Archive for reason

Essay on Ethical Bias In Reasoning

Posted in Ethics & Morals, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2018 by Drogo

Personal Bias and Reasoning

We can have personal biases for and against various things, based on our conscious or subconscious emotional attitude towards personal involvement with associated issues. Having a bias does not mean our opinion or the facts we have about it are invalid, no matter how much the opposition might declare we are too biased to be taken seriously. In matters of voting we can recuse ourselves if want to admit that we are not impartial due to personal private involvement creating a prejudice (like in public offices). This essay is about the times when bias can be considered fair. Emotional involvement should actually be treated logically separate from the validity of arguments. I think most of the problems with logic have to do with what the terms are, and if people can agree on what the terms are; and the second problem is the values of the logic equations.

It may not be the fault of the product if they have been unethically created or used, and yet a poison is a poison; in bio-genetics issues of augments and mutants directly links ethics with science, much as money and art are connected in an unholy alliance.

Working for a company and having a particular maybe scientific mindset does have a type of bias. People involved with Healthcare have a bias towards voting for people that are going to say that they will support healthcare. Jews will be biased against Nazis, it does not mean that the biased prejudice is unjust.

We are all biased in some way, as our perspective is relative to our experience and subjective human mind-sets. Bias seems to be okay as long as we can recognize it, and admit to it so people can try to be more objectively fair towards more people, and disregard unwelcome emotions if they can. Emotion can be used as persuasion for some, but emotion can equally turn against the user when turning others off. A slave could be biased against slavery because they were abused and neglected. Despite their hateful bias they might be excused their mental prejudice; and we do not use their harsh attitude against slavery to discount the abolition movement.  

So the issue of bias becomes whether the bias is clouding our judgment or not ; which is highly debatable. I don’t think that just having a bias should dismiss somebody from an argument; for example hiring a lawyer does not ban them from the court-room just because they are biased by their pay to act on behalf of their client. Is passion always irrational? Or are there cases where allowing emotion makes sense? So a bias on a particular subject could in fact actually help to bring facts to light involved with it in , and actually be the opposite of discounting the Merit of the argument.

We see Capt Kirk doing this for example when he says something like “I know its against the Prime Directive, but dammit im doing it because im human.” and Spock goes “highly illogical”. and of course later it would be argued that it is not illogical knowing that a human might care about specific emotional issues of ethics more than rules. It is logical that Kirk would save people he cares about, because he is prone to that biased reasoning that is not logical to people who value general ethical orders more than personal particular life-saving ethics.

Immanuel Kant

Posted in History, Philosophy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 13, 2017 by Drogo

Immanuel Kant was one of the greatest rational philosophers of the Enlightenment, and set a categorical standard for modern reasoning. All of Kant’s years from birth to death (1724-1804), were spent in the small provincial town Konigsberg, in East Prussia. Kant’s grand-father was of Scotch lineage, but if he had kept the original spelling (Cant), the C would have been pronounced as a Z by the citizens of Konigsberg. Also Kant’s original first name was Emanuel, but he changed it to Immanuel after learning Hebrew. Both of Kant’s parents were modest financially and religiously; but spiritually nurtured by a Christian Lutheran sect called the Pietists. Being a Pietist Christian, Kant had a mixed sense of pride in religious rigor, and humility about humble limitations.

Kant was first educated at the local College; then in 1740 Kant went to the University of Konigsburg, where he studied the classics, physics, and philosophy. The master of German Philosophy at the time was Christian von Wolff; who was a dominant secretary of the Enlightenment movement, and stated that “man could be happy and good without the divine grace of revelation”. This atheist statement angered the ‘Soldier King’ of Prussia, King Frederick William I; however his condemnation only enhanced Wolff’s international fame. Immanuel Kant revered Wolff as the “most powerful representative of dogmatic rationalism, from the stand-point of pure unshaken confidence in the strength of Reason.” Kant eventually replaced Wolff as the popular national philosopher.

In Kant’s home town of Konigsburg, the city burghers were said to set their watches when Kant passed by their windows on his precisely-timed daily walks. He did not write his most famous works until he was older. When people that knew him read his work, they often agreed that it was logical and well-ordered, just like Kant himself. Kant applied his logic to a mature reflection on whether or not to marry; he decided finally to remain single. Kant’s travels did not exceed the city boundaries, his life had no remarkable adventures or political power or social connections, yet he was an immensely successful tutor, lecturer, and a charming host.

Immanuel Kant was a man of clear, critical, logical, vigorous, rigorous, and trenchant thought. In his Critique of Pure Reason he methodically divides chapters to explore ‘a priori’ metaphysical issues. ‘A priori’ is the pure form of sensuous general intuitions, that existed prior to our physical existence; archetypal knowledge from before we were born. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason was followed by the Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and the Critique of Judgment (1790).

“Act always in such a way. that you should want your action to become a universal law.” – Immanuel Kant. This categorical imperative is one of the main recommendations of Kant’s writings. Although it centers around action, Kant also said that virtue was in the ‘Will’, and not the ‘Act’. Consciousness involves feeling, thinking, and acting. Feeling regards faith, thinking seeks epistemology, and acting involves ethics.

Ikant 1

*

STEWARDSHIP: Freedom and Responsibility

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by Drogo

Part 1: Freedom

One can never truly be free.

As Gerry Spense says, “True freedom is nothingness”. To be free of loneliness, people confine themselves to a relationship of some sort. To be free of their current lives, people drive away in a car to be alone on the highway, but then they are confined to the driver’s seat and their own minds, not to mention the laws of physics. Then people blast off in a rocket-ship to outer-space, and are restrained by life support systems, and their own human minds once again.

Life is about constantly trading one freedom for another. While existing in this universe, we are confined to laws, whether natural or man-made. Physically there is no escaping this reality, but the mind has the potential for freedom, during certain transcendental moments or states. As Immanuel Kant alluded to in his writings; with a rational approach we can determine our terms of reality and freedom, and respond to them respectively.

To live in a society there are obligations to maintain living standards and order. If we respect the lives of others, then we might expect the same in return. If we do not respect the lives of others, then we should not expect respect in return. Perhaps freedom is not just self-determination in choices me make, but also our ability to free our minds from suffering, so that we can enjoy our lives. If freedom is transcendental, then we as a culture can shift our paradigm so that environmental and social stewardship is less of a burden, and more of a freedom.

Part 2: Ethical Responsibility

Respecting the lives of animals is a necessary part of our existence. To maintain and respect what we have achieved as humans, it is the least we can do to maintain and respect the natural environment of which we are all a part. To defend animals from our aggression, we must assign them legal rights, to protect the ecosystem which is our food-chain if nothing else.

As humans we must decide ethical issues in order to be responsible stewards of the Earth, as our population increases. Hunting is natural, but it disregards rights to life. We need to analyze certain natural occurrences, and adjust our living situations according to our conclusions.

It can be said by literal semantics, that when we create something, we are responsible for creating it. For example when asked the question “Are you responsible for creating that?”, and we say yes, then then we are the ones responsible for the action of creating it. This is true biologically as much as technologically; and yet we act like irresponsible ignorant idiots by producing massive amounts of toxic waste, garbage, and other pollutions. As creatures with the ability to reason, perhaps it is time to take more responsibility for our actions. Life is a learning process, and so is evolution; we must be open-minded to different ways of thinking in a New Age.

I think, therefore I am.

Regarding human over-population, I believe that the problem is solvable, but we must be open to redefining our ambitions and reducing our numbers. We have become needlessly dependent on machines created to simplify our lives, but often these devices are not more convenient when the time spent earning the money needed to buy, repair, and replace them is added up. Using the same human ingenuity it took to invent all the contraptions, we can expand our architectural realms and enlighten our ways of living with nature; only then can we progress into space, and work on Universal goals.

The purpose of technology is to secure a good living environment, not to destroy the environment. Technology serves us, so maybe we can put computer intelligence to good use by dealing with our population problem. As humans we must remember our compassion, and never let technology blindly guide us towards a sharp spike, and then a dead-end flat-line.

Responsible human beings should decide for themselves what their own guidelines are for life. We should not have to rely on machines. There are many humans with reasoning disabilities, but society can help them. It is fortunate that groups like Green Peace exists to battle the irresponsible ignorance committed by irresponsible humans. We must strive for responsible stewardship, despite ignorance. The battle between ignorant irresponsibility and wise responsibility is on-going, but it if there is no battle then the lazy selfish ignorant masses will have their way, and the human race will exist as demons and zombies. As we peal away one layer of ignorance, we find another, so it will take a long time. We need to be shepherds of ourselves, and stewards of our domains.

Wisdom through awareness of ignorance.

 *

0212131103

Self, Family, & Culture

RWU Dec. 8, 1995

Drogo’s Favorite Books

Posted in Book Reports, Fictional Stories, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2010 by Drogo

Popular Classics: Travel Fantasy & SciFi-Horror Genres

Plato:  Atlantis, The Republic

Sir Thomas More:  Utopia

Swift:  Gulliver’s Travels

Jules Verne:  Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

HG Wells:  Time Machine, War of the Worlds,

George Orwell:  1984, Animal Farm

Aldous Huxley:  Brave New World, Doors of Perception, & Island

Check out a book in which Huxley compares his own book, Brave New World with Orwell’s 1984; and argues why control through reward is more sustainable than control through fear. Brave New World Revisited is 1984 vs. Brave New World. Also Ape and Essence is a planet of apes  (written ironically in 1948).

Ray Bradbury:  Fahrenheit 451,

Philip K. Dick:  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner), Rollerball, Man In High Castle

Stephen King:  Dark House, Running Man

*

NON-FICTION: Political, Philosophical, Historical, & Biographical

Assault On Reason  – Al Gore 2007

The Revolution: A Manifesto
Dr. Ron Paul

Give Me Liberty – Naomi Wolf 2008

Harper’s Ferry: Strange Stories & Legends
Joseph Barry

8 Pillars of Greek Wisdom – by Stephen Bertman

Blackberry Cove Herbal – by Linda Rago

*

FICTION: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller & Horror

Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit
JRR Tolkien

Suicide Surprise
Noel Tavano

Doubtful Guest, Dwindling Party, Gashlycrumb Tinies, Haunted Tea-Cosy
Edward Gorey