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Posted: 04 August 2012 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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GdB - 01 August 2012 11:13 PM
VYAZMA - 01 August 2012 01:51 PM

I’m guessing that you-GdB, are trying to advance some meta-buddhist value system on everyone.

What has this to do in a discussion based on arguments?

The concept of deserving has some absolute touch. It seems that some people think that the kind and severity of the punishment is rooted in some metaphysical justification. It is not. Those who punish cannot sneak out of responsibility themselves. So partially you are right, but then what punishment somebody deserves is dependent on the culture. So how do a crime and the punishment trade off? Stealing a loaf of bread is punished by: exile to Australia, your hand cut of, or by a small note at the police department? A killing motivated by jealousy is punished by 3 years or 15 years prison? A killing in the same way, but because of robbery by 15 or 25 years? Does the concept of ‘deserving’ helps us to decide such questions? I think it doesn’t.

VYAZMA - 01 August 2012 01:51 PM

So it is completely normal on a philosophical and scientific naturalistic level to assign blame, reward, accolades or punishment. It’s normal on any other level as well.

Yes, of course, I do not even disagree with you (your eyes seem to become red when I discuss a topic about free will or responsibility even before you really read it). We have good reasons to punish criminals. But the concept of ‘deserving’ is no use at all.

The concept of deserving serves a very important purpose.  As a collective society we evolve ideas and concepts of deserving based on laws and mores, ethics and emotions.
I don’t see how you can come to that conclusion given everything else you stated in ths reply alone.
Remember, your subjective view of what the proper punishment is for the specific crime is only partially relevant.  We evolved into complex social societies wherein we give up…or no, we substitute our primal instincts(?) with “chosen” leaders and lawmakers(and other advanced social behavior skills).
These lawmakers and “tribal leaders” set forth values and ethics and laws and lines to cross or not cross.
Interestingly you mentioned crimes of property.  Yes. Yes.  It would appear that these type laws skew the perception of justice horribly.  The perception of desserts is horribly skewed right? 
Well, it’s a complex trade off that somehow satisfies most people, most of the time, just enough.

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Posted: 05 August 2012 04:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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VYAZMA,
I see it exactly opposite. Nothing in what you say shows how the concept of ‘deserving’ has any purpose. What you write is a kind of history of how we have got at our way of punishing, and how this got institutionalised. So you do exactly without the metaphysical dimension that hinges on the concept of ‘deserving’. In a secular state we have no god or universal law of karma or whatever to decide that a punishment is justified, and that some punishment therefore is ‘deserved’.

So to get back the original topic: if somebody shows intellectually to be able to deal with the moral values and laws of a society he is also capable to be responsible for his actions. He knows how society will response on his actions and therefore has to accept the consequences for those actions. There is no need for some metaphysical concept of ‘desert’, and btw not for some funny metaphysical concept of free will either…

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Posted: 05 August 2012 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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“Deserving a punishment” is just another just-so story our brains have come up along the way. A criminal deserves to be punished just like the moon deserves to be bombarded by meteors, or the Milky Way deserves to collide with Andromeda. As usual, shit happens, and all we are doing is writing a script for a movie that was already shot. It’s another chapter in our delusion of having free will where we think our inner brain inside our physical brain knows better and separately from the rest of the universe. We don’t reward criminals with a golden medal just like a pine cone doesn’t fall off a pine tree in the direction of the clouds.

[ Edited: 05 August 2012 06:22 AM by George ]
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Posted: 05 August 2012 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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GdB - 05 August 2012 04:46 AM

VYAZMA,
I see it exactly opposite. Nothing in what you say shows how the concept of ‘deserving’ has any purpose. What you write is a kind of history of how we have got at our way of punishing, and how this got institutionalised. So you do exactly without the metaphysical dimension that hinges on the concept of ‘deserving’. In a secular state we have no god or universal law of karma or whatever to decide that a punishment is justified, and that some punishment therefore is ‘deserved’.

So to get back the original topic: if somebody shows intellectually to be able to deal with the moral values and laws of a society he is also capable to be responsible for his actions. He knows how society will response on his actions and therefore has to accept the consequences for those actions. There is no need for some metaphysical concept of ‘desert’, and btw not for some funny metaphysical concept of free will either…

What I wrote(and I worded it wrong)was a description of human behavioral “laws”.  I meant to say that the laws, mores, ethics etc came about through the evolution of human behavior.
Basically again, are you disputing that humans have a natural, desire for deserving?  I say that human behavior ingrains in us these emotions and values. If what you are saying is true then you must also discount jealously, pride, admiration, vanity, gosh I would venture to say test grading systems and paycheck bonuses.
We don’t need a concept of god to feel “deserving”!  We have ancient evolved systems of behavior both socialy and individualy to motivate us to judge, punish, reward etc.
Are you going to dispute this?!?!  And when we punish or reward someone or something we NATURALLY feel that it was deserved collectively/generally.
You don’t get to say there is a need or no need for deserts!!  Just like you don’t get to say that there is no need for a man wiggling his eyebrows as a sign of sexual signalling to a woman. It just is.
It’s behavior! You don’t get to say in a given culture whether people can feel anger or hatred in cases of adultery. It just happens. 
Your personal ideas on what is right and what is wrong does not trump human behavioral laws.  So you yourself have discovered that deserving” is wrong or out of balance!  So what?  That’s why I used the term generally above.  Because most people, most of the time feel something is deserved.  Because you feel your opinions are of a higher order, a more just and karmic order, you think you can write off basic human instincts.
Your buddhist values and logic have muddied up the goddamn discussions many times.

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Posted: 05 August 2012 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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George - 05 August 2012 06:19 AM

“Deserving a punishment” is just another just-so story our brains have come up along the way. A criminal deserves to be punished just like the moon deserves to be bombarded by meteors, or the Milky Way deserves to collide with Andromeda.

Until here I agree. The rest would start a new thread on free will.

Just this: we have an illusion of libertarian free will. But it seems that you do not understand other concepts of free will, the ones without magic and perfectly aligned with the laws of nature.

VYAZMA,
I do not understand why you are so strongly reacting on me, it is just a minor point: I do not like the the concept of ‘deserving’ because it has a metaphysical taste. To use it can easily lead to selfrighteous punishments, in which we forget that our punishments still need justification, meaning we must always be able to give reasons for why we punish certain actions with fitting punishments. and that is ‘collective decision’, based on the values and morals of society. My only claim is that we have no other base than those values and morals, that there is no ‘outside authority’ on which we can base our ideas of punishment.

You give a more or less biological, sociological an historical description of how we got to this practice, and I grosso modo agree with you. So why all these capitals and exclamation marks?

I have no idea from where you read that my ideas would be ‘higher’. I do not write off basic human instincts. I only say we should reflect on them when we build a societal praxis on them, which is more or less what already is happening continuously.

Your continuous referring to my Buddhist sympathies becomes irritating. Please stick to the level of ideas and arguments, instead of playing on the man.

PS You are making quite a philosophical error here:

Basically again, are you disputing that humans have a natural, desire for deserving?

Of course I do not deny that. People also have a natural, desire for divine explanations of nature. Should I therefore subscribe to that concept?

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Posted: 05 August 2012 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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GdB - 05 August 2012 07:30 AM

Just this: we have an illusion of libertarian free will. But it seems that you do not understand other concepts of free will, the ones without magic and perfectly aligned with the laws of nature.

I think I understand your concept of free will just fine. Don’t forget I am an artist and have as much imagination and creativity as any philosopher.  grin

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Posted: 05 August 2012 09:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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George - 05 August 2012 08:12 AM

I think I understand your concept of free will just fine.

Wow! Tell me, so I can check this. We should empirically check this. Go ahead! (But maybe in an existing free will thread. Otherwise I fear Occam.‘s axe…)

George - 05 August 2012 08:12 AM

Don’t forget I am an artist and have as much imagination and creativity as any philosopher.  grin

Imagination and creativity is not enough. It might not be enough for an artist either…

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Posted: 05 August 2012 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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GdB - 05 August 2012 09:03 AM

Imagination and creativity is not enough.

Agreed. To make a decent philosopher you need the skills of an artist to come up with the unimaginable and the skills of a lawyer to be able to justify it.

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Posted: 05 August 2012 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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George - 05 August 2012 09:25 AM

Agreed. To make a decent philosopher you need the skills of an artist to come up with the unimaginable and the skills of a lawyer to be able to justify it.

I would prefer logic and conceptual analysis. But I know you are just teasing me.

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Posted: 05 August 2012 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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And I would prefer world peace. cheese

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Posted: 05 August 2012 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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George - 05 August 2012 09:40 AM

And I would prefer world peace. cheese

That’s great Georgie! And I thought you preferred the struggle for life, the survival of the fittest. How wrong somebody can be… rolleyes

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Posted: 05 August 2012 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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I don’t know what it would mean to “prefer” the survival of the fittest. Do you mean the Nazi thing again? Maybe you do. Maybe you are still upset about the Germans killing you in your past life.  cheese

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Posted: 05 August 2012 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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GdB-

We have good reasons to punish criminals. But the concept of ‘deserving’ is no use at all.

This is probably a good reason why I get flustered.  That’s the reason for my capitals and quotes etc…

PS You are making quite a philosophical error here:

That error above is not a philosophical error. It’s a writing error. Usage and vocabulary. I’m not trying to philosophize here.  I was trying to see if you were saying that the human propensity for “deserving” was false or unnatural.
There is nothing philosophical about exlaining the concept of “deserving”. Unless you want it to be.  I don’t. 
You say the concept of “deserving” is useless or some base form of human behavior that learned people can rise above.  What the hell else are you saying if not that.  Your comments are contradictaory, concillatory, coy, probably purposefully confusing.
I asked you if you thought “deserving” existed in the codes of human behavior and I got a convoluted, long response.  It’s a simple yes or no.  After we establish yes or no we can move on.  Not this have cake and eat it too crap.
Statements like: ..“the concept of deserving is no use at all..” is where I become unhinged.  We don’t use deserving. Deserving happens.  It happens just like people salivate at the sight of tasty food.  Do people use the power of language to communicate ideas of justification for punishment or reward?  Yes.  But of course we can chase that up the chain of causal events too.  We don’t use behavior.  Behavior uses us.

[ Edited: 05 August 2012 12:00 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 05 August 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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“As you sow, so shall ye reap”,  is that not a definition of a natural fuction which both rewards and punishes dependent on what you sow?

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
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Posted: 05 August 2012 11:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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VYAZMA - 05 August 2012 11:56 AM

We don’t use deserving. Deserving happens.

Yes, one can describe it as such. But as a description of what actually happens, I think it is superfluous. And as a concept in morality I think it is no use, and is more used to end a discussion in giving reasons for punishment, than that it clarifies such a discussion. Undeniably there are people who like to stop discussing what punishment fits to what crime. There are even good practical reasons for it: we cannot wait endlessly to put somebody in jail. But the reasoning should not be too short: then we are back at lynch justice again.

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