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  1. richardbaxter

    Freedom of speech

    1. Systems that require suppression of free speech are unstable. 2. The suppression of free speech is the hallmark of incompetence. 3. The only people who suppress speech have something to hide. 4. People who are not mature enough to listen to contrary opinions are not mature enough to participate in a democracy. "Hate speech" is quite possibly the lowest GI concept ever invented. If someone's conclusion from 20th century totalitarianism is that they have to suppress speech, then they have missed the point entirely. If a person has a problem with something said then they should say something about it. This natural correction mechanism only becomes ineffective when one's ability to speak out is suppressed. We have seen this occur too many times in history.
  2. I have created recordings of the relevant sections here; The Quran - Sura 2:190-218 youtu.be/IO8XWj-07dQ The Quran - Sura 3:156-178 youtu.be/dbLY7Jz1AyU The Quran - Sura 4:66-104 youtu.be/XuZO3aqhekQ The Quran - Sura 5:33-54 youtu.be/igLpR8iJ5Ok The Quran - Sura 8 youtu.be/TiKLBPAG1Fk The Quran - Sura 9:1-62 (part A) youtu.be/Z_J8SrkXis4 The Quran - Sura 9:63-121 (part B) youtu.be/w4Q8n2df7Po The Quran - Sura 9:122-129 (part C) youtu.be/VgmjdhWRwkY The Quran - Sura 33 youtu.be/r3n0J3i5Fzo The Quran - Sura 47 youtu.be/ZEe_yggnEjU The Quran - Sura 48 youtu.be/TChPjyFCAlI The Quran - Sura 49 youtu.be/oHOCsXhRQ0g The Quran - Sura 59 youtu.be/U9QfTTMiCHA The Quran - Sura 61 youtu.be/JZ22VFRLUBA
  3. richardbaxter


    "A randomly acquired property, due to some variations in genes, offers advantages to animals without this property." The property acquired during biological evolution is the information processing representing/emulating consciousness (self-referential central processing of stimuli). This property can be measured (its behaviour modelled) by a) examining the functioning of the neural substrate (cognitive neuroscience) or by b) interacting/communicating with the creature (cognitive psychology). Evolution is a physical process (not a philosophical process) and as such says nothing about the emergence of non-observable properties (whether they are mapped to physical properties, as per physicalism, or not). "What is the base to say that our awareness can not be reduced to a common source/explanation? Especially if there is no theory of cognition?" Under the current scientific paradigm mental properties (internal first person consciousness/awareness) are unobservable by the empirical method (i.e. unmeasurable). They are empirically non-observable by definition: a thought experiment cannot be constructed to deny their existence. For example, how does one prove (ie calculate a statistical probability) that a rock does not have mental properties mapped to its physical substrate using the empirical method? A paradigm shift will be required to bring mental properties into the realm of scientific discovery (as opposed to just inference of their correlation with certain states of matter based on an assumption of their mapping to physical properties). It is true that if this condition is met and we can derive a comprehensive theory of cognition (that defines not just the neural correlates of consciousness; but the neural determinates of consciousness), then awareness may be reducible to a common source/explanation. In one formulation of panpsychism (philosophical speculation), the underlying natural substrate contains "quiddities"; which exhibit both physical and mental properties. Something similar might be possible with non-reductive physicalism (which posits the emergence of both physical and mental properties from the underlying "physical" [philosophical terminology] substrate), but at the moment this seems contrived due to the overdetermination problem: why do some subsets of a physical universe get special unobservable properties mapped to them and others do not? "Yes. But where is the problem? To express "green" I can write the word, or paint a green dot. There are people - I do not know the word in english - whose nerves are wired very special, e.g. if they see a special colour they taste, maybe, the flavour of pepper in their mouth. So a colour triggers a flavour and creates a very unique awareness. So what is the base to say that no theory of cognition can reduce our awareness to physical sources?" The point here is that two people's nerves might be identically wired yet have unique experience of some qualia (red/green/blue/etc - what one person calls red might be blue to another ad infinitum). There is nothing in the presently known laws of nature which would specify otherwise. Science only models observable nature (measurable, i.e. physical, properties). I have used this analogy before; Imagine you travel to planet x (in a universe y) - you meet an alien of substrate z (e.g. carbon/silicon/etc) that tells you it is conscious. Is it? Does the fact it naturally evolved necessitate the truth of its assertion? Notice how this is an anthropocentric (and suspiciously teleological) assumption. We believe a universe is made for sentience, and we are disinterested by the prospect of a universe that creates wonderfully complex systems (machines) that do whatever they do and interact with each other with extraordinarily levels of communication shaped through natural selection, but have no internal awareness (mental properties) whatsoever. As discussed previously, I think there are good reasons to believe that a universe would exhibit mental properties (in that they require a substrate to define both their emergence and behaviour); but this line of argument is not relevant here.
  4. Surah 1 Surah 2 Surah 3 Surah 4 Surah 5 Surah 6 Surah 7 Surah 8 Surah 9 Surah 10 Surah 11 Surah 12 Surah 13 Surah 14 Surah 15 Surah 16 Surah 17 Surah 18 Surah 19 Surah 20 Surah 21 Surah 22 Surah 23 Surah 24 Surah 25 Surah 26 Surah 27 Surah 28 Surah 29 Surah 30 Surah 31 Surah 32 Surah 33 Surah 34 Surah 35 Surah 36 Surah 37 Surah 38 Surah 39 Surah 40 Surah 41 Surah 42 Surah 43 Surah 44 Surah 45 Surah 46 Surah 47 Surah 48 Surah 49 Surah 50 Surah 51 Surah 52 Surah 53 Surah 54 Surah 55 Surah 56 Surah 57 Surah 58 Surah 59 Surah 60 Surah 61 Surah 62 Surah 63 Surah 64 Surah 65 Surah 66 Surah 67 Surah 68 Surah 69 Surah 70 Surah 71 Surah 72 Surah 73 Surah 74 Surah 75 Surah 76 Surah 77 Surah 78 Surah 79 Surah 80 Surah 81 Surah 82 Surah 83 Surah 84 Surah 85 Surah 86 Surah 87 Surah 88 Surah 89 Surah 90 Surah 91 Surah 92 Surah 93 Surah 94 Surah 95 Surah 96 Surah 97 Surah 98 Surah 99 Surah 100 Surah 101 Surah 102 Surah 103 Surah 104 Surah 105 Surah 106 Surah 107 Surah 108 Surah 109 Surah 110 Surah 111 Surah 112 Surah 113 Surah 114 War Source: "Meditation II: Qur'an Notes Relevant to 3/3/06 Attack May 2, 2006" (page 3 of 3) by Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar Section 1a 2:193 And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression. 8:39 And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. 8:73 The Unbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless ye do this, (protect each other), there would be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief. 85:10 Those who persecute (or draw into temptation) the Believers, men and women, and do not turn in repentance, will have the Penalty of Hell: They will have the Penalty of the Burning Fire. Section 1b 9:14-15 Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers. And still the indignation of their hearts. For Allah will turn (in mercy) to whom He will; and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. Section 1c 8:17 It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: when thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah's: in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself: for Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things). Section 1d 9:13 Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe! Section 1e 2:251 By Allah's will they routed them; and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds. Section 1f 2:154 And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: "They are dead." Nay, they are living, though ye perceive (it) not. 9:19 Do ye make the giving of drink to pilgrims, or the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque, equal to (the pious service of) those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive with might and main in the cause of Allah? They are not comparable in the sight of Allah: and Allah guides not those who do wrong. 9:111 Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme. 9:120 It was not fitting for the people of Medina and the Bedouin Arabs of the neighbourhood, to refuse to follow Allah's Messenger, nor to prefer their own lives to his: because nothing could they suffer or do, but was reckoned to their credit as a deed of righteousness,- whether they suffered thirst, or fatigue, or hunger, in the cause of Allah, or trod paths to raise the ire of the Unbelievers, or received any injury whatever from an enemy: for Allah suffereth not the reward to be lost of those who do good;- section 2 2:44 And believe in what I reveal, confirming the revelation which is with you, and be not the first to reject Faith therein, nor sell My Signs for a small price; and fear Me, and Me alone. And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is). And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (To practise it) yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand? Nay, seek (Allah's) help with patient perseverance and prayer: It is indeed hard, except to those who bring a lowly spirit,- 8:72 Those who believed, and adopted exile, and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid,- these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another. As to those who believed but came not into exile, ye owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile; but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom ye have a treaty of mutual alliance. And (remember) Allah seeth all that ye do. 9:38 O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. 33:36 It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path. section 3 4:89 They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;- 9:12 But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained. section 4.1 2:178 O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty. 5:45 We ordained therein for them: "Life for life, eye for eye, nose or nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal." But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (No better than) wrong-doers. 42:39 And those who, when an oppressive wrong is inflicted on them, (are not cowed but) help and defend themselves. section 4.2 5:33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; section 4.3 8:12 Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." 47:4 Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost. section 4.4 9:5 But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. section 5 2:190-194 Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah; but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression. 2:216-218 Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not. They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein. Those who believed and those who suffered exile and fought (and strove and struggled) in the path of Allah,- they have the hope of the Mercy of Allah: And Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 2:243-245 Didst thou not Turn by vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (In number), for fear of death? Allah said to them: "Die": Then He restored them to life. For Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but Most of them are ungrateful. Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things. Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan, which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times? It is Allah that giveth (you) Want or plenty, and to Him shall be your return. 3:141-142 Allah's object also is to purge those that are true in Faith and to deprive of blessing Those that resist Faith. Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (In His Cause) and remained steadfast? 3:156-158 O ye who believe! Be not like the Unbelievers, who say of their brethren, when they are travelling through the Earth or engaged in fighting: "If they had stayed with us, they would not have died, or been slain." This that Allah may make it a cause of sighs and regrets in their hearts. It is Allah that gives Life and Death, and Allah sees well all that ye do. And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all they could amass. And if ye die, or are slain, Lo! it is unto Allah that ye are brought together. 3:167-175 And the Hypocrites also. These were told: "Come, fight in the way of Allah, or (at least) drive (The foe from your city)." They said: "Had we known how to fight, we should certainly have followed you." They were that day nearer to Unbelief than to Faith, saying with their lips what was not in their hearts but Allah hath full knowledge of all they conceal. (They are) the ones that say, (of their brethren slain), while they themselves sit (at ease): "If only they had listened to us they would not have been slain." Say: "Avert death from your own selves, if ye speak the truth." Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; 4:66 If We had ordered them to sacrifice their lives or to leave their homes, very few of them would have done it: But if they had done what they were (actually) told, it would have been best for them, and would have gone farthest to strengthen their (faith); 4:74-78 Then fight in Allah's cause - Thou art held responsible only for thyself - and rouse the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the fury of the Unbelievers; for Allah is the strongest in might and in punishment. 4:95-96 Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,- 4:104 And slacken not in following up the enemy: If ye are suffering hardships, they are suffering similar hardships; but ye have Hope from Allah, while they have none. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. 5:54 O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,- lowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And Allah encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things. 6:162 Say: "Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death, are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds: 8:12-16 Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger: If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment. Thus (will it be said): "Taste ye then of the (punishment): for those who resist Allah, is the penalty of the Fire." If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)! 8:38-40 Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector - the best to protect and the best to help. 8:57-62 If ye gain the mastery over them in war, disperse, with them, those who follow them, that they may remember. If thou fearest treachery from any group, throw back (their covenant) to them, (so as to be) on equal terms: for Allah loveth not the treacherous. Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly. But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things). Should they intend to deceive thee,- verily Allah sufficeth thee: He it is That hath strengthened thee with His aid and with (the company of) the Believers; 8:65-66 O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding. For the present, Allah hath lightened your (task), for He knoweth that there is a weak spot in you: But (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred, and if a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of Allah: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. 8:72-75 Those who believed, and adopted exile, and fought for the Faith, with their property and their persons, in the cause of Allah, as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid,- these are (all) friends and protectors, one of another. As to those who believed but came not into exile, ye owe no duty of protection to them until they come into exile; but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom ye have a treaty of mutual alliance. And (remember) Allah seeth all that ye do. The Unbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless ye do this, (protect each other), there would be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief. Those who believe, and adopt exile, and fight for the Faith, in the cause of Allah as well as those who give (them) asylum and aid,- these are (all) in very truth the Believers: for them is the forgiveness of sins and a provision most generous. And those who accept Faith subsequently, and adopt exile, and fight for the Faith in your company,- they are of you. But kindred by blood have prior rights against each other in the Book of Allah. Verily Allah is well-acquainted with all things. 9:12-14 But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained. Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe! Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers, 9:19-21 Do ye make the giving of drink to pilgrims, or the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque, equal to (the pious service of) those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and strive with might and main in the cause of Allah? They are not comparable in the sight of Allah: and Allah guides not those who do wrong. Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in Allah's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of Allah: they are the people who will achieve (salvation). Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure: 9:29 Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. 9:36 The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)- so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. So wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together. But know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves. 9:39 Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things. 9:44-46 Those who believe in Allah and the Last Day ask thee for no exemption from fighting with their goods and persons. And Allah knoweth well those who do their duty. Only those ask thee for exemption who believe not in Allah and the Last Day, and whose hearts are in doubt, so that they are tossed in their doubts to and fro. If they had intended to come out, they would certainly have made some preparation therefor; but Allah was averse to their being sent forth; so He made them lag behind, and they were told, "Sit ye among those who sit (inactive)." 9:52 Say: "Can you expect for us (any fate) other than one of two glorious things- (Martyrdom or victory)? But we can expect for you either that Allah will send his punishment from Himself, or by our hands. So wait (expectant); we too will wait with you." 9:81 Those who were left behind (in the Tabuk expedition) rejoiced in their inaction behind the back of the Messenger of Allah: they hated to strive and fight, with their goods and their persons, in the cause of Allah: they said, "Go not forth in the heat." Say, "The fire of Hell is fiercer in heat." If only they could understand! 9:36-38 The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)- so ordained by Him the day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. So wrong not yourselves therein, and fight the Pagans all together as they fight you all together. But know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves. Verily the transposing (of a prohibited month) is an addition to Unbelief: the Unbelievers are led to wrong thereby: for they make it lawful one year, and forbidden another year, in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course seems pleasing to them. But Allah guideth not those who reject Faith. O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. 9:93-94 The ground (of complaint) is against such as claim exemption while they are rich. They prefer to stay with the (women) who remain behind: Allah hath sealed their hearts; so they know not (What they miss). They will present their excuses to you when ye return to them. Say thou: "Present no excuses: we shall not believe you: Allah hath already informed us of the true state of matters concerning you: It is your actions that Allah and His Messenger will observe: in the end will ye be brought back to Him Who knoweth what is hidden and what is open: then will He show you the truth of all that ye did." 9:100 The vanguard (of Islam)- the first of those who forsook (their homes) and of those who gave them aid, and (also) those who follow them in (all) good deeds,- well-pleased is Allah with them, as are they with Him: for them hath He prepared gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever: that is the supreme felicity. 9:123 O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him. 16:110 But verily thy Lord,- to those who leave their homes after trials and persecutions,- and who thereafter strive and fight for the faith and patiently persevere,- Thy Lord, after all this is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. 22:39-40 To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;- They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will). 22:58 Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, and are then slain or die,- On them will Allah bestow verily a goodly Provision: Truly Allah is He Who bestows the best provision. 25:68 Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; - and any that does this (not only) meets punishment. 26:227 Except those who believe, work righteousness, engage much in the remembrance of Allah, and defend themselves only after they are unjustly attacked. And soon will the unjust assailants know what vicissitudes their affairs will take! 33:25 And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will. 33:60-62 Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time: They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain (without mercy). 47:20-21 Those who believe say, "Why is not a sura sent down (for us)?" But when a sura of basic or categorical meaning is revealed, and fighting is mentioned therein, thou wilt see those in whose hearts is a disease looking at thee with a look of one in swoon at the approach of death. But more fitting for them- Were it to obey and say what is just, and when a matter is resolved on, it were best for them if they were true to Allah. 47:35 Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost: for Allah is with you, and will never put you in loss for your (good) deeds. 48:16-22 Say to the desert Arabs who lagged behind: "Ye shall be summoned (to fight) against a people given to vehement war: then shall ye fight, or they shall submit. Then if ye show obedience, Allah will grant you a goodly reward, but if ye turn back as ye did before, He will punish you with a grievous Penalty." No blame is there on the blind, nor is there blame on the lame, nor on one ill (if he joins not the war): But he that obeys Allah and his Messenger,- (Allah) will admit him to Gardens beneath which rivers flow; and he who turns back, (Allah) will punish him with a grievous Penalty. Allah's Good Pleasure was on the Believers when they swore Fealty to thee under the Tree: He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down Tranquillity to them; and He rewarded them with a speedy Victory; And many gains will they acquire (besides): and Allah is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom. Allah has promised you many gains that ye shall acquire, and He has given you these beforehand; and He has restrained the hands of men from you; that it may be a Sign for the Believers, and that He may guide you to a Straight Path; And other gains (there are), which are not within your power, but which Allah has compassed: and Allah has power over all things. If the Unbelievers should fight you, they would certainly turn their backs; then would they find neither protector nor helper. 48:29 Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Taurat; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward. 49:9-10 If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive Mercy. 49:15 Only those are Believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the Cause of Allah: Such are the sincere ones. 57:10-11 And what cause have ye why ye should not spend in the cause of Allah?- For to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. Not equal among you are those who spent (freely) and fought, before the Victory, (with those who did so later). Those are higher in rank than those who spent (freely) and fought afterwards. But to all has Allah promised a goodly (reward). And Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do. Who is he that will Loan to Allah a beautiful loan? for (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit, and he will have (besides) a liberal Reward. 59:13-14 Of a truth ye are stronger (than they) because of the terror in their hearts, (sent) by Allah. This is because they are men devoid of understanding. They will not fight you (even) together, except in fortified townships, or from behind walls. Strong is their fighting (spirit) amongst themselves: thou wouldst think they were united, but their hearts are divided: that is because they are a people devoid of wisdom. 61:4 Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure. 61:11-12 That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement. 73:20 Thy Lord doth know that thou standest forth (to prayer) nigh two-thirds of the night, or half the night, or a third of the night, and so doth a party of those with thee. But Allah doth appoint night and day in due measure He knoweth that ye are unable to keep count thereof. So He hath turned to you (in mercy): read ye, therefore, of the Qur'an as much as may be easy for you. He knoweth that there may be (some) among you in ill-health; others travelling through the land, seeking of Allah's bounty; yet others fighting in Allah's Cause, read ye, therefore, as much of the Qur'an as may be easy (for you); and establish regular Prayer and give regular Charity; and loan to Allah a Beautiful Loan. And whatever good ye send forth for your souls ye shall find it in Allah's Presence,- yea, better and greater, in Reward and seek ye the Grace of Allah: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Muhammad's rights 33.28-33.34 O Prophet! Say to thy Consorts: "If it be that ye desire the life of this World, and its glitter,- then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. But if ye seek Allah and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward. O Consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the Punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allah. But any of you that is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and works righteousness,- to her shall We grant her reward twice: and We have prepared for her a generous Sustenance. O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just. And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless. And recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the Signs of Allah and His Wisdom: for Allah understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted (with them). 33:50 O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 49:2 O ye who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk, as ye may speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds become vain and ye perceive not. 50:45 We know best what they say; and thou art not one to overawe them by force. So admonish with the Qur'an such as fear My Warning! 58:1 Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah: and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things). 66.3-5 When the Prophet disclosed a matter in confidence to one of his consorts, and she then divulged it (to another), and Allah made it known to him, he confirmed part thereof and repudiated a part. Then when he told her thereof, she said, "Who told thee this? "He said, "He told me Who knows and is well-acquainted (with all things)." If ye two turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; But if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and (every) righteous one among those who believe,- and furthermore, the angels - will back (him) up. It may be, if he divorced you (all), that Allah will give him in exchange consorts better than you,- who submit (their wills), who believe, who are devout, who turn to Allah in repentance, who worship (in humility), who travel (for Faith) and fast,- previously married or virgins. Heaven 37:43-49 In Gardens of Felicity, Facing each other on Thrones (of Dignity): Round will be passed to them a Cup from a clear-flowing fountain, Crystal-white, of a taste delicious to those who drink (thereof), Free from headiness; nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom. And besides them will be chaste women, restraining their glances, with big eyes (of wonder and beauty). As if they were (delicate) eggs closely guarded. 38:52 And beside them will be chaste women restraining their glances, (companions) of equal age. 44:54 So; and We shall join them to fair women with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes. 52:20 (They shall be) reclining on couches ranged in rows and We shall wed them to houris (virgins of Paradise) with large wide eyes. 55:56-58 In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched;- 55:72-74 Companions restrained (as to their glances), in (goodly) pavilions;- 78:33 And voluptuous women of equal age; Intended interpretation of the Quran 2:106 None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that God hath power over all things? 16:101 When we substitute one revelation for another, - and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), - they say, Thou art but a forger. But most of them know not.
  5. richardbaxter


    Just to clarify, I think there are a number of philosophical reasons to believe that an appearance of awareness (ie the observation of empirical awareness) is likely indicative of actual “awareness” (mental properties). This does not follow as being necessarily true (true of necessity) in the context of the argument here however. The thought experiment is articulating the distinction between physical and mental physical properties, and how physical systems can be modelled to function/evolve perfectly based on the assumption of physical properties alone. This is precisely what is being implied here; “an aware observer is irrelevant to the function of the universe” (where awareness is taken to mean mental properties as opposed to the behavioural/neuronal exhibition of empirical awareness). The only philosophy I am aware of in which subjective awareness (mental properties) influences the function/behaviour of physical particles, besides that of substance dualism, and in a way that cannot otherwise be predicted by indeterministic law (eg “free volition”), is a particular variant of the Copenhagen interpretation in which subjective observation constitutes measurement. It is true however that until we develop comprehensive theories of cognition (I won’t reuse the psychological construct “theory of mind” here) based on research into “the neural correlates of consciousness” (coupled with the philosophical assumption of physicalism), we won’t properly be able to predict which physical systems have emergent mental properties. Moreover, as we may never be able to be certain of the specificity of the association (eg. what if we replaced x neurons with a cybiotic implant; the cyborg might continue to say they are conscious but the truth of this assertion is unknown), there may forever remain gaps in our pseudo-empirical theory. Finally, we must recognise that there may be alternate philosophies of mind (eg panpsychism) which predict the existence of minds entirely unlike our own or that of the animal kingdom/mammalia class (eg what is it like to be a flat worm, bacterium, or virus). It is worth recognising that neural dependencies of consciousness are found in evolutionarily old systems (brainstem, thalamus, etc), not just the cerebral cortex. Physical systems can exhibit properties which have a common source/explanation, however these are reducible to this source/explanation. Empirical “hot” (temperature) is equivalent to a particular spectrum (visible colour if hot enough) of emitted black body radiation (light) from a set of energetic atoms, and empirical “sharpness” (angle/gradient of curvature) of a given material is equivalent to a particular pressure upon contact. Temperature, colour, curvature, and pressure can be measured by self-report of participants (psychophysics; relying on an organism’s cognitive map/neuronal representation of external stimuli), or more accurately by using some dedicated measuring device. But the feeling (including its quality or “qualia”) of temperature, colour, curvature, or pressure is irrelevant to the experiment, and nor can such feelings be reduced to the physical properties being measured. What one person perceives as red might be blue to another (or absent entirely in the case of a philosophical zombie), yet their terminology (“red”, “green”, “blue”, etc) can consistently and accurately map to the external (physical) stimuli (L/long, M/medium, S/short wavelengths). More precisely, assuming a common language, their terminology will map to their neuronal (physical) representation of this external stimuli; which is some function of the LGN (thalamus) cardinal colour space; L+M (luminance), L-M (reddish-greenish), S-L-M (bluish-yellowish). It is worth noting that there exists a philosophy of mind which equates mental states with their cognitive function (functionalism). In the case of the blade analogy, a precisely distributed network of cells might have a physical property of colour sensitivity, they just won’t necessarily have an additional redundant property of sentience. Likewise, a self-referential computer is a great tool for traversing complex predatorial and social environments, like meiosis is a great tool for managing mutations (nature.com/articles/nature14419), but there is no reason to assume it of necessity will have some additional unobservable properties emerge from its information processing architecture (cf “ghost in the machine”). Based on our personal experience (belief in our own mental properties; “I think therefore I am”), we infer that there is likely a mapping between physical and mental properties (that physical systems probably produce mental properties), but we can’t use this inference as an explanation for its existence.
  6. richardbaxter


    Hi Andi, this relates to our initial discussion. The philosophical definition of “awareness” (mental properties) here cannot be collapsed into its empirical (physical) definition. We typically infer an association between observed indicators of awareness (eg self-report) and awareness itself. This might be appropriate in other fields (eg cognitive science), but not when analysing philosophy of mind. Science measures physical properties, and constructs models which explain their behaviour. In the context of cognition, it hypothesises psychological constructs described by observables. One such empirical construct is observed (aka physical) consciousness/awareness, and is identified by one or more traits; arousal, specific brain activity, self-report etc. The information processing construct of awareness (central processing of stimuli) is certainly advantageous to the organism and would have evolved accordingly. More advanced central processing constructs like self-concept and theory of mind confer additional advantage to the organism and likewise would have evolved. An example of one such advantage of higher order cognition (including the belief in mental properties) is the value the organism places on its survival and others of its own species that share this trait. Here is a thought experiment to demonstrate the distinction between mental and physical (neurological) properties. An advanced carbon or silicon based organism could independently evolve a construct of “self” that exhibits awareness (including a belief in mental properties), but there is no obvious reason to assume that it has actual philosophical “awareness” (mental properties). It would function identically. More precisely, the “self” (software program representing the central processing of the creature’s nervous system) would function as if it is aware, but if some low level science (typically taken to be physics) provides a complete description of the functioning of the universe then the existence of a subjective observer is irrelevant to its function. In my previous comment I was purely discussing the prospect of an evolutionary advantage to mental properties (constituting the subjective observer’s awareness). The only philosophy of mind in which such advantage can be afforded is substance dualism. Again, there may be philosophical purposes for such awareness independent of its function/lack of on observed reality (cf the anthropic principle). Likewise, as above, there are certainly evolutionary advantages to having evolved the information processing resembling such awareness. But under the current scientific paradigm (with the materialist monism physicalism) there is no physical process existent that cannot be explained by the laws of physics acting on non-sentient particles. The technical term for this anomaly is “overdetermination” - any mental laws or processes we conceive of are overdetermined by physical law. Mental reality is thus redundant. The mind-body problem (interactionism and the undefined mental substrate for substance dualism, the strong emergence problem for physicalism, the combination problem for panpsychism, etc) and our perception of the causal relevance of our volition (free will) are often taken together. Many suggest that the solution to these may have a common ground (contemporary examples include invocations of quantum indeterminism - eg “free volition”, interpretations of quantum mechanics - eg the Copenhagen interpretation/measurement problem, etc). Yet they may be entirely independent. What reason does anyone have to do anything if not on logical grounds? And logic itself is deterministic. A failure to maintain consistency in a decision making process speaks more to a division of mind or the conflict of desires (eg short/long term evolutionary goals, the integration of one’s first or second order theory of mind, etc). More often than not it is a failure to anticipate stimuli knowing its influence on our reptilian brain and prepare accordingly. It may even be a failure to take action when necessary, triggering an irreconcilable contradiction or a subconscious detection of genuine cowardice. Granted compatibilism cannot damn the sinner/despot, but who was responsible for feeding their evil? How consistent was their complacency or tolerance? How good should they feel today, and what will they do tomorrow?
  7. richardbaxter


    Cheers Andi; Note I don’t think that "there is no reason to assume that brains necessitate mind or that mind requires a brain" - only that the reasoning provided in the context of the argument here is not sufficient to demonstrate this ("without additional argument"). There likewise are reasons to believe this which have not been discussed here either. "Awareness" (the existence of mental properties) is a fundamental problem irrespective of physical determinism. The only way it can serve an evolutionary purpose is to assume substance (interactionist/Cartesian) dualism, in which there exists a symbiotic coevolution of matter and mind. Yet this doesn’t provide a substrate for mind (unlike the materialist monism physicalism), and pushes the mind-body problem back a layer into some higher dimensional space, or into some spiritual realm. There may be other, philosophical, purposes for subjective awareness, but the question of libertarian free will is purely a functional one (whether, why or how it conveys any difference/advantage on the physical system).
  8. richardbaxter


    I would largely agree with the caller in that it is not evident how the model of free will defined technically differs from a compatibilist (i.e. for all intensive purposes “deterministic”) model. Let us assume that high level physical (empirically measurable) emergent properties exist (such as life, brains etc). These are reducible to patterns of cellular->chemical->atomic->quantum interactions given that a sufficiently advanced machine could compute the behaviour of the system given some initial conditions (along with a set of probabilistic outcomes to the wave function if the universe is intrinsically indeterministic at the quantum level). Their definition as emergent properties is therefore arbitrary from a nominological (as opposed to platonic) perspective; it is semantics. They (these high level terms; wave, life, brain etc) may be useful in terms of what the model can predict at a certain resolution of analysis, but they otherwise confer no new properties on the system. Thus; 1. A fundamental claim of naturalism/science is that any high level model cannot contradict what is observed at a higher resolution of analysis (ie in a lower level eg atomic model). Therefore, if a metaphysical libertarian (non-compatibilist) free will is true, then it must operate on either a) the intrinsically indeterministic quantum substrate (this is highly suspect of teleology in that why would the volition content of consciousness have any effect on the outcome of probabilistic quantum events) or b) classical Cartesian mind-body dualism (for all intensive purposes magic). 2. There is no reason for “awareness” (mental properties) to be assumed to be a necessary emergent property of the biological system (without additional argument) given that it unlike its chemical/biological/neurological/computational counterparts (physical emergent properties) cannot be reduced to a low level model (regardless of whether it follows the same eg deterministic rules). Mental properties are (by definition) not empirically measurable - an experiment cannot be conducted to detect their existence (hence the philosophical zombie or advanced robot that acts sentient but might not be). This is an example of an absolute ontological/categorical difference (unlike that of “life”). Likewise, there is a difference between an inference of a dependence of a on b (eg mind/brain) and the assumption that b necessitates a. So even if mind was assumed to be dependent on brain (the “effect” or “product” of brain where effect/product is a non-empirical, philosophical term in this context), there is no reason to assume that brains necessitate mind or that mind requires a brain (as opposed to some other simpler or more complex physical system like a rock or an advanced AI).
  9. richardbaxter

    'The #MeToo Backlash'

    There is no reason to assume that males should be treated the same as females. Ignorance regarding difference of nature is probably the cause of the "me too" movement. Even the predatory/dehumanising conclusions are a failure to appreciate the motivations of the affective complement (and thus respect their intellect). A sex is primarily responsible for the opposite sex - this is the contention of a rational organic being. And this responsibility is the only reason sex identity (gender) exists. Gender divorced from responsibility is disordered. There is nothing wrong with males being gynocentric as defined (the protection of women and children). In fact, it is the duty of males to be gynocentric. Females by their nature are correspondingly androcentric - why the time spent discussing persons? It is not just a desire to compete; it is a desire to care for others including the integrity of themselves and their prospective partner. Likewise, why is self-objectification so prominent? It is not just 1st order mimesis (the imitation of another's apparent desire as inferred through the collective experience of the advertisement); it is a desire to please (2nd order mimesis; the desire to fulfil another's desire). The fact this imitation may occur with respect to a plastic ideal generated by immoral characters is irrelevant. As for the ostensible exploitation; it is difficult for a person to remain convinced that they are the centre piece of attention when they are just one in an endless wave of objects. And an attraction to resources gained through competition does nothing to validate a person's motivation in offering the resources. It is ironic that true equality can only be maintained by respecting differences, and that fake equality (tyrannical equity) is the inevitable consequence of underestimating our evolutionary nature. For this reason I would consider "men's rights" just as deluded as an unnatural (technologically uninformed) feminism. It is a far cry to assert moral progress with next generation pornography addiction rates approaching 80%. That is a hell of a lot of prostitution required for a gender fantasy. Regarding due process, the general conclusion of caution is sound. The motivation for a female to shift blame in the context of a prior relationship is a lot higher than for a male because a reputation of fidelity more greatly affects their prospective reproductive fitness. In the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, a male's decision to share resources was strongly affected by the trustworthiness of the partner because they could never be certain of their relation to the offspring, but a female's decision to share (reproductive) resources was less strongly affected by the trustworthiness of the partner because they could always be certain of their relation to the offspring and the male was prototypically polygamous. But we must be considerate of the fact antisocial behaviour is (both physically and evolutionarily) dangerous for females, and so can only be enacted in a group. So this provides us with a unique opportunity to be informed of a general problem which would otherwise be more difficult to express. I can't but help think there might have been better, faster, and therefore less damaging ways for this lesson to be learnt, but now that it is finally been spoken it should not be suppressed.
  10. When moral compromise subsists, it is not a question of where we want to go, and more a question of where other people will take us.
  11. A nation only has claim to land taken on moral grounds to the extent that it remains moral - This principle appears to limit the evolution of a society (and explains modern policy).
  12. richardbaxter

    What Is Moral?

    1. This is not a premise as such, it is a claim; and the justification for the definition follows. 2. The logical imposition referenced only follows precisely for like entities. This is a qualifier. Any system of ethics suffers from the same constraint; how does its implementation account for different grades of sentience - see thread “Why is human life worth more than animal life?”. Although there may be an ontological difference between non-sentience and unique/sole instances of sentience, we don’t treat all such entities alike (there are 2 empirical factors which determine this treatment besides genetic proximity and reciprocal altruism; the sensitivity of the subject and the morality of the subject). Yet this is the only principle available to derive right treatment of differences (putting ourselves in another’s shoes) - despite all such inferences being imperfect due to a lack of absolute knowledge of the complete/entire system. 3. If two entities are identical then they are equally valuable by any standard of value (because they are interchangeable). 4. The golden rule is not claiming an objective standard (see 6.), it is a logical (moral) principle/maxim which is practically constrained by imperfect knowledge (who are the active/affected parties, no 2 entities will ever be identical so how should these differences/gradations be weighted). Assuming perfect self/universal knowledge of all actors, the principle could however be theoretically applied to derive the objective good; thus it is a demonstration of why morality is logical consistency (see 1.) ——The golden rule is not a specifically Christian ethic, it predates Christianity and is shared by a number of religions; the New Testament reference comes from the Torah. 5. It depends on their sentience (see 2.) 6. This is an epistomological not an ontological limitation; it has no influence on 1. 7. Arguably not because someone with sufficient knowledge of a person would be inclined not to dehumanise them (unless they were out of their mind). Important here is the distinction between conscious and unconscious error (8). Although a master mind contemplating mass extermination of a people is arguably being knowingly inconsistent (compromise with respect to the logic inherent in the golden rule), his persuaded/propagandised minions are not necessarily - they might think they are being consistent but only being in error with respect to the true nature of the facts. 8. It depends on their sentience (see 2.)
  13. richardbaxter

    What Is Moral?

    To be moral is to be logically consistent, and to be immoral is to be logically inconsistent. The reason A1 acts in their own interest is because they value themselves, but if all like sentient entities (A2, A3, A4, etc) are equally valuable, then there is no reason for A1 to treat others different than how A1 would him/herself expect to be treated by them (the golden rule). Hence a) morality is objective not relative. There is no such thing as moral evolution; only changes in knowledge, circumstance and technology. Yet b) there are no “moral absolutes”. Even taking/killing/using can be justified if the perpetrator would expect to be treated that way if the situation were reversed (e.g. provocation). Traditionally we assign these actions as theft/murder/rape etc when the condition of logical inconsistency holds. Who is to be the final arbitrator in the matter however? Only someone with absolute knowledge of all parties can ever know what is universally moral (preferable), but just because we don’t know or can never know what is wrong doesn’t make it right. It is just plain wrong. Likewise, moral imperatives (oughts) only exist to the extent that logical consistency exists. We only have reason to be moral to the extent that we have reason to be rational. If someone chooses to act irrationally however there is no reason for anybody to trust them (which is the traditional prelude to ostracism). Furthermore, for someone to disrespect reason is to signify direspect for nature: the force that conferred on us the Reason we take for granted as true in the declaration of any logical proposition (including the inference that there is a probability our universe evolved to produce reasonable creatures). And for a contemplative teleosian this is to disrespect creation (or another agent in the equation). This provides a metaphysical dimension to morality, often mistaken for its philosophical basis. In reality however, we can easily conceive of an immoral god. Finally, there is reason to differentiate conscious from unconscious inconsistency in human relations; for which the terms evil and wrong (missing the mark aka sin) are generally associated. This has influence on meta judgement or conscience. Even without libertarian free will, we can still accept the justice of social consequences (punishment) for rejection of truth, because all such rejection coincides with some fleeting affective pleasure which would not exist otherwise. We instinctively reject the coherency of moral error in the face/light of truth and feel guilt as a consequence (cognitive dissonance), needing to make amends or get one’s honour back.
  14. Here is a good counter argument to the effect of 50k years of divergent evolution on observed racial differences; Flynn, J. (2018). Intelligence, Society, and Human Autonomy. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The Nature of Human Intelligence (pp. 101~115). Cambridge University Press.
  15. I had a look at the dictionary definitions and I agree that they are very restricted. I wonder how many people claiming to have faith (or trust) in someone would admit to having a) absolutely no evidence (philosophical) for their working model, or b) absolute certainty in their conviction. People take gambles on things or events, but they have faith in persons. Some relationships (eg love) would be impossible without faith.

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