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soared4truth

Rebuttal to 557 regarding the legitimacy of "the golden rule"

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In FDR557 Stefan makes the claim that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is an invalid moral rule. I have heard him make this same claim in other podcasts, and I am choosing to address it now. I am addressing Stef directly in this post, but anyone who wants to respond, please feel free to do so.

I actually include a slight variation of the golden rule in my own moral philosophy that I am currently writing. The problem you are experiencing with it is that you are taking it too literally. First of all, it is not a moral rule, rather it is a strategy for dealing with the law of karma. One of the main premises of the law of karma basically states that if I do something nasty or unpleasant to you (not even necessarily immoral), then you in turn will have a desire to do the same thing back to me. We call this a desire for revenge, but where does this desire come from? It is not rational as if you pull a prank on me and shave my cat’s butt, for example, then me going and shaving your cat’s butt to get even does not actually benefit me in any logical manner. In fact, it takes extra effort out of my time and day to repay the favor, so I am actually accruing more damages as a result of my action than I otherwise would by doing nothing. The only real possible benefit is that it may deter you from doing the same thing in the future. However, people take revenge even in situations where it is either highly unlikely that the perpetrator of the crime will ever repeat the crime or even if it is effectively impossible for him to do so. For instance, if you shoot someone’s mother and then get hit by a car and either die or become a quadraplegic as a result, that does not necessarily satisfy the aggrieved party’s need for revenge. They may even go as far as to shoot your mother, who is a helpless bystander that had nothing to do with your crime, in an attempt to exact revenge.

From this, we can come to the conclusion that revenge is just as immoral as the original act by the perpetrator which is why most libertarians tend to agree that restitution rather than punishment is the way to deal with criminals. We can see the immorality of revenge in action by observing the law of karma in effect in revenge scenarios. Let’s take the famous feud of the Hatfields and McCoy’s as a perfect example. The feud all started over a single murder. A Hatfield shot a McCoy for trespassing on their property which the McCoy’s saw as an injustice because it was a disproportionate use of force (citation needed). The law of karma tends to agree as disproportionate return force leaves an imbalance. We can see that happened as the result was that a McCoy decided to take revenge on another Hatfield. This did not stop there though as the Hatfields then wanted revenge on the McCoys and a huge and bloody family feud started that killed off a great number of both Hatfields and McCoys as the need for revenge and lust for violence kept escalating and escalating until it turned into an all out blood bath.


So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s assume for a second that the law of karma does exist and is valid as I do not have the time to go into the rigor of empirically proving it. The law of karma exists, and in my moral philosophy I use three examples to describe it. The first is Newton’s third law of motion. Even matter is subject to the same law as for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If one atom pushes on another atom, the other atom pushes back with the exact same force. This is a well known and well proven concept in physics. So, we have example one, Newton’s third law of motion, which is actually the cause of the law of karma. Now, my second example is an example of actual instances of the law of karma in action as it deals with morality. That is the “eye for an eye” principle/law. An eye for an eye is actually not rational as it is just a codified description of the law of karma in action in a moral sense. That is why an eye for an eye is no longer considered a valid moral rule as it just results in the further proliferation of blindness in general and has no measurable benefit for the victim. The third example I mention is the golden rule, and I mention it as an example of a real strategy for dealing with the law of karma.

Now, when I cite the golden rule I make the claim that it is valid if the original intent of the rule is taken into consideration. The writer may have failed to articulate it properly or failed to consider the fact that people have varying preferences, but his intent was of writing it was obviously not that people force their preferences onto others, but that they act unto others in a manner that is generally accepted as being virtuous and considerate. As such, all we need to do to formulate this into a valid strategy for dealing with the law of karma is to reword it slightly as such: “Do unto others within reason that which you would have them do unto you if you were in their shoes.” So, the proper way to practice this is to put yourself into the other person’s shoes and say “if I were them, how would I want to be treated by others?,” and if the acts that you come up with are reasonable, possible, and coincide with one’s own rational self-interest, then you should do perform those acts onto the person when dealing with them. I like to call this the platimum rule since it is an upgrade from the golden rule. Even though I presume that this was actually the original author’s intent in writing the rule, I like to reserve the phrase “the golden rule” to describe a different phenomenon which is “whoever has the gold makes the rules.”

Hence, I think you are wrong about do unto others because you are taking it too literally rather than trying to interpret the original author’s intent in writing the rule. This is a fallacy somewhat akin to equivocation that has yet to be formally recognized or labeled.

Now, I want to quickly take my remaining time here to talk to you about the benefits of recognizing the law of karma as a valid natural law of the universe:

1. It is empirically provable and has a basis in physics, is universal, and is therefore objective.

2. It can be used to enhance UPB to further determine the merit of a moral proposition by running the moral proposition through the platinum rule.

3. It explains an awful lot of natural and moral phenomena in the universe.

4. It gives support for the idea of
perfect balance within the universe which can be observed in all disciplines of science from physics and chemistry to biology and economics (why not ethics as well?).

5. It is a rational, empirically provable, and universally consistent justification for restitution as a strategy for dealing with crime. Unless we just flat out assume that moral actions require balance in order to be made right, then we cannot justify restitution. If we assume it, then we are simply putting forth an argument by assertion fallacy in order to justify something that “just feels right.” For instance, if someone steals $50 from you, spends it, either earns or steals another $50, and you steal the new$50 back, then we have to have a justification for your actions in order to not make you equally guilty of the same crime. If we are to make the moral argument that if someone violates your property rights, then you are then justified in violating theirs, we have to come up with some way to justify this. We can’t use self defense because the aggressor is no longer aggressing against you. Since we cannot justify taking the money back ourselves, nor can we justify hiring another person or group to do it for us as we cannot confer a right that we do not have onto another person or group. In order for restitution to be a valid moral action, we MUST recognize the law of karma as both a physical and metaphysical law of the universe.

Finally, I would just like to say that the value of the platinum rule is as a strategy for keeping yourself out of karmic debt. That is why I like it and why I use it.
It is not perfect. What if you don’t know the person at all? Well, then you should follow general guidelines of how people generally like to be treated. What if you get it wrong and offend them anyway? That is always a possibility, even without the platinum rule, but the platinum rule mitigates that possibility. That seems valuable to me, and if we observe the actions of Christians while they are practicing this rule, we can conclude that the rule seems to work as Christians who do practice this rule tend to be some of the nicest and most pleasant people you will meet (it helps that they are professionals at not taking the bible literally). That is empirical evidence that the rule has merit. It does require positive action which is why it IS NOT a moral rule, but rather simply a strategy for dealing with the law of karma. Let’s go ahead and call it an aesthetically preferable behavior that, by its practice, generally improves the quality and happiness of our lives.

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You allow for the golden rule to be upgraded to mean that Jon shouldn’t buy Max Jon’s favorite ice cream, but you fail to recognize an eye for an eye most important contribution (which was revolutionary in its time) Proportionality. 

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The problem with the golden rule is that it fails universality. It relies on the subjective preferences of each person. Some people like to get pissed on; the golden rule says it’s fine for them to go around pissing on people. The masochist gets to go around punching people in the balls and the white supremicist gets to kill black people because he’d rather be dead than black. Sure, in general, people get it, but it’s not philosophically valid. 

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What's 'karma' is perhaps the most valuable focus from my perspective, sorry for not being able to provide a concise followup on your proposed theory.

From my short life I've concluded that there's no such thing as Karma (deterministic, equalised).

From my short life I've also concluded that life isn't just 'not fair' but asymmetric, even more so in a random fashion.

However.

Consequences do exist.

Probabilities do exist.

Therefore the best upgrade I could offer you on 'karma' is to treat it as a quantum particle. (Bloody, does what it wishes to, generally... though at times neatly falling in line with the assessment of probabilities - string theory - )

What I'm trying to say is that once something is universally preferable, it has an endless amount of question marks behind it, but at the same time binary at the individual level. Awesome. Each and every person has the chance to discover the best suited answer, while also adding to the nearing of the most-likely-by-all-well-intended & least undesirable 'universally un-preferable'... dooh, language reach.

Am I getting through?

Barnsley

p. s. I strongly believe that Stefan Molyneux' s UPB was solely designed for the purpose of an 'endless' conversation amongst sentient beings, incrementally advancing towards an ever increasing level of consciousness, awareness, internalisation of reality.

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I think if the golden rule is amended somewhat to follow what I heard Stef say once-- "When meeting a stranger, treat them the best you can and after that treat them as they've treated you"--then it is a perfectly reasonable rule to follow. Of course it's flawed--I mean if I was a masochist, as said above, I would treat people like crap to be treated badly by them back. I might achieve my goal but the rule then doesn't make society better it's just a rule of thumb that if I behave a certain way similar people are going to be attracted by my behavior and people in general are more likely to reciprocate my behavior.

Therefore it's clearly not a moral rule (because the effects can be bad as well as good, though I might be ignorant of morality to assume moral=good effects) but certainly a practical one (with limitations--treating moochers with generosity isn't likely to pay off for example) that can be made more practical with amendments. 

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Tit for tat with the benefit of doubt is considered to be the best game theoretical strategy.

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22 hours ago, Tyler H said:

The problem with the golden rule is that it fails universality. It relies on the subjective preferences of each person. Some people like to get pissed on; the golden rule says it’s fine for them to go around pissing on people. The masochist gets to go around punching people in the balls and the white supremicist gets to kill black people because he’d rather be dead than black. Sure, in general, people get it, but it’s not philosophically valid. 

Sorry but I have to ruin the subtlety.

 

You are drawing a connection between the Golden Rule and a Golden Shower. Not sure if intentional.

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Sieg, one doesn’t mistreat masochists, unless they are very friendly to them. So in a real case, masochists would treat everyone well as they like to be treated, so that people would treat them badly as they like to be treated.

i like black licorice for God’s sake. I know that implies I was born under a bad moon while my constellation was in retrograde. But I am still human, and would never eat candy corn.

horrible argument 

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Okay, so while ordinary people take the golden rule literally, Christians seem to understand it just fine. Sure, it is badly worded, which is why I changed the wording and created "the platinum rule." Again, the point is not to do things to others that you take selfish pleasure in, but to treat them how you think they want to be treated, or how you would want to be treated were you in their shoes.

BTW, has anyone here ever met a masochist? Gauging by the responses, I would say no. Masochists do not want random people mistreating them any more than anyone else does. Rather, they get high off pain, and want pain in a private, safe, and consensual setting. They don't get high off people randomly mistreating or degrading them. They get high off very intense pain and degradation with someone whom they trust in private. I have heard a group of masochists complaining about headaches and exchanging aspirin if that tells you anything. Pain is just another annoyance in their lives just like anyone else unless they happen to be having a session where they are getting worked over by a skilled Dominant. Even then, "aftercare" is almost always part of the equation where the Dominant treats them well, massages them, rubs soft fur on their wounds, feeds them chocolate to further stimulate the endorphins, etc.

So, I don't think that even a masochist would go around hurting people, even if they were practicing the golden rule literally. Now, in the podcast, Stef actually makes better examples which is what I was responding to. He makes the example of a strong armed man wanting to settle every dispute with an arm wrestling contest. That is a much better example, but still misses the point. I am sure there are some strong Christian men out there who practice the golden rule but do not go around challenging old ladies to arm wrestling contests.

I presume that Stef probably agrees with me on this issue now, since he is now full fledged backing Christians and their philosophy now anyway. He appears to have gone pragmatist on us, but I am fine with that because pragmatism gets stuff done. Idealism to the point of non-strategizing is a loser's gambit.

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Yeah, let’s not concern ourselves with truth, let’s just stumble about blindly ascribing century old ethical principles pretending they’ll somehow lead to a future different than the present they have already provided. 

If Stef agreed with you you’d still be wrong.  And just because he momentarily disregards your delusions and holds back on attacking the disgusting abuse all religions perpetrate against children while he focuses on the threat the left currently presents doesn’t mean he is even remotely backing Christian “philosophy”. 

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On 12/16/2017 at 12:18 PM, soared4truth said:

Stefan makes the claim that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is an invalid moral rule.

 

On 12/16/2017 at 12:18 PM, soared4truth said:

First of all, it is not a moral rule, rather it is a strategy for dealing with the law of karma.

Thank you for reaffirming what he already said...

Also there's no such thing as karma.

 

I just treat people how they treat me. It lets them set the standard for how they will be treated.

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On 12/16/2017 at 9:18 PM, soared4truth said:

In FDR557 Stefan makes the claim that “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is an invalid moral rule. I have heard him make this same claim in other podcasts, and I am choosing to address it now. I am addressing Stef directly in this post, but anyone who wants to respond, please feel free to do so.

I actually include a slight variation of the golden rule in my own moral philosophy that I am currently writing. The problem you are experiencing with it is that you are taking it too literally. First of all, it is not a moral rule, rather it is a strategy for dealing with the law of karma. One of the main premises of the law of karma basically states that if I do something nasty or unpleasant to you (not even necessarily immoral), then you in turn will have a desire to do the same thing back to me. We call this a desire for revenge, but where does this desire come from? It is not rational as if you pull a prank on me and shave my cat’s butt, for example, then me going and shaving your cat’s butt to get even does not actually benefit me in any logical manner. In fact, it takes extra effort out of my time and day to repay the favor, so I am actually accruing more damages as a result of my action than I otherwise would by doing nothing. The only real possible benefit is that it may deter you from doing the same thing in the future. However, people take revenge even in situations where it is either highly unlikely that the perpetrator of the crime will ever repeat the crime or even if it is effectively impossible for him to do so. For instance, if you shoot someone’s mother and then get hit by a car and either die or become a quadraplegic as a result, that does not necessarily satisfy the aggrieved party’s need for revenge. They may even go as far as to shoot your mother, who is a helpless bystander that had nothing to do with your crime, in an attempt to exact revenge.

From this, we can come to the conclusion that revenge is just as immoral as the original act by the perpetrator which is why most libertarians tend to agree that restitution rather than punishment is the way to deal with criminals. We can see the immorality of revenge in action by observing the law of karma in effect in revenge scenarios. Let’s take the famous feud of the Hatfields and McCoy’s as a perfect example. The feud all started over a single murder. A Hatfield shot a McCoy for trespassing on their property which the McCoy’s saw as an injustice because it was a disproportionate use of force (citation needed). The law of karma tends to agree as disproportionate return force leaves an imbalance. We can see that happened as the result was that a McCoy decided to take revenge on another Hatfield. This did not stop there though as the Hatfields then wanted revenge on the McCoys and a huge and bloody family feud started that killed off a great number of both Hatfields and McCoys as the need for revenge and lust for violence kept escalating and escalating until it turned into an all out blood bath.


So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s assume for a second that the law of karma does exist and is valid as I do not have the time to go into the rigor of empirically proving it. The law of karma exists, and in my moral philosophy I use three examples to describe it. The first is Newton’s third law of motion. Even matter is subject to the same law as for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If one atom pushes on another atom, the other atom pushes back with the exact same force. This is a well known and well proven concept in physics. So, we have example one, Newton’s third law of motion, which is actually the cause of the law of karma. Now, my second example is an example of actual instances of the law of karma in action as it deals with morality. That is the “eye for an eye” principle/law. An eye for an eye is actually not rational as it is just a codified description of the law of karma in action in a moral sense. That is why an eye for an eye is no longer considered a valid moral rule as it just results in the further proliferation of blindness in general and has no measurable benefit for the victim. The third example I mention is the golden rule, and I mention it as an example of a real strategy for dealing with the law of karma.

Now, when I cite the golden rule I make the claim that it is valid if the original intent of the rule is taken into consideration. The writer may have failed to articulate it properly or failed to consider the fact that people have varying preferences, but his intent was of writing it was obviously not that people force their preferences onto others, but that they act unto others in a manner that is generally accepted as being virtuous and considerate. As such, all we need to do to formulate this into a valid strategy for dealing with the law of karma is to reword it slightly as such: “Do unto others within reason that which you would have them do unto you if you were in their shoes.” So, the proper way to practice this is to put yourself into the other person’s shoes and say “if I were them, how would I want to be treated by others?,” and if the acts that you come up with are reasonable, possible, and coincide with one’s own rational self-interest, then you should do perform those acts onto the person when dealing with them. I like to call this the platimum rule since it is an upgrade from the golden rule. Even though I presume that this was actually the original author’s intent in writing the rule, I like to reserve the phrase “the golden rule” to describe a different phenomenon which is “whoever has the gold makes the rules.”

Hence, I think you are wrong about do unto others because you are taking it too literally rather than trying to interpret the original author’s intent in writing the rule. This is a fallacy somewhat akin to equivocation that has yet to be formally recognized or labeled.

Now, I want to quickly take my remaining time here to talk to you about the benefits of recognizing the law of karma as a valid natural law of the universe:

1. It is empirically provable and has a basis in physics, is universal, and is therefore objective.

2. It can be used to enhance UPB to further determine the merit of a moral proposition by running the moral proposition through the platinum rule.

3. It explains an awful lot of natural and moral phenomena in the universe.

4. It gives support for the idea of
perfect balance within the universe which can be observed in all disciplines of science from physics and chemistry to biology and economics (why not ethics as well?).

5. It is a rational, empirically provable, and universally consistent justification for restitution as a strategy for dealing with crime. Unless we just flat out assume that moral actions require balance in order to be made right, then we cannot justify restitution. If we assume it, then we are simply putting forth an argument by assertion fallacy in order to justify something that “just feels right.” For instance, if someone steals $50 from you, spends it, either earns or steals another $50, and you steal the new$50 back, then we have to have a justification for your actions in order to not make you equally guilty of the same crime. If we are to make the moral argument that if someone violates your property rights, then you are then justified in violating theirs, we have to come up with some way to justify this. We can’t use self defense because the aggressor is no longer aggressing against you. Since we cannot justify taking the money back ourselves, nor can we justify hiring another person or group to do it for us as we cannot confer a right that we do not have onto another person or group. In order for restitution to be a valid moral action, we MUST recognize the law of karma as both a physical and metaphysical law of the universe.

Finally, I would just like to say that the value of the platinum rule is as a strategy for keeping yourself out of karmic debt. That is why I like it and why I use it.
It is not perfect. What if you don’t know the person at all? Well, then you should follow general guidelines of how people generally like to be treated. What if you get it wrong and offend them anyway? That is always a possibility, even without the platinum rule, but the platinum rule mitigates that possibility. That seems valuable to me, and if we observe the actions of Christians while they are practicing this rule, we can conclude that the rule seems to work as Christians who do practice this rule tend to be some of the nicest and most pleasant people you will meet (it helps that they are professionals at not taking the bible literally). That is empirical evidence that the rule has merit. It does require positive action which is why it IS NOT a moral rule, but rather simply a strategy for dealing with the law of karma. Let’s go ahead and call it an aesthetically preferable behavior that, by its practice, generally improves the quality and happiness of our lives.

What you call karma is just other people remembering all the shit you did to them. If you do bad things to other people all the time, chances are that they will do bad things to you as a response, usually for self-defense. Morality is about universal rules, and universally preferable behavior says that it's universally preferable to want to stay alive and continue existence of the species, as that's what pretty much all life does at its core. Organisms gather energy and reproduce. Therefore, organisms do not want to be harmed. Humans are organisms, so humans do not want to be harmed. 

I think where you're struggling is universality. Universal means NO EXCEPTIONS whatsoever, under any circumstances. There can't be a universal rule that says "I get to steal from you, you don't get to steal from me". We are both humans and therefore moral agents, so the universalized rule becomes "Humans get to steal from humans, humans don't get to steal from humans" where stealing is the act of taking another moral agent's property without their voluntary permission. So the universalized rule becomes contradictory.

“do unto others as you would have them do unto you” means that by initiating force, I am giving express permission for force to be used against me. Immorality is the initiation of force. That's why the NAP says you can be perfectly moral simply by NOT initiating force, otherwise you'd have a lot of immoral coma patients as initiating force at all times would be the moral thing to do. Negative rules, the ones saying NOT doing something is good, can be achieved by anyone. Positive rules, the ones compelling specific actions, cannot be achieved by everyone at the same time. I can't make a rule that says that to be morally good, you have to eat this specific sandwich I'm holding, but it's easy to say that to be good, you must not murder. The universal preferable behavior is that nobody wants to be murdered because that's in the definition of murder, so not murdering people is good. However, if I'm trying to murder people, and people kill me in self-defense, they are still perfectly moral because I'm the one initiating force. If nobody initiates, you simply don't have any violence.

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I think the rule is philisophically valid if you are talking informal logic, it only falls down within the confines of formal logic. I get that people like the precision of formal logic here, and that is all well and good. However human consciousness and communication is capable of trinary conceptualisation as well as binary. So although you can't boil down the golden rule to a formal axiomatic rule, and it's important to point out that you can't the concept still has truth value that we can understand informally.

Maybe once future great philosophers have wrapped their heads around quantum logic and are able to apply it to everyday macro scale ideas like the golden rule something axiomatic could be formulated about it, but it's too early to say. My current attempts to wrap my head around quantum logic make me fear you may need an IQ getting on to the 200 mark to make that leap (and my intellect is not up to the task!). We would also have the problem that those of us languishing at the couple standard deviations above the mean would possibly miss the truths expressed thanks to the Dunning-Kreuger effect.

Maybe the Chinese IQ 200 babies or a future A.I. might be able to figure it out.

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