> On Mon, 19 Sep 2016 01:51:48 -0000
> xorc...@sigaint.org wrote:
>> The social milieu is much like a river. You can swim in it, and to a
>> degree you can control your direction, but you will always be moving
>> with the current. If you're an extraordinary swimmer, maybe you can
>> make progress against the current. These are the <insert your favorite
>> inspirational social reformers here>.
>> A white male living in 1740 quite literally was not AS FREE as you or
>> I in terms of his beliefs about race, slavery, God, and so on. Social
>> pressure.
>       Not sure what you mean.

I mean what I said. If I say "a wheel is spinning freely" you understand
that there is little friction to it spinning. Likewise, it seems obvious
that the social friction of the day that would make it socially difficult
to maintain certain attitudes about race. Those attitudes are easier
today, and in fact maintaining racist type ideas is more difficult.

>> Now, not so much.
>       So?

So, as I stated: there are limits to free will, and limits to your whole
'moral agent' thing.

>       I don't know, I mean, I see stray dogs all the time. They don't
>       belong to any pack. And then there are dogs that have 'owners'.
>       Those don't belong to packs either...they belong to their
>       masters...

You're likely wrong there, with strays, I mean. Usually even stray dogs
will belong to a pack.. a few other strays that they will hang with.
Usually not full-time, they adapt.. but that is selection bias. People
call the animal wardens on 3 or 4 dogs traveling together.. not so much on
a single dog sniffing around.

And the dogs with owners do have a pack leader: the owner. In their eyes,
their owner is the pack leader.

>> unsure of what to do, and pissing themselves.. the leader says, I
>> KNOW WHAT TO DO. He's quick. He's certain. He's "strong." That is
>> comforting to people. Hence, Trump, by the way.
>       ...trump is a 'leader'? More than half the electorate hates him
>       actually...

A leader is simply someone who has followers. And yes: Trump obviously has

>       I'm not really following. No doubt we can find more than a few
>       instances of people acting like animals, but what of it?
>       It's also true that people can act in rational ways, and
>       that's what supposedly make them human.

Agreed, with the proviso that quite often people rationalize, rather than
act rationally. They rationalize away animal instincts.

>> but we can acknowledge it, acknowledge its pull..
>> like gravity. And we can begin to understand it, and understand how
>> to overcome it.
>       I don't know. I don't go around robbing and killing people,
>       like, say, state agents do. Do you act like a primate?

Ever get jealous of a guy hitting on your girlfriend? That's primate

When I say animal instincts, I'm not just talking about going around
robbing and killing and whatever. There are all manner of similarities
between primate behavior.

>       I don't think I have the problem of acting like a primate.
>       But thanks for the (unneeded and unasked) advice anyway...

Well, I didn't necessarily mean you personally. I don't know you. I was
more talking in generalities.. about Joe six pack, basically.

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