Critical Miss: Riotous Anger

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ReiverCorrupter:

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:

You seem to be implying that a person is bad if they are driven by hatred. Critical thinking is directly tied to this. If one responds emotionally to an argument without analyzing it then one can easily be driven to extremes. While I of course agree that no one is a completely rational agent, it doesn't mean that there aren't different levels of rationality. A person who is incapable or unwilling to analyze claims for truth or falsehood has a very limited agency. While it is true that the basis for action ultimately resides at an emotional level, we also need the rational ability to analyze a situation and act so that we bring about what we desire.

While it is true that the Nazis rose to power partially due to violence and intimidation, it would be impossible for them to do so solely by those means. It is quite daft to think that the entire country assented to Nazi rule out of fear, even though that may have been the case at the very end after they had already come to power. The Nazis and their philosophy had the won the support of many ordinary people because of the spectacles they put on and their incredibly effective use of propaganda, both of which rely upon a lack of critical thinking.

Furthermore, someone who is unaccustomed to thinking critically and derives most of their views from faith and indoctrination is much more likely to respond to criticism with fanaticism rather than rational argument. If you value rational argument and understanding as a source of conflict resolution rather than violence, then you must admit the indispensability of critical thinking. How can a person be 'good' if they are incapable of adopting and entertaining opposing views and accepting that they might be wrong? Being a bigoted self-righteous ass and lacking critical thinking go hand-in-hand. Surely your definition of a 'good person' precludes application to such people?

Critical thinking is certainly a useful asset and one required for many important positions. However to paraphase To Kill A Mockingbird, most people are basically good but have a few blind spots in their morality. Everyone has them, including me and you, we just don't realise as we accept them without even thinking about it. Someone without critical thinking can certainly be good and to suggest otherwise is simply bigoted, take the majority of young children for example who have virtually no critical thinking skills but are generally innocent and adorable.

Another example I would put is G W Bush, I disagree with many of his ideas and things he did in power but I still think he's good at heart, just misguided in his application in my opinion.

As Nietzsche put it, "I often laugh at those who think themselves good because their claws are blunt."

You can take most people and if you put them in the right circumstances they can either be saints or demons. The human mind doesn't exist in a vacuum, it exists in order to respond to the world around it.

The police call it the 10-80-10 rule: 10% of the people in a crowd would never commit a crime. Another 10% would always commit a crime. With the other 80% it completely depends on the situation.

When I say people suck, I don't mean that they are always doing bad shit with the worst intentions, that's ridiculous. I'm saying that the majority of people don't think things through, they could be made to do just about anything with the proper manipulation. If you want to judge people solely by their accumulative actions without reference to their characters then you're going to end up saying that a clever sociopath who obeys all the laws but feels no compassion whatsoever is a better person than the average Joe who has made a few mistakes and genuinely feels remorse.

If one lacks critical thinking skills then one has a character that is capable of doing just about anything given the right circumstances. It doesn't make sense to call people good or bad. This is why I judge people on their character traits, not what they do. A character trait is much more constant than people's actions. Value systems are subjective, as I said, and are almost always a result of indoctrination. Critical thinking, however, is a universal trait that everyone can have. While it hardly ensures that people make the right decisions, it at least prevents them from making stupid decisions. I don't see why you think it's so controversial to say that a person who acts without thinking things through exhibits a fundamental character flaw.

I have never said that critical thinking is a bad thing, it certainly is a large positive for someone to possess, however if someone doesn't possess it that doesn't automatically make them a bad person. Everyone has character flaws. Judging people by character traits seems very subjective and any measure of "goodness" in that way is destined to depend on how you measure it. Measuring it by actions on the other hand is easier as you can measure the net happiness/harm the person has caused, still somewhat subjective but more quantifiable.

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:
snip

snip

"Bad" is a subjective term. ReiverCorrupter seems to be saying that a person is "bad" if they have imperfect scruples (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Corrupter), and poor critical thinking dramatically compounds that. I don't know if I agree with Corrupter's definition, but I do believe that most people are fundamentally bad.

And I'm sorry, but "happiness/harm" is not quantifiable, so that would still be pretty subjective. That's why utilitarianism is fundamentally flawed.

Any study of good and evil is subjective. Although there's a sliding scale of subjectivity, the only ethics system that can claim true and complete objectivity would have to be some sort of hard legalism, which would only work in an authoritarian society with a 0% crime rate. And that of course is already making the assumption that the government in that system is not corrupt in any way, shape or form.

Whatever happened to the Dead Island one that was a couple of hours ago?

Grey Carter:

A wonderful stance on the current situation by the lovely miss Stout.
However, this is just my overbearing eye for detail nagging at me, but did she change her Triforce wrist tattoo ...or did that thing morph on it's own O.O!?
Also, MegaMan necklace O.o? ...goes well with the dress :)

Schoengeist:

ReiverCorrupter:
You'll have to raise taxes and give stimuli to the business sector in order to make up for the loss of cheap labor.

ReiverCorrupter:

Umm... no... the government would subsidize the business sector to improve the conditions of the working class.

From where does the government take the money to subsidize the business? I read about new taxes, who's going to pay them?

Not that I'm a believer in the trickle-down-effect anyway.

The middle and upper class and other businesses that can handle it, luxuries for example. What about this is so hard to get? You don't tax the working class because all you're going to shake out of them is pennies anyway. If you let the free market decide, it's going to decide to fuck you over, plain and simple. Manufacturing is always going to go where it's cheapest to manufacture, which means the third world. Whether the businesses go to the third world or bring it to you is of little relevance. Most of those immigrants, unlike native workers, are going to send the money back home to their relatives, which DOESN'T stimulate your economy at all.

But it doesn't matter because it doesn't affect the middle class directly, right? The middle class rather feel like it's being humanitarian by letting the immigrants have the jobs. As long as they get their cheap crap their own lower class can starve to death. They're all a bunch of racist hooligans anyway, right?

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:

JoJoDeathunter:

Critical thinking is certainly a useful asset and one required for many important positions. However to paraphase To Kill A Mockingbird, most people are basically good but have a few blind spots in their morality. Everyone has them, including me and you, we just don't realise as we accept them without even thinking about it. Someone without critical thinking can certainly be good and to suggest otherwise is simply bigoted, take the majority of young children for example who have virtually no critical thinking skills but are generally innocent and adorable.

Another example I would put is G W Bush, I disagree with many of his ideas and things he did in power but I still think he's good at heart, just misguided in his application in my opinion.

As Nietzsche put it, "I often laugh at those who think themselves good because their claws are blunt."

You can take most people and if you put them in the right circumstances they can either be saints or demons. The human mind doesn't exist in a vacuum, it exists in order to respond to the world around it.

The police call it the 10-80-10 rule: 10% of the people in a crowd would never commit a crime. Another 10% would always commit a crime. With the other 80% it completely depends on the situation.

When I say people suck, I don't mean that they are always doing bad shit with the worst intentions, that's ridiculous. I'm saying that the majority of people don't think things through, they could be made to do just about anything with the proper manipulation. If you want to judge people solely by their accumulative actions without reference to their characters then you're going to end up saying that a clever sociopath who obeys all the laws but feels no compassion whatsoever is a better person than the average Joe who has made a few mistakes and genuinely feels remorse.

If one lacks critical thinking skills then one has a character that is capable of doing just about anything given the right circumstances. It doesn't make sense to call people good or bad. This is why I judge people on their character traits, not what they do. A character trait is much more constant than people's actions. Value systems are subjective, as I said, and are almost always a result of indoctrination. Critical thinking, however, is a universal trait that everyone can have. While it hardly ensures that people make the right decisions, it at least prevents them from making stupid decisions. I don't see why you think it's so controversial to say that a person who acts without thinking things through exhibits a fundamental character flaw.

I have never said that critical thinking is a bad thing, it certainly is a large positive for someone to possess, however if someone doesn't possess it that doesn't automatically make them a bad person. Everyone has character flaws. Judging people by character traits seems very subjective and any measure of "goodness" in that way is destined to depend on how you measure it. Measuring it by actions on the other hand is easier as you can measure the net happiness/harm the person has caused, still somewhat subjective but more quantifiable.

"Goodness" is pretty much subjective no matter what, whether it applies to character traits or actions. However, character traits can easily be quantified through psychology and neuroscience. Whether the traits are bad or good is the subjective part, so I don't really see your point.

How can you even reference the goodness or badness of a person's actions without also referencing their character traits? If someone saves someone's life by accident does that make them as much of a hero as the person who deliberately puts himself in harm's way in order to save someone? When you judge an action you also have to judge the person's intention when performing the action, and that leads you directly to a person's character.

macfluffers:

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:
snip

snip

"Bad" is a subjective term. ReiverCorrupter seems to be saying that a person is "bad" if they have imperfect scruples (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Corrupter), and poor critical thinking dramatically compounds that. I don't know if I agree with Corrupter's definition, but I do believe that most people are fundamentally bad.

And I'm sorry, but "happiness/harm" is not quantifiable, so that would still be pretty subjective. That's why utilitarianism is fundamentally flawed.

Any study of good and evil is subjective. Although there's a sliding scale of subjectivity, the only ethics system that can claim true and complete objectivity would have to be some sort of hard legalism, which would only work in an authoritarian society with a 0% crime rate. And that of course is already making the assumption that the government in that system is not corrupt in any way, shape or form.

Well, like I said before, I'm not a moral realist. What I'm saying is that in order to even talk about a person as good or bad, you have to assume that that person has agency because only moral agents can be good or bad. If someone lacks critical thinking skills then they have very limited agency, which means that they are less responsible for their actions because they act out of a sort of emotional blindness. This doesn't necessarily make them good or bad, in a normative sense, but I think it's sufficient to say that they suck because of it. "Suck" here being a term that transcends individual value systems because it references some trait that is necessary for the function of multiple value systems, and because it thus applies to value systems in general and is thus more objective.

Though it is still not absolutely objective because there are strange value systems that don't revolve around human agency. Take aesthetics for instance: one can say that people suck in a normative sense and at the same time say that they are beautiful in an aesthetic sense (though that person would have admittedly strange tastes).

ReiverCorrupter:

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:

As Nietzsche put it, "I often laugh at those who think themselves good because their claws are blunt."

You can take most people and if you put them in the right circumstances they can either be saints or demons. The human mind doesn't exist in a vacuum, it exists in order to respond to the world around it.

The police call it the 10-80-10 rule: 10% of the people in a crowd would never commit a crime. Another 10% would always commit a crime. With the other 80% it completely depends on the situation.

When I say people suck, I don't mean that they are always doing bad shit with the worst intentions, that's ridiculous. I'm saying that the majority of people don't think things through, they could be made to do just about anything with the proper manipulation. If you want to judge people solely by their accumulative actions without reference to their characters then you're going to end up saying that a clever sociopath who obeys all the laws but feels no compassion whatsoever is a better person than the average Joe who has made a few mistakes and genuinely feels remorse.

If one lacks critical thinking skills then one has a character that is capable of doing just about anything given the right circumstances. It doesn't make sense to call people good or bad. This is why I judge people on their character traits, not what they do. A character trait is much more constant than people's actions. Value systems are subjective, as I said, and are almost always a result of indoctrination. Critical thinking, however, is a universal trait that everyone can have. While it hardly ensures that people make the right decisions, it at least prevents them from making stupid decisions. I don't see why you think it's so controversial to say that a person who acts without thinking things through exhibits a fundamental character flaw.

I have never said that critical thinking is a bad thing, it certainly is a large positive for someone to possess, however if someone doesn't possess it that doesn't automatically make them a bad person. Everyone has character flaws. Judging people by character traits seems very subjective and any measure of "goodness" in that way is destined to depend on how you measure it. Measuring it by actions on the other hand is easier as you can measure the net happiness/harm the person has caused, still somewhat subjective but more quantifiable.

"Goodness" is pretty much subjective no matter what, whether it applies to character traits or actions. However, character traits can easily be quantified through psychology and neuroscience. Whether the traits are bad or good is the subjective part, so I don't really see your point.

How can you even reference the goodness or badness of a person's actions without also referencing their character traits? If someone saves someone's life by accident does that make them as much of a hero as the person who deliberately puts himself in harm's way in order to save someone? When you judge an action you also have to judge the person's intention when performing the action, and that leads you directly to a person's character.

You're confusing intentions and character traits which are two different things. An intention is something like "I will deliberately put myself in harms way in an attempt to save this person" whereas a character trait is something like "I am kind to strangers".

But then if goodness and badness are subjective then how can you claim that people "suck"? Surely by your own words that can't be any more than a viewpoint?

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:

JoJoDeathunter:

I have never said that critical thinking is a bad thing, it certainly is a large positive for someone to possess, however if someone doesn't possess it that doesn't automatically make them a bad person. Everyone has character flaws. Judging people by character traits seems very subjective and any measure of "goodness" in that way is destined to depend on how you measure it. Measuring it by actions on the other hand is easier as you can measure the net happiness/harm the person has caused, still somewhat subjective but more quantifiable.

"Goodness" is pretty much subjective no matter what, whether it applies to character traits or actions. However, character traits can easily be quantified through psychology and neuroscience. Whether the traits are bad or good is the subjective part, so I don't really see your point.

How can you even reference the goodness or badness of a person's actions without also referencing their character traits? If someone saves someone's life by accident does that make them as much of a hero as the person who deliberately puts himself in harm's way in order to save someone? When you judge an action you also have to judge the person's intention when performing the action, and that leads you directly to a person's character.

You're confusing intentions and character traits which are two different things. An intention is something like "I will deliberately put myself in harms way in an attempt to save this person" whereas a character trait is something like "I am kind to strangers".

But then if goodness and badness are subjective then how can you claim that people "suck"? Surely by your own words that can't be any more than a viewpoint?

Look at my other post below, that more or less explains how I use the term "suck". Oh, and where the hell do intentions come from if not from a person's character? Any distinction is purely a conceptual one.

ReiverCorrupter:

macfluffers:

JoJoDeathunter:
snip

"Bad" is a subjective term. ReiverCorrupter seems to be saying that a person is "bad" if they have imperfect scruples (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Corrupter), and poor critical thinking dramatically compounds that. I don't know if I agree with Corrupter's definition, but I do believe that most people are fundamentally bad.

And I'm sorry, but "happiness/harm" is not quantifiable, so that would still be pretty subjective. That's why utilitarianism is fundamentally flawed.

Any study of good and evil is subjective. Although there's a sliding scale of subjectivity, the only ethics system that can claim true and complete objectivity would have to be some sort of hard legalism, which would only work in an authoritarian society with a 0% crime rate. And that of course is already making the assumption that the government in that system is not corrupt in any way, shape or form.

Well, like I said before, I'm not a moral realist. What I'm saying is that in order to even talk about a person as good or bad, you have to assume that that person has agency because only moral agents can be good or bad. If someone lacks critical thinking skills then they have very limited agency, which means that they are less responsible for their actions because they act out of a sort of emotional blindness. This doesn't necessarily make them good or bad, in a normative sense, but I think it's sufficient to say that they suck because of it. "Suck" here being a term that transcends individual value systems because it references some trait that is necessary for the function of multiple value systems, and because it thus applies to value systems in general and is thus more objective.

Though it is still not absolutely objective because there are strange value systems that don't revolve around human agency. Take aesthetics for instance: one can say that people suck in a normative sense and at the same time say that they are beautiful in an aesthetic sense (though that person would have admittedly strange tastes).

ReiverCorrupter:

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:

"Goodness" is pretty much subjective no matter what, whether it applies to character traits or actions. However, character traits can easily be quantified through psychology and neuroscience. Whether the traits are bad or good is the subjective part, so I don't really see your point.

How can you even reference the goodness or badness of a person's actions without also referencing their character traits? If someone saves someone's life by accident does that make them as much of a hero as the person who deliberately puts himself in harm's way in order to save someone? When you judge an action you also have to judge the person's intention when performing the action, and that leads you directly to a person's character.

You're confusing intentions and character traits which are two different things. An intention is something like "I will deliberately put myself in harms way in an attempt to save this person" whereas a character trait is something like "I am kind to strangers".

But then if goodness and badness are subjective then how can you claim that people "suck"? Surely by your own words that can't be any more than a viewpoint?

Look at my other post below, that more or less explains how I use the term "suck". Oh, and where the hell do intentions come from if not from a person's character? Any distinction is purely a conceptual one.

ReiverCorrupter:

macfluffers:
"Bad" is a subjective term. ReiverCorrupter seems to be saying that a person is "bad" if they have imperfect scruples (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, Corrupter), and poor critical thinking dramatically compounds that. I don't know if I agree with Corrupter's definition, but I do believe that most people are fundamentally bad.

And I'm sorry, but "happiness/harm" is not quantifiable, so that would still be pretty subjective. That's why utilitarianism is fundamentally flawed.

Any study of good and evil is subjective. Although there's a sliding scale of subjectivity, the only ethics system that can claim true and complete objectivity would have to be some sort of hard legalism, which would only work in an authoritarian society with a 0% crime rate. And that of course is already making the assumption that the government in that system is not corrupt in any way, shape or form.

Well, like I said before, I'm not a moral realist. What I'm saying is that in order to even talk about a person as good or bad, you have to assume that that person has agency because only moral agents can be good or bad. If someone lacks critical thinking skills then they have very limited agency, which means that they are less responsible for their actions because they act out of a sort of emotional blindness. This doesn't necessarily make them good or bad, in a normative sense, but I think it's sufficient to say that they suck because of it. "Suck" here being a term that transcends individual value systems because it references some trait that is necessary for the function of multiple value systems, and because it thus applies to value systems in general and is thus more objective.

Though it is still not absolutely objective because there are strange value systems that don't revolve around human agency. Take aesthetics for instance: one can say that people suck in a normative sense and at the same time say that they are beautiful in an aesthetic sense (though that person would have admittedly strange tastes).

I understand your reasoning behind the term "suck", but it's still just as subjective as a definition of good and bad. You can't have one rule for one and another rule for the other so by your own words: "Goodness is pretty much subjective no matter what". If you hold that to be true then it cannot be objectively claimed that humans suck.

As for intentions, simply derieving from character traits doesn't make them the same as character traits. Intending to do something is very different from having a trait that's simply makes you more likely to do something. For example, intending to attack someone is morally bad, but simply having violent tendencies isn't, as it's possible to resist those tendencies.

JoJoDeathunter:

ReiverCorrupter:

JoJoDeathunter:

You're confusing intentions and character traits which are two different things. An intention is something like "I will deliberately put myself in harms way in an attempt to save this person" whereas a character trait is something like "I am kind to strangers".

But then if goodness and badness are subjective then how can you claim that people "suck"? Surely by your own words that can't be any more than a viewpoint?

Look at my other post below, that more or less explains how I use the term "suck". Oh, and where the hell do intentions come from if not from a person's character? Any distinction is purely a conceptual one.

ReiverCorrupter:

Well, like I said before, I'm not a moral realist. What I'm saying is that in order to even talk about a person as good or bad, you have to assume that that person has agency because only moral agents can be good or bad. If someone lacks critical thinking skills then they have very limited agency, which means that they are less responsible for their actions because they act out of a sort of emotional blindness. This doesn't necessarily make them good or bad, in a normative sense, but I think it's sufficient to say that they suck because of it. "Suck" here being a term that transcends individual value systems because it references some trait that is necessary for the function of multiple value systems, and because it thus applies to value systems in general and is thus more objective.

Though it is still not absolutely objective because there are strange value systems that don't revolve around human agency. Take aesthetics for instance: one can say that people suck in a normative sense and at the same time say that they are beautiful in an aesthetic sense (though that person would have admittedly strange tastes).

I understand your reasoning behind the term "suck", but it's still just as subjective as a definition of good and bad. You can't have one rule for one and another rule for the other so by your own words: "Goodness is pretty much subjective no matter what". If you hold that to be true then it cannot be objectively claimed that humans suck.

As for intentions, simply derieving from character traits doesn't make them the same as character traits. Intending to do something is very different from having a trait that's simply makes you more likely to do something. For example, intending to attack someone is morally bad, but simply having violent tendencies isn't, as it's possible to resist those tendencies.

Yes, but a violent tendency itself is still a bad trait to have. If someone has bad intentions then the obviously have bad character traits as well. I will give you the point that someone can have bad character traits and still have good intentions, but ultimately that just means that their other better character traits overpower the bad ones. I stand by my initial proposition that in order to judge people, you have to judge them by their character. Otherwise your judgement of their action doesn't extend beyond the immediate circumstances to the person himself. To sum it up in a tautology: in order to judge people you have to judge people, not just actions. Now, if you admit that you can only judge actions with your moral system, then we don't have a problem, but you seem to be claiming that people are inherently good because most of them manage to behave well in society. My point is that one could be a sociopath and still behave well in society so you have to look at people's characters if you want to say that they're good.

As far as the "suck" thing goes, yes, I am attributing to it some normative force from the standpoint of my own value system, but as in the post I quoted above, it also has a more objective application insofar as it points out people's general inability to live up to the full concept of agency required by most moral systems. But that's merely a description of their inadequacy, whatever normative sense your getting is probably my own distaste boiling through. The point stands though, people can't even live up to the most generous moral system. I'm basically calling them 'dumb'. By itself, the term doesn't necessarily have any moral connotations, but people always read negative connotations into it, and for good reason I think. We generally consider it 'bad' to be 'dumb'.

So sure, my use of the term 'suck' isn't completely objective, but it's pretty damn close. Hell, killing is probably more subjective than incompetence. In utilitarianism it's all about achieving the best result, so no action is inherently right or wrong, but incompetence would still be universally bad as a character trait because it would keep you from achieving the best result.

Being the left-leaning, hippie-type I am, I've chosen to interpret the riots, at least in their infancy, as an angry response to poverty and a succession of governments that have stripped the poor of nearly all access to further education. More right-leaning people see the riots as proof that the law simply isn't tough enough on criminals.

Seeing as you just did a comic stating the people doing horrible crimes are to blame, you seem to actually be taking the side of what you say is the right-wingers.

Also the right ALSO blames poverty to some extent (although primarily blaming the people actually doing looting and killing).

The main disagreement between the right and left is on what causes said poverty. The left says its greedy evil businessmen, capitalist greed, and so on. The right says its excessive taxation and politicians who think they know better than anyone else (aka know better then the free market).

WanderingFool:
Well, this basically sums up my thoughts on who is at fault. Dont blame some arbitrary group, BLAME THE FUCKING RIOTERS!

Yep. Blame the rioters. The self entitled fuckwads who think the government, and by extension, other people, owe them something because they have a pulse.

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