

I noted many of N's philosophies are in alignment with Kant's philosophy, but N's philosophical ideas made up of a very partial portion of Kant's full framework.


*Kant did discuss the thing-in-itself in another very refined perspective in a seemingly 'positive sense' but it is very nuanced and one has to do very detailed reflection to steer it back to its ultimate 'negative sense' to avoid being delusional.
It is not advisable to jump into this point less one has a good grasp of a greater range of Kant's philosophy.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:04 am

Orb wrote:maybe Nietzche only tried to imply that reality should not be constructed as it were anything else but appearance but isnt that what schopenhaurt tried to do? , failing because of pessimism on that score?
The difference between N and Schopenhauer is S take the thing-in-itself, i.e. the Will as real within oneself as manifestation of the greater Will. This is similar to pantheism.

From what I had read, N's will-to-power is confined to the self and not extended any further.

Kant's thing-in-itself is extended [not in any real sense] from the self and the empirical world but it is merely assumed and postulated for various purposes. Any attempts to reify the thing-in-itself is illusory and delusional.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Diekon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:13 am

Nothing can be known about the Neumenon, it is not real, and it can only be used purely negative?

But he does use it to postelate free will, pure reason and.... to derive his whole morals from.

Since Kant derives his morals only from his fantasy, we can savely ignore them i think.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Diekon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:25 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Diekon wrote:Right, he claims he starts from pure reason, but offcourse like everybody else he's a only human and a part of the world. I think he is just confused about his own position. In beyond good and evil Nietzsche says that the true seed of most philosophies and metaphyiscs is not some pure dialectic, but the moral convictions of the philosopher. I think something along those line happened with Kant. He was disturbed that Hume and other empirisists/atheists where undermining the absolute character of morality and worried that the whole think would come crashing down. Since by his times god probably wouldn't have done it anymore, he turned to pure reason to found absolute morality... and so he needed a metaphysics to justify that.


You are simply putting words into Kant's mouth without full knowledge of what Kant's views are.

However if you understand the history of philosophy, Kant abandoned his strictly rationalist position and rationalism after he was awoken from his dogmatic slumber by Hume. Thereafter he reconciled the views of rationalism and empiricism. This turn of Kant was one of the most famous events in the history of philosophy.

Now you are telling me and insisting that Kant reverted to his rationalism and being a rationalist. I say you are wrong on this. If you insist on your view, it is your discretion to stick to it.

Within the history of philosophy, Kant was famous for reconciling the chasm between the serious dichotomy of rationalism and empiricism. His later philosophical views after his 'awoken from dogmatic slumber' reflected this reconciliation. This include his philosophy and system of Moral/Ethics.
When Kant presented the CI, it is supposedly [it is merely assumed] to be totally independent of empirical elements but there is a relation and reconciliation to empirical elements as in the process I mentioned earlier.


And Prismatic, you keep stating that i misunderstand Kant and am merely using stawmen, but i am the one giving actual textual evidence for my claim.

In the end your argument only really amounts to an appeal to authority. Kant is a famous posterboy philosopher and he says he awoke from his dogmatic slumber, and went on to reconcile empirism and rationalism... so it must be true.

It's right there in his work of morals that suppositely came after he awoke from his dogmatic slumber... the moral laws themself need to be derived from pure reason, and experience has to be kept out of it.

Now how messed up is that, that when determining the rules we should live by, we shouldn't look at how the actual world opperates.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Arminius » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:55 am

Please show me your moral, if it both works and is not deducible / derivable from Kant's Categorical Imperative.

Note: Kant's Categorical Imperative is expandable.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Diekon » Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:46 pm

What do you mean 'both works and not derivable for the Categorical imperative'? If it has to work, it better not be deduced from the CI... because that sure doesn't work.

And no, i'm not going to show you my moral, this thread is not about me. Before you go on to say you need to formule an alternative... no i don't. If Kant's system doesn't work, it all of sudden doesn't start to work if there is no alternative. It just doesn't work, and it can be said that it doesn't work without presenting a whole other moral system.

Also i think you have the wrong idea about philosophy. Philosophy isn't about building a system... it's about finding your way out of the system. Socrates originally questioned the Greek Gods and the arbitrary imposed morals that came with it. That's what it is about, about questioning the societal imposed norms you happen to find yourself confronted with, reëvaluating them and replacing them with your own view on how to live. It's first and foremost a personal endeavour. Building universally applicable morals and metaphysical systems to found those, is something for party ideologues, priests, politicans and other people in power... who need to device ways to crowd control.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Arminius » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:33 am

Diekon wrote:Sure, but Kant apparently didn't use his understanding of the world to better decide his actions... he ended up with the categorical imperative.

I mean, if that is the actual goal of philosophy, it seems that he failed as a philosopher.

No. Not Kant as a philosopher but, if at all, the philosophy as a philosophy failed, or, in other words, Kant was the first philosopher who showed that also the philosophy can come to an end. After having its climax the philosophy became more and more redundant and at last something like a „pensioner“. It was not a coincidence that Kant was a contemporary of Mozart, Hegel a contemporary of Beethoven, and Nietzsche a contemporary of Brahms - and by the way: Sloterdijk is a contemporary of Zappa, and Ecmandu a contemporary of Eminem. :)

Diekon wrote:What do you mean 'both works and not derivable for the Categorical imperative'?

I mean that you or anybody else should show me any moral which both works and is not derivable from Kant's Categorical imperative.

Diekon wrote:If it has to work, it better not be deduced from the CI... because that sure doesn't work.

And therefore you should show me a (for example: your) moral, if it both works and is not derivable from Kant's Categorical imperative.

Diekon wrote:And no, i'm not going to show you my moral, this thread is not about me.
:lol:
Yes, Diekon, this thread is not about you.
I meant that you should show me a (for example: your) moral, if it both works and is not derivable from Kant's Categorical imperative.

Diekon wrote:Philosophy isn't about building a system... it's about finding your way out of the system.

No, that's merely nihilistic philosophy, thus nihilism, and of that sort we have already enough. There is no way out of nihlism, if nihlism is already entered.

Diekon wrote:Socrates originally questioned the Greek Gods and the arbitrary imposed morals that came with it. That's what it is about, about questioning the societal imposed norms you happen to find yourself confronted with, reëvaluating them and replacing them with your own view on how to live.

No, that's again social critcism, thus again nihilism, merely nihlistic philosophy. You have the wrong idea about philosophy.

If we all would think and act in the sense you are prefering, then in the end (consequently) there will be no philosophy anymore. Everything and anything would be sociology, nothing would be philosophy anymore. We are already on this "trip".

Diekon wrote:It's first and foremost a personal endeavour.

No, because then most people would say (like you): "This thread is not about me". :lol:

They would say "I want to have every and any right because I am the victim". Look at the so-called "human rights". They all begin with the word "one" or the word "everyone". Do they work? Does individualism ()extreme egoism) really work? And are they not derivable from Kant's Categorical imperative?

Diekon wrote:Building universally applicable morals and metaphysical systems to found those, is something for party ideologues, priests, politicans and other people in power... who need to device ways to crowd control.

"Party ideologues, priests, politicians, and other people in power"? Like I said: social criticism and sociology, thus nihilism. I say: primarily philosophers should do it, and they should not be allowed to get money for it.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:12 am

Diekon wrote:And Prismatic, you keep stating that i misunderstand Kant and am merely using strawmen, but i am the one giving actual textual evidence for my claim.

In the end your argument only really amounts to an appeal to authority. Kant is a famous posterboy philosopher and he says he awoke from his dogmatic slumber, and went on to reconcile empirism and rationalism... so it must be true.

It's right there in his work of morals that suppositely came after he awoke from his dogmatic slumber... the moral laws themself need to be derived from pure reason, and experience has to be kept out of it.

Now how messed up is that, that when determining the rules we should live by, we shouldn't look at how the actual world operates.
Another straw-man.
If you insist you understand the Kantian Moral/Ethics system, show a simple example of how it is done and why it don't work.

Note I mentioned the Kantian process is leveraged upon experience [though not stated explicitly by Kant] and the moral law is formulated as independent of experience [in contrast to Hume's psychological association, customs and habits that are dependent on experience.], then applied in parallel to the actual world.
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Re: Kant vs Nietzsche

Postby Arminius » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:22 am

From another thread:

Arminius wrote:Here are some examples of modern Occidental imperatives like Kant's categorical imperative and other's imperatives:
(1) "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction."
(2) "Be revolutionary."
(3) "Trust in the absolute spirit and the dialectic processes."
(4) "Relinquish."
(5) "Be yourself."
(6) "Persevere."
(7) "Be autarkic as much as you can."
(8) "Take care of you, your relatives and dependants, your surrounding and ecolgical environment."
(9) "Participate in the discourse."
(10) "Take care of your foam, because you live in it."
....

Modern imperatives of ILP members:
....
(I) "Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony."
(II) "Do unto yourself and others as you'd do unto yourself if you were them."
(III) "The important thing is KINDNESS."
....

What do you think about that?
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