On 12/15/2012 2:18 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

    Dear Craig,

        All of these points are instances of taking a particular
    evaluational frame, making it absolute, and issuing judgements
    from it.


I think that they are instances of real world examples. I don't issue any judgments from it - I just ask -

'Was slavery good before Progressive activism changed it'?
'Were the practices of industry toward its workers good or bad before Progressive activism changed it? Was colonialism and Apartheid in India, South Africa, the American South, etc good or bad before Progressive activism changed it?

Hi Craig,

Each of those questions has as a premise the idea that we can sit in our current world with its conventions and judge the actions that occurred in circumstances that dis not have our knowledge, as if the people of that time should have known better that slavery was not good, etc.


I don't intend to prove to anyone that these things were bad or that they were improved - unlike with Conservative approaches - I leave that up to you. Maybe you say they were better off slaves and second class citizens, or that the wars and changes that followed weren't worth it? Or maybe you say these weren't movements of Progressive activism? Maybe you have a list of your own? That's cool, I'm open to hearing about any of that. I don't see that these examples are somehow disqualified though. That just makes me think that there is no counterargument because their truth is self evident, and therefore 'unfair' to the other side.

My argument is that the entire idea of making lists and checking them off is wrong! It is a form of prejudice, IMHO, to use knowledge one has from experience to rationalize the actions of others into pigeonholes of "good" and "bad". This kind of ethics drives me batshit crazy as it assumes that the universe has a set of predefined configurations that, if they occur, everything will be fair and justice will prevail. Sorry, "the poor will always be among us". It is simply not possible to maximize more than one variable and thus fairness and justice for all is impossible. Let me give you an example. What would happen if everyone won the Lotto? Would they all be rich? NO! Why?


    It is what is known, to some, as chronocentrism. It is simply
    wrongheaded.


I know you're not saying that I should make up examples from the future instead or talk from theory right? Examples from the past are wrongheaded? How so?

We have to evaluate situations using the knowledge that is available under the circumstances of the situation (and not usign knowledge that would be unavailable), otherwise we are like the aliens that can read your mind and demand that you play the Monty Hall game <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem> with them. Your discussions on the nature of Free Will should clue you in to what I mean here...


    Unless you put yourself into the context with you are evaluating
    and then considering the facts as they stand with a set of
    universal ethical principles, then those judgements and
    implications cannot be seen as anything more than rationalizations
    to behave in one way or another.
        We can rationalize any action to be good or bad.
    Rationalization, pushed too far, allows anything.


If we rule out examples from the past - and rule out present day comparisons like the success of Progressive policies in places like Scandinavia and Western Europe versus the failure of Regressive policies everywhere else, then all we have is propaganda made up by Think tanks and our own speculation.

Not at all. My point is that it is treachery to change the context of a situation to use it as a reason to do X or to not do Y. It is like assuming one is omniscient when one is not.



--
Onward!

Stephen

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