On 12/16/2012 11:31 AM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 12/16/2012 9:49 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:


    My standard comment is that the Democrats will say that they are going to 
do good
    things and not do them while Republicans will do bad things and then say 
that they
    are good.


Hi Craig,

To me it boils down to a willingness to be objective. If one defines a standard of measure of good and bad, then one must apply it consistently. Otherwise there is no such thing as "good' or 'bad". Tribalism comes with a shiftable measure of good and bad (stealing from non-members of the tribe is OK, stealing from tribe members is bad, for example), this makes tribalism bad, IMHO, not matter what kind of tribalism it is!

That strikes me a confused from the start. What does 'defining' have to do with good or bad. I think you need to recognize that ethics, public standards of behavior, are separate from morals, personal standards based on personal values. Personal values are relatively incorrigble, a cire is hardwired by evolution, and so ethical systems can be measured by how well personal values are satisfied. But neither the personal values or the public ethics are just 'defined' by somebody. Beyond what is provided by biological evolution both are cultural and cultures evolve and compete too. So a culture that is worse as measured by personal satisfaction by conquer and eliminate a culture that provides more personal satisfaction; think Sparta vs Athens or Mao vs Sun Yat Sen. Bertrand Russell said that the democratic and open society always defeats the more autocratic and closed society in warfare, but that may be true only in the long run.

Brent

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