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Eamon Arasbard

The Golden Rule as a basis for rights

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Well we're in violent disagreement on this point. I don't even know how to combat such an assertion. War should not be accepted as some every day occurence. I mean, that's just messed up.

I believe that I'd said that "a state of war is pretty 'normal life'," just as "having a police department which takes regular and routine action against criminals is also part of 'normal life'." Is that what I'd said? Lemme check...

 

I think that a state of war is pretty "normal life," frankly, just as having a police department which takes regular and routine action against criminals is also part of "normal life"...

Though strangely, in quoting me, you accidentally neglected to include the second part of that sentence which helps to interpret the first. (Or, for simplicity's sake, the "context.")

Bizarre, no!? It must have been a technical issue, I'm sure.

So... am I to take it that you disagree with the full sense of my contention? Perhaps you do not yet understand the full sense of my contention. Allow me to elaborate for you.

"Emergency situations" notwithstanding, a philosophy for living on Earth must take into account that crime and war are a regular feature of human existence. They happen. All the time. And so we must have some understanding of what they are and how to deal with them; if we believe that our actions should be moral, generally, then it's important to understand what morality has to say about the initiation of force (which is what underlies both crime and war), and what to do in response.

Ayn Rand did so, I believe, when she stated that the initiation of force is immoral... but retaliatory force is moral, so long as it is only directed against those who have initiated the use of force in the first place.

Does this have application for both crime and war? I believe so. I think those are fairly sensible contexts for "the initiation of force" and its reprisal. I think that when we organize our police force and military, and when we set the rules of engagement and operation for both, we must seek to target only those who have initiated the use of force. Thus we put rules in place, governing our conduct to those very ends. Insofar as we fashion those sorts of rules correctly, we thus come to understand a way to prosecute self-defense (whether against domestic crime or foreign foes in war) morally. Not amorally, as in a lifeboat, but morally. The principle which underlays it all remains the same: we must retaliate *only* against those who have initiated the use of force.

 

War is not some every day occurrence anymore than getting mugged is an every day occurrence. How can you accept that this is how we should expect to live? Why is living under threat of force normal to you?

I do not get mugged every day, but someone gets mugged every day -- or even if they did not, the potential would still exist -- and we should recognize that fact and maintain a police force to deal with it. That police force should operate morally. If I were actively being mugged, I would be in an emergency situation, but if I am drafting rules for police procedure in dealing with muggers, I am not in an emergency situation.

These are distinctions I do not believe I should have to draw for you, but if I must, there they are for your further edification.

 

...presumably you are at least sympathetic to Objectivism...

Indeed. This is why I would like to get it right.

 

It is NOT the job of our government to protect the rights of people outside of its domain. That means that when protecting our rights necessitates damaging people who did not initiate force against us, the government does what is necessary to protect us.

I think that every individual has rights (this extends to every individual in every country; normally I wouldn't think I'd have to specify that, but these are special circumstances). I think that we construct and maintain governments for the protection of those rights.

I think that for a government to take action which disregards the rights of any individual -- any individual anywhere -- is to strike a blow against the principle that every individual has rights of his nature, which are not granted to him by the government, and which therefore may not rightfully be taken away by the government.

I think that your view of rights, as belonging only to the citizens of the government which serves to protect them (or only having to be treated as such), is actually destructive to the protection of rights. While it's true that the US government has no obligation to defend the rights of every individual on the planet, this is a very far cry from claiming that the US government has no obligation to respect the rights of every individual on the planet, and may morally infringe upon the rights of others.

Remember that a government, a nation, a society, all of these are ultimately just people, and only ever have the rights that individual people themselves possess. At heart, you're claiming the right of some to violate the rights of others.

 

*as they deem necessary for returning to normal life.

Yes, I think that's close to what she meant. That is consistent with Objectivism and it's consistent with everything she said about how man should act in situations where metaphysically normal life is not possible (as in war). It's also completely consistent with what she never said: That nuking Japan was immoral. That bombing civilians is always immoral. Etc.

But Rand's use of the word "only" is a bit of a sticking point for your theory, isn't it?

I mean... why do people ever use such a word? What do they mean by it? I normally expect that they mean to exclude everything that is not specified. Is that what Rand meant by "only"?

But maybe Rand was not a precise writer. Maybe she wasn't a clear thinker. Maybe those are the premises under which you're operating, so that you believe you can sensibly reinterpret her rather obvious meaning into something completely different. In fact, something diametrically opposed. For couldn't we rewrite your view of Rand's meaning like this?

"Men do NOT 'only have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use'; when threatened by the initiation of force, which is not 'normal life,' men have the right to use physical force against ANYONE they deem necessary in order to maintain or return to a 'normal life.' (So long as that person lives in another country.)"

Yet, as I *am* "sympathetic to Objectivism," I tend to believe that Rand meant what she wrote. I don't always agree with what she wrote, come to it -- and neither do you have to -- but in those cases, I trouble myself to take her at her word and make my disagreements clear. You should strive to do likewise.

When Rand wrote that "Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use," I'd say that's exactly what she meant.

And if you think that there is some inconsistency among Rand's writings, that's a fine case to make, too; but then you'd have to make it. I do not believe that warfare meets Rand's standard for "emergency" in the way you've maintained, so I do not believe that there is any inconsistency there. Further, I don't remember her commenting on bombing civilians, offhand, to agree or disagree with the practice as such, but if you can find that and quote it here, I'm certain that it would further illuminate the present discussion.

Till then, we have her thoughts on retaliatory force in general, her thoughts about individual rights, and her thoughts about the draft (even during wartime), and I think that those paint a fairly compelling picture.

(So long as we do her the courtesy of taking her at her word.)

 

There is a certain 'higher ground' that goes along with claiming that a certain issue is too complex, or necessitates 'quite an undertaking' to explain.

Sometimes it is even true.

 

However, this is a specific point that should be incredibly obvious to someone familiar with history.

And yet I am familiar with history, and your point is not "incredibly obvious" to me. It doesn't even strike me as correct. Perhaps I'm an Evil Evading Kantian (mwhahahahaha!)...

Or maybe what you take to be "incredibly obvious" isn't, not even to a reasonable man (as I try to be). Maybe your point isn't even true. It's hard to say, I think, given that you haven't tried to prove your point, and have simply handwaved disagreement away with "read a history book."

Can I tell you what I really think is going on here? (Warning: it's a touch speculative.)

I think that *I* know more about history than you do. I think that I've read more history books than you have, and perhaps by a large margin. Not alone in getting my degree in history, but in my personal pursuits, which have included Durant's Story of Civilization, Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, just to name a very, very few. You see, history has always been a personal interest of mine. I think that it is my knowledge and study of history which has made me sensitive to just what a complicated topic it is, and to view claims like the ones you've made with suspicion.

But perhaps this is a sort of "can't see the forest for the trees" kind of situation? Perhaps all of the complicated detail has blinded me to general truths? Perhaps you are, yourself, an incredibly studied and accomplished historian? (And I make no claims myself to being a historian, which entails a lot more work and study than I've done.) Perhaps you have a revolutionary theory of war which will explain, as you once claimed, all wars in human history? Perhaps those things are true. Perhaps. Yet I'd still need for you to make your case, which you haven't done.

 

The allies bombing of civilian populations in WWII not only was necessary to end the war but also necessary to reduce allied casualties. This is far from being some complicated claim requiring vast historical study. In fact, I would say that such a conclusion was damn near perceptually given for people alive during the war.

I have maintained that a study of something specific, like assessing the morality of the "bombing of civilian populations in WWII" or even one such bombing, like Dresden, would be a complicated discussion. I'd provided you with what I believe would form the rough criteria for deciding whether or not such an attack were justified -- whether it is a "military target" and treated as such in execution. Yet the discussion would remain to be had, and yes, it would be complicated, with evidence and argument and the potential for disagreements between reasonable men, and no, it would not be "perceptually given" or even "damn near" that.

Frankly, I don't want to have that discussion here and now, and if I did want to have that discussion, it would not be with you. But others might be interested in reading Winston Churchill's assessment following the bombing of Dresden, as conveyed in a memo to his military aide (per Wikipedia):

 

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land… The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing. I am of the opinion that military objectives must henceforward be more strictly studied in our own interests than that of the enemy.

The Foreign Secretary has spoken to me on this subject, and I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive.

I'm not saying whether Churchill was right or wrong, in part or in whole, at this point or before or afterwards, or that there were not other opinions on the matter by people who were intelligent and involved. But was Churchill a student of history? Was he intimately connected with the affairs of WWII? Was he alive at the time?

Isn't it, itself, rather dangerously reductive to say that "such a conclusion was damn near perceptually given for people alive during the war"?

Whatever general or simple truths may be had from a careful study of a complicated record, we do not do ourselves any service by pretending that such general or simple truths are to be acquired, established, argued or defended, in any other way.

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One last thing, then I think I'll also step aside from the thread; I think I've just about exhausted my thoughts on the matter (to say nothing about my emotional exhaustion).

I think I've some made mention as to how history "sounds" when discussed by people who take such things seriously, or... uh, something to that effect, at least.

Here's an article about changing historical perspectives on the dropping of the bomb.

I have nothing to claim about the article, or the research or books being discussed... and I should also observe that this article is not, in itself, the work being done or discussed. Yet it might give the interested reader some insight into the complexity of historical analysis to which I've referred, and which has been tangentially argued in this thread.

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I thought I'd add another post here to mention that my position on the civilian casualties issue has changed slightly. I believe that there are certain situations, where the very survival of a free nation is at imminent risk, where bombing of civilians might be justified in order to protect the freedom of citizens of the nation which is under attack. It is better for people who would otherwise live in a nation like Iran or North Korea (And may, in fact, be complicit in supporting that same tyranny) to die than for innocents living in a free nation to be murdered by an invading enemy, or live under tyranny for the rest of their lives. Especially if victory for the side which is fighting for freedom means liberation for the surviving citizens of Iran/North Korea.

 

However, I would maintain that it is immoral to kill civilians during wartime unless it is an emergency like the one I just described.

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However, I would maintain that it is immoral to kill civilians during wartime unless it is an emergency like the one I just described.

What do you mean by "imminent"? Is it different that just a normal threat? If you are sure there is a threat, do you then have to wait for it to become imminent before you can do whatever it takes to protect yourself?

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What do you mean by "imminent"? Is it different that just a normal threat? If you are sure there is a threat, do you then have to wait for it to become imminent before you can do whatever it takes to protect yourself?

 

Why is the response always framed as, "whatever it takes" to protect yourself?  I guess what I'm asking you is, if the choice to live requires rational action, how does the choice to defend yourself suddenly include whatever it takes??  Perhaps you mean whatever rational action it takes to protect yourself, in which case I agree, but most often in this forum those who propose "whatever it takes" wind up advocating atrocities for the greater good.

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Why is the response always framed as, "whatever it takes" to protect yourself? I guess what I'm asking you is, if the choice to live requires rational action, how does the choice to defend yourself suddenly include whatever it takes?? Perhaps you mean whatever rational action it takes to protect yourself, in which case I agree, but most often in this forum those who propose "whatever it takes" wind up advocating atrocities for the greater good.

If someone is threatening your existence, any action you take to stop them IS "rational action." I honestly have no idea what you mean by using the word "rational" here. What would be an irrational action in a time of war? The only kind I can think of is letting your enemy remain a threat, or even defeat you while you sit around pondering a "rational" way to destroy him.

If any member has advocated for a "greater good," I know you know that he is not advocating for Objectivist views. If he is advocating for his own self interest, any wartime "atrocity" is not an atrocity for him, if it keeps him alive and stops his enemy. If you mean what you appear to mean, YOU are advocating for the "greater good" by suggesting that it is an atrocity to destroy the threat to your life posed by your enemy.

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If someone is threatening your existence, any action you take to stop them IS "rational action." I honestly have no idea what you mean by using the word "rational" here. What would be an irrational action in a time of war? The only kind I can think of is letting your enemy remain a threat, or even defeat you while you sit around pondering a "rational" way to destroy him.

...

 

If we can agree that "rational action" is both intelligent and moral, then we can also agree that "irrational action" is some combination of unintelligent and/or immoral.  Obviously both kinds of actions might save your life in a pinch, but in terms of justifying whatever action you choose, only those which are both intelligent and moral are objectively legitimate defensive responses.

 

Valuing your life (and the defense of it) in a unilateral way, e.g., having no regard for the value of any others life, actually contradicts the Objectivist view that one must respect the rights of others if one expects to have ones own rights respected.  Does this not imply a rational limit to the kind of defense one can choose to defend ones life?

 

An example would be to distinguish combatants from non-combatants in military operations, as opposed to nuking the entire population of a hostile government including citizens who oppose their government's hostility.

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An example would be to distinguish combatants from non-combatants in military operations, as opposed to nuking the entire population of a hostile government including citizens who oppose their government's hostility.

To clarify, you are also suggesting the nuke-sender's only alternative is to be destroyed. Correct?

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To clarify, you are also suggesting the nuke-sender's only alternative is to be destroyed. Correct?

 

I'm thinking more in terms of America or Israel as states under the threat of destruction by a technologically inferior foe; one whose primary means of attack is suicide bombers, short range missiles, etc.  Both governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens and limit the number of military casualties on their own side.  Under the circumstances, "doing whatever it takes" to eliminate the threat would include nuclear strikes.

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...

If any member has advocated for a "greater good," I know you know that he is not advocating for Objectivist views. If he is advocating for his own self interest, any wartime "atrocity" is not an atrocity for him, if it keeps him alive and stops his enemy. If you mean what you appear to mean, YOU are advocating for the "greater good" by suggesting that it is an atrocity to destroy the threat to your life posed by your enemy.

 

"Greater good" perhaps wasn't my best choice of words.. would "least bad" make it clearer?  And by "atrocity", I mean actions that are immoral and deliver physical violence or injury to innocent bystanders.  Such cases rationalize the taking of innocent life as "colateral damage", and less bad than allowing ones enemy to act with impunity, or as you put it, "sit around pondering a 'rational' way to destroy him."

 

My position is, If the taking of an innocent life is immoral, then the taking of that life as collateral damage is immoral; it doesn't become moral because ones own life is at risk.  Even in crisis, one has choices to make that reflect the value of life.  If someone tosses a granade into your home and you can toss it into your neighbors home before it explodes... should you?

 

For clarity, it's not an atrocity to destroy the threat to your life posed by your enemy.  But if your enemy is concealed in a population, amongst members who oppose your enemy and/or pose no threat to your life, the notion that the expedience of shooting into the crowd avoids being an atrocity because one is simply "doing whatever it takes" to defend oneself is highly dubious... at least to me.

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My position is, If the taking of an innocent life is immoral, then the taking of that life as collateral damage is immoral; it doesn't become moral because ones own life is at risk.  Even in crisis, one has choices to make that reflect the value of life.  If someone tosses a granade into your home and you can toss it into your neighbors home before it explodes... should you?

How can you argue that taking an innocent life is immoral? You can state it/assert it. You could assert that we respect all human life... but why? Do you have any argument for it? (I assume you are not going to use the Objectivist argument, since that starts with asserting selfishness as moral, and respect for other individuals' rights as derived from that -- applied as a principle to all, but nevertheless derivative).

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What do you mean by "imminent"? Is it different that just a normal threat? If you are sure there is a threat, do you then have to wait for it to become imminent before you can do whatever it takes to protect yourself?

 

I accidentally deleted my full reply, but to sum up: Imminent means that the destruction or enslavement of the nation is going to occur unless we take aggressive action that would include targeting civilians. In this case, it's better to bomb civilians who would otherwise live under slavery, and increase the chances of our own victory and liberation for the rest of the civilian population, than allow freedom to be destroyed in America.

 

However, this would not be justified if there were any other course of action which would not guarantee defeat.

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To elaborate: Targeting civilians is justified if you are 1) facing a mortal threat to the nation's survival as a free society, and 2) the only possible course of action which will not result in defeat will lead to civilian deaths. In this case, not taking this action would result in far greater human suffering, and since continuing to fight the enemy nation increases the chances of their government being destroyed, it is in the interests of their subjects to support our actions so that they may one day live in a free society.

 

However, this is a special case. If it is possible to win the war without killing innocents, then killing them is a violation of their rights as human beings, and also jeopardizes our chances of victory by alienating the civilian population. In any war, it's necessary to have the civilian population on our side and willing to aid in overthrowing their government, dismantling its apparatus of power, and preventing a second war by avoiding any post-war resentment. Otherwise you end up with a situation like Iraq right now.

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... ... innocents, ...

Would "Rosie the Riveter" be classified as an "innocent"?

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Would "Rosie the Riveter" be classified as an "innocent"?

 

She was making military equipment, so -- if she were working for a dictatorship invading a free country -- then no. I have no objections to bombing a factory that is manufacturing weapons for the enemy.

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She was making military equipment, so -- if she were working for a dictatorship invading a free country -- then no. I have no objections to bombing a factory that is manufacturing weapons for the enemy.

What about the woman who voted for Hitler, would you regret her "collateral damage" death?

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What about the woman who voted for Hitler, would you regret her "collateral damage" death?

 

Neither she nor Rosie are innocent of supporting their leaders.  There are however, any number of individuals in their societies who actively worked against their leaders, e.g., German families who hid Jews, and were truly innocent of any wrong doing that warranted retaliation.  Does the saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" hold any water?

 

How can you argue that taking an innocent life is immoral? You can state it/assert it. You could assert that we respect all human life... but why? Do you have any argument for it? (I assume you are not going to use the Objectivist argument, since that starts with asserting selfishness as moral, and respect for other individuals' rights as derived from that -- applied as a principle to all, but nevertheless derivative).

 

A necessary derivative if one requires the recognition of ones own right to life.  Does selfishness as a morality preclude the existence of other selfishly moral individuals?  Is it irrelevant, or amoral to consider their relationship to oneself in terms of having a right to life??  Is a derivative right to life less credible than ones own???

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Neither she nor Rosie are innocent of supporting their leaders.  There are however, any number of individuals in their societies who actively worked against their leaders...

Of course enemy countries contain innocents. In fact there were Germans whose lives were more precious than the lives of some Americans. I asked Eamon that question to see if willingly voting for an evil government would disqualify a person as innocent in his mind.

 

 

A necessary derivative if one requires the recognition of ones own right to life.

I agree that if one is laying down universal principles, then that is what they are: and therefore, you should accept that others can use your principles. Applying that to the current context, it means that if I am a citizen in a country that has been taken over by a dictator who is now waging war against others, I can reasonably expect that those other countries will try to retaliate and that I could be killed in the cross-fire. If the context is one where my neighbors have willingly voted for this dictator, I can also expect that there may come a time when those foreign armies may target civilian areas, to turn the tide of opinion. This is part and parcel of claiming that I can act as the foreigner is acting, were the tables reversed.

Obviously no rational government would knowingly and purposely target someone who is truly innocent. Why would the American government want to bomb the guy who hates Hitler? So, the cases under discussion would be of two types: where it is difficult to target the enemy without involving civilians and innocents, and where the civilian population is targeted because it supports the enemy (in which case it is nearly impossible to single out innocent civilians). In both cases, a rational government would not simply dismiss the lives of true innocents as irrelevant. It will consider this as an important factor during military action.

 

Yet, you cannot (and, I hope, will not) argue that the possibility of killing a single innocent should be enough to stop one from taking some military action. The only way to judge the choice is to weigh it against the alternatives. The alternatives typically involve the deaths of others. One does not give more weight to a civilian life or even to an innocent life, when weighing it against the life of a young soldier who has volunteered to go fight evil... "combatant" though he may be. I hope you agree with that?

Edited by softwareNerd

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...

 

Yet, you cannot (and, I hope, will not) argue that the possibility of killing a single innocent should be enough to stop one from taking some military action. The only way to judge the choice is to weigh it against the alternatives. The alternatives typically involve the deaths of others. One does not give more weight to a civilian life or even to an innocent life, when weighing it against the life of a young soldier who has volunteered to go fight evil... "combatant" though he may be. I hope you agree with that?

 

In terms of this topic, one simply acknowledges that killing innocents is immoral, but sometimes unavoidable.  We are, after all, fallible beings.  The best we can do, the moral high road if you will, is to attempt to limit the fallout of physical violence and injury (collateral damage) to aggressors, and not to innocent bystanders.  Reciprocity of intent is what one hopes for when the situation is reversed and ones own life depends recognition of a right to it.

 

Here's what I agree with:

1)  That a right to life isn't a duty on others to preserve it.  It is a freedom of action; not a compulsion.

2)  That the use of force to defend a right to life is only justified against aggressors.

3)  That a unilateral right to life is a contradiction in terms.

 

Here's what I question:

1)  If someone tosses a granade into your home and you can toss it into your neighbor's home before it explodes... should you?

2)  How is "doing whatever it takes" to defend ones life morally preferable to "doing the right thing"?

3)  Given that a right to life, freedom and justice depend on recognition, how can these rights be delimited to a selfish view?

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... ... is immoral, but sometimes unavoidable.

I reject this formulation completely. It uses an intrinsic view of morality, rather than objective one, where a human being is deciding among the various -- all completely avoidable -- options. Edited by softwareNerd

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This is something I've been thinking about lately, and I'm wondering what other people think of my reasoning here.

 

So, to start with, I think that the statement "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is not only consistent with Objectivism, but required by it. The way I want others to treat me is my own rational evaluation of the way I should be treated as a human being. Logically speaking, this means that it is the same way that every human being should be treated. So by violating this principle, I am acting in a way which is inherently irrational.

 

 

I reject this notion. It could work for Objectivists, but what about people who are self-destructive? It's a free for all, that allows people to treat others as they wish to be treated. Actions speak louder than words on this, before I knew about Objectivism, I could have easily thought that I didn't want to be harmed... but my self-destructive tendencies would have told you otherwise. Or if someone hated humanity, or wanted to die... it would allow all sorts in. Another example is that people don't want to be judged, and so they would attempt to not judge you... and expect you to not judge them. But with Objectivism, judgement is good and dare I say, required from what I have learned of it.

 

Surely, there are better rules out there to add... one that isn't so open to all sorts of interpretations and abuse. It doesn't work for me. 

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Surely, there are better rules out there to add... one that isn't so open to all sorts of interpretations and abuse. It doesn't work for me.

I agree that it cannot be a primary, because it is void of ethical content. As you say, anyone can fill it with content like "don't judge others".

It can be legitimate as a "meta-rule" to use when coming up with an Ethical system. When one creates an Ethics as a philosophy, it has to be applicable in principle: not just to John Smith today and now, but to at least a wide range of human beings within a wide range of commonly-found circumstances.

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When it becomes a meta-rule, what sort of example were you thinking of? I'm still new to the field. It definitely doesn't stand as a primary rule... like the one golden rule to obey. 

 

Another example would be to imagine that you're the boss of a company, and you'd expect to be treated as such. The last thing you'd want is for other people to treat you like another employee when your say is final. Or to have to treat everyone like they are the boss, which would be chaos. There are so many exceptions to this rule where it wouldn't work well. It seems like one of those, it might sound good in theory but in practice is another story.

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I reject this formulation completely. It uses an intrinsic view of morality, rather than objective one, where a human being is deciding among the various -- all completely avoidable -- options.

 

All completely avoidable?  If one is deciding how to respond to a threat and all the options include some degree of collateral damage, how does one avoid it?

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When it becomes a meta-rule, what sort of example were you thinking of? I'm still new to the field. It definitely doesn't stand as a primary rule... like the one golden rule to obey. 

...

"...  the code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules... " ~ Captain Barbossa

Vagaries and randomness produced by the Golden Rule result more from improper application than deficiency of the rule itself.  It's a metric that uses ones own preferences as a benchmark for interaction with others (being selfish); a means of leading by example.  And always with the understanding that all actions and responses are voluntary.  It doesn't, for example oblige one to respect all others because one demands respect for oneself.

 

Our law (as described to me in a business law course) is influenced strongly by what actions a reasonable person would do in any given situation; such that an act of looting under normal circumstances perhaps becomes excusable in dire circumstances.  Saying in this kind of situation, "I will not loot others, as I would not have them loot me" expresses the spirit of the law, while allowing that looting in some situations is necessary to preserve life which is the primary object of justice.

 

The Golden Rule is a measurement of justice and therefore fundamental to justice, particularily in terms of the evaluation of ones right to life and the actions necessary to preserve it.  As a measurement of justice however, it remains subject to validation by a jury of ones peers.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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